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shall be blessed: for he giveth of his bread to the
Charge them that are rich in this world, that they do good, that they be rich in good works, ready to distribute, willing to communicate, laying up in store for themselves a good foundation against the time to come*. I have showed you all things, how that so labouring ye ought to support the weak; and to remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how he said, It is more blessed to give than to receive'. Hearken, my beloved brethren, hath not God chosen the poor of this world, rich in faith, and heirs of the kingdom which he hath promised to them that love him? But ye have despised the poor. Do not rich men oppress you, and draw you before the judgment-seats? If ye fulfil the royal law according to the scripture, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself, ye do well". If a brother or sister be naked, and destitute of daily food; and one of you say unto them, Depart in peace, be you warmed and filled; notwithstanding ye give them not those things that are needful
< Prov. xvii. 5.
f Eccles. xi. 1, 2.
d Prov. xxix. 7.
Psal.xxxvii. 25, 26. k1 Tim. vi. 17,18,19. James, ii. 8.
b Prov. xxii. 9. Prov. xix. 17. Isa. xxxii. 8. 1 Acts, xx. 35. * See more on this subject through the whole of this chapter, particularly sect. 4.
to the body; what doth it profit? Whoso hath this world's good, and seeth his brother have need, and shutteth up his bowels of compassion from him, how dwelleth the love of God in him??
Now concerning the collection for the Saints, as I have given order to the churches of Galatia, even so do ye. Upon the first day of the week, let every one of you lay by him in store, as God hath prospered him, that there be no gatherings when I come. And when I come, whomsoever ye shall approve by your letters, them will I send to bring your liberality unto Jerusalem. Moreover, brethren, we do you to wit of the grace of God, bestowed on the churches of Macedonia; how that in a great trial of affliction, the abundance of their joy, and their deep poverty, abounded unto the riches of their liberality. For to their power, I bear record, yea and beyond their power, they were willing of themselves; praying us with much entreaty, that we would receive the gift, and take upon us the fellowship of the ministering to the saints. Therefore as ye abound in every thing, in faith, in utterance, and knowledge, and in all diligence, and in your love to us; see that ye abound in this grace also'. For ye know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though he was rich, yet for your sakes he became poor, that ye through his poverty might be rich'. Now therefore perform the doing of it; that as there was a readiness to will, so there may be a performance also out of that which ye have. For if there be first a willing mind, it is accepted according to that a man hath, and not according to that he hath not". As it is written, He that had gathereth much, had nothing over; and he that had gathered little, had no lack**. But this I say, He which soweth sparingly, shall reap also sparingly; and he which soweth bountifully, shall reap also bountifully. Every man according as he purposeth in his heart, so let him give; not grudgingly, or of
James, ii. 15, 16.
* See 2 Cor. viii. 5, 6, 8,
P 1 John, iii. 17.
* 2 Cor. viii. 15.
10, 13, 14, 16-22, 24, and 2 Cor. ix. 1-5.
q 1 Cor. xvi. 1, 2, 3.
2 Cor. viii. 9.
necessity; for God loveth a cheerful giver. And God is able to make all grace abound towards you; that ye always having all sufficiency in all things, may abound to every good work. As it is written, He hath dispersed abroad, he hath given to the poor; his righteousness remaineth for ever. Now he that ministereth seed to the sower, both minister bread for your food, and multiply your seed sown, and increase the fruits of your righteousness, being enriched in every good thing to all bountifulness, which causeth through us thanksgiving to God; whiles, by the experiment of this ministration, they glorify God for your professed subjection unto the gospel of Christ, and for your liberal distribution unto them, and
unto all men'.
My brethren, dearly beloved, and longed for, my joy and crown; I rejoiced in the Lord greatly, that now at the last, your care of me flourished again; wherein ye were also careful, but ye lacked opportunity. Not that I speak in respect of want; for I have learned in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content. Notwithstanding, ye have well done, that ye did communicate with my affliction". But But my God shall supply all your need, according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus. For God is not unrighteous to forget your work and labour of love, which ye have showed towards his name, in that ye have ministered to the saints, and do minister. And we desire that exery one of you do the same diligence to the full assurance of hope unto the end". Make to yourselves friends of the mammon of unrighteousness, that when ye fail they may receive you into everlasting habitations.
SECT. 10. God is the protector of the widow, the fatherless, and the indigent.
The Lord is known by the judgment which he executeth". For the needy shall not always be forgotten; the expectation of the poor shall not perish
y 2 Cor. ix. 6—13.
b Phil. iv. 14.
§ 10. Psal. ix. 16.
2 Phil. iv. 1.
Phil. iv. 10, 11.
4 Heb. vi. 10, 11.
for ever. The Lord raiseth up the poor out of the dust, and lifteth the needy out of the dunghill. He will regard the prayer of the destitute, and not despise their prayer. For he hath looked down from the height of his sanctuary; from heaven did the Lord behold the earth; to hear the groaning of the prisoner, to loose those that are appointed to death. For he shall stand at the right hand of the poor to save them that condemn his soul'. For the rod of the wicked shall not rest upon the lot of the righteous; lest the righteous put forth their hands unto iniquity. The Lord pre
serveth the stranger; he relieveth the fatherless and the widow". Rob not the poor because he is poor, neither oppress the afflicted in the gate. For the Lord will plead their cause, and spoil the soul of those that spoiled them'. He saveth the poor from the sword, and from the hand of the mighty; so the poor hath hope, and iniquity stoppeth her mouth. He delivereth the poor in his affliction, and openeth their ears in oppression'. He satisfieth the longing soul, and filleth the hungry soul with goodness". He setteth the poor on high from affliction". He shall judge the poor of the people, he shall save the children of the needy, and shall break in pieces the oppressor. He shall deliver the needy when he crieth; the poor also, and him that hath no helper; he shall spare the poor and needy, and shall save the souls of the needy". He shall redeem their soul from deceit and violence; and precious shall their blood be in his sight. And the first-born of the poor shall feed, and the needy shall lie down in safety'. The Lord is with me as a mighty terrible one; therefore my persecutors shall stumble, and they shall not prevail, they shall be greatly ashamed; for the Lord hath delivered the soul of the poor from the hand of evil-doers'. I know that the Lord will maintain the cause of the
b Psal. ix. 18.
3 Job, xxxvi. 15.
• Psal. lxxii. 4.
r Isa. xiv. 30.
e Psal. cxiii. 5, 7.
m Psal. cvii. 9.
P Psal. lxxii. 12, 13.
d Psal. cii. 17.
8 Psal. cxxv. 3.
* Job, v. 15, 16.
n Psal. cvii. 41.
9 Psal. lxxii. 14.
afflicted, and the right of the poor'. A father of the fatherless, and a judge of the widow, is God in his holy habitation".
Leave thy fatherless children, I will preserve them alive, and let thy widows trust in me. For the oppression of the poor, for the sighing of the needy, now will I arise, saith the Lord; I will set him in safety from him that puffeth at him'. The Lord will destroy the house of the proud; but he will establish the border of the widow.
Blessed is he that considereth the poor; the Lord will deliver him in time of trouble. The Lord will preserve him, and keep him alive, and he shall be blessed upon the earth. Defend the poor and fatherless; do justice to the afflicted and needy; deliver the poor and needy; rid them out of the hand of the wicked".
Mournful complaints and pious supplica-
O Lord, how long shall I cry, and thou wilt not hear? For spoiling and violence are before me; and there are that raise up strife and contention. Therefore the law is slacked, and judgment doth never go forth; for the wicked doth compass about the righteous; therefore wrong judgment proceedeth". Art thou not from everlasting, O Lord my God, mine Holy One? O Lord, thou hast ordained them for judgment; and, O mighty God, thou hast established them for correction". Give ear to my prayer, O God, and hide not thyself from iny supplication. Attend unto me, and hear me; I mourn in my complaint and make a noise, because of the voice of the enemy, because of the oppression of the wicked. O that I had wings like a dove! for then would I flee away, and be at rest. The Lord will abhor the bloody and deceitful mand. Show thy marvellous lovingkindness, O thou that savest by thy right hand, them
t Psal. cxl. 12.
y Psal. xii. 5.
§ 11. Hab. i. 2, 3, 4. d Psal. v. 6.
"Psal. lxviii. 5.
b Hab. i. 12.
* Jer. xlix. 11.
Psal. Iv. 1, 2, 3, 6.