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notions upon the subject; but to act in faith. God has dealt bountifully with him ; He has redeemed him with his own blood, and received him into his Church. He has given him more than he needs for the supply of his actual wants; he bas given him plenty. What is the Christian way of disposing of it? It is usual in the world to let it accumulate, that the possessor may rise in the scale of society, and make for himself and his family a name on the earth. That is scarcely the way to have a treasure in heaven. If that is our leading desire, we shall desire no treasure upon earth ; but rather emulate the poor widow, who cast into the treasury all that she had, even all her living.
To imitate her, we must give, not according to what we can afford, but more than we can afford.
It is not my duty to recommend any line of conduct which might fairly be described as enthusiastic or visionary; I am not disposed to
But we must be conscious that we do too little in good works. I have no hesitation in recommending you to give
more than you have been used to think that you could afford. If we would imitate the widow, whom our Lord proposes for our imitation, we must do something that implies self-denial, and faith in God's
providential care of us. We must give it for His sake, who can and will make it up to us.
Till we do this, we do nothing. However large may be our contributions, we cannot pretend to imitate her, till we have done enough to cost us something. If we become disciplined to a right view of Christian liberality, we shall not need to hear any laboured argument in favour of a particular object. Every thing that has a claim to our aid will receive it. When the heart is once properly under the influence of love to God, of gratitude for the blessings of redemption, we shall regard ourselves as too happy in having the opportunity of showing our love by our liberality. Whether it be the temporal support of the ministers of the sanctuary, or the raising of Churches, or the teaching of the young, or the propagation of the Gospel in the dark places of the earth, or
the supply of the wants of the needy, or the maintenance of the necessary accessaries of Divine worship, that may be brought before us,—all will be received cheerfully and gladly, and will be met with a zealous desire to devote our substance for God's honour. And this would only be a small approach to the conduct of the poor widow—whose mites—whose whole living, was thrown into the treasury for the use of the temple.
LOVE OF THE WORLD.
1 John ii. 15.
“Love not the world, neither the things that are in the
world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him."
It is quite wonderful to what an extent we are in the habit of using words, of which we do not take the trouble to understand the meaning. There are comparatively few, who are at the pains to get a correct notion of the common things which are talked about in our most ordinary intercourse.
As things are further removed from the common business of life, the notions which are entertained about them are still more vague and uncertain. The names, however, by which they are distinguished, are constantly in our mouths or in our ears. We become so familiar with them, that we never think of inquiring whether we understand them. And if anything occurs to make us ask ourselves the question, we are often surprised to find the extent of our ignorance. It is quite needless to observe, that this is often the cause of great mischief and inconvenience. It is most injurious in matters in which we are the most interested. It is in nothing so dangerous as in what relates to morality and religion. It is of the very highest importance to us to have correct notions of the words which are employed in relation to the concerns of the soul. Yet we are here guilty of the same weakness. We allow ourselves to become familiar with the symbol, without caring to ascertain what it signifies. Many instances in which this is common to a very alarming degree, might be noticed. There is no instance in which it is more remarkable than in the case of the word which is thrice repeated in the text.