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a clear consequence of our loving God, that we should be desirous of pleasing him. And what can be more pleasing to him than to see us, as far as mortal infirmity will allow, treading in his divine stepsy and aspiring to resemble him in all that mercy and loving-kindness, which he is continually exercising towards all his creatures? How grateful must it be to him to see us engaged in the same em ployment which constitutes his own supreme delight, in going about doing good, in dealing out our bread to the hungry, in visiting and comforting the poor and needy, the widow and the fatherless, and him that hath none to help him? This is indeed to be a God unto our brethren, by being merciful to them, even as our Father, who is in heaven, is merciful unto us and to all men.
! And, on the contrary, how vile must he
appear in the sight of God, who, having this world's good, seeth his brother have need, and shutteth up his bowels of compassion from him? For farther asunder are not heaven and hell, than all cruelty G %
and hard-heartedness is distant from the nature of the Almighty. Indeed, goodness and benevolence are such distinguishing properties of him, that St. John 'resolves all his other perfections into these, and in one word thus defines the Deity: “ God is love.” He therefore that lovethi not his brother, as he certainly does not, who refuses to relieve him in his distress, according to the reasoning of the same Apostle, neither dwelleth in God, nor God in him; neither knoweth God, nor is known of him; and, according to the whole tenor of the gospel, hath no title to call God his father, but is indeed a very child of the devil. .
* Another way, by which we may shew our love of God, is by cheerfully obeying him; and particularly by doing those things which he has declared that he will look upon as so many requitals of his love to us. “ If any mán love me, says our “ blessed Lord, he will keep my words." And what is said of a particular commandment, may with greater reason be said of all: for whosoever saith that he Joveth God, and yet keepeth not his commandments, is a liar: inasmuch as hisi professions and his actions are directly re-i pugnant to each other.
: Now there is no one duty which God hath more frequently, or more strictly, required of us, than that of charity to the poor. And, to add energy to his commands, the manner in which we have diseharged this duty is stated as a principal article of inquiry' in the future process of thel dast judgment. He, therefore, who refuses to perform any act of kindness to a distressed brother, when it is in the power of his hand to do it, does thereby virtually declare that he has noi sincere love or regard for his great Lord and Master, nor any real desire to please.j him; nay, rather that he is resolved to offend him that he sets at nought his authority, and bids defiance to his vindictive power. si to tu linna ; 4. But farther: God has inot only thus commanded us to shew mercy to the poor, but has also been pleased to declare, that he will look upon all our acts of kindness
as done unto himself, and will accordi ingly be answerable for them to us. Thus it is said, “ He that hath pity on the poor, “ lendeth unto the Lord.” And again, “ Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one
of the least of these my brethren, ye 6 have done it unto me." And what bigher motive can be either proposed or conceived than this, that by every act of mercy to the poor we make the most high God our debtor; that the smallest fáyour wę bestow on a distressed brother is recorded in heaven, and is accepted as done to Christ himself, our most gracious Redeemer?.. .
--; What an inexpressible satisfaction then must it give to every man of a generous and grateful disposition, when he reflects that God, by making the poor his reprešentatives, 'has given him an opportunity of rendering something to the Lord for all his benefits, and of discharging part of that immense debt of gratitude, which he pwes to the Almighty? When he reflects, that though the return he makes to God's mercy be only as a drop of water to the
ocean, yet it is all which he can return; and all which God requires of him? This is a consideration, which should cause our hearts to burn within us, and make us ever eager to grasp the out-stretched hand of necessity, which implores' our relief by that most cogent of all argut ments, the love of God. It is a considers ation, likewise, which, after we have performed any office of humanity, vill afford such a pleasure and satisfaction to our minds, as all the world and its enjoyments cannot give us; arising from the testimony of our conscience, that the love of God does indeed dwell in us, the most rational, the most exalted, the most delightful passion;" which can possess the mind of man. ) H.- SE " n!!
Sia) Primal viis What a wretch then must hehe ;: whát a base and sordid soul must he haive, who cannot be roused into compassioniby such alarning, such all-persuading motives? How insensible must: he be of all the mercies of thąt God (who made and pre
Serves him, andıof the inestiinable love cofilthat Jesuszuwho expired on the cross