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one cannot assume a fitter spirit, disposition, or principle than this which was derived and exemplified by St. John from the pure model which he had seen, heard, and handled; while, for method, perhaps, that of St. Paul, shall particularly deserve imitation, being “made all things to all men, as he says,) that I might by all means save some.” (Cor. I. ix. 22.) For it is not likely that St. Paul in endeavouring to accommodate himself to the habits of the people so far as he did, ever meant to flatter and betray those who were comparatively safe, but to seek and to save, that which was more probably lost, (Luke xix. 10,) as his Master did before ; " that I might by all means save some,” said he. And hence our clue.

There were two distinct spheres particularly in which the apostles were used to labour after their Lord's example, and two sorts of objects also. The two spheres were the temporal and spiritual; the poor being equally objects in either-as well for the gospel which was preached to them, as for the charity of its ministers, and the church or body with which they were associated ; that is to say, the poor in temporal respects as well as in spiritual were objects of the apostle's ministry. But you may perceive, if it have not struck you already, that there are generally speaking two sorts of poor in either sphere, namely, in either the temporal or spiritual; being, first those who never were rich, and next those who were so once, but are become poor: the first being simply poor, the second fallen into poverty, as it may be in either respect. I propose to consider either sort,-first as objects, and next as subjects for practice ; speaking first for them, and next to them, which will divide what I have now to say into two parts, related to each other like a doctrine and its improvement.

$1. But in considering the poor as objects of the practice I am about to recommend, I feel I must descend from the position of the apostle in my text to one more equal, and address my hearers as brethren rather than as children. As from brethren, therefore, I request from you due attention to some remarks on the duty which you owe as Christians to these two sorts of poor,-1, in a temporal respect; 2, in a spiritual. First, on your relative duty to these several objects :

1. I request your attention to the case of those who are poor in a temporal respect, or to what may be called temporal poverty ; whether its subjects be 1, simply poor ; or 2, poor reduced.

1, If we cannot draw the exact line, or exactly define the class of those who are simply poor, we may have a sufficient idea of the same if we consider it as comprehending two parts or distinctions, 1, of the hale or ablebodied, who cannot choose but be considerable in the midst of their poverty, if it be only for mischief, not having leave of Providence, or the means to be idle ; 2, the part of the infirm, who, being born in poverty, after working somehow as long as they were able, shall find themselves at last in no better predicament with respect to necessity than they were in at first. These are the two general parts or distinctions of the simply poor in temporal or outward circumstances, that is, of the class of those who have never been rich in that way.

-1, But in speaking of the hale, or first description of the simply poor, I must so far make a distinction as to consider them but half poor, seeing that their strength and preparation for some useful part may be half a fortune for them, the other half consisting in opportunity or employment; unless they should rather want an inclination to work, for then they will be some of the poorest of the poor, an hundred times poorer than the aged and infirm, who would work if they could: for they are poor spirited, though not perhaps remarkably poor in spirit. By the able-bodied poor however is generally meant, I believe, the humblest of the labouring classes, including those even who have constant, or nearly constant, employ, because they are considered, though very improperly,

more dependent than those who employ them. And respecting your duty as well as interest in relation to such poor, my brethren, I would suggest a particular or two.

=1, In the first place; it strikes me, that it is more desirable for a man in authority to have such labourers than to have soldiers under him, if they will do his bidding. And then it will be as much the man's duty to find his labourers employment, and keep them to it, as it will to pay them their wages.

=2, That the more labourers we employ, the more money we shall have to pay, and the more trouble to receive, is pretty certain ; so it is, that the more objects of God's bounty, the more ingrates there will be in the world; but that does not hinder him from peopling it, neither should a little, nor yet a great deal, of dissatisfaction hinder a man from doing what good he can in his generation by employing as many men, women, and children as his means will allow : which is the way to be “the children of the Highest: for he is kind unto the unthankful, and the evil. Be ye, therefore, merciful, (says our Saviour,) as your Father also is merciful." (Luke vi. 35, 36.)

I like to see a good rich man of the sort that David describes, “ A good man (says he) is merciful and lendeth, and will guide his words with discretion. For he shall never be moved: and the righteous shall be had in everlasting remembrance. He will not be afraid of any evil tidings: for his heart standeth fast, and believeth in the Lord. His heart is established and will not shrink, until he see his desire upon his enemies *. He hath dispersed abroad, and given (work) to the poor; and his righteousness remaineth for ever; his horn shall be exalted with honour.” (Ps. cxii. 5, &c.) And our Saviour gives us an amiable representation of such a character as an employer, alluding to his heavenly Father. For the Kingdom of Heaven (says he) is like unto a man that is an house

That they may come to a better mind, I say: “having no evil to say of you."

holder : which went out early in the morning, to hire labourers into his vineyard. And when he had agreed with the labourers for a penny a day, he sent them into his vineyard. And he went out abont the third hour, and saw others standing idle in the market-place, and said unto them, Go ye also into the vineyard, and whatsoever is right I will give you. And they went their way. Again he went out about the sixth and ninth hour, and did likewise. And about the eleventh hour he went out, and found others standing idle, and saith unto them, Why stand ye here all the day idle? They say unto him, Because no man hath hired us. He saith unto them, Go ye also into the vineyard ; and whatsoever is right that shall ye receive.” (Matt. xx. 1, &c.) He would not suffer a poor man of the class I am considering to lose a day's work; no, nor half a day, nor a quarter-not he; a fine example for those who have the means of affording employment, the best kind of charity!

=3, Again ; although the services of mankind cannot accord by any means with the perfection of their bountiful Employer : yet “if there be first a willing mind, it is accepted according to that a man hath, and not according to that he hath not.” (Cor. II. viii. 12.) “ He will not alway be chiding: neither keepeth be his anger for ever.-For he knoweth whereof we are made : he remembereth that we are but dust.” (Ps. ciii. 9, 14.) And his example may teach any master upon earth, to shew mercy and charity to the people; and not to be severe upon every trifling, formal, or menial miscarriage : for if he rebuke severely in such cases, how will he do in more serious cases?-in cases of trespass against religion and morality, where any well meant and well directed reproof would be a kindness? Therefore,

=4, While you do your utmost for the labourers, to make them do their best, you ought, at the same time, to make such occasional allowance to them for failure in their parts when required, as you would naturally expect

yourself under the same circumstances. One thing you ought especially to remember, when you think yourself disserved, and are inclined to find fault on account of it: which is, the many more occasions, on which you may have been well served by the same parties, and for which

you have great reason to be thankful. -2, In looking upon the spent or infirm labourer, you should remember your debts, as well as your hopes and expectations : paying to either, as it might happen, if not your own debt entirely, yet a part of that which you owe in common with others,-a part of THE DEBT OF SOCIETY to one of its poor members; and much more, of the debt that you owe to One from whom you still have, it may be, the highest expectations.

2, The other class of poor who are fallen from wealth, or not born to poverty, but reduced to such a condition by mischance, by vice, or imprudence, may be called poor with aggravation, from the effect of contrast, and the remembrance of better days; which may also be further aggravated by a recollection of the sufferer's share in his own reduction. But if, on the contrary, such reduction should be the mere effect of mischance and the

unquestionable decrees of Providence, it may be more tolerable on reflection; at the same time that the advantage of education may concur to alleviate in some measure an evil that is past remedy. Some cases, however, are truly hard to be borne, though, perhaps, innocently incurred, and admit of little alleviation. Such is the poverty of the widow and the orphan; whose bereavement of a dear relation gives an additional weight to the loss of their only human dependence, and greatly aggravates the want it occasions : such is the poverty of an injured friend, of one suffering for another's failure, and smarting for a misplaced confidence. Such a case as that must give a keen edge to a severe affliction : for the want of common necessaries is not light in itself, however light it may be compared with the want of some more peculiar to man.


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