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blessed, vou shall see in that family some clothed in white robes and having palms in their hands, to whom you had once ministered upon a bed of sorrow? Will you then grudge your love to them, when you shall see how Jesus loved them ?
Recognizing your departing spirits, remembering your former kindnesses, and bending from the thrones, on which grace hath placed them, they shall descend to meet you ; they shall become your convoys back to glory : When approaching the throne of your Redeemer, they shall say, in your behalf, these are the righteous, who softened our sorrows on the carth-who closed our dying eyes ; and then, receiving to their embrace, our hapless offspring, in their own bosoms nurtured them for thee. This will be indeed, Christians, a moment of religious extacy ! A moment, did I say? An eternity---which, like the duration of God, will never pass away ! I might here add, that as charity prepares for the departing spirit the most refined and lasting joy, so it secures to the mouldering body the most enviable honors.
How sweetly must they sleep whose memories are embalmed in the widow's bosom, and whose graves are bedewed by the orphan's tears. Let me die the death of the righteous, and let my last end be like his. Happy the man whose funeral honors consist in the sighs and tears of the poor whore he has relieved, the vicious whom he has reclaimed, and the disconsolate whom he has com
forted with the promises of Jesus.--Let these be the monuments of my fame-Let these, standing by mine urn, and pointing to mine ashes, tell the passing traveller, There lies the man, who, when I was hungry, fed me ; when I was naked clothed me ; and when I wandered from virtue, pointed my erring feet in the homeward way. But I must give no further
my feelings. The subject expands—and expands itself before me. I pause therefore.... not because other motives to charity are wanting, but because I am confident, that if these are not effectual, none which I can urge will be so.
Do you ask, why we have even so far pressed this duty ? Why ?-on account of its importance. : What might not be done, were mankind disposed to co-operate for the relief of human misery ? Were half the pains taken--- were half the treasures expended in feeding the hungry, in clothing the naked, and in relieving the distressed, which are now expended in raising armies and equipping fleets for the encrease of misery, the extension of wretchedness, and the destruction of man; how different Would the face of things appear ? The reason why society is so cold and lifeless, not to say so sanguinary and malignant, is that so few possess the charity of the gospel--and those few in so fceble and imperfect a degree. Selfishness is the bane of human happiness. And shall Christians-Christians, who worship that God who gave his Şon;
that Jesus who gave himself, while they were yet enemies, to die for them, be chargeable with this sordid vice ? My brethren, let the liberality of this evening free you from this scandal, and wipe away from this assembly so shameful a reproach.
That there are in this city a great number of suffering and friendless poor, who have been during this inclement winter, and who still are supported by charity, is known to you all. I recall my words -Surrounded with plenty and living in affluence and splendor, many of you do not know this. It is however a fact--and a fact which your physicians and ministers, conversant by their profession with places of affliction, will unanimously attest.
Would you accompany me, I could conduct you within this city and its suburbs, to scenes of poverty and wretchedness, the sight of which only would chill your blood.--Yes, I could show you in kitchens, cold and damp, or in half covered cottages, into which the snow descends, and through which howls the wintry blast, large families, destitute of fuel ; destitute of food ; and almost destitute of clothes and covering.-There too, I could show you a father, a mother, or a child, languishing and dying, with a thousand circumstances to aggravate, and scarcely one, Great God ! unless it be thy sovereignty, to mitigate their sorrows !
Among these poor and pitiable families, I could show you some, who once were afluent and honorable. But adversity pursued and overtook them.
And can any
Loss succeeded to loss--misfortune followed misfortune, till from the abundance of princely life they are reduced to beggery.
You will say that these poor are provided for by law. But do you know what that provision is? How inadequate, how difficult to be obtained, and how often interrupted in its course ?
The poor-masters, perhaps, do all they can. Their means are comparatively small, and their in. fluence necessarily circumscribed. man in his senses suppose that a family, where the parent or parents are sick, and thus cut off from eve. ry mean of supplying their own wants-I say, can any man in his senses suppose, that a family thus situated, and having no other resource, can possibly subsist upon the scanty pittance customarily allowed to the poor? My God! it would not even buy fuel to warm and a taper to light the cabin where they languish; and where, without your charity, they must die!--How then do they subsist?-How?--they converse with sorrow, with sighs, and with tears--they suffer from hunger, from nakedness, from cold ; under these complicated miseries they fall sick. By sickness their miseries are encreased, and after lingering a few days they die, unless a charitable neighbor pities and interposes.
Notwithstanding the legal provision for the poor on which you rely, I have myself seen even females, and not those wretched outcasts from society on whose miseries humanity itself will scarcely deign
to look but the mother of a little family, forsaken, friendless, emaciated with sickness, lying upon a bed of straw, and even expiring without a hand to minister to her last wants, or even to close her dying eyes !
Sickness and death bring sorrow, unutterable. sorrow, where they enter. Yes ; my heart still bleeding* with the wounds which a righteous God hath lately inflicted on it, attests this melancholy truth. But if these sorrows are so poignant when endured in the midst of plenty, and surrounded by affectionate and sympathizing friends, vieing with each other in alleviating the sufferer's pains, and , solacing the mourner's woe, Great God ! what excess of bitterness must they not drink from the cup of thy chastisements, who languish and expire, or who see their friends languish and expire on a bed of want, and soliciting, by expressive sighs and groans, relief from an unpitying world, in vain!
Imagine such a situation, and you may form some idea of the misery for the relief of which we plead. I say imagine such a situation : and such a situation is not imaginary, it has existed ; it exists now, and it will exist hereafter, unless measures more effectual are adopted to succor and relieve our poor. Think not that this is fancy. Whoever of
* Mre. Nort, the consort of the Author, departed this life on Saturday morning, and was intered on Sabbath evening, one week prę. ceding the delivery of this discourse.