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the Sea. This is that excellent Charity which Our Saviour practis'd, and which he taught and commanded us, and which alone will be accepted and valuable in his fight. For if you, says he, do Good to them that do Good to you, what thank have you? for Sinners alfo da even the same. And if you lend to them of whom ye hope to receive, what thank have ye? for. Sinner's also lend to Sinners to receive as much again. But do good and lend hoping for Nothing again, and your Reward Jhall be Great, and resoall be the Children of the Highest, for He is kind even to the Unthankfull and the Evil.
Having thus with what brevity I could, according to the Sense of the several Interpreters, shewn in what manner this Duty is to be Exercis'd, I shall proceed and endeavour to shew the Reasonableness and the Excellence of it.
ift. The Reasonableness of it is apparent by its being so implanted by God in Our Nature, fo woven into the frame of our very Being that he must have quite put off all Humanity, who is not conscious to himself of an inbred forcible Inclination to it. The Natural Passion of Pity was for this reason born with Us, and made a part
of Our Constitution, that we might bị That be continually excited and stirr'd up to help and succour all that are in Necessity and
Diftress. Our Bowels naturally yearn at all miserable Objects, we cannot help, unless We have defac'd the first and moft genuin impressions of God upon our Souls, we cannot help, I say, Feeling Within somewhat answerable and A kin to all the Misery that we fee Without, and we do but Relieve Ourselves when we remove the Afflictions of á Brother. And this is evident from that Pleasure which unavoidably results from these Offices of Love. Pleasure being al. ways inseparable from Actions purely Na tural. Now a good Man after every seasonable refreshment of the Wretched and Neceflitous finds an Unexpreffible Delight, an Ease of Mind, a Complacency of Spirit, and a secret irresistible Joy fpringing up in his Breaft. All the good which He design'd to shed abroad and part with to his poor Brother recoils back upon himself, he feels more Comfort Within then he sent Out, reaps infinitely greater Satisfaction in Do. ing Mercy, than the Other by having it Done to him, and finds experimentally confirm'd that great Truth which St Paul quotes from our Saviour's own Mouth, It is more Blessed to Give than to Receive. So he determin'd, who was undoubtedly the best Judge that ever was in this Case, having had continual Experience of both Conditions, who, tho' He himself subfifted upon
the the Alms. of those that Minifter'd to him out of their Şubstance, yet even out of those Alms found wherewithall to supply dayly the Necellitys of Others.
There is a Natural Obligation to this Duty from the near Relation that every Man hath to the very meanest and most abject, the poorest and most miserable of his own Kind. We are all the Workmanship of the same hands, made of the fame matter, moulded in the same form, and copy'd from the fame Image, even that of God himself, Did not. He that made. Me in the Womb make Hims and did not One fasoiana us? says holy Job. From the Confideration of which the Wise Man tells us more than once, that he that Regards not the Poar, Reproaches his Maker. And this is so Unnatyral, that to deny Bread to the Hungry, Lodging to the Out-caft, and Covering to the Naked, is in that Elegant and Significant Expression of Isaiah 58. g. For a Man to hide Himfolf from His own Flesh. But as Atrictly as we are oblig'd by the Tyes of Nature, the Com. munion of Saints layes yet a higher and more forcible Obligation upon us. For there is no Temporal Relation can be compar'd to that which is Spiritual and Eternal. As then there is a general Reason for our Mercy and Kindness to All Men, so there is a particular One for our doing
Good to them that are of the Houfald of Faith. Is it not fit that they fhould para take of the bowels of Man's Compassion, who communicate with us in the Everlasting Mercies of God? who are endu'd with the gracious Influences of the fame Spirit, and have the Image of the same God pok only by Nature stamp'd upon 'em but by Ģrace renew'd withiņ them? How can we make Others, pay how can we make Qura felves believe, that we are in Earneft when we dayly in our Creed profess that we have an intimate Union with all the living Mem, bers of Christ upon Earth, if we have no Fellow-feeling of their sufferings, nox in the least contribute to the Relief of their Distress?
We may consider too that we are but Pilgrins upon the Earth, and all Travellers upon the fame Road. The Greatef of us, tho he may Travel with Coklyer Equipage and more Splendid Retinue, yet iş at best but a Passenger, taking a Journey to the fame Country, where the meaneft that fet out with him may be as great as He, Now how foolish and ridiculous as well as barbarous and inhuman muft it be for One in this. Condition to deny to poor a Şum, as would defray the Necessary Expençes of a Fellow Traveller, who at his Jourpey's End, and in his own Countrey, which from
any of us is not very far off, has as great, perhaps a greater Estate, as good, perhaps better Friends than himself? From all these Relations which we bear to each Other, whether as Men or Christians, it plainly appears that this
great Act of Religion, the Relieving the Poor, is a most Reasonable Service.
But now were this Daty as seemingly Contrary to our Reason as it is manifeftly agreeable to it, yet God's positive Command would both Juftify the Equity and Wisdom of it, and exact our ready and entire Obedience to it. Therefore Help the Poor, says the Son of Sirach Ecclas. 29. 9. for the Commandments fake. Now thro' the whole Word of God there is no Commandment more peremptorily enjoyn'd, or more frequently repeated than This, it fills every Page of Moses and the Prophets in the Old, and thro' the whole New Testament Our Blessed Lord and his Apostles inculcate nothing so often, urgé nothing so presfingly, recommend nothing so affectionately as this great Evangelical Duty. It were needless they are so obvious, and endless they are so numerous, to recite only the Places where we meet with this Command. I shall only observe therefore, that as our Love to God is chiefly express’d and only made visible by our Obeying Every one of his most Holy