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they had was only lent. Why should it not be so still? It is 80. God could carry on the triumphs of his cross without the regular contributions of his people, but He makes this demand of them in love; to kill the aspirations of avarice, and to keep the benevolent fountains of the heart regularly and constantly open.

While this plan of regular giving is thus intended and adapted to bless the giver himself, it is no less adapted to bless those who share his regular contributions. It is a great advantage to the different enterprises of the church to have regular sources of supplies; and whenever these sources are irregular and spasmodic, more or less injury is sustained. The laws of life, in a healthy state, are always regular; whenever any action of an abrupt and phenomenal character presents itself, it is always a sign of derangement. So also in the law of the life of grace for grace too is life, and is unfolded best according to the regular operations of life. The season in which the earth is blest with regular night-dews, and temperate but frequent showers, will always be more fruitful than a season of heavy deluging rains and intervening drought.

IV. One that gives regularly according to this plan gives from PRINCIPLE and a SENSE OF DUTY, and not from were impulse of feeling. Those acts are always more valuable to the subject himself and 10 the world, which rest upon steady principle, than those which are the result of a momentary and abrupt impulse of excitement. A person, for instance, may attend a missionary

a meeting, where the forlorn case of the heathen is exhibited in glowing eloquence, and if he is a person of peculiar warmth of temperament he may be induced to give or pledge himself for a sum, which in his calm moments he will see was not in proportion to his means. He will therefore have to condemn his conduct, which is very injurious to his benevolent feeling.s It is a true moral evil, when the feelings are thus made to be, or suffered to become, a trap for judgment, reason, and conscience. It is required of man to give according to his ability, and not beyond it; if he goes beyond his means he errs and sins as much as if he does not come up to them. That is the most acceptable gift-and indeed the only one truly acceptablewhich is in exact proportion to the increase with which God has prospered us. A inan's income may allow him to give a certain sum each year, where circumstances at the time when an appeal is made to him, would not allow him to give as much. This difficulty too, is prevented if he lays it down as a principle of duty to give a certain fixed and regular portion of his income, and then conscientiously lays it by in store for the Lord. Religious benevolence at the present day lacks that steadiness which is instant in season and out of season, and ihe great cause is that our mode of making benevolent contributions rests on impulse and not on steady principle.

If giving were done from principle, the motive would not so often be wrong. There would be less of alms-giving before men, and less templation to do it to be seen of men. It would destroy also the unholy system of rivalry in giving, so often resorted to in public collections. It would keep before the mind a continual conviction of duty, as well as a delightful sense of privilege. Thus the exercise of the benevolent affections being regular and unobtrusive, would have about them more of that loveliness, which while it blesses seeks ils reward from the consciousness of having done a good deed, rather than from the praise of men. Thus silently but refreshing, like the dew, would gifts fall into the habitations of want. The blessing clearly seen, the cause of it secret! Like in meadows are often seen—

"rills that slip In matted grass,

that with a livelier green Betrays the secret of their silent course." The bruised reed would be bound up by an unseen hand, and the smoking flax be fanned into a flame by a secret breath. In the lonely dwellings of want and wo, there would be joy and singing, where no trumpet of a passing benefactor was ever heard. What a lovely imitation would we thus have of the benevolence of Him who, scattered blessings in His way wherever He went, and yet did not cry nor lift up His voice in the street!

V. The man who adopis this plan, can PURSUE HIS BUSINESS WITI ZEAL, and yet WITH A GOOD CONSCIENCE.

One who pursues his business merely for gain, must have, at times, more or less distress of conscience. There must ever be something of reproach before a man who toils for hoarding. It is impossible that it should not at times seem even to him a little business ; but when a man adopts this plan, he can be diligent in the pursuit of increase, and yet he can do all literally, and with the sweetest propriety, to the glory of God. A high and holy object will be before him at every stroke of the hammer, and at every profitable purchase or sale. What he wins thus, by lawful economy, is so much won out of the world to be now certainly devoted to God.

He would labor also with a recompense of great reward before


him, which can inspire him to diligence in business, as no other motive can inspire. He who labors, knowing that the fruit of his toils must end at farthest in the grave, labors under cold encouragement. Not so he who knows that his works will follow him with their blessed consequences beyond this life. labors of such a man, too, rest the smiles of God; he need not fear that a curse is slumbering in his basket and store, to wake at some time with fearful fury upon him or his children. He honors the Lord with his substance and with the first-fruits of ALL his increase-mark the language, it plainly implies that he is to give regularly to the Lord as he is prospered--so shall his barns be filled with plenty (Prov. iii: 9-10). Besides all this the idea of being a regular fountain of supplies to some post of want in God's kingdom, can stimulate and sweeten toil, and bless the heart with a reward, which far surpasses any worldly luxury.

VI. Without adopting this plan it is impossible to escape the SIN OF HOARDING, which is so severely forbidden in the sacred scriptures. The rust of the treasures of such as hoard, shall be a witness against them in the last days.

We have already seen that as fast as a man's wealth increases, so fast a part is due to God, and ought immediately to be laid by in store for Him. If this is retained, it shows dishonesty towards God, an inordinate love of gain, a callous heart in regard to the wants of others, a waut of trust in the providence of God for the future, against the wants of which he seeks to prepare by the wicked prudence of boarding. This all is wicked, and God will punish it. Especially does He love an implicit trust in Him. It is reasonable to expect that His disapprobation must rest on him, who endeavors by hoarding to secure himself against future want, instead of trusting God and taking no thought for to-morrow. How foolishly wicked is it, to burden the present with the cares of the future, and to seek to secure supplies for us and our children against coming days, when we know not whether any of us shall live to see them! Has not the Saviour said, Sufficient to each day is the evil thereof; why then crowd future cares which may never come, upon the present, which has cares and evils sufficient of its own.

That God is displeased with such faithless people is shown, not only by scripture, but by observation and experience. Losses which persons often sustain prove that God is displeased with the use they make of their property. God's hand is in these losses ; He takes from them a part of their property, because they did not make a proper use of it. Losses may be correctly defined God laying His hand upon dead capital. That God who

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numbers the hairs of our head, and causes one to fall when there are too many, presides also over all our property, and takes that part of it away which is not in proper use.

God exercises over wealth, as over all other resources, a particular providence, and directs it to the place where it will do the most good. Whenever, therefore He sees dead stock hoarded, which the holder as steward will not be prevailed upon to put to usury, He directs His providence to turn it into another channel. Thus the one talent which the wicked and slothful servant had hid in the earth, was directed to be taken from him and given to the one who had five talents, because there it would be in hands that had proved themselves worthy of such a trust. To bim that hath, and is faithful over it, shall be given that which is taken, by the providence of God, from him that had, but was not diligent to increase it. This taking away is done in various ways; often by breaks and failures, by which wealth is made to change hands, until it gets into the hands of a good steward. “ The wealth of the wicked is laid up for the jus!” (Prov. 13: 22). It

may thus even be taken out of their hands by wicked persons, and by dishonest means, but God presides over it, and while He punishes the wicked who do it, He makes their wratha to praise him.

“From seeming evil still educing good." An instance will illustrate this. A man in one of the middle counties of Pennsylvania owned a farm, and four thousand dol. lars besides, which he had loaned out. He was miserly, for although he had no heirs, yet he gave nothing to benevolent purposes. He was at one time called upon by a person who was collecting money to liquidate a debt on a church, which had been elected in one of the villages in the county. He gave nothing. A short time after the man to whom he had lent the four thousand dollars failed, and all was gone! Was this chance? There was in the same county a man who was quite benevolent. He was in the habit of giving all he could give of his increase, to the Lord. He had for a long time eight hundred dollars in the same man's hands, by whose failure the other man lost four thousand. This was not dead stock, for the Lord received his portion of the increase. The failure was quite unexpected to all, yet strange to tell, several months before it took place, these eight hundred dollars, without any design on bis part, without any suspicion of the break, and by a peculiar train of circumstances, were transferred into other hands and were safe. Was this chance ? No! If we could see the secret history of providences, we could no doubt find many similar cases.

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When Abraham journeyed from Chaldea to Canaan, he took all his substance with him, and he was a very rich in cattle, in silver, and in gold;" and though he travelled among the Ca. naanites and Perizzites, yet his property was safely preserved. May not the reason be sought in the fact, afterwards mentioned, that he gave tythes of all that he had, and refused to take even a thread or a shoe-latchet which was not justly his own. who sought so ardently for wealth, and who settled in the wicked city of Sodom from pecuniary considerations, was robbed of all he had by some marauding chiefs who invaded the land, and would perhaps never have regained it, had it not been that Abraham interfered, who pursued the robbers, and brought back the goods of Lot, his brother's son !

We have seen how the providence of God, makes wealth, which is dead stock, change hands; but this is not the only way by which He takes it out of their hands. If dead stock is in the hands of any of God's people, and He sees that it hardens their hearts, as such wealth always does, He may, instead of passing it into other hands, permit it to be entirely destroyed. This may be done by food or fire, by blight upon the field or pestilence among the cattle, and in various other ways, which are called by the thoughtless and faithless world accidents or misfortunes. If a man loses any properly, in such a way that it is entirely destroyed, and is afterwards of no use to any one, as when a horse dies, barn burns, or ship sinks, it may be called God demolishing men's idols! For “ shall there be evil in the city, and the Lord hath not done it.” This is God's mode of taking reprisals of them that have robbed him, or kept back his part of the increase. In this way the miserly savings of years, often go in a moment. Riches literally take unto themselves wings, and fly away as an eagle towards heaven ;--they take the direction of the voice which called them out of the hands of their unfaithful possessors! Let any man take a correct account of the losses of ihis kind, which he sustains in a year, and he will find that it is as large a tax, as if he laid by him in store regularly a considerable portion of his increase for God.

In conclusion, let me urge you, by keeping your heart and hands open in regular benevolence, to secure yourself against the hardening power of wealth. Still water will gradually and silently gather a sediment in the bottom, by which the whole will be made stagnant and foul. Be alarmed, for your soul is in dauger ! Not in vain did the Saviour say, how hardly shall they that have riches be saved. Not in vain did Solomon say, “ Labor not to be rich !" With what lonely regret, and with what


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