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unkind an accusation. He takes the dead child would even afford matter for description here, 'out of his mother's bosom, and laid him upon but that it would lead us too far from the his own bed; and he cried unto the Lord, and particular purpose for which I have enlarged said, O Lord my God, hast thou brought evil upon thus much of the story already; the chief upon the widow with whom I sojourn, by slay- design of which is to illustrate, by a fact, what ing her son ?-Is this the reward of all her is evident both in reason and Scripture, that a charity and goodness? Thou hast before this charitable and good action is seldom cast away; robbed her of the dear partner of all her joys but that, even in this life, it is more than and all her cares; and now that she is a widow, probable that what is so scattered shall be and has most reason to expect thy protection, gathered again with increase. “Cast thy bread behold, thou hast withdrawn her last prop; thou upon the waters, and thou shalt find it after hast taken away her child, the only stay she many days. Be as a father unto the fatherless, had to rest on.-And Elijah cried unto God, and instead of a husband unto their mother, so and said, O Lord my God, I pray thee let this shalt thou be as a son of the Most High, and he child's soul come into him again.'
will love thee more than thy mother doth. The prayer was urgent, and bespoke the Be mindful of good turns, for thou knowest not distress of a humane mind, deeply suffering in what evil shall come upon the earth; and when the misfortunes of another; moreover, his thou fallest thou shalt find a stay. It shall heart was rent with other passions. He was preserve thee from all affliction, and fight for zealous for the name and honour of his God, thee against thy enemies better than a mighty and thought not only his omnipotence, but his shield and a strong spear.' glorious attribute of mercy, concerned in the The great instability of temporal affairs, and event; for oh! with what triumph would the constant fluctuation of everything in this world, prophets of Baal retort his own bitter taunt, afford perpetual occasions of taking refuge in and say, “his God was either talking, or he was such a security. pursuing, or he was on a journey; or, perad- What by successive misfortunes, by failings. venture, he slept, and should have been and cross accidents in trade, by miscarriage awaked?! He was, moreover, involved in the of projects, -what by unsuitable expenses of success of his prayer himself : honest minds parents, extravagances of children, and the many are most hurt by scandal; and he was afraid other secret ways whereby riches make themlest so foul a one, so unworthy of his character, selves wings and fly away,--so many surprising might arise among the heathen, who would re
revolutions do every day happen in families, that port with pleasure, ‘Lo! the widow of Zare- it may not seem strange to say that the posphath took the messenger of the God of Israel | terity of some of the most liberal contributors. under her roof, and kindly entertained him; here, in the changes which one century may and see how she s rewarded! Surely the produce, may possibly find shelter under this prophet was ungrateful; he wanted power, or, very plant which now they so kindly water. what is worse, he wanted pity.'
Nay, so quickly sometimes has the wheel Besides all this, he pleaded not only the cause turned round, that many a man may live to. of the widow,-it was the cause of charity cnjoy the benefit of that charity which his own itself, which had received a deep wound already, picty projected. and would suffer still more, should God deny But, besides this, and exclusive of the right it this testimony of his favour. "So the Lord which God's promise gives to protection herehearkened unto the voice of Elijah; and the after, charity and benevolence, in the ordinary soul of the child came into him again, and he chain of effects, have a natural and more immerevived. And Elijah took the child, and diate tendency in themselves to rescue a man brought him down out of the chamber into the from the accidents of the world, by softening house, and delivered him unto his mother; and the hearts, and winning every man's wishes to Elijah said, See, thy son liveth.'
its interest. When a compassionate man falls, It would be a pleasure to a good mind to stop who would not pity him? who that had power to here a moment, and figure to itself the picture do it, would not befriend and raise him up? or of so joyful an event. To behold, on one hand, could the most barbarous temper offer an insult the raptures of the parent, overcome with sur- to his distress without pain and reluctance ? so prise and gratitude, and imagine how a sudden that it is almost a wonder that covetousness, stroke of such impetuous joy must operate on even in spite of itself, does not sometimes argue a despairing countenance, long accustomed to a man into charity, by its own principle of sadness! To conceive, on the other side of the looking forwards, and the firm expectation it picce, the holy man approaching with the child would delight in of receiving its own again with in his arms,-full of honest triumph in his usury. So evident is it, in the course of God's. looks, but sweetened with all the kind sympathy providence and the natural stream of things, which a gentle nature could overflow with upon that a good office, one time or other, generally so happy an event! It is a subject one might meets with a reward. Generally, did I say? how recommend to the pencil of a great genius, and can it ever fail? when, besides all this, so large a share of the recompense is so inseparable whose little contracted heart melts at no man's even from the action itself. Ask the man who affliction, but sits brooding so intently over its has a tear of tenderness always ready to shed own plots and concerns as to see and feel nothing, over the unfortunate; who, withal, is ready to and, in truth, enjoy nothing, beyond himself; distribute and willing to communicate, -ask and of whom one may say, what that great him, if the best things which wits have said of master of nature has, speaking of a natural pleasure have expressed what he has felt, when sense of harmony, which I think with more by a seasonable kindness he has made the justice may be said of Compassion, that the man. heart of the widow sing for joy.' Mark then who had it notthe expressions of unutterable pleasure and har- Was fit for treasons, stratagems, and spoils. mony in his looks, and say whether Solomon The motions of his spirits are dull as night, has not fixed the point of true enjoyment in the
And his affections dark as Erebus! right place, when he declares that he knew no
-Let no such man be trusted. good there was in any of the riches or honours What divines say of the mind, naturalists of this world, but for a man to do good with them have observed of the body; that there is no in his life.' Nor was it without reason he had passion so natural to it as love, which is the made this judgment. Doubtless he had found principle of doing good; and though instances and seen the insufficiency of all sensual pleasures; | like this just mentioned seem far from being how unable to furnish either a rational or a last- proofs of it, yet it is not to be doubted but that ing scheme of happiness; how soon the best of every hard-hearted man has felt much inward them vanished, the less exceptionable in vanity, opposition before he could prevail upon himself but the guilty both “in vanity and vexation of to do aught to fix and deserve the character; spirit.' But that this was of so pure and refined and that what we say of long habits of vice, a nature, it burned without consuming: it was that they are hard to be subdued, may with figuratively 'the widow's barrel of meal, which equal truth be said concerning the natural wasted not; and cruse of oil, which never impressions of benevolence,-that a man must failed.'
do much violence to himself, and suffer many a It is not an easy matter to add weight to the painful struggle, before he can tear away so testimony of the wisest man upon the pleasure great and noble a part of his nature. Of this, of doing good; or else the evidence of the philo- antiquity has preserved a beautiful instance in sopher Epicurus is very remarkable, whose an anecdote of Alexander, the tyrant of Pheres, word in this matter is the more to be trusted who, though he had so industriously hardened because a professed sensualist, -who, amidst all his heart as to seem to take delight in cruelty, the delicacies and improvements of pleasure insomuch as to murder many of his subjects which a luxuriant fancy might strike out, still every day, without cause and without pity, yet maintained that the best way of enlarging human at the bare representation of a tragedy, which happiness was by a communication of it to others. related the misfortunes of Hecuba and Andro
And if it was necessary here, or there was mache, he was so touched with the fictitious time to refine upon this doctrine, one might distress which the poet had wrought up in it, further maintain, exclusively of the happiness that he burst out into a flood of tears. The which the mind itself feels in the exercise of explication of which inconsistency is easy, and this virtue, that the very body of man is never casts as great a lustre upon human nature as in a better state than when he is most inclined the man himself was a disgrace to it. The case to do good offices; that as nothing more con- seems to have been this : in real life he had tributes to health than a benevolence of temper, been blinded with passions, and thoughtlessly 80 nothing generally is a stronger indication hurried on by interest or resentment! But. of it.
here there was no room for motives of that And what seems to confirm this opinion is an kind; so that his attention being first caught observation, the truth of which must be sub- hold of, and all his vices laid asleep, then mitted to every one's reflection, namely, that Nature awoke in triumph, and showed how a disinclination and backwardness to do good is deeply she had sown the seeds of compassion often attended, if not produced, by an indisposi- in every man's breast, when tyrants, with vices tion of the animal as well as rational part of the most at enmity with it, were not able us; so naturally do the soul and body, as entirely to root it out! in other cases, so in this, mutually befriend or But this is painting an amiable virtue, and prey upon each other. And indeed, setting setting her off with shades that wickedness lends aside all abstruser reasoning upon the point, I us; when one might safely trust to the force of her cannot conceive but that the very mechanical own natural charms, and ask, Whether anything motions which maintain life must be performed under heaven, in its own nature, is more lovely with more equal vigour and freedom in that and engaging? To illustrate this the more, let man whom a great and good soul perpetually us turn our thoughts within ourselves, and for a inclines to show mercy to the miserable, than moment let any number of us here imagine ourthey can be in a poor, sordid, selfish wretch, selves at this instant engaged in drawing the most
perfect and amiable character, such as, accord- good mind would be willing to do it, I believe ing to our conceptions of the Deity, we should there can be none more beneficial or compre- ! think most acceptable to him, and most likely hensive in its effects than that for which we to be universally admired by all mankind. I are met here together; the proper education appeal to your own thoughts, whether the first of poor children being the groundwork of almost idea which offered itself to most of our imagina- every other kind of charity, as that which makes tions would not be that of a compassionate every other subsequent act of it answer the benefactor, stretching forth his hands to raise up | pious expectation of the giver. the helpless orphan? Whatever other virtues Without this foundation first laid, how much we should give our hero, we shall all agree in kindness in the progress of a benevolent man's making him a generous friend, who thought the life is unavoidably cast away! and sometimes opportunities of doing good to be the only charm where it is as senseless as the exposing of a of his prosperity; we should paint him, like the tender plant to all the inclemencies of a cruel Psalmist's 'river of God,' overflowing the thirsty season, and then going with sorrow to take it in, parts of the earth, that he might enrich them, when the root is already dead. I said, therefore, carrying plenty and gladness along with him. this was the foundation of almost every kind If this was not sufficient, and we were still of charity; and might not one have added, of desirous of adding a further degree of perfection all policy, too? since the many ill consequences to so great a character, we should endeavour to which attend the want it, though grievously think of some one, if human nature could furnish felt by the parties themselves, are no less so by such a pattern, who, if occasion required, was the community of which they are members ; willing to undergo all kinds of affliction,--to and, moreover, of all mischiefs seem the hardest sacrifice himself, - to forget his dearest in- | to be redressed, insomuch that when one conterests, and even lay down his life for the good siders the disloyal seductions of Popery on one of mankind! And here, O merciful Saviour, hand, and on the other that no bad man, how would the bright original of thay unbounded whatever he professes, can be a good subject, goodness break in upon our hearts! Thou who one may venture to say it had been cheaper and
becamest poor, that we might be rich !' though better for the nation to have borne the expense | Lord of all this world, yet'hast not where to lay of instilling sound principles and good morals
thy head !’and though equal in power and glory into tlie neglected children of the lower sort, to the great God of Nature, ‘yet madest thyself especially in some parts of Great Britain, than of no reputation, tookest upon three the form of to be obliged, so often as we have been within a servant !' submitting thyself, without open- this last century, to rise up and arm ourselves ing thy mouth, to all the indignitics which a against the rebellious effects which the want of thankless and undiscerning people could offer! | them has brought down even to our doors. and at length, to accomplish our salvation, And in fact, if we are to trust to antiquity, the 'becamest obedient unto death,' suffering thy- truth of which in this case we have no reason self, as on this day,''to bo led like a lamb to to dispute, this matter has been looked upon of the slaughter!'
such vast importance to the civil happiness and The consideration of this stupendous instance peace of a people, that some commonwealths, of compassion the Son of God is the most the most eminent for political wisdom, have unanswerable appeal that can be made to the chosen to make a public concern of it; thinking heart of man, for the reasonableness of it in him- it much safer to be entrusted to the prudence of self; it is the great argument which the Apostles the magistrate than to the mistaken tenderness use in almost all their exhortations to good works: or natural partiality of the parent. Beloved, if Christ so loved us.' The inference It was consistent with this, and bespoke a is unavoidable; and gives strength and beauty very refined sense of policy in the Lacedæto everything else which can be urged upon the monians (though, by the way, I believe different subject. And therefore I have reserved it for from what more modern politics would have my last and warmest appeal, with which I would directed in like circumstances), when Antipater gladly finish this discourse, that, at least for demanded of them fifty children as hostages their sakes for whom it is preached, we might for the security of a distant engagement, they bo left to the full impression of so cxalted and made this brave and wise answer: *They would so seasonable a motive. That by reflecting upon not, – they could not consent; they would the infinite labour of this day's love, in the rather give him double the number of their instance of Christ's death, we may consider best grown-up men,'—intimating that, however what an immense debt we owe to each other; they were distressed, they would choose any and by calling to mind tho amiable pattern of inconvenience rather than suffer the loss of his life, in doing gool, we might learn in what their country's education; and the opportunity manner we may best discharge it.
(which, if once lost, can never be regained) of And, indeed, of all the methods in which a giving their youth an early tincture of religion,
and bringing them up to a love of industry, and 1 Preached on Good Friday.
a love of the laws and constitution of their
country. If this shows the great importance stranger to our holy religion and the love it of a proper education to children of all ranks teaches,-should he, 'as he journeyed, come to and conditions, what shall we say then of those the place where she lay, when he saw, would he whom the providence of God has placed in the not have compassion on her?' God forbid a very lowest lot of life, utterly cast out of the Christian should this day want it! or at any way of knowledge, without a parent,-some- time look upon such a distress, “and pass by on times, may be, without a friend to guide and the other side.' instruct them, but what common pity and the Rather let him do as his Saviour taught him, necessity of their sad situation engage; where and 'bind up the wounds,' and pour comfort the dangers which surround them on every side into the heart of one whom the hand of God arc so great and many, that, for one fortunate has so bruised. Let him practise what it is, passenger in life who makes his way well in the with Elijah’s transport, to say to the afflicted world with such early disadvantages, and so widow,—'See, thy son liveth!'-liveth by my dismal a setting out, we may reckon thousands clarity, and the bounty of this hour, to all the who every day suffer shipwreck, and are lost purposes which make life desirable,—to be made for over.
good man and a profitable subject: on one If there is a case under heaven which calls hand, to be trained up to such a sense of his out aloud for the more immediate exercise of duty as may secure him an interest in the world compassion, and which may be looked upon as to come; and, with regard to this world, to be the compendium of all charity, surely it is this; so brought up in it to a love of honest labour and I am persuaded there would want nothing and industry as all his life long to earn and eat more to convince the greatest enemy to these his bread with joy and thankfulness. kinds of charities that it is so, but a bare oppor- Much peace and happiness rost upon the tunity of taking a nearer view of some of the head and heart of every one who thus brings more distressful objects of it.
children to Christ! May the blessing of him Let him go into the dwellings of the un- that was ready to perish come seasonably upon fortunate : into some mournful cottage where him! The Lord comfort him when he most poverty and afiliction reign together. There wants it! When he lies sick upon his bed, let him behold the disconsolate widow, sitting, make thou, O God ! all his bed in his sickness ; -steeped in tears; thus sorrowing over the and, for what he now scatters, give him then infant she knows not how to succour: 'O my that peace of thine which passeth all underchild! thou art now left exposed to a wide and standing, and which nothing in this world can vicious world, too full of snarcs and temptations either give or take away !' Amen. for thy tender and unpractised age.' Perhaps a parent's love may magnify those dangers : ‘But when I consider thou art driven out naked VI.-PHARISEE AND PUBLICAN IN THE into the midst of them, without friends, without
TEMPLE. fortune, without instruction, my heart bleeds
'I ell you, this man went down to his house justified boforehand for the evils which may come upon
rather than the other.:-LUKE XVIIL 14, first part. thee! God, in whom we trusted, is witness, so low had his providence placed us, that we THESE words are the judgment which our never indulged one wish to have made thee rich. Saviour has left upon the behaviour and Virtuous we would have had thee: for thy different degrees of merit in the two men, father, my husband, was a good man, and feared the Pharisee and the publican, whom he reprethe Lord; and though all the fruits of his care sents, in the foregoing parable, as going up into and industry were little enough for our support, the temple to pray. In what manner they dis- | yet he honestly had determined to have spared charged this great and solemn duty will best be some portion of it, scanty as it was, to have seen from a consideration of the prayer which placed thee safely in the way of knowledge and each is said to have addressed to God upon the instruction. But, alas ! he is gone from us, occasion. never to return more ; and with him are flcd The Pharisec, instead of an act of humiliation the means of doing it. For, behold, the credilor in that awful presence before which he stood, is come upon us, to take all that we have.' with an air of triumph and self-sufficiency Grief is eloquent, and will not easily be imitate.. thanks God that he had not made him liku But let the man who is the least friend to others, -extortioners, adulterers, unjust, or distresses of this nature conceive some discon- even as this publican. The publican is represolate widow uttering her complaint, even in sented as standing afar off, and, with a heart this manner; and then let him cousider if there touched with humility, from a just sense of his is any sorrow like this sorrow wherewith the own unworthiness, is said only to have smote Lord has afflicted her ; ' or whether there can be upon his breast, saying, God be merciful to any charity like that of taking the child out of me, a sinner! I tell you, adds our Saviour, the mother's bosom,' and rescuing her from this man went down to his house justified these apprehensions. Should a heathen, a rather than the other,
Though the justice of this determination by nature, but by choice and disposition utterly strikes every one at first sight, it may not be corrupt and wicked ! amiss to enter into a more particular examina- Me thou hast fashioned in a different mould, tion of the evidence and reasons upon which it and hast infused so large a portion of thy spirit might be founded, not only because it may into me, lo! I am raised above the temptations place the equity of this decision in favour of and desires to which flesh and blood are subject ! the publican in stronger light, but that the I thank thee that thou hast made me thus: subject seems likely to lead me to a train of not a frail vessel of clay, like that of other men, reflections not unsuitable to the solemnity of or even this publican, but that I stand here a the season."
chosen and sanctified vessel unto thce ! The Pharisee was one of that scct who, in our After this obvious paraphrase upon the words, Saviour's time, what by the austerity of their which speaks no more than the true spirit of the lives, their public alms-deeds, and greater pre- Pharisee's prayer, you would naturally ask, tences to piety than other men, had gradually What reason was there for all this triumph? or wrought themselves into much credit and repu- what foundation could he have to insult in this tation with the people; and, indeed, as the manner over the infirmities of mankind ? or even bulk of these are easily caught with appearances, those of the humble publican who stood before their character secms to have been admirably him? Why, says he, I fast twice in the week; well suited to such a purpose. If you looked I give tithes of all that I possess. Truly a very no further than the outwarıl part of it, you indifferent account of himself; and if that was would think it made up of all goodness and all he had to offer in his own behalf, God knows, perfection ; an uncommon sanctity of life, it was but a weak foundation to support so much guarded by great decorum and severity of arrogance and self-conceit; because the obsermanners, - profuse and frequent charities to vance of both the one and the other of these the poor,-many acts of religion,-much ob- ordinances might be supposed well enough to be servance of the law,-much abstinence,-much consistent with the most profiigate of life and prayer.
It is painful to suspect the appearance of so The conduct and behaviour of the publican much good; and would have been so here, had appear very diffcrent, and, indeed, as much the not our blessed Saviou left us their real reverse to this as you could conceive. But character upon record, and drawn up by him- before we enter upon that, as I have spoken self in one word,—That the sect were like largely to the character of the Pharisee, 'twill whitened sepulchres, all fair and beautiful be but justice to say a word or two in general without, and enriched there with whatever to his. The publican was one of that order of could attract the eye of the beholder; but, men employed by the Roman emperors in levy. when searched withinside, were full of corrup- ing the taxes and contributions which were tion, and of whatever could shock and disgust from time to time exacted from Judea as a the searcher. So that, with all their affectation conquered nation. Whether from the particular of piety, and more extraordinary strictness and fate of that employment, owing to the fixed regularity in their outward deportment, all was aversion which men have to part with what is irregular and uncultivated within; and all these their own, or from whatever other causes it fair pretences, how promising soever, blasted by happened, so it was, that the whole set of men the indulgence of the worst of human passions, were odious; insomuch that the name of a -pride, spiritual pride (the worst of all pride), publican was a term of reproach and infamy hypocrisy, self-love, covetousness, extortion, amongst the Jews. cruelty, and revenge. What pity it is that the
Perhaps the many instances of rigour to which sacred name of Religion should ever have been their office might direct them, heightened someborrowed, and employed in so bad a work as in times by a mixture of cruelty and insolence of covering over such a black catalogue of vices ! their own, and possibly always made to appear or that the fair form of Virtue should have been worse than they were by the loud clamours and thus disgraced and for ever drawn into suspicion, misrepresentations of others, might have contrifrom the unworthy uses of this kind to which buted to form and fix this odium. But it was the artful and abandoned have often put her! here, no doubt, as in all other classes of men The Pharisee seems to have had not many whose professions expose them to more temptascruples of this kind; and the prayer he makes tions than that of others, that there are numbers use of in the temple is a true picture of the who still behave well, and who, amidst all the man's heart, and shows with what a disposition snares and opportunities which lie in their way, and frame of mind he came to worship.
pass through them, not only with an unblemished God! I thank thee that thou hast formed character, but with the inward testimony of a me of different materials from the rest of my good conscience. species, whom thou hast created frail and vain The publican, in all likelihood, was one of
these ; and the sentiments of candour and 1 Preached in Lent.
humility, which the view of his condition in