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and assistance, which is here given to the miseries of unsheltered youth and innocence. Here the fatal stroke of death leaves a wretched mother, destitute of her only support, to struggle with sorrow and distress. There the profligate extravagance of a thoughtless parent exposes a group of deserted infants to all the horrors of famine and nakedness. Here the gripe of oppression seizes upon the last morsel of an industrious pair;—there the honest labourer, enfeebled by sickness, impoverished by want of employment, or undone by the increasing dearness of all the necessaries of life, stands in silent anguish, surrounded by the cries of a famished brood of children, for which his hands are willing, but alas are unable, to procure bread. Here the robber, that walketh in darkness, spoils the labour of the industrious trader, and cruelly strips him of his little all;--there the fire, that destroyeth at noon-day, dashes down the fond hopes of industry in an unlooked-for moment, and leaves a distracted parent without children, or unfriended children without bread, to the wide, and too often
unfeeling, world. This is but a faint sketch of the thousand miseries which are strewed in the road of human life; but so long as thousands are exposed to these, and numberless other accidents, the most benevolent will never want opportunities of being rich in good works, by extend, ing their liberality to fatherless or unsupported children.
· Is our charity again to be extended to the souls as well as bodies of men ? And where shall we find a better opportunity of discharging this branch of humanity?
I believe no man will scruple to say, that it is much to be wished that all the children, who are here clothed and instructed, could also be wholly supported and confined to useful labour, under the direction of their benevolent Governors, But though this will probably ever be · more in our hearts to wish, than within the reach of our ability to attain; yet we may safely affirm, that it is even now no inconsiderable advantage, that they are all, in part at least, removed from the
jaws of idleness and the contagion of evil examples. They have, farther, a sense of decency and subjection imprinted early on their minds, to guard them from evil. They have an awful impression of God and religion instilled into them, to lead them to what is good. They are habituated to a constant attendance upon the ordinances of the church, and a serious regard to God's appointed day of rest. They are made acquainted with the book of life; they have its examples, its precepts, its promises, its threatenings, to guide and warn them amidst the temptations and snares of the world. And lastly, they have their duty to God and man explained and enforced to them in the excellent words of our Church-catechism, to the constant and serious repetition of which they are duly called at stated sea
These things, my brethren, as far at least as human foresight and endeavours can do it, must contribute to make them good men and good Christians. And therefore, if the grace of God be not wholly
wanting wanting in them, you may have the comfortable assurance, that, whilst you are providing for the perishable bodies of these distressed innocents, you are at the same time taking care for their immortal souls; that you are forwarding that great work of salvation, for which Christ came into the world, and adding to the number of those, who will one day shine as the stars in the firmament for ever and ever.
Here then let your readiness to distribute, your willingness to communicate, appear. Reinember, that life is short, and the opportunities of doing good uncertain. Remember, that the light of benevolence, which might have shone töday, may be dim to-morrow. Remember, that the poor wretch, whose fainting soul a cup of cold water might have cheered this moment, may the next be out of the the reach of pain and sorrow. For the hand which gives and the hand which receives, are alike subject to the stroke of death. Delay not, therefore, to shew mercy, whilst it is yet in your power; since no one can say that the opportunity, which now offers, may not be the last trust and indulgence of heaven.
Let but a few short moments pass, and we shall all lie down upon the common bed of mortality, where there is no distinction of persons. And when that awful period shall approach ; when all the splendour and pomp of the world shall fail; when all the giddy prospects of ambition shall pass away; when the pleasures and gaieties of sense shall fade; when the springs of life are failing, and judgment and eternity are at hand; think, oh think, what a comfort it will be to your souls to have obeyed the will of God your Father, to have imitated the kindness of your beneficent Redeemer, to have laid out your time and wealth in doing good to the souls and bodies of men, and to be finally assured of that transporting welcome of your heavenly Master: “ Come, ye blessed of my Father, in“ herit the kingdom prepared for you be“ fore the foundation of the world; for I
was an hungered, and ye gave me " meat; I was thirsty, and ye gave me