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enjoy; that they do good; that they be rich in good works, ready to distribute, willing to communicate, laying up for themselves a good foundation against the time to come, that they may lay hold on eternal life."

If we are to live, not to ourselves, but to God; we are to use our property, not to our own ends, but to his glory. To his glory we apply it, when we improve it for the benefit of our fellow men. "He who hath pity on the poor," says Solomon, "lendeth to the Lord." The words of our saviour are to the same purpose. "What ye have given to my brethren, ye have given to me." What we thus give to God, we give him out of his own. So David acknowledges. "Who am I? and what is my people that we should be able to offer so willing ly after this sort? For all things come of thee, and of thine own have we given thee. All this store that we have prepared for thy name, cometh of thine hand; it is all thine own."

The poor man feels the justness of these observations, and he wishes the ruler, the minister, and the rich man would apply them. But, Is there nothing for which you are indebted to God? Nothing which you owe to mankind? If you have health or strength, or skill, this is also the gift of heaven, and you are under the same obligation as others to do good according to your ability. To you the Apostle says, "Labour with your hands the thing which is good." Why ? For yourself only? No; but "that you may have to give to them who need;" i. e. to them who cannot work with their hands as you can. If you have been delivered from sickness, or from death; it is not merely for your own sake; but that you may glorify God in the improvement of life and health.

If the head of a family is spared; it is that he may guide and instruct his children, train them up

in piety, and assist them in their preparation for usefulness in this world, and happiness in the next.

If a youth is preserved from death; it is for the comfort of his parents in the declining period of life, or for the more extensive benefit of mankind, in the present and succeeding generation.

Every instance of divine mercy should be regarded as a new obligation, and a fresh call to a virtuous and useful life. We are not to imagine, that God keeps us night and day, guides our steps and protects our slumbers, merely for our own ends, that we may eat and drink, and sport and sleep; or that we may acquire wealth to be thrown into a useless heap while we live, and wasted as soon as we are dead. It is for the nobler purposes of his goodness and benevolence to mankind.

We may add farther-The gifts of Divine Grace, as well as those of Nature and Providence, are for more general purposes, than the benefit of those, on whom they are immediately bestowed.

It is not owing to ourselves, but to the selfmoving love of the independent God, that a Redeemer was sent into our guilty world. It is not owing to our previous choice, but to the merciful disposal of his sovereign providence, that we are placed under the advantages of the gospel. Why has he given us these advantages? One reason indeed is, that in the diligent improvement of them, we may work out our own salvation. But this is not all-we are also to assist others in the same work. The parent is to communicate to his children that divine and all important knowledge, which he has received from the gospel of Christ. Christians are to consider one another, and provoke unto love and good works. They are to exhort one another, lest any be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin. They are to take heed, lest there be among them any profane person, whose evil communications shall corrupt

good manners-lest any root of bitterness springing up, trouble them, and thereby many be defiled.

We of the present generation enjoy the gospel, not for our sakes only, but for the sake of succeeding generations. We are to transmit it to our children, and make such provision for its continuance, that they who come after us may enjoy it as amply as we have done before them. It is committed into our hands, as a sacred deposit, for the benefit of those around us, and those who shall succeed us. While we are working out our own salvation, we are to remember that this is but a part of our work. As it is not solely for our own sakes, that God has given us the means of salvation; so it is not singly on our own account, that we are to value and use them.

The Christian is to attend on the instituted wor-' ship of God, both for his own edification, and for the encouragement of others. He is to live in the practice of all good works, both that he may obtain the reward of righteousness, and that others, beholding his example, may glorify God.

The conversion of a sinner is, in the wisdom and goodness of God, intended for the benefit of others, as well as for the salvation of him, who is the immediate subject of this grace. St. Paul says of himself, "I, who was a blasphemer, a persecutor and injurious, obtained mercy-and the grace of our Lord was exceedingly abundant. Howbeit for this cause I obtained mercy, that in me first Jesus Christ might shew forth all longsuffering for a pattern to them, who should afterwards believe on him to life everlasting."

You wonder perhaps why some great sinners are, by the uncommon grace of God, recovered, while others, less guilty than they, are suffered to go on still in their trespasses.



We are not, indeed, very competent judges, who are the greatest sinners, and who have done most to abuse divine grace: But admitting this to be the case, as doubtless it may be, we must remember, that grace is free, and an undeserved benefit conferred on one, is no injury to another. Besides, when great sinners are thus mercifully distinguished, it is not merely for their sakes, but for God's name's sake. As it could not be at all for their worthiness, so neither is it altogether for their benefit; it is also that they may be influential in encouraging the repentance of others.

The conversion of one may be the means or the occasion of the conversion of many. So it evident ly was in the case of Paul. Who could be more injurious to the cause of truth, than he was, while he continued a Pharisee?-Who more useful than he, after he became a Christian? How much evil was prevented-how much good was done, by the conversion of this one man? What an encouragement to sinners under a sense of guilt, is this example of divine mercy?-How many were converted by Paul's preaching in the course of his ministry?— What lasting and extensive benefit have mankind received from the writings which he has left ? He was a chosen vessel to Christ to bear his name a, mong the Gentiles, as well as the Jews. His natural abilities, his education and accomplishments, when his heart was sanctified by grace, eminently qualified him for so great a work.

The conversion of every sinner has its uses, within a narrower sphere. Every convert is bound to improve, for the benefit of others, the grace of God toward him. "When thou art converted, strengthen thy brethren;" is Christ's command to Peter. This was David's prayer and resolution, "Create in me a clean heart-uphold me with thy free spirit; then will I teach transgressors thy ways, and sinners shall be converted unto thee."

I proceed to observe,

2. As personal blessings are designed for the benefit of many, so blessings granted to societies are intended for the general good of mankind.

The national deliverance of the Jews from the Egyptian servitude, and afterward from the Babylonian captivity, was vouchsafed, not so much to render them important, as to display the glory of God's name among the heathen. The publick institutions of religion enjoyed by them, were made subservient to the happiness of many other nations.

Revolutions in favour of liberty, in a particular country, may be productive of interesting consequences in lands far remote, and in ages long to


The revolution, which has taken place in Americà, is operating to great, and we hope, happy events elsewhere. What God has done for us, was not only for our sakes, but for the benefit of mankind in other regions of the globe, and in other periods of time. And though Liberty in her progress, will meet with violent opposition, and, in her conflicts, will suffer dire calamities, yet we cannot doubt, but she will finally triumph.

We trust also, that this revolution will prove Friendly to the interest of pure religion.

It is indeed complained, that infidelity much prevails. But perhaps its prevalence is more in appearance, than in reality; and it rather throws off its former disguise, than gains additional strength. There is greater freedom of inquiry, and more liberality of sentiment, than in years past: Learning is also more cultivated, and knowledge more generally diffused. That spirit of liberty, which sprang up here, and is now spreading, in the world, will probably render the civil governments of nations more tolerant to free religion, as well as more congenial to the rights of mankind. As learning becomes more common in the body of the people, it will of

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