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thened heart to him who is able to ease your burthen; and in every pros

kind, to say, "The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want."

pathize with his sufferings, and no spirit of dependance to link your perishing soul to the all-sufficient atone-pect of suffering and sorrow, of any ment and righteousness of Christ! Oh the intense misery you are preparing for yourselves! What a life of degradation is it to live ignorant of Christ, to be guided by the senses and passions of this lower nature! What a melancholy condition it is for an immortal creature capable of enjoying GoD, and having the character of GOD emblazoned on this blessed page! What a degradation is it to the immortal spirit to pursue a course of life merely to gratify the passions that brutalize, but never can ennoble! Oh, but eternity! in that word lies an emphasis of interest on this subject. It is little, perhaps, to live a few years degraded; but to live eternally degraded, to have all the pulsations of the heart beating in misery, to be outcast from GOD's regard, and to pass eternity amidst scenes of pollution and death-what heart can endure, and what hand can be strong when this eternal calamity enwraps the conscious creature? Oh, then, seek ye to know the love of Christ; he is free to you, he stands with out-stretched arms, his accents and his voice are heard amidst the pauses of this world's storm, if you have but the ear to listen for them: "Come unto me all ye that are weary and I will give you rest." Seek ye after Christ, and your souls shall live, and then you too shall know what it is to rejoice in Christ Jesus, in a suffering and sinful world; you, too, shall know what it is to carry a bur

And, finally, to those who have known something of the love of Christ, to those to whom it is given of special grace to turn from this world's objects, to pursue the great realities of eternity-to those, whose hearts GOD has impressed by his own Spirit, and sealed them for the day of redemption; oh, beloved brethren, to you, I say, ponder often on this theme of love! Surround yourselves with all these assurances of everlasting kindness. Endeavour, by the grace of GOD, to bring up your low thoughts of Christ to the high level on which he has presented himself to you. Oh think of him, and then amidst the sorrows of life your heart shall be glad, you will trace in the severest privations the marks of his wisdom and his kindness, and you will be looking forward to that great and glorious day, when shall be realized to you all that is spoken, and when it shall be true of you that “GOD has wiped away all tears from your eyes;" and true of you, as servants, that you shall serve him with no interruption of obedience, with no dimunition of gratitude, with no ending of love-shall serve him as he wishes you to serve him, and shall fall at his feet, with astonishment, ascribing ' grace unto him that loved us, and washed us from our sins, in his own blood, and hath made us kings and priests unto God."-Amen.

66

A Sermon

DELIVERED BY THE REV. H. Mc NEILE.

(FOR THE BENEFIT of the reform SCHOOL,)
AT ST. CLEMENT DANES, NOV. 15, 1832.

Galatians, ii. 10.-" Only they would that we should remember the poor: the same which I also was forward to do.”

WHEN Saul of Tarsus was converted of this deeply important subjectto the faith of Christ, and was come Remembrance of the poor. This subto Jerusalem, he essayed to join him-ject occupies a very conspicuous place self to the disciples, but they were in all the Scriptures, as it does, and afraid of him. They knew what his must do, in the management of every character had been, and they did not Christian, or nominal Christian combelieve that he had become indeed a munity. Christian benevolence will disciple; but his friend and fellow vary and multiply her activity with labourer, Barnabas, took him by the the varying and multiplying necessihand, brought him to the Apostles, ties of the poor in her lands; and, told them what had passed on the perhaps, in none of her efforts does road going to Damascus, how Saul she more conspicuously manifest her had seen the Lord, how Jesus had divine origin and her scriptural chaspoken to him, and how he had after-racter, than in those where temporal support is combined with moral discipline and Christian instruction. It is to such an effort, that it becomes my duty to invite your attention now.

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But, first, I desire, in humble reliance upon the promised guidance of the Holy Ghost, to declare,

GOD'S SOVEREIGN APPOINTMENT IN
THE CONTINUANCE OF POVERTY,

wards preached boldly in Damascus
in the name of the Lord Jesus. When
Peter, James, and John perceived the
grace that was given to Saul, they
gave to him the right hand of fellow-
ship, agreeing that they should divide
amongst them the divine work of
preaching the Gospel, Saul and Bar-
nabas going to the Gentiles, and the
other Apostles to the Jews. But be-
fore they separated, there was one
thing which the original Apostles of TION Of the poor.
the Lord mentioned with some anx-
iety to their new associates in this
work-it was, that they should re-
member the poor; which thing Saul
and Barnabas themselves were wil-
ling, nay, forward to do.

AND GOD'S PROVIDENTIAL PROVI-
SIONS FOR THE SUPPORT AND INSTRUC-

Thus, my brethren, we find, that at the very fountain head of the history of the Christian church, where the waters of life separated into two streams, bearing their rich and free blessings to Jew and Gentile, there, at that interesting period of history, we find most honorable mention made

The continuance of poverty, my brethren, is not the result of human oppression, but of divine appointment, otherwise how could it have continued. Poverty has ever been declaimed against by factious, and turbulent, and mischievous, and interested demagogues, as a thing intolerable amongst men who had equal rights by nature. Such harangues readily catch the attention and inflame the passions of the multitude; and they have led to insurrection fre

quently, sometimes to revolution itself. | part of my design to consider directly
The excited and discontented poor, or indirectly these schemes as a mi-
stimulated by such harangues, have tigation of the evil. All that is ne-
arisen, in the physical force of over-cessary for me to say now is, that, at
whelming numbers, against the consti- the best, they could be but mitiga-
tuted authorities of the land as adminis- tions; and that poverty retains with
tered by the rich, and havoc, rapine, unsparing grasp his uncompromising
murder, and civil war have been the tenacity upon the communities of
fearful consequences. And what then mankind.
-is a question of the deepest import- But again, poverty has been legis-
ance--what then? Has poverty ceased lated against by benevolence in the
when insurrection has become suc-high places of our state; in our own
favored land a legalized provision
against poverty has been made. Every
effort that human industry could ac-
complish, and every effort that hu-
man ingenuity could devise has been
adopted by one legislator after ano-
ther, in the hope of improving this
provision, and rendering it better
adapted to the varying circumstances
of the times, and the various circum-
stances of divers individuals. And
what has been the result? The man
who denies the divine appointment of
poverty, the man who denies that the
perpetuity of poverty is of the pur-

cessful? Has poverty ceased when
revolution has been effected? No
truly; men may excite to rebellion
and violence if they will, but poverty
remains with most persevering obsti-
nacy. In the political wheel of revo-
lution, like every other lottery, the
blanks are many and the prizes are
few;
and the histories of civil wars
supply us with this stubborn fact, that,
in the end, the increase of power and
riches has been found among the few,
and a corresponding increase of po-
verty and slavery amongst the many.
Poverty has been reasoned against

by infidel philosophers and by politi-pose of GOD, is bound, if true to his

cal economists. Grounding their arguments on the abstract, as they say, and equal rights of men, they have propounded one theory after another, each holding out the plausible and flattering prospect of putting an end to poverty in the land. One has fancied that he has found a cure for it in the fertile resources of the land itself, sufficient, he alleges, amply to supply every man and leave none poor, if only properly cultivated. Another, casting his view across the surface of our globe, and finding vast tracts of uncultivated and unoccupied land, has proposed emigration properly organized as a panacea for the evil. Another, laying his hand on the fountain head of the mischief, has proposed, what he has called, restric-tributions assume the aspect of legal tions on the rapid increase of popu- payments, and those men will tell lation. My brethren, it is not any you, that the wants of the poor "have

own principles, to admit that such a system, as I have now described, must now put an end to it-equality preserved from the rashness of revolution and the plausible theories of untutored philosophers. Here is the practice of wisdom carried on by practical men, under the sanction of the lawful authorities of a state, adapted from time to time to the rising exigencies of the people; surely, this man ought to say, against such a system as this, nothing so unnatural, nothing so barbarous as poverty can possibly continue? But my brethren what has been the fact? Have the poor laws put an end to poverty? Let the overseers of the parishes be enquired of, where benevolent con

grown by what they fed on;" that a liberal poor rate has removed the shame without removing the pressure of poverty; and that, in too many painful instances, the warm expression of gratitude for a donation of love, has been converted into the cold murmuring of discontent at the allowance of the law. But why? Poverty is unnatural in the abstract; it is opposed to all man's reasoning about equal rights; it is opposed to all his passions; unnatural to the majority, intolerable to the feelings of the vast physical majority of mankind, and how is it that it has continued? Every effort has been made against it-efforts by law-efforts by fraud -efforts by force-efforts by argument, and all in vain, it abides still. We challenge the infidel to account for the phenomena; and if he retort the challenge, and ask us to account for it, we, with fairness, reply, it is the appointment of a sovereign GOD.

Concerning the land of Judea, that land that flowed with milk and honey, which was the glory of all lands, we read this decisive announcement in the word of GOD, "The poor shall never cease out of the land." And, again, we read, "The Lord maketh poor, and maketh rich." And in the Gospel history, when a poor woman, whose sins had been many, and being freely pardoned, her love found vent; when she came to the Saviour with an alabaster box of very precious ointment, and broke the box, and poured the ointment on his feet; and when some of the bystanders murmured against her because of this manifestation of her tender love, saying, "Why was this waste made, because the ointment might have been sold for much and given to the poor," Jesus interposed and said, "Let her alone, why trouble ye her, she hath wrought agood work on me, for the poor, yehave always

with you, and whensoever ye will, you may do them good." The poor ye have always with you.

My brethren, it is a matter of more consequence than may strike your apprehension at first hearing, that the continuance of poverty is not by any ingenuity or combination of artful men in authority, retaining that authority over the majority of the poor; but that it is of the purpose and appointment of GOD. There is no combination of artful men that could have borne the assaults which in every country hath been made against poverty; but the purpose of Jehovah stands, endures, perseveres, and makes every effort of man to countervail it recoil upon himself. "The poor shall never cease out of the land," saith the Lord. Let us try whether we cannot make them cease out of the land, says the benevolent legislator. They may surely cease, says the sanguine philosopher. They shall cease, and that suddenly, says the infuriated revolutionist. But all in vain, they do not cease, because GOD has said it.

Now, my brethren, there is one circumstance recorded in the Scriptures which seems to raise objections to this, and which ought in candour to be noticed in this branch of my argument. We read in the Acts of the Apostles, concerning the Christian church in its infancy, that "they had all things in common." In the fourth chapter of the Acts, it is written, "The multitude of them that believed were of one heart and one soul: neither said any of them that ought of the things which he possessed was his own; but they had all things in common. Neither was there any among them that lacked: for as many as were possessors of lands, or houses, sold them, and brought the prices of the things that were sold, and laid them down at the Apostles' feet: and distribution was made unto every man,

here be argued, that the Christian church presents an instance of a community from which the poor had ceased; and it may further be argued, that the Christian church has fallen from her high estate, in that there do exist poor within her bosom now who could not exist, had the principles upon which she started been persevered in and carried into faithful operation.

according as he had need." It may | history to which I have alluded in the Acts, we read of the saints at Jerusalem, "that no man lacked," that there was no poverty amongst them, they had every thing in common, there were contributions as every man had need, and no man lacked any thing. Within a very few years after, we find collections made, under the sanction of the Apostle, for those poor saints at Jerusalem. What then are we to conclude? either that the system of having all things in common had ceased, and that distinctions again arose amongst them, so that there were poor saints at Jerusalem; or else that the system persevered in had made them all poor together, so that not one amongst them could help another, but they were all indebted for help to the contributions sent from saints in strange countries? In either case it is plain that the poor had not ceased out of the church, any more than out of the land, and that the circumstances set before us in the fourth chapter of the Acts, were temporary in their duration; for those of whom it is there written, that "they lacked nothing," are afterwards described as "poor saints of Jerusalem," for whom the Apostle begged of his brethren in Macedonia and Achaia.

Now, my brethren, before I say any thing in answer to such an argument, grounded on this passage in the Acts, let me remind you of the language of the Apostle Paul, respecting the collections that were to be made in various churches of the saints of Greece, to be sent for the support of the poor saints at Jerusalem. On this subject, he is very urgent with the Corinthian church, in both his epistles. In the first epistle to the Corinthians, in the last chapter, he says, “Now concerning the collection for the saints, as I have given order to the churches of Galatia, even so do ye. Upon the first day of the week let every one of you lay by him in store, as God hath prospered him, that there be no gatherings when I come. And when I come, whomsoever ye shall approve by your letters, them will I send to bring your liberality to Jerusalem." In the second epistle, at the beginning of the ninth chapter, he presses the same subject. "As touching the ministering to the saints, it is superfluous for me to write to you: for I know the forwardness of your mind, for which I boast of you to them of Macedonia, that Achaia was ready a year ago; and your zeal bath provoked very many." And alluding to this subject in the epistle to the Romans, he says, in the fifteenth chapter, "For it hath pleased them of Macedonia and Achaia to make a certain contribution for the poor saints which are at Jerusalem." Now in the

We conclude from such a string of reasoning, that the poor are appointed of GOD to continue to the end. And sure I am that whatever some persons may think of such an argument, and such a conclusion it will come with the precious power of divine consolation to the poor christian man, who will look up with contentment, seeing the appointment of his Heavenly Father's hand in the position he holds in society, who will thereby be encouraged in the diligence, that is Christian duty, in his calling, whatever it may be; and will thereby, also, be strengthened in that trust to which he is invited by the most affectionate words of his dear

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