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ritan, and thus shall we recommend our- SERM. selves to the favour of our heavenly Father, our Saviour and Redeemer, Jesus Christ, who has promised to acknowledge us as his disciples, by that especial distinction, that “ we shew love to another." We shall likewise, by such charitable dealings, no less recommend ourselves to the approbation and good will of the rest of the world. For though the course of things here below may not ever proceed so fairly, as to afford every good man the just reward of his benevolence; yet, generally speaking, and even as the world is constituted, a humane and upright man, one who makes it a matter of conscience how he either denies those services to another he would hope to receive himself, or does that prejudice to another he would himself desire to avoid, does gain esteem and favour. He is commonly honoured and beloved ; every one places a confidence in him; his own concerns in life proceed more smoothly and with fewer difficulties, and when these do happen, and, through ill chance and misfortune, the storms of life beat hard
SERM. against him, others are always the more XVII. forward to render him that assistance which he in his prosperity generously held forth to them.
To conclude.-Light enough in this matter is now come into the world. That mental darkness, that made it necessary to use care and management, and the artful insinuation of fables and parables, to enlighten and instruct us, is at once provided for by that great commandment, "that we "should do unto others whatsoever we would "that they should do unto us." This tends to remove all difficulties in the way of our judgment; for however our duty may be hidden from our view by passion and prejudice, our feelings, our wishes, and desires are perfectly intelligible to us. In all cases whatsoever, therefore, where our neighbours may have need of our help, we have nothing to do, but in imagination to change conditions with him, and to conceive ourselves to be cold or naked, poor or famished, fallen into misfortunes, or into the hands of wicked men; then let us ap
peal to our own minds to determine the SERM. relief that is requisite; let us consider XV11. within ourselves what we should require at the hands of others; what comfort, aid, and assistance we should be anxious to obtain. Whatever our minds suggest to us on every such occasion, will be a just conclusion from the circumstances of the case, and whether they be injured or oppressed, wounded in body or in mind, whatever calamities they labour under, we shall be sure to be right in administering relief, if we do exactly to them, as we judge and feel that we should wish they should do unto us, under a like pressure of trouble and affliction. Neither need we doubt that we fully discharge the duty of a neighbour, when, like the good Samaritan in the parable, we, to the utmost of our power and means, shew mercy and pity on them!
THE UNJUST STEWARD.
LUKE XVI. 8.
And the Lord commended the unjust steward because he had done wisely: for the children of this world are in their generation wiser than the children of light.
THESE words occur in the parable re- SERM. lated in the Gospel of the day. A certain XVIII. steward, the parable states, having administered the concerns of his master ill, began to be alarmed at the situation he had brought himself into, and to bestir himself accordingly to provide the best he could against his approaching dismissal and degradation. If reduced to absolute want, he knew that his own exertions would fail him; labour he had been unaccustomed to, and he could not stoop to solicit charity. Dig, he could not, and to beg he was " ashamed."