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their brethren, but permitted to a certain extent when they lent to the Gentiles; and on the return of every fiftieth year, called the year of Jubilee ; estates, mortgaged for security of repayment of the loan, were returned among
the Jews to their original possessors.
So strongly did Almighty God prohibit oppression of any kind among His chosen people; but more especially that which poverty, and want might have enabled the rich to exhibit against the poor. Our Saviour, in His Sermon
the Mount, inculcated this duty among many others, when He said, “ Give to him that asketh thee, and from him that would borrow of thee, turn not thou away." And again He said, “ do good, and lend, hoping for nothing again ; and your reward shall be great, and ye
shall be the children of the Highest.
On this last principle, of lending without usury, or interest, to the
poor and necessitous, but honest, person, is founded the Loan Society, whose Charitable cause is this day brought before
you. Arising from small beginnings, the persevering benevolence of its Foundress, aided at last by many Christian
friends, has brought the Society to a condition of doing much good from rather circumscribed means.
The Committee, upon the security of a respectable subscribing Member, or upon other good security given on a subscriber's recommendation of the borrower's case; advance small sums of money; which is to be regularly paid back, at the rate of 6d. per week on every 10s. lent. Thus, if 51. be advanced to the humble dealer, he will have the use of that sum for twenty weeks altogether; repaying 5s. in the first week, and gradually replacing the money lent, until the expiration of the twentieth.
No interest, as I before observed, is required by the lender ; and, as no sum is kept unoccupied by the Committee, the returns of each week's repayments form an additional capital from whence other borrowers are continually supplied. In this way a capital of 1001. will be augmented by the return of 51. in the first week ; which 51. lent out immediately again will, with the second 51. returned for use of the 1001. continually form an additional floating capital for the use of the needy, and necessitous.
In the little pamphlet of the Loan Society, from whence this calculation is extracted, these facts are proved to demonstration : and to it I refer those benevolent friends of Charity, to whom these short calculations, now verbally reported, may not appear sufficient. The skill of progressive Arithmetic was never put to a more noble use, than when thus employed to augment the blessed funds of Christian Charity: how well its Foundress, and Supporters, understand its glorious principles ! “ Lay not up for yourselves treasure upon the Earth ; where the rust, and moth doth corrupt, and where thieves break through, and steal : but lay up for yourselves treasures in. Heaven, where neither rust, nor moth, doth corrupt; and where thieves do not break through, and steal.”
As the Committee justly remark ; this scale, of lending out 1001. continued, it would show, that, before any one loan was quite discharged, the Society would have upon
its books cases to the amount of 2501. where it has only, in point of fact, 1001. to lend.” In the last six years seven hundred and forty-three cases have been relieved by the sum of 2,9411. 6s. lent to various neces
sitous persons in the manner already described; of which 3351. 19s. were advanced in the last year, for the use, and benefit, of ninety-three humble, and grateful, borrowers.
To do justice to the truly blessed endeavours of this benevolent Society it would be requisite to read to you their own lucid statements; and the farther I pro
proceed with subject the more strongly do I wish to recommend the perusal of their last Report. A Christian Minister is honoured by the call upon him to plead for nature, truth, and charity : the weakness of such an Advocate; sent to declare the Gospel of Salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ, and by Him especially commanded to plead the sacred cause of the poor, ;
and unfortunate; in this Christian Country never operates against the plea committed to his charge.
Among the vicissitudes of human life, subject to so many unforeseen misfortunes, many are our suffering brethren to whom a small loan is not only acceptable in the day of necessity ; but to whom it proves an actual redemption from utter ruin.
Small Landlords, who have retired from the labours of a Tradesman's business, must
have their Rents regularly paid ; or else, after an honourable career of many
anxious years, their dejected spirits must be brought down to receive Parochial aid. They accordingly are apt to press
for due ; as also must the collectors of our various rates made for the public welfare. Here the Loan Society enables the dejected Tenant to make up the sum required ; and, in the perfect spirit of Christian benevolence, by concealing its aid, extracts the sting of sorrow from the grateful borrower's heart.
Angels of mercy, who incessantly praise " the Author and Giver of all good things," tune your immortal harps to songs of love; rejoice before the Lord our God, when fallen men proclaim His endless praise ! Enlightened by the Gospel of His mercy,
instructed by His Almighty Son's divine words, and example; behold the holy triumph of Christian Faith, and Hope, and Charity !
In the time of sickness, which in this Season most especially, has overwhelmed many families with sorrow, and expesne; the Loan Society proffers aid, which may save many a valuable life.
From the labours of the industrious poor