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Moth do corrupt, and where Thieves break through and feal; but to do good and to communicate are thofe well-pleafing Sacrifices, which derive a Bleffing upon our Subftance, and make it like the Loaves and Fishes in the Hands of our Saviour, even grow under Diftribution, and enrich us with a more plentiful Remainder; they will at leaft lay up for us an incorruptible Treafure in the highest Heavens, whither it fhall be as impoffible for a rich Man, or one that trusteth in Riches, to enter, as for a Camel to pafs through the Eye of a Needle. It pleafes the Almighty frequently to disappoint in the Course of his Providence, the Endeavours of the Covetous and Uncharitable, in growing exceeding Rich; but at the best their Souls will be fhortly required of them, and what will the Multitude of their Wealth avail, when the Riches of their Mercy, not of their Poffeffions, will be enquired into? It will then be indifferent whether one or a thoufand Acres yielded us their Fruits of Encreafe; for he who now enjoys the most abundant Plenty, will then have nothing
over, and he who has at present the less Subfiftance, will then have no Lack. Let us therefore be always willing to diftribute, glad to communicate: The Earth, through God's Bleffing, will thereupon bring forth abundantly; and after the Poor hath eaten of our Subftance, and been fatisfied, there will ever remain enough, more than enough, for us, and for all our Pofterity.
3dly and lastly, SINCE we entirely depend upon the Almighty for the Supply of good things, we ought with all Humility, all Proftrations of Worship, to beg of Him the Continuance of all temporal Bleffings; at this time particularly, when the Earth is now covered with all Variety of Fruits, all the Plenty of Provision, we ought with the Sincerity and Earneftness of Prayer to implore his gracious Influences upon the enfuing Seasons. Plenty and Famine, Health and Sickness, are entirely in the Hands of Him, from whom proceed the Iffues of Life and Death; Fire and Hail, Snow and Vapour, Wind and Storm, fulfil his Commands, who with the Word of his Power can fcorch up with a burning Heat, or
nip up with a fudden Froft, can parch through the Driness of the Season, or drown in the Floods of Rain, can blaft with the Contagion, or pierce with the Sharpness of the Air, all the blooming Hopes of a whole Year's Encrease. It has pleased the Almighty fometimes in the Power of his Wrath, to make a fruitful Land barren for the Wickedness of them that dwell therein; how generally our Sins call aloud for Vengeance, is an Obfervation too obvious, too momentous to be difregarded; let us therefore endeavour by a general Repentance to ward off the Punishment due to fo general a Corruption, and with hearty Prayers, as the Church more particularly at this Seafon of Recollection and Abftinence requires, entreat the Almighty, that it may please Him to give to our Use the kindly Fruits of the Earth, fo that in due time we may enjoy them; more efpecially let us pray for the Encrease of his Grace as well as the Encrease of his Bounty, that we may use the fame to his Glory, the Relief of thofe that are needy, and our own Comfort, through Jefus Christ our Lord.
JOHN XX. 29.
Jefus faith unto him, Thomas, because tbou haft feen me, thou haft believed; bleffed are they, that have not feen, and get have believed.
UR Bleffed Lord took frequent Opportunities of forewarning his Disciples of the Certainty of his Death, and the Violence of his Sufferings, but always took Care to clofe fuch heavy Forebodings with the comfortable Affurance of his Rifing again the third Day from the Dead. Yet ftrange it is that the Difciples should difcover fuch Depths of Dejection,
Dejection, fuch Wildness of Surprize, upon those Sufferings which our Lord had given them fuch full Reafon to expect; ftrange it is that their Surprize. fhould even encrease upon them, and the News of our Lord's Refurrection, of which they had so distinct a Promise, fhould be receiv'd with fo ftupid an Incredibility. So foolish were they, fo flow of Heart to believe all, that not only the Prophets, but also that our Saviour himself had spoken, that the first Reports of his Refurrection appear'd to them as idle Tales; and after it had been confirm'd by other Witneffes alfo, the Sight of Him did nevertheless terrify and affright them, fuppofing they had seen a Spirit. Thomas, one of the Twelve, not being with them, when Jefus came, obstinately ftood out against the Teftimony of them all, and required the most senfible Demonftration before he would give his Affent to fo ftrange an Article; to this his Slowness of Belief our Bleffed Lord graciously condefcended, and at the fecond Appearance He made among his Difciples, calls upon Thomas to be con