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and all the corruption that must follow (in a greater or less degree) from being forced, occasionally, to associate with the worst and most abandoned of the human species. These considerations, when we may not have the power to redress the grievances of the poor, or to better their condition, should at least teach us to make all proper allowance for their ignorance, their mismanagement, their errors, and many of their transgressions: and whenever the law, with necessary rigor, punishes their vices, but can never sufficiently reward their virtues, we might, in the true spirit of the gospel, be more disposed to pity than condemn.

But, to proceed-Let me farther exhort you who rank between the extremes of poverty and riches;-you who neither stand on the giddy heights of prosperity, nor journey through the obscure vale of misery, to form a proper estimate of your station.-Consider its advantages, its resources, and the many opportunities which it furnishes of doing good. This will necessarily lead you to the knowledge of your more appropriate duties; and, by divine assistance, may enforce the performance of them. Be equally aware of over-rating, or under-valuing your condition. The former may lead to the

silly ambition of imitating, or even vying with your superiors in their style of living,—of sacrificing your fortune and your time to the vanities of fashion, and thus effectually prevent you from doing good, or pave the way to ruin and dishonor; while the latter, by teaching you to plead inability, or some other frivolous excuse, when instances of practical virtue are required, might encourage avarice and oppression, and throw a veil over all the vices of a narrow and selfish mind.

Consider, your station is perhaps of all others most favorable to knowledge; and knowledge should lead to practice. The first difficulties and chief impediments, with respect to you, are removed. The poor are kept in ignorance from their poverty; and the rich very frequently by their indolence, by the want of what they deem sufficient motives for exertion, or by their excessive and unrestrained love of pleasure. To you life appears in all its varieties-You are intimately connected with the inferior orders of the community, and are no strangers to the virtues, as well as the vices and follies of the Great. Every thing around you, if rightly estimated, is favorable to improvement ;-to successful exertions of every kind;—to health and competence, to peace and happiness;-while from the allure

ment of riches, many "fall into temptation and a snare, and into many foolish and hurtful lusts, which drown men in destruction and perdition." To you, therefore, much has been given, in this respect, and much will doubtless be required.

Farther, you possess the most extensive power, in a collective point of view, from your numbers. Take from any community the great body of the poor, and the remaining parts are mere shadows, in the scale of importance, to those in middle life. By you, chiefly, institutions of public munificence, such as this admirable Charity *, and many more, are first formed and voluntarily supported; to you men look for the promotion of arts, and the extension of commerce; and from you, principally, every government derives its revenues, energy, and support.

Filling, therefore, such useful and important

posts in society, beware how you form any false


estimate of the measure of your duty, and the value of that talent which is intrusted to your Your conduct will in a great measure turn upon it, and will be virtuous or faulty accordingly. This will regulate your plans of benevolence, curtail unnecessary expenses, direct the proper education of your children, dif

* The Foundling Hospital.

fuse the benefits of your wisdom and experience, and, on various occasions, that cannot be particularly specified, open or contract the heart.

In meditating therefore on the words of our blessed Lord in the text, and endeavouring to derive all the improvement from them which they were meant to convey; "Watch," that ye fall not into the evil temptations of murmuring and discontent; and, knowing the value of the talent entrusted to your care, be thankful for it, and diligently improve it. Encourage not a sinful and ungrateful disposition towards the Giver of all good gifts, by contemplating the grandeur of those above you; but recollect the blessings that are already in your power; and, if you need further comfort, view the numerous tribes of wretchedness that rank below you.

"Watch," also, against the encroachments of indolence and folly, and learn that man was made for action. But in prosecuting the pursuits of honest industry, beware of that sordid ambition, and anxious concern for the things of this world, which would choke the springing seed of every Christian virtue; and, lastly, "Watch" against that procrastinating, selfdeluding temper, which omits present oppor

tunities of doing good, in expectation of greater occasions and more ample means;-which neg lects the general habit of benevolence, for some casual but, perhaps, romantic act.

The great law of religion is, in the present tense," do good after thy power." He who checks his beneficence, till to give requires no sacrifice and no self-denial, is only lavishing what he cannot enjoy, or what he has no longer any use for; and though he may acquire the repu tation, yet he loses the high reward of Christiand charity.

But it is not sufficient for us on these, and on many other trying occasions, merely tos "Watch;" all our vigilance, fortitude and en-> deavours require to be strengthened and im › proved in every situation, by prayer to the Su preme Being: if we would avoid temptation,\\ we must, as our blessed Lord exhorts, "Watch and pray.'

Few are the occasions, on which we can entirely divest ourselves of a corrupt species of self-love, and the many delusions that spring from it. Something is constantly occurring in our intercourse with the world to baffle reason, t and to lull the conscience to sleep. Something will hourly appeal to our vanity, or flatter our

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