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For to all, who come to the life of a real christian, the law is made gospel, that is, revenge is changed into love; rigor, into lenity and compassion; the joy and delight of the world, into heavenly joy and godly pleasure; for their treasure is not on earth but in heaven; there is their previlege of citizenship, their conversation, their building of God (2 Cor. 5, 1.); their whole fellowship is with the faithful on earth and with the saints in heaven (Heb. 12, 22. 23. Gal. 4, 26.); their looking up is unto Jesus the author and finisher of their faith (Heb. 12, 2.); he is their head, and they his members (Rom. 12. 1 Cor. 12. Eph. 1, 22. 23.); hence they follow their head and shepherd; (John 10.) they are moved and bent by his will, the Head watches over the members and points out to them the way in which they cannot err, (Is. 30, 20. 21. 35, 8. 9.) provided they abide in grace, as members of the body, the body being dependent on the head, or as members of the church, the church being dependent on Christ; for without him they can do nothing (John 15.) but if they abide in him as the branch in the vine, they shall bring forth much fruit, and their fruit shall endure unto eternal life.

For as much as Christ, the true Head of all believers, was well aware that we bear about the flesh of sin and corruption, whose inclination is very earthly, withdrawing us from his grace, and thereby exposing us to many dangers; he declared unto us, Watch, and what I say unto you I say unto all, Watch (Mark 13.); he has moreover in his divine discourse given us a rule by which we should regulate our conduct in the giving of alms, and prove whether it is done through grace and charity to the honor of God or not. Therefore ye faithful on earth, who bear the burden of Christ, let us once more come before this mirror of divine doctrine, and view ourselves, and see whether our almsgiving is pure and sincere in his sight, whether it is done in the manner in which our Head and King recommends, or whether we may not be among the number of those who have their reward.

For he says, Take heed (that is, observe well and consider) that ye do not your alms before men, to be seen of them; otherwise ye have no reward of your Father which is in heaven. Therefore when thou doest thine alms, do not sound a trumpet before them as the hypocrites do in the synagogues, and in the streets, that they

may have glory of men. Verily I say unto you, they have their reward. But when thou doest thy alms, let not thy left hand know what thy right hand doeth; that thine alms may be in secret: and thy Father who seeth in secret, himself shall reward thee openly. Matt. 6, 1 to 4.

Here we learn that we ought to be affected with a spirit of humility and liberality towards our poor neighbor in seasons of want and embarrassment, and should assist him, imparting to his necessity with a liberal hand as Paul tells us, To do good and to communicate forget not: for with such sacrifices God is well pleased. Heb. 13, 16. Again he says to Timothy, Charge them that are rich in this world, that they be not high minded, nor trust in uncertain riches, but in the living God who giveth us richly all things to enjoy; that they do good, that they be rich in good works, ready to distribute, willing to communicate; laying up in store for themselves a good foundation against the time to come, that they may lay hold on eternal life. 1 Tim. 6.

But this must be done in true humility and willingness of mind, as we know a man's life does not consist in the abundance of the things which he possesses

(Luke 12, 15.); for he who soweth sparingly, shall reap sparingly; and he who soweth bountifully, shall reap also bountifully; every man according as he purposeth in his heart; not grudgingly, or of necessity for God loveth a cheerful giver. 2 Cor. 9, 6. 7. Sir. 35, 11. 12.

We should always keep in view that the earth is the Lord's and the things therein (1 Cor. 10, 26.) and that he has bestowed upon us the good things of this life for the use of ourselves and others. Therefore we should distribute, not as if they were our own gifts, but the Lord's, who first gave them to us, that we should manage and truly husband them, as Christ said of the unjust steward when about to be removed from his office: he said within himself, I am resolved what to do, that, when I am put out of the stewardship, they may receive me into their houses. So he called every one of his lord's debtors unto him, and said unto the first, How much owest thou unto my lord? He said, A hundred measures of oil. And he said unto him, Take thy bill, and sit down quickly and write fifty. (And the rest.) And the lord commended the unjust steward, because he had done wisely. Now, let every one take

this steward for an example; for Christ tells us, And I say unto you, make to yourselves friends of the mammon of unrighteousness; that, when ye fail, they may receive you into everlasting habitations. Luke 16.

If we wish rightly to understand this parable, we must consider God as the rich man, and ourselves as the stewards; for the earth is the Lord's and the fulness thereof, and he imparts unto every man according to his will; we should therefore manage faithfully, for he that is faithful in that which is least, is faithful also in much; and he that is unjust in the least, is unjust also in much; if, therefore, we are not faithful in the unrighteous mammon, who will commit to our trust the true riches? (Verse 11.) As now the steward acted towards his lord's debtors, that they might, if he failed, receive him into their houses, so should we, who are appointed by God to be stewards of the good things of this life, act towards our poor and afflicted brethren. He bestowed, not upon his own creditors his own money or goods, but his lord's. So, when we give, bestow, or communicate something, we ought not to think that we give it of our

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