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master's property: for that portion of a man's wealth, which from love to Christ is expended on works of piety and charity, not only supplies the wants of the saints, and excites them to praise God, but it also reminds them to pray for their benefactors in cordial love, which is one of the most desirable proofs of true friendship;' and as many persons of this description, after having received the most important good, through the liberality of their brethren, may go before them to glory; so we may conceive of them as standing ready to welcome their benefactors into everlasting mansions, when flesh and heart, and all earthly resources fail them.
Let us fix our thoughts on some one of those distinguished few, whose liberal love to man for Christ's sake, persevered in for a long course of years, among other acts of beneficence, sent the word of life to tens of thousands whom they never saw, and were thus instrumental to the salvation of numbers. May we not imagine that we see the spirits of those righteous persons, to whom the liberality of such a believer was life from the dead, waiting the moment of their benefactor's dissolution, and his last expiring groans, to welcome him into everlasting habitations, with shouts of triumphant joy, and fervent thanksgiving, whilst they see him receive a full reward of “his “ work of faith and labour of love, and patience of hope in the Lord Jesus?" Nor can a more
* 2 Cor, ix, 10–15.
ecstatick rapturous feeling be conceived, than that which must thrill through every soul on such an occasion ; except we think of the be. liever's beholding, face to face, that transcendantly greater Benefactor, who hath loved him and washed him from his sins in his own blood.
But turn the glass, and behold a professor of the gospel, who, possessing wealth, hath spent it in ostentation and luxury, or hoarded it in covet. ousness, saying to the poor disciples of Christ,
Depart in peace, be ye warmed or clothed. Conceive of this man,' when turned out of his stewardship-what an awful reverse! The abuse of his talents proves that his faith was dead, his hope presumption, and his profession hypocrisy. Christ's deserted cause, his neglected disciples, and his violated commandments, concur to prove that he loved the mammon of unrighteousness more than the Saviour of the world; that he resembled Judas or Ananias, more than any other of the primitive professors of the gospel; and that he copied the injustice, but not the wisdom, of the steward in the parable.
But few of Christ's disciples are rich: there, fore he adds, “ He that is faithful in that which “is least, is faithful also in much.” Faithfulness in a christian, who considers himself as a steward, implies a practical conviction that he is bound by every tie, but most by that of love and gratitude, to employ his talent according to the will of his Lord, as far as he knows it. In propor, tion as a man acts from this principle, and by this rule, he meets with a gracious recompence for the meanest services : The widow's two mites, expressing her fervent love, are as acceptable as the most costly oblations bestowed from an equal measure of the same love, and far beyond such as spring from another source. And as all we possess is the Lord's, we rob him when we employ it contrary to his will; and this injustice, in the use of a little, shows the same bad state of the heart, as when great affluence is thus abused. Nothing we have of this world is properly our own, or given us exclusively for our own sake; nothing of this kind can make us truly rich or happy; but grace is our own, and terminating in glory, constitutes the true riches, unalienable and sufficient for our everlasting felicity. Now on what grounds can we suppose that we partake of the grace of God, or shall at length be admitted into the mansions of the blessed; if we do not find our hearts disposed to improve our talents to the glory of God and the benefit of mankind, from faith in Christ and love to his name, cause, and people.In short, we may either serve God or Mammon, but we cannot serve both. Every justified believer aims to serve God in the use of his worldly substance, be it more or less ; "every servant of Mammon aims at some worldly advantage, even by his profession of the gospel, and his religiouş
duties. Thus the characters of believers and unbelievers may be distinguished, and according to this distinction will be the recompence of every individual.
Remarks on Hopkins' Enquiry into the Nature
of true Holiness.
In a Letter to a Friend."
You desire my sentiments on Dr. Hopkins · Enquiry into the nature of true holiness.' I am very ready to give them: but to enter into particulars, and speak on them with exactness, capable of enduring critical investigation, would engross too much time and attention, to consist with
other engagements. I can, therefore, attempt no more than some general thoughts which occurred to me while reading
I trust I am as decidedly averse to a mere selfish religion as Dr. Hopkins; and I see clearly the radical defect of Mr. Hervey's scheme, and of many statements by modern divines on this very
Many of them, I hope, feel and act inconsistently with their own system or language, otherwise I could not think well of their state and character. But I am of opinion, that Dr. Hop
The letter was not in the least intended for publication.
kins pushes, or rather is pushed by our artful enemy, into the opposite extreme. Incidit in Skyltam qui vult vitare Charybdim. It seems to me that he does not sufficiently mark the distince tion between man, as God made him, and man as he hath made or marred himself, so that he speaks sometimes as if God's work in creation necded mortifying and crucifying, as well as Satan's work and image in the soul. When, however, he comes to answer objections, and deduce inferences, he appears to me to give up most of what he had been contending for, and most of what he maintained different from others; and, I own, I think he often writes obscurely and ambi, guously, and with much repetition.
I would, however, make a few short observations on his book, of a more particular nature.
1. Suppose his system to be speculatively or philosophically true, it is too refined and subtile for by far the greatest part of mankind, even if they had leisure and advantages for such studies. A man must be naturally of a metaphysical, abstract genius, exercised by use, before he can clearly take in his sentiments, and apply them to experience and practice. I own, that through disuse, I am grown so dull, that I am sometimes at a loss to understand his meaning and his plan. I am not disposed to quarrel with every thing exact or systematical, as metaphysicks; yet still