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Matt. vi. I.
veneration from men: such is the natural constitution SERM. of our souls, that as our sense necessarily liketh what XXXI. is fair and sweet, so our mind unavoidably will esteem what is virtuous and worthy; all good actions as such are honourable: but of all virtues, beneficence doth with most unquestionable right claim honour, and with irresistible force procures it; as it is indeed the most divine of virtues, so men are most apt to venerate them, whom they observe eminently to practise it. Other virtues men see, and approve on as goodly to the sight; but this they taste and feel; ἐλευθέστερον this by most sensible experience they find to be τῶν ἐπ' ἀρισ pleasant and profitable, and cannot therefore but, i μοι γάρ. highly prize it. They, who do their alms before Arist. men, although out of an unworthy vain-glorious design, have yet, as our Saviour intimates, their reward; they fail not to get honour thereby ; and even so have no bad pennyworth: for, in the Wise Man's judgment, a good name is rather to be Prov. xxii. chosen than great riches; they receive at least fine air, for gross earth; and things very spiritual, for things most material; they obtain that which every man doth naturally desire and prize, for that which only fashion in some places endeareth and commendeth: they get the end for the means; for scarce ai yàg duvany man seeketh wealth for itself, but either for s honour, or for virtue's sake, that he may live creditably, or may do good therewith: necessity is served Arist. with a little, pleasure may be satisfied with a competence; abundance is required only to support honour or promote good; and honour by a natural connection adhereth to bounty. He that followeth after righteousness and mercy findeth life, righteousness, and honour. Prov. xxi. 21.
αστείαι καὶ ὁ
SERM. 2. But further, an accession of honour, according XXXI. to gracious promise, (grounded upon somewhat of special reason, of equity and decency in the thing itself,) is due from God unto the bountiful person, and is by special providence surely conferred on him. There is no kind of piety, or instance of obedience, whereby God himself is more signally honoured, Matt. v. 16. than by this. These are chiefly those good works, the which men seeing, are apt to glorify our Father which is in heaven. Phil. i. 11. Being filled with the fruits of righteousness, which are by Christ Jesus to the glory and praise of God. To these fruits that is most applicable which our Lord saith, John xv.8. Hereby is my Father glorified, if ye bear much Prov. xiv. fruit; for as he that oppresseth the poor reproacheth his Maker; so he honoureth him, that hath mercy on the poor. The comfortable experience of good in this sort of actions will most readily dispose men to admire and commend the excellency, the wisdom, the goodness of the divine laws, will therefore procure God hearty praise and thanks for them: for, 2 Cor. ix. as St. Paul teacheth us, The administration of his service not only supplieth the want of the saints, but is abundant also by many thanksgivings unto God; whilst by experiment of this ministration, they glorify God for your professed subjection unto the Gospel of Christ, and for your liberal distribution unto them, and unto all men. Since then God is so peculiarly honoured by this practice, it is but equal and fit that God should remunerate it with honour: God's noble goodness will not let him seem defective in any sort of beneficial correspondence toward us; we shall never be able to yield him any kind of good thing in duty, which he will not be
more apt to render us in grace; they who, as So- SERM. lomon speaketh, honour God with their substance, shall by God certainly be honoured with his bless- Prov. iii. 9. ing: reason intimates so much, and we beside have God's express word for it: Them, saith he, who 1 Sam. ii. honour me, I will honour. He that absolutely and independently is the fountain of all honour, from whom, as good king David saith, riches 1 Chron. and honour cometh, for that he reigneth over all, he will assuredly prefer and dignify those, who have been at special care and cost to advance his honour. He that hath the hearts of all men in his Prov. xxi.1. hands, and fashioneth them as he pleaseth, will raise the bountiful man in the judgments and affections of men. He that ordereth all the events of things, and disposeth success as he thinks fit, will cause the bountiful person's enterprises to prosper, and come off with credit. He will not suffer the reputation of so real an honourer of himself to be extremely slurred by disaster, to be blasted by slander, to be supplanted by envy or malice; but will bring forth Ps. xxxvii. his righteousness as the light, and his judgment as the noon-day.
3. God will thus exalt the bountiful man's horn even here in this world, and to an infinitely higher pitch he will advance it in the future state: he shall there be set at the right hand, in a most honourable place and rank, among the chief friends and favourites of the heavenly King, in happy consortship with the holy angels and blessed saints; where, in recompense of his pious bounty, he shall, from the bountiful hands of his most gracious Lord, receive an incorruptible crown of righteousness, and an unfading crown of glory. The which God
BARROW, VOL. II.
258 The Duty and Reward of Bounty to the Poor.
SERM. of his infinite mercy grant unto us all, through Jesus XXXI. Christ our Lord; to whom for ever be all praise. Amen.
Heb. xiii. 20, 21.
Now the God of peace, that brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great Shepherd of the sheep, through the blood of the everlasting covenant, make us perfect in every good work to do his will, working in us that which is well-pleasing in his sight, through Jesus Christ: to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen.
UPON THE PASSION OF OUR BLESSED
PHIL. ii. 8.
And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the
Jul. viii. p.
WHEN, in consequence of the original apostasy SERM. from God, which did banish us from paradise, and XXXII. by continued rebellions against him, inevitable to Cyril. c. our corrupt and impotent nature, mankind had for- 278. ix. p. feited the amity of God, (the chief of all goods, the John iii. 36. fountain of all happiness,) and had incurred his dis- Col. iii. 6. pleasure; (the greatest of all evils, the foundation of all misery :)
When poor man having deserted his natural Lord Iren. iii. 33. and Protector, other lords had got dominion over ĭša, xxvi. him, so that he was captivated by the foul, malicious, Iren. iii. 8. cruel spirits, and enslaved to his own vain mind, to vile lusts, to wild passions:
When, according to an eternal rule of justice, that Gen. iv. 7. sin deserveth punishment, and by an express law, wherein death was enacted to the transgressors of God's command, the root of our stock, and consequently all its branches, stood adjudged to utter de- Iren. v. 16. struction: