Sidor som bilder
PDF
ePub

rivals, but as sharers, in your bounty, which is able to embrace both them and us. Far from wishing to discourage, far from wishing to depreciate, other benevolent institutions, and to form invidious comparisons between them and ours, we sincerely wish them, on the contrary, all imaginable success, in full confidence that in a capital like this it will not, it cannot, be any obstruction to our own. You yourselves are our witnesses, that there are none more ready to countenance every humane design than the English clergy.* There is hardly one public charity to be named, that has not some of our order amongst its friends and supporters; and if we have any gifts of eloquence, any powers of persuasion to boast, they are always ready at your call to recommend every generous plan that you think fit to patronize; your schools, your hospitals, your sick, your prisoners, your poor. That assistance, then, which we are ever disposed to give, we now hope in our turn to receive. Strike out into as many different paths of benevolence as you please; yet desert not, we beseech you, the old, the tried, the approved one, to which you have been so long accustomed. This charity* has always been your favourite child; it has been born and bred amongst you; you have hitherto nursed and cherished it with the tenderest care; do not now abandon it to the wide world, where it is not yet strong enough to make its way without your help.

* One very recent and remarkable proof of this ought not to be passed over in silence. Mr. Hetherington, - a private clergyman, gave birth, within these few years, to a new and most judicious species of charity. He established an annual provision for fifty blind persons, and appropriated, in his lifetime, to this excellent purpose, a fund of twenty thousand pounds.

You have seen, I trust, upon the whole, that they for whose families we beg relief, "are worthy for whom you should do this-f-:" that those on whom they depended for support, and whose help they have lost, were both by profession and by principle, most useful members of society; and yet were unable to leave their children any other inheritance than that of extreme poverty, aggravated by the remembrance of happier days, and by minds susceptible of the keenest feelings. May these considerations have their due influence on your hearts! And may we, my reverend brethren, never forget that it is in our power, by our future conduct, to give these considerations whatever weight we think fit! If we do not give them all we can; if, in proportion as we stand more in need of public favour, we do not redouble our endeavours to deserve it by a discreet, inoffensive behaviour and conversation, by residence on our preferments, by a close attention to the proper studies and functions of our profession, by fervent piety, by extensive charity, by meekness and humility, by a disinterested and ardent zeal for the advancement of religion, and the salvation of mankind; if, I say, by these, and such like evangelical virtues, we do not support the credit of our character, and by real usefulness acquire veneration and esteem; we shall be no less blind to our interest, than unmindful of our duty both to God and man.*

* Including the three different branches of it above-mentioned, pp. 152, 153. f Luke vii. 4.

• See Archbishop Seeker's truly pastoral Charges throughout; which well deserve the serious attention of every sincere arid conscientious clergyman in every rank of the profession.

N

SERMON VIII.

ECCLESIASTES Xli. 1.

REMEMBER NOW THY CREATOR IN THE
DAYS OF THY YOUTH.

HPHE reason why we are here, and in other places of Scripture, more particularly enjoined to Remember God In Our Youth, is obvious; it is, because we are then most apt to forget him. Indeed, in every stage of life as well as this, the cares and pleasures of the world too often engross our chief attention, and banish for a while the remembrance of our Maker. But it is in youth only we seem to be sunk in a total forgetfulness of Religion, and " to have not "God in all our thoughts." In a more advanced age, reason becomes so strong, or appetite so weak, that even in the busiest and the gayest scenes, we must have some intervals of thinking, we must have our solitary and serious moments, in which the

VOL. II. N

idea of a God will recur and force itself upon our minds. The calamities and disappointments which we meet with, as we travel forwards in this vale of tears, the loss of friends or of fortune, acute pains, and lingering diseases, are so many awakening instances of our weakness and dependence, and compel us, in spite of indolence or pride, to look up to Heaven, and our Father that is in Heaven, for assistance and protection. But in youth, these faithful monitors are wanting; there are, then, generally speaking, no cares or afflictions to remind us of our Creator, and bring us to a just sense of our duty. The novelty of the objects that successively surround us at our first entrance into life, supplies us with a perpetual fund of entertainment; and an uninterrupted flow of health and spirits, "fills our mouth with laughter, and our "tongue with joy." We find ourselves happy, and consider not who it was that made us so; we find ourselves in a wide theatre of action, and without thinking how we are to perform our respective parts upon it, survey with rapture those enchanting scenes that every where open to our view,

« FöregåendeFortsätt »