« FöregåendeFortsätt »
Burthens from our own shoulders, and lay them on theirs. When the Exigencies of others call for that affistance from us that will cost us any Pains, or put us upon any Hazard, the usual Language of our Hearts is, spare thy self.
3. Neither are we any whit more willing to condescend to those lower Offices of Love, which the Providences of God, and the Necessities of others, call for at our hands. - In Things of this nature, how nice and
how nice and coy, and [queamish are we, at least too many of us ! How averse are we from setting our hands to Things which are, as we judge, below us, and unworthy of us ! Whereas Charity thinks nothing below it, by which it may be serviceable to others.
4. As for bearing in way of suffering, whether in Estate, or good Name, or Body, these are hard Things, and Charity deals not kindly with us in requiring them of us.
We have too much of Self-love to be well-pleased with these Matters, when there is nothing but the Interest and Good of others to reconcile us to them, and make us like of them. And yet how much will the same Persons bear and undergo for themselves, that will bear nothing that is difficult to be born for others! What continual Toyl and restless Travel do many choose to undergo for improving their Estates, or gaining Renown, or compassing a Design ! In Things of this nature, where their own Interest is concerned and carried on, nothing is too hard to be undergone. Here Men ride and run, tug and labour, to the spending of their Spirits, the wasting of their Strength, the impairing of their Health, and the shortning of their Lives.
So for Parents, how many Inconveniencies, Troubles, Incumbrances and Anxieties, how much Labour and Travel do they willingly undergo for their Children, because they being a part of themselves, they have strong natural Affection for them! If they be in any Danger, how full of sollicitous Cares and endless Perplexities are they for them! If they be at any time sick, what Cost and Expence, what continual Watchings and Attendance, what Labour and Travel is enough for them! And all this for those many times who, in respect of their tender Years, take
little notice of what is done for them, But however Love and natural Affection repent not of any thing that hath been expended. Whether they
Whether they regard it or no, Love still goes on, and thinks it can never do too much. When a Man would be apt to think that all Love had been now exhausted and spent, yet it's renewed again, and the spring of natural Affe&ion runs afresh ; Love is still as willing, and laborious and active, and as far from being tired out or spent, as if it had but just now be gun to work. But now let Self-love, and natural Affection, and such other low Considerations as we are mostly acted by, be laid aside, and where almost is the Man who purely upon a Spiritual Account, and from the noble, genuine, and truly generous Principle of Charity, would or could chearfully undergo one quarter of this for any Person that is no other way related and tyed to him, than by the common bond of Religion ? Now what's the matter? How comes it to pass that it should be thus with us ?. Doth not holy Love, the spiritual and excellent Grace of Charity, work as strongly and sweetly as natural Affection, or Self-love, and
much more ? It must be granted that it
doth fo ; but the truth is, we have but • a little of this holy flame of Love within us. Self-love and natural Affe&tion are strong, but true Charity is weak'; and if there were no other Argument to prove the weakness thereof, this were evidence enough of it, that we are so weak and deficient in this Property of Charity ; that whereas Charity beareth all things, we can bear so
very little purely upon the account of holy Love, and from that spiritual Principle of true Charity, which the Apostle here describes. Let us all be humbled for our wants, and earnestly seek after the supply of them from him, who is the God of all Grace, 1 Pet. 5.10. who is able to make all Grace to abound towards us, 2 Cor. 9. 8. not only those outward Blessings which the Apostle there speaks of, but all fpiritual Bleffings likewise ; and who giveth liberally and without upbraiding to those that ask, Jam. I. 5. who is much more ready to give his Holy Spirit to those that ask him, than Earthly Parents are or can be to give good things unto their Children, Luke 11. 13.