Dr. Chauncy's SERMON, On the DEATH of Mr. Edward Gray.


Charity to the distressed Members of Christ ac­cepted as done to himself, and rewarded, at the Judgment-day, with blessedness in God's everlasting Kingdom.

A SERMON, Preached the Lord's-Day after the DEATH of Mr. Edward Gray. Who Departed this Life July 2nd, 1757, in the 84th Year of his Age.

By CHARLES CHAUNCY, D.D. One of the Pastors of the first Church in Boston.

"He that soweth bountifully shall reap also bountifully." Apostle PAUL

BOSTON: Printed by GREEN & RUSSELL in Queen-street. 1757.


Deeds of Charity Rewarded, at the Judgment-Day, with everlasting Bles­sedness.

MATT. XXV. 34, 35, 40.Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. For I was an hungred, and ye gave me meat; I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink; I was a stranger and ye took me in.—Verily, I say unto you, inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.

THE passage of scripture, of which the words I have read to you are a part, contain an account of the process of the great and general judgment: an account, perhaps, the most observable of any to be met with, in a single view, throughout the new-testament.

[Page 6] IT might be ‘profitable for our instruction in righteousness,’ to go over the particulars of this account: But the limits to which I am confined will not allow of this, nor indeed to discourse upon every thing worthy of notice in the text it self.

THREE things only may come under considera­tion, at present, as being of more signal importance.

  • I. The influence of deeds of charity on the sen­tence that will be pronounced, at the general judgment, on the righteous.
  • II. The particular and distinct mention that is here made of this kind of deeds before any other.
  • III. The endearing manner in which our Saviour, the great Judge of the world, speaks of deeds of charity.

I. THE first thing to be considered is, the operation of deeds of charity with respect to the sentence, which will be pronounced on the righteous, at the judgment. The sentence is that, ver. 34. ‘Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom pre­pared for you from the foundation of the world.’ [Page 7] And then follows, ver. 35, the influence of charity on the procurement of this happy sentence, ‘For I was an hungred, and ye gave me meat; I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink,’ and so on.

OUR Lord, you see, has connected the sentence, at the judgment-day, which pronounces and makes men blessed, with deeds of charity to the needy and distressed. This kind of deeds therefore are of ser­vice, in some sense or other, in order to the procure­ment of this sentence.

BUT the question is, what is their influence? How do they operate to the obtainment of blessedness at the judgment?

IN answer whereto, we may be sure, they are of no use, have no influence, as the meritorious cause, ground, or reason, of this blessedness. The church of Rome may think highly of the value of good works, hoping to be bid, at the judgment, to inherit God's heavenly kingdom, on account of the worthiness of them; and they may support themselves in their hope, from what our Lord has said in my text. But they certainly mistake his meaning. To speak of works, whether of righteousness or charity, as merito­rious [Page 8] of heavenly blessedness is an absurdity too gross to be entertained by any, who are allowed the free use of their reason, and the word of God.

'TIS one of the most obvious truths, that all that we have, and are, we derive from God. Not only our ability, but our very inclination, to every good work, is the free gift of God. The apostle Paul therefore makes those appeals, 1 Cor. iv. 7 ‘Who maketh thee to differ from another? and what hast thou that thou didst not receive?’ And his reason­ing hereupon is strictly conclusive; ‘Now, if thou didst receive it, why dost thou glory as if thou hadst not received it?’ This same apostle makes that solemn challenge, Rom. xi. 35. ‘Who hath first given to him?’ If any are able to answer and say, we have given to God that which we did not first re­ceive from him they may then claim, as is conceded in the next words, ‘to have it recompensed to them again.’ But as no meer man could ever justly plead thus, it must forever be acknowledged, that an admission to blessedness in heaven is a reward of grace, and not of debt. Especially,

IF it be considered, that, when we have done our all in serving God, and doing good to men, we have done only our duty. And where is the merit of this? [Page 9] As our Saviour argues, Luk. xvii. 9, 10. ‘Doth he thank that Servant, because he did the things that were commanded him? I trow not. So likewise ye, when ye have done all those things which are commanded you, say, we are unprofitable servants, we have done that which was our duty to do.’ And we have the more reason, after we have done our all, to esteem ourselves "unprofitable servants," because our best services carry in them so great a mixture of frailty and imperfection, and are accompanied with so many faults and follies, that we stand absolutely in need of the pity and mercy of God. Besides all which,

"Our goodness extendeth not unto God:" Nor if we are ever so righteous, or charitable, can we "be profitable to the Almighty." Excellent is the reason­ing in the book of Job to this purpose. "Is it any pleasure to the Almighty, that thou art righteous? or gain to him, that thou makest thy ways perfect? Look to the heavens, and see, and behold the clouds which are higher than thou. If thou sinnes [...], what dost thou against him? Or if thy transgressions be multiplied, what doth thou unto him? If thou be righteous, what givest thou him? Or what receiveth he of thine hand?" The words are a most solemn check to the fond conceit, we are too apt to entertain of ourselves, and of the significancy of our services, as they respect [Page 10] God. When we look up to the heavens, and behold the sky, and the clouds, we see them to be high above us: But the great God is still infinitely higher; exalted far above all heavens, and as far beyond the reach of being affected by any conduct of our's to­wards him. We may be ready to indulge the tho't, as if the glorious God was mightily disserved by our sins, and as much benefited by our acts of goodness: But this is altogether a vain imagination. If we are wicked, it's no hurt to the Almighty: Nor if we are righteous, is he at all advantaged by it. He is neither the worse for our sins committed against him; nor the better, tho' we should make our ways perfect before him. And whatever our carriage is, he unchangeably remains the same blessed God forever more. How impossible is it then, that we should merit at his hands! If he receives nothing from us, if he is nothing bettered by any goodness of our's, all tho't of desert must be totally laid aside; especially that most vain of all imaginations, the pretence of merit­ing so great a reward from God as heaven, and the everlasting blessedness of it.

BUT tho' all claim of reward upon the foot of works, in point of merit, must be forever excluded; yet are they far from being useless. And works of charity may properly be considered as having some [Page 11] influence on the bestowment of blessedness, at the judgment-day. And their influence seems to lie in this, that they are among those fruits of faith and love, which, as there is opportunity therefor, are made requisite, in the gospel-covenant, in order to our be­ing qualified for the rewards of the heavenly kingdom. It having pleased God, of his meer mercy, upon the account of Christ, for his sake, and in virtue of his merits, to make the promise of heavenly everlasting blessedness to persons so and so qualified, our having "fed the hungry, and cloathed the naked," and this, from a principle of faith that has wrought in these effects of love, operates to our advantage, at the judg­ment, as it declares us to be the persons that are qualified, according to the gospel-scheme, for the kingdom, God has prepared from the foundation of the world.

WHEN therefore our Saviour, in the text, pro­nounces the happy sentence on the righteous, "come ye blessed of my Father"—, and adds this account of the matter, "FOR I was an hungred, and ye gave me meat"—, his design is, not to point out the proper cause, the meritorious ground, of this reward; but the connection the gospel has made between the reward, and the way to it. He would hereby, in the strongest manner, give us to understand, the necessity of deeds of charity in order to an admission to future [Page 12] blessedness; and that there can be no such thing, ac­cording to the constitution of the gospel-covenant, as our being tho't meet, at the general judgment, to in­herit the kingdom of God, unless we are the subjects of that faith, which has wro't by love, not only love to God, but to our brother also, evidencing it's reality by all proper acts of beneficence, as there has been opportunity therefor.

IN a word, the chief thing aimed at by our Lord is, to assert the absolute and indispensible necessity of deeds of charity, so far as God gives opportunity; to declare it, in the most solemn and formal manner, that if we have this world's goods, and are of such a temper as that we can "see our brother have need, and shut up our bowels of compassion from him," we shall in no wise be counted worthy, at the judg­ment-day, to receive the sentence, "come, ye blessed of my father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world"!—But I may not enlarge any further here. To go on,

II. THE second thing observable in the text, is the particular and distinct mention of deeds of charity, rather than any other. "I was an hungred, and ye ye gave me meat; I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink",—You observe, deeds of charity are the on­ly [Page 13] ones our Lord his instanced in. And these are sin­gled out, and mentioned with particularity, and dis­tinctness.

"Not but that many (as one expresses it) will be found at the right hand of Christ, who never were in a capacity to "feed the hungry, or cloth the naked"; but were themselvs both fed and cloathed by the charity of others." 'Tis particularly recorded of Lazarus a poor beggar, so reduced as to desire to be "fed with the crumbs which fell from Dives's ta­ble", that, when he died, he was "carried by the angels to Abraham's bosom". And, to say the least, as great numbers from among the poor, as from among the rich, will hereafter be admitted into the kingdom of our Lord Jesus Christ.

NEITHER may we think, because works of charity are here particularly mentioned, that other good works are needless; or that these will atone for the want of the other. Charity is not here singled out to exclude the concurrence of other christian virtues. We may not imagine, that 'tis of little consi­deration how a man lives in other respects, if he is but bountiful in his distributions to the necessitous. No; how pleasing soever the sacrifice of alms may be to [Page 14] the Father of mercies, 'twill be of no account, another day, if we are negligent of our duty in other regards. We must be pious towards God, sober as to ourselves, and righteous, as well as charitable, towards our neigh­bour: Nor otherwise shall we, at the judgment, be pronounced "good and faithful servants," and be bid to "enter into the joy of our Lord."

BUT if other works besides charitable ones are thus necessary, why, you will say, are these latter sin­gled out, and distinguished, as it were, from the rest?

SEVERAL good reasons may be assigned for this; and they are these that follow.

ONE may be obviously collected from the very sentence itself, which is here passed on the righteous. For 'tis a sentence of mercy; pronounced, not ac­cording to the rigors of justice, but the allowances of grace. Our Lord and Judge is now exercising the most illustrious act of grace towards righteous men: And what works so proper to be particularly mention­ed by name as works of mercy? At such a time as this, there seems to be a special fitness in our Saviour's taking a distinct notice of the charitable deeds, which good men have done, in obedience to his gospel, and in relief of those who needed their compassion.

[Page 15] IT ought also to be remembred, that deeds of cha­rity are often performed in so secret a manner, that they will never be known, unless they are revealed at the day of judgment. Many good men so punctually, in many cases, observe the direction of their Lord, that they suffer not their "left hand to know what their right hand does," in the article of "giving alms," Their good deeds to the distressed members of Jesus Christ lie concealed from the knowledge of the world. 'Tis not imagined, and would scarcely be believed, how frequently, and with what liberality, they make distributions to the necessities of the saints. And is it fit so much goodness should forever be buried in se­crecy? It shall not, but, according to the promise of Christ himself, be opened to the world, and rewarded. So we read, Matt. vi. 3, 4. "When thou dost alms, let not thy left hand know what thy right hand doth, that thine alms may be in secret: And thy Father, which seeth in secret, himself shall reward thee openly." Our Lord might, probably, have in view this promised reward; so wording his account of the judgment, as to assure good men, that all their deeds of charity should then be openly acknowledged, and particularly related, to their eternal honor, before the general assembly of men and angels.

ANOTHER reason of this conduct of our Lord might be, the great stress he has laid upon the duty [Page 16] of charity, in the new-testament-writings. Of all the duties we owe to our neighbour, there is no one, per­haps, in the whole system of christian morality, that is more particularly, frequently, and pressingly ur­ged upon us. That we should love one another, not in profession only, but with a love expressing itself in all instances of beneficence, was the great message the Son of God came into the world to deliver to us. So we are told, 1 John iii. 2. "This is the message ye have heard from the beginning, that ye should love one another." The law of love, as discovering itself "in deed and in truth, and not in word and tongue" only, is emphatically the law of christianity. Says our Saviour, John xv. 12. "This is MY command­ment, that ye love one another." Says the apostle Paul in his name, Col. iii. 14, "Above all these things put on charity." And the apostle John so connects the duty of loving one another with the first and great du­ty of loving God, that if we do not love one another, neither can we love God. His words are these, 1 John iii. 17. "But whoso hath this world's goods, and seeth his brother have need, and shutteth up his bowels of compassion from him, how dwelleth the love of God in him"? The manner of diction im­ports a most vehement denial. It does not dwell in him, be his pretences what they will. In fine, this charity is made so to enter into the very being of christianity itself, as that, without it, we are not allow­ed [Page 17] the character of real christians. To this purpose we read. 1 John iii. 10. "In this the children of God are manifest, and the children of the devil; whosoever doth not righteousness is not of God: neither he that loveth not his brother." So in the 14th ver. "We know that we have passed from death to life, because we love the brethren: He that loveth not his bro­ther, abideth in death." Vast stress, you see, is laid upon this duty of love, not the name, but the thing, that is to say, love as it discovers itself in all proper deeds of charity. And we are herefrom taught the pertinency of the distinguishing notice our Saviour takes, at the general judgment, of this kind of deeds. It cannot be thought strange, that he should thus sin­gle them out, since they are so emphatically particu­larized in the gospel, and spoken of as necessary in order to an acquittance at the bar of judgment.

MOREOVER, deeds of charity, springing from a principle of love, are a sure proof of our being uni­versally qualified for the rewards of God's heavenly kingdom. For our whole duty, both to God and man, is nothing but love diversified in its working.

WHAT is our duty to God but love varied in its actings? It is the root of all holy obedience to him, and seminally comprehends it all. The apostle John [Page 18] therefore observes, 1 John v. 3. "This is the love of God, that we keep his commandments." And, if our love be real and hearty, it will express itself in a dutiful regard to him as our King and God, in a stea­dy care to observe whatsoever he has commanded.

AND the same may be said of love to our neigh­bour. It includes in it virtually all the offices of justice and charity, and whatever duty we are obliged to, with reference to one another. So we are expresly taught by the apostle Paul, in Rom. xiii. 8. "Owe no man any thing but to love one another; for he that loveth another hath fulfilled the law." It fol­lows in the two next verses, "Thou shalt not com­mit adultery, thou shalt not kill"—; and if there be any other commandment, it is briefly comprehended in this saying, namely, thou shalt love thy neighbour as thy self.—Therefore love is the fulfilling of the law."

So that where love is, that love which expresses itself in deeds of charity to the poor members of Christ, there no other christian grace can be totally wanting. Our Saviour therefore, by mentioning deeds of charity, as springing from love, has done the same thing in effect, as if he had mentioned every thing else.

[Page 19] IN fine, another reason, why our Saviour takes such distinguishing notice of acts of charity may be, because he looks upon every one of them as a kind­ness done to himself. And this leads me to the next thing to be discoursed to from the text; and that is,

III. The endearing manner in which he speaks of deeds of charity. "I was an hungred, and ye gave me meat; I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink," and so on. What is done by the righteous, in a way of charitable distributions to the distressed members of Christ, he graciously speaks of as done to himself. For this is the meaning of the words, as our Lord has himself explained them. For 'tis observable, when the great Judge of the world had said, "come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you,—for I was an hungred, and ye gave me meat"—; The righteous, to whom he had thus ap­plied, filled with humble wonder, to find such poor and worthless services of their's, so graciously ow [...]d and amply rewarded, break forth in the following admiring address to their King and Judge, "Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, and fed thee? or thirsty, and gave thee drink? when saw we thee a stranger, and took the in"—? To which our Savi­our makes the astonishing answer, in the latter part of my text, "Verily, I say unto you, inasmuch as ye [Page 20] have done it unto one of the least of these my bre­thren, ye have done it unto me." Me indeed, in my own person, ye have not relieved, refreshed, and com­forted; but these offices of charity ye have done to my brethren, to those I am nearly related to, and ten­derly concerned for: And what ye have thus done to them, even the least of them, I take kindly at your hands, looking upon it with the like friendly regard, as if done to myself.

O WONDERFUL condescension of the Son of God, our Saviour and Judge! That he should take any no­tice of the charities of such poor, imperfect, selfish creatures, deserves our humble and grateful acknow­ledgments; but that he should make so great account of them, esteem them as so many kind services done to his own person, speak of them as such openly in the face of all angels and men, and admit us here­upon to the rewards of grace in his Fathers heavenly and eternal kingdom;—it is unspeakably astonishing! Nothing could have been said more powerfully adap­ted to convey an idea of the warmth and strength of the grace of Christ towards men▪ and we must be lost to all sense of ingenuity, if our hearts are not touched with it.

[Page 21] BUT that we may be led into a right understand­ing of this language of our Lord and Judge, and con­ceive aright of the propriety of his saying, "inasmuch as ye have done it to the least of my brethren, ye have done it to me," let it be observed,

THAT, as he was pleased to become a partaker of flesh and blood, in fashion as a man, mankind in common are his brethren. Their relation to him as such arises from his being a man, like as we are, sin only excepted. And in consequence of his possessing manhood, he may properly be considered as, in some measure, interested both in the joys and sorrows of them, who, in common with him, partake of the same nature. He is accordingly spoken of, Heb. iv. 15. as "an high-priest, who could be touched with the feeling of our infirmities." What is done to us may, in a sense, on account of his alliance to humanity, be said to be done to him.

BUT there is an higher and more glorious sense, in which the words of our Lord may be understood. As we are christians, not in profession, and appearance only, but in reality and truth, we are, in the moral and religious sense, whatever nation or kindred we are of, members of that body of which Jesus Christ is the head. The inspired pen-men often set the [Page 22] matter before us in this light. 1 Cor. xii. 12, 13. "For as the body is one, and hath many members, and all the members of the body, being many mem­bers, are one body: So also is Christ. For by one spirit we are baptized into one body." In like man­ner, it is observed of believers, ver. 27th, "Ye are the body of Christ, and members in particular." Now, according to the reasoning, in this same chapter, 26th ver. "Whether one member suffer, all the members suffer with it; or one member be honored, all the members rejoice with it." And as Christ is the head of the body, the church, it is eminently true, with respect to him, that he is a sharer with its seve­ral members in their joys and griefs. As they are parts of his body, it cannot be but he should have a tender sympathy with them.

'TIS in allusion to this manner of speaking, not in­frequently used in scripture, that what is done to the disciples of Christ, is represented as done to himself. In this point of light, we are, at once, let into the meaning of that surprizing voice from heaven, Acts ix. 4, 5. "Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou me?—I am Jesus whom thou persecutest." In the same light, we may readily see the propriety, and force, of that remarkable passage, in the gospel, "Whosoever shall give to drink unto one of these little ones, a cup [Page 23] of cold water only in the name of a disciple, verily I say unto you, he shall in no wise lose his reward." And 'tis with a view to the same consideration of good men as the body of Christ, that he says, "I was an hungred, and ye gave me meat; I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink."—And again, "Verily I say unto you, inasmuch as ye have done it to the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me."

HAVING, with as much brevity as I could, gone over the several particulars proposed to be considered, there is time to turn the discourse into a serious exhortation, calling upon my self and you to abound in deeds of charity. Nor can the wisdom of men or angels present to our view, for our quickning and encouragement, stronger arguments than those con­tained in my text. Our Saviour and Judge will ac­cept it kindly of us, if we open our hearts at the cry of his needy disciples, and stretch forth our hands to their relief. Yea, he will reckon it an act of bene­ficence done to himself, and acknowledge it as such before the general assembly at the great day. And can we withstand so moving, so endearing, a conside­ration? Where, in that case, is our love to the Sa­viour, our best friend, and greatest benefactor? Was our dear Lord now on earth, and could we behold him, with our bodily eyes, in a suffering state, as he once was, should we think any thing too much to [Page 24] part with for his comfort? Let us make it appear, that we should not, by ministring to the necessities of poor saints. In this way, we may now minister even to Christ himself. For he is the head of that body, of which believers, however poor and needy, are parts; and the kindness we show them, we show it constructively to him: Yea, there is no office of love we can express towards them, even the meanest of them, but our Lord will take it as though personally done to himself. O the astonishing stupidity of those men, who are not made willing, by this constraining motive, to do good, as they have opportunity, and ability, to the houshold of faith!

IF this should be the truth with respect to any of us, let us look forward to the coming day of judg­ment, and know, that our admission to the rewards of an eternal kingdom is essentially connected with that "love to the brethren," which will show it self in all suitable instances of beneficence towards them. The inquiry, at the judgment, will be, what have been our charities, in obedience to the gospel? What disttributions have we made to Christ's poor, which we have always had with us to move our commisera­tion? Nor will it be in our power to give a good ac­count of ourselves, if we cannot say, that we have fed the hungry, and cloathed the naked, in some pro­portion [Page 25] according to the ability God has given us. It will not then avail us, tho' we should have done no hurt, if we have done no good. It will not then suffice, that we have been fair and honest in our dealings, that we have been sober and temperate in our enjoyments, or that we have appeared zealous and devout towards God, if, at the same time, we have been heard-hear­ted and uncharitable; if, while we have had it by us, we have said to our poor neighbour, "go, and come again to morrow, and I will give thee"; if, while we have had ability, we have said to this and the other "brother and sister, when naked, or destitute of daily food, depart in peace, be ye warmed, be ye filled, and have not given them those things which are needful for the body."

IT may be worthy of our particular notice, and most solemn remembrance, that the dreadful curse spoken of, in the context, as denounced against the wicked, is grounded on their neglect of deeds of cha­rity. "Depart from me ye cursed; for I was an hungred, and ye gave me no meat; I was thirsty, and ye gave me no drink," and so on. They were, no doubt, sinners in other respects; [the want of charity is commonly accompanied with many other sins] but their uncharitableness only is mentioned by name; and 'tis on this account, in special, that they are doomed to "the fire prepared for the devil and his angels."

[Page 26] Do we, my brethren, believe a coming day of judgment? Do we expect to see the Son of man de­scending from heaven, in great glory, with his holy angels, to summon both quick and dead to an appear­ance before his tribunal? Let us prove our faith by our works. "To do good and communicate, let us not forget; for with such sacrifices God is well plea­sed." Do we hope to be found at the right hand of our Judge, when he shall "appear a second time without sin unto salvation"? Let us then be "rich in good works, ready to distribute, willing to com­municate": So shall we "lay up in store for our selves a good foundation against that time, and shall lay hold on eternal life."

THE blessed sentence, we have heard, will, at the judgment-day, be pronounced on those, and only those, who have "fed the hungry, and cloathed the naked." If therefore we have not, when God has given us ability and opportunity, done these kind offices to the distressed in Christ, and are conscious to our selves that we have been thus uncharitable, we can be at no loss to determine, that we are not in the number of those, concerning whom the great King and Judge of the world will say, at his appear­ing, "come, ye blessed of my father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you, from the foundation of the world."

[Page 27] SURELY, if we had faith in a judgment to come, and did but realize the advantage, the unspeakable and everlasting advantage, it would then be to us, to have abounded in deeds of charity, we should not be disposed to "with-hold more than is meet," as we too commonly are. 'Tis a certain truth, however backward we may be to admit it, that the best thing we can do with "the mammon of unrighteous­ness" is, to "make to ourselves friends of it," by employing it to the uses of charity, that "when we sail, they may receive us to everlasting habitations." We are hardly brought to believe it, but 'tis a gospel truth, that we then most consult our own interest, when we do the most good with our estates. We may, in this way constructively remit them to another world, where we may enjoy the benefit of them forever. Every deed of charity, springing from a principle of faith in Christ, and love to God and our neighbour, is as so much treasure laid up in heaven. We may be ready to think, all that is done this way is lost, esteeming it as "bread cast upon the waters." as the wise man speaks; but we shall "find it again after many days: perhaps, in this world, without a possibility of failure in the coming eternal world. The least good we do to the least disciple of Christ, done in faith and love, shall be remembred, and taken notice of, by him at the judgment, and amply rewarded. And the more good we do, the more distinguishingly glorious will [Page 28] the sentence of our Judge be, when he bids us "enter into the joys of our Lord."

SOME, perhaps, may be ready to find fault with me for not bringing a discourse better fitted to the de­signs of a communion-day. But it ought to be re­membred, our being hereafter admitted to set down at the eternal supper of the Lamb, in God's heavenly kingdom, is connected, in the text I have been upon, even by our Saviour himself, with the regard we have paid to that duty of charity I have been recommending.

AND 'tis observable, that very death, which we commemorate, at the holy supper, was owing to cha­rity in the blessed Jesus to the perishing sons of men, greater charity than was ever before expressed in this world of our's, or ever will be expressed again. And the supper, at which we are about to communicate, is an appointed memorial of this very charity of our Saviour and Lord: Nor can we suitably remember his death, without remembring that charity of his, which made him willing to undergo this death for our eternal good.

AND 'tis, moreover, a feast of charity that we are about to attend. And if we would attend it aright, it must be in the exercise of that charity, which will in­fluence us to "love one another, even as Christ loved us," when he "gave himself an offering for our sins."

[Page 29] BESIDES all which, the subject I have been upon is, at this time, the more seasonable, as, in the provi­dence of God, there is an opportunity, and a fair call, to present to your view an illustrious instance of one of those righteous ones, of whose deeds of charity to the poor, we have reason to believe, our Redeemer will take particular notice, at the great day of judgment, and publish to the general assembly of angels and men to his eternal honor.

YOUR thoughts, I doubt not, are at once fixed on that dear brother of our's, and friend of Christ and the poor, who departed this life yesterday Morn­ing.

WHAT is said upon such occasions is sometimes apt to give disgust, as being esteemed a compliment to the dead, rather than their just character. But, in the present case, I am in no fear of giving offence, the person I am to speak of was so unexceptionable, so unenvied unless for his goodness, and so univer­sally well spoken of, both while living, and now he is dead.

IT was his glory and happiness, that he began early to seek and serve God; and he made good progress in religion, exemplifying in his temper, and conduct, the things that were virtuous and praise­worthy.

[Page 30] HE had upon his mind an habitual awe and rever­ence of the great God; was a man of undissembled piety; prayerful and devout; conscientious in his ob­servation of the Lord's day; a constant serious at­tendant on all the institutions of gospel-worship; a bright pattern of meekness and humility, patience and subjection to the Father of spirits; remarkable for his regard to justice, which he ever discovered in the fair­ness in his dealings, punctual veracity to his word; for his uprightness and integrity; his generous and public spirit; his plain-heartedness and simplicity; his free­dom from deceit and guile; his disregard to the pomps and vanities of the world; his peaceable, inoffensive and kind carriage towards all men.

HE was of an active spirit, diligent in business; but did not pursue it to the neglect of the one thing need­ful. His share of this world's goods, the fruit of his own labour, under the divine blessing, was very con­siderable; but he did not keep it to himself. He "honored the Lord with his substance"; chearfully embracing the opportunities providence put into his hands of relieving the necessities of the poor. He was "rich in good works, ready to distribute, willing to communicate": Tho' how often he did so is not fully known, nor will it be known, till the day of the re­velation of Jesus Christ. And what added much to the beauty and value of his charities, he dispensed them [Page 31] without noise and bustle, without shew or ostentation; not seeking, not regarding, the praise of men, and con­cerned chiefly to approve himself to his great Lord and Judge. He was, in a word, one of those "good men for whom (as the apostle Paul speaks) one would even dare to die." He "gave much alms to the people," and they went up "for a memorial before God."

HE was, as might be expected of such a man, re­conciled to the thoughts of death, willing to be "ab­sent from the body," as hoping he should go to "be with Christ, which is best of all. And when Christ shall come in the clouds of heaven, in great glory, and his holy angels with him, to judge the quick and dead, then we shall, I trust, see this his servant at his right hand; and that, we have reason to believe, will be the sentence, he will pronounce on him, "Come, thou blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world: For I was an hungry, and thou gavest me meat; I was thirsty, and thou gavest me drink; I was a stranger, and thou took­est me in; naked, and thou cloathedst me; I was sick and thou visitedst me; in prison, and thou camest unto me: Inasmuch as thou hast done these things to these and those of my brethren, thou hast done it unto me."

WE cannot wish any thing better for the children, and the children's children, than a double portion of [Page 32] the same spirit that rested on their father! And may they all be blessings in the world, and do worthily for God in their day and generation!

AND may we of this church suitably resent this repeated stroke of God's hand upon us▪ within so short a time! We have lost a true friend, and a liberal be­nefactor; and our poor, one who was as a father to them. The Lord is hereby thinning our glory, and weakening our strength. "Help Lord, for the godly man ceaseth, the faithful fail from among us." Instead of the fathers, may there be the children, to supply their place, and continue this church to the second coming of our Lord Jesus Christ!

LET us be concerned to follow those who through faith, and patience, and charity are gone to inherit the promises. Let us labour that we may abound in every good work doing all the good we can especially to the houshold of faith. Let us deal our bread to the hun­gry, and draw out our souls to the distressed: So will our Lord Jesus Christ, when he appears to judge the world in righteousness, place us at his own right hand, pronounce us blessed in the audience of all angels, and the whole race of men, and give us an open and an abundant entrance into God's everlasting kingdom. AMEN.

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