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ble heart; a heart that felt deeply for the woes of humanity. And, filled with the same spirit which actuated our Saviour,. this good man set about doing what he could for the alleviation of these woes. He went from prison to prison, and from dungeon to dungeon, cheering the hearts of the poor captives, and doing all he could to render their situations happier. In this manner he spent his fortune and his time, and, no doubt, he is now receiving his reward.
I have also read of a very benevolent female, who lived many hundred years ago, who used to make coats and garments for the poor; and when she died, many poor widows were found weeping over her. She was then probably unknown, except in a small circle, and was far from aspiring to honor and fame. Yet her name has been handed down, while the names of many who aspired to fame and glory have been lost in oblivion. They built monuments and splendid edifices, fought battles, and murdered their thousands of human beings She visited the poor, and
to earn a name.
comforted and clothed the widow, and her name is now well known, and venerated. If you would ascertain who this female is, turn to the ninth chapter of Acts, and the thirty-sixth verse.
At the present day, instances of great benevolence are not uncommon. For proof of this, I might point you to the men who have originated and sustained so many benevolent societies and institutions; I might point you to the missionaries of the cross, who have renounced all the blessings of civilized life, that they may preach the gospel to the heathen; and I might also point you to the active, self-denying Chris⚫tian, at home. But still, there are many men who are not actuated by this high and holy principle; men, who think that all they can lay their hands upon is their own, and leave others, less favored of God, to pine away in want. But let us see if we may not learn a lesson from nature on this subject. Look at that tree. Its widespread roots convey from the earth that which gives it life and beauty; while its branches receive the gentle dew and warm
showers of heaven. But it also gives, as well as receives. Its leaves and blossoms load the air with sweet perfume; it opens its branches and gives the little bird a home; and it yields to man its delicious fruit. And in the fall, when winter drives the bird from its branches, and when its fruit is all gathered, not willing even then to be useless, it scatters its leaves around, to fertilize and enrich the soil.
Take another example. While I now write, the sun has gone down behind the western hills, and darkness covers the earth. But yonder moon, still receiving the light of the sun, begins to shed her rays upon us, and thus, in a degree, answers the purpose of the orb of day. There is no selfishness here. She receives her light from the sun, but is ready to impart it to us, when we are in darkness. Let this teach us to give as well as receive.
I will mention but one more illustration of benevolence from nature. You are aware that in Egypt it very seldom rains. To prevent the consequences that would naturally result from this, Providence has
prepared a remedy. Far back in the interior, there is a mountainous country, watered by copious rains. But when God causes it to rain there, it is not simply to water these barren mountains, while Egypt, with its millions of inhabitants, is left to parch for want of rain. No, there is no such selfishness in nature or in nature's God. The vast quantity of water which falls upon these mountains, finds its way into the river Nile, making it overflow its banks, thus inundating the land around, and causing the husbandman to rejoice.
And why should man remain selfish? Suppose the moon should refuse to give its accustomed light; suppose the well-watered mountain should drink in all the water that descends upon it, and leave the thirsty valley to waste in drought and sterility; suppose the tree should drive the happy bird from its branches, and refuse to yield its fruit; do you think these things would be more contrary to God's designs, than for man to shut up his heart in himself, and be ever receiving, but never giving?
Now turn from these pleasant scenes,
and contemplate a different one. See that miser. All his life long he has been hoarding up gold; and often he has denied himself many of the necessaries and comforts of life, that he might have the more wealth to treasure. As to benevolence, he knows not what it is. He may have heard of it, but he never practised it. Indeed, he wonders that any one can be so foolish as to give his hard earnings to others. "His heart is as firm as a stone; yea, as hard as a piece of the nether millstone." But now he is soon to die. As he goes down into the valley of the shadow of death, he clings more firmly to his bags of gold, for they are all that he possesses. But he must now leave them; and after casting many a wishful eye towards them, he at length dies as he has lived,-like the brute. And now, poor and naked, he goes to give up his last account. O, what a fearful account it is!
Thus have lived, and thus have died, many men; and thus are many still living. Young reader, do you desire to add one more to this number? If you do not, then