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when you ran to do some errand for her, or to procure something which she needed? Do you not remember when you dropped your only piece of money into the "charitybox," to be given to the destitute in heathen lands? These are indeed green spots upon your memory; and they tell you that "it is more blessed to give than to receive." Yes, though you are young, you all know, I doubt not, the sweet pleasure a benevolent deed affords. The following anecdote happily illustrates this. Not long ago, a man in England, who had spent all his substance in riotous living, determined to commit suicide. On his way to the water, where he expected to drown his sorrows, he met a little girl, who stopped him, to tell of her hunger, her sick mother, and her desolate home, and to beg for relief. His heart was touched by the artless story of the little sufferer, and he put his hand into his pocket, to relieve her wants. He had no farther use of money, and he emptied all he had into the hand of the child, without counting it. As he beheld the grateful smile of the little girl, on receiving relief,
his own heart was moved, for it was the first time he ever knew the luxury of doing good. Instead of carrying out his design. of suicide, he returned home, a different and a benevolent man.
"The blessing of him that was ready to perish," is no unenviable reward. The benevolent man knows what it is. It has often caused his own heart to beat with joy, and given him far more pleasure than if he had spent his money for his own gratification. Happy is he who can say, with righteous Job, "I delivered the poor that cried, and the fatherless, and him that had none to help him. I caused the widow's heart to sing for joy. I was eyes to the blind, and feet was I to the lame. I was a father to the poor."
But this is not the only reward of the benevolent man. God has said, "Cast thy bread upon the waters, for thou shalt find it after many days;" "The liberal soul shall be made fat, and he that watereth shall be watered himself;" and, "He that giveth unto the poor shall not lack." Like the barrel of meal and the cruise of oil
from which the poor widow gave to Elijah, so the stores of the benevolent man are often increased in proportion as he gives to the needy. Our Saviour told his disciples that whosoever gave them a cup of cold water, should not lose his reward. The first part of the forty-first psalm, also, heaps blessings on the head of him that considereth the poor, declaring that God will deliver him, and preserve him, and strengthen him on his bed of languishing, and make all his bed in his sickness. Behold the reward which God will bestow on the benevolent man! Who does not desire to participate in it?
Before I close this chapter, I have one caution to give you. Benevolence is such a beautiful trait of character, that men sometimes counterfeit it. I will mention two ways in which this is done. See that poor old man, bowed down by infirmity and years. He sees a group of boys yonder, and he hobbles up to them, to beg a a few cents with which to buy some food. Immediately one of them steps forward, and takes a piece of money from his pocket, which he hands to him. He is the child
of wealthy parents, and has more money than most of his playmates; consequently, he did not practise much self-denial in his benevolence. When he returns home, he informs his parents and his brothers and sisters of his benevolent act, expecting to receive commendation from them. He is also careful that none of his playmates shall remain ignorant of it. Now, this is counterfeiting benevolence. The boy did not give his money because he sympathized with the poor man, but because he wished his playmates and friends to regard him as benevolent. The ancient Pharisees acted on the same principle. When they gave alms, they would "sound a trumpet" before them, in the synagogues and in the streets, that they might have glory of men. But God abhors such a sacrifice. Far more acceptable to him is the "widow's mite,' offered in a right spirit, than all the gold of the proud Pharisee. The latter may give all his goods to feed the poor, and his body to be burned, and yet have no true benevolence.
"Not always actions speak the man; we find,
Who does a kindness is not therefore kind."
No, it is not the action, but the heart, that God looks upon; and this the Pharisees seem to have forgotten. That we might avoid their sin, Christ has left us the direction and command, "Take heed that ye do not your alms before men, to be seen of them; otherwise ye have no reward of your Father which is in heaven. But when thou doest alms, let not thy left hand know what thy right hand doeth." And he concludes by telling us, that our Father who seeth in secret shall reward us openly.
But there is another counterfeit benevolence, which I will also illustrate. See that dying man,-his body racked with pain, and his spirit about to take its flight into another world. He has spent all his time and strength in laying up riches; but ah, he did not lay them up in the right place, and now he must part with them all. He has never known the blessedness of imparting aid to the helpless, and bread to the famishing. His whole soul has been wrapt up in self, and he has cared for no one else. But now heart and flesh begin to fail. He has carried his gold as far as