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loaves and fishes into sufficient nourishment for five thousand people: He, even He, our great Redeemer, has, in like manner, blessed the first humble beginnings of this Society. The Holy Spirit, in Unity with our Creator, and our Saviour, inspired the first thought of thus contributing to the general good; for from Him "all holy desires, all good counsels, and all just works do proceed.”
What desire can be more holy than to glorify God, by causing grateful praises to arise before His mercy-seat; when obeying His commandment to open wide our hand, and lend our neighbour what he wanteth? What counsel better than that, which leads us to put out to proper use, the only interest required by the Loan Society; a portion of the Mammon of unrighteousness; a part of our riches: that when we fail, they may receive us into everlasting habitations ?— What work more just; than to sustain, aid, and lend to, the industrious man, in his time of necessity; when his labours, and the laborious exertions of our poorer brethren, have so materially contributed to our own comforts?
Let us not prove unfaithful stewards of God's bounty; nor wrap our talent in a
napkin, or bury our untold wealth in useless heaps merely to increase
our own con
demnation at the day of final account. O may we not, like the rich man, in Hell, lift up our eyes in horrible despair, because here our hearts were closed! No! may we live, and die, in peace, from the blessed recollections of our Charity; may Hope smooth the pillow of death, and Faith exalt us unto Heaven!
"Be therefore merciful, even as your ye
Father is merciful.' "And as ye would that men should do unto you, do ye also to them likewise."
Who among us can be insensible of life's vicissitudes; who knows when misfortune may overcloud his brightest prospects?— Elate with pride Belshazzar revelled in his gay pavilions; the voice of harmony, the riotous cries of intemperance, sounded within his lofty roofs. But at that But at that very moment when he defied the living God, by using the hallowed cups of sacrifice in his drunken orgies the awful hand upon the wall told him his days were numbered, his kingdom given to another!
Then let us profit by the records of Sacred History; let holy Job's many sudden, and
unforeseen, calamities remind us how transient are the riches of this World: his final happiness impress upon our memory how lasting are the riches of benevolence.
Let us apply to the Loan Society these words of our Saviour Christ the Lord; "Blessed are the merciful; for they shall obtain mercy. Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God. Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called the children of God." And may the consolation of holy Job be applied, justly applied, to them, and to ourselves; "when the ear heard me, then it blessed me; and when the eye saw me, it gave witness unto me: because I delivered the poor, and the fatherless, and him that had none to help him. The blessing of him that was ready to perish came upon me, and I caused the widow's heart to sing for joy !"