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Charity to the Poor.

Charity to the Poor.

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Published by GLENN DALE PEASE
BY REV. W. THISTLETHWAITE, M.A.



Deut. XV. 7.

If there be among you a poor man of one
of ihy brethren nnihin any of thy gates
tti ihy land which the Lord thy God giveth
ihee, ihou shált not hearden thy heart,
nor shut thy handfrom ihy poor brother,
BY REV. W. THISTLETHWAITE, M.A.



Deut. XV. 7.

If there be among you a poor man of one
of ihy brethren nnihin any of thy gates
tti ihy land which the Lord thy God giveth
ihee, ihou shált not hearden thy heart,
nor shut thy handfrom ihy poor brother,

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Published by: GLENN DALE PEASE on Oct 11, 2013
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CHARITY TO THE POOR.BY REV. W. THISTLETHWAITE, M.A.Deut. XV. 7.If there be among you a poor man of oneof ihy brethren nnihin any of thy gatestti ihy land which the Lord thy God givethihee, ihou shált not hearden thy heart,nor shut thy handfrom ihy poor brother,A VERY necessaiy aiid iinpoFtaiit subject ishere brought bef(»re jou, necessaiy to be con-sidered in onr expositions as a part of theJewish law, important in its application toboth rich and poor in all ages and onder allgovemments. Man's selfish nature hathneed of such a direct command as this, forthe unrenewed heart is ever wont to overlook or harden itself against the wants and woesof its fellow-creatures. Even when that sel-fishness is overcome by the grace of divineCHARITY TO THE POOR. 359love poured into the soul, yet this infectíon of nature in some degree remaineth ; and tliereare few wamings to which religious personsshould give more attention than such as these," Take heed and beware of covetousness."" Look not every man on his own things, butevery man also on the things of others."There are also few exhortations more neces-saiy for them than the foUowing, " Give ahnsof thy goods, and never tum thy face awayfix)m any poor man ;" " To do good andto distribute forget not ;" ^^ Remember thepoor."Moses is hereby ^ving directions as towhat should be the conduct of the Israelitesin this particular, when they should be estab-
 
lished in Canaan ; and I wish to considerwith you on this subjectI. The care which God took for the poor.II. The care which he took for the rich.I. In considering the first point, the carewhich God took for the poor we must notice,1. The settlement which he thought fit tomake of the property of tfae land, and hislaws respecting debts and slavery.360 CHARITY TO THE POOR.I have already considered these in a formersermon, and therefore shall only gire a brief recapitulation of them. The whole land of Canaan was held hy the Israelites subject toa singular regulation. o part of it conldpass, except for a short time, from one pos-sessor to another. It was to be umformlykept in the tribe and family to which it wasoriginally allotted. Besides this regulatioiirespecting the land, every seventh year wasto give a release from all debts which oneIsraelite owed to another. The same yeargave them liberty from slavery when oneIsraelite had been sold to another for a debtwhich he could not pay, or a crime which hehad committed, he regained his freedom inthe year of release.And although this law did not apply toslaves that were not of their own nation, yeteven in their case there were many veiymerciful enactments respecting them, widelydiffering from the cruelties exercised overthem by other nations, and even by theGreeks and Romans aílerwards in their high-est state of civilization.
 
CHARITY TO THE POOR* 3612. ext let us notice the relief whichthe Israelites were required to afford whentheir hrethren obtained their release froradebt or from slavery. The law respectingdebts migbt seem to operate to the disad-vantage of the poor. The rich might beunwiUÍBg, especially if -the year of releasewas near, to lend any thing to a distressedbrother, as thinking that it would never berepaid. Therefore the Lord says in theninth verse, "Beware that there be not athought in thy wicked heart, saying, Theseventh year, the year of release, is at hand;^nd thine eye be evil against thy poor bro-ther, and thou givest him nought, and hecry unto the Lord against thee, and it besin unto thee. Thou shalt surely give him,and thine heart shall not be grieved whenthou givest unto him." The same libera-lity was to be shewn to the bondman, whenhe again jeturned to his personal freedom.Thus we read in the thirteenth and foUow-ing verse- '^ And when thou sendest himout free from thee, thou shalt not let himgo away empty : thou shalt fumish himVOL. IV. R 362 CHARITY TO THE POOR.liberally out of thj flock, and out of thyfloor, and out of thy wine-press : of tbatwherewith the Lord thj God hath blessedthee thou shalt give unto him." They weretaught to ^o thus out of gratitude for God'smercy to them in deliveríng them from theirbondage in Egypt, -as we tead in the nextvetse, ^^ And thou shsdt remember that thoQwast a bondman in the land of Egypt, anclthe Lord th j God redeemed thee ; thereforeI command thee this thing to-day." More-

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