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THE POOR.

THE POOR.

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Published by GLENN DALE PEASE

BY THOMAS GUTHRIE, D.D.



" If a brother or sister be naked, and
destitute of daily food, and one of
you say unto them, Depart in
peace, be ye warmed and filled i
notwithstanding ye give them not
those things which are needful to
the body ; what doth it profit f "
ST JAMES ii. 15, 16.

BY THOMAS GUTHRIE, D.D.



" If a brother or sister be naked, and
destitute of daily food, and one of
you say unto them, Depart in
peace, be ye warmed and filled i
notwithstanding ye give them not
those things which are needful to
the body ; what doth it profit f "
ST JAMES ii. 15, 16.

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Published by: GLENN DALE PEASE on Jul 30, 2014
Copyright:Traditional Copyright: All rights reserved

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THE POOR. BY THOMAS GUTHRIE, D.D. " If a brother or sister be naked, and destitute of daily food, and one of you say unto them, Depart in peace, be ye warmed and filled i notwithstanding ye give them not those things which are needful to the body ; what doth it profit f " ST JAMES ii. 15, 16. THERE are elements in nature which, though not always apparent to the senses, pervade, and, pervading, affect every substance. Heat, for instance. There is warmth even in ice, cold as it feels ; heat as well in the icicles that hang from his thatch as in the glowing iron the smith, amid a shower of sparks, hammers on his ringing anvil; fire not only in the sun, in the blazing grate, there where swarthy men tap the furnace, and molten iron rolls forth like liquid gold, but fire 232 THE POOR. also, though asleep, and waiting the touch of steel, in the cold and coal black flint. ever dead, nor even altogether dormant, this all-pervading element is everywhere active ; the seeds and eggs which lie buried in the frozen soil owing to it their life, and the great ocean its fluidity the waves that roar or ripple on its shores, the path it offers to our keels, and the innumerable myriads,
 
from whales to shrimps, that people its depths and shallows. There are also laws in nature which, though often working in secrecy and silence, are domi- nant in every place and acting on every substance the law of gravitation, for instance. We may recognise it only in its more striking displays : in the spheres where planets roll ; in the orbit which our earth describes around the sun ; in the skies, where the eagle, pierced by feathery arrow or bullet, and leaving for ever its airy fields, drops dead, like a stone, at our feet ; or on the moun- tain, where some rock, leaping from its lofty base, rushes down into the valley with the speed of lightning and the roar of thunder. Still, this law affects as well the mote of the sunbeam as the THE POOR. 233 sun, and alike shapes the tear on an infant's cheek and the stars in heaven ; it is there, running in the sands of an hour-glass ; there, sounding in the tinkling of the tiniest rill ; and by the same power that bends the tail of a fiery comet and its path back to the sun, it bends the neck of a snowdrop, and thereby preserves from perishing the herald and harbinger of spring. As it is with such elements and laws in the kingdoms of nature, it is with the presence and influence of religion in a good man's life. It may not be always apparent, but it should be always present its influence felt where it is not seen. Often, like those greatest powers of nature, heat and light, and electricity and magnetism, acting
 
silently sometimes, like the will when moving our lips to form words, or our limbs to produce motion, acting unconsciously yet always acting ; so that in everything we do, in every step we take, in every duty we discharge, though it cannot be said with strict propriety that all our actions are religious, yet none are contrary to religion, and all of them are done religiously. Is not this just the mark at which St Paul teaches us to aim in saying, 234 THE POOR. (< Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God ?" Doing so, human life, in its lowliest spheres, from man's cradle onward to his grave, or rather from his con- version to his death, may be made one long, con- tinuous, noble, religious service ; more sublime than any poem John Milton wrote ; more instruc- tive than any sermon of the greatest preacher ; and more acceptable far to God than any services performed within dead stone walls, amid cathedral pomp, and before ten thousand spectators. ow, in the whole range of duties there is none which, if not strictly religious, and, in the highest sense of the expression, a religious service, is more nearly allied to religion, and should be more under its presiding and holy influence, than that charity to the poor which is plainly dictated, and indeed powerfully enforced, in the question, " If a brother or sister be naked, and destitute of daily food, and one of you say unto them, Depart in peace, be ye warmed and filled ; notwithstanding ye give them not those things which are needful to the body, what doth it profit ?" Religion imposes

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