Now have you acted up to this surrender of your all to Christ, especially in relation to the duty of beneficence? In that impressive hour, did you make a mental reservation, withholding certain sources of private gratification,—the privilege of using your property as you pleased, of seeing yourself and family supplied with the conveniences, the comforts, and even the luxuries of life, ere you attended to the cries of the myriads sinking to woes unutterable for the want of Gospel light? Were you thus unfeeling? Did you think to deceive the heart-searching Jesus? Oh, no! I cannot believe it; and you are appalled at the suspicion. But what did you mean by those all-surrendering vows? What do you mean, often as you renew them at the sacramental board? Let the question come home to your conscience; what do you mean? If they lead you not to hold your property at the call of God, ought you not to tremble lest you never gave yourself away, and are, therefore, with all your professions an heir of hell? Did Christ once weep over covenant-breaking Jerusalem? Does he not now weep over you, as he thinks of all his agonies to rescue you from unquenchable fire; of your voluntary vows; your unfaithfulness; and your mockery, as perhaps you have prayed that the kingdoms of the world might speedily become his; while amid your numerous comforts, you have refused to deny yourself scarce a convenience, or even superfluity, for the salvation of those whom he died to redeem? How inconsistent! Well might tears still bathe the Saviour’s cheeks. Oh think, are these the kind returns you owe for pardoning love? It is unreasonable that you spend your worldly goods for him, who shed his blood for you? Go, I beseech you, to your closet, and there plead, till from the heart you can say: “Lord, here I am and all I have. Take the worthless sacrifice, now and forever.”
Will the rich, they who have enough and abound, reject this rational scheme of principles, feelings, actions? What treatment is this of the compassionate Giver of your abundance? Do you not owe to him alike your being and possessions? Perhaps you refuse to give even yourselves to him; and employ to private ends those bodily and mental powers with which you are endowed for his service. Is not this robbing God? And how is it with the favors of his hand? Have not the crucibles of your selfish hearts melted and moulded them into household gods? As the streams of Providence have poured in upon you to overflowing, instead of dispersing abroad as God intended, have you not carefully enlarged your own reservoirs so as to retain the whole? Thus grasping all that lies within your reach of that wealth which God has created for the advancement of his kingdom, have you not withheld it from its appropriate channel, and thus become doubly guilty of robbing God?
What a spectacle do you present to holy intelligences! They behold you rational and accountable beings like themselves; upheld in existence by Jehovah’s mercy, partaking freely of his bounties, and treasuring up future supplies; but resolutely refusing to share your abundance with the perishing, even when the generosity required would but enhance your personal enjoyment. And yet, perchance, you are the professed followers of the compassionate Jesus. Dare you compare your spirit and conduct with his?