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in ten years, when some old miser discloses, at his death, his long-cherished boards, and it becomes apparent that he had the good of no one individual in view, in thus heaping up his gains.

I demur, then, to S. M.'s principle, because, if admitted, those frequent denunciations of this sin, which are met with in every part of God's word, would appear to be useless and uncalled-for, since a case of covetousness was and is a matter of very rare occurrence. And if rare now, how much more rare must it have been among the followers of the fishermen of Galilee, who were yet, for some which upon this hypothesis must be inscrutable,perpetually warning their churches against what could scarce have had any possible existence among them.

3. But I have also observed, that the principle advocated is of an atheistic character. Let me wholly disavow all idea of imputing any general bias of this kind to the writer whose views I am combating. I would only observe, as an additional argument against the principle I am opposing,—that it can hardly be advocated without betraying the advocate into a tone of expression which is probably altogether abhorrent to the general current of his mind. Take one short passage of S. M.'s letter as an example :

“ But the season of prosperity is, as daily experience proves, of uncertain continuance : unforeseen reverses may occur; or the arresting hand of sickness may disable the parent from the pursuit of his business or profession. But even if health should be unbroken, and the blessing “ which maketh rich," should continue to crown bis labours, yet is life itself but “as a vapour,” and when, by a sudden,

or lingering stroke, the individual in question is removed by death from all earthly occupations, what will be the condition of his family, deprived in a moment of all their resources, destitute not only of their former comforts, but of the means of actual maintenance?

Here we have not a syllable about that God without whom not a hair of our head shall fall to the ground: but instead thereof, we have “sickness” and “death" elevated into independent existences, against the adverse influences of which the parent is necessitated to strive.

Rather different was the language of good old John Newton. Writing to Hannah More he says.

“ If I could relieve your cough by an act of mine, you would soon be well. The Lord could do this in a moment, but he does not; therefore, as you happily believe, the continuance of it must be best. When it shall be no longer necessary or salutary, he will remove it; for he delighteth in our prosperity; and they who love and trust him, are never in heaviness of any kind an hour sooner or longer than there is need for it.

The sort of language which is commonly used by the advocates for “ making a provision,” is atheistic in two ways.

1. It expresses disbelief in the continual and everpresent operation of God in his providence, as stated in his word. Is there evil in the city, and the Lord hath not done it?is the strong appeal of the prophet. But Christ himself is still more emphatic ; “ Are not two sparrows sold for a farthing ? and not one of them shall fall to the ground without your

1 Memoirs of Hannah More, vol. ii. p. 244.


Father. And even the very hairs of your head are all numbered.Do those persons really believe these things, who are ever dwelling upon the necessity of

providing against a time of adversity.” Is not

adversity,” as well as “ prosperity,” only a name for a certain aspect of the providence of God? And do we not know, that “ adversity” is generally a far more kind and beneficial aspect of that providence than “ prosperity.” What, then, do we mean by “ providing against ” it. Shall we set up our own providence against the providence of God? Shall we say to him, in the secret recesses of our hearts, having first invested 30,0001. in the funds, “ We are safe from the approaches of poverty : Sickness, or other evils, thou mayest indeed yet send us,-but without a miracle, thou thyself canst not send us poverty.”

2. But further, this spirit wholly disregards and discredits all the promises of God to the open-bearted. He that giveth to the poor lendeth to the Lord, and look, that which he lendeth shall be paid unto him again." “Well,” says the professor, “ I have no objection to venture a few guineas on this security,-but the bulk of my property, the treasure which I have been so long amassing-to risk that on such a hazard, would be clearly wrong. Were I to do so, might not my children be reduced to want and starvation? As for its being paid to me again, I really cannot believe it.

Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth," said the Saviour,“ but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven.Make to yourselves friends of the mammon of unrighteousness, that when ye fail, they may receive you into everlasting habitations." Go, sell that

thou hast, and give to the poor', and thou shalt have treasure in heaven ; and come, follow me.But all these plain and earnest exhortations fall unheeded. The professor does not seem to understand them. He cannot see how the distribution of his wealth should be synonimous with the laying it up; nor can he believe that there is that scattereth, and yet increaseth; and there is that withholdeth more than is meet, and it tendeth to poverty.

And yet a very moderate degree of faith is needed. If it be hard to believe that every shilling comes to us directly from God, it surely cannot be so difficult to understand or to imagine that at least the main and chief interests of our earthly career are directed and governed by him. Who, that is engaged in a profession or a business, can fail to see, that often, by a circumstance or two, apparently trifling, and quite beyond any purpose of his own, a sudden flow of prosperity is brought in. And just in like manner, by a whisper, an unintentional error, or a groundless prejudice, all bis hopes are blighted, and all his prospects rendered gloomy. If then, we can only believe so much as this, that in such changes as these God's providence works, what can be more natural, should he pour abundance into our lap, than to give unto him freely “ of his own,” in the full and warm-hearted confidence that he both can and will repay the offering, if not in wealth, at least in what is substantially the best for us.

4. My last point, however, is one which, perhaps, if fully made out, might have spared the reader the greater part of what has been already said. For the whole argument in favour of the “ making provision” system, proceeds, of necessity, upon the as

sumption that that system tends efficiently to further the welfare of its objects. It is taken for granted that the laying up property for our children, is the best way to ensure their comfortable maintenance in after years. Now this position, which is clearly the basis and foundation of the whole system, I am disposed, unreservedly, to question. I doubt the fact: -nay more, I am prepared to assert my belief of the very contrary,—to wit, that this strong reliance on the means prepared beforeband for our children, in preference to a steady and constant endeavour to throw them upon their own exertions, is just calculated to promote, not their success, but their failure, in the career of life and its secular pursuits.

I have here abandoned, for the moment, as it will be seen, the high ground taken under the preceding heads. I have descended to meet my opponents on their own favourite field,-on the level ground of every-day life, without reference to that which ought to be the main point of all,--the overruling providence of God. The advocates of the system against which I am contending, not only assert that it is incumbent on them to take upon themselves the providential part, with reference to their children's temporal interests, which God himself has offered and engaged to undertake,—but they further assume, that it is in their power thus to provide for their offspring, not only during the present moment, but for the greater part of their lives., I am disposed to believe that, in at least nine cases out of ten, the event proves that they have wofully deceived themselves, in this calculation. It is true that many, perhaps most parents, leave the scenes of mortal toil before these unhappy results appear, and thus

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