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P O O R.

My dear Brethren and Sisters,

WHOM I salute in that love which ought to unite all the families of the whole earth, since we are all the children of one common parent; all subject to the same feelings; all partakers of the mercies of God, and invited by our heavenly Father to become inhabitants of his kingdom of glory, when we have done with the things of time, and death has closed our mortal eyes upon

all that now surrounds us. I have often thought of you with desires that you may know where to seek support

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and comfort in those difficulties and trials you sometimes meet with. I have desired you may believe that the goodness of God, the gracious Lord of the universe, is not confined to any rank of men. Do not think he loves you less than others, because you often feel the want of the conveniences, and sometimes can scarcely procure the necessaries of life. Every station has trials belonging to it, and they who abound in riches, and appear to be the happiest, are often feeling, in secret, griefs and anxieties to which you are strangers.---They do not always enjoy their possessions. Riches and power bring cares along with them, and expose to temptations which do not attack the poor. Such as are in high stations, and feel they are not i happy, would be willing to exchange places with the poor, if they could know real peace; while the poor are thinking how truly they should enjoy life, could they procure the possessions of their wealthy neighbours. But the truth is, happiness is

equally offered to every body by that Almighty Being who is called the Father of the Universe. The advice which is given us in the Bible is this, “ acquaint thyself with God, and be at peace.” This is the one sure means of comfort, whether for rich or poor. It is only for want of knowing God, that so many in the world are unhappy; for, if they were willing to follow this counsel, they would know that he is graciously disposed to bless every one whom he hath created.


Perhaps some of you may be ready to say,

“ If God loves me, why do I feel so many pains, so much distress and anxiety?” But, dear people, it is not by the designs of a gracious God that we are miserable: on the contrary, he designed us for happiness; and though none of us can pass thro' life without pain and sorrow, these pains and sorrows frequently are the effects of sin, and spring originally from our cun errors, and the disorders of human nature in its fallen state. Our heavenly Father, like a good Physician, intends that all the troubles of this life shall prove as good and wholesome medicines to cure us of our faults, which are like the sickness of a soul; and if we are but willing to learn the lessons he would teach, we should know that “ help is laid upon one who is mighty to save, and able to deliver to the uttermost all that come unto God by him.” (Heb. vij. 25.)

O! you who have many difficulties to encounter; you who sometimes think there is nobody so unhappy as yourselves ! consider, I intreat you; have you not always been more ready to think of your troubles, than to remember the blessings and mercies of God? Try to find out what is the cause of your greatest affliction. I think I may safely say, there are no people so unhappy as those who are most forgetful of God. How many families are suffering

through the bad conduct of a man who spends in intemperate drinking the price of his labour, which should provide for his helpless little ones.

How many young people are not able to get forward in life because they are known to have been bred up under parents who have set them an ill example, and too frequently encouraged them to tell lies, steal, and keep idle company. Now if the hearts of people were more generally inclined to do what they know to be right, they would avoid the greatest miseries of life; for religion would teach them to “do justly, love mercy, and walk humbly with their God.” (Micah 6. 8.) It would make them industrious and sober, desirous to bring up their families in the love and fear of Almighty God, and thus remove the greatest of their real troubles. They would learn to ask for the blessing of God upon their honest labours, and surely he would give them every thing he saw needful for their souls and bodies. Religion would teach them to bless himn il

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