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Riches Increased By Giving - by Thomas Gouge (1609-1681)

Articles on Christian Stewardship

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One of the best written treatises on money and stewardship is this little book called “Riches Increased By Giving” by Thomas Gouge (son of the eminent Puritan William Gouge, who wrote extensively on the Family and on the book of Hebrews). I have outlined the book below. It is extremely worthwhile to buy the book, but I believe this outline will help tremendously. Prayerfully consider it.

Outline of the book: Riches Increased by Giving, by Thomas Gouge by Dr. C. Matthew McMahon

Gouge, Thomas, Riches Increased By Giving
Sprinkle Publications, P.O. Box 1094, Harrisonburg, VA: 1992.
Hardcover, 234 Pages.

Title: Riches Increased By giving; or, The Right Use of Mammon Being the Surest and Safest way of Thriving.

I. Recommendations (Prefaces)
A. Dr. John Owen
1. “Whoever readeth the Word of God with any attention or understanding, and withal considers the various disposal of the conditions of mankind, of Christians, of believers in this world, according to the sovereign pleasure of His holy wise Providence, cannot but just, that among all the external duties which are required of us in this world, there is none more necessary, none more useful, none wherein the glory of God is more concerned, than the due and abundant exercise of the fruits of charity towards it proper objects.” (Pages 1-2)
2. The devil causes men to reject giving
3. Gouge demonstrates that no man who gives will ever be a looser of rewards.
a) God has abundantly blessed him in this work
B. Dr. Thomas Manton
1. Alms giving should be done in earnest by all Christians
2. Liberality does not impoverish men, but enrich them
3. The OT liberality of alms giving is still in effect today
a) Luke 6:38, “Give, and it shall be given unto you; good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over, shall men give into your bosom. For with the same measure that ye mete withal it shall be measured to you again.”
b) 2 Cor. 9:9, “As it is written, He hath dispersed abroad; he hath given to the poor: his righteousness remaineth for ever.”
4. The devil is not the dispenser of temporal blessing, but God.
a) A faithful use of them is not to forfeit them in giving, but to make good use of them and increase them in giving through God’s blessing.
5. Temporal things are not to be looked on as our chief reward.
6. God will try our faith in giving
7. We should not lift up a secret desire of worldly increase to satisfy our covetous minds; in short, this motive may be urged to check temptations to sordid sparing.
C. Rev. Richard Baxter
1. “God can relieve the poor, and do good to other men without us, but it is our honor to be made his stewards, and his great mercy to us, to receive that honor, yea, to have a willing heart though we want a purse.” (Page 14)
2. Charity is praised by all sorts of men
a) Even Judas pretended to praise charity while holding the money bag
3. It is a pity that men should need another motive to give than that of God’s grace to us
4. Personally, Baxter said he never prospered in his own estate unless he was giving.
a) I never gave my money to “need-nots” (that which I did not really need.)
b) I always tried to give to the common good of others in what they needed after I was settled myself
c) I took every present opportunity to give
5. Giving makes life sweeter.
D. Dr. William Bates
1. God has given us [money] so that we have occasion to give to others.
a) He imposes stewardship on us so we are able to impose money to those who are in need
b) “The performance of this duty gives us a regular enjoyment of what we have.” (Page 19)
c) “The neglect of paying what God has reserved as an acknowledgement we have received all from him, makes a forfeiture of our property. And how foolish is it to deny a part at his command, who can by right and power deprive us of all in a moment?” (Page 20)
2. God stirs us to give in a variety of ways
a) Godliness is profitable in all things
b) Giving is a happy influence upon our prosperity
c) God signs himself as our debtor for what is laid out for him, as it were not his own.
(1) This is amazing!
3. Covetousness desires to make provision for the flesh – the sinful nature
a) It is founded upon a jealousy of keeping what we have or what we think we have earned.
4. “Now the word of God assures us, that the best way to preserve and increase our income, is by giving liberal supplies to the want of others.” (Page 21)
5. The is an inseparable connection between “give, and it shall be given unto you.”
6. There are numerous examples of God’s justice executed on those who do not give, as there is blessing on those who do.
7. “The mere external work of charity does not entitle to the blessings of promise, but when it is performed aright.” (Page 23)
a) From what is our own
b) The end must be sincere
(1) To imitate the Father in the bestowal of mercies
c) The affection in giving must be free and joyful
8. Sometimes the “blessing” may not be temporal, but spiritual and eternal.
a) However, keep in mind that God promised earthly blessings to the children of Israel entering Canaan upon obedience.

II. Riches Increased
A. Principle Text: Matthew 10:41-42
1. “He that receiveth a prophet in the name of a prophet shall receive a prophet’s reward; and he that receiveth a righteous man in the name of a righteous man shall receive a righteous man’s reward. And whosoever shall give to drink unto one of these little ones a cup of cold water only in the name of a disciple, verily I say unto you, he shall in no wise lose his reward.”
a) This is from a sermon of Christ
b) He places a high value upon the needs of ministers, and saints themselves
(1) His desire is for them to show kindness to these types of people
2. The words contain a declaration of great benefit
a) Words of relief and succor to ministers
b) Words of relief and succor to saints
3. Who is meant by the word “prophet?”
a) By a prophet our Savior here means not only extraordinary ministers, such as the OT prophets, immediately inspired by the Holy Spirit, but also ordinary ministers of the word, and all those who labor in interpreting the Scriptures
(1) Rev. 11:18, “And the nations were angry, and thy wrath is come, and the time of the dead, that they should be judged, and that thou shouldest give reward unto thy servants the prophets, and to the saints, and them that fear thy name, small and great; and shouldest destroy them which destroy the earth.”
4. Who is meant by the word “righteous men?”
a) He means saints, or such as testify their justification through faith in Christ, by their sanctification, and fruits of a good conscience, whom commonly the Scripture styleth saints.
5. What is meant by “receiving these?”
a) Two things which may have reference
(1) The word and message of an interpreter of God’s word (a minister, theologian, etc.)
(a) Which refers to the hearkening of the message as well
(b) To the person of the minister or interpreter
(i) Showing kindness to him is evident from the cup of water
(ii) “Receiving a prophet” is the idea here
b) Thus, “both these are employed under this phrase of receiving a prophet, viz. His doctrine, by embracing and submitting to it; and his person, by harboring, succoring and relieving him according to his need.” (Page 28)
6. What is meant by “receiving a prophet in the name of a prophet?”
a) Succoring or relieving him for his calling’s sake.
(1) i.e. because he is a prophet.
b) Receiving a righteous man for the sake of a righteous man is the same thing – because of who he is.
7. What is meant by the reward of a prophet and a righteous man?
a) Active and passive answer
(1) Active – for that reward which a prophet or a righteous man giveth.
(2) Passive – for that which is by God given to the one and to the other.
(3) The reward which a prophet giveth, is
(a) To ministerally to preach the word of reconciliation to as such receive them, as Peter did with Cornelius
(i) Acts 10:34, “Then Peter opened his mouth, and said, Of a truth I perceive that God is no respecter of persons.”
(b) To pray for them, as Abraham for Abimelech
(i) Gen. 20:7, 17, “Now therefore restore the man his wife; for he is a prophet, and he shall pray for thee, and thou shalt live: and if thou restore her not, know thou that thou shalt surely die, thou, and all that are thine… So Abraham prayed unto God: and God healed Abimelech, and his wife, and his maidservants; and they bare children.”
(c) And to bless them, as Melchizedek blessed Abraham
(i) Gen. 14:19, “And he blessed him, and said, Blessed be Abram of the most high God, possessor of heaven and earth.”
(4) The reward which a righteous man gives is
(a) Privately to instruct and edify, to pray for, and to be a good pattern and example of righteousness, to such as entertain or otherwise relieve him.
(5) The reward is given by God, to either of these
(a) There may be different degrees of the reward which is evident
(i) Daniel 12:3, “And they that be wise shall shine as the brightness of the firmament; and they that turn many to righteousness as the stars for ever and ever.”
B. Points of Instruction from the Text
1. That all needful succor and support is to be afforded to ministers of the Gospel.
a) This is the main and principle point intended.
2. Also, Christian kindness is to be shown to the members of Christ.
a) Christ does not content himself to have mentioned a prophet, but also added a righteous man.
b) These two make up the household of faith, to whom Paul exhorts us to be especially good
(1) Gal. 6:10, “As we have therefore opportunity, let us do good unto all men, especially unto them who are of the household of faith.”
3. Objections?
a) What great reward can be expected of helping these kinds of people? They are of “little esteem.”
(1) They are not little in the eyes of the Lord.
b) I am but poor – what can I do for them?
(1) Even if your kindness is only a cup of cold water, and even if it is taken out of a cold river, without any pains to heat it up for them, yet it shall be rewarded. It is the willingness of the giver, rather than just the gift itself.
4. Who are the “little ones?”
a) The little ones are the esteem of the prophets and righteous men in the eyes of the world.
(1) Isaiah 62:4, “Thou shalt no more be termed Forsaken; neither shall thy land any more be termed Desolate: but thou shalt be called Hephzibah, and thy land Beulah: for the LORD delighteth in thee, and thy land shall be married..”
(a) 1 Cor. 4:13, “Being defamed, we intreat: we are made as the filth of the world, and are the offscouring of all things unto this day.”
b) Do not judge as the world judges
(1) They are “whom the world is not worthy.”
(2) They are the “excellent ones.”
(a) Psalm 16:3, “But to the saints that are in the earth, and to the excellent, in whom is all my delight.”
c) They are little in their own eyes
(1) Gen. 18:27 – Abraham is nothing more than dust and ashes
(a) Genesis 18:27, “And Abraham answered and said, Behold now, I have taken upon me to speak unto the Lord, which am but dust and ashes.”
(2) Gen. 32:10 – Jacob acknowledged himself unworthy or less than the least of God’s mercies
(a) Genesis 32:10, “I am not worthy of the least of all the mercies, and of all the truth, which thou hast shewed unto thy servant; for with my staff I passed over this Jordan; and now I am become two bands.”
(b) The best saints know themselves in relation to the Law of God and are always found to be wanting.
(i) Romans 7:24, “O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death?”
(ii) Matthew 5:3, “Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.”
5. Christians should have a charitable eye to such ministers or Christians as are more obscure, and less honorable in the world.
6. God takes notice of all his saints, even of the least of them, and of kindness shown unto them.
a) Luke 16:20 – though Lazarus was a poor beggar and full of sores, and despised of Dives [Latin for “Rich man”], and all his household, yet God too such notice of him that he made his angels attend him. Yea, God took notice of the kindness which the dogs shewed him, for their licking of his sores, is recorded to all the ages.
(1) Luke 16:20, “And there was a certain beggar named Lazarus, which was laid at his gate, full of sores.”
(2) Psalm 40:17, “But I am poor and needy, yet the Lord thinketh upon me.”
(3) Psalm 34:6, “This poor man cried and the Lord heard him, and saved him out of all his troubles.”
7. Why does God take notice of his saints?
a) They are his children and his household
b) By grace, they are all precious stones to him
c) “And if God will thus remember those that remember the least of his, will not his anger be enkindled against us if they are neglected?” (Page 40)
(1) Who knows if you have come into your own estates for such a time as this? (as with Esther?)
8. Those who give shall not lose their reward, even if it is but a cup of cold water.
a) Doctrine: “That the least work of charity shewed to a minister or righteous man, shall be abundantly recompensed, and that not only hereafter, but likewise here on earth.” (Page 41)
b) Luke 16:9 is exceedingly clear, “Make yourselves friends of the Mammon of unrighteousness, that when ye fail, they may receive you into everlasting habitations.”
c) And 1 Timothy 6:17, “Charge them that are rich in this world, that they be not highminded, nor trust in uncertain riches, but in the living God, who giveth us richly all things to enjoy.”
C. “But the great question is concerning temporal reward – whether Christian charity, rightly performed, shall be recompensed here in this life with temporal blessings, so that what men give in a way of charity, there is ground to expect, it shall be returned into their bosoms again with increase.” (Page 42)
1. I do not deny that charitable men may become poor, and be reduced in some way to hard times.
a) It could be through taking on too much responsibility beyond his means, negligence in his calling, some secret sin, etc.
2. “But this I say, that a penuriousness towards the poor is the readiest way to poverty, so Christian charity, rightly performed, is the surest way to plenty and happiness, it being usually rewarded with temporal blessings here, as well as with eternity hereafter.” (Page 43)
a) Nothing is more clearly laid down in Scripture on this
b) The world is challenged to show instances where charitable men have come to poverty as a result of their charity – none can be found!
(1) I shall prove this by Scripture, example, and reason.
3. By Scriptural Proof there is many
a) 1 Tim. 4:8, “having promise of the life that now is, and of that which is to come.”
b) Deut. 15:10, “Thou shalt surely give him, and thine heart shall not be grieved when thou givest unto him: because that for this thing the LORD thy God shall bless thee in all thy works, and in all that thou puttest thine hand unto.”
(1) Divine blessing makes you rich
c) Proverbs 3:9-10, “Honour the LORD with thy substance, and with the firstfruits of all thine increase: So shall thy barns be filled with plenty, and thy presses shall burst out with new wine.”
(1) “God’s usual way is to make good returns of all we lay out upon him and his; and that our wisest way both for insuring and improving what we have, is to make ourselves creditors to his needy saints.” (Page 45)
d) He that scatters, increases
(1) Proverbs 11:24, “There is that scattereth, and yet increaseth; and there is that withholdeth more than is meet, but it tendeth to poverty.”
(a) The man is grown rich by giving
(b) “If thou wilt secure thyself from beggary, keep not God’s beggars from thy door, nor send away empty whose needs, though not their tongues, cry in thine ears, Give for the Lord’s sake.” (Page 46) Fear not to lose by laying out (Page 47)
(c) Psalm 112:10, In this verse we read that the “liberal soul shall be made fat.”
(i) The soul is often in Scripture taken to signify the man, and so it is here, and is the same as the liberal man. To be made fat signifies to prosper, to be full and abound, and thus it shall be, if this Scripture may be credited.
(ii) The liberal man, as the reward and encouragement of his liberality, shall prosper in the world.
e) Proverbs 19:17, “He that hath pity upon the poor lendeth unto the LORD; and that which he hath given will he pay him again.”
(1) If that which you give is repaid, how can it ever be said that it is lost?
(2) “Happy is the man that becomes creditor to his Creator, and makes God his debtor!” (Page 49)
(a) He will pay the principal with interest
(b) God deals upon the trust of the giver.
(i) God may bless in a variety of ways.
(c) He does give bread for bread, money for money, and clothes for clothes; but he may also give rubies for gold, silver for brass, and the like.
f) Ecclesiastes 11:1, “Cast thy bread upon the waters: for thou shalt find it after many days.”
(1) By bread, here, is meant everything necessary for men’s lives.
(2) “Casting” is meant “freely giving.”
(3) Though it seems lost when it is cast from you, yet you shall find it again after many days.
(4) It shall be increased to you after a time even though you give it away.
g) Isaiah 58:7-8, “Is it not to deal thy bread to the hungry, and that thou bring the poor that are cast out to thy house? when thou seest the naked, that thou cover him; and that thou hide not thyself from thine own flesh? Then shall thy light break forth as the morning, and thine health shall spring forth speedily: and thy righteousness shall go before thee; the glory of the LORD shall be thy rereward.”
(1) The day of prosperity will break forth
(2) The glory of God will be by his power in providence
(3) Verse 10 is also an emblem of a flourishing and prosperous estate which usually follows and accompanies merciful men.
(4) Matthew 19:29 – here in this life they shall receive a hundred-fold
h) The Savior reminds us of these truths
(1) Luke 6:38 – give and it shall be given unto you
i) Paul remind us of these truths
(1) 2 Cor. 9:6 – sowing and reaping sparingly and bountifully
(2) As men sow, thus shall they reap.
(3) Dr. Hammond is quoted, “By reaping bountifully, I conceive is meant, not only God’s abundant retributions of glory in another world, but even his payments of temporal plenty, and blessings here to those who have been willing to make that Christian use of that earthly talent committed to their stewardship.” (Page 56)
(4) Dr. Hammond quoted again, “By all those testimonies from the Word of God, both in the NT and OT, I conceive this truth is as clear as any in Scripture; that the promise of temporal plenty to the liberal is so distinct and infallible, that it can be no less than a very gross ignorance of plain Scripture not to observe it; and also an act of infidelity not to believe it.”
j) Ancient Father and Modern Divines agree
(1) Clement of Alexandria – Not that he possesses wealth and keeps it by him, but he that distributes it, is rich; neither is it the possessing, but the laying out of riches that make one rich.
(2) Isadoris – We lose all earthly things by keeping them, and by giving them away we keep them.
(3) St. Basil – It is the best way of thriving to give to them that are in want.
(4) Augustine – The field of the poor is very fruitful, and quickly yeildeth an increase to the charitable…give a little and thou shalt receive a hundred fold.
(5) Dr. Jeremy Taylor – The portion of our estate, our of which a tenth, or a fifth, a twentieth, or some offering to God for religion, and the poor, goes forth, certainly returns with a great blessing upon all the rest.
(6) Mr. Hildersham – It is a duty that God hath made greater promises unto, than to any other almost a Christian can perform.
(a) It shall never hinder or beggar a man
(b) It will return again with increase
(c) It will bring God’s blessing
(7) Dr. Thomas Jacomb – God will return to the merciful man what he gives to the poor, he will reward him in kind, that look whatever it is that he bestows, it shall be in the very kind made up to him again; many have found this to be true…no man shall be less rich at the year’s end for what he lays out upon the poor and God’s cause; you shall have your money again, and interest with it.
k) How vial a thought it is to distrust God!
(1) Why would you not put your money in God’s hands – the safest place, that he would give an abundant increase on His own goods?
4. Two Cautions
a) Not to ascribe the reward to any merit of your good works, but only to the free grace and rich mercy of God.
b) “Though our alms-deeds are sacrifices acceptable and well pleasing to God through Christ, and though he hath bound himself by many gracious promises, to reward the same both here and hereafter, yet far be it from us to perform them merely out of hope of reward, but rather for consciences sake, in obedience to the command of God (who hath required them at our hands) and in testimony of our thankfulness unto him, for what he hath graciously bestowed on us.” (Page 66)
(1) So we must distribute our alms, not so much for the reward’s sake, as out of gratitude for the Lord’s sake.
(2) The chief end we should aim at in all our good works are the glory of God and obedience to his command. (Page 67)
(3) The truth is, this temporal reward should not so much be looked at, as an argument to persuade us to give, but as an answer of an objection against giving. (Page 67)
5. Are their Biblical examples of this (giving to ministers and saints and then receiving an increase?)
a) The widow of Serepta
(1) Nourished Elijah in her house during famine
(2) The Lord recompensed her kindness by miraculous increase in her oil, and restoring her son’s life again.
(a) 1 Kings 17:22, “And the LORD heard the voice of Elijah; and the soul of the child came into him again, and he revived.”
b) Of Job
(1) He was a merciful man
(a) Job 29:12-15, “Because I delivered the poor that cried, and the fatherless, and him that had none to help him. The blessing of him that was ready to perish came upon me: and I caused the widow’s heart to sing for joy. I put on righteousness, and it clothed me: my judgment was as a robe and a diadem. I was eyes to the blind, and feet was I to the lame.”
(b) Job 31:16, 22, “If I have withheld the poor from their desire, or have caused the eyes of the widow to fail…Then let mine arm fall from my shoulder blade, and mine arm be broken from the bone.”
(2) Did he prosper? Satan came against him and took everything
(3) What then? After a time, the Lord gave Job twice as much as he had before
(a) Job 42:10ff, “And the LORD turned the captivity of Job, when he prayed for his friends: also the LORD gave Job twice as much as he had before.”
c) Of Publius and his countrymen
(1) Paul was shipwrecked on his island
(2) They helped Paul and the others giving them food and a place to stay for three days.
(3) Publius’ father lay ill and Paul healed him, and then Paul healed many sick on the island.
(4) Their kindness to Paul was repaid a hundred fold.
6. Are their modern examples of this (giving to ministers and saints and then receiving an increase?)
a) St. Aban received a poor minister into his house (Fox Books of Martyrs)
(1) St. Aban was then converted as a result and died as a martyr for Christ
b) Constantine the great was very merciful and generous, and Augustine writes that he had more than all his heart could wish, for his bounty or the poor (City of God, 1:5)
c) Cendrenus, a Jew, read Proverbs 19:17 and resolved to try God in it (“He that pity upon the poor lendeth unto the Lord and that which he hath given will he pay him again.”)
(1) He gave all he had but 2 pieces of silver to the poor.
(2) He was not presently answered in the expectation and became mad
(3) He went up to Jerusalem to “speak with God” for not performing his promise.
(4) He found 2 men arguing about a stone, but they could not divide the stone to each have a part. Cendrenus then gave his two pieces of silver, one to each, for the stone.
(5) When he came upon Jerusalem he visited a goldsmith and the goldsmith told him that the stone was very precious and worth much, of which he was paid for it. the goldsmith, in hearing his story, reproved Cendrenus for not trusting God, and that he should the next time.
d) The story of Tiberius the Second
(1) Famous for bounty to the poor, insomuch his wife hated that he was so generous
(2) In giving a great amount away, he then found a treasure hidden on his estate and became very rich, to give more away…
e) More of these are The Bisop of Millian, Mary – the wife of Alexander, John Stewart, Daniel Waldow, Mr. John Walter, William Pennoyer, Thomas Arnold, John Clark, John Bathrust, Dr. Edmund Trench, Samuel Dunche, Dr. William Gouge (his father)
7. Further Confirmation of the Truth of This
a) Confirmation may be taken from the goodness and bounty of God, which is such that he will not suffer and work of charity, shewed to any of his ministers or children, to pass away unrewarded, without full recompense.
(1) Psalm 62:12, “Also unto thee, O Lord, belongeth mercy: for thou renderest to every man according to his work.”
(2) God will not remain in nay man’s debt for very long…
b) Confirmation may be taken from the faithfulness and righteousness of God – He will be good upon His word.
(1) Hebrews 6:10, “All his promises are yes and amen in Christ.”
(2) He is not to forget – yes, He will remember.
(a) As He remembers the evil ways of the wicked, so he will remember the deeds of the righteous, even a cold cup of water.
(b) “Again, to assure us of such kind remembrance from God, the Holy Ghost mentions certain books of Remembrance written before God, wherein the merciful deeds of His servants are recorded.” (Page 97)
c) “Confirmation may be taken by metaphorical expressions used in Scripture, by which alms-giving us represented to us; all which imply not only a certain return, but that with increase, as SOWING and LENDING, and that upon interest.” (Page 98)
(1) First metaphor we find in Scripture is by “Sowing”
(a) 2 Cor. 9:6, “But this I say, He which soweth sparingly shall reap also sparingly; and he which soweth bountifully shall reap also bountifully.”
(i) Who expects what is sowed to be reaped in the same day – but wait, it will come.
(2) Second metaphor we find in Scripture is by “Lending”
(a) Prov. 19:17, “He that hath pity upon the poor lendeth unto the LORD; and that which he hath given will he pay him again.”
(i) Men that lend to men receive their own increase
D. Reproof to unmerciful men
1. Surely such have no love to Christ
a) Who can say he loves Christ in sincerity, when he suffers his ministers and members to want necessities?
b) Do you love Christ enough to obey or not?
(1) So comes the warning: 1 Cor. 16:22, “If any love not the Lord Jesus Christ, let his be anathema, maranatha.” (accursed when the Lord comes.)
2. The Greatest rich among us have their hearts hardened and their bowels shut up.
3. Uncharitable men are cursed, so in life, so also in death
4. What are the miseries of uncharitable men?
a) They are accursed in everything
(1) Without alms, nothing is clean unto you (Luke 11:41)
(2) Not only are your crosses a curse, but your blessings are a curse as well.
(3) Malachi 2:2, “to curse their every blessing.”
(a) Though you enjoy abundance of this world’s goods, yet so long as thou art hard hearted to the poor and needy, the curse of God cleaves to thy store and abundance.
b) They are accursed in the life hereafter
(1) James 2:13, “He shall have judgment without mercy, that hath shewed no mercy.”
(2) God will shut up His compassion on them.
(3) Matthew 25:41 – they are cast form his presence – why? “For I was a hungered and ye gave me no meat, I was thirsty, and ye gave me no drink.” O dreadful sentence! Cursed indeed (Pages 104-105)
(4) What profit will it have to live sumptuously here and to be eternally miserable hereafter.
(5) “All uncharitable men shall by Him at the last day be sentenced into everlasting burning for their not feeding the hungry, nor clothing the naked, and yet can be so hard hearted as not to hearken to the cry of the poor.” (Page 106)
c) The want of liberality for God, and mercifulness to the poor, will provoke him to reject they most religious exercises, “Whoso stoppeth his ears at the cry of the poor, he also shall cry himself, but shall not be heard (Proverbs 21:13).
(1) In these word Solomon teaches us 2 things:
(a) That men who are penurious [stingy], and turn away their ears from the cry of the poor, shall fall into such miseries as will bring them to their knees and make them cry sooner or later.
(b) Though they cry, yet they shall nto be heard – whether they cry now on their deathbed, or in hell for all eternity, they shall not be heard.
E. Make diligent inquiry as to where you should spend God’s money
1. “The merciful man doth good to his own soul,” Proverbs 11:17
2. Riches are often fleeing and uncertain, so two things will help you with expenditures of God’s money
a) Make what God has given you as a steward as secure as you can
(1) What better way to handle your money than to put it into God’s hands?
b) Make the best use of the money as you can
(1) Bestow them for the cause of God
(2) Those who have extra should consistently be looking to help those who have a lack.
3. By helping the poor we will make them our friends.
a) This gives truth of our faith and charity
b) Use Mammon to relieve the necessities of the poor.
(1) This is what Christ tells his Apostles in Luke 16:9
(a) Luke 16:9, “And I say unto you, Make to yourselves friends of the mammon of unrighteousness; that, when ye fail, they may receive you into everlasting habitations.”
4. This is the surest and safest way of thriving in the world.
5. 1 Timothy 6:17 – the Apostles does not say “declare to the rich” but “charge them that are rich in this world,” as if doing this would be to the saving of their souls.
a) 1 Timothy 6:17, “Charge them that are rich in this world, that they be not highminded, nor trust in uncertain riches, but in the living God, who giveth us richly all things to enjoy.”
b) If you are rich in goods, and not rich on works, do not even begin talking about your “faith”, for there can be no true faith without good works.
(1) James 2:17, “Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone.”
6. Give yourselves to the Lord, and all you have, as He so appoints for the well being of yourself and others
a) 2 Cor. 8:2 – they gave first of themselves.
(1) 2 Cor. 8:2, “How that in a great trial of affliction the abundance of their joy and their deep poverty abounded unto the riches of their liberality.”
(2) “God will have nothing of thee if he may not have thy heart.” (Page 121)
(3) Do not lust over that which is God’s, it is all His – land, money, house, and the like.
b) But one asks, shall I give all and leave my family as beggars?
(1) Giving all to the Lord means disposing of what you have as the Lord directs you.
(2) “The Lord would have you and your family maintain that station in life in which His providence has placed you; but still you must be watchful against self-indulgence, and dear lest your hand of liberality should be less open to the needy.” (Page 124)
7. How should I give back to God and to the needy?
a) By faith, give yourself to him
b) Offer up your gift upon the altar, and do not doubt about the return, in whatever manner it comes
c) Let all your acts of benevolence proceed from the heart, with prayer that they may tend to the glory of God.
d) Draw forth your soul to the hungry
(1) Out of a willing heart
(a) 2 Cor. 9:7, “Every man according as he purposeth in his heart, so let him give; not grudgingly, or of necessity: for God loveth a cheerful giver.”
(2) Out of a compassionate heart
(a) If you do not have one, then get one!
(b) Col. 2:12, “Put on, as the elect of God, bowels of mercy.”
(i) John 3:17-18, “But whoso hath this world’s good, and seeth his brother have need, and shutteth up his bowels of compassion from him, how dwelleth the love of God in him? My little children, let us not love in word, neither in tongue; but in deed and in truth.”
(c) Put yourself in your poor brother’s case
(3) Out of a thankful heart
e) Let all your streams of love flow into the ocean
(1) What I mean is “let all be done to the glory of God.”
f) Let your works of charity be done in humility.
(1) Whatever you have, or give, is what the Lord gave to you.
g) Let your works of charity to men be accompanied with prayer and thanksgiving to God.
(1) Give thanks to God that he will accept your gift!!
(2) Psalm 50:10-12, “For every beast of the forest is mine, and the cattle upon a thousand hills. I know all the fowls of the mountains: and the wild beasts of the field are mine. If I were hungry, I would not tell thee: for the world is mine, and the fulness thereof.”
(3) 1 Chron. 29:11-13, “Thine, O LORD, is the greatness, and the power, and the glory, and the victory, and the majesty: for all that is in the heaven and in the earth is thine; thine is the kingdom, O LORD, and thou art exalted as head above all. Both riches and honour come of thee, and thou reignest over all; and in thine hand is power and might; and in thine hand it is to make great, and to give strength unto all. Now therefore, our God, we thank thee, and praise thy glorious name.”
(4) 1 Cor. 16:2, “Upon the first day of the week let every one of you lay by him in store, as God hath prospered him, that there be no gatherings when I come.”
8. How can I attain the gift of Christian Charity in order to give rightly?
a) For means to influence your heart to be willing to practice this, do the following:
(1) Often call to mind, and endeavor to imprint on your memories the numerous precepts in Scripture requiring the duty at your personal hands.
(a) Deut. 15:10, “to give unto they brother according to his necessity.”
(b) Luke 6:38, “to give unto the poor.”
(2) Prefer heaven above that which is on the earth
(a) “Unless heaven be valued above earth, this great argument which encourages us to acts of benevolence and mercy will lose its efficacy.” (Page 137)
(b) You shall reap in heaven what you sow upon the waters.
(3) Learn better who God is and how He is merciful.
(4) Be sensible about what heavenly gain there is in giving.
(5) Devote a certain portion of your income, above tithing, to charitable purposes.
(a) Naturally, men hate to give – mortify that lust of self-love
(b) And the Word does not give a specific percentage or amount, but that you are to give cheerfully.
(c) Cornelius, Dorcas, the Macedonians, Jacob, all gave of their desire to give back to God or to the poor.
(d) Be very careful on whom you bestow your alms
(6) Pray earnestly that God would give you Christian Charity
F. Objection – those who do not want to give
1. Some object based on their large household, the number of their children, who must be provided for.
a) In God’s providence to you, you should be eminent by your example in kindness and liberality that the blessing of the Almighty may rest on you and your household and children. That is the surest inheritance you can leave them. If you do not give as you are providentially apportioned, then God will curse you instead of bless you.
b) An uncharitable Christian is a direct contradiction.
c) The works of charity are clear evidences of the truth of our religion, and of the sincerity of our profession.
G. For the brethren’s sake
1. No one should be excluded in charity who is in need or in distress.
2. The ministers of Christ are chief among these.
a) The people of Israel were not to forsake the Levites.
(1) Deut. 12:19, “Take heed to thyself that thou forsake not the Levite as long as thou livest upon the earth.”
(2) Deut. 14:27, “And the Levite that is within thy gates; thou shalt not forsake him; for he hath no part nor inheritance with thee.”
b) It is set down as the widow with Elijah, the Shunnamite with Elisha, Obadiah with the prophets in a cave, Phebe’s commendation by Paul for her help, and Gaius who also was rich and gave to Paul’s ministry
(1) Rom. 16:23, “Gaius mine host, and of the whole church, saluteth you. Erastus the chamberlain of the city saluteth you, and Quartus a brother.”
c) Because ministers are supported, they are more likely to be better useful for the Kingdom.
(1) Ministers have been given a commission to study, to preach, to deliver the sacraments, to counsel, to dispense “the grace of God” to the people of God, his elect chosen remnant according to grace.
(2) Ministers are often giving up their life for the sake of the people, thus they should be relieved. They are under many sufferings and distresses and are in the most need of relief for the sake of the Gospel.
d) To neglect helping those who minister the word is ingratitude for their help.
e) Christ tells you of His wants, and desires you use your riches to relieve Him (Matthew 25).
3. Never withhold what belongs to God and the manner in which God would have you disperse it for the brethren.
H. Questions
1. What is your present views and feelings with reference to liberality?
a) Is there not an Excellency in it?
b) There is self-denial in it.
c) Is there not a necessity for it?
2. What do you think of yourself? Are you merciful or merciless?
3. What do you think of your wealth and possessions?
a) Are not talents committed to you?
b) Are they worth more than treasures in heaven?
4. What do you think of the state of many righteous servants of God? Are there no necessitous ones? No distressed and afflicted ones? Are they not worthy of you?
5. What is the purpose of your heart, and what will you do for the future? Are you resolved to be merciful, or coveting?
6. Will you come into the presence of the Lord with this gracious resolution?
7. How or in what manner must we perform this duty, that it may be acceptable and pleasing to God?
a) It must be done with justice, giving only of our own, to which we have a just right.
(1) “The glory of charity consists in this, that we are willing to part with out own, and therein to deny ourselves for the relief and good of others.” (Page 187)
b) This freedom must be performed with cheerfulness and freedom, and not grudgingly.
(1) Giving alms means to “give freely.”
(2) How are we to be induced to “freely give?”
(a) Deut. 15:10, “Thou shalt surely give him, and thine heart shall not be grieved when thou givest unto him: because that for this thing the LORD thy God shall bless thee in all thy works, and in all that thou puttest thine hand unto.”
(b) 2 Cor. 9:7, “Every man according as he purposeth in his heart, so let him give; not grudgingly, or of necessity: for God loveth a cheerful giver.”
(c) God sent His son freely for us so that Jesus would die – he has justified us freely
(i) Romans 3:24, “Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus.”
(d) The nature of charity, 1 Cor. 13:3, “Though I bestow all good to the poor but have not love, it profits me nothing.”
(e) A free manner of giving makes the gift more acceptable to him that is made partaker of it.
c) The duty must accompanied with simplicity and sincerity, Romans 12:8, “he that gives, let him do it with simplicity.”
(1) Do not let the right know what the left is doing
(a) Matthew 6:3, “But when thou doest alms, let not thy left hand know what thy right hand doeth.”
d) Our alms must be given with a compassionate heart, with sympathy and affection.
(1) Isaiah 58:10, “And if thou draw out thy soul to the hungry, and satisfy the afflicted soul; then shall thy light rise in obscurity, and thy darkness be as the noonday.”
(2) Proverbs 19:21, “There are many devices in a man’s heart; nevertheless the counsel of the LORD, that shall stand.”
(3) Proverbs 19:17, “He that hath pity upon the poor lendeth unto the LORD; and that which he hath given will he pay him again.”
(4) Col. 3:12, “Put on therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, bowels of mercies, kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, longsuffering.”
(5) 1 John 3:17, “But whoso hath this world’s good, and seeth his brother have need, and shutteth up his bowels of compassion from him, how dwelleth the love of God in him?”
e) Our acts of beneficence must be seasonably dispensed; for as the wise man observes, “To everything there is a season…” (Eccl. 3:1).
(1) A seasonable time is when God sends a season of prosperity to us. Deet. 18:18, “thou shalt remember the Lord thy God, it is he that giveth thee power to get wealth.”
f) Our charity must be promptness and without needless delay, according to Prov. 3:27, “Withhold not good from them to whom it is due.”
(1) The delaying of Christian charity is expressly against the command of God.
g) Our charity must be liberal, giving out in proportion to what the Lord hath given to us.
(1) Luke 12:48, “For unto whomsoever much is given, of him much shall be required.”
h) Examples
(1) Abraham
(a) Genesis 18:1-2, “And the LORD appeared unto him in the plains of Mamre: and he sat in the tent door in the heat of the day; 2 And he lift up his eyes and looked, and, lo, three men stood by him: and when he saw them, he ran to meet them from the tent door, and bowed himself toward the ground.”
(2) Job
(a) Job 1:8, “And the LORD said unto Satan, Hast thou considered my servant Job, that there is none like him in the earth, a perfect and an upright man, one that feareth God, and escheweth evil?”
(3) Obediah
(a) 1 Kings 18:4, “For it was so, when Jezebel cut off the prophets of the LORD, that Obadiah took an hundred prophets, and hid them by fifty in a cave, and fed them with bread and water.”
(4) Cornelius
(a) Acts 10:2, “A devout man, and one that feared God with all his house, which gave much alms to the people, and prayed to God always.”
(5) Gaius
(a) Rom. 16:23, “Gaius mine host, and of the whole church, saluteth you. Erastus the chamberlain of the city saluteth you, and Quartus a brother.”
(6) Paul
(a) 2 Tim. 3:10, “But thou hast fully known my doctrine, manner of life, purpose, faith, longsuffering, charity, patience.”
(7) The church
(a) Acts 4:34-35, “Neither was there any among them that lacked: for as many as were possessors of lands or houses sold them, and brought the prices of the things that were sold, And laid them down at the apostles’ feet: and distribution was made unto every man according as he had need.”
8. “Prayer is a special means to be used for the attaining of this grace of charity. I say fervent and constant prayer to God for it; for as he is the Fountain and Author of every good gift, so he has sanctified prayer as the means of obtaining every good gift from him.” (Page 202)
a) “Be earnest therefore with God in prayer that he would be pleased to give thee a compassionate heart towards the necessities of the members of the Church of Jesus Christ and an open hand that you may freely and liberally contribute according to your ability in every way tending to promote the temporal and spiritual good of men and His glory. Beg of God that as he has blessed thee with some means, so he would add this mercy, to give thee an heart to bestow a portion of what he has given thee, and that in testimony of love and gratitude to him.” (Page 202)

III. Scripture Authorities
A. Scriptures used for “giving”
1. Exo. 22:25; 23:11; Lev. 19:10; 23:22; 25:25; 25:35; 25:39; Deut. 15:7-8, 10-11; 24:14-15; 1 Sam. 2:7-8; Job 5:15-16; Job 29:12-13, 16; 31:16, 19, 20; 34:28; 36:15; Psalms 9:18; 10:14; 12:5; 14:6; 34:6; 35:10; 36:25-26; 41:1-3; 68:10; 69:33; 72:4, 12, 13; 82:3-4; 109:31; 112:5-6, 9; 132:15; 140:12; 147:7; Proverbs 11:24-25, 27; 14:21; 14:31; 17:5; 19:17; 21:13; 22:9; 22:16; 22:22-23; 28:8; 28:27; 29:14; 31:9; Ecclesiastes 11:1-2; Isaiah 11:4; 14:30; 25:4; 32:8; 41:17; 58:7-11; Jeremiah 20:13; 22:16; Daniel 4:27; Zephaniah 3:12; Matthew 10:41-42; 19:21; 25:35-40; Mark 10:21; Luke 6:38; 11:41; 12:33; 14:13-14; 16:9; 19:8; Romans 15:26; 2 Corinthians 8:12; 9:6-10; Galatians 2:10; 1 Timothy 6:17-19; Hebrews 13:16; James 2:5.
2. For “mercy”
a) Deuteronomy 24:12-13; Proverbs 3:3-4; 11:17; Matthew 5:7
B. Scriptures used for liberality to ministers
1. Deuteronomy 14:29; Proverbs 3:9; Malachi 3:10-12; 1 Corinthians 9; Galatians 6:6-9; Philippians 4:17-19; 1 Timothy 5:18
C. Scripture Testimony relating to the Spread of the gospel, shewing the duty and privilege of Liberality
1. Psalm 22:27-28; 67:2, 7; 68:31; 72:8-19; 86:9; 102:15-16; 110:3; Isaiah 2:2-3; Micah 4:1-2; Isaiah 9:4; 11:10; 19:21; 23:18; 25:6-7; 27:6; 29:18, 24; 40:3-5; 41:18-19; 35:6-8; 42:1,4,6,7; 45:23; 49:6, 12, 18, 20 (see verses 8,9,11,19,21,22 and chapter 50:4); 51:4, 5, 16; 52:7-8, 10; 53:10-12; 54:1-3, 13; 55:4-5; 59:19-20; 60:3-10; (see verses 4-16); 65:17; 66:8-23; Daniel 2:44; 7:13, 14, 27; 12:4; Amos 9:10-11; Zechariah 2:10-11; 6:15; 8:21, 23; 14:9; Malachi 1:11; Psalm 2:8-9; Matthew 8:11; 24:14; Revelation 11:15; (see Revelation 7:9-10 and 12:10)

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Reformed Theology at A Puritan's Mind