Today we finish the discourse on Deuteronomy 15:7-11.
Now Edwards answers the following objections to the the exercise of charity:
Object. I. I am in a natural condition, and if I should give to the poor, I should not do it with a right spirit, and so should get nothing by it;
Object. II. If I be liberal and bountiful, I shall only make a righteousness of it, and so it will do me more hurt than good;
What grabbed me
Great food for thought today.
I think the last objection is a particularly common one in a society like Australia which spends a lot of money on welfare programs: 'Nor do I suppose it was ever the design of the law, requiring the various towns to support their own poor, to cut off all occasion for Christian charity: nor is it fit there should be such a law. It is fit that the law should make provision for those that have no estates of their own; it is not fit that persons who are reduced to that extremity should be left to so precarious a source of supply as a voluntary charity. They are in extreme necessity of relief, and therefore it is fit that there should be something sure for them to depend on. But a voluntary charity in this corrupt world is an uncertain thing. Therefore the wisdom of the legislature did not think fit to leave those who are so reduced, upon such a precarious foundation for subsistence. But I suppose not that it was ever the design of the law to make such provision for all that are in want, as to leave no room for Christian charity.'
Yes, the government is helpful. But it cannot provide for all that are in want. Christian charity is still a valuable work of grace.
Next week's reading
Commence Christian Cautions by reading Sections I to III
Now it's your turn
Please post your own notes and thoughts in the comments section below.