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Charles Buck Theological Dictionary


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The practice of doing good; active goodness.

Next to justice, the most prominent virtue in the system of morality, is beneficence. Power makes us to be feared, riches to be flattered, learning to be admired; but beneficence renders us amiable and useful in the scale of society. Some qualifications are solitary, and centre mostly in ourselves; but this is social, diffusive, and kind. The objects of our beneficence are all those who are in the sphere of our influence and action, without respect to party or sect. Toward superiors, beneficence expresseth itself in respect, honour, submission, and service; toward inferiors, in liberality, condescension, protection, and support; toward equals, in all the offices of love their cases require, and which they have ability for. It includes all the kind exertions on the behalf of the poor, the sick, the fatherless, the widow, the distressed, &c. and especially those "who are of the household of faith, " Galatians 6:10 . The means of beneficence are communication of temporal supplies, Galatians 6:6 ; prayer, James 5:16 ; sympathy, Romans 12:15 ; appropriate advice and conversation, Colossians 3:16 .

Obligations to beneficence arise from the law of nature, Acts 17:26 ; the law of revelation, Hebrews 13:1-25 the relations we stand in to each other, Galatians 6:1-2 ; the example of Christ and illustrious character, Acts 10:38 ; the resemblance we herein bear to the best of Beings, Acts 14:17 ; and the pleasure we receive and give in so noble an employ.


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These files are public domain.
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Bibliography Information
Buck, Charles. Entry for 'Beneficence'. Charles Buck Theological Dictionary. 1802.

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Monday, October 21st, 2019
the Week of Proper 24 / Ordinary 29
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