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Bible Dictionaries

Charles Buck Theological Dictionary


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What is given gratuitously for the relief of the poor, and in repairing the churches. That alms-giving is a duty is every way evident from the variety of passages which enjoin it in the sacred scriptures.

It is observable, however, what a number of excuses are made by those who are not found in the exercise of the duty:

1. That they have nothing to spare;

2. That charity begins at home;

3. That charity does not consist in giving money, but in benevolence, love to all mankind, &c.

4. That giving to the poor is not mentioned in St. Paul's description of charity, 1 Corinthians 13:1-13 :

5. That they pay the poor rates;

6. That they employ many poor persons;

7. That the poor do not suffer so much as we imagine;

8. That these people, give them what you will, will never by thankful;

9. That we are liable to be imposed upon;

10. That they should apply to their parishes;

11. That giving money encourages idleness;

12. That we have too many objects of charity at home, O the love of money how fruitful is it in apologies for a contracted mercenary spirit!

In giving of alms, however, the following rules should be observed:

1. first, They should be given with justice; only our own, to which we have a just right, should be given.

2. With cheerfulness, Deuteronomy 15:10 . 2 Corinthians 9:7 .

3. With simplicity and sincerity, Romans 12:1-21 : Matthew 6:3 .

4. With compassion and affection, Isaiah 58:10 . 1 John 3:17 .

5. Seasonably, Galatians 6:10 . Proverbs 4:27 .

6. Bountifully, Deuteronomy 18:1-22; Deuteronomy 19:1-21; Deuteronomy 20:1-20; Deuteronomy 21:1-23; Deuteronomy 22:1-11 . 1 Timothy 6:18 .

7. Prudently, according to every one's need, 1 Timothy 5:8 . Acts 4:35 .

See Dr. Barrow's admirable Sermon on Bounty to the Poor, which took him up to three hours and a half in preaching; Saurin's Ser. vol. 4: Eng. Trans. ser. 9. Paley's Mor. Phil. ch. 5. vol. 1:

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of Used by Permission.

Bibliography Information
Buck, Charles. Entry for 'Alms'. Charles Buck Theological Dictionary. 1802.

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