I would be careful, as to do good, so to do that good in a good manner, which is to do it well; for a thing done, may be good in the substance of the work, and yet vitiated in the manner of the doing of it. Cain and Abel, the Pharisee and the Publican performed, both the one and the other, the same duties; but with so much difference in the manner of their performance, that God had respect unto the one, and not unto the other; he justified the one, and rejected the other. For my better direction herein, I would endeavour. 1. To be good; for as things be, so they operate; 'every good tree bringeth forth good fruit;' and therein I should be conform to the nature of God himself, whose character it is, to be good, and to do good. 2. Not to rest upon a moral goodness, but upon mine implantation in Jesus Christ, and to bring forth fruit in him. 3. In doing good, to make use of none but good means; I would not do a wrong to do a right; God hates robbery for burnt-offering. 4. To place the good I would do, upon a right object; upon those that want, and not upon those that have enough. What is poured into a full vessel is so much spilt; and therefore Solomon putteth that which is given to the rich, into an equal scale with that which is taken from the poor, with a severe denunciation of poverty against those that do it. 5. To do the good I did, for good ends. It is the end, that denominates, and qualifies, and crowns the action. They that do good for evil ends, and they that do evil that good may ensue, are both evil whilst they do good.
Friday, February 12, 2010
Be Good In the Doing of Good
It is not enough to do good, but one must, by the grace of God, be good in the doing of good. Sir William Waller, in his Daily Directory, writes, Divine Meditations upon several occasions: with a daily directory, pp. 185-186: