Dear friends, — Something was upon me to write unto you, that such among Friends, who marry, and provide great dinners, that instead thereof, it will be of a good savour on such occasions, that they may be put in mind at such times, to give something to the poor that be widows and fatherless, and such like, to make them a feast, or to refresh them. And this, I look upon, would be a very good savour, to feast the poor that cannot feast you again; and would be a good practice and example, and would be a means to keep the mind to the Lord; and in remembrance of the poor; for 'they that give to the poor, lend to the Lord, and the Lord will repay them.' And I do really believe, whatever they give, less or more, according to their ability, cheerfully, they will not have the less at the year's end, for the Lord loves a cheerful giver. I know this practice hath been used by some twenty years ago. And so it is not only to give the poor a little victuals, which you cannot eat yourselves, but give them a little money, that the Lord hath blessed you with; and give it to some of the women's meetings for to distribute to the poor: so you will have the blessings of the Lord, and the blessings of the poor: and so, to be of a free noble spirit, above all the churlish misers and niggards, and narrow spirits.
These things I do recommend to you (though it may look a little strange), to weigh and consider the thing, it will both be of a good report and a good savour, and manifest a self-denial and openness of heart, and of the general love of God. G. F.
London, the 4th of the 4th month, 1690.
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