Liberality, Natural and Gracious
Isaiah 32:8
But the liberal devises liberal things; and by liberal things shall he stand.

The liberal man is one who is generous and benevolent in his feelings — a man of large views and public spirit — one far above covetousness and selfseeking — ever desirous to promote the welfare of his country, and the best interests of his fellowmen.

1. There is a certain kind of liberality which may be considered natural and constitutional. Some there are who, from their earliest days, evince a benevolent and generous disposition. The liberality which is natural will be found to operate chiefly, if not exclusively, in promoting the temporal welfare of mankind. And in this department of philanthropy the labours of such are often entitled to highest commendation. But such rarely evince any interest about the precious undying soul, and the eternity towards which we are all so rapidly hastening.

2. The person described in the text, we may well suppose, is indebted to a higher source than himself for a mind so enlightened and a heart so enlarged. As water cannot rise higher than the fountain, so man cannot in himself develop a character higher than he has inherited. There are some feelings of natural amiability which have survived the ruin of the fall. These may, along with certain external causes, form a character in which there is much to admire and love. But just as, to borrow the words of a great writer, "all the complexional varieties of the human countenance, from exquisite beauty to revolting deformity, have the one universal attribute of decay, so, amid all the varieties of human character, from the most lovely to the most hideous, there is a heart that is deceitful above all things and desperately wicked." There is a constant tendency In the world to overlook the agency of God s Spirit, and to put to the credit of something human — such as good education, or good example, or sound philosophy — what, in reality, is the fruit of the Spirit.

(W. Runciman.)

Parallel Verses
KJV: But the liberal deviseth liberal things; and by liberal things shall he stand.

WEB: But the noble devises noble things; and he will continue in noble things.

Liberality and its Reflex Advantages
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