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our condition hereafter, should we submit to the privations which it imposes? If then our selflove induces us to do those things from which we believe benefit will result to ourselves, in like manner shall we, if we really love our neighbur, exhibit it in our actions towards him. We often indeed express our pity towards those who have a religious claim to our love, as if our pity would stand instead of that element of our Christian profession which is "the fulfilling of

the law."


Pity is at best but a questionable virtue if it subside in the simple expression of sympathy, which is a mighty cheap discharge of a Christian obligation. Pity is too frequently nothing more than a hasty ebullition of feeling; a mere quitrent emotion, so to speak, with which we salve our consciences, for the non-performance of a real benevolence. But listen to St. Paul. "Though I bestow all my goods to feed the and though I give my body to be burned, and have not charity, it profiteth me nothing." Now the original word translated charity in this passage, signifies love, rendered perhaps by the term charity, because love leads to the exercise of charity; so that the original text is a clear corroboration of the Apostle's declaration that " love is the fulfilling of the law." From this it will appear that love is so essential to the perfection of the Christian character that the greatest sacrifice of

worldly possessions, nay even of life itself, without it, will not obtain for him who makes this sacrifice, that "exceeding great reward" which the Saviour died to secure to all who "come unto God by Him." What we would do for ourselves we are religiously bound to do for another, if we possess the means. God is our lawgiver, and where he commands us to do a duty, they towards whom that duty is commanded by him to be done, have a right to claim the performance of it at our hands, if not by the civil or social law, still by the divine.


Do not let us imagine that our charities, in whatever measure we exercise them, are solely gratuitous offerings at the shrine of a free and irrespective benevolence, and are therefore services highly commendable before God—No! they are positive obligations; they are services rigidly demanded from us, and we shall be just as responsible for the neglect of them as for any transgression against God himself; for if love be the fulfilling of the law," every absence of love, and a consequent failure in its fruit, must be a non-fulfilment of the law; and not to fulfil the law is in fact to violate it, because it is an infraction of a commandment which constitutes part of the law, and we are assured, upon inspired authority, that "whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all;" to infringe a part therefore is to violate the whole.

We cannot fail to observe what activity love produces in exciting kind offices towards those who are the objects of it. Why are we so full of gentle and endearing attention towards parents, wives, children, brothers, sisters? Because we love them and feel a delight in performing the suggestions of a constant and tender affection. If we loved our neighbours-and we are to remember that the duty is equally imperative—we should act in the same manner towards them, in kind at least if not in degree, and, need I repeat it, if we do not love them we are guilty of a breach of the divine ordinance. And why is this? Because as love is the source of all good, for God is love, to withhold ours from those upon whom he has commanded us to bestow it is at once to admit the accession of evil. It is to open the flood-gates (which had kept evil from flowing in upon the heart. Besides, where love is bestowed, it will raise up a prolific harvest around it; it will every where beget a reciprocation of good-will, and thus tend to the general improvement of society, by promoting mutual kind fellowship among mankind.

The arguments which I have addressed to you, as they apply to all classes, must consequently include both rich and poor, and it is between these extreme classes, if I may so call them, that the interchange of that principle, which the text lays down as a fulfilment of the

law, is especially desirable, as they are entirely dependant upon each other. If we look at the temporal conditions of the rich and poor, we shall find them conditions of mutual obligation; since in the present order of things neither could live without the other. Society could not continue, unless in a state of barbarism, if these classes were confounded; they are alike necessary to its very existence. Is it to the rich alone that society owes its refinements, its elegances, its enjoyments? No such thing. It is equally indebted for them to the poor, without whose co-operation the social condition of the community would no where have been improved, for they are the active members of that community-the executive portion of it who realize by their labors all that is splendid, luxurious or useful, in the abodes of the wealthy, the latter being in fact their debtors for the enjoyment of almost every advantage which wealth confers.

"In the multitude of the people is the king's honour," says Solomon, and wherefore? because they so essentially contribute to promote the glory and welfare of states: they, that is the poor or laboring orders, are the sinews of a commonwealth, the handy-workers in every community who support the fabric of government by the constant application of their physical energies, and ought therefore to be provided for, except where

their individual demerits place them beyond the legitimate influence of such kindness. In short, the rich are as much bound to extend the scriptural principle of our text to the poor, as the poor to the rich. It is just as much the duty and interest of the rich to consult the welfare and improve the hard condition of the poor, as it is the duty and interest of the poor to toil for the convenience and pleasure of the rich. If the poor are benefited by the rich, the rich are alike benefited by the poor,-the obligation therefore is mutual. Surely then they who abound in the treasures of this world should do every thing in their power for the laudable advantage of that class to whom they are so mainly indebted for the available application of those treasures. The poor have as undoubted a claim upon their bounty, as upon their love, since the extension of that bounty towards them is a duty as imperatively commanded by God to the rich as the exercise of their love. The poor consequently have a positive claim to the fulfilment of the divine ordinance in their behalf.

We are too apt to look upon the obligations of Charity when fulfilled, as meritorious and gratuitous acts which we are bound to perform no further than as our feelings may suggest or our inclinations prompt. This is a mistake. We are bound-such is the covenant between God and man-I say we are bound to do all the good we

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