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shall say, where is he?" In spite of the boisterous laugh, and air of levity with which he may appear before his compeers, do not imagine that he is without those gnawings of the never-dying worm begotten of sin in the heart of the sinner. Is it not sufficient that we leave him to that Allwise Judgment from which he cannot escape, and which so well knows how to vindicate its own wrongs? In truth, there is ample room for pity even towards the worst offender. And what was the conduct of our blessed Saviour? Did he not associate with publicans and sinners, whom all else had abandoned? Did he not pardon an adultress before Priests and Levites, Scribes and Pharisees? Did he not promise a malefactor-perhaps a murderer-glory in his father's kingdom? And why? Because his Omniscient eye discovered good in those delinquents which human perception, with all its fastidiousness of scrutiny, could not detect; because "God's ways are not our ways," for "He regards not the persons of men," and frequently sees that the inward man is far better than the outward would lead us to imagine.
It is adopting a very pernicious fallacy to suppose that you may hate any one; for if you persuade yourself that you may hate even a murderer, you will soon leap to the conclusion that you will be justified in hating every gradation of sinner, since all sins that are persisted in, and
not repented of, become deadly, and expose the delinquent to the everlasting penalty, consequently they who commit them would be as justly objects of your hate. If this doctrine were once admitted, there is no knowing where the exercise of such a pernicious principle might end. It would tend to inculcate a feeling of universal hatred. But if you love all mankind you cannot err, since this is demanded by God himself, as an earnest of your spiritual fitness to partake of his holy supper. "If you only love them which love you, what thank have ye, for sinners also love those that love them. And if ye do good to them that do good to you, what thank have ye, for sinners do even the same. But love ye your enemies, and ye shall be the children of the Highest, for he is kind to the unthankful, and to the evil."
Let us look around us, and see whether they who hate each other are not in general equally moral defaulters; for hatred is a sure indication of spiritual degeneracy. St. John denounces all such as murderers, and we shall invariably perceive that hatred is only reciprocated among those who are equally delinquents. How frequently shall we find that the glutton hates the drunkard, the drunkard the glutton; the covetous the prodigal, the prodigal the covetous; the envious man the successful rogue, the successful rogue the envious man; the hypocrite the sensualist,
the sensualist the hypocrite! And thus through all the gradations of human frailty we affect to despise such as happen to be guilty of derelictions, the reverse of those in which we ourselves indulge, though our vices may be equal, and even greater than theirs. This propensity unhappily pervades the whole social system. Society is in fact a field of moral warfare, when it ought to be a paradise of peace.
It must be obvious to every candid reasoner that if self-love, under any circumstances of spiritual defection, would prevent us from withdrawing our affection from ourselves, we must be guilty of injustice, under such circumstances, in withdrawing it from our neighbour. And this is certain, that however righteous we may imagine ourselves to be, we have nevertheless some besetting sin, from the penalties of which the Divine Mercy alone can save us, so that if our hatred of our neighbour can be warranted upon the plea of moral infirmity, his hatred of us will be equally so. But is it not evident, that to act up to such a principle of hostile recrimination would confound all social order, and render us a community of savages? Would it not encourage the most odious propensities of our fallen nature, and finally slope the way to the horrors of mutual extermination? But you will perhaps ask me, am I to take a profligate to my bosom? No! This is not necessary. There are various modes
of exercising a religious affection without rendering it pernicious either to ourselves or to society. The fat pastures" of love are wide and fruitful. The love which religion enjoins consists not in weak emotions, but in benevolent sentiments. It is not a passion, but a principle. It consists, in short, in a desire to do good to our kind, for the love of Him who created them to life eternal, and redeemed them from eternal death.
However vile a man may be, the obligation to do him all the good in our power is not in the least abated by his profligacy. We may, as I have said, abhor the crime, without abhorring the man, and though we are not expected to take the criminal to our arms as we would a worthy friend, or a dearly beloved relation, we are nevertheless bound not to withhold our compassion from him, but to benefit him to the best of our means. God is the fountain of love, as He is the fountain of light and life; and he extends it to all his creatures, only withholding it when his justice sees fit, in order to fulfil the righteous purposes of his creation; but as we cannot discover where his justice may pardon or condemn, it behoves us in obedience to the divine ordinance, to love all men, since we do not know that we ourselves may not be objects of that very wrath which we poured out upon those
may imagine shall be whom we, in tender
mercy to our own lapses, have judged to be less pardonable offenders. We are commanded to love each other because, as love is the origin of all good, for God is love, it must necessarily keep us from the practice of evil; and we shall be invariably criminal in proportion as we fail to exercise this primitive and elemental virtue, for "he that loveth not his brother abideth in death."
Let us only consider that love is the bond of union among human societies; it is the distinguishing feature which elevates our social condition above that of the brutes, which continually war with and prey upon their kind; and in fact it is only the limited predominancy of this principle, which occasions those civil convulsions among human communities, that so frequently disturb the harmony of the world, rendering it a scene of discord,—of private massacre and of public murder. Where love is withheld, that bond of union is broken, and every social tie is snapt which links us to our kind. If it were universally exercised in a true Christian spirit, then might we see realized among men the song of the sweet Psalmist of Israel, "Mercy and truth are met together, righteousness and peace have kissed each other. Truth shall flourish out of the earth, and righteousness hath looked down from Heaven."
Why is there such unity in Heaven? why is