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hence the emphatic language of God to the Israelites "Thou shalt not hate thy brother in thine heart; thou shalt in any wise rebuke thy neighbour, and not suffer sin upon him." Would it be benevolence to connive at that conduct by which any individual was bringing disease upon his body, or poverty into his circumstances? If not, how can it be benevolent to leave him, without a warning, to do that which will involve his soul in ruin. To think more lightly of the evil of sin than the word of God does; to call that good, or even indifferent, which by it is called evil; to make allowances, which it does not make, for human frailty; to frame excuses for sin which it disallows; to lull the consciences of men, by considerations in extenuation of guilt which it forbids; or to do any thing to produce other views and feelings in reference to iniquity, than such as are warranted by the Scripture,-is not charity, but a participation in other men's sins.

It is the nature of charity, I admit, not to be hasty to impute evil motives to actions of a doubtful nature; not to take pleasure in finding out the faults of others; not to magnify them beyond the reality, but to make all the allowance that a regard to truth will admit of; to hope the best in the absence of proof; and to be willing to forgive the offence when it has been committed against ourselves: but to carry it beyond this, and let it degenerate into a complaisance which is afraid to rebuke, or oppose, or condemn sin, lest we should offend the transgressor, or violate the law of courtesy, or subject ourselves to the reproach of being a censorious bigot; which courts the good-will and promotes

the self-satisfaction of others, by conniving at their sins; which seeks to ingratiate itself in their affections, by being indulgent to their vices;-is to violate at once the law both of the first and of the second Table; is to forget every obligation which we are laid under, both to love God and our neighbour. If this be candour, it is no less opposed to piety than to humanity, and can never be the love enjoined in so many places in the New Testament. No, no: Christian charity is not a poor old dotard, creeping about the world, too blind to perceive the distinction between good and evil; or a fawning sycophant, too timid to reprove the bold transgressor, and smiling with parasitical and imbecile complacency upon the errors and iniquities of the human race;-but a vigorous and healthy virtue, with an eye keen to discern the boundaries between right and wrong, a hand strong and ready to help the transgressor out of his miserable condition, a heart full of mercy for the sinner and the sufferer; a disposition to forgive rather than to revenge, to extenuate rather than to aggravate, to conceal rather than to expose, to be kind rather than severe, to be hopeful of good rather than suspicious of evil,-but withal, the inflexible, immutable friend of holiness, and the equally inflexible and immutable enemy of sin.

We are not allowed, it is true, to be scornful and proud towards the wicked, nor censorious towards any; we are not to make the most distant approach to the temper which says, "Stand by, I am holier than thou!" we are not to hunt for the failings of others, nor, when we see them without.

hunting for them, to condemn them in a tone of arrogance, or with a spirit of acerbity; but still we must maintain that temper which, while it reflects the beauty of a God of love, no less brightly reflects his glory as a God of holiness and a God of truth.



A DISTINCTION has been introduced into the subject of religion, which, although not wholly free from objection, is sufficient to answer the purpose for which it is employed; I mean that which exists between essentials and non-essentials. It would be a difficult task to trace the boundary line by which these classes are divided; but the truth of the general idea cannot be questioned-that there are some things, both in faith and practice, which, for want of perceiving the grounds of their obligation, we may neglect, and yet not be destitute of true religion; while there are others, the absence of which neces

sarily implies an unrenewed heart. Among the essentials of true piety, must be reckoned the disposition we are now considering. It is not to be classed with those observances and views which, though important, are not absolutely essential to salvation: we must possess it, or we are not Christians now, and shall not be admitted into heaven hereafter. The Apostle has expressed this necessity in the clearest and the strongest manner. He

has put a hypothetical case of the most impressive kind, which I shall now illustrate.


Though I speak with the tongues of men or of angels, and have not CHARITY, I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal.”—Verse 1.

By the tongues of men and of angels, we are not to understand the powers of the loftiest eloquence, but the miraculous gift of tongues, accompanied by an ability to convey ideas according to the method of celestial beings. Should a man be invested with these stupendous endowments, and employ them in the service of the Gospel; still, if his heart were not a partaker of love, he would be no more acceptable to God, than was the clangor of the brazen instruments employed in the idolatrous worship of the Egyptian Isis, or the noise of the tinkling cymbals which accompanied the orgies of the Grecian Cybele. Such a man's profession of religion is not only worthless in the sight of God, but disagreeable and disgusting. The comparison is remarkably strong, inasmuch as it refers not to soft melodious sounds, as of the flute or of the harp-not to the harmonious chords of a concert,but to the harsh dissonance of instruments of the most inharmonious character: and if, as is probable, the allusion be to the noisy clank of idolatrous musicians, the idea is as strongly presented as it is possible for the force of language to express it.

"And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries, and all knowledge; and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not CHARITY, I am nothing.”Verse 2.

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