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and it is a trial of very common occurrence in the present day, to be called from important occupations to listen to tales of woe, or read the statement of want, or answer the inquiries of ignorance: but still we must not be, ought not to be, rude. Sudden interruptions are apt to throw a man off his guard : he has scarcely time to call into exercise his principles, before his passions are up and busy. It is said of Mr. Romaine, that he was one day called upon by a poor woman in distress of soul, for the purpose of gaining instruction and consolation. The good man was busy in his study; and on being informed that a poor woman wanted to converse with him below, exclaimed, with great incivility of manner, "Tell her I cannot attend to her." The humble applicant, who was within hearing of the reception her case had met with, said, "Ah, Sir! your master would not have treated thus a burdened penitent who came to him for mercy." "No, no,” replied the good man, softened by an appeal which his heart could not resist," he would not; come in, come in!" Too, too often has the same petulant indecorum been manifested by others, without being accompanied by the same reparation they have pierced the heart and left the wound to fester: the petitioners have carried away from their door their misery, not only unrelieved but greatly aggravated. But there is a peculiar sensitiveness on the subject of pecuniary contributions in some persons; to ask for them is an offence, which they pay back in insult.* They are the Nabals of the Church-if,
I must here specify the applications which are so frequent in the present day for the support of building cases and public
indeed, the Church could have a Nabal. What can be more unseemly than words which would disgrace a man, dropping,-dropping! no flowing, in a stream,-from the lips of a professing Christian..
Unbecoming rudeness should be most sedulously avoided in our public intercourse with the church, and in our social circles, when meeting as brethren. Every thing of flat contradiction, of unwarrantable
institutions. I am aware that the bells and knockers of some persons doors are rarely silent long together, or their parlours and counting-houses rarely free from "beggars" a single hour of any day: I am also aware how trying it is to be called away from occupations of importance to attend to such cases: but even this does not justify a man for going into a passion at the sight of a red book and a black coat, and almost ordering the bearer off the premises as an impostor or vagrant. Let such persons ask, whether it is not misery enough to pace the streets of a city or large town, and, at the end of a long day's weary pilgrimage, have to count up far more "Noes" than pounds? I have never known by experience, but I have heard by reports, the sorrows of beggars; and from regard to common bumanity, as well as from a wish to save the ministerial character from degradation, I do most ardently desire some scheme, in place of the present mode of raising money from rich Christians, to help the necessities of their poorer brethren. But till that scheme shall be devised-and I am afraid the time is far distant which shall produce it,-let me plead for civility towards those who are still doomed to bear the yoke of bondage. "Forasmuch as ye did it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye did it unto me." So say's Christ of his brethren, and says it in reference both to benefits and neglects. When popular men travel from place to place, many houses are open to receive them-many tables spread to entertain them. They meet with no rudeness, no unkindness. But this is for their own sakes. Our regard for Christ is proved by our conduct to the least, not to the greatest, of his brethren. And are the great ministers free from all blame
suspicion concerning the truth of a statement; all seeming contempt for the opinions of others; all attempts to interrupt or bear down, by clamour and vehemence, those with whom we may be engaged in discussion, should be very anxiously abstained from. It is truly painful to observe what an utter disregard for the feelings of their brethren is often manifested by some ardent sticklers for their own opinions and plans. But is not civility a Christian grace? Did not the apostle say, Be courteous? Why should that which is considered by the world as a rich decoration of character, as softening and embellishing the intercourse of society, and as so important and necessary as to be placed under the guardianship of what is called the law of honour, and to be avenged, for the slightest violation of it, by the punishment of death;-why should this ever be considered as of little moment in the business of religion and the fellowship of the faithful? If rudeness be considered as a blemish upon talents, rank, fame, must it not be viewed also as a blot and deformity upon piety? Most certainly it is regarded as such by charity, whose anxiety to do whatever would give pleasure, and to avoid whatever would occasion distress, is not greater than its delicate
in reference to their conduct towards their humbler brethren? They are glad to entertain the popular favourites of the daythe men of name or talents; but how do they behave to the "Multi præterea quos fama obscura recondit?” Do they not order these to be sent away from their door without an audience, or keep them long waiting for an interview, and then dismiss the good man, sorrowfully exclaiming, "Am I not thy brother?"
perception of everything that will contribute to this end.
We see in this subject the wonderful excellence of Christianity, as a code of morals, a rule of conduct, and a body of principles: for in addition to specific laws, intended to operate in the production of certain virtues, and the prevention of certain vices, it has general and comprehensive precepts, capable of universal application, of so plain a nature as to be understood by the dullest intellect, and possessing, at the same time, a kind of beauty, which gives them an interest in every heart; so that if in the specialities of Christian morals, properly so called, any case should be overlooked, or any situation should not be reached any distinction between virtue and vice should be so minute as to be imperceptible any delicacy of character so refined as not to be taken into the account, here is something to supply the defect, and render the law of God perfect for converting the soul. Love does not act unbecomingly; and who is so ignorant, if he would but consult his conscience, as not to know what would be thought by others unbecoming in himself?
THE DISINTERESTEDNESS OF LOVE.
"Charity, seeketh not her own."
If it were required to give a brief and summary description of man's original apostacy, we might say, that it was his departure from God, the fountain of his happiness, and the end of his existence,-and retiring into himself as the ultimate end of all his actions and if it were also asked, what is the essence of his sin, the sum of his moral depravity, we might say, to love himself supremely, to seek himself finally and exclusively, to make self, in one shape or another, the centre to which all his busy thoughts, anxious cares, and diligent pursuits constantly tend. Self-love is the most active and reigning principle in fallen nature; self is the great idol which mankind are naturally disposed to worship; and selfishness the grand interest to which they are devotedly attached. But the grace of
God, when it renews the heart, so corrects and subdues this disposition, that it is no longer the ascendant of the mind; and plants in the human bosom the principle of benevolence-a principle which as it leads us to love God supremely, and our