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angels? how much more things that pertain to this life? If then ye have judgments of things pertaining to this life, set them to judge who are least esteemed in the Church. I speak to your shame. Is it so, that there is not a wise man among you? no, not one that shall be able to judge between his brethren? But brother goeth to law with brother, and that before the unbelievers. Now, therefore, there is utterly a fault among you, because ye go to law one with another. Why do ye not rather take wrong? why do ye not rather suffer yourselves to be defrauded?"* Men professing godliness, especially members of the same religious community, ought, in cases of difference about property or character, to settle all their disputes by the mediation of their own - brethren; and if either party decline such arbitration, he must be accountable for all the scandal thrown on the Christian profession by the legal measures to which the other may find it necessary to resort for the protection of his rights. In this case, the guilt of infringing the apostolic regulation lies on him who refuses to accede to this scriptural method of settling the differences that may arise among those who profess to be the disciples of Christ. Whatever award is made, in the case of private arbitration, both parties should abide by it; nor must the individual against whom the decision is given, feel any ill will, or cherish any revenge, towards his successful competitor.
The law of love requires that innumerable minor offences should be passed over without being noticed, or suffered to disturb our peace of mind. And those
1 Cor. vi. 1-7.
which we find it necessary to have explained, require the utmost caution and delicacy. In these cases, love will lead us to the offender, in the spirit of meekness, to ask, not to demand-to solicit, in the most gentle manner—an explanation of the injurious treatment. In a great majority of cases, this line of conduct would stifle the animosity while it is yet a spark. If, on the contrary, we permit ourselves to take offence, and have our feelings wounded, or our anger roused; if, instead of mildly and affectionately expostulating, and seeking reconciliation, we brood over the injury, and retire in disgust, to indulge in sullenness, or to watch for an opportunity of revenge; -this is being "easily provoked," and the very site of suffering long."
ON THE KINDNESS OF LOVE.
"Charity is kind."
Ir is a decisive proof, and a striking display, of the excellence of the Christian religion, that it enjoins not only the loftier and more rigid excellences of the human character, but those also which are delicately amiable and tender; not only the masculine virtues, but the feminine graces; in short, that it not only prepares its possessor to be a patriot on the great theatre of his country, or a spectacle of heroic martyrdom to God, to angels, and to men,but a sympathizing friend in the social and domestic circles. Love can either expand its benevolence to the claims of the whole human family, or concentrate its emotions, for a time, in one individual object of pity, or affection. "Love is kind." Kindness means a disposition to please-an anxiety, manifested by our conduct, to promote the comfort of our species. Pity commiserates their sorrows, mercy relieves their wants and mitigates their woes; but kindness is a general attention to their comfort. It is thus described and distinguished by a celebrated writer on English synonymes. "The terms affec
tionate and fond characterize feelings; kind is an epithet applied to outward actions, as well as inward feelings; a disposition is affectionate or fond; a behaviour is kind. A person is affectionate, who has the object of his regard strongly in his mind, who participates in his pleasures and in his pains, and is pleased with his society. A person is kind, who expresses a tender sentiment, or does any service in a pleasant manner. Relatives should be affectionate to each other; we should be kind to all who stand in need of our kindness." Kindness, then, appears to be an affectionate behaviour. This is what the apostle means, when he admonishes us to "be kindly affectioned one to another.”
Let us view the kind man in contrast with some other characters.
He is opposed to the rigid, severe, and censorious person, who will make no allowance for the infirmities or inexperience of others; but judges harshly, reproves sternly, and speaks severely of all who do not come up to his standard. Kindness, on the contrary, makes all reasonable allowances, frames the best excuses it can, consistently with truth and holiness; speaks of the offender in a way of mitigation, and to him in a way of compassion; does not publish nor exaggerate his faults, and endeavours to find out some redeeming qualities to set off against his failings.
A kind man is opposed to a proud and overbearing one. The latter is ever seeking an opportunity to display his superiority, and make you feel your inferiority; and cares not how much your feelings are hurt by this offensive exhibition of his
consequence. Kindness, if conscious, as it sometimes must be, of its superiority, takes care that those who are below it shall not feel a painful sense of their inferiority. Without removing the distinctions of social life, or sacrificing its dignity, it will conceal as much as possible, its pre-eminence, or unite it with such affability as shall render it by no means unpleasant.
Kindness is opposed to coldness and selfishness of disposition. There are persons who, though neither cruel, nor injurious, nor really hard-hearted, are yet so cold, and distant, and retiring, and repulsive, that they can neither be approached nor moved. They look upon the scenes around them with the fixed and beamless eye, the chillness and quiescence, of the statue, for they have no interest in the concerns of the world. But kindness is the visible expression of a feeling and merciful heart; it is the goings forth of a tender and susceptible mind; it claims kindred with the human race; it is all ear to listen-all heart to feel-all eye to examine and to weep-all hand and foot to relieve; it invites the sufferer with kind words, and sends him not empty
Kindness is opposed to a vain and ostentatious liberality. Some will be charitable, if they may have spectators of their good deeds, who shall go and proclaim their alms: thus the weaknesses of human nature often come in the place of duty, and supply the want of principle, though certainly without any advantage to their possessor. They spoil the action by their mode of performing it; for they will, in the most indelicate manner, make the object