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in such distressing measure, by reason that benefits are so much more frequently conferred in pride, than in affection and meekness !
Nor is it marvellous, that discontented tempers, thus hardened through all want of love, should lose sight of the true root of evils, under whose shade they pine and starve; and seek a cure for them, through violent alteration of those merely superficial inequalities, with which (to the natural and careless discernment) they are $0 palpably connected. It is not surprising, that the real “ equality" of men should be mistaken or mis-stated; and the perfect consistency of this, with their unequal condition among the perishable things of this life, overlooked or denied. There is no Christian sense of “ brother“ hood” to be traced on either side, in all such behaviour: and is it not likely that society becomes, in these points, what it is, for want of it?
I. 8. 2. Let some evils next be noticed of another class ; where the mischief arises from defect of sympathy and tender-heartedness.
Let it be considered, what need there is of some fundamental corrective for all such things as these ; for the want of compassion so continually shown by minds powerful in intellect for “ intellectual feebleness" in others; for the harsh rejection and unmanly rudeness often exhibited towards a “mere unpolished awkward
“ness,” because it does not satisfy certain dictations of politer “ fashion ;” (which ruder outside may nevertheless conceal the most excellent wisdom :) again, for every species of that so general destitution of what I know not how to make intelligible, except by the term of “ fair“ness ;” under which we see so many grasping always at the best of every thing, yet never willing to take their turn with the worst of any thing; as if this world had enough for all to take the best to their own share ; and “ forbearance" were a quality fit only to be made advantage of! All these must be familiar aspects of the world's conduct: who has not felt, or seen them-sorrowfully? and why are they not remedied ?-Because no remedy short of the true spirit of Christian “ brotherhood” is of power to effect their reform.
But, let the Christian (of whatever degree) only once by faith enter into the sense of his s true membership in one common body," and he will have a principle to guide him aright through all relations of life. While the direct consequence of false views of “ equality" (that is, of views addressed but to fluctuating differ
ences, and to things that will perish with the Cf. James using) is, to produce confusion and disorder, and
every evil work; that of the true (i. e. views of an equality in guilt originally, by natural corruption, and in all spiritual privileges and bene
fits subsequently, by virtue of Christ's reconciliation,) is the diffusion and habitual exercise of mutual respect, and love, and harmony. Under such, the brother of low degree will rejoice in James i. 9, that he is exalted to a noble hope: nor will he be tempted to despise his present station, and to covet higher things; for he will have learnt concerning that, his own, which he possesses already, that it is itself sufficiently honourable, by reason of its substantial utility to others, and its joint fellowship in Christ. Again; the rich may surely rejoice at the same time in that he is made low, to his own unspeakable comfort; in that he has been taught to see the true value of riches, so as to trust in vanity no longer. Sincere, social humility will thus be formed within the higher, when they shall have learned to respect all their brethren ; and a like spirit in the lower, when they have thus apprehended, that to murmur and rebel is to wound the very body of which themselves are members. The man of “intellect” will no more scorn a simple brother, whom Christ designs to acknowledge; and amidst fellowship of spirit, thus appreciated, will be no such character as that of mere politeness without principle ; since all who join in the estimate will have adopted (necessarily) the Apostle's precept, Be not conformed Rom. xii. 2. to this world.
Here, then, are legitimate influences of a
vi. 1, 2.
Compare Christian (that is, a scriptural) principle, fitted to
through a contentious world, than any which
rated from the habit of occupations exclusively spiritual. And inasmuch as any gift lends aid to innocent and lawful increase of man's comfort, in subserviency to his ONE GREAT GOOD; we think it surely permissiblenay, it is his duty, that the Christian pay its fit respect to every exertion, of which he himself enjoys the benefit.
His principle of “ brotherhood” will stand his friend in this case also. Let him consult this he will not love to revile, or quarrel with a gift or station really beneficial, merely because it differs from his own in direction or character. Happiest of all the brotherhood is he, that has for his own portion the inestimable “ talent” of religious wisdom, and fervent piety! whose espe. cial field of exertion lies where his delight is also--beside the altar of God! His, surely, (if he use it worthily,) is the highest of all gifts : let it be his abundant consolation, to pursue the hope of its proportionate reward!
But happy is he too, and not to be condemned or censured by a “brother"--who, being endowed with excellence of another kind, shall yield the fruit of that in simplicity and godly 2 Cor. i. sincerity to the great stock of human welfare. His reward also is in the hand of an all-wise Cf. Psalm and righteous Judge; and doubtless, in the day lxii. 12. of his appearing it shall be found equitably measured and plentifully conferred ! Meanwhile,