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wherever it is found, aims to convert it into joy. It is a pure and disinterested affection, hence is the offspring of a heavenly temper. I would urge it upon myself and my fellow-men,

1. By the example of God. I have already noticed that text in which he is said so to have loved the world, " that he gave his only-begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him, might not perish, but have everlasting life.” God is said to be good to all, and his tender mercies are said to be over all his works. Even to the heathen world “ God did not leave himself without a witness, in that he did good, and gave them rain from heaven, and fruitful seasons, filling their hearts with food and gladness." "He maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust.” Thus God employs himself in making a world of sinners happy. How constant and how varied are the operations of the divine benevolence. Life and health, and food and raiment are his gifts, and are bestowed on his friends and his foes. No man is so impious but God continues to water his fields, and give health and fruitfulness to his flocks; surrounds him with friends and helpers, replenishes his table, and fills his cup, his storehouses and his barns; keeps all his bones that none of them are broken, and perpetually supplies him with countless sources of comfort. There is no year, no day, no hour, when his hand is not stretched out to convey benfits to every house about you and to every being, however regardless of His agency, and however ungrateful.

Now the text, and the whole Bible, just urges upon every man this same expanded benevolence. You are required to be a worker together with God. If many around you are your enemies, and you




as an excuse for neglecting to do them good, you are to remember that God does not act thus. The very man that you hate the most, is, it may be, the enemy of God; but God continues to do him good every moment, never neglects to cause his heart to beat and his lungs to heave; watches him at night and in the morning wakes him, feeds him, clothes him. And perhaps you are as much the enemy of God as the man you hate, but God is good to you. When you plough your field, and scatter your seed, you expect him to make it vegetate; and when you have sent out your ships, he sends the generous and friendly gale. Then why not imitate an example so infinitely illustrious? If there is not a foe

you have, but God is doing him kindnesses every day, and he is perhaps as much, nay more, the foe of God, why not go and do likewise? It would not injure you; it would not disgrace you. If it would render you unhappy to do what would render your enemies happy, then know that you have not a godly, temper, that you have not the benevolence which the gospel requires. God is happy while he makes glad his enemies. It gratifies the benevolence of his heart, if they rejoice. But you would carry,


if you could, sorrow and vexation to every house where you have not a friend; you would measure their worthiness by their attachment to you, and your benefits by their worthiness. But God has pleasure in doing good, if from the heart that he makes glad there never rises any incense of praise or one note of gratitude. He is pleased when men are sensible of his benefits, and when they love to praise him, but it gives him joy to do good, abstractly from any return that creatures make. Now we can meet with no case more forbidding than God meets with. There are some into whose bosoms God has poured his blessings these seventy

years, and there has never yet been awakened one sentiment of gratitude. There has risen to his throne every hour the murmurings, the repinings, the complaints, and the spleen of an impious heart; and, perhaps daily, the vibrations of profane and lying lips. Yet all this never induced the Lord to leave his fields one year unwatered, or leave him one day without light, and food, and reason. Who is there, then, that can have a foe so inveterate that he is not under obligation, if in his power, to do him good? If then we find ourselves, instead of exercising such a spirit, engaged in injuring a fellow-creature, we have only to recollect how differently God is doing at the same moment. We are wronging him, and God is feeding him; we are defaming him, and endeavouring to diminish his influence, and God is giving him health, and wealth, and friends. Now one is thus placed in a very unpleasant attitude. Suppose Jehovah visible; he and you meet at your neighbour's door; you have come to ruin him, but God has come to bring him blessings. He is your enemy, and he is God's enemy. He has once injured you; God he has wronged and abused every day he has lived. And when the Lord has supplied his wants, he comes to your door and supplies yours, and you perhaps have been as base a rebel as your neighbour. Now, although God is not seen by the eye of sense, the fact is not altered ; his benevolence leads him all this length. He bestows blessings every hour upon the man you would injure; supplies the wants that you create, heals the wounds you inflict, and repairs the reputation you destroy. O, let shame cover us! and let the benevolence of God teach us to drop our blessings on all men, at all times, if they are within our reach, and we have any good to bestow. 2. We are urged to the same duty by the com


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mand of God. God does not exhibit his example before us, and leave it to our option whether we will do like him. “ Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself." This is the law, precisely, by which heaven has bound

Whatsoever, then, we would that others should do to us, we are to do the same to them. The command is, “That we love our enemies, bless them that curse us, do good to them that hate us, and pray for them that despitefully use us, and persecute us."

It is enjoined, “ that we love one another with a pure heart, fervently.” “ That we honour all men.” “That we be pitiful and courteous.” That we submit ourselves to one another," and be clothed with humility. “He that would be great must become a servant.”

6 We are to keep the unity of the spirit in the bond of peace.” “Nothing is to be done through vain-glory, but each, in lowliness of mind, esteem other better than themselves.”

Every man is to look not on his own things, but every man also on the things of others," that thus the “ mind may be in us which was also in Christ Jesus.” “We are to follow after the things that make for peace, and things whereby one may edify another.” We are to have that love that worketh no ill to his neighbour." We are to “ love not in word, neither in tongue, but in deed and in truth." God


that we should love one another by the consideration, that he so loved us, that he sent his son to be a propitiation for our sins.

Thus are we taught of God to love one another.

And the Scriptures teach us what the effect of this love will be. It will lead to an affectionate deportment, and a readiness to serve each other. It begets a spirit of forbearance, of truth, of unanimity, of self-denial, of meekness, and forgiveness. It“ rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth.” It beareth all things, be

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lieveth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things. Thus do we see a few of the outlines of the code of love. Thus the divine authority binds us to the exercise of that same benevolence which God displays in his providence toward all men. Hence our obligations to be benevolent will bear, in our view, an exact proportion to our respect for the authority of God: if the latter be supreme, so will the former.

3. Benevolence affords its possessor a permanent and high enjoyment. It is, in its nature, a sweet and calm affection, has its origin in heaven, and exerts a sanctifying influence upon every other exercise of the soul. It is an affection which we can contemplate with pleasure, and view with complacency. If I know that I love my fellow-men, I am conscious that I feel as God does, and as he commands me to feel. I see, in that case, the image of my Creator in my heart. Hence it begets joy and hope. I believe, then, that God has wrought in me, by his Spirit, has left upon the heart his own impress, and will one day make me wholly like him, and take me to himself.

But this is not all: a benevolent heart makes all the happiness it sees its own, and thus widens, indefinitely, the sphere of its enjoyment. It has a real pleasure in another's joy, and still does not diminish the good on which it feeds and thrives. If there is harmony in the civil community, or domestic quiet in any house, or joy in any heart, or peace in any conscience, the benevolent man enjoys it all, and makes it all his own. The whole aggregate of enjoyment about him becomes appropriated to himself; if any are happy, he is. The man of taste will enjoy what is the property of a neighbour. If he can see, within another's enclosures, a verdant spot, a lawn, an orchard, or a grove, his eye extracts from it a pleasure,

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