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entire character. We may term it the can only live and grow in the sunshine
parent from this circumstance,
There is a largeness of heart, of purThe beauty of Christian love consists pose, of endeavour, marking Christian in this:
love, which is beautiful to observe, and 1. It is enlightened love. It is not, under most beneficial to contemplate. There any circumstances, an ignorant, a blind is often a disinterestedness exhibited by attachment, without light to illumine and it which prompts and enables it to make direct; without knowledge of principles, great sacrifices, to realise painful privacharacter, or worth. It is, in all cases, tions, to encounter formidable difficulwhere properly unfolded, the result of ties, to weather the fiercest storms, to knowledge, the knowledge of Christ Je- contend against the most vigorous adsus, and it is maintained and fed by versaries, if it can only benefit those that knowledge. It springs, on the one who are the objects of its regard. This hand, from the illuminating influences is how true Christian love is knownof the Holy Spirit, pouring light into this is the way in which it is exempli. the mind, and teaching it to think and fied—and this is the manner in which discriminate aright; and, on the other, its beauty and power are unfolded. from a clear and correct acquaintance And, we ask, can anything be more with the character and excellences of engaging than the development of so those to whom it is attached and de- generous an affection, one prepared to voted. Christian love, therefore, is no discharge any duty, to bear any burden, ignorant emotion-po blind impulse or to make any sacrifice, to endure any affection. It can always "give a rea- loss, to secure the happiness and proson” why it is developed, and why it is sperity of those in whom it takes the directed towards some particular object liveliest interest, and to whom it clings or objects. It lives in the light-it is with the utmost tenacity, viewing them ever surrounded by a luniinous atmo. as the friends of the Redeemer, as yasphere—the light of knowledge, of truth, lued and honoured brethren in Christ and of heaven always guides it, chastens Jesus? it, impels it, and hence its true beauty The beauty of Christian love consists is seen, and vividly unfolded. Chris. in this :tian love, as has been finely observed, III. It is love which springs from
the love of Christ, and which, indeed, is IV. It is akin to the love of heaven, accordant with it.
The air of that country is that of The love of Christ Jesus, the sinner's love. The anthems celebrated in that Friend, and the sinner's Redeemer, has land are those of love. The society to induced, has begotten, this love. With. be met with in that happy region is the out the Saviour's love to the soul, the society of love-love unbroken and love to which we are referring would eternal. The enjoyments realised in never have been displayed, never en. the paradise above are those springing kindled. The love of Christ at Bethle from love, pure and perfected love. hem has inspired this love. The love | The engagements which occupy the of Christ at Gethsemane has increased mind, awaken and concentrate its this love. The love of Christ at Cal- powers in their beatified condition, are vary has fanned this love. The love of all identified with love-love prompting Christ on Mount Olivet, when he as- every employment, mingling with, and cended to glory, has augmented this hallowing the performance of every love. The love of Christ in the Celes. duty, The beauty, the crown, the tial Temple, continually pitying, re- glory, of the land of immortality, the membering, and warmly interceding on abode of the righteous-" the sunny behalf of his people, is continually kingdom” of “the saints in light,” įs deepening this love. And, while the love-love, nothing but love. And what love of Christ has induced this love, it love? How pure in its character! How is, also, correspondent with that love benign in its aspect! How delightful not, of course, in its degree, but in its in its expressions! How happy and nature and properties. There is a uniform in its development! How beautiful similarity between the love of sublime and holy in its issues! Now, Christ to his people, and the attach- we affirm, with the Word of God before ment of his people towards each other; us, and the spirit and employment of and this must be the case, if the prin. the heavenly country there so vividly ciples and spirit of his Word are pourtrayed, that the love of the real carried out, because He has enjoined it disciples of the Lord Jesus towards each on them.
" This is my commandment, other is consonant with the love of that ye love one another as I have loved heaven. There is a resemblance; and, you.” John xv. 12.
unquestionably, there must be; for how There is to be a likeness between the true it is, that Saviour's regards to his people, and his
"The saints below, and those above, people's regards to one another. It
But one communion make; must be marked, in some degree, how- All join in Christ their living Head, ever faint the imitation, by similar
And of His grace partake.” purity, freeness, strength, elevation, We are painfully aware that the love of generosity. It must emanate from the believers towards each other now, but same principles --- be distinguished by faintly corresponds with the love of the the same characteristics-regard the ac- glorified towards one another, and their complishment of the same great ends. Lord; still, there is a correspondence. Is not this, in the highest sense, beau- | It is imperfect in its character and tiful? Is there not the most fascinat- degree-fitful, defective, and broken in ing charm connected with the develop its manifestations. In the best of men, ment of such a temper? Is there not und the most favoures
and happy a halo of mild and celestial glory thrown circumstances, there is, frequently, by around it?
no means a pleasing development; it Christian love is pre-eminently beay. is marked by many variations, intiful, because,
firmities, and impediments; it is often spirit of
clouded, narrowed, distorted, deformed; | this ground, must be constant in its it frequently wants fulness, expansive exercise. ness, and elevation-still, after making It will regard a Christian brother at every concession, and recurring to every all times, in all places, under all circumdrawback, there is a resemblance be- stances. It will aid him in poverty, tween the love of believers in Christ rejoice with him in prosperity, visit Jesus towards each other now, to that him in health, uot neglect him in sickwhich they will mutually cherish in ness, succour him in weakness, comheaven, and cultivate to all eternity. fort him in sorrow, accompany bim In the character exemplified-in the through life, beam upon him in old age, spirit breathed—in the aims regarded, cheer him in the dark valley, and asby this love, it must be the same un- sure him that he will have a larger, folded by the church on earth, as will a richer blessing throughout eternity. be for ever exhibited by the church Now, we inquire, is not this exquisitely triumphant in heaven. Hence, the beautiful ? Does it not unfold the peculiar beauty of Christian love where Divinity of the gospel? Does it not it is possessed, devoutly and habitually stamp a marked impress, as well as cultivated. Who would not have the peculiar loveliness on the Christian
character ? Does it not recommend the “ Heaven glowing within him ?”
religion of the New Testament? Does
it not show that the opposition of inThe beauty of Christian love is asso- fidels to Christianity is most ignorant, ciated with this circumstance
unjust, absurd? Does it not glorify V. It is permanent in its exercise. It the Author of our religion, and when varies, necessarily, in its degree, and developed, consistently and uniformly, manifestation; still, when it is genuine, by the friends of Christ, must be instruit is always developed. It is not fitful mental in extending His kingdom, and or capricious, like a wayward child multiplying the number of his subsoon pleased, and soon offended. It is jects ? not evanescent, like the flash of sum- Dear readers, admire the spirit of mer's lightning, illuminating the whole Christian love. There is no temper of the surrounding scenery, by its which will bear comparison with it. strong, yet momentary radiance. True No disposition is 80 attractive - so love-that which Christianity induces benign, in every sense, so deserving of enduros. It is an abiding principle. your high esteem; and, indeed, of the Indeed, it cannot die. It is immortal. strongest feelings of admiration. It is love wbich “many waters cannot Appreciate the Divine excellence of quench”—which the fiercest fires cannot Christianity in recommending and inextinguish, which the greatest suffer- ducing this temper. No religion, but ings cannot diminish, which the most that of Christ, has done this. It is not brutal persecutions cannot annihilate. characteristic of man, nor of man's
Christian love springs from principle, philosophy, to inculcate the spirit to and principle of the noblest order; which we have been referring. Indeed, therefore, it must be permanent. the temper, the maxims, the morals, of
It regards character, moral excel-men, without Christianity-without its lence, the truly beautiful of character, light, its principles, its spirit-is directly and, consequently, must endure.
the reverse. Are not those rules golden, It is in unison with the love of Christ, incomparable, divine?—“ Bear ye one therefore, must abide. It pays supreme another's burdens, and so fulfil the deference to the commands of the Son law of Christ." “ Be ye followers," of God in the New Testament, and, on imitators, “ of God, as dear children,
and walk in love, as Christ also hath | ple, beautifying and regulating all his loved us.” By love serve one ano arrangements and actions. His biograther.”
pher remarks of him: “It is not Let us cherish the deepest regret enough to say, of this affectionate that we have so little of the temper of spirit, that it formed a prominent feaChristian love displayed - so little of ture in his character; it was rather the it unfolded by avowed disciples in the life-blood that animated the whole sysfamily — so little exemplified in the tem. He seemed, as one of his friends church—so little exhibited before the observed, to be buptized in it. It was world. Nothing is more deeply, more holy love, that gave the tone to his bitterly to be lamented, than the partial, general deportment; as a son, a subject, the comparatively trifling development, a neighbour, a Christian, a minister, & by numbers of professing Christians, pastor, a friend, a husband, and a at the present period, of the true spirit | father, he was manifestly governed by of holy love. Such love, for example, this principle; and this it was that as Paul manifested, when he exclaimed: produced in him that lovely uniformity “For God is my record"-witness- of character, which constitutes the true “how greatly I long after you all in the beauty of holiness." bowels of Jesus Christ.” Phil. i. 8. Or This is the Christian love we want that temper which Peter recommends, everywhere; this is the spirit we earwhen he exhorts: "Finally, be ye all nestly desire to see everywhere cherishof one mind-having compassion one ed. It would chasten all-hallow allof another; love as brethren, be pitiful, sweeten all-regulate all—ennoble all. be courteous; not rendering evil for evil, It would be our fairest, our richest or railing for railing; but contrariwise robe-infinitely more costly than the blessing; knowing that ye are there- imperial purple. It would be the unto called, that ye should inherit a brightest gem in our crown, sparkling blessing." 1 Peter iii. 8, 9. Or that with celestial beauty — with divine fine spirit to which John persuades, lustre. Where is the avowed disciple when he writes: “My little children, of the Lord Jesus, who ought not to let us not love in word, neither in wish to be arrayed in this robe-and to tongue, but in deed and in truth.” wear this crown? Where is his true “ Beloved, let us love one another, for beauty without them? In a word, love is of God, and every one that where is his religion without them? loveth is born of God, and knoweth All religion, without this love, be it ever God. He that loveth not, knoweth not remembered, though decked as a living God, for God is love." 1 John iii. 18; | body, is but a corpse. iv. 7, 8.
Christians, Christians ! - Ministers, The perpetual exhibition of such a ministers! - Teachers of the young temper as this, by all the avowed everywhere !- breathe more of the spirit friends of the Redeemer, would renovate of holy love; that will ever be your the Church, and regenerate the world. greatest recommendation, and most fag
In perusing, with increased pleasure, cinnting charm. again and again, the charming biogra
“Love is the golden chain that binds phy of the estimable Samuel Pearce,
The happy souls above, by Andrew Fuller, who does not per And he's an heir of heaven who finds ceive that holy, ardent, seraphic love, His bosom glow with love." glowed brightly in his heart, and that
T. W. it was the governing, the master-princi July 2.
ECCL. X. 1. Selected from Dr. James Hamilton's Royal Preacher. The people of Palestine dealt largely | ness, and Knox in his erect and iron in aromatic oils, and it was the chief severity, and Lnther in the magnificent business of their apothecaries to pre- explosions of his far-sounding indignapare them. A little thing was enough tion, may have been nobler natures, to spoil them. Although the vase were and fuller of the grace of God, than the alabaster, and although the most ex. supple courtiers whose sensibilities they quisite perfumes were dissolved in the so rudely shattered. But it does not limpid olive, a dead fly could change follow that men who have not got their the whole into a pestilent odour. warfare to wage are entitled to use their
And so, says the Royal Moralist, a weapons. Nor does it even follow that character may be carefully confected. their warfare would have been less sucYou may attend to all the rules of wis- cessful had they wielded no such weadom and self-government which I have pons. The question, however, is not now laid down; but if you retain a between two rival graces,-between insingle infirmity it will ruin the whole. tegrity on the one side, and affability Like the decomposing influence of that on the other; but the question is, Are dead fly, it will injure all the rest and these two compatible? Can they codestroy the reputation which you other exist? Is it possible for a man to be wise merit.
explicit, and open, and honest, and, The principle is especially applicable withal, courteous and considerate of to a Christian profession; and the best the feelings of others? Is it possible use we can make of it is to exemplify to add to fervour and fidelity, suavity, it in some of those flaws and failings and urbanity, and brotherly kindness? which destroy the attraction and im- The question has already been answered, pressiveness of men truly devout and for the actual union of these things has God-fearing Our instances must be already been exhibited. Without refertaken almost at random; for, like their ring to Nathan's interview with David, Egyptian prototypes, these flies are too where truth and tenderness triumph many to be counted.
together; on Paul's remonstrances to Rudeness.—Some good men are blunt his brethren, in which a melting heart in their feelings, and rough in their į is the vehicle of each needful reproof, manners; and they apologise for their we need only revert to the great Exam. coarseness by calling it honesty, down- ple itself. In the Epistles to the Asiatic rightness, plainness of speech. They Churches, each begins with commendquote in self-defence the sharp words, ution, wherever there was anything that and shaggy mien of Elijah and John could be commended. With the magthe Baptist, and, as affectation, they nanimity which remembers past sersneer at the soft address and mild man- | vices in the midst of present injury, ners of gentler men. Now, it is very and which would rather notice good true that there is a certain strength of than complain of evil, each message, character, and impetuousness of feeling, so far as there was material for it, is and a sturdy vehemence of principle, to ushered in by a word of eulogy, and which it is more difficult to prescribe weight is added to the subsequent ad. the rules of Christian courtesy, than to monition by the preface of kindness.* more weak and pliant natures. It is And it was the same while the Lord very possible that Latimer in his blunt- * Fuller on the Apocalypse, p. 16.