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charity that it “ rejoiceth in the truth as well as thinketh no evil ;” and no wonder, for its founda. tion is love to the God of truth, and on that it builds every work, word and thought of self-denying love to man.
I never thought the word so comprehensive before.
Perhaps not, for the use of it seems now as much confined to mere verbal charity as it once was to almsgiving: both however are branches of that real charity which is greater and more enduring than even faith and hope; and like them divine in its origin and its nature.
Then, mamma, what do you call false charity ?
Any thought, word, or deed which, though it may seem kind, is inconsistent with any of the characteristics of true charity. Read very carefully St. Paul's description of charity, in 1 Cor. 13th chapter, and you will see it is a summary of the social duties of Christianity, differing from that contained in the 12th chapter of his epistle to the Romans in this only, that it traces each action to its motive, each virtue to its source : the state of a renewed heart filled with sincerity and love.
But, mamma, does it not seem very uncharitable to speak ill of others ?
Where it may be avoided it is so; but, my dear girl, the world, to whose opinion you are now referring, judges by false, though varying standards : I have as often heard that man called a timeserver who spoke ill of none, as I have heard him called uncharitable who sorrowfully condemned the errors of a friend. The world values truth as it does gold, not for its intrinsic worth, but because it passes current at all times.
Then, mamma, I am not to regard the opinion of the world.
Not where it is opposed to truth, as it is in this instance. The world would have called our compassionate Saviour uncharitable had it heard him uttering his just indignation in thrilling woes against the hypocrites of that day; even as it now censures his ministers for telling the sick their disease; and his people for exposing those who though with them, are not of them.
Do you think false charity can do harm ?
Can you doubt it, my love ? Merely in the instance of this morning you gave Miss Jane Wells encouragement to think her mother harsh ; or else, to consider lying, unless wilful, no sin, and exaggeration no crime; and in your defence of Mrs.
— , you strove to excuse a bad action by a good motive.
But people will not think much of my opinions, I am so young.
Every person, whatever their age or station, is responsible for some degree of influence over those with whom they associate ; and especially those who like you have made a profession of Christianity. The world looks on those who profess to be its lights, not that it may kindle its lamp with the same heavenly fire; but that it may find an excuse in the dullness of their flame for preferring its earthborn and unpurified light. You might, dear Eliza, have done good this morning, by encouraging Miss Wells, who is a weak girl, to confide in the judgment of her excellent mother.
Charity is not so easy as I thought, said Eliza, despondingly.
In our own strength it is unattainable, her mother replied, but seek of God in believing prayer that “Spirit of power, of love, and of a sound mind," which “ will guide you into all truth” and charity.
Mary P. B.
VISITS TO THE OUTCASTS OF NORWICH. The object of these visits was to distribute a Tract, entitled, “ The last days of Martha,” a young woman of an abandoned character, whose dying hours bore painful testimony to the truth of inspiration, that
the wages of sin is death.” The visitors were the agents of the Norwich City Mission, who recorded in their journals the result of their visits : but we hardly need observe, that painful as the record is, the half is not told.
EXTRACTS FROM THE JOURNALS OF THE AGENTS.
“In our visits to females of bad character, we were civilly treated by all, and in several houses were per. mitted to read and converse with the inmates.
Most of these degraded women acknowledged themselves to be unhappy, and said that they would gladly abandon their evil course, if they had any means of obtaining a livelihood. One of them said.
we dare not think, it gives us the horrors, so we drive away our thoughts.'”
" At one house we had a deeply interesting conversation. There were two girls, an old woman, and an old man 80 years of age, who, when I told him that he must be born again, said, he did not know what it meant. I warned him of his danger, and after reading the tract, I spoke to the girls, of their sin and danger; one of them cried very much. I then addressed the old woman, and told her she was not only going to hell herself but dragging others with her. She acknowledged what I said was true. She also wept, and having further exhorted them all to turn from their evil ways, we closed our interview with prayer.”
“ Called upon another female, to whom we read the tract; she wept much, and told us she would give the world to redeem her character.” .
“In another house, was a woman whom I had known for many years. I said, “So you still go on in your wicked ways. “Yes,' she said, “I am in it, and you cannot help me out. I told her I could advise her to turn to the Lord and seek him while he was to be found. She said, “I never think of God. Such was the wickedness of this woman, that she obliged her daughter, when only 13 years of age, to live upon the wages of iniquity. I read the tract, which made a deep impression on those who were present; they wept and lamented bitterly their situation their characters lost, and not a friend in the world to help them. We could not help weeping with them, I must say, the interviews we have had, would melt the hardest hearts. 'What are we to do? Where are we to go? Who will have us ?' is their general cry.”
“ From our continued visits to-day among these women, I am confirmed in my opinion as to the practicability of lessening very much this great evil. They are most anxious to give up their evil way, if any thing could be done for them. While reading the tract to one, she wept and was quite overcome, and when asked if she was not afraid to die, she said, *that is what makes me miserable.' Her parents were dead, but her brothers were living, and though her application to them had been refused once, yet,
she said, she would make another attempt to abandon her course of sin."
"We felt much interest in a young woman who seemed deeply to feel her degraded conduct. The following are some of her own words. 'I am sure I should be most happy to leave it if I could do anything to get a livelihood.' 'I often go with two meals a-day rather than go out.' 'I should be glad to go to the Magdalen.' We asked her what it was that principally induced her to wish to go? She said she was concerned about the sinfulness of her way of living, and could she be released, she would go down on her knees to thank the friend that would assist her.”
“On entering upon the subject of our visit, one young woman was quite inclined for mirth, and continued laughing, as we continued to press it upon her consideration, saying, she could not help it, because we looked so serious, but after a little conversation she became serious, and eventually burst into a flood of tears, and seemed to feel great compunction of spirit;' remarking, 'Your talk gives me the horrors. She said she should very much like to quit her course of life, and for that purpose had written to her father before Christmas, but had received no answer ; she wished us to intercede on her behalf.”
“Went into one house where we found a young woman, not 19 years of age, in company with three young men. As soon as we began talking about . the last days of Martha,' the young woman seemed to shudder, saying, She knew her, and worked with her.' One of the young men endea, voured to turn what we said into ridicule, for which, the female often reproved him, and told him that we were right and he was wrong.”