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not conforın. Go your own way. Do what seems to you to be right, no matter what others may think or say.” Love says, “No! That will do no good. They will not understand you, and you will lose all your influence by such eccentricity." We are constantly tormented by these difficulties; these cases of conscience come every day to every conscientious person, and most of them at last will be found to resolve themselves into this eternal antagonism of truth on the one side and love on the other.
And the solution of such difficulties is to be sought, not in thought, but in life. Intellectually, many of these difficulties are insoluble. The old Catholic writers wrote volumes of casuistry, or works on cases of conscience, in which they tried to find an intellectual solution for these moral difficulties. That literature is forgotten, for it was ineffectual and useless. But if a man is living in the spirit of Christ, if he is full of the love of truth, the sense of justice, honor, purity, virtue, and at the same time full of humanity, good-will, charity; then, when a difficulty comes, he will discover some practical solution.' In proportion to the fulness of his religious life the solution will be the most profitable and satisfactory.
Truth without love, in religion, is dogmatism. It is overbearing, cold, bitter. It hunts for heresies, and persecutes the heretic. Truth without love founded the Inquisition, tortured and burned unbelieving Jews and Protestants. Its zeal is cruel.
In modern times, truth without love does not persecute, but it slanders -- it is unrelenting, unsympathizing. It is a curious fact that a religious
newspaper, carried on in the interest of a sect, is v often just as one-sided and partisan as a political newspaper, and has as little Christianity in it.
Truth without love, in education, created that harsh system in which knowledge was driven into the minds of children by blows, and the beauties of science, literature, art, were made odious to the child's mind by associations with scolding and punishment. Fortunately for the coming generation that brutal -system is passing away, and little children can hereafter take their fill of knowledge with gladness of heart.
Truth without love, in the home, makes it cold and cheerless. The inmates may do their duty to each other, but without any genial sympathy. Thus home becomes prosaic and uninteresting, and life grows gray and the vital spring is gone.
The cure for these evils is more faith in God and a better religion. We can unite truth with love, love with truth, only as we are in communion with Him, the fountain of spiritual life. That union makes the soul at once tender and strong, pure and generous, just and merciful. We can pardon weakness in others, because we know we so much need pardon ourselves. When we see in God the infinite, all-embracing tenderness, the power which is also goodness, the Father who cares for every child,
who seeks and saves the lost, and rejoices over the repentance of every sinner, we also can care for the souls of others and take a real interest in them.
The true atonement of Christ was not that he made it possible for God to forgive his penitent children, for God always could and did forgive the penitent. But it was showing, in his own person and character, how truth and love are one, how righteousness and peace kiss each other, and that there is no contradiction between justice and mercy. By thus uniting them in himself, he showed that they are one in God; that God can be just and yet forgive his penitent child ; that as Jesus was holy and yet loving, God, the all-holy, can be allloving too. Thus he enables us to trust in God, notwithstanding our faults, and come confidently to the throne of omnipotence to find grace to help in time of need.
And as Jesus has manifested this in his life, and revealed God's holiness and love as one, so every good man and woman can be a revelation of God in the same way. Every one whom we have known in whom justice and mercy were united, has helped us to see the same union in God, and so has brought us near to him.
Let us, therefore, aim high; let us not be satisfied with a one-sided virtue. If we are naturally sympathetic, let us add to this, strength of principle and the love of truth. If we are by nature conscientious and truthful, let us also be tender, kind, merciful and generous; and so become the true children of our Father in heaven, who lets his sun shine on the evil and the good, and sends his rain on the just and the unjust. In order that the love of truth
into empty debate and verbal controversy, it must be joined with the spirit of love which comes from Christianity. The man who leads a religious life, who is sensible of God's presence and his own accountability, who breathes every day a prayer to Heaven that he may be saved from evil and helped into good, who looks up every day for pardon, comfort, and strength, and looks abroad every day to find how to serve his Master and Saviour, - he will speak the truth, but speak it in love. He will avoid both extremes. The spirit within him will guide him aright. That which no study of the casuists could teach him will be done for him by the spirit of Christ in his heart. That will lead him along the narrow path of duty, will make him faithful, yet gentle; true, yet kind; firm in his purpose, mild in his method ; inflexible in his principles, liberal in his judgments. When such a one speaks or acts we feel in him this completeness or fulness of the moral nature ; he is not one-sided, not extreme; he walks at liberty and he walks securely; being led by the spirit of God, he becomes a son of God.
may not pass