Imagens da página
PDF
ePub

40. And if any man will sue thee at the law, and take away thy coat, let him have thy cloak also.

41. And whosoever shall compel thee to go a mile, go with him twain.

42. Give to him that asketh thee, and from him that would borrow of thee turn not thou away.

43. T Ye have heard that it hath been said, Thou shalt love thy neighbor, and hate thine enemy.

by the laws of medieval chivalry. Mill thought, therefore, that the Christian ideal was one-sided, and required to be supplemented by the warlike type, which resents insult, and challenges the aggressor to defend himself. Bravery is of all qualities that which most attracts the human race; and Mill imagined that the Christian ideal without correction would have weakened this quality in men Sonresi,,t' ^ directing them to accept insults without resenting them.

"Such an argument can only be plausible to those who are ignorant of early Christian history. The one feature which stands out prominently in the society founded by Christ and his apostles is the extraordinary heroism which was shown in the face of death and tortures, not only by men, but by feeble women and tender children. It amazed the heathen magistrates, who were striving after fortitude by the aid of philosophy. It amazed the wild savages, who mistook gentleness for cowardice, when they found that it was harder to terrify the missionary who came with the gospel than the invader who came in battle array. Any critic, therefore, who says that this word of our Lord tends to make men unmanly, can be silenced by an appeal to countless deeds of heroism done by Christians because they were the faithful servants of Christ."—/Vf/. J. P. Mahaffy, Ph.D., in Sunday-School Times.

Russian Soldiers And Napoleon.—*' In a recent book of memoirs upon the great wars of Napoleon, it is noticed, as the most wonderful heroism on the part of the Russian infantry, that when ordered to march past a French position, and on no account to fight, they submitted to taunts and challenges, nay even to wounds and death, without flinching from their march. They were more heroic, because they did not fight, than if they had turned with fury upon the foe. So it may be with any Christian in his campaign under the banner of Christ. For himself he is nothing, he can only show devotion. But as a soldier of Christ, he is a hero; for he serves a Master greater and nobler than any other soldier can claim."—Prof. Mahaffy.

44. But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them that despitefully use you, and persecute you;

45. That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust.

46. For if ye love them which love you, what reward have ye? do not even the publicans the same?

[merged small][ocr errors]

Library.—In Arvine's "Religious Anecdotes" are two capital true stories bearing on this subject,—" William Ladd and his Neighbor" 150 (/); and "A Christian Colony" 160 (A). Note also the Bishop in *' Les Miserables."

44. Love Your Enemies.

"Learn from yon Orient shell to love thy foe,
And strew with pearls the hand that brings thee woe;
Free, like yon rock, from base, vindictive pride,
Emblaze with gems the wrist that rends thy side.
Mark where yon tree rewards the stony shower
With fruit nectareous or the balmy flower.
All nature calls aloud, ' Shall man do less
Than heal the smiter and the railer bless?'"

Hafiz, translated by Sir William Jones.

Library.—Hugh Miller's *' My Schools and Schoolmasters," the origin of pearls by a blow on the shell.

"The clubbed tree gives its fruit; the cleft wood perfumes the ax; the ground gem shows its beauty."—Bp. H. W. Warren.

How To Destroy Enemies.—" It is recorded of a Chinese emperor that, on being apprised of his enemies having raised an insurrection in one of the distant provinces, he said to his officers,' Come, follow me, and we will quickly destroy them.' He marched forward, and the enemy submitted upon his approach. All now thought that he would take the most signal revenge, but were surprised to see the captives treated with mildness and humanity. 'How!' cried the first minister, ' is this the manner in which you fulfil your promise? Your royal word was given that your enemies should be destroyed; and behold, you have pardoned them all, and even caressed some of

47. And if ye salute your brethren only, what do ye more than others t do not even the publicans so?

48. Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.

them.' 'I promised,' replied the emperor, ' to destroy my enemies. I have fulfilled my word; for see, they are enemies no longer. • I have made friends of them.' "—Christian Union.

Library.—Plato's "Crito," 49; De Quincey's "Essay on the Poets ;" Lowell's Poems, " The Vision of Sir Launfal.' Reference—xxvii. 19.

What insight breathes through the sigh which St. Teresa uttered even for Satan, when she said, " Poor wretch! he is miserable because he cannot love."

44. Do Good To Them That Hate You.—*' To return evil for good is devilish; to return good for good is human; to return good for evil is godlike."—An Old Spanish Writer.

47. What Do Ye More Than Others?—See William Seeker's *' Nonesuch Professor," "Why should a Christian do more than others?"

Overcoming Evil With Good.—To fight evil with evil is simply , to make two evils instead of one. And both evils are increased by the processes. Even if the good fails in overcoming the evil in others, yet it is itself strengthened and increased by the effort, and therefore the proportion of good to evil is increased. Like kindles like, as fire kindles fire. The tendency of good is to awaken the good in other souls. The sunlight brightens and beautifies whatever it shines on. Every particle of dust even reflects the light. This is the divine way. God's love in Jesus Christ is the transforming power in the world.

Library.—The Expulsive Power of a New Affection, in Chalmers' " Astronomical Sermons."

48. Perfect Even As Your Father.—The lamp, though infinitely smaller than the sun, shines with perfect light. Every color, every power of the sunbeam may shine in the candle ray. The image on the retina of the eye may be a perfect picture in every detail of a landscape that extends over many miles.

CHAPTER VI.

1. Take heed that ye do not your alms before men, to be seen of them: otherwise ye have no reward of your Father which is in heaven.

2. Therefore when thou doest thine alms, do not sound a trumpet before thee, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may have glory of men. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward.

1. "To some of us, to very many, it may seem the sermon might well be on a Mount that set forth such a text as this."

Francis Jacox.

2. Sound A Trumpet.—Some think that the figure was "suggested by the trumpets of the Temple Treasury, the thirteen trumpet-shaped chests to receive the contributions of the worshippers (see Luke xxi. 1-4)."—M. R. Vincent.

"Do not make a trumpet of the box. It looks like one, but do not use it for the purpose of calling attention to what you are about to put in it."—Joseph Parker.

2. As The Hypocrites Do.—It is the height of folly to judge the whole church by the hypocrites that may be in it. Spurgeon tells this story: "An American gentleman said to a friend, 'I wish you would come down to my garden, and taste my apples.' He asked him about a dozen times, but the friend did not come; and at last the fruit-grower said, * I suppose you think my apples are good for nothing, so you won't come and try them?' 'Well, to gp,,^,^ tell the truth,' said the friend, ' 1 have tasted them. As story, I went along the road, I picked one up that fell over the "Come uwall, and I never tasted anything so sour in all my life; and I do not particularly wish to have any more of your fruit.' 'Oh,' said the owner of the garden,' I thought it must be so. Those apples around the outside are for the special benefit of the boys. I went fifty miles to select the sourest sorts to plant all round the orchard, so the boys might give them up as not worth stealing; but, if

A.D. 28.

Summer.
SERMON
ON THE
MOUNT.

HORNS OF
HATTiN.

3. But when thou doest alms, let not thy left hand know what thy right hand doeth:

you will come inside, you will find that we grow a very different quality there, sweet as honey.'" Those who judge the church by its worst members make the same mistake.

Reference. On Hypocrites. See under xxiii. 13.

3. They Have Their Reward—Some one said to a wicked man, " You do not look as if you had prospered by your wickedness."

"I have not," he replied. "I have met with all manner 'of*Being* of n,isfortunes- I have twice been in state's prison; Wicked. DUt I tell you. mv worst punishment is in being what I am." So, on the other hand, the greatest reward of goodness is not an angel's harp or crown, or to walk the golden streets, but to be like an angel, to have the heavenly character.

Library.—Rogers' "Greyson Letters," " The Fit Punishment of Hypocrisy," is very shrewd and interesting; the punishment consisting in being compelled unceasingly not only to speak, but to act according to the virtue they simulate.

3. Let Not Thy Right Hand Know What Thy Left Hand Doeth.—Augustine likens those who boast of their good deeds to the foolish hen, who has no sooner laid her egg than, by her cackling, she calls some one to take it away.

"Like the subterraneous flue that warms my myrtles, he does good and is unseen."

"And though in act unwearied, secret still,
As in some solitude the summer rill
Refreshes, where it winds, the faded green,
And cheers the drooping flowers, itself unseen."—Cowper.

Library.—Jacox's "Secular Annotations on Scripture Texts," Vol. I., 259, "The open Right-hand's Secret from the Left."

« AnteriorContinuar »