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for the state and prospects of the immortal soul. The Christian element of benevolence—that which distinguishes the Christian grace, “the fruit of the Spirit,” from mere kindheartedness—lies in this, that each member of the human family, even though he should be the dirtiest and most repnlsive denizen of Tom-all-alone's,” is regarded as the possessor of an immortal spirit, capable of being restored to God's image, and of shining forth eternally in the brightest glories of intellectual and spiritual life ; but doomed, unless led in this life to the Saviour, to undergo the eternal horrors of intellectual darkness, of moral disorder, and of spiritual death.
“How different (says an eloquent writer) is this esteem of men, on account of the worth and value of their souls, from the careless and casual sympathy of mere natural compassion, and how vastly more effectual as a motive of benevolence! The man of natural kindness and sensibility, touched with the sight of woe, and moved to pity and to tears, may utter the voice of tenderness, and stretch forth the hand of charity. But the object of his compassion has no great importance or value in his eyes. All the interest he takes in him is simply on account of his present suffering. When that is out of sight and out of mind, or for the time mitigated and soothed, his capricious tenderness is well-nigh gone, and he cares little more about the matter.
“ But now, if you were to view that individual in the light in which Christianity represents him;-as one of those whom the Father willeth to save, and for whose souls He gave His own Son to die;-how would the intensity of your concern in him be deepened, and how would your sense of obligation to him be enhanced ! You would no longer look upon him merely as a sentient being, whom, for your own comfort, you would rescue from pain, when he happened to come before you. You would see in him one whom God longs to save; and you would follow him accordingly, with anxious, earnest desires to do him good, not for time only, but for eternity. .....
“It is the gospel alone that shows the real value of man,-of individual man,-as having a spirit that will never die ;-and enforces the regard due to him from his fellow-men, on the ground of his being the object of the regard of their common God. On the infidel theory, it may be all very well to relieve a sick and starving fellow-creature, when he comes in your way. But after all, it matters very little;—he must rot and perish at the last. And in comparison of any grand scheme of speculative ambition, what though a thousand Lazaruses be sacrificed or overlooked ? Ay, but on the Christian system, a single Lazarus is precious-0 how precious! His soul, yes, and his body too,-for the body also is redeemed and is to rise again—himself—soul, and body, and spirit,-how dear is he, and how valuable, in the estimation of God! His claim,his individual claim,-how paramount must it be in the heart of every one who considers what it is to have God caring specially for that man, and what it is for that man to live for
But, leaving speculation, and entering the field of fact and experience, we demand of Mr Dickens and other benevolent caricaturists of evangelical religion, which of the two classes have really done most for the world's welfare—your mere kindhearted men, who recoil constitutionally from the sight of suffering,—or spiritual and evangelical men, who have learned to regard their fellows in the light of eternity, and whose benevolent longings are fed from day to day, by every survey of the mercy bestowed on themselves, and of the exhaustless fulness of divine love and grace, still ready to be poured out upon the needy children of men ? We demand, with the most unshrinking confidence,– Which of the two kinds of benevolence has been found to wear best, and to retain its vigour unwearied and undiminished, amid endless discouragements and life-lony sacrifices and toils? We ask our men of secular benevolence to point out the stars in their firmament, and if they will but indicate the bright constellations that attract every eye, we are willing to infer the existence of thousands of stars of lesser magnitude in the obscurer regions of their firmament,—nay, of clusters and nebulæ of secular benevolence which their telescopes may not be able to resolve. What names can they set over against John Howard and Elizabeth Fry? With whom will they match William Wilberforce and Thomas Clarkson? What heroes in humble life can they bring forward equal in renown to John Pounds and Sarah Martin, -or to James Davies, the schoolmaster of Devauden, and Alexander Paterson, the missionary of Kilmany? Where, among the recently departed, will they find a working philanthropist like Thomas Chalmers, or among the living, like Lord Shaftesbury? Or what men of mere worldly benevolence can they tell us of, who traverse the vile haunts of metropolitan destitution and profligacy, watch over the returning penitent with more than a parent's interest, and turn their homes into refuges and asylums, like Jackson of the Minories, or Walker of Westminster? It is false to affirm, and it is mean to insinuate, that the evangelical ranks are destitute of brilliant names— shining like stars of the first magnitude—the names of noble men in all ranks of society, who have done yeoman's service
• Scripture Characters and Miscellanies. By Rev. Dr Candlish. Pp. 542-4.
to philanthropy, in those very home-walks which our caricaturists are so fond of representing as beneath their notice and their care. And having these stars in our firmament, visible in their brightness to the naked eye, we are entitled to credit when we affirm, that there are thousands and tens of thousands in the Christian churches, who, in a sphere less observed-in Sabbath schools, and ragged schools, and city missions—are exercising the same spirit of unwearied Christian philanthropy, and making many a wilderness blossom as the rose. For the most part, it is the same men-certainly it is men of the same stamp and temper-by whom foreign missions are supported and carried forward ; and if it be easy to point to Christian labourers in the one field, who stand in the very foremost rank as philanthropists, it is not more difficult to point out men of the like nobility in the other. It will be long before even Mr Dickens will have the boldness to represent any of his favourite characters as rivalling the self-denial and toil of modern Christian missionaries; banishing themselves, like the Moravians, to freezing climates, or imprisoning themselves for life in hospitals for lepers ; exposing their lives to the fury of South Sea savages, or the brutality of Burmese governors ; toiling night and day, year after year, in the study of barbarous languages, and the construction of grammars and dictionaries, to enable them to translate “Bleak House” or “Barnaby Rudge,” and bring these great works to bear on the arduous task of mollifying the tempers of cruel cannibals. It will be long, very long, before our secularists will be able to find names, in the list of their philanthropic agents abroad, worthy of being classed with those of Elliot and Brainerd, of Schwartz and Carey, of Morrison and Milne, of Williams and Moffat, of Henry Martyn and Henry Fox, of Judson and Johnston, of Duff and Waddell. There may be weak men and selfish men in the missionary field, and there may be some who have gone abroad, because they knew they must have starved at home; but we do not hesitate to affirm, that there is no class of men that, in proportion to their numbers, have furnished so many devoted hearts and able heads as the Protestant missionaries of recent times, or that have so strong a claim, in the judgment of truthful and honourable men, to stand exempt from the mean caricatures of their slanderers. It is the lives, and labours, and sufferings of such men that demonstrate, in these degenerate days, that the race of moral heroes is not extinct, and that, in spite of all the utilitarianism of the age, men are yet to be found, fit successors of those "of whom the world was not worthy."
The Emperor Julian formed a magnificent plan for superseding Christianity by a renovated and purified Paganism. He proposed to array the ancient faith in the purity and beauty of the Christian life,"to make the religion of Jupiter Do less distinguished than the religion of Jesus, for its moral virtue, for its domestic beauty, and for its self-denied benevolence. He planned the effect, but he omitted the consideration of the cause. He wished the fruits, but he could not plant the tree. For how could that ideal become a reality on a heathen stem? In like manner, the school in question, who repudiate doctrine with unmitigated scorn, and who wish to light up the moral glory of a pure and happy society, of a loving and earnest life, forget whence these fruits are to be derived, and how they are to flourish in a heathen soil. The ethical part of Christianity, which these writers seize on, and which they display without acknowledgment, is a mere plagiarism, of which they ought to be ashamed. They borrow the earnest ethics of the gospel, dissociated from its doctrines, just as Lord Herbert and the deists of a former age borrowed, without acknowledgment, their religion of nature from the Bible. But the ethics cannot exist without the faith; and yet they disclaim the faith, and seek only to enforce the ethics." *
It is difficult to vindicate accused parties from unmerited or exaggerated charges, without seeming to convey the impression that, in the judgment of the writer, they stand exempt from all liability to censure. But it is very far from our purpose to convey such an impression ; and, on the old principle-fas est et ab hoste doceri-we would have the evangelical community to be willing to take a few hints from the very representations which are made of them in the popular literature of the day. In the first place, it is clearly both the duty and the policy of the evangelical community, in these days when benevolence is so much worshipped, to take all due means for developing the benevolent and philanthropic tendencies of evangelical Christianity. We do not mean that there should be any concealment or compromise of what will always, in the eyes of worldly men, be the unpopular features of Christian truth and duty. We would have no man shrink, at the fitting time and place, from the bold assertion of the Divine Sovereignty, or from the faithful and uncompromising vindication of God's law in regard to the holy observance of the Sabbath. We would have no man, for the sake of standing well with the world, surrender a single point of orthodoxy, or shrink from a conflict even with brethren on any question where vital interests are closely involved. But we do submit, that it is a serious evil, when the spirit which the Christian Church exhibits to the ungodly and scoffing world is exclusively, or even very prominently, polemical; when her main energies are seen directed to ecclesiastical contention, and the sorrows of suffering humanity appear to make little or no impression on her heart. We would desire to see the Christian Church, either officially, through her courts and assemblies, or through the personal exertions of her more prominent men, and the general concurrence of her people, actively encouraging and helping on every well-considered plan for ameliorating the condition of men. Let her ever appear to the world as the bride and handmaid of Him whom “the Spirit of the Lord hath anointed to preach good tidings to the meek ; to bind up the broken-hearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound; to appoint unto them that mourn in Zion.” In the first ages of the gospel, when the miraculous gifts of healing were widely diffused and constantly exercised, and when, moreover, the spirit of Christians was singularly gentle and self-denied, the Christian Church shone out before the world, radiant with the spirit of beneficence, her garinents smelling of myrrh, and aloes, and cassia, out of the ivory palaces. The withdrawal of miraculous gifts renders it all the more important that the spirit of beneficence should be carefully cultivated and manifested, through all ordinary and suitable channels. Leigh Hunt speaks of a sort of religion, of which he says he has seen much, and which he calls by the strange name of other-worldism ; the religion of those who show the sane hard and selfish spirit in looking after their interests for the next world, that men of ordinary wordliness show in reference to this. It would be hard to say that the taunt is utterly undeserved, or that there are no professors of religion who need to be reminded that love—not selfishness—is the true spirit of Christianity, and that the sum of all the commandments is—" to love the Lord our God with all our heart, and to love our neighbour as ourselves.”
* The Necessary Harmony between Doctrine and Spiritual Life. By the Rev. George Smeaton. Aberdeen: A. Brown & Co. [An admirable lecture, which we strongly recommend.]
Another thing which it may be of service for Christians to keep in mind, in connection with the charges made against them, is—not to let their good be evil spoken of. More particularly, to avoid the sad blunder of allowing duties of secondary importance to shuffle out or override those of primary obligation. We have seen how easy it is to make benevolent ladies appear, not merely ridiculous, but criminal, by representing them as neglecting their duties at home, for the sake of the negroes on the banks of the Niger. And we are sure that all who have had opportunities of knowing the spirit of the