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Giving and Receiving

One of the greatest weaknesses of human nature is that of providing a scapegoat for its sins, mistakes and sorrows. It is so easy to blame someone, or something else outside ourselves for all our sins and failures; so hard to visit them upon our own heads. And yet, perhaps, our Great Master and Teacher laid greater stress upon this point than upon any other. Over and over again we find it in the sayings of Jesus, as also in those of His followers. The Sermon on the Mount may be well called an exposition of the law of cause and effect, the golden text thereof being, "And as ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them, for this is the law and the prophets." Would you have your neighbor deal justly with you? You may, by being just in your dealings with him. Would you have him treat you with consideration and courtesy? Treat him likewise, and all consideration and courtesy shall be shown to you. Would you receive kindness and love from your fellows? Give kindness and love to them, and it shall flow back to you, "Good measure pressed down and running over shall men give into your bosom."

How often a lack of courtesy or attention in a friend or acquaintance may have its root in the unkind or suspicious thought that went from us to them, unspoken and unheard, yet powerful and full of force to wound. And we marveled at the change in the demeanor of that one. Why marvel? We marvel and are wounded because we do not understand the law. Yea, we do not understand the simplest precepts of our Bible, for did we but grasp what that means: "For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged," we would accept the lack of kindness and consideration as the natural outcome of our own thought, and know that it could not be otherwise. "With what measure ye mete it shall be measured to you again" is unalterable and steadfast, for, "Till heaven and earth pass away, one jot or one title shall in no wise pass away from the law, till all things be accomplished." Let us apply this law to our daily lives, to the little things—so called, to the “daily round and the common task," small opportunities which every day brings, of dealings with our fellow men. See how much warmth and sympathy we can put into the "Good morning!" Find out the virtues of our neighbor, dwell upon them, till we admire and love him for these qualities, and see nothing else but them when we look in his face.

Seek for opportunities to do kindnesses; no matter how small they may appear, do them, with loving heart and ungrudging will. Feel that your neighbor, be he rich or poor, refined or uncultured, is worthy, very worthy, of all the kindness and love you can give him, and you will make not only your own life beautiful, but such is the power and force of this law that you must make his life beautiful too, for "Give and it shall be given you" is the great divine law, for he must have to give, and we, by giving, create the supply that our giving demands. Oh yes—

There are loyal hearts, there are spirits brave,
There are souls that are pure and true;
Then give to the world the best you have,
And the best shall come back to you.
Give love, and love to your heart will flow,
A strength in your utmost need;
Have faith, and a score of hearts will show
Their faith in your word and deed. For life is the mirror of king and slave,
’Tis just what you are and do;
Then give to the world the best you have,
And the best will come back to you.
—Matthew Bridges
It is a law derived from the Divine holiness, that suffering, interior or exterior, is the inevitable consequence of sin.
This law is the safeguard of the sinner himself, since it is by penalty alone that he is made to feel the necessity of repentance.
—Prof. Frederic Godet, D.D.

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Sweet Charity

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