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The Natural Reward of Love.

The Natural Reward of Love.

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Published by glennpease

1 St. John, ill. 13.
" Marvel not, my brethen, if the world hate you"

1 St. John, ill. 13.
" Marvel not, my brethen, if the world hate you"

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Published by: glennpease on Jul 24, 2014
Copyright:Traditional Copyright: All rights reserved


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THE ATURAL REWARD OF LOVE. EDITED BY REV. HERY EWLAD, 1 St. John, ill. 13. " Marvel not, my brethen, if the world hate you" LAST Sunday we gained a clear insight not only into the principle of Christian duty, but into the great object of the Christian religion itself. This, as we may recollect from its first announcement, is " Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good-will towards men." The Gospel was intended, no doubt, to show forth God s glory, and to declare His good-will towards men ; that is to say, His in tention of restoring them to the place and the favour they had lost, and of offering them another and a better world. But it had another object also. There is another clause in the an nouncement. His good- will was not only to be shown eventually, and in another life, it was for this world, as well as for the world to THE ATURAL REWARD OF LOVE. 31 come, for it was not only " good-will towards men," but " peace on earth." We were baptised into a Church of which these are the principles. We engaged in the service of a Master whose object in coming on earth at all this was declared to be; and when we engaged as His soldiers and ser vants, we certainly did engage to set forward our Master s own work; but we are Christ s soldiers and servants on earth as yet, and,
therefore, though we certainly are concerned in the whole of His work, that part which re lates to the earth on which He has placed us, marks out the especial duty to which we are called. We, who ourselves live on this earth are to serve Christ by promoting peace on earth, and by good-will among the men, who, like ourselves, are yet living in it. This seems an easy duty, and, moreover, a very pleasant duty. There is no doubt but that if we do good to men, out of common gratitude they ought to love us. They may not be able to serve us perhaps, for all cannot serve all; but, at all events, if they cannot re turn our good service in kind, they will return it by love, and thankfulness, and kindly feel ing towards us ; and this is a very great re ward in itself, perhaps all we want, or all that we are capable of receiving. 32 THE ATURAL REWARD OF LOVE. What a heaven upon earth am I describing when I say that we are all Christians, all brothers, all doing good to all whenever we have an opportunity, and all returning grate ful and thankful feelings, so that he who does the service is made even happier by it than he who receives it. Yes, I am describing a heaven upon earth ; but Heaven is not upon earth yet, nor will it be till all bad passions are rooted out of it. There is envy, and discontent, and covetous- ness, and distrust, and a thousand more fruits of the fall, which stand between us and such an imitation of Heaven as I have been show
ing you. Duty easy! Yes, duty would be easy enough, had it not been for the fall of man, and not only easy, but pleasant also ; the very highest of pleasures would duty be that of being fellow-workers with Christ. Duty will be easy and pleasant hereafter, but duty is not easy and pleasant now. Our Master s work was not easy and pleasant while He was living our life and setting us our pattern. How can ours be? Has He ever led us to expect that it would be ? Has He not, on the contrary, taken every opportunity of telling us, over and over again, that we are not to expect it ? Did He not discourage men from following Him? Did He not tell them that THE ATURAL REWARD OF LOVE. 33 "foxes have holes, and the birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man hath not where to lay His head?" And when they did fol low, and became His disciples, did He ever lead them to suppose that they would gain what the world calls happiness from their choice? If people called the Master of the house Beelzebub, He told them, (and they saw that,) what would they call His servants? And when His cruel death was at hand, that was the very time He took to tell them that the disciple was not above his Master suffi cient for him if he should be as his Master that is to say, persecuted, betrayed, put to death. Following Christ in anything is no easy duty, depend upon it, or Christ Himself would not have called it a " strait path." It might be an easy duty if we would all agree to act up to the promises of our Baptism, and cast out, once and for all, the works of the

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