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mild and constant energy with terrific force and violence. It is a subject of which nothing too sublime and grand can be uttered. For kindness not only deals with the finite; it is also the essence of infinity itself. It burns in its purity in the human soul; and it is the majestic influence which forms the vast truth that "GOD IS LOVE."

CHAPTER XII.

THE BLESSINGS AND DUTY OF PRACTISING THE LAW OF KINDNESS.

"Abou Ben Adhem (may his tribe increase !)
Awoke one night from a deep dream of peace,
And saw,
within the moonlight in his room,
Making it rich, and like a lily in bloom,
An angel writing in a book of gold;

Exceeding peace had made Ben Adhem bold,

And to the presence in the room he said,

'What writest thou?' The vision raised its head,

And with a look made of all sweet accord,

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Answer'd, The names of those who love the Lord.'

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And is mine one?' said Abou. Nay, not so,'

Replied the angel. Abou spoke more low,
But cheerly still, and said, I pray thee, then,
Write me as one that loves his fellow-men.'

The angel wrote and vanish'd. The next night

It came again with a great wakening light,

And show'd the names whom love of God had bless'd,
And lo! Ben Adhem's name led all the rest."

LEIGH HUNT.

IN whatever manifestation of its influence the exercise of kindness may be considered, it will always confer a rich blessing upon the individual who directs it, and the individual upon whom it is brought to

bear. Genuine kindness never carries blight and ruin with it, like the tornado; it always goes forth like the light and heat of the sun, bearing peace, joy, and sympathy to all whom it reaches. And when it returns to him who has exerted it, the rewards which earthly things can form are given him—or if he is not in a situation to require assistance from those who have felt the gentle dew of his affection, his soul is filled with the calm and steady but ecstatic thought, that others have been made happy by his actions. He can well appreciate the language of Lathrop"Beneficence, regardless of herself,

Of pride, ambition, policy, or pelf,

Enjoys in blest return, for one poor mite,
A mine, an empire, of sublime delight."

The history of life furnishes not a single illustration of the law of kindness but proves the sacred declaration, "Cast thy corn upon moist ground, and after many days thou shalt find it." For, as certain as corn will yield its increase to the sower, so certain is it that kindness flows back upon its worshipper with a hundred-fold of pure felicity. Well was it said by Hannah More:

"And he, whose wakeful tenderness removes

The obstructing thorn which wounds the friend he loves,
Smooths not another's rugged path alone,

But scatters roses to adorn his own."

It is the fact breathing in this poetry, which accounts for the simple but comprehensive answer which the good Oberlin returned as a reply to a question put to him by a visitor: "Ja, ich bin glück

1 Translation by Girard-Biblical Institutes, p. 142.

lich' (Yes, I am happy'.") His incessant labours, in the humblest circumstances and with the greatest obstacles, for the good of his people, yielded him an abundant reward in their very exercise. Nor can any person doubt but that the venerable Franklin received the most exquisite pleasure, when, in reply to a letter from the celebrated George Whitfield, to whom he had rendered a kindness, he wrote as follows: "As to the kindness you mention, I wish it could have been of more service to you. But if it had, the only thanks I should desire is, that you would be equally ready to serve any other that may need your assistance, and so let good offices go round, for mankind are all of a family2." To the same purport is a letter which he wrote, while in Paris, to a man who desired money of him: "I send you herewith a bill for ten louis-d'ors; I do not pretend to give such a sum, I only lend it to you. When you shall return to your country, you cannot fail of getting into some business that will in time enable you to pay all your debts. In that case, when you meet with another honest man in similar distress, you must pay me by lending this sum to him, enjoining him to discharge the debt by a like operation when he shall be able, and shall meet with such another opportunity. I hope it may thus go through many hands before it meets with a knave to stop its progress. This is a trick of mine for doing a deal of good with a little money3.' The venerable sage no doubt received exquisite gratification in thus doing good to his fellow-men.

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2 Life of Franklin.

1 Dr. Epps' Essays, p. 53.
3 Penny Magazine, vol. iii. p. 371.

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Reflection will prove to us, that the exercise of kindness rewards its followers abundantly, by cultivating their affections and increasing their desires to become instruments of good in the pilgrimage of life. For it is unquestionably true, that in the forgiveness of enemies, and in relieving the distresses of the suffering, we assimilate ourselves with the spirit of God and of Christianity; and of course strengthen the sources of happiness within us. Is there not instruction touching this fact, in the following poetry?

"How beautifully falls

From human lips that blessed word-forgive!
Forgiveness-it is the attribute of gods-

The sound which openeth heaven-renews again
On Earth lost Eden's faded bloom, and flings

Hope's halcyon halo on the waste of life.

Thrice happy he whose heart has been so school'd

In the meek lessons of humanity,

That he can give it utterance; it imparts

Celestial grandeur to the human soul,
And maketh man an angel."

Those who become acquainted with the noble pleasure of administering kindness to others, find a tie which binds them to life, even if there was scarcely any other attraction to render it desirable. To this effect, Rogers, in his poem on "Italy," relates an incident which he received from a Piedmontese nobleman, who, weary of life, determined to commit suicide.

"I was weary of life, and after a day such as few have known and none would wish to remember, was hurrying along the street to the river, when I felt a sudden check. I turned and beheld a little boy, who

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