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government may be traced throughout, and its clearest voice will be, that cruel and revengeful punishments have increased crime and insubordination; while mild and merciful chastisements, tempered according to the criminality of offenders, and manifesting an attempt to produce moral health in them, have decreased crime and encouraged obedience and good order. Cruel punishments, aiming at no other end than the infliction of pain, kindness unequivocally condemns. But those punishments whose object is to reform sinners, repress crime, encourage virtue, preserve good order, and protect society, kindness unequivocally approves-for kindness is an enemy to lawlessness and a friend to all righteousness. These propositions are in perfect accordance with the instructions of the Saviour, who, while he taught his people to love their enemies, also declared* that he who was worthy of many stripes, should receive them, and he who was deserving of few stripes, should receive few stripes.
kindness in the pupil, his very nature seemed transformed.Old impulses died. A new creation of motives supplied their place. Never was there a more diligent, obedient and successful pupil. Now, said the reverend gentleman, in concluding his narrative-that boy is the Chief Justice of a neighboring State. The relator of this story-though he modestly kept back the fact-was himself the actor. If the Romans justly bestowed a civic crown upon a soldier, who had saved the life of a fellow soldier in battle, what honors are too great for a teacher who has thus rescued a child from ruin?'"'
Luke xii: 47, 48.
Such then are our views of kindness when considered in reference to punishment. And while it is as foreign from lawlessness as light is from darkness, how different would be the aspect and prospects of the world, if it was entirely governed by the law, "overcome evil with good." What seas of blood would remain unshed-what unholy deeds of persecution and bigotry would remain in oblivion-what a tide of revengeful feelings would have no existence -what numberless oppressions of the widow and the orphan would remain unpracticed-and what cruel tyranny would remain without execution. How beautifully the moral world would bloom with the brightest flowers of mercy, and goodness, and affection. The halls of litigation would be emptied, the bench of the judge would be unvisited, and the staff of the officer would become useless. From the rivers to the ends of the earth, the universal language of Christianity, the kindness of brotherhood, would be acknowledged and practiced. The sword would become a ploughshare and the spear a pruning hook, nation would hold communion with nation, and the natives of one kingdom would visit those of any other kingdom with perfect assurance of safety. The Gospel would then practically become "good news of glad tidings to all people ;" and on earth, peace,
good will towards men." The whole earth would echo with songs of salvation; the isles would be glad, and the continents would rejoice, while the oceans and rivers would echo back the glorious theme, until all men, enlightened with truth and purified with virtue, subscribed to the great fact, GOD IS THE UNIVERSAL Father of all, MESSIAH Is the universal SAVIOUR OF ALL, man is the brOTHER OF MAN, and his rule of action towards his brethren should be, in all the fulness of holiness, OVERCOME EVIL WITH GOOD;" until the all-pervading principle of goodness should pour the waters of love upon every spark of discord and revenge. How well did the poet say :—
"I've thought, at gentle and ungentle hour,
Holds its blind visage out to the lone sea;
And him, great Memnon, that long sitting by,
And the bride-widowing sword; and the harsh brey
I've thought of all this pride, and all this pain,
Most old, and mild, and awful, and unbroken,
Poetical Works of Leigh Hunt, p. 172-Lond. Ed., 1832. L
These thoughts are worthy of the sublime subject-they speak its grandeur-and vividly contrast its 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."