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churches, and to consult their prosperity and welfare. On one occasion, he observed an intelligent-looking man, who, after a time became a member of one of the churches. But he soon became corrupt and intemperate, through the influence of bad company, and at last fled to a band of robbers, of whom he was soon made captain. When John, to his great grief, heard these facts, he exposed himself in the haunts of the robbers, and when taken, said, "lead me to your captain." When the bandit saw John, he fled; but the apostle pursued him, saying, “my son, why flyest thou from thy father, unarmed and old?-fear not; as there yet remaineth hope of salvation-believe me, Christ hath sent me." Before the kind entreaties of John, the robber trembled and wept; and finally returned to his Christian companions and became an exemplary man.*

In these instances we discover the power of kindness; and we find it more efficacious than the law of revenge-for if the law of revenge had been exercised in regard to them, the results would have been the direct opposite from what they were, as brought about by the divine principle, " overcome evil with good."

*See Goodrich's Ecclesiastical History: pp. 68, 69.

CHAPTER III.

THE POWER OF KINDNESS.

"The hand that wiped away the tears of want,
The heart that melted at another's wo,
Were his; and blessings followed him."

If we leave the Scriptures, and pore over the records of history, and experience, we find the most illustrious examples to exhibit the influence of the law of kindness in opening the fountain of goodness in the heart. These instances are not mere anecdotes, the stale outbreakings of fallacy; but they are facts whose truth is beyond doubt. And, so little is the law of loving enemies practiced, that it becomes our duty to pile fact upon fact, until demonstration shall become so open and powerful, that to depart from it shall be blind and wilful resistance of truth. For, so sure as there is a God who rules in the universe; so sure as he has spoken to the world through the revelation of his will; so sure as Christ died for his foes, forgiving them the sin of his murder; so sure it is, that the law of kindness is the true governing principle between man and his fellows.

B

The first illustration to be presented under this head, is the case of the benevolent Howard. John Howard was born about the year 1727, in the village of Clapton, near London. From the year 1773 to 1790, the year in which he died, he spent his whole time in endeavoring to ameliorate the condition of prisoners of various characters. In this sublime employment, he chose to apply the fortune with which he was favored. And most nobly did he discharge his assumed duty. He personally visited and inspected nearly all the prisons and jails in England, Ireland and Scotland-and so well was he convinced that neglect, brutal treatment, filth and undue severity, only served to harden the heart of the offender, that, by his representations to government, a great reformation was effected in the houses of confinement and the treatment of prisoners. He visited the continent of Europe several times for the same object. He was the friend of the unfortunate.— No matter how loathsome the dungeon, degraded and hardened its inhabitant, his voice of mercy was there heard, and his kindness was manifested, as the best means of subduing and winning the sinner-for his familiarity with, and his conduct towards victims of all degrees of wickedness, only served to convince him, that no person was so debased, or his feelings

so callous, but that he could be reached and softened by kindness. Blows, chains, starvation and neglect, only turned the heart into iron, and froze the better feelings of human nature to their deepest fountain-but no sooner was the angel-voice of Howard heard, and his kindness felt, than the long-sealed feelings were opened, the dried-up sources of tears were filled, the waters of sorrow flowed, and the heart of sin became radiated with deep and undying love for his benevolent visiter. This kindness was the principle which ever actuated Howard; and so devoted was he to its dictates, and so earnest in the discharge of his God-like object, that he yielded up his life in Tartary, while on a tour of benevolence, where his bones are now mouldering into the dust of the grave.

John Howard constantly walked according to the law, "overcome evil with good." And, even if we leave out of the account the great blessings which accrued to others from his conduct, we find, in the respect and love which exist for his memory, how advantageous is the adoption of the divine law. For, wherever the name of John Howard is known, his memory is enshrined in the hearts and affections of thousands; while he is reverenced as one of those glorious stars in human life, who, in imi

tation of the "Saviour of the world," about doing good."*

"went

The next instance is that of Fenelon. Fenelon was a Roman Catholic, and Archbishop of Cambrai, in France. He was a man of the finest feelings, of the greatest benevolence, and he uniformly practiced the law, overcome evil with good." He was kind and affable to the lowly, mild and courteous to the ignorant, philanthropic to the miserable, and even gentle both to friend and foe. The consequence was, that he won all hearts. His diocese was often the theatre of war-but the English, Germans and Dutch, even surpassed the inhabitants of Cambrai, in their love and veneration for him. At such times, he gathered the wretched into his residence and entertained them-for his known goodness had surrounded him with a power which even contending armies could not resist; and the consequence was, that his dwellings were safe, even when towns and villages were lying in smoking ruins around him. The following is an instance of his great kindness. He observed one day, that a peasant who had been driven from his home and to whom Fenelon had given shelter, ate nothing. He inquired the reason. "Alas! my lord," said the poor

See Memoirs of Howard, by J. Baldwin Brown,

66

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