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Nor is it only self-denial which must enter into our charity—what we give should be given, as much as may be, with our own hands. The Samaritan not only spared not his oil and wine, but he poured it in himself, and himself waited on the wounded traveller, and was at pains himself to provide for his recovery.
And here it is that the poor have so greatly the advantage. They can give, and do give this personal charity in a large measure to one another. I have often been struck by the patience and unwearied kindness which they shew in attendance upon their sick brethren. I have often felt that the example of the good Samaritan is far more faithfully copied by the very poor, than by those who have a larger share of this world's goods.
But whether poor or rich, of this I am sure, that we are none of us excused from such offices of personal kindness. It is good, most good for us to visit those who are in affliction—it is good to do this at inconvenience to ourselves. There is something very selfish, very hardening in keeping always out of sight of misery, in avoiding always any company, except the company of such as are prosperous and well. We need, for our own discipline, for the growth of a true Christian temper in us, to weep with them that weep, and not only to rejoice with them that do rejoice.
Let us all, then, brethren, of whatever class or rank, lay to heart the concluding counsel of our Lord in this parable-Go and do thou likewise.-Go and do as did the good Samaritan-go and shew mercy-go and be neighbour to such as are in need, meet them where and when you may.
Go, brethren,-not as to a task, to this mission of mercy, but as to an occupation the most profitable, the . most honourable you can follow. Go, remembering Him Who calls you to it—the Blessed Saviour Himself, and His example-Who went about, all His short earthly time, doing good, and healing such as had need of healing. Go and prove that you have fellowship with Christ by walking in Christ's steps. The disciple is not above his master ; but every one that is perfect shall be as his master!
FOURTEENTH SUNDAY AFTER TRINITY.
GOING AWAY FROM CHRIST.
Sr. MATTHEW XIX. 22.
But when the young man heard that saying, he went away sorrowful : for
he had great possessions.
Few incidents in the Gospel are more touching or more instructive than the one which is brought before us in these words—a young man going away from Christ in sorrow! His indeed is a history for our learning—the history of a soul that missed salvation, when already far advanced in the way to be saved ! Not of a soul that, in its pride and independence, stood apart from Christwould not come unto Him for life—but of a soul that yearned after the Saviour, came to Him and sought His guidance, felt His power and wisdom, and yet was separated from Him! would not be saved on the terms He was willing to save, and so was lost !—lost as a ship is sometimes lost, when the port is in view, shattered on a rock at the harbour's mouth, which, if it could have escaped and floated over, no other obstacle had intervened to keep it from the haven where it would be !
Surely such a history deserves our deepest attention. Let us read it together, brethren, and take to ourselves its warning. We find it written in the three out of the four Gospels : the account which follows is from St. Mark—And when Jesus was gone forth into the way, there came one running and kneeled to Him, and asked Him, Good Master, what shall I do, that I may inherit eternal life?
Observe how desirous this young man—a ruler he is called by St. Luke-was to be instructed in the truthhe came to Jesus running-he did not want urging by his friends to go he did not go because others had gone first, but he went to Him of his own accord, and wil. lingly–he came running, and having come, he kneeled to Him, and addressed Him by the title of Good Master, and put to Him this gravest of all questions- What shall I do to inherit eternal life?
It is the question of questions still—How shall I run so as to attain—what shall I do to reach the desired goal—what shall I do that, this life ended, I may secure the promise made to me in my Baptism, of the kingdom of heaven and everlasting life?
That, I say, is the great question still. Let us notice what help we have to an answer in our Lord's reply to this young man Jesus said unto him, Thou knowest the commandments-Do not commit adultery, Do not kill, Do not steal, Do not bear false witness, Defraud not, Honour thy father and mother-all commandments of the Second Table—all bearing upon the duty we owe to our neighbour.
The young man answered—too boastfully, but still with a degree of truth—for be evidently had sought to
walk in God's commandments, and had tried to keep a conscience void of offence-Master, all these have I observed from my youth.
Then—we are told-Jesus beholding him loved him, and said unto him, One thing thou lackest : go thy way, sell whatsoever thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven, and come, take up the cross, and follow Me.
It was a critical moment in that young man's history. We wait with anxiety for his answer. We look to see him close with the Saviour's proposal.—We hope to hear from him some words of hearty acceptance but, alas ! he is dumb. More was asked of him than he could give
-had it been a lesser thing, he would have done it-but even in declining he is sad— When the young man heard that saying, he went away sorrowful, for he had great possessions !
The Lord saw the struggle in his heart. He saw his face grow clouded, as the parting with his wealth was made the condition of his eternal happiness. He saw how the love of money prevailed with him over every other consideration, even over his desire, late so keen, of inheriting eternal life-He marked him as, with slow and sorrowful mien, he went out of His presence—and looking round on those who still continued with Him, His disciples--men who had left all to follow Him-He said-How hardly shall they who have riches enter into the kingdom of God!
And the disciples were astonished at His words. But Jesus answereth again, and saith unto them, Children, how hard is it for them that trust in riches to enter into the king