We know that we have passed from death unto life, because we love the brethren.--I JOHN iii. 14.
He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love.--I JOHN iv. 8.
Mutual love the token be,
Lord, that we belong to Thee;
Love, Thine image, love impart;
Stamp it on our face and heart;
Only love to us be given;
Lord, we ask no other heaven.
Oh, how many times we can most of us remember when we would gladly have made any compromise with our consciences, would gladly have made the most costly sacrifices to God, if He would only have excused us from this duty of loving, of which our nature seemed utterly incapable. It is far easier to feel kindly, to act kindly, toward those with whom we are seldom brought into contact, whose tempers and prejudices do not rub against ours, whose interests do not clash with ours, than to keep up an habitual, steady, self-sacrificing love towards those whose weaknesses and faults are always forcing themselves upon us, and are stirring up our own. A man may pass good muster as a philanthropist who makes but a poor master to his servants, or father to his children.
F. D. MAURICE.