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city. Mr. Prime's success in this city is familiar to all. In course of time, the creditor who had assisted him, became himself insolvent.—— Mr. Prime immediately took his affairs in hand, rendered him pecuniary aid, and at his death, settled upon his widow an annuity of $500."
These instances, which might be greatly multiplied, prove that, in every case, an ample reward is returned to him who wields the power of the Christian Law, overcome evil with good." If my readers are doubtful of this position, let them test the subject by a vigorous practice of noble kindness, and by excellent experience will they realize that "blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy." And, in order to give them the holiest example of kindness with which this earth has ever been blessed, as a guide to all benevolence, it appears to me perfectly proper to conclude this work with a simple exhibition of the Character of Christ.
CHARACTER OF CHRIST.
"Who went about doing good."--PETER.
We are not now to dwell upon the character of a heathen hero, or to twine a garland for the brow of a conqueror whose victories swim in bloodwe are not now to eulogize frail, erring man, or to sing the song of praise to one who has swept through the world like a fiery meteor, blighting the happiness of multitudes.
To us is given the pleasant and instructive duty of exhibiting the character of an individual, whose character has been viewed with deep devotion for eighteen centuries, and is now the light of example to multitudes in all quarters of the globe, from the pale Laplander in his snows to the sable African in his burning sun; from the humblest intellect to the mightiest philosopher; from the gates of Gibralter to the feet of the everlasting mountains. To us is given the rejoicing theme of receiving that Saviour, whose voice constantly warns men of the inhospitable coasts of sin, whose truth breaks the chains of error from every mind, and whose hallowed M
words are ministering angels in the house of death. To us is given the privilege of beholding the conduct of the Messiah of the prophets, the long promised Shiloh, the beloved Son of God, the Saviour of the World, over whose birth angels sang in tones of joy, and death fled in dismay at the prospect of his defeat.
Our minds could not entertain a more delightful subject, or one that kindles in the soul more of the living energies of virtue and the desire of growing in philanthropy. The Saviour's character, when held up with all its lovely qualities before the mind, awakes the dormant feelings, and leads the creature in prayer, to the spiritual cross of the Saviour, to beseech for wisdom in imitating the pure conduct and Godlike spirit of the Redeemer.
It is well to commune with the conduct of great and good men; to mingle our thoughts with the thoughts of the pious and religious; to trace their character and observe how they influence others;-it is well, because such communion with pure and noble conduct, as irresistibly wins the admiration of the soul, as the magnet attracts the needle. Who can reflect upon the unblanching fearlessness of the apostles in the presence of their bitter foes; upon their resolute perseverance when threatened with prisons and premature death; upon their
continued exertions in proclaiming a world's salvation, in spite of every obstacle; without becoming inspired by their ardor and enlivened with a virtuous enthusiasm to examine the system they proclaimed. Who can reflect upon the fervent and earnest benevolence of Howard and the Sisters of Charity; upon their active exertions in alleviating the distresses of men and women, without fear of pestilence and contagion and without expectation of reward, and not have a thrill of admiration pass through the mind, leaving a strong desire to follow in the paths of their benevolence. Who can reflect upon the stern integrity, unshaken virtue and fearless patriotism of Washington, as well as the indomitable exertions and granite firmness of the fathers of the revolution, without enrolling himself a friend to liberty, by consecrating all his powers upon the altars of knowledge and virtue. Dwelling upon the character of these individuals, opens the spring of our feelings, strengthens our better nature and gives a deeper tone of purity to our actions.
But the character of Christ possesses still more powerful influence, because it is more perfect than that of any person who has ever graced earthly life. Nothing can be more pure than the character of the Saviour. The records of time may be searched; the patriots, the phi
losophers, the moralists of the world, may be consulted-all their fame, their benevolence, their intellect, their virtue, may be admired— and yet no person can equal the purity and holiness of the Saviour. The only individual who even shadows a likeness of his character, is an imaginary being described by Plato in the second book of his Commonwealth, when he represents a man giving to the world unquestioned proofs of his sincerity. He says, "let him be stripped of all things in this world except his righteousness: let him be poor and afflicted, and accounted a wicked and unjust man; let him be whipped and tormented, and crucified as a malefactor, and yet all this while retain his integrity." Where can the original of this picture be found, save in the person of Him who suffered on the cross.
In the Saviour all the principles of heaven shone with the brilliancy of the sun and the richness of virtue. How adorable was the Redeemer! You may behold men and women famed for benevolence-you may behold men celebrated for patriotism and uncompromising integrity-you may behold men dignified with all that nobleness which makes human nature truly great-you may behold men whose pious exertions and ardent benevolence have transformed semi-savage and ignorant people into