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Lord, " ye have always with you." But there are others besides the poor to whom friendship of this kind is valuable. Some are in want of protection, others of advice; some want health, and others comfort; some are the servants of despair, and others the slaves of sin. Religious friendship endea vours to relieve them all.
Though every human being is the object of a Christian's love, I would consider his professional friendship as his first concern; that is, under whatever description of men, in other respects, he may be found, he should strictly support the character he bears as a follower of Christ. With this impression, it becomes his duty to make those sensible of the obligations of a Christian in discharging the offices of their station, with whom he may happen to be connected in secular concerns. As a father, son, or brother, he will have many opportunities of accomplishing this important point, and wherever he is able to succeed; he will find the bond of intercourse drawn still closer by the strong motives of religion. If he M. 6
step beyond the bounds of kindred or connection, he will find the same advantages in the cultivation of this holy league. Though he love all men, and would gladly communicate to them every blessing he enjoys, he loves those most who are worshippers of the same God, believers in the same redemption. The apostle allows and sanctions this distinction-" as we have opportunity let us do good unto all men, espe cially to those who are of the houshold of "faith."
In domestic life, the effects of this conduct are obvious and important. A religious concern for the welfare of a family is attended with the best of consequences. In worldly affairs, he who provides not, by his own care and industry, for the support of his relatives in general, where it is in his power to do so, as well as of his own house or family in particular, is declared, by high authority, to be, in that respect, worse than an infidel. And surely a proper provision for their spiritual wants is of still greater importance. "The unbelieving husband
"is sanctified by the wife, and the unbe"lieving wife is sanctified by the husband. "For what knowest thou, O wife! if thou "shalt save thy husband? Or how knowest "thou, O man! whether thou shalt save thy wife!"
It will not be doubted, from these considerations, but that religious friendship is a powerful mean, in the hand of Providence, to meliorate the condition of men, and humanize the world. The passions and affections are here united in the service of virtue and religion. With a perpetual bias to succour and relieve distress in every shape and under every clime, they cling still closer to those bosoms pointed out by nature, or adoption, as the first fruits of their
Reason as we will, this distinction will be always made. The good pastor will love his own flock in the first degree, the good parent his own child, and the good master ́ will bestow his chief care on his own dependents. If we make this use of this amiable affection of the mind, it will soon
run through every branch of human society, and accomplish that reformation of manners, that general disposition to virtue and religion, which has been so often wished for, and so seldom found.
On the Love of our Enemies.
Learn from yon orient shell to love thy foe,
To diffuse happiness is the object of christianity. As this great principle of our religion is universal, universal should be its effects. Every passion and affection of the mind, we have seen, pressed into its service. The exercise of virtue is an evident consequence of the operation of the divine Spirit, and the greater lengths we proceed in this road, the greater are our convictions that we are taught of God. Some sacrifice we must make to accomplish this important