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alone, and the woman standing in the midst. When Jesus had lifted up himself, and saw none but the woman, he said unto her, Woman, where are those thine accusers ? hath no man condemned thee? She said, No man, Lord. And Jesus said unto her, Neither do I condemn thee; go, and sin no more.
“He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her.” Well would it be for the world, if the spirit of this sentence were more generally felt and acted on; if those who are themselves guilty would pass judgments of less unnecessary severity on their offending brethren. Let those laws which are established for the punishment of crime be executed with all needed strictness ; let those usages of society be retained and enforced, by which the abandoned are excluded from the society of those they might corrupt : but let mercy unite with justice in our judgments of our fellow-men. At least, as indivi. duals, let us be willing to think as favourably of all as may be possible. Have not we ourselves offended? Should we not, therefore, sympathize with others, even though guilty? If we be forgiving to them, we have the best hope of mercy from our God, for “the merciful shall obtain mercy."
Benignant Saviour! 'twas not thine To spurn the erring from thy sight, Nor did thy smile of love divine Turn from the penitent its light. Oh then, shall we, who own thy name, A brother's fault too sternly view; Or think thy holy law can blame The tear to huinan frailty due ? May we, while human guilt awakes Upon our cheek the generous glow, Spare the offender's heart, that breaks Beneath its load of shame and woe. Conscious of frailty, may we yield Forgiveness of the wrongs we bear ; And strive the penitent to shield From further sin, or dark despair. And when our own offences weigh Upon our heart, with anguish sore, Lord, let thy sparing mercy say,, Like Jesus, “ Go, and sin no more.”
CURE OF A BLIND MAN.
JOHN ix. 1, 13. And as Jesus passed by, he saw a man which was blind from his birth. And his disciples asked him, saying, Master, who did sin, this man, or his parents, that he was born blind? Jesus answered, Neither Thath this man sinned, nor his parents; but that the works of God should be made manifest in him. I must work the works of him that sent me, while it is day; the night cometh, when no man can work. As long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world. When he had thus spoken, he spat on the ground, and made clay, and he anointed the eyes of the blind man with the clay; and said unto him, Go wash in the pool of Siloam (which is, by interpretation, Sent), He went his way, therefore, and washed, and came seeing.
They brought to the Pharisees him that aforetime was blind. And it was the Sabbath day when Jesus made the clay, and opened his eyes. Then again the Pharisees also asked him how he had received his sight. He said unto them, He put clay upon mine eyes, and I washed, and do see. Therefore said some of the Pharisees, This man is not of God, because he keepeth not the Sabbath day. Others said, How can a man that is a sinner do such miracles ? And there
was a division among them. They say unto the blind man again, What sayest thou of him that hath opened thine eyes ? He said, he is a prophet. But the Jews did not believe concerning him, that he had been blind, and received his sight, until they called the parents of him that had received his sight. And they asked them, saying, Is this your son, who ye say was born blind? How, then, doth he now see? His parents answered them and said, We know that this is our son, and that he was born blind: but by what means he now seeth, we know not; or who hath opened his eyes, we know not; he is of age, ask hiin; he shall speak for himself. Then again called they the man that was blind, and said unto him, Give God the praise; we know that this man is a sinner. He answered and said, Whether he be a sinner or no, I know not; one thing I know, that, whereas I was blind, now I see. They reviled him, and said, Thou art his disciple, but we are Moses' disciples. We know that God spake unto Moses; as for this fellow, we know not from whence he is.
“For judgment,” said Jesus, “I am come into this world ; that they which see not might see, and that they which see might be made blind;" nor could a more striking instance of intentional blindness have been exhibited, than in the conduct of the Pharisees
on this occasion. The man who has been restored to sight stands before them. They have the testimony of his parents, as well as others, to the fact of his previous blindness, even from birth. But they shut their eyes against the conclusion; and fly to that resort so common when reason fails, violence of words and conduct. And is there no voluntary blindness in us? When the book of God is within the reach of every one, while thousands are yet ignorant of what it requires, are they not voluntarily blind? Are we not chargeable with wilful blindness when painful but improving thoughts are in any manner elicited, and we turn impatiently away to some more pleasing subject; when we shake off the conviction that we are doing wrong, and continue in our conduct? Are we not voluntarily blind while a single foible remains undetected, of whose existence we should have been conscious, had we searched with sufficient care? May God open our eyes to our own defects, to the importance of amendment, to the glory and loveliness of his own perfect character !
IMPLORING DIVINE LIGHT.
Dr. Johnson. Oh Thou whose power o'er moving worlds presides, Whose voice created, and whose wisdom guides, On darkling man in pure effulgence shine, And cheer the clouded mind with light divine!