In the same way destroy the vindictiveness of your nature. Treatises on Christian brotherhood are not what you need. Select the man most disagreeable to you, and the one who has said the hardest things about you. Go up and shake hands with him, and ask him how his family is, and how his soul prospers. All your enmities will fly like a flock of quails at the bang of a rifle.
We treat our sins too politely. We ought to call them by their right names. Hatred to our neighbor should not be called hard thoughts, but murder: “whoso hateth his brother is a murderer!” Sin is abominable. It has tusks and claws, and venom in its bite, and death in its stroke. Mild treatment will not do. It is loathsome, filthy and disgusting. If we bid a dog in gentle words to go out of the house, he will lie down under the table. It wants a sharp voice and a determined manner to make him clear out, and so sin is a vile cur that cannot be ejected by any conservative policy. It must be kicked out!
Alas for the young man of the text! He refused Christ’s word and went away to die, and there are now those who cannot submit to Christ’s command, and after fooling their time away with moral elixirs suddenly relapse and perish. They might have been cured, but would not take the medicine.
The youngsters have left.
The children after quitting the tea-table were too noisy for Sabbath night, and some things were said at the table critical of their behavior, when old Dominie Scattergood dawned upon the subject and said:
We expect too much of our children when they become Christians. Do not let us measure their qualifications by our own bushel. We ought not to look for a gravity and deep appreciation of eternal things such as we find in grown persons. We have seen old sheep in the pasture-field look anxious and troubled because the lambs would frisk.
No doubt the children that were lifted by their mothers in Christ’s arms, and got His blessing, five minutes after He set them down were as full of romp as before they came to Him. The boy that because he has become a Christian is disgusted with ball-playing, the little girl who because she has given her heart to God has lost her interest in her waxen-doll, are morbid and unhealthy. You ought not to set the life of a vivacious child to the tune of Old Hundred.
When the little ones come before you and apply for church membership, do not puzzle them with big words, and expect large “experiences.” It is now in the church as when the disciples of old told the mothers not to bother Christ with their babes. As in some households the grown people eat first, and the children have to wait till the second table, so there are persons who talk as though God would have the grown people first sit down at His banquet; and if there is anything over the little ones may come in for a share.