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act always and every where, towards all persons, and under all circumstances of advantage or disadvantage, help or hindrance, at home or abroad. It is the very life of the soul. We could as well live by fragments, as love by partialities. Love can no more vary and change, come and out one and slight others, be fervent afar off and cold at home, than life can exist by freaks and caprices towards this person or that, in this or that place, at this or that season. As our life

pervades our whole nature, in body, soul, and spirit, all our actions and movements, all our thoughts and words ; so love is the one ever-present, everactive, informing, sustaining, quickening life which orders our whole spiritual being. If we love God, we shall love our neighbour. " He that loveth Him that begat, loveth him also that is begotten of Him." If we love not our neighbour, we love not God: “If a man say, I love God, and hateth his brother, he is a liar; for he that loveth not his brother, whom he hath seen, how can he love God, whom he hath not seen ?" If we think to love one and hate another, we deceive ourselves; for 6 whosoever hateth his brother is a murderer:" a heart that can hate even one soul, can love no

If we love them that love us, “ sinners also love those that love them.” No man can truly

11 St. John iv. 20.



love God who does not love his friends; no man can truly love his friends who loves not strangers; and no one can love distant or indifferent persons who does not love his enemies.

And this will give us a test which enters into our every-day life, our inmost heart and home. The first step in the ascent of love rises in our own dwelling. From our very threshold it goes up to the eternal throne. Here too is “the house of God,” and there “the gate of heaven.” A heart unloving among kindred has no love toward God's saints and angels. If we have a cold heart towards a servant, or a friend, why should we wonder if we have no fervour towards God? Let us not deceive ourselves. It is very sweet and flattering to self to imagine ourselves in great works of devotion and charity; living at the foot of the cross, content with scanty fare and raiment, and the love of Christ alone : but if we are cold in our private prayers, we should be earthly and dull in the most devout religious order ; if we shrink from the sick-bed of

; a servant, we should have no charity to turn the pallet of Christ's poor; if we cannot bear the vexations of a companion, how should we bear the contradiction of sinners ? if a little pain overcomes us, how could we endure a cross ? if we have no tender, cheerful, affectionate love to those with whom our daily hours are spent, how should we feel the


pulse and ardour of love to the unknown and the evil, the ungrateful and repulsive ? In all this we should be simply deceiving our own souls. What we are in one place, we should be everywhere; as uncertain and fastidious, as sensitive and capricious, as full of likings and dislikings, which are the leprosy of the heart, fretting its life away.

There was never but One alone whose love was faultless, and He was without sin. In Him the law of love had its perfect and uniform fulfilment, for He was both man and God. In His words and works, His tones and accents, His calmness and majesty, His gaze and countenance, His obedience and patience towards all who loved or hated, served or thwarted, blessed or reviled Him; in all things, great and small, in all seasons of peace or agony, His love neither failed nor fainted. It was never chilled nor clouded: no ear ever heard His voice sharpened, no eye ever saw His brow grow dark.

And how shall we fulfil this great law of two precepts, but by likeness to His Heart of love ? and how shall we be likened to it, but by union with Himself ?

He shews us the perfection of divine charity: “ Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.” The perfection of love is sacrifice; the beginning of sacrifice is



“He pleased not Himself.” He loved us, and gave Himself for us.

He loved us even more than Himself.

Let us pray Him to unite us to His own spirit, that His love may flow down into our hearts, and make us as He is. It is by spiritual contact and communion with Him that love is kindled; and the oftener we come to this fountain of heavenly fire, the more we shall be inflamed, and “His love perfected in us,” until that day when, from this jarring and conflicting world, the Eternal Love shall gather in His own to that unity where there is no variance, to that communion which shall be for ever visible and

In that world of light and peace all shall be loving, all beloved, all blessed in themselves, and doubly blessed, each in the other's bliss, in the pure sphere of joy where Love uncreated dwells, of whose boundless overflow all created life shall be filled eternally.


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“ And I looked, and, lo, a Lamb stood on the mount Sion, and

with Him an hundred forty and four thousand, having His Father's name written in their foreheads.”


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THREE times this great vision was revealed

to St. John. " And I heard,” he writes, “ the number of them which were sealed: and there were sealed an hundred and forty and four thousand."

“ After this I beheld, and, lo, a great multitude, which no man could number, of all nations, and kindreds, and people, and tongues, stood before the throne, and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes, and palms in their hands; and cried with a loud voice, saying, Salvation to our God which sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb."2

Again St. John writes : “I saw as it were a


I Rev. vii. 4.

2 Ibid. 9, 10.

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