"Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus."
"I have compassion on the multitude."—Mark 8:2.
What a pattern to His people, the tender compassion
of Jesus! He found the world He came to save a moral Bethesda. The wail of
suffering humanity was everywhere borne to His ear. It was His delight to walk
its porches, to pity, relieve, comfort, save! The faintest cry of misery
arrested His footsteps—stirred a ripple in this fountain of Infinite Love. Was
it a leper—that dreaded name which entailed a life-long exile from
friendly looks and kindly words? There was One, at least, who had tones
and deeds of tenderness for the outcast. "Jesus, being moved with
compassion, put forth His hand and touched him." Was it some blind
beggars on the Jericho highway, groping in darkness, pleading for help?
"Jesus stood still, and had compassion on them, and touched their eyes!"
Was it the speechless pleadings of a widow's tears at the gate of Nain,
when she followed her earthly pride and prop to the grave? "When the Lord
saw her, He had compassion on her, and said, Weep not!" Even when He
rebukes, the rainbow of compassion is seen in the cloud, or rather, that
cloud, as it passes, dissolves in a rain-shower of mercy. He pronounces
Jerusalem "desolate," but the doom is uttered amid a flood of anguished
Reader! do the compassionate words and deeds of a tender
Savior find any feeble echo and transcript in yours? As you traverse in
thought the wastes of human wretchedness, does the spectacle give rise, not to
the mere emotional feeling which weeps itself away in sentimental tears, but
to an earnest desire to do something to mitigate the suffering of
woe-worn humanity? How vast and world-wide the claims on your compassion!—now
near, now at a distance—the unmet and unanswered cry of perishing millions
abroad—the heathendom which lies unsuccoured at your own door—the public
charity languishing—the mission staff dwarfed and crippled from lack of
needful funds—a suffering district—a starving family—a poor neighbor—a
helpless orphan—it may be, some crowded hovel where misery and vice run
riot—or some lonely sick-chamber, where the dim lamp has been wasting for
dreary nights—or some desolate home which death has entered, where "Joseph is
not, and Simeon is not," and where some sobbing heart, under the tattered garb
of poverty, mourns, unsolaced and unpitied, its "loved and lost." Are there
none such within your reach, to whom a trifling pittance would be as an angel
of mercy? How it would hallow and enhance all you possess, were you to seek to
live as a dispenser of Jehovah's bounties! If He has given you of this world's
substance, remember it is bestowed, not to be greedily hoarded or lavishly
squandered. Property and wealth are talents to be traded on and laid out
for the good of others—sacred trusts, not selfishly to be enjoyed, but
generously to be employed.
"The poor are the representatives of Jesus, their needs He
considers as His own," and He will recompense accordingly. The feeblest
expression of Christian pity and love, though it be but the widow's mite, or
the cup of cold water, or the kindly look and word when there is neither mite
nor cup to give, yet, if done in His name, it is entered in the "book
of life" as a "loan to the Lord;" and in that day when "the books are opened,"
the loan will be paid back with usury.
"Arm yourselves likewise with the same mind."