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which you do for yourselves, and that you should love your neighbours as you love yourselves, you make self the highest measure of love. This is a low worldly doctrine, and in the interests of religion and morality I emphatically protest against it. Do to others as you would have them do to you ! Verily this is utilitarianism, not morality. This is John Stuart Mill, not Jesus Christ. If you say the Bible itself teaches this rule of conduct, surely Christ is greater than the Bible. Love is a heavenly passion that rolls ceaselessly onward. To fix a limit beyond which it shall not pass is as absurd and hopeless as an attempt to drive back the dashing surges of the sea by a “ Thus far shalt thou go and no further." Love's growth is illimitable ; it admits of infinite expansion. You cannot chain or curb it. To love others is to love freely, and without any restraint which self-lore may impose. Anything which indicates or suggests the interference of self is to a lover “gall and wormwood.” It is against the spirit of love to say—“I love you as I love myself, and no more. I always take good care that my love for you does not exceed my love for self." Love outruns all measure, even that of selflove. There is no arithmetic in true love. It is an overbearing passion, not a cold calculating principle. When it goes forth it knows no bounds. If I have done unto others all that I wished them to do unto me, if I have served their interests as fully as I would serve my own, even then I cannot rest. I must go on loving and serving my neighbour more: and more, till all thoughts of self disappear, and there is absolute self-forgetfulness and self-abnegation. If I am carried away by the passion of enthusiastic love, I must do unto others more than I do for myself. In fact self is completely immolated on

the altar of passionate love, and all that it regarded as its own, body, mind and heart, health, wealth and all earthly possessions are lost in all-absorbing enterprises of charity. In self-annihilating love there is no self left to prescribe a measure or assign a limit. How then can we accept the false doctrine embodied in what is called the golden rule'? In attacking this doctrine I am not enunciating strange and singular views. What I have said finds ample corroborative evidence and illustration in the lives of all true philanthropists and martyrs. Surely they did not treat others according to the measure of what they expected of them. Their philanthropy took no account of self, and had in fact sacrificed self, so that all they loved was humanity, and its interests alone they cared for. It would be an insult to them to say that they showed only that much regard for others' interests as they did for their own. Assuredly they felt more, infinitely more regard for others than they did or could possibly feel for themselves. They fed others while they themselves starved ; they gave others health and happiness while they sacrificed their own health and comfort ; they clothed the naked, enriched the needy and scattered plenty among impoverished millions, while they themselves pined away in misery and want. Nay, they sacrificed themselves in order that others might live. All shame and dishonor, penury and sufferings, and even death itself, they took unto themselves, while they gave to the world health, wealth, happiness and life. Verily this is loving man more than self, yea to the exclusion and annihilation of self. Can you fathom the depth of that love which took upon itself the sufferings of the world, and achieved the reformation of millions amidst the infamy and agony of the cross? Would

you venture to say that the length and breadth, the height and depth of Christ's love for humanity were limited by considerations of self-love? Did he serve. others to that extent only to which he wished others to serve him ? Surely not. He gave himself to the world, and was so far carried away by his passionate attachment and devotion to all mankind that he cheerfully consented to purchase their salvation with the price of his own precious blood. Fling away then that worldly and prudential love which makes self the measure of all charitable undertakings, and love others with passionate and self-denying enthusiasm.

There is another fallacious doctrine against which I must warn you. It too has secured universal assent, and has passed into a proverb. I allude to the doctrine, --" To err is human, to forgive divine.” This is what the ethics of the world teaches. The doctrine of heaven is, “To forgive is human, to love, divine." I do not underrate forgiveness, but I contend there is something more exalted and heavenly than this. To return insult for insult, injury for injury, under the impulse of anger and vindictiveness, argues a wicked heart. Retaliation, even under the highest provocation, is in itself a sin. All honor to him who forgets and forgives the wrongs inflicted by a brother, and though insulted, beaten and cruelly persecuted, readily returns good for evil ! We admire his exemplary patience and forbearance, and the ease with which he subdues the feelings of résentment as often as they are excited. The number of such men is, indeed, very small in this world of angry strife and contention. Where men are so prone to anger, jealousy and the worst passions of the heart, where ' blood for blood' seems to be a universally recognised law of mutual dealings, pre

cepts and examples of forgiveness must possess a high value. Nay the highest point which earthly charity is deemed capable of reaching is forgiveness. No ethical code holds up a higher ideal of love. From early life we have been accustomed to believe that no man hath greater love for his brother than this that he can forgive wrongs a hundred times. Surely forgiveness is a great virtue, yea I may say, the greatest of all earthly virtues. But in Heaven's ethical code a far higher principle of charity is enforced. What is that forgiveness after all, which, men say, is divine’? It is nothing but mending a broken machinery. In consequence of provocation of some kind or other the heart gets ruffled and

irritated, and angrily turns away from the offender in an attitude of hostility. If anger continues there is no prospect of reconciliation, and vindictive feelings culminate in retaliation and vengeance. But where the heart is not so perverse, and is largely imbued with the softer sentiments, the irritation caused by the offender ere long subsides, and the relenting heart turns round in a friendly spirit, says to the aggressor, who is no longer impenitent, I forgive you," and gets reconciled to him. The simple truth is that he lost the equilibrium of his tem per through the excitement of anger, and it is restored by forgiveness. Some may forgive a wrong after six hours, and some after six months. Some may forgive a hundred times, while others half a dozen times only. All this shows the differing capacities of men to curb their excited passions and restore their broken temper to order. It is according to this measure that men are more or less forgiving ; the patient and meek-hearted being more disposed to forgive than the angry and irritable. If forgiveness then means nothing more than a return

of affection, a mending of broken temper, a renewal of friendliness, it is evident that forgiveness is only a negative virtue, and a virtue of an inferior character. They that simply require a mending of their angered hearts must deem the act of mending a great virtue, but those who require a more radical and permanent improvement of the soul must aim at something higher than constant mending. Wemay congratulate ourselves upon having subdued anger and forgiven our enemy fifty times. But the anxious and unsatisfied heart ever and anon asks, May not the evil recur? To have forgiven ever sọ many times is not necessarily a guarantee against the recurrence of angry feelings. I may have learnt to overlook and pardon small offences. But can I stand strong provocation and exasperating indignities? If my forgiving kindness be continually taken advantage of, shall I bear it all with patience unabated ? These are questions that must trouble us, and prevent our attaching the very highest value to forgiveness. We instinctively long for that state of the mind in which no mending will be needed and no relapse will be possible. We want that perfection of love in which there will be no cessation, and therefore no need of restoration. We


be strong enough to rise every time we fall, but we wish to be so strong that we may never fall. It is not the capacity of forgetting and forgiving an offence after we have once become angry and cherished hostile feelings, that would satisfy our aspirations. We are anxious to attain that perfect type of charity which never gets irritated, never can be hostile, and always cherishes love for friends and foes. Forgiveness is, as I have said, a mere renewal of that affection which underwent a temporary cessation in consequence of the excitement of anger

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