- from "Toleration" by John Bigelow
CHAPTER II - Part 2
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It is a universal law that, whatever a man tries to do to another, whether it be good or evil, liberal or selfish, precisely such are the things which return in their fullest effects upon him. The exercise of love and charity toward others surrounds us with a sphere of influences proportioned to our own spiritual growth and stature, but God mercifully leaves no one de. pendent upon the love or wisdom of any other mortal. If He did, what a fearful fate would await the millions who are growing up under the contaminating influences of vice in its most hideous developments with a very imperfect apprehension of its dangers! How dreadful to contemplate the destiny of all children if left to the mercy of mere human wisdom and affection! For who is competent alone to train a child, when we all require God's infinite grace continually to protect us from the natural consequences of our own proclivity to evil? The whole business and duty of life consists in rejecting all improper and selfish motives of action and selecting none but such as are animated by love, to God and charity to our neighbor.
The events of life, and even its duration, should be left entirely and without solicitude to Providence. It is only the unregenerate and sinful part of our being that ever comes into jeopardy; it is only the selfish desires with their affections that are allowed to suffer harm. The Divine sphere of protection flows out and encompasses everything good and true that is implanted within us. Not one drop of heavenly oil, not one drop of heavenly wine can be reached by the evil or suffer hurt. No single affection of good and no genuine wisdom can ever be lost. Not one element or constituent of the spiritual life, not a single regenerated principle of the mind will ever decay.
Paul uttered a universal truth when he said to the Hebrews:
"The Lord is my helper, and I will not fear what man shall do unto me."
The Lord is as much a helper to all the children of men today as he ever was to Paul. Paul in his letter to the Galatians said:
"Use not your freedom for an occasion to the flesh, but through love; be servants one to another; even as this; thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself; but if ye bite and devour one another, take heed that ye be not consumed one of another."
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