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his spirit and his language. This harmony is politeness. So may pronounce him a rustic. Call him what you like ; his “k is without dissimulation.” 2. Dissimulation sometimes proces from sinister motives. Selfishness is a prominent characteristic fallen human nature. It introduced guilt and misery into the wor and still it exercises lamentable sway. “Men shall be lovers of the selves.” The prophecy is being daily fulfilled, in myriads of men. I scruple have they, as to the means by which they indulge their“ruli passion.” Nothing is too dastardly for selfishness to stoop to. It is wolf, and has all the wolf's devouring propensities; but to accomplis its end it robes itself in sheep's clothing. Sympathy it will counterfei urbanity it will assume, kindness it will feign. With smiles tl blandest, tones the most honeyed, and bearing the most courteous, will pursue its detestable career. But upon the arcana of its desig and motives, however apparently plausible, let in a full flood of ligh and it shocks even those whom its fascinations had spell-boun “How many are like that famous painting of the olden time, in whic the artist depicted what seemed at a distance a holy friar with a bo before him, and his hands crossed in devotion, looking like a saint i deed, but when you came close to the venerable impostor, you foun that his hands, though clasped, enclosed a lemon, and instead of book there was a punch bowl into which he was squeezing the juice." With equal success does selfishness oft palm itself off, until a close inspection detects and denounces the imposture. Just as the eagle soars on high, either that it may find a nest worthy of its royalty, o flash down with feller swoop on its victim, selfishness affects sublim disinterestedness, that it may the more plausibly, surely, and speedil compass its end, reckless of the divine command, “Let love be withou dissimulation.”
FOURTHLY.—WHAT OF THE GUILT AND DOOM OF LOVE THA DISSEMBLES ? 1. It is guilty of presenting the shadow for the substance It is “ love in word and in tongue, not in deed and in truth.” Ir plaintive tone it entreats, “ Be ye warmed, be ye clothed," and, unfold ing its nameless wardrobe, attires the shivering applicant in a garmen of gorgeous hues, but which, as 'a covering, is cruelly useless. Affect ing to pity his languid circulation, it takes him by the hand, not to refresh it with friction, but to conduct him to a so-called fire which instead of imparting a genial and welcome heat, has no more power ti comfort, than painted flames.
2. Dissembled love is guilty of trifling with Omniscience. So far a the dissembler is concerned, Deity is ignored. His practical motto is “ No God." The eye that is “as a flame of fire ” awes him not; it penetrating glance, its piercing gaze flashes no terror into his soul In muffled tones he asks, “Is there knowledge in the most High? and lest, forsooth, there should be, the audacious question is ready “What is the Almighty, that I should serve Him ? " Proudly defiant
is dissembling kindness. Because it can blind-fold man, it acts as if it could hoodwink JEHOVAH.
3. He who feigns kindness, is guilty of degrading himself. Plausibly to maintain his hollowness is, mercifully, a task. Would that it were ten thousand times more difficult than it is! but the
exertion even now absolutely needed, allies him who puts it forth with the foulest being in the universe, with that “old serpent,” that archdeceiver the Devil.” He obeys his bidding, does his work, and in possession of powers bestowed for noble and lofty ends, virtually falls down and worships him. Human nature, already earthly and sensual,” thus sinks necessarily into the “devilish," and becomes permeated, ingrained with its vileness——“ the enemy of all righteousness.” Thus degraded, the man is odious when his duplicity is detected, not only in the eyes of others, but in his own. He dares not look in
himself. He shudders at the spectacle. He trembles as if “ a dreadful sound were in his ears.” He is self-condemned, and, like him who, though the Prince of darkness, sometimes " transforms himself into an angel of light,” carries hell in his bosom. The question from
“ Art thou become as one of us ?” proclaims the association that is waiting with a grin, to receive the dissembler. 4. Dissembled kindness is guilty of cruelty to its object. The latter unsuspicious, and gratefully accords his confidence to the smiles that greet him, and yields to the fascinations of avowed interest in his welfare. But these fascinations and smiles are like the ignis fatuus that deceives the traveller in the desert, and leads him astray. What a picture is drawn of the man who uses them,-drawn by an unerring pencil ! “ The words of his mouth are smoother than butter, but war is in his heart; his words are softer than oil, yet are they drawn swords.” In this doubtless—as in all other kinds of wickedness—there are degrees, but the most attenuated form of dissimulation is the quintessence of treachery. It indicates the man's relation to him who was asked, “ Betrayest thou the Son of Man with a kiss ?” The caresses of the dissembler are more to be dreaded than the assassin's blow. * Faithful are the wounds of a friend, but the kisses of an enemy are deceitful,”—the
traitorous imprints of dissembled love. 5. Dissembled kindness is doomed to shame. Its exposure is certain. Even in this world, it may be stripped of its mask. Dissimulation oft becomes its own Judas. Even when he who practises it may be congratulating himself
on his adroitness, and thinking how cleverly he is working "behind the scenes," the curtain may suddenly fall, and himself be pointed to with scorn, as he whose sin was burning a hole in his reputation, when he knew it not. But should it be otherwise,-should be succeed in blindfolding his victim so long as both are here, the day
when “there is nothing hid that shall not be made known-nothing covered that shall not be revealed." All things, " the secrets of all hearts, are naked and open to the eyes of Him with whom he has to do.”
“Thou thoughtest I was altogether such
& one as thyself, but I will reprove thee." Some will “rise to shame and everlasting contempt." The Dissembler will be among them.
REFLECTIONS. 1. Let each of us shun dissimulation. Be it ours to be upright and downright. The apostle who exhorts us to "covet the best gifts," implores us to flee the most loathsome of vices. “Let love be without dissimulation."
2. Let none of us be unduly suspicious in this dissembling world. The fact that rogues exist, is no reason why sincere men should be doubted. Are we to treat all as dissemblers until they are proved to be genuine, or all as genuine until proved to be dissemblers ? Does not charity that "hopeth all things dictate the latter ? 3. Let us all seek the aid of the Divine Spirit, that we may
be distinguished by the very opposite of dissimulation. He who made Nathanael what he was, can make us like him.
Truthful Spirit, dwell with me
Speak my Lord's sincerity! 4. Were there no dissimulation in our world, what a happy world it would be ! Suspicion would be ashamed, and hide its face Lastly. -Let every one rejoice that Divine love is beyond suspicion
. “God is Love." "Believe it, my reader, and trust Him “who gave Himself” for you. His "love passeth knowledge." Its revelation is but the mirror of its reality. The setting does not transcend the jewel it enshrines. That love, appreciated, will make thine “without dissimulation.'
THE BLOT OF INK.
FOR THE YOUNG. Who has made this blot of ink on master, and as quickly brought back my note-book?” said a schoolmaster, to the slates; at the second all the as he came into the schoolroom and heads remained down, and nothing again took his seat at the desk, was to be heard but the sound of the which he had left a few minutes be- pencils, which scratched" the slates fore in order to speak to the mother of one of his scholars.
the different sums were being written A deep silence was
down. answer to this question. “I ask," "When a master asks a question,". repeated Mr. Bernard, ** who has said Mr. Bernard, it is the duty of made this 'blot of ink on my note- the scholars to answer him. Now book?"
there is one among you who is guilty; At the first summons, forty pairs there is one who left his seat and of eyes were raised to the face of the
came, most probably, to look for the
iswer to his
in this key-book; my permission ? It was you who iny pen, which had ink in it, must sulted your '
master by refusing to kve slipped from his hand, and answer" him; for, as you are the lotted the note-book as'it fell. I guilty one, it was to you that I spoke. ow call upon the guilty one to stand You are right not to look me in the p."
face; but tell me how will you look There was still the same silence all at your dear mother when she calls ound.
you this evening to say your prayers The master sighed, for he loved to God before you go to bed And niş" little scholars very much; it how will you pray? What will you rieved him to punish' them; but he say to the Lord, whom you have ofnew that these young 'souls had fended ?". Two tears rolled down jeen entrusted to his care by the poor little Paul's cheeks. "My Saviour to teach them' His ways, and child," continued the master, "your o guide them in the path which leads conduct grieves me all the more, beto life; and while his heart was cause up to this time I have observed grieved at the thought that he must your good conduct and love of truth.” at any cost find out the offender and Paul's cheeks became like crimson; punish him, especially as his ob- he raised his head, and cried—“Sir, stinacy threw suspicion on his com- I didn't lie.” panions, the master, faithful to his " Do not try to excuse yourself, duty
, resolved not to act rashly. my boy,” said Mr. Bernard; "if you He now slowly left his desk, and did not tell a lie, at least you
your standing in front of the forms where schoolfellows be suspected of a fault his scholars were seated, he said, “I of which you alone were guilty, and do not like tell-tales; it is a proof that was not honest. However much of a very bad spirit when a boy dis- it grieves me, I must punish you; tocloses his schoolfellows' faults; but day is Wednesday, so this evening it is necessary for the good”-and and for the rest of the week I shall he laid a stress on the word, keep you in till eight o'clock in the the good of the offender, that I should evening; and each day, during the know who he is. Now, I do not extra hours, you shall write out ten want you to say, it is such and such pages of grammar.” a one, but I desire you all, begin- Mr. Bernard opened the door, and ning with the first division, to leave the time being up, he dismissed his this room, and to go into the pas- scholars, telling Louis, Paul's brother, sage, with the exception of the one to explain to their mother the cause among you who is guilty.”
of his brother's absence. While he They then began to file off. One, was speaking to him, all the other two, three forms were soon empty; boys had left, and the master and the fourth class, which was composed the two brothers were alone in the of the youngest boys, went more schoolroom. Paul was sitting with slowly; the last child but one had downcast' eyes, so that he did not gone the one who remained seemed see how pale and bewildered Louis Just about to rise, but, after a slight looked when he heard' his master's movement, he re-seated
himself. message. Louis was twelve months Mr. Bernard shut
door of the younger than his brother, who was room, and then came and sat down in his eleventh year : the love of the by the little boy, and taking both two boys for each other was so great his hands in his, he said: “So it
and so strong that it had often exwas you, Paul, who went'in this de- cited the admiration of their school
way to find out from my book fellows and even of their master. Whether your sum was cör
'correct? was you who left your seat without
"Mr. Bernard had stopped speaking somë minutes, but "Louis did not which the Bible teaches us; and if, and their heads resting on each as soon as I asked, "Who has made other's shoulders. The master's a blot of ink on my note-book ?? you eyes filled with tears as he watched had answered, Sir, it was I; I had them, but after a few moments he
move; he seemed fixed to the spot, “Dear children, I like to see thi and his eyes were fixed on Paul, who great love between you, and neve did not look up.
• Louis, my child, would I wish that you should love you must go; it is long past five each other less; but while you
have o'clock. Paul, get your grammar
this brotherly love, you must also and begin to copy.”
love each other as unto the Lord Paul rose to get his book, but When one of you commits a fault, the Louis threw his arms round his other must love him so much as no neck, sobbing aloud. “O brother, only to wish to bear his punishment brother!” he cried. He would have but also to tell him frankly that he added more, but Paul, kissing him has done wrong. I know that this affectionately, tried all he could to is more difficult for a loving heart
, comfort him. “Never mind, Louis; I now understand what happened hush, hush; I will write fast, and I this afternoon. In a moment of shall have finished before eight thoughtlessness, Louis committed o'clock, and when I come home, I the first fault; his courage will explain it all to my mother. Be him when I asked the question; and, quiet; there, run away; I wish you as one sin generally leads to another
, would go, Louis; I don't like to see he had not the courage and franke you cry so; if you would only go ness to confess himself guilty by reAnd Paul tried to get free from his maining in his seat. Was it not so brother; but Louis would not leave Louis ? him.
“Yes, sir," he answered, his eyes “I will stay too, I will stay,” he swimming with tears. cried; “it is you who ought to go; “But
you, my boy,” said Mr. BerI dare not go to my mother," and nard, turning to Paul, “why did you his sobs increased.
not leave your seat ?” At last Mr. Bernard took Louis's “Because, sir,” said Paul, colour hand, and said, “My child, you must ing, “I said to myself, “My brother go! as your brother is guilty of a has done wrong, but as he will not serious fault, you can understand confess it, I must take his place, bethat he must be punished.”
cause then our schoolfellows will not But what was his astonishment
be suspected any longer.' That is when the little boy said, “ You are the truth, sir; and now may my mistaken, sir, I am the guilty one.” brother go home, and will
“ Louis !” cried Paul, seizing him me stay?" by the arm, “you were punished “No, no !” cried Louis, “ it is I enough, without saying that.” And who ought to stay," and his tears the two brothers threw themselves began again. into each other's arms.
You see, dear boy,” said Mr. Mr. Bernard watched them with- Bernard, “ how much wiser it is, in out knowing what to think. Was youth as well as in old age, to act Louis really guilty, and not Paul ? with uprightness and perfect honesty. Had the latter done this in order to Solomon says, 'He that covereth his save his brother from punishment ? And now, whom was he to punish ?
confesseth and forsaketh them shall
sins shall not prosper; but whoso His perplexity was great. The two have mercy' (Prov. xxviii. 13.) This brothers were standing there before is perfectly true, as him clasped in each other's arms,
the curiosity to look into it, but I drew them towards him, and said,
am sorry for it, and please to for