by John MacDuff
“Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus.” —Phil 2:5
“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 — where crowds of sick people—blind, lame, or paralyzed—lay on the porches. 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 sorrow!
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, are the claims on your compassion! — now near, now at a distance — the unmet and unanswered cry of perishing millions abroad — the heathendom which lies unsaved 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 one.”
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 that it is bestowed — and 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 saints 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 interest!
“Arm yourselves likewise with the same mind.”