How rare, and all the more beautiful because of its rarity, is a purely guileless spirit! A crystalline medium through which the transparent light of Heaven comes and goes; open, candid, just, honorable, sincere; scorning every unfair dealing, every hollow pretension, every narrow prejudice. Wherever such characters exist, they are like "apples of gold in pictures of silver."
Such, in all the loveliness of sinless perfection, was the Son of God! His guilelessness shining the more conspicuously amid the artful and malignant subtlety alike of men and devils. Passing by manifold instances in the course of His ministry, look at its manifestation as the hour of His death approached. When, on the night of his apprehension, He confronts the assassin band, in meek majesty He puts the question, "Whom seek ye?" They say to Him, "Jesus of Nazareth." In guileless innocence, He replies, "I am He!" "Art thou the King of the Jews?" asks Pilate, a few hours after. An evasive answer might again have purchased immunity from suffering and indignity, but once more the lips which scorned the semblance of evasion reply, "Thou sayest!"
How He loved the same spirit in His people! "Behold," said He, of Nathanael, "an Israelite indeed, in whom is no guile!" That upright man had, we may suppose, been day after day kneeling in prayer under his fig-tree, with an open and candid spirit --
"Musing on the law he taught,
See how the Saviour honored him; setting His own Divine seal on the loveliness of this same spirit! Take one other example, when the startling, saddening announcement is made to the disciples, "One of you shall betray me;" they do not accuse one another; they attempt to throw no suspicion on Judas; each in trembling apprehension suspects only his own treacherous heart, "Lord, is it I?"
How much of a different "mind" is there abroad! In the school of the world (this "painted world"), how much is there of what is called "policy," double-dealing! -- accomplishing its ends by tortuous means; outward, artificial polish, often only a cloak for baseness and selfishness! -- in the daily interchange of business, one seeking to over-reach the other by wily arts; sacrificing principle for temporal advantage. There is nothing so derogatory to religion as aught allied to such a spirit among Christ's people -- any such blot on the "living epistles." "Ye are the light of the world." That world is a quick observer. It is sharp to detect inconsistencies -- slow to forget them. The true Christian has been likened to an anagram -- you ought to be able to read him up and down, every way!
Be all reality, no counterfeit. Do not pass for current coin what is base alloy. Let transparent honor and sincerity regulate all your dealings; despise all meanness; avoid the sinister motive, the underhand dealing; aim at that unswerving love of truth that would scorn to stoop to base compliances and unworthy equivocations; live more under the power of the purifying and ennobling influences of the gospel. Take its golden rule as the matchless directory for the daily transactions of life -- "Whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them."
"ARM YOURSELVES LIKEWISE WITH THE SAME MIND."