Galatians 6:1
Brothers, if someone is caught in a trespass, you who are spiritual should restore him with a spirit of gentleness. But watch yourself, or you also may be tempted.
Sermons
A Triple DutyT. Adams.Galatians 6:1
Benefit of ReproofPhilip Henry.Galatians 6:1
Brotherly ReproofR. Hall.Galatians 6:1
Cadman -- a New Day for MissionsVariousGalatians 6:1
Christian Helpfulness and Personal IndependenceA. Mackennal, B. A.Galatians 6:1
Christian ReformationDean Alford.Galatians 6:1
Compassion the Law of ChristArchbishop Thomson.Galatians 6:1
Comprehensiveness of Christ's LawH. W. Beecher.Galatians 6:1
Considering ThyselfH. Melvill, B. D.Galatians 6:1
Discretion in CensureArchbishop Seeker.Galatians 6:1
Duty of the Church to the Over-TemptedF. Hastings.Galatians 6:1
Faults and BurdensJ. Parker, D. D.Galatians 6:1
Magnanimous ConductH. W. Beecher.Galatians 6:1
Meditation Promotes SpiritualityP. J. Wright.Galatians 6:1
Methods of RestorationG. Swinnock.Galatians 6:1
Motives to CharityH. Melvill, B. D.Galatians 6:1
On Restoring a SinnerJ. B. Brown, B. A.Galatians 6:1
Other Men's FailingsH. W. Beecher.Galatians 6:1
Our Duty to the ErringE. Bersier, D. D., A. K. H. B.Galatians 6:1
Reproof Begins with SelfJ. G. Pilkington.Galatians 6:1
Restoring the ErringW.F. Adeney Galatians 6:1
Self-Knowledge is the Knowledge and Love of GodH. Melvill, B. D.Galatians 6:1
Spirituality of Mind PossibleJ. Inglis.Galatians 6:1
Suitable Times for ReprovingJohn Trapp.Galatians 6:1
Tenderness in ReproofArchbishop Secker.Galatians 6:1
Test of FriendshipH. W. Beecher.Galatians 6:1
The Christians Duty to an Erring BrotherA. F. Barfield.Galatians 6:1
The Duty of Brotherly Admonition and ReproofH. Melvill, B. D.Galatians 6:1
The Occasion for the InjunctionBishop Lightfoot.Galatians 6:1
The Restoration of the ErringJ. W. Robertson.Galatians 6:1
The Restoration of the LapsedPaul of Tarsus.Galatians 6:1
The Sins of OthersE. Bersier, D. D.Galatians 6:1
The Spirit in Which Restoration Should be TakenClergyman's MagazineGalatians 6:1
The Spirit of MeeknessDr. T. Hamilton.Galatians 6:1
The Restoration of the ErringR.M. Edgar Galatians 6:1-5
Treatment of a Fallen BrotherR. Finlayson Galatians 6:1-5
The walk in the Spirit, which eschews vain-glory and envy, further manifests itself in consideration for the erring. The sins of others become our concern, and we anxiously seek how we can best have them restored. Here, then, is a burden which Christians have not undertaken as earnestly and sympathetically as they ought to have done; it is the burden of sin which weighs on other people's hearts.

I. THE PREPARATION FOR DEALING WITH OTHER PEOPLE'S SINS. (Vers. 1-3) The idea of Paul here is that the Pharisaic temper is utterly incapable of the restoration of the erring. Thinking himself to be something, not realizing that he is in God's sight nothing, the Pharisee deceives himself, and so cannot become the guide of others. He will be severe through his self-satisfaction, hard and unsympathetic because he is ignorant of his own need and cannot consequently know the needs of others. His pride makes sympathy for the abased impossible, and he passes on in utter uselessness. But when the Lord makes us meek, when the Lord impresses upon us the fact of our own liability to temptation, when the Lord leads us to the sifting of our own work, and to a higher standard than mere comparison of it with that of others, when, in a word, we are led out of Pharisaic thankfulness that we are not as other men into Christian humility and self-abasement, - then are we in some measure fitted to take up the problem of other people's trespasses and to solve it. It is the "spiritual" who are to undertake the delicate work.

II. THE LAW OF CHRIST IS TO BE OUR METHOD. (Ver. 2.) Now, when we consider broadly the work of Christ, we find that it resolves itself exactly into this work of restoring the erring. This was the purpose of his life and death, to bear other people's burdens - the burdens of sin. Of course, Christ could deal with sin in a more radical way than we can. He was sinless; he was Divine; he could accept of the responsibilities of human sins and atone for them, as we cannot do. But we can surely have fellowship with him in concern about other people's spiritual state; we can sympathize with them, and perhaps encourage them to make us their confidantes, so that we may do something for their relief. We can also keep their restoration steady as a star before us, and follow the Master in leading them to renewed hope. In all these ways we may follow the law of Christ in dealing with delinquent brethren. The fact is that, because we cannot share in Christ's atoning work, we are tempted often to let sin lie outside our deliberate philanthropy. We are willing enough, perhaps, to help a fellow out of the burden of poverty, of outward misfortune; but to help him as a spiritual counsellor seems beyond our province. And yet we are not surely very thorough in our philanthropy if we do not try to touch and remove the deeper burden of heart-trouble by leading the erring to our elder Brothel'.

III. THERE WILL BE JOY AS WELL AS DISAPPOINTMENT UPON THIS PATH OF CHRISTIAN SYMPATHY. The heavenly world gets more joy out of the penitent prodigals than out of the unfallen beings (Luke 15:1-10). It is the same with us in our humble efforts after restoring erring brethren. What a joy it is to think that he has repented and got unburdened and restored! There is no joy of exactly the same pure intensity in all the world. There is music and dancing in our hearts as in the great Father's house. Earth and heaven are one (Luke 15:25). There will be a measure of disappointment. Souls over whom we have sighed and wept, for whose salvation we have longed, may disappoint us sadly; but we can assure ourselves that in this respect also we are in fellowship with God. Every impenitent soul must be a disappointment to the Supreme! We leave the mystery at his holy feet, and, notwithstanding disappointment, resolve in dependence on him to work bravely on until our day is done, persuaded that our tale of souls relieved shall be longer in the end than we have dared to dream. - R.M.E.







Brethren, if a man be overtaken in a fault, ye which are spiritual, restore such an one in the spirit of meekness.
I. AN ACT OF CHARITY; support of the weak (vers. 1, 2).

II. AN ACT OF INTEGRITY: proof of ourselves (vers. 3, 4).

III. AN ACT OF EQUITY; support of ministers (ver. 6).

(T. Adams.)

I. THE MOTIVE TO MUTUAL HELPFULNESS DRAWN FROM SELF-KNOWLEDGE. Apply to —

1. Infirmities.

2. Matters of opinion.

3. Sins.

4. Unfaithfulness to Church obligations.

II. THE POWER OF MUTUAL HELPFULNESS ARISING FROM THE ENDEAVOUR AFTER CHRISTIAN INTEGRITY.

1. The simple unsophisticated conscience never finds consolation in others' sins.

2. The moral power of sympathy is in proportion to the sincerity of our Christian character.

3. That was the secret of Christ's moral power among men.

III. THE LIMITS OF MUTUAL HELPFULNESS IMPOSED BY PERSONAL INDEPENDENCE.

1. We cannot stand in another's place to answer for his sin.

2. We cannot put ourselves within his being so as to compel his judgment, command his feeling, "restrain his choice.

IV. PRACTICAL LESSONS.

1. To call our thoughts from vain longings after the impossible to do what is given us to do.

2. Not to burden with our follies and sins those already bearing burdens of their own.

3. The proper, burden for the Galatians and all who seek a burden is "the law of Christ."

(A. Mackennal, B. A.)

I. THESE THINGS ARE TO BE DONE BECAUSE THEY ARE COMMANDED.

II. CHRISTLIKE PIETY MAY BE KNOWN BY ITS GENTLENESS AND HELPFULNESS TOWARDS THEM THAT ARE EVIL.

III. A PROFOUND SENSE OF WEAKNESS AND SINFULNESS IS INDISPENSIBLE TO ANY INTELLIGENT CHARITY.

IV. THE GRACE OF GOD SERVES INSTRUMENTALLY BY MAN'S LOVE.

V. THE CURATIVE SYMPATHY OF MEN DOES NOT LEAD THEM TO LOOK LIGHTLY ON TRANSGRESSION. Conclusion:

1. No man has a right to be absorbed in his own piety: we were born to live together, and no man has a right to shirk the duties he owes to his brother.

2. The bearing of burdens is a duty

(1)in the household,

(2)in society.

(H. W. Beecher.)

Consider —

I. THE EFFECT PRODUCED BY THE FALLS OF OTHERS.

1. Here is a worldly company. A scandal is disclosed; what malignant joy it occasions.

2. But what shall we say when that detestable joy is shared by Christians?

(1)Over the adversaries of the faith,

(2)and, alas! over fallen Christians also.

3. Who are we to condemn the fallen?

(1)Have we never erred?

(2)Have we had no secret inclination to equivalent transgression?

(3)Did we strive to prevent our brother falling?

(4)Was he blessed with our privileges?

4. Thus a brother's fall should produce in us, not censure, but self-examination and humiliation.

II. WHAT ARE WE TO DO IS ORDER TO WISE THEM?

1. The nearer a being lives to God the more deeply it feels compassion and mercy.

(1)As proved by the angels who sang hymns of redemption and rejoice over returning sinners.

(2)As proved by the infinite tenderness of Christ.

2. The least that we can do is to give our fallen brother our sympathy.

3. But this is not enough.

(1)There is a sympathy which is mere weakness.

(2)You must have for your brother a love without weakness, a holiness without pride.

(3)You must point him to the Saviour.

(4)We cannot raise souls en masse, but only by individuals.

III. Conclusion:

1. What an honour to raise a fallen soul.

2. Christ the Raiser has called you to this.

3. Have you not lost some soul?

(E. Bersier, D. D.)

I. THE CHRISTIAN VIEW OF OTHER MEN'S SIN.

1. The apostle regards it as if it might be the result of a surprise.(1) There are some sins for which we have an inclination.(2) There are those which, seemingly unnatural to us, come upon us unexpectedly.

(a)A question may be hurriedly put concerning a secret; not having presence of mind to turn it adroitly, a lie is told. So Peter.

(b)Inexperience, a hasty promise, excess of trust, and even generous devotion may have the same effect.

2. The apostle considers it a fault which has left a burden on the erring spirit.(1) It is a chain of entanglement which drags down to fresh sins.(2) It is the burden of the heart weighing on itself which keeps the soul down from good.(3) The weight of secret uncommunicated sin; as evidenced

(a)by a mysterious necessity to tell it under the personality of another;

(b)by profuse general acknowledgment of guilt;

(c)by the longing for confession.(4) The intuitive consciousness of hidden sins in the hearts of others.

II. THE CHRISTIAN POWER OF RESTORATION.

1. Restoration is possible.

2. Restoration is accomplished by men as instruments.

3. The mode in which it is done;

(1)by sympathy;

(2)forgiveness.

4. The motive — "considering thyself," etc.

(J. W. Robertson.)

I. WHAT THAT DUTY IS.

1. We are members one of another.

2. It is our interest to keep our members together, and in good health.

3. A means of doing this is timely admonition.

II. RULES FOR ITS EFFECTIVE DISCHARGE.

1. It does not follow that where-ever a man sees vice he is bound to rebuke it. Reproof may exasperate.

2. Regard must be had to the circumstances of the offending party.

3. An exact proportion should be preserved between the offence and the rebuke; failings are not necessarily sins.

4. The rebuke should be given privately.

5. Take care not to be chargeable with the same fault yourself.

6. The end in view must not be the gratification of a private pique, but restoration.

III. THE EVIL OF NEGLECTING IT.

1. Evil is encouraged by neglect.

2. The good are lost for the want of timely interference.

(H. Melvill, B. D.)

"Considering thyself."

1. Thine abundance may become poverty; therefore, O man of wealth, "consider the poor."

2. Thy happiness may be blighted; therefore, O man on whom all things smile, raise up the mourners.

3. Thou mayest be sick; therefore, O man of health, give aid to the diseased.

4. Thou, too, must die; therefore, O living man, do not forget the bereaved.

5. Thou mayest be deprived of the means of grace, therefore, frequenter of the house of God, succour those to whom the gospel does not come.

(H. Melvill, B. D.)

There are many ways of selfconsideration.

I. SELF-LOVE, when right and when wrong.

II. SELF-IGNORANCE.

III. SELF-KNOWLEDGE.

IV. THE KNOWLEDGE OF GOD'S LOVE IN CHRIST, ON WHICH THE NOBLEST SELF-KNOWLEDGE RESTS.

(H. Melvill, B. D.)

The fervour and pathos of this appeal are perhaps to be explained by certain circumstances which engaged St. Paul's attention at this time. A grave offence had been committed in the Church of Corinth. St. Paul had called upon the brethren to punish the offender, and his appeal had been answered with so much promptness that it was necessary to intercede for the guilty one. He commended their indignation, their zeal, their revenge; they had approved themselves clear in the matter (2 Corinthians 7:11); and now they must comfort and forgive their erring brother, lest he be swallowed up with overmuch sorrow (see the striking resemblance in tone of 2 Corinthians 2:6-8, and the text). It was the recollection of this circumstance that dictated this injunction. The Galatians were proverbially passionate and fickle. If a reaction came it might be attended, as at Corinth, with undue severity towards the delinquents. The Epistle, therefore, was probably written while the event was fresh, and perhaps after he had witnessed too evident signs of over severity.

(Bishop Lightfoot.)

In the Pauline hypothesis of a perfect society, the rectification of a wrong is not due to the clamour or plaint of that which is immediately distressed, but to the sympathy felt by the whole of the society towards the suffering or injured part. From St. Paul's point of view, a social evil sends a pang through the whole body, urging it to take note of the disease, and to discover the remedy. That the remedy can be found and the disease subdued he did not for a moment doubt. Conceive, if you can, a public conscience so keen and tender as to be instantly alive to the moral evils which corrupt, enfeeble, and blemish it, and so wise as to be constantly busying itself with their cure. Imagine men comprehending that the corrective forces of public morality are concerned principally with the purification of mankind from evils which it has contracted. Picture a society employed in finding out the means by which poverty, ignorance, vice, selfishness, can be chastened or healed because itself is degraded and dishonored, and is restless till it has found a cure. Well would it have been if the reformation of man had been continued on these lines laid down by St. Paul; but the utmost that men have done as yet, is to concede a right, perhaps no more than a right, of complaint to the sufferer. ("Paul of Tarsus.)

Saints, like clocks, made up of curious wheels and engines, are soon discomposed, and therefore often want some workman to set them in order again. A good man, if his friend follow virtue, will be a father to encourage him; if he be full of doubts, he will be a minister to direct him; if he follow vice, will be a magisstrate to correct him. Christians must allow one another for their infirmities, but not in them.

(G. Swinnock.)

Compassion is the law of Christ, not because He laid it down in words, but because it was His life. He who left us an example that we should follow His steps, showed that with Him no condition of life was too low for His esteem, no sinner too guilty for His assistance, no enemy too fierce or cruel for His good will. And Christ is the law of His people, not His words alone, but the life He lived and the Person He showed Himself to be.

(Archbishop Thomson.)

The soul which sin has overtaken is like the bruised reed. It must be raised up gently that it may once more aspire heavenwards.

(E. Bersier, D. D.)The graceful vase that stands in the drawing-room under a glass shade and never goes to the well, has no great right to despise the rough pitcher that often goes and is broken at last.

(A. K. H. B.)

I. THE CASE WHICH THE TEXT DESCRIBES. Wrong-doing under the influence of sudden temptation.

II. LET US ENDEAVOUR TO ASCERTAIN THE CONDUCT TO BE PERSUED IN SUCH A CASE. YE WHICH ARE SPIRITUAL, RESTORE SUCH AN ONE, CONSIDERING THYSELF, etc. This applies not simply to such persons as are endowed with spiritual gifts; but to those Christians who are more than ordinarily devoted to religion. A spiritual man is one whom the Holy Ghost hath enlightened and changed. It does not belong to every one in the Church to assume this office. To restore, is a general term, admitting of a variety of applications. It often signifies to amend. In a moral sense, it means to restore the faulty person to the moral feeling which he has lost. He who thus restores, becomes the healer of disease.

1. The text intimates that the reproof is to be faithfully administered. To tell another of a fault, even if it be done in the mildest manner, constitutes reproof. Faults are not confined to practical matters, but extend also to doctrinal. Christians are exposed to both, and both are equally dangerous.

2. It is to be done in the spirit of meekness. This is eminently necessary; because we undertake to restore our brother, we assume superior ground. He who inflicts pain willingly and intentionally is a monster. The skilful practitioner will probe the wound to the bottom, but he will do it as gently as possible. A spirit of kindness pervaded the corrections which the Saviour so faithfully applied. It must be obvious, from what has been already said, that if we see a brother overtaken in a fault, and leave him, without an attempt to restore him, we are guilty of serious neglect of a known Christian duty. This will appear even more forcibly, if you consider what was enjoined under the Jewish economy, "Thou shalt not hate thy brother in thy heart, nor suffer his sin upon him, but rebuke him."

(R. Hall.)

I. THE POSSIBILITY OF BEING MORALLY OVERCOME.

II. THE DUTY OF RESTORATION. This includes —

1. A proper sense of the value of individuals — a man.

2. An intense sympathy with Jesus Christ in His saving work.

3. A practical knowledge of human nature.

III. THE WORK OF RESTORATION IS TO BE DONE IN A PROPER SPIRIT. Dislocated limbs should be handled skilfully. What is involved in restoring a man?

1. A proper sense of sin.

2. A wise excitement of hope.

3. A deep conception of Christ's work in relation to fallen men. Beware of encouraging false peace. It is possible to bandage a limb without setting it.

(J. Parker, D. D.)

Clergyman's Magazine.
1. In a spirit of faith.

2. Meekness.

3. Considerateness.

4. Humility.

(Clergyman's Magazine.)

Let us begin this consideration with its proper beginning — the first detection — the first moment that constitutes what society knows as a criminal. The first detection may have followed on a trifling fault, or a mere inadvertence; but once past, the barrier is past with it — the badge is irremovably attached; the words "convicted criminal" are the strokes of a knell which tolls the man to his grave, be he scores of years from it: we are so determined to be in outward appearance separate from sinners, that we draw the line bold and dark which shall mark the distinction: there shall be no penumbra to that eclipse. Exiles and outcasts, whether their fault has been great or small, from the society of the virtuous or of the undetected — every influence is arrayed, many influences perhaps not unjustly arrayed, against their return to the place whence they have fallen. First of all, in speaking of this duty, let me say something of the spirit in which it is to be performed. "Restore such an one in the spirit of meekness — considering thyself, lest thou also be tempted." Surely this is the very opposite of the spirit of the world, of which we have been speaking. That spirit refuses to consider the possibility of ourselves being tempted: parades a challenge in the face of the world to question our own purity and inviolability, and declares that we are determined never to admit the hypothesis of our becoming like them. Well then, it is here as so often: I have to ask you to put on a spirit directly contrary to that which you find around you in the world: to sit at the feet of a far different Teacher, and learn of Him. We have spoken of Him who came to seek and to save that which was lost. And this is the very thing which we ask you to do likewise. Our blessed Lord spent His life and shed His blood, in devising means whereby His lost ones might be recovered to Him. And every follower of His — every one who is under the discipline of that great Reformatory which He has founded — is expected not to look only on his own things, but also on the things of others. These criminals are your brethren; your fellow-Christians by profession. And it is only His preventing and upholding grace, which keeps from falling any of us who thinketh he standeth in uprightness. Bearing their burdens, instead of disclaiming them and letting them sink under their weight; and so fulfilling the law of Christ. We may ask, what law? And the answer is very simple. There was one law in which our blessed Lord summed up His social and practical precepts; one, which peculiarly belongs to Him: "Whatsoever ye would that men should do unto you, even so do unto them." This is emphatically the law of Christ.

(Dean Alford.)

This restoring of sinners is the primary duty of the members of the brotherhood of Christ. Is it not, too, the great problem of society? It lies as near to the heart of the welfare of homes, of kingdoms, as of Churches. Restore the sinners and you save the State.

I. THE MAN OVERTAKEN IN A FAULT. It is literally the man "even caught in a sin." Putting the case most strongly, ye which are spiritual, restore such a one, despite the open scandal and shame. The sense of our translation, "overtaken in a fault," suggesting, I think, the idea of surprise by the sin as well as in the sin, though not the literal sense of the original, is, perhaps, spiritually, not far from the truth. The word for "sin," the word for "restore," and the allusion to temptation, seem all to point to the case of a man overtaken and snared by a sin. There are those who overtake sin; who seem to catch sins as easily as the vapour of naphtha catches fire. It is not to them that the apostle is here referring. But there are others whom sin overtakes. It is out of the course of their most earnest purpose. It comes as a perversion. It twists, if it does not break, the unity of their lives. David's deadly sin was of this character. Sin has caught him, and holds him as a captive. But there is an uprightness there which it has bent but has not prostrated, a love for truth and honour which it has blighted but has not killed. Brethren, take him by the hand and clasp him. Throw the cords of your love around him, and stay him in his mad career.

II. YE WHICH ARE SPIRITUAL. Who are the spiritual? Who knows the secret of this Divine art of restoring souls? The spiritual — those who know that they are the spiritual, and who are the qualified teachers, correctors, and exemplars to their fellow-men. I am not sure that this is the class which is meant by the term, when we hear it on an apostle's lips — indeed, I am quite sure that it is not. I am quite sure that Paul speaks of a class of much simpler and humbler men. Men who are not at all sure that they are the spiritual; men who are only sure that sin is a great sorrow to the sinner, a great sorrow to the Saviour, a crushing burden on the spirit, which so fills them with distress and pity, that they can take no rest and know no joy until they have lifted it and borne it away.

III. RESTORE SUCH AN ONE. Restore him. There is but one way. Restore him to God, and you restore him to his brother, to the Church, and to himself. Do not imagine that you can restore him. Man can do just one essential service to his brother: he can bring him to Jesus, and leave him with Him.

(J. B. Brown, B. A.)

The exercise of discipline is ever a delicate and dangerous work. Those who have not themselves fallen are apt to be a little puffed up by the sense of their superior purity, and so to neglect to treat outcasts with true Christian considerateness.

I. THE DUTY OF CHRISTENS TO SEEK TO RECLAIM THE OVER-TEMPTED.

1. The light in which many sins are to be viewed — a slip into a pit. Sin not indulged in because loved, but because the sinning one has been surprised, overtaken, entrapped by it.

2. The difficulty of rising after such a fall. Despair settles down on the soul; disgrace; self-reproach. Souls that are in the wild, wide forest of sin, with night coming down, are not likely to find their way out when the notches on the trees — such as the Indians make for guidance — have grown over or been obliterated. Souls that have lost their balance on the narrow ledge of the lofty mountain path, are very likely to fall into the abysmal gorge at their side. Then is the time for Christians to step in and take the erring one by the hand, bestowing interest, affection, fellowship.

II. THE MANNER AND SPIRIT IN WHICH THIS IS TO BE PERFORMED. The spiritual must act in a spiritual manner.

1. Setting an example in all good. No moderate indulgence in sin, no laxity, no half-measures.

2. The spirit of meekness. This gives us a fellow-feeling, and makes us act as brothers.

3. Consideration for ourselves. We may one day need the helping hand we are now extending to another. Let us, then, do as we would be done by. No boastful, self-sufficient spirit becomes those who are themselves within reach of temptation.

(F. Hastings.)

The law of Christ is the law of universal love; and it requires every man to be interested in every man and in his difficulties; to be in sympathy with him and in all the spirit of helpfulness, although the act may be beyond our power. It requires us also to be in sympathy with men, not only when they are doing right, but when they are doing wrong. A fault is anything inconsistent with the rule of life or duty. In common usage it is a minor transgression, but here undoubtedly it is comprehensive; it includes whatever a man does aside from the rule of rectitude, or aside from any law, ideal, or measure in life by which men are accustomed to be judged. It may respect the man's person, his body, health, his strength, or it may respect a man's mind, his judgment, temper, disposition generally. It may have respect to a man's social connections, neighbourhood; his relations to the family, and to all the collected families. It may have relation to his religious connection; what as a churchman, what as a professing Christian, his faults, feelings, and transgressions. It may have relation to his civil and business duties, commercial or political.... Nobody can free himself from the subtle and perpetual influences that work upon the intelligence, the conscience, the ideals of life. We are members of a complex body in family relations or in civil relations; and, as the foot cannot ache without having the whole body ache, and the hand cannot suffer and the whole body not suffer, so every man more or less is so connected by vital nerves with the whole community in which he is, that he comes up with them and goes down with them, and he commits faults simply because he cannot separate and disentangle himself quick enough not to go as the multitude are going. We are all of us in a drove. We are all of us of one nature in the one world, under the one system; and there is not a man living who does not commit faults every day of his life. They may not be of the severest kind. They may not be the faults you dislike the most. You commit them — not as your neighbour does, but in your own way. Everybody does, and everybody, therefore, is dependent upon the charity and the goodwill of his neighbour for himself; and the command is, "return that goodwill and that charity, since you yourself are liable to suffer in this very way, and are suffering all the time. Treat every man as you would wish him to treat you."... A brave man would not know that a companion was in captivity among the Indians, and not venture something for him. What if he did caution him not to ride out unattended? What if he did warn him? If the man was careless and heedless, and was snatched up, bound, and hidden away for to-morrow's torment, he would creep on his belly until the moon went down, and steal in and cut the man's cords and withs, and snake him out, and put himself behind him to defend him if they were discovered, and work him back again into liberty and the settlements .... The scope and the sweep of faults is so great, that you may just as well sit yourself down to this thing, that universal human nature is so poor and so weak and so liable to temptation, and to failure under temptation, that you must have compassion upon all men, or, as it is expressed in Hebrews, you must "have compassion on the ignorant and on them that are out of the way" — compassion universal, continuous, adequate, vital, and active.

(H. W. Beecher.)

We have here —

I.CHRISTIAN FALLIBILITY.

II.THE DUTY OF THOSE WHO STAND TOWARDS THOSE WHO FALL.

III.THE REASON WHY WE SHOULD SO ACT.

(A. F. Barfield.)

When Conkling precipitated himself from the Senate, it was very much against General Grant's judgment, and that was known, and yet he attempted in every way to befriend Mr. Conkling, and shield him; so much so that everybody thought he had gone over to his side, and a man expostulated with him, saying, "General Grant, how is this You don't believe that he did right, do you?" "No, sir; I don't." "How is it, then, that you are on his side now?" His reply was worthy to be written in letters of gold. "When is the time to show a man's self friendly, except when his friend has made a mistake? That is not the time to leave a man — when he has made a blunder or a mistake." That is one of those unimpeachable moral principles which appeal to the universal conscience. Stand by a man who is your friend. Stand by him in his adversity, if you don't stand by him at any other time.

(H. W. Beecher.)

It is true, open sinners deserve open censures; but private admonitions will best suit private offences. While we seek to heal a wound in our brother's actions, we should be careful not to leave a sear upon his person. We give grains of allowance in all current coin. That is a choice friend who conceals our faults from the view of others, and yet discovers them to our own. That medicine which rouses the evil humours of the body, and does not carry them off, only leaves it in a worse condition than it found it.

(Archbishop Seeker.)

It is one of the severests tests of friendship to tell your friend of his faults. If you are angry with a man, or hate him, it is not hard to go to him and stab him with words: but so to love a man that you cannot bear to see the stain of sin upon him, and to speak painful truth through loving words — that is friendship.

(H. W. Beecher.)

There is much discretion to be observed in reprehension: a word will do more with some than a blow with others. A Venice glass is not to be rubbed so hard as a brazen kettle. The tender reed is more easily bowed than the sturdy oak. Christ's warfare requires no carnal weapons. Dashing storms do but destroy the seed, while gentle showers nourish it. Chariots too furiously driven may be overturned by their own violence. The word "restore" in this verse signifies, to set in joint again; and to set a dislocated bone requires the lady's hand: tenderness, as well as skill. Reprehension is not an act of butchery, but of surgery. Take heed of blunting the instrument, by putting too keen an edge upon it.

(Archbishop Secker.)

Discretion in the choice of seasons for reproving, is no less necessary than zeal and faithfulness in reproving. Good physicians use not to evacuate the body, in the extremities of heat and cold. Good mariners do not hoist up sail in every wind.

(John Trapp.)

If we would reprove others wisely, we must understand our own hearts. If we give ourselves to the healing of others, and take no remedy for our own mortal disease, we must expect the scorn of men. He would be an ill pastor who busied himself about another's parish and neglected his own.

(J. G. Pilkington.)

To reprove a brother is like as, when he has fallen, to help him up again; when he is wounded, to help to cure him; when he has broken a bone, to help to set it; when he is out of the way, to put him into it; when he is fallen into the fire, to pluck him out; when he has contracted defilement, to cleanse him.

(Philip Henry.)

What an amount of motive is gathered into these simple words! It has been one of the natural, we might almost say necessary, consequences of the combination of men into societies, possessing all possible variety of condition and circumstance, that there has been a comparative losing sight of the equal liability of all to the several ills to which flesh is heir. In an early stage of society, when men are nearly on a level, and every one is in a measure dependent on his own strivings for the means of subsistence, there is, evidently, much the same exposure to misfortune; and none can be fancied secure against calamities by which others have been or may be overtaken. But the case alters as society is wrought into a finished structure and form, and through the accumulation of capital, certain of its ranks are placed beyond the need of labouring for a livelihood. Then in all the security with which property is fenced, and the ready supplies which it commands, there is something which looks like, and which passes for, evidence that a measure of independence is reached, and that some are in the enjoyment of certainty, whilst others are still within the reach of accident. It is very difficult not to fancy, that the man of large ancestral revenues, inhabiting the baronial hall which proudly surmounts the domain which owns him for its lord, has an exemption from the contingencies and chances of want, which beset the poor peasant who tills one of his fields. And that noble, surrounded by everything which luxury can either invent or desire, might look upon us coldly, and even angrily, if we backed our appeal to him on behalf of some starving cottager, by simply telling him to "consider himself, lest he should be similarly tried." It might sound to him as a threat, whether of ignorance or insolence, that it should thus be implied that, notwithstanding all his state, and all his abundance, he might come to want the morsel which we ask him to bestow; and, if he complied with the petition, he would probably spurn the motive by which it had been urged. And, of course, it does need a very thorough and practical recognition of the truth that "the earth is the Lord's and the fulness thereof," to be able to put aside all the appearances of security and independence, which hoarded wealth furnishes, and to view in every man, whatsoever his circumstances, a pensioner on the bounty of that Omnipotent Parent who "openeth His hand, and satisfieth the desire of every living thing." It is not to be wondered at if the beggar be commonly thought to have to live from day to day on the providence of God, whilst the man of accumulated stores is considered as having provision in hand for his every future necessity. But what actual infidelity — what virtual atheism — may be detected in every such notion. It is a substitution of money for God. I would rather have the security against want, which the meanest of our villagers enjoys, whose daily bread is the subject of daily care and daily toil, than that of the foremost of our capitalists who in any way gives indulgence to the sentiment, "Soul, thou hast goods laid up for many years." The one, indeed, has a security — the security of a prayerful dependence on God; the other has no security whatever, but lies exposed to the peril of being punished for presumption. It matters nothing to us, what may be the worldly circumstances of any one, nor how far they may seem to remove him from liability to poverty. If he be a man, he may come to be a starving man; and that, too, without any of these inexplicable occurrences and variations which seem to mark God's special interference to bring round the unlooked-for catastrophe. There ought, therefore, to be to him, as much cogency as to the man whose property seems jeopardized, in the words "lest thou also be tempted," when it is for the relief of the actually destitute that we appeal to his bounty. And this is, perhaps, the only case in which there is even the appearance of exemption from liability to misfortunes with which we see others oppressed. In every other case we may contend, that even the appearances are wanting; so that there cannot be the shadow of an excuse for denying to the apostle's motive the greatest possible force. It cannot be said that any one form of sorrow is appropriated to this class of men, and warded off from that; all are accessible through the same channels, and all are capable of the same wounds. Rank gives no exemption from misfortune. The great and the mean bow beneath the same sorrows, and die of the same sicknesses. Is there not, in consequence, the greatest cogency, whosoever be the party addressed, and whatsoever the affliction, in the words of the apostle, "considering thyself, lest thou also be tempted!" It is the enlisting of selfishness on the side of the afflicted, and the calling upon us to be merciful, if we would have mercy ourselves. The thing assumed — and it is not a thing to be disputed — is, that God's moral government is eminently and avowedly a retributive government. And if, moreover, we live beneath a retributive government, and lie ourselves exposed to all the afflictions with which we see others are visited, then, if only on the principle of self-preservation, we are bound to be merciful to the suffering, lest being brought into similar circumstances ourselves, we find our neglect and churlishness returned to us in kind.

(H. Melvill, B. D.)

If you will go to the banks of a little stream, and watch the flies that come to bathe in it, you will notice that, while they plunge their bodies in the water, they keep their wings high out of the water; and, after swimming about a little while, they fly away with their wings unwet through the sunny air. Now, that is a lesson for us. Here we are immersed in the cares and business of the world; but let us keep the wings of our soul, our faith, and our love, out of the world, that, with these unclogged, we may be ready to take our flight to heaven.

(J. Inglis.)

A beautiful flower, the wood-sorrel, grows among the trees in the sylvan scenes of England. It has shining green leaves, and transparent bells with white veins. When it is gathered roughly, or the evening dew falls, or the clouds begin to rain, its foliage closes and droops; but, when the sir is bright and calm, it unfolds all its loveliness. Like this sensitive flower, spirituality of mind, when touched by the rough hand of sin, or the cold dew of worldliness, or the noisy rain of strife, hides itself in the quietude of devout meditation; but, when it feels the influence of sunny and serene piety, it expands in the beauty of holiness, the moral image of God.

(P. J. Wright.)

Meekness is Christian lowlihood. It is the disciple learning to know himself: learning to fear and distrust and abhor himself. It is the disciple learning the defects of his own character, and taking hints from hostile as well as friendly monitors. It is the disciple watching and praying for the improvement of his talents, the mellowing of his temper and the amelioration of his character. It is the loving Christian at the Saviour's feet. It is the loving Christian at the Saviour's feet learning of Him who is meek and lowly, and finding rest for his own soul.

(Dr. T. Hamilton.)

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