IV. Mercy.

MATT. v. 7. “Blessed are the merciful: for
they shall obtain mercy.”

THIS beatitude implies that mankind are not naturally
merciful, or, at least, that they are imperfectly so. There
is something strange in that; for if there is one quality we
ascribe to humanity more than another it is this of mercy.
We say of an unkind and cruel action, that it is inhuman,
by which we imply that there is something in humanity
that abhors it. The words would not seem so strange to
us if we could throw ourselves back to that cruel time.
But is it true that we need mercy yet?
I. Are we wanting in this grace of mercy? Let us com-
pare ourselves with God. God’s mercy is unchanging, ours
is fitful. God’s mercy is provident, it is a thoughtful
mercy; our mercy, even in the most benevolent, capricious
and not sufficiently thoughtful.
II. How may we hope to have this mercy supplied to
us? In the redemption of the fallen world by the Son
of God we see this thoughtful, this universal, this provident
mercy unblurred by a single confusing line. Surely, we
may say, we have need of supernatural grace to make us
thus merciful.
III. Are we merciful in our judgment of others? Are
we merciful in our speech to men? Do we not sometimes
take pleasure in making a criticism as sharp and as pungent
as we can make it? Are we merciful in our consideration
for others? Are we merciful as employers of others?
Surely there is a sad want of thoughtful mercy among us
all.
W. C. Magee, D.D.