15 December, 2007

Sabbath a'Brakel: True Compassion

The essence of compassion consists in being inwardly moved to sympathy, which, if it is right, will always be accompanied by an inclination and willingness to help. It does not consist in either fully or partially parting with our belongings. "And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor...and have not charity, it profiteth me nothing" (1 Cor. 13:3). Rather, there must be:

(1) sympathy. Wherever there is love there will also be sympathy when the person being loved is in need.

(2) inner motions of compassion, whereby the veracity and intensity of this sympathy is expressed, this being such that it touches and moves the heart.

(3) an inclination, willingness, and zeal to assist the needy person in accordance with his need: "For if there be first a willing mind, it is accepted according to that a man hath" (2 Cor. 8:12) [IV: 116].

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