“Blessed are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy” (Matthew 5:7).
“The quality of mercy is not strained:
It droppeth as the gentle rain from heaven
Upon the place beneath: it is twice blessed—
It blesses him that gives, and him that takes.
’Tis mightiest in the mightiest. It becomes
The throned monarch better than his crown.…
It is an attribute to God himself.
How shall thou hope for mercy, rendering none?”
Mercy is in complete harmony with justice, if not identical with that attribute. It is true there may be instances when the human mind will be perplexed, and the human heart distressed, by an apparent discrepancy,—pity drawing one way, and a strong sense of duty urging the other. In such cases, however, there need be no irreparable breach, if the mercy be true mercy, and the justice pure justice. Still, these qualities may become so alloyed in conventional forms, and so confused to our conceptions, that there will be a seeming conflict. But, essentially, absolutely, they are at one, and become antagonistic only when this or that parts with something of its true character. We may be assured that unmerciful justice is unjust, and unjust mercy unmerciful.
Mercy In Action
Some have to labor hard with their niggardliness in order to be kind; but the blessing lies not only in doing a merciful act, but in being merciful in disposition. Followers of Jesus must be men of mercy; for they have found mercy; and mercy has found them.
The mere passive quality of mercy, inactive and inoperative, does not reach the full meaning of the passage. The translation might well be, the actively benevolent, not exclusively in alms-giving, although that is embraced in the sense, but generally in doing all in their power to promote the ...1
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