By Hugh Binning
Though all men’s hands be against it, yet charity is against none. It defends itself with innocence and patience. On the other hand, “He who hates his brother is in darkness even till now.” For if Christ’s light had entered, then the love of Christ had come with it, and that is the law of love and charity. If Jesus Christ had come into the soul, he had restored the ancient commandment of love, and made it new again. As much of the lacking of love and charity, so much of the old ignorance and darkness remains. Whatsoever a man may fancy of himself that he is in the light, that he is so much advanced in the light, yet certainly this is a stronger evidence of remaining darkness, for it is a work of the darkest darkness, and murdering affection, suitable only for the night of darkness. And such a man knows not where he goes, and must incur and fall upon many stumbling blocks within and without.
It is a lacking of love and charity that blinds the mind and darkens the heart, that it cannot see how to forgo and pass by scandals in others, but it must needs dash and break its neck upon them. Love is a light which may lead us by offences inoffensively, and without stumbling. In darkness men mistake the way, do not know the end of it, take pits for plain ways, and stumble in them. The lacking of charity casts a mist over the actions and courses of others, and our own too, that we cannot carry on either without transgression. And this is the misery of it, that it cannot discern any fault in itself. It knows not where it goes, calls light darkness and darkness light. It is partial in judgment, pronounces always on its own behalf, doesn’t care who it condemns, that it may absolve itself.
Language modernized in places.