Luke 6:36.---' Be ye merciful, even as your Father is merciful ' [RV].

Mercy is, therefore an affirmation of Divine sonship, and the nearer the thoughts of men approach to a conception of the organic unity of the race, the more definite becomes the idea of mercy.

More than five hundred years before Christ, came the great reformation of Brahmanism, under the teaching of Gautama Buddha. The religion based on the Vedas was becoming formal, perfunctory, sacerdotal, exclusive, and Gautama Buddha was raised up to effect a profound reaction to spirituality. His wonderful life, his startling similarity to the Christ who was to come, are matters of history, and can be read of all men in the ancient sculptures preserved in the museum at Lahore. His dying prophecy, " Five hundred years," he said, " will this doctrine of the truth abide, and then shall come forth the Buddha Maitreya, the Buddha of brotherly love." Four hundred and seventy years afterwards Jesus Christ was born at Bethlehem, and precisely five hundred years afterwards He ascended the mount, and preached these very words: ' Be ye merciful, even as your Father is merciful.' But the point is this: mercy was the ceaseless theme of Buddha's teaching; mercy was also the peculiar characteristic of his prominent disciples. The most remarkable of these was the mighty Buddhist King Asoka, who reigned in Gujerat three hundred and fifty years before Christ, who antedated all our great reforms, who abolished slavery, built hospitals, guarded the interest of animals, and covered India with rock inscriptions, to be seen to this day, admonishing the highest morality and the obligation of mercy to all that live. And his dying words put to the blush a vast proportion of the theology of today. " Oh, Asoka, now thou wilt enter eternal bliss," said one. " Never," he replied, " of my own free will, will I enter Paradise while one poor soul wanders outside."

What is then moral of this? It is here: the Buddha Maitreya has come, He ' who for us men and for our salvation came down from heaven.' The heart of the Universal Soul has become incarnate specifically in Jesus of Nazareth, the Christ of God. He has declared, with an authority as transcendentally above that of Buddha as the heaven is above the earth that universal humanity is the outbirth of God, that the sonship manifested in Him is not His exclusive prerogative, but the attribute and possession of the race as a whole; and He was the enthusiast for humanity, the passionate lover of the people, the friend of the poor, the brother to the sinner, the comforter of the weary and the heavy laden. ' Go ' He said, ' and learn what this means. I will have mercy and not sacrifice.' ' Be ye merciful, even as your Father is merciful.'

In Christ, Timothy. our Lord comes