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The Sunday Christian
by [?]

TWO things are required to make a Christian–piety and charity. The first has relation to worship, and in the last all social duties are involved. Of the great importance of charity in the Christian character, some idea may be gained by the pointed question asked by an apostle–“If you love not your brother whom you have seen, how can you love God whom you have not seen?” There is no mistaking the meaning of this. It says, in the plainest language–“Piety without charity is nothing;” and yet how many thousands and hundreds of thousands around us expect to get to heaven by Sunday religion alone! Through the week they reach out their hands for money on the right and on the left, so eager for its attainment, that little or no regard is paid to the interests of others; and on Sunday, with a pious face, they attend church and enter into the most holy acts of worship, fondly imagining that they can be saved by mere acts of piety, while no regard for their fellow-man is in their hearts.

Such a man was Brian Rowley. His religion was of so pure a stamp that it would not bear the world’s rough contact, and, therefore, it was never brought into the world. He left the world to take care of itself when the Sabbath morning broke; and when the Sabbath morning closed, he went back into the world to look after his own interests. Every Sunday he progressed a certain way towards heaven, and then stood still for a week, in order that he might take proper care of the dollars and cents.

Business men who had transactions with Mr. Rowley generally kept their eyes open. If they did not do it at the first operation, they rarely omitted it afterwards, and for sufficient reason; he was sharp at making a bargain, and never felt satisfied unless he obtained some advantage. Men engaged in mercantile pursuits were looked upon, as a general thing, as ungodly in their lives, and therefore, in a certain sense, “out-siders.” To make good bargains out of these was only to fight them with their own weapons; and he was certainly good at such work. In dealing with his brethren of the same faith he was rather more guarded, and affected a contempt for carnal things that he did not feel.

We said that the religion of Mr. Rowley did not go beyond the pious duties of the Sabbath. This must be amended. His piety flowed into certain benevolent operations of the day; he contributed to the support of Indian and Foreign Missions, and was one of the managers on a Tract Board. In the affairs of the Ceylonese and South-Sea Islanders he took a warm interest, and could talk eloquently about the heathen.

Not far from Mr. Brian Rowley’s place of business was the store of a man named Lane, whose character had been cast originally in a different mould. He was not a church-going man, because, as he said, he didn’t want to be “thought a hypocrite.” In this he displayed a weakness. At one time he owned a pew in the same church to which Rowley was attached, and attended church regularly, although he did not attach himself to the church, nor receive its ordinances. His pew was near that of Mr. Rowley, and he had a good opportunity for observing the peculiar manner in which the latter performed his devotions. Unfortunately for his good opinion of the pious Sunday worshipper, they were brought into rather close contact during the week in matters of business, when Mr. Lane had opportunities of contrasting his piety and charity. The want of agreement in these two pre-requisites of a genuine Christian disgusted Lane, and caused him so much annoyance on Sunday that he finally determined to give up his pew and remain at home. A disposition to carp at professors of religion was manifested from this time; the whole were judged by Rowley as a sample.