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to bring any one into bondage to our views, or to our forms of worship, or methods of labor, it shews that our own spirit, rather than the Spirit of Christ, is Lord over us. “Who art thou that judgest thy brother ?" His Lord and thy Lord requires thee not to judge him, but to love him. Follow thou the Master. And leave John to follow the Master, not according to thy liberty, but according to the liberty which the Master gives to him. He is the Lord's freeman. If he has less freedom than thou hast, love him; if he has greater, love him; if he is a strong brother, love him ; if he is a weak brother, love him. Love will work no ill to him. The difference between thee and him may be as great as that between Romanist and Quaker, but perhaps he adheres to thy Lord quite as much as thou dost. Beware that thou judge him not. Love him. Brotherly-love should unite East and West ; for the same sun which rises in the East visits also the West. In the morning, the East has more light, in the evening, the West has more. At noon-day, East and West are equal. It remains yet for Brotherly-love to bring about the noon-day of the Church.
Christians are but “one family.” But when shall the wars of this family cease? Whenever, instead of loving their own moonlight reflection of the Lord's glory, they mutually love each other because they mutually love “ One Lord,” then wars will cease in the Church. At present the love of the Church is partial, dubious, cold, for the moon reigns. The Church must get the moon under her feet and be clothed with the sun, before Brotherlylove can triumph. And the triumph of Brotherlylove is her triumph.
But beware; we cannot make Brotherly-love. We can make confederacies and alliances, and cherish the conceit that we have the Master's sympathy for our unity. But “the Unity of the Spirit” will not submit to the yoke of our unity. We may make laws and limits for our own hearts, but the Lord will not observe them. We shall find many outside our circle walking in the Lord's “free spirit." All the Brotherly-love that ever will exist, already exists in its Source. Let us receive it. Its manifestation will follow. We must not play the lord over It, we must allow It to be Lord over all our prejudices and partialities, that by breaking up our old limits, It may reveal in us Its own “breadth and length, and depth and height.” How can we love all those who love our Lord Jesus Christ, except in the breadth of His own Love ?
7.—To Brotherly-love add Love.—There is yet a higher, greater love than the love of the heavenly-Brotherhood, namely, the love of all, including the unthankful and the evil. Brotherlylove is a restrictive grace: Love is boundless. God has set us an example of loving men not because they are good, but because being evil, they the more need our love. Brotherly-love is the natural affection of the new nature ; but “ the great Love wherewith God loved us even when we were dead in sins” is the Divine triumph of Divine Love. And Christians are exhorted, over and above all things, to put on this Love, that they may be perfect as their Father in Heaven is perfect. Faith and Love make one as the foundation and head-stone of a building, or as seed-time and harvest. As the seed sown, develops, and develops until the broad acres wave in golden glory, even so Faith develops into the eternal reign of Love. Love is the glorious crown of a glorious character. Love gives sterling value to all the graces. Without love they are nothing worth. Faith avails nothing, Knowledge avails nothing, Virtue avails nothing, heroic Patience avails nothing, Selfsacrifice avails nothing, if Love be not the soul and spring of all.
The difference between what is called
righteous man and a good man, or a merely consistent man and a loving man, is as the difference between a cold sun shining on a snow-covered landscape, and the summer sun shining on a garden of sweet-breathing flowers.
There are people whom you can never blame, and yet, whom you can never love. A merely righteous man never relaxes. He reminds you of a corpse in white garments. His muscles are like his faith and deportment,-rigid. A good man reminds you of the free, easy and unworldly countenance of a child. In that elder brother, whom sin had never broken, nor love ever warmed, and who would not go into the house of love, we have the type, and hear the cold, querulous tone of the strictly righteous man. What love is, we see in the meeting of the Father and His prodigal. It will be found in the end that the merely righteous man has not the Righteousness of God. The righteousness that obeys not the law of Love is nothing. Though I have Faith to remove mountains, and the knowledge of an angel, and the zeal of a martyr, "and have not Love, I am nothing." Love is the essence of God. It is therefore the beginning and the end of creation. The Heaven unto which the creatures of God are ever, and evermore coming, is the life of perfect love. All
the Divine Perfections meet in Love and are Love. Light is great, but Love is greater. The unapproachable Light in which God dwells is but the radiation of His Love. The commandments of God are one, and, like His own nature, "exceeding broad.” “God is Love.” His commandment is Love. When Love has established His empire in the soul, it seemeth to the soul that she carries God in her bosom, and the universe in her arms, pressed to that bosom wherein God dwelleth. Nor is this seeming; for, “He that dwelleth in love dwelleth in God, and God in him." The creature, in whom the Love of God is perfected, is, as it were, an atom in the midst of universal being, reflecting the image of the universal God. He is the child, the little one of the Almighty, with the Love of the Eternal Father pulsating through his heart.
MAKE SURE YOUR ELECTION.
VIII.—Make your calling sure, and your election is sure. As a tree is known by its fruits, Faith is known by what it brings forth. The Faith of God generates a Godlike character. If you have “the Faith of God's elect,” you shall
" surely have the eternal inheritance of His elect. A