« AnteriorContinuar »
such as keep the law contend with them.' xxix. 27. "an unjust man is an abomination to the just.' Jer. xlviii. 10. cursed be he that doeth the work of Jehovah deceitfully, and cursed be he that keepeth back his sword from blood.' We are to hate even our dearest connexions, if they endeavour to seduce or deter us from the love of God and true religion. Exod. xxxii. 27. slay every man his brother, and every man his companion. Deut. xiii. 6—8. “if thy brother, the son of thy mother, or thy son, or thy daughter, or the wife of thy bosom, or thy friend which is as thine own soul, entice thee secretly, saying, Let us go, and serve other gods,' &c. Luke xiv. 26. • if any man come to me, and hate not his father, and mother, and wife,' &c. Thus Christ, notwithstanding his love for Peter : Mark viïi: 33. “get thee behind me, Satan.'
Love towards our neighbour is absolute or reciprocal.
Under absolute love are comprised humanity, good will, and compassion.
Humanity consists in the performance of those ordinary attentions which man owes to man, whether living or dead, as the partaker of one common nature. Deut. xxii. 1. &c. “thou shalt not see thy brother's ox or his sheep go astray,' &c.
Towards the dead humanity is shown by mourning for their loss, and by a decent sepulture.
Mourning is the appropriate mark of respect paid to the memory of all who are not utterly worthless. Gen. I. 3. the Egyptians mourned for him threescore and ten days. 2 Sam. i. 12. “they mourned and -wept, and fasted until even, for Saul, and for Jonathan
bis son, and for the people of Jehovah, and for the house of Israel, because they were fallen by the sword.'iii. 31, 32. the king wept at the grave of Abner, and all the people wept.' Much more therefore to those of our own household. Thus the ancient patriarchs: Gen. 1. 10. they mourned with a great and '
very sore lamentation. So also when believers are cut off. Acts viii. 2. devout men carried Stephen to his burial, and made great lamentation over him. Even on such occasions, however, our grief ought not to be immoderate. Lev. xxi. 2. 4, 5. he shall not defile himself, being a chief man among his people, to profane himself; they shall not make baldness upon their head, neither shall they shave off the corner of their beard ; nor make any cuttings in their flesh. Deut. xiv. 1. “ye are the children of Jehovah your God; ye shall not cut yourselves, nor make any baldness between your eyes for the dead.' 1 Thess. iv. 13. sorrow not, even as others which have no hope.'
Decent burial. Gen. xxiji. 8. that I may bury my dead out of my sight. xxxv. 20. Jacob set a pillar upon her grave.' l. 2, &c. "Joseph commanded his servants the physicians to embalm his father.” 2 Chron. xvi. 14. they laid him in the bed which was filled with sweet odours and divers kinds of spices,' &c. To remain unburied is an indignity. Jer. viji. 2.
they shall spread them before the sun, and the moon, and all the host of heaven,' &c. xvi. 4. &c. they shall not be lamented, neither shall they be buried. Any place of sepulture which is consistent with decency, may be adopted without impropriety. Sarah, for instance, was buried in a cave, Gen. xxii. 19. Rachel, not in Ephrah, but on the high road to that city. xxxv. 18. xlviii. 7. Samuel in his own house at Ramah, 1 Sam. xxv. 1. and Christ in a garden near the place of crucifixion. When Jacob and Joseph made it their especial request to be gathered unto the sepulchre of their fathers in the land of promise, this was in token of their reliance on the divine declarations, Gen. xlix. 29. 1. 25. Josh. xxiv. 32. Heb. xi. 22. "by faith, Joseph .
gave commandment concerning his bones.'
The opposite of humanity is, first, inhumanity ; against which there are the severest prohibitions, Lev. xix. 14. thou shalt not curse the deaf, nor put a stumbling-block before the blind. Deut. xxvii. 18. cursed be he that maketh the blind to wander out of the way. Such was that of the Edomites towards the Israelites in their distress, Amos i. 6, &c. Psal. cxxxvii. 7. (rase it, rase it, even to the foundation thereof.' Such too was that of the priest and Levite in the parable, who passed by on the other side, when the traveller who had fallen among thieves was lying half dead and plundered, Luke x. 31, 32.
Secondly, an incautious and unadvised humanity; as for instance, when we become responsible for another without due consideration. Prov. vi. 1, 2.
if thou be surety for thy friend, if thou hast stricken thy hand with a stranger, thou art snared with the words of thy mouth, xi. 15. be that is surety for a stranger shall smart for it, and he that hateth suretyship is sure.' xvii. 18. a man void of understanding striketh hands—' xx. 16. "take his garment that is surety for a stranger.' See also xxvii. 13. xxii. 26, 27. 'be not one of them that strike hands,' &c,
Thirdly, an officious humanity. Prov. xxv. 17.
. withdraw thy foot from thy neighbour's house, lest he be weary of thee, and so hate thee.' 1 Kings xiii. 15, 16. then he said unto him, Come home with me, and eat bread.'
Lastly, an excess of humanity, which makes provision for the idle and undeserving. 2 Thess. iii. 10. if any
would not work, neither should he eat.' The second modification of love is good will, which consists in wishing well to all men. Such was that of Titus, 2 Cor. viii. 16. which put the same earnest care into the heart of Titus for you ;' and of the angels, Luke ii. 10. • I bring you good tidings of great joy;' and xv. 10. there is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner that repenteth.' Rom. xii. 15. rejoice with them that do rejoice.'
The opposite of this is, first, envy, or a grudging disposition ; which is shown in various ways. First, when a man cannot bear that others should participate in his good fortune; as in the instance of the labourers who were hired first into the vineyard, Matt. xx. 11, &c. and of the Jews who were unwilling that salvation should be extended to the Gentiles, as may be seen throughout the book of Acts. Secondly, when a man grudges another that which he cannot himself obtain ; which is exemplified in the envy with which Satan regards the salvation of the human race;* in Cain's anger against his brother, because God had
more respect unto him, Gen. iv.* in Esau, xxvii. 41. in Joseph's brethren, Acts vii. 9. in Saul, 1 Sam. xvii. 7, 8. and in the princes of Persia, Dan. vi. Thirdly, when a man is jealous that any should be endued with the same gifts as one of whom he is himself an admirer or follower ; which is exemplified in Joshua. Num. xi. 28. in John's disciples, John iii. 26. and in those of Christ, Mark ix. 38. "we saw one casting out devils in thy name,' &c. Envy is to be shunned, Matt. xx. 15. • is thine eye evil, because I am good ?' partly as instigating to crimes, murder for instance, Gen. iv. 2 Sam. iii. 24, 27. what hast thou done? behold Abner came unto thee ...... and he smote him there under the fifth rib;' and partly as being in its nature a self-tormentor : Prov. xiv. 30. envy
is the rottenness of the bones.' James iii. 16. • where envying ..... is, there is confusion and every evil work.'
Secondly, pretended good will; which is exemplified in the Pharisees who invited Christ to eat bread, Luke xiv. 1, &c. it came to pass as he went into the house of one of the chief Pharisees to eat bread on the sabbath-day, that they watched him.'
The third modification of absolute love is compassion. Zech. vii. 9. shew mercy and compassions every man to his brother.' Job xxx. 25. did not I weep for him that was in trouble ? Matt. v. 7. 6 blessed are the merciful.' Luke x. 33. 6a certain Samaritan ...... had compassion on him. Rom. xii. 15. "weep with them that weep.' Compassion ex
Th' unjust the just hath slain,