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SECT. 6. The joy of the Apostles in discerning the mutual love of the Saints:
As touching brotherly love, ye need not that I write unto you; for ye yourselves are taught of God to love one another. And indeed ye do it towards all the brethren ". Wherefore I also, after I heard of your faith in the Lord Jesus, and love unto all the saints", cease not to give thanks for you, making mention of you in my prayers. We are bound to thank God always for you, brethren, as it is meet; because that your faith groweth exceedingly, and the charity of every one of you all towards each other aboundeth *. Let brotherly love continue. And we beseech you, brethren, that ye increase more and more. Seeing ye have purified your souls in obeying the truth through the Spirit, unto unfeigned love of the brethren; see that ye love one another with a pure heart fervently. For God is not unrighteous to forget your work and labour of love, which ye have showed towards his name, in that ye have ministered to the saints, and do minister". The Lord make you to increase and abound in love one toward another, and towards all men; even as we do towards you'.
SECT. 7. This truly Christian grace urged from the view of our relation to Christ, and to each other.
As the body is one, and hath many members, and all the members of that one body being many, are one body; so also is Christ. For by one spirit are we all baptized into one body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free; and have been all made to drink into one Spirit; that there be no schism in the body; but that the members should have the same care one for another. And whether one member suffer, all
§ 6.1 Thess. iv. 9, 10.
d 2 Thess. i. 3.
§ 7. 1 Cor. xii. 12, 13.
b Eph. i. 15.
Heb. xiii. 1.
* See Col. i. 3, 4, 5.
c Eph. i. 16.
1 Thess. iv. 10,
i 1 Thess. iii. 12.
the members suffer with it; or one member be honoured,
Have mercy upon me, O Lord, for I am in trouble; mine eye is consumed with grief. I was a reproach among all mine enemies, but especially among my neighbours, and a fear to mine acquaintance. Fear was on every side while they took counsel together against me, they devised to take away my life. They compassed me about also with words of hatred, and fought against me without a cause. For my love they are my adversaries; and they have rewarded me evil for good, and hatred for my love". All that hate me, whisper together against me; against me do they devise my hurt.
b 1 Cor. xii. 25, 26, 27.
§ 8. Psal. xxxi. 9.
& Psal. cix. 3, 4, 5.
Rom. xii. 4, 5.
1 Rom. xv. 5, 6, 7.
Eph. iv. 4, 5, 6.
• Psal. xxxi. 13.
mine own familiar friend in whom I trusted, who did eat of my bread, hath lift up his heel against me'. Many are my persecutors, and mine enemies; yet I do not decline from thy testimonies. Princes have persecuted me without a cause; but my heart standeth in awe of thy word". They rewarded me evil for good to the spoiling of my soul. soul. But as for me, when they were sick, my clothing was sackcloth; I humbled my soul with fasting, and my prayer returned into mine own bosom; I behaved myself as though he had been my friend or brother; I bowed down heavily, as one that mourneth, for his mother. But in mine adversity they rejoiced, and gathered themselves together; yea the abjects gathered themselves together against me, and I knew it not; they did tear me, and ceased not'. Let not them that are mine enemies wrongfully rejoice over me; neither let them wink with the eye, that hate me without a cause*. Consider mine enemies; for they are many, and they hate me with cruel hatred'. Deliver me from mine enemies, O my God; defend me from them that rise up against me". For they lie in wait for my soul". Consider my trouble, which I suffer of them that hate me; thou that liftest me up from the gates of death. Deliver me not over unto the will of mine enemies. Show me a token for good, that they which hate me, may see it, and be ashamed".
Pray for the peace of Jerusalem; they shall prosper that love thee. Peace be within thy walls, and prosperity within thy palaces. For my brethren and companions' sakes, I will now say, Peace be within thee. Because of the house of the Lord our God, I will seek thy good1. If it had not been the Lord who was on our side, when men rose up against us; then they had swallowed us up quick, when their wrath was kindled against us'. Blessed be the Lord who hath not given us a prey to their teeth'.
O my soul, thou hast said unto the Lord, Thou art my Lord; my goodness extendeth not to thee. But to the Saints, that are in the earth, and to the excellent in whom is all my delight'. Arise, O Lord; save me, O my God; for thou hast smitten all mine enemies upon the cheek-bone, thou hast broken the teeth of the ungodly". He delivered me from my strong enemy, and from them which hated me*.
"Love to mankind, we have seen, is an essential ingredient in the character of the true servants of God. The most eminent Saints are most distinguished for this virtue. When God was about to destroy Israel because of their abominable impieties, Moses interceded for them, and said," Forgive their sin; if not, blot me, I pray thee, out of thy book which thou hast written'. "Such also was the spirit of David, when he had commanded to number the people. Conscious of his own guilt in this matter," David said unto God, Is it not I that commanded the people to be numbered? even I it is that have sinned, and done evil indeed. Let thine hand, I pray thee, O Lord my God, be on me, and on my father's house; but not on thy people, that they should be plagued❜. "The sequel of the chapter shows how acceptable this benevolent prayer was unto God."
"We have a spirited description of active charity and beneficence in Job, when defending his character against the injurious suspicions of his friends." When the ear heard me, then it blessed me; and when the eye saw me, it gave witness to me: because I delivered the poor that cried, and the fatherless, and him that had none to help him. The blessing of him that was ready to perish came upon me; and I caused the widow's heart to sing for joy. I put on righteousness, and it clothed me; my judgment was as a robe, and a diadem. I was
Psal. xvi. 2, S. y Exod. xxxii. 32.
" Psal. iii. 7.
21 Chron. xxi. 17.
* Psal. xviii. 17.
eyes to the blind, and feet was I to the lame. I was a father to the poor; and the cause which I knew not, I searched out. And I brake the jaws of the wicked, and plucked the spoil out of his teeth".
"The amiable character of Mordecai, as given in the book of Esther; that of Ezra and Nehemiah, as recorded in their several histories, might be here quoted as striking examples of true patriotism."
"But this heavenly principle of love to mankind, shines with peculiar lustre in the New Testament. It so shines in the glorious character of" the author and finisher of our faith, who went about doing good, "whose life was one continued scene of beneficence," who loved us, and gave himself for us, that whosoever believeth in him might not perish, but have everlasting life. "The spirit of charity was diffused through the hearts of his Apostles. Hence their unwearied service and labour of love. If, saith the Apostle, in his epistle to the Philippians," I be offered upon the sacrifice and service of your faith, I joy and rejoice with you all. "And to the Thessalonians," So being affectionately desirous of you, we were willing to have imparted unto you, not the gospel of God only, but also our own souls; because ye were dear unto us. "And with respect to his kindred the people of the Jews, he saith," I could wish that myself were accursed (or devoted to destruction) for my brethren, ny kinsmen, according to the flesh". spirit of love and beneficence spread remarkably through the whole body of the primitive Christians." All that believed were together, and had all things common; and sold their possessions and goods, and parted them to all men, as every man had need. And the multitude of them that believed, were of one heart, and of one soul'.
Job, xxix. 11–17.
b Phil. ii. 17.
1 Thess. ii. 8.