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and Jesus came to reveal God as Love. “God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.” “God was in Christ reconciling the world unto himself.” There could be no greater proof of Divine mercy. “God commendeth his love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners Christ died for the ungodly.” It is the cross which tells out to a dying world in tones which cannot be mistaken, that “God desireth not the death of a sinner, but that he should turn from his wickedness and live.” Let us believe in Christ, and our dread of God is changed to love. “We love Him because He first loved us.” Thus is implanted the only effectual motive of obedience. “What the law could not do in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned (or destroyed the power of) sin in the flesh.” Moral theories, however true and beautiful, were destitute of power and life. But Jesus, revealing the
love of God, by a life of beneficence and self-sacrifice, gains our hearts. Then we aim to resemble him. “If ye love me, keep my commandments,” The most trivial action performed in this spirit, is homage rendered to the Saviour. There is no longer such a thing as drudgery, when “whether we eat or drink or whatever we do, we do it to the glory of God.” The mightiest motives, are brought to bear on the smallest duties of life. The humblest of servants in performing the humblest offices need not repine when, in obeying their masters according to the flesh, “they serve the Lord Christ.” Sorrows are easily endured when borne for his sake, and the most ordinary engagements are stamped with a moral grandeur when we “ do all things in the name of the Lord Jesus." He manifested divine love, that we, being restored to the love of God, might love one another. “This is my commandment that ye love one another as I have loved you." Let but this motive be adequately felt, and men will indeed be brothers.
The Apostles well imbibed and reiterated their Master's teaching, laying so plainly the foundations of a Divine Socialism, that but for the rubbish men have piled over them, a glorious edifice had long ere now been reared. We are taught that “God is no respecter of persons,” that “He hath made of one blood all the nations of the earth,” that all Christians are “ Kings and Priests," the “ sons and daughters of the Lord God Almighty.” “ The brother of low degree is to rejoice in that he is exalted, but the rich in that is made low.” All are redeemed by the same “precious blood of Christ.” All are “begotten again to an inheritance incorruptible and that fadeth not away.” The bodies of all Christians are “temples of the Holy Ghost,” wherein “the Spirit of God dwelleth.” They are commanded to “honour all men, love as brethren, be pitiful, be courteous. Bear ye one-another's burdens, and so fulfil the law of Christ; rejoice with them that do rejoice, and weep with them that weep; recompense to no man evil for evil; let
all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamour be put away from you, and be ye kind one to another, tender hearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ's sake has forgiven you ; and put on charity, which is the bond of perfectness ; charity suffereth long and is kind, charity envieth not, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil.” Subjects are to submit to civil governments, “ to every ordinance of man, for the Lord's sake, and rulers are to remember that they are to act as “the ministers of God for good, a terror only to evil doers.” Servants are to serve "not with eye service but as to the Lord,” and masters are to "give unto their servants those things which are just and equal remembering that they also have a Master in heaven, neither is there respect of persons with him.” Every man is to regard the rights and relieve the sorrows of others looking on himself as only the steward of God, to whom he must one day render an account.
The grand comprehensive law of this
Divine Socialism is love to “ love the Lord our God with all the heart and our neighbour as ourself.” Whatever precepts are needed for the happiness of men in their intercourse with each other, are included in that sublime rule of the Man Christ Jesus—" whatever ye would that men would do to you do ye even so to them.” How does this general principle, so easy of application under all conceivable circumstances, supersede the necessity of prescribing every particular duty! But a law, however beautiful and comprehensive, is useless in the absence of a sufficient motive to prompt to its observance. This also Jesus supplies. By conferring on us salvation through his own voluntary sufferings he first makes us his debtors to an infinite amount, and then, when gratitude longs for some expression, he tells us to love our brother, saying “ forasmuch as ye do it to one of the least of these my brethren ye do it unto me.” Here a higher motive is in operation than any to which human laws can appeal. It extends farther than the sanctions of any