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his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works which God hath before ordained, that we should walk in them.” These good works are not the works that Paul refers to when he speaks of the works of the law. These are the works of faith. These are the works that grow out of the two greatest commandments contained in the law.

When Jesus was but twelve years of age, the wise men in Jerusalem were astonished at his questions and answers, and during his ministry the scribes and Pharisees had good proof of his wisdom, for he was never baffled, because he taught the truth and not a lie. Therefore, on one occasion, when he had answered the Sadducees touching the resurrection of the dead, so that the multitude which heard his answer were astonished at his doctrine, it is said by Matthew that when the Pharisees had heard that he had put the Sadducees to silence, they were gathered together. Then one of them which was a lawyer asked him a question, “tempting him and saying, Master, which is the greatest commandment in the law? Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and greatest commandment, and the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself, on these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets."

Now it is worthy of note that these two commandments are not copied out of the ten commandments at all, and yet all the law and the prophets hang upon these two. Consequently these two do not grow out of the ten, but on the contrary the ten grow out of the two, insomuch that the ten may be abolished (as Paul says they are), and yet there is nothing wanting. Therefore Paul says in his letter to the Romans (13:8-10), “Owe no man anything but to love one another, for he that loveth another hath fulfilled the law.” Then he illustrates, quoting from the ten commandments, “ Thou shalt not commit adultery, Thou shalt not kill, Thou shalt not steal, Thou shalt not bear false witness, Thou shalt not covet, and if there be any other commandment, it is briefly comprehended in this saying, namely, Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself. Love worketh no ill to his neighbor, therefore love is the fulfilling of the law."

Consequently if a man is at any loss to interpret the royal law which says, Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself, Paul here assists him by showing that the last five commandments of the ten explain the meaning thereof; and if there is still any doubt remaining on any point, Jesus makes it all plain and clear where he says, “ All things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them, for this is the law and the prophets.” Put yourself in your neighbor's place, and whatsoever ye would have done to yourself in that position, so do to others.

Again if a man is in any doubt as to the meaning of the first great commandment of all, which says, “Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind," the first three commandments of the ten interpret the meaning thereof saying: first, “Thou shalt have no other Gods before me ”'; second, “Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image or any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the waters underneath the earth; thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them, for I, the Lord thy God, am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me, and showing mercy unto thousands of them that love me and keep my commandments”; third, “Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord thy God in vain, for the Lord will not hold him guiltless, that taketh his name in vain."

Now in the above the Lord says he will show mercy unto thousands of them that love him and keep his commandments, and therefore it is written again (Eccles. 12:13), "Fear God and keep his commandments, for this is the whole duty of man.” Again it is written (Mic. 6:8), “He hath showed thee, O man, what is good; and what doth the Lord require of thee, but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God?” And again it is written, “Know therefore that the Lord thy God, he is God, the faithful God, which keepeth covenant and mercy with them that love him and keep his commandments, to a thousand generations."

But how does the Lord do with those that hate him and disregard his commandments? Listen to this, ye despisers of his law, for he adds, “ And repayeth them that hate him to their face to destroy them; he will not be slack to him that hateth him; he will repay him to his face” (Deut. 7:9-10). Again the Lord saith, “ Them that honour me, I will honour; and they that despise me, shall be lightly esteemed "; and in the Psalms it is testified of the Lord, saying, "With the merciful, thou wilt show thyself upright, with the pure, thou wilt show thyself pure, and with the froward thou wilt show thyself unsavory."


The new covenant, says Paul, was established upon better promises than those contained in the old. The new covenant spoken of by the prophet Jeremiah, which was brought into force by the death of Christ, is established upon the principles of mercy and forgiveness, contained therein, as Paul states in Hebrews (8: 12), “For I will be merciful to their unrighteousness, and their sins and their iniquities will I remember no more.”

Now wherein is the reason why we should love the Lord our God with all our heart, soul, strength, and mind? Because he has made a covenant, and when we enter into it by the obedience of faith, he is merciful to our unrighteousness, and our sins and iniquities he remembers no more. That is, he forgives them through the blood of this covenant, which is the blood of his Son, and makes us heirs and joint heirs with Christ, of life eternal and the kingdom of God, and the glories of the ages to come. Now if God has so loved us, then we should love God and one another, for “ if we love not our brethren whom we have seen, how can we love God whom we have not seen?”

LOVE IS THE FULFILLING OF THE LAW The love which God accepts is of the most practical character, for he has so constituted things in this present world that ample scope is furnished for its exercise, and one of the principal ways in which he requires it to be employed is in showing mercy to the poor and needy; when he gave laws to Israel touching this matter, he declared, “ The poor shall never cease out of

the land," and referring to this Jesus said, “The poor ye have always with you."

The Lord said to Israel (Ezek. 16:49), “Behold this was the iniquity of thy sister Sodom,— pride, fullness of bread, and abundance of idleness was in her and in her daughters, neither did she strengthen the hand of the poor and needy." Daniel, after interpreting the dream of Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon, said to him, “ Therefore, O King, let my counsel be acceptable unto thee, and break off thy sins by righteousness, and thine iniquities by showing mercy to the poor, if it may be a lengthening of thy tranquillity.” And again the Lord said to Israel by the hand of Isaiah (58: 6-12), “Is not this the fast that I have chosen,- to loose the bands of wickedness, to undo the heavy burdens, and to let the oppressed go free, and to break every yoke? Is it not to deal thy bread to the hungry, and that thou bring the poor that are cast out to thy house? when thou seest the naked, that thou

ver him, and that thou hide not thyself from thine own flesh? Then shall thy light break forth as the morning, and thine health shall spring forth speedily, and thy righteousness shall go before, and the glory of the Lord shall be thy rereward. Then shalt thou call, and the Lord shall answer, thou shalt cry, and he shall say, Here I am. . . . And if thou draw out thy soul to the hungry, and satisfy the afflicted soul, then shall thy light rise in obscurity, and thy darkness be as the noon day. And the Lord shall guide thee continually, and satisfy thy soul in drought, and make fat thy bones, and thou shalt be like a watered garden, and like a spring of water, whose waters fail not.”

The law of brotherly love and kindness was perhaps most fully observed in the churches of Judea after the day of Pentecost and the pouring out of the Holy Spirit; for so mightily did the word of God prevail in those days, and so heartily did the men of faith enter into the works of the Lord, that they sold their goods and possessions and laid the price thereof down at the apostles' feet, and they enjoyed all things in common. This was not practised among the churches of the Gentiles to the same extent that it was among the churches of Jerusalem and Judea; and when the latter, in after years, became poor, Paul specially required of the Gentile converts to Christianity that they should contribute of their substance as the Lord had prospered them, to alleviate the sufferings and wants of their Jewish brethren, as it is contained in the parable, “The dogs came and licked their sores,”— the sores of the Lazarus class in Israel, even as Paul said (Rom. 15:25-27), “But

go unto Jerusalem to minister unto the saints; for it hath pleased them of Macedonia and Achaia, to make a certain contribution for the poor saints at Jerusalem. It hath pleased them, verily, and their debtors they are; for if the Gentiles have been made partakers of their spiritual things, their duty is also to minister unto them in carnal things."

Again touching their contributions, he says to the Corinthians (II Cor. 9:6-9), “But this I say, He that soweth sparingly, shall reap also sparingly; and he which soweth bountifully, shall reap also bountifully. Every man, according as he hath purposed in his heart, so let him give; not grudgingly, or of necessity, for God loveth a cheerful giver, and is able to make all grace abound toward you, that ye always, having all sufficiency in all things, may

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abound to every good work, as it is written (Ps. 112:9), 'He hath dispersed abroad, he hath given to the poor, his righteousness remaineth forever.'

Again Paul says to the Galatians (2:9-11), “And when James, Cephas (Peter), and John, who seemed to be pillars (at the conference at Jerusalem), perceived the grace that was given unto me, they gave to me and Barnabas the right hand of fellowship, that we should go unto the heathen, and they unto the circumcision. Only they would that we should remember the poor, the same which I was forward to do."

Again Paul says to Timothy (I Tim. 6: 17-19), “Charge them that are rich in this world that they be not high minded, nor trust in uncertain riches, but in the living God, who giveth us richly all things to enjoy; that they do good, that they be rich in good works, ready to distribute, willing to communicate, laying up in store for themselves a good foundation against the time to come, that they may lay hold on eternal life.” Now if this good and wholesome advice were carried into execution by all rich men in the earth, the poor would cease from among men, and all would eat and drink in plenty; for the rich gather for themselves upon the principle that charity begins at home, and we might add that it commonly ends where it begins. But a time is coming when a king shall reign in righteousness, and during his reign the vile person shall no more be called liberal, nor the churl (miser) said to be bountiful. “But," it is added, “the liberal deviseth liberal things, and by liberal things shall he stand ” (Isa. 32:8).


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No covetous man, who is an idolator, hath any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God, saith Paul to the Ephesians (5:5); and therefore he saith also to the Colossians (3:5), “Mortify, therefore, your members which are upon the earth, fornication, uncleanness, inordinate affection, evil concupiscence, and covetousness, which is idolatry." Covetousness, therefore, is worship of mammon, and Jesus said, “ Ye cannot serve God, and mammon.” This sin, whether it is manifested in the rich or poor, is odious in the sight of God.

Paul said to the people of Lycaonia that "God in times past suffered all nations to walk in their own ways. Nevertheless, he left not himself without witness, in that he did good, and gave us rain from heaven, and fruitful seasons, filling our hearts with food and gladness” (Acts 14: 16-17). Thus, though the nations forget him, he is still mindful of his covenant, that while the earth remaineth, seed time and harvest, cold and heat, summer and winter, day and night, shall not cease; therefore God requires of his children that they shall not only love their neighbor and their friends, but Jesus says,

Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them that despitefully use you, and persecute you, that ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven, for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust. For if ye love them which love you, what reward have ye? Do not even the publicans the same? And if ye salute your brethren only, what do ye more than others? Do not even the publicans so? Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.” God is merciful and kind, and his tender mercies are over all his works. He openeth his hand and satisfieth the desire of every living thing (Ps. 145); and we are required to imitate him and manifest the same kind, good and merciful spirit that he manifests, that we may be the children of the Most High, and be perfect as he is perfect.

DUTY OF CHILDREN TO PARENTS “Honour thy father and thy mother, that thy days may be long upon the land which the Lord thy God giveth thee.” This, says Paul to the Ephesians (6:2-3), “is the first commandment with promise, that it may be well with thee, and that thou mayest live long on the earth.” This is the fifth commandment in the ten (Exod. 20:12). Again it is said (Exod. 21:17), And he that curseth his father or his mother shall surely be put to death." But what is it to honour one's father and mother? And what is it to curse one's father and mother? Does it mean to swear at them, and to curse them in words, or is it something of a very different nature that is contemplated in these words of the Lord ?

This is one of the commandments that were rendered void by the traditions of the scribes and Pharisees, and the evil effects of their work on this command of God are seen in the forms of the laws of the Gentiles to this day. Mark records as follows (7:1-14), “Then came together unto him the Pharisees, and certain of the scribes, which came from Jerusalem; and when they saw some of his disciples eat with defiled, that is to say with unwashen, hands, they found fault; for the Pharisees and all the Jews, except they wash their hands oft, eat not, holding the tradition of the elders.” Then the Pharisees and scribes asked him, “Why walk not thy disciples according to the traditions of the elders, but eat with unwashen hands? He answered and said unto them, Well hath Esaias prophesied of you, hypocrites, as it is written, This people honoreth me with their lips, but their heart is far from me. Howbeit, in vain do they worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men. For laying aside the commandments of God, ye hold the tradition of men, as the washing of pots and cups, and many other such like things ye do. And he said unto them, Full well ye reject the commandment of God, that ye may keep your own tradition. For Moses said, Honor thy father and thy mother, and whoso curseth father or mother shall die the death. But ye say, If a man shall say to his father or mother, It is Corban, that is to say a gift, by whatsoever thou mightest be profited by me, he shall be free; and ye suffer him no more to do ought for his father or his mother, making the word of God of none effect through your tradition, which ye have delivered ; and many such like things ye do.”

Thus it will be seen that children are to honour their parents as long as they live upon the earth, and that the honour that they are to accord to their father and mother is to provide for them in the matter of food and raiment, and things necessary for their comfort during their life-time. And no tradition, custom, or law of man's making absolves children from this good and righteous law that was made by a merciful and wise creator for the protection of aged people when they need the care and kindness of their children. And so imperative was this law that God ordained that whosoever among the people of Israel cursed father or mother should be put to death.

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