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CHAPTER XI.
OF THE DUTIES OF MAN TOWARDS HIS NEIGHBOUR, AND THE VIRTUES COMPREHENDED UNDER THOSE DUTIES.

HITHERTO we have treated of the duties of charity and justice owing from man to himself; we are next to consider the same virtues as exercised towards our neighbour.

Charity towards our neighbour consists in loving him as ourselves. Lev. xix. 18. "thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself; I am Jehovah." 1 John. iv. 11. "beloved, if God so loved us, we ought also to love one another." Under the name of neighbour are comprehended all to whom we have the opportunity of rendering service or assistance. Luke. x. 36, 37. "which now of these three, thinkest thou, was neighbour unto him —?" he that showed mercy on him;" as in the present instance the Samaritan showed mercy on the Jew, although estranged from him in so many respects.

Chiefly however believers: Gal. vi. 10. "as we have therefore opportunity, let us do good unto all <376> men, especially unto them that are of the household of faith;" inasmuch as, in addition to the ordinary tie of affinity, we are connected with them by a spiritual bond: Eph. iv. 3. "endeavouring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace." Next in degree are those most closely allied to us by relationship or friendship. Rom. ii. 3. "I could wish that myself were accursed from Christ for my brethren, my kinsmen according to the flesh; who are Israelites —." 1 Tim. v. 4. "let them learn first to show piety at home, and to requite their parents; for that is good and acceptable before God."

Even our enemies are not to be excluded from the exercise of our charity, inasmuch as they are not excluded from our prayers. Exod. xxiii. 4, 5. "if thou meet thine enemy's ox or ass going astray," &c. Prov. xxv. 21 , 22. "if thine enemy be hungry, give him bread to eat; and if he be thirsty, give him water to drink; for thou shalt heap coals of fire upon his head, and Jehovah shall reward thee." See also Rom. xii. 14, 20. Matt. v. 44. "love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you." Matt. vi. 15. "if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses." Luke. xxii. 51. "he touched his ear and healed him." xxiii. 34. "Father, forgive them —." Rom. xii. 17. "recompense to no man evil for evil." v. 21. "be not overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good." 1 Thess. v. 15. "see that none render evil for evil unto any man." 1 Pet. iii. 9. "not rendering evil for evil. We are taught the same by the example of God himself." Matt. v. 44. "love your enemies... that ye may be the children of your Father which is in <377> heaven." Rom. v. 8. "God commendeth his love towards us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us."

The opposite of this virtue is, first, uncharitableness towards our neighbour. James. ii. 15, 16. "if a brother or sister be naked, and destitute of daily food," &c.

Secondly, hypocritical charity. Matt. vi. 2-4. "when thou doest thine alms, do not sound a trumpet before thee, as the hypocrites do —."

Thirdly, an excessive and preposterous love. 1 Sam. ii. 29. "thou honourest thy sons above me —." xvi. 1. "how long wilt thou mourn for Saul, seeing I have rejected him?" Matt. x. 37. "he that loveth father or mother more than me, is not worthy of me."

Fourthly, hatred of our neighbour. 1 John. iii. 15. "whosoever hateth his brother is a murderer." iv. 8. "he that loveth not, knoweth not God, for God is love."

Fifthly, a meddling disposition. Prov. xxvi. 17. "he that passeth by and meddleth with strife belonging not to him, is like one that taketh a dog by the ears."

Hatred, however, is in some cases a religious duty; as when we hate the enemies of God or the church.[1] 2 Chron. xix. 2. "shouldest thou love them that hate Jehovah?" Psal. xxxi. 6. "I have hated them that regard lying vanities." cxxxix. 21, 22. "do I not hate them, O Jehovah, that hate thee?" Prov. xxviii. 4. "they that forsake the law, praise the wicked; but <378> 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. viii. 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. l. 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 <379> his 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. xxiii. 8. "that I may bury my dead out of my sight." xxxv. 20. "Jacob set a pillar upon her grave." 1. 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. viii. 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. xxiii. 19. <380> 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. "he that is surety for a stranger shall smart for it, and he that hateth suretyship is sure." xvii. 18. "a man void of under standing striketh hands —." xx. 16. "Make his garment that is surety for a stranger." See also xxvii. 13. xxii. 26, 27. "be not one of them that strike hands, &c."

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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;[2] in Cain's anger against his brother, because God had <382> more respect unto him, Gen. iv.[3] in Esau, xxvii. 41. in Joseph's brethren, Acts. vii. 9. in Saul, 1 Sam. xviii. 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. "blessed are the merciful." Luke x. 33. "a certain Samaritan had compassion on him." Rom. xii. 15. "weep with them that weep." Compassion ex <383> tends even to animals. Prov. xii. 10. a righteous man regardeth the life of his beast." Deut. xxii. 6-8. "if a bird's nest chance to be before thee in the way," &c.

The opposite of this is, first, unmercifulness. Prov. xii. 10. "the tender mercies of the wicked are cruel." James. ii. 13. "he shall have judgment without mercy, that hath shewed no mercy."

Secondly, a rejoicing in the misfortunes of others Psal. lii. 1. "why boastest thou thyself in mischief?" This is exemplified in the Edomites, Psal. cxxxvii. Prov. xxiv. 17. "rejoice not when thine enemy falleth."

Thirdly, pretended pity. Psal. xii. 6. "if he come to see me, he speaketh vanity."

Fourthly, a misplaced compassion. Jer. xvi. 7. "neither shall men tear themselves for them in mourning, to comfort them for the dead —." This is exemplified in the pity of Ahab for Benhadad.

Under reciprocal love are comprised brotherly love and friendship.

Brotherly or Christian love is the strongest of all affections, whereby believers mutually love and assist each other as members of Christ, and are as far as possible of one mind; bearing at the same time to the utmost of their power with the weaker brethren, and with such as are of a different opinion. Psal. cxxxiii. 1. "behold how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity." John. xiii. 3-4, &c. "by this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another." xv. 12, &c. "this is my commandment, That ye love one another, as I have loved you: greater love hath no man than <384> this —." See also Eph. v. 1. 1 John. iii. 16. John. xvii. 11. "that they may be one, as we are." Rom. xiv. 19. "let us therefore follow after the things which make for peace, and things wherewith one may edify another." 2 Cor. xiii. 11. "be of one mind, live in peace; and the God of love and peace shall be with you." Eph. iv.15. "that we speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ." Philipp. ii. 2. "that ye be likeminded, having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind." Col. ii. 1, 2. "their hearts being knit together in love." iii. 15. "let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to the which also ye are called in one body, and be ye thankful." 1 Thess. iv. 9. "as touching brotherly love ye need not that I write unto you, for ye yourselves are taught of God to love one another." Heb. xiii. 3, &c. "remember them that are in bonds, as bound with them —." 1 Pet. ii. 17. "love the brotherhood." iv. 8. "above all things have fervent charity among yourselves, for charity shall cover the multitude of sins." 2 Pet. i. 7. "add to brotherly kindness charity." 1 John. ii. 10. "he that loveth his brother abideth in the light, and there is none occasion of stumbling in him." iii. 14, 15. "we know that we have passed from death unto life, because we love the brethren." iv. 7, 8. "beloved, let us love one another, for love is of God." v. 2. "by this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God, and keep his commandments."

Bearing with the weaker brethren, &c. Acts. xxi. 20, &c. "thou seest, brother, how many thousands of Jews there are which believe, and they are all zealous of the law..... do therefore this." Gal. vi. 1, 2. <385> "brethren, if a man be overtaken in a fault, ye which are spiritual restore such an one in the spirit of meekness, considering thyself, lest thou also be tempted; bear ye one another's burdens." Eph. iv. 2. "with all lowliness and meekness, with long-suffering, for bearing one another in love." Col. iii. 12-14. "put on therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, bowels of mercies, kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, long-suffering; forbearing one another, and forgiving one another; if any man have a quarrel against any, even as Christ forgave you, so also do ye."

Opposed to this are divisions, enmities, rivalries among brethren, &c. Gen. xiii. 8. "let there be no strife, I pray thee, between me and thee, and between my herdmen and thy herdmen, for we be brethren." 1 Cor. iii. 3. "whereas there is among you envying, and strife, and divisions, are ye not carnal?" Gal. v. 20, 21. "hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, envyings... they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God." 1 John. ii. 9. 11. "he that saith he is in the light, and hateth his brother, is in darkness even until now." To these may be added a pretended brotherly love, from which great danger often arises to believers. 2 Cor. xi. 26. "in perils among false brethren." Gal. ii. 4. "and that because of false brethren unawares brought in."

Friendship is a most intimate union of two or more individuals, cemented by an interchange of all good offices, of a civil at least, if not of a religious kind. Eccles. iv. 9, &c. "two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their labour —." It takes precedence of all degrees of relationship. Deut. xiii. <386> 6. "thy friend, which is as thine own soul." Prov. xvii. 17. "a friend loveth at all times." xviii. 24. "there is a friend that sticketh closer than a brother." xxvii. 10. "thine own friend, and thy father's friend, forsake not, neither go into thy brother's house in the day of thy calamity; for better is a neighbour that is near, than a brother that is far off."

Friendship, and even common companionship with good men, is safe and advantageous. Gen. xii. 3. "I will bless them that bless thee." xviii. 26. "if I find in Sodom fifty righteous within the city, then will I spare all the place for their sakes." xix. 21. "see, I have accepted thee concerning this thing also." xx. 7. "he is a prophet, and he shall pray for thee, and thou shall live." Numb. xi. 2. "the people cried unto Moses; and when Moses prayed unto Jehovah, the fire was quenched." xiv. 19, 20. "pardon, I beseech thee, the iniquity of this people..... I have pardoned according to thy word." 1 Sam. xv. 6. "go, depart..... lest I destroy you with them: for ye showed kindness to all the children of Israel —." Psal. cxix. 63. "I am a companion of all them that fear thee." Prov. xiii. 20. "he that walketh with wise men shall be wise." Isai. lxv. 8. "so will I do for my servants sake." Ezek. xxii. 30. "I sought for a man among them that should make up the hedge." They are also useful as counsellors. Exod. xviii. 14. "when Moses father-in-law saw all that he did to the people," &c. v. 24. "so Moses hearkened unto the voice of his father-in-law." Prov. xii. 15. "he that hearkeneth unto counsel is wise." xxvii. 9. "ointment and perfume rejoice the heart; so doth the sweetness of a man's friend by hearty counsel." The benefits of their friendship, how <387> ever, extend not to the ensuring our salvation in a future life; not even in the instance of those who associated with Christ on earth: Matt. xii. 46, &c. Mark. iii, 35. Luke. xi. 27. xiii. 26. John. vii. 5.

Opposed to this, are, first, pretended friendship. Job. xix. 13, &c. "he hath put my brethren far from me, and mine acquaintance are verily estranged from me." Psal. lv. 12, &c. "it was not an enemy that reproached me, then I could have borne it..... but it was thou, a man mine equal, my guide, and mine acquaintance; we took sweet counsel together, and walked unto the house of God in company." Prov. xix. 4. 6, 7. "many will intreat the favour of the prince," &c. Of this crime the traitor Judas is an example.

Secondly, friendship or social intercourse with the wicked. Gen. xiv. 12. they took lot —." xix. 12, &c. "hast thou here any beside?..... bring them out of this place. Psal. i. 1. "blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly." xxvi. 4, 5. "I have not sat with vain persons —." cxli. 4. "incline not my heart to any evil thing, to practice wicked works with men that work iniquity." Prov. xiii. 20. "a companion of fools shall be destroyed." xiv. 7. "go from the presence of a foolish man." v. 9. "fools make a mock at sin: but among the righteous there is favour." v. 14 "a good man shall be satisfied from himself." xxiv. 1,2. "neither desire to be with them." xxviii. 7. "he that is a companion of riotous men, shameth his father." Rom. i. 31, 32. "who not only do the same, but have pleasure in them that do them." 1 Cor. xv. 33. "be not deceived: evil communications corrupt good manners." Eph. v. 7. "be not ye therefore partakers with them." v. 11. "have <388> no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness." Such intercourse, however, is sometimes unavoidable in the present life. Judges. xi. 3. "there were gathered vain men to Jephthah, and went out with him." 1 Sam. xxii. 2. "every one that was in distress, and every one that was in debt..... gathered themselves unto him." xxx. 22. "then answered all the wicked men and men of Belial, of those that went with David —." Psal. cxx. 5, 6. "woe is me!..... my soul hath long dwelt with him that hateth peace." 1 Cor. v. 9 11. "I wrote unto you in an epistle not to company with fornicators; yet not altogether with the fornicators of this world..... for then ye must needs go out of the world; but... if any man that is called a brother be a fornicator —."

Thirdly, enmity. Prov. xvii. 14. "the beginning of strife is as when one letteth out water; therefore leave off contention before it be meddled with." v. 19. "he loveth transgression that loveth strife; and he that exalteth his gate, seeketh destruction." xx. 3. "it is an honour for a man to cease from strife; but every fool will be meddling." xxvi. 26. "whose hatred is covered by deceit, his wickedness shall be showed before the whole congregation."

[1]

But ye will say, these (the prophets) had immediate warrant from God to be thus bitter; and I say, so much the plainlier is it proved, that there may be a sanctified bitterness against the enemies of truth.' Apology for Smectymnuus. Prose Works, I. 232.

[2]

... Aside the devil turn'd

For envy, yet with jealous leer malign

Ey'd them askance. Paradise Lost, IV. 502.

I reck not, so it light well aim'd,

Since higher I fall short, on him who next

Provokes my envy, this new favourite

Of Heaven, this man of clay. IX. 173.

[3]

... Th' unjust the just hath slain,

For envy that his brother's offering found

From Heav'n acceptance. XI. 455.

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