« Prev Chapter 14. Attributes of Holiness—Love to Man. Next »



We have seen that there can be no true holiness without the love of God. Neither can there be without love for our fellow men. The two are joined together. The second great commandment is,

Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself.”—Matt. 22:39

Our Saviour, in the account which he gives of the good Samaritan, (Luke 10:30), teaches us that our neighbor is any one, even though belonging to an unfriendly nation, who stands in need of our sympathy and assistance. A holy person feels a lively interest in the well-being of his fellow men. His heart is large—it takes in mankind. His arms are long—they carry assistance to the perishing in the ends of the earth. He enters into the spirit of the great commission,

Go ye into all the world and preach the Gospel to every creature.”—Mark 16:15

His law knows no boundary lines. His efforts to do good are not confined to any territorial limits. His righteousness goeth forth

as a lamp that burneth.”—Isa. 62:1

In addition to active good-will towards all mankind, holiness implies a special love for our brethren, the children of God. The New Testament is very explicit on this point.

If a man say, I love God, and hateth his brother, he is a, liar: for he that loveth not his brother whom he hath seen, how can he love God whom he hath not seen?”—I John 4:20

Comment can make these words no plainer.

We know that we have passed from death unto life, because we love the brethren.”—I John 3:14

This love is not bare sentiment. It is an ardent affection. It makes us care for each other’s interest and welfare. We take pleasure in each other’s company,

not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together; . . . but exhorting one another daily.”—Heb. 10:25

If one member suffer, all the members suffer with it. If one soul is in destitution, those who have, are ready to supply his necessities.

Whoso hath this world’s good, and seeth his brother have need, and shutteth up his bowels of compassion from him, how dwelleth the love of God in him?”—I John 3:17

If one is in peril, others share his danger. This is the spirit of true holiness. It was exemplified fully in the primitive Christians. Paul says:

After ye were illuminated ye endured a great fight of afflictions; partly while ye were made a gazing-stock both by reproaches and afflictions; and partly while ye became companions of them that were so used. For ye had compassion of me in my bonds, and took joyfully the spoiling of your goods, knowing in yourselves that ye have in heaven a better and an enduring substance.”—Heb. 10:32-34.

Lucian, a Roman writer, says of the early Christians: “It is incredible what expedition they use when any of their friends are known to be in trouble. In a word, they spare nothing on such an occasion,—for those miserable men have no doubt they shall be immortal and live forever; therefore they contemn death and many surrender themselves to sufferings. Moreover, their first lawgiver has taught them they are all brethren, when once they have turned, and renounced the gods of the Greeks, and worship this Master of theirs who was crucified, and engage to live according to His laws. They have also a sovereign contempt for all the things of this world, and look upon them as common.” This is the testimony borne by an enemy.

A holy person does not love indiscriminately and blindly those who profess to be Christians, simply because they belong to the same church that he does. This displays a partisan spirit. He tries those who say they are apostles. His love is not the result of any reasonings; nor is it based on natural qualities nor acquired gifts. It springs from the love of Christ. We love Him so greatly that we instinctively love His true friends. Those who walk in the light have fellowship for each other. They find each other out, and their hearts naturally run together. Rays of light, coming from the same source, easily mingle. Living streams, however widely separated, unite at last in the ocean. Holy persons feel that union of spirit, which is properly called, the communion of saints.

Holiness implies love for our enemies. It is impossible to have true holiness without having enemies. Christ had them. He told His disciples they should have them.

If ye were of the world, the world would love his own; but because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you.”—John 15:19

If you belong to Christ, His enemies will be your enemies. They will hate you. Their hostility will sometimes assume an active form. They will go just as far as the law will allow them to go in manifesting this hostility. They will traduce you, misrepresent your actions, and impugn your motives. But what must you do? Stand still and see the salvation of God. You must feel the compassion for them that you would for an insane person. Neglect no opportunity to do them good. Never get tried with them, nor attempt to repay them evil for evil. Our Saviour’s command is very plain:

Love your enemies. Bless them that curse you; do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you and persecute you.”—Matt. 5:44

This is Bible holiness. No other religion but that of Jesus will enable a person to do this. There may be the semblance. Anger may be suppressed by force of resolution. But God alone is able to make us really love our enemies, and honestly strive to promote their welfare. The Holy Spirit will enable us to hate sin, and love the sinner. It will make us kind to them, but not indulgent to their faults. Holiness is not blind. It has eyes as well as heart. It never mistakes darkness for light. To one who has true holiness it is not hard to obey the command,

If thine enemy hunger, feed him; if he thirst, give him drink; for in so doing thou shalt heap coals of fire on his head.”—Rom. 12:20

« Prev Chapter 14. Attributes of Holiness—Love to Man. Next »
VIEWNAME is workSection