Matthew 22:30
In the resurrection, people will neither marry nor be given in marriage. Instead, they will be like the angels in heaven.
Sermons
The Pure Humanness of Marital RelationsR. Tuck Matthew 22:30
Question of the Sadducees: Whose Shall She Be?Marcus Dods Matthew 22:15-33
A Resurrection EmblemLife of Faraday.Matthew 22:23-33
As the AngelsLapide.Matthew 22:23-33
Creation is More Inexplicable than ResurrectionMatthew 22:23-33
God's Power a Guarantee for the Care of Men Who have Departed This LifeT. T. Lynch.Matthew 22:23-33
Heaven Vaguely Revealed Yet a Comfort to the Human HeartH. W. Beecher.Matthew 22:23-33
Ignorance of Holy Scripture the Source of Error in ReligionC. Cator, M. A.Matthew 22:23-33
The Angelic LifeC. H. Spurgeon.Matthew 22:23-33
The Functions of Man's Animal Nature not Operative in HeavenH. W. Beecher.Matthew 22:23-33
The Intermediate StateJohn Jortin.Matthew 22:23-33
The Joys of HeavenMatthew 22:23-33
The Resurrection of the DeadJ.A. Macdonald Matthew 22:23-33
Things Said not to be in Heaven, Which Yet are in HeavenT. T. Lynch.Matthew 22:23-33
Voices from HeavenJ. Cumming, D. D.Matthew 22:23-33
Character Made by LoveH. Melvill, B. D.Matthew 22:30-40
Christ's Two CommandmentsMatthew Hole.Matthew 22:30-40
Comprehensive Summary of the Ten CommandmentsL. O. Thompson.Matthew 22:30-40
ConcomitantsS. Annesley, D. D.Matthew 22:30-40
God the Object of LoveH. Melvill, B. D.Matthew 22:30-40
How May We Attain to Love God with All Our HeartsMatthew 22:30-40
It is the Duty of Every Man to Love His Neighbour as HimselfY. Milward, A. M.Matthew 22:30-40
Like unto ItR. Hooker.Matthew 22:30-40
Love Divinely Cultured in UsH. W. Beecher.Matthew 22:30-40
Love for God the Ruling EnergyDr. Thomas.Matthew 22:30-40
Love is a Busy GraceS. Annesley, D. D.Matthew 22:30-40
Love of God to be the Dominant PassionJ. E. Kempe, M. A.Matthew 22:30-40
Love of Neighbour Man's Second DutyArchbishop Secker.Matthew 22:30-40
Love Renders Service EasyH. W. Beecher.Matthew 22:30-40
Love Ruling the Soul, But not Excluding Other Proper ActivitiesH. W. Beecher.Matthew 22:30-40
Love the Fulfilling of the LawH. W. Beecher.Matthew 22:30-40
Love to GodW. B. Collyer.Matthew 22:30-40
Proprietorship Heightens LoveS. Annesley, D. D.Matthew 22:30-40
The First and Great CommandS. Annesley, D. D.Matthew 22:30-40
The Heart to be Educated as Well as the IntellectCapel Cure, M. A.Matthew 22:30-40
The Law of LoveR. Frost, M. A.Matthew 22:30-40
The Law of LoveA. H. Charteris, D. D.Matthew 22:30-40
The Law of the HeartE. Bersier, D. D.Matthew 22:30-40
The Love of God Man's First DutyArchbishop Secker.Matthew 22:30-40
The Love of Our NeighbourW. H. Burns.Matthew 22:30-40
The Mind's Love for GodP. Brooks, D. D.Matthew 22:30-40
The Nature of Moral and Positive DutiesS. Clarke.Matthew 22:30-40
The Royal LawHooper.Matthew 22:30-40
The Second is Like unto ItJ. B. Mayor, M. A.Matthew 22:30-40
The Second is Like unto ItJohn Trapp.Matthew 22:30-40
The True ReligionH. W. Beecher.Matthew 22:30-40
The Worth of Love Determined by its ObjectS. Annesley, D. D.Matthew 22:30-40
The Sadducees rested their "denial of the resurrection on the ground that they found no mention of it in the Law, which they recognized as the only rule of faith." The mistake they made, which our Lord at once brought to view, was this - "They could not conceive of any human fellowship in the life of the resurrection, except such as reproduced the relations and conditions of this earthly life." Man's material for thought is mainly provided by the common, earthly, sensual relations and associations; but man does not become true man save as he rises above these, and, by the help of them, conceives the "unseen." It is the glory of man that he is able to create in imagination what he has never seen realized in fact. He can think of relations between beings in which no sex-elements are introduced. He can imagine a place where they neither "marry nor are given in marriage," and where the "propagation of the species" is not the dominant idea, as it is here. In the conception of such a place and condition, an all-sufficing answer was given to the subtle entanglement of these Sadducees.

I. THE RACE DEPENDS ON MARITAL RELATIONS. The law of sex is the universal earthly law, ruling the creatures as well as man. Seeding is the work of every plant; starting a new generation is the work of every living creature, and of every human being. And God has made this universally to depend on the relations of male and female. The fact that man has made misery and sin out of God's design must not blind us to the wisdom and goodness of that design.

II. CHARACTER DEPENDS ON THE MARITAL RELATIONS. Neither can man be true man, nor woman true woman, apart from marriage. This may be more impressively seen in woman, but it is equally true of man. Woman never reaches her noblest possibility save through motherhood.

1. Show what elements of character are developed, and what are refined, by the associations of marriage.

2. Show what moral good for the race comes through the influence on children exerted by those whoso characters are improved through the marital relation.

III. REDEMPTION DEPENDS ON THE MARITAL RELATIONS. Dr. Bushnell, in his very striking way, says the redemption of the world must mainly come about through the "out-populating of the Christian stock." There is a sense in which Christians will come to "possess the earth."

IV. RESURRECTION LIFE DOES NOT DEFEND ON MARITAL RELATIONS. There is

(1) no race to propagate;

(2) no character to be gained;

(3) no redemption to accomplish.

Established righteousness can have friendship without marriage. - R.T.







Master, which is the great commandment in the law?
? —

I. WHAT IS IT TO LOVE GOD WITH ALL THE HEART, SOUL, AND MIND?

1. What is love? It is not a carnal love. It is not a natural love. It is not a merely moral love.

2. What is love to God? Metaphors to illustrate what it is to love God.

(1)The soul's love to God may be a little shadowed forth by the love of the iron to the loadstone.

(2)Our love to God is like the love of the flower of the sun to the sun.

(3)Our love to God is like the love of the turtle to her mate.

(4)Our love to God should be like, though exceed, Jacob's love to Benjamin.We must not love God only with the heart, but with the whole heart. The whole heart is opposed either to a divided and dispersed heart, or to a remiss and a sluggish heart. As the whole heart is opposed to a remiss and sluggish heart, the meaning is this — the care of our heart should be set upon nothing so much as upon the loving and pleasing God.

II. IT IS OUR INDISPENSABLE DUTY THUS TO LOVE GOD. To love God is our great natural duty. Man would more naturally love God than himself, were it not for sin. Christ's reason in the following verse — "This is the first and the great commandment." Not that any command of God is small. The commands in Scripture are like the stars in the firmament, which though to ignorant persons they are but like twinkling candles, yet are greater than the whole earth; so these commands, that careless persons overlook as inconsiderable, are such as without respect unto them there is no salvation. But this upon a manifold account is " the great command."

1. In respect of the object.

2. In respect of order and dignity.

3. In respect of obligation.

4. In respect of the matter of it.

5. In respect of the largeness of it.

6. In respect of its capacity.

7. In respect of the difficulties of it.

8. In respect of the end.

9. In respect of the lastingness of it.

III. WHAT ABILITIES ARE REQUISITE TO THE PERFORMANCE OF THIS DUTY, AND HOW WE MAY ATTAIN THOSE ABILITIES AS the only efficient cause of our loving God is God Himself, so the only procuring cause of our loving God is Jesus Christ, that Son of the Father's love, who by His Spirit implants and actuates this grace of love, which He hath merited for us (Colossians 1:20). Impediments of our love to God.

1. Self-love.

2. Love of the world.

3. Spiritual sloth and carelessness of spirit.

4. The love of any sin whatsoever.

5. Inordinate love of things lawful.Means to attain love to God.

1. Directing by spiritual knowledge.

(1)The knowledge of spiritual things.

(2)The knowledge of ordinary things in a spiritual manner, so as to make the knowledge of natural things serve heavenly designs.

2. Promoting means are various.

(1)Self-denial.

(2)Contempt of the world.

(3)Observation of God's benefits to us.

(4)Watchfulness over our own hearts.

(5)Prayer.

(6)Meditation.

(7)Choice of friends.

(8)Thanksgiving.

3. Sustaining and conserving means.

(1)Faith, whereby we are persuaded that what God hath spoken is true and good.

(2)Hope, whereby we expect a future good.

(3)Patience.

1. Directing.

(1)Prize the word.

(2)Set immediately upon the practice of those things which you shall be convinced to be your duty.

2. Exemplary means.

(1)Men.

(2)Angels.

(3)Christ.

IV. How TO IMPROVE AND AUGMENT ALL OUR POSSIBLE ABILITIES TO LOVE GOD WITH ALL OUR HEART, SOUL, MIND, AND STRENGTH. Degrees of love.

1. The first degree is to love God for those good things which we do or hope to receive from Him.

2. The second step of our love to God is to love God for Himself, because He is the most excellent good.

3. The third step is to love nothing but for God's sake, in Him, and for Him, and to Him.

4. The fourth step. of our love to God is for our highest love of everything to be hatred in comparison of our love to God.

5. The most eminent degree of our love to God is ecstasy and ravishment. Properties of love to God.

1. To begin with the properties of our love to God.(1) This Divine love is not at all in the unregenerate, unless only in show and imitation.(2) This Divine love is far from perfection.(3) Our love to God shall never be abolished.(4) This Divine love is so unknown to .the world, that when they behold the effects and flames of it in those that love God in an extraordinary manner, they are ready to explode it as mere vanity, folly, madness, ostentation, and hypocrisy.

2. The absolute properties of love to God are among many, some of them such as these.(1) It is the most ingenious of all graces.(2) Love to God is the most bold, strong, constant, and daring grace of all the graces of the Spirit of God.(3) Love to God is the only self-emptying and satisfying grace.(4) The love of God makes us anxiously weary of life itself.

3. This much of the positive properties; the transcendent properties of our love to God are —(1) Love to God is the great general directing grace containing all other particular graces in it and most intimately goes through the acts of all of them (1. Corinthians 13).(2) It is in a singular manner infinite. Effects of love to God: — They relate either to God Himself or to ourselves, or they are mutual.

1. Effects that relate to God are such as these —(1) Hatred of and flight from all that is evil.(2) The fear of God.(3) Obedience to the commands of God, and to those commands which would never be obeyed but out of love to God (1 John 5:3).(4) Resignation of ourselves to God.(5) Adhesion and cleaving unto God, in every case and every condition.(6) Tears and sighs through desires and joys.

2. The only effect I shall name as to us is a seeking of heaven and things above, with contempt of the world and all worldly excellences.

3. Mutual effects are these —(1) Union with God.(2) Communion with God.(3) Familiar love-visits.(4) A putting a love-interpretation upon all things.

1. Devotion, which is an absolute delivering up of ourselves to God's worship and service, so as by no flatteries or dangers to be diverted.

2. The other concomitant is zeal, which is the most intense degree of desire and endeavour to please and honour God —(1) In the exercise of zeal against sin observe this rule — whatever act of zeal you express towards others, double the first upon yourselves.(2) For zeal about duties — in every duty you take in hand, endeavour to do it above your strength.

V. I PROPOSE TO URGE SOME PERSUASIONS TO BE GRACIOUSLY AMBITIOUS OF SUCH QUALIFICATIONS, AND AS GRACIOUSLY DILIGENT IN SUCH EXERCISES.

1. God is our great Benefactor.

2. Love to God ennobles all other graces.

3. Love to God rectifieth all other loves, and brings them in due bounds.

4. Our love to God doth more sensibly quiet our hearts, than God's love to us.

(S. Annesley, D. D.)

I. Look to the testimony of the Bible and see whether I am right in saying that THE GREAT CONTROLLING INFLUENCE OF RELIGIOUS LIFE IS TO BE LOVE TO GOD AND MAN. Christian people spend much time watching their motives and actions that they have little or no time to attend to anything else. There is but one thing required of man, and that is, that he shall have love. If you take care of that, everything else will take care of itself. As in a watch there is a spring, which, if you coil it up, will of itself keep all the wheels in motion, so there is in the human soul a spring which, if you wind it up, will uncoil itself, and carry forward everything related to your duties and conduct in this world.

II. WHAT IS INCLUDED IN THIS LOVE. God has made in the human soul a threefold provision for the exercise of affection: maternal love, personal affection, benevolence to men irrespective of character. To these forms of affection I must add a capacity for a higher love, by which we are able to develop out of ourselves a true love for that which is invisible and perfect — the ideal religious love. This is given us that we may find our way up to God, whom we have not seen, with love and trust.

III. WHAT IS THE CONDITION IN WHICH THIS STATE OF MIND IS TO EXIST? We are conscious that our feelings exist in a two-fold way — first as impulses, and second as dispositions. The former are occasional, the latter are permanent. Love must be a disposition, our natural equilibrium and rest. Some men are habitually in a state of industry; they are idle sometimes, but idleness with them is special, the exception. Industry is their abiding state. Love must be our abiding condition.

IV. I am to ask your attention to THE RELATIONS OF THIS DISPOSITION OF LOVE TO THE WORK OF CHRISTIANITY IN THE INDIVIDUAL AND IN THE WORLD. This disposition of love is the atmosphere in which all other qualities ripen, and in which only they are perfect. Those duties impelled by fear are usually caustic, those impelled by conscience are usually hard; but those which spring from love are always easy. We shall never be able to treat our fellow-men aright without the disposition of love; to correct their faults; without love we cannot correctly present Christianity to the world.

(H. W. Beecher.)

We all know the physical phenomenon called attraction, that is to say, the still unexplained cause by which the molecules of matter draw one another. Science tells us that it is a general property of matter, that it exists in all bodies whether at rest or in movement and whatever their nature; that it acts irrespective of distance as well as in all substances; when it is operating amongst the stars, it is called universal gravitation; when it is manifested on the surface of our globe, it is called weight. All those who have known nature since the remotest periods, have known it. Newton was the first to give to this law the formula which we all learned by heart in our youth, and all ulterior observations have only verified it. This law of Newton then is only a sublime analogy of the law of love which, in the moral order, should bind together all thinking beings; and as there is not an atom of matter which can loosen itself from physical attraction, so there is not a moral being who can loosen himself from the law of love. "Thou shalt love."

I. Let us face the objections that confront us. It is denied that the heart can have a law; it is said that the proper characteristic of the affections is to be free from every commandment. There is in every man a domain where nature reigns supreme. It is, however, the end of education to diminish in man the too powerful part of instinct and necessity, in order to develop that of intelligence and will. Instinct says when we suffer an injury, "Revenge thyself." Social education keeps back the arm. The heart can be modified by the will. Christianity has commanded affections such as nature never had inspired. In Saul of Tarsus it overcame all the hatreds of his race. It is true that we can learn to love; the heart can overcome nature. Whence this love in a dead heart? God alone can inspire it.

II. When this love which comes from faith shall have been thus created in your hearts, it will be possible for you to love humanity, not only in vague enthusiasm of a general philosophy, but in that particular attachment which sees in each of its members a being created in the image of God.

1. To love humanity we must believe in humanity. The Christian sees under the most repulsive being the ideal which can one day be born of God in him.

2. Learn to see in him not that which is antagonistic to you, but all that is possible to be good, noble, and true. In the most benighted soul there remains some Divine spark.

3. Guard against those unjust prejudices, those harsh antipathies, which obscure the sight and hinder us from seeing, in their true features, those whom we meet with on our way.

4. Love in order to learn to love — "To him that hath shall be given." If disorderly passions.have their bewilderments, if they drag down an incline that is never reascended by the souls that yield to them, do you not believe that it will be the same with the noblest, the holiest, the best of loves? Will it not have its enthusiasms, its irrepressible outbursts, which will fill the soul to a point that it will desire no other life, because that it would find there nothing but coldness and weariness? Those holy souls that reproduce upon earth something of the life of Christ, and make to circulate in the present world the current of a warm love, were at their beginning lukewarm and cold as you and your soul; they have known all the discouragements, all the repugnances, all the disgusts that you complain of. But they gave themselves first to God and afterwards to man; they loved, and love became their dominant passion; something of heaven has begun for them here below: henceforth all inferior ends will appear to them barren and unattractive; they have already found, they will soon possess in its infinite fulness, the eternal life of which love is the law.

(E. Bersier, D. D.)

In the present day there are three classes of men who are disposed to confine the idea of duty to our relations with our fellow-men; either because they absolutely deny the existence of God, or because they think that nothing can be known about Him, or because they hold that there is something anthropomorphic about the idea of duty altogether, and therefore it is idle to speak of duty on the part of feeble creatures such as we are, towards the absolute and the infinite. One class consists of those in whom the spiritual organ is defective; the second of those who cannot believe without strict logical proof, and find a stumbling-block in the demand for faith; while a third consists of those who are repelled by moral difficulties. All these classes join to swell the tide of secularism. "To do as you would be done by, and to love your neighbour as yourself" constitutes the ideal perfection of utilitarian morality. Still the question remains, Is the rule here given sufficient in itself; can the second commandment stand thus isolated? Is it enough that a man should do to others as he would wish them to do to him? Does it necessarily lead to virtue? Take the example of a sensualist: what he wishes to have done is to have his appetites gratified, to be spared all self-denial. To act towards others as he would wish them to act towards him, might lead to the worst consequences. Also what is the " love" of the sensualist, and what is the "self" which he loves. He loves the lower self in himself and in others. You must be sure that the man who loves you rightly loves himself. You must in short rise to the ideal that should be. In this there is a transcending the matter-of-fact rule — "Do as you would be done by." But how and where is the ideal to be found. Is it a fancy, in nature, art, poetry? The dullest life offers some foothold for the God-given faculties of admiration, imagination, and affection. The beauties of nature are tokens of an existence outside ourselves, infinite in power and wisdom, sympathising with every higher feeling of the heart. This is confirmed by our own experience of life. The first dawn of consciousness reveals to us a mother's unselfish devotion. We learn to appreciate the thoughtful justice of a father; watching the world we come to feel that we are in the midst of " a stream of tendency which makes for righteousness," and we see its effects on a large scale in the rise and fall of nations. Here then we find the right interpretation of the rule, "Love thy neighbour as thyself." It is love the ideal in thy neighbour as thou lovest it in thyself. And to thin end we must keep our eyes open to the ideal in others. See your friend glorified, as what he may be by God's grace. And now we have seen the Ideal at work both in life and in nature, we may take a further step, and ask whether there is any other name under which it is known to us. Two heathen philosophers shall furnish us with an answer. All lower ideals, says Plato, are summed up in one highest Ideal, the perfection of beauty and goodness. This Ideal is to the world of mind what the sun is to the world of matter, the fountain of life and light. Love is the yearning after this Ideal, at first a dim unconscious yearning, but as it grows in purity it comes to discern its object more clearly, until at length it beholds it face to face, and then there is heaven. For this ideal is God, the Author of the universe, the Father of each individual soul. And Seneca shall tell us what is the ideal nature formed within each: — sacer intra nos spiritus sedet, "a holy spirit dwells within us;" and again, prope est ad te deus, tecum est, intus est, "God is near you, He is with you, He is in you." Need I remind you that the same truth is proclaimed by the voice of revelation — "In Him we live and move and have our being;" "The invisible things of Him are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead;" "In Him was life and the life was the light of men;" "That was the true light that lighteth every man that cometh into the world." Once only has the perfect Ideal of man been seen on earth, and that Ideal was one with the Father; the ideal can be formed in each one of us only by the Spirit of Christ within us. "Abide in me and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself except it abide in the vine, so neither can ye except ye abide in Me;" "If Christ be in you the spirit is life because of righteousness." Here then we may advance to a further definition of our rule. When we say, "Love the ideal in thy neighbour," we mean as we now see, "Love that which is Christ-like, that which is God-like in thy neighbour." The natural object of love, as Plato has taught us, is the Divine perfection. That we are to love; that, in so far as our heart is in its right state, we cannot help loving, with all our soul and all our strength; all other things we shall love in so far as they embody or represent to us any portion of the Divine perfection. Thus the second commandment is like unto the first, because it is, in fact, an exemplification of it in one direction, just as we might have another exemplification, bidding us love and admire all the beauty and sublimity of outward nature, or, as our Lord bids, "Consider the lilies of the field." The lessons, then, which we should draw from the consideration of the close connection between the first and the second commandments are mainly two. One is, to suspect all religious emotions in ourselves which do not tend to increase our love for our fellow-men. "Pure religion and undefiled," says St. James, "is to visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world." If our religion fails to do this, whatever ecstatic heights we may seem to soar to, it is mere self-deception; such religion is vain. The other is that on which we have already dwelt so much, that we are to love our fellow-men in God, as created by God, as redeemed by Christ, as called to be .temples of the Holy Spirit, as all having in them the germ of a new and Divine life, which it is the privilege and the duty of human love to cherish and to strengthen, until at last the whole body of the Church, "being fitly joined together and compacted by that which every joint supplieth, may grow up into Him in all things, which is the head, even Christ."

(J. B. Mayor, M. A.)

There are many things about this law to fill us with admiration.

I. Its completeness. It includes the whole of life and all its chiefest duties.

II. Its twofold division. The first table of the law reveals and informs a man's duty to God. The second, his duty to himself and his fellows.

III. Its twofold summary. When classified from a spiritual standpoint, it has two great commandments: supreme love to God; love to fellow-man as to one's self.

IV. Reflections. Its uniqueness, origin, scope, simplicity, tendency to lead to Christ.

(L. O. Thompson.)

I. This duty arises out of our RATIONAL AND SOCIAL NATURES.

II. The OBLIGATIONS under which we are laid to the practice of the duty.

1. From the connection of this commandment with the first. If we love Cod, we shall love our brother.

2. A sense of justice, the golden rule, should lead us to do good to our neighbour.

3. The greatest difficulty to contend with is the more powerful influence of other motives addressed to the selfishness of the heart.

4. What is heaven, as to which we profess to aspire, but the region of perfect love.

III. APPLY THE SUBJECT AND HOLD REASONINGS WITH THE SELFISH SPIRIT. TO all we have said selfishness says, "I must mind myself."

(W. H. Burns.)

THE PRINCIPLE OF PHILOSOPHY OF IT. Most men are actuated by exclusive self-love. This law operates as a command and as a restraint.

II. THE POSITIVE CHARACTER WHICH THIS LAW GIVES TO ALL THE COMMANDMENTS OF THE SECOND TABLE. By the first commandment of the second table, the different orders of society are protected; domesticated order the well-spring of all social order. Life is protected by the sixth commandment; by the next precept the person of our neighbour is protected, property, reputation.

(R. Frost, M. A.)

Mark the unity and the simplicity which characterises this law of love to God. It is based on the declaration that there is but one God the Lord.

I. THE LAW OF LOVE IN NOT INFERIOR TO THE TEN COMMANDMENTS; in fact, love of God and man includes all which these teach at greater length.

II. The law of love is SUPERIOR

1. The positive, whereas the old law was negative.

2. The law of love is superior because exhaustive.

3. It is superior because it begins at the heart.

4. It is superior because it leads us directly to feel our need of the Spirit of God.

(A. H. Charteris, D. D.)

In the first place, then, we want to assure ourselves in general that there is such a power as intellectual affection, and that no man completely and worthily loves any noble thing or person unless he loves it with his mind as well as with his heart and soul. That will not, I think, be very hard to see. Take, for instance, your love for some beautiful scene of nature. There is somewhere upon the earth a lordly landscape which you love. When you are absent from it, you remember it with delight and longing. When you step into the sight of it after long absence, yore" heart thrills and leaps. While you sit quietly gazing day after day upon it, your whole nature rests in peace and satisfaction, Now, what is it in you that loves that loveliness? Love I take to be the delighted perception of the excellence of things. With what do you delightedly perceive how excellent is all that makes up that landscape's beauty, the bending sky, the rolling hill, the sparkling lake, the waving harvest, and the brooding mist? First of all, no doubt, with your senses. It is the seeing eye, the hearing ear, the sense of feeling which in the glowing cheek is soothed or made to tingle, the sense of smell which catches sweet odours from the garden or the hayfield, — it is these that love the landscape first; you love it first with all your senses. But next to that what comes? Suppose that the bright scene is radiant with associations, suppose that by that river you have walked with your most helpful friend; upon that lake you have floated and frolicked when you were a boy; across that field you have guided the staggering plough; over that hill you have climbed in days when life was all sunshine and breeze. That part of you which is capable of delightedly perceiving these associations as they shine up to you from the glowing scenery, perceives them with delight and takes the landscape into its affection. You love the scene with all your heart. But yet again, suppose a deeper faculty in you perceives the hand of God in all this wondrous beauty; suppose a glad and earnest gratitude springs up in you and goes to meet the meadow and the sky; suppose that all seems to tell to some deep listening instinct in you that it was all made for you, and made by one who loved you; suppose that it all stands as a rich symbol of yet richer spiritual benefits of which you are aware; what then? Does not another part of you spring up and pour out its affection, your power of reverence and gratefulness; and so you love the landscape then with all your soul. Or yet again, if the whole scene appears to tempt you with invitations to work; the field calling on you to till it, and the river to bridge it, and the hill to set free the preciousness of gold or silver with which its heart is full and heavy; to that too you respond with your power of working; and then you love the scene with all your will or all your strength. And now, suppose that beyond all these another spirit comes out from the landscape to claim another yet unclaimed part of you; suppose that unsolved problems start out from the earth and from the sky. Glimpses of relationship between things and of qualities in things flit before you, just letting you see enough of them to set your curiosity all astir. The scene which cried before: "Come, admire me;" or, "Come, work on me;" now cries, "Come, study me." What hangs the stars in their places and swings them on their way; how the earth builds the stately tree out of the pretty seed; how the river feeds the cornfield; where lie the metals in the mountains? — these, and a hundred other questions, leap out from the picture before you, and, pressing in past your senses and your emotions and your practical powers, will not rest till they have found out your intelligence. They appeal to the mind, and the mind responds to them; not coldly, as if it had nothing to do but just to find and register their answers, but enthusiastically, perceiving with delight the excellence of the truths at which they point, recognizing its appropriate task in their solution, and so loving the nature out of which they spring in its distinctive way. It would be strange indeed if it were not so; strange indeed if the noblest part of us were incapable of the noblest action; strange indeed if, while our senses could thrill and our hearts leap with affection, the mind must go its way in pure indifference, making its great discoveries with no emotion for the truths which it discovered, and for the men in whom those truths were uttered. But R is not so. The intellect can love. But can we think about God's love and not feel ever present, as an element in it, the working of the infinite mind as well as of the perfect heart? No doubt men's minds differ from one another exceedingly in their capacity of affection. You tell your scholar that he must study because his parents wish it, because he ought to be equal to his fellow-scholars, because he will be poor and dishonoured if he is ignorant. These motives are good, but they are only the kindling under the fire. Not until an enthusiasm of your scholar's own intellect begins, and he loves the books you offer him with his mind, because of the way they lay hold of his power of knowing them; not until then has the wood really caught and your fire truly begun to burn. To that end every true teacher must devote himself, and not count his work fairly begun till that is gained. When that is gained the scholar is richer by a new power of loving — the power of loving with his intellect — and he goes on through life, carrying in the midst of all the sufferings and disappointments which he meets, a fountain of true joy in his own mind which can fill him with peace and happiness when men about him think that he has only dreariness and poverty and pain.

(P. Brooks, D. D.)

It could scarcely lead to any satisfactory result if we were to attempt nicely to discriminate between what is meant here by the heart, the soul, and the mind. In point of fact, of the four Greek representatives that we have of the same Hebrew original (Deuteronomy 6:5) — that of the Septuagint, and those of St. Matthew, St. Mark, and St. Luke — no two precisely agree in the words chosen for the purpose. And what this variation may seem to say to us is this: Apart from all metaphysical and psychological distinctions, whatever terms will best convey to you a description of all the powers, faculties, and capacities which can in any way be affected by love, let them be adopted and employed in exhibiting the nature and extent of the love that you owe to God. Feelings, intellect, and will may perhaps best express for popular purposes the different spheres or constituents of our moral nature which that love ought to pervade and influence. The combination of the three is absolutely essential.

1. The love of the understanding only — a love into which we have reasoned ourselves — which is based upon a certain balancing of argument for and against it, resulting in a decision favourable on the whole to the Divine claims; a love which we profess because we see clearly that God ought to be loved, that He has a right to a place, aye, and the very first place, in our hearts — this is not the kind of love which is looked for from us by Him who spared not His own Son, but freely gave Him up for us all.

2. Nor will He be content with the love which is merely a feeling, and which rests upon no solid foundation of a rational conviction that He is worthy of the love which is felt for Him. You must justify to your judgment the feeling that you have admitted.

3. The will — that power by which the feelings of the heart and the convictions of the understanding are made influential and operative in the conduct. This is the true test of the sincerity of those feelings, and the soundness of those convictions. Any love which stops short of this is but self-love. To be of the right sort, our love for God must be an active moving principle and power, which so determines our thoughts, words, and works, that God in all things may be glorified in us through Jesus Christ our Lord, and we ourselves, as it were, may be absorbed into that glory.

(J. E. Kempe, M. A.)

This, like Aaron's rod of old, swallows up all evil enchantments of the heart. It enters the sacred temple within, and, like another Messiah, it expels every lurking desecration forthwith. It is a flame which not only lights up the dark chambers of the soul, but transmutes into its own pure essence all its elements of feeling and of thought.

(Dr. Thomas.)

For it has —

1. The same Author. God spake all these words.

2. The same tie.

3. The same sanction and punishment of the violation.

4. It requires the same kind of love and service; for the love of our neighbour is the service of God.

(John Trapp.)

in amplitude and largeness, inasmuch as it is the root out of which all laws of duty to men-ward have grown, as out of the former all offices of religion towards God.

(R. Hooker.)

It is requisite to show —

I. WHO IS OUR NEIGHBOUR? We are to account as our neighbour any man whomsoever, friend or enemy, that lives nigh to us, or at a greater distance from us.

II. THE LAWFULNESS OF A MAN'S LOVING HIMSELF. It is a duty incumbent on every man to love himself. There is a twofold self.

1. A natural self.

2. A sinful self. This is to be hated, the other loved.He that came to destroy "the works of the devil" came to save the soul and body, the works of God (Luke 19:10).

1. A man may love his own body, and is bound to preserve the life of it (Ephesians 5:29). A man may sin against his own body by excessive labour, neglect, intemperance (1 Corinthians 6:18).

2. A man may and ought chiefly to love his own soul. The new nature, or spiritual self, is the best self we have, and should be most loved (Romans 14:12).

III. TO LAY DOWN SOME CONCLUSIONS.

1. That as God is to be loved above all things else, so He is to be loved for Himself (Luke 18:19).

2. That creatures may be loved according to that degree of goodness which God hath communicated to them, not for themselves, but for God, who " made all things for Himself" (Proverbs 16:4).

3. No man can love himself or his neighbour aright while he remains in a state of sin. Love is a "fruit of the Spirit" (Galatians 5:22).

I. HOW OUGHT WE TO LOVE OUR NEIGHBOUR?

I. In the same things wherein we show love to ourselves, we ought to show love to our neighbour.

1. Our thoughts of, and the judgment we pass upon, ourselves (1 Corinthians 13:5).

2. Our speeches (Titus 3:2).

3. Our desires after that which is good for ourselves. We should desire the good of others in all things as our own (Matthew 5:44).

4. Our actual endeavours that it may be well with us. So ought we to endeavour to do others good (1 Peter 4:10).

II. After the same manner that we love ourselves we ought to love others.

1. We do, or should, love ourselves holily, in the fear of God. In this manner we must love others. Every man is a creature upon whose soul there is, in a sort, the image of God (Titus 3:3, 4).

2. Our love to ourselves should be orderly; we must first and chiefly love our souls, and then our bodies (Deuteronomy 4:9).

(1)We must seek the conversion of those who are unconverted (James 5:19, 20).

(2)We should show our love to the souls of others by seeking the increase of their faith, holiness, and comfort (1 John 1:4).

3. Our love to ourselves goes out freely. In the like manner we should go forth to others (1 Timothy 6:18).

4. We love ourselves unfeignedly; and thus it is required we should be to others (1 John 3:18).

5. We do not only love ourselves truly and sincerely, but with some fervency; our love to others must not be cold (1 Peter 1:22).

6. We love ourselves very tenderly (Ephesians 5:29). It is required of us that we "be kind one to another, tender-hearted" (Ephesians 4:32).

(Y. Milward, A. M.)

The Christian finds what a right royal law this is of the Saviour's, for he sees that it includes and covers every possible form of duty; that if this command be fulfilled, it necessitates the fulfilling of every other command. He who is content with visiting the lower eminences which surround Merit Blanc may wander about from one to another, and get picturesque views in detail; but, at the best, they are only partial and imperfect glimpses. He alone who reaches the topmost summit can command at one glance all the glorious view. In like manner must it be with him who wishes to serve God. He may try in detail to keep this or that commandment, and he will be the better and happier for his efforts. But, in order to observe them all truly and in their spirit, he must stand on the moral eminence of love towards God. Then he will be able to perform his duty, not bit by bit, but as a whole, complete and perfect, doing everything for God, and yet not neglecting man.

(Hooper.)

I. The NATURE of this principle.

1. Its definition. Love to God is a principle, not a passion.

2. Its extent.

3. Its sublimity.

II. The OBLIGATIONS of this principle. Love to God is(1) the great commandment;

(a)in point of importance;

(b)in order of nature;

(c)as all others are dependent on it.(2) It is most reasonable and simple.

(3)It is most powerful, binding, and endearing.

III. The INFLUENCE of this principle. Observe

(1)the connection between the commandments.

(2)The comprehension of duty contained in this commandment.

(3)The certainty of this result — loving our neighbour — from the principle.

(W. B. Collyer.)

I. How is the love of God said to be the first commandment? It is

(1)in order of time;

(2)in order of nature.

II. How is the love of God said to be the great commandment?

1. Upon the account of the greatness and dignity of the object — God.

2. Upon the account of the largeness and comprehensiveness of it — the whole duty of man.

3. Upon the account of the influence it hath upon all the parts and duties of religion, which have all their worth and acceptance entirely from it.

4. Upon the account of its perpetual and everlasting duration.

III. How is loving our neighbour the second commandment, and like unto it?

1. In respect of the authority that commands it, and our obligation to observe it.

2. In respect of the ground and motive of our obedience, which are some Divine perfections residing in God, and communicated to His creatures.

3. In respect of the extent and comprehensiveness of it.

4. In respect of the reward and punishment that attend the keeping and breaking of it.

(Matthew Hole.)

I. All moral duties are contained in, and may be reduced to, these two heads — the love of God and of our neighbour.

II. All positive and ritual injunctions, though in their proper place they ought not to be left undone, yet they are but subordinate to these, and subservient to them. This appears from the following considerations.

1. The moral duties of life are things in their own nature good and excellent, of eternal and necessary obligation. All ritual and ceremonial observances have no intrinsic goodness in the nature of the things themselves; nor any obligation but what arises merely from their being positively and occasionally enjoined.

2. All positive and ritual injunctions whatsoever, can be but subordinate to the practice of moral virtues; because these latter are the end for which the former are commanded, and the former can be considered only as means to the latter.

3. Moral duties, or the practice of true virtue, will continue for ever, but all positive commandments are but of temporary obligation.

(S. Clarke.)

I. The nature of the love of God (i.e., our love to God).

II. The importance of it in point of duty.

III. Its influence on our happiness.

IV. The methods which infinite wisdom hath employed to cultivate it in our minds.

(Archbishop Secker.)

Our neighbour signifies in Scripture, and not seldom in heathen writers, every person who is placed within our reach and influence. The principal causes of our narrowing the circle of our neighbours are —

1. Hatred, from diversity of faith and worship; or rivalship in profit, advancement, affection, and reputation.

2. Pride. They cannot allow such low creatures as the "multitude," to claim their notice.

3. Selfishness. The selfish man acknowledges no neighbour; is concerned solely for himself, and what he is pleased to reckon his own interest.

(Archbishop Secker.)

I can imagine nothing more perilous than the theory that piety is independent of the affections — it were better to be the enthusiast with every feeling excited than the mere philosophical reasoner with the belt of ice for ever round the heart.

I. This love of God is reasonable.

1. There are feelings which will be called into exercise according as God is surveyed under different points of view. The proper object of love, as distinguished from other affections, is goodness. It is not as the all-powerful Being that we love God; I have an awe of God as powerful. See how the case stands in regard of a creature. A man cannot be just and not love justice; neither can he be good and not love goodness. Suppose this creature was your friend, your governor, what would be the effect of this accumulation of qualities? Would not your love be enhanced by their depending on one upon whom it was safe to depend. Now substitute the Creator for the creature, and shall not He be the object of love. God has planted in us these affections, and there is that in Himself which should raise them to the highest pitch.

II. The threefold requirement comprehended in the loving " with all the heart, and with all the soul, and with all the mind." It is demanded that there be no energy unemployed in the service of God. If such a love seem unattainable, it is not the less to be proposed as the standard at which we should aim. Let it not be imagined that in demanding all, God leaves nothing for other objects of affection. The truth is that in proportion as we love the Creator, we shall love with a purer and warmer love every other lawful object of affection.

III. That in representing God as the alone sufficient object of love, we state a general truth whose full demonstration must be referred to the scenes of eternity. Let us throw away confused and indeterminate notions of happiness, and it must be admitted that happiness consists in every faculty having its proper object. And if love find its proper object in nothing short of God, may it not be that the perfect happiness of the future shall result from the fact, that every faculty will have found its object in God? But it is certain that in loving God, we have foretastes of its delights — for love is to survive, when faith and hope shall have passed away. Let us, then, take heed lest entangled with earthly attachments, forgetful of the rule that love of the creature must be secondary to love of the Creator, we provoke God to jealousy, and thus weaken the anticipation of heaven.

(H. Melvill, B. D.)

I. We have here an explicit revelation of the true nature of religion, about which the whole world has been in so much dispute. The essence of true religion is love to God and love to man. It is towards God a whole and continuous sympathy and love. It is toward man a uniform and dominating disposition of benevolence.

II. We have here, then, the physiological idea of the Bible in regard to the perfect man. Christ's ideal is neither philosophy, nor war, nor statecraft, but love to God and man. The capacity to create happiness will be the true ideal of man.

III. If this be so, we have now the only true test of personal religion. Conversion and regeneration are not only really possible, but they are indispensable; and no man can enter the kingdom of God, which is a kingdom of love and peace in the Holy Ghost, unless he is born again. Selfishness shall not enter into the kingdom of God.

IV. This is the true gauge by which to measure the spread, the progress of religion in the soul. We are apt to confound the question of growth in grace with the Greek idea of acquisition, self-culture. The gauge of religion is the intensity and the productiveness of the love principle.

(H. W. Beecher.)

There is not a daisy that was not organized to be a daisy, but I should like to see one that did not have the sun to help it up from the seed I there is not an aster that was not organized to be an aster, but where is there one that grew independent of the sun? What the sun is to flowers, that the Holy Ghost must be to our hearts, if we would be Christians.

(H. W. Beecher.)

If one were sent to take care of the poor, miserable, wounded soldiers lying in the plague-stricken hospitals on the plain of Solferino, he would say to himself, "Money would not hire me to do it, but I must do it because it is my duty. Here are men who are suffering and need attention, and I am bound to look after their wants." But let me find my own son among those unfortunate creatures, and, no matter how loathsome might be the offices to be performed toward him, could money buy from me the privilege of ministering to his necessities? Could any motive induce me to leave his side day or night? That which I should do in the one case through conscientiousness, or from a sense of duty, and which would be a disagreeable task, I should do in the other case through love, and it would then be a pleasure to me. I should do it with delight. There would not be hours enough in which I might serve in love my wounded son.

(H. W. Beecher.)

Is it not the special characteristic of the age that it trains the intellect with unrivalled zeal and success, while it leaves too often out of sight the heart and the affections? Are not all the prizes of life heaped together, and increasing in their value and what may be called their piquancy, in order to spur on to the utmost the culture of the intellect alone? There is not a schoolmaster who does not complain that he is ceaselessly goaded by the parents to press on their children even beyond their strength in the race for distinction. Nor does this pressure touch the child alone. In age as well as in youth, we are all pressed on by the swift tide of the world to worship the idol of intellect as though it had all to give in earth and heaven. And where, in all this eagerness to learn or gain distinctions, where is the education which all our life long should be bringing nearer to the heart the truths of the unseen world?

(Capel Cure, M. A.)

The mere knowledge of things will not necessarily exert any influence on conduct; and it were profanely absurd to call that man religious whose deportment is unaffected by the great truths of religion.- In respect even of the things of sense, we require a combination of love with knowledge in order to the constitution of character; for we do not call a man a sensualist merely because he knows the objects of sense. He must love those objects, he must have given his heart to those objects, before we think of applying to him such a title; before we think of calling him a sensual man. In like manner you can have no right to say that acquaintance with the articles of religion makes a man a religious man. He may know the articles of religion just as he knows the objects of sense; but he is not a sensualist unless attached to the objects of sense; neither is he religious unless his affections fasten on the articles of religion. When, however, it has been allowed that the affections must be engaged in religion, there will arise various questions as to degree and direction. We have already said, that with many the majesty and the awfulness of the Almighty pass as evidence of the impossibility of His being the objects of our love. They will tell you that He might rightly be the object of the fear, of the reverence, of the adoration of His Creatures; but that it savours of an unholy familiarity, and therefore marks a species of enthusiasm to speak of Him as the object of love — and when you set against such an opinion the grave requirements of Scripture, which insist on the love of God as the sum and substance of religion, then you will be told that love as directed towards the Creator must be something wholly different from love as felt between man and man; and thus by representing it a mystic and unearthly thing, they will quite remove it from your comprehension and attainment.

(H. Melvill, B. D.)

This we may easily understand by familiar parallels. We say of persons who are cultivated, that their whole manhood is cultivated. We do not mean that there is a thing called cultivation which they have in exercise, and nothing besides. We simply mean that there is a given mode of activity; that the reason and the affections act in a certain fine way; that they act with a particular quality which we call cultivation. When we speak of a man as well-bred and refined, we do not mean that his taste is the only active part of his nature, but this: that whatever other faculties are acting, they all take on the quality of taste, so that they are of the nature of this predominant influence. Just the same is true of conscience. A man is said to be a conscientious man when conscience rules him. When we speak of a man as conscientious, we do not mean that conscience is the only feeling that rises up and acts, but that it so distributes itself through the mind that every other feeling which comes in acts conscientiously. And when we are commanded to love God with all our heart, and soul, and strength, and mind, and our neighbour as ourselves, it is not meant that a man should sit down and love, love, love, love, with a repetition that is just like the ticking of a clock, which repeats the same tick over, and over, and over, and over again. It is not meant that we are to compress all the parts of our life into any such unity, or any such singleness, that they shall all be included in one thing, that one thing being love to God and love to man. It is meant that a strong predominant love to God and man shall so pervade the soul, that there cannot be in all the action of the mind one feeling that will go contrary to that spirit. The reason must be a reason acting in the spirit of love; the conscience must be a conscience acting in the atmosphere of love; the taste must be a taste acting in the atmosphere and spirit of love — love to God and love to man. The appetites and passions, and every other faculty of the mind, in all their power or variety or versatility, may act; but they will act as steeds that feel the one rein, which goes back to the hands of the one driver, whose name is Love.

(H. W. Beecher.)

Love is but an indifferent passion, till it be united to the thing loved, and then it gets a denomination. For example: If the object be earthly, it is an earthly love; if sensual, it is a brutish love; if it be man, it is a human love; if God, it is a Divine love: so that by our love we are changed and transformed into a thing more noble, or more vile. We therefore debase ourselves in loving any thing but God: there is nothing else worthy of our love. Whatsoever we love, we give it a kind of dominion over us, so that the will loseth its dignity and excellency when it loves inferior things; we are, as it were, married to that we love. "Suppose," saith Raymundus, "a poor man, of mean stock and no reputation, have six daughters; they are all equal by birth as to reputation and esteem, but they are all differenced by their marriage. The eldest marries a farmer, the next a citizen, the third a knight, the fourth a duke, the fifth a king, the sixth an emperor; by these marriages there is a very great inequality. So, here, by the object of your love you are dignified or debased."

(S. Annesley, D. D.)

"Thou shalt love the Lord thy God." Those things that are ours, though they are not always lovely, yet we love them; our own children, whether of our bodies or our minds, our own estates. We are more troubled at the loss of anything wherein our own propriety [property] is concerned, than in all the world besides. A small thing of our own is a thousand times more to us than a thousand times as much of another's. We are more concerned for the cutting off our own finger, than the cutting off another man's head. Propriety [proprietorship] doth exceedingly heighten love.

(S. Annesley, D. D.)

Love among the passions is like fire among the elements. Love among the graces is like the heart among the members. Now that which is most contrary to the nature of love must needs most obstruct the highest actings of it. The truth is, a careless frame of spirit is fit for nothing; a sluggish, lazy, slothful, careless person never attains to any excellency in any kind.

(S. Annesley, D. D.)

Love to God is the most excellent of all graces (1 Corinthians 13:13). Love among the graces is like the sun among the stars, which not only enlightens the lower world, but communicates light to all the stars in the firmament; so love to God does not only its own office, but the offices of all other graces.

(S. Annesley, D. D.)

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