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African Methodist Episcopal Church Review, Vol. 6, Num. 3
			

308                   CHURCH REVIEW.

and striking. The New Commandment, therefore. is: "Thou
shalt love God, thy Heavenly Father, and shalt love thy christian
brethren."
  This love is shed abroad in the christian heart by the Spirit,
and its reception is the evidence of our conversion, its manifes-
tation the proof of it. If we have love for the brethren, we may
claim to be converted, to know God, and to love God.  God puts
this in our hearts by His Spirit, and we are to work it out in our
lives by fearing and trembling before Him. This special love
for christians is not to dim or damper our love for men at large.
We are to love all men still, but from a different standpoint
The commandmnent is to be called "New," not only because it is
to contemplate this new and special relation, but also because
it starts from an entirely new standard.  I ask the reader to
consult the passages in the writings of John, especially where
this New Commandment is mentioned, and he will find, "Love
one another, as I have loved you."  It is not love your neighbor
as yourself, but love your christian brother as I have loved you,
This is the commandment which is to be true in Him and in you.
It is the degree of love, as well as the sphere  We are to love
as He loved, "because He laid down His life for us; and we ought
to lay down our lives for the brethren."
  To make a succinct statement of the whole subject, I would
say:--
  1. It is an Old Commandment, as it is based upon the relations
established in creation, referred to by St. Paul, when he says:
"And hath made of one blood all nations of men, for to dwell
on all the face of the earth;" and as such it is re-enacted by
Jesus, and enforced by the Golden Rule of the New Testament;
"Whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even
so to them."  Its standard is self-love.
  2. It is a New Commandment, as it is applied to the christian
fraternity, and is commanded by Jesus as a mark of discipleship,
and referred to by the evangelists as a fruit of the Spirit, and
proof and measure of conversion. It is not "Thou shalt love
thy brother christian as thyself," but "Thou shalt love thy
brother christian as Christ has loved thee." The standard of
the New Commandment is not our love to self, but Christ's love
to us.
   




			
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OHS/National Afro-American Museum & Cultural Center Serial Collection

African Methodist Episcopal Church Review, Vol. 6, Num. 3

Volume:  06
Issue Number:  03
Date:  01/1890


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