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African Methodist Episcopal Church Review, Vol. 6, Num. 3
            THE OLD AND NEW COMMANDMENTS.             307

beginning. By the beginning, the writer seems to refer to the
beginning of the Gospel, or to the time when Jesus began to
teach. This commandment, therefore, which is called the Old
Commandment, had been heard all through our Saviour's minis-
try; but it is hardly called an Old Commandment on that account.
Nor do I think that it is to be regarded as an Old Commandment,
because it is especially our Saviour's commandment, while the
New Commandment derives its authority from the writer John,
only both are from Jesus. In another epistle, he disavows intro-
ducing any novelty, and says he brings in only "that which we
had from the beginning, that we love one another."
  From this we see that it is no new commandment to enjoin
upon Christians, to love one another. This is not a New Com--
mandment to the Apostle, and he urges the elect lady, to whom
he addresses his Second Epistle, not to consider it such. It was
the "commandment which was from the beginning," and is
therefore identical with the "0ld Commandment" referred to in
the text selected at the head of this paper.
  To love one another is the Old Commandment; what then is
the New Commandment?  It is something that is true in Jesus
and in his disciples; and something that seems to depend for
its truthfulness upon the fact that darkness is past and the true
light shines.  The commandment is true in Jesus and in you, is
applicable to you and to Him, or is to be carried out by Him
and by you. What is the New Commandment ? It is the com-
mandment which enjoins a duty on believers toward one an-
other, and toward Christ, and one which Christ has fulfilled
and which gratitude, in consequence of their greatly improved
condition, constrains them to discharge.
  The commandment is one and the same, but is old or new
according to relations  It is a commandment as old as the law,
but a commandment which receives a new application under
Christ.  For men to love one another is a commandment that
rest upon creation, and is as old as humanity. Upon the rela-
tion established between God and man in creation, all the law
and the prophets of the Old Testament are suspended. God is
the common Father and all His offspring are brethren; hence,
men should love God and love each other.  This is the Old
Commandment, and this %as not abrogated by Christ.  The
Christian is to keep this law of general benevolence toward all,
not forgetting the reat doctrines concerning man, even in his
profound adoration for Jesus. Paul preached this great doctrine
concerning man on Mars Hill.
  The New Commandment we may regard as the application of
this love to the Fatherhood of God in Christ Jesus, and to the
brotherhood of man in Christ Jesus, while we are not to ignore
the Fatherhood of God in creation, we are to place above it the
Fatherhood of (God in Christ Jesus. This Fatherhood is, per-
haps, no more real, but it is much more vivid and recognizable,
because it is revealed to us by the Spirit, and we are consciously
begotten into relationship with it. So the brotherhood is special


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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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