By Hugh Binning
Referring to 1st Tim. 1:5
but the goal of this command is love, out of a pure heart and a good conscience and sincere faith;
Now consider the context, and it will yield much edification. Some teachers (1st Tim. 1:4) occupied themselves and others in endless genealogies, which, though they contained some truth in them, yet they were perplexing, and brought no edification to souls. Curiosity might go round in such debates, and bewilder itself as in a labyrinth, but they rather multiplied disputes instead of bringing true growth in holiness in the faith and love of God and men. Now, Paul says, they completely mistake the end of the law, of the doctrine of scripture. The end and great purpose of it is love, which proceeds from faith in Christ, purifying the heart. This is the sum of all to worship God in faith and purity, and to love one another. And whatever debates and questions seem to breach this bond, and have no eminent and remarkable benefit to them, suppose they are matters of conscience, yet the using of them for prosecuting of love, is clearly violence against the law of God, which is the rule of conscience. It is perverting scripture and conscience to a wrong end. I say the charity and Christian love should be the greatest rule of all our actions towards men. From this rule all our actions should be formed. I am persuaded if this rule were followed, the present differences in judgment of godly men, about things that only bring about questions, would soon be buried in the gulf of Christian affection.
Excerpt from The Works of the Rev. Hugh Binning, Kindle Edition, Loc. 16440, [Language modernized in places by this site]