Christian Love 34: Love is No Tale Bearer

By Hugh Binning

 

Charity is no tale bearer. It does not go about as a slander to reveal a secret, though true, (Proverbs 20:19) It is of a faithful spirit to conceal the matter. (Proverbs 11:13) Another man’s good name is as a pledge laid down in our hand, which every man should faithfully restore, and take heed how he lose it, or alienate it by back-biting.  Some would have nothing to say, if they didn’t have other’s faults and frailties to passionately speak on, but it would be better that such were always made silent, that either they had no ears to hear of them or know them, or had no tongues to vent them.  If they do not lie grossly in it, they think they do no wrong.  But let them judge it in reference to themselves. “A good name is better than precious ointment,” (Ecclesiastes 7:1) “and rather to be chosen than great riches,”. (Proverbs 22:1)

And isn’t it wrong, to defile that precious ointment, and to rob or steal away that jewel more precious than great riches? There is a strange connection between these. “Do not go about spreading slander among your people.  Do not do anything that endangers your neighbor’s life” it is a kind of murder, because it kills that which is as precious as life to an innocent heart. “The words of a tale bearer are as wounds, and they go down to the innermost parts of the belly,” (Proverbs 18:8 and 26:22).  They strike a wound to any man’s heart, that can hardly be cured, and there is nothing that is such a seed of contention and strife among brethren as this. It is the oil to feed the flame of alienation.  Take away a tale-bearer, and strife will cease, (Proverbs 26:20).

There are some who seem to have no other occupation than to whisper into the ears of brethren, and suggest evil apprehensions of them, they will separate best friends, as we see it in daily experience,  (Proverbs 16:28). “Revilers” are among these who are excluded out of the kingdom of God, (1st Corinthians 6:10).  And therefore, as the Holy Spirit gives general precepts for the profitable and edifying improvement of the tongue, that so it may indeed be the glory of a man, (which truly is no small point of religion, as James expresses, in Chapter 3:2 “If anyone doesn’t stumble in word, the same is a perfect man,”) so that same spirit gives us particular directions about this, “ Do not speak evil one of another, brethren.  He who speaks evil of his brother, and judges his brother, speaks evil of the law, and judges the law,” (James 4:11) because he puts himself in the place of the Lawgiver, and his own judgment and desire in place of the law, and so he judges the law.

And therefore the Apostle Peter makes a wise and significant connection,”Therefore, rid yourselves of all malice and all deceit, hypocrisy, envy, and slander of every kind.” (1st Peter 2:1) Truly, evil speaking of our brethren, though it may be true, yet it proceeds out of the abundance of these, in the heart, of deceit, hypocrisy, and envy.  While we catch at a name of piety from censuring others, and build our own reputation upon the ruins of another’s good name, hypocrisy and envy are too predominant.

If we would indeed grow in grace by the word, and taste more how gracious the Lord is, we must lay these aside, and become as little children, without deceit, and without bitterness.  Many account it excuse enough, that they did not invent evil tales, or were not the first tellers of them; but the Scripture joins both together.

The man that “shall abide in his tabernacle” must neither vent nor invent them, neither cast them down nor take them up, “whose tongue utters no slander, who does no wrong to a neighbor, and casts no slur on others;” (Psalm 15:3) or neither receives nor endures it, as in the margin.  He neither gives it nor receives he it, doesn’t have a tongue to speak of others’ faults, nor an ear to hear them.  Indeed he has a tongue to confess his own, and an ear open to hear another confess his faults, according to that precept, “Confess your faults one to another.”

We are forbidden to have much society or fellowship with tale-bearers; and it is added, “He who goes about as a tale-bearer reveals secrets; therefore don’t keep company with him who opens wide his lips.” (Proverbs 20:19) as indeed commonly those who reproach the absent, flatter the present; a backbiter is a face-flatterer.  And therefore we should not only not meddle with them, but drive them away as enemies to human society. Charity would in such a case protect itself, if I may so say, by “an angry countenance,” an appearance of anger and real dislike. “As the north wind drives away rain,” so that hearers would drive away a “backbiting tongue,” (Proverbs 25:23)  If we would discredit it, backbiters will be discouraged to open their pack of news and reports: and indeed the receiving readily of evil reports of brethren, is a partaking in the unfruitful works of darkness, which we should rather reprove, (Ephesians 5:11).  To join with the teller is to complete the evil report; for if there were no receiver there would be no teller, no tale-bearer.

 


Modernized by this site in places.

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Christian Love 12: Love is Unselfish

By Hugh Binning

Love…doesn’t seek its own way,…—1st Corinthians 13:5

Self denial and true love are inseparable.  Self love makes a monopoly of things for its own interest, and this is most opposite to Christian affection and communion, which puts all in one bank.  If every one of the members should seek its own things, and not the good of the whole body, what a miserable malady this would cause in the body?  We are called into one body in Christ, and therefore we shouldn’t look only to our own things, but all  be looking also to the welfare of others, —Philippians 2:4.  There is a common interest of saints, mutual edification in faith and love, which charity will prefer to its own private interest.  Being addicted to our own thinking and understanding, and too much self-confident pride and self pleasing is the grand enemy of that place to which we are called into one body.  Since one Spirit teaches and gives life to all the members, what a monstrosity is it for one member to seek its own things, and look to its own private interest only, as if it were a distinct body!

 


Excerpt from The Works of the Rev. Hugh Binning, Kindle edition, Loc. 16482 [Language modernized in some places by this site.]


Christian Love 11: Love Does Nothing Inappropriate
Excerpts of Mercy

Christian Love 11: Love Does Nothing Inappropriate

By Hugh Binning

1st Corinthians 13  5 —doesn’t behave itself inappropriately,..

Then Love does nothing unseemly, “doesn’t behave itself inappropriately,” 1st Cor. 13.5. Vanity and swelling of mind will certainly breakout into some inappropriate carrying of one’s self, such as vain and conceited estimation, and similar things, but love keeps a sweetness and tastefulness in all its ways, so as not to provoke and irritate others, not to expose itself to contempt and mockery.  Or it may be said, it is not disagreeable, It doesn’t account itself disgraced and abused, to associate and be friendly with men in a low state.  It can with its Master bow down to wash the disciple’s feet, and not think it unseemly.  Whatever it submits to in doing or suffering, it is not ashamed of it, as that it were not suitable or becoming.

 

 

 

 


[Language modernized by this site in places.]


 

 

 

 

Christian Love 9: Love is Patient and Kind

By Hugh Binning

Speaking of Paul and 1st Corinthians 13:

Now he shows the sweet properties of it [Christian love], and good effects of it, how universal an influence it has on all things, but especially how necessary it is to keep the unity of the church.

Charity[Christian love] “is kind” and “suffers long with”, it is able to remain calm and keep itself from retaliating or expressing resentment and generous and gracious toward those against them and or less powerful. And there is indeed no haughtiness of mind but is patient and long suffering.  It is a great weakness and lack of courage and determination to be angry.  Such a spirit does not control itself, it is in bondage to it own lust, but “he who rules his own spirit is greater that he who takes a city.”  Now, it is much of this affection of love that overrules passion.  There is a greatness and height in it, to love those who do not well deserve it from us, to be kind to the unfaithful, not to be easily provoked, and not soon offended and or displeased by others.  A fool’s wrath is presently known.  It is a folly and weakness of spirit, which love, much love cures and amends.  It suffers much unkindness, and long suffers it, and yet can be kind.

 


Excerpt from The Works of the Rev. Hugh Binning, Kindle Edition, Loc. 16455, [Some language modernized]


Christian Love 10: Love Is Not Envious or Proud

Christian Love 8 : Greatness of Love

Excepts of Mercy

 

Christian Love: T.O.C.

By Hugh Binning

(1627–1653)

A Unique Writer

Christian Love 1: God is Love

Christian Love 2: Love One Another

Christian Love 3: A Bundle of Graces

Christian Love 4: Self-Love the Enemy of Christian Love

Christian Love 5: He Makes Peace

Christian Love 6: His Love Fulfills

Christian Love 7: The End of the Law

Christian Love 8: Greatness of Love

Christian Love 9: Love is Patient and Kind

Christian Love 10: Love Is Not Envious or Proud

Christian Love 11: Love Does Nothing Inappropriate

Christian Love 12: Love is Unselfish

Christian Love 13: Love is Not Easily Provoked

Christian Love 14: Love Thinks No Evil,…but Rejoices in the Truth

Christian Love 15: Love Bears and Believes All Things

Christian Love 16: Love Never Fails

Christian Love 17: If God so Loved Us

Christian Love 18: His Love and Our Love?

Christian Love 19: Forgiving and Being Forgiven

Christian Love 20: Right View of Self Leads to Graciousness with Others

Christian Love 21: Knowing Our Common Weakness

Christian Love 22: No Place for Comparisons