Christian Love 24: Loving Our Brothers and Sisters

by Hugh Binning

 

Consider to who this affection should be extended.  More generally to all men, as fellow like creations of God,  but particularly and especially to all who are born of God, as fellow Christians. “And this commandment we have from him, that he who loves God love his brother also. Who ever believes that Jesus is the Christ is born of God, and every one who loves him who begat, loves him also that is begotten of him,” (1st John 4:21-5:1) “As we have opportunity, let us do good to all men, especially to them who are of the household of faith,” (Galatians 6:10)

“O my soul, you have said to the Lord, You are my Lord, my goodness does not extend to you: but to the saints that are in the earth, and to the excellent in whom is all my delight,” (Psalm 16:2-3). This consideration the Holy Spirit has given to make us maintain love and unity.

Love towards these family members runs in a purer channel—“You have purified your souls in obeying the truth through the Spirit to the unfeigned love of the brethren, see that you love one another with a pure heart fervently, being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which lives and abides forever,” (1st Peter 1:22-23)

We are begotten of one Father, and that by a divine birth, we have such a high descent and royal generation! There are so many other bonds of unity between us, it is absurd that this one more should not join all. “One Lord, one faith, one baptism, one body, one spirit, called to one hope, one God and Father of all,” (Ephesians 4:2-6)  All these being one, it is strange if we are not one in love. If this family relationship does bring a strong and warm affection, we are worse than infidels, as the apostle speaks,  “If a man care not for his own house, his worldly interests, he is worse than an unbeliever,” (1st Timothy 5:8) for he has a natural affection.

Certainly then this more excellent nature, a divine nature we are partakers of, cannot be lacking of affection suitable to its nature. Christianity is a fraternity, a brotherhood, that should overpower all relations, bring down him of high degree, and exalt him of low degree; it should level all ranks, in this one respect, to the rule of charity and love.

 

 


This common domain writing has been modernized in places by this site. Italics added by this site.

R.C. Chapman’s S.O.S. 2:2

By R.C. Chapman

 

“As the lily among thorns, so is my love among the daughters.” Song of Solomon 2:2

 

You, Lord Jesus! Dwell in us,  You who esteem your church honorable and lovely.  Your eyes can search all the chambers of the soul; yet not all the blackness of the flesh can hide from Your gracious view of beauty in your people: only our iniquity is covered (by Your robe it is hid!) and never will You deny Your bride her title:

“the lily among thorns.”

It is Your own image we bear! For You Yourself have worked it in us.  You purify our hearts our by faith, to have unfeigned love for Yourself, and for the brethren.

And, O, my soul!  For trying your own nature let these by your central questions:  Do you beleive Him? Do you love Him?  These two jewels, faith an love, how precious in the eyes of Jesus!

Faith exalt Him, reveiving Him, and resting in Him as a Savior: to be such is His glory; Love delights in Him as the soul’s portion, friend, and husband.  O my Lord! Sweet is our mutual love! Yours to me is infinite, eternal, vast with many elements: mine to You, is Your own working, hindered though is may be through the flesh, is still sweet to You.

In none but Your own is love of You:  they are Your temple, Your garden; and while all the earth otherwise lies waste, Your church has Your blessing.  Your lily grows up among thorns.  Am I reviled and hated? O let me rejoice if being Christ’s lily I suffer!

Isn’t it your honor, O my soul, to be like Him who humbled Himself and dwelt in humiliation among us?  Should and will not I also bear my cross.  Great is the gain from my sufferings! For You, Lord Jesus, help me, and whisper in my ear Your love; You fill me with evidences of Your favor and of Your delight in me.

I look into Your heart, O my Lord, which opens to me; I see it full of love, full of compassion, towards me!  I know that every frown, each angry and scornful word of the wicked, You take to heart, saying to the ungodly, Why do you persecute me?

O my Lord, purge me; turn Your had upon me, I beg You! Let me, while living here be as Your lily.  By grace teach me to purify myself from all dirtiness of flesh and spirit, and to walk in white with You; So that Your image may be seen in me; and what though the  world hate and revile, all is well if You command and bless!

 

 

 


This common domain work’s language updated in places by this site.

Life of Faith 14: Christ Justifies and Sanctifies Us

By Richard Sibbes

 

The life of faith in sanctification, springs from these grounds:

Faith lays hold on Christ, as God offers him.  How is this?  See 1st Corinthians 1:30—”Because of him, you are in Christ Jesus, who was made to us wisdom from God, and righteousness and sanctification, and redemption.”  God gives Christ, not only for justification, but also for sanctification: and therefore faith must apprehend him.

Faith receives him as whole Christ in all his offices; not as a priest to save only, but as a king to rule; as a wife receives her husband, to be ruled and governed by him.

Again, Christ came not only to take away the guilt of sin, but the dominion of sin also.  He came as John speaks, to destroy the whole work of the devil; as it is said in Ephesians 5:25-27—” …as Christ also loved the assembly, and gave himself up for it; that he might sanctify it, having cleansed it by the washing of water with the word, that he might present the assembly to himself gloriously, not having spot or wrinkle or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without defect.” Christ purges his church not only from the guilt of sin, but also from the meddling and polluting of itself in the world with filthy things.  So in Romans 8:3, the apostle shows, that “God did, sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and for sin, he condemned sin in the flesh;  that the ordinance of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.” He came as well by water as by the blood.  Therefore faith puts him on, not only by justification, but also in sanctification.  

 

 

 

 


This common domain work’s language has been modernized in places by this site.

Christian Love 23: Loving is not a Grievous Burden

by Hugh Binning

When a Christian looks within his own heart, he finds an inclination and desire to have the love of others, even though his conscience witness to him he doesn’t deserve it.  He finds and heartily approves of that good and righteous command of God, that others should love him.  Now he may persuade himself, it is so sweet and pleasant to me to be loved by others even though I am conscious that I’ve wronged them? It has such a beauty in my eyes, while I am the object of it? Why then should it be a hard and grievous burden to me to love others, though they have wronged me, and deserve it no more than I did?

Why doesn’t it have the same amiable aspect, when my brother is the object of it?  Certainly there’s no other reason but, I am yet carnal, and do not have that fundamental law of nature yet written again upon my heart, “What you would have others do to you, do it to them,” —Matthew 7:12.  If I am convinced there is an equity and beauty in that command, which charges others to love me, forgive me, and forbear me, and restore me in meekness, why should it be a grievous command that I should pay that debt of love and tenderness to others?  1st John 5:3—”For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments, and his commandments are not grievous.”

 

 


This common domain work’s language has been modernized in places by this site.

Christian Love 18: His Love and Our Love?

That Jesus Christ, the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth, who was the Father’s delight, yet, not withstanding, could rejoice in the habitable places of the earth, and so love poor, bad and miserable men, yet enemies, that he gave himself for them, that God so loved that he gave his Son, and Christ so loved that he gave himself a sacrifice for sin, both for me and others, O! who should not or will not be compelled, in beholding this mirror of incomparable and spotless love to love others?

1st John 4:9-11


“In this was manifested the love of God towards us, because God sent his only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through him.  Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins.  Beloved, if God so loved us, we ought also to love one another.”  


 

Ephesians  5:2


“And walk in love, as Christ also has loved us, and has given himself for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweet smelling savor,”


 

especially when he seems to require no other thing, and imposes no more grievous command upon us for recompense of all his labor of love.

John 8:34-35


“A new commandment I give you, That you love one another, as I have loved you, that you also love one another.  By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you have love one to another.”


If all that was in me did not alienate his love from me, how should any thing in others estrange our love to them? If God be so kind to his enemies, and Christ so loving that he gives his life for his enemies to make them friends, what should we do our enemies, what to our friends? This one example may make all created love to blush and be ashamed.  How narrow, how limited, how selfish is it?

 

 

 


This common domain work modernized in few places by this site.

R.C. Chapman’s S.O.S. 1:13

“A bundle of myrrh is my well-beloved unto me: He shall lie all night betwixt my breast.” —Song of Solomon 1:13

My Soul! Is the night season wearisome! Art thou like a sick man, full of tossings to and fro, because of sin that dwelleth in thee, and because of longing to behold thy Lord face to face?

Thou art not of the night nor of darkness, but of the children of light and of the day; and made meet to be partaker of their inheritance. Be content awhile, my soul—let thy longing be tempered with patience—remember that wert thou this moment with Jesus thou wouldest still be longing for His glorious appearing and the gathering of the Church, His brethren and thine unto Him! The darkness of guilt would indeed be utterly removed from thee didst thou quit thou house of clay; but the mystery of God would not be finished—thou wouldest still be looking for the manifestation of the sons of God, their appearing with the Lord in glory.

He knoweth the thoughts of His heart towards thee, and means thee nothing but kindness—the kindness of eternal love and wisdom infinite! Trust Him, then—fight the good fight of faith, and count not thy life dear to thee, if only Thou mayest finish thy course with joy—be jealous of thy Lord’s good name—grieve not His Spirit—keep thy heart and conscience clean and pure by the blood of sprinkling, and as thou dost daily listen to the voice of thy beloved Lord, and do His will, He will surely make thy heart glad with His words.

He will abide in thee and cause thee to abide in His love; if He prove thee with manifold temptations for a season, as thou needest, He will cause thee to rejoice and glory in infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon thee. Nor shall thy joy be carnal, of thy boasting presumptuous! For thy shout of triumph shall proceed from a humble, contrite spirit, and the steadfastness of faith.  Thou shalt worship within the vail with Jesus, thy Forerunner and Royal High Priest; and, holding the balances of faith, shalt call afflictions light, because thou dost weigh them against things eternal and unseen: so shall thou cheer thy heart and beguile the night watches, thy Lord giving thee songs in the darkness.

And these things thou knowest, not by hearing of the ear alone; thou hast tasted and handled them; but count not thyself to have already attained anything, nor esteem thyself already perfect—it shall be thy wisdom and perfection, if forgetting the things that are behind, thou reach after things before thee, and press toward the mark for the prize; that thou mayest know thy Lord Jesus, whose love passeth knowledge and whose riches are unsearchable.

 

 

 

R.C. Chapman’s S.O.S. 1:12

By R.C. Chapman

“While the King sitteth at His table, my spikenard sendeth forth the smell thereof.” —Song of Solomon 1:12

Happy Spirits! Ye who banquet above with Jesus, we give you joy!  Your joy is ours, and our sweet company when ye quit our company, departing to be with Christ; we also see our Lord’s chariot, sent to bear us home, as it were at our very door!  “Tis but an hour or two of waiting; if He come not to receive us to Himself He will compose our body of humiliation to sleep; and pleasant our bed in the grave, while our spirits mount aloft, to join the Lamb and ransomed above.

Thou, Lord, hast proved me by taking to thyself many a lover and friend; but Thou preparest for me a table in the wilderness, Thou anointest me head with oil, my cup runneth over.  In the presence of mine enemies, my Lord will have me sit down with Him at His table.  Many are they which rise up against me; they would cut me off from meeting with my Lord: in His presence, and at His table, I am more than conqueror.

While by the power of my Lord I keep me there, that evil one toucheth me not.  My foolishness and my guiltiness are as a quiver full of sharp arrows in the hand of mine enemy.  Pride, unbelief, ignorance, are his sword and spear: my faith cries out, “The blood of Jesus Christ cleanseth me from all sin” —1st John 1:7, and the victory is mine.  I deny not my debt, but flee to Thee—to Thee, my Lord and Surety! And behold the bond of the Law, the handwriting that was against me, nailed to the cross.  In Thee my great strength lies; and, as I hear Thy voice of invitation, of entreaty, Thy voice of power and love, the cords of mine enemies are as green withes—an host flees before me.

—before the presence of my Lord!  My apparel, I see, is meet for banqueting house and table—the robe of righteousness; the garments of salvation!  I am melted and self-abased as I enter and sit down.  Thou, Lord, dost gird Thyself and serve me! Thy flesh is meat indeed, Thy blood is drink indeed; and Thou fillest my soul with joy unspeakable and full of glory! Access to Thee, my Lord, emboldens me; for Thou hast all to give, and no heart to withhold aught that is good—and Thou art well pleased with my confidence.  Thou holdest forth the golden scepter, and sayest, What is Thy request? I answer, “Lord, that I may behold Thy beauty, sit at Thy feet, and banquet with Thee.”  So shall my lowly, contrite spirit be spikenard, fragrant and precious to my Lord.

 

Christian Love 15: Love Bears and Believes All Things

By Hugh Binning

Love “bears all things.” By nature we are undaunted heifers, cannot bear anything patiently.  But love is accustomed to the yoke, —to the yoke of reproaches and injuries from others, to a burden of other men’s infirmities and failings.  We would all be borne upon others’ shoulders, but we cannot put our own shoulders under other men’s burden, according to that royal law of Christ, Romans 15:1—“We that are strong ought to bear the infirmities of the weak, and not to please ourselves” and Galatians 6:2—“ Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.”  That is the law of love, without question.

Love “believes all things.” Our nature is malignant and wicked, and therefore most suspicious and jealous, and apt to take all in the worst way. But love has much openness, honesty and humanity in it, and can believe well of every man, and believe all things as far as truth will permit.  It knows that grace can be beside man’s sins.  It knows that itself is subject to similar infirmities.  Therefore it is not a rigid and censorious judger; it allows as much latitude to others as it would desire of others.

It is true it is not blind and ignorant.  It is judicious, and has eyes that can discern between colors. Credit omnia credenda, sperat omnia speranda.-“It believes all things that are believable, and hopes all things that are hopeful.” If love doesn’t have sufficient evidences, yet she believes if there be some probabilities to the contrary, as well as for it.  The weight of love inclines to the better part, and so casts the balance of hope and persuasion; yet being sometimes deceived, she has reason to be watchful and wise, for “the simple believe every word.”  If love cannot have ground of believing any good, yet it hopes still. Qui non est hodie, cras magis aptus erit, says love, and therefore it is patient and gentle, waiting on all, if perhaps God may “give them repentance to the acknowledging of the truth,”—2nd Timothy 2:25. 

Love would account it both atheism and blasphemy, to say such a man cannot, will not find mercy.  But to pronounce of such as have often been accepted in the conscience of all, and sealed into many hearts, that they will never find mercy, that they have no grace, because of some failings in practice and differences from us, it wasn’t pronounced in sobriety but madness.  It is certainly love and indulgence to ourselves, that make us aggravate other men’s faults to such a height.   Self love looks on other men’s failings through a multiplying or magnifying glass, but she put her own faults behind her back. Non videtquod in mantica qua a tergo est. Therefore she can suffer much in herself but nothing in others, and certainly much self forbearance and indulgence can spare little for others.

But love is just contrary. She is most rigid on her own self, will her not pardon herself easily, knows no revenge but what is spoken of in 2nd Corinthians 7:11, self revenge, and has no indignation but against herself.  Thus she can spare much openness, honesty, and forbearance for others, and has little or nothing of indignation left behind to consume on others.

 


This common domain work modernized in few places by this site.

R.C. Chapman’s S.O.S. 1:11

By R.C. Chapman

“We will make Thee borders of gold with studs of silver.” Song of Solomon 1:11

Thou, Lord art our portion, and we are Thine! Thou art a crown of glory and a diadem of beauty unto us; and we, in turn, are these to Thee.  Lord, not to us, not unto us, but to Thy name, give glory.  What Thou art to us (and Thou art our all), that Thou madest Thyself: for Thou gavest Thyself for us, and also to us: it was Thy own will to become our Brother and our slain Lamb.  But did we of our own will yield ourselves to Thee? Ah, no!  Thy grace we hated; Thy very cross and blood, which is our life, was an offence to us.

We hated the holy law of God, and yet more spitefully did we reject the gospel! By Thy word the dead were raised and quickened—our enmity was slain by the blood of sprinkling—and by wisdom to win souls, we, Thine enemies, we reconciled.  Now, therefore, our shout of joy is: Grace! Grace! And all its glory, be ascribed to Thee, our sure Foundation, Head of the Corner!  Thou art the Son of God, the giver, the object and the pattern of faith, working in us by the Spirit, both to will and to do Thy good pleasure.

Behold, then, our heart’s desire! Are we made alive by Thee, by the blood of Thy cross? Are we crucified with Thee and risen with Thee? We would live to Thee:  we would be the girdle which Thou causest to cleave to Thee for glory and for beauty—Thy jewels by Thine own hand shaped and polished!  O let our eye be single—let it ever suffice us for honor, that we serve the Lord Christ! In the fires we will glorify Thee, and take pleasure in necessities, distresses, for Thy sake; saying, in the midst of sorrow and tears, that every bitter cup is sweet, since Thou in love dost mix it, and in patient endurance we are conformed to Thine image.

If Thou sittest by the furnace, though no eye but Thine be upon us, we are content. O Thou Brother born for adversity! Who canst succor the tempted, who never forsakes Thy Church! At Thy feet we cast ourselves, with our burdens.  There with our ignorance we sit and wait for the grace of Thy lips, and would be sweetly nothing that we may delight in Thee, and admire and exalt Thee, Lord, alone! So shall we, Thy Spirit’s workmanship, be ever wearing the garment of humility; our oneness with Thee its golden brother; the life—giving death its studs of silver; and by thy glory and ornament of grace, even as Thou art our diadem of beauty and crown of glory.

Lord, our desire is before Thee—our aim is a grateful offering! Nor vow nor covenant can we make, for all our strength is gone; but our hungering and thirsting are Thy good work; do Thou, who gavest the desire, Thyself fulfill it.