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by Hugh Binning
In Christ there is neither Jew nor Gentile. There all differences of tongues and nations are drowned in this interest of Christ,. (Colossians 3:11) “You have hid those things from the wise and prudent, and revealed them to babes,”. (Luke 10:21) “God has chosen the weak and foolish to confound the mighty and wise,”. (1st Corinthians 1:27) See all these outward privileges buried in the depths and riches of God’s grace and mercy. Aren’t we all called to one high calling? Our common station is to war under Christ’s banner against sin and Satan. Why then do we leave our station, forget our callings, and neglect that employment which concerns us all, and fall at odds with our fellow-soldiers, and bite and devour one another? This gives advantage to our common enemies doesn’t it? While we consume the edge of our zeal and strength of our spirits on one another, they are blunted and weakened towards our deadly enemies.
If our brother seem to us under the covering of many faults, failings, and obstinacy in his errors, and the like, if we can see only spots on his outside, while we judge him by some outward appearance, then, I say, we ought to view him again under another notion and relation, as he stands in Christ’s account, as he is radically and virtually of that seed, which has more real worth in it than all worldly privileges and dignities. View him as he will be, when mortality will be put away. Learn to strip him of all infirmities in your thinking, and imagine him to be clothed with immortality, and glory, and think how you would love him then. If either you remove him of his infirmities, and consider him as wearing now the robe of Christ’s righteousness, and all glorious within, or adorned with immortality and incorruption in which he will be soon; or else, if you place on yourself such infirmities as you see in him, and consider that you aren’t any less subject to failings, and surrounded with infirmities, then you should put on, and keep on, that bond of perfection, charity.
Let’s think about the excellent nature of charity, and how it is interested in, and interwoven with all the royal and divine gifts and privileges of a Christian. All of them are not ashamed of kindred and brotherhood with charity. Isn’t the calling and life of a Christian honorable? Sure to any sensible soul it is above a monarchy; it includes an anointing both to a royal and priestly office, and carries a title to a kingdom incorruptible and undefiled. Well then, charity is the symbol and badge[or evidence] of this profession,.(John 13:35) “By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”
This common domain work’s language modernized in places by this site.
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.
By Paul Myers
Recently, I believe, the Lord has been showing me something more clearly. The Lord, does desire and expect to be our first love. When you think about it rationally, how could he be anything but our first love. He gave us life. He provides generously for us. He is our Hero, inflicting pain on Himself, enabling us to have a relationship with Him. He is the friend who sticks closer than a brother. Our own sin, the world full of sin and under the enemy’s power to a great degree, and the Enemy himself are opposed to this first love for God.
I believe the greatest obstacle to people making God their refuge, strength, and first love is that we have too high a regard for humanity. I’m not meaning by this we care too much for humanity’s well being. What I mean is we have too much esteem for humanity, or people who please us. We have too great an ambition to be seen by others as meeting and exceeding certain standards, or well-pleasing in their eyes. We are putting too much emphasis or value on the human judgment of others, whether they are this or that thing that pleases or displeases us. This over emphasis, leads to superiority and inferiority complexes. This leads to harsh, judgmental, and divisive ways of thinking, communicating and behaving. This divides, and causes much animosity, hatred, even wars and death. This is the pride in man, pride of man. We are the “God” of our world, passing judgments and setting our own standards for right and wrong.
Humanism has greatly infected Christianity as a whole, I believe, Christianity as including all who claim Christ. This pride of and in man, has greatly harmed and hindered Christian love and unity. I hope you understand what I am saying. I want to write in a way that brings humanity down to its proper place, of lowness and humility, before and under God. I realize this may seem negative and offensive to many, but this is best for all who honestly seek God, to know humanity’s true state and standing. I suppose this is part of the offence of the cross, that mankind is at such a low place as far as any good standing that it is required that Jesus live and die in our place, living a life of goodness and righteousness we cannot. Some, I believe rise up in defense of mankind to a degree, becoming defensive and perturbed when what we are apart from Christ is spoken of truthfully. To me it is not a negative thing, but hopeful, and awe-inspiring of the mercy and love of God, to think of how far we fall short, yet His mercy and love has reached and still reaches down to us. I believe the more we move off our selves being the focal point of everything, and rather Him being so, we will see much more graciousness, kindness and mercy to one another.