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AS I HAVE LOVED YOU

AS I HAVE LOVED YOU

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Published by glennpease
BY H. HORSLEY


John xiii. 34
A new commandment I give unto you That ye love one
another ; as I have loved you^ that ye also love one
another.
BY H. HORSLEY


John xiii. 34
A new commandment I give unto you That ye love one
another ; as I have loved you^ that ye also love one
another.

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Published by: glennpease on Jul 09, 2013
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AS I HAVE LOVED YOUBY H. HORSLEYJohn xiii. 34A new commandment I give unto you That ye love oneanother ; as I have loved you^ that ye also love oneanother.In that memorable night, when divine love and infernalmalice had each their perfect work, — the night whenJesus was betrayed into the hands of those who thirstedfor his blood, and the mysterious scheme of man's re-demption was brought to its accomplishment, Jesus,having finished the paschal supper, and instituted thoseholy mysteries by which the thankful remembrance of his oblation of himself is continued in the church untilhis second coming, and the believer is nourished withthe food of everlasting life, the body and blood of thecrucified Redeemer; — when all this was finished, andnothing now remained of his great and painful undertak-ing, but the last trying part of it, to be led like a sheepto the slaughter, and to make his life a sacrifice for sin, —in that trying hour, just before he retired to the gar-den, where the power of darkness was to be permittedto display on him its last and utmost effort, Jesus gaveit solemnly in charge to the eleven apostles (the twelfth,the son of perdition, was already lost ; he was gone tohasten the execution of his intended treason), — to theeleven, whose loyalty remained as yet unshaken, Jesusin thut awful hour gave it solemnly in charge, "to lov^'( 136 )mic another, as he had loved them." And because the
 
perverse wit of man is ever fertile in plausible evasionsof the plainest duties, — lest this command should beinterpreted, in after ages, as an injunction in which theapostles only were concerned, imposed upon them intheir peculiar character of the governors of the church,our great Master, to obviate any such wilful miscon-struction of his dying charge, declared it to be his plea-sure and his meaning, that the exercise of mutual lovCjin all ages, and in all nations, among men of all ranks,caUings, and conditions, should be the general badgeand distinction of his disciples. '' By this shall all menknow that ye are mj/ disciples, if ye love one another."And this injunction of loving. one another as he hadloved them, he calls a new commandment. '^' A newcommandment I give unto you, that ye love one an-other."It was, indeed, in various senses, a new command-ment. First, as the thing enjoined was too much a no-velty in the practice of mankind. The age in whichour Saviour lived on earth was an age of pleasure anddissipation. Sensual appetite, indulged to the most un-warrantable excess, had extinguished all the nobler feel-ings. This is ever its effect when it is suffered to getthe ascendant ; and it is for this reason that it said bythe apostle to war against the soul. The refinements of luxury, spread among all ranks of men, had multipliedtheir artificial wants beyond the proportion of the largestfortunes ; and thus bringing all men into the class of thenecessitous, had universally induced that churlish habitof the mind in which every feeling is considered as aweakness which terminates not in self; and those gene-rous sympathies by which every one is impelled to seek his neighbour's good, are industriously suppressed, asdisturbers of the repose of the individual, and enemiesfo his personal enjoymcjit. This is the tendency, and( 137 }
 
ilath ever been the effect of luxury, in eveiy natioi>where it hath unhappily taken root. It renders everj,^man selfish upon principle. The first symptom of thisfatal corruption is the extinction of genuine public spirit, —that is, of all real regard to the interests and goodorder of society ; in the place of which arises that baseand odious counterfeit, which, assuming the name of patriotism, thinks to cever the infamy of every vicewhich can disgrace the private life of man, by clamoursfor the public good, of which the real object all the whileis nothing more than the gratification of the ambitionand rapacity of the demagogue. The next stage of theQorruption, is a perfect indifference and insensibility, inall ranks of men, to every thing but the gratification of the moment. An idle peasantry subsist themselves bytheft and violence ; and a voluptuous nobility squander,on. base and criminal indulgencies, that superfluity of siore which should go to the defence of the country intimes of public danger, or to the relief of private dis-tress. In an age, therefore, of luxury, such as that wasin which our Saviour lived on earth, genuine philan-thropy being necessarily extinguished, what is far beyondordinary philanthropy, the religious love of our neigh-bour, rarely, if ever, will be found.or was it missing only in the manners of the world,- — but in the lessons of the divines and moralists of thatage, mutual love was a topic out of use. The Jews of those times were divided in their religious opinions be-tween the two sects of the Pharisees and the Sadducees.The Sadducees were indeed the infidels of their age :they denied the existence of any immaterial substance, — of consequence they held that the human soul ismortal; and they denied the possibility of a resurrection.Their disciples were numerous among the great and vo-luptuous, but they never had any credit with the bodyof the people. The popular religion was that of the1.9

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