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On Brotherly Reproof

On Brotherly Reproof

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LEviticus XIX, 17*

Thou shaft not hate thy brother in thine heart i thm
shah in any wise rebuke thy neighbour,^ and not suffer^
sin upon him.

LEviticus XIX, 17*

Thou shaft not hate thy brother in thine heart i thm
shah in any wise rebuke thy neighbour,^ and not suffer^
sin upon him.

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Published by: GLENN DALE PEASE on Sep 14, 2013
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On brotherly Reproof 
REV. DAVID TAPPA, d. d.LEviticus XIX, 17*Thou shaft not hate thy brother in thine heart i thmshah in any wise rebuke thy neighbour,^ and not suffer^sin upon him.IT is a subject of just and general complaint^ thathonest and faithful friendship in our mutual communi-cations and dealings is become very unfashionable ;and a style of flattery and dissimulation has crept intoour ordinary social intercourse %. insomuch that the goodold practice of generously pointing out, and endeavour,ing to rectify, the errors and faults of our neighbour, i$in a great measure lost, even among Ck-istian profes-sors.As this instance of modern degeneracy is both sinfuland pernicious, it is the duty of religious instructers tobear an open testimony against it, and to enforce thistestimony by their private and public example.The words just recited are excellently adapted tosuch a design, as they earnestly inculcate the duty of re-proving our offending brethren. " Thou shalt not hatethy brother in thine heart ; thou shalt in any wise re-buke thy neighbour, and not suffer sin upon him,'*Several things in this precept deserve our particu-lar notice.
First, We are commanded rather to reprove ourneighbour openly, than to cherish secret hatred againstSee. n.l O BROTHERLY REPROOP? 21him for any injury or offence, which he has offered to us.We are forbidden to *' hate him in our hearts," that is, toconceive secret disaffection to him, and conceal resentful,vindictive passions under the veil of silence, or apparentfriendship, till we have a full opportunity of retaliating.But we must rather giv^ vent to our honest displeasureat the offence, by dealing openly and faithfully with theoffender^ In this xvay we must endeavour to convincehim of his fault, and thus extinguish our own resent-ment. We must rebuke him to his face, for any ila-grant evil, in opposition both to divulging liis transgres-sion to others, like mean and cruel talebearers (which isstrictly prohibited in the preceding verse ; ) and to base-ly flattering, encouraging, or justifying hini ir> his sin.Secondly. We are thus to reuke him, in a spirit of love.For the duty of reproof being here opposed to iawai'd ha-tred of jour brother, implies of course the contrary af-fection of love, prompting our efforts to convince and re-form him, and thus secure his forgiveness, virtue, andfinal happiness. Friendly rebuke then is an essential of.fice of mutual charity, which ought both to be perform-ed and received in love. " Let the righteous smite me,"said an eminent saint, *' and- it shall be a kindness."How faithful and salutary are these wounds of a friend !Thirdly. Observe the great strictness of the com^mand ; *' Thou shalt in any wise rebuke him ;" that is,thou shalt, by no means, on no pretence, omit this friend-ly office ; which denotes, that however ready men areto frame reasons for neglecting it, none of those excuseswill by any means annul the binding force of this duty,or exculpate the omission. For observe,
Fourthly, The great guilt and mischief incurred bysuch neglects It is here construed into hatred of our broth-er, aiid suffering sin upon liim i tliat is, suffering him toa2 O BROTHERLY REPROOF, [Ser. ILbe under the guilt of a sin, from which our kind andseasonable reproof might instrumentally save him.Or the words might be rendered, " and," or "so thoushalt not bear sin for him," or on his account; that is,thou shalt not involve thyself in his guilt, as thou certain-ly wilt do, if thou dost not take this method to reformhim. If we reprove not the unfruitful works of dark^ness, we have fellowship with them, and become par*takers in their guilt.The text, thus explained, compared with similarpassages of scripture, and with those great principles of nature and Christianity, which require us to love our fel-low men, as ourselves, and prompte their best interestsby eveiy suitable method in our power, sufficientlyevinces, that mutual reproof of failings and sins in eachother is an important social duty. We are all as muchbound to perform this office to an offending brother, aswe are to awake our neighbour from sleep, when hishouse is in flames, or to admonish him of his danger andurge him to repel it, when we see him attacked by a ma-lignant disease. That modish civility or prudence,which pretends not to see, or seeing will not reprove,the faults of others, argues not a truly kind and tender,but a. selfish, unfeeling, and unchristian spirit; a spirit,which makes private interest and ease the centre of allits actions. If all mankind, from the beginning, hadbeen uniformly governed by this self-seeking spirit, so-ciety could not have subsisted. In other words, if noman had felt himself interested in the welfare of othersas well, as his own, men either could not have united

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