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The Law of the Love of God

The Law of the Love of God

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Published by glennpease
ON THECOMMANDMENTS OF THE FIRST TABLE OF THE DECALOGUE.

BY GEORGE MOBERLY, D.C.L.,
ON THECOMMANDMENTS OF THE FIRST TABLE OF THE DECALOGUE.

BY GEORGE MOBERLY, D.C.L.,

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Published by: glennpease on Oct 18, 2013
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THE LAW OF THE LOVE OF GODO THECOMMADMETS OF THE FIRST TABLEOF THE DECALOGUE.BY GEORGE MOBERLY, D.C.L.,COTETS.PAGEITRODUCTIOK ..... 1THE LAW OP PIETY . . .12THE LAW OF SPIRITUAL FAITH I THE USEE . 36THE LAW OF REVERECE OF THE AME OF GOD . 98THE LAW OP OBEDIECE I ORDIACES . . 161ITRODUCTIO.O THE FIRST TABLE OF THE DECALOGUE.When the lawyer or scribe, according to thenarrative of St. Matthew and St. Mark, askedour Lord, " Master, which is the great Com-mandment of the Law ?" — " Which is the firstCommandment of all ?" it is probable that hemeant to entrap Him into expressing a prefer-ence of some one Commandment of the Lawover the others. The Pharisees themselves
 
made such distinctions among the various Com-mandments, dividing them into the « weighty"and the " light," and it may, probably, havebeen with an intention of exposing the Lord toodium, or, possibly, of gaining His testimonyin favour of some view of his own, or, any how,with a view to the design of " catching Him inHis talk," set on foot by the Sanhodrim, andB2 THE FIRST TABLE.pursued by the Pharisees, Scribes, and Saddu-cees, one after the other, that the lawyer,'^ tempting Him," put this question to Him.There can also be no doubt, that when theLord answered the tempting Scribe by saying^^ Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with allthy heart, and with all thy soul, and with allthy mind : this is the first and great Command-ment : and the second is like unto it : — Thoushalt love thy neighbour as thyself: on thesetwo Commandments hang all the Law and theProphets:" He designed to frustrate his evilpurpose, by summing up all the precepts of theLaw into two ; and, speaking with equal forceof the necessity of obeying both, to cut off allidea of such preference or distinction, in respectof the gravity or sanction of the various Laws,as the Scribe had in mind.It is also reasonable to conclude, that whenthe Lord shaped His answer to the Scribe inthe particular form recorded by St. Matthewand St. Mark, He meant to make especialreference to the Decalogue, or Ten Command-
 
ments, written upon two Tables, offering hereina short summary of the Decalogue, as theDecalogue itself is a summary of the preceptsof the Law. '^For to these two Command-THE LAW OF THE LOVE OF GOD. 3ments," says an ancient writer, " belongs thewhole Decalogue : the Commandments of thefirst table to the love of God — ^those of thesecond to the love of our neighbour."*This may be argued, partly from the mannerof the Lord's answer, the two-fold form of which readily suggests the probable referenceto the two tables of the Law, and much morestrongly, from the striking commentary sup-plied to the 39th verse, by three remarkablepassages of the Epistles,t of which the followingverses from the Epistle to the Komans mayserve as a specimen : — ^^ He that loveth anotherhath fulfilled the law. For this : -thou shaltnot commit adultery ; thou shalt not kill ; thoushalt not steal ; thou shalt not bear false wit-ness ; thou shalt not covet ; and if there beany other Commandment, it is briefly compre-hended in this saying, namely — thou shalt love* Eabanus ap. Gatenam Auream ; — v. also on the wholesubject, S. Augustin ad Inquis. Januarii, lib. ii. ep. 55 (2, 135,D, etc).Dicendum, quod ilia duo prsecepta sunt prima et com-munia prsecepta legis naturse, qusB sunt per se nota rationihumanee vel per naturam, vel per fidem : et ideo omnia prse-cepta decalogi ad ilia duo referuntur, sicut conclusiones adprincipia communia. — Thom. Aquin. Qitast. c. art.iii. primaesecundse.

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