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Our Duty to Love My Neighbour as Myself

Our Duty to Love My Neighbour as Myself

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Published by GLENN DALE PEASE
BY REV. HARVEY GOODWIN, M.A.,


S. MATTHEW vii. 12.

Therefore all things whatsoever ye would that men should
do to you, do ye even so to them : for this is the law
and the prophets.
BY REV. HARVEY GOODWIN, M.A.,


S. MATTHEW vii. 12.

Therefore all things whatsoever ye would that men should
do to you, do ye even so to them : for this is the law
and the prophets.

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Published by: GLENN DALE PEASE on Jul 03, 2014
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OUR DUTY TO LOVE MY EIGHBOUR AS MYSELFBY REV. HARVEY GOODWI, M.A., S. MATTHEW vii. 12. Therefore all things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them : for this is the law and the prophets. I the foregoing sermons, I have discussed, and endeavoured to enforce separately, the various heads of duty, which are brought together in the answer to the first of the two questions founded by the Catechism upon the Ten Commandments, What is your duty towards God ? It seems to me that I shall be following a very useful and practical line of teaching, if I now proceed to bring before you in order the heads of the answer to the second question founded upon the same Com mandments, namely, What is your duty towards your neighbour? The former series of sermons was an expansion of the first and great command ment, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with TO LOVE MY EIGHBOUR AS MYSELF. 197 all thy heart and mind and soul and strength $ the series which I now commence would seem to be an almost necessary supplement, being the ex pansion of that second commandment, which our blessed Lord declared to be like unto the first Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. And allow me here to remind you of what I have already remarked, namely, that the plain practical teaching, which it is desirable to give in
 
church, is much advantaged by being occasionally thrown into the form of a connected series of sermons, stretching over some considerable portion of time. For the connexion of one part of the series with another tends much to strengthen the impression of the whole ; and each has some effect in reviving the recollection of its predecessors ; and the danger of a sermon being listened to for the half-hour during which it lasts, and then being altogether forgotten, is certainly diminished, though perhaps not altogether done away with. Moreover the treatment of one subject in a series of sermons or lectures, makes it possible to give a more complete and well-balanced view of it, than can well be given in detached discourses ; and if the excitement caused by constantly hearing some new thing be to a certain extent checked, this is a result not to be deprecated ; on the other hand, it helps to counteract that tendency, which 198 SERMO XIII. is always to be feared, of thinking too much of the mere pleasure of listening to sermons, and of forgetting to "take heed how we hear." I proceed then to make some remarks to you upon the first head of duty towards our neigh bour, which the summary in the Church Catechism brings before us. It tells us, that our duty towards our neighbour is to love him as ourselves, and to do to all men as we would that they should do to us ; and I have chosen for a text some words of our Lord, with which you must all be familiar, of which the words in the Church Catechism are almost the echo ; " therefore," says our Lord, " all things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them : for this is the law
 
and the prophets." These being our Lord s own words, and being clearly the expression of the same truth as that which the child is taught to put at the head of its duty towards its neighbour, there can be no question about proving the reality of the duty ; there can be no question in any one s mind, that the Church Catechism bases the catalogue of particulars upon the true and only foundation : nevertheless there are several thoughts suggested to us by the form of our Lord s speech in the text, and by the peculiar test of brotherly love which is there given ; and these will be found worthy of our attention. TO LOVE MY EIGHBOUR AS MYSELF. 199 In the first place I would observe, that the word with which the text begins " therefore" would seem to give it a connexion with what pre cedes, and that it will be instructive to inquire the meaning of this connexion. ow if you look at the context, you will find that at the 7th verse of the chapter the Lord commenced a new division of His sermon, of which division the text is the conclusion. He is speaking of prayer ; He says, u Ask, and it shall be given you 5 seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you;" and then He goes on to enforce the duty of prayer by reference to our own conduct towards our children, drawing the very plain conclusion, that if we with all our infirmities still answer our chil dren s prayers, much more will our heavenly Father give good things to those who ask Him : up to this point all is clear and easy, but then follow apparently somewhat abruptly the words of the text, " Therefore all things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them ; for this is the law and the prophets."

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