It is quite as difficult today to reconcile the differences which sometimes seem to exist between those of the same "household of faith," in family, business, social, or church relations, with their attitude of professed Christians, as it must have been for the apostle John when he penned the keen rebuke we find in his first epistle: "If a man say, I love God, and hateth his brother, he is a liar: for he that loveth not his brother whom he hath seen, how can he love God whom he hath not seen?"

Even in the days of the children of Israel men were commanded to love one another. Under the law they were not to take vengeance or hold a grudge against any who had offended them, but were to love their neighbor even as themselves. Such was the law that was to develop a higher meaning, a better interpretation, in the gospel of Christ Jesus. When the Pharisee, skilled in the letter of the law, sought to tempt or to try Jesus with the catch question as to which was the greatest commandment in the law, the Master sounded the key-note that rings clear as a silver bell through all his teachings, namely, that the foundation stone of all the law and the prophets is love,—to love God with all one's heart, soul, and mind, and one's neighbor as himself.

Again, in the tender words of consolation and comfort with which the Master sought to prepare the disciples for the approaching test of their faith, there is a new basis of comparison,—they were to love one another even as he had loved them. Who could hope to equal that compassionate love which welled forth to the children of men, to the sick and the sinning, even to those who were then seeking to destroy him; yet this was the command laid upon those who henceforth were to exemplify Jesus' teachings, his words and his works, to the world, and then came the significant statement: "By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another."

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January 6, 1912

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