Sermon: On Christian Love – page 1

 

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From the Spring 2018 issue of Knowing & Doing:

Sermon: On Christian Love

by Hugh Latimer
Bishop of Worcester

 
 

This is my commandment, that ye love one another, as I have loved you.

— John xv., 12.

eeing the time is so far spent, we will take no more in hand at this time than this one sentence; for it will be enough for us to consider this well, and to bear it away with us. “This I command unto you, that ye love one another.” Our Savior himself spake these words at His last supper: it was the last sermon that He made unto His disciples before His departure; it is a very long sermon. For our Savior, like as one that knows he shall die shortly, is desirous to spend that little time that He has with His friends, in exhorting and instructing them how they should lead their lives. Now among other things that He commanded this was one: “This I command unto you, that ye love one another.” The English expresses as tho it were but one, “This is my commandment.” I examined the Greek, where it is in the plural number, and very well; for there are many things that pertain to a Christian man, and yet all those things are contained in this one thing, that is, love. He lappeth up all things in love.
  So Christ makes love His cognizance, His badge, His livery. Like as every lord commonly gives a certain livery to his servants, whereby they may be known that they pertain unto him; and so we say, yonder is this lord’s servants, because they wear his livery: so our Savior, who is the Lord above all lords, would have His servants known by their liveries and badge, which badge is love alone. Whosoever now is endued with love and charity is His servant; him we may call Christ’s servant; for love is the token whereby you may know that such a servant pertaineth to Christ; so that charity may be called the very livery of Christ. He that hath charity is Christ’s servant; he that hath not charity is the servant of the devil. For as Christ’s livery is love and charity, so the devil’s livery is hatred, malice and discord.
  But I think the devil has a great many more servants than Christ has; for there are a great many more in his livery than in Christ’s livery; there are but very few who are endued with Christ’s livery; with love and charity, gentleness and meekness of spirit; but there are a great number that bear hatred and malice in their hearts, that are proud, stout, and lofty; therefore the number of the devil’s servants is greater than the number of Christ’s servants.

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