- from "Toleration" by John Bigelow
CHAPTER I - Part 3
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This rule of life was in the beginning. It was old when Moses brought down from the Mount for the Jews the two tables of stone, on which was the first formal inscription of this universal law of which we have any knowledge - the first table setting forth man's duties to God and the second his duties to his fellow man, his neighbor. These latter duties will be found specifically elaborated in Leviticus, where the Lord is reported to have said to Moses:
"Speak unto all the children of Israel and say unto them:....... Ye shall do no unrighteousness in judgment: thou shalt not respect the person of the poor, nor honor the person of the mighty: but in righteousness shalt thou judge thy neighbor. Thou shalt not go up and down as a talebearer among thy people; neither shalt thou stand against the blood of thy neighbor: I am the Lord. Thou shalt not hate thy brother in thine heart: thou shalt surely rebuke thy neighbor, and not bear sin because of him. Thou shalt not take vengeance or bear any grudge against the children of thy people: but thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself: I am the Lord."
Jesus gave His disciples an abstract of all these directions in a more compendious form in His reply to a Pharisee of the legal profession who thought to compromise Him by asking Him,
"Which is the great commandment in the law?" Jesus replied: "Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets." (Matt. xxii. 37.)
This second great commandment is reported in a yet more compact form in Matthew vii. 12 in these words:
"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."
It is given as follows in Luke vi. 31:
"And as ye would that men should do to you, do ye also to them likewise. For if ye love them which love you, what thank have, ye? for sinners also do even the same."
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