Loading...
Larger font
Smaller font
Copy
Print
Contents
  • Results
  • Related
  • Featured
No results found for: "undefined".
  • Weighted Relevancy
  • Content Sequence
  • Relevancy
  • Earliest First
  • Latest First
    Larger font
    Smaller font
    Copy
    Print
    Contents

    CHAPTER I. THE FIRST OF ALL THE COMMANDMENTS

    “The first of all the commandments is, Hear, O Israel, The Lord our God is one Lord; and thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength. This is the first commandment.CHPA 6.1

    “And the second is like, namely this, Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself. There is none other commandment greater than these.”CHPA 6.2

    “On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.”CHPA 6.3

    These two commandments exist in the very nature, and circumstances of existence, of any two intelligent creatures in the universe. They existed thus in the existence of the first two intelligent creatures that ever had a place in the universe.CHPA 6.4

    When the first intelligence was created and there was no creature but himself; as he owed to his Creator his existence, as he owed to God all that he was or could be, heart, soul, might, mind, and strength; it devolved upon him to render to God the tribute of all this, and to love God with all his heart, and all his soul, and all his mind, and all his strength. And this is the first of all the commandments. It is first in the very nature and existence of the first, and of every other, intelligent creature.CHPA 6.5

    But the second of these would have no place if there were but one intelligent creature in the universe; for then he would have no neighbor. But when the second one was created, the first of all the commandments was first with him equally with the other one; and now the second great commandment exists in the very nature and existence of these two intelligent creatures, as certainly as the first great commandment existed in the nature and existence of the first one.CHPA 7.1

    Each of the two created intelligences owes to the Lord all that he is-or has, and all that he could ever rightly have. Neither of them has anything that is self-derived. Each owes all to God. There is between them no ground of preference. And this because of the honor which each owes to God; because to each, God is all in all. Therefore the second great commandment exists as certainly as the first; and it exists in the nature and circumstance of the very existence of intelligent creatures. Consequently, “there is none other commandment greater than these.”CHPA 7.2

    These two commandments, then, exist in the nature of cherubim, seraphim, angels, and men. As soon as the man was created, the first of all the commandments was there, even though there had been no other creature in the universe. And as soon as the woman was created, these two great commandments were there. And there was none other commandment greater than these.CHPA 7.3

    Now, if these two great commandments had been observed by man on the earth, that is, had man never sinned, there always would have been perfect and supreme religion; and there never would have been a State. God would always have been by every one recognized as the only Ruler, His law as the only law, His authority as the only authority. There would have been government, but only the government of God. There would have been society, but only the society of saints. But there would have been, and could have been, no State.CHPA 8.1

    Therefore it is certain that the observance of these first two of all the commandments, at any time and everywhere, which is simply Christian loyalty, means the absolute separation of religion and the State, in all who observe them. And thus the principle of separation of religion and the State inheres in the very existence of intelligent creatures.CHPA 8.2

    But man did sin. And, having sinned, having departed from God, mankind did not love God with all the heart nor their neighbor as themselves. Christianity was introduced to bring man back to the position, and the original relations, which he had lost. “For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.” Ephesians 2:10. And Christ hath suffered for us, “the Just for the unjust, that He might bring us to God.” 1 Peter 3:18.CHPA 8.3

    It being, then, the one great purpose of Christianity to restore man to his original condition and relation to God, its purpose is to restore him to the condition in which he can love God with all the heart, with all the soul, with all the mind, and with all the strength, and his neighbor as himself. It is to restore him to obedience to these first two of all the commandments. It is to restore him to perfect and supreme religion.CHPA 8.4

    We have seen that such a condition maintained from the beginning would have been the absolute separation of religion and the State; because, then, there never could have been any State. And now, as the one great purpose of Christianity is to restore man completely to that condition, it follows with perfect conclusiveness that Christianity in its very essence, from the beginning to the end, and everywhere, demands the absolute separation of religion and the State in all who profess it.CHPA 9.1

    And it must not be forgotten that the complete separation of religion and the State in those who profess religion, can be maintained only by these persons themselves being separated from the State. For it is so plain as to be indisputable that if the professor of religion is himself a part of the State, then in him there is at once a union of religion and the State.CHPA 9.2

    Larger font
    Smaller font
    Copy
    Print
    Contents