Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 6 (1889-1890)


Ms 66, 1890

Diary/“Love Thy Neighbor as Thyself.”


Circa 1890

Previously unpublished.

[First pages missing.] ... of the man estimates his value with God. [Neither] property nor title is of any value in the sight of God if his heart is corrupt. God created all men equal and God is no respecter of persons. Love to God will just as surely be revealed in tender sympathy and love to one's neighbor, because Christ gave His life to purchase man and bring him back to God. 6LtMs, Ms 66, 1890, par. 1

The question was asked Christ by the lawyer, “Master, what shall I do to inherit eternal life? He said unto him, What is written in the law? how readest thou? And he answering said, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy strength, and with all thy mind; and thy neighbour as thyself.” [Luke 10:25-27.] Christ answered, “This do, and thou shalt live. And he, willing to justify himself [his Phariseeism], said unto Jesus, And who is my neighbor?” [Verses 28, 29.] Then we have the subject forcibly illustrated by the parable of the Good Samaritan. 6LtMs, Ms 66, 1890, par. 2

The poor man is presented wounded, bruised, and in need of sympathy from man. He is looked upon by the priest, one in sacred office. He looked at him and saw him in his suffering, [but] it was too much trouble to do his duty to suffering humanity. He was in a suffering condition, but [the priest] rendered him no help but crossed over on the other side. Help should have been given even to a suffering animal, but he thought, Why should I take this charge upon me? and [he] passed by on the other side. And likewise a Levite, one who, in God's arrangement, had been highly favored to have special charge of such cases. He passed that way, he looked [at the wounded man] and when [he] saw his helpless, suffering condition, he passed by on the other side. But a certain Samaritan, as he journeyed, came where he was, and when he saw him he had compassion on him. He looked on him to some purpose. He administered to his wants. This figure is [used] in the parable to teach man his obligation to his fellow man, to feel sympathy for him. 6LtMs, Ms 66, 1890, par. 3

Again, Christ puts the burden upon those present, especially the lawyer, to pronounce, himself, who was the true neighbor to his fellow man [who was] suffering under misfortune. The lawyer thought to ensnare Christ in his question in regard to the law, and lead Him to say something that he could use as charges against Him to confirm the decisions of the priests and rulers that He was a dangerous man. Jesus read his purposes and arranged the matter [so] that the inquirer, His tempter, should answer the question himself and bring before the artful priests and rulers the Old Testament principles of truth contained in the far-reaching principles of the law of God. Thus Jesus overruled the artful desires of His enemies [in order] to explain the essential truths of the Gospel. The lawyer listened with bated breath to hear the question from Christ, “Which now of these three, thinkest thou, was neighbor unto him that fell among thieves?” And the lawyer said, “He that shewed mercy on him. Then said Jesus unto him, Go and do thou likewise.” [Verses 36, 37.] 6LtMs, Ms 66, 1890, par. 4

The whole gospel is a continuous explanation of misunderstandings and clearing up of difficulties which Satan manages to create to perplex minds. Jesus gave answers to these questions that are more valuable than gold. How precious to all who wish to know the Way, the Truth, and the Life. Jesus clothed the truth in such clearness of language and gave freshness to truth by [using] illustrations that come to the notice of all in their everyday life. It is just as valuable to be taken in and practiced as if Jesus were in our midst speaking to us now, in simple yet forcible language, as never man spake. 6LtMs, Ms 66, 1890, par. 5

The truth had been perverted, mystified, [and] mingled with superstition and tradition, [so] that in many minds it had lost its original purity and determined importance. Jesus words swept away the false interpretations, made plain the perversions of truth, and by simple illustrations of the necessity of human kindness, compassion, and love showed the true, soul-reforming principles of the commandments of God. Thus every effort made to mystify and cover up the truth with a mass of rubbish necessitated the more clear and decided explanations of the binding claims of the Father's law and the righteousness of Christ. [He] made the truth sharper and more forcible, and laid God's precepts out in the simplest, clearest illustrations in contrast to erroneous opinions, [so] that the lesson would be immortalized in the minds of those who had ears to hear and hearts to understand. Thus God is constantly at work, laying a firm foundation of principles that will stand fast forever, for He lifts up the standard of religion in broad relief, and presents the precious truth in [the] new framework of the gospel. 6LtMs, Ms 66, 1890, par. 6

The very errors and misconceptions of darkened minds call forth lessons that [make it] essential for the church to practice godliness in every circumstance, not merely to those who belong to our sect, but to all who need mercy and relief. Jesus showed that none are saved by being members of a particular church, [but] as individual believers in Jesus Christ as their personal Saviour. There are many who belong to a church but [who] do not belong to Christ. The gospel is the saving knowledge of a personal Saviour, Jesus Christ. The question is, Are we united with Christ and growing up to the full stature of Jesus Christ? Are we learning an intelligent knowledge of our responsibility, first to the members of our own families as a blessing, [and then] to our fellow men? Are [we] learning at home first, and at the same time are we acting out the loving of our neighbors as ourselves? Are we striving daily not to be selfish and self-centered? Are we cultivating the attributes of Jesus, which are the attributes of God? Let us read Leviticus, chapter 19, [verses] 1-18. As God is holy, so must we be holy in order to be accepted and approved of God. 6LtMs, Ms 66, 1890, par. 7