Love, kindness, compassion, forbearance towards all believers, all the saints of God, however differenced among themselves, are made indispensably necessary unto us, and pressed on us from the same consideration.  To this purpose is the exhortation of the apostle before mentioned, Colossians 3:12, 13; for if God have chosen them from all eternity, and made them the objects of His love and grace, do we not think it necessary, doth not God require of us, that we should love them also?  How dare any of us entertain unkind, severe thoughts?  How dare we maintain animosities and enmities against any of them whom God hath eternally chosen to grace and glory?  Such things, it may be, have fallen out, and will fall out amongst us; but they are all opposite and contrary unto that influence which the consideration of God’s electing love ought to have upon us.  The apostle’s rule is, that, as unto our communion in love, we ought to receive him whom God hath received, and because God hath received him; against which no other thing can be laid in bar, Romans 14:1, 3.  And the rule is no less certain, yea, is subject to less exceptions, that we ought to choose, embrace, and love all those, whoever they be, whom God hath chosen and loved from eternity.  There is no greater evidence of low, weak, selfish Christians, than to prescribe any other rules or bounds unto their spiritual, evangelical affections than the decree of God’s election, as manifesting itself in its effects.  “I endure all things,” saith our apostle, not for the Jews or Gentiles, not for the weak or strong in the faith, not for those of this or that way, but, “for the elect’s sake.”  This should regulate our love, and mightily stir it up unto all actings of kindness, mercy, compassion, forbearance, and forgiveness.

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