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The First Epistle Of John by Augustus Neander

1 John iii. 17, 18

But since everything depends on keeping the
distinction clearly marked between appearance and reality; since all which is genuine can be imitated in its outward aspect, and become mere appearance; John feels himself obliged to warn his brethren against this tendency, even in regard to that which is peculiarly opposed to all seeming, and is adapted above all else to demonstrate the true nature and the reality of the christian life, viz. Love. He contrasts that brotherly-love which proves its existence by act, by sacrifice of self, with that of which there is a mere show in words, and where the words are convicted of falsehood by the act. |But whoso hath this world's good, and seeth his brother hath need, and shutteth up his bowels of compassion from him; how dwelleth the love of God in him? My little children, let us not love in word, neither in tongue, but in deed and in truth.| Where brotherly-love does not exist, and show itself by acts for the relief of others' necessities, there love to God is also wanting.

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