Now we come to
that is, “the love of the brethren.” That especially is to be aimed after, and if this is wanting, there is very much wanting. The heavenly Father looks for love among His children, whom He has loved with an eternal and unchangeable love. He would have to love one another. And if we do not love the brethren, where is the proof that we love God? God does specially look for this love, and He would have to add to all other graces, particularly this grace—the love of the brethren.
And more, we are to add to all this,
that is, universal love. Not merely are we to love the children of God, but to love those who are not of us, and who do not love us. We are to love those who do not care in the least for us. We are to love those who do not walk with us on the road to heaven, and whom we have never even seen or heard of. We are to love every one of the human family; that is the will of our heavenly Father regarding us.
He would have the heart of His children so large as to take in all; and then we have what is commanded—universal love, which will manifest itself in seeking to do good to all our fellow-men.
We shall seek to do them good in every possible way, but specially in striving after the salvation of their souls. For this is what our heavenly Father teaches us, when He causes His sun to shine on the evil as well as on the good, and when His rain descends on the just and the unjust. By all this He would teach us to love everyone, even our enemies themselves. “To brotherly kindness, therefore, add charity “—love to all.