Buddhism regards family life as sinful. Suicide was commended by many ancient philosophers. Among the Spartans to steal was praiseworthy, ? only to be caught stealing was criminal. Classic times despised humility. Thomas Paine said that Christianity cultivated ?the spirit of a spaniel,? and John Stuart Mill asserted that Christ ignored duty to the state. Yet Peter urges Christians to add to their faith manliness, courage, heroism
( <610105>2 Peter 1:5 ? in your faith supply virtue?), and Paul declares the state to be God?s ordinance ( <451301>Romans 13:1 ? ?Let every soul be in subjection to the higher powers: for there is no power but of God; and the powers that be are ordained of God?). Patriotic defense of a nation?s unity and freedom has always found its chief incitement and ground in these injunctions of Scripture. E.G. Robinson: ?Christian ethics do not contain a particle of chaff, ? all is pure wheat.?
(b) Its spirituality, ? accepting no merely external conformity to right precepts, but judging all action by the thoughts and motives from which it springs.
The superficiality of heathen morals is well illustrated by the treatment of the corpse of a priest in Siam: the body is covered with gold leaf, and then is left to rot and shine. Heathenism divorces religion from ethics. External and ceremonial observances take the place of purity of heart. The Sermon on the Mount on the other hand pronounces blessing only upon inward states of the soul. <195106>Psalm 51:6 ? ?Behold, thou desirest truth in the inward parts, and in the hidden part thou wilt make me to know wisdom?;
<330608> Micah 6:8 ? ?what doth Jehovah require of thee, but to do justly, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with thy God??
(c) Its simplicity, ? inculcating principles rather than imposing rules; reducing these principles to an organic system; and connecting this system with religion by summing up all human duty in the one command of love to God and man.
Christianity presents no extensive code of rules, like that of the Pharisees or of the Jesuits. Such codes break down of their own weight. The laws of the State of New York alone constitute a library of themselves, which only the trained lawyer can master. It is said that Mohammedanism has recorded sixty five thousand special instances in which the reader is directed to do right. It is the merit of Jesus? system that all its requisitions are reduced to unity. <411223>Mark 12:23-31 ? ?Hear, O Israel; the Lord our God, the Lord is one: 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. The second is this: Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself.
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