Love is The Law of Life – Niebuhr

Love is the law of life and not merely some transcendent ideal of perfection. All men may violate the law of life but there is a difference between those who seek to draw all life into themselves,and those who have found in God the centre of existence and through loyalty to Him have learned to relate themselves in terms of mutual service to their fellows. There was a difference between John Woolman,the Quaker saint,who felt the sorrows of the slaves as his own,and some pious slave-owner who used the Scripture to justify slavery and to obscure the indecency of one man owning another man as property. There was a difference between the megalomaniac Nero,delighting in cruelty and the gentle Marcus Aurelius,ruling over the same Empire but brooding with pity upon the evils of the world. There is a difference (to go from the imperial throne to the monastic life for examples) between the asceticism of a St. Jerome with his morbid preoccupation with self and that of the joyous,gentle and ecstatic St. Francis. The difference between such men continues to affect the very texture of life in centuries after their existence.

-Reinhold Niebuhr

Published by Wess

Teacher, author, Quaker, ​and public theologian. He works at Guilford College, enjoys riding his Triumph Bonneville, and listening to music.

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1 Comment

  1. “Love is the law of life…those who have found in God the centre of existence and through loyalty to Him have learned to relate themselves in terms of mutual service to their fellows…” this part of your article really moved me… very inspiring! thank you so much!

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