doing good (Ryle on the Good Samaritan)

I was doing some reading today on J.C. Ryle writing on the Parable of the Good Samaritan.

I was struck by this paragraph.

“Now, if these words mean anything, a Christian ought to be ready to show kindness and brotherly love to every one that is in need. Our kindness must not merely extend to our families, our friends, and relations. We must love all men, and be kind to all, whenever occasion requires. We must be aware of an excessive strictness in scrutinizing the past lives of those who need our aid. Are they in real trouble? Are they in real distress? Do they really want help? Then according to the teaching of this parable, we ought to be ready to assist them. We should regard the whole world as our parish, and the whole race of mankind as our neighbors. We should seek to be the friend of every one who is oppressed, or neglected, or afflicted, or sick, or in prison, or poor, or an orphan, or a heathen, or a slave, or an idiot, or starving, or dying. We should exhibit such world-wide friendship, no doubt, wisely, discreetly, and with good sense, but of such friendship we never need be ashamed. The ungodly may sneer at it as extravagance and fanaticism. But we need not to mind that. To be friendly to all men in this way, is to show something of the mind that was in Christ.”

Can you think about how differently Christ, Christianity, and the church would be viewed in the world if we all understood this quote and thought?

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