Thirdly: what he freed from its connexion with self-seeking and ritual elements, and recognised as the moral principle, he reduces to one root and to one motive—love. He knows of no other, and love itself, whether it takes the form of love of one’s neighbour or of one’s enemy, or the love of the Samaritan, is of one kind only. It must completely fill the soul; it is what remains when the soul dies to itself. In this sense love is the new life already begun. But it is always the love which serves, and only in this function does it exist and live.
Fourthly: we saw that Jesus freed the moral element from all alien connexions, even from its alliance with the public religion. Therefore to say that the Gospel is a matter of ordinary morality is not to misunderstand him. And yet there is one all-important point where he combines religion and morality. It is a point which must be felt; it is not easy to define. In view of the Beatitudes it may, perhaps, best be described as humility. Jesus made love and humility one. Humility is not a virtue by itself; but it is pure receptivity, the expression of inner need, the prayer for God’s grace and forgiveness, in a word, the opening up of the heart to God. In Jesus’ view, this humility, which is the love of God of which we are capable—take, for instance, the parable of the Pharisee and the publican —¦ is an abiding disposition towards the good, and that out of which everything that is good springs and grows. “Forgive us our trespasses even as we forgive them that trespass against us” is the prayer at once of humility and of love. This, then, is the source and origin of the love of one’s neighbour; the poor in spirit and those who hunger and thirst after righteousness are also the peacemakers and the merciful.