1. As Moral Ideal:
2. As Actual Between Christians:
But man’s sonship to God may be potential or actual. He may not respond to God’s love or know His Fatherhood. Likewise love to man may not be reciprocated, and therefore may be incomplete. Yet it is the Christian’s duty, like God, to maintain his disposition of love and benevolence to those that hate and curse him (
3. Stoic Teaching:
This twofold ideal of social morality as universal benevolence and mutual affection had been foreshadowed by the STOICS (which see). Men as citizens of the world should adopt an attitude of justice and mercy toward all men, even slaves; but within the community of the "wise" there should be the mutual affection of friendship.
4. Christian Advance on Heathen Thought: