Love worketh no ill ... - Love would seek to do him good; of course it would prevent all dishonesty and crime toward others. It would prompt to justice, truth, and benevolence. If this law were engraved on every man' s heart, and practiced in his life, what a change would it immediately produce in society! If all people would at once "abandon" what is suited to "work ill" to others, what an influence would it have on the business and commercial affairs of people. How many plans of fraud and dishonesty would it at once arrest. How many schemes would it crush. It would silence the voice of the slanderer; it would stay the plans of the seducer and the adulterer; it would put an end to cheating, and fraud, and all schemes of dishonest gain. The gambler desires the property of his neighbor without any compensation; and thus works "ill" to him. The dealer in "lotteries" desires property for which he has never toiled, and which must be obtained at the expense and loss of others. And there are many "employments" all whose tendency is to work "ill" to a neighbor. This is pre-eminently true of the traffic in "ardent spirits." It cannot do him good, and the almost uniform result is to deprive him of his property, health, reputation, peace, and domestic comfort. He that sells his neighbor liquid fire, knowing what must be the result of it, is not pursuing a business which works no ill to him; and love to that neighbor would prompt him to abandon the traffic; see Habakkuk 2:15, "Wo unto him that giveth his neighbor drink, that putteth thy bottle to him, and makest him drink also, that thou mayest look on their nakedness."
Therefore ... - "Because" love does no harm to another, it is "therefore" the fulfilling of the Law, implying that all that the Law requires is to "love" others.
Is the fulfilling - Is the "completion," or meets the requirements of the Law. The Law of God on this "head," or in regard to our duty to our neighbor, requires us to do justice toward him, to observe truth, etc. "All" this will be met by "love;" and if people truly "loved" others, all the demands of the Law would be satisfied.
Of the law - Of the Law of Moses, but particularly the Ten Commandments.
Other Barnes' Notes entries containing Romans 13:10:
1 John 2:10
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