Peter Martyr Vermigli (1499–1562) on love for neighbour


“Aristotle, in his Ethics, taught many things concerning friendship: and in his Rhetorics he entreated at large concerning the same. And in effect his judgement is, that to love a man, consists in this; namely, that when we wish well unto him, then we do well unto him: and that for himself not for our own sake. Here does human wisdom stay, but Christian godliness is lifted higher. For such a one both wills well, & does well unto his neighbour; and not for his own proper commodity, but for God and Christ his sake; because he knows that his neighbour is created by God the Father, and is redeemed by the blood of Christ. Let charity then be thus defined; that it is a power inspired into our minds by the heavenly Spirit, whereby we wish well unto our neighbours, and do good unto them, according to our power; and that for God and Christ his sake.”

– Peter Martyr Vermigli (1499–1562), The Common Places, Part 2, p. 558