“Not only can everyone be convinced from the foregoing as to what his duty is, but he can discern as in a mirror how far he falls short in love, or how closely he resembles this standard. We have shown before that all love toward our neighbor has its origin in love to God in Christ Jesus, and therefore only those who are born of God, who by faith are united to God in Christ and love God as their reconciled Father, will rightly love their neighbor. Furthermore, such will have as their primary and foremost object of love those who are born of God, are partakers of the divine nature, are loved of God, and who love God. We have shown that by reason of this disposition they extend their love to all who are of the same human origin – even though they do not have the image of God and consequently cannot be loved with the love of good will and with union of heart. They will nevertheless love them with the love of affection, being desirous to do good to them and to protect them against harm, while maintaining a distance due to the difference of their natures.
“Examine yourself in light of this, and observe whether you will pass the test. …”
(Wilhelmus a Brakel’s Christian’s Reasonable Service, Vol 4 Ethics and Eschatology, page 58)