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Christian Charity.

Christian Charity.

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Published by glennpease
REV. GEORGE BURGESS, D. D.



1 Corinthians, xiii. 13.
" The greatest of these is charity."
REV. GEORGE BURGESS, D. D.



1 Corinthians, xiii. 13.
" The greatest of these is charity."

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Published by: glennpease on Oct 08, 2013
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CHRISTIA CHARITY.REV. GEORGE BURGESS, D. D.1 Corinthians, xiii. 13." The greatest of these is charity."If every mortal were permitted to select andclaim that possession which he might esteemmost precious of all, many, no doubt, and per-haps most, would choose a cheerful, establishedhope of happiness after death. one are en-tirely without solicitude for that interminablefuture ; and all can appreciate the lightness of heart with which the present hour must beenjoyed or endured, when all is bright beyond.How often is religion regarded merely as thegiver of hope ! How many think of the Gospelsolely as that power, which sheds consolationover the troubled soul, and forms, from thechamber of death, the porch of immortality !A Christian, however, acquainted by expe-rience with the blessedness of hope, yet fixing19*Hosted byGoogle222 CHRISTIA CHARITY.
 
Ms eye more on the actual certainty, than onthe pleasing confidence which it might inspire,would very probably see a superior dignity infaith. It is faith through which the sinner is justified. Faith without hope would still besecure, while hope without faith, would proveitself the most ensnaring delusion. " He thatbelie veth, is passed from death unto life."Faith overcometh the world : faith can accom-plish mighty wonders ; the prayer of faithavaileth much on high ; the life of the just isa life of faith ; and the righteousness of God isrevealed from faith to faith. The supplicationof the servant of Christ is daily ascending, fora firmer, a livelier, a more victorious faith; forhe is assured that he owes to the weakness of his faith the inconsistencies which he mustdeplore in his life ; and that, if he can but walk as seeing those things which are invisible, hewill tread a safe and an exalted way.Yet the Apostle Paul, when he has namedtogether the three essential graces of true reli-gion, declares that the greatest of these ischarity ; and thus ascribes to it some highsuperiority over the hope which men desire,and over the faith which Christians value.or is it enough to say, as is sometimes said,that charity remains in the heavenly state,Hosted byGoogle
 
CHRISTIA CHARITY. 223when faith is exchanged for sight, and hope islost in enjoyment. Who knows that neitherfaith nor hope can be exercised in Paradise oramongst the angels? The thought, indeed,which it is designed to express when this issaid, is probably less concerned with the dura-tion of either, than with their essential relationto each other. It is not so much that faithand hope must cease while love abides, asrather that faith and hope are both of thenature of means ; have both a reference tosomething still beyond; while love may bedeemed an end, the actual union of the spiritwith God. Love is the fulfilling of the law ;but the law could fix no rule except that of perfectness ;¦ therefore love must be the highestand most perfect state of such a being as man.But the will of God is to be done on earth asit is done in heaven ; man, made a little lowerthan the angels, is made in the image of God ;and that which forms the perfectness of hisstate, must be the divine nature, and the na-ture of all pure and sinless beings. This, too,is affirmed by the Scripture ; for " God is love."But whatever may be the exact character of the superiority of love, the superiority itself isasserted without a qualification; and not itssuperiority alone. Its supreme necessity isHosted byGoogle

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