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Faith, Hope, Charity.

Faith, Hope, Charity.

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Published by glennpease
BY H. N. GRIMLEY, M.A.,


Matins, Quinquagesima Sunday, 1876,

** And now abideth faith, hope, charity, these three ; but the greatest
of these is charity." — I CoR. xiii. 13.
BY H. N. GRIMLEY, M.A.,


Matins, Quinquagesima Sunday, 1876,

** And now abideth faith, hope, charity, these three ; but the greatest
of these is charity." — I CoR. xiii. 13.

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Published by: glennpease on Aug 07, 2014
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FAITH, HOPE, CHARITY. BY H. . GRIMLEY, M.A., Matins, Quinquagesima Sunday, 1876, ** And now abideth faith, hope, charity, these three ; but the greatest of these is charity." — I CoR. xiii. 13. It is sometimes said that words which have enshrined in them a great lesson should be written in letters of gold. And though we should all doubtless like to see such sublime words as those of my text emblazoned in gold on our church's walls when the days of its restoration and beauty come, there is another sanctuary in which it is infinitely more important that the words should be inscribed — the sanctuary of our souls. They should there be inscribed in letters of light. Let us this morning endeavour so to ponder upon the words that they, luminous with all their divine meaning, may be written down within our inmost souls. And now abideth FAITH, HOPE, charity. What is Faith ? The writer of the Epistle to the Hebrews speaks of faith as spiritual insight. He says it is " the sub- stance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen." These words impress upon our minds the thought that corres- ponding to all the longings that possess the Christian soul — to all the desires and yearnings which spring up within the soul that is earnestly striving to. attain to the Christ-like and divine — corresponding to all these there are glorious realities ; that the upspringing desires shall not be in vain ; that the soul which remains steadfast in hope — which clings with brave perseverance to the hopeful yearnings which from time
 
262 Faithy Hope^ Charity. to time unfold themselves to consciousness within its inward recesses, begins by-and-by to feel by anticipation the very substance of what it has hoped for within its grasp — by-and- by attains to the power of seeing before it in mystic vision the glorious spiritual realities, the thoughts of which presented themselves at first only as dimly discerned but irrepressible desires. Faith then is spiritual insight. It has been called the eye of the soul. It is more than this ; it is the soul seeing — the soul beholding — ^the things of heaven ; the soul looking upon the things not seen by the bodily eye — looking upon the glories of the spiritual world — upon the wonders of that invisible world which is ever around us, ever underlying the natural world. And just as the good desires which . spring up within us come to us borne upon the whisper of a still small voice — wafted upon the breath of the Divine — ^so is the fuller recognition of the heavenly realities towards which those desires are directed made possible to us by the aid of the Divine One. The soul sees with ever-increasing clearness the things above upon which it has been long and perseveringly setting its affections, because the Lord is patiently revealing to it those spiritual things. The soul seeing involves with it the thought of the Lord revealing. God, who has marvellously endowed the souls of every one of us, also adds in a wondrous way to His divine endow- ments. He has given us the power of seeing — ^with the mind's eye, as we say — things which are not spread out before the bodily eye. Beautiful landscapes we have once looked upon — human faces into which we have gazed, and which have seemed to us lit up with a divine light — these we can picture to ourselves even when with the outward eye we see them not. The manifold operations of the natural world, which to the untutored mind are utterly unknown, — these the mind which reverently and patiently ponders upon them is enabled to discern with ever-increasing clearness. The transmission through many thousands of miles of space
 
Faith^ Hope, Charity. 263 of that agitation which when it strikes upon the things around us and from them is deflected towards the eye, is the cause of our minds having within themselves a pifctiure of the out- ward world, — this wonderful transmission of light has revealed itself to the minds of patient students j and by the aid of that mental insight, which, because it is directed towards matters of a scientific import, has been called scientific ima- gination, men have been able to have within their minds a vivid representation of the marvellous vibratory movements of the mysterious ether, and their rapid transmission in one vast tide of light through the infinite space around us. By the aid of the same power of imagination, that other swiftly- acting vibratory motion which has only in recent times be- come obedient to man's control — that vibratory motion which enables us with magic speed to send tidings even to countries separated from us by ocean abysses and by wide- spreading continents, — by the aid of the same imaginative power, the mind is able to discern the vibrations of the all- pervading ether with which we associate the term electricity. God who thus endows that part of our inner being which we call the mind with wondrous powers, also endows that which we speak of as the soul — of which the mind is indeed but a faculty — with corresponding powers. Within all souls long- ing after a fuller knowledge of divine things God is ever breathing the breath of a diviner life ; and as this sacred breath— this Holy Spirit — abides with us to animate us, our enkindled spiritual imaginations discern more- and more of the mystic glories of heaven towards which the longings of our souls have been directed. This spiritual imagination which enables us to see as in a vision the substantial realities which the soul has been possessed with longings for ; which enables the soul to have a vivid conviction that it has entered upon the life of reconciliation with God — ^which enables it to discern the transcendent glory of the future life of ere*, advancing union with the Divine — ^which enables it to du

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