1 Corinthians 13:1-13
Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not charity, I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal.…
We know that in this world, love, like all the other of the higher emotions, is the weakest when we are young, and that it grows in power with exercise and age. We have to ripen in love as well as in all other things. A youth does not love as a middle-aged person can. Love is a thing first of leaves, then of blossoms, and at last of fruit. We sometimes connect together the manifestations of it which we see in this life, to get a large view of what it will be in the future life. In this world we occasionally see, in parents and brothers and sisters, or experience in ourselves, that which gives us a somewhat accurate conception of the Divine power of love which we shall possess in the world to come. There is nothing which love cannot do. It is the only thing that walks without touching the ground. It never grows weary. Nothing in the soul is superior to it. Let love be an active feeling there, and all the other faculties come eagerly before it, and willingly lay down their crowns and coronets at its feet. It governs without command. All other feelings open to it as flowers to the sun. There are ten thousand things in life from which we gain some idea of what this supereal nature is. What if every soul was affected by every other soul, as some are affected by those who have the mysterious power of sympathy, so that every chord in their nature quivers at the touch, as the chords of a piano quiver when the keys are touched? What if every soul were so royal with this spirit that each word, and look, and posture, and gesture, radiated joy and gladness upon every other soul? How blessed will be the time when there is this commerce, this freedom, this universality of this wonderful heart-power! How doth this Divine emotion cleanse both those who exercise it and those who receive its benefactions! By it God maintains the household. From its secret springs He nourishes the new generations of men. Even afar off from its source it shines with power enough to guide the world and lead men up the ways of civilisation. What, then, shall be its redemptive and educating power in heaven?
(H. W. Beecher.)
Parallel VersesKJV: Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not charity, I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal.