For, brothers, you have been called to liberty; only use not liberty for an occasion to the flesh, but by love serve one another.…
Look at the operations of charity, or the love of benevolence. It was this which existed in the mind of Deity from eternity, and in the exercise of which He so loved our guilty world as to give His only-begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life. It was on the wings of charity that the Son of God flew from heaven to earth, on an errand of mercy to our lost world; it was charity that moved in the minds and hearts of the apostles, and urged them with the glad tidings of salvation, from country to country. The whole missionary enterprise is founded, not of course on the basis of brotherly kindness, but on that of charity. All those splendid instances that have been presented to us of the exercise of philanthropy are the operations of this Divine charity. See Howard, leaving the seclusion of a country gentleman, giving up his elegant retreat and all its luxurious gratifications, pacing to and fro through Europe, plunging into dungeons, battling with pestilence, weighing the fetters of the prisoner, gauging the disease of the pest-house — all under the influence of heavenly charity. See Wilberforce, through twenty years of his eventful life, lifting up his unwearied voice, and employing his fascinating eloquence against the biggest outrage that ever trampled on the rights of humanity. What formed his character, sketched his plan, inspired his zeal, but charity? See that illustrious woman, lately departed, so ripe for glory and so richly invested with it, who interested herself amidst the prisoners of Newgate — to chain their passions, to reclaim their vices, and to render them more meet for society, which had condemned them as its outcasts. What was it that gave to Mrs. Fry her principle of action, what indeed was the principle itself, but charity?
(J. Angell James.)
Parallel VersesKJV: For, brethren, ye have been called unto liberty; only use not liberty for an occasion to the flesh, but by love serve one another.