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believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things. Love never faileth; but whether there be prophecies, they shall fail; whether there be tongues, they shall cease; whether there be knowledge, it shall vanish away. And now abideth faith, hope, love, these three; but the greatest of these is love."

The enemy had got into that little Church at Corinth established by Paul, and there was strife among the disciples. One said, "I am of Apollos;" another, “I am of Cephas;" and another, "I am of Paul.” Paul saw that this sectarian strife and want of love among God's dear people would be disastrous to the Church of God, and so he wrote this letter. I have often said that if every true believer could move into this chapter and live in the spirit of it for twelve months, the Church of God would double its numbers within that time. One of the great obstacles in the way of God's work to-day is this want of love among those who are the disciples of the Lord Jesus Christ.

If we love a person we will not be pointing out his failings all the time. It is said: "Many rules of eloquence have been set forth, but, strange, to say, the first and most essential of all has been overlooked, namely, love. To address men well they must be loved much. Whatever they may be, be they ever so guilty, or indifferent, or ungrateful, or however deeply sunk in crime, before all, and above all, they must be loved. Love is the sap of the Gospel, the secret of lively and effectual preaching, the magic power of eloquence. The end of preaching is to reclaim the hearts of men to God, and nothing but love can find out the mysterious avenues which lead to the heart. If then you do not

feel a fervent love and profound pity for humanity, be assured that the gift of Christian eloquence has been denied you. You will not win souls, neither will you acquire that most excellent of earthly sovereignties— sovereignty over human hearts. An Arab proverb runs thus-The neck is. bent by the sword, but heart is only bent by heart.' Love is irresistible."

Look at these words: "Love suffereth long, and is kind; love envieth not." How often it happens that if one outshines another there is apt to be envy in our hearts toward that one; we want a great deal of grace to keep it down. "Love vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up." One of the worst enemies that Christians have to contend with is this spirit of rivalry—this feeling, "Who shall be the greatest?"


Some years ago I read a book that did me a great deal of good. It was entitled, “The Training of the Twelve." The writer said that Christ spent most of His time during the three years He was engaged publicly about His Father's business in training twelve The training He gave them was very different from the training of the schools at the present day. The world teaches men that they must seek to be great; Christ taught that His disciples must be little; that in honor they must prefer one another; that they are not to be puffed up, not to harbor feelings of envy, but to be full of meekness and gentleness, and lowliness of heart.

When an eminent painter was requested to paint Alexander the Great so as to give a perfect likeness of the Macedonian conqueror, he felt a difficulty. Alexander, in his wars, had been struck by a sword, and

across his forehead was an immense scar.

The painter said: "If I retain the scar, it will be an offense to the admirers of the monarch, and if I omit it it will fail to be a perfect likeness. What shall I do?" He hit upon a happy expedient; he represented the Emperor leaning on his elbow, with his forefinger upon his brow, accidentally, as it seemed, covering the scar upon his forehead. Might not we represent each other with the finger of charity upon the scar, instead of representing the scar deeper and blacker than it really is? Christians may learn even from heathendom a lesson of charity, of human kindness and of love.

This spirit of seeking to be the greatest has nearly ruined the Church of God at different times in its history. If the Church had not been Divine it would have gone to pieces long ago. There is hardly any movement of reform to-day that has not been in danger of being thwarted and destroyed through this miserable spirit of ambition and self-seeking. May God enable us to get above this, to cast away our conceit and pride, and take Christ as our teacher, that He may show us in what spirit His work ought to be done.

One of the saddest things in the life of Christ was the working of this spirit among His disciples even in the last hours of His intercourse with them, and just before He was led away to be crucified. We read in the gospel by Luke: "But, behold, the hand of him that betrayeth Me is with Me on the table. And truly the Son of man goeth, as it was determined: but woe unto that man by whom He is betrayed! And they began to inquire among themselves, which of them it was that should do this thing. And there was also a strife among

them which of them should be accounted the greatest. And He said unto them, "The kings of the Gentiles exercise lordship over them; and they that exercise authority upon them are called benefactors. But ye shall not be so: but he that is greatest among you, let him be as the younger; and he that is chief, as he that doth serve. For whether is greater, he that sitteth at meat, or he that serveth? Is not he that sitteth at meat? But I am among you as He that serveth."

Right there, on that memorable night when He had instituted the Last Supper, after they had been eating of the Passover Lamb, and the Saviour was on His way to the Cross, even there this spirit arose among them: Who should be the greatest!

There is a charming tradition connected with the site on which the temple of Solomon was erected. It is said to have been occupied in common by two brothers, one of whom had a family-the other had none. On this spot was sown a field of wheat. On the evening succeeding the harvest the wheat having been gathered in separate shocks the elder brother said to his wife: "My younger brother is unable to bear the burden and heat of the day, I will arise, take of my shocks, and place with his without his knowledge." The younger brother being actuated by the same benevolent motives, said within himself: "My elder brother has a family, and I have none. I will arise, take of my shocks, and place it with his."

Judge of their mutual astonishment, when, on the following day, they found their respective shocks undiminished. This course of events transpired for several nights, when each resolved in his own mind to stand

guard and solve the mystery. They did so; when, on the following night, they met each other half way between their respective shocks with their arms full. Upon ground hallowed by such associations as this was the temple of Solomon erected-so spacious and magnificent the wonder and admiration of the world! Alas! in these days, how many would sooner steal their brother's whole shock than add to it a single sheaf!

If we want to be wise in winning souls and to be vessels meet for the Master's use we must get rid of the accursed spirit of self-seeking. That is the meaning of this chapter in Paul's letter. He told these Corinthians that a man might be full of faith and zeal; he might be very benevolent; but if he had not love he was like sounding brass and a tinkling cymbal. I believe many men might as well go into the pulpit and blow a tin horn Sabbath after Sabbath as go on preaching without love. A man may preach the truth; he may be perfectly sound in doctrine; but if there is no love in his heart going out to those whom he addresses, and if he is doing it professionally, the Apostle says he is only a sounding brass.

It is not always more work that we want so much as a better motive. Many of us do a good deal of work, but we must remember that God looks at the motive. The only tree on this earth that can produce fruit which is pleasing to God is the tree of love.


Paul in writing to Titus says: Speak thou the things which become sound doctrine: that the aged men be sober, grave, temperate, sound in faith, in charity, (or love) in patience." What is the worth of a sermon, however sound in doctrine it may be, if it be not sound

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