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evidence of eternal things, nor the valuation of them, as should keep us in the exercise of a gracious hope about them. Owen on Spiritual-mindedness.
This world is as a sea; the church in it, and so every believer, is as a ship; the port that it is bound to is heaven; Christ is the pilot, and hope is the anchor. An anchor is cast on a bottom out of sight, and when the ship is in a calm, or in danger of a rock, or near the shore; but is of no service without a cable; and when cast aright, keeps the ship steady; so hope is cast on Christ; whence he is often called hope itself, because he is the ground and foundation of it, and who is at present unseen to bodily eyes; and the anchor of hope without the cable of faith is of little service; but being cast aright on Christ, keeps the soul steady and immovable. In some things there is a difference between hope and an anchor. An anchor is not of so much use in tempests as in a calm; but hope is: the cable may be cut or broke, and so the anchor be useless; but so it cannot be with faith and hope. When the ship is at an anchor, it does not move forward; but it is not so with the soul, when hope is in exer cise; the anchor of hope is not cast on any thing below, but above; and hence it is called "the anchor of the soul," to distinguish it from any other, and to show the peculiar benefit of it to the soul.
Thrice blessed bliss-inspiring hope!
It lifts the fainting spirits up,
It brings to life the dead!
Our conflicts here will soon be past,
Triumphant with our Head!
FAITH, HOPE, CHARITY. The greatest of these is Charity.
Our last-cited author, Dr. Gill, calls faith a cable, and hope the anchor; and if we carry the metaphor a little farther, we may justly compare charity to the sails. Let "Christian" be careful to have his sails well filled with the heavenly gales of charity, and he will glide in peace over the troubled ocean of life, unhurt amidst the storms and tempests that may arise; and while the cable and the anchor, with the hull of the ship, must remain as useless in the outer harbour, charity will be permitted to pass through the barrier into the celestial city, and will be Christian's bosom companion through all the ages of the other world.
Pride, parent of unnumber'd woes,
If heav'n be found divine repose,
Hope soon will quench her beacon fire,
But Charity shall still endure.
Charity suffereth long, and is kind; charity envieth not; charity vaunteth not itself; is not puffed up; doth not behave itself unseemly; seeketh not her own; is not easily provoked; thinketh no evil; rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth; beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things. Charity never faileth. 1 Cor. xv.
Now the end of the commandment is charity, out of a pure heart, and of a good conscience, and of faith unfeigned.. 1 Tim. i. 5.
Fairest and foremost of the train, that wait
Whether we call thee charity or love;
Oh! never seen but in thy blest effects,
Who seeks to praise thee, and to make thee known
Charity in man is a grace of that alluring sweetness, that my pen would fain be attempting to say something in favour of it. I find a strange pleasure in discoursing of this virtue, hoping that my very soul may be moulded into its divine likeness. I would always feel it inwardly warming my heart. I would have it look through my eyes continually, and it should be for ever ready upon my lips, to soften every expression of my tongue. I would dress myself in it as my best raiment. I would put it on upon my faith and hope, not so as entirely to hide them, but as an upper and more visible vesture, constantly to appear in among men; for our Christian charity is to evidence our other virtues.
"The end of the commandment is charity. Charity is the same with benevolence, or love; and is the term usually employed, in the New Testament, to denote all the good affections which we ought to bear towards one another. In consists not in speculative ideas of general benevolence, floating in the head, and leaving the heart, as speculations too often do, untouched and cold; neither is it confined to that indolent good nature, which makes us rest satisfied with being free from inveterate malice or ill-will to our fellowcreatures, without prompting us to be of service to any. True cha rity is an active principle; it is not properly a single virtue; but a disposition residing in the heart, as a fountain, whence all the virtues of benignity, candour, forbearance, generosity, compassion, and liberality flow, as so many native streams. It breathes universal candour and liberality of sentiment. It forms gentleness of temper, and dictates affability of manners. It prompts corresponding sympathies, with them who rejoice, and them who weep. It teaches us
to slight and despise no man, Charity is the comforter of the afflicted, the protector of the oppressed, the reconciler of differences, the intercessor for offenders. It is faithfulness in the friend, public spirit in the magistrate, equity and patience in the judge, moderation in the sovereign, and loyalty in the subject. In parents it is care and attention; in children it is reverence and submission. In a word, it is the soul of social life. It is the sun that enlivens and cheers the abodes of men. "It is like the dew of Hermon," says the Psalmist, " and the dew that descendeth on the mountains of Zion, where the Lord commanded the blessing, even life for evermore." Psa. cxxxiii. 3.
Hail, Pearl of Price! Hail, Charity divine!
Had I a store from India's golden mine,
Thou, meek-ey'd fair, shouldst have the largest part.
The massy bolts at my approach should fly;
And, ere the debtor could his sorrows tell,
Fair freedom's smiles should greet his teeming eye.
Charity, in common speech, at present almost constantly signifies, either judging favourably of the actions and intentions of others, or relieving their distresses; whereas, in the New Testament it never signifies these particularly, and scarce ever any single virtue, but that general benevolence of disposition, which prompts us on all occasions to mild thoughts and beneficent actions; and on which, wrought in us by the grace of our Redeemer, depends their true worth and acceptance with God, The seeds of this inward principle of universal kind affection are sown in that constitutional goodness of nature, of which, notwithstanding our lamentable degeneracy by the fall, every man hath some remaining degree: the larger the happier, if we manage it with due care. Archbishop Secker.
Charity, properly so called, is that affection of the mind, whereby we love God for his own sake, and our neighbour for God's sake. This is the principle which distinguishes it from such a love ag either the tenderness of nature, or nearness of blood, or friendship
and acquaintance, or convenience and interest, are apt to prompt us to. And how essential this principle is, the apostle here informs us, when he supposes that a man may “give even all his goods to feed the poor," without any true Christian love to his brethren; and his "body to be burned," without any true love of God. Hence it follows, that the grace here so highly recommended, consists, not in any outward acts, but in the inward disposition of the heart; and that those acts are no farther of any value, than as they proceed from, and are sanctified by, this disposition, Dean Stanhope
Thro' Cowper's numbers in exalted strains?
A vital principle in human hearts,
Thyself sole author and sole actor there?
Where art thou now? Dost thou yet deign to dwell
Or didst thou quit the scene when Howard died?
Who feel compassion for another's woe.
Of those, whom thou shalt set from bondage free.