PHIL. i. 9. “And this I pray, that your love may abound yet more
and more in knowledge.”
THE apostle does not say, “I pray that your knowledge
may abound yet more and more in love,” but places love
I. Love is the raw material, the underlying substance,
of the Divine life of the soul. Love is, as compared with
knowledge, a stronger thing, and it is worth more practi-
cally, “knowledge puffeth up, charity edifieth.” A personal
affection for Jesus our Lord is the first step, the funda-
mental thing in real Christianity.
II. Love is called forth by generosity. The generosity
of our Lord in giving Himself to become incarnate, and
to die for us poor sinners, appeals to the human heart even
more powerfully than the faultless beauty of His character.
The story of the Passion has melted even savages ere now
to tears. The philosophy of self-sacrifice is always intelli-
III. Love is a distinct endowment. It is an infused
grace. The love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by
the Holy Ghost, which is given unto us.
IV. Love must, from the necessity of the case, know
something accurately about its object. What is He?
Where is He? Whence is He? Love will ask questions
sooner or later; and if these questions are not wisely or
truly answered, if instead of knowledge nothing better than
guessings, myths and fables, are forthcoming, then love will
in its deep disappointment sicken and die.
Henry Parry Liddon, D.C.L.