Monday, July 17, 2006

A Life Well Lived: Charity and Its Fruits (7)

Do you see Jesus Christ as useful or beautiful? Love "is but the disposition of the heart toward God as lovely."

Jonathan Edwards

Love "is not arrogant [5] or rude" (1 Cor. 13:4-5, ESV).

From lecture seven: "The Spirit of Charity is an Humble Spirit."

They shall know by what they see and by what they feel, when the sentence comes to be executed on them, that God is indeed above them, and they are as nothing before him, as is said by the prophet Ezekiel (Eze. 7:27) — “According to their deserts will I judge them; and they shall know that I am the Lord.” But though they shall so clearly and so terribly see that God is infinitely above them in greatness, yet they will have no humility. They will see themselves at an infinite distance from God, but their hearts will not comply with that distance, and feel as is answerable to it.

Because they will not see God’s loveliness, they will not know their infinite distance from him in this respect, and therefore will not be led to humility. And this their experience shows, that it is a sense of the infinite distance of the creature from the Creator in loveliness, that causes true humility. This it is that causes humility in the angels in heaven and in the saints on earth. And since it is a sense of God’s loveliness that works humility, we may hence learn that divine love implies humility, for love is but the disposition of the heart toward God as lovely. If the knowledge of God as lovely causes humility, then a respect to God as lovely implies humility. And from this love to God arises a Christian love to man. Therefore it follows, that both love to God and love to man, the union of which is the very thing the apostle calls charity, alike imply humility.

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