by J.D. Jones

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The Qualities of Love (5 of 5)
J.D. Jones
I Corinthians 13:7

The apostle in the last three verses we have studied together has occupied himself in setting down some of the shining qualities of love. In this verse he brings that particular part of his subject to a close with a series of daring, sweeping, comprehensive assertions. Just exactly as the writer of the great Epistle to the Hebrews in that magnificent chapter in which he gives us the roll call of the heroes of faith, comes to a point when in the interests of conciseness and brevity he feels he must bring his glorious recital to a finish, and so breaks off with the exclamation, 'And what shall I more say? for the time would fail me to tell of Gideon, Barak, Samson, Jephthah, of David and Samuel and the prophets,' and then concludes with a general reference to those who through faith had subdued kingdoms, wrought righteousness, stopped the mouths of lions, waxed mighty in war, and put to flight armies of aliens. At this point Paul, feeling that the enumeration of the qualities of love would be an endless business, sums it all up and brings his analysis to an end in this series of startling, sweeping assertions-'love beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things.' The repetition of those words 'all things' in each clause, seems to me to be significant. Hitherto the apostle has been discussing love's behavior in particular circumstances. Here he seems to be thinking of love's attitude

towards the total sum of things. Confronting life with its sorrows and pains and the universe with its problems, love has a look of shining courage on its face, it beareth, believeth, hopeth, endureth all things.

Mr. Percy Ainsworth heads the chapter in which he discusses this particular verse, 'The Optimism of Love.' And in so entitling it, he has correctly described the contents of this verse. For what Paul here asserts is that love faces the wrongs and miseries and injuries of life ...

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