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Monday, December 28, 2015

In Praise of Virtue

"Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not charity, I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal" (1 Corinthians 13:1)

We naturally shy away from superlatives and from comparisons which praise one virtue at the expense of another, yet I wonder whether there is on earth anything as exquisitely lovely as a brilliant mind aglow with the love of God?

Such a mind sheds a mild and healing ray which can actually be "felt" by those who come near it.Virtue goes forth from it and blesses those who merely touch the hem of its garment. One has, for instance, but to read "The Celestial Country" by Bernard of Chuny to understand what I mean. There is a sensitive and shining intellect warm with the fire of the inliving Spirit writes with a vast and tender sympathy of those longings for immortality.

This same feeling of near inspiration is experienced also in the letters of Samuel Rutherford, in the "Te Deum", in many of the hymns of Watts and Wesley and occasionally in a work of some lesser-known whose limited gifts may have been for one joyous moment made incandescent by the fire of the indwelling Spirit.

Those who love the divine character necessarily desire to promote the divine glory.

~A. W. Tozer~


Doctrine Without Love

"My little children, let us not love in word, neither in tongue; but in deed and in truth" (1 John 3:18)

The blight of the Pharisee's heart in olden times was doctrine without love. With the teachings of the Pharisees Christ had little quarrel, but with the pharisaic spirit He carried on unceasing warfare to the end.

It was religion that put Christ on the Cross, religion without the indwelling Spirit. An unblessed soul filled with the letter of truth may actually be worse off than a pagan kneeling before a fetish.

We are safe only when the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Spirit, only when our intellects are indwelt by the loving Fire that came at Pentecost. For the Holy Spirit is not a luxury, not something added now and again to produce a deluxe type of Christian once in a generation.

No, He is for every child of God a vital necessity, and that He fill and indwell His people is more than a languid hope. It is rather an inescapable imperative.

They that walk in the King's holy way must have pure hearts, gentle tongues, loving ways, happy faces and restful lives.

~A. W. Tozer~

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