Sunday, 26 October 2014

HENRY DRUMMOND: THE GREATEST THING IN THE WORLD

2014-43  Henry Drummond: The Greatest Thing in the World

Henry Drummond [1851-1897]
Henry Drummond was a Scottish evangelical writer and lecturer. In the words of D.L. Moody, "I was staying with a party of friends in a country house during my visit to England in 1884. On Sunday evening as we sat around the fire, they asked me to read and expound some portion of Scripture. Being tired after the services of the day, I told them to ask Henry Drummond, who was one of the party. After some urging, Drummond drew a small Testament from his hip pocket, opened it at the 13th chapter of I Corinthians, and began to speak on the subject of Love

It seemed to me that I had never heard anything so beautiful, and I determined not to rest until I brought Henry Drummond to Northfield to deliver that address. 
Since then I have requested the principals of my schools to have it read before the students every year."

This lecture published in 1874 as "The Greatest Thing in the World" illuminates the I Corinthians 13. Widely read and quoted during his lifetime, it went on to sell over 12 million copies and it continues to influence countless people today to love God and to love one another.


The Holy Bible NIV I Corinthians 13.4-7

I present here only the central idea, namely, the spectrum of love:
Every one has asked himself the great question: What is the summum bonum—the supreme good? We have been accustomed to be told that the greatest thing in the religious world is Faith. In the 13th chapter of I Corinthians, Paul takes us to CHRISTIANITY AT ITS SOURCE; and there we see, "Now abideth Faith, Hope, Love," "The greatest of these is Love." [I Cor. 13.13]
After contrasting Love with these things, Paul gives us an amazing analysis of what this supreme thing is. Paul passes this thing, Love, through the magnificent prism of his inspired intellect, and it comes out on the other side broken up into its constituent elements.

                                           SPECTRUM OF LOVE

The Spectrum of Love has nine ingredients:
Patience
"Love suffereth long."
Kindness
"And is kind."
Generosity
"Love envieth not."
Humility
"Love vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up."
Courtesy
"Doth not behave itself unseemly."
Unselfishness
"Seeketh not its own."
Good temper
"Is not provoked."
Guilelessness
"Taketh not account of evil."
Sincerity
"Rejoiceth not in unrighteousness, but rejoiceth with the truth."

Patience; kindness; generosity; humility; courtesy; unselfishness; good temper; guilelessness; sincerity—these make up the supreme gift, the stature of the perfect man.
   Now the business of our lives is to have these things fitted into our character. Is life not full of opportunities for learning Love? Everyone, every day has thousands of them. The world is not a playground; it is a class room. Life is not a holiday, but an education.  And the one eternal lesson for us all is how better we can practise love.

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"To love abundantly is to live abundantly and to love for ever is to live forever." 
-- Henry Drummond

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