All other graces are eclipsed by Love. Love is the soul of religion, and is that grace which truly constitutes a Christian. Love is the Queen of the graces — it shines and sparkles in God's eye as the precious stones did on the breastplate of Aaron.
The antecedent of love is knowledge; the Spirit shines on the understanding, and reveals the wisdom, holiness, and mercy of God — and these become the loadstone to draw out the affections to God. Such as know not God, cannot love him. If the sun is set in the understanding, there will be night in the affections.
Love makes all our services acceptable; it is not duty — but love to duty, which God delights in; therefore serving and loving God are put together.
Love is the only grace that shall live with us in Heaven; there we shall need no repentance, because we shall never sin; no faith, because we shall see God face to face — but love will abide forever. "Love never fails," but shall outlive all the graces, and run parallel with eternity.
O preserve your love to God, keep it flaming on the altar of your heart! Love is like oil to the wheels — it quickens us in God's service. Does love grow cool? Make use of ordinances as sacred fuel to keep the holy fire burning.
Love facilitates duty; it is like wings to the bird, like sails to the ship; it carries the soul on swiftly and cheerfully in our way to glory. Love is vigorous, as well as active; it despises dangers, it tramples on difficulties; like a mighty torrent, it carries all before it.
Faith itself has no beauty, unless it works by love. The tears of repentance are not pure, unless they flow from the spring of love. Love is the jewel which Christ's bride wears — it is the diamond in the ring of all the graces of the Spirit. Not if you work miracles — but if you love one another, is to be the badge of discipleship. Love is the golden clasp which fastens hearts; the indissoluble cement that binds Christians to each other.
Love is a grace that dwells not always at home — but goes abroad to seek the sorrowful, and aid the miserable.
Love reveals the soundness of faith — as the even beating of the pulse shows the healthy state of the body.
Christian love renders the gospel lovely in the eyes of the world. It was an honor to the religion of Christ in ancient times when the heathen could say, "See how these Christians love one another!" Blessed sight to behold Christians linked together with the silver links of charity! The Church is Christ's temple, the saints are living stones: how beautiful is this temple when the stones of it are cemented together with love!