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A Brief ESSAY in the Verse,

upon the 13th Chapter of CORINTHIANS the First

by: Thomas Bromley [1629 - 1691] 

 


 

(a) The Greek words import rather a loud sounding, than a tinkling Cymbal. 1.  T H O’   I with Eloquence should vested be,
Above the Pitch of meer Humanity,
So as in Tongues with Angels for to vie,
Yet all is nothing without
Charity :
Like Sounding Brass, or the
(a) loud Cymbal’s Noise,
Without true Life, I Should but form a Voice.
2.   And tho’ I have the Gift of Prophecy,
And hidden Wisdom be unvail’d to me ;
So that in Knowledge equal I become,
To the great Soul of Wise King
Solomon :
Yea, tho’ by Faith vast Hills I could remove,
Yet all is nothing without perfect Love.
3.   Tho’ all my Goods in Alms I should bestow,
And so great Zeal for my Religion show,
As to consent my Flesh in Flames should burn,
Rather than from my Dear Opinion turn :
Yet thence no Profit to my Soul can rise,
Except to Love, itself’s a Sacrifice.
4.   This Love by it’s true Characters may be,
Distinguish’d from pretended Charity ;
It perseveres in Patience and is kind,
Then, when to try it, all things seem combin’d.
Envy’s black Tincture it did never know,
Nor Ostentation in its Actions show.
It is not puft up, but will kiss the Dust,
To help those Souls, which in its Goodness trust.
(b)  The Greek imports, 'tis never provoked into high Passion or imbittered. 5.   Comely to all itself it doth express,
Through Condescention seeking for to bless.
No Self-Love ever did its Actions stain,
It stoops to suffer, to make others Reign.
No
(b) bitterness did ever in it rise
From the worst Actings of its Enemies ;
But still it thinks the Best, is not severe
Sin to impute, but rather all would clear.
6.   All Falsehood and Injustice distant are,
As from it’s Joy, so from it spotless Sphere :
But Truth in Heart, Word, Works, are it’s delight ;
A pleasing Object to a Virgin sight.
(c) In the English, it beareth all things; but accofding to the Greek it may be better rendred, it covers or hides all Things : Else the last words of the vers. & these import the very same. 7.   It (c) covers all that Malice would reveal,
It pardons, and would fain all Breaches heal.
It doth believe all that may Crimes excuse,
Except meer Evidence makes it refuse.
And tho’ things at the present may seem bad,
It hopes at length they will be better made .
Thus it endureth all things, waits to see,
Through the long Patience, a full Victory.
(d) The Division of Tongues divided and scattered Mankind. 8.   Which Love will gain :   for it can never die,
But must outlast the Gift of Prophecy ;
Yea, and of Languages, for they must cease,
And give way to
(d) United Blessedness.
When all our Twilight Knowledge will expire,
In the bright Beams of it’s Eternal Fire.
9.   Knowledge and Prophecy are but in Part,
But Love’s that Essence which must fill the Heart ;
By that imperfect Gift absorpt must be,
But that ends well that dies in Charity.
10.   Children like Children reason, think and speak
Their Intellectual Actings are but weak ;
But when to Manly Age we do arrive,
No longer then in Childish things we live :
So when our Hopes in Love consummate are,
Imperfect Lights and Gifts will disappear.
11.   For little here but Images we see,
And Pictures of Essential Verity ;
Eternal Truths in Riddles do appear,
Much is obscure, but very little clear.
Yet when the perfect Love we shall possess,
With Intuition Heaven will us bless:
Then Face to Face we shall that Beauty see,
By which Angelick Hosts Enamour’d be ;
Then shall we know, as we of him are known,
By Rays of Intellect and pure Sensation.
12.   Therefore when Faith, Hope, Love, we do compare,
Love hath the Palm ;   this Love the Crown doth Wear.
The Evidence of Things not seen Faith is,
And Hope our Anchor till we come to Bliss ;
But then they both expire, and both resign,
To Love the First born of the Sacred Trine ;
Without which Heaven could not Heaven be,
Neither a Place of Rest, nor Unity.
’Tis this that links Eternity to Time,
And makes the Heavens with our Earth to chime,
’Tis this that knits
Eternal Souls in one,
And bind’s the
Angels in Conjunction,
’Tis this that draws down the Almighty Powers,
To over shadow us in Golden Showers.
That so our Hearts may full enriched be,
With the abundant Fruits of Charity.

 

End of:  'A Brief ESSAY in Verse upon the
13th Chapter of Corinthians the First '

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