Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers, Vol. V:Early Church Fathers Index Previous Next
A Treatise on Nature and Grace.: Chapter 84
Chapter 84 [LXX.]—The Degrees of Love are Also Degrees of Holiness.
Inchoate love, therefore, is inchoate holiness; advanced love is advanced holiness; great love is great holiness; “perfect love is perfect holiness,”—but this “love is out of a pure heart, and of a good conscience, and of faith unfeigned,” 1358 “which in this life is then the greatest, when life itself is contemned in comparison with it.” 1359 I wonder, however, whether it has not a soil in which to grow after it has quitted this mortal life! But in what place and at what time soever it shall reach that state of absolute perfection, which shall admit of no increase, it is certainly not “shed abroad in our hearts” by any energies either of the nature or the volition that are within us, but “by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us,” 1360 “and which both helps our infirmity and co-operates with our strength. For it is itself indeed the grace of God, through our Lord Jesus Christ, to whom, with the Father and the Holy Spirit, appertaineth eternity, and all goodness, for ever and ever. Amen.
1 Tim. i. 5.151:1359
See note at beginning of ch. 82 for the meaning of this mark of quotation.151:1360
Rom. v. 5.
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