I'm reading through A Discourse Concerning Love by Nathaniel Vincent. This book (ISBN 1-57358-079-1) was originally printed in 1684 and reprinted in 1998 by Soli Deo Gloria Publications. In this work, Mr. Vincent expounds Ephesians 4:16 "Maketh increase of the body, unto th edifying of itself in love."
Mr. Vincent argues that "a deadly damp has seized on love" and that the "Church's pulse beats in disorderly fashion" because "love is the cause of her [the Church's] increase and edification," (p. 1). The author shows that the Church edifies itself in love in four propositions (pp. 2-3):
- "The Church of Christ is compared to a body."
- "This body of Christ is imperfect in this world, and therefore should be continually increasing."
- "The body of Christ should diligently endeavor to edify itself."
- "The more love abounds among the members of the church, the more the whole body will be edified."
In Chapter 5, the author looks at the properties of love found in the Scriptures:
- "Love must proceed from a pure heart," (p. 70).
- "Love must be joined with a good conscience," (p. 70).
- "Love must flow from faith unfeigned," (p. 71).
- "Love must be fervent," (p. 71).
- "Christians' love mus be brotherly," (p. 71).
- "Love should be extended so as to become universal; and the more extensive it is, the more it makes a man resemble God Himself," (p. 72).
"And let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works: Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching," (Heb. 10:24-25).