By Hugh Binning
“Love does not Envy” Envy is the seed of all contention, and self-love brings it forth. When everyone desires to be esteemed as greatests would have pre-eminence among others, their ways must interfere with one another. This is what makes discord. Everyone would take away from another’s value, that they themselves may add to their own. No one lives content with their own lot or position, and it is the aspiring beyond that, which puts all the wheels out of course. I beleive this is the root of many contentions among Christians,-the apprehension of slighting, the conceit of disrespect, and the like, kindles the flame of difference, and heightens the least offence to an unpardonable injury. But love envieth not where it may lie quietly low. Though it be under the feet of others, and beneath its own due place, yet it does not envy, it can lie contentedly so. Suppose it is slighted and despised, yet it doesn’t take it badly, because it is lowly in mind.
“Love is not proud, and doesn’t praise itself.” If love has gifts and graces beyond others, it restrains itself, with the bridle of modesty and humility, from praising or boasting about itself, or anything in its carrying of itself that may taste of conceit. Pride is a self admirer, and despises others, and to please itself, cares little if others others are displeased. There is nothing so unfitting in human or Christian society, so apt to alienate others’ affections, for the more we take our own affection to ourselves, we will have less from others. O these golden rules of Christian walking! Rom.12:10,16, “In love of the brothers be tenderly affectionate to one another; in honor preferring one another; Don’t set your mind on high things, but associate with the humble. Don’t be wise in your own conceits.” O but that were a sightly competition among Christians, to prefer another in unfeigned love, and in lowliness of mind, each to esteem another better than themself. Philip. 2:3. “Knowledge puffs up” says the apostle (1sr Cor. 8:1) “but love edifies.” It is only a swelling and inflamation of the mind, but love is solid devotion and real Christianity.
Excerpt from The Works of the Rev. Hugh Binning, Kindle Edition, Loc. 16467. [Language modernized in some places by this site]