1 Corinthians 13:4-8
Charity suffers long, and is kind; charity envies not; charity braggs not itself, is not puffed up,…
The character of Aunt Henderson in "Kitty Trevylyan" is a very suggestive and instructive one. Her conversation consisted chiefly in compassionate animadversions upon the infirmities of her neighbours. In this, of course, she was perfectly conscientious, thinking it a matter of much importance that we should observe the follies and errors of others, in order to learn wisdom and prudence from them. Now Aunt Henderson is scarcely an imaginative personage. The world is full of just such people who seem to regard the rest of mankind as a set of defective specimens expressly designed to teach them moral perfection, just as children at school have ungrammatical sentences placed before them to teach them grammar. But I cannot help thinking, with Kitty, that the children may learn more from the correct sentences than from the incorrect, and that it is far more pleasant to have the beautiful right thing before one than the failure; nor can I believe, any more than she, that others are sent into the world to be a sort of example of error and imperfection, even to make Aunt Henderson and other conscientious people of the same kind quite perfect by the contrast. Aunt Henderson and her followers seem to be the very opposite of St. Paul's charity in this chapter; for they enjoy a sort of selfish gratification in the mistakes and misdoings of their neighbours, and dwell upon them with a malicious self-complacency of which they are scarcely conscious; while it is among the most conspicuous qualities of charity, and by no means the least beautiful of the portraiture, that she "taketh not account of evil" (R.V.).
(J. Cross, D.D.)
Parallel VersesKJV: Charity suffereth long, and is kind; charity envieth not; charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up,