This delightful fifty-five page book, first published in 1874, is based on 1 Corinthians 13.
Love is described as 'Christ's one secret of the Christian life.' It is, says Drummond, "...the rule for fulfilling all rules, the new commandment for keeping all the old commandments..." p16.
Drummond unfolds each section of Paul's writing in chapter 13, supporting his exposition with a range of verses from Scripture. Examining how Paul first contrasts love with many things which are highly esteemed, he then provides practical applications to the nine components of love identified by Paul in verses 4 - 7.
In his final chapter, Drummond explains why Paul described love as the supreme possession. "In a single word, it is this, it lasts. 'Love,' urges Paul,'never faileth.'". p43
A life that is fulfilled, joyful and purposeful, argues the author, is a life that is centred on and becomes the love of God to others. "For the withholding of love is the negation of the Spirit of Christ, the proof that we never knew Him..." p53.
Uplifting and challenging, this book provides a deeper understanding of 1 Corinthians 13 and the foundational truth embedded in Scripture, that love is the fulfilling of the law, (Matthew 22:40, Romans 13:10). Love, when rooted in Christ, is the measure by which finally we will be judged.
Henry Drummond's wonderful essay on love, "The Greatest Thing in the World" has been published in many different formats. This review is posted on the page for the "Garland Book" edition by that title, which contains this essay and three others as follows:
1) "The greatest thing in the world" 2) "The Changed Life" 3) "The Program of Christianity" 4) "The Man after God's own heart"
This edition is illustrated with a number of beautiful paintings and drawings by James Hamil. (It was edited by Roger Schlesinger.)
Henry Drummond (1851-1897) was a nineteenth-century scientist and christian evangelist who initially studied for the ministry at the University of Edinburgh but instead graduated in Natural Science and became professor of that subject at the Free Church college in Glasgow.
"The Greatest Thing in the World" was originally given as a lecture in 1883 at a mission station in central africa. It is based on the 13th chapter of the first letter of Paul to the Corinthians and is a very moving and powerful testament to the power of love.
This is the most beautiful thing I have ever read. Everyone, ans I mean anyone and everyone, whosoever, should read it. It makes the Love of God comprehensible in human terms. The author knew his God. Superlative. I am so glad I discovered it.
This book has lifted my thought. I have read it over and over again. It is just what the world needs today. It is a beautiful discourse on Love. "How to love" (practice) and the outcome of that love are superbly expounded in this slim volume. A must read even if just once in this life. I have planned on reading it once a month.
I've just finished reading this and found some great truths - especially in the other addresses included in the book on God's will and holiness. The addresses included as well as the famous "The Greatest Thing In The World" are: "The Programme Of Christianity" "The Man After God's Own Heart" "God's Will - The Christian's Aim" "The Relation Of The Will Of God To Sanctification" "How To Know The Will Of God" "An Address To The Man Who Is Down" "The Kingdom Of God And Your Part In It" However, be warned that Mr. Drummond appears to have been duped by the theory of evolution as many men of God were in the late 19th Century. For this reason you should read with discernment, especially the chapter entitled "An Address To The Man Who Is Down". Don't let this stop you buying the book though - I especially enjoyed his approach to holiness - not "How can I be holy?", but "Why do I want to be holy?".
This little book is a real gem, it is easy to see why over 12 million copies have been sold. Its nice to find something that talks about what love really is rather than the many distorted views in society today.