“ The common people understand not many excellent virtues; the lowest virtues draw praise from them, the middle virtues work in them astonishment or admiration, but of the highest virtues they have no sense or perceiving at all.” Bacon
Here in the annotations by Richard Whately, D.D. are some examples of the higher virtues—
“He will do good without calculating upon much gratitude; yet will be grateful, with most generous ardor himself. To take any unfair advantages, or even to take all fair ones—to press his rights to the utmost---- to press close to the limits of what is wrong, and anxiously consider whether he may be allowed to do this, or omit that,-- he disdains, and would feel degraded by it. Of the virtues of such a man as this, the vulgar have indeed no perception.”
Of all the influences of Christianity that reached deep within me when examining the faith it was the countless acts of goodness, done, not out of compulsion, fear, guilt or even duty, but rather by a grace moving people to act, not out of self interest but rather from a joy of doing as Jesus did, loving, touching, giving, helping. Knowing He dwells in goodness, not for gain, but because His kingdom is of such. Such a beautiful thing to give, expecting nothing in return, but because we value others regardless of their faults or shortcomings.
When the hearts cry is, “Does no one care? Will no one come?” And to be moved by God to be the vehicle of his love and say, “Yes, I am here.”
Such as I have, I will give you; I may not have gold, but I can give you counsel, I may not be able to relieve your need, but I can relieve your sadness; I cannot cure you, but I can comfort you; I cannot take away your poverty, but I can ease your spirit Not for glory, or return payment, without strings attached, no agenda, but because Jesus loves you and because he does, I sense your need and want to do such as I can.
It is true, I had no idea or concept of the purity of giving for the good in it without looking for reciprocation. What a breath of fresh air, truly the beauty of holiness.