The Greatest of These


Though in declaring Christ to the sinner,
I may all men surpass,
If love impassioned seal not the message,
I am naught but sounding brass.

Love suffereth patiently;
Love worketh silently;
Love seeketh not her own.
Love never faileth;
Love still prevaileth;
Lord, in me Thy love enthrone!

Though I have wisdom lighting all mysteries,
Though I may all things know,
Though great my faith be, removing mountains,
Without love ’tis empty show.

Though I distribute all my possessions,
Though as a martyr die,
My sacrifices profit me nothing,
Unless love doth sanctify.

This poetic paraphrase of 1 Corinthians 13:1-8 describes the essence of a true follower of Jesus, even though the original words were written by Paul, and not Jesus Himself. The author, Archibald Wiggins, was a Salvation Army officer who lived from 1893 to 1976. He attended the Church of England and then a Methodist church before joining the Salvation Army. His early officership was spent in corps(church) and divisional administrative appointments, but most of his life was given to editorial work – his strength. In 1957 he became Personal Literary Secretary to the General, Wilfred Kitching. Wiggins wrote over 250 songs, and for more than 50 years he contributed at least one song annually to The Musical Salvationist , a publication for Salvation Army Songster Brigades (choirs). The above song was at one time such a piece, before it was included in the Song Book for congregational singing. He also wrote biographies of Salvationists Richard Slater, Theodore Kitching and George Marshall. Wiggins retired as a Lieut.-Commissioner in 1959.

S.A. SONG BOOK, 1987 EDITION, #530; 2015 EDITION, #683

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