Puritan Thomas Watson (1620-1686) reminds us of love that is “longsuffering”—patient with the weaknesses and failings of others. (Eph. 4:2). Many think of puritans as harsh and unloving. These words from his Divine Cordial (noted by Chris Anderson) show the warmth of Christian love embraced by the puritans … and all who love the Father (1 John 4:19-21).
We love a saint, though he has many personal failings. There is no perfection here. In some, rash anger prevails; in some, inconstancy; in some, too much love of the world. A saint in this life is like gold in the ore, much dross of infirmity cleaves to him, yet we love him for the grace that is in him. A saint is like a fair face with a scar: we love the beautiful face of holiness, though there be a scar in it. The best emerald has its blemishes, the brightest star their twinklings, and the best of the saints have their failings. You that cannot love another because of his infirmities, how would you have God love you?
We love the saints though in some lesser things they differ from us. Perhaps another Christian has not so much light as you, and that may make him err in some things; will you presently unsaint him because he cannot come up to your light? Where there is union in fundamentals, there ought to be union in affections.