1 For tho' I should speak with the eloquence of men, and of angels, and not have social affection, I should be like sounding brass, or a noisy cymbal. 2 and tho' I should have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries, and all knowledge; and tho' I had all the faith necessary to remove mountains, and had no benevolence, it would signify nothing. 3 and tho' I distribute my whole substance to the poor, and give my body to be burned, and have not social affection, it profits me nothing. 4 Social affection is patient, is kind; is a stranger to envy; is not insolently vain, nor arrogant: does not behave indecently, 5 is not self-interested, is not easily provoked, nor suspects any ill; 6 it does not countenance injustice, but smiles upon virtue; 7 it excuses all things, believes what is favourable, hopes for the best, and suffers the worst.
8 Social affection will never fail: but as for prophecies, they shall be out of use; as for languages, they shall cease; as for knowledge, it shall vanish away. 9 for our knowledge is defective, and our prophesying is defective. 10 but when that which is perfect is come, then that which is defective shall be laid aside. 11 when I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I reasoned as a child: but when I became a man, I laid aside my childish ways. 12 now we do but indirectly see the faint images of things; but then the objects themselves will be before our eyes; now I have a partial knowledge, but then shall I know, even as I myself am known. 13 and now faith, hope, social virtue, these three will all remain; but the most permanent of the three is social virtue.