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Love in the saints is a noble grace—but superlatively glorious

in God. On it angels look, and admire; and I should look,

and adore. Everything in God has the majesty of a God.

Hence, his mercy is in the heavens; his truth reaches to the

clouds; his justice is like majestic mountains; his judgments

are a great deep; his pity is like that of a father; his patience

great to a miracle; he is ready to forgive; his goodness is

abundant unto all; and his love, in height, breadth, depth,

and length—past knowledge.

Although the mercy-seat that dwells so long between the

cherubim of gospel-grace shall in a short time, be turned

into the fiery throne of judgment; and long-abused patience

turned into indignation and wrath; when the royal signet

that sealed the salvation of thousands, shall stamp the

irreversible doom of an unbelieving world; yet love in God

shall undergo no change. Here, in his present world, God’s

love shines as the morning-star, through the scattered clouds.

In eternity, it shall shine as the noonday sun, in the

illuminated regions of glory.

“From everlasting to everlasting,” is the epithet of love. A

love without beginning and without end—gives a bliss without

limits and bounds! This amazing love of God produces a sweet

similitude in the love of his saints; so that, as the one measures

with the existence of God, from everlasting to everlasting,

the other measures with the existence of the new creature,

from the hour of conversion to all eternity. Their gifts shall

end, their graces change, faith be turned into vision, hope

into fruition. But their love shall neither end nor change! It

shall heighten and brighten in the altitude of glory, when

the drop is lost in the ocean, when the soul arrives at its

center, and rests, with ineffable delight, and unspeakable

ravishment in God!

Again, O how free is this love of God! nothing moving

him to love. When we love, it is for something we think

excellent and agreeable to us. But God loves the naked child

when weltering in its blood, and, as a proof of his astonishing

love—cleanses, clothes and makes it lovely through his

loveliness being put upon it.

Again, his love is a full love. The oceans ebb and flow; if

at one time they cover the shores, at another time they leave

their beds bare and dry. But his love is perfect in its plenitude,

notwithstanding the boundless oceans oceans of his love, that

have already watered the whole universe; that have run in

mighty torrents among the angelic and seraphic multitudes

above, and in amazing inundations among fallen men below.

Though there be repeated manifestations of love to his hidden

ones, and thousands of his favorites feast on this heavenly

food, while traveling through this waste howling wilderness;

yes, though the manifestation of his love, through the

unnumbered ages of eternity, shall be continued to the

glorified throng, still its ardor and exuberance will be evermore

the same. The ocean of his love, will not be one drop less for

all the waterings of the fields of bliss. After the sun of

righteousness, through a duration in eternity beyond

conception, and above the reach of thought—has illuminated

the spacious continent of glory with his beams—not one

ray, not one irradiation, shall be in the least diminished.

Again, his love is efficient, active, and an operative love. I

may love a fellow-creature, or an absent friend, and yet avail

them nothing, nor they so much as know it. But the love of

God, like the light, reveals itself wherever it is. His love effectually

draws us—and we run to him. His love constrains and

compels our love. For a pardoned sinner cannot but choose

to love the one who so lovingly pardons. Wherever the

heavenly spark falls, it sets the soul in a flame!

Again, the love of God is a fixed and unchangeable love;

and the more the soul is in sorrow or distress, the more free

and full are the communications of divine love. In the time

of need, the world’s love will give us the slip; but in the most

calamitous circumstances, sacred love performs the part of

two loves, and sticks closer than a brother. Mortal love, (alas!

how many can attest the truth of this!) may today appear

ardent, steadfast and sincere—but tomorrow be entirely

cooled; yes, converted into slander, hatred, and revenge! But

let all the sons of God know, that divine love shall be to

them what the holy waters were to the prophet, ever on the

increase, until it is an ocean to swim in forever! Against fears

on every side this is comfort—that God will rest in his

immutable love to his people.

Divine love is also a beneficent love. Jonathan loved David

exceedingly—but could not do much for him, nor save him

from being expelled from his native country. But the love of

God is fruitful of every blessing. It is the tree which bears all

kinds of fruits that nourish the soul, and feast every grace.

The love of poor men can bring no advantage to the people

loved—but when God sets his love upon a sinner, all at once,

he who had nothing—has all things—life, liberty, friends,

riches, glory, a kingdom; sufficiency here, and all-sufficiency

hereafter; in a word, all that can be named, sought after,

wished for, or thought upon! Then, you sons of earth! hug

yourselves in the embrace of wealth, and bless your own

condition—but presume not that you are the favorites of

heaven because his common providence pours upon you. As

for me, may I be the object of this love, and, in spite of

poverty—I am rich; in spite of sin—I am forgiven and secure,

and walk on triumphing to the better country.

But again, the love of God is an intimate love. O how the

high and lofty One reveals the secrets of his covenant, and

the sweets of his love to that soul, where he condescends to

come and dwell! When by the Holy Spirit, the love of God is

shed abroad in the soul, what heavenly joy refreshes the whole

inner man! “I know you by name,” says Job. “I beseech you,

show me your glory,” says Moses. The intimacy begun in

time—is the bliss of eternity—and in greater or lesser degree

is the privilege of every believer. The more our fellowship is

with the Father, and his son Jesus Christ, the more of his

divine likeness we shall put on; and in the eternal world, in

the different degrees of assimilation to God, consist the

different degrees of glory.

Again, the love of God is infinite—and what that is, none

but an infinite Being knows. Our love is a spark—his is the

sun! Our love is a drop—his is the ocean!

Again, his love is uninterrupted. Not sin within us; not

hell outside us; nor Satan accusing us at the throne—can

interrupt his love. This is encouragement to serve him in

spite of sin; and in the face of enemies.

Lastly, his love is eternal. Heaven and earth shall pass

away—but his love will not. Time must end—but his love

attends the saints beyond the grave. Death cools the love of

the nearest relations—but cannot separate from us the love

of God. Love is the quintessence of bliss, the heart of heaven,

the joy of angels, the song of the redeemed, and the character

of God. O happy day! when I shall rise to enjoy that love,

which transcends the glory of the redeemed, and all the

anthems of angelic choirs!

James Meikle