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The Mind's Love for God.

The Mind's Love for God.

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Published by glennpease

BY PHILLIPS BROOKS



"Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God . . .
with all thy mind. "Matthew xxii. 37


BY PHILLIPS BROOKS



"Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God . . .
with all thy mind. "Matthew xxii. 37

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Published by: glennpease on Feb 21, 2013
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03/30/2014

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THE MIND'S LOVE FOR GOD.BY PHILLIPS BROOKS"Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God . . .with all thy mind. "Matthew xxii. 37.This is only part of a verse. It is a fragment of the injunction in which Christ laid down to Hisdisciples the whole range and compass of theChristian life. In words which must have seemedto each of them, according to his character andmood, either the imposition of a duty or the offerof a privilege which was large enough to coverand fill all their lives, their Lord had said tothem, " Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with allthy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thymind. This is the first and great commandment.And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt lovethy neighbour as thyself." The two great com-mandments make one duty. Completely carriedout in all their parts, they would make life a^ Preached at St. Mark's Church, Upper Hamilton Terrace,London, Sunday morning, 13th May 1883.THE MINDS LOVE FOR GOD.strong and perfect unit. But, as we study them,it is possible to take their unity apart and fix ourthoughts upon a single one of the elements of whichit is composed. This is what I want to do thismorning ; for there is one part of the great com-prehensive statement of duty which, often as werepeat it, I think that many of us seldom pauseto consider and have seldom consciously and con-scientiously tried to work out into life. It is thatin which Jesus says, " Thou shalt love the Lordthy God with all thy mind." Far more familiaris the thought which is included in the otherwords, " Thou shalt love God with all thy heartand soul." The affections of the emotional naturewe think of very often. That the soul, which isthe very seat of admiring wonder and of spiritualsympathy, should glow and burn at the sight of the excellence and love of God, we all see andfeel how natural that is. But that the mindmust love, that the intellectual nature also has itsaffections which it must give to God ; this, perhaps,seems to us more strange ; certainly it is lessfamiliar.
 
But yet if it is true, we surely want to under-stand it. If there is one part of our nature whichwe have been in the habit of thinking either hadnothing to do with our religion or else could onlydeal with our religion in the coldest and hardest24 THE MINDS LOVE FOR GOD. ii.way, but which, indeed, is capable of burning withits own peculiar fire, surely it will be worth ourwhile to study it as carefully as we can. This iswhy I ask you to think with me this morning,about the Christian loving God with all his mind.In the first place, then, we want to assure our-selves in general that there is such a power asintellectual affection, and that no man completelyand worthily loves any noble thing or personunless he loves it with his mind as well as withhis heart and soul. That will not, I think, bevery hard to see. Take, for instance, your lovefor some beautiful scene of nature. There issomewhere upon the earth a lordly landscapewhich you love. When you are absent from it,you remember it with delight and longing. Whenyou step into the sight of it after long absence,your heart thrills and leaps. While you sit quietlygazing day after day upon it, your whole naturerests in peace and satisfaction. Now, what is itin you that loves that loveliness ? Love I taketo be the delighted perception of the excellence of things. With what do you delightedly perceivehow excellent is all that makes up that land-scape's beauty, the bending sky, the rolling hill,the sparkling lake, the waving harvest, and thebrooding mist ? First of all, no doubt, with yoursenses. It is the seeing eye, the hearing ear.n. THE MINDS LOVE FOR GOD. 25the sense of feeling which in the glowing cheek issoothed or made to tingle, the sense of smellwhich catches sweet odours from the garden orthe hayfield, ù it is these that love the landscapefirst ; you love it first with all your senses. Butnext to that what comes ? Suppose that thebright scene is radiant with associations, supposethat by that river you have walked with yourmost helpful friend ; upon that lake you havefloated and frolicked when you were a boy ;across that field you have guided the staggeringplough ; over that hill you have climbed in dayswhen life was all sunshine and breeze. Thatpart of you which is capable of delightedly per-ceiving these associations as they shine up to you
 
from the glowing scenery, perceives them withdelight and takes the landscape into its affection.You love the scene with all your heart. But yetagain, suppose a deeper faculty in you perceivesthe hand of God in all this wondrous beauty;suppose a glad and earnest gratitude springs upin you and goes to meet the meadow and the sky ;suppose that all seems to tell to some deeplistening instinct in you that it was all made foryou, and made by one who loved you ; supposethat it all stands as a rich symbol of yet richerspiritual benefits of which you are aware ; whatthen ? Does not another part of you spring up26 THE MINDS LOVE FOR GOD. ii.and pour out its affection, your power of rever-ence and gratefulness ; and so you love the land-scape then with all your soul. Or yet again, if the whole scene appears to tempt you with in-vitations to work : the field calling on you to tillit, and the river to bridge it, and the hill to setfree the preciousness of gold or silver with whichits heart is full and heavy ; to that too you respondwith your power of working ; and then you lovethe scene with all your will, or all your strength.And now, suppose that, beyond all these, anotherspirit comes out from the landscape to claimanother yet unclaimed part of you ; suppose thatunsolved problems start out from the earth andfrom the sky. Glimpses of relationships betweenthings and of qualities in things flit before you, just letting you see enough of them to set yourcuriosity all astir. The scene which cried before," Come, admire me," or " Come, work on me,"now cries, " Come, study me." What hangs thestars in their places and swings them on theirway ; how the earth builds the stately tree out of the petty seed ; how the river feeds the cornfield ;where lie the metals in the mountains ù these,and a hundred other questions, leap out from thepicture before you and, pressing in, past yoursenses and your emotions and your practicalpowers, will not rest till they have found out yourn. THE MINDS LOVE FOR GOD. 27intelligence. They appeal to the mind, and themind responds to them ; not coldly, as if it hadnothing to do but just to find and register theiranswers, but enthusiastically, perceiving with de-light the excellence of the truths at which theypoint, recognising its appropriate task in their

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