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The Divine Love.

The Divine Love.

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Published by glennpease

John 3 : 18, 19.—

John 3 : 18, 19.—

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Published by: glennpease on Jun 29, 2013
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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THE DIVIE LOVE.BY REV. OCTAVIUS PERICHIEFJohn 3 : 18, 19.— For God BO IotpiI the world that He gare Hia oaly be-gotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but hareeverlasting life. For God seDt not Hia Son into the world to condemn thoworld, hut that the world through Him might be saved. He Ihiit believethin Him ia not condemned, oat he that beliereth not is condEmoed alreitdy,becBHSfl he hath not believed ia the name of the only begotten Son of God.And this lathe condemnation that light is come into the world and men loveddarlioesa rather than light, because their deeds were evil.This is part of our Lord's discourse with icodemus.It embraces the whole Gospel in itself. To a mind, notpreoccupied imih doctrines and theories, as the mind of icodemus was, it is peculiarly simple and plain. ico-demus was a Jew and a theologian, like us, bound handand foot with traditions. The feature of Chiist's lifewhich affected him, was, the fact of miracles. Throughthat, icodemus got an inkling that Christ was a teachercome from God. He just had vision enough to see thatChrist's wonder-working differed from that of all others,d by Googlechiefly in that it was merciful and beneficent, and socommended itself to His moral sense, as worth// of God.The feature of Christ's life which most affects us, isnot His miracles, but the fact that being a Jew, Hewas neither a Jew nor a theologian, His thought wasneither colored nor distorted by time or place. His lifewas moulded by neither His age, nor His nationality.He was human and belonged to mankind. His truthswere coins which have heaven and God stamped uponthem. Their substance was not earthly, but spiritual.Jle was Himself ike greatest of all conceivable miracles, andview Him in any light we may, we too can say : " Weknow Thou art a teacher come from God."
Like the rose, or the morning light, these propositionsof Christ carry with them their own endorsement. Whois God ? God is love. This was news even to the Jew.It is news yet to a gi-eat many Christians, for simplyassenting to it, is not by any means the same thing asunderstanding it. It is remarkable that all theologiesand religions have called God from the depths of theirdarkness, created Him out of their fears and their pas-sions. With what light we have had, we have projec-ted simply our own shadow, and called if God. BothJew and Gentile, as was natural enough, consulted theirfears. ot understanding themselves, or nature aroundthem, they turned all providence into evil, look uponmankind as under a curse, and called God a Judge, re-garded Him as an angr^ being, anxious to destroy ratherthan to preserve. He was a God to be appeased andthat too by ordinances that were either foolish or deep-ly revolting.Imagine Christ's woi'ds falling there and saying:" God so loved the world." When man has long delvedd by GoogleTHE DIVIE LOVE, 2S9for the truth, how simple it seems, when at last it comesto him. If we had tmlj reasoned, we would have seenthat wrath, anger, hatred, or any unlove, were really aweakness, and therefore impossible in God. They aremerely the absence of mercy, patience and love. If they had looked into the divine dealings with our race,they would have seen mercy, restraining and guidinglove, in them all, an attempt to prevent evil consequences,and so to redeem and bless mankind. They wouldhave seen that every element in man and every elementin nature, under the direction of wisdom, under the in-fluence of reason, of love, were burdened with divinestministration. All that nature wanted, all that God asked,was that man should not be a brute, that he shouldmount up to a recognition of his soul-nature, his trueman-being. The very point contemplated in his beingwas his recognition of his moral being, his realization
of soul. It was only as he got away from his fears, hispassions, his grosser self, that he could find God. Whathe needed was not facts, but the power of seeing them,not truth, but the power of perceiving truth. He andall other things were so made, that he should find hissoul level, his moral or spiritual existence. The essenceof moral being is that the sotjl find it and accept it. Di-vine love and wisdom, God Himself, could not frameany other uuiverse or make another moral being. Youperceive, individual volition creates moral being. Takethat out and there is no moral being. To have finitespirit existence at all, it was needful to have it just asit was. There was no unlove whatever in making theworld as it was and in creating man as he is. It mustso be, or never be. That lies in the very fact that Godis God. There is a conception of God — i. e., to say, ad by Googlemisconception of God, that He can do any arbitrary-thing, that is, that He might, if He chose, please to doanything, irrespective of all law. If that were so, thenHe might some day choose to break His promise andforget and forsake us.We see, of necessity, the law of truth, forever forbidsthat God should ever break His promise. So God isomnipotent under His own law, by and within a law, andthe world was made, and man made upon it, under thelaw of divine love, and divine wisdom, the best worldand the best humanity that could by any possibility bemade, so that in a certain sense, whatever is, is right.If consequences, dark and fearful, intervene sometimes,still there is no anger anywhere, because that is thenegative of God, but love everywhere, because like lightthat is the essence of Deity. God is a spirit of positiveand pure essence. He is transcendently happy and glori-fied, BECAUSE pure spiritual essence can produce nothing else.That is what Paul calls "predestination," that is the ul-timate end and object of its existence. The kingdomof God, used in its spiritual sense, is thus of necessitya kingdom of pure souls, or purified souls, souls quick-ened by the divine life. Souls without the divine life

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