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God's Love Made Eternal Life Possible

God's Love Made Eternal Life Possible

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Published by glennpease
REV. HENRY WOODWARD, A.M.


St. John iii. i6.
God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that
whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have ever-
lasting life.
REV. HENRY WOODWARD, A.M.


St. John iii. i6.
God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that
whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have ever-
lasting life.

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Published by: glennpease on Jul 10, 2013
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GOD'S LOVE MADE ETERAL LIFE POSSIBLEREV. HERY WOODWARD, A.M.St. John iii. i6.God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, thatwhosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have ever-lasting life.Canst thou by searching find out God? Canst thou findout the Almighty to perfection f Such is the language of the friend of Job — a language which admits of but onereply : Such knowledge is too wonderful and excellent for'US; we cannot attain unto it. We are all, indeed, con-scious how little we can comprehend of the Supreme andInfinite nature. But men are, in general, I doubt not,more sensible of this truth as applied to the severerthan to the softer attributes of God. When contrastedwith His greatness, they feel their utter abasement.Their own power, their wisdom, and the extent of theirhorizon, vanish into nothing before the omnipotence, theomniscience, and the ubiquity of God. But as to anylively or practical impression, they are insensible to thestill broader lines which separate the Divine love andthe Divine condescension from all that the human heart5 6 SERMO VI.can feel, however high it beats with tenderness and com-passion. Yes ; it is in goodness, far more than in magni-ficence, that the Creator rises above the creature. Andsooner could man scale the heights of God's omnipotenceor sound the abysses of His knowledge, than penetrateinto the recesses of that love which constitutes not oneattribute, but the very essence of God Himself.Would to heaven, my brethren, that I had languageto bring home to your hearts the peace and joy which
 
there is in believing, in an awakened sense, that such isthe character of God as revealed in the gospel of HisSon. There is, I say, in the simple apprehension thata Being thus mild and gracious holds the sceptre of sovereignty over all worlds ; that the universe is in thesegentle hands, and must continue so throughout eternity ;there is in the living conviction of this truth, a feltsecurity, a joy of heart, which passeth all understanding.The man who so believes can with a peculiar emphasisthank God that he ever was born ; that his eyes wereever opened to behold a scene so blessed and so glorious ;that he was raised up a conscious witness of a systemwhose nature and constitution are founded upon thepillars of unbounded goodness and almighty love. Sucha man can exclaim with all the fervour of the Psalmist,The Lord is King ; the earth may be glad thereof ; yea^the multitude of the isles may be glad thereof The words of my text exhibit the Divine Being incharacters unspeakably gracious. God so loved t/te worldythat He gave His only begotten Sony that whosoever be-lieveth in Him should nQt perish^ but have everlasting life.There are two things which, according to our views,render the character of another alien from our sym-pathies and abhorrent from our feelings. The one isSERMO VI. 57inherent depravity, the other, personal hostility to our-selves. With what horror, for example, does one wholoves the decencies and purities of life, behold the foulexhibition of a mind which riots in uncleanness andglories in its shame ! And, alas, with what high disdaindoes our proud nature view the defiance of an equal, orthe insolence of an inferior.But God's thoughts are not as our thoughts, nor our
 
ways as God's ways. When all flesh had corrupteditself and offended those eyes which are too pure tobehold iniquity ; when the creature had lifted up his armagainst the Creator, and man assumed the attitude of stem defiance against his God ; it was then that theLord rose, in the power and energy of His love, resolv-ing that His long-suffering should not be overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good. It was then thatGod determined to heap coals of fire upon our heads,and to melt down our enmity because He had patienceto forgive it.When the Lord looked down from heaven to see if there were any that would seek after God, all had de-parted from Him ; they were altogether become abomi-nable ; there was none that did good, no not one. Thethoughts of the imaginations of man's heart were onlyevil continually. All were concluded under sin, andhad come short of the glory of God. To judge byhuman measures, we might well inquire what therecould have been in such a state of things to incline theheart of God to mercy. Was it that in man, thoughutterly estranged from God, some broken fragments of that temple, which was once a house of prayer, layscattered amidst the ruins of his soul ? Or that somelingering remains of that glorious image in which he atS8 SERMO VI.first was formed, reminded his Creator of that day inwhich He pronounced him very good ? Was it that thehuman soul, though depressed and clouded, still beamedwith some sparks of its native fire, and shewed fromhow bright an eminence it had fallen? Or did thatspirit which died in Adam, though dead, yet speak inthe ears of its great Original ? Did it pity Him to seeHis offspring in the dust ? Was it this that moved theFather of spirits to say, Awake, thou that sleepest, and

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