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GOD IS LOVE

GOD IS LOVE

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


I St. John iv. i6.
And we have known and believed the love that God hath to us.
God is love; and he that dwelleth in love dwelleth in God^
and God in him.
REV. HENRY WOODWARD, A.M.


I St. John iv. i6.
And we have known and believed the love that God hath to us.
God is love; and he that dwelleth in love dwelleth in God^
and God in him.

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Published by: glennpease on Jul 11, 2013
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GOD IS LOVEREV. HERY WOODWARD, A.M.I St. John iv. i6.And we have known and believed the love that God hath to us.God is love; and he that dwelleth in love dwelleth in God^and God in him.This, says our blessed Lord, is life eternal, that theymight know thee, the only true God, and Jesus Christwhom thou hast sent Man is, by his condition as acreature, and in. the essential constitution of his being,a spectator : God is the glorious spectacle which he wascalled into existence to behold. In seeing God he fulfilsthe intention of his creation, and draws in the energiesand succours of spiritual life and happiness. And, onthe contrary, when by wilful apostacy he loses sight of#God, he droops and languishes and decays, as plantsunvisited by the genial sun. This is the essence of thatgreat change which passed on man. He no longer sawGod; but in that darkness which the privation of es-sential light diffused, he conjured up terrific shapes andlying images of Deity ; and from these he fled, and fainwould hide himself under whatever shelter he could find.To bring man again within the view of that gloriousObject which it is his true life to see, is the main designof his redemption. The whole Bible is one continuedcomment on the doctrine of my text It is fin ever-SERMO XXXV. 433varying exhibition of the most affecting pictures of thegoodness, the patient longsuffering, the tender mercy,the exhaustless love, the boundless amiability of God.The first page almost we open bears ample testimony tothe truth that God is love : Let tis tnake man in our
 
imagey after our likeness. What do these terms implybut the beneficent desire to impart a portion of Hisown exhaustless joys ? To raise up recipients or vesselsinto which He can pour the streams of His own essentialblessedness ? For if God be the possessor and fountainof felicity unalloyed and infinite, to call into beingcounterparts or miniatures of Himself, is the utmost thatwe can conceive of overflowing charity and boundlesslove.To that happiness for which man was destined, allaround him was formed to minister. The picture whichthe sacred penman draws of the residence prepared forman is a scene so pure, so calm, so unlike this trouble-some world, that Paradise, that magic word, can touchmysterious chords within us. We somehow feel as if weourselves, not in the person of our representative, but inour own persons and in our own experience, had oncetasted its freshness, its innocence, its sunshine, and itscloudless skies, and were thence ejected to wanderthrough the wilderness which now surrounds us. TheLord planted a garden eastward in Eden ; and there Heput the man whom He had formed, A nd out of the groundmade tJie Lord God to grow every tree that is pleasant tothe sight and good for food.We know in how dark a cloud sin descended uponthese pure and innocent abodes. This was by man'sdoing. He had marred God's beautiful work ; he hadbrought down ruin upon himself; he had rebelled againstFF434 SERMO XXXV.Almighty goodness. But in this tragic scene what partdoes Scripture assign to a justly offended God ? He, towhom a thousand years are as one day, runs through
 
man's prospective history at a glance. His plan isformed, His covenant ordered in all things and sure.The willing Victim is doomed to die. Through thelong vista of revolving years, through the long aisle of intervening ages, the altar of the Cross is seen, and uponit the great Sacrifice, the Lamb slain from the foundationof the world. Yes, to Adam, fallen, apostate, and self-ruined, was the promise made that the Seed of thewoman should bruise the serpent's head.Again, when the wickedness of man was great uponthe earth, and the earth was filled with violence, andwhen no other course was left than to sweep away thatguilty race; no sooner had His "strange work" beendone, than God returns to the essential element of Hisnature, and love shines forth again. When the delugehad subsided, when the sun reappeared and impressedhis arch of glory upon the clouds, God hails that cheeringsight as the emblem of His own forgiveness. He whoin the days of His flesh was wont to take His lessonsfrom the casual objects that He saw, as though Hisattention were at the moment arrested by this mostbeautiful of nature's processes, points to the rainbow,and ordains that that shall be the pledge and token of His covenant.But a few short years after man had thus set outupon a new score of mercy and forgiveness, we finddarkness covering die earth, and gross darkness thepeople. But this was only to afford new displays of thepatient, long-suffering, and exhaustless love of GodAmongst the faithless, one faithful worshipper was found ;SERMO XXXV. 435and from the time that God calls him out of his idol-atrous country, to the closing scene when Abraham gaveup the ghost and died in a good old age, his whole

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