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The Love o God in the Incarnation of Christ.

The Love o God in the Incarnation of Christ.

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Published by glennpease
BY REV. JONTHAN MAYHEW WAINWRIGHT, D.D., D.C.L.,


1 John iv. 9.



In this was manifested tlie love of God towards us, because that God
sent his only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through
him.
BY REV. JONTHAN MAYHEW WAINWRIGHT, D.D., D.C.L.,


1 John iv. 9.



In this was manifested tlie love of God towards us, because that God
sent his only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through
him.

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Published by: glennpease on Jul 22, 2013
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THE LOVE O GOD I THE ICARATIO OF CHRIST.BY REV. JOTHA MAYHEW WAIWRIGHT, D.D., D.C.L.,1 John iv. 9.In this was manifested tlie love of God towards us, because that Godsent his only begotten Son into the world, that we might live throughhim.To the triumphant song of the angelic host, " Gloryto God in the highest, and on earth peace, good willtowards men," the Church mihtant this day givesback its annual response. Praise, indeed, is ever due,and is sung throughout the year, for the blessings of redeeming love ; but upon the natal day of the Princeof Peace it breaks forth from the faithful with peculiardemonstrations of joy. The walls of our temples cladin bright and cheerful green, the fir tree, the pine treeand the box together, beautifying the place of God'ssanctuary, the animated character of our liturgical ser-vices, the joy and peace of religion extending to ourgod's love est the incaenation of cheist. 223domestic circles, and spreading their sweet influencethere, combine to show that we regard this in an espe-cial manner as a day which the Lord hath made, andtherefore we rejoice and are glad therein. What themecan be in fuller accordance with these sentiments andthese observances than Divine love, for what clearermanifestation of this attribute can be imagined thanthe wonderful event upon which the Church demandsof us to fix our devout contemplations ? Instructed,then, and guided by the text, and praying for strength
 
and wisdom from on high, I would detain your thoughtsfor a while in meditation, as I trust they have alreadybeen engaged in devotion, upon God's attribute of love,and the manifestation of this attribute in the incar-nation of his Son.Love, then, as an attribute of God, first calls forthe exercise of our thoughts. ow to comprehendthe essence of the Divine nature far transcends, weknow, the power of finite man. Even the angels,though dwelling for ever beneath the effulgent beamsof the manifested Godhead, can never reach to theheight of this knowledge. To them, as to all createdbeings, it must for ever remain inaccessible. But if weknow not now, and throughout the progress of eter-nity can never ariive at knowing the Almighty untoperfection, yet we may attain to some delightful andconsoling measures of this knowledge by meditatingupon those adorable attributes of the Supreme whichhave been revealed to us. But so weak are our powerswhen directed to this sublime object of contemplation,224 THE LOVE OF GOD I THEthat for all the practical purposes of religious medi-tation, we are oblio^ecl to take the attributes of Godseparately, and to think of him sometimes as Almighty,sometimes as infinite in mercy, sometimes as unboundedin goodness, sometimes as exhaustless in wisdom, andsometimes as awful and inflexible in justice. So fullyare all these attributes manifested in him, that we maywith strict propriety say he is himself each one of them. He is power, he is justice, he is goodness, he iswisdom, he is mercy. This mode of expression, how-ever, seems to be peculiar to St. John. In one placehe declares God is hght, and in the verse immediatelypreceding my text he proclaims that God is love.
 
This attribute belongs to him in the fullest extent.It is not modified or restricted, but exists in all its en-tireness, so that in the Divine nature it is capableof neither addition nor diminution. To all createdbeings the moral quahties are of necessity commu-nicated by measure, and in different 23roportions, andthe perfection of man's nature demands that a cer-tain equilibrium should be maintained between them.Therefore in man, a character all love would degenerateinto weakness, the sentiment of justice would be over-powered, and thus the fulness of one quality would beill compensated for by the absence or inefficiency of others. But all the possible perfections of a moralbeing are found in God, and cannot be attributed tohim by measure or in any degree short of infinite. Of all these, however, the one upon which sinful man candwell with the greatest satisfiiction is love. The justiceIC AERATIO OF CHEIST. 225of God, although we are constrained to reverence it,yet it speaks to us only the language of condemnationand punishment. The goodness of God, although itmust command our admiration, yet it opposes a painfulcontrast to our own depravity, and says. Behold, Osinner, how far you have departed from my image.The power of God, while we are lost in astonishmentat its magnificent results, yet it must fill us with terrorat the thought of the tremendous ability it supj^osesof inflicting the penalties of the violated law upon usguilty transgressors. But love. Divine love, speaks tous of mercy, of pardon, of reconcihation, and all thosethemes upon which the Christian soul delights to dwell,and which make the Gospel to be truly denominatedglad tidings of great joy. Love shows to us the sworddropped from the hand of justice, the awful frown re-moved from the brow of offended goodness, and power,which might be exerted to kill and to destroy for ever,

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