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€or. xiii. 14. And the Lotc of God be with you all.

€or. xiii. 14. And the Lotc of God be with you all.

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Published by: GLENN DALE PEASE on Mar 27, 2014
Copyright:Traditional Copyright: All rights reserved


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THE LOVE OF GOD. BY GEORGE BURDER  €or. xiii. 14. And the Lotc of God be with you all. THESE words are a part of the benediction usu-ally pronounced at the close of public worship in Christian congregations. They are the words of St Paul, in the conclusion of his second epistle to the church at Corinth, by which he expresses his best wishes on their behalf; as if he had said, "May the perpetual favour of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the constant and peculiar love of God the Father, and the most abundant communication of the Holy Spirit, in his gifts and graces, be with you, and re-main with you, even with all the members of the church at Corinth !" " It is with great reason," says an eminent divine, " that this comprehensive and in-structive benediction is pronounced just before our assemblies for public worship are dismissed ; and it is a very indecent thing to see so many quitting them, or getting into postures of removal, before this short sentence can be ended."
That this excellent and desirable privilege, which St. Paul so fervently wished might be enjoyed by the Corinthian Christians, may be ours also, let us make it the subject of our devout meditations at this time ; and " may the love of God be shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Spirit !" But, how difficult is it to conceive aright of the love of God ! When we contemplate the firmament, and survey the starry VOL. III. M 122 SERMON LXXVI. heavens, we are constrained, from a sense of our own insignificance, to exclaim, " Lord ! what is man, that thou art mindful of him ! The condescensions of divine Providence are also truly wonderful; but the special love of God to sinful men, as displayed in their everlasting salvation, is beyond all descrip-tion ; — it '* passeth knowledge !'' Love, among mortals, is that affection of the hu-
man heart which inclines us to take delight in a chosen object, and to seek the good and happiness of that object. The love of God is that holy affec-tion by which he condescends to take a pleasure in his chosen people, to confer special favours upon them, kindly to accept their persons and services, and to make them eternally happy. 'J'hat such is the love of God to his church, is abundantly evident from the testimonies of his word, and from innumer-able facts. Take a few of his own declarations. He was pleased to select the posterity of Abraham from among all other nations, and to treat them with distinguished attention ; concerning which he says (Deut. vii. 6 — 8), "The Lord thy God hath chosen thee to be a special people unto himself, above all people that are upon the face of the earth : the Lord did not set his love upon you, nor choose you, be-cause ye were more in number than any people (for ye were the fewest of all people) ; but because the Lord loved you, and because he would keep the oath which he had sworn unto your fathers ;" and in (Deut. X. 15), " Only the Lord had a delight in thy fathers to love them, and he chose their seed after

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