Edward Payson Archive

Selected Thoughts

Love of God

In the words, "God is love," we have a perfect portrait of the eternal and incomprehensible Jehovah, drawn by his own unerring hand. The mode of expression here adopted, differs materially from that usually employed by the inspired writers, in speaking of the divine perfections. They say, God is merciful, God is just, God is holy; but never do they say, God is mercy, God is justice, God is holiness. In this instance, on the contrary, the apostle, instead of saying, God is loving, or good, or kind, says, God is love, love itself. By this expression we must understand that God is all pure, unmixed love, and that the other moral perfections of his character are only so many modifications of this love. Thus his justice, his mercy, his truth, his faithfulness, are but so many different names of his love or goodness. As the light which proceeds from the sun may easily be separated into many different colors, so the holy love of God, which is the light and glory of his nature, may be separated into a variety of moral attributes and perfections. But, though separated, they are still love. His whole nature and essence are love; his will, leis works, and his words, are love; lie is nothing, can do nothing but love.

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