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Love is…

Definitions

Love is…

Facts about Love

God is love

Charity and its fruits

Love in the Song of Songs

Arguing all the principles and nature of Love from Love

Definitions

“Love is the soul’s relish of the supreme excellency of the divine nature inclining the heart to choose God as it’s chief good.”

“An inclination to do good” is called love.

What is the Love of God? Tis that Inclination to Communicate Goo Goodness & to Communicate blessedness, that is in the nature of God.

Tis a being’s being dear to us, which includes a desire of union with the object as well [as] a desire of the welfare of the object. Or rather, it is an union with the object; it is in the creature a kind of enlargement of the heart whereby self takes in existence in general.

Love is…

1  Love is the sum of all the divine principles

2  Love is infinite

3.  Love is Sovereign (See also Song of Songs)

4  Love is Eternal

5  Love is the perfection and happiness of our spirit.

6 Love is the essence and nature of God

7  Love is of God

8  Love is the fruit of the Spirit

9 Love is transformative

10 Love is always growing

11 Love is chiefly grounded in the excellency of God.

12 Love is the fulfillment of the Law

13 Love gives

10 Love is a necessary ingredient in true and saving faith.  (“Charity and its fruits”  “Love… believes…”)

11 Love is the principal thing which the gospel reveals in God and Christ.

12 Love is the very temper and spirit of a Christian.

13 Love is a principle

14 Love is done with delight.

15  Love is Benevolent

16  Love is a disposition of the heart.

17  Love is the sum of all grace

18  Love is an end in itself.

19  Love is an amiable spirit

20  Love is known by experience

21  Love is the bond

22  Love is the highest evidence

23  Love is mutual

24  Love is what Christ purchased

25  Love is better felt than defined

26  Love is bold and without fear

27 Love is in us by an indwelling.

28 Love is communicated to us by way of participation.

29 Love is the quintessence and soul of all grace

30  Love is the way to joy and peace.

31 Love is a liberal, bountiful grace.

32 Love is not fit to be had and cherished any further than it is fit to be gratified.

33  Love is the foundation of our worthiness.

34 Love is made complete in us as we love one another so that we could have boldness before Christ.

35  Love is the fountain and foundation of all other religious affections

36  Love is principally manifested in the Gospel

37  Love is essential in religion

38  Love is the life of the soul

39 Love is to be prized higher in a more excellent Being

40  Love is the principal ingredient in the grace of thankfulness.

41  Love is the grace that never fails.

42  Love is rejoiced in by Jesus Christ after he puts it there and sanctifies her making her morally beautiful due to her union with Him.

43  Love is typified in the attraction of bodies.

44  Love is beautiful

45  Love is a necessary ingredient in true and saving faith.

46 Love is the principal thing which the gospel reveals in God and Christ.

47  Love is the very temper and spirit of a Christian.

48  Love is a principle

49 Love is certainly the perfection as well as happiness of a spirit. 

50 Love is exercised in every act of holy hatred or righteous anger.

51  Love is absolute.

1 Love is the sum of all the divine principles

love is the sum & substance of them.

There is God’s holiness, but this is the same— as we have shown in what we have said of the nature of excellency— with his love to himself. There is God’s justice, which is not really distinct from his holiness. There are the attributes of goodness, mercy and grace, but these are but the overflowings of God’s infinite love. The sum of all God’s love is his love to himself. These three— God, and the idea of God, and the inclination, affection or love of God— must be conceived as really distinct. But as for all those other things— of extent, duration, being with or without change, ability to do— they are not distinct real things, even in created spirits, but only mere modes and relations. So that our natural reason is sufficient to tell us that there are these three in God, and we can think of no more.

Humility in Jesus, as an essential qualification of charity is one and the same work of the Spirit, just as love to God and to men are not two gifts of the Spirit but one. In this sense, a humble love is the sum of all virtues. The reason humility lies deep in the heart of charity is that both are immediate responses to the loveliness of God, to his moral excellency.

Divine love is of supernatural principles.

Divine love is the end of which all the inspiration and all the miracles which ever were in the world were but the means. Those were only certain means of grace, but divine love is the grace; it is itself the sum of all grace.

Love is the sum of all holiness.

The Holy Spirit is God.  God is Love. The Holy Spirit, in his indwelling, his influences and fruits, is the sum of all grace, holiness, comfort and joy, or in one word, of all the spiritual good Christ purchased for men in this world: and is also the sum of all perfection, glory and eternal joy, that he purchased for them in another world.

2  It is infinite.

3   Love is Sovereign

“Such a thing as election may very well be allowed; for that there is such a thing as arbitrary sovereign love is certain, i.e. love not for any excellency, but merely God’s good pleasure. For whether it is proper to say that God from all eternity loved the elect or no, it is proper to say that God loved men after the fall, while sinners and enemies: for God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son to die. This was not for any goodness or excellency, but merely God’s good pleasure; for he would not love the fallen angels.”

4  Love is Eternal

5  Love is the perfection and happiness of our spirit

“Love is certainly the perfection as well as happiness of a spirit. God, doubtless, as he is infinitely perfect and happy, has infinite love.”

6  Love is the essence and nature of God

7 Love is of God.

1 John 4:7, “Beloved, let us love one another: for love is of God; and every one that loveth is born of God, and knoweth God.” 1 John 4:12–13, “If we love one another, God dwelleth in us, and his love is perfected in us.

God is the source and fountain of love.  Overflowing. This divine love is no plant which grows naturally in such a soil as the heart of man. But it is a plant transplanted into the soul out of heaven; it is something divine, something from the holy and blessed Spirit of God who is Love.

the Holy Spirit, the spirit of divine love, in whom the very essence of God, as it were, all flows out or is breathed forth in love, and by whose immediate influence all holy love is shed abroad in the hearts of all the church [cf. Romans 5:5]

The heart of God is the original seat or subject of it. Divine love is in him not as a subject which receives from another, but as its original seat, where it is of itself. Love is in God as light is in the sun, which does not shine by a reflected light as the moon and planets do; but by his own light, and as the fountain of light. And love flows out from him…

Whatever God doth to those who are his children, he doth as a father. It is all from love and tender affection; wherefore, if they meet with affliction, they ought patiently to receive

Love is of G. flows out in the proceeding of the sp. & he purchased for them that the Love of & Joy of G. should dwell in them which is by the indwelling of the H. sp. The summ of all sp. Good

Twas this love of God that moved God to Create the Creature and to make him excellent. his loveliness is the effect of Gods love and therefore Cant be the foundation of it.

God communicates himself to the understanding of the creature, in giving him the knowledge of his glory; and to the will of the creature, in giving him holiness, consisting primarily in the love of God: and in giving the creature happiness, chiefly consisting in joy in God. These are the sum of that emanation of divine fullness called in Scripture, “the glory of God.” The first part of this glory is called “truth,” the latter, “grace.” John 1:14, “We beheld his glory, the glory of the only begotten of the…

8  Love is the fruit of the Spirit

9 Love transforms.

Love transforms by way of participation.  We partake of the nature of God, who is Love.  Higher views of God and His Love changes the mind from one level of knowing God to a higher level of knowing God.  From one level of Glory to another by beholding His Glory and Beauty.

Those who have a right idea of God and delight in His Love will have “an answerable frame of heart, consisting in a disposition to abase themselves, and exalt God alone. This disposition is given only in evangelical humiliation, by overcoming the heart, and changing its inclination, by a discovery of God’s holy beauty.”  JE  The will is bowed and the inclination altered in the sight of God and delight in His Love beheld in the Person and work of any type of Jesus Christ.   2 Cor. 4:6, Song 1:2-3

The Spirit opens the mind to behold God and gives the heart a greater delight in His Love.  Humility follows.

10  Love is good principle that grows in the heart.

Love grows in degree’s

as the spiritual man may have a spiritual sense or taste, to perceive that divine and most peculiar excellency, but in small beginnings, and in a very imperfect degree.

Believers “are those who from that love which is in them are in heart and practice struggling after holiness. Holy love makes them long for holiness. Divine love is a principle, which thirsts after [increase]. It is in imperfection and in a state of infancy in this world,”

He desires to be nearer perfection, or more like those in heaven. And this is one reason why he longs to be in heaven, that he may be perfectly holy. And the principle when he thus struggles is love. It is not only fear, but it is love to God, and love to Christ, and love to holiness. Love is a holy fire in him. And fire, if it be pent up, will cause a struggling for liberty.

Love grows because it is infinite

B  Love grows in degree’s of sweetness.

“the more excellent and refined the love is , the greater and purer is the pleasure of it”

11  Love is chiefly grounded in the excellency of God.

‘Tis unreasonable to think otherwise, than that the first foundation of a true love to God, is that whereby he is in himself lovely, or worthy to be loved, or the supreme loveliness of his nature. This is certainly what makes him chiefly amiable. What chiefly makes a man, or any creature lovely, is his excellency; and so what chiefly renders God lovely, and must undoubtedly be the chief ground of true love, is his excellency. God’s nature, or the divinity, is infinitely excellent; yea ’tis infinite beauty, brightness, and glory itself. But how can that be true love of this excellent and lovely nature, which is not built on the foundation of its true loveliness? How can that be true love of beauty and brightness, which is not for beauty and brightness’ sake? How can that be a true prizing of that which is in itself infinitely worthy and precious, which is not for the sake of its worthiness and preciousness? This infinite excellency of the divine nature, as it is in itself, is the true ground of all that is good in God in any respect; but how can a man truly and rightly love God, without loving him for that excellency in him, which is the foundation of all that is in any manner of respect good or desirable in him? They whose affection to God is founded first on his profitableness to them, their affection begins at the wrong end; they regard God only for the utmost limit of the stream of divine good, where it touches them, and reaches their interest; and have no respect to that infinite glory of God’s nature, which is the original good, and the true fountain of all good, the first fountain of all loveliness of every kind, and so the first foundation of all true love.

“This which has been now mentioned as a secondary ground of virtuous love is the thing wherein true moral or spiritual beauty primarily consists. Yea, spiritual beauty consists wholly in this, and the various qualities and exercises of mind which proceed from it, and the external actions which proceed from these internal qualities and exercises. And in these things consists all true virtue, viz. in this love of Being, and the qualities and acts which arise from it.”

12  Love is the fulfillment of the Law

Matt. 22:40

“love is the beginning, and love is the middle, and love is the end of all their affairs.”

Or more briefly, thus: Herein is our love brought to be that perfect love that casts out fear, and gives boldness to appear before God at the day of judgment, that we in our spirit of love are here in our state of trial like unto him who is to be our judge. The sense seems to be this: Our love is made perfect to give us boldness before him (i.e. before Christ) in another world, even by our being “in this world as he is.” Like him in love, then “is our love made perfect,” when we love one another as he hath loved us.

The sum of our duty to God, required in his law, is love to God; taking love in a large sense, for the true regard of our hearts to God, implying esteem, honor, benevolence, gratitude, complacency, etc.

13  Love gives

It seems to me exceeding congruous and [in] the highest manner consentaneous, that God, a being of infinite goodness and love, who, it’s evident from mere reason, created the world for this very end, to make the creature happy in his love—I say, it seems exceeding congruous, that he should give to the creature the highest sort of evidence or expression of love. For why should not that love which is infinitely higher than any others, and the love of a being infinitely more excellent, of which other love is but the emanation and shadow, why should not that love have the highest and most noble manifestations, and the surest evidences?

Now we know that the highest sort of manifestation and evidence of love is expense for the beloved. How much soever the lover gives or communicates to the beloved, yet if he is at no expense himself, there is not that high and noble expression of love, as if otherwise. Now I can clearly and distinctly conceive, how the giving of Christ should have all that in it, that renders it every way an equal and like and perfectly equivalent expression of love, as the greatest expense in a lover, as I have shown elsewhere.1 And this is a way that is exceeding noble and excellent, and agreeable to the glorious perfections of God. But no other way can be conceived of, and they that deny the Christian religion can pretend no other; and if they do, ’tis impossible they should think of any in any measure so exalted, noble and excellent.

14  Love is done with delight.

That our doing good be free it is requisite that we do it cheerfully; that we do it heartily from real good will. What is done heartily is done from love, is done with delight, and not grudgingly, and with backwardness and loathness. 1 Peter 4:9, “Use hospitality one to another without grudging.” 2 Corinthians 9:7, “Every man according as he purposeth in his heart, so let him give; not grudgingly, or of necessity; for God loveth a cheerful giver.” This is a qualification of our doing for others and giving to them much insisted on in Scripture. Romans 12:8, “He that giveth, let him do it with simplicity; he that ruleth, with diligence; he that showeth mercy, with cheerfulness.” God gives a strict charge that our hearts should not be grieved when we give to our poor brother. Deuteronomy 15:10, “Thou shalt surely give him, and thine heart shall not be grieved when thou givest unto him.”

“Serve the LORD with gladness.”

Love is a pleasing passion; it affords pleasure to the mind where it is”  DB

“Serve the Lord with gladness.”

15  Love is benevolent

The main thing in that love, which is the sum of the Christian spirit, is benevolence or good will to others. We have heretofore, in speaking from the former verses of this chapter, shown what Christian love is, and how it is variously denominated according to the various objects and exercises of it; and particularly how that, as it respects the good enjoyed or to be enjoyed by the beloved, it is called love of benevolence; and as it respects good to be enjoyed in the beloved, it is called love of complacence.2 Love of benevolence is that disposition which a man has who desires or delights in the good of another. And this is the main thing in Christian love, the most essential thing, and that whereby our love is most of an imitation of the eternal love and grace of God, and the dying love of Christ, which consists in benevolence or good will. And therefore the angels at the birth of Christ, as in Luke 2:14, sang, “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will towards men.” So that the main thing in Christian love is good will, or a spirit to delight in, and seek the good of those who are the objects of that love.

The prosperity of the beloved is the food of love.

Those who have a lower station in glory than others suffer no diminution of their own happiness by seeing others above them in glory. On the contrary they rejoice in it. All that whole society rejoice in each other’s happiness; for the love of benevolence is perfect in them. Everyone has not only a sincere but a perfect good will to every other. Sincere and strong love is greatly gratified and delighted in the prosperity of the beloved. And if the love be perfect, the greater the prosperity of the beloved is, the more is the lover pleased and delighted. For the prosperity of the beloved is, as it were, the food of love. and therefore the greater that prosperity is, the more richly is love feasted. The love of benevolence is delighted in beholding the prosperity of another, as the love of complacence is delighted in viewing the beauty of another

And this is the main thing in Christian love, the most essential thing, and that whereby our love is most of an imitation of the eternal love and grace of God, and the dying love of Christ, which consists in benevolence or good will.

Love is a liberal, bountiful grace. Nothing opens the heart and hand like love.

A benevolent propensity of heart is exercised, not only in seeking to promote the happiness of the being towards whom it is exercised, but also in rejoicingin his happiness. Even as gratitude for benefits received will not only excite endeavors to requite the kindness we receive, by equally benefiting our benefactor; but also, if he be above any need of us, or we have nothing to bestow, and are unable to repay his kindness, it will dispose us to rejoice in his prosperity.  Therefore we can love God from a love of benevolence.

16  “Love is the disposition of the heart.”

Love is exercised in us.  Out of the heart.

Divine Love is the nature and essence of that holy principle in the hearts of the saints.

17  Love is the sum Of all Grace

Divine love is the end of which all the inspiration and all the miracles which ever were in the world were but the means. Those were only certain means of grace, but divine love is the grace; it is itself the sum of all grace.

B  Love is the sum of all holiness

C  Love is the sum of all virtue

18  Love is an end in itself

Since love is and end in itself it remains forever. 1 Corinthians 13.   “divine love is that great good which is the end itself, and therefore remains when the means cease”

19  Love is an amiable spirit

When persons experience true Comfort & spiritual Joy, their Joy is the Joy of faith and love. They don’t rejoyce in themselves, but God is their exceeding Joy. 3. THIS Doctrine shews the Amiableness of a Christian spirit, a spirit of love is an Amiable spirit.

20  Love is know by experience

The godly have experience, and therefore know what it is: they know what the several graces of the Spirit are, they know what faith is, they know what divine love is , they know what repentance is and what spiritual joy is. And therefore when they read or hear of these things, they understand the Word. And therefore it is said that the godly have God’s law “written in their hearts” [Romans 2:15

21 Love is the bond

Sometimes the strong and lively exercises of love to God do give a kind of immediate and intuitive evidence of the soul’s relation to God. Divine love is the bond by which the soul of the saint is united to God, and sometimes when this divine love is strong and lively, this bond of union can be seen as it were intuitively. The saint sees that he is united to God, and so is God’s, for he sees and feels the union between God and his soul. He sees clearly and certainly that divine love that does evidently, beyond all contradiction or exception, unite his soul to God. He knows there is an union, for he sees it, or feels it, so strong that he can’t question it, or doubt of it. 1 John 4:18, “There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear.” How can the saint doubt but that he stands in a childlike relation to God, when he plainly sees a childlike union between God and his soul? He that has such a strong exercise of a divine and holy love to God, he knows at the same time that ’tis not from himself. This that he feels so strong in his own heart brings its own evidence with it that it is from God. It is a childlike union of his heart to God, that God himself gives; and therefore, in seeing and feeling this union, he sees and feels that God has taken his soul, and has united it as a child to him, so that he does as it were see that he is a child of God. This seems to be that in Scripture which is called the Spirit of God bearing witness within our spirits that we are the children of God (Romans 8:16); or “the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father,” as in the preceding verse. The Spirit of God gives those motions and exercises of a childlike love to God that naturally inclines the heart to look on God as his Father, and behave towards him as such (see note on Romans 8:16).9 God, in giving this, does manifest himself to be our Father, for the soul does as it were feel itself to be God’s child. It feels beyond doubting as it were a childlike union to God in the heart.

22 Love is the highest evidence to give assurance of salvation

So that keeping Christ’s commands is the highest evidence of a good estate, and yet the witness of the Spirit of adoption or love is the highest evidence: for they are both the same. Therefore the apostle John, where speaking of keeping Christ’s commands as the great evidence of our good estate, does in the same place speak of our partaking of the Spirit of God as a spirit of love, as the great evidence of a good estate.

23  Love is mutual

“O that thou wert my brother, that sucked the breasts of my mother! when I should find thee without, I would kiss thee; yea, I should not be despised.” As those that walk in the ways of religion and virtue do love this glorious person, so they are loved by him. This divine love is always mutual: there is love on both sides. The love of Christ to them don’t fall short of theirs to him, but indeed greatly exceeds it, vastly exceeds the love of any earthly lover. And Christ has given greater manifestations of love to those that love [him] than ever any earthly friend.

“Love there always meets with answerable returns of love. Love is always mutual, and the returns are always in due proportion. Love always seeks this. In proportion as any person is beloved, in that proportion his love is desired and prized .”

24  Love is what/ who Christ purchased

The Holy Spirit, or the divine love , is “the main thing that [Christ] purchased”

25  Love is better felt than defined

As to a definition of divine love, things of this nature are not properly capable of a definition. They are better felt than defined.

26  Love is bold and without fear

1 John 4:18. “There is no fear in love,” etc.] Love is the evangelical, fear the legal, principle. Love is the spirit of adoption; servile fear is the spirit of bondage. The evangelical principle gives boldness, as it is said in the foregoing verse. Servile fear keeps at a distance, prevents boldness of access. “Perfect love casts out fear,”

but when Love is high, and the Soul full of it, we don’t need Fear

if divine love decays and falls asleep, and lust prevails, the light and joy of hope goes out, and dark fear and doubting arises; and if on the contrary, divine love prevails, and comes into lively exercise, this brings in the brightness of hope, and drives away black lust, and fear with it.

And here is not only infinite strength and infinite worthiness, but infinite condescension; and love and mercy, as great as power and dignity. If you are a poor distressed sinner, whose heart is ready to sink for fear that God never will have mercy on you, you need not be afraid to go to Christ, for fear that he is either unable or unwilling to help you: here is a strong foundation, and an inexhaustible treasure, to answer the necessities of your poor soul; and here is infinite grace and gentleness to invite and embolden a poor unworthy fearful soul to come to it. If Christ accepts of you, you need not fear but that you will be safe; for he is a strong lion for your defense: and if you come, you need not fear but that you shall be accepted; for he is like a lamb to all that come to him, and receives them with infinite grace and tenderness. ‘Tis true he has awful majesty; he is the great God, and is infinitely high above you; but there is this to encourage and embolden the poor sinner, that Christ is man as well as God; he is a creature, as well as the Creator; and he is the most humble and lowly in heart of any creature in heaven or earth. This may well make the poor unworthy creature bold in coming to him. You need not hesitate one moment; but may run to him, and cast yourself upon him: you will certainly be graciously and meekly received by him. Though he be a lion, he will only be a lion to your enemies; but he will be a lamb to you. It could not have been conceived, had it not been so in the person of Christ, that there could have been so much in any Savior, that is inviting, and tending to encourage sinners to trust in him. Whatever your circumstances are, you need not be afraid to come to such a Savior as this: be you never so wicked a creature, here is worthiness enough: be you never so poor, and mean, and ignorant a creature, there is no danger of being despised; for though he be so much greater than you, he is also immensely more humble than you. Any one of you that is a father or mother, won’t despise one of your own children that comes to you in distress; much less danger is there of Christ despising you, if you in your heart come to him.

27  Love is in us by an indwelling.

“Christ purchased for us that we should have the favor of God and might enjoy his love; but this love is the Holy Ghost. Christ purchased for us true spiritual excellency, grace and holiness, the sum of which is love to God, which is but only the indwelling of the Holy Ghost in the heart. Christ purchased for us spiritual joy and comfort, which is in a participation of God’s joy and happiness;”

For by this it appears that the divine principle in the saints is of the nature of the Spirit: for as the nature of the Spirit of God is divine love, so divine love is the nature and essence of that holy principle in the hearts of the saints.  

28 Love is communicated to us by way of participation.

2 Peter 1:4  “partakers of the divine nature”

Christ purchased for us that we should have the favor of God and might enjoy his love; but this love is the Holy Ghost. Christ purchased for us true spiritual excellency, grace and holiness, the sum of which is love to God, which is but only the indwelling of the Holy Ghost in the heart. Christ purchased for us spiritual joy and comfort, which is in a participation of God’s joy and happiness;

And his love to the creature is his Excellence, or the communication of Himself, his com- placency in them, according as they partake of more or less of Excellence and beauty; that is, of holiness, (which consists in love;) that is according as he communicates more or less of his Holy Spirit.

As to that Excellence that Created Spirits partake of; that it is all to be resolved into Love.

when the Spirit by his ordinary influences bestows saving grace, he therein imparts himself to the soul in his own holy nature; that nature on account of which he is so often called in Scripture the Holy Ghost, or the Holy Spirit. By his producing this effect the Spirit becomes an indwelling vital principle in the soul, and the subject becomes a spiritual being, denominated so from the Spirit of God which dwells in him and of whose nature he is a partaker [2 Peter 1:4]. Yea, grace is as it were the holy nature of the Spirit of God imparted to the soul.

Confers. “This blessing of the saving grace of God is a quality inherent in the nature of him who is the subject of it. This gift of the Spirit of God, working a saving Christian temper and exciting gracious exercises, confers a blessing which has its seat in the heart; a blessing which makes a man’s heart and nature excellent.”

29 Love is the quintessence and soul of all grace

Love is the source and sum of all graces.

The Apostle don’t only represent love or charity as the most excellent thing in Christianity, and as the quintessence, life and soul of all religion, but as that which virtually comprehends all holy virtues and exercises. And because love is the quintessence and soul of all grace, wherein the divinity and holiness of all that belongs to charity does properly and essentially consist; therefore, when Christians come to be in their most perfect state, and the divine nature in them shall be in its greatest exaltation and purity, and be free from all mixtures, stripped of these appurtenances and that clothing that it has in the present state, and it shall lose many other of its denominations, especially from the peculiar manner and exercises accommodated to the imperfect circumstances of the present state, they will be what will remain. All other names will be swallowed up in the name of charity or love, as the Apostle, agreeably to his chapter on this (1 Corinthians 13) observes in 1 Corinthians 13:8–10: “Charity never faileth… But when that which is perfect is come, then that which is in part shall be done away.” And therefore, when the Apostle in the last verse speaks of charity as the greatest grace, we may well understand him in the same sense as when Christ speaks of the command to love God, etc. as the greatest commandment— viz. that among the graces, that is the source and sum of all graces, as that commanded is spoken of as the sum of all commands, and requiring that duty which is the ground of all other duties.

30  Love is the way to joy and peace.

The abounding in deeds of love is the likeliest way to have the God of love and peace always dwelling with us (Romans 15:33).

31 Love is a liberal, bountiful grace

And if at any [time] you are called to show your love to Christ by expending something of your earthly substance, don’t give way to an objecting spirit; be open-hearted and open-handed on such occasions. Dispense with a liberal hand. Be ready to distribute, willing to communicate. Love is a liberal, bountiful grace. Nothing opens the heart and hand like love

32  Love is not fit to be had and cherished any further than it is fit to be gratified.

“…love ought to seek that which love tends to. Love should seek to gratify itself. Love is not fit to be had and cherished any further than it is fit to be gratified. The nature of love is a disposition or tendency. But that tendency is not to be sought and cherished as excellent which, when we have it, must be opposed and not allowed of.”

33  Love is the foundation of our worthiness.

“the worthiness which commends to love, and the worthiness or value which love puts on the beloved. When God hath set his love on any, his love sets a high value upon them, i.e. a great worthiness. There is difference between the value that is the foundation of love, and the value of which love is the foundation. See note on Revelation 3:4″

34  Love is made complete in us as we love one another so that we could have boldness before Christ.

Or more briefly, thus: Herein is our love brought to be that perfect love that casts out fear, and gives boldness to appear before God at the day of judgment, that we in our spirit of love are here in our state of trial like unto him who is to be our judge. The sense seems to be this: Our love is made perfect to give us boldness before him (i.e. before Christ) in another world, even by our being “in this world as he is.” Like him in love, then “is our love made perfect,” when we love one another as he hath loved us.

35  Love is the fountain and foundation of all other religious affections.

‘Tis unreasonable to think otherwise, than that the first foundation of a true love to God, is that whereby he is in himself lovely, or worthy to be loved, or the supreme loveliness of his nature. This is certainly what makes him chiefly amiable. What chiefly makes a man, or any creature lovely, is his excellency; and so what chiefly renders God lovely, and must undoubtedly be the chief ground of true love, is his excellency. God’s nature, or the divinity, is infinitely excellent; yea ’tis infinite beauty, brightness, and glory itself. But how can that be true love of this excellent and lovely nature, which is not built on the foundation of its true loveliness? How can that be true love of beauty and brightness, which is not for beauty and brightness’ sake? How can that be a true prizing of that which is in itself infinitely worthy and precious, which is not for the sake of its worthiness and preciousness? This infinite excellency of the divine nature, as it is in itself, is the true ground of all that is good in God in any respect; but how can a man truly and rightly love God, without loving him for that excellency in him, which is the foundation of all that is in any manner of respect good or desirable in him? They whose affection to God is founded first on his profitableness to them, their affection begins at the wrong end; they regard God only for the utmost limit of the stream of divine good, where it touches them, and reaches their interest; and have no respect to that infinite glory of God’s nature, which is the original good, and the true fountain of all good, the first fountain of all loveliness of every kind, and so the first foundation of all true love.

Out of a loving heart flows a holy zeal, fervor of soul.

Out of a loving heart flows patience.

That affection that is principal in this virtue is love. Zeal is an inward heat or fervency of spirit, and love is the flame whence that heat comes. This is the fire that fills the soul with that holy fervor that is called zeal. Love to God and Christ, divine love, is the foundation of all those other affections that are exercised in Christian zeal. Divine love is an active principle.

A spirit of divine love is not only a part of the Christian spirit, but it is the summary comprehension of the whole of it: from hence flows all true holy benevolence, charity, meekness, mercies, gentleness, gratitude, etc

From a vigorous, affectionate, and fervent love to God, will necessarily arise other religious affections; hence will arise an intense hatred and a fear of sin; a dread of God’s displeasure; gratitude to God for his goodness; complacence and joy in God when he is graciously and sensibly present; grief when he is absent; a joyful hope when a future enjoyment of God is expected; and fervent zeal for the divine glory. In like manner, from a fervent love to men, will arise all other virtuous affections towards them.

36  Love is principally manifested in the Gospel

Psalms 80:3, “Turn us again, O God, and cause thy face to shine.” In these two things consists the enjoyment of God. The happiness of the saints in the enjoyment of God consisting in these two things, the manifestation of God’s glory and love is what the gospel is the principal means of. Glory [and] love [thus conveyed is the] means of this happiness on earth [and] in heaven

37  Love is essential in Religion

Reason testifies that Divine Love is so essential in Religion that all Religion is but hypocrisy and a “”vain show” without it. What is Religion but the exercise and expressions of regard to the Divine Being? But certainly if there be no love to Him, there is no sincere regard to Him

38  Love is the life of the soul

we have need of often Rememb. X to. Excite in us Love to him . Lov & without Love to X the soul is dead Love to divine Love is the Life of the soul”

39 Love is to be prized higher in a more excellent Being

of G. that thus set his Love upon them. _________________ this is a Great founda of Joy then if the any Angel had so Loved them for X is infi- nitely more Excell than the Ang. he is the L. of Ang. & theref his Love is more to be Prized . tho X is A that thus Loved them is a divine Pers. & theref his Love is on Infinite worth , what Greater happi- ness Can there be to a Cre. than to be Loved of G.

40  Love is the principal ingredient in the grace of thankfulness.

Their love to God and Christ will be perfect. Love is a principal ingredient in the grace of thankfulness. There is a counterfeit thankfulness in which there is no love. But there is love in exercise in all sincere thankfulness. And the greater any person’s love is, the more will he be disposed to praise. Love will cause him to delight in the work. He that loves God, proportionably seeks the glory of God, and love to give him glory. Now the hearts of the saints in heaven are all, as it were, a pure flame of love. Love is the grace that never faileth; whether there be prophesies, they shall fail, whether there be knowledge it shall vanish away. Faith shall cease in vision, and hope in fruition, but love never faileth. The grace of love will be exalted to it greatest height and highest perfection in heaven; and love will vent itself in praise. Heaven will ring with praise, because it is full of love to God. This is the reason that great assembly, that innumerable host, raise God with such ardency, that their praise is as the voice of many waters, and as the mighty thunderings, because they are animated by so ardent, vigorous, and powerful a principle of divine love.

41 Love is the grace that never fails

Now the hearts of the saints in heaven are all, as it were, a pure flame of love. Love is the grace that never faileth; whether there be prophesies, they shall fail, whether there be knowledge it shall vanish away. Faith shall cease in vision, and hope in fruition, but love never faileth. The grace of love will be exalted to it greatest height and highest perfection in heaven

42  Love is rejoiced in by Jesus Christ after he puts it there and sanctifies her making her morally beautiful due to her union with Him.

as the bridegroom Rejoices over his Chh so X Rejoices over his Chh. Isa 62. 5. but this Love is But X exercises this Love to his Chh only as having already sanctified & made r Lovely & fit for him to delight in.”

43  Love is typified in the attraction of bodies.

The whole material universe is preserved by gravity, or attraction, or the mutual tendency of all bodies to each other. One part of the universe is hereby made beneficial to another. The beauty, harmony and order, regular progress, life and motion, and in short, all the well-being of the whole frame, depends on it. This is a type of love or charity in the spiritual world.

44  Love is beautiful.  True Beauty is not private but includes God, then it is true love and is beautiful.  Exclude God and an act may look beautiful but have no true moral excellency in it.

45  Love is a necessary ingredient in true and saving faith,.

1) That love is an ingredient in true and saving faith, and is what is most essential and distinguishing in it. Love is no ingredient in a merely speculative faith; but it is the life and soul of a practical faith. A truly practical and saving faith is light and heat together, or light and love. That which is only a speculative,5 is only light without heat. But in that it wants spiritual heat or divine love, it is vain and good for nothing. A speculative faith consists only in assent; but in a saving faith are assent and consent together. That faith which has only the assent of the understanding is no better faith than the devils have, for the devils have faith so far as it can be without love. The devils believe and tremble. Now the true spiritual consent of the heart cannot be distinguished from the love of the heart. He whose heart consents to Christ as a Savior loves Christ under that notion, viz. of a Savior. For the heart sincerely to consent to the way of salvation by Christ cannot be distinguished from loving the way of salvation by Christ. There is an act of choice or election in true and saving faith, whereby the soul chooses Christ for its Savior, and accepts and embraces him as such. But as was observed before, election whereby it chooses God and Christ is one act of love. It is a love of choice. In the soul’s embracing Christ as a Savior there is love.

It is love that is this active working spirit which is in true faith. That is its very soul without which it is dead, as the Apostle in the words of the text tells us, that faith without charity, or love , is nothing, though it be to such a degree as to remove mountains. And when the Apostle says in the seventh verse of the context, that charity believeth all things, hopeth all things, possibly he has respect to those same great virtues of believing and hoping, or faith and hope in God.

46 Love is the principal thing which the gospel reveals in God and Christ.

The work of redemption, which the gospel declares unto us, above all things affords motives to love; for that work was the most glorious and wonderful work of love ever seen or thought of. Love is the principal thing which the gospel reveals in God and Christ. The gospel brings to light the love between the Father and the Son, and declares how that love has been manifested in mercy; how that Christ is God’s beloved Son in whom he is well pleased.

God and Christ in the gospel revelation appear as clothed with love, as being as it were on a throne of mercy and grace, a seat of love encompassed about with pleasant beams of love.

a spirit of love, is the spirit to which the gospel revelation does especially hold forth motives and incitements. And this is especially and eminently the Christian spirit, the right spirit of the gospel.

47  Love is the very temper and spirit of a Christian.

in Matthew 5:44. For love is the very temper and spirit of a Christian: it is the sum of Christianity. And if we consider what incitements thus to love our enemies we have set before us in what the gospel reveals of the love of God and Christ to their enemies, we cannot wonder that we are required to love our enemies.

Ephesians 4:15–16. “In a company of Christians among whom Christianity has its genuine effect, love is the beginning, and love is the middle, and love is the end of all their affairs.”

Consider that as a principle of love is the main principle in the heart of a real Christian, so the labor of love is the main business of the Christian life.

“That which hinders Love to men will hinder the exercise of Love to God. for, as was observed before, the Principle of a truly Christian Love is one. if love is the sum of Christianity, surely those things which overthrow love are exceeding unbecoming Christians, an envious Christian, a malicious Christian, is the greatest absurdity.”

48  Love is a principle

the divine principle in the saints is of the nature of the Spirit: for as the nature of the Spirit of God is divine love, so divine love is the nature and essence of that holy principle in the hearts of the saints.

“Divine love is a comfortable and pleasant inward principle and spring of religion in the soul.”

Love is a holy, divine principle. So that that holy, Divine principle, which we have observed does radically and essentially consist in Divine Love , is no other than a communication and participation of that same infinite Divine Love, which is GOD, and in which the Godhead is eternally breathed forth; and subsists in the Third Person in the blessed Trinity. So that true saving grace is no other than that very love of God—that is, God, in One of the Persons of the Trinity, uniting Himself to the soul of a creature, as a vital principle, dwelling there and exerting Himself by the faculties of the soul of man, in His own proper nature, after the manner of a principle of nature.

49 Love is certainly the perfection as well as happiness of a spirit.

God, doubtless, as he is infinitely perfect and happy, has infinite love. I cannot doubt but that God loves infinitely, properly speaking, and not only with that which some call self-love, whereby even the devils desire pleasure and are averse to pain; which is exceeding improperly called love, and is nothing at all akin to that affection or delight which is called love.

Then there must have been an object from all eternity which God infinitely loves. But we have showed that all love arises from the perception, either of consent to being in general, or consent to that being that perceives. Infinite loveliness, to God, therefore, must consist either in infinite consent to entity in general, or infinite consent to God. But we have shown that consent to entity and consent to God are the same, because God is the general and only proper entity of all things.6 So that ’tis necessary that that object which God infinitely loves must be infinitely and perfectly consenting and agreeable to him; but that which infinitely and perfectly agrees is the very same essence, for if it be different it don’t infinitely consent.

50 Love is exercised in every act of holy hatred or righteous anger.

Love to God is exercised by the heart in every act of holy hatred or righteous anger.  How zealous are you to rage war against sin in your own heart?  Are you waging war against the roots of all sin like pride, selfishness and unbelief?  Is it not an act of love to God to hate Satan?  It is a love towards who is Good and worthy of our love and at the same time it is hatred towards who is evil and worthy of all our hatred, with all our minds, all our hearts and all our soul and with all our might.

51  Love is absolute.

“Therefore there is room left for no other conclusion than that the primary object of virtuous love is Being, simply considered; or that true virtue primarily consists, not in love to any particular beings,9 because of their virtue or beauty, nor in gratitude, because they love us; but in a propensity and union of heart to Being simply considered; exciting “absolute Benevolence” (if I may so call it) to Being in general say, true virtue “primarily” consists in this. For I am far from asserting that there is no true virtue in any other love than this absolute benevolence. But I would express what appears to me to be the truth on this subject in the following particulars.”

Facts about love.

1  The supreme object of of Love is God

God is the first cause of all things, and the fountain and source of all good; and men are derived from him, having something of his image, and are the objects of his mercy. So the first and supreme object of divine love is God: and men are loved either as the children of God or his creatures, and those that are in his image, and the objects of his mercy; or in some respects related to God, or partakers of his loveliness, or at least capable of happiness.

1  It was observed that the first objective ground of that love, wherein true virtue consists, is Being, simply considered: and as a necessary consequence of this, that being who has the most of being, or the greatest share of universal existence, has proportionably the greatest share of virtuous benevolence, so far as such a being is exhibited to the faculties of our minds, other things being equal. But God has infinitely the greatest share of existence, or is infinitely the greatest being. So that all other being, even that of all created things whatsoever, throughout the whole universe, is as nothing in comparison of the Divine Being.

2  consider the secondary ground of love, viz. beauty or moral excellency, the same thing will appear. For as God is infinitely the greatest being, so he is allowed to be infinitely the most beautiful and excellent: and all the beauty to be found throughout the whole creation, is but the reflection of the diffused beams of that Being who hath an infinite fullness of brightness and glory. God’s beauty is infinitely more valuable than that of all other beings1 upon both those accounts mentioned, viz. the degreeof his virtue and the greatness of the being possessed of this virtue. And God has sufficiently exhibited himself, in his being, his infinite greatness and excellency: and has given us faculties, whereby we are capable of plainly discovering immense superiority to all other beings in these respects. Therefore he that has true virtue, consisting in benevolence to Being in general, and in that complacence in virtue, or moral beauty, and benevolence to virtuous being, must necessarily have a supreme love to God, both of benevolence and complacence. And all true virtue must radically and essentially, and as it were summarily, consist in this. Because God is not only infinitely greater and more excellent than all other being, but he is the head of the universal system of existence; the foundation and fountain of all being and all beauty; from whom all is perfectly derived, and on whom all is most absolutely and perfectly dependent; of whom, and through whom, and to whom is all being9 and all perfection; and whose being1 and beauty is as it were the sum and comprehension of all existence and excellence: much more than the sun is the fountain and summary comprehension of all the light and brightness of the day.

2   Divine knowledge & Divine love go together, a spiritual view of Divine things always excites love in the soul, and draws forth the heart in Love to every proper object

A discovery of the love of God, without an answerable discovery of the awful and terrible majesty and holiness of God, has a tendency to dispose the soul in some respects unsuitably towards God: there will not be a due reverence with love and delight; the soul will be attracted to God, but will come with an undue boldness. ‘Tis the will of God that when we rejoice it should be with trembling; and so [he] won’t discover his love without showing his terrible majesty. 

 Inherent in love is the exercise of the understanding.

Love is not just a feeling but includes the exercise of the understanding in the heart or soul. All reasonable affection has the holy exercise of the understanding involved in every action.

3   Love naturally desires a close and inseparable union and intimate communion

4  Love in marriage is a shadow or picture of God’s love in the Trinity

“the Song of Songs is described as “treating of the divine love, union and communion of the most glorious lovers, Christ and his spiritual spouse, of which a marriage union and conjugal love… is but a shadow.”

5  God infinite love is to the perfect image of himself.

God’s infinite delight is also in the perfect image of Himself.  Which is His Son.

God’s infinite love is to, and his infinite delight in, the perfect image of himself.

God’s love is primarily to Himself, and His infinite delight is in Himself, in the Father and the Son loving and delighting in each other.

6  Love of complacency.

They that have much grace will be likely to have much communion with God, and so consequently will have much joy. Such have the most love to God. Love is a grace that is so much of the very same nature as Joy, that it almost falls in with it: it is called love of complacency; complacency is pleasure and comfort: faith necessarily carries comfort in the nature of it, a dependence upon the sufficiency and grace of God for all good. Hope also includes comfort. They therefore that have much of these are likely to have the most comfort.

God’s beauty is infinitely more valuable than that of all other beings1 upon both those accounts mentioned, viz. the degreeof his virtue and the greatness of the being2 possessed of this virtue. And God has sufficiently exhibited himself, in his being,3 his infinite greatness and excellency: and has given us faculties, whereby we are capable of plainly discovering immense superiority to all other beings4 in these respects. Therefore he that has true virtue, consisting in benevolence to Being in general, and in that complacence in virtue, or moral beauty, and benevolence to virtuous being,5 must necessarily have a supreme love to God, both of benevolence and complacence.

7  Loves liveliness varies.  Song 5:2

love is the bond by which the soul of the saint is united to God, and sometimes when this divine love is strong and lively, this bond of union can be seen as it were intuitively. The saint sees that he is united to God, and so is God’s, for he sees and feels the union between God and his soul. He sees clearly and certainly that divine love that does evidently, beyond all contradiction or exception,

“When love is low in the true saints, they need the fear of hell to deter them from sin, and engage them to exactness in their walk, and stir them up to seek heaven.”

When Love is low in the true Saint, they need the Fear of Hell to deter them from Sin, and engage them to Exactness in their Walk, and stir them up to seek Heaven; but when Love is high, and the Soul full of it, we don’t need Fear: And therefore, a wise God has so ordered it, that Love and Fear should rise and fall like the Scales of a Balance, when one rises, the other falls, as there is need, or as Light and Darkness take Place of each other in a Room, as Light decays, Darkness is cast out; so Love, or the Spirit of Adoption casts out Fear, the Spirit of Bondage.

but when Love is high, and the Soul full of it, we don’t need Fear

8  Love can be manifested more in one context verses another.

To be received to an honorable kind of enjoyment of a glorious being is certainly more honorable than to have committed to him an honorable employment by a glorious being. That glorious being’s love is more manifested in the former than in the latter. Christ’s enjoyment of the Father, that he shall be admitted to after he has completed his work, will be his reward of his work. Enjoyment of the person that employs is the proper reward of well-discharging the employment.

9  Love can be distinguished into two.

Love is commonly distinguished into a love of complacence and love of benevolence. Of these two, a love of complacence is first, and is the foundation of the other— i.e. if by a love of complacence be meant a relishing a sweetness in the qualifications of the beloved, and a being pleased and delighted in his excellency. This, in the order of nature, is before benevolence, because it is the foundation and reason of it. A person must first relish that wherein the amiableness of nature consists, before he can wish well to him on the account of that loveliness,1 or as being worthy to receive good.2 Indeed, sometimes love of complacence is explained something differently, even for that joy that the soul has in the presence and possession of the beloved, which is different from the soul’s relish of the beauty of the beloved, and is a fruit3 of it, as benevolence is. The soul may relish the sweetness and the beauty of a beloved object, whether that object be present or absent, whether in possession or not in possession: and this relish is the foundation of love of benevolence, or desire of the good of the beloved; and it is the foundation of love of affection to4 the beloved object when absent, and it is the foundation of one’s rejoicing in the object when present; and so it is the foundation of everything else that belongs to divine love.

10  Love desires to please the object of its affection.

“From love to God arises a desire that he may be glorified. One way in which love is exercised in zeal, is desire that this God that is so beloved may be pleased, that his will may be done, that his commands may be obeyed, that his name may be glorified, that he may be feared, that he may be loved, that men may be holy as he is holy and that his kingdom may be advanced..”

if we ought to love God, we ought to make what love to God tends to our end (under that ratio, or in that manner, that therein we have respect to God and gratify our regard), which is the same thing as to make him our end. Love seeks to please and honor the beloved. It is averse to his displeasure and dishonor, and therein seeks God; and that, whatever we think about God’s being added to by anything we can do, love, in seeking to please and honor God, seeks God. And if we ought to have supreme love to God, then we ought supremely to seek what love to God tends to. And that is supremely to seek God. And that is to make God our [end] supremely; and that, in whatever way we do this, if it be chiefly in showing kindness to our neighbors, yet if this be done chiefly from love to God, then herein we make God our highest end. There is no other way. If our regard to God ought to be supreme, we must make him our highest end.

11 Both the holiness and happiness of the Godhead consists in this love.

As we have already proved, all creature holiness consists essentially and summarily in love to God and love to other creatures; so does the holiness of God consist in His love, especially in the perfect and intimate union and love there is between the Father and the Son. But the Spirit that proceeds from the Father and the Son is the bond of this union, as it is of all holy union between the Father and the Son, and between God and the creature, and between the creatures among themselves. All seems to be signified in Christ’s prayer in the XVII.th chapter of John, from the 21st verse. Therefore this Spirit of love is the “”bond of perfectness” (Colossians 3:14) throughout the whole blessed society or family in heaven and earth, consisting of the Father, the Head of the family, and the Son, and all His saints that are the disciples, seed, and spouse of the Son. The happiness of God doth also consist in this love; for doubtless the happiness of God consists in the infinite love He has to, and delight He has in Himself; or in other words, in the infinite delight there is between the Father and the Son, spoken of in Proverbs 8:30. This delight that the Father and the Son have in each other is not to be distinguished from Their love of complacence one in another, wherein love does most essentially consist, as was observed before. The happiness of the Deity, as all other true happiness, consists in love and society.

12 But all that denotes Imperfection in love is not in God.

13  Saving faith and love

saving faith implies in its nature divine love is manifest, by 1 John 5:1, “Whosoever believeth that Jesus is the Christ is born of God: and every one that loveth him that begat loveth him also that is begotten of him.”

John 16:27, in part: “This verse argues that love is a thing included in justifying faith. For the love here spoken of is not electing love, for God don’t love us with that love because we love Christ, but it must be that love of favor and acceptance that is consequent on believing.”

love , which is the exercise of the divine disposition, is “the main thing in saving faith, the life and power of it, by which it produces its great effects”

14  Love has God as it’s primary object of affection

“no one act of the mind or exercise of love is of the nature of true virtue but what has Being in general, or the great system of universal existence, for its direct and immediate object”

the primary object of virtuous love is “Being, simply considered

15  Inherent in love is understanding

The knowledge of God.  God is Love.  So to define Love is to define God.  Love doesn’t exist on it’s own.  Love has an object of it’s affection.  The first Person loves the Second and the Second loves the First Person and The Holy Spirit is the Love They Share.  Knowledge of God is in Love.  Love is the Essence of God.  There has to be an Object loved and being loved in order for Love to exist.  Some idea of the Being that is loved must be in The Mind.  Knowledge of Who is being Loved is in The Holy Spirit, who is Love.

15  God’s love is great.

If it be inquired how great a love it ought to be, in order to their being accepted for his sake, I answer: the love should be so great as to be justly looked upon [as] a thorough union with them, so great that Christ may justly be looked upon as making himself one with them, such a love as is thoroughly assuming them into union with himself.

If it be asked, how it shall be judged when love is sufficient for that, I answer: such a love as is sufficient to cause the lover to place himself in the beloved’s stead for his sake in the most extreme case, and even in the case of [the] beloved’s loss of his all, and his utter destruction. That love that is sufficient thus to unite the lover with the beloved in such a case, where the beloved’s all is concerned, and in his utter destruction, ought to be looked upon as thoroughly uniting, or uniting to the utmost; for this is the utmost trial that there can be. That love that unites the lover with the beloved, or that is sufficient to put the lover in the beloved’s stead, only in cases of loss of part of his welfare, or of partial destruction, is but a partial union of the lover with the beloved; but that love that is sufficient to put the lover in the beloved’s stead even in the total loss of himself, and in his perfect destruction, that may be looked upon as perfectly or thoroughly uniting.

f  The sum of all God’s love is love to Himself.

Both the holiness and happiness of the Godhead consists in this love. As we have already proved, all creature holiness consists essentially and summarily in love to God and love to other creatures; so does the holiness of God consist in his love, especially in the perfect and intimate union and love there is between the Father and the Son. But the Spirit that proceeds from the Father and the Son is the bond of this union, as it8 is of all holy union between the Father and the Son, and between God and the creature, and between the creatures among themselves. All seems to be signified in Christ’s prayer in the John 17, from the John 17:21. Therefore this Spirit of love is the “bond of perfectness” (Colossians 3:14) throughout the whole blessed society or family in heaven and earth, consisting of the Father, the head of the family, and the Son, and all his saints that are the disciples, seed and spouse of the Son. The happiness of God doth also consist in this love: for doubtless the happiness of God consists in the infinite love he has to and delight he has in himself; or, in other words, in the infinite delight there is between the Father and the Son, spoken of in Proverbs 8:30. This delight that the Father and the Son have in each other is not to be distinguished from their love of complacence one in another, wherein love does most essentially consist, as was observed before. The happiness of the Deity, as all other true happiness, consists in love and society…

God is Love

God the 3rd person of the Trinity is Love

“I think that in the 1 John 4, in which we are twice told that God is love, it is intimated to us that this love is the Holy Spirit, in the 1 John 4:12 and 1 John 4:13 verses; they are these: “No man hath seen God at any time. If we love one another, God dwelleth in us, and his love is perfected”

God is said to be light and love. Light is his understanding or idea, which is his Son; love is the Holy Spirit.

God’s Holy Spirit or love is… “a perfectly active flowing affection”  “and pleasure of God”

United is such a manner that One has another and they have communion in One Another.   The 2nd person is in the heart of the 1st.  The first person/Person is in the heart of the 2nd.  What they mutually share that delights both in the relationship is Love.  Both delight in each other’s love.  Song 1:2, 4:10

In order to clear up this matter let it be considered that the whole Divine office is supposed truly and properly to subsist in each of these three, viz., God and His understanding and love, and that there is such a wonderful union between them that they are, after an ineffable and inconceivable manner, One in Another, so that One hath Another and they have communion in One Another and are as it were predicable One of Another; as Christ said of Himself and the Father “I am in the Father and the Father in Me,” so may it be said concerning all the Persons in the Trinity, the Father is in the Son and the Son in the Father, the Holy Ghost is in the Father, and the Father in the Holy Ghost, the Holy Ghost is in the Son, and the Son in the Holy Ghost, and the Father understands because the Son Who is the Divine understanding is in Him, the Father loves because the Holy Ghost is in Him, so the Son loves because the Holy Ghost is in Him and proceeds from Him, so the Holy Ghost or the Divine essence subsisting is Divine, but understands because the Son the Divine Idea is in Him.

It is not a blind love. Even in creatures there is consciousness included in the very nature of the will or act of the soul, and tho perhaps not so that it can so properly be said that it is a seeing or undemanding will, yet it may truly and properly be said so in God by reason of God’s infinitely more perfect manner of acting so that the whole Divine essence flows out and subsists in this act, and the Son is in the Holy Spirit tho(All the Three are Persons for they all have understanding and will. There is understanding and will in the Father, as the Son and the Holy Ghost are in Him and proceed from Him. There is understanding and will in the Son, as He is understanding and as the Holy Ghost is in Him and proceeds from Him. There is understanding and will in the Holy Ghost as He is the Divine will and as the Son is in Him.

Nor is it to be looked upon as a strange and unreasonable figment that the Persons should be said to have an understanding or love by another person’s being in them, for we have Scripture ground to conclude so concerning the Father’s having wisdom and understanding or reason that it is by the Son’s being in Him; because we are there informed that He is the wisdom and reason and truth of God, and hereby God is wise by His own wisdom being in Him. Understanding and wisdom is in the Father as the Son is in Him and proceeds from Him. Understanding is in the Holy Ghost because the Son is in Him, not as proceeding from Him but as flowing out in Him.)

the honor of the Holy Ghost is equal for He is that Divine excellency and beauty itself.

the honor of the Holy Ghost is equal for He is infinite happiness and joy itself.

Christ purchased for us that we should have the favor of God and might enjoy His love, but this love is the Holy Ghost.

Christ purchased for us true spiritual excellency, grace and holiness, the sum of which is love to God, which is [nothing] but the indwelling of the Holy Ghost in the heart. Christ purchased for us spiritual joy and comfort, which is in a participation of God’s joy and happiness, which joy and happiness is the Holy Ghost as we have shown. The Holy Ghost is the sum of all good things. Good things and the Holy Spirit are synonymous expressions in Scripture: (Matt. 7:11) “How much more shall your Heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask Him.” The sum of all spiritual good which the finite have in this world is that spring of living water within them which we read of (John 4:10), and those rivers of living water flowing out of them which we read of (John 7:38,39), which we are there told means the Holy Ghost; and the sum of all happiness in the other world is that riverof water of life which proceeds out of the throne of God and the Lamb, which we read of (Rev. 22:1), which is the River of God’s pleasures and is the Holy Ghost and therefore the sum of the Gospel invitation to come and take the water of life (verse 17).

The Holy Ghost is the purchased possession and inheritance of the saints, as appears because that little of it which the saints have in this world is said to be the earnest of that purchased inheritance. (Eph. 1:14) Tis an earnest of that which we are to have a fullness of hereafter. (II Cor. 1:22; 5:5) The Holy Ghost is the great subject of all Gospel promises and therefore is called the Spirit of promise. (Eph. 1:13) This is called the promise of the Father (Luke 24:49), and the like in other places. (If the Holy Ghost be a comprehension of all good things promised in the Gospel, we may easily see the force of the Apostle’s arguing (Gal. 3:2), “This only would I know, Received ye the Spirit by the works of the law or by the hearing of faith?”) So that it is God of Whom our good is purchased and it is God that purchases it and it is God also that is the thing purchased.

That knowledge or understanding in God which we must conceive of as first is His knowledge of every thing possible. That love which must be this knowledge is what we must conceive of as belonging to the essence of the Godhead in it’s first subsistence. Then comes a reflex act of knowledge and His viewing Himself and knowing Himself and so knowing His own knowledge and so the Son is begotten. There is such a thing in God as knowledge of knowledge, an idea of an idea. Which can be nothing else than the idea or knowledge repeated.

The love of God as it flows forth ad extra is wholly determined and directed by Divine wisdom, so that those only are the objects of it that Divine wisdom chooses, so that the creation of the world is to gratify Divine love as that is exercised by Divine wisdom. But Christ is Divine wisdom so that the world is made to gratify Divine love as exercised by Christ or to gratify the love that is in Christ’s heart, or to provide a spouse for Christ. Those creatures which wisdom chooses for the object of Divine love as Christ’s elect spouse and especially those elect creatures that wisdom chiefly pitches upon and makes the end of the rest of creatures.

The one is in the spiritual creation, the soul of man. There is the mind, and the understanding or idea, and the spirit of the mind as it is called in Scripture, i.e., the disposition, the will or affection.

Love is in God as light is in the sun, which does not shine by a reflected light as the moon and planets do; but by his own light, and as the fountain of light. And love flows out from him towards all the inhabitants of heaven.

“We Read of the Fathers love to Man and of the Love of the son, but not of the love of the holy Ghost. which seems to be because the holy Ghost is the Love of God it self”

1 John 4:16 the Apostle tells us that “God is love; and he that dwelleth in love dwelleth in God, and God in him.” Which confirms not only that the divine nature subsists in love, but also that this love is the Spirit: for it is the Spirit of God by which God dwells in his saints, as the Apostle had observed in the 1 John 4:13

 

Charity or Love and its fruits

Try to come up with a good summary of 1 Cor. 13

Love “is contrary to everything in life and practice that is evil, and tends to everything that is good.”

Love is not proud. Love is a humble love.

1. That a spirit of Christian love is opposite to a proud behavior; and here are two degrees of a proud behavior mentioned. (1) The greater degree is expressed by a man’s vaunting himself, his carrying himself so as plainly shows that he glories in what he is or has. (2) The less degree of a proud behavior is expressed in that…

That spirit of divine love, which we have already shown is the sum of the Christian spirit, implies humility in it; it implies it as an essential qualification. True divine love is an humble love. It is essential to true love that it be so that love that is not an humble love is not true divine love. This appears by two things. (1) Because a sense of the loveliness of God is peculiarly that discovery of God which makes humility. A sense or discovery of God’s greatness without his loveliness will not do it. But it is a discovery of his loveliness that.

2nd reason love is a humble love.  ”It appears that divine love implies humility because when God is truly loved he is loved as an infinite superior. True love to God is not love to him as an equal; for everyone who truly loves God loves him as God, that is, as a Being infinitely superior in greatness and excellence; it is love to a superior Lord, and absolute sovereign. But if we love God as infinitely superior to us, then love is exercised in us as infinite inferiors and therefore is an humble love. In this love we look on ourselves as infinitely mean and low before God, and love proceeds from us as such. But to love God in this manner is to love him in humility, or with an humble love. Thus divine love implies humility.”

Love does not envy.

Love is is the sum of all virtue

1  Love is patient.

2  Love is benevolent

3  Love is not envious, proud, selfish, easily angered or censorious nor delight in evil but happily tends to holy practice.

4 by cherishing and promoting both faith and hope because all Christian graces are connected.

5 Love remains under all opposition

Love in Solomon’s Song of Songs

1  Love is delightful, yeah more delightful than wine.

2  Love is powerful.

3  Loves Jealousy is as cruel as hell fire.

4  Love is a flame above all other flames

5  Love is unquenchable
6  Love desires

7  Love is Sovereign

8  Love reciprocates

9  Love is not grievous

10  Love is priceless

Love, power, fire, fervor.

True love… “is evermore a powerful thing; and the power of it appears, in the first place, in the inward exercises of it in the heart, where is the principal and original seat of it. Hence true religion is called the power of godliness, in distinction from the external appearances of it, that are the form of it, II Timothy 3:5, “Having a form of godliness, but denying the power of it.” The Spirit of God in those that have sound and solid religion, is a spirit of powerful holy affection; and therefore, God is said to have given them the spirit “of power, and of love, and of a sound mind” (II Timothy 1:7). And such, when they receive the Spirit of God, in his sanctifying and saving influences, are said to be baptized with the Holy Ghost, and with fire; by reason of the power and fervor of those exercises the Spirit of God excites in their hearts, whereby their hearts, when grace is in exercise, may be said to burn within them; as is said of the disciples (Luke 24:32).”

Jesus.

He was the greatest instance of ardency, vigor and strength of love, to both God and man, that ever was. It was these affections which got the victory, in that mighty struggle and conflict of his affections, in his agonies, when he prayed more earnestly, and offered strong crying and tears, and wrestled in tears and in blood. Such was the power of the exercises of his holy love, that they were stronger than death, and in that great struggle, overcame those strong exercises of the natural affections of fear and grief, when he was sore amazed, and his soul was exceeding sorrowful, even unto death.

Do you buy flowers to try to buy her love or because you love her?

1  Love is delightful.  Love is Better.

Better is general.  Delightful is specific reason why it’s better.  love is better than wine because it is more delightful.  It brings true peace.  It satisfies the soul better than physical or natural substances.

Love is a sweet principle, especially divine love. It is a spring of sweetness.”  Love is a sweet flame, yeah the sweetest.  “a life of love is a pleasant Life”

There is no other love so advantageous as love to Christ, and therefore none so pleasant. Love is sweet when the ones loving each other enjoy one another in prosperous circumstances. Now Christ is already crowned with glory, and he will crown those that love him with glory too, so that they shall each other eternally [be] in the greatest glory. So that upon these reasons and many others that might be mentioned, the love of Christ is far the most delightful love in the world.

the love of Christ has a tendency to fill the soul with an inexpressible sweetness. It sweetens every thought and makes every meditation pleasant; it brings a divine calm upon the mind, and spreads a heavenly fragrancy like Mary’s box of ointment. It bedews the soul with the dew of heaven, begets a bright sunshine, and diffuses the beginnings of glory and happiness in embryo. All the world smiles upon such a soul as loves Christ: the sun, moon and stars, fields and trees, do seem to salute him. Such a mind is like a little heaven upon earth.

By walking in the ways of religion and virtue, young people will obtain the sweetest delights of love and friendship. A life of true religion and virtue is a life of divine love, a life of love to God, which love affords greater pleasures far than that of earthly love: a life of love is the sweetest life in the world, but no love affords such pleasures as love to God. Divine love is an affection that is of a more sublime and excellent nature than love to an earthly object: it is a purer flame, and the pleasure that it affords is a purer stream.

Love is a spring of pleasure

It would give her greater happiness to be in a love relationship with Israel’s Messiah than with what happiness she gets from wine for his/His love is more delightful.

How can a woman reflect the glory of the Bride of Christ if she has fear of punishment or harm in her heart.  Fear of punishment and trust that you will  be loved will fluctuate but eventually the woman will fully trust her man due to him having the same love in their hearts.  “I am my beloved, and his desire is for me.”  Song 7:3

2  Love is powerful.

Love has power

a Love has power to cast out fear.   b love has power to act.  c  Love has power to unite.  c  Love has power to change the heart.  d  Love has power to illuminate the mind.   e  Love has power to delight the soul.  f  Love has power to attract.

A  Love has power over fear.

But when love is in lively exercise, persons don’t need fear, and the prevailing of love in the heart, naturally tends to cast out fear, as darkness in a room vanishes away as you let more and more of the perfect beams of the sun into it, 1 John

God by his Spirit does not give assurance any other way, than by advancing these things in the soul. He does not wholly cast out fear, the legal principle, but by advancing and filling the soul full of love, the evangelical principle. When love is low in the true saints, they need the fear of hell to deter them from sin, and engage them to exactness in their walk, and stir them up to seek heaven; but when love is high, and the soul full of it, we don’t need fear.

wholly cast out fear, the legal principle, but by advancing and filling the soul full of love, the evangelical principle. When love is low in the true saints, they need the fear of hell to deter them from sin, and engage them to exactness in their walk, and stir them up to seek heaven; but when love is high, and the soul full of it, we don’t need fear. And therefore, a wise God has so ordered it that love and fear should rise and fall like the scales of a balance, when one rises, the other falls, as there is need; or as light and darkness take place of each other in a room

The reason is exceedingly plain; for love is of a nature directly contrary to bitter resentment and revenge, for revenge has ill will. But this is the reverse of love; and no wonder that love tends to keep out its contrary; no wonder that one contrary tends to destroy another.

a renunciation of ourselves for God’s sake, our own ease, our own appetites, etc.; and an heart to sell all for God. 1 John 2:3–6, “Whoso keepeth his commandments, in him verily is the love of God perfected.” So love is made perfect by works, in the same sense in which the Apostle James says, James 2:22, “By works was faith made perfect.” This is the perfect love that casts out fear, that perfect spirit of adoption that casts out a spirit of fear.

Since love has power to cast out fear, and fear being a remnant of the flesh.  If someone fears being punished by God then they will do good out of fear of punishment and not love.  Wrong motives are suppressed by the light and heat of love.  Love has power to unite, cast out fear, draw two together.  If she thought her husband might physically or emotionally harm her then why would she get closer to such a person.  Husbands can cast out the fears of his wife by being a wise and loving leader, a good shepherd of her heart that is sensitive to her feelings, praising her, valuing her, adoring her, paying attention to her, providing, protection, being there for her etc.

Coralation.  see union with the back drop of disunion and hate.  the greater the disunion, disharmony and deformity to the opposite and furthering degree’s of strictness, the more delight in beholding.

God will love Solomon because he is His son.  Jedidiah.  Thus since God will love Solomon God’s love will be in his heart and Solomon will love God, other’s and his wife.  So that the foundation her her fearless love is grounded in the fact that God will love Solomon first.

The two get so close that she is a perfect reflection of his love.  That her love to him is a reflection and reprobation of his love to her.  Like the head and heart is to the arm.

Learn how to love from the God of Love, Jesus Christ!  

How does Jesus cast out fear of punishment from His Bride?  Through a delightful meditation of the love and grace of God in Christ at the cross.  So forgive your wife so she can see your not angry.  Be not angry with her, but forgive so she can see the love of God in you, then delight in you and praise you love more than wine.   Then she will not fear making mistakes because you are forgiving.  She will do her best with love.

A sight of the awful greatness of God, may overpower men’s strength, and be more than they can endure; but if the moral beauty of God be hid, the enmity of the heart will remain in its full strength, no love will be enkindled, all will not be effectual to gain the will, but that will remain inflexible; whereas the first glimpse of the moral and spiritual glory of God shining into the heart, produces all these effects, as it were with omnipotent power , which nothing can withstand.

Power to overcome is due to the nature of Love not the degree.  “If love to God prevails above the love of other things, then virtue will prevail above evil affections, or positive principles of sin; by which principles it is, that sin has a positive power and influence. For evil affections radically consist in inordinate love to other things besides God. And therefore, virtue prevailing beyond these, will have the governing influence. The predominancy of the love of God in the hearts of good men is more from the nature of the object loved, and the nature of the principle of true love, than the degree of the principle. The object is one of supreme loveliness; immensely above all other objects in worthiness of regard; and ’tis by such a transcendent excellency, that he is God, and worthy to be regarded and adored as God, and he that truly loves God, loves him as God. True love acknowledges him to be God, or to be divinely and supremely excellent, and must arise from some knowledge, sense and conviction of his worthiness of supreme respect. And though the sense and view of it may be very imperfect, and the love that arises from it in like manner imperfect; yet if there be any realizing view of such divine excellency, it must cause the heart to respect God above all.”

b  Love has power to act

The most proper evidence of such a principle’s being real and sincere is its being effectual. The proper evidence of wishing good to another is doing good to another. What can be plainer than that the proper evidence of the will is the act? The act of the man follows the will wherein the man has power to act. The proper evidence of a man’s sincerely desiring the good of another is seeking it in his3 practice. That which a man sincerely desires he will seek, so far as the thing desired is within his reach. The Scripture therefore speaks of doing good as the proper evidence of love. And therefore loving in deed or practice and loving in truth or reality are put for the same thing in Scripture.4 1 John 3:18–19, “My little children, let us not love in word, neither in tongue; but in deed and in truth. Hereby we know that we are of the truth.” That is, hereby we know that we are sincere. James 2:15–16, “If a brother or sister be naked, and destitute of daily food, and one of you say unto them, Depart in peace, be ye warmed and filled; notwithstanding ye give them not those things which are needful to the body; what doth it profit?

A flame doesn’t just add light without heat.  Works, sweetness, ardency, zeal.

True love is not merely loving in word and in tongue, but in deed and in truth.

Love is powerful.   Since it goes forever and is powerful the power is also infinite.  Love will not run out of power.

So by a principle of sin is meant a principle whence flow acts of sin. A principle of hatred is a principle whence flow acts of hatred. And a principle of love is a principle whence flow acts of love. So when we say a principle of grace we mean a principle whence flow gracious actions. A principle of grace has as much a relation to practice as a root has to the plant. If there be a root, it is a root of something, either a root of some plant which grows…

That saving faith implies in its nature divine love is manifest, by 1 John 5:1, “Whosoever believeth that Jesus is the Christ is born of God: and every one that loveth him that begat loveth him also that is begotten of him.”

love is the main thing in saving faith, the life and power of it, by which it produces its great effects

Another way of the exercise of love is in desires after God.   These also tend to practice. He who really has earnest desires after God will be stirred up by them earnestly to seek after him. He will apply himself to this business. For we see it so in all cases, when men have earnest desires of a good which is conceived of as

Another way of the exercise of love is delighting in God and taking contentment in him. This also tends to practice. He who sincerely delights more in God than in other things and takes up his contentment in God will not forsake God for the sake of other things, for that shows that he is not contented

So love is implied in a gracious faith. It is an ingredient in it, and belongs to its essence. Yea, it is, as it were, the soul of it, as its working, operative principle or nature. As that working, operative nature which is in man is his soul, so the working and operative nature of faith is love

love is an active principle. It is fire from heaven [and] may be compared to an holy flame kindled in the soul by a beam from thence. No man is truly zealous without it. It is the spirit that animates and actuates the truly zealous man.

C  Love has power to unite hearts.   Song 8:6   Love has sufficeint power to make the object of its affection one with itself.

“Christ loves the elect with so great and strong a love, they are so near to him, that God looks upon them as it were as parts of him. Now if it be inquired how much love is sufficient for that, I answer, that if Christ love: men so that when they are to be destroyed, he out of mere love is willing to take their destruction upon himself—or what is equivalent to their destruction—then is Christ’s love sufficient in God’s account to make them one, for this reason, because when it is so, his love is such as does as it were of itself put the lover in the beloved’s…”

Love is the bond that unites. “Every member of this society has reigning in his heart a principle of peace and love. These are all the marks that are of the kingdom of God. Love is the bond of perfectness that unites the members of this society together. They all have a disposition heartily to seek and promote each other’s good. Third. And lastly, this nation have for their settled abode a most glorious land.”

When I say, his judgment of what is best for himself, I don’t mean his judgment of what is best absolutely, and most lovely in itself; for the minds’s sense of the absolute loveliness of a thing directly influences only the will of appetite: if the soul wills it merely because it appears lovely in itself, it will be because the loveliness draws the appetite of the soul. It may indirectly influence what I call the rational will, as the judgment may be convinced that what is most lovely in itself will be best for him and most for his happiness. Merely the rationally judging that a thing is lovely in itself, without a sensibleness of the beauty and pleasantness of it, signifies nothing towards influencing the will, except it be this indirect way, that he thinks it will therefore be best some way or other for himself, most for his good. Therefore, if a man has only a rational judgment that a thing is beautiful and lovely, without any sensibleness of the beauty, and at the same time don’t think it best for himself, he will never choose it; though if he be sensible of the beauty of it to a strong degree, he may will it, though he thinks ’tis not best for himself; as persons from a sensibleness of the good and pleasantness of sensual enjoyments, will them, though they are convinced they are not best for themselves. Hence it follows that a person, with respect to his rational will, may be perfectly free, and yet may refuse that which he at the same time rationally judges to be in itself most lovely and becoming, and will that which he rationally knows to be hateful.

Love has power to unite enemies

a man’s loving his enemies is an evidence of a high degree of benevolence of temper— the degree of it appearing from the obstacles it overcomes.

D  Loves power is irresistible

e

f  Love has power to attract.

Love has power to attract or arouse affection from the beloved.

The L when men do love G. their Love is attracted by the Loveliness of G. but Gods Love. sees nothing in us to attract it but flows out of it self. for G. set his Love upon us for G. set his Love upon us of mere Goodness.  His love went out to us when we had no loveliness. Ez 16

Our love is not only attracted & drawn by Gods worthiness

Gods Love is not only not attracted by any Loveliness in us to attracted it. but it overcame infinite repulsion of our hatefulness when he saw no

A discovery of the love of God, without an answerable discovery of the awful and terrible majesty and holiness of God, has a tendency to dispose the soul in some respects unsuitably towards God: there will not be a due reverence with love and delight; the soul will be attracted to God, but will come with an undue boldness. ‘Tis the will of God that when we rejoice it should be with trembling; and so [he] won’t discover his love without showing his terrible majesty

Amiable. the more love is the nature natural disposition of m & bene- volence is the natural disposition of any being the more lovely the more strongly is the Love love of any other that beholds it attracted towards it.

the Enmity that is in the heart against X is taken away & the Inclincation of the soul is towards him & tho the need of him & his sufficien it & excellency is Revealed to the soul whereby it is attracted to him

our Love to G. is for his worthiness & is Infinitely Less than than his worthiness But God Loves us without worthiness you with Infinite unworthiness. our Love is not only attracted & drawn by Gods worthiness of our Love but it after all it is infinitely short of any equality to the loveliness of the being beloved but Gods Love is not only not attrac ted by any Loveliness in us

‘Tis true that benevolence to Being in general, when a person hath it, will naturally incline him to justice, or proportion in the exercises of it. He that loves Being, simply considered, will naturally (as was observed before), other things being equal, love particular beings in a proportion compounded of the degree of being and the degree of virtue, or benevolence to being, which they have. And that is to love beings in proportion to their dignity. For the dignity of any being consists in those two things. Respect to Being, in this proportion, is the first and most general kind of justice; which will produce all the subordinate kinds.1 So that, after benevolence to Being in general exists, the proportion which is observed in objects may be the cause of the proportion of benevolence to those objects: but no proportion is the cause or ground of the existence of such a thing as benevolence to Being. The tendency of objects to excite that degree of benevolence which is proportionable to the degree of being, etc. is the consequence of the existence of benevolence; and not the ground of it. Even as a tendency of bodies, one to another, by mutual attraction in proportion to the quantity of matter, is the consequence of the being of such a thing as mutual attraction; and not attraction the effect of proportion.

G  Love has power to arouse or awaken love.   Love is an affection of the heart.  Something affects the heart.  Love seen and experienced arouses love.    By showing love they both aroused the other person’s affection in courtship.

I.  Due the superlative delightfulness of it

3  Loves Jealousy is as cruel as hell fire.

The sense of displeasure.  When you get the sense that you have displeased the one you love, the feeling is cruel.  My feeling belong to him/Him and he/He is jealous for I didn’t open the door so my heart sank deep within me.  So you do what is right and pleasing to him/Him because you don’t want to sense his displeasure

4  Love is a flame above all other flames

Zeal is an inward heat or fervency of spirit, and love is the flame whence that heat comes. This is the fire that fills the soul with that holy fervor that is called zeal. Love to God and Christ, divine love, is the foundation of all those other affections that are exercised in Christian zeal. Divine love is an active principle. It is fire from heaven

There is a light that is the foundation of love.  The knowledge of God or image of God upon the soul.  This light is a light above all other light. Original light.  Source.  Self sufficient. 

True light is unquenchable and overflowing.

“Counsel is mine and sound wisdom; I am understanding, power is mine.”
Love has the Highest Being in it’s understanding.

5  Love is unquenchable

6  Love desires

7  Love is Sovereign

8   Love reciprocates

9  Love is not greivous

How can I put it on again”  the bride says in Song 5:3.  In order to show love to her husband she must deny herself some comfort.  Love should be sooner than later.

[1.] They that keep God’s commands and deny their lusts only from fear, God’s commands are grievous to ’em. There are two things that make the keeping God’s commands grievous to them:

(1) Fear of hell itself is a slavish, tormenting principle; but as love prevails it delivers from this tormenting, grievous principle, as the Apostle observes in the context, in the latter end of the preceding chapter, 1 John 4:18, “There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear.”

The other thing that makes the commands of God grievous to them that obey only from fear and not love, is the love of the world: the love of the objects of their lusts. They love them, and therefore ’tis grievous to abstain from that; but love makes obedience not grievous, because it mortifies the love of the world. The heart is drawn away from the world to better things. Faith that works by love overcomes the world and delivers from bondage to worldly lusts, and sets the soul at liberty to obey God freely and cheerfully, as [in] 1 John 5:3 and 1 John 5:4, “For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments…and this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith.” And thus it appears that all that are in a state of salvation obey God’s commands from love to God; and not only from fear of hell, but that they love God more than the world. Divine principles in their hearts overcome worldly principles and inclinations.”

Arguing all the other characteristics of Love from Love.

Love defines who God is for God is love.  Define Love and you define God.

Unquenchable to all sufficiency.

Love is unquenchable for many waters can’t quench love.  Since love can’t be ultimately quenched it must be all sufficient.   It gets its power from no other greater being.  Another being could have more power than another but no one has more power than God.
Since love is above human power to control then we must be dependent upon it/It.

Since loves jealousy is the cruelest feeling we should take great pains in pleasing our beloved/Beloved.

10  Love is priceless

In what the degree of the removal of the influence of any value or price, consisting in that which is profitable or lovely to [the] benefactor, appears. And it appears in these three:

1 When there is none at all, no profit or loveliness afforded to recommend the receiver to the good will of the benefactor. This makes the removal of value greater than where there is but little.

2  When there is but a little profit or loveliness to balance the kindness, very disproportionate to the kindness and not sufficient to countervail it.

3  When there is not only no profit or loveliness, but much of contrary, much unloveliness or odiousness. This sets the receiver at a further remove still from affording any price or value, and therefore still further magnifies the receiver’s dependence upon the benefactor, and the freeness of kindness, and the great degree of mere benevolence in the benefactor, in as much as there is not only the absence of all in the receiver that might attract good will, but much to repel it, which the fullness and great degree of benevolence of the benefactor surmounts.

Loveliness

In other passages he speaks of the beauty of holiness as its ” loveliness ,” a characteristic which is said to call forth both the delight and love of the beholder.

Love to God causes a man to delight in the thoughts of God, and to delight in the presence of God, and to desire conformity to God, and the enjoyment of God; and so it is with a man’s love to his friend; and many other things might be mentioned which are common to both. But yet that idea which the saint has of the loveliness of God, and that sensation, and that kind of delight he has in that view, which is as it were the marrow and quintessence of his love, is peculiar, and entirely diverse from anything that a natural man has, or can have any notion of.

 ‘Tis unreasonable to think otherwise, than that the first foundation of a true love to God, is that whereby he is in himself lovely, or worthy to be loved, or the supreme loveliness of his nature. This is certainly what makes him chiefly amiable. What chiefly makes a man, or any creature lovely, is his excellency; and so what chiefly renders God lovely, and must undoubtedly be the chief ground of true love, is his excellency.

God’s nature, or the divinity, is infinitely excellent; yea ’tis infinite beauty, brightness, and glory itself. But how can that be true love of this excellent and lovely — 243 — 

nature, which is not built on the foundation of its true loveliness? How can that be true love of beauty and brightness, which is not for beauty and brightness’ sake? How can that be a true prizing of that which is in itself infinitely worthy and precious, which is not for the sake of its worthiness and preciousness? This infinite excellency of the divine nature, as it is in itself, is the true ground of all that is good in God in any respect; but how can a man truly and rightly love God, without loving him for that excellency in him, which is the foundation of all that is in any manner of respect good or desirable in him? They whose affection to God is founded first on his profitableness to them, their affection begins at the wrong end; they regard God only for the utmost limit of the stream of divine good, where it touches them, and reaches their interest; and have no respect to that infinite glory of God’s nature, which is the original good, and the true fountain of all good, the first fountain of all loveliness of every kind, and so the first foundation of all true love.

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Saved in 2000 at age 27. Nearly immediately I fell in love with the Song and grew very fast the first two years memorizing large portions of scripture purifying my mind the started chewing on meat to soon and struggled for 12 years and Christ has me on track like always but I just took the long way around and now I love leading others closer to Christ by seeing His love reflected in Solomons love for an enemy slave girl.

I have experienced God's love to me in the Song in ways that words can't express. There are many portion of the Word where she experiences extra ordinary outpouring of the Holy Spirit of God. If you have a burning desire for a close intimate relationship with God by experiencing His Love to you over and over again at greater and greater heights, depths, lengths and breaths then The Song of Songs is where you need to be.

I can help you with this process of Growing in the experience of God's love. As of 7-23-16 I have experienced everything prior to chapter 8. The Song of Song is progressive in experience. Meaning that if you are mature then you can experience the joys and extraordinary outpourings of God's Love shed abroad in your heart.

If you are not so mature then the delights in the first chapter of the Song will satisfy your thirst for experiencing the Love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Many Christian are living in sin because they do not know how to experience God's love and get hooked on Loving Him. It feels good to be loved and to love Him. His burden is not heavy and His yoke is light, Jesus said in Matt. 10:28

I believe God wants to use me to help beautify His Bride through the Song of Solomon.

If you see the book literally you will not understand nor grasp the Love God has for you. If you see the book and the verses in it relating to Christ's love to you then I would love to show you how to experience this Love to the fullest. I will pray for you daily and guide you every step of the way.

16 I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, 17 so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, 18 may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, 19 and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.

20 Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, 21 to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.

I grew up going to church but was a hypocrite. I lived my life how I chose but went to church on Sunday because my family went.

Mom and Dad divorced when I was about 5.

About this time I was sexually abused by "Bob" a made up name. This incident changed my life for the worst. I had no clue how to deal with it.

As I got older I grew in my hatred for Bob. I didn't blame anyone of my family because I was to young to know any better. Some of what happened during the abuse was in a bathroom. So overtime I would use the bathroom and look at my private parts that night would replay in my mind. My hatred for Bob would continue to grow each time.

Now I know this only happened to me one night. I can't image the pain other's go through who have had this happen to them over and over. Even as I write this now I cry with many tears for those hurting. God love you even though you may not know it or feel it. Go to Him in your time of need.

I was a really bad teenager. I only cared about myself and not even my family. I always came first in my mind. Even at the expense of hurting others. I was growing in my hatred for God by now.

I was going to church and was learned that God was in control. I thought well, if God was in control then He must have let me be sexually abused. I didn't understand this, How could a good and loving God allow this. I hated Him for it. My hatred for Bob grew as well. I was still using the bathroom and memories kept coming back. My heart grew even harder for Bob and God. As far as I was concerned God would have nothing to do with my life so I lived even worse. I thought I would be in jail or dead and I really didn't care, I thought it could be much worse than reliving your painful past over and over again. Little did I know that God's plan later would be to use these events to give me a burning passion for the closest most intimate love relationship with Himself through Christ mainly through the love poem in the Song of Songs in the Bible.

I remember hating Bob so much that the only thing that would relieve my pain was actually thinking he would suffer forever for what he did. I grew so much in my hatred for him that I had to continue to think that he would get even worse than what I imaged before. After some time I would only be relieved of hatred for him unless I thought he would burn in a hotter and hotter hell for all the suffering he put me through.

I never told my mom or family what happened, although I think some of them knew something had happened.

I grew up quite rebellious and even went to jail at the age of 20. I was living the fast life pursuing all my sinful desires and wanting more. It never seemed to be enough. I was quite happy in my sin but I just wanted more of it.

I lived life thinking I would die at a young age, riding motorcycle and living on the edge put me in the hospital many times and I should have been dead.

California at age 26.

I moved to California for a job opportunity at the age of 27. While trying to figure out what radio stations to program in my car, I ran across a RC Sproul talking about "people who have the faith that saves and people who only say that have faith" only the people who have the faith that saves will go to heaven. I thought "I don't think I have the faith that saves because my life was so bad." I searched the scriptures to try to get this faith. I found a church and thought people there could help me get this faith that saves. All along God kept showing me how sinful I was and that I deserved punishment from Him for living my life hating Him.

One weekend I read Matthew, Mark, Luke and John desperately trying to find out how to get this faith that saves. By now I knew that if you had the faith that saves that Jesus would be saving you from a life of sin. I still liked my sin and Jesus sure wasn't saving me from a life of sin, so I rightly concluded that I didn't have the faith that saves.

By the time I got to John, I saw "believe" everywhere. John 3:16 and other verses and wow the whole book was written so that you may believe. John 20:31 "these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name." So at night I would pray "I believe Jesus died for me, I believe, I believe. This was just an intellectual belief. I knew that in history and the Bible that Jesus died for everyone, so I believed it. But this belief did not change my life.

I would go on night after night saying the same prayer only to wake up the next day wanting to fulfill my sinful desires. The prayer wasn't working so I started to word it different each time hoping some prayer would work. After about 2 weeks of this I was fed up with it all, nothing was happening. I still was living in my sin and wanted more of it. A Christian hates their sin and does something about it, and certainly they don't continue to make plans to sin. The prayers weren't working so I gave up. I thought to myself "God, I tried with all my might, I searched the Scriptures, went to church, read the Bible and prayed all to no avail. If Im going to be saved your going to have to do it because I tried."

So I quit praying but still the Bible kept calling me so I read more. 3 Days later I was laying in a tanning bed and God convicted me really hard that I had offended Him by the life I was living. I was so scared of God, where could I run. You can't hide from God. It seemed like forever that I was under these terrors of being punished by a Holy Angry God. This lasted about 10 minutes then this is how I understood it. God let me understand that all that anger that He had for me for all my sin should come my way but He had poured that anger out on Jesus 2,000 years ago. I immediately started weeping an couldn't stop for about 20 minutes. All the sins that I could think of I confessed for that 20 minutes one after another after another, I was so sorrowful and grieved it physically hurt inside.

After I stopped crying I thought that was the weirdest thing that ever happened. I walked out of the tanning salon and stood outside and everything seemed so beautiful, the tree's, the birds, even the air seemed pleasant. Now I was really wondering what was going on.

I pondered all of this as I drove to work that day. I brought my Bible to work and was thinking what am I doing, I want to take my Bible to work so I can read it. As soon as I got to work I started reading my Bible. I couldn't believe what I was reading!! It all was so wonderful. It felt so good to just read my Bible. My client showed up and as I was training them the only thing I could think about was getting back to my Bible. I read all night and slept about 2 hours and was reading again.

I had sinful things in my apartment and I rounded everything evil up and threw it in the garbage. It was weird I was thinking but it felt good so I left it all in the garbage. I called my girlfriend to break it up and she thought I had another girl, I said no, I just think this is wrong we shouldn't be sleeping together. She didn't understand so I told her I was a Christian now and she still thought I had another girlfriend. She said "Im glad your a Christian, so am I" I thought to myself, "I have a strong conviction that sleeping together is wrong and she thought it was okay" I wondered how she could think that. Anyway we broke up.

I kept reading my bible and repenting, there was so much to repent of and I had lived a very sinful life. I was a thief for some part of my life and all the people I stole from kept coming to mind. I owed so much money. I was instantly in debt about $80,000. As I could I paid them back. As of 7-18-2016 I still owe about $25,000 but it sure is a joy to be paying them back.

The first week of being saved a car just about ran me over, they hit me but I wasn't hurt at all. The guy in the car felt so bad. I just looked at him and said "God bless you and have a great day, I am okay" smiled at him and moved on. Now I was really wondering what was going on because I normally would have cussed him out left and right and instead of cussing I blessed him. That was so weird. But again it felt good. I learned to do good by what my conscience told me was good and that it felt good. I got hooked on this feeling good by doing good and did it more often.

About two weeks after being saved I thought of Bob. I immediately prayed for him, something like "Lord help him.." then I stopped praying and said out loud "What am I doing?" I'm praying for a man that I hated my whole life, but it feels good and right, so I did it again. I stopped again midway in the prayer and started pacing around. I was trying to make sense of what was going on and couldn't figure it out. But again it made me happy to pray for him so I did. Bob would often come to mind when I went to the bathroom and each time I would pray for Him. The more I did this the less weird it got. And the greater my love grew for him.

I started memorizing large portions of scripture and this was wonderful because it felt like the words were cleaning my mind and as Proverbs 2:10 "For wisdom will enter your heart, and knowledge will be pleasant to your soul." I wanted more and more of this pleasantness. So I memorized even more and the joy got more and more.

Then this life changing advice came:

A friend from church told me to find a book of the Bible and really understand it. Read through the Bible and pick one and read it over and over and study it and really get it. So I started in Genesis and read through. When I got to Proverbs I really liked it so I thought that would be the book. I started by memorizing all of Proverbs chapter 3. After that I thought maybe there is a better book than Proverbs. So I read on. Then I came to Song of Solomon. I read it with quite some confusion. It wasn't as good as the other books, I didn't know why. So I bought a commentary on it. George Burrowes commentary on the Song of Solomon.

In the commentary I found that George and other saw the book as illustrating God's love to the Church. And not only illustrating it but displaying the Love of Christ better than any other book. This caught my attention big time, because I was having a burning desire for a closer relationship with God and desperately learning about His Love so that I could Love God. You see I had hated Him for so long that God used that old hard heart to spur me on in loving Him. I so much did not want to hate God anymore that I was on fire to learn to Love Him as much and as fast as possible. So here was a book that would help me do that. So I landed on the Song of Solomon. I committed to learning as much of this book as possible.

I memorized the first chapter and would repeat it often throughout the day. I didn't know much of what I was repeating but it sure made me happier and on fire for God. I grew so fast repeating the first chapter over and over again all day, like a dozen times a day at least. It felt so good and I never found any other book that caused me to weep so much. I would often weep everyday just reading it. I was to immature to know what was going on. Even though it hurt to weep so much, I felt like my heart was being cleansed from the filth that was in it by repeating it over and over again so I did. As I read the commentary I understood more and more. What God was doing in me through the Song was greater and faster than any other portion of Scripture so I tended to stay there often. I was so excited about God that I thought it funny that other's in church weren't the same way. Some where happy but it seemed most of them didn't seem to care much about God. They would talk about work, football the weather. The only thing I wanted to talk about was Jesus and God and how can I grow closer to Him.

About this time there was a mission trip to Ireland.

I started to have convictions that I should try to find Bob and witness to him. I kept praying for him but how could he be saved if he hadn't heard the Gospel that has power unto salvation. So I asked family if they had any information. Like me before, my family hated him and thought he deserved hell. After some time I got his name but no location or phone number. Either they didn't know where he was or didn't want to tell me. I prayed some more and then started to get stronger convictions to do something about finding Bob.

So I went on the internet and typed in "his name and child molestation sex offender court" thinking that some court record would have some info leading to where I may find him" I even talked to a private eye and he couldn't help. So I googled some key words and spent hours each day looking through each page. I believed it was God's will for me to witness to Bob. I wanted him to be saved. Really bad. So much so that I thought God would save Bob if I were to witness to him. So I didn't stop searching for him. I kept my computer on each day and went page by page. It took two years to go through about 15,000 pages but I found someone who matched his name in a prison for molesting his grandchildren. I wrote the prison and he wrote back. All kinds of emotions went through my body when I saw his letter from the jail. I didn't open it right away but two hours later God gave me enough courage to face my fears again and I opened the letter. He admitted to being the one who molested me. We wrote back and forth I told him I was angry before but now I was saved and that I loved him and believed God wanted me to talk to him. He read my letters over and over again. I shared the gospel in each one.

I got mad at Bob 2x. Once he said that he love me. I got really angry with him. He didn't love me. That night it was hard to love Bob, I had to call a friend to pray for me to repent, after he prayed I felt greater love for Bob. Then I wrote him back saying "I'm sorry but you can't say that you loved me. You did not love me you lusted after me." He admitted he didn't love as he should have and admitted that it was lust and sinful. Finally some conviction. Yet I only thought he was saying that because I was being nice to him. All his family had left him and he said I was the only "friend" he had.

Wether or not it was true Bob said that he had cancer in his arm and that the help the prison gives was not enough and if he had money he could see a different doctor and get help. I sent him some money and since I was in jail before I knew what it was like to be in there without money, so I sent him money.

About 4-5 months in the economy went down, it was 2008. Work was hard. I still sent him money and I had to work harder. This was a really good lesson for me because I had to "work hard for the benefit of someone who did not deserve it." This was one of the greatest blessing ever because I realized with great certainty that Jesus was in me. This is what Jesus did. Jesus worked his whole life for me and I didn't deserve it!! Christ was in me! This was one of the best feelings ever and it put me in worship for months.

Then a mission trip to Croatia.

Each time I had to leave my business and amazing as it is I was completely okay each time. I am a self employed personal trainer and it is normally absurd to just leave and start over, but each time I had enough work within 2 weeks of coming back. This is a flat out miracle. I trusted God to provide and he did. How many people can start up a business in 2 weeks. Only with the help of God. God was teaching me early on in my walk that as long as I did what He wanted me to do then I had nothing to worry about.

About 3 years saved now.

I Taught the 4 year old's at church Sunday morning for 10 years.

Left my business 2x for mission trips and God miraculously provided when I came back.

I taught 5 x a week plus held a job.

Sunday morning to the kids.
Sunday night with the 5th graders
Friday afternoons at Good News Clubs. Sponsored by Child Evangelism Fellowship.
Friday Nights with the Kids teaching through Pilgrims Progress, I did this 2x
Teaching Monday afternoons at a nursing home. I taught through the Song of Songs once then John, then Romans then back to the Song again! I love the Song of Songs.
I grew up hating God for what happened to me, and now I love Him because He first loved me. My passion is for children to grow up loving God and not hating Him.

My other passion which has become ever greater is to help others see the Love of Christ to His Church in the Song of Songs!!

I would love to help you, just let me know and I will lead you and pray for you.

God demonstrates His love to us in sending His one and only Son to suffer in our place, taking our sins upon Himself so that whoever believes they get to heaven because of what He did for us will not perish but have everlasting life.

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