THE LOVE OF CHRIST
Ralph Erskine -- 1685 to 1752
In Scots Free Church history there is a group of Churches who are to this day
called "Erskinites" because they followed in the steps of this great preacher and
leader among their Churches.
O glorious Lover! the Son of God! He loved me. A person of no mean quality. Love is grateful
to us from any person, but the greater and worthier the person, the dearer and more grateful
must his love be to us. But who so great as He who is the Son of God, of equal dignity and
greatness with His eternal Father; the King eternal and immortal, without beginning and
without end; the Prince of the kings of the earth; He who is Alpha and Omega, the beginning
and the end; He that hath upon His vesture and upon His thigh this name written, King of
Kings and Lord of lords? This is the Lover; and His love must of necessity be greater than
any other love, for He Himself is the greatest of all.
The quality of the person doth commend His exceeding great love. O, who is this Lover "that
cometh from Edom, with dyed garments from Bozrah"? This that is "glorious in His apparel,
travelling in the greatness of His strength"? Who is this King of glory? Who but God
manifested in the flesh, and whose going forth was of old, from everlasting, who is the
true God and eternal life. O, who can declare His generation, who is the only-begotten of
the Father, whose name is Jehovah our righteousness, whose name is I AM THAT I AM, whose
Name is Emmanuel, God with us? He is the Person loving.
He loved; and He loved because He loved. There is no reason of His love but His love. "Jacob
have I loved"; this is all the reason. Love in God is God Himself loving, and therefore it
must have all the qualities that belong to the nature of God. God is a Spirit, infinite,
eternal, and unchangeable. Therefore His love must be a pure and spiritual love, an infinite
and boundless love, eternal and unchangeable love. He loved. O, this act is glorious like
Himself. His love must be an infinitely wise love, for He is wisdom; a powerful love, able
to bring about all His lovely designs that infinite wisdom contrives. It must be infinitely
holy love, love accompanied with holiness, love accompanied with justice, love accompanied
with goodness and truth. He is an infinitely true and faithful Lover, and hence whom He
loves, He loves unto the end.
As His love is accompanied with all divine perfections, so with all loving offices. As a
Prophet, His love is teaching love, instructing love, enlightening love, directing, counselling,
and conducting love. As a Priest, His love is justifying and pardoning love, reconciling,
peace-making, and accepting love. As a King, His love is soul-conquering, sin-subduing love.
As a Shepherd, His love is leading and feeding love. As a Surety, His love is debt-paying
love. As Mediator between God and man, His love is interposing and interceding love. His love
is suited to His nature as God-Man. As God there is divinity in it; it is divine love. And as
Man, there is humanity in it; it is a human and natural love. And as God-Man in one person,
His love must be a divinely human and humanly divine love.
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