“As the Father hath loved Me, so have I loved you” (John 15:9).
“Your parcel of most beautiful flowers came safe to hand last week, and I beg now to thank you for them with all my heart. I got them put in water, and they shed their loveliness and their sweet odours around my corner for many days. But more delightful far, than the loveliness of the flowers, is your kindness and sympathy in thinking of me at all, and taking the trouble to send them….
Indeed, I may say, my little world is the Bible; and increasingly I am finding it everything that I can need. I have just been digging among the golden nuggets in Gal. 2:20 – a passage which I believe has given me many months (put it all together) of the happiest enjoyment possible on earth. It seems to me to contain the concentrated essence of the entire Word of God. O, to have the anointed eye, to discover clearly the wonders comprehended in it. My last exercise on it was taken up with the closing words – “Who loved ME, and gave Himself for Me. “What an exquisitely delightful subject for believing meditation is this LOVE OF JESUS! And how fruitful is it! One hungering for a delicious apple or two, with which to comfort himself (Song 2:3), no sooner attempts to pluck one, than the loaded branches half bury him under a pelting shower of mellow fruit. How wonderful is this love of Jesus! And how delightful when a hearty faith appropriates it, and enjoys it, and rests in it! It is wonderful in the fact of it: that such an One would so love creatures like ourselves: and it is equally wonderful in the manner of it (I John 3:1). It is wonderful in what it has done, in what it is now doing, and in what it purposes to do for its blessed objects, for evermore.
How inexpressibly sweet is love! I know nothing near so sweet as to be worthily beloved, except it be to be the giver of the love rather than the receiver, and this last is far the sweeter. In regard to faith’s fellowship of love with Jesus, we have the two-fold joy of both getting and giving. We get, up to Christ’s uttermost capacity of loving us; and we give, up to our capacity of loving at all, when that capacity is enlarged by the Holy Ghost. What an incomparably happy life, then, is a life of communion with the Son of God in love! Let Him grant me such a life (and indeed He is doing it), and let those who prefer health, and riches, and outward comforts, have the whole of them for me. His love is not only incomparably sweet in itself, but it sweetens everything else to us. Trying providences cease to be bitter; and death loses every particle of repulsiveness. Were it not for His love. His very power, and wisdom, and holiness would be too terrible for us; but the omnipotence of LOVE, and the unerring wisdom of LOVE, and the perfect holiness of LOVE, constitute a vision which is most delightful to a sanctified and trusting heart. It sweetens this love to us to remember that it is FREE. Nay, so far from finding anything in us to attract it to us, it found everything in us to repel it. His only reasons for loving us, He finds in His own heart. The Lord loved us, because the Lord loved us: and that is all the explanation we can give of it (see Deut. 7:7-8). Indeed, we no sooner saw Him, than we hated both Him and His Father (John 15:24). So hated Him, that nothing less would satisfy our hatred, but His death. And yet, the murdered Son of God, yearned in love unutterable over His murderers. Even in accepting His murder from our hands (your hands and mine among the rest), He was dying in very love to us, to save us. How can we think calmly of a love like this? There is no love known, or knowable, by us, which we can compare with the love of the Son of God. Holy Scripture takes up every tender and loving relationship among us, in order to shadow it forth; but all these are rather contrasts than comparisons. It goes infinitely beyond them all. It can be compared with nothing, save with the eternal Father for the Son. “As the Father hath loved Me, so have I loved you.” O saint of Jesus! believest thou this? If so, how unseemly to be disturbed about trifles; How much more unseemly to squander the love which He prizes so highly upon the poor trash of this world! Thou art thy Saviour’s darling, weep no more! Let the joy of that fill thy cup of joy to the brim. He withholds nothing from me; He could not keep it. He gives thee constantly; He gives thee His all: He gives thee HIMSELF. It is more a delight for Him to give, than for thee to receive. Indeed, at this moment, Jesus in heaven has nothing more than thou hast who art still on earth. In pure love He shares everything with thee; His Sonship (John 1:12): His Glory (John 17:22); His throne (Rev. 3:21); His EVERYTHING (Rom. 8:11-17). Perfect love is unable to keep anything back from its beloved. And thou art the object of His perfect love. Many circumstances in our earthly lot will suggest to us the opposite of all this: but we must seek to walk by simple faith, and not at all by the inferences which our own beast-like, devilish wisdom prompts us to draw from what we see (James 3:15). And he who looks with the eye of faith on the providences of God towards him shall see nothing in them but PURE AND PERFECT LOVE.