August 7, 2013

Thomas Watson (c. 1620-1686) on God's Common and Special Love

"2. God is in the midst of his Church, because of the entire love which he bears to it. Psal. 132: 13, 14, 15. The Lord hath chosen Sion, he hath desired it for his habitation, this is my rest for ever, here will I dwell, for I have desired it. God loves his people with the choicest of his love, they have the spirits of his love distilled; and to show this, he calls them by those Titles which denote love; the apple of his eye, Deut. 32:10. The dearly beloved of his soul, Jer. 12:7. His Treasure, Psa. 135:4. His Turtle dove, Psa. 74:19. His Spouse, Cant. 5:2. His Orchard of Pomgranates, Cant. 4:13. His glory, Isa. 46. ult. God loves the World with a more common love, his Church hath the cream of his love: 'Tis one love wherewith a man loves his Bird, and another wherewith he loves his Child; and God cannot but love his people, because he sees his own image shining in them. They are adorned with the graces of his Spirit, as a chain of pearl: And as they have the beauty of inherent holiness, so they have an interest in the unspotted holiness of Christ. God's love to his Church is vehement, like the Coals of Juniper, or the Sun-beams contracted in the burning Glass, which are more intense and ardent; and because he loves Sion, therefore he is in the midst of it, to defend and bless it. Zeph. 3:17. The Lord thy God in the midst of thee is mighty, he will save, he will rejoice over thee, he will rest in his love."
Thomas Watson, ΠΑΡΑΜΥΘΙΟΝ: Or, A Word of Comfort for the Church of God (London: Printed for Thomas Parkhurst, at the three Crowns at the lower end of Cheapside, 1662), 7.

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