November 6, 2014

James Henley Thornwell (1812–1862) on the God's General Goodness and Love

It is vain to allege that such general goodness is never referred to God's love. The Saviour settles the point in Matthew v. 44, 45. There He commands His disciples to love their enemies, to bless them that curse them, to do good to them that hate them, etc. Why? "That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven; for He maketh His sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust." Here the disciples are commanded to love their enemies, that they might be like God. But how does it appear that God loves His enemies? "He maketh His sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and the unjust;" in other words, from the common bounties of Providence.

Similarly, Thomas Manton said, "This [common] love floweth in the channel of common providence."

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2 comments:

Bob Schilling said...

And I would say there's an even far greater demonstration of God's love for His enemies, "But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us" (Rom. 5:8) - v. 10, "while we were enemies." What greater love can God demonstrate than the sending of His Son? Thus, John 3:16 and 15:13.

Tony Byrne said...

Very true, Bob. I totally agree.

Thanks,
Tony