February 25, 2018

Thomas Wilson (1563–1622) on General and Special Love

Tim. What could God see in us then to move him to love us?

Sil. First, he saw in us his own creation, which he loved with a general love, as he doth all the works of his hands. Secondly, he saw in us much misery through sin, and this made him love us with a pitiful love. Thirdly, he loved his elect being yet sinners, in that he purposed in himself to call and justify them in due time. And now lastly, having grafted his elect in his Son by faith, and justified them, he loveth them actually, having set his own image in them.

Tim. You hold then that there are several degrees of God’s love, even towards his elect?

Sil. There be so, for he cannot love his elect with that degree and kind of love when they are sinners, as he doth after they are in his Son justified and sanctified: for now sin which bred hatred and enmity, is defaced and cast out by remission; and holiness which God loveth, imprinted in them, and brought in by renovation.
Thomas Wilson, A Commentary on the Most Divine Epistle of St. Paul to the Romans (London: Printed by E. Cotes in Aldersgate-street, 1653), 144.