October 19, 2010

Thomas Tuke (1580/81–1657) on the Love of God

There is no man living, which, as a creature, is not loved of God the great Creator; which appeareth in that He is said to be the Saviour of All, and to cause the Sun to shine, and the rain to fall, even on the wicked. He loveth Humanity, but hateth impiety; the Man-head is beloved, but malice in it is detested: He likes well of the Nature, but dislikes the sin: That, which is His, He loves, but that which mars His, He hates: His own Image He loves, but the deformities thereof, made by man, are altogether displeasing in his sight. Now when all men had transgressed, and by transgression had made themselves the children of death, it pleased Him to pass by some, being tied to none, and some others to choose in love unto Eternal Life. But what loved He now? The men, and not their manners; their nature, now under great corruption, but not corruption itself: Their persons, not their prevarications. And why loved He them? What moved Him to make that difference? Surely nothing but His own good Will: Mere mercy in Him, no merit at all in them; His free Dignation, and no dignity or deserts of theirs: His free favour to them, and no foreseen faith in them. But God, that had nothing to love in a sinner but his Humanity, in a true Saint hath also Christianity: then Nature, but now Nature and Grace too: In Generation the Human Nature, in Regeneration a certain Divine Nature. If the devil hate all men, but especially all Saints; then we may be sure that God loves all men, but especially all holy men: And if the devil hate and pine at the graces of God in men; then questionless God loves all His graces, in whomsoever He finds them.
Thomas Tuke, New Essays (London: Printed by N.O. and are to be sold by William Bladon, at his Shop in S Pauls Church-yard, at the signe of the Bible, 1614), 113–115.
The Love of Christ unto the creature, is general or special. His general love, is either that whereby he loveth all his creatures, as they are his creatures, and declareth it by continuing their kinds, by preserving their natures, and by saving them from many dangers; and according to this kind of love, God is said to be good to all, to be merciful to the unjust as to the just, and to be the Saviour of all men: or else that whereby he loved Mankind in generally, by taking upon him the nature and name of man, and not the nature of Angels, nor of any other creature whatsoever. His special love (understood in this place) is that whereby he loveth the elect & faithful people of God, and is so well affected towards them, as that he is wanting in nothing to them, which is convenient for them. And in this respect he is called the Saviour of his (mystical) body, and is said to love the Church.
Thomas Tuke, The Treasure of True Love (London: Printed by Thomas Creede, and are to be sold by Thomas Archer, 1608), 4–5.


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