December 21, 2014

Thomas Shelton (1601–c.1650), Richard Sibbes (1577–1635), and John Robotham (fl.1654) on the Beams of God's Love

61. Efficacy of God's Love

The Sun casts light and heat upon all the world in his general course: but his beams being concentrate in a burning glass, it sets fire upon the object. So God in the creation looked upon all his works with a general love, but the beams of his love to his elect, shining through Christ enflames their hearts.
Thomas Shelton, A Centurie of Similies (London: Printed by John Dawson, 1640), 38–39.

But besides this, when Christ saith "my love," he shows, that as his love goes and plants and seats itself in the church, so it is united to that, and is not scattered to other objects. There are beams of God's general love scattered in the whole world; but this love, this exceeding love, is only fastened upon the church.
Richard Sibbes, "Bowels Opened: Sermon VII," in The Complete Works of Richard Sibbes, 7 vols. (Edinburgh: James Nichol, 1862), 2:76–77.

Christ loves all his creatures with a general love, and lets the beams of his goodness scatter out to them, because there is some beams of his excellency in every creature; but his Spouse is his beloved in a more peculiar and eminent way then any other: and though the beams of his general love, are scattered out to all his creatures, yet his especial love is united and fixed only upon his Church. See this more largely opened in Chap. 1. 9. Christ cannot but love what he sees of himself in us, he loves his own Image.
John Robotham, An Exposition on the Whole Book of Solomons Song, Commonly Called the Canticles (London: Printed by M.S. and are to be sold by George Eversden, at the golden Ball in Aldersgate street: and An: Williamson at the Queens Arms in Pauls-Church Yard: And L: Chapman at the Crowne in Popes-head-Alley, 1652), 550–551.
The general love of Christ is scattered and branched out to all creatures in the world; but his special, his exceeding great and rich love is fastened only upon his Church.
Ibid., 172.


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