1556 Chap.i 2. Ofthe Love ofGod,and thecontraries thereto. Coln. z. Cora3. To Phew the excellencyofLove , St. Pail path a whole Chapter , wherein hepre- fers it above allother Vertues : and faith in effeft. If aMan for his knowledge and elocution might be compared with Angels , and by his Faith were able to remove Mountains, and by his liberality had relieved the Poor with all his Eftate, and forhis conftancy had fuffered Martyrdome ; yet were all thefe Vertues littleworth, except Verr3. they were joyned with the Love of God. And in the end of the Chapter after this general commendation of Love , he prefers it in particular above Faith and Hope. r. If we take the dimenfion of it , it is greateft, both in bredth , and length of all other. For whereas Faith and Hope , are reftrained within the bounds ofMens perfons, and to fingulars ; thisdilateth it felfand extendeth, both to God and Man in Lib.eonfefr. general, to our felves, our Friends, yea to our Enemies. St. Amp/tine faith, EMIRSqui amar te, & amicum in te, & inimieum proper te, bleffed is he that loves thee , and his Friend in tf , and his Enemy for thee. And this is the Latitude. 2. In Lou itude alfo. For whereas the other are but in us in the nature ofa Leafe, Mat.a2.40. but for term of life , the gift of love (hall be as aFree-hold , and continue for ever in Heaven. Our Saviour maketh both the Law and Prophets to confift of one Corn. mandment, namely Love. And the Apoftle reduceth allto one head , and if there wereany other Commandment, it is brieflycomprehended in this ofLove. And it is Rom.13.9 our Saviours mandarins novam; admit that all the old Commandments were can. 1°11'1'3.34. celled, yet this new Commandment ryes us to the duties ofall. And indeed St. Sohn faith, ( commending this duty, ) Brethren I write no new Commandment unto you, I John z.7. but an old Commandment; for both theold and new are allone. There is both in the old and the new aDiliges, thou (halt love. But that which is beyond all thefe a and impofeth a neceffityupon us to obferveit is, that whereas none of the other Venues are mutual or reciprocal, nor indeed areproperly faid tobe inGod at all,as Paith,Hope,&c. this is, here is mutua vier. rude: ifhe reprove us , we mull not reprove him; , if he promife and threaten, we cannot promife or threaten again; but if God love us, we muff love him again. St. Gregoryfaith , Magnum eft vinculum charitatis , quo & ipfe Deus fe ligari volait, thebond of Love is great, with which even God himfelfwas content tobe bound. And St. Bernard faith of it , that falos triumphal de Deo, it only triumphs over God; and adds, Nefcis quid majus dici debeat in laudem tuns, O charitao, dedaxit Desdmde Colo, hominem invexit in Calum, hominem Dee reconciliani, e'rr Deans honsiniplacafti, thou knoweft not, O Love, what may be more laid in thypraife; it brought God fromHeaven, and carried Man thither; thou didit reconcileMan to God, and pacifiedit God withMan. And therefore as on the one, fide weare to confider how willing God is that his affeftion fhould grow in us, fo arc we to weigh what Godon his partbath done to hir us up to it. The Heathen could fay,mag- nes amoris amor, the Load (toneof Love,is Love; nothing is more effeftual to attract Lib. deditig. Love,thanLove. And in that God bath not failed on his part. St. Bernard expreffeth Deism. to the full, in thefe fix points. .9,Liod prior dilexit nos, tonnes, tantillos, tales, tomato, gratin ; that he loved us 6rft, being fo great, we fo little, fuch kind of Creatures, fo much, and without any raped to himfelf. r John 4.10, i. Prior. St. ?ohn proves this point. Herein is Love,not that we lovedhim,but that he loved us. It was not our love hrl to him, that carded him to fend his Son tobe a propitiationfor our fins, but his fi.ft tous. St. 4aguftine faith, Nalla major eft ada- De Couch. mores invitatio, goers pr,evenire ansando , & nimis tiaras eft animus, qui fe dilettier radib. nem nolebat impendere, nolit rependere , there isno greater alluring to Love, than to anticipate by loving ; and that heart is too hard which will not requite, thoughnot lovefirf . 2. Tantus. Of Gods tantes we may reff our felves upon St. Aagteftine, and gono farther. Tantu, at non liceat coati exprimere quantal, fo great that it is not lawful to endeavour to exprefs his greatnefs : it tranfcends all the Learning andWit of Man to exprefs his greatnefs ; andyet he condefcends fo low as to love us. Job sr. 6. 3. Totillos. Worms andno Men. This we fee in rob, and in the Prophet David; Pfalm 12.6. and beingbut Wormshe loved us : Nay farther, as the Apoflle fpeaks, cum nondans Roet,9.rs f/emsu,being not yet born, we cannot be lefs than not to be at all ; and yet,even then belovedus, when we were not. ¢. Ta/ei.