God’s love for us and ours for him differ in this:
- His is a love of bounty, ours of duty.
…”as the sea communicates its waters to the rivers by the way of bounty, out of its own fulness, — they return unto it only what they receive from it. It is the love of a spring, — always communicating; — a love from whence proceeds every thing that is lovely in its object. It infuseth into, and creates goodness in, the persons beloved. He that loves works out good to them he loveth.”
- “Our love unto God is a love of duty, the love of a child. His love descends upon us in bounty and fruitfulness; our love ascends unto him in duty and thankfulness. He adds to us by his love; we nothing to him by ours. Our goodness extends not unto him. Though our love be fixed on him immediately, yet no fruit of our love reacheth him immediately; though he requires our love, he is not benefited by it, It is indeed made up of these four things:—
1. Rest; 2. Delight; 3. Reverence; 4. Obedience. ”
Hence God calls that love which is due to him as a father, “honour,”
Mal. i. 6, “If I be a father, where is mine honour?” It is a deserved act of duty.