Thomasius, Christi Person und Werk, 1:138, 139 ? ?God?s regard for the happiness of his creatures flows from this self-communicating attribute of his nature. Love, in the true sense of the word, is living goodwill, with impulses to impartation and union; self-communication (bonum communicativum sui); devotion, merging of the ego in another, in order to penetrate, fill, bless this other with itself, and in this other, as in another self, to possess itself, without giving up itself or losing itself. Love is therefore possible only between persons, and always presupposes personality. Only as Trinity has God love, absolute love; because as Father, Son, and Holy Ghost he stands in perfect self-impartation, self-devotion, and communion with himself.? Julius Muller, Doct. Sin, 2:136 ? ?God has in himself the eternal and wholly adequate object of his love, independently of his relation to the world.?
In the Greek mythology, Eros was one of the oldest and yet one of the youngest of the gods. So Dante makes the oldest angel to be the youngest, because nearest to God the fountain of life. In <620207>1 John 2:7, 5, ?the old commandment? of love is evermore ?a new commandment,? because it reflects this eternal attribute of God. ?There is a love unstained by selfishness, Th? outpouring tide of self-abandonment, That loves to love, and deems its preciousness Repaid in loving, though no sentiment Of love returned reward its Sacrament; Nor stays to question what the loved one will, But hymns its overture with blessings immanent; Rapt and sublimed by love?s exalting thrill, Loves on, through frown or smile, divine, immortal still.? Clara Elizabeth Ward: ?If I could gather every look of love, That ever any human creature wore, And all the looks that joy is mother of, All looks of grief that mortals ever bore, And mingle all with God-begotten grace, Methinks that I should see the Savior?s face.?
(b) Love is not the all-inclusive ethical attribute of God. It does not include truth, nor does it include holiness.
Ladd, Philosophy of Conduct, 352, very properly denies that benevolence is the all-inclusive virtue. Justness and Truth, he remarks, are not reducible to benevolence. In a review of Ladd?s work in Bibliotheca Sacra, Jan. 1903:185, C. M. Mead adds: ?He comes to the conclusion that it is impossible to resolve all the virtues into the generic one of love or benevolence without either giving a definition of benevolence which is unwarranted and virtually nullifies the end aimed at, or failing to recognize certain virtues which are as genuinely virtues as benevolence itself. Particularly is it argued that the virtues of the will (courage, constancy, and temperance), and the virtues ofjudgment (wisdom, justness, and trueness), get no recognition in this attempt to subsume all
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