2. Love is self-impartation. The only limit is ethical. Here is an ever- deepening immanence, yet always some transcendence of God, for God cannot deny himself.
3. Love is self-finding in another. Vicariousness belongs to love. We reply to both Dorner and Smyth that their acknowledgment that love has its condition, limit, motive, object and standard shows that there is a principle higher than love and which regulates love. This principle is recognized as ethical. It is identical with the right. God cannot deny himself because he is fundamentally the right. This self-affirmation is holiness, and holiness cannot be a part of love, or a form of love, because it conditions and dominates love. To call it benevolence is to ignore its majestic distinctness and to imperil its legitimate supremacy.
God must first maintain his own being before he can give to another, and this self-maintenance must have its reason and motive in the worth of that which is maintained. Holiness cannot be love, because love is irrational and capricious except as it has a standard by which it is regulated, and this standard cannot be itself love, but must be holiness. We agree with Clarke, Christian Theology, 92, that ?love is the desire to impart holiness.? Love is a means to holiness, and holiness is therefore the supreme good and something higher than mere love. It is not true, vice versa, that holiness is the desire to impart love, or that holiness is a means to love. Instead then of saying, with Clarke, that ?holiness is central in God, but love is central in holiness,? we should prefer to say: ?Love is central in God, but holiness is central in love,? though in this case we should use the term love as including self-love It is still better not to use the word love at all as referring to God?s regard for himself. In ordinary usage, love means only regard for another and sad communication to that other. To embrace in it God?s self-affirmation is to misinterpret holiness and to regard it as a means to an end, instead of making it what it really is, the superior object and the regulative principle, of love.
That which lays down the norm or standard for love must be the superior of love. When we forget that ?Righteousness and justice are the foundation of his throne? ( <199702>Psalm 97:2), we lose one of the chief landmarks of Christian doctrine and involve ourselves in a mist of error.
<660403> Revelation 4:3 ? ?there was a rainbow round about the throne? = in the midst of the rainbow of pardon and peace there is a throne of holiness and judgment. In <400609>Matthew 6:9, 10, ?Thy kingdom come ?is not the first petition, but rather, ?Hallowed be thy name.? it is a false idea of the divine simplicity which would reduce the attributes to one. Self-assertion is not a form of self-impartation. Not sentiency, a state of the sensibility,
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