My friends, the gospel is called good news, and a joyful sound; and I do not know what better news could be brought into a company of sinners, all of Adam’s family, who are lying under the sentence of death, and condemned from heaven, and under the awful apprehensions of the wrath and vengeance of the great God, than to tell you that God is love. And I am sure, that, if this report of a God in Christ were but received and entertained in a way of believing, it would make every one of this assembly join issue with the angels at the birth of Christ, saying, “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth, peace, good-will towards men.” God is love. This is not to be understood of God essentially, but manifestatively, in the manifestation that he has made of himself in Christ: he is love, or love is the swaying attribute of his nature.
IT is abundantly plain, that there are several passages in this psalm applied unto Christ in the Scriptures of the New Testament; particularly that in the 9th verse of the psalm, “The zeal of thine house hath eaten me up.” We find it applied to Christ, John 2:17; and likewise that immediately following, “The reproaches of them that reproached thee are fallen upon me,” Romans 15:3; so likewise in the 21st verse, “They gave me also gall for my meat, and in my thirst they gave me vinegar to drink,” applied to Christ, Matthew 27:48, and Mark 15:23. But I need go no further to prove this, than the first word of the verse where my text lies, “They hated me without cause,” Christ applies it to himself, in John 15:25. We find our Lord here, in the verse where my text lies, is complaining of his enemies; he complains of their causeless hatred in the first clause of the verse, “They hate me without a cause;” he complains of their multitude, “They are more than the hairs of mine head;” he complains of their implacable cruelty, “They that would destroy me, being mine enemies wrongfully, are mighty.” Now our blessed Lord is thus treated by the world, whom he came to save. When there is such a powerful combination of hell and earth against him, one would have been ready to think, that he would have stopped, and gone no further; but he did not faint, nor was he discouraged, for all the opposition that was made against him; for you see, in the word I have read, what he was doing for lost sinners, when he was meeting with harsh entertainment from them. Then, even then, says he, I restored that which I took not away.