John Owen, in his sermon “Gospel Charity” said regarding the love that followers of Christ should experience with one another.
There is nothing of it in the world, neither as to the degree nor as to the knowledge of it, but what proceeds from the gospel. The world neither hath it nor knows what it is. Variance, strife, wrath, entered by sin; for when we fell off from the love of God, and from his love to us, it is no wonder if we fell into all hatred and variance among ourselves. The love of God was originally, in the state of innocency, the bond of perfection: when that was broke, all the creation fell into disorder, — all mankind, in particular, into that state described by the apostle, Tit. iii. 3, “Living in malice and envy, hateful, and hating one another.” There is carnal and natural love still in the world, that follows necessarily upon natural relations; and the same is in some degree in brutes themselves. There is also a love that arises from a society in sin, in pleasure, — from a suitableness of humour in conversation, or of design as to political ends; to which heads you may reduce all the love in the world: but all these are utter strangers from this evangelical love.
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