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I

THE SUPREME CONQUEST

Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.-Rom. viii. 35, 39.

N this truly great passage, of which we can touch

only the fringe, let us note two cardinal points:

first, the love dealt with; and, secondly, the victory of life wrought out in the consciousness of that love.

IN

I. THE LOVE OF WHICH THE APOSTLE SPEAKS.

1. He certainly intends the love of God to us: "Who shall separate us from the love of God?In the argument of this Epistle the reality of God's love is confidently assumed. Paul was no shallow optimist, easily contented with the colour and glitter of the surface of things; he recognized as frankly and vividly as any pessimist can do the dark enigmas of nature and life: yet, notwithstanding this recognition, the fact of God's love is the fundamental article of his creed. Whatever may perplex him, he never suspects that the cosmic trouble may arise in some defect of this love; in his conviction it is the primary, central truth of the universe. The universality of God's love is just as distinctly taught. The Epistle to the Romans is an inspired commentary on the Saviour's great declaration: "For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth on Him should not perish, but have eternal life.” The love of God comprehends the race like a sky. Finally, the persistence of the divine love is vindicated. God loves the Gentile. Yes, argues the apostle, but this is no new thing: God always did love the Gentile; from the beginning he was destined to share equally with the Jew in the riches of grace. Through successive ages the love of God was shown to the several nationalities on differing lines; all, however, were predestinated to grace and glory in Christ when the fullness of the time was come: love is the unchangeable quantity, it knows no shadow of turning. Niagara stopped once: owing to an ice dam thrown across the river the waters failed, the rainbow melted, the vast music was hushed. But there has been no moment in which the love of God has failed toward the rational universe, when its eternal music has been broken, or the rainbow has ceased to span the throne. There never will be such a moment. The crystal tide flows richly and flows for ever.

2. But the apostle intends also the Christian's love to God: "Who shall separate us from the love of God?" Cynics speak scornfully of love; yet we may remember that it is the sublime element in our nature which most

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