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George Swinnock on General and Special Love

April 7, 2009

Swinnock:

First, I commend you to his special favour and affection. The good-will of God is such a lump of sugar as will sweeten the bitterest cup; it hath a virtue in it which will turn the smallest liquor into cordial water. The little bird in her small down nest sings pleasantly, when the great birds in their large thorny nests have but harsh voices. The saint in the soft bed of God’s special love sleeps comfortably, when the wicked in their high places, great preferments, for want of this are in little ease. His general love is like the ordinary beams of the sun, which convey light and heat for the refreshment of all the world. So the Lord is good to all; his mercy is over all his works; but his special love is like the beams of the sun united in a glass, which, passing by others, fires the object only. God’s love to his new creatures in Christ is burning love; he hath choice good, and good-will too, for his chosen ones: ‘Let me se the good of his chosen. Look upon me and be merciful to me, as thou art to them that fear thy name.’ It is said of Socrates, he prized the king’s countenance above his coin.

George Swinnock, “The Pastor’s Farewell,” in The Works of George Swinnock (Edinburgh: Banner of Truth, 1992), 4:81-81. [Some spelling modernized, underlining mine.]

Credit to Tony for the find

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