That they who are governed by the Holy Spirit, aspire, in serving God, to increase in the love of God.

God loves all men generally, and He loves with a particular love all those for whom He has executed the rigor of His justice upon His only begotten Son, Jesus Christ our Lord. Men generally hate God, and those hate Him with peculiar hatred who know that they have added other acts of depravity to their natural depravity.

The love which God bears to man proceeds from the great things which He has done for him; so that it stands to reason, He loves those most who are interested in the justification which is through Christ. Man’s hatred to God proceeds from the depravity, with which he offends Him, because, as the adage runs, ‘He who injures, never forgives;’ so that it stands to reason that they hate God most who have offended Him most. It appears to be reasonable, that as God is consummate perfection. He should be loved by man in the highest degree; and that man being in the highest degree imperfect, he should be in the highest degree hateful to God. It seems, likewise, that man, having received many benefits from God’s bounty, ought to love God much; and that God, not having received from man anything save insults and injuries, man should be hated by God. But, on the other hand, the obligation God has to love man, on account of the great things He has done and is doing for him, is so strong, that although He knows the highest imperfection to be in him, and that He is offended by him, He does not cease to love him; that being in this instance true of God, in relation with men, which takes place in the case of a good father with a disobedient and vicious son, who is more drawn to love him by the strength of what he has done for his son, than he is to hate

him by his disobedience and depravity. And the hatred and enmity which man has towards God, through natural depravity, and through the offenses which he has added to depravity, draw him likewise as much the other way; so that, although he recognizes in Him consummate perfection, and, beyond that, finds and feels himself benefited by God, not only is he unable to bring himself to love God, but, indeed, neither can he cease to hate Him. That occurs to man in this instance, with relation to God, which happens to a vicious and malignant son with his good father, in whom baseness and malignity have greater influence in exciting hatred to him than the knowledge of the father’s goodness, and the great obligations under which he is to his father, prompt him to love him.

Juan de Valdés, Divine Considerations, (London: William Clowes and Sons, [1906]), 269-271. [Some spelling modernized and underlining mine.]

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