For in the resurrection they neither marry, nor are given in marriage, but are as the angels of God in heaven.…
I can imagine nothing more perilous than the theory that piety is independent of the affections — it were better to be the enthusiast with every feeling excited than the mere philosophical reasoner with the belt of ice for ever round the heart.
I. This love of God is reasonable.
1. There are feelings which will be called into exercise according as God is surveyed under different points of view. The proper object of love, as distinguished from other affections, is goodness. It is not as the all-powerful Being that we love God; I have an awe of God as powerful. See how the case stands in regard of a creature. A man cannot be just and not love justice; neither can he be good and not love goodness. Suppose this creature was your friend, your governor, what would be the effect of this accumulation of qualities? Would not your love be enhanced by their depending on one upon whom it was safe to depend. Now substitute the Creator for the creature, and shall not He be the object of love. God has planted in us these affections, and there is that in Himself which should raise them to the highest pitch.
II. The threefold requirement comprehended in the loving " with all the heart, and with all the soul, and with all the mind." It is demanded that there be no energy unemployed in the service of God. If such a love seem unattainable, it is not the less to be proposed as the standard at which we should aim. Let it not be imagined that in demanding all, God leaves nothing for other objects of affection. The truth is that in proportion as we love the Creator, we shall love with a purer and warmer love every other lawful object of affection.
III. That in representing God as the alone sufficient object of love, we state a general truth whose full demonstration must be referred to the scenes of eternity. Let us throw away confused and indeterminate notions of happiness, and it must be admitted that happiness consists in every faculty having its proper object. And if love find its proper object in nothing short of God, may it not be that the perfect happiness of the future shall result from the fact, that every faculty will have found its object in God? But it is certain that in loving God, we have foretastes of its delights — for love is to survive, when faith and hope shall have passed away. Let us, then, take heed lest entangled with earthly attachments, forgetful of the rule that love of the creature must be secondary to love of the Creator, we provoke God to jealousy, and thus weaken the anticipation of heaven.
(H. Melvill, B. D.)
Parallel VersesKJV: For in the resurrection they neither marry, nor are given in marriage, but are as the angels of God in heaven.