Tuesday, February 23, 2010

The Disinterested Love of God

A selection from a letter by Thomas Chalmers, the Scottish preacher and professor, to the Rev. J. W. Cunningham of Harrow, London. He asked his friend if he had any acquaintance with a doctrine taught by some well-known American divines that he called “the doctrine of the disinterested love of God.” Chalmers feared it would hinder the liberty of men to preach the gospel freely and that it would introduce a requirement for sinners to meet in order to be accepted by God. The letter was written January 8, 1818.

Have you ever attended to the doctrine of the disinterested love of God? I fear that Edwards, Witherspoon, and the American divines have a little darkened the freeness of the Gospel offer by their speculations on the subject. They seem to put all the discredit of selfishness on the love of gratitude, and would suspend the act of acceptance by faith, till somehow or other it could be made contemporaneous with the dawn of love to God on account of His own excellencies. This I do think is a forbidding of those whom God has not forbidden, and I cannot but preach the Gospel without reserve to all men in every state of moral disease.

Letters of Thomas Chalmers, edited by William Hanna, first published 1853, reprinted by The Banner of Truth, 2007, p. 281.

No comments: