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p215 MY DEAR BROTHER, - I was very thankful my introduction* on the chapters of John furnished, through the grace of the Spirit, food for holy affections during your delay at Syra. I had put it all there, that whatever dry criticisms they might be forced to read, they might have some positive food.
{[*"Collected Writings," vol. 33, p. 143, &c.]}

It is a great thing to have developed affections. Some are much more demonstrative than others, but it is not merely this, but the development of the affections themselves within, by what is in the Object of them. Still, it comes to my mind that it is a great thing to have concentrated affection - Christ forming them, so that in having Him in our hearts we may know what is in His; and what a blessing that is! Concentrated means practically, personal; so that I get at His heart, and know what is there, and that there is that personal affection there. As regards this, there is in the sense that we belong to Him - but then there is development - the sense of what the exercise of that affection towards us is: interest in our circumstances; thoughtfulness for us; bearing our sin and drinking that dreadful cup; even making us part of His own happiness in glory: summed up in knowing Him in what His affections are. But then how infinite in this case this development is! And after all He loves us personally; but He loves us perfectly in this, that whatever He enjoys He brings us into the enjoyment of. Then it is divine; which stamps its character on all the details. That chapter (17) is greatly the expression of it, as putting us in the same place as He is in Himself. But we must know Him to know what His love is, and it will suffice for ever. But this joy, dear brother, in His love, which is to us known to be unchangeable, is by the Holy Ghost, and we are dependent on grace for it, so that it will be connected with all our life here. I have been interrupted again and again since I began, so you will only have desultory thoughts; happily the foundation of it is in John 17, and always there for the Holy Ghost to use. It is a known love, yet passes knowledge.

Your affectionate brother in Christ.

London, February, 1882.