Eminent and Transcendent Love

John Owen on John 3:16: “The love here intimated is absolutely the most eminent and transcendent love that ever God showed or bare towards any miserable creature.”

So” that is, in such a degree, to such a remarkable, astonishable height: “God,” the glorious, all-sufficient God, that could have manifested his justice to eternity in the condemnation of all sinners…: “loved,” with such an earnest, intense affection, consisting in an eternal, unchangeable act and purpose of his will, for the bestowing of the chiefest good: “the world,” men in the world, of the world, subject to the iniquities and miseries of the world, lying in their blood, having nothing to render them commendable in his eyes, or before him: “that he gave,” did not, as he made all the world at first, speak the word and it was done, but proceeded higher, to the performance of a great deal more and longer work, wherein he was to do more than exercise an act of his almighty power, as before; and therefore gave “his son;” not any favourite or other well-pleasing creature; not sun, moon, or stars; not the rich treasure of his creation; but his Son: …that believers, those who he thus loved, “might not perish,” –that is, undergo the utmost misery and wrath to eternity, which they had deserved,– “but have everlasting life,” eternal glory with himself, which of themselves they could no way attain.

The Death of Death in the Death of Christ, 211-12