(Bonar, "The Love That Passes Knowledge")
"Many waters cannot quench love; neither
can rivers drown it." Song of Solomon 8:7
Let us take this verse as descriptive of the love
of Christ, the "love that passes knowledge."
Nothing in heaven, or earth, or hell is able to
extinguish or cool the love of Christ; the one
love whose dimensions are beyond all measure!
It is unquenchable!
1. The waters of SHAME AND SUFFERING sought to
quench and drown it. They would have hindered
its outflowing, and come (like Peter) between the
Savior and the cross; but this love refused to be
arrested on its way to Calvary; it would not be
either quenched or drowned. Herein was love! It
overleaped all the barriers in its way. Its fire would
not be quenched, its life would not be drowned!
2. The waters of DEATH sought to quench
waves and billows went over him. The grave sought
to cool or quench it; but it proved itself stronger
than death. Neither death nor the grave could alter
or weaken it. It came out of both as strong as before.
Love defied death, and overcame it!
3. The waters of OUR UNWORTHINESS could
not quench nor drown love. In general we find love
drawing to the loveable; and when anything unseemly
occurs, withdrawing from its object. Not so here. All
our unfitness and unloveableness could not quench
nor drown his love. It clung to the unlovely, and
refused to be torn away!
4. The waters of OUR LONG REJECTION sought
to quench it. After the gospel had showed us
that personal unworthiness could not arrest the
love of Christ, we continued to reject him and his
love. Yet his love surmounted this unbelief, and
survived this rejection. In spite of all it remained
5. The waters of OUR DAILY INCONSISTENCY
sought to quench it. Even after we have believed, we
are constantly coming short. Ah! what inconsistencies,
coldness, backslidings, lukewarmness, doubtings,
worldliness, and such like, are daily flowing over
this love to quench its fire and drown its life! Yet it
survives all; it remains unquenched and unquenchable!
All these infinite evils in us are like "waters,"
"many waters"; like "floods"; torrents of sin,
waves and billows of evil; all constantly laboring
to quench and drown the love of Christ! And truly
they would have annihilated any other love; any
love less than divine. But the love of Christ is
unchangeable and everlasting!
His love is invincible, and irresistible as death;
it is a jealous love, unyielding and inexorable
as the grave! All earth and heaven together
would be ineffectual to cool or quench His
The love of Christ truly passes knowledge. It
is infinite like himself. It emerges out of every
storm or flood. It survives all our unworthiness,
and unbelief, and rejection!
Here, then, is the love of Christ! Its breadth, length,
height, and depth, are absolutely immeasurable!