God is life, and the will-source of life. In the outflowing of the life, I know him; and when I am told that he is love, I see that if he were not love he would not, could not, create. The being of God is love, therefore creation. I imagine that from all eternity he has been creating. As he saw it was not good for man to be alone, so has he never been alone himself; from all eternity the father has had the Son, and the never-begun existence of that Son I imagine an easy outgoing of the Father’s nature; while to make other beings like us, I imagine the labor of a God, an eternal labor. I imagine that God has never been contented to be alone even with the Son of his love, the prime and perfect idea of humanity, but that he has from the first willed and labored to give existence to other creatures who should be blessed with his blessedness—creatures whom he is now and has always been developing into likeness with that Son—a likeness for long to be distant and small, but forever growing.
Let no soul think that to say God undertook a hard labor in willing that many sons and daughters should be sharers of the divine nature, is to abate his glory! The greater the difficulty, the greater is the glory. He knew what it would cost! Sore suffering such as we cannot imagine, and could only be God’s, in the bringing out of the God-life in the individual soul. Man finds it hard to get what he wants, because he does not want the best; God finds it hard to give, because he would give the best, and man will not take it.