“The nature of the duties of the law is such, as requires an apprehension of our reconciliation with God, and His hearty love and favor towards us for the doing of them…our spirits are not in a fit frame for the doing of them, while we apprehend that God will prove an enemy to us at last. Slavish fear may extort some slavish hypocritical performances from us, such as that of Pharaoh in letting the Israelites go, sore against his will. But the duty of love cannot be extorted and forced by fear, but it must be won, and sweetly allured by an apprehension of God’s love and goodness towards us; as that eminent, loving, and beloved disciple testifies (1 John 4:18, 19). “There is no fear in love, but perfect love thrusts out fear- because fear has torment, and he that fears has not been made perfect in love. We must love Him because He first loved us.” Observe here, that we cannot be beforehand with God in loving Him, before we apprehend His love to us. And consult your own experience, if you have any true love to God, whether it were not wrought in you by a sense of God’s love first towards you?
“But the duty of love cannot be extorted and forced by fear, but it must be won, and sweetly allured by an apprehension of God’s love and goodness towards us…”
All the goodness and excellency of God cannot render Him an amiable object to us, except we apprehend Him an agreeable good to us. I question not but the devils know the excellency of God’s nature…and this but fills them the more with tormenting horror and trembling, that is contrary to love (James 2:19). The greater God’s excellency and perfection is, the greater evil He is to us, if He hates and curses us.”
Walter Marshall, The Gospel Mystery of Sanctification