Again, the child LOVES his father. The evidences of this are constantly exhibited. He rejoices with his father's joy, and weeps with his father's sorrow. The slightest injury to his father's honor is felt as an injury to his own. The true child would not hesitate to die for its father or mother, if the occasion presented. And this strong and permanent love is not a matter of calculation, but a nature. It is born with him, grows with him, lives with him. Blows will not beat it down; waters will not drown it; fires will not burn it.
At his first creation, man's love to his heavenly Father was like this, — a love implanted by a divine power and kept in operation by a divine presence. He afterwards lost it, it is true; but he could not have lost it, if he had not first possessed it. As a moral being, man allowed, and perhaps we may say, was expected and required, to sanction the principles and methods of his inward vitality, by his own voluntary concurrence. Failing to do this, in a way and under circumstances which the human mind does not now perhaps fully understand, God withdrew himself as the central element of his being; and he became from that time the subject of spiritual alienation and death. But in his restoration to God through Christ, he is necessarily restored to the possession of that divine nature from which he fell. As he is made anew in faith and knowledge, so he is made anew in love. The lost principle of holy love is not only restored, but becomes again, under the transforming operations of divine grace, what it was in the beginning, namely, a nature, — an operative life, moved by a power of movement existing in itself. In other words, it once more becomes in relation to God what the child's love is in relation to its earthly father.
— A Treatise on Divine Union (1851) Part 5, Chapter 8.