He [God] loves us because he will; there was, there is, nothing in us for which we should be beloved. Did we deserve his love, it must go less in its valuation. Things of due debt are seldom the matter of thankfulness; but that which is eternally antecedent to our being, must needs be absolutely free in its respects to our wellbeing. This gives it life and being, is the reason of it, and sets a price upon it, Rom. 9:11 ; Eph. 1:3,4; Titus 3:5; James 1:18.
– John Owen –
from Of Communion With God, volume 2 of Works, page 33