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But, it is said, we turned enemies to God first, and therefore we are first to be reconciled unto God before he be reconciled unto us.

Answer. It may as well be said, that we ought to do all that the law requires, before God be reconciled to us. This indeed, is the plan of the covenant of works; but is diametrically opposite to the plan of the new covenant, which is designed to cut off all occasion of creature-boasting; to set forth man's impotence and nothingness; and to display the exceeding riches of the grace of God in his kindness towards us through Christ Jesus. A great part of Mr. Bellamy's declamation proceeds upon this supposition, that whatever could not and should not have had place according to the old broken covenant, has not and cannot have place according to the new and everlasting covenant; a supposition which takes away the essential difference between the two covenants.'

. The promise, says the apostle, is of faith, that it may be of gracef. It is manifestly of grace, when faith enbraces it upon no other ground than the direction of it to sinners of mankind who read or hear it: but the case would be quite otherwise, were the faith, of our interest in the promise founded, according to Mr. Bellamy's plan, upon our sincere approbation of the law, our love to God's holiness, and other morally good qualifications; just as man's claim to the promise of eternal life, if he had continued upright, would have been founded upon his own perfect obedience.

† Rom. iv, 16.

LETTER X.
On the faith of the Gospel, as necessary

in order to our attainment of true Love
to God.
CHRISTIAN BRETHREN,

LOVE to God is the chief and most necessary duty of all reasonable creatures. Hence our religious tenets may be justly tried by their tendency to promote this heavenly affection. On this account it is necessary to take notice of the following charges which Mr. Bellamy brings against the doctrine of his opponents et

1. He complains, “ that many look upon the no« tion of loving God for himself as a mere chimera*.”. But who are they that do so ? Not Mr. Marshal, who tells us, “ that the duties of love to God above all, and to * each other for his sake, are of the greatest excel.. « lency; that we are to love every thing in God, his.. “ justice, holiness, sovereign authority, all-seeing eye « and all his decrees, commands, judgments and doings. o We are to love him not only better than other things, “ but singly as the only good, the fountain of all good

ness.” The sanctifying, says he in another place, and glorifying of God's name in all things is the first and chief petition, Matth. vi. 9. and is the end we ought to aim at in all our acting, 1 Cor. x. 31. Not Mr. Boston, who says in his Fourfold State, “ A real “ Christian is one who loves God for himself as well as « for his benefits ; and that with a supreme love above

Dial, i. p. 21

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LETTER X. On the faith of the Gospel, as necessary

in order to our attainment of true Love to God.

CHRISTIAN BRETHREN,

LOVE to God is the chief and most necessary duty of all reasonable creatures. Hence our religious tenets may be justly tried by their tendency to promote this heavenly affection. On this account it is necessary to take notice of the following charges which Mr. Bellamy brings against the doctrine of his opponents. so

1. He complains, “ that many look upon the no"" tion of loving God for himself as a mere chimera*." But who are they that do so ? Not Mr. Marshal, who tells us, “ that the duties of love to God above all, and to * each other for his sake, are of the greatest exceli lency; that we are to love every thing in God, his. “justice, holiness, sovereign authority, all-seeing eye

and all his decrees, commands, judgments and doings. o We are to love him not only better than other things, “ but singly as the only good, the fountain of all gooda ness.” The sanctifying, says he in another place, and glorifying of God's name in all things is the first and chief petition, Matth. vi. 9. and is the end we ought to aim at in all our acting, 1 Cor. x. 31. Not Mr. Boston, who says in his Fourfold State, “ A real “ Christian is one who loves God for himself as well as « for his benefits ; and that with a supreme love above

* Dial. i. p. 21

( all persons and all things.” Not Mr. Hervey, who directs us to put such questions to ourselves as the following: “.Have we duly acquainted ourselves with " the marvellous excellencies of the Lord Jehovah ? « Have we loved him with all our heart? Is our esteem 6 for this immensely great and most blessed Being,

high, superlative, matchless, like that expressed by « the Psalmist : Whom have I in heaven but thee, and " there is none upon earth, whom I desirę besides thee* ?" Not the ministers in a state of secession from the established church of Scotland, who, in their Judicial Testimony, published in the year 1736, in opposition to the opinion of Mr. Campbel, too much countenanced by the General Assembly of that church, express: themselves in the following manner : “ It is evident. « from the Word, that God's infinite perfections and “ glorious excellencies are the main ground and reason « of our loving, obeying and worshipping him, and not “ chiefly his benefits to us and his promoting our haps piness : and though the prospect of it may be a se6 condary motive to our obedience; yet the scriptures 56 declare, that what God is in himself, or his own infia nite perfection, is the primary ground and formal. “ reason of the whole of our obedience and worship. « And all, who truly love God, do love him chiefly for ci himself.”

2. Mr. Bellamy represents his opponents as holding, that it is not the duty of unregenerate men, previous to the knowledge of the way of reconciliation to God through Christ, to love God on account of the goodness and excellency of his naturet : whereas Mr.

* Theron and Aspasio, Letter I.

† Dial. i. p. 10. « The first question is, Whether unrege“ nerate sinners ought to love God.". .

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