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that doeth evil hath not seen God. 1 John ïi. 4. He that saith, I know him, and keepeth not his commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him. Because wicked men have no sense of his glory and beauty, therefore they are said not to know God: For all knowledge without this is vain ; it is but the form of knowledge. Rom. ii. 20. It will never enkindle divine love. And, in scripture, sinners are said to be blind, because, after all their light and knowledge, they have no sense of God's glory is being what he is, and so have no heart to love bim. And hence also they are said to be dead. They know nothing of the ineffable glory of the divine nature, and the love of God is not in them. John v. 42. and viii. 19. 55.
2. Another thing implied in love to God is esteem. Esteem, strictly speaking, is that high and exalted thought of, and value for, any thing, which arises from a sight and sense of its own intrinsic worth, excellency, and beauty. So, a sense of the infinite dignity, greatness, glory, excellency, and beauty of the most high God, begets in us high and exalted thoughts of him, and makes us admire, wonder, and adore. Hence, the heavenly hosts fall down before the throne, and, under a sense of his ineffable glory, continually cry, Holy, holy, holy, Lord God Almighty, the whole earth is full of thy glory. And saints here below, while they behold, as in a glass, the glory of the Lord, are ravished; they esteem, they admire, they wonder, and adore ; and, under some feebler sense of the ineffable glory of the divine nature, they begin to feel as they do in heaven, and to speak their language, and say, “ Who is a God like unto thee! thy name alone is excellent, and thy glory is exalted above the heavens.”
This high esteem of God disposes and inclines the heart to acquiesce, yea, to exult, in all the high prerogatives God assumes to himself.
God, from a consciousness of his own infinite excellency, his entire right to, and absolute authority over, all things, is disposed to take state to himself, and honour, and majesty, the kingdom, the power, and the glory; and he sets up himself as the most high God, supreme Lord, and sovereign Go
vernor of the whole world, and bids all worlds adore him, and be in a most perfect subjection to him, and that with all their hearts ; and esteems the wretch, who does not account this his highest happiness, worthy of eternal damnation. God thinks it infinitely becomes him to set up himself for a God, and to command all the world to adore him, upon pain of eternal damnation. He thinks himself fit to govern the world, and that the throne is his proper place, and that all love, honour, and obedience are his due. “ I am the Lord, (says he,) and besides me there is no God. I am the Lord, that is my name, and my glory will I not give to another. And thus and thus shall ye do, for I am the Lord. And cursed be every one that continues not in all things written in the book of the law to do them.” Now, it would be infinitely wicked for the highest angel in heaven to assume any of this honour to himself; but it infinitely becomes the most high God thus to do. And when we see his infinite dignity, greatness, glory, and excellency, and begin rightly to esteem him, then his conduct, in all this, will begin to appear infinitely right and fit, and so infinitely beautiful and ravishing, and worthy to be rejoiced and exulted in. Psalm xci. 1. The Lord reigneth, let the earth rejoice : let the multitude of the isles be glad thereof.
And a sight and sense of the supreme, infinite glory and excellency of the divine nature, will not only make us glad that he is God, and King, and GoverNOR ; but also exceedingly glad that we live under his government, and are to be his subjects and servants, and to be at his disposal. It will show us the grounds and reasons of his law; how infinitely right and fit it is that we should love him with all our hearts, and obey him in every thing; how infinitely unfit and wrong the least sin is, and how just the threatened punishment : and, at the same time, it will help us to see that all the nations of the earth are as a drop of the bucket, or small dust of the balance, before him; and that we ourselves are nothing, and less than nothing, in his sight. So that a right sight and sense of the supreme, infinite glory of God, will inake us esteem him, so as to be glad that he is on the throne, and we at his footstool ; that he is king, and we his
subjects; that he rules and reigns, and that we are absolutely in subjection, and absolutely at his disposal. In a word, we shall be glad to see him take all that honour to himself which he does, and shall be heartily reconciled to his government, and cordially willing to take our own proper places; and hereby a foundation will begin to be laid in our hearts for all things to come to rights. Job xlii. 5, 6. I have heard of thee by the hearing of the ear: but now mine eye seeth thee. Wherefore I abhor myself and repent in dust and ashes. Isa, ii. 11.
The lofty looks of man shall be humbled, and the haughtiness of man shall be brought down, and the Lord alone shall be exalted. And that all is implied in a genuine love to God, not only the reason of the thing and the plain tenour of Scripture manifest, but it is self-evident; for if we do not so esteem God as to be thus glad to have him take his place, and we ours, it argues secret dislike, and proves that there is secret rebellion in our hearts. Thus, therefore, must we esteem the glorious God, or be reputed rebels in his sight.
3. Another thing implied in love to God may be called benevolence. When we are acquainted with any person, and he appears very excellent in our eyes, and we highly esteem him, it is natural now heartily to wish him well; we are concerned for his interest; we are glad to see it go well with him, , and sorry to see it go ill with him; and ready at all times cheerfully to do what we can to promote his welfare. Thus Jonathan felt towards David : and thus love to God will make us feel towards him, his honour, and interest in the world. When God is seen in his infinite dignity, greatness, glory, and excellency, as the most high God, supreme Lord, and sovereign governor of the whole world, and a sense of his infinite worthiness is hereby raised in our hearts, this enkindles a holy benevolence, the natural language of which is, Let God be glorified. Psalm xcvi. 7, 8. And be thou esulted, O God, above the heavens : let thy glory be above all the earth. Psalm lvii. 5. 11.
This holy disposition sometimes expresses itself in earnest longings that God would glorify himself, and honour his great name; and bring all the world into an entire subjection to him. And hence this is the natural language of true love.
Our father which art in Heaven, hallowed be thy name, thy kingdom come, thy will be done on earth, as it is in Heaven. Matt. vi. 9, 10. And hence, when God is about to bring to pass great and glorious things to the honour of his great name, it causes great joy and rejoicing. Psalm xcvi. 11, 12, 13. Let the heavens rejoice, and let the earth be glad : let the sea roar and the fulness thereof : let the field be joyful, and all that is therein : then shall the trees of the wood rejoice before the Lord; for he cometh, for he cometh to judge the earth: he shall judge the world with righteousness, and the people with his truth.
And hence, again, when God seems to be about to do, or permit any thing, which, as it seems to us tends most certainly to bring reproach and dishonour upon his great name, it occasions the greatest anguish and distress. Thus says God to Moses, " This is a stiff-necked people, let me alone that I may destroy them in a moment, and I will make of thee a great nation.” But, says Moses, “What will become of thy great name? What will the Egyptians say? And what will all the nations round about say?” And he mourns and wrestles, cries and prays, begs and pleads, as if his heart would break : and, says he, “ If I may not be heard, but this dishonour and reproach must come upon thy great name, it cannot comfort me to tell me of making of me a great nation : pray let me rather die and be forgotten for ever, and let not my name be numbered among the living ; but let it be blotted out of thy book.” Well, says God," I will hear thee. But, as truly as I live, I will never put up these affronts ; but the whole world shall know what a holy and sin-hating God I am, and be filled with my glory: for the carcasses of all those who have treated me thus shall fall in the wilderness; and here they shall wander till forty years are accomplished, and then I will do so and so to their children, and so secure the honour of my power, truth, and faithfulness." And now Moses is content to live in the wilderness, and do, and suffer, and undergo any thing, if God will but take care of his great name.
Erod. xxxii. Numb. xiv. And as it is distressing to a true lover of God, to see God's name, and works, and ways, fall into reproach and contempt; and as, on the other hand, there is no greater joy than to see God glorify himself, (Exod. xv.) hence, this world, even on this account, may be fitly called a vale of tears to the people of God, because here they are always seeing reproach and contempt cast upon God, his name, his works, and his ways: And hence, at the day of judgment, all these tears shall be wiped from their eyes, because then they shall see all things turned to the advancement of the glory of his great name, throughout the endless ages of eternity. Rev. xix. 1, 2, 3, 4, 5.
Again, this divine benevolence, or wishing that God may be glorified, sometimes expresses itself in earnest longings that all worlds might join together to bless and praise the name of the Lord, and it appears infinitely fit and right, and so infinitely beautiful and ravishing, that the whole intelligent creation should for ever join in the most solemn adoration : yea, and that sun, moon, stars ; earth, air, sea; birds, beasts, fishes ; mountains and bills, and all things, should, in their way, display the divine perfections, and praise the name of the Lord, because his name alone is excellent, and his glory is exalted above the heavens. And hence the pious Psalmist so often breathes this divine language : Psalm ciii. 20, 21, 22. Bless the Lord, ye his angels, that excel in strengthấthat do his commandments, hearkening unto the voice of his word. Bless ye the Lord, all ye his hosts, ye ministers of his, that do his pleasure. Bless the Lord, all his works, in all places of his dominion : Bless the Lord, O my soul. Psalm cxlviii. 1–13. Praise ye the Lord : praise ye the Lord from the heuvens : praise him in the heights. Praise him, all ye his angels : praise him, all his hosts. Praise him, sun and moon, 8c. Let them pruise the name of the Lord; for his name alone is excellent, 8c. See also the 95, 96, 97, and 98th Psalms, &c. &c.
Lastly, from this divine benevolence arises a free and genuine disposition to consecrate and give up ourselves entirely to the Lord for everto walk in all bis
ways, and keep all his commands, seeking his glory: For if we desire that God may be glorified, we shall naturally be disposed to seek his glory. A sight and sense of the infinite digoity, greatness, glory, and excellency of God, the great creator, preserver and governor of