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man's reason; “I will do it because I will do it." But here we find it is God's reason, though it may seem strange arguing, yet Moses can go no higher; he loved thee, why? Because he loved thee.
4. God's love to thee is love of all relations; look what a friend's love is to a friend; or what a father's love is toward a child; or what a husband's love is towards a wife, such is God's love to thee; thou art his friend, his son, his daughter, his spouse: and God is thy all in all.
3. For the effects of his love, 1. God so loves thee, as that he hath en. tered into a covenant with thee. O what a love was this? Tell me, O my soul, is there not an infinite disparity betwixt God and thee? He is God above, and thou art a worm below: “He is the high and losiy One, that inhabiteth eternity, whose name is holy," and thou art less than the least of all the mercies of God; O wonder at such a condescension ! that such a potter, and such a foriner of things should come on terms of bargaining with such clay as is guilty before him ! had we the tongues of men and angels, we could never express it.
2. God so loves thee, as that in the covenant he gives thee all his promises; indeed what is the covenant but an accumulation, or heap of pro. mises! As a cluster of stars makes a constellation, so a mass of promises concurreth in the covenant of grace: wherever Christ is, clusters of di. vine promises grow out of him; as the motes, rays, and beams, are from the sun. I shall instance in some few, As
1. God in the covenant gives the world. “All is yours, whether Paul, or Apollos, or Cephas, or the world,” i Cor. 3:22. “ First seek the king. dom of God and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you,” Matth. 6:33. These temporary blessings are a part of the covenant, which God hath made to his people, “ It is he that giveth thee power to get wealth, that he may establish his covenant which he swore unto thy fathers," Deut. 8:18. Others, I know, may have the world, but they have it not by a covenant right; it may be thou hast but a little, a very little of the world; well, but thou hast it by a covenant-right, and so it is an earnest of all the rest.
2. As God in the covenant gives thee the world, so in comparison of thee and his other saints, he cares not what becomes of all the world. “I loved thee, saith God, therefore will I give men for thee, and people for thy life;" Isa. 43:4. If the case be so, that it cannot be well with thce, but great evils, must come upon others, kindred, people, and nations, “I do not so much care for them, saith God, my heart is on thee, so as in com. parison of thee, I care not what becomes of all the world;" O the love of God to his saints.
3. God in the covenant pardons thy sins, this is another fruit of God's love, “ Unto him that loved us, and washed us from our sins by his own blood," Rev. 1:5. It cost him dear to pardon our sins, even the heartblood of Christ, such were the transactions betwixt God and Christ. If thou would take upon thee to deliver souls from sin, saith God to his Son, thou must come thyself and be made a curse for their sin: Well, saith Christ, Thy will be done in it, though I lose my life, though it cost me the best blood in my heart, yet let me deliver them from sin, this exceedingly heightens Christ's love; that he should foresee their sin; and that yet he should love; many times we set our love on some untoward unthankful creatures, and we say, Could I have but foreseen this untowardness, they should never have had my love; but now the Lord did foresce all thy sins, and all thy ill requitals for love, and yet it did not once hinder
his love towards thee, but he puts this in the covenant, “ I will forgive their iniquities, and I will remember their sins no more.”
4. God in the covenant gives thee holiness and sanctification, “ I will sprinkle clean water upon you, and ye shall be clean: from all your filthi. ness, and from all your idols will I cleapse you,” Ezek. 36:25. This holiness is our excellency in the eyes of men and angels: this is the crown and aiadem upon the heads of saints; whence David calls them, by the name of “excellent ones,” Psal. 16:3. Holiness is a “Spirit of glory," 1 Pet. 4:14. It is the delight of God; as a father delights himself in seeing his own image in his children, so God delights himself in the holiness of his saints; God loved them before with a love of benevolence and good will, but now he loves them with a love of complacency, “The Lord takes pleasure in those that fear him; the Lord takes pleasure in his people," Psal. 147:11. and 149:4. Holiness is the very essence of God, the divine nature of God. O! what is this, that God should put his own nature into thee? You are partakers of the divine nature, O what a love is this, That God should put his own life into thee? That he should enable thee to live the very same life that he himself lives? Remember that piece of the covenant, “I will put my lajy into their inward parts, and write it in their kurts,"
5. God in the covenant gives thee the knowledge of himself: it may be tliai tiou knewest him before, but it is another kind of knowledge that now God gives thee than thou hadst before: when God teaches the soul to know him, it looks on him with another eye, it sees now another beau. ty in God than ever it saw before, for all that knowledge that it had be. fore bred not love; only covenant-knowledge of God, works in the soul a true love of God. But how doth his covenant-knowledge work this love? I shall tell you my own experiences? I go through all the virtues, graces, and excellencies that are most amiable; and I look in the scriptures, and these I find in God alone; if ever I saw any excellency in any man, or in any creature, I think with myself there is more in God that made that creature; "he that made the eye, shall not be see?” And so he that made that loveliness, is not he lovely? Now, when by these mediums I have presented God thus lovely to my soul, then I begin to feel my heart to warm. As, when I conceive such an idea of a man, that he is of such a carriage, behavior, disposition; that he hath a mind thus and thus framed, qualified, and beautified, why then I love him; so when I apprehend the Lord aright, when I observe bim as he is described in his word, when I observe his doings, and consider his workings and learn from all these together a right idea, opinion, or apprehension of him, then my will follows my understanding, and my affections follow them both, aud I come to love God, and to delight in God; O here is a sweet knowledge! surely it was God's love in Christ to put this blessed article into the covenant of grace, “they shall all know me from the least of them unto the greatest of them, saith the Lord."
6. God in the covenant of grace gives thee his Son: “God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth on him should not perish, but have everlasting life,” John 3:16. Nay more, as God hath given thee his Son, so he hath given thee himself. O my soul, wouldst thou not think it marvellous love, if God should say to thee, “ Come, soul, I will give thee all the world for thy portion; or that I may give thee a testimony that I love thee, I will make another world for thy sake, and will make thee emperor of it also.” Surely thou wouldst say, God loves me dearly; ay, but in that God hath given thee his Son, and
given thee himself, this is a greater degree of love. Christians, stand amazed! Oh what love is this to the children of inen? Oh that we should live to have our ears filled with this sound from heaven? “ I will be a God to thee, and to thy seed after thee. I am the Lord thy God. I will be their God, and they shall be my people.” O my soul! where hast thou been? Rouse up, and recollect, and set before thee all the passages of God's love in Christ; are not these strong attractives to gain thy loves? What wilt thou do? Canst thou choose to love the Lord thy God? Shall not all this love of God in Christ to thee constrain thy love? It is the expression of the apostle, “The love of Christ constrains us," 2 Cor. 5:14. God in Christ is the very element of love, and whither should love go but to the element? Air goes to air, and earth to earth, and all the rivers to the sea: every element will to its proper place. Now, “God is love," 1 John 4: 16. "And whither should thy love be carried but to the ocean or sea of love? “ Come my beloved, (saith the spouse to Christ) let us get up early to the vineyards, let us see if the vine flourish, whether the tender grapes appear, there will I give thee my loves," Sol. Song 7:12. The flourishing of the vine, and the appearing of the tender grapes, are the fruits of the graces of God in the assemblies of his saints: now, wheresoever these things appear, whether in assemblies, or in secret ordinances; then and “ there (saith the bride) will I give Christ my loves.” When thou comest to the word, prayer, meditation, be sure of this, to give Christ thy love: What? Doth Christ manifest his presence there? Is there any abounding of his graces there? O let thy love abound; by how much more thou feels est God's love towards thee, by so much more do thou love thy God again. Many sins being forgiven, how shouldst thou but love much.
Sect. VII. Of joying in Jesus in that respect. 7. We must joy in Jesus, as carrying on the great work of our salvation in a way of covenant. I know our joy here is but in part; such is the excellency of spiritual joy, that it is reserved for heaven; God will not permit it to be pure and perfect here below; and yet such as it is (though mingled with cares and pains) it is a blessed duty; it is the light of our souls; and were it quite taken away, our lives would be nothing but hor. ror and confusion. O my soul, if thou didst not hope to encounter joy in all thy acts, thou wouldst remain languishing and immoveable, thou wouldst be without action and vigor, thou wouldst speak no more of Jesus, or of a covenant of grace, or of God, or Christ, or life, or grace, or glory. Well, then go on, O my soul, and joy in Jesus; if thou lovest bim, what should hinder thy rejoicing in him? It is a maxim, That as love proceeds, so if there be nothing which restrains the appetite, it always goes from love to joy. One motion of the appetite towards good is to be united to it; and the next appetite towards good is to enjoy it: Now, love consists in union, and joy in fruition; for what is fruition but a joy that we find in the possession of a thing we love? Much ado there is amongst philosophers concerning the differences of love and joy. Some gives it thus; as is the motion of fluid bodies which run towards their centre, and think to find their rest there; they being there, they stop not; and therefore they re. turn, and scatter themselves on themselves, they swell and overflow: so, in the passion of love, the appetite runs to the beloved object, and unites itself to it, and yet its motion ends not there; for by this passion of joy it returns the same way: again it scatters itself on itself, and overflows those powers which are nearest to it: by this effusion the soul doubles on the image of the good it hath received, and so it thinks to possess it the
more; it distils itself into that faculty which first acquainted it with the knowledge of the object, and by that means it makes all the parts of the soul concur to the possession of it. Hence they say, That joy is an effusion of the appetite, whereby the soul spreads itself on what is good, to possess it the more perfectly.
But not to stay in the inquiry of its nature, O my soul be thou in the exercise of this joy. Is there not cause? Come, see and own thy blessed. ness; take notice of the great things the Lord hath done for thee. As, 1. He hath made a covenant with thee of temporal mercies, thou hast all thou hast by free-holding of covenant-grace; thy bread is by covenant, thy sleep is by covenant, thy safety from sword is by the covenant, the very tilling of thy land is by a covenant of grace, Ezek. 36:34. O how sweet is this? every crumb is from Christ, and by virtue of a covenant of grace. 2. He hath made a covenant with thee of spiritual mercies: even a covenant of peace, and grace, and blessing, and life for evermore. God is become thy God, he is all things to thee; he hath forgiven thy sins, he hath given thee his Spirit, to lead thee, to sanctify thee, to uphold thee in that state wherein thou standest, and at last he will bring thee to a full enjoyment of himself in glory, where thou shalt bless him, and rejoice before him, with joy unspeakable and full of glory. O pluck up thy heart, lift up thy head, strengthen the weak hands and the feeble knees; serve the Lord with gladness, and joyfulness of spirit, considering the day of thy salva. tion draweth nigh: write it in letters of gold, that thy God is in covenant with thee, to love thee, to bless thee, and to save thee. Yet a little while, and he that shall come will come, and receive thee to himself, and then thou shalt fully know what it is to have God to be thy God, or to be in coy. enant with God. I know these objects rejoice not every heart; a man out of covenant, if he look on God he is a consuming fire; if on the law, it is a sentence of condemnation; if on the earth, it brings forth thorns by reason of sins; if on heaven, the gate is shut; if on the signs of heaven, fire, meteors, thunder, strike in him a terror. But, O my soul, this is not thy case; a man in covenant with God looks on all these things with another eye; if he looks on God, he saith, This is my Father; if on Christ, This is my elder brother; if on angels, these are my keepers; if on heaven, This is my house; if on the signs of heaven, fire, meteors, thunder, These are but the effects of my Father's power; if on the law, The Son of God hath fulfilled it for me; if on prosperity, God hath yet better things for me in storc; if on adversity, Jesus Christ hath suffered much more for me than this; if on the devil, death and hell, he saith with the apostle, “ O death, where is thy sting? O grave, (or hell, where is thy victory? 1 Cor. 15:55. Come, poor soul, is it not thus with thee? What! art thou in covenant with God? Or art thou not? If yet thou doubtest, review thy grounds of hope, and leave not there, till thou comest up to some measure of assurance: but if thou art persuaded of thy interest, О then rejoice therein; is it not a gospel-duty “ to rejoice in the Lord, and again to rejoice?" Phil. 4:4. The Lord is delighted in thy delights, he would fain have it thy constant frame and daily business to live in joy, and to be always delighting thyself in him.
This one promise, “I am the Lord thy God,” is enough to cause thy appetite to run to it, and to unite itself to it by love, and to scatter itself on it, and to overflow those powers of the soul that are nearest to it, that every part of the soul may concur to the possession of it. “Bless the Lord, O my soul, (saith David,) and all that is within me, bless his holy name," Psalın 103:1. So rejoice in the Lord, O my, soul, and all that is : within mo rejoice in the name of God: this is true joy, when the soul unites itself to the good possessed in all its parts: and was there ever such an object of true joy as this? Hark, as if heaven opened, and the voice came from God in heaven, “ I will be a God to thee, and to thy seed after thee, I am the Lord thy God, and I will be thy God.” What, doth not thy heart leap in thy bosom at this sound? John the Baptist leaped in his mother's womb for joy at the sound of Mary's voice, and doth not thy soul spring within thee, at this voice of God? O wonder! some can delight themselves in sin, and is not God better than sin? Others more refined, and indeed sanctified, can delight themselves in remission of sin; grace, pardon, holiness, fore-thoughts of heaven; how exceedingly have some gracious hearts been ravished with such thoughts! But is not God the objective happiness, the fountain of blessedness, more rejoicing than all these? Why, dear coul, if there be in thee any rejoicing faculty, now awake and stir it up: it is the Lord thy God, whom thou art to rejoice in: it is he whom the glorious spirits joy in: it is he who is the top of heaven's joy, their exceeding joy: and it is he who is thy God as well as their God: enough! enough! or if this be not enough, hear thy duty as the Lord commands thee, « Rejoice in the Lord, Phil. 3:1. Be glad, ve children of Zion, and rejoice in the Lord your God, Joel 2:23. Rejoice in the Lord, all ye righteous, for praise is comely for the upright, Psalm 33:1. Rejoice in the Lord, ye righteous, and give thanks at the remembrance of his holiness, Psal. 97:12. Let all those that put their trust in thee rejoice, let them ever shout for joy, because thou defendest them; let them also that love thy name, be joyful in thee, Psal. 5:11. Let the righteous be glad, let them rejoice before God; yea, let them exceedingly rejoice, Psal. 68:3. Glory ye in his holy name, let the heart of them rejoice that seek the Lord, Psal. 105:3. Let Israel rejoice in him that made him, let the children of Zion be joyful in their King, Psal. 149:2. Be glad in the Lord, and rejoice, O ye righteous, and shout for joy, all ye that are upright in heart," Psal. 32:11. O what pressing commands are these?
Sect. VII. Of calling on Jesus in that respect. 8. We must call on Jesus, or on God the Father, in and through Jesus, in reference to this gracious covenant. Now, this calling on God contains prayer and praise.
1. We must pray, we must use arguments of faith challenging God, “ Turn thou me, and I shall be turned; Why? For thou art the Lord my God,” Jer. 31:18. This covenant is the ground on which all prayers must be bottomed: the covenant we know contains all the promises, and what is prayer but promises turned into petitions? Thus werweile rro. phet Jeremiah, 14:21,22. “Do not abhor us for thy nams centro 55 disgrace the throne of thy glory; remember, break not
t robar la with 09.-Why? art not thou he, the Lord our God.” And thus praved the prophet Isaiah, 64:9. “Be not wroth very sore, neither remember iniquity for ever, behold we beseech thee;" and why so? “ we are all thy people," q.d. Every one doeth for its own; the prince for his people, the father for his children, and the shepherd for his sheep; and will not God do for his own in covenant with him? Be thy soul in the saddest desertion, yet corne and spread the covenant before God. A soul in the greatest depth, swimming on this covenant of grace, it keeps it from sinking; whence Christ in his blackest, saddest hour prayed thus, “ My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?” Be thy soul in trouble for sin, and prevailing corrupt un; yet go to God and plead his promise and covenant; say as Jebosnaplat,