Bates - HP BX5200 B3 1700

in .Contriving Man's Redemption. 15'7 i1im in his State and Perfections; and according to the Excellency of his Nature, fuch ~ is his Father's Love to him. St. John reprefents to us that God it Love; not charitable, Chap. 9· and loving, that is tOO weak an Expreffion, but Love it felf. The Divine Nature l/'V'"'\J is in fin ire elfential Love, in which other Perfeltions are included. And he produces the flrongefl and mofl convincing Teflimony of it, 'John 4· 9· In this was """ifeflthc Uve of <Jod to us, becaufi that God font his only begottm Son into the World, that we 111ight Uve through him. The Love of God in all temporal Blefiings, is bur faint in the comparifoJJ wirh the Love that is exprert in our Redeemer. As much as the Creator exceeds the Creature, the Gift of Chrifl is above the Gift of th~ whole World. Herein ;, Love, f~ith the Apoflle, that is the clearefl and highefl expreflion of it that can be, God font hit Son to be a propWatiOIZ for our Sins. 'fhe Wifdom and Power of God dtd nor act to <he utmofl of their efficacy in the Creation, he could frame a more glorious World; but the Love of God in, (lU r !\range Salvation by Chrifl,' tannor in a higher degree be exprefl. As .the Apoflle, to fer forth how facred and inviolable God's PromiCe is, faith, I.feb. 6. I 7· that beca•fe he could [ware by no Greater, he fware by Himfelf; fo when he would give the mofl excellent teflimony of his Favour to Mankind, he gave his Eternal Son, the Heir of his Love and Bleffednefs. The giving of Heaven it felf, with all irs Joys and Glory, · is not Co perfeCt and full a demonflration of the Love of God, as t)l e ~ i ving of his Son to die for us. 'Tis an endea1ing Circumf'raHce of this Love, that it warm' cl rhe Heart of God from Eternity, and was never interrupted in that vart duration. Great Benefits that come from a fudden flu!h of AffeCtion, are not fo highly eflimable, as when difpens:d with Judgment and Counfel: becaufe they do not argue in the Giver fuch a true valuation, and·fixed Love of the Perfon that receives them. · ,The Spring-tide may be followed by as low an Ebb; the Benefactor may repent of his Favours as fpent in vain: Bur our Sa lvation by Chrifl is the Product of God's Eternal Thoughts, the Fruit of Love that ever remains. He WtU delivered bJ the deJerminate Counfel, tmd foref<..nowledge of God, to fuffer for us, AfJs 2. 23. Before the World began, we were before the Eyes, nay in the Heart of God. And yet the' cpntinuance of this Love through infinite Ages pa!l:; is lefs than the degree of it, , . According to the rule of common efleeni, :i gr~ater Love was exprefl to wretched Man, than to Chrifl ilirnfelf: Fo~ we expend ·things lefs valuable for thofe that arc: more precious; fo thar God in gi)ling him to die for us, declar'd that our Salvation was more dear to him than the Life of his only Son. When no meaner Ranfom than the Blood Royal of Hea~en could purchafe our Redemption, God delighted in the <>pence of that facred Treafure for us, It pleafed the Lira to bruife him, !fa. 53· Tho' the Death of Chrifl abfolute!y conGder'd was the highefl provocation of God's difp!eafure, and brought the greatefl guilt upon the 'Jews, for which Wrath came •pon them to the 1111ermojl; yet in refpeQ of the end, namely the Salvation of Men, 'twas the moO: grateful Offering to him, a Sacrifice of afweet fmelli»g favoHr, Ephef. 5· 2. God repented that he made Man, but never that he redeem'd him. . And as the Love qf the Father, fo the Love of Chrifl appears in a fuperlative manner in dying for us. Greater Love balh no Man than this, that a Man lay down his life for his Friend, John I 5· 8. There is no kind of Love that ~xceeds the affection which is exprefl in dying for another: But there are divers degrees "fit: And the highe!l: is 'to die for our Enemies. The Apoflle faith, Rom. 5· 7· Perhaps for a good Man fome wo11/d dare to die. 'Tis poflible, ~ratirude may prevail upon one who is under flrong Obligations, to die for his Benefactor. Or fome may from a generous Principle be willing with the lofs of their Li'·es to preferve one, who is a general and publick good. But this is a rare, and a!mo!l incredible thing, 'Tis recorded as a miraculous lnflance of the power of Love, that the two Sicilian Philofophers, Dttmon and Pithia.f, each had Courage to die for his Friend. For one of them being condemo'd to die by the Tyrant, and deGring to give the !all farewel to his Family, his Friend entred into Prifon as his Surety to die for him. if he did not return at the appointed rime. And he came to the amazement of all, that expected the lffue of fuch a hazardous Caution. Yet in tl:is Example, there feems to be in the Second, fuch a confidence of the fidelity of the Frrfl, that he was affured he !hould not die in being a Pledge for him: And in the firfl'rwas not meer Friend!hip, or fenfe of the Obligation, but the regard of his own Honour that made him refcue his Friend from Death. And if Love were the foie Motive, yet the highefl expreflion of it was to part with a fbort Life, which in a little time mufl have been reGgned by the order of Nature. But the Love of our Saviour was fo pure and great, there can be no refemblance, much Jefs any parallel of it. For he was perfectly Holy, and fo the priviledge of immortality was due to him, and his Life was infinitely