Bates - HP BX5200 B3 1700

7he Harmony of the 'Divine Attributes f'\J'../1jrom Love, t Jo~n 5· 3· And it makes Obedience conftant: that which is forced from Chap. t t the imp reffion of Fear. is unrtedfart; but what is mixt with Delight, is !aCting. ~ 2. Our Love to Chrirt muft befupreme, exceeding that which is gi,en to all inferiour ObjeCts. The moll elevated and intire AffeCtion is due to Him who faves us from Torments that are ex treme and eternal, and beftows upon us an Inheritance immortal and undefiled. By the offering ofhimfelf to Divine Jnftice he has obliged us to prefent o11r Bodies a liviug Sncrifice to God, which is ottr reafonable Service; Lifej r felf and all the 't:ndearments of it, Relations, Efiates are to be difvalued, when fet in comparifon with Him. Nay if (by an impoffible fuppofition) they could be fepmted, our Saviour fhould be more dear to us than Salvation. For he declared greater Love in giving Himfelf for our Ranfom, than in giving Heaven to be our R.eward. When we love him in the hi ghefl degree we are capable of, we have reafon to mourn for the ImperfeCtion of it. In fhort, a Superlative Love, as 'tis due to our R.edeemer, fo 'tis only accepted by Him. He that lovetb Father or Mother, Son or Daughter more than Him, is not rvortl;:y of Him, Mat. 10. 37· And he tells us in other places that we muft hate tbem, to fbew, that our Love to him n10uld fo far exceed the AffeCtion that is due to thofe Rel arions, that in all occafions where they divide from Chrifl, we fhould demean our (elves as if we had ~h~~gfl,~;~r~11~i::n!f~re~ce~lr~~~t~;;~:n~:bt:r;~i~~~re~f,d:~~ ~~~~~:f~~~fer~e~ ~~~ love, is brutifbly to underva]ue Him, and in effect not to love Him. For in a Temptation where Chrifl: and the beloved Object are fet in competit ion; as a greater weight turns the Scales, fo the ftronger Affection will cau[e a Perfon to renounce Chrifl:, for the poffeffion of what he loves better. Tis the Love of Chrirt reigning in the Heart, that is the on! y Princi ple of Perfeverance. 4· What an high provocation is it to defpife Redeeming Mercy, and to defeat that infinite Good nefs which bath been at fuch Expence for our Recovery? The Son of God hath empt ied all the Trea fures of his Love, to purchafe Deliverance for gnilty and wretched Captives; He bath pafl · through fo many Pains and Thorns to come ·and offer it to them; He follicites them to receive Pardon and Liberty, upon the conditions of Acceptance and Amendment, which are abfolutely neceffary to qualifie them for Felicity : Now- if they flight the Benefit, and renounce their Redemption ; if they f~ll themfelves again under the Servitude of Sin, and gratif..e: the Devil with a new Conquefr over them; what a bloody Cruelty is this to their own Souls, and a vile Indignity to the Lord of Glory? And are there any Servile Spirits fo charm·d with tbei'r Mifery, and fo in love with their Chains, who will fioop under thei r cruel Captivity, to be referved for eternal Punifhment? Who can believe it ? But alafs, Exampl es are numerous and ordinary: The moll by a Folly is prodigious as their Ingatirude, prefer theirs Sins before their Saviour, and love that which as the only jufl Object of Hatred, and hate Him who is the moll worthy ObjeCt of Love. Tis a moll aftonifhing Confideration, that Love fhould perfwade Chrirt to die for Men, and that they fhould Trample upon his Blood, and choofe rather to di e by themfelves, than to live by Him. That God fhould be fo ea fie to forgive, and Man fo hard to be fo rgiven. ' This is a Sin of that tranfcendent height, that all the Ab0minations of Sodom and Gomorrah, are not equal w ~·od~~~r~,~atc~,~~~s ~~~[?,;,.~~~t~J"~d~~trr~~~~~ ~ :.~:~:bu~~e ~~)ea~~~ o'}'t;~~~~~~ the gracious terms of the Gofpe l, makes the Condemnation of Men moll jufl, certain, and heavy. I. Moll Juft: For when Chrirt hath performed what was neceffary for the Expiation of Sin, and bath opened1[heThrone of Grace, which was before !hut _agai nft us, and by this God bath declared how willing he is to fave Si nners ; if they are wilfu l to be damned, and frurtrate the bleffed Methods of Grace, 'tis mort equal they fhould inherit their own choice : They judge themfelves 1mworthy of ctemal Lift. Confcience will ju!\ify the fevereft Doom again{\ them. 2. It makes thei r Condemnation certain and final. The Sentence of the Law is reverfible by an Appeal to an higher Court; bu t that of the Gofpel again rt rhe refufers of Mercy will remain in irs full force for ever. He tbat believes not, is condenm'd already, John 3· r8. 'Tis fame Confolation to a Ma lefaCtor, that the Senrence is nor pro~ nounced againft him: but an Unbeliever harh no refpire. Th: Gofpel affures the fincere Believer, that he foaU enter into Condenmation, to prevent h1s fears of an after Sen~ tence; but it denounces a prefent doom againft rhofe who rejeCt it. The 11'rath of God abides on them. Obrti nate Infidelity fets beyond all poffibility of Pardon: there is 110 Sacrifice for that Si1z. Salvation it fel f cannot fave rhe impen it ent Infidel: For he excludes the only means whereby Mercy is conveyed. How defperare then is