Baxter - Houston-Packer Collection BT770 .B39 1670

The Life of Faith. 153 motive of mans felt jprcial love to God, mutt not be by be- lieving fsrjf Gods fpecial love tour; but by believing his more common love and mercyin the general at` and offer of grace before mentioned. For he that belicveth Gods [pestal love to bim, and his fpecial interctt in Christ, before he bath any fpt- cial love to God, Both finfull y plume, andnot believe. For if by Gods fpecial love, you meanhis love of complacency to you, as a living member of Christ ; tobelieve this before you love God truly, is to believe a dangerous lie : and if you mean on -. ly, Gods love of benevolence, by which he decreeth to make you the.objeéts of his forefaid complacency, and to fanc$ifie at.d Cave you ; tobelieve this before you truly love God, is to believe that which is utterly unknown toyou, and may be falfe for ought you know, but is not at all revealed by God, and therefore is not the object of Faith. Therefore if you cannot have true affurance or petfwafion of your fpecial intermit in Christ, and ofyour juflification, be- fore youhave a fpecial love to God, then this fpecial love mutt be kindled (I fay not by a common Faith, but) by a true Faith in the General Love andPromife mentioned before. Nay, you mutt not only bave fitti this fpecial love but alto mutt have fo muchknowledge, that indeed you have it, as you will have knowledge of your fpecial interett in Chritl, and the loveofGod : for no ad of Faith will truly evidence fpecial grace, which is not immediately and intimately accompanied with truc love to God our Father and Redeemer, and the ultimate objcét of our Faith : Norcan you any further per- ceive or prove, the finccrity of your Faith it tdt, than you difcern in or with it, the Love here mentioned. For Faith is not only anact of the Intellect, but of the Will alto : And there is no volition or content to this or anyofferedgood,which bath not in it the true nature of Love : and the intention of the end, being in orderofnature, before our choice or ufe of means; the intending of God as our end, cannot come behind that ad of Faith, which is about Christ as thechoten means or way to God. Therefore make this your great and principal ufe of your Faith, to receive all the expretlìons of Gods Lovein Chriff, and thereby to kindle in you a love to God ; that a rte the X fpecial