Bates - HP BX5200 B3 1700

168 <The Harmony of the 'Di'Vine Attributes ~~ ~~aen~~:~':tret~~rh~; ~~~e~.ond~~dna~~'~ ~11~e,~! ~~;e ~~~~a~~~ar;~e;n~1~r~~·eD~~~~~~~y f~~ ._.,.....,..... pardoning Mercy in the Deat h of Chril1. For what frronger ev idence can there be of God's readinefs to pardon, than fending his Son into the 'world to be a Sacrifice for Sin, that Me rcy without prejudice to his other Perfections might upon our Repentance forgi\' e_ us? And what more rational Argument is there, and more con,gruous to the Brearc of a Man, to work in him a ferious Grief and hea rty detefbtion of Sin, not only as a cnr[ed thing, bu t as ·cis contrary to the Divi~e Will , than the Belief that God, in w~o re Po~ver alone _it is to pardon Sinners, is mofi defirous to pardon them, if they wtll r~turn t~ Obed tence? The Prodigal in his extream di!\refs refolved to go to his Fa· ther With pemtenual .Acknowledgments. and Submiffion: and, ro ure the Words of a devou~ Writer? his guilty Confl:ience as defperate, askt him, f!<!tafpe, with what hope? He repl:ed t0h1mfelf, 1/laquaPatcrcft. Egoperdidiquod cratjilii; i/le quod Patri.f ejlnoJt amifit: Though I have negletled the Dut y and lo rr the Confidence of a Son, he hath not loft: the compaflion of a Father. That Parable reprefenrs Man in his degenerate forlorn State, and that the Divine Goodnefs is the Moti\·e that pre,·ails upon him to return to his Duty. 3· The tranfcendenr Love that God hath expre!l in our Redemptic n by Chrif'r, fhould kindle in us a reciprocal AffeCtion to him. For wha t is more ll:ltur.J.\ than that one Flame fhould produce another? w~ love him, buaufo be loved ~tsjirjl. Theoriginaf of onr Love to God is from the eviden~e of his to us: Thi s alone can fl:ron~ly and fweetly draw the Hea rt to him. ' fis true, rhe Divine Excellcnci t'S as they deferve a fuperlati ve eft eem, fo the higheft atfefrion: But the bJre contemplation of them is ineffed"ull to lire th'e Heat with a zealous Love to God. For Man harh a Diabolica.l Seed in his corru pt Nature; he is inclined not 0nly to Senfual ity, which is an implicite hatred of God, C for an eager Appetite to thofe things which God forbids, and a fixed Averfation from what he commands, are the natural effell:s of Hatred) but to Malignity and d ireCt Hatred againft God. He i.r a.n EnemJ in hi.! Mi11d through wick..,ed l'flor/zs, Col. J, 2 r . and this Enmity arifeth from the confideration of God's Ju!lice, and the effeCts of it. Man cannot fin and be happy, therefore he willies there were no God to whom he mull be accountabl e. He is no more wrought on by the Divine Perfell:ions and Beauties to love the Deity, than a guilty Perfon who refolved!y goes on to break the Laws, can be perfwaded to love the Judge, for his excellent Knowledge, and his inflexible Jnte~rity, who will certainl y fOndemn him. Befides, the grea t and abundant Bldiings, which God, as Creator and Preferver, benows upon all, cannot prevail upon gu ilry Creatures to love him. Indeed the Goodnefs that raifed us from a State of Nothing, is unfpeakab!y great, and hys an eternal Obligation upon us. The whole !lock of our AffeCtions is due to him, for conferring upon us the humane Nature, that is common to Kings and the meanef'r Beggar. All the Riches and Dignity of the greate!\ Prince, whereby he exceeds the poore!\ Wretch, compared to this Benefit which they both fhare in, ha,·e no more proportion than a Farthing to an iramenfe Treafme. The innumerable Expreffions of God's Love to us every Day fhould infinitely endea r him to us. For who ls fo inhumane as not to love his Parents, or hi s Friend, who defended him from his deadly Enemies, or relieved him in his Poverty, efpecially ~f the Vein of his Botmty be not dr ied up, but always diffufes it felf in new Favours? If we love the Memory of rhat Emperour, who refleCting upon one Day that pa!l without his be!\owing fome Bene!lt, with grief faid, Diem perdidi, I have lofl: a Day! How much more fhould we love God who et·ery moment beftows innumerable Ble(fings upon his Creatures? But (infu l Man hath contraCted fuch an unnatural Hardnefs, that he receives no Impreffions from rhe renewed Mercies of God. He violates the Principl es of Nature, and Reafon. for how unnamal is it, not to love our BenefaCtor, when the dull Ox and the fi:upid Afs fen·e thofe. that feed them? And how unreafonable , when the Publ icans return love for Lo,·e! Now there is nmhing that can perfetl'ly overcome our Hatred, but the Confide· r.uion cf that Love wh ich bath freed us from Eternal Mifery: for thep:uilty Creature will be ;llw:~vs fufpidous, that notwithfi:anding the ordin:~ry Benefits of Prov idence, God is an Enemy to it: and till Man is convinced, that in loving God, he mnrt truly himfelf, he will neve r fincerely affetl: .him. This was one gre<lt Ddign of God ir. the 'Way, as well as in tht> Work of our Redemption, to gain our Hearts intirely t0 himfelf. He Elves us in the mon endear ing and obliging manner. As David'.1 Affection declared it felf, J will not ferve the Lord with th~tt wbicb cojl me notbhzg: So God would not [aYe Man with that which eo!\ him nothing, but with the deard\ Price hath purchafed a Title to our Lo\'e, God wa.1 i11 Chri{t reco11cili11g the World to bill~{elf, as well as through Chrif\ reconci ling himfelf to the World. He hath propounded fuch i\rguments for our Love,