Owen - BX9315 O81

As IT RRSPECTS TI3E Such is our present state in the body, wherein in some sense we are ".absent from the Lord," 2 Cor. v. 4, 8, 9. And what doth so morally in the deviations of its will and affections, as sin, it hates and abhors, and bombs itself for. Under the conduct of this love, the whole tendency of the soul is unto the enjoyment of God; it would be lost in itself, and found in him; nothing in it- self, and all in him. Absolute complacency herein, that God is what he is, that he should be what he is, and nothing else, and that as such we may be united unto him, and enjoy him according to the capacity of our natures, is the life of divine love. 2. It is a love of assinmlation. It contains in it a de- sire and intense endeavour to be like unto God, accord- ing unto our capacity and measure. The soul seesall goodness, and consequently all that is amiable and love- ly in God, the want of all which it finds in itself. The fruition of this goodness is that which it longs for as its utmost end, and conformity unto it as the means there- of. There is no man who loves not God sincerely, but indeed he would leave him to be somewhat that he is not, that he might be the more like 'unto him. This such persons are pleased withal whilst they can fancy it in any thing, Psal. 1. 21. They that love him would have hint "be all that he is, as he is, and nothing else," and would be themselves like unto him. And as love bath this tendency, and is that which gives disquietment unto the soul when and whereinwe areunlike unto God; so it stirs up constant endeavours after assinmlation un- to him, and bath a principal efficacy unto that end. Love is the principle that actually assimulates and con- forms us unto God, as faith is the principle which ori- ginallydisposed). thereunto: In our renovation into the image of God, the transforming power is radically seat- ed in faith, but acts itself by love. Love proceeding from faith, gradually changeth the soul into the likeness of God; and the more it is in exercise, the more is that change effected. To labour after conformity unto God by outward ac- tions only, is to )rake an image of the living God, hew- edout of the stockof adead tree. It is from this vital principle oflove that we are not forced into it as by en- gines, but naturallygrow up into the likeness and image ofGod. For when it is duly affected with the excellen- cies of God in Christ, itfills the mind with thoughts and contemplations on them, and excites all the affec- 4 PE118014 OF CIIRIST. Lions unto delight in then). . And where "the soul acts itself constantly its the mind's ccntemplation, and the delight of the affections, it will produce assimulation un- to the object of them. To love God is the only way and means to be like unto him. 3. It is a love of complacency, and therein of betevo- lence. Upon that view which we have by spiritual light and faith of the divine goodness, exerting itself in the way before described, our souls do approve of all that is in God, applaud it, and adore it, and acquiesce in it. Hence two great duties do arise, and heroism do they de. pend. First, joy, fnl ascriptions of gloryand honour un- to God. All praise and thanksgiving, all blessing, all assignation of glory unto him, because of his exeellen ties and perfections, do arise from our satisfactory com placency in them. " Therighteous rejoice in the Lord, and give thanks at the remembrance of his holiness," Peal. xcvii. 12. They are so pleased and satisfied at the remembrance of God's holiness, that it fillstheir hearts with joy, and caused' them to break forth in praises. Praise is nothing but an outward expression of the inward complacency of our hearts, in the divine perfections and their operations. And, secondly, Love herein acts itself by benevolence, or the constant incli- nation of the mind unto all things, wherein the glory of God is concerned. It wills all the timings wherein the name of God may be sanctified, his praises made glori- ous, and his will clone in earth as it is in heaven. As God says of his otvn love unto us, " that he rejoiceth in it with singing, and resteth in it," Zeph. iii. 17. as hav- ing the greatest complacency in it, rejoicing overus with his " whole heart and his whole soul," Jer. xxxii. 41. ; so, according unto our measure, do we by love rest in the glorious excellencies of God, rejoicing in them, with our whole hearts and our whole souls. 4. This divine love is a love offriendship. The com- munion which we have with God therein, is sointimate, ° and accompanied with such spiritual boldness, asgives it that denomination. So Abraham was called the friend of God, Is. xli. 8. James ii. 23. And because of that mutual trust which isbetween friends, "the secret of the Lord is with them that fear him, and he will shew them his covenant," Psal. xxv. 14. For our Savi- our teacheth us, servants, that is, those who are so, and no more, know not what their lordcloth; he rules them, commands them, or requires obedience from them. But U