Owen - BX9315 O81

$2 MOTIVES UNTO THE LOVE OF CHRIST. with the benefits which we receive thereby. Hereby it leads us unto his person, and presseth the consideration of all other things to engage our love unto him. See Phil. ii. 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10. with chap. iii. 8, 9, 10, 11. The motives unto the love of Christ are so great, so many, so diffused through the whole dispensation of God in him unto us, as that they can by no hand be fully expressed, let it be allowed never so much to en- large in the declaration of them; much less can they be represented in that short discourse, whereof but a very small part is allotted unto their consideration, such as ours is at present. The studying, the collection of them, or so many of them as we are able, the medita- tion on them, and improvement of them, is among the principal duties ofour whole lives. What I shall offer is the reduction of them unto these two heads. (1.) The acts áf Christ, which is the substance of them. And, (2.) The spring andfountain of those acts, which is the life of then. I. In general, they areall the acts of his mediatoryof- fice, with all the fruits of them whereof we are made partakers. There is not any thing that he did or doth inthe dischargeof his mediatory office, from the first susception of it in his incarnation in the womb of the blessed virgin, unto his present intercession in heaven, but is an effectual motive unto the love of him, and as such is proposed unto us in the scripture. Whatever he did or doth, with or towards us in the name of God as the King and Prophet of the church, whateverhe did or doth with God for us as our High Priest, it all speaks this language in the hearts of them that believe; 0 love the Lord Jesus in sincerity. The consideration of what Christ thus did and loth for us, is inseparable from that of the benefits which we receive thereby. A due mixture of both these, of what be did for us, and what we obtain thereby, compriseth the substance of these motives. " Who lovedme, and gavehimself for me. Who loved us, and washed us in his ownblood, and made us kings and priests unto God. For thou wasbslain, and hast bought us unto Godwith thy blood." And both these areof a transcendant na- ture, requiring our love to be so also. Who is able to comprehend the glory of the mediatory actings of the Son of God, in the assumption of our nature, in what he did and suffered therein? and for us, eye bath not seen nor ear heard, nor can it enter into the heart of man to conceive, what we receive thereby. The least benefit, and that obtained by the least expence of trou- ble or charge, deserveth love, and leaveth the brand of a crime, where it is not so entertained. What then do the greatest deserve, and thoseprocured by thegreatest expence; even the price of the blood of the Son of God? If we have any faith concerning these things', it will produce love, as that love will obedience. Whatever we profess concerning them, it springs from tradition and opinion, and not from faith, if it engage not our souls into the love of him. The frameof heart which ensues on the real faith of these things, is. expressed, Psal. ciii. 1, 2, s, 4, 5. Bless the Lord, O my soul: and all that is withinme, bless his .holy name. Bless the Lord, Omy soul, and forget not all his benefits. Who forgiveth all thine iniquities, and healeth all thy diseases. Who redeemeth thy life from destruction; who crowneth thee with loving-kindness and tender mercies. Who satisfieth thy mouth with good things: so that thy youth is renewed like the eagles." Let men pretend what they will, there needs no greater, no other evidence, to prove that any one loth not real- ly believe the things that are reported in):hegospel con- cerning the mediatory actings of Christ, or that he bath no experience in lais own soul and conscience of the fruits and effects of them, than this, that lais heart is not engaged by them unto the most ardent love towards his person. He is no Christian who lives not much in the medita- tion of the mediation of Christ, and the especial acts of. it. Some may more abound in that work than others, as it is fixed, formed and regular. Some maybemore able than others to dispose their thoughts concerning them, into method and order. Some may be more di- ligent than others in the observation of times for the so- I lemn performance of this duty. Some may be able to rise to higher and clearer apprehensions of them than others. But as for those, the bent of whose minds doth not lie towards thoughts of them, whose hearts are not on all occasions retreating unto the remembrance of them, who embrace not all opportunities to call them over as they are able; on what grounds can they be es- teemed Christians? How do they live by the faith of the Son of God? Are the great things of the gospel, of the mediation of Christ, proposed unto us, as those