Owen - BX9315 O81

Ah MOTIVES UNTO THE from going out in some acts of love again upon its ac- . ount, unless all their faculties are utterly depraved, by habits ofbrutish and filthy lusts. But when this love, which is thus undeserved, Cloth also abound in effects troublesome and chargeable in them in whom it is, and highly beneficial unto them on whom it is placed, if there be any such affection left in the nature of any man, it will prevail unto a reciprocal love. And all these things are found in the love of Christ, unto that degreeand height, as nothing parallel unto it can be found in the whole creation. I shall briefly speak of it under two general heads. 1. The sole spring of all the mediatory actings of Christ, both in the susceptionof our nature, and in all that he did and suffered therein, was his own mere love and grace working by pity and compassion. It is true, he undertook this work principallywith sespeet.unto the glory of God, and out of love unto him. But with re- spect unto us, his only motive unto it wa;his abundant overflowing love. And this is especial& remembered unto us in that instance wherein it carried him through the greatest difficulties, namely, in his death and the oblation of himself on our behalf, Gal. ii. 20. Eph. v. 2, 25, 26. 1 John iii. 16. Rev. i. 5, 6. This alone inclined the Son of God to undertake theglorious work ofour redemption, and carried him through the death and dread which he underwent in the accomplishment of it. Should I engage into the consideration of this love of Christ, which was the great means of conveying all the effects of divine wisdom and grace unto the church; that glass which God chose to represent himself and all his goodness in unto believers; that Spirit of life in the wheel of all the motions of the person of Christ in the redemption of the church unto the eternal gloryof God, his own, and that of his redeemed also; that mirror, wherein the holy angels and blessed saints shall for ever contemplate the divine excellencies in their suitable o- perations; I must now begin a discourse- much larger than that which I have passed through: but it is not suit- ed'unto my present design so to do. Nor considering the growing apprehensions of many about the person of Christ, which are utterly destructive of thewhole nature of that love which we ascribe unto him, do I know how soon a more distinct explication and defence of it may be called for. And this cause will not be forsaken. LOVE OF CHRIST. Theyknownothing ofthe lifeand power of the gospel, nothing of the reality of the grace of God, nor do they believe aright one article of the Christian faith, whose hearts are not sensibleof the love of Christ herein. Nor is he sensible of the love of Christ, whose affectionsare not thereon drawn out unto him. I say, they make a pageant of religion, a fable for the theatre of the world, a business of fancy and opinion, whose hearts are not really affected with the love of Christ, in the susception and discharge of the work of mediation, so as to have real and spiritually sensible affections for him. Men maybabble things which they have learned by rote; they have no real acquaintance wills Christianity, who ima- gine that the placing ofthe most intense affections ofour souls on the person of Christ, the loving him with all our hearts because of his love, our being overcome thereby until we are sick of love, the constant motions of our souls towards him with delight and adherence, are but fancies and imaginations. I renounce that reli- gion, be it whose k will, that tcacheth, insinuateth, or giveth countenance unto such abominations. That doc- trine is as discrepant from the gospel as the Alcoran, as contrary to the experience of believers, as what is acted in and by the devils, which instructs men unto a con- tempt of the most fervent love unto Christ, or casts re- flections upon it. I had rathér choose myeternal lot and portion with the meanest believer, who being ef- fectually sensible of the love of Christ, spends his days in mourning that hecan love him no more than he finds himself, on his utmost endeavours for the discharge of his duty to do, than with the best of them, whose vain speculations, and a false pretence of reason, puff them up unto a contempt of these things. 2. This love of Christ unto the church, is singular in all those qualifications which render love obliging unto reciprocal affections. It is so in its reality. There can be no love amongst men, but will derive some- thing from that disorder which is in their affections, in their highest actings. But the love of Christ is pure, andabsolutely free fromany alloy. There cannot be the least suspicion of any thing of self in it. And it is ab- solutely undeserved. Nothing can be found amongst men, that can represent or exemplify its freedom from any desert on our part. The most candid and ingenu- ous love amongst us, is whenwe love another for his worth, excellency, and usefulness, though we have no