Reynolds - BX5133.R42 S4 1831

168 FOURTH SERMON bath to pardon sin, are above our thoughts and ways whereby we look on them in their guilt and greatness, many times, as unpardonable; and, therefore, are fit matter for our faith, even against sense, to believe and rely upon, Isa. Iv. lvii. lviii. Now followeth the fountain of this mercy, " I will love them freely." God's love is a most free and bountiful love, having no motive or foundation but within itself, and his free love and grace is the ground of all his other mercies to his people ; he showeth mercy on whom he will, and because he will show mercy. From the beginning to the end of our salvation, no- thing is primarily active but free grace : freely loved, Deut. vii. 7, 8. freely chosen, Eph. i. 5, 6. Christ, the gift of free love, John iii. 16. his obedience freely accepted for us, and bestowed upon us, Rom. v. 15. 18. justification free, Rom. iii. 24. adoption free, Eph. i. 5. faith and repentance free, Phil. i. 29. 2 Tim. ii. 25. good works free, Eph. ii. 10. salvation free, Tit. iii. 5. Acts xv. 1. Thus the foundation of all mercies is free love, We do not first give to God that he may render to us again. We turn, we pray, we covenant, we repent, we are holy, we are healed, only because he loves us : and he loves us, not because he sees any thing lovely or amiable in us, but because he will show the absoluteness of his own will, and the un searchableness of his own counsel towards us. We are not originally denominated good by any thing which floweth from us, or is done by us ; but by that which is bestowed upon us. Our goodness is not the motive of his love, but his love the fountain of our goodness. None, indeed, are healed and saved, but those who repent and return ; but repentance is only a condition, and that freely given by God, disposing the subject for salvation; not a cause moving or procuring God