114 di HOPEFUL YOUTH tS6RM. vli. sidered a5 God, loved him not in that sense in which the love of God is usually taken; for he had plain evi- dences of a worldly covetous mind, and so could not be the object of special divine complacency : Nor do we find that Christ loved him so well, as to communicate divine grace and salvation to him. I confess there may be some sort of love attributed to God, with relation to creatures ofany kind, which have any thing valuable in them : So God loves all the works of his hands ; so he loves the heavensand the earth, and all the pieces of inanimate nature ; that is, he approves his own workmanship, the effects of his own wisdom and power. God is also sometimes said to love those to whom lie communicates temporal blessings, or makes the offer ofeternal ones. So he loved the whole nation of the Jews, thoughhe did not give all of them his saving grace. But still it is much more natural to expound the words of my text concerning Christ as man; for there were some peculiar qualities in this youth, which were suited to attract the love of human nature; such quali- ties as a wise and perfect man could not but love : It was sonic s;pch sort of love as our Lord expressed toward the apostle John, in a way of distinction from the rest; upon which account, probably, he was called, the dis- ciple whom Jesus loved; John xiii. e3. Therefore I conceive Christ is here represented as exerting the inno- cent and kind of ections of humannature towards a youth so agreeable and hopeful. Now this love implies in it these five things : I. A hearty approbation of those good qualities which Christ beheld in him : For he being perfect and wise, cannot but approve that which is excellent. He had a sharp eye, and great sagacity of nature : With a ready penetration he could discern what was valuable; and must necessarily have a just esteem for every thing wherein his Father's wisdom and power did eminently appear. Whatsoever God created at first, was good ; Gen. i. 51. And whatsoever remains of that good work- manship of God, Christ, the Son of God, approved still, so far as it was untainted with sin, and considered in itself,,abstracted from the criminal qualities that might attend it. .. This love of Christ to the young man, implies a, 1.