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And the unregenerate, not knowing God, not having a sense ef his infinite glory to lay the foundation of their love and of their religion, hence all their love and all their religion entirely take their rise from mere selfish considerations, and nothing but self-love lies at bottom. And hence it is natural for unregenerate men to think they deserve something for their duties, and as natural to be insensible of the infinite evil of their sins. And so it is their nature to magnify and be proud of their own goodness, and to extenuate and be uphumbled for their bridness. And from hence results our native aversion to faith and repentance, and contrariety to the gospel-way of salvation. And now new gospels, new surts of faith and repentance are coined, new notions of religion contrived, to suit the depraved temper and vitiated taste of unhumbled, impenitent sinners, who are concerned to secure their own interest, but care not what becomes of God's honour. Hence errors take their rise, and professing christians are divided into parties, and one runs this way, and another that, and all hope to get to heaven at last.
And now, at length, after so great a variety of inferences and remarks, and so large a considera tion of the first and chief motive of a genuine love to God, I proceed,
2. To take a short view of the additional obligations which roe lie under, to love God with all our hearts. I AM THE LORD, (this lays the first foundation, and leads the way, when from Mount Sinai the Almighty proclaims his law, but then he immediately goes on to add,) thy God, which brought thee out of the land of Egypt, and out of the house of bondage. Exod. xx.
God has such a right to us, and such an authority over us, and has done so many things for us, and promised so many things to us, that our additional obligations to be the Lord's, to love him and live to him, are exceedingly great. Particularly,
Nothing is more reasonable than that we should be entirely dedicated to that God, whose we are originally, and by an entire, underived, and unalienable right : especially, considering what he is in himself, and that he is Lord of all things, and, by nature, God most high: Indeed, if our Creator was not, by nature, the most high God, then he could not be the
supreme Lord of all things; for there would be one above him ; and so we should not be his, entirely and absolutely; for he himself, and we his creatures, would belong, originally, to another ; even to him that, by nature, would be the most high God; and him we ought to love and worship. But our Creator himself, being absolutely the first, and absolutely supreme, self-existent, and independent, the sole author and Lord of all things, as well as infinitely glorious in himself, his right to us is original, underived, and most absolute and entire : and therefore it is infinitely fit and suitable that we should be, in the constant frame and disposition of our hearts, absolutely, entirely, and wholly the Lord's, and that we should forever exert all our powers, to the very utmost, to promote bis honour and interest. And it is infinitely unreasonable that we should ever set up ourselves, and be attached to any interest of our own, separate from his. And, inasmuch as he is infinitely better than we are, (yea, all the nations of the earth are less than nothing before him,) and has such an entire right unto us; his interest, therefore, should be regarded as more valuable than our own : yea, infinitely more. For if our own interest appears as valuable to us as his, we set ourselves upon a level with him, and claim as great a right to ourselves as he has; and if his interest does not appear as being of infinitely greater value to us than our own, we do not esteein him as being infinitely better than we are ourselves, and his right to us infinitely greater than our own right to ourselves is. It is, therefore, infinitely reasonable, since Gud is what he is, and has such a right to us as he has, that we should be constantly, from the very bottom of our hearts, wholly his, and every moment live wholly to him, and always have his interest lie inost near our hearts, as being of infinitely more worth, value, and importance than our own. As Moses, who, in a measurt, was made partaker of this divine nature, in the anguish of bis heart, cries, when God tells him he will cut off Israel, and make of him a great nation, “ Lord, let my name be blotted out of the book ; let it be forgotten from among the living, and be never heard of again in the world that ever I was in being : But schat till become of the great name?” God's honour and interest
were dear to him ; but he comparatively cared not for bis own at all. Exod. xxxi. Nuin. xiv.
But this our obligation to be entirely the Lord's, is still infinitely increased, if we consider the authority of the supreme Governor of the world, which, by his express luw, has enjoined this upon us. It is not only infinitely fit, in its own pature that we should love God with all our hearts, considering what he is in himself, and that we should be entirely for him, in the temper of our minds, considering what an entire right he has to us as his creatures, who have received all we have from bim and are absolutely dependent on him for all we want; but God has by law as Governor of the world, enjoined this upon us as our duty, and that with all his authority : And now, considering what he is in himself, and the natural right he has to all things, and how entirely we are his, and absolutely under his government, his authority is infinitely binding ; especially, considering how infinitely enguged he appears to be to see that his law be eractly obeyed, in promising eternal life on the one hand, and threatening eternal damnation on the other. This his infinite engagedness, lays us under infinite bonds to be and do exactly what he requires.
But still, our obligation to love him with all our hearts, and be wholly the Lord's, is yet infinitely more increased, if we consider what ways the Lord has taken with us in this apostate world, since our rebellion against him ; since we have lost all esteem for him, turned enemies to him, cast off his authority, and practically bid defiance to his power and justice : for, instead of immediately dooming all this lower world to blackness of darkness for ever, he has sent his Son, his only begotten Son, from heaven, to bring us the news of pardon and peace, and, by his own death, to open a way for our return unto him, and to call and invite us to return. And now, with a liberal hand, he strews common mercies all round the world, among evil, unthankful, guilty, hell-deserving rebels, and fills the hearts of all with food and gladness; and sends forth his messengers to proclaim it to the ends of the earth, that it is his will that all his rebellious creatures lay down their weapons of rebellion ; acknowledge the law, by which they stand condemned, to be holy, just, and good, and look to
him through Jesus Christ for pardon as a free gift, and through Jesus Christ return unto him, and give up themselves to him entirely, to love him and live to him, and delight in him for
And while the world in general make light of all this, and go to their farms, and to their merchandize, and many are enraged and cry out against the messengers of stone some and kill others, (Matt. xxii.)—that now he should, of his own sovereign good pleasure, according to his eternal purpose, seize here and there one, by his all-conquering grace, and
stop them in their career to hell, and make them see and feel their sin and guilt, and own the sentence just by which they stand condemned, and bring them as upon their knees to look to free grace through Jesus Christ for a pardon, and through Jesus Christ to give up themselves for ever to him ; that now he should receive them to tavour, and put them among his children, and become their father and their Gud, in an everlasting covenant, and undertake to teach and lead; to quicken and strengthen; to correct and comtort, and so to humble, and purify, and sanctify, and fit them for his heavenly kingdom ; and, while they are in this world, to give them all things that are best for them, and make all things work together for their good, and finally bring them unto, and possess them of eternal glory and blessedness, in the full enjoyment of himself for ever ; for a God of infinite greatness and glory to deal just so, with just such creatures, is the most amazing and astonishing grace; and lays infinite borids upon believers to love the Lord their God with all their hearts, and to live to him for ever, and has the greatest tendency to animate them so to do. And thus, by these brief hints, we have a general view of the additional motives of a true and genuine love to God.
As God's bringing up the children of Israel out of Egypt; leading them through the wilderness ; driving out the heathen from before them, and giving them that good land which floweth with milk and honey ; and covenanting to be their God, is used so frequently, by Moses and the Prophets, throughout all the Old Testament, as a motive to, engage them to cleave to the Lord, and to him only, and entirely,
and for ever; so God's sending his Son into the world, to save his people from their sins, their spiritual bondage, together with all the spiritual and everlasting blessings of the covenant of grace, are continually used in the New Testament, as arguments to engage believers not to live to themselves, but to him that died for them. Only here let these things be remembered :
(1.) That a sight and sense of the infinite greatness and glory of God, from whom all good comes, and a sense of their own infinite meanness and unworthiness, makes all the mercies they receive, infinitely the more endtaring and engaging : for the mercies themselves now appear unspeakably the greater, in that they come from such a God, and to such creatures; and the infinite goodness of God shines the brighter in every mercy, and the freeness of his grace is the more conspicuous, on account of which he is infinitely amiable. The infinite greatness and glory of God, in general, ravishes the heart; the infinite moral beauty of the divine goodness and grace, in particular, ravishes the heart ; and now, that such a God should show such kindnesses to such a creature, is very affecting. Who am I, O Lord God? And what is my house, that thou hast brought me hitherto ? says holy David. And is this the manner of men, O Lord God? No, Surely. Wherefore thou art great, 0 Lord God : For there is none like thee, neither is there any God besides thee. 2 Sam. vii. 18—29. God is loved for the kindnesses bestowed; but he is more loved for the infinite beauty of that goodness which is displayed in the bestowment of them, and for his being altogether such a one as he is. So the Queen of Sheba esteemed Solomon for the kindnesses he showed her, but primarily, and much more, for his own personal excellencies. And his personal excellencies made her esteem his favours 10 her of much greater worth. That a glorious and ever-blessed God should treat sinners so, is infinitely endearing. Now these sensations, which a true believer has, and his love to God arising therefrom, must be vastly different from every thing which natural men experience, who know nut God, and have no higher principle in them than self-love.