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But there are seasons also when the child of God, gradually excluding all other objects from his view, fixes his mind upon the divine character as the object of his chief delight, and upon the divine glory as the great end of bis being. There are seasons, seasons of inexpressible sweetness and delight, when, like Elijah on Carmel, Moses on Pisgah, and John in Patmos, he is lost in the contemplation of the Ever-Blessed God, and borne aloft to catch a glimpse at that glory that fills the temple above."He beholds the Infinite Ono arrayed with majesty and excellence, and decked with light as with a garment. He beholds the bright and brightening displays of His glory, while his bosom expands with holy fervor, and beats high with pure devotion.

It is not necessary to inquire, whether the state of declension or of vigor be the more desirable; nor which it is our duty to avoid, and which to cherish and maintain. Both the duty and blessedness of God's peopole point to that heavenly precept, Be ye perfect, even as your Father in heaven is perfect. We do not ask the reader, whether he pose sesses that degree of love which he ought to possess; but, whether he possesses any that is genuine. I love them, saith the voice of Eternal Wisdom, that love me. The holy God cannot love those who hate Him. He cannot regard those with complacency who regard Him with aversion. He cannnt be

reconciled to those who are irreconciled to Him. * He cannot be reconciled to those who hate Him, and who justify their hatred to Him. He retains His anger toward them, so long as they retain their opposition and enmity toward Him.t Hence none have a

We are happy in being able to quote the words of a divine so deservedly eminent as Van Mastricht, in confirm. ation of a truth that meets with so much opposition from the popular theology of the present day. Speaking De bona complacentiæ in Deo, he says, “Nostra complacentia in Deo, irritabit vicissim Dei complacentiam in nobis.” Our complacency in God will in return excite God's complacency in us. Theoret. Pract. Tbeolog. Auct. Pet. Vanmast. p. 1267. The inference is unavoidable; God's complacency in us does not precede, but follows our complevency in Him.

t 'The reader may perhaps ask, how is this reconcileable with the declaration in 1 John iv, 19, We love Him, because He first loved us?

God's love to his people is the cause of their love to Him; but it is not the motive of their love to Him. It precedes their love to Him in these two respects:

1. He loved them with the love of benevolence, as He did other men. He sent his Son to be the propitiation for their sins, And but for this expression of benevolence, the whole human race would have been abandoned to the ruins of the fall. There would have been no Gospel; no way of reconciliation; and consequently not a vestige of holy love in the barren world.

2. He loved them with the love of election.” He gave them to His dear Son in the everlasting covenant. In pursuance of his gracious design, He makes them new creatures; slays their enmity, and SHEDS ABROAD His love in their hearts. And but for this expression of distinguishing love, they would have for ever remained His enemies. have loved thee with an everlasting love, says God to his Church, therefore with loving kindness have I drawn thee.

In these respects, the love of God to us is the cause of our love to Him. It cannot be the motive of our love to Him, for this plain reason, that we have no evidence of His distinguishing love to us, until we possess the consciousness of our love to Him,

right to believe that God loves them, until they first love Him. And none will believe it, without having been given up to strong delusion that they should believe a lie. А man must be conscious of his love to God, before he can have scriptural evidence of

The love which God exercises toward the elect while they are yet in their sins, is of a peculiar character. It cannot be the love of complacency; for it is exercised wbile the objects of it are perfectly hateful; and is therefore consistent with the utmost detestation of their whole character. It cannot be the love of benevolence; for the love of benevolence is impartial, and this is discriminating. It is very properly styled the “love of election."

'I am happy to present the reader with a correct view of this text, from an author who may justly claim more than a common share of confidence.

“They who serve God from filial affection, not slavish fear, 'love him, because he first loved them:' not that their love is merely gratitude for his previous benefits, which, abstracted from other exercises of love, would be a very selfish affection: nor could any man in that case love God at alt on good grounds, without some immediate revelation to assure him that he was the OBJECT OF HIS SPECIAL LOVE, EVEN WHILST HE HAD NO GRACE, AND WAS WHOLLI INPENITENT AND SINFUL. But the evident meaning is, that if the Lord had not loved them before they loved him, even when they were dead in sin, they must for ever have continued enemies to him. His love suggested the plan, and provided the means of redemption; he revealed to sinners his glorious perfections a:d abundant mercy, in the Person and work of his Son; he sent his word, to declare to sinvers this great salvation, and to invite them to partake of it; he regenerated them by his Spirit, and so brought them, by repentance and faith in Christ, into a state of acceptance and reconciliation; and thus taught and enabled them to love his excellency, to value his favor, to be thankful for his inestimable benefits, and zealous for his glory. As, therefore; his love to them was the original source of their love to him: so from the latter they may infer the former, and take the comfort of the happy change which hath beca wrought in them whilst they give in the glory of it." Scott's Family Bible, in loc.

God's love to him. And the evidence which arises from tbis consciousness is conclusive. We have no more right to doubt of God's love to us, than we have a right to doubt of our love to Him. As our love to God grows constant and vigorous, the evidence increases, that we are friends to God, and that God is a friend to us.

Is then thy heart right with God? Are you pleased with the Divine character? Do you love every part of that character? Do you love God's holiness as well as His grace; His justice as well as His mercy? Do you love Him because He is immutably disposed to hate sin, and punish the sinner, or merely because He is disposed to forgive sin, and save the sinner? Do you love Him because He has a greater regard for His own glory than your happiness; or because you apprehend that He has a higher regard for your happiness than for His own glory? There is a kind of love which flows from a very unworthy principle. If ye love them that love you,

what thank have ye; for SINNERS also love those that love them. To love God from no higher motive than the persuasion that you are interested in His favor, is supremely selfish. Those who love God from no higher principle, do not love Him at all. This is the affection which might and does reign without opposition in the hearts of thousands who are far from righteousness, and who will finally be excluded from the kingdom of heaven.

Are you reconciled to that character of God which you sce portrayed on every page of His word? Are you well pleased that God should not only possess that character; but are you well pleased that all His perfections should be under His own direction and control? Do you love God as a sovereign God? How do you regard the manifestation of that character in the distinguishing dispensations of grace and justice? Do you approve it, or do you oppuse it? Do you love it, or do you bate it? Every thing which God does, every thing which He eternally designed to do, is an expression of what He is. Every thing that He does in fixing the eternal allotinents of the righteous and the wicked, is a display of His true character. To be opposed to what He does, therefore, or to be opposed to what He eternally designed to do, or to object to His designing froin eternity to do any thing; is to oppose God, and to object to His divine excellence. Whenever any part of the Divine character, clearly understood, is the object of opposition and hatred, rather than of acquiescence and delight, the opposition is the result of selfishness and malignity, and those who cherish it have not the love of God in them,

Is the glory of God the great end of your being? Do you sincerely and ardently desire t: see greater and brighter displays of that glory? Do you rejoice that God is unfolding, and will for every unfold, the excellence of

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