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and Gracious Attributes are in fo lively Characters display'd, as must needs convince a Rational Mind, that in his Own Nature he is above all things Amiable, and that the bare Contemplation of his inherent Excellencies, can't choose but ravish and fill the Soul with unexpressible Delight and Pleafure, and enflame it with unexstinguishable Love. But still i say, this is not That which is meant in Holy Writ, when the Love of God is Commanded as a general Christian Duty. The Scriptures, that were written for the Instruction, and accommodated to the

Capacity of all Sorts, even of the meanest People, have not enjoin'd That as of indispensable and universal Obligation, which is above the reach of Vulgar Understandings, and requires more abstractedness of Thought and intention of Mind than many Well meaning, Conscientious good ChriAtians are capable of: but openly

and clearly explain themselves, whenever the Love of God is commanded, as a Duty in which all Believers are alike and equally concern'd.

- That first and great Commandment, as our Saviour juftly ftiles it, Thou Jbalt Love the Lord thy God, with all thy Heart, with all thy Soul, and with all thy Might, as it was by Moses deliver’d, is explain'd in the words inmediately following, And these Words which I command Thee this Day, shall be in


thy Heart. Deut. 6. 5, 6. It plainly appears, that the true meaning of Moses here in this Command to the Ifraelites was only this, that with all readiness and sincerity they fhould pay due and entire Obedience to the Law, which he had newly deliver'd to them. And God himself in the Body of That Law, written by his own hand, teaches us what he reckons to be our Loving him, where he threatens that he will Vift the Sins of thofe that Hate him, that is Disobey him, unto the Third and Fourth Generation, but loevo Mercy into Thousands in them that Love him and Keep his Commandments. For This is the Love of God that we keep his Commandments, as St John in bis first Epistle tells us; which he had learnt from his Lord's Mouth, whose words are these in his own Gospel, He that hath my Commandments and keepeth them, be it is that Loveth me. John 14. 21. These plain and intelligible Testimonies of Scripture may give great Consolation and Peace of Mind to every True, Sincere, Sober, and Obedient Chriftian, tho' he finds not in his Soul such Emotions and Flights, such Raptures and Extasies, as some fancyful People pretend to, and fome myftical Writers would make the Love of God to confilt in. if he is conscious to himfelf, that the general Inclination and habitual tendency of his Heart is to keep God's Commandments; and if


he finds the conftant aversion of his Soul to the least wilful breach of his Law, he may from God's own Word assure himself, that be both Loves God and is Belov'd by him. Men may Talk as high as they please of the Angelical, the Seraphical Lives, as they call them of some Recir’d, Cloyfter'd, Contemplative People, that have quite gone out of the World in order to Love and to Enjoy God: but fure our Lives can never be so truly Angelical, nor our Love fo like that of those Blessed Spirits, as when we pay him an Obedience on Earth like to that which they pay in Heaven. Where, tho they are Eternally Ravish'd with the amiable Beauty and high Goodness of that Object, that with onspeakable Joy and Delight employs their Intuitive Knowledge, yet they chiefly express their Love by being always on the Wing at his Command, by being, as the pfalmift speaks, His Ministers that dae his. Pleasure ; his Angels that excel in Strength, that doe bis Commandment, hearkning to the Voice of his Word. Pfal. 103. 20,.21. The perfectest Love of God, that ever was on Earth, and tho' on Earth, yet Equal or ra ther Superior to that of thofe Heavenly Spirits, had no other way of demonstrating and making visible it self to Mankind, but by doing his Will, as our Blessed Saviour tells us, That the World may know that I Love


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ibe Father', 'as the Fatbe gave me Commande ment, fo I doe. John 14. 3

It is hard to think, that That Ihould be a neceffary perfection in Religion design d for the Eternal Happiness of all, which bone but Philosophers, or Men that lead the Lives of Suchy I mean Sedentary and Contemplative Lives, are capable of. As if God had nor the fame regard to an Humble, Honest, Simple Christian, that ftudies diligently to serve him in a plain well meaning way, as to the moft fpeculative Perfon in the World. It is the Meek and Humble Soul that Chrift delights the most in, and it were well if fometimes those high Notions, bold Flights, and extravagant Expreffions, which Myftical Writers To much affect, did not puff up Mens Minds with too much Spiritual Pride to deserve that Character. And how apt this. Spiritual Pride which is the Counterfeit, is to extinguish Obedience which is the True Love of God, there have been deplorable Instances in another fort of Enthufiafts among us, of a much more dangerous and troublesome Spirit, not by a Pious Melancholy retir'd to the Wilderness, or by a rafh Vow confin'd to the Cloyster, but by an intemperate Zeal, bufy and adive upon the Publick Stage of the World. Those I mean, who having appropriated all Sanctity to themselves, and taken


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upon them to be the particular Favourites of God, have under a Colour of a more than Ordinary concern for his Cause and Zeal for his Truth , Broke through a lighted his most Express and Politiye Commands, even to the overthrowing of Churches, Kingdoms, and States; nor thought they could give Glory to God on High, unles they destroy'd Peace on Earth, and rooted out Good Will towards Men. And the same Prin ciples Iye lurking still, and may, whenever Time and Opportunity shall appear favourable, break forth into the same Publick Mischiefs, the fame fruitful feeds 'of all manner of Wickedness; 1 say Iye bid, whether they themselves are enough aware of it or no, in all those who have any other Notion of the Love of God, than what is confiftent with an exact conformity to his whole Reveald Will; or think that the greatest Excess of seeming Affection can Excuse, much less Authorize or Sanctifie the least Defect of Real Obedience. And yet alass! how frequent, how lamentable, are the mistakes in this Point? Is it any New or Unheard of thing to meet with Men who fancy themselves not only the higheft Lovers, but the highest Belov'd of God, if they are very Atrict in the Observance of some Religious Duties, demure and precise in their outward Carriage, flow

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