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Serm.time. So that rebofaever bath, that is, knows IX. and loves the son, the fame bath the father

also, * It is apparent likewise that some of the principal motives of affection, proposed in scripture, to God, and to his fon, are the fame. The perfections of power, wisdom, holiness, and goodness are afcribed to both, The works that the father doth, the fame doth the son likewife. The worlds were made by bim, and in bim all things confift. He works with the father bitherto, in the providential care, and government of the world, If the divine attribute of perfect holiness is the most worthy of our esteem and imitation, our Lord Jesus Christ is alfa holy, harmless, undefiled, and separate from fin. ners, and has given us a most complete pata. tern of all amiable virtue, that we thould follow his steps. If the love of God ma. nifested to us, not only by the gifts of his providence, but especially by the benefit of our redemption, be an argument for our gratitude to him, the fame. conGderation should excite our love to Christ ;. for he loved us, and gave himself for us, to redeemi us from all our iniquity,

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And as moral excellence is the insepara-SERM. ble character of the Deity, fo that it is IX. absurd to pretend that we love him without loving it ; that we love the holieft and beft of all Beings, without loving holiness and goodness itself; the fame is true concern ing our Saviour, whom the fcripture always represents, as therefore altogether lovely; because he is altogether holy, and most compaffionate to finners, intending their happinefs by saving them from their fins. Indeed, the idea which the gospel principally intends to give us of him, is that of the image of the invisible God, the brighta nefs of the divine glory, as manifesting in the most conspicuous manner the moral perfeca tions, the essential purity, and infinite goodnefs of the Deity. And if we consider the humiliations, the sufferings and death of our Lord Jesus Christ, which indeed contain powerful motives to love him, it is the greatest abfurdity, and the highest dishonour to him, to separate these from what he intended to accomplish by them, namely the restoring and promoting true holinefs and virtue among men.

* He gave himself for us, to redeem us from all our: iniquities,

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* Titus ü. 14.

SERM and to purify unto himself a peculiar people IX. zealous of good works : He loved his

church, and gave himself for it ; that be might fanctify and cleanse it, with the washing of water, by the word; that he might prefent it unto himself a glorious church; not having Spot or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish*.

Upon the whole then, it is evident that the love of Christ, or the love of God, manifestly contains in it the love of righteousness and goodness, essentially importing a disposition to practise it; and if we mean any thing else separate from, and unconnected with this, we certainly deceive ourselves. Some seem to place it in an unintelligent zeal and warmth of imagination, without considering the true character of the object; expressing itself by an intemperate heat for fpeculative notions and external circumstances, supposed to belong to the religion of Christ, with violence against all, who are differently minded concerning them. But, surely a rational love to any person, is founded on just apprehensions of his real character, and it shows itself by a studious ignitation of him, and a constant endeavour

to

* Eph. V. 25, 26, 27,

to pleafe him in all things. - If an illustrious SERM. character be known to us only by description; IX. and yet more especially, if it falls within your own observation and acquaintance, the admiration of it naturally inclines us, as far as we can, to form ourselves

upon

the same model. And if he is loved as a good man, with whom we have to do in any relation, We will undoubtedly endeavour to recom* mend ourselves to his approbation, in our whole behaviour. This is the love which our Lord Jesus Christ requires of all his difciples, that they may be worthy of him, and this affection in a higher degree than is " allowed to father, mother, brother, fifter, any other person, or any other thing in this world.

Now, from all that has been said, the truth of our Saviour's declaration in the text fufficiently appears; that without-such love to him, as has been described, greater "love than we have to father, mother, or any thing in life, yea, than to life itself, we cannot be worthy of him, or be his fincere disciples. Indeed the declaration itself is enough to satisfy us in this point. For since Jesus Christ is the author of christianity, it is he only who must fix the terms of it.

Every

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SERM. Every man is at liberty, as to his entering
IX. into that profession: It is a voluntary act,

and he may choose for himself, whether he
will do it, or not. But as to the conditions,
he is not at liberty. They are established
by the author in the original institution un-.
alterably. But we may obferve, that what-,
ever other representations are given us of
the terms, they perfectly agree with this:
And in whatever true light we take chrif-
£ianity, it is impofüble to answer the design
of it, without coming up to what is here
required. If it be a divine religion, intended
to repair the moral blemishes and defects of
human nature, and restore men to innocence
and virtue, that they may be qualified for :
enjoying the favour of God; How can this
be accomplished without their being brought
to a prevailing love of innocence and virtue;
which, as I have shown you, is loving
Christ more than any thing else?

Again, let us consider that to be worthy of Christ, to be his true disciples, and obtain his acceptance, it is absolutely necessary that we should adhere to him inviolably, that we should hold fast the profession of our faith without wavering, and be stedfast and immovable in good works : For they only who

endure

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