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That this communion with the Father in love may be made the more clear and evident, I shall shew two things:
[1.] Wherein this love of God unto us, and our love to him do agree, as to some manner of analogy and likeness.
[2.] Wherein theyo differ; which will farther discover the nature of each of them.
[1.] They agree in two things.
(1st.) The love of God is so ; Zeph. iii. 17. ^ The Lord thy God in the midst of thee is mighty; he will save, he will rejoice over thee with joy, he will rest in his love, he will joy over thee with singing. Both these things are here assigned unto God in his love; Prest and delight. The words are inan82 vuon, he shall be 'silent because of his love.' To rest with contentment is expressed by being silent; that is without repining, without complaint. This God doth upon
the account of his own love, so full, so every way complete and absolute, that it will not allow him to complain of any thing in them whom he loves, but is silent on the account thereof. Or rest in his love, that is, he will not remove it; he will not seek farther for another object. It shall make its abode upon the soul where it is once fixed, for ever.
And complacency or delight; ‘he rejoiceth with singing,' as one that is fully satisfied in that object he hath fixed his love on. Here are two words used to express the dea light and joy that God hath in his love: vr and sign. The first denotes the inward affection of the mind, joy of heart; and to set out the intenseness hereof, it is said, he shall do it innva in gladness, or with joy; to have joy of heart in gladness is the highest expression of delight in love. The latter word denotes not the inward affection, but the outwarde demonstration of it: ayalliāv seems to be formed of it. It is to exult in outward demonstration of internal delight and joy. Tripudiare:' to leap, as men overcome with some joyful surprisal. And therefore, God is said to do this 77372, with a joyful sound, or singing ; to rejoice with gladness of heart, to exult with singing and praise, argues the greatest delight and complacency possible. When he would express the contrary of this love, he says, oủk &údóknoe, he was not well pleased; 1 Cor. x. 5. he fixed not his delight, nor rest on them. And if any man draw back, the Lord's soul hath no pleasure in him ;' Heb. x. 38. Jer. xxii. 28. Hos. viii. 8. Mark i. 10. He takes pleasure in those that abide with him. He sings to his church, a vineyard of red wine, I the Lord do keep it ;' Isa. xxvii. 3. Psal. cxlvii. 11. cxlix. 4. There is rest and complacency in his love. There is in the Hebrew, but a metathesis of a letter between the word that signifies a love of will and desire (anx is so to love), and that which denotes a love of rest and acquiescency (which is, nax) and both are applied to God. He wills good to us, that he may rest in that will. Some say ayatậv, “to love,' is from ayav móteodai, perfectly to acquiesce in the thing loved. And when God calls his Son, ảyatntòv, 'beloved,' Matt. iii. 17. he adds as an exposition of it, tv ý £údóknoa, in whom I rest well pleased.
• Ανάλαγον δ' εν απάσαις ταϊς καθ' υπεροχήν ούσαις φιλίαις, και την φίλησιν δεϊ γίνεσθαι, &c. Arist. Eth. lib. 8. cap. 7.
P Effectus amoris quando habetur amatum, est delectatio. Thom. 12. q. 25. a. 2. 1. Amor est complacentia amantis in amato. Amor est niotus cordis, delectantis se in aliquo. August.
9 Externum magis gaudii gestum, quam internam animi lætitiam significat, cum velut tripudiis et volutationibus gaudere se quis ostendit. Pagnin. 52a; lætitia gestiit, animi lætitiam gestu corporis expressit, exilivit gaudio. Calas.
2dly. The return that the saints make unto him to complete communion with him herein, holds some analogy with his love in this; for it is a love also oft rest and delight. Return to thy rest, O my soul,' says David ; Psal. cxvi. 7. He makes God his rest; that is, he in whom his soul doth rest, without seeking farther, for a more suitable and desirable object; Whom have I,' saith he, ' in heaven but thee? and there is none upon earth that I desire besides thee;' Psal. lxxiii. 25. Thus the soul gathers itself from all its wanderings, from all other beloved's, to rest in God alone, to satiate and content himself in him, choosing the Father for his present and eternal rest. And this also with delight; 'Thy lovingkindness,' saith the psalmist, ‘is better than life, therefore, will I praise thee;' Psal. lxiii. 3. Than life, ”no before lives. I will not deny, but life in a single consideration sometimes is so expressed. But always emphatically; so that the whole life, with all the concernments of it, which may render it considerable, are thereby intended. Austin on this place, reading.itt 'super vitas,' extends it to the several courses of life that men engage themselves in. Life in the whole continuance of it with all its advantages whatever, is at least intended. Supposing himself in the jaws of death, rolling into the grave through innumerable troubles, yet he found more sweetness in God, than in a long life, under its best and most noble considerations, attended with all enjoyments that make it pleasant and comfortable. From both these, is that of the church in Hosea xiy. 3. • Ashur shall not save us, we will not ride upon horses, neither will we say any more to the works of our hands, Ye are our gods; for in thee the fatherless find mercy.? They reject the most goodly appearances of rest and contentment, to make up all in God, on whom they cast themselves as otherwise helpless orphans.
r Fecisti nos ad te, domine, et irrequietum est cor nostrum donec veniat ad te,
• Psal. xxxvii. 7. Isa. xxviii, 12. Heb. iv. 9.
The mutual love of God and the saints agree in this, that the way of communicating the issues and fruits of these loves, is only in Christ. The Father communicates no issue of his love unto us but through Christ; and we make no return of love unto him but through Christ; he is the treasure wherein the Father disposeth all the riches of his grace, taken from the bottomless mine of his eternal love, and he is the Priest into whose hand we put all the offerings, that we return unto the Father. Thence he is first, and by way of eminency, said to love the Son; not only as his eternal Son, as he was the delight of his soul before the foundation of the world; Prov. viii. 30. but also as our Mediator, and the means of conveying his love to us; Matt. iii. 17. John iii. 33. v. 21. x. 17. xv.9. xvii. 24. And we are said through him to believe in, and to have access to God.
1st. The Father loves us, and chooseth us before the foundation of the world ;' but in the pursuit of that love, he blesseth us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ;' Eph. i. 3, 4. From his love, he sheds or pours out the Holy Spirit richly upon us, through Jesus Christ our Saviour; Tit. iii. 6. In the pouring out of his love, there is not one drop falls besides the Lord Christ. The holy anointing oil, was all poured on the head of Aaron; Psal.
Super vitas: quas vitas? Quas sibi homines eligunt; alius elegit sibi vitam niegociandi, alius vitam rusticandi ; alius vitam fænerandi, alius vitam militandi, alius illam alius illam. Diversæ sunt vitæ, sed melior est misericordia tua super vitas nos. tras. Aug. Enarrat. in Psal. 62.
cxxxiii. 2. and thence went down to the skirts of his clothing. Love is first poured out on Christ ; and from him it drops as the dew of Hermon upon the souls of his saints. The Father will have him to have the pre-eminence in all things ; Col. i. 18. it pleased him, that in him all fulness should dwell;' ver. 19. ' that of his fulness we might receive, and grace for grace;' John i. 16. Though the love of the Father's purpose and good pleasure, have its rise and foundation in his mere grace and will, yet the design of its accomplishment is only in Christ. All the fruits of it, are first given to him ; and it is in him only that they are dispensed to us. So that though the saints may, nay, do see an infinite ocean of love unto them in the bosom of the Father, yet they are not to look for one drop from him, but what comes through Christ. He is the only means of communication. Love in the Father, is like honey in the flower; it must be in the comb, before it be for our use.
Christ must extract and prepare this honey for us. He draws this water from the fountain (through union and dispensation of fulness), we by faith, from the wells of salvation that are in him. This was in part before discovered.
2dly. Our returns are all in him, andby him also. And well is it with us, that it is so. What lame and blind sacrifices, should we otherwise present unto God. He "bears the iniquity of our offerings, and he adds incense unto our prayers. Our love is fixed on the Father, but it is conveyed to him, through the Son of his love. He is the only way. for our graces, as well as our persons to go unto God; through him passeth all our desire, our delight, our complacency, our obedience. Of which more afterward.
Now in these two things there is some resemblance, between that mutual love of the Father and the saints, wherein they hold communion.
2. There are sundry things wherein they differ.
(1.) The love of God is a love of bounty, our love unto him is a love of duty.
1st. The love of the Father is a love of bounty, a descending love. Such a love as carries him out to do good things to us, great things for us. His love lies at the bottom of all dispensations towards us : and we scarce any where find any
u Exod. xxviij. 38. Rev, viii. 3. John xiv. 6. Heb. x, 20--22.
mention of it, but it is held out as the cause and fountain of some free gift, flowing from it. He * loves us and sends his Son to die for us; he loves us, and blesseth us with all spiritual blessings. Loving is choosing ; Rom. ix. 11, 12. He loves us and chastiseth us. A love like that of the heavens to the earth, when being full of rain, they pour forth showers to make it fruitful; as the sea communicates his waters to the rivers; by the way of bounty, out of its own fulness: they return unto it only what they receive from it. It is the love of a spring, of a fountain, always communicating. A love from whence proceeds every thing that is lovely in its object. It infuseth into, and creates goodness in the persons beloved ;* and this answers the description of love given by the philosopher. To love, saith he, črtı Bouλεσθαι τινί & βιεται αγαθά, και κατά δύναμιν πρακτικών είναι τού
He that loves, works out good to them he loveth, as he is able. God's power and will are commensurate. What he willeth he worketh.
2dly. Our love unto God, is a love of duty : the love of a child. His love descends upon us in bounty and fruitfulness;- our love ascends unto him, in duty and thankfulness. He adds to us by his love, we nothing to him by ours. Our goodness extends not unto him. Though our love be fixed on him bimmediately, yet no fruit of our love reacheth him immediately; though he requires our love, he is not benefited by it; Job xxxv. 5-8. Rom. xi. 35. Job xxii. 2, 3. It is indeed made up of these four things: 1. Rest. 2. Delight. 3. Reverence. 4. Obedience. By these do we hold communion with the Father in his love. Hence God calls that love which is due to him as a Father, “honour :' Mal. i. 6. • If I be a Father, where is mine honour ?? It is a deserved act of duty.
(2.) They differ in this: The love of the Father unto us is an antecedent love, our love unto him is a consequent love.
1st. The love of the Father unto us is an antecedent love, and that in two respects.
* John iii. 16. Rom. v»8. Epb. i. 3, 4. 1 John iv. 9, 10. Heb. xii. 6. Rev. iii. 19.
Ο Εράν δε σεμνόν ουρανών πληρούμενον όμβρου, σεσείν εις γαίαν. Εurip. 2 Amor Dei est infundens et creans bonitatem in amatis. Th. p. p. q. 20. A. 2. C.
& Amor Dei causat bonitatem in rebus, sed amor noster causatur ab ea. b Dilectio quæ est appetativæ virtutis actus, etiam in statum viæ tendit in Deum primo et immediate. Th. 22. q. 27. a. 4.