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only to this thing, that it is true, that Christ came into the world to save finners; but to this, that this is the way whereby God is and will be glorified. He will be glorified in pardoning fuch guilty creatures as we ar in imputing righteousness to such finners as we are. is glorified in laying all our iniquities on Chrift. this way, his righteousness, his love, his grace, and wi dom are all manifested; this is God's being glorified If our fouls come up to a free close with these things that all these properties are manifested in this way, that is an act of faith, and may the Lord help us unto it.
3. Let us gather up our minds to this institution, where. by these things are represented to us.' Here is represented the death of Christ, the immediate object of our faith, as God's ordinance. If the Lord help us to see it so represented to us, as that divine righteousness and wisdom, love and grace, do all centre therein and appear eminently to our souls, we shall have communion with God in this ordinance,
September 3. 1676.
OU have been minded of, and instructed in the
ture and benefit of our love to God; and I shall take occafion thence a little to mind you of the love of Chrift unto us, the love in an especial manner which he shewed in dying for us, which is that we are here gathered to. gether to remember and celebrate, not barely the death of Christ, but that which is the life of that death, the love of Christ in his death. And I would ground it en that which the apofle speaks in
Rom. y. 5,6.
The love of God is thed abroad in our hearts, by the Ho
ly Ghost which is given unto us.
This is that which I know you all long for, and prize above life; “the loving kindness of God is better than
Why so ? " For, (says he), when we were yet without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly."
An apprehension of the love of Christ as dying for us ungodly creatures, is that which is shed abroad in our hearts by. the Holy Ghost. Do not let your minds go upon uncertainties : when the Holy Ghoit gives you a due apprehension of Christ's love in dying for ungodly foners, as we are, then is this love shed abroad in our hearts. The apostle there proceeds to thew how great this love was, in that Christ died: he died, not for good inen, and righteous men, and for friends, but he died for the ungodly, for finners, and for enemies. This was great love indeed. We are here to remember that love of Christ where with he gave himself to death for us, when we
enemies, and would have continued fo to eternity, had he not loved us, and given himself for us.
Brethren, if we barely remember the love of Christ in the way of an ordinance, and our hearts be not powerfully affected with it, we are in danger of being disadvantaged by our attendance. Pray remember it ; you know how plainly I use to speak on these occasions ; I say, we have frequent opportunities of remembering, the love of Christ in dying for us, in this ordinance representing of it; but if our hearts be not not powerfully influenced and affected by it, we shall be losers by the frequency of ordinances.
I will add one word more; according as our hearts are affected with the love of Christ, fo will be our love to Christ, and no otherwise. And truly, even that faith which discovers too much selfishness is very dangerous. If we come here to act faith, to look for no other effect
of it, but what evidence and sense we have of the pare don of onr lins, how our consciences may be quieted and cleared, faith ends in felf; it is dangerous left it ihould be only a brauch from, and commensurate with convictions. True faith acting itfelf on Christ in this ordinance, will work by love unto Chrift: I would not say, principally, or in the first place; I know poor creatures are apt to look after themselves, and their own relief; but it will fo work also: and truly, brethren, this it will not do, we shall not have faith working by love towards him, unless we have some sense of the love of Christ on our hearts.
How shall we know, whether our hearrs are under the powerful influence of the love of Christ in dying for us? Why, the love of Christ in dying for us has three properties with it, which will have an influence on our souls, if we are affected with it.
1. It has a transforming power, property, and efficacy with it. They are plain truths I am speaking, but of great concern io our souls, to know whether we are affected with the love of Christ or not. If we are rightly affected with it, I say, it will transform and change our whole souls in some measure into the likeness of Chrift. How fo? I will tell you in the most familiar manner I am able : If you are affected with the love of Christ, it lays hold upon, and poffeffes your affe&tions; the affections being pofseffed, ftir up many thoughts; thoughts are the very image of the foul, reprefent it, to fhew you what the foul is : and those things concerning which your thoughts do most abound, that carries the frame of the soul. Let a man profess what he will, if his thoughts are generally conversant about worldly things, he has an earthly and worldly mind; and if his thoughts are converfant about sensual things, he has a sensual and carnal mind; for whatever he may ontwardly say, as he thinks so is he; there is the image and likeness of the foul.
Now, if we are affected with the love of Christ, it will teget in our souls many thoughts of Christ, in our lying down and in our rifing up, in our beds, in our ways, on our occasions, as well as in ordinances. If indeed our hearts are affected with the love of Christ, our
thoughts of Christ will abound, and those thoughts will work again on our affections, and conform our souls more and more unto the image of Jelus Christ. "That man who thiuks much of the earth, because affected with it, his foul is like the earth; and that man who thinks much on the love of Christ, because he is affected with it, his foul is like Chrift.
If it has not been thus with us, brethren, in our preparation, for this ordinance, or at any time, that thoughts of Christ have not abounded, verily there has been a failing in us. Let us strive for the future to amend it, that we may find the love of Christ begetting in us many thoughts of him, working upon our affections, and with a transforming power changing the frame of our fouls into his own likeness.
Again, 2. The love of Chrift, if we are affected with it, has an attractive power." John xii. 23." And I, if I be lifted up, will draw all men unto me.” I cannot Hay to thew you the drawing power and efficacy there is in the love of Christ when dying on the cross; but this I will say, it is that which converted the world of all that did believe. It was the love of Christ, set forth in his death us one crucified for them, that drew all men unto him. “ When I am lifted up, when I have accomplished, manifested and evidenced the unspeakable love which I have for the finful fons of men, in being lifted up for them, I will draw them unto me."
If you have a true sense, brethren, of the love of Christ in dying for
you, it will draw your fouls unto him. “ Draw me, we will run after thee." I do not now fpeak to you about the first drawing of Christ, which is as unto believing; I hope Christ has so drawn all our fouls; but the following efficacy of the love of Christ, to draw fouls that do believe nearer uuto him. Whoever is fenfible of this attractive power of the death of Christ, it will have this efiicacy upon him, it will have adherence and delight; it will caule him more to cleave to Christ. The foul will cleave to Christ with delight, that is affected with the attractive drawing power of his Joving kindness in his death. There is a great deal in that word, “ Cleave unto Christ with love and delight," with the best of our affections and dearest of our valua.
Cant. i. 4•
It is a
tions, to cleave to him with trust, and to him alone. do but remind you of what you know, that
you may reduce it into practice. Pray, in this ordinance, labour to have such a sense of the drawing power of the love of Christ in his death, that you may resolve to cleave unto him with full purpose of heart, to cleave unto this Christ who has thus loved us.
3. Whenever we are affected with the love of Chrift, it is accompanied with a conftraining power, 2 Cor. v. 14. “ The love of Christ constraineth us,"
" and that constraint is unto obedience; it constrains us to judge, that we ought to live to him who died for us. blefled thing, brethren, to walk in our obedience under a sense of the constraining efficacy of the love of Christ. Take but this one word to discover to you, whether
you walk in your obedience under a sense of the constraining power of Christ, it comprehends all others, 1 Jolin v. 3.
“ His commandments are not grievWhen a loul works out of love, what it doth is not grievous. And the inward and outward commands of Christ will be grievous to all that are not under the constraining power and efficacy of his love.
I have no more to say, but only to tell you, that we fhould labour to have our hearts affected with the love of Christ in this ordinance. I have shewed you the danger, if it be otherwise; and given you some ways to examine your hearts, whether they are so affected or not, The Lord grant, that where they are, it may be increafed; and where they are not, that God would renew it by his Spirit in us.
Otober 29. 1676.
E have had, through the providence of God, so
good and seasonable a word unto the present occasion, that there is no need, as well as but little time to offer any thing farther unto you. Yet a few words,