Imatges de pàgina
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following the customs of this world bring us to SER M. blessedness? It were a dreadful thing, if in a mat-, VI. ter of so absolute neceflity, custom or inclination were to be the measure of the law which must govern us. And again,

[4.] 'I ADD in the next place, that it is true indeed that rulers do consider the tempers and inclinations of a people under their legiNature. And there is good reason they should do so, and not impose unnecessarily upon the people things of meer indifferency, and so run the hazard of urging them into tumults about matters of very little consequence. But sure there is no such need or reason that the great Author and LORD of all things should so much concern himself what the inclinations of those are whom he is to govern. If they dislike his laws, and have an inclination to tumultuate or rebel against him, let their dislike and inclination be as strong as it will, He that fitteth in the heavens will laugh, and bave them in derision; when they say, Let us break his bands afunder, and caft away his cords from us

[5.] There is a very great difference in the consideration of laws already made, and of laws to be made. This law was made for man when he was no way disinclined to the love of God. It is a law as ancient as his being. He had it as soon as he had the nature of man. It is therefore a part of the law of nature, and one of the most deeply fundamental things in that law; for

it

Psalm 11. 3, 41

VOL. it is made the summary, and wraps up all laws 1. whatsoever in it felf; for all is fulfilled in Love.

And what! was it reasonable or fit that this law, so suitable at first to the nature of man, should be then repealed, when he thought fit to break and violate it? That were a strange way of superseding the obligation of a law, that as soon as it is transgressed, it should oblige no longer ! Then may any subject be a fovereign; since there would be no need of any thing more to make a law cease to oblige him, than for him to disobey it.

[6.] CONSIDER that our not seeing God is so far from having a necessary tendency to preclude the love of him, that if things were with men as they should be, and as they have been with some in the world, it would very

much

promote our loving him. For though we cannot see him, yet we see many things that are great arguments, and should be powerful inducements to us to love him. It is true, we do not see God with our bodily eyes, but we see the effects of his wisdom, his goodness, his mercy and patience every where

and of his mighty power over all, especially over those who are for God \ and lovers of him,

If we take a view, as we can do with these eyes, of the beautiful and glorious works of his creation, we continually behold in the visible things that are made, the invisible power and godhead", which we are called upon to adore and love. And in the works of his providence

and

Rom. 1. 20.

and the ways of his dispensations towards men SERM. great arguments of love do daily occur. And VI. into what raptures of affection do we find holy fouls transported even by the help of their own eyes ! the things seen representing to them the great unseen object of love. In what an extafy do we find David; upon the view of the beauty and glory of this creation! How excellent is thy name in all the earth, O LOŘ D our LORD, who haft set thy glory above the beavense ! What put him into this rapture? The fight of his own eyes. He beheld the heavens, the work of God's hands, the moon and the stars which he had ordained; and therefore as he begins, so he ends the Psalm in a transport i How excellent is thy name in all the earth! And thus our own eyes may serve to be our instructors, and prompt us to the love of him the great author and original of all that glory, which we find every where diffused in this world.

Thé viewing Goo also in the ways of his providence, how hath it excited the love of holy men sometimes! When Moses and the children of Israel had seen that marvellous work of the sea divided, themselves conducted and brought safe through it; the waters made a wall on the right hand and on the left, and their enemies dead on the sea-shore, how did this set love on work in them ! how is the blessed God adored and admired upon the account of what their eyes had seen of him! Who, say they, a God like Vol. I. H

unto

. Pfal. yilla

VO L. unto thee? Who is like to thee among the Gods, I. glorious in holiness, fearful in praises, doing won

ders? And after the people of God had seen that great salvation wrought that we find recorded in the fourth chapter of Judges, what a mighty raisedness of heart do we find in the next chapter, all shut up in this, So let all thine enemies perish, O LORD, but let them that love him be as the sun when he goeth forth in bis might 8. Here was love set on work and raised to the height, so as even to pour out blessings upon all the lovers of God. What a phrase of benediction is that,' « Let all that love him be as the « sun when he goeth forth in his might!” which proceeded from the view of his excellent greatness.

So that this pretence, that God is not seen, doth not make it unreasonable or unfit that the duty of love to him should be imposed upon men by his law. They are not for this reason necessarily disinclined to love him, and therefore this excuse for not loving him is neither reasonable nor fit, nor can exempt men from the obligation, as the objection supposes. Let us then see,

2dly, What can be alledged to prove, that the love of God is most fit and reasonable to be the matter of a standing and indispensible law. And to this purpose, in order to shew how reasonable this is, we shall only note in general, that if any should object against the fitness of loving

GOD ! Exod. xv. II. 8 Judg. v. 31.

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God on this ground because he is not seen, and SE Ř M. affirm that for this reason men should not be re

VI. quired to love him ; what they have to say in this case, if it signifies any thing to the purpose, must be as strong an objection in all cases of like consideration, and must at last come to this ; that it is unreafonable and unfit that men should be affected with any thing they cannot see. But the falíhood hereof, and the reasonableness of this injunction upon men; may be gathered from this fourfold consideration ; to wit, that we may be as sure of the objects of the mind, as we can be of the objects of our sight; that those of the former fort are generally more excellent ; that we are concerned in them, as much at least, and in many of them infinitely more, than in the others ; and finally, that what can only be the object of the mind may be more intimately present with us, than those things which are the objects of sense. And if we can make out all these, which I hope we may, then it must be concluded that God is so much the more to be loved, yea infinitely more than any thing our eye can see or make a discovery of.

[1.] We may be as fure of the real existence of the objects of our mind, as we can be of any objects of our sight; or in other words, we may be as certain of the existence of invisible beings, as of visible ones. We may frame a notion of their existence with as much assurance, and form certain conclusions concerning their nature, though they are invisible to the bodily eye. We H 2

may

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