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SER. CX. He loved: O! this act is glorious like himself. His love must be an infinitely wife love; for, he is wisdom: a powerful love, able to bring about all his lovely defigns, that infinite wisdom contrives. It must be an infinitely holy love; love accompanied with holiness, love accompanied with jultice, love accompanied with goodness and truth. He is an infinitely true and faithful Lover, and hence, Whom be loves, be loves to the end.-As his love is accompanied with all divine perfections, fo with all loving offices: as a Prophet, his love is teaching love, inftructing love, enlightening, directing, counfelling, and conducting love.. As a Prieft, his love is juftifying and pardoning love; reconciling, peace-making and accepting love. As a King, his love is foul-conquering, fin-fubduing love. As a Shepherd, his love is leading and feeding love. As a Surety, his love is debt-paying love. As a Store-house, his love is fupplying love. As he is a Doer, his love is active love. As a Sufferer, it is paffive love.His love is accompanied with all loving relations as a Father, it is pitying love; as a Hufband, it is cherifhing love. As a Phyfician, it is healing love. As a Friend, it is helping love. As an Advocate, it is plead ing and interceding love, As a Mediator between God and man, it is interpofing love.-His love is alfo fuited to his nature, as he is God-man: as God, there is divinity in it; it is divine love, and as MAN, there is humanity in it; it is a humane and a natural love. And as God-man in one perfon, his love must be a divinely-humane, and humanely-divine love. The act is in the præterit tenfe, He loved: when did his love commence and begin? Indeed, it is as ancient as from eternity, and as lafting, as to eternity, He loved in the counfel of peace, and it may be called a confulting love about our falvation, before the world began. He loved in the tranfaction between the Father and him, and then it was an undertaking love. He loved in the publication of this merciful design immediately after the fall; and there we fee it a promifing love. He loved in the manifestation of himfelf in our nature, to accomplish the promife, and there we fee it a performing love. O! but this act, be loyed, hath many wonders in it! But this will the better


appear, if we confider the object of his love, or the perfon, whom he loved. This is the

Third word in the text, He loved ME; Me, that am fo wicked, fo wretched, fo unworthy! O! that every one here were, by faith putting in their Me; He loved me; Me, fays Paul, that was a blafphemer; me, that was a perfecuter; me, that was injurious; me, that was a vile mifcreant! O! that he fhould love fuch miferable me's as we are; fo unworthy of his love, fo unlike to his love; and in whom he found greater reason to hate than to love! That God fhould love the glorious angels, is no wonder; for they are meffengers and minifters executing his pleafure, Pfalm ciii. 20. That he fhould love good men or faints, is not frange; because they love him, and can fay to him, "O thou, whom my foul loveth," Song i. 6. Yea, that he fhould love the fenfelefs, inanimate creatures, whether in the heaven above us, or, in the earth about us, is not ftrange; for, the fun, moon, and stars run their courfe; they fland still, or go forward, as he commands them; yea, "The fire, hail, fnow, and vapour, and ftormy wind fulfil his word,” Pfalm cxlviii. 8. But to love us, that were enemies, traitors, rebels, and run away prodigals, and profligate finners; He loved me, guilty me, filthy me, weak me, wicked me: O! How does God commend his love? and commend it to the highest degree of mercy, when it is extended to these that are in the lowest pit of fin and mifery, Rom. v. 8. "Ged commendeth his love to us, in that while we were yet finners, Chrift died for us;" while we were yet enemies and outcafts, lying in our blood: a rare commendation indeed, ver. 10. "While we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son." To love fuch was an unexpected and unparalleled, but a molt merciful love. He that wanted nothing, loved us, that had nothing, and worse than nothing. O the wonders of his love! that the King of heaven fhould love wretched earth; that eternity fhouldlove death; and, that immortality fhould love duft and afhes; yea, that infinite holinefs fhould love fuch as were a mafs of fin! He firft loved us, 1 John iv. 19. not only when we could not love him, but alfo afterward, when we would not love G4


him. If a man had the tongues of men and angels, he could not exprefs this love, wherewith this great majefty, the Son of God, loved fuch misery, the fons of men; and wherewith he loved me, fays Paul; and wherewith he loved me, may you fay.

But, Oh! there is the difficulty, fay you, I cannot win to put in that ME, and fay, He loved me. Indeed it is no wonder, if many here cannot fay it, if they have not learned the language by which it is faid: I must tell you, it is not the language of earth, but the langu age of heaven, Rev. i. 5. " He loved us, and washed us from our fins in his own blood:" and fo here is the language of heaven upon earth, He loved me, and gave himfelf for me. But, why can you not speak this language? Why, because it cannot be spoken right, but by the mouth of faith. It is not the language of fenfe, nor of unbelief, but the language of faith; The life I now live, fays the apoftle here, is by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me. The faith, by which he lived, was the faith by which he spoke this language: now, if the Spirit of faith mix in with the hearing, and the grace of faith be given in any lively act of it this day, it will coft faith but a word, to fay, He loved me.

QUEST. But, what ground hath faith for this lan guage?

ANSW. The ground is in the general word of grace, from which faith draws the particular inference. The word fays, He came to fave finners; he loved finners; he loved enemies; he loved rebels, and gave himself for them. Unbelief, indeed, will put in its objection, faying, "Well, but did he love them all? Did he die for them all? Did he elect them all? Perhaps, you was never defigned to fhare of his love."—" Away, fays faith, away with these needlefs difputes of the devil, and of unbelief: my life and falvation is at the stake; I have no time to lofe. Let thefe that have no need of a Saviour, ftay, and debate these matters with the devil, and their unbelieving hearts. I have prefent use for this Saviour, for my prefent and future falvation; and I fee he is come to fave finners, and that is my




He loved enemies; that is my name. He loved rebels, and received gifts for the rebellious; that is my name. I fee, the Mafter calls me; he invites me by my name; and therefore, in fpite of unbelief, in fpite of the devil, in fpite of my fin and guilt, I will venture to fay, upon the credit of his word, He loved me; even guilty me, filthy me." Here is the language of faith, He loved me, and that when I was in the worst circumftances. The cafe ftands with us, as with Ezekiel's wretched infant, Ezek. xvi. 2, We have an Amorite for our father, and a Hittite for our mother. We are born and conceived in fin, all foul, and full of corruptions and there is nothing in us to allure him to love us, but rather to provoke him to loath us. What moved him to love us? Thousands of angels ftand about him; and ten thousand times ten thoufand minifter unto him." Tho' we had been good and upright, he needed us not; but, being bad and vile, whence arifes this love? Our wages is death, his gift is life. We had mifery from our parents, and have been parents for our own great misery: a fit object for fo great a God to look upon, He loved me; I was miferable in thraldom to fin and Satan: but he hath ranfomed me. I was a captive to the power of hell, and justice was inraged against me: but he hath fatisfied his own juftice for me. And this brings to the proof of this love, which is contained in the fecond part of the text,




GAL. ii. 20.

The life which I live in the flesh, I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.

[The fecond Sermon on this Text.]

THE fecond thing in the text is, He gave himself

for me.

what comfort to hear, that he loved us, and not to understand, wherein? Why, here it is, He gave himself for me: where again every


word amplifies his exceeding love: here is a marvellous act, it is a giving, intimating, the freeness of the undertaking; a marvellous Giver, the Son of God; a marvellous gift, He gave HIMSELF; he could give no greater, no better thing: a marvellous object! for whom? for me.

1. We may observe the Giver, or the glorious perfon giving. As, I faid, the quality of the Lover magnifies the love, fo the quality of the giver magnifies the gift. And the worthinefs and excellency of the perfon will if confider him, as a man; "He took on our appear, you nature," and here even in its loweft degree. It is a wonder, that man fhould give himself for man; for, fcarcely for a righteous man will one die, Rom. v. 7. But, this man gave himfelf for the unrighteous.-Confider him again as a good man, an innocent man. Pilate was obliged to own, what his wife faid, that he was a juft man; and God the Father owns him to be his righteous Servant. It was this righteous One, that gave himfelf. Confider him again, as a great man, royally defcended from the ancient patriarchs, and kings of Judah, the true born King of the Jews, as Pilate ftiles him, and could not, would not alter it. The leaft part of his difgrace had been too much for one of meaner descent yet this man, this good man, this great man gave himself to the greatest calumnies and cruelties for us.-Yea but further, confider him as more than a man; not only the greatest of men, but greater than the greatest, fairer than the faireft; Fairer than the children of men;' for he was the Son of God, as the centurion acknowleges him, even when hanging upon the cross; Truly this was the Son of God;" this man was the great God, our Saviour, Tit. ii. 13.; the great God, who gave himself for us, &c. It is true, it is faid, the Father gave him, John iii. 16. "God fo loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, &c.: and he spared him not, but delivered him up for us all," Rom. viii. 32. But, we fee, what Chrift fays, John v. 18. " Whatfoever the Father doth, the fame things doth the Son." The love then, of the Father, in giving his Son, doth not extenuate, but amplify the riches of Chrift's mercy, who also gave him




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