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finners; and therefore it is as a finner, not as a faint, that you must fhew this love, faying, He loved me, a finner; me, a moft unlovely creature; me, an object of hatred and abhorrence. Unbelief makes a quite contrary improvement of this view, faying, Alas! this love cannot be to me: it must be faints, and holy perfons, and good folks that can fay, He loved me. Nay, but says faith, "He came not to call the righteous, but finners to repentance ;" and his name, as a Saviour, relates to finners and, in this gofpel, he is manifefting his teaching love, to blind, ignorant finners; his pardoning love, toward guilty finners; and his conquering love, toward captive finners, and fuch an one am I: therefore, as a finner of that fort, I will venture on this love, and conclude, He loved me. Again,

(2.) It is in the view of being, not only a finner, but a chief finner, that the foul applies this love; for, "Chrift came to fave finners, of whom I am the chief; I was a blafphemer, a perfecutor, and injurious; yet, He loved me, fays Paul; for, I obtained mercy," notwithftanding what I was, and what I am; for the gospel makes no exception; Jefus Chrift came to fave finners, and fo proclaims his good-will towards men. Here alfo unbelief ftarts up, faying, No doubt, if finners may apply this love and grace to themfelves, yet not fuch finners as I am not fuch a guilty finner, fuch a filthy finner, fuch a black finner, fuch a bloody finner, fuch a backfliding finner, that have returned again unto folly. Nay, but fays faith, If he faid to me, when I was in my blood, Live; and loved me, when I was in my blood before; and made me accept of his love offer, and fay, He loved me; may I not again venture upon his grace and love, when his love is a-new manifefted in his word of grace to me, and fo take it home to myfelf with a Me, Me? The greater my fins are, the greater is his love to me; and the more will I fay, with admiration and aftonishment, He loved ME; even me, the blackeft; me, the vileft; me, a run-away; me, a rebel; me, a dog; me, a devil, a monster !

2. Confider in what capacity you ought to view Christ, in order to this applying act of faith.

(1.) You

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(1.) You are to view him as one in whom is all divine fulness, for the benefit of poor miferable finners; fulnefs, not for himself, but for you: fay not, What is it to me, that he is fo full? Yea, it is for thee: "He received gifts for men, even for the rebellious,” Pfalm. lxviii. 18. And the reafon of his communicating that fulness, is his own free grace; "He hath mercy, becaufe he will have mercy."

(2.) You are to view him as one, whofe glory and perfection it is to give out himfelf and his fulness; for, "He is exalted to give repentance and remiffion of fins." Thus it is his honour and exaltation to give out grace. There is a two-fold glory of Chrift, the glory of his perfon, as the Son of God; and the glory of his office, as Mediator: the former is infinitely complete, admitting of no diminution or augmentation, being unchangeably the fame for ever and ever; but the glory and perfection of his office, as Mediator, is ftill more and more complete, the more finners he receives, and the more grace he gives out: hence the church is called his fulnefs; and hence, faints are called the glory of Chrift; and hence Chrift is faid to be glorified in them: and John xvi. 14. "The Spirit, fays Chrift, fhall glorify me; for he fhall receive of mine, and fhall fhew it unto you."

(3.) You are to view him, as one, not only ready, but willing to receive finners that come to him, and welcome then, in coming and applying him to themselves, by a particular appropriating faith; but alfo rejoicing in nothing more heartily, and delighting in nothing more sweetly, than in finners their coming to him, and matching with him: this is what he rejoiced in the thoughts of from eternity; "I was daily his delight, rejoicing always before him. Rejoicing in the habitable parts of the earth, and my delights were with the fons of men," Prov. viii. 30, 31. His joy is fresh, when the finner is actually efpoused to him; "Go forth, O ye daughters of Zion, and behold king Solomon with the crown wherewith his mother crowned him, in the day of his efponfals, and in the day of the gladɩ nefs of his heart, Seng iii. 11. He fhall fee the travail of his foul, and fhall be fatisfied," Ifa. liii, 11. Yea, he delights and rejoices in this efpoufals for ever: as he


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rejoiced in the thought of it from eternity, fo he will do fo unto eternity; "And I will betroth thee unto me for ever; yea, I will betroth thee unto me in righteousness, and in judgment, and in loving-kindness, and in mercies. I will even betroth thee unto me in faithfulness, and thou shalt know the Lord," Hof. ii. 19, 20. The efpoufals are everlasting.

(4.) You are to view him as one, that hath no will to take a refulal at the finner's hand; and that will admit of no excufe to hinder your coming to him, and closing with him for thyfelf, as a match for thee, or hinder his accepting of thee. What is it that will hinder? Is it the broken law? No; he hath fulfilled it; yea, magnified the law, and made it honourable.-Is it offended juftice: No; he hath fatisfied juftice: and therefore God fays, "I have found a ranfom."-Is it outward meanness and baseness? No; tho' thou wert cloathed in rags, if thou hast a mind for Chrift, he will accept of thee; for, "To the poor the gofpel is preached:" fee 1 Cor. i. 26, 27, 28.-Is it inward blacknefs and deformity? No; "Tho' you have lien among the pots, ye fhall be as the wings of a dove, covered with filver, and her feathers with yellow gold:" fee Ifa. i. 18. xliii. 24, 25. lvii. 17. Chrift marries none, but these who are finners, that he may have the honour to take away their fin.-Is it former refusals of him? No; tho' thou haft defpifed many gracious offers: fee Prov. i. 21, 22, 23. They refufed long, and were long fcorners. "How long, ye fcorners, will ye delight in fcorning? &c. Turn ye at my reproof: behold, I will pour out my Spirit unto you; I will make known my words unto you.” Is it any backfliding, or revolting of thine from him, after fome kindly working of heart toward him? No; "Thou haft played the harlot with many lovers; yet return again unto me, faith the Lord. Return thou backfliding Ifrael, faith the Lord, and I will not caufe mine anger to fall upon you; for I am merciful, and will not keep mine anger for ever," Jer. iii. 1. 12.—Is it that he never faved the like of you, and that there is no finner like you? No, no; for there is none like him for a Saviour; "Who is like unto the God of Jefurun?" Yea, what if your vileness and unworthinefs qualify you for him? as one faid, My wants and unworthinefs qualify me for Chrift.

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[2] We fhall now conclude with a word to these who have attained this appropriating faith, which hath in its nature this property of applying Chrift with a Me, Me; He loved MF, and gave himself for ME. Have you win to make application upon the ground of the word of grace? Then, O believer,

1. Be very thankful. Tell me, when you was under a fenfe of fin, a fear of hell and wrath, what would you have given for the things you now partake of? And what was your refolution, in cafe God fhould deliver your bonds of fear and dread? Therefore now you from perform your vows of gratitude, and glorify God: for this end he made heaven and earth, and every creature, that he might get glory. And ought, not you, efpecially to glorify him, not only in your heart, but also in your life and walk?

2. Be very humble; for, "Who made you to differ?" Know you not, that thoufands and millions are going to hell every day, who are in many refpects better than you? Yet, out of fovereign grace you are plucked, as a brand out of the burning; and they are paffed by, without ever getting grace to improve the warrant they have of applying Chrift to themselves by faith, for their falvation.

3. Be very active in making progrefs; know that your falvation is but begun, all is not over: you have much work ado, a great warfare to accomplish; therefore, prefs forward, forgetting the things that are behind: let. your faith work by love.

4. Be very confcientious, that you may be in cafe to fay, "Herein do I exercife myself, to keep a confcience void of offence toward God, and toward man." This will be a continual feaft; and faith will be evidenced and furthered this way.


5. Take care, that you never mifconftru&t the providence of God, however hard and trying; knowing, that whatever his outward difpenfations be, yet he is ftill the fame, and his word is ftill the fame. Beware of putting harfh commentaries upon his dealings and difpofals. Have you believed his love with particular application, upon the ground of his own word of grace? Then let his


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word of grace and promife be the rule of your judging of his love, and not any alteration of your inward frame or outward lot.

6. Endeavour to maintain your relation to him, even under all dark providences, hidings, and defertions, faying, "My God, my God," even when you have occafion to fay, "Why haft thou forfaken me?"

7. Live near your ftrength; and let the life you live be by the faith of the Son of God. "He that abideth in me, and I in him, bringeth forth much fruit." Renounce all confidence in the flesh, and in every piece of duty: "Go in his ftrength," for affistance, “making mention of his righteoufnefs," and his only for acceptance: fo thus maintain the life of faith that is begun.

8. Let it be your care and study to get others called effectually, as well as you: endeavour to call them out of darknefs by your fhining light; "Let your light shine in darknefs:" and particularly endeavour to open up the grounds of faith to them, that they may fee what ground they have, as well as you, to make particular application of Chrift to themselves, and to embrace him for their falvation. If you have been brought to a Me, Me; He loved ME, and gave himself for ME; you will defire alfo that others may partake with you, because there is enough in him for them and you both.

9. In a word, plead the promise of the Spirit for caufing you to walk in his ftatutes, and enabling you to continue in the faith; and in this applicatory way of believ ing his love, that fo his love may constrain you to his fervice; and that the joy of the Lord may be your strength while you ftand to it by faith, faying, He loved ME, and gave himself for ME.

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