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eternity-pleasing himself with, and dwelling with pleasure on, his own knowledge of the love wherewith he hath loved them. This is love which only can be known to God himself. Yet, all this is included and contained in what Jehovah exprefses, when he says to his church collectively, and to every member of it individually, "I have "loved thee with an everlasting love." God's love far exceeds and infinitely surmounts all the knowledge and enjoyment, which saints can possibly have of it on earth through the unction of the Holy Ghost. And it will for ever and ever infinitely exceed all the knowledge and enjoyment of it, that saints will be favoured with in eternal glory. God, in the person of the Father, hath loved the elect to an infinite degree. Their persons have been the objects of his ineffable love, complacency, and delight before all worlds. Out of his own love, and from hearty good-will and liking unto them, he hath from everlasting bestowed upon them in Christ all spiritual blefsings; his heart went out towards them from everlasting. He gave vent to his love; and it was the good pleasure of his will to love them to the uttermost manifestation of it. "To love them with his whole
a Jer. xxxi. 3.
"heart and with his whole soul, and to "rejoice over them to do them good'.' "To rejoice over them with joy. To rest in his love. To joy over them "with singing." Our Lord, speaking of his Father's love to the elect, says to him, "Thou hast loved them as thou "hast loved med." O stupendous grace! The love of God in the person of his Son also, with the outgoings of it towards the elect from everlasting, is incomprehensible. He says, "As the Fa"ther hath loved me, so have I loved youc.
We have an open proof of it in the book of Proverbs, where he says, speaking of his divine Father, "I was daily "his delight, rejoicing always before
him, rejoicing in the habitable part of "his earth, and my delights were with "the sons of men." Paul cries out with rapture, "The Son of God loved me!" God in the person of the Holy and Eternal Spirit also had his love from everlasting equally fixed on the elect. The co-equal and co-efsential Three viewed the elect bride and spouse of Christ as presented in divine predestination to the God-man; and as the Lord her God delighted in her beauty as an
b Jer. xxxii. 41.
f Gal. ii. 20.
Zeph. iii. 17.
e John xv. 9.
eternal excellency and the glory of Christ; so they exprefsed their joys in all their mutual love, will, and decrees in Christ towards her. This is a great mystery, which faith alone in the believer as enlightened by the Holy Spirit into a saving knowledge of Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, as made known in the person of the God-man, and through him to the elect, can perceive. For, as the Lord rejoices in his works, surely he must have rejoiced with inconceivable. joy in the everlasting love displayed by the sacred counsel and transactions of the divine persons, respecting the good pleasure of their will towards the elect; seeing that through the God-man, the eternal Three will receive everlasting honour, glory, worship, blefsing, and praise, to the perfect acknowledgment of their undivided Godhead, from all the saints for ever and ever.-And, art thou, O my soul, enlightened by the Holy Ghost into a scriptural of these truths? Dost thou know the mystery of God, and of the Father, and of Christ; and see the mystery of everlasting love shining forth towards thee, and upon thee in the face of Jesus Christ? Blefs the Lord, O my soul, and all that is within me blefs his holy name! Thou mayest by faith view all the love of God breaking forth, in its
full meridian splendour on thee, in the face of Jesus Christ. O holy Spirit, who proceedest from the Father and the Son, descend into my heart, and glorify the Father and the Son, by taking of the things of Christ and shewing them to me, and shed abroad the love of the Father in my heart, and give me a real sense, enjoyment, and experience of the Father's love to me in Jesus. Help me to rejoice in believing that all the benefits of it are enjoyed by faith on earth, and will be enjoyed by sense in Heaven through the immaculate Lamb. Enlighten my mind to apprehend, and quicken my heart to believe, how all the communicable blefsings of the Trinity will be enjoyed in beholding Christ's glory, and in immediate fellowship with him. And to the Father, the Son, and the Spirit, the incomprehensible Three in the one Jehovah, be eternal praise. Amen.
How the Eternal Three, as the God of all grace, displayed their love and mercy towards and on the elect, in their fallen state and sinful circumstances.
S from everlasting the Three in Jehovah were pleased to will the communication of their love and blessedness, in the manifestation thereof to the elect of human race, to the uttermost of their created capacities, and to the utmost display and manifestation of the riches of their glorious grace; so it pleased God, Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, having decreed the being and well-being of the elect in Christ to an inconceivable degree of happiness and perfection, to pre-ordain the elect to sustain a variety of changes; that, by their passing through various states, they might more sensibly be led to admire, praise, and adore the Holy and Essential Three, as the God of all grace. Jehovah's will is his rule, and his glory his ultimate end in the whole display of all his vast designs and eternal purposes of GRACE, both towards Christ, God-man, and the elect who have their being in him, and who derive all spiritual life.