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right apprehensions of what he is, but also a sense of his glory and beauty in being such ; for such a knowledge of God as consists merely in speculation, let it rise ever so high, and be ever so clear, will never move us to love him. Mere speculation, where there is no sense of beauty, will no sooner fill the heart with love, than a looking-glass will be filled with love by the image of a beautiful countenance, which looks into it: and a mere speculative knowledge of God, will not, cannot, beget a sense of his beauty in being what he is, when there is naturally no disposition in our hearts to account him glorious in being such, but wholly to the contrary. Rom. viii. 7. The carnal mind is enmity against God. When natures are in perfect contrariety, (the one sinful, and the other holy,) the more they are known to each other, the more is mutual hatred stirred up, and their entire aversion to each other becomes more sensible. The more they know of one another, the greater is their dislike, and the plainer do they feel it. Doubtless the fallen angels have a great degree of speculative knowledge; they have a very clear sight and great sense of what God is: but the more they know of God, the more they hate him : i. e. their hatred and aversion is stirred up the more, and they feel it plainer. So, awakened sinners, when under deep and thorough conviction, have comparatively a very clear sight and great sense of God; but it only makes them see and feel their native enmity, which before lay hid. A sight and sense of what God is, makes them See and feel what his law is, and so what their duty is, and so what their sinfulness is, and so what their danger is: It makes the commandment come, and so sin revives, and they die—Rom. vii. 7, 8, 9. The clearer sight and the greater sense they have of what God is, the more plainly do they perceive that perfect contrariety between his nature and their's : their aversion to God becomes discernible: they begin to see what enemies they are to him: and so the secret hypocrisy there has been in all their pretences of love, is discovered; and so their high conceit of their goodness, and all their hopes of finding favour in the sight of God upon the account of it, cease, die away, and come to nothing. Sin revived and I
died. The greater sight and sense they have of what God is, VOL. I. S
the plainer do they feet that they have no love to him; but the greatest aversion; for the more they know of God, the more their native enmity is stirred up. So, again, as soon as ever an unregenerate sinner enters into the world of spirits, where he has a much clearer sight and greater sense of what God is, immediately his native enmity works to perfection, and he blasphemes like a very devil: and that although perhaps he died full of seeming love and joy. As the Galatians, who once loved Paul, so as that they could even have plucked out their eyes and have given them to him ; yet, when afterwards they came to know more clearly what kind of man he was, then they turned his enemies. And so, finally, all the wicked, at the day of Judgment, when they shall see very clearly what God is, will thereby only have all the enmity of their hearts stirred to perfection.—From all which it is exceedingly manifest, that the clearest speculative knowledge of God, is so far from bringing an unholy heart to love God, that it will only stir up the more aversion; and therefore, that knowledge of God which lays the foundation of love, must imply not only right apprehensions of what God is, but also a sense of his glory and beauty in being such”. Wicked men and devils may know what God is, but none but holy beings have any sense of his infinite glory and beauty in being such ; which sense in scripture-language, is called seeing and knowing. I John iii. 6. Whosoever sinneth, hath not seen him, neither known him. 3 John, ver. 11. He that doeth evil hath not seen God. 1 John ii. 4. He that saith, I know him, and keepeth not his commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him. Because wicked men have no sense of his glory and beauty, therefore they are said not to know God: For all knowledge without this is vain; it is but the form of knowledge. Rom. ii. 20. It will never enkindle divine love. And, in scripture, sinners are said to be blind, because, after all their light and knowledge, they have no sense of God's glory in being what he is, and so have no heart to love him. And hence also they are said to be dead. They know nothing of the ineffable glory of the divine nature, and the love of God is not in them. John v. 42. and viii. 19. 55. 2. Another thing implied in love to God is esteem. Esteem, strictly speaking, is that high and exalted thought of, and value for, any thing, which arises from a sight and sense of its own intrinsic worth, excellency, and beauty. So, a sense of the infinite dignity, greatness, glory, excellency, and beauty of the most high God, begets in us high and exalted thoughts of him, and makes us admire, wonder, and adore. Hence, the heavenly hosts fall down before the throne, and, under a sense of his ineffable glory, continually cry, Holy, holy, holy, Lord God Almighty, the whole earth is full of thy glory. And saints here below, while they behold, as in a glass, the glory of the Lord, are ravished; they esteem, they admire, they wonder, and adore ; and, under some feebler sense of the ineffable glory of the divine nature, they begin to feel as they do in heaven, and to speak their language, and say, “Who is a God like unto thee! thy name alone is excellent, and thy glory is exalted above the heavens.” This high esteem of God disposes and inclines the heart to acquiesce, yea, to exult, in all the high prerogatives God assumes to himself. God, from a consciousness of his own infinite excellency, his entire right to, and absolute authority over, all things, is disposed to take state to himself, and honour, and majesty, the kingdom, the power, and the glory; and he sets up himself as the most high God, supreme Lord, and sovereign Governor of the whole world, and bids all worlds adore him, and be in a most perfect subjection to him, and that with all their hearts; and esteems the wretch, who does not account this his highest happiness, worthy of eternal damnation. God thinks it infinitely becomes him to set up himself for a Go D, and to command all the world to adore him, upon pain of eternal damnation. He thinks himself fit to govern the world, and that the throne is his proper place, and that all love, honour, and obedience are his due. “I am the Lord, (says he,) and besides me there is no God. I am the Lord, that is my name, and my glory will I not give to another. And thus and thus shall ye do, for I am the Lord. And cursed be every one that continues not in all things written in the book of the law to do them.” Now, it would be infinitely wicked for the highest angel in heaven to assume any of this honour to himself; but it infinitely becomes the most high God thus to do. And when we see his infinite dignity, greatness, glory, and excellency, and begin rightly to esteem him, then his conduct, in all this, will begin to appear infinitely right and fit, and so infinitely beautiful and ravishing, and worthy to be rejoiced and exulted in. Psalm xci. 1. The Lord reigneth, let the earth rejoice : let the multitude of the isles be glad thereof. And a sight and sense of the supreme, infinite glory and excellency of the divine nature, will not only make us glad that he is GoD, and KING, and Gover No R; but also exceedingly glad that we live under his government, and are to be his subjects and servants, and to be at his disposal. It will show us the grounds and reasons of his law; how infinitely right and fit it is that we should love him with all our hearts, and obey him in every thing; how infinitely unfit and wrong the least sin is, and how just the threatened punishment: and, at the same time, it will help us to see that all the nations of the earth are as a drop of the bucket, or small dust of the balance, before him ; and that we ourselves are nothing, and less than nothing, in his sight. So that a right sight and sense of the supreme, infinite glory of God, will make us esteem him, so as to be glad that he is on the throne, and we at his footstool; that he is king, and we his
* I grant that if all our enmity against God arise merely from our conceiving him to be our enemy, then a manifestation of his love to our souls will cause our enmity to cease, and bring us to love him ; nor will there be any need of a sense of the moral excellency of his nature to produce it and so there will be no need of the sanctifying influences of the holy Spirit. A manifestation of the love of God to our souls will effectually change us—and thus a man may be under great terrors from a sense of the wrath of God, and may see the enmity of his heart in this sense ; and may afterwards have, as he thinks, great manifestations of the love of God, and be filled with love and joy ; and after all, never truly see the plague of his own heart, nor have his nature renewed: and a man's having experienced such a false conversion, naturally leads him to frame wrong notions of religion, and blinds his mind against the truth. Many of the -Antinomian principles take rise from this quarter.
subjects; that he rules and reigns, and that we are absolutely in subjection, and absolutely at his disposal. In a word, we shall be glad to see him take all that honour to himself which he does, and shall be heartily reconciled to his government, and cordially willing to take our own proper places; and hereby a foundation will begin to be laid in our hearts for all things to come to rights. Job xlii. 5, 6. I have heard of thee by the hearing of the ear : but now mine eye seeth thee. Wherefore I abhor myself and repent in dust and ashes. Isa. ii. 1 1. The lofty looks of man shall be humbled, and the haughtiness of man shall be brought down, and the Lord alone shall be exalted. And that all is implied in a genuine love to God, not only the reason of the thing and the plain tenour of Scripture manifest, but it is self-evident; for if we do not so esteem God as to be thus glad to have him take his place, and we ours, it argues secret dislike, and proves that there is secret rebellion in our hearts. Thus, therefore, must we esteem the glorious God, or be reputed rebels in his sight. 3. Another thing implied in love to God may be called benevolence. When we are acquainted with any person, and he appears very excellent in our eyes, and we highly esteem him, it is natural now heartily to wish him well; we are concerned for his interest; we are glad to see it go well with him, and sorry to see it go ill with him; and ready at all times cheerfully to do what we can to promote his welfare. Thus Jonathan felt towards David; and thus love to God will make us feel towards him, his honour, and interest in the world. When God is seen in his infinite dignity, greatness, glory, and excellency, as the most high God, supreme Lord, and sovereign governor of the whole world, and a sense of his infinite worthiness is hereby raised in our hearts, this enkindles a holy benevolence, the natural language of which is, Let God be glorified. Psalm xcvi. 7, 8. And be thou erulted, O God, above the heavens: let thy glory be above all the earth. Psalm lvii. 5. 11. This holy disposition sometimes expresses itself in earnest longings that God would glorify himself, and honour his great name; and bring all the world into an entire subjection to him. And hence this is the natural language of true love.