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tree in the garden : what is the devil's suggestion? Yea, hath God said, Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden? *_wishing to make it appear that they were placed in a state of intolerable restrictions. And the very same are the temptations of the devil now. My dear friends, allow me to ask you, whether such representations of God have not had a sad effect on your hearts : allow me to ask you these two questions,-Do you ever think of God at all? If you do, is it not with a secret dread and recoiling,-yea, a wish that there was no God, that so you might be left at liberty to walk in the way of your own heart?

The apostles and ministers of the Gospel come with a very different representation of God to you : they hold Him forth to your acceptance as the tenderest Friend, the Father of those who love Him, the God who is love. Observe the force of the word : the apostle does not merely say, God is good, in giving liberally to all; or merciful, in giving liberally to rebels : that might be without love. Let me illustrate this : Suppose a rich man living in the midst of poor neighbours, he might be very liberal to them, feed and clothe them, and supply their necessities; yea, and he might do this even to those who offended or injured him: still, you would not necessarily say, he loved all these his neighbours. He is kind to them, and generous; but he does not love them, as he does his wife, his children, or his friend. . Now, I give this fa

* Genesis iii. 1.

miliar illustration, that we may a little enter into the word love, which the apostle uses—God is love ; and not slur it, under the general meaning of goodness and kindness. God is good to all, even to the unthankful and the evil; but He is Love to all those who will accept his love. Such love, such tenderness, such bowels of pity, to use the beautiful expression of the Scriptures, as a father has towards his children ; such, yea infinitely greater, hath the Lord towards his people. And, to enter a little into this love, seems, under the blessing of the Holy Spirit, the likeliest means of overcoming the enmity of the natural heart, and increasing the love and quickening the graces of the renewed. Where, then, are we to look for the love of God? I answer, in the great work of redemption. In that work we see all the three Persons of the ever-blessed Trinity employed for the everlasting happiness of man. And on this day, particularly set apart by our Church for the contemplation of that high mystery,--three Persons in one God, I purpose to call your attention to this great work, and to the part which each of these Persons, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost, condescended to take therein. And while we are thus employed, lift up your hearts, I beseech you, to the Lord, that the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father hath sent, in the name of the Lord Jesus, may be with us, to guide us into all truth, and to make us know and feel the love of God!

1. Consider, then, first of all, the love of the Father: God so loved the world that He gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.* Think of Him as so loving the work of his hands, that, when lost, he would not lose it. Let me illustrate this. You find in the sixth chapter of Daniel, that the princes and great men of the Persian court, wishing to destroy Daniel, got the king Darius to make a firm decree, that whosoever should pray to any one save to the king himself for thirty days, should be cast into the den of lions.f Daniel was soon found praying, and making supplications to his God, and was brought before the king, that he might give orders for him to be cast into the den of lions. Then we find, the king set his heart on Daniel, to deliver him. This was not mere kindness and goodness in Darius; it was love to Daniel. But the thing might not be done. For the law of the Medes and Persians was, that no decree nor statute, which the king established, might be changed. Now, compare Daniel to fallen man.

Consider the obstacles in the way of deliverance in the two cases.

In the case of Daniel, there was a decree made according to the law of the Medes and Persians. In the case of fallen man, there was a decree made by the truth of God himself. In the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die. Gen. ii. 17. Die, thou, and in thee all thy posterity. Diemto God; a death to a holy mind infinitely more terrible than the natural one. Die—in thy soul; lose all spiritual feelings, affections, temper, and John iii. 16.

+ Daniel vi, 7, 8.

understanding, as much as the dead body does its natural. Die—and die eternally. Such was the awful sentence. Adam eats and dies. The truth of God demands his death, the justice of God demands it. Were the decrees of the Medes and Persians unchangeable; and shall God's change? The holiness of God demands it: for how shall the God of purity enter into alliance and friendship with creatures so impure and utterly polluted? What communion hath light with darkness ? Besides, (and here seems one great impossibility in the way,) if God were willing to receive man again into his favour, how should man again find his happiness in God ? His very nature has become incapable of it. Thus we see the difficulties of the case, far exceeding that of Daniel. The attributes of the blessed God himself, on the one hand, seem to forbid the salvation of man; and the nature of man, on the other, seems to make him incapable of salvation. Darius laboured in Daniel's case till the going down of the sun, because he had set his heart upon Daniel to deliver him. And, oh, the love of God! that He, in the height of heaven, should have condescended to think about the matter; that the whole offending race were not left to their own devices; to the master, and the work, and the wages they had chosen : the master, Satan; the work, sin; the bitter wages, death. All the pains of Darius failed, but a greater than Darius is here; even he who says,

* Isaiah xlvi. 10.


My counsel shall stand, and I will do all my plea

While heaven was wondering if man could be saved, and hell triumphing (like the courtiers of Darius) in the certainty of his perdition, behold a gracious God has devised the means, that his banished be not expelled from him. Man shall not die, but live, and declare the works of the Lord. Herein is love!

Again, see the love of the Father in the servant, whom he chose for the work. Behold my servant whom I uphold, mine elect, in whom my soul delighteth.* When we are much interested in a matter, we take care whom we employ about it. Oh the interest, then, which God took in the salvation of man, when he employed none other in it than his only-begotten Son, co-equal and co-eternal with himself! No inferior being must be trusted with the work for this favoured creature, man. Can anything more strongly set forth the Father's love? Yes, one thing more ; he employed and sacrificed the Son. How did Abraham show his love for God ? Now I know, says the angel of the Lord, that thou fearest God, seeing thou hast not withheld thy son, thine only son from me.t Consider the point, I pray you, diligently; consider the inport of the word, love; it is that which I particularly wish to impress upon you, You may feed and clothe a man from pity or general kindness of disposition, but it must be love,-and what manner of love?—that can induce you to give up your son, your beloved son, to die for him. Yet such was the love of God to

* Isaiah xlii. 1,

+ Gen. xxii. 12.

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