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now appear; and who continually up? holdeth and preferveth this universal Frame, and governeth the Creatures he hath made by his constant fuperintending Providence.

And, as we must have a firm Persuasion of the Being and Providence of God, fo our Minds must be possessed with just and worthy Conceptions of his glorious and incomparable Attributes and Perfections ; that he is a Being of almighty and irrefistible Power, who can do whatsoever be pleaseth; of immense Greatness, who filleth Heaven and Earth, and is intimately prefent to every. Part of this vast Creation; that his Wijdoni and Understanding is infinite, and he knoweth, in every possible Inftance, what is best and fittest to be done ; that he is of the most diffusive Goodness and Benignity, and his tender Mercies are 'over all bis Works; that he is a Being of spotless Purity and Holiness, of impartial Righteousness and Equity, of invariable Faithfulnefs and Truth; that he is the supreme univerfal Lord, who giveth Laws to' his reafonable Creatures; and to whom they must be accountable for their Conduct; and that he will pur nish the obstinate Transgreilors of his Laws, and will reward those that love and server him in Sincerity; and, finally, that he is the chief Good, the Fountain of all Joy and Glory and Felicity, in whom alone we can be completely happy. A Sense of thefe Things, when duly received and entertained in the Heart, hath a natural Tendency to produce correspondent holy Affections and Dispositions there: A superlative Love to God, a profound Reverence of his Divine Majesty, an absolute unreferved Submission to his Authority and Refignation to his Will, and a steady ingenuous Trust and Confidence in him ; all which are neceffarily concluded in true Godliness, and are required of us in his holy and perfect Law.

There is no Disposition towards God which is more effential to true Religion, and on which a greater Stress, is laid in the Sacred Writings, than Divine Love, Hence our Saviour, in Answer to the Question that was proposed to him, Which is the great Commandment in the Law ? makes this remarkable Declaration, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy Heart, and with all thy Soul, and with all thy Mind. This is the first and great Commandment. Matt. xxii. 37, 38. This Love to God is not to be understood of a mere transient Pang and passionate Warmth


of Affection, but of the habitual abiding Disposition of the Heart, founded in an inward Sense and Perception of God's infinite Excellency and Amiableness in him: felf, and of his infinite Goodness, Grace, and Mercy towards his Creatures, particularly towards us of the human Race. Where this Love to God is of the right Kind, it hath a mighty attractive Force; whereby we are powerfully drawn to serve and to obey him; and it rendereth the Obedience free and ingenuous. And hence it is declared, that this is the Love of God that we keep his Commandments; and his Commandments are not grievous. 1 John v. 3. They are not grievous to a Soul ani: mated with this Divine Principle. IË kindleth in the Heart an earneft Desire to please him, and to glorify him in the World and causeth us to value his Favour and Approbation above all Things. Where this is the reigning Disposition, it will over-rule and controul the corrupt, and sensual Affections, and will engage us, for his Sake, to mortify our most beloved Lufts, and to make all the Interests of the Flesh and of the World give Way to the superior Interests of his Kingdom ; fo that we Thall not decline any Services or Sufferings to which we shall be called for the Cause

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6f Truth and Righteousnefs, which is the Cause of God. It will tend to form us into his Divine Likeness; and will excite in us earnest Afpirations after that State where we hope to be admitted to the immediaté transforming Visions of his Glory, and to the full eternal Enjoyment of his Love. And now how happy must it be to act under the Influence of this glorious Principle! Love, when vigorously exercised on the best and noblest Object, in which there is an absolute Confluence of all possible Perfections, is certainly the most delightful Thing in the World, a Source of the purest and most refined Joy. Here our Affections may rife higher and higher to Eternity, and never equal the real Excellency and Amiableness of the Object. The Perfection of Divine Love is Heaven itfelf, and the Beginning of it here on Earth is the Beginning of Heaven and Glory. To command us therefore to love God with all our Hearts is in Effect to command us to promote our own highest Felicity, and to cultivate that Disposition, which is the most delightful Temper of our Souls. - We should therefore, as we value our own Happiness, do all we can to get our Hearts brought more and more under the Power and Influence of this VOL. II.



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Divine Affection. In order to this, let us frequently represent to our Minds the Reafons and Motives we have to love God above all. We should rise in our Thoughts to him as the sovereign original Goodness and Beauty, the Source and Center of all Perfection, who is everlastingly and invariably poffeffed of all that is great and good, excellent and lovely. This wide Universe all around us thines with the Radiations of his Goodness and Glory. With what Delight should we behold him diffusing the Streams of his Benignity through the whole Creation, communicating Happiness in various Degrees to numberless Orders of Beings, and particularly pouring forth the Blessings of his Frovidence in a rich Abundance to the human Race! But, above all, we should fréquently dwell in our Meditations ou the exceeding Riches of his Grace as manifested towards us in his well-beloved Son: Jesus Crist our Lord, and in the wonderful Methods of our Redemption and Salvation through him : For it is here especially that he appeareth in all the Glory of that, amiable Character, that God is. Love.


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