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that Teftimony or Demonstration of our true Affection to him one eminent Act or Expreffion of Love to another, is the doing of things grateful and well-pleafing to him, either by promoting his Good, or gratifying his Defires. Now because God is above the receiving any Good from us, our only way of doing things grateful and acceptable to him, is the obferving his Commands, and doing what he requires of us: This our Saviour looks upon as the chief, if not the only Expreffion of our Love to him, as may be feen throout this Chapter. Let us not then fail of giving him this Proof and Demonftration of our Affection; and as we are bid to fhew our Faith, fo let us fhow our Love by our Works, ever obeying and fubmitting to his Will, by doing and fuffering what he would have us.
3dly, Since the Holy Ghoft is fent to us as a Comforter, Teacher and Remembrancer, let us thankfully receive and comply with him in all thofe Offices; that is, firft, let us not refufe, but chearfully receive his Holy Comforts, that we may be encourag'd by his Joys, and fupported by his Confolations. Next, let us beware of ftifling and fuppreffing his good Motions, or turning the deaf Ear to his Calls, whether publickly or fecretly fuggefted to us. Again, let us take heed of fmothering the Gifts or Graces of the Spirit vouchfafed to us, but rather daily exercife and improve them, and then to him that hath shall be given, and he shall have more abundantly. In fhort, let us not quench the Holy Spirit, that came in the Form of Fire to chear and enliven us, left he come again in flaming Fire to confume and deftroy us; nor let us refufe to hear him fpeaking to us, who came in the Shape of Tongues to teach and inftruct us, left thofe Tongues open again to accufe and condemn us. The Spirit of God will not always ftrive with us; and therefore let us beware of refifting, grieving, or doing defpight to the Spirit of Grace, which alone can bring us to Glory: To which God of his infinite Mercy bring us all, &c.
DISCOURSE VII. The GOSPEL for Monday in Whitfun-Week.
St. John iii. 16-22.
God fo loved the World, that he his only-begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him fhould not perish, but have everlasting Life: for God fent not his Son into the World to condemn the World, but that the World through him might be faved, &c.
HE Epiftle for this Day being the fame with that for Eafter-Monday, where it hath been already handled, I fhall not here repeat it, but refer the Reader to it. Only in the Clofe is added an Account of the Holy Ghoft's Defcent on the Gentiles; for which reafon it is appointed to be read again on this Day: for while St. Peter was Speaking to them, the Holy Ghoft fell on all them that heard the Word, either by fome vifible Appearance, as it did on the Apostles; or by fome Effects of it, which they heard or faw at which the Jews, who had receiv'd the Gospel, marvel'd and magnify'd God, becaufe on the Gentiles alfo was poured out the Gift of the Holy Ghoft, for they heard them peak with Tongues, and magnify God in the feveral Languages of other Nations. Whereupon St. Peter declar'd their Right to Baptifm, and none could forbid Water, that they should not be baptized, who had equally receiv'd the Holy Ghoft with themfelves; and therefore St. Peter commanded them to be baptized in the Name of the Lord, and to be receiv'd into the Congregation of Chrift's Flock; and so was departing from them, had they not pray'd him to tarry certain Days.
The Gofpel for this Day, of which I am now to speak, contains,
First, The greatest Inftance of the Divine Love, that was ever fhew'd to the Sons of Men; and that was, God's giving them his on y-begotten Son.
Secondly, The End or Defign of God's giving him; and that was, that Mankind should not perish, but have everlasting Life.
Thirdly, The Perfons for whom he was given, and the Conditions upon which they are to receive Benefit by him; and that is Faith, or believing in him: Whosoever believ eth, &c.
Fourthly, The Danger of rejecting and disbelieving of him, which will inevitably bring upon them Shame and Condemnation; And this is the Condemnation, &c. Of thefe things fomething particularly. And,
First, Of the great and unparallel'd Inftance of the Divine Love unto Mankind, in giving them his Son, in these words, God fo loved the World, that he gave his only-begotten Son : This was the highest Inftance of Love that could be fhewn, or the nobleft Teftimony of Affection that could poffibly be given. And that will appear, by confidering,
It, The Greatnefs of the Perfon loving us, 2dly, The Vileness of the Perfons beloved, 3dly, The Manner of loving them. And, 4thly, The Gift by which it is exprefs'd.
ift, For the Perfon here faid to love us; 'tis God blessed for ever, who was infinitely happy in himself, in the Contemplation of his own Excellencies and Perfections, and needed nothing of the Complacence or Concurrence of his Creatures to add to or compleat his Happiness.
2dly, For the Perfons beloved, 'tis here faid to be the World, God fo loved the World, that is, Mankind, the principal Inhabitants and Governours of the World, who, by their Revolt from their Maker, had brought fuch a heavy Load of Miferies upon themselves and their Pofterity, as they were neither able to bear, or to remove. Their Difobedience to God's Command entail'd Death and Damnation upon all Men, and the whole Creation groan'd under the Weight of their Tranfgreffion. They who were made but little lower than the Angels, are funk by their Sins, and become worse than the Beast that perifheth, being Enemies unto God by evil Works, yea, Rebels and Traitors againft him, and fo liable to his Juftice, and under the Sentence of
eternal Death. In this their fad and deplorable Condition God Almighty was pleas'd to caft an eye of Pity and Compaffion upon them, and to contrive a way to help them out of this Mifery, which they could never do of themselves, Thefe worthless and finful Sons of Adam are the Objects of this Divine Love.
3dly, For the Manner of loving them, the Apostle feems here to labour, and to be at a lofs how to fet it forth, faying, God fo loved the World, fo wonderfully, fo intenfely, fo undefervedly, fo unconceivably, that he knew not how to exprefs it, but by Extafy and Admiration; which made another Apostle, in taking the Dimenfions of it, to cry out, O the Height and Depth, the Length and Breadth of the Love of God, that paffeth Knowledg! where he feems to be fwallow'd up with Wonder and Aftonishment at the Greatnefs and Freenefs of this Divine Love: Which will farther appear, by confidering,
4thly, The Greatness of the Gift, which he hath bestow'd and exprefs'd his Love by, and that was, in giving his own only-begotten and beloved Son: He gave not (as one hath obferv'd) a Creature, or a Servant, or a Prophet, or an gel, which might have been all Tokens of Refpect; but he hath gone higher, and given us his Son, and that not a common or ordinary Son, but his only Son, his only-begotten Son, whom he gave to take our Nature and Guilt upon him; and by that gave him up to Death, a cruel and accurfed Death, the juft Punishment of it: which is an Inftance of the biggest Affection that can refide in any Breast. Abraham's yielding up his only Son Ifaac to be facrific'd at God's Call, was an Inftance of his great Love, as well as of his Faith and Obedience to his Maker: but that comes infinitely fhort of the Love of God, in yielding up his only begotten Son to death for us.
Secondly, But what was the End or Design of God's giving us his only-begotten Son? Why that (as we are here told) was, that Mankind should not perish, but have everlasting Life: without this Gift all Mankind must have perifh'd everlastingly, for there is no other Name given under Heaved, whereby we can be faved, than the Name of our Lord Jefus, Acts 6. This Son of God was pleas'd to humble himfelf not only to the Nature of Man, but to the Form of a Servant, merely to ferve us; and became obedient to Death, even the Death of the Cross, to make an Atonement for our E 4 Sins,
Sins, to rescue us from the Power of the Devil, and to reconcile us unto God: which things we could not do for our felves; for where there is no Sacrifice or Satisfaction for Sin, there is no Salvation. Nothing then remains but a fearful looking for of Judgment and fiery Indignation to be poured out upon us, and without that Sacrifice we must have for ever fuffer'd, because we could never fatisfy. But now Chrift hath redeem'd us from all Iniquity, and given his Life a Ranfom for all, whereby he hath not only fecur'd us from perishing, but procur'd for us everlasting Life.In ́ fhort, the End of Chrift's Coming was not to destroy, but to fave: for fo the
Next words tell us, that God fent not his Son into the World to condemn the World, but that the World thro him might be faved. This was the primary Design of his Miffion, not to condemn the World, but to rescue it from Condemination; tho, by reafon of Mens rejecting of him, that which was intended for their rifing, becomes accidentally an occafion of falling. So Simeon's Prophecy foretold of him, that the Child Jefus was fet for the Fall as well as the Rifing again of many in Ifrael, and for a Sign that shall be spoken against, Luke 2. 34. And this will lead me, in the next place, to enquire,
Thirdly, Whether this Son of God was given up to death for all Men, or only for fome particular Perfons under particular Conditions and Qualifications; and if fo, who and what they are.
In answer to which, I fay, (1.) That Chrift's Death and Satisfaction is fufficient for all Men. The Greatnefs and Dignity of his Perfon put an infinite Value and Merit into his Sufferings, and that render'd it a fufficient Price and Compenfation for the Sins of all Mankind. Hence he was ufher'd in by St. John, as the Lamb of God that taketh away the Sins of the World: where the Love of God, in fending his Son for our Redemption, is extended to all; which is more exprefly deliver'd in 1 John 2. 1,2. If any Man fin, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jefus Christ the Righteous, and he is the Propitiation for our Sins, and not for ours only, but for the Sins of the whole World. And St. Paul teaches us, that Chrift gave himself a Ranfom for all, 1 Tim. 2. 6. meaning, that he had laid down a fufficient Price to redeem and ranfon them all, whereby they were deliver'd from a Neceflity of perishing, and put in the way of eternal Happinefs and Salvation. He tafted Death for every Man, faith