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cogency in the apostle's testimony, nor force in his arguing; so he declares that God judgeth us only in and by him. In this regard of our moral obedience unto Christ, lies the way whereby God will be glorified.

[2.] All things are yet more plain with respect unto institutions of divine worship. The appointment of all divine ordinances under the New Testament, was his especial province and work, as the Son and Lord over his own house. And obedience unto him in the observance of them is that which he gives in especial charge unto all his disciples, Matt. xxviii. 18-20. And it is nothing but a loss of that subjection of soul and conscience unto him, which is indispensably required of all believers, that hath set the minds of so many at liberty to do and observe in divine worship what they please, without any regard unto his institutions. It is otherwise with respect unto moral duties. For the things of the moral law, have an obligation on our consciences antecedent unto the enforcement of them by the authority of Christ, and there holds us fast. But as unto things of the latter sort, our consciences can no way be affected with a sense' of them, or a necessity of obedience in them, but by the sole and immediate authority of Christ himself. If a sense hereof be lost in our minds, we shall not abide in the observance of his commands.

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The especial principle of obedience unto the person of Christ; which is love. Its truth and reality vindicated.

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THAT which doth enliven and animate the obedience whereof we have discoursed, is love. This himself makes the foundation of all that is acceptable unto him. If,' saith he, 'ye love me, keep my commandments;' John xiv. 15. As he distinguisheth between love and obedience, so he asserts the former as the foundation of the latter. He accepts of no obedience unto his commands, that doth not proceed from love unto his person. That is no love which is not fruitful in obedience, and that is no obedience which proceeds not from love. So he expresseth on both sides. If a man love

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me, he will keep my words; and he that loveth me not keepeth not my sayings;' ver. 23, 24.

In the Old Testament the love of God was the life and substance of all obedience. Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, with all thy soul, thy mind and strength,' was the sum of the law. This includes in it all obedience, and where it is genuine, will produce all the fruits of it. And where it was not, no multiplication of duties was accepted with him. But this in general we do not now treat of.

That the person of Christ is the especial object of this divine love, which is the fire that kindles the sacrifice of our obedience unto him; this is that alone which at present I design to demonstrate.

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The apostle hath recorded a very severe denunciation of divine wrath against all that love him not. If any man love not the Lord Jesus Christ, let him be anathema, maranatha;' 1 Cor. xvi. 22. And what was added unto the curse of the law, we may add unto this of the gospel; and all the people shall say, Amen ;' Deut. xxvii. 26. And on the other hand, he prays for grace on all that 'love him in sincerity;' Eph. ii. 26. Wherefore, none who desire to retain the name of Christians, can deny in words at least, but that we ought with all our hearts to love the Lord Jesus Christ,

I do not so distinguish love from obedience as though it were not itself a part, yea, the chiefest part of our obedience. So is faith also, yet is it constantly distinguished from obedience properly so called. This alone is that which I shall demonstrate, namely, that there is, and ought to be in all believers, a divine, gracious love unto the person of Christ, immediately fixed on him, whereby they are excited unto, and acted in, all their obedience unto his authority. Had it been only pleaded, that many who pretend love unto Christ, do yet evidence that they love him not, it is that which the Scripture testifieth, and continual experience doth proclaim. If an application of this charge had been made unto them whose sincerity in their profession of love unto him can be no way evicted, it ought to be borne with patience, amongst other reproaches of the same kind that are cast upon them. And some things are to be premised unto the confirmation of our assertion.

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1. It is granted, that there may be a false pretence of love unto Christ. And as this pretence is ruinous unto the souls of them in whom it is, so it oft-times renders them prejudicial and troublesome unto others. There ever were, and probably ever will be hypocrites in the church; and a false pretence of love is of the essential form of hypocrisy. The first great act of hypocrisy with respect unto Christ, was treachery veiled with a double pretence of love. He cried, 'Hail, master; and kissed him,' who betrayed him. His words and actions proclaimed love, but deceit and treachery were in his heart. Hence the apostle prays for grace on them who love the Lord Jesus, iv apapoía; without dissimulation or doubling, without pretences and aims at other ends, without a mixture of corrupt affections; that is sincerity; Eph. vi. 24. It was prophesied of him, that many who were strangers unto his grace, should lie unto him; Psal. xviii. 44.

feignedly submit or yield feigned obedience (כני נכר יכחשו לי)

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unto him. So is it with them who profess love unto him, yet are enemies of his cross, 'whose end is destruction, whose God is their belly, whose glory is in their shame, who mind earthly things;' Phil. iii. 18, 19. All that are called Christians in the world, do, by owning that denomination, profess a love unto Jesus Christ; but greater enemies, greater haters of him he hath not among the children of men, than many of them are. This falsely pretended love, is worse than avowed hatred; neither will the pretence of it stand men in stead at the last day. No other answer will be given unto the plea of it, be it in whom it will, but depart from me, I never knew you, ye workers of iniquity.' Whereas therefore he himself hath prescribed this rule unto all who would be esteemed his disciples, 'If ye love me, keep my commandments; we may safely conclude all who live in a neglect of his commands, whatever they pretend or profess, they love him not. And the satisfaction which men, through much darkness, and many corrupt prejudices, have attained unto in the profession of Christian religion, without an internal, sincere love unto Christ himself, is that which ruins. religion and their own souls.

2. As there is a false pretence of love unto Christ, so there is, or may be, a false love unto him also. The persons in whom it is, may in some measure be sincere, and yet their

love unto Christ may not be pure, nor sincere, such as answers the principles and rules of the gospel. And as many deceive others, so some deceive themselves in this matter. They may think that they love Christ, but indeed do not so. And this I shall manifest in some few instances.

(1.) That love is not sincere and incorrupt, which proceedeth not from, which is not a fruit of faith. Those who do not first really believe on Christ, can never sincerely love him. It is faith alone that worketh by love towards Christ and all his saints. If therefore any do not believe with that faith which unites them unto Christ, which within purifies the heart, and is outwardly effectual in duties of obedience, whatever they may persuade themselves concerning love unto Christ, it is but a vain delusion. Where the faith of men is dead, their love will not be living and sincere.

(2.) That love is not so, which ariseth from false ideas and representations that men make of Christ, or have made of him in their minds. Men may draw images in their minds of what they most fancy, and then doat upon them. So some think of Christ only as a glorious person exalted in heaven at the right hand of God, without farther apprehensions of his natures and offices. So the Roman missionaries represented him unto some of the Indians; concealing from them his cross and sufferings. But every false notion concerning his person or his grace, what he is, hath done, or doth, corrupts the love that is pretended unto him. Shall we think that they love Christ by whom his divine nature is denied? Or that those do so who disbelieve the reality of his human nature? Or those by whom the union of both in the same person is rejected? There cannot be true evangelical love unto a false Christ, such as these imaginations do fancy.

(3.) So is that love, which is not in all things as to causes, motives, measures, and ends, regulated by the Scripture. This alone gives us the nature, rules, and bounds of sincere spiritual love. We are no more to love Christ, than to fear and worship him, according unto our own imaginations. From the Scripture are we to derive all the principles and motives of our love. If either the acts or effects of it will not endure a trial thereby, they are false and counterfeit,

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and many such have been pretended unto, as we shall see immediately.

(4.) That is so, unquestionably, which fixeth itself on undue objects, which, whatever is pretended, are neither Christ, nor means of conveying our love unto him. Such is all that love which the Romanists express in their devotion unto images, as they fancy of Christ; crucifixes, pretended relics of his cross, and the nails that pierced him, with the like superstitious representations of him, and what they suppose he is concerned in. For although they express their devotion with great appearance of ardent affections, under all outward signs of them, in adorations, kissings, prostrations, with sighs and tears; yet all this while it is not Christ which they thus cleave unto, but a cloud of their own imaginations, wherewith their carnal minds are pleased and affected. That is no God which a man heweth out of a tree, though he form it for that end, though he falleth down unto it and worshippeth it, and prayeth unto it, and saith, 'deliver me, for thou art my God;' Isa. xliv. 17. The authors of this superstition, whereby the love of innumerable poor souls, is depraved and abused, do first frame in their minds. what they suppose may solicit or draw out the natural and carnal affections of men unto it, and then outwardly represent it as an object for them. Wherefore some of their representations of him are glorious, and some of them dolorous, according as they aim to excite affections in carnal minds. But, as I said, these things are not Christ, nor is he any way concerned in them.

(5.) I acknowledge there have been great pretences of such a love unto Christ as cannot be justified. Such is that which some of the devotionists of the Roman church, have endeavoured rather to express out of their fancy, than declare out of their experience. Raptures, ecstasies, self-annihilations, immediate adhesions and enjoyments, without any act of the understanding, and with a multitude of other swelling words of vanity, they labour to set off what they fancy to be divine love. But there wants not evidences of truth sufficient to defeat these pretences, be they never so specious or glorious. For,

[1] As it is by them described, it exceedeth all Scripture precedents. For men to assume unto themselves an ap

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