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of his Divine Nature and Dilpofition? Where were our eyes then? What were our thoughts doing? None ever believ'd and confider'd this Love that God bears to us, who was not mov'd and inflamed by it to love Him above all things. For the Creator and Poffeffor of Heaven and Earth to love us; what a word is that? Who can hear it, and not be at once both amazed and transported? efpecially when He loves us fo much as to fend his own Son unto us, yea, his only Son, the Son of his love: who has fo loved us, as to spend his dearest Bloud in our fervice; and all this freely, without any motive but his own Love; and to proCure us the greatest Bleffings, no lefs in conclufion than immortal life. What heart can think of this, and not be overpower'd by it? And need He intreat us not to forget the Love He has fhown unto us? to fpend a few thoughts every day on fuch a Friend, that has deferv'd fo much of us? A mean request, which fhould be granted, one wou'd think, without th' asking. And will we be at no pains to preferve his Memory? fhill He flip out of our minds unlefs He force Himself into our company? It is easy to be warm by a Fire fide: 't is almoft impoffle not to be mov'd, when the Perfon we love is before our eyes But when we are gone from the fire, we muft exercife our felves, not to grow cold again; and when a friend is at a distance from us, we must look upon the tokens we 've receiv'd of his kindness, or fume other way bring him to our remembrance or rather our great love to him will often prefent him to our imagination. Let us but love our Savior then in an bearty manner, and how can we fail to love Him more? that little thing is all that He defires of us; that we would love Him beft, and then to do even what we will. For we may confider, that it is the nature of all love, not to let our heart be joyn'd to any other ob. ject which fhall in any degree prejudice that which is principally loved. Whatsoever is esteem'd, honor'd, and admired by us above all others, will not permit any thing to be entertain'd that fhall any ways injure it in our thoughts and affections; We are naturally averfe to any fuch objects, and reject' 'em with disdain, as those which are inconfis-, tent with our better defires. If our Redeemer therefore be advanced and feated in our Heats by an unfeigned Love to Him above all things on Earth, it will render every thing
defpicable which would draw our hearts from Him, orin the leaft abate our devotion to Him. We fhall look upon it as a base Temptation, and an unworthy offer, which is not only to be lighted and rejected, but hated and loath'd. We fhall fay How shall we that are dead to Sim, live any longer therein? Rom. 6. 2. We have done with all your adulterate plafures; Jefus is our Joy, our Life, and our Crown; what pleafes flim, pleafes us. His Love is a law within our hearts, and therefore we delight to do thy Will, ọ God.
AND the more to fortify our felves, let our fettled Intentions be to Meditate often, all this Month, upon the COURAGE and CONSTANCY, the Fortitude and Magnanimity of Jefus in afferting the Truth of God. For this is particularly remembred by S. Paul as part of his Char acter. 1 Tim. 6.13. Who before Pontius Pilate witneffed a good confeffion. By which we fhould excite our felves, out of Love to Him, to follow after righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience, meekness. v. 11. Whatfoever it coft us. Let the dangers be what they will, we fhould still Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life v. 12, herein is our love made perfect, that we may have boldness in the day of Judgment because as He is, fo, are we in this world. There is no fear in love; but perfect love cafteth out fear: becaufe fear hath torment: he that frareth is not made perfect Love. is. Joh. 4. 17, 18.
S. 16. DECEMBER.
Thou are my portion, O LORD, I have faid that I wou'd keep thy words. Pfal. 119.57. Why fhould we repent us of our Choice? ot start from our Refolutions? Thy Counfels and Commands are the fureft guide; thy Power the ftrongeft defence; thy good Providence the fulleft ftorehoufe',, thy eternal juftice and Holiness the beft fecurity; thy Prom ifes the richest treasure, and good Hopes in Thee our highest happiness. It is enough, enough, O Lord, to be beloved of Thee, th' al-fufficient Good; who comprehendeft all things in thy mind, aod canft do all things by thy Power, and delighteft in raifing fuch monuments of thy Wisdom and Greatnefs, as thy Almighty Love may difpenfe endlefs Bleffings unto. We are well fatisfied now that we can fay, Thou art our Refuge, and our portion in the land of the living, Pf. 142. 5. The Lord is our Portion, whom
Ifhall we envy? The Lord is our Portion, for what shall we #bediscontended? The Lord is our Portion; of whom fhall we
be afraid? Why art thon east down. O my Soul? and why art I thou di:quid within mer Pf, 42. 11. How can his Friends fail to partake of his bounty, who treats even his enemies with fo much kindnefs? g Soul, wait thou only upon God: for my expectation is from Him. Pf. 62.5. Truft in the LORD, and do good, and verily thou shalt be fed: Delight thy felfalfo I in the LORD; and He shall give thee the defires of thine heart. P.37.3.4. Caff thy burden upon the LORD. and He shall juftain Thee. He shall never fuffer the righteous to be moved. Pf.55.22, Dait on the LORD and keep his way. Pl. 37.34. For the eyes of the Lord are upon them that love Him, He is their mighty protection and strong ftay, a defence from heat, and a cover from the fun at noon, a prefervation from ftumbling, and a help from falling. He raiseth up the Soul, and lightneth the eyes He giveth health, life. and bleffing. Ecclef. 34. 16, 17. All facrifice is too little for fweet favor unto Him, and all the fat is not fufficient for his burnt offering: but he that feareth the Lord is great at all times. Judith 16. 16. The spirit of thofe that fear the Lord fhall live, for their hope is in Him that faveth them. clef. 34. 13. Our heart shall rejoyce in Him: because we have trufted in his holy Name. Let thy mercy, O LORD, be upon us according as we hope in Thee. Pf. 33. 21, 22. And we hope that we fhall never forget thy Word which we have faid that we would keep the revelation of thy Wisdom; the declaration ofthy Will; and the defcription of thy mrt holy and happy Life. O God, The reftimonies have we taken as an heritags fer over they are the rejoycing of our hearts. We have inclined our hearts to performe by ftatutes alway, even unto the end, Pf. 19. 111, 112. This day we have added one Vow more of confecration to Thee. We have made over our felves intirely to Thee to be our Portion. Whom shall love, whom shall we ferve, to whom fhall we refign our Wills and Ways? but only to Thee the Father of Lights, and the Father of Mercies, who haft not thought thy Son too much to give to us. Neither will, we forget this happy day, which has brought us a tafte of the joy, and peace, and ferenity, which fpring from the vety beginning of a Godlike Nature. We will alway be devoted to Thee; let thy Will be done on Earth, as it is in Heaven; for it is the Will of
of our Heavenly Father? Let thefe words remain upon record against us, if we indeavor not to make Christ our pat tern and not only in that place where we have now been, but in all our Behavior in this World (that great Temple of thine) demean our felves holily and purely, with that humility, reverence, meeknefs, and fubmiffion, which becomes thy Prefence. What have we here to do, but to fhow forth the glorious perfections of Righteousness, Mercy, and Truth, which we beheld in Him? and to declare th'efteem we have of Him, and our fatisfaction in our Portion; by modefty, contentedness, thankfulness, faith, patience, hope, joyful refignation of all our concernements, with an equal mind to God's wife difpofal? This is our Will and our Refolution: And we will declare from Year to Year that this we take to be our Happiness.
AND here we may very fitly purpose, often and seriously to reflect, all this Month, upon our Savior's CONTEMPT OF THE WORLD, when He had chofen to come and do the will of God. Riches, Honor, Glory, and Pleasure. were nothing in his account, in compare with the fatis faction of doing the pleasure of God, tho' it were by fufferings. He did not regard th' efteem of men, nor what they faid of Him. Tho' He died an ignominious and disgraceful Death, as well as liv'd a poor and despicable Life, He was not ashamed nor dejected; but rather gloried in both : Becaufe his bufinefs was not to please Himself; but as it written, The reproachesofthem that reproached Thee fell on Me. Rom. 15. 3. Let the fame mind be in us, that was in Him, Let every one of us please his neighbor for his good to edification. v.2. but overlook the Cenfures, and vain opinion of this world, with all the honors and preferments of it: lo we may. but ap prove our felves to God, and his Will be fulfilled by us, For it is a faithful faying, if we be dead with Him, we shall alfo live with Him: If we juffer, we shall alforeign with Him. 2 Tim. 2.11, 12.
§. 17. CHRISTMAS DAY.
IS not our Heavenly Father very defirous that we fhou'd love Him? Wou'd He elfe have fent his only Son to appear among us, and, manifeft Himself to us, yea, manifest Himfelf in our flesh? And more than that, wou'd He have purchafed us to Himself by his own Bloud? O-how dear has He paid for our love! Let us therefore love Him, yea,
love Him execedingly, that He may not lose the great price wherewith we are bought, But what love do we bear Him, if we be not like Him? what are we the bet ter that a Savior is born to us, it He be not form'd in us, and dwell not in our hearts by Faith? Was not this th' End of his taking our Nature, that He might purify it, and ntake us reverence our felves more than to defile that which is fo near a-kin to the Son of God? O most wife Gond. nefs, which by becoming like to us, defign'd to make us like Himself. We fee the Hamility of the Bleffed Jefus, who was born of a poor Virgin. We fee his fweetnefs in accommodating Himself to the vileft of us, and taking on Him the form of a Servant. We fee how little He valued Riches, and the Dignities, and the Pleasures of this world; How contented He was in a mean Condition; how obe. dient to his Parents; how courteous to the meanest Clients, who came to receive, not to give. We fee how liberal He was of his Favors, how unwearied He was in doing Good, how patient in fuffering any Evil; how He loved Rightcousness and hated Iniquity; how dear th' Honeft heart was to Him, and how odious hypocrifie. We fee how Meck He was, when He was affronted; how loth his. enemies fhould perifh; how little concern'd either in the calumnies or applaufes of the World; how abfolutely Refign'd to the Will of God; and how Defirous to do Him honor. O how often did He Thank his heavenly Father? how many hours did He ipend in Prayer aud private Converfe with Him? how Joyfully did He fuffer great pains to do great good and at laft Laid down his life, full of hope in God to fee a glorious refurrection? These are the beauties of Jefus, which we admire; This is thImage of Him, which we've vow'd to carry always in our hearts. This is the Glory of Humane nature, th' honor and digni ty to which we wou'd be preferr'd. We defire to be Great in nothing but his Humility: to berich only in contentednefs, and sweet condefcention: to have the Pleasure only of pleating God, and our Brethren to their edification to Rejoyce that God's will is done, tho' ours be croffed. And 't is no fall Joy to fee the beginning of this beauteous Im age drawn upon our hearts. He that did not despite the Virgin's womb, will not despife the humble Oblation we have made of our felves to Him; nor that little likeness