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On the Love of God to his Chosen People.
On a Conduct and Character formed under the In
fluence of Evangelical Truth.
Evidences of Faith in Jesus Christ both negatively
and positively considered.
ON THE LOVE OF GOD TO HIS CHOSEN PEOPLE.
God, who is the source of being and the centre of perfection, is the object of worship and the fountain of all felicity. Absolutely independent and consummately happy, he receives no advantages from the services of angels : but his infinite excellence and universal dominion demand their profoundest homage. Though supremely majestic, and inflexibly just; though jealous of his honour, and abhorrent of sin; he stands revealed, by evangelical truth, under the most encouraging and endearing characters : for, with reference to that greatest of all works, Redernption, he is called LOVE. To know him, as thus revealed, is to be truly wise: to be his devoted servant, is to possess the highest liberty of which humanity is capable: and completely to enjoy him, is the grand result of his boundless favour, through the mediation of Jesus Christ.
When Moses, full of devotional ardour, said to the Most High; I beseech thee show me thy glory: the gracious answer was, I will make all my goodness pass before thee-and Jehovah passed by before him, and proclaimed, JEHOVAH, JEHovah God, merciful and gracious, long-suffering, and abundant in
goodness and truth; keeping mercy for thousands, forgiving iniquity, and transgression, and sin, and that will by no means clear the guilty. Here the ETERNAL, while asserting the dignity of his own character, and the supremacy of his own will, in the bestowment of spiritual blessings on guilty creatures, reveals his goodness in the most encouraging manner: which goodness, frequently expressed by the terms mercy, grace, and love, he represents as constituting the principal part of that divine glory which, to the antient Jewish church, was denoted by the sublimest of all names, JEHOVAH.
Mercy, grace, and love, when aseribed by inspired writers to the Most High, are to be considered as different modifications of divine goodness; and they may be thus distinguished. Mercy is goodness to the miserable; grace is goodness to the unworthy; and love is goodness delighting in the happiness of its objects. When God has completely delivered bis chosen people from all the penal effects of apostasy, they will no longer be the objects of his goodness, under the strict notion of mercy; because mercy has regard to misery. When they are perfectly free from all the unworthiness attending depravity and guilt; they will no longer be the objects of divine goodness, under the apostolic notion of grace: for grace, in the writings of Paul,* respects the unworthiness of a sinful creature. But saints will for ever be the objects of divine goodness, under the delightful conception of love. Holy angels ar: the objects of supreme benignity under the idea of lore: but of neither mercy, nor grace, in the
* Rom. iii. 24. iv. 4. ix. 5,6. Eph. ii.5-9.