But if you

would be full of “hatred and heart-risings against him?" We used to think divine love and worship ought by no means to be paid to a mere creature, how kind soever to us. leave divinity, if you leave the glory of the divine majesty as he is in himself, out of the account; and love and worship him merely for his love to you, and make him your God merely for that; and so pay him divine worship, not because he is by nature God, but because he is your particular friend; how will you free yourself from the guilt of idolatry? To be sure, you are so far from paying a proper regard to real divinity, that you show yourself quite blind to his beauty and glory, and stupid to that which charms all the heavenly world; and in their eyes you must appear in a very selfish, impious, contemptible light, in your highest raptures.

Had Nicaulis, the queen of Sheba, on her return from King Solomon's court, in all her conversation, dwelt only on the royal bounty which he gave her, and expressed her love to him on this account alone, wondering how any man of sense could talk of the fine and charming accomplishments of the king, and what they meant by loving him primarily and chiefly on the foot of his own personal merit; would not those gentlemen who had been her attendants in her tour to Jerusalem have been tempted to look upon her as a person of no taste; that the fine and charming accomplishments of even Solomon, in all his glory, could not touch her heart ? And I dare say her name would not have been mentioned in the Jewish history, unless with infamy. But what was Solomon's glory, compared with the glory of the King of the whole universe !

What would the queen of Israel have thought, had the daughters of Jerusalem said unto her, “What is thy beloved more than another beloved, Othou fairest among women?Would she not soon have replied, with the fervor of an ardent lover, “My beloved is white and ruddy, the chiefest among ten thousand ; yea, he is altogether lovely? And have not the regenerate infinitely more reason to adopt this language? For as natural men have by nature a taste to the beauties of the natural world, so spiritual men have by grace a taste to the beauties of the moral world. As King Solomon appeared exceeding glorious to the queen of Sheba, so the Lord Jehovah, who sits on a throne high and lifted up, as the thrice holy Monarch of the universe, appears exceeding glorious, not only to angels in heaven but to saints on earth; and they are all ready, in the language of the queen of Sheba, to say, Happy are thy men, happy are these thy servants, which stand continually before thee." The infinite amiableness of God, as he is in

himself, is the chief source of the refined joys of the heavenly world. To behold such a God, to love and be beloved by him, is the heaven of heaven itself; and the more exalted his glory and beauty, the sweeter their love and joy. His being what he is in himself, so infinitely desirable, renders it so infinitely happifying to them, to enjoy him forever as their own. (Psal. lxxiii. 25.)

Ther. Perhaps there may be more in what you plead for, than I have been wont to think. And as I design fully to consider these things, that I may be under the best advantages to make up a right judgment, pray point out some of the chief differences between these two kinds of love to God.

Paul. Ist. If I love God for himself, God, even God himself, is the object beloved ; and the act by me performed, is properly an act of love to God. If I love God merely because he loves me, I am the object really beloved; and the act is properly an act of self-love. 2d. The one supposes the glory and amiableness of the divine nature is really seen; the other may be where the heart is wholly blind to this kind of beauty, as it does not arise from a sense of God's amiableness, but altogether from selfish considerations. 3d. If God is loved for himself, the whole of God's law and government will also be loved, as in themselves beautiful, holy, just, and good, a transcript and image of God's nature. If God is loved merely because he loves me, I shall be reconciled to God's law and government, only as considering myself safe from the stroke of divine justice; and I shall be reconciled to God's decrees only as considering them in my favor. Not really caring what becomes of the rest of my fellow-men, I shall pretend to like God's plan of government as being safe myself, but for which I should, as your author expresses it, be full of “hatred and heart-risings in spite of my heart.” M. If God is loved for himself, every thing which bears his image will, for the same reason, be loved, as being in itself lovely, as resembling the standard of true beauty; but otherwise, all my love towards all other things of a religious nature will be merely selfish.

For instance, I shall love the children of God merely on selfish accounts; as, because they love me, belong to my party, etc. So the hypocritical Galatians once loved St. Paul, as they thought he had been the means of their conversion ; but when he was afterwards obliged to tell them some truths which they disrelished, their love grew cold; yea, they rather inclined to join with the false teachers, his avowed enemies, who were constantly endeavoring to undermine that scheme of religion which was dearer to him than his life. This proved they

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never really loved Paul himself, who still continued the same he was before. So the Israelites seemed to love God much at the side of the Red Sea, while they thought he loved them; but the waters of Marah soon brought them to different feelings. 4th. If God is loved for himself, it will be natural to imitate him, and delight to please him ; for we always love to imitate and please those who are really dear to us, and their "commands are not grievous." But you know the character of the men “who sang God's praise, but soon forgat his works." And “forty years long was he grieved with this generation." They were much engaged to have themselves pleased; but cared not what became of God's honor when they were crossed. 5th. If God is loved for himself, then the enjoyment of God will be our highest happiness. " Whom have I in heaven but thee? And there is none upon earth that I desire beside thee.” Whereas, if we love God only in a firm persuasion of his love to us, as himself cannot be our portion, so we shall naturally seek rest elsewhere ; for nothing can be a portion to our souls, which is not loved for itself. The man that marries merely for money cannot expect to find that delight and satisfaction in his companion, which he might in a person agreeable to his taste; and no wonder he absents himself from her company, and contrives excuses to justify himself. Wherefore, 6th. If God is loved for himself, as there is thereby a foundation laid for a conformity to him in the temper of our minds, and a life of communion with him ; so hereby it may be discovered, that we, thus bearing his image, are really his children. And so an assurance of our good estate may be obtained from our sanctification; which on the other scheme never can, if we will be honest to our own souls. As well may the rush grow without mire, and the flag without water; yea, as well may you build a cathedral on the stalk of a tulip, says your Aspasio, as one in your scheme maintain assurance from a consciousness of his own sanctification.

Here, my dear Aspasio, the conversation stopped. I sat silent, all my thoughts turned inward. “O my soul,” said I to myself, “this is my very case. My sanctification has for a long time been no more to be seen than the stars at noon. I have found, by sad experience, no assurance could possibly be obtained this way. To seek assurance by marks and signs of grace, only cherishes my doubts, and increases my perplexity. And what if this is indeed the very reason, that really I never had any true grace ?" I was shocked, my heart recoiled. dreadful! an heir of hell! after all my high-raised hopes!”

Thus I sat silent several minutes, quite lost in self-reflection,

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till Paulinus began again to speak. “I must dismiss these subjects at present," said I, “and retire. Your thoughts on the remaining points I hope to hear at a more convenient season." Paulinus replied, "When you please, sir, I am at your service.” To-morrow evening I will wait upon you,” said I. After he had expressed many kind wishes for my good, and I had asked his prayers, I retired to my closet; and, O my Aspasio, you may easily guess how I spent the night. For “the wicked are like the troubled sea, when it cannot rest, whose waters cast up mire and dirt."


TUESDAY EVENING, Dec. 12, 1758. I RETURNED at the appointed time; and, after some agreeable conversation on general subjects, I introduced the second question. But Paulinus insisted I should tell my opinion first, which I did, in the very words of the best writers I had seen. Thus we began :

Paul. Pray tell me exactly what justifying faith is, in your opinion.

Ther. “It is a real persuasion, in my heart, that Jesus Christ is mine, and that I shall have life and salvation by him; that whatsoever Christ did for the redemption of mankind, he did it for me. Faith is a hearty assurance that our sins are freely forgiven us in Christ. Justifying faith hath, for the special object of it, forgiveness of sins. A man doth not believe that his sins are forgiven him already, before the act of believing; but that he shall have forgiveness of sins. In the very act of justification, he believes his sins are forgiven him, and so receives forgiveness.* Faith is a real persuasion that the blessed Jesus hath shed his blood for me, fulfilled all righteousness in my stead: that through his great atonement and glorious obedience he has purchased, even for my sinful soul, reconciliation with God, sanctifying grace, and all spiritual blessings.” And the

Marrow of Modern Divinity, with Notes, p. 158, 273. N. B. Wendelinus is the author of the last-mentioned definition of faith, who is one of the authorities Mr. Hervey refers to. And as this definition seems to have been made with care, and to be very exact, so it is worthy of particular attention. My sins are not forgiven, but I believe they are forgiven, and so receive forgiveness; i. e. I knew it was not true, but I believed it to be true, and so it became true. Which exactly answers to the account Mr. Marshal gives of faith ; of which more presently.

language of faith is this : “Pardon is mine, grace is mine, Christ and all his spiritual blessings are mine. God has freely loved me; Christ has graciously died for me; and the Holy Ghost will assuredly sanctify me in the belief, the appropriating belief, of these precious truths.” This appropriating and taking home to myself the blessings of the gospel, is of the essence of faith. H. “ It is not a persuasion that we have already received Christ and his salvation, or that we have been already brought into a state of grace, but only that God is pleased graciously to give Christ and his salvation unto us, to bring us into a state of grace.” M. To sum up all in a word : Faith is a persuasion that I am one for whom Christ died, with a design to save; that God is reconciled to me, loves me, and will save me. And all this is believed by the direct act of faith, antecedent to any reflection. H.

Paul. O my Theron, be you not mistaken! Is not faith usually called coming to Christ, receiving Christ, trusting in Christ, believing in Christ, flying to Christ? etc.

Ther. It is. But this is an after-act, and is built upon the former. First, I believe that pardon, grace, Christ, and all his spiritual blessings, are mine ; and then I trust I shall assuredly be saved by Christ. First, I believe that Christ died for me in particular, and that God is my God; and this encourages me to come to Christ and trust in him. If I did not know that Christ loves me, I should not dare to trust in him. Wherefore, in the first direct act of faith, I believe that God is “reconciled to me,” that Christ has “rescued me from hell,” and “established my title to all the blessings included in the promises." Just as my tenant believed me when once I sent him word “that I had cancelled his bond and forgiven his debt;" just as my servant believed me when I freely gave him a little farm ; and just as you believed the estate your own which was bequeathed to you in your late father's last will. You first believed your title good, and then took possession of it as your own.

I am sensible this is not what is called the orthodox opinion; it is more "refined and exalted," and more exactly agreeable to the truth.

Paul. But, my dear Theron, how do you know that Christ, pardon, grace, and glory, are yours? What evidence have you for your belief-a belief on which you venture your precious soul for a whole eternity ?

Ther. The Holy Scripture clears up my title, and enables me to appropriate to myself, in particular, what is given, granted, and made over, in the written word, to sinners in general. To explain myself: it is written, “ To us a Son is given.”

66 The Lord hath laid on him the iniquities of us all." "Christ died

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