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and grateful Affection, all agree very well SERM.
Serm. we do? This Fear is rather inseparable
And thus is this Place reconcil'd with the
true Religion. So well is our Liturgy SERN.
A second Mistake, which we have gain- , ed the Light to rectify, may be, in same pious but less knowing People, the same we had Occasion to speak to before ; who observing how their Minds are affected to wards other Objects of their Love, and how towards Almighty God; and perceiving they are so more vehemently and fenfibly to the former, Thall for that Reafon be lieve themselves destitute of the true Love of God. They conclude truly,,boch with respect to the Commandment, which requires all the Heart, and with respect to the fovereign Excellence of the Divine Nature, that if their Love of God do not exceed what they have to every Thing elfe, tis in Effect Nothing." For it complies not with the Commandment; and instead of honouring, dishonours its fupreme OBject. But it ought to be consider, that this Object is a pure Spirit, whom to Mæn bath feen, nor can fee; not to be appreKended By any of our Bodily' Senses. And Vol: I. Kk
Serm. fince 'tis from them ordinarily that all pasXX. Fionate and transporting Affections
kindled, we should not measure and estimate the Love of God by Comparisons in that Kind. That may well be neither insincere, nor fo defective as to be rejected, tho’ without any Height of a sensible Fervour. So no one need to despair of himself, because he feels his Affections mov'd with more Passion and Eagerness towards other Things, This depends upon bodily Temperament ; and God hath taught us another Way to try the Reality and true Degree of our Love to him. What is that? To look to the Effects of it. If for his Sake, and his Commandment's Sake, we pay Obedience to his Laws; we may comfort ourselves that our Love has stood the Test. “But if any Thing else be lov'd too well to be rejectthat no other Testimony is sufficient, nor SERM. yet neceffary to assure our Consciences. XX.
cd, when it comes in Competition with our Duty, we are convicted of Deficience or Insincerity. The Love of God dwells not in our Hearts, whatsoever Warmths or Emotions they may sometimes be fenfible of. Let us then rest in the Proof prescribed by Scripture, and be affured,
Those Scriptures are well known: This is the Love of God, that we keep his Commandments. And our Saviour's Words, If ye love me, keep my Commandments. And again, If ye keep my Commandments, ye shall abide in my Love.. And several others to the same plain Effect.
I haye now shewn and asserted the Sense of the Text; that the most difficult, and beneficial, and honourable Actions, which Religion can dictate, or enable Man to do, may yet be done, without any Religion af all, and are so, where they have not for a Motive the Love of God , THAT being as the Principle of Life, and the Soul itself of religious Duty. I have thew'd likewise the Nature of this Love ; that it consists in the incomparable Honour and Esteem, the joyful Dependence, and profound Grafitude of our Hearts towards Almighty God; and this was derived from the Causes of it, which were prov'd to be the various and astonishing Instances of the Divine Goodness. And a third Thing, before explain d, was, why the Love of