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-i God is insinite in knowledge, wifHom, and
power; vrnnifcient, and omnipotent: God is also insinite in his moral perfections, such as holiness, justice, goodness, and truth: And he is insinitely Messed, and glorious i» being so. This is that adorable Being whom we call God; who was from eternity, and will be to eternity the fame: Who never had a beginning, and never can have an end; with whom
is no variableness, neither shadow of turning*.
This Most High God is the Creator, Possessor, Dispofer, and Lord of heaven and earth, and of all things which are therein, both of men and angels, of what order, rank, and condition soever; for they are all the work of his hands, for whofe pleasure they are, and were createdf. And this God is
\ .-'.'.•• • i' 'i \
. Love is anaffection, or motion in the heart, firing up a person to wish another well, and seek to do him good: But it is not only a desire to communicate, and seek another's good; but an affection also, difposing and inclining the soul towards some good discovered to us in another, and acknowledged by us: Whence arises an ardent and strong desire of .being united to it; but the highest degree and perfection of love is that, whereby the beloved object is wholly possessed, and fully enjoyed; in which
the • Jam. i. 17, t Rev. 1v' dt.
the soul is completely satisfied, and rests itself with the highest complacency and delight: But this love cannot subsist between any two objects, unless there is a perfect agreement, suitableness, and likeness betwixt them.
Now it is certain that God cannot love every thing. That which is contrary to the essential glory and perfection of his divine nature, he cannot love: Because God cannot change, nor cease to be what he is. Therefore faith Paul, God cannot deny himself': He cannot deny himself to be God, she only living and true God; who is holy and
blessed for evermore, Amen. Therefore he
cannot love any sinful or rebellious creature, whether Angel or man, that faith in his heart, / will be equal to the Most High * ; I will be as God. Such rebellion, together with all moral evil, injustice, lying, and uncleanness, God cannot but hate, and. infinitely abhors: Therefore the creature that is under the power and government of devilish pride, and carnal abominations, God cannot love as such. Wherefore he faith, I the Lord hate evil; a/id again, thou hatest all the workers of iniquity f; for thou art of surer eyes than to behold iniquity, and canst not look upon evil$. Hence he putteth away all the ungodly of the earth like dross; therefore faith the Psalmist, • Isa. xiv. 14. f Psal. v. y. % Hab. i. 13.
mist, I love thy testimonies.—Thus we see what God cannot love.
We observe further what it js that God can, may, and doth Jove.—It is manifest that the object of God's love, in the abstract, is moral rigbtiousness; such as holiness, justice., goodness, and truth; As it is written; let him that glorieth, glory in this, that be underftandtth and knoweth me, that I am the Lord who execute loving kindness, judgment, and righteousness in the earth j for in these things I delight, faith the Lord *: And again, the righteous Lord lovetb righteousness, his countenance dolh behold the uprightf. Hence he saith again, know thii, that the Lord bath
set apart him that isgody for himself'J. Thus
every one that is righteous, and doth righteousness, is beloved of God: For as God necesianly hates all unrighteousness and sin; so, on the contrary, he cannot but love righteousness and true holiness: It is according to the essential perfections of God's unchangeable being, and nature, to hate the former, and also to love the latter. Therefore it is certain that God cannot love any rational creature whatsoever, where his own moral image and likeness is not found, without any mixture, or contrariety: For, altho' creatures change, yet God changeth not, nor can change,
• Jer. ix. 24. f Psid- xi• 7- X Psal. iv. 3.
It is therefore the prerogative of Him that liveth for ever and ever, and infinitely becomes the most Holy God supremely to love himself: Wherefore also it is infinitely right and// that God should seek his oœn glory.—But for any creature to love himself more than God, and to seek his own glory, is an infinite evil, and rebellion against the most high God, his Creator: For thereby he denies the God that is above, who made him for himself, and formed him for his praise. . ,
When God at first created the Angels, they were all holy and righteous, bearing the image and likeness of their great Creator; and as such he loved them. But when Satan and his associates rebelled against their Maker, they lost the divine likeness; and as they abode not in the truth *, but embraced a lie in opposition to the truth, God as such hated them, and cast them down to hell: Where they are reserved in chains of darkness unto the judgment of the great day.—Again, when God created man, he made him also upright, in his own image and likeness; holy, just, and good: but, when he rebelled against the law of his God, he as a sinner hated him, and drove him out of Paradise.
• John viii. 44.