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cannot but adore, love, and magnify him: the second will follow upon the first. If there be an impediment upon the first, you will never come to the last. Indeed there is the case of melancholy; and in this case the mind will peevishly reflect upon God, and will suspect him, that he makes a show, or 0ver-words himfelf. But as it proceeds from melancholy temper, or the enemy, it is rather a burthen than a fin: but oppose it, set your
self gainst it. This you must do, or else affections will be extinguished, and will die ; for if once it is thought that God is not gracious and faithful, you will give over to love him : no man affects him, that is false in friendship.
3. Be reconciled to God, by favouring the things of God. Through reconciliation we come to harmonize with the nature, and mind, and will of God; to think of things as he thinks ; to favour and relish them as he doth. Friends that are of a familiar acquaintance, they come so to harmonize that you may know one by the other, know what one thinks by the other. It is as if one foul did animate, two bodies. So through this happy work of reconciliation, we come to favour and relish the things of God, come to judge of things as God judgeth, come to adhere to the rule of righteousness as God doth, whose understanding is in an infeparable conjunction with truth; and his will is in an inseparable conjunction with his understanding. And when we are made whole, we shall in state resemble God: our minds and understandings they will abide in the truth; and then our wills will be well
directed and governed by the understanding. For the will hath no other guide than the understanding, being of her self blind; the understanding is
But if the understanding be wavering, it is hap-hazard what a man's will shall carry him to. But if we are reconciled to God, we shall be, in our measure, in our understanding and will, suit. able to God, judging as he judgetb.
4. Be reconciled to God by imitating him in acts of goodness, acts of mercy, acts of love ; be forward to do good; be tender-hearted, compassionate. 5.
Let direct all our intentions towards him, There is all the reason in the world, that we should end in God, because we begin in God. If God be Alpha, he is also to be Omega to us.
He made us for himself: we are not for our felves, because we are not our own, but God's. There is none greatér; there is no other to whom we owe our felves ; therefore, we must refer all to God's honour and glory.
6. Acknowledge his grace and goodness in Chrif. This is purely evangelical ; this is a superaddition to those things that are founded in the state of God's, creation. This is the direction that we receive from God, in this state of apoftacy. And so to acknowledge the grace and goodness of God by Jesus Christ, this is necessary as an antidote in case of poison, as a cordial in case of fainting. We have made our felves guilty, we are faulty, we have brought upon the creation of God that that is unnatural, an evil disease, which hath marred our principles; therefore it is necessary for us to acknow
ledge the sovereign supply of grace; and this is the manifestation of the grace of God for recovery in and through Jesus Christ. These are the fix things whereby reconciliation is begun, carried on, and finished.
Now to apply this, and so to conclude.
1. This doth highly recommend religion to us, in that it is a reconciling principle. The spirit of religion in the latitude of it, is a reconciling spirit. There are but two things final to christianity ; all christianity finally ending in two things : and to the end, no medium must be inconsistent. A mean is only in order to the end. All things in religion are but a mean in respect to two things which have the place of ends: that is,
(1.) The reconciliation of man to God, and the
the reconciliation of the whole creation of God. Whofoever therefore doth begin, or maintain a difference upon religion or conscience, he pretends a mean contrary to the end. Do nothing in religion to differve either of these two ends, your agreement with God, your agreement with man. This is all religion ; the religion of God's creation, the religion of the gospel, that which is advanced and promoted by gospel-recovery, it hath but these two ends in it, the reconciliation of man to God, and the reconciliation of man to man.
Two cannot fall out one with another in matters of religion, because it is final in religion for men to agree. It is that which God sent his Son into the world for. Yea, let me tell you, he that is not reconciled to God, and to his fellow-creatures, shall finally perish in hell., This is the first observation : you have here a just report of the nature and quality of religion.
2. You have also a just report of the work and business of religion. It is a rectifying of our tempers, a transformation of our spirits, a regulation of our souls. By religion we return to God; and the obligation that is upon us unto God is renewed and reinforced : and so we, by communion with God, are brought to a participation of God, and to an assimilation to him; and so God being superior and, chief, and we inferior and dependent, we are made. like him ; just as the fun, who is predominant, doth assimilate every thing to it self. All here below were as a dungeon before, now it is all light, and all answer the motion of the sun. That which is the principle of regulation, doth regulate all, and transform all to its own image. God, in this business of religion, is principal, the original of life and motion : and we are admitted into a participation, we are transformed by him, and all our motions are regulated by him.
Lastly, You have here the wretched state of fon. The circumstances of the state are apostacy from God, distaste and offence at him, enmity with him, contradiction to him; all things are turned upfide down. The mind of man is malign and spiteful against God and goodness, fickly and unto. ward, and we quarrel at our physiciana A state unanswerable, and off from God. Whereas it is most natural to us to be with God, for he is the center of our souls, and our ultimate end: in the state of fin, instead of love and good-will, anger and displeasure ; instead of faith and confidence, jealousy and heart-burning, and all kind of malignity in the mind of men. But now religion taking effect, and proving available, all this malignity is subdued, and we are brought into a harmonical frame, we are brought back to our original state and condition between God and us.
Thus much shall serve for that point. Be ye reconciled to God.
Something I have to say concerning the last verse of the chapter.
The arguments by which Men should
be persuaded to Reconcile unto God.
2 COR. V. 21. For he hath made him fin for us, who knew no sin ;
that we might be made the righteousness of God in
Shall fay but very little to these words : but they having so much relation to what I have said before, I must not overlook them.
He made him fin for us, &c. I shall first give you an account of the connexion of these words and the former: and, secondly, give an explanation of the matter contained in the words; which is choice and