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2. We shall then better understand what reason we have to love God. For,
1. We shall know him better, and more clearly discern how transcendentTy Amiable and Lovely he is in himself. We shall have a clear view and full
pro spect of all those glorious excellencies and perfections in him that and attract Love.
2. Then we shall more fully apprehend how unspeakably Good and Gràcious he hath been to us. Now'we have scant and narrow apprehensions of his Love ; then we shall in some measure comprehend with all Saints what is the heighth, and depth, and breadth and length of his Love to us in Chrift, which passeth Knowledge. This our future Knowledge of him both as to what he is in himself, and what he is to us, will raise our Love to him incomparably beyond any degree of Love that is attainable in this Life.
2. Our Love to Man, to the Saints of God, our Fellow-Citizens, shall then be such as no Saint of God ever attained on this side Heaven.
For 1. Then they shall be every way truly Amiable and Lovely. Then they thall be freed from all those sinful weaknesses and imperfections, those spots and blemishes, those unpleasing Corruptions and Distempers, those cross Humours and contrary Dispositions, which here do much abate and weaken our Love to them. There they shall be filled with whatsoever is Beautiful, Lovely and Desirable. And who can choose byt Love such an object dearly!
2. We' our selves shall also then be perfectly free'd from all those corrupt Affections and Distempers that are contrary to Love. Then Pride and Envy, and Self-Love, and whatsoever is destructive of Charity, or unfriendly to it, shall no more have place in us. Then whatever is an Enemiy to Charity, or any way a back-Friend or underminer of it, shall not only be mortified in us, but plucked up by the Roots, and utterly destroyed. Then there shall be nothing in us to give check to our Love, to retard its motions, or hinder the free course and actings thereof. 3.
Then all the Saints shall know in all their Hearts and Souls that they are most sincerely, intirely, and dearly beloved of all. We shall know that all others Love us with the most endeared and affectionate Love, and they shall all know
that we Love them no less. Now what ardent Affections, what flames of mutual Love must this kindle in us all to each other, and to what an height must it blow up those flames.
those flames. We know by experience, that there is nothing that is a more powerful incentive to Love than the certain Knowledge and perswafion that we have of the intire Love that a thers have for us.
4. There is yet one thing more that contributes not a little towards the intending and heightning of our Love to one another in Heaven ; and that is the assurance that we have that there shall never be any end or abatement of our Mutual Love. He that hath ng security but that the Person who is now his Friend may hereafter become his Enemy, will sometimes be too apt to think of his Counsel who said, fo Love thy Friend as making account that thou mayest fometime hereafter see reason to Hate him ; he
himself as to forfeit thy Love. Such a thought as this, and much more any suspicion of it, cannot but sprinkle some drops of cold Water upon the flames of Love, to slack the heat of them. But he who certainly knows that he who Loves him dearly at
present will never cease to do it, hath the highest ingagement to the same Dearness and Constancy of Affection, and the strongest allective thereunto. This will be our case in Heaven. We shall then affuredly know that all those Saints who Love us moit intirely, shall continue to do it everlastingly; and o how powerful an influence will this have on us to endear them to us, and to call forth all our Love to meet and answer theirs !
Now that which hath been spoken concerning the duration of Charity,and therein its preheminence above Prophesies, Tongues, and Knowledge, may be improved and made useful to us many ways. I shall at present only mention two or three particulars.
Vse 1. Are Prophesies, and Tongues, and Knowledge to fail, cease, and vanish away, as being of no further use after this Life is ended? And will Charity then be in its height and perfection? and shall it so continue for ever? Then how unequal and preposterous is our Rating and Valuation of things. As for Knowledge and Gifts, especially Gifts that are of an extraordinary nature, as the Gift. of Prophesie and
Tongues,how highly do we prize them! And how do we undervalue and despise Charity in comparison of them! Love is in our esteem a poor, cheap and con-. temptible thing if compared witlı Knowledge, and Eloquence, and skill in variety of Languages, and other such like endowments of the Mind ; whereas in Truth one dram of Charity is more worth than the Richest Furniture, and most admired Accomplishments of all other Gifts that ever Mortal Creature was adorned with. And if there were no other Argument to prove it, yet this were sufficient, that Charity accompanieth us into the other World when all those Gifts shall vanish, and be of no further use to us; yea and shall then be the principal flower of that Crown of Glory which shall be the Everlasting Reward of every found Christian.
Vse 2. If Prophesies, and Tongues, and Knowledge shall vanish when we come to Heaven, how transcendently Blessed, and unspeakably Glorious will our condition then be, when all those things shall be of no further use to us, which here are so necessary, and by which God communicates and inparts