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Secondly, He expects nothing with us, and yet bestows himself, and all that he hath, upon us.

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poverty cannot eurich him, but he made himlelf poor to enrich us, 2 Cor. viii. 9. i Cor, iii...22.

Thirdly, No husband' loves the wife of his bosum, as Christ loved his people, Eph. v. 25. He loved the church, and gave himself for it.

Pourthly, None bears with weaknesses and provocations as Chrift doth; the church is filed “the Lamb's wife," Rev.

xix. 9.

Fifthly, No husband is fo immortal and everlasting a hus. band as Christ is; death separates all other relations, but the foul's union with Christ is not dissolved in the grave : yea, the day of a believer's death, is his marriage day, the day of his fullest enjoyment of Christ. No husband can say to his wife, what Christ saith to the believer, "I will never leave thee, nor " forlake thee,” Heb. xii. 5.

Sixthly, No bridegroom advanceth his bride to such honours by marriage, as Christ doth; he relates them to God as their father, and from that day the mighty and glorious angels think it no dishonour to be their servants, Heb. i. 14. they are brought in admiring the beauty and glory of the spouse of Christ, Rev.

xxi. 9.

Seventhly, and lastly, No marriage was ever consummated with that triumphal solemnity, as the marriage of Christ and believers shall be in heaven, Pfal. xlv. 14, 15. “She hall be brought " to the king in raiment of needle-work, the virgins, her com“ pasions that follow her, shall be brought unto thee; with

gladness and rejoicing Mall they be brought; they fall enter “ into the king's palace." Among the Jews the marriage-house was called Bethillula, the house of praise ; there was joy upon all hands, but none like the joy that will be in heaven, when believers, the spouse of Christ, shall be brought thither : God the Futher will rejoice, to behold the blessed accomplishment and confummation of those glorious desigos of his love. Jesus Christ, the Bridegroom, will rejoice, to see the travail of his soul, the blessed birth and issue of all his bitter pangs and agonies, Isa. lii. 11. The Holy Spirit will rejoice, to see the completion and perfection of that sancțifying design which was committed to his hand, 2 Cor. v. 5. to see those fouls whom he once found as rough stones, now to shine as the bright, polished stones of the spiritual temple. Angels will rejoice : great was the joy when the foundation of this design was laid, in the incarnation of Christ, Luke ii. 13. great therefore must their joy be, when the

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top-ftone is set up with shouting, crying, Grace, grace. The Saints themselves (hall rejoice upspeakably, when they shall enter into the King's palace, and be for ever with the Lord, 1 Theff. iv. 17. Indeed there will be joy on all hands, except among the devils and damned; who shall gnash their teeth with envy, at the everlatting advancement, and glory of believers.

Thus Christ is altogether lovely, in the relation of a Bridegroom. Thirdly, Christ is altogether lovely, in the relation of an Adi

i Joho ii. 1. “ If any man fin, we have an advocate w with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous, and he is the pro" pitiation;" it is he that pleads the cause of believers in heayen; appears for them in the prefeace of God, to prevent all new breaches, and continues the state of friendship and peace be. twixt God and us. In this relation Christ is altogether lovely. For,

First, He makes our cause his own, and acts for us in heaven, as for himself, Heb. iv. 15. He is touched with the tender fenfe of our troubles and daogers, and is not only one with us, by way of representation, but also one with us in respect of sympathy and affection.

Secondly, Christ our Advocate, follows our fuit and busibess in heaven, as his great and main design and business; there. fore, in Heb. vii. 25. he is faid to “ live for ever to make incercession for us ;" as if our concernments were so minded by him there, as to give up himself wholly to that work, as if all the glory and honour which is paid him in heaven, would pot fatisfy him, or divert him one moment from our businessa

Thirdly, He pleads the cause of believers by his blood; it fatisfies him got, as other advocates, to be at the expence of words and oratory, which is a cheaper way of pleading ; bus he pleads for us by the voice of his own blood, Heb. xii. 24, where we are faid to be come “to the blood of sprinkling, that “ speaketh better things than that of Abel :” Every wound he received for us on earth, is a mouth opened to plead with God on our behalf in heaven ; Quot vulnera, tot ora. And hence it is, that in Rev, v. 6. be is represented standing before God, as a lamb that had been lain : as it were, exhibiting, and opening, in heaven, those deadly wounds received on earth, from the justice of God, op our account. Other advocates fpead their breath, Christ his blood.

Fourthly, He pleads the cause of believers freely. Other act Yocates plead for reward, and exhaul the purses, while they plead the caules of their clients.

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Fifthly, In a word, he obtaineth for us all the mercies for which he pleads ; do cause miscarries in his hand, which he undertakes, Rom. vii. 33, 34. Owhat a lovely Advocate is Christ for believers !

Fourthly, Christ is altogether lovely in the relation of a friend, for in this relation he is pleased to own his people, Luke xii. 4, 5. There are certain things in which one friend manifests his affection and friendship to another, but none like Christ. For,

First, No friend is so open-hearted to his friend, as Christ is to his peopie : he reveals the very counsels and secrets of bis heart to them. Joho xv. 15. “ Henceforth I call you not servants, * for the servant knoweth not what his Lord doth ; but I have * called you friends ; for all things that I have heard of my.

Father, I have made known unto you.”.

Secondly, No friend in the world is so generous and bountiful to his friend, as Jesus Christ is to believers; John xvi. 13. he parts with his very blood for them; “Greater love (faith he) " hath no man thao this, that a man lay down his life for his “ friends." He hath exhausted the precious treasures of his invaluable blood, to pay our debts. O what a lovely friend is Jefus Chrift to believers !

Thirdly, No friend sympathizes so tenderly with his friend in affliction, as Jesus Christ doth with his friends : “ In all our afAictions he is afflicted,” Heb. iv. 15.

He feels all our forrows, wants, and burthens, as his own. Whence it is, that the lufferings of believers are called the sufferings of Christ, Col.i. 24.

Fourthly, No friend in the world takes that complacency in his friend, as Jesus Christ doth in believers. Caar. iv. 9. "Thou " hast ravished my heart, (faith he to the spouse) thou hast ra"vished my heart with one of thine eyes, with one chain of " thy neck.” The Hebrew, here rendered ravisbed, fignifies to puff up, or to make one proud : how is the Lord Jesus

pleafed to glory in his people ! how is he taken and delighted with those gracious oroaments, which himself bestows upon them i No friend so lovely as Christ,

Fifthly, No friend in the world loves his friend with fo fervent and strong affe&tion, as Jesus Christ loves believers. Jacob loved Rachel, and endured for her fake, the parching heat of fummer, and cold of winter : but Chrift endured the storms of the wrath of God, the heat of his indigoation, for our fakes. Da. vid manifefted his love to Abfalom, in wishing, “O that I had " died for thee !” Christ manifested his love to us, not in wilhes that he had died, but in death itself, in our ftead, and for our fakes.

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Sixthly, No friend in the world is so constant and unchangeable in friendship, as Chritt is. John xiii. 1. "Having loved his

own which were in the world, he loved them unto the end." He bears with millions of provocations and injuries, and yet will not break friendship with his people. Peter denied him, yet he will not disown him ; but after his resurrection he faith, " Go, tell the disciples, and tell Peter," q. d. Let himn not think he hath forfeited, by that sin of his, his interest in me; though he have denied me, I will not disown him, Mark xvi. 7. O how lovely is Chrilt in the relation of a friend ! I might farther shev you the loveliness of Christ in his ordinances, and in his providences, in his communion with us, and communications to us; but there is no end of the account of Christ's lovelinefs : I will rather chuse to prels believers to their duties towards this altogether lovely Christ, which I shall briefly dispatch in a few words.

Use. First, Is Jefus Christ altogether lovely, then I beseech you set your souls upon this lovely Jesus. Methinks such an object as hath been here reprefented, should compel love from the coldest breast, and hardest heart, Away with those empty nothings, away with this vain, deceitful world, which deserves not the thousandth part of the love you give it ; let all stand a side and give way to Chrilt, o did you but know his worth and ex. cellency, what he is in himself, what he hath done for, and de. served from you ; you would need no arguinents of mine to perfuade you to love him.

Secondly, Esteem nothing lovely, but as it is enjoyed in Chrif, or improved for Christ : Affect nothing for itself, love pothing feparate from Jesus Christ. In two things we all fin in love of creatures, viz, in the excess of our affections, loving them above the rate and value of creatures ; and in the inordinacy of our affections, (i.e.) in loving them out of their proper places.

Thirdly, Let us all be humbled for the baseness of our hearts, that are so free of their affections to vanities, and trifles; and fo hard to be persuaded to the love of Christ, who is altogether love. ly. O how many pour out streams of love and delight upon the vain and empty creature; whilst no arguments can draw forth one drop of love from their obdurate and unbelieving hearts to Jesus Chrift! I have read of one Joannes Mollius, who was observed to go often alone, and weep bitterly; and being pressed by a friend to know the cause of his troubles; O! said he, it grieves me that I cannot bring this heart of mine to love Jesus Christ more fervently.

Fourthly, Represent Christ, as he is, to the world, by your carriage towards him. Is he altogether lovely; let all the world

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fee, and know that he is fo, by your delights in him, and communion with him; zeal for him, and readiness to part with any other lovely thing upon his account; proclaim his excellencies to the world, as the fpoufe here did; convince them how much your beloved is better than any other beloved ; display his glorious excellencies in your heavenly conversations; bold him forth to others, as he is in himself, altogether lovely. See that you “ walk worthy of him unto all well-pleasing,” Col. i. 10. " Shew forth the praises of Christ,” i Pet. ii. 19. Let not that “ worthy name be blafphemed through you,” James ii. 7. He is glorious in himself, and will put glory upon you ; take heed ye put not shame and dishonour upon him : he hath committed his honour to you, do not betray that trust.

Fifthly, Never be ashamed to own Chrift: he is altogether lovely; he can never be a shame to you; it will be your great fin, to be ashamed of him. Some men glory in their hame; be not you alhamed of your glory: if you be ashamed of Christ now, he will be assamed of you when he fall appear in his own glory, and the glory of all his holy angels. Be ashamed of nothing but sin ; and among other sins, be ashamed, especially for this sin, that you have no more love for him who is altogether lovely.

Sixthly, Be willing to leave every thing that is lovely upon earth, that you may be with the altogether lovely Lord Jesus Christ, in heaven. Lift up your voices with the spouse, Rev. XX, 20. “ Come Lord Jesus, coine quickly.” It is true, you must pass through the pangs of death into his bosom and enjoyment; but sure it is worth suffering much more than that, to be with this lovely Jesus. • The Lord direct your hearts into “ the love of God, and the patient waiting for Jesus Christ,”, ? Thef. iii. 5.

Seventhly, Strive to be Chrift-like, as ever you would be lovely in the eyes of God and man. Certainly, my brethren, it is the Spirit of Christ within you, and the beauty of Christ upon you, which only can make you lovely persons; the more you resemble him in holiness, the more will you dilcover of true excellency and loveliness : and the more frequent and spiritual your converse and communion with Christ is, the more of the beauty and loveliness of Christ will still be stamped upon your spirits, changing you into the same image from glory to glory.

Eightly, Let the loveliness of Christ draw all men to him. Is loveliness in the creature so attractive ? And can the transcepdeat loveliness of Christ draw none? O the blindaels of man!

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