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delighteth." And he saith of the Father, "I was daily his delight, re"joicing always before him"." And the very fountain, from whence the Father's delight originated, was his love. "Thou "lovedst me before the foundation of "the world." Hence we say, Christ's election was the fruit of love, as ours is also. The holy Three were so infinitely well-pleased with this union founded in their eternal will and decree, that to make it further manifest, they were pleased to will the loving of an innumerable company of angels and men with an immutable love-to love them in Christ, and to love them as they had loved him. As the union of the Son of God with the man Christ Jesus is, next to the union of the divine persons in the Godhead, the most incomprehensible; so it draws after it a truly mysterious and blefsed union of the persons of all the elect with the person of Christ, which, like the former, is altogether of grace. The union of our nature in the person of the God-man laid the foundation of it. To relieve the mind, whilst an attempt is made to give a clear view of it, I would say, that as Adam in Paradise, though he had God in his works to conh Prov. viii. 30.

Isaiah xlii. 1.

i John xvii. 24.

template, and might thereby be led up to contemplate God in his nature, persons, and perfections, yet wanted a social companion to be a partner with him in his joys and consolations; so, though the God-man, Christ Jesus, was set up in Heaven in the same glory which he would wear for evermore, yet it was conceived in the divine mind, as an increase of his manifestative glory, that he should have a bride, a church, who should be his social companion and a partner with him in all his communicable glory. And like as Eve was formed out of Adam's rib, and brought, and presented by the Lord God to Adam, to be his spouse and a partner with him in his happiness; so the elect were chosen in Christ, received their being, and what they are, as a church, from him, and were presented by the Lord God in the glafs of his decrees and purposes to the God-man to be his bride; who were to receive their life, light, holiness, righteousnefs, blefsednefs, and glory from him. Here then I would aim to mount the summit, and view the eternal designs of Father, Son, and Holy Ghost towards the elect; and so proceed to give an account of their respective outgoings of love towards them in Christ.

It pleased the Eternal Three to love

the elect in Christ Jesus "with an "everlasting love." Their persons were the objects of JEHOVAH'S love, and he exprefsed his love by choosing them in Christ before the foundation of the world. He willed their being and everlasting well-being in Christ. He gave them being in Christ by election before all time. The love of God towards them was so great, in all the acts of it towards them, before time and in time, that vast eternity can never fully exprefs it. It is ineffable, incomprehensible, immutable, everlasting love. The first and highest instance of God's everlasting love towards his people was his giving them being in Christ, which was altogether of grace: by which the elect were in Christ united to, interested in, and related to his person. And from this union they have a supernatural influx of his Spirit, communion with him, and communications from him. As Adam, the first man, was the root and representative of all men, and as they were in him by creation, and were to receive their life from him as their head by virtue of their union with him; (hence the apostle' saith, "The first man Adam was made a "living soul';" because, as the head, he was to convey life to his offspring) so Christ, who is styled in the fore* Jer. xxxi. 3,

11 Cor. xv. 45.

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cited chapter the second Man, the Lord from heaven, was the head and representative of the elect from everlasting. He was united to them, and they were united to him, by an indissoluble union. And, like as the three in Jehovah subsisting in one infinite efsence was the foundation, or original motive with God of the union of our nature with the second person in deity; so this laid a foundation for an union of the elect with God, and on this it is founded. Hence our Lord thus speaks in the gospel by John, "That they all may be one as "thou Father art in me, and I in thee, "that they also may be one in us". God's love to the elect was founded on his love to Christ, God-man. This I think appears from our Lord's prayer to his divine Father, which runs thus, "That the love, wherewith thou hast "loved me, may be in them, and I in "them "." It is, as it were, the overflowings of God's love to the person of Christ, which fall upon us. God loved his people from eternity, and beheld them in the person of his Son. He never viewed them out of Christ, nor thought of them but as one with him. Out of the same love, wherewith he loved them, he blefsed them with all spiritual blefsings in him. And, he being the Son of Chap. xvii. 21, n John xvii, 26.


his love, whose person was everlastingly dear and acceptable to him, he accepted his people in the person of his beloved, "To the praise of the glory of his 66 grace. Election is an act of pure sovereignty founded on the good-pleasure of Jehovah's will. It flows from and is the fruit of his everlasting love towards his people. It is an eternal act in God-the fundamental cause of all grace and glory. And it is immutable. "The counsel of the Lord standeth for "ever, and the thoughts of his heart to "all generations"." Christ was set up before all worlds, as the great head of the elect; and they were chosen in him, and together with him. "Of him (i. e. " of JEHOVAH the Father) are ye in "Christ Jesus." Our existence in Christ, union with him, and interest in him, are founded thereon. Hence our Lord himself makes a great matter of it, and lays a remarkable strefs on it in his prayer recorded in the 17th of John, where, in his addrefs to his divine Father, he saith, "Thine they were, and "thou gavest them me. God's grace in election is gloriously set forth with the supralapsarian blefsings, which follow that supercreation being given us in Christ Jesus, in the first chapter of the

⚫ Eph. i. 6.

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P Psalm xxxiii. 11. 4 1 Cor. i. 30.

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