Editor’s Note: Andrew Gray (1633 – 1656) was born and lived in the glorious era of the Puritans. He died, of “Purple Fever” after just two years of ministering the Word to his people in the High Outer Kirk, of Glasgow.
I Peter i. 5 – Who having not seen, ye love; in whom, though now ye see Him not, yet believing, ye rejoice with joy unspeakable, and full of glory.
Amongst all the debates and controversies in these days, this is without all debate and controversy, that godliness is a great mystery; and we conceive that it were your advantage to take up a mystery in it. We think the truths of the gospel are not only mysteries to our judgments, but much more mysteries to our practices. We conceive they are so elevated above sense and reason, that these depths of the gospel are not easily taken up. A natural man, who, in things human, hath his knowledge and understanding enlarged as the sand by the sea-shore, who hath attained unto an eminent pitch of knowledge of things natural and moral, above even those that are endued with a more divine light in things that are more sublime in their nature and useful in their knowledge; yet bring him to search out the mysterious truths in the gospel, and there he is as an infant of days, and without understanding in these things, they being spiritually discerned.
O what a mystery it is, for flesh and blood to love him whom they never saw. The first words of our text are a riddle which we cannot take up, to love an invisible object, but he that is spiritually enlightened, to embrace that precious object Jesus Christ, by these two glorious arms, faith and love, can easily unfold it. Though He be now entered into the holiest of all, and is set down at the right hand of the Majesty on high, and exalted out of our sight; yet faith doth travail above the clouds, to embrace and encircle that invisible object, whose name is Immanuel.
There are two great riddles and mysteries in the words which we have read, which, though a natural man had seven days to unfold them, he should be as wise at the close of these seven days, as he was at the beginning, these mysteries being above his sense and experience. 0 what a mystery is this, for a natural man to see Christians exercising themselves in the grace of love, about Him whom they never saw, and to be beholding Him whose bodily face they never did behold! This holds forth, no doubt, that divine and sublime acting of a Christian soul that is elevated above sense, and all outward appearance. that glorious and excellent piece the soul of man, which is of a divine offspring, deriving its generation from the Ancient of Days and that which must return unto him again, God being the first immediate cause, and last immediate end of this noble piece of the creation. What subtil abstraction and divine speculation will it have upon every subject? Yea more, it will be raised up by an attractive virtue of an eminent object, to excercise eminent acts of love and joy, as here we may see in the words. 0 that we were persuaded to be more in the exercise of that first and great commandment, ‘‘To love the Lord your God with all your soul, with all your strength, and with all your heart, and with all your mind.”
Did you ever see him? It were impossible for you but to love Him, if once ye had beheld him: but, however, though ye see Him not, yet love him; it is no blind bargain to take Christ upon implicit faith. 0 when had ye such a glorious and excellent discovery of that noble Plant of Renown, that ye were content to take Him alone, tho He should bring none of these great and comprehensive donations that He used to give unto his own? If such a supposition had been possible, ye would have condescended rather to he in hell with Christ, than to be in heaven without Him, as one piously once spake. 0 but want of the exercise of the grace of love is a great want. Other sins have slain their thousands; but, no doubt, this sin hath slain its ten thousands. 0, when shall Christ have dominion, and sit as king in the temple of our hearts. commanding the powers and faculties of our souls, saying to one, Go and it goeth; and to another, Do this, and it doeth it. What conceive ye could be the reason that moved Christians, in primitive times, so closely to adhere to the owning of a crucified Christ, tho not seen, that all torments imaginable could not break these precious cords of love and faith? They were twist‘d about by an unseen Christ; ‘‘They loved not their lives unto the death – the bonds of their afflictions could not break these precious bonds of love. And no doubt they received that precious reward, though their souls went up in the flame of that sacrifice, which they offered up to God, by giving their bodies to be burnt; and they went to heaven in a fiery chariot, and are now resting above the reach and noise of all these toils and miseries wherewith we are now encompassed. They have spent more than a thousand years in that blessed contemplation of Him whom they did not see while they were here below, and yet they love him; but now they both see him and love him.
We shall come and speak a little more particularly to the words. You have in them the apostle Peter setting forth the exellency of these two cardinal graces, from the object about which they were exercised which was Christ not seen; that in wise and glorious Majesty, “Whom having not seen, yet we love”: where there is a sweet emphasis in that word yet, that notwithstanding the love was at such a disadvantage, as not to see Him, yet love overcame it; and the object of faith likewise is Christ not seen, in “whom, tho ye see him not, yet believe.”
He doth commend these two graces from that precious fruit and effect which they had accompanying them, that it made the Christian “to rejoice with joy unspeakable, and full of glory,” that is, with joy that could not be made language of; the most divine orator could not tell what this joy was. As likewise, it is a “joy full of glory”, which we do conceive doth point at the constancy of that joy that floweth to a Christian, from the exercise of faith and love about this invisible object; and where these two are joined and knit together, unspeakable joy and permanent delight, what do they lack? These are those two sweet flowers that flow and spring out from the root of faith and love, permanent joy and unspeakable delight; and these shall remain eternally green throughout all the ages of long eternity.
And we shall only say this by the way, that if the joy of a Christian, while he is here below, be a joy unspeakable and full of glory, what must that joy be that saints that are now made perfect have, in the immediate contemplation of Jesus Christ? If the love of Christ not seen did produce such precious effects, how much more now when they are admitted to the immediate beholding of Him, shall they rejoice? And if ye would ask the name of that joy that the souls of just men now made perfect have with God, we would give it in no term so suitable as this, it is a joy without a name, it is a nameless joy; not because it is not, but because it is what it is. And we are persuaded that if ye had liberty granted unto you to possess or propose this question to any who are now above, what is now your joy that ye have in Christ now seen? I believe they would give you no other answer but that which is in 1 Cor. ii, 9, where the apostle Paul, by an excellent gradation, doth hold forth the excellency of that blessed and glorious estate of life that the saints have while they are above, when he says, The eye, that most comprehensive sense, that can take up many various and different objects, and can see such things at a distance; yet it cannot take up nor behold the invisible glory of that estate of life: yea more, the ear, that is a more comprehensive sense than the eye, cannot take up the blessedness of that estate; for the “ear (says the apostle) hath not heard”; yea, the mind of man, which is more comprehensive than the eye or the ear, and can take up many more things than both the eye and the ear, which can in one moment of time run through all the four cardinal points of heaven, west, east, north and south; “yet it hath not entered into the heart of man to conceive”, and understand that blessed and glorious estate of life. Sense and fruition shall best resolve that question, and we must delay the answer of it till we shall have the enjoyment of it; but ye may know what these upper springs must be, since the lower springs are such. If a Christian doth rejoice here below “with joy unspeakable and full of glory”, 0 how shall they rejoice in him. when all these vails that are betwixt Christ and them shall be rent from the top to the bottom?
We shall not stand long in debating this, why love here doth get the precedency and first place of faith. We think indeed faith is first in order to the begetting of love in the heart, and that which goeth forth and discovereth the invisible things of God; and love sits down and solaces itself in the discoveries of faith. Faith cries forth, it is good for us to be here, and love cries forth, let us make tabernacles here; but we shall not speak upon the priorities of the graces of the Spirit. Sure we are, the Spirit of grace doth keep a divine and wise method, in putting one line of scripture before another, though oft times we be ignorant of the causes of it; neither shall we stand long in speaking of this unto you, that divine and pleasant confession that is betwixt these two graces, love and faith, how each one of these doth help another in their exercise. We think the grace of faith does only help the grace of love in its exercise, in this respect, that it doth discover unto love, objects for it to exercise itself about. Faith is that discerning and comprehensive grace of the Christian, which taketh up most of God; it discovers the invisible things of God unto the Christian; and love is then provoked to exercise by the large and spiritual discoveries of faith.
Faith doth likewise help love in this, that when we meet with some sad and anxious dispensation, then our love begins to call in question, and debate the reality of His good-will, not knowing how to reconcile these two together, His good-will and His dispensations. I say, faith there doth eminently help love. Faith can read the thoughts of His heart and can behold His countenance under a vail, that though He seems to frown, yet He loveth. We confess, these characters, by which love is engraven upon a sad and anxious dispensation, are not easily read: it is only faith that can read them.
Secondly. Faith doth likewise help love in this, that it doth discover unto the Christian the accomplishment of the most Precious and excellent promises that are given unto it, which doth provoke the Christian eminently to love Him, who hath given unto them such precious and excellent promises, by which we are made partakers of His divine nature. I conceive, if once Christians could attain to such a length, as to behold the accomplishment of all these promises that are given to it in scripture, they could not be but constrained to have their spirits breathing after Him. 0 what a divine necessity should that impose upon our spirits to love Him, who hath thus loved us?
Thirdly. Faith doth likewise help love in this respect, that it goes to Jesus Christ, upon whom our strength is laid, and does draw strength and furniture from Him, for the exercising of all the graces of the Spirit. And, we conceive, that love doth help faith in some respect; for the apostle Paul, Gal. v. 6, says, “Faith worketh by love”: yea, it is impossible for the Christian to be in the divine exercise of faith, and not to be in the exercise of love. When love is in exercise, then faith doth increase with the increase of God. I confess, the languishing of the grace of love, maketh faith to groan within us, with the groanings of a deadly wounded man: then keep love in exercise, and ye shall keep faith also in exercise; and more we may say, keep faith in exercise, and ye shall likewise keep the grace of love in exercise.
Now that which we intended to speak upon at this time to you is, upon the first ground and consideration, from which the apostle Peter doth commend these two graces, which is this:- That they act and exercise themselves about an invisible object, a Christ not seen. And, we conceive, this expression, “Whom having not seen, ye love,” doth (not only) hold forth that they did exercise the grace of love, notwithstanding the want of His bodily presence, which, we conceive, is the plain and obvious meaning of this place. We confess the eye is the serious messsenger of the mind, as likewise it hath very great influence upon the affections. And herein their love was excellent, that notwithstanding the want of His bodily presence, yet they did love Him; though they had not known Christ, and Him crucified, according to the flesh, yet their souls were bound to this spiritual object by a three-fold cord, which is not easily broken. This doth likewise hold out that they did not, in their exercise of love, seek for an eminent and sensible discovery of the divine power of Christ, in some miracle and extraordinary thing; their love was more modest and sober than to seek a sign and miracle to maintain it: they would clasp about an unseen Christ, notwithstanding the want of these discoveries.
We think likewise it holds out this. That they did exercise love about Christ unseen, even in the sensible arid gracious declarations of His presence and favour towards them; that though He did sometimes turn about the face of His throne, and veil Himself with a cloud, and so was not seen in this respect, yet they did love Him. It is, no doubt, the eminent commendation of a Christian that, let Christ alter His dispensations as He will towards them, they will never alter in the exercise of love: let Him frown, yet be persuaded to love. This was the exercise of the spouse, Song iii, where under all her anxious disappointments that she meets with in her pursuit after Christ, yet four times she gives Him that glorious style, and loving epithet, “Him whom my soul loveth.” A Christian hath no will to injure the noble object of His love, even so much as to call in question the reality of His love, because of His dispensations. This, we doubt not, is an eminent act of love, to love an over-clouded Christ, when wrath seemeth to look out at His eyes, and when He hath put on a change of apparel, coming with dyed garments of blood towards you.
And we think, lastly, this phrase, “Whom having not seen, ye love,” holds forth this:- That Christ, in all our enjoyments we have of Him while we are here below, on this side of time, we may engrave that inscription upon them, This is not Christ seen, but Christ looking through at the lattice. And in this respect, we do but enjoy an unseen Christ, in respect of that complete and immediate fruition of Him, which those that are begotten unto a lively hope shall once have, in the immediate contemplation of Him, 0 what a sight shall that be, when your eyes shall be admitted to behold the King in His beauty! I confess, it is impossible to determine what joy a Christian shall have in that day, when he shall receive the first immediate sight of God. In a manner, all your enjoyments that formerly you have had, shall then appear as nothing to the soul; your soul shall be wrapt up in a holy admiration of such an enjoyment. 0 blessed are those eternally who are living in the lively expectation and hope of such a day: then He whom ye see not here, yet afterward ye shall see Him.
We shall speak to some considerations that do commend the exercise of the grace of love about Christ not seen, and this invisible object. I am afraid that we are a barbarian to the most part of you, and speaking in an unknown tongue, when we speak of the exercise of love about Christ not seen, and this invisible object.
The first consideration by which we commend the grace of love acting about this object is this :-.That act of the Christian is most permanent and durable. If your love to Jesus Christ be only when you see Him, certainly your love cannot long endure; and, I confess, it doth not deserve much thanks, such love as that, who would not love Him unless they do behold Him. Christ, who was the head, did remove from the members, He knowing how prone we were to idolize His bodily presence; therefore He saith, John xvi, 7, “It is expedient for you that I go away.” He went up, thinking it was best to remove, and not to let us have the enjoyment of His bodily presence, till that blessed day shall be, which we desire to believe is not far off, when we shall have the enjoyment of His bodily presence, and shall not be in hazard to idolize Him; though we confess Christ (so to speak) is the most suitable and divine idol for a Christian soul to have. But, however, that love is most divine and pure that hath its rise not from outward sense and appearance; it is the soul (as it were) closing both door and window, and retiring into the inner-room of divine contemplation and solacing itself with the sweet and desirable thoughts of Christ not seen; it is the soul of a Christian in a composed and divine frame, studying to have his love taking fire, in beholding Him who is far off, that he may meditate upon Him till he love, and love till he wonder, and wonder till he rejoice.
There is a second consideration by which, we think, the grace of love acting itself as about an invisible object, and Christ not seen is made commendable and eminent, and it is this. Love that is thus exercised, is most contrary to our inclination and humour. It is the natural disposition of all to love sense and sensible things, to have our eyes and our hands teaching us; and, no doubt, it must be an eminently attractive virtue of an invisible object, to make this impetuous current of our natural inclinations to turn back, and to provoke us to exercise love about that which we have not seen. We think Satan knew well what a prone desire men have to sense and sensible things, who hath brought down those things; therefore his precepts about the worshipping of idols and graven images, have been so well taken off his hand. We think the way of our worshipping God by sensible types and signs, and figures under the law, had more near affiance and likeness to our nature, than that pure and spiritual way of the gospel, and of loving Jesus Christ ,now in the fulness of time. It is one of the most eminent contradictions of our natural inclinations and humour, to love an invisible object, and Christ yet not seen.
The third consideration that does commend the grace of love acting itself about this invisible object is this, it is a love that is most pure and divine. We think our love that hath its rise from outward sense and appearance hath most mud and dreg at the bottom of it. It was, no doubt, a blessed dispensation to Him; but herein is the eminency of the grace of love much manifested, to love Christ when He is under a vail, or when He is not seen. it is certain, that we cannot long persist in the exercise of love, if our love do flow and ebb, according as His dispensations do. 0, to be kissing and loving the veil, or an absent Christ, when we are not admitted to behold His face! That our souls might be always breathing after an immediate conjunction and divine union betwixt our souls and Him. I think that which we speak in schools is eminently verified of a Christian, ‘the soul of a Christian is more where it loves than where it lives’. We think the soul is acting in its proper element and sphere when it is breathing out love upon Jesus Christ not seen, or this invisible object. 0 but this is a mystery to many of us. Our love is full of jealousies when His dispensations do not suit our humour. I think if Christ were as changeable as we are in the exercise of love, that contract of marriage that is between Him and us should soon be rent! But, 0, blessed are changeable creatures in this, that they have to do with an unchangeable Christ, whose love doth admit of no variableness, nor shadow of change! 0! who could ever engrave that imputation upon that living and gracious Person, that He changed? He keeps His grip on us, when we lose our grip of Him.
There is a fourth consideration by which we do commend the grace of love acting itself upon an invisible object, Christ not seen, and it is this. It is a love that does not rise upon any outward motive, or extrinsical consideration; it is a love rising from the exercise of a gracious frame of spirit, as the result of that union betwixt the head and the members: it would have Him, although, as long as it is within time, it never did behold Him. A Christian that is thus in the exercise of love, if he have the promise of the eternal enjoyment of Him, it will suspend all these things, if it seem so fit, (I mean all those enjoyments) till it be exalted above the reach of all diversion and interruption of that blessed fellowship. It will grant, (so to speak), an indulgence to our blessed Lord Jesus to be arbitrary in the dispensation of love, if so be that once he be persuaded that his Beloved is his, and that he is His. Ye know that the members ought to love the head; it is a conjugal motion and it is most suitable and proper. Now love that hath its rise from this union, and not from an extrinsical consideration, no doubt, it is most eminent and excellent.
There is a fifth consideration which may commend the grace of love acting itself about that invisible object, Christ not seen, and it is this. The grace of love can never be brought to perfection, till once we be brought to this, to love Christ yet not seen, this invisible object. I think that which makes love to be under such a woeful and remarkable decay, even in the most serious and exercised Christians, is this, that when Christ is vailed, and they do not behold Him, their love begins to decay and languish. Believe it, if your love be not exercised when He is away and absent from you, as well as when He is present, and condescendeth to manifest Himself unto you, it is certain your love can never increase with the increase of God.
There is this last consideration that we would propose unto you, which may commend the grace of love to an invisible object, Christ not seen, and it is this. It is that love which maketh the Christian to rejoice with joy unspeakable, and full of glory. 0 this is a paradox, and mystery unto many of the Christians of this generation, that the loving of Christ not seen should make them thus rejoice, even with joy unspeakable and full of glory. If the words of our text had run thus, “Whom seeing ye love,” and then, “Rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory”, no doubt ye might then have closed with it. Now certainly here is a mystery, that the exercise of the grace of love on Christ not seen, should make the Christian thus exceedingly to rejoice; and it is certain, that when a Christian wins to exercise love under absence with Christ, that love is most eminent and most complete. It is impossible to determine what strange and most inexpressible actings of the grace of love a Christian doth receive sometimes, when he is exercising this grace and duty of love in Christ not seen, and this invisible object.
Now we shall only from this press this upon you, that ye may once be persuaded to confine your love and all your desires upon Him. 0 Christians, love Him, though He be in a far country; for it is not long before ye shall see Him. That is the sweet period and result of the sweet exercise of the grace of love about that invisible object, Christ not seen; for ye may comfort yourselves in this, that shortly, ere it be long, it shall be your eternal exercise about the throne, ever to love Christ seen, and shall also enjoy Christ seen; and may not that provoke you, while ye are here, even to love that invisible object and unseen Christ? 0 let your love always be travelling above in that higher land, and embracing Him whom (we conceive) ought to be the object of all your loves. 0 are there not many here among us who never knew what it was to exercise love upon this precious object, Jesus Christ? 0 be persuaded of it, that the day is coming and is not far off, when He, even He whom ye would not love, shall tear you in pieces, when there shall be none to deliver you out of His hands; when ye shall see Him coming, with ten thousands of His saints, to take revenge upon those who would not obey the voice of His gospel. Believe it, ye shall then, with all the families of the earth, mourn for Him whom ye have pierced, and make bitter lamentation, as one for their only son. This day we do, as the ambassadors and messengers of Christ, once intreat you to love this blessed Object; and if ye deny this desire and command of His to you, it shall once be the matter of your eternal anxiety and torment, that ye were invited to love Him, but ye would not. I say, the day is approaching and drawing near, when ye would be content to love Him, but then He will not be loved by you; and no doubt it is a suitable retaliation from that person, that if ye will not love Him while ye are here below, when ye would love Him elsewhere, He will deny your desire unto you.
We shall likewise speak a word to the commendation of this grace of faith, upon this same account. That it is exercised about Christ not seen, and that invisible object. We think the grace of love and the grace of faith are indeed different in their habits, but are hardly distinguished in their exercise. All the graces of the Spirit are so inseparable and interwoven one with another, that when one grace acteth, all the other graces seem to move; they are like unto these wheels in a clock, which, at the motion of the upper-wheel, all the lower wheels seem to move; and certainly, it doth most clearly hold in the exercise of these two graces, faith and love, they are inseparable twins. These graces are pleasant in their lives, and in their death they are not divided.
Now the apostle doth here point out faith, not only in its nature and properties, but even in its object. In its nature, faith is here pointed forth, that it doth discover these invisible things of God, and it is the evidence of things not seen, as likewise the substance, or rather the subsistance of things hoped for; faith giveth a life and being to things before they be, and brings them near to the Christian’s eye, even while they are far off. 0 Christians, be much in the exercise of the grace of faith, even about things that are not seen; for believe it, ere long, faith shall die and vanish out into the exercise of the grace of love, and love shall be your inseparable companion in heaven, for there ye shall both love and be loved eternally, even without all intermission.
Now the object of love is here set down and that is, even Christ not seen, or bodily enjoyed: and we shall shortly point at some things by which the grace of faith may be kept in exercise, when ye meet with such a dispensation as this, to have Christ not seen unto you, and when He is vailing Himself from your eyes, and is, as it were, casting at you.
The first thing that we would give as a help to a Christian to keep his faith in exercise, and to exercise it in this estate, is this, look upon all these disadvantages and impediments that ye have in the exercise of the grace of your faith, as opportunities and occasions given unto you to glorify God; and that will help to keep your faith in exercise. When faith hath the most impediments in the way, then there is the greatest occasion given for us to glorify Him, by being strong in the faith: and, to say it by the way, faith is never in its native exercise, till sense and reason contradict the accomplishment of the promises. Faith then is put to be deeply exercised and is in its native place; and know this, that the most adventurous acts of faith have had the most sweet and precious out-gates. Now, I say, though all his dispensations that we meet with, should be impediments and disadvantages to your sense and uptakings, for you to exercise the grace of faith, yet do not, because of these impediments and seeming disadvantages, desist from the exercise of these graces. I think a Christian hath then a most spiritual view of all these impediments and obstructions that are laid in the way, in order to the exercising of the grace of faith, when he looketh upon these impediments and obstructions as occasions given unto him, whereby he may glorify God.
There is this second consideration, or second help, which we would give to one that would exercise the grace of faith in such a case, and under such a dispensation, when Christ is vailed and is hid from your eyes, and it is this :—to look upon all these difficulties and improbabilities, that are in the way of the accomplishment of any promise, as commands given unto you to exercise faith. Look upon all your difficulties, whatsoever, as so many voices, proclaiming aloud this duty unto you :-Believe in God, and in His Son Jesus Christ, whom He hath sent into the world. This was the practice and divinity of this holy man David, in Psalm Lvi, 3, “What time I am afraid, I will trust in thee.” He thought no time so suitable for the exercising of the grace of hope as then, when he was encompassed with difficulties; and we think it altogether impossible for a Christian to exercise the grace of faith upon Christ not seen, except he look upon all these improbabilities and difficulties that lie in his way for the exercising of his faith, as exhortations and commands given unto him to believe, and adhere more strongly unto God.
There is this third consideration, or help, for a Christian to exercise the grace of faith upon Jesus Christ absent and not seen, that invisible object, and it is this :-Be much in the consideration of the unalterableness and unchangeableness of God; that He is the same yesterday, and today, and forever; that though He may alter His dispensations, yet ye may be persuaded of it, that He cannot alter His love toward you; for as He is, so is His love; and He is unchangeable, therefore His love must be unchangeable also, even according as He is in Himself.
Now, we shall shut up our discourse at this time with this, desiring that those precious and excellent mysteries, which, no doubt, are hid from the eyes of many of this generation, to exercise those two spiritual and noble graces, faith and love, about an unseen and invisible object, that ye may once be prevailed with to set about that blessed exercise. We shall speak nothing to the encouragements that are proposed to these that set about this blessed and divine exercise; only I say, they do “rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory.” 0 Christians, would ye know the most fit and compendious way for one to obtain delight and perfect satisfaction? Then be much in the exercise of these two excellent graces, faith and love. 0 but the grace of faith will furnish much matter of joy and consolation unto the Christian, when all things that are here below seem to be threatening ruin and destruction, when the foundations of the world are out of course, and when all things seem to be over turning; surely I would give the Christian no better counsel or advice than this, by the grace of faith and love, be settling yourselves even upon this invisible object not seen.
Certainly it is a great mystery to the men of the world, to see Christians rejoicing in the midst of all their straits and anxieties, to see them always flourishing and green under the saddest and most crushing dispensations that they meet with. But here, no doubt, is the Christian’s life. He who is planted by that living fountain and well of life, shall be a branch that shall spring over the wall. I confess, if a Christian complain of the want of joy and delight in God, ye may reduce it to this cause, want of the exercise of the grace of faith in Jesus Christ not seen, this invisible object. Believe it, ye may have your treasure kept safe, when all other things may be robbed and taken from you. I think that which once a philosopher spake, when the city wherein he dwelt was robbed and spoiled, being asked that question, if he had lost anything, answered thus, “That all that he had, he carried about with him,”
I think a Christian may keep all his treasures within him, and may be free from the robbery and spoil of the men of the world. This is a treasure which does not admit of any sequestration, neither can it at all be exposed unto theft. 0 make it your own by the grace of faith and delight yourselves in Christ as your own in love. Let love rejoice in Christ appropriate unto you. I shall say no more, but only this. We need not commend Christ to those that know him, but we are certain that all that we can speak to the commendation of Him is infinitely below that which He is. Therefore, 0 come and see this precious invisible object, Jesus Christ, and it will best resolve this question concerning His excellency. The angels and the souls of just men made perfect did never behold such an one. His countenance is like Lebanon, and excellent as the cedars. Now to Him who is love itself, and who only must persuade us to love Him, even to this precious object, we desire to give praise. Amen.