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God's Unspeakable Gift Print E-mail
Written by Jonathan Edwards, Oshea Davis   
Tuesday, 19 October 2010

Headnote to II Corinthian 9:15

 

Edwards first sketched out the idea for this sermon, dated May 1737, in an entry in Sermon Notebook "14," entry no. [97]:

 

"Thanks be to God for His Unspeakable Gift.  Doctrine: that the gift of Jesus Christ was an unspeakable gift.  -see Mastrict page 553 and in several other places. SACRAMENT."

 

        The reference to "Mastrict" is to Edwards' favorite theologian, Petrus van Mastricht, and his Theoretica-Practica Theologia (1699). Page 553 in that work is part of a practical section of the chapter on the "Death of the Mediator" (5.12.36). The death of Christ, according to Mastricht, ought to invoke obedience, submission, humbleness and charity in one's life. The "several other places" Edwards intends are probably other practical sections in the work pointing to themes such as obedience, meekness, humility, and love, which are characteristic of "living unto God."

        Edwards' initial sketch, too, identifies this sermon as one to be preached preparatory to, or on, a sacrament day. The structure of the sermon, which asks listeners to consider the gift of Christ, and the sacrifices made by both Father and Son, is built on transitions: "And not only so, . . . ," "Nor is . . . ," "And that, . . ." The crescendoing rhetoric, with its christocentric focus, lends to the sermon a meditative but earnest tone suitable for such an occasion. Edwards' aim is to encourage his listeners intellectually and affectionately to fall in love with Christ, believing this would work itself out in the interior and exterior aspects of their lives. - To read the full Headnote please see the original version.

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Transcribed, edited & Headnote provided by:

Jonathan Edwards Center @ Yale University (http://edwards.yale.edu/),

Kenneth Minkema,

Oshea Davis.  2010

 

Additional copyediting by:

Oshea Davis. 2010

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For permission use see: www.osheadavis.com

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God's Unspeakable Gift

 

II Corinthians 9:15.

Thanks be unto God for his unspeakable gift.

 

        In this and the preceding chapter, the Apostle had been insisting on the contribution that was made, and about to be made, in the churches abroad for the poor saints in Judea, and exhorting the Corinthians for strong cheerfulness and liberality in doing their part.  And to this end, in this chapter he puts them in mind how he had boasted of them to those of Macedonia, and what great expectations they had concerning them from what he had told Macedonians of them; thus, there would be much disappointment and also to his and their shame, if they were not free.  He also tells them that the more liberal they are, the greater reward they shall have.  To further encourage them he reminds them that God is able to supply all their wants and that they do not need to be afraid that by their liberality they shall bring themselves to lacking.

       And [he] also tells them how much it will redound to the glory of God, by causing many thanksgivings to God, when both the saints that receive their kindness, and other saints that hear of it in other parts of the world, will be exhorted by it to joyfully praise and glorify God.  And not only so, but it would redound to their own benefit by others' prayers for them.  It would especially stir up the saints that they relieve by their charity, to pray for the prosperity of those that had shown them kindness.

       But then the Apostle concludes his whole discourse on this subject -of their giving to their fellow saints- with the words of the text: "Thanks be unto God for his unspeakable gift."

        The Apostle had been insisting on the giving of professing Christians one to another, and exhorting [them] to be liberal in such gifts.  He concludes with suggesting the[i] consideration of God's unspeakable gift, and the gratitude we owe to God, as the greatest enforcement to such a duty, and the best pattern and guide to us in it.  He reminds them how much God has given to them, [so that] they may be the more ready to be free in their gifts to their fellow creatures.

 

Observation. 1. Who it is being spoken of, namely, the Lord Jesus Christ.

        [Obs.] 2. In what way or under what consideration is He mentioned, namely, as the gift of God.  We very often read of God's giving His Son, and Christ giving Himself.

        [Obs.] 3.  What kind of gift and how great a gift this is, namely, an unspeakable gift.  God, in giving His Son to them, had given them infinitely more than they were required to give to their fellow Christians, and infinitely more than the Apostle had been exhorting them to give.  He only exhorted them to give some part of their worldly goods for the supply of their brethren's necessity, and that not so as to impoverish themselves.[1]  God had given them His own Son; Christ had given Himself, making Himself poor for them.  The Apostle observes this in the foregoing chapter, v. 9, "For ye know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that, though he was rich, yet for your sakes he became poor, that ye through his poverty might be rich."

        [Obs.] 4. The duty that lays upon us towards God for this gift is namely, thankfulness and praise.  The Apostle Himself gives praise to God for it, and also puts the Corinthians in mind how much they are obliged to do likewise, signifying how much they should freely give to others, as they would in any tolerable measure show their thankfulness to God for what He has given to them.

 

 

DOCTRINE.

The Lord Jesus Christ is an unspeakable gift.

 

        This gift is the gift of God both as it is the gift of God the Father and also as it is the gift of the Son in giving Himself, and I shall show it to be an unspeakable gift in both these respects.

        I. The gift of Christ is an unspeakable gift, if we consider Him as the gift of God the Father, and this may appear by several considerations:

        First. If we consider the Person who gave, we realize He is the most high and self-sufficient God.  Indeed, He is a being infinitely above all, a being infinitely above men, and not only lowly or ordinary men, but infinitely above the greatest earthly princes.  And not only so, but He is infinitely above angels, that excel in strength and wisdom, yes, infinitely above the highest of the angels.  And not only above their natures, but His glory [is] infinitely above their understandings, so that it is only a little that they know of him.

        He that has given us this gift is God, blessed forevermore.  He has been infinitely happy from all eternity, and stands in no need of us, nor of anything.  He was infinitely happy before the world was created, and is unchangeable in happiness, so that none can add to it or diminish from it.  He is infinitely happy in Himself, and not in another.  He is the fountain of all good.  All receive everything from Him, but He receives nothing from any.  All depend absolutely and universally on Him, but He depends on none.  It makes the creature happy to love and praise and serve Him: this is the happiness of men and angel; still, He receives no addition of happiness by it.  It renders the creature miserable to despise God and sin against Him, but it does not hurt God.

        Second. Who is the person that God has given?  This is His infinitely glorious, only begotten and so dearly beloved Son.  What is given to us is not some precious earthly jewel, nor is it a vast treasure of silver and gold.  Nor is the person that God has given to us some mere man that is great and honorable -some person of noble heritage, some great prince or some very renowned saint, such as Moses or Joshua, or David or Solomon.  Nor is the person that God has given a created angel -a creature far more excellent, more wise and holy than any mere mortal man.  Nor is the person that God has given to us only His friend or special favorite such as with Abraham and Daniel and the apostle John, or a particularly beloved and favorite angel.  But He has given us His Son, and not just any adopted son, nor any son by creation.  This son was more than a son by the image of God put upon him --as Adam is called the son of God, and as the angels are called the sons of God.  Jesus was not a son by regeneration, as the saints are, but His own natural Son.  And not just one son out of many, not the chief or first born or best beloved out of many natural sons, but His only begotten Son.  And not just a rebellious son, as Absalom was, who was so dearly beloved by his father David, but a Son that infinitely loved and honored His Father.  A Son between whom He and His Father there was never any jar or misunderstanding, but perfect harmony and union, and infinite love and delight from all eternity: the Father being infinitely happy in His Son, setting His heart upon Him and infinitely delighting in Him, and the Son also infinitely delighting and rejoicing in the Father.  Proverbs 8:30, "Then I was by him, as one brought up with him: and I was daily his delight, rejoicing always before him."  A Son that was so delighted in by the Father, not out of any groundless and extravagant fondness, as it is sometimes in earthly parents towards their children, but a Son that was worthy of His of His Father's love.  He infinitely deserves of it, having infinite glory and Excellency and loveliness to render Him worthy of it: for He was the brightness of His Father's glory, and the express image of His person.  A Son who was not only as near to His Father as natural children are to their own earthly parents, but He was infinitely nearer.  Though earthly parents are the grounds for the existence of their natural [children], yet their children are distinct beings from them.  The father and the child are two entirely distinct beings, capable of being separated, yes, even alienated one from another.  But God's Son is so near to the Father, that He is the very same substance, the same being and essence.  The Father is in Him, and He is in the Father.  It was such a person as this that was given to us.

        Third. The unspeakableness of the gift will appear as we consider the manner how He was given, namely, given in our nature to die for us.  He was not only given to be our benefit for us, to take care of us so that we should have a special goodness.  Nor did He remain in heaven only subsisting in the divine nature.  Nor was He sent down into this lower world for us, to only manifest Himself in some external symbols of His presence: such as in a pillar of cloud and fire, or sometimes appearing in a visible form, or manifesting Himself by an audible voice, as He was present among the children of Israel --though that was great and wonderful mercy.  But He was given to us being sent into the world actually to assume our nature, so as to be a real man.  This was so that we might have Him to be tabernacling amongst us, and have this gift as one of us; and therefore, He was born of a woman as we are, and was nursed and brought up and nourished as we are.

        Jesus Christ[ii] was not given to us in our nature in its first and most perfect state --as it was before the fall, when it was in perfect beauty and strength and under none of those infirmities that it has been subjected to ever since-- but He was given to us in our nature, in its poor, weak, broken state.  The same state that has been since we have ruined ourselves by the fall.  And He was made like to us in all things, sin only excepted.

        When Jesus Christ was given [to] us in our nature, and was born under our natural infirmities,[iii] He was not born of any noble race or in any royal family.  He did not come from a prince and in some palace, but He was born of a poor virgin, who because she was despised for poverty, had no better place to go other than a stable, when her suffering came.

       When Jesus Christ was sent into the world, being given to us in our nature, He was not given to us that He might only be our teacher and prophet as Moses was given to the children of Israel, but much more.  Nor was He given to us to only be our king as David and Solomon were given to the people of God, and in whom they were very happy, but much more.  He was given to suffer for us.   His suffering was more than great afflictions in life, such as poverty and reproach, and contempt and hatred, hunger and thirst, and the temptation of the devil, but He was to suffer death.  He was given to us to be killed for us.  He was given to us not only to die, but to be slain, to die a violent death, to fall into the hands of His enemies and to be murdered by them.  Furthermore, He was not only given to die for us, but to die the most ignominious death, the death of the cross.  There perhaps was never any sort of execution looked upon[iv] as so shameful, as the death of the cross.  Nor was He given to merely suffer the most shameful death, but [a] most cruel and tormenting sort of death.  Besides the cruelty in His death, there were innumerable cruelties and mockingsNNN that He underwent before His death came.  He was not only given to bear a most cruel temporal death for us in His body, but He was made a curse for us enduring the terrible wrath of God in His soul.  It was in this marvelous way that the Son of God was given for us.

        Fourth.[v] The unspeakableness of the gift may appear, if we consider to whom this gift is given: an infinitely inferior and unworthy creature.  This gift was given to those who were not God's equal.  In contrast, princes on the other hand will send great and costly presents one to another, as great men.  For their own honor, they will be very pompous and magnificent in what they give one another.  Yet, God's gift was not bestowed upon any that can ever repay Him again.  Christ tells us that rich men will sometimes give to rich men, expecting to be repaid again, Luke 14:12.  God has no equals.  There are none but those who are infinitely below Him; all other beings are nothing before Him.  They are all His creatures.  And the most excellent and exalted of them cannot repay Him for His kindness.  They receive that which is profitable to them, but cannot give to God anything that is profitable to Him.

        Besides, this gift was not bestowed on the most excellent kind of creatures.  It was not bestowed on the angels --bright spirits that are as a flame of fire, that excel in strength and wisdom-- but it was bestowed on men that dwell in the earth.  These are creatures that dwell in houses of clay, and have their foundations in the dust.  They are poor, weak creatures.  They are as the grass of the field that today is, and tomorrow is cast into the oven.  They are a blast of wind that passes away, that are crushed before the moth.  They [are] poor, ignorant, short-sighted creatures.

       Nor was this gift merely given to poor, lowly, vain, worthless creatures, but to defiled, filthy creatures: the type of filth that is most abominable to God.  Not only were they defiled, but they were all over defiled, full of abomination, having no loveliness, nothing but deformity.  God gave this gift not only to deformed creatures, but to those whose deformity consisted in direct opposition to Him.  God bestowed this gift on rebels and enemies, they that refused to obey Him, and had set themselves against Him.  God did [not] only bestow it on enemies, but on mortal enemies, those that were full of mortal hatred against Him.  He gave His Son to be killed for them who had enough hatred against God to kill Him, if that were possible.  And He gave Christ to be killed for some of those that actually did murder His Son.

        Fifth. The unspeakableness of the gift will appear, if we consider to what purposes this gift was bestowed upon us, namely, not only to lessen our debt and lighten our punishment, but to completely deliver us.  His gift set us free from eternal misery and destruction, and removed all wrath that we had deserved.

        And not only this, but to purchase happiness for us: and not just any earthly happiness and prosperity, but a spiritual happiness.  A spiritual happiness that we might be sanctified and changed from loathsome and hateful creatures so that we might have the blessed lovely image of God on our souls; and might be the children of God;  and might have communion with God.   Not only that we might have spiritual blessings while we live in this world, but that we might be made perfectly holy hereafter, and there possess not an earthly but an heavenly kingdom and crown of glory, that does not fade away.

       Jesus Christ was not given to us to purchase earthly pleasures, but those spiritual, glorious pleasures that are at His right hand in heaven.  God did not only give His Son to purchase earthly honor, but the honor of being kings and princes and joint-heirs with Christ [Rom. 8:17], and shining forth "as the sun in the kingdom of their Father" [Matt. 13:43].  God did not only give His Son to purchase that our souls might be happy after our bodies are dead, but that our bodies also might be raised again and both be glorified together.

        Jesus was not only given to us to purchase that we might return to the same great  happiness, which our first parents had before the fall in an earthly paradise, but a far greater and more glorious happiness in the "heavenly places in Christ" [Ephesians 1:3]; yes, greater than Adam would have attained to, if he had stood.

        He had not only purchased that we should possess the whole world, but, which [is] infinitely more than all, that we should have God for our portion.  Indeed, that God with all His divine perfections might be ours so that we may glory in Him, and say, He is the portion of our inheritance and our cup [Psalm 16:5].  Not only to be ours that we may have a great degree of the enjoyment of Him, but that we may have a perfect enjoyment {of Him}, without restraint.  In fact, as near as we wish to be with God, enjoying as much as we wish {of Him}; as much as we are capable of {enjoying Him}.  Not only that we might enjoy this happiness and glory for a long time, for many ages or many thousands of ages, but forever and ever.

        II. It is an unspeakable gift, if we consider [it] as the gift of the Son.  As the gift of God, it may be considered both as the gift of the Father and Son, who are both God.

        Several of the same considerations that set forth the unspeakableness of the gift as the gift of the Father, also apply as it is the gift of the Son.

I shall, therefore, mention but these three things, namely, 1. How costly [it was] to Him; 2. [How] profitable this gift is to us; 3. [ And how] great [was the Son's] cheerfulness [in it].

        First. It was a very costly a gift to Him.  [Christ] not only gave His possessions, {but He gave Himself}.  The gifts He bestowed on man in the garden were not costly; furthermore, {His gifts to the} angels {were not costly}.  He has great possessions; {they are infinite}.  Not only [did He] give a great part of them, {He gave at great cost to Himself}.  For even men's generosity appears in that {they give at cost to themselves}.  Nor did Christ give a small portion of His possessions, but instead, in giving Himself, He gave all His possessions.

{He} gave up His ease. {He had} many griefs {and sorrows [Is. 53:3]}.

His gave His temporal honor  to be trampled on.

His blood, his precious blood.

His body.

His precious life.

He gave His precious soul, in some sort, into the hands of the devil, {and fully} into the hands of divine wrath.

        Second. How profitable to us.  [He] made Himself poor, that we "through His poverty might be rich" [II Cor. 8:9].

        Third. With what cheerfulness He gave.  John 10:18, "no man taketh it from me."[vi]

 

 

 

APPLICATION.

 

        I.  Hence the sin of those that will not accept this gift when offered them is unspeakable.

       II.[vii] To encourage [us] to be willing to do our part in giving to God, {both} to God and to Christ.

          In four respects:

          First. In giving Him our hearts, our supreme love.

Second. In giving Him praise.

Third. In giving Him alms.  God and Christ look on it as given to them.

Fourth. In giving of ourselves.

 

Motives

1. If we give Christ this much, how little is such a gift in comparison?

2. This unspeakable gift [is] given to [the] most undeserving, [yet] God is infinitely worthy of all our giving to Him.

3. He already has a right to all we could give.

4. God gave unsought for.

5. God gave not for His profit but ours.  If we give, [it is] only for our own [profit].

6. God gave to suffer for us.  If we give, it will be to be exalted.[viii]

 

[Consider]    

How[ix] great a thing was it therefore to give his Son?

How would it grieve parents to spare one child out of many?

How would it grieve a parent to stand by and see a child cruelly tormented - to see pleasant child, an obedient, devoted child viciously tormented?

How did it grieve Hagar when she thought her son would perish with thirst? 

[How did it] grieve Jacob when he thought Joseph was torn in pieces?

[How] did it grieve David when Absalom was slain though rebellious[ness]?

How wonderful then was the life [of the Son of God]?  If the love of Abraham was so great in being willing to offer up his only son by promise to God when called for, [then how great was the love of God to offer his only Son]?

 

  

Appendix: Application from Sermon on Romans 5:7-8 (1731).

 

        The Improvement I would make of this doctrine of the unparalleled love of Jesus Christ, is to move and exercise all that wear the name of Christian to love the Lord Jesus Christ.

        If the love of Christ is such that there never was any that could be paralleled with it, then if we do not love Christ, our ingratitude and baseness will be as unparalleled as His love.  Such love as this, one would think, should be enough to overpower and dissolve the most ungrateful and hard heart.  Every particular concerning the unparalleled wonderfulness of the love of Christ to man lays an unspeakable obligation upon us to love Him.

        That one so great, so high, and so full and self-sufficient, and happy and holy, should set His love upon us, so low and despicable, so impotent and unprofitable, so unlovely and deformed is unspeakable.  Furthermore, we injured and provoked Him; we even hated Him.  How can it be that He should pity us under the calamities that were our just merits?  It was by our own wickedness and provocation that had brought ourselves into these calamites.  That such a thing should enter into His heart, as being tormented to death for us, that we might be delivered from our just shame and from our distressed condition being brought to undeserved honor and blessedness in the enjoyment of His is unspeakable.  And without doubt such things should be enough to move and draw our hearts, if we do not have hearts like the hearts of devils for ingratitude and immorality.

 

        I will offer some things to further Motivate us in this duty of loving the Lord Jesus Christ:

        First. Let it be considered how much more reason we have to love Christ, than He had to love us.  We are under a necessity of His love; we cannot do without it.  If He had not loved men, it would have been better for them if they never had been born; but He was under no obligation to love us.  He might have neglected, indeed, He might have hated us forever without being unjust, without the least criticism to His holiness and divine glory.  There was no source why He should love us, except His own mere good pleasure.  But the case is not so with us: we are obligated in justice to love Him, by all the strongest bonds that can be.

        Christ loved us when we were infinitely below him.  Therefore, shall we not love Him who is infinitely above us, especially since He came down from His height to us, as it were to equalize Himself with us, that He[x] may be more in the way of our love?  It was a great humbling for Christ to love such as we; it was a descending from the highest height.  But if we love Jesus Christ, we shall therein ascend; our affections will be exalted to the most honorable object that they could possibly be fixed upon.  It is a great honor that Christ does us, in that He is ready to accept our love.  We were so little and inconsiderable; there was no proportion between us and the respect of Christ, for we were so small and so much below Him and His love.   This disproportion being so great, yet the reverse is also true, for with respect to our love and Christ, He is so much above it.

        Christ loved us although He receives no addition by us.  If we are added to Him, He is not the greater or the better.  He is infinite and all-sufficient, and cannot be added to -however, He is graciously pleased, having set His love upon us, not to look upon Himself [as] complete [without us].  But if we love Jesus Christ, it will be on the contrary exceedingly beneficial to us.  If we love Him and He be ours, we shall not only be added, but we shall be made -we shall as it were come out of nothing into being.  It will be a far greater exaltation than for beggars to be made into powerful monarchs.

         Christ loved us when we were utterly incapable of benefiting Him.  Our love could be no benefit to Him.  Yet, regarding us the reverse is true if we love Christ; none is so able to benefit us as He.  He is able to do all things for us that we do, need or desire.

        Christ stood in no need of us, but we do stand in necessity of Christ.  There never was any that gained so much by their choice of the object of their love, as men do when they choose Christ and set their love upon him.

         Christ loved us when there was no loveliness to draw His love.  There was nothing attractive to be seen in us; all was repulsive.  We had nothing amiable or any way desirable in us; all was abominable to His pure eyes.  But Christ has infinite loveliness to win and draw our love.  He is the brightness of God's glory. He is the bright and morning star in the spiritual firmament.  He is more excellent than the angels of heaven.  He is amongst them as the chief goodness and divine beauty, as the sun is among the stars.  In beholding His beauty, the angels do day and night as it were entertain and feast their souls, and in celebrating of it they continually employ their praises.  Nor yet have the songs of angels ever declared all the Excellency of Jesus Christ: for it is beyond their songs and beyond the thoughts of those bright intelligences to reach it.  That blessed society above have been continually employed in this work of meditating on and describing the beauty and amiableness of the Son of God, but have never yet, nor ever will, comprehend it or fully describe it.

        His Excellency is such that beholding and enjoying of it will yield a soul-satisfying delight --more delight and pleasure in one hour, without doubt, than this world, with all that it has, can afford in seventy years.  Yes, if it does not give more in a minute or second of time, it will not be from lack of Excellency or beauty in Him, but from lack in our ability to perfectly to behold it.  It will not be from inadequacy in Christ, but from the lack of the capacity of him who beholds and enjoys Him.

         Christ set His love upon us, who had done nothing to gain His love.  We did not show any love to Him, and indeed, we had none, but instead of this we had hatred against Him.  Yet, it is the opposite with respect to us: He has done much for us.  He has been merciful and gracious to us exceedingly. We never did anything for Him, and still He loved us, andN5 He has done great and wonderful things for us.

         Second. Consider this, that from the greatness and wonderfulness of Christ's love, we may be assured that our love will be accepted.  There is this encouragement for us to make choice of Christ, and set our love upon Him.  Since Christ has so loved men, as to suffer so much for them, there is no danger of Christ not accepting their love to Him.  It will not be looked upon by Christ as too much boldness for us to choose Him for our beloved.  But instead of that,

      Third. Christ is an persistent suitor for our love.  Agreeable to His other condescension in dying for sinners, he also condescends to woo them.  He invites them to come to Him, and to yield their hearts to Him.  He knocks at the door of their hearts. Songs of Solomon 5:2, "‘Tis the voice of my beloved that knocketh, saying, Open unto me, for my head is filled with dew, and my locks with the drops of the night." And Rev. 3:20, "Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me."

        Christ has sent forth His ministers for this purpose, in His stead, to beseech men to close with Him and yield to His pursuing.  He invites those that thirst to come unto Him, and to receive the great blessings which He has purchased for them; to come and, "buy wine and milk without money and without price"; to come, that their souls may delight themselves in fatness [Isaiah 55:1-2].

        Therefore, Christ woos the hearts of sinners from sabbath to Sabbath.  He repeats His calls and invitations.

        And the gifts of providence, which are bestowed, are as means to allure them. Christ woos men by the blessings of His common providence, when He gives them outward comforts and enjoyments of one kind or other.

        Hearken, therefore, unto Jesus Christ.  It will be strange if all He does, and all He says, will have no impression upon you, to draw your heart.  When He calls, rise up and joyfully receive Him; do not let the door of your heart continue in being hard, and your soul shut up against your Savior.         

        Fourth. Consider, that to live in love to the Lord Jesus Christ is the way to live the pleasantest life in the earth; for in this you will be the way to enjoy sweet communion with Jesus Christ.  It is the most delightful entertainment of the soul to spiritually view the beauties and glories of such a Beloved.  It is a pleasant exercise to have the heart going forth in love to such a blessed one, and pleasant it is to receive the testimonies of His love.  His love is better than wine.  Indeed, the king will bring those that love Him into His chambers, and they shall be glad and rejoice in Him, and remember His love more than wine [Songs of Solomon 1:2, 4].  Christ is "as the apple tree amongst the trees of the wood," under whose shadow the saints may sit "with great delight" [Songs of Solomon 2:3].

        Fifth. There is encouragement for us to set our love upon Christ.  If we do, He is willing to be enjoyed by us as fully as the soul can desire or is capable of.  Amongst men, those that are great and noble, they are [out] of the way of the lowly and ordinary kind of people.  There is scarcely any such thing as a peasant(s) falling in love with a princess; he does not consider [it] possible that he should ever come to the enjoyment of a person who is so much above him.

        But Christ, though He is so much higher than the highest, still, He is willing to be freely and fully enjoyed by us poor, mortal men.  He stands ready to honor us, so much as to admit us into His society and conversation.  He is ready to admit us to be His friends and companions, and communicate Himself freely and fully to us.[xi]  There shall be no restraints; those that love Him may enjoy Him in the utmost liberty and fullness. Christ came and took upon Himself our nature partly for this purpose: that He might be nearer to us, and we might be under greater advantages most familiarly to enjoy.  None can describe the intimacy with which believers shall enjoy Christ in the heavenly world.

 

 

 

Notes

 


 

[1]           Giving within their means.

[i]            MS: "the?"

 

[ii]           JE drew a vertical line in the left margin beside this paragraph, probably to highlight it for repreaching. 

[iii]          MS: infirmities  all that are sinless  he was."

[iv]          This leaf is made from a discarded prayer bid, which reads:

 

      thankfull Cleson being Raised from

      a daingirus bed of sickness to such

      a meser of health as to wait upon

      God in his hous again she with

      har Parans desier that gods name

      may be praised in the Congregation

      for so grate a marsey.

 

             Thankful Clesson was b. July 4, 1718, the daughter of Samuel and Abigail Bushrod Clesson of Northampton; she married Nathaniel Day on Jan. 20, 1737, and died in 1754, having given birth to four children.

N              NN MS: "mockings &."

[v]           MS: "3." This and the subsequent point are changed to reflect correct numbering.

[vi]          At this point the rest of the leaf is blank.

[vii]          The M.S. read "3."

[viii]         The bottom half of L. 8v. is blank.

[ix]          This series of statements, written on the verso of the leaf containing the prayer bid, appears to be part of the original Application; the placement here, however, is conjectural.

[x]           M.S. reads "we"

N              5 MS: "but."

[xi]          JE deletes: "To embrace us to his arms, and admit to the most free and infinite enjoyment."

 

 
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