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it into spiritual darkness. Hence proceeds all that confusion and disorder in the soul, which is ever the companion of darkness. Being ignorant of God and of our selves, it follows that we love not God, because we know him not; yea, though we think it a hard word, we are haters of God; for not only doth our darkness import ignorance of him, but an enmity to him, because he is light and we are darkness. And being ignorant of ourselves, not seeing our own vileness, because we are in the dark, we are pleased with ourselves, and having left God, do love ourselves instead of God. Hence arise all the wickednesses of our hearts and lives, which are no other than, instead of obeying and pleasing God, a continual sacrificing to those base dunghill-gods, our own lusts; -for this the apostle Paul gives as the root of all evil dispositions ; 2 Tim. üi, 2; because, in the first place, lovers of themselves, therefore, covetous, boasters, proud, and lovers of pleasures more than of God. And this self-love cannot subsist without gross ignorance, by which our minds are so darkened that we cannot see what we are ; for if we did, it were not possible but we should be of another mind, very far from loving ourselves. Thus our souls being filled with darkness, are likewise full of uncleanness, as that goes along too with darkness; they are not only dark as dungeons, but withal filthy as dungeons use to be; Ephes. iv, 18; Understandings darkened, alienated from the life of God; and therefore, it is added, they give themselves over unto lasciviousness, to work all uncleanness with greediness. Again; in this state they lave no light of solid comfort. Our great confort here is not in any thing present, but in hope ; now being without Christ and without God, we are without hope. · And as the estate from whence we are called by grace, is worthily called darkness, so that to whieh it calls us deserves as well the name of light. Christ likewise, who came to work our deliverance, is frequently so called in scripture, not only in regard of his own nature, being God equal with the Father and therefore light, but relaa tively to men; The life was the light of men.
He is our light, opposed to all kind of darkness. He is so, in opposition to the dark shadows of the ceremonial Div. No. VI.
law, which possibly are here meant, as part of that darkness from which the apostle writes that these Jews were delivered ; when he came, the day broke and the shadows fled away. He is our light, as opposed likewise to the darkness of the Gentile superstitions and idolatries; therefore these two are connected by old Simeon, A light to lighten the Gentiles, and the glory of his people Israel. And to all who believe among either, he- is light as op. posed to the ignorance, slavery, and misery of their natural estate, teaching them by his Spirit the things of God, and re-uniling them with God, who is the light of the soul. I am, says he, the light of the world; he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, John viï, 12.
And it is this mysterious union of the soul with God in Christ, which a natural man so little understands, that is the cause of all the spiritual light of grace that a be liever does enjoy. There is no right knowledge of God to man once fallen from it, but in his Son; no comfort in beholding God, but through him; nothing but just anger and wrath to be seen in God's looks, but through him, in whom he is well pleased. The gospel shows us the light of the knowledge of the glory of God, but it is in the face of Jesus Christ. Therefore the kingdom of light, as opposed to that of darkness, is called the kingdom of his dear Son, or, the Son of his love.
There is a spirit of light and knowledge flowing from Jesus Cbrist into the souls of believers, that acquaints them with the mysteries of the kingdom of God, which cannot otherwise be known. And this spirit of knowledge is withal a spirit of holiness ; for purity and holiness are likewise signified by this light. Then from this light arise spiritual joy and comfort, which are frequently signified by this expression, as in that verse of the psalmist, the latter clause expounds the former, Light is sown for the righteous, and joy for the upright in heart, Psal: xcvii, 11. As this kingdom of God's dear Son, that is, this kingdom of light, hath righteousness in it, so it hath peace and joy in the Holy Ghost. It is a false prejudice the world bath taken up against religion, that it is a sour melan: choly thing; there is no truly lightsome and comfortable life but it. All others, have they what they will, live in darkness; and is not that truly sad and comfortless ? Would you think it a pleasant life, though you had fine clothes, and good diet, never to see the sun, but still to be kept in a dungeon with them? Thus are they who live in worldly honor and plenty, but still without God; they are in continual darkness with all their enjoyments. It is true, the light of believers is not perfect here, and therefore neither is their joy perfect; it is sometimes over-clouded; but the comfort is this, that it is an everlasting light, it shall never go out in darkness, as it is said the light of the wicked shall; and it shall within a while be perfected : there is a bright morning without a cloud that shall arise. The saints have not only light to lead them in their journey, but much purer light at home, an inheritance in light. The land where their inheritance lieth is full of light, and their inheritance itself is light'; for the vision of God for ever is that inheritance. That city hath no need of the suo, nor of the moon, to shine in it, for the glory of the Lord doth lighten it, and the Lamb is the light thereof. As we said, that uncreated light is the happiness of the soul, the beginnings of it are our happiness begun; they are beans of it sent from above to lead us to the fountain and fulness of it. With thee, says David, is the fountain of life, and in thy light shall we see light, Psal. xxxvi, 9.
There are two things spoken of this light, to commend it, His marvellous light ; that is it is after a peculiar manner God's—and it is marvellous.
All light is from God, the light of sense, and that of reason; therefore he is called the Futher of lights. But this light of grace is after a peculiar manner bis, being a light above the reach of nature, infused into the soul in a supernatural way, the light of the elect world, where God specially and graciously resides.
Now this light being so peculiarly God's, no wonder if it be marvellous. The common light of the world is so, though, because of its commonness, we think not so of it. The Lord is marvellous in wisdom and in power, in all his works of creation and providence; but above all, in the workings of his grace. This light is unknown to the world, and therefore marvellous in the rareness of beholding it, that there be but a few that partake of it. And to them that see it, it is marvellous, because in it they see so many excellent things that they knew not before. As if a man were born, and brought up till he came to the years of understanding, in a dungeon, where he had never seen light, and were brought forth on a sudden; or take the man that was born blind, at his first sight, after Christ had cured bim-what wonder, think we, would seize upon him, to behold on a sudden the beauty of this visible world, especially of the sun, and that light that makes it both visible and beautiful! But much more matter of admiration is there in this light, to the soul that is brought newly from the darkness of corrupt nature ! Such persons see as it were a new world, and in it such wonders of the rich grace and love of God, such matchless worth in Jesus Christ, the Sun of Righteousness, that their souls are filled with admiration. And if this light of grace be so marvellous, how much more marvellous shall the light of glory be, in which it'ends!
Hence learn to esteem highly of the gospel, in which this light shines unto us; the apostle calls it iberefore, The glorious gospel. Surely we have no cause to be ashamed of it, but of ourselves that we are so unlike it.
Think not, you who are grossly ignorant of God, and bis Son Christ, and the mysteries of salvation, that you have any portion as yet in his grace; for the first character of his renewed image in the soul, as it was bis first work in the material world, is light. What avails it us to live in the noon-day light of the gospel, if our hearts be still shut against it, and so within we be nothing but darkness? As a house that is close shut up and hath po entry for light, though it is day without, still it is night within. Consider your delight in the works of darkness, and be afraid of that great condemnation; This is the condemnation that light is come into the world, and men love darkness rather than light.
You that are indeed partakers of this happy change, let your hearts be habitations of light. Have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them. Study much to increase in spiritual light and knowledge, and withal in holiness and obedience : if your light be this light of God, truly spiritual light, these will accompany it. Consider the rich love of God, and account his light marvellous, as in itself, so in this respect, that he hath bestowed it on you. And seeing you were once darkness, but now are light in the Lord, I beseech you, nay, the apostle and in him the Spirit of God beseeches you, walk as children of the light.
2. But to proceed to speak to the other parts of this verse, the principle of this change, the calling of God.
It is known and confessed to be a chief point of wisdom in a man, to consider what he is, from whom he hath that his being, and to what end. When a Christian hath thought on this in his natural being, as he is a man, he hath the same to consider over again of his spiritual being, as he is a Christian, and so a new creature. And all the three are very clearly represented to him in these words-1. what he is, first by the titles of dignity in the first words of this verse, and again by his state of light in the last clause of it-2. whence a Christian hath this excellent being ;
-He hath called you-to what end ? to shew forth his praises. Of the first of these, we have spoken before ; now are to be considered the other two.
He hath called you. Those who live in the society and profess the faith of Christians, are called unto light, the light of the gospel that shines in the church of God. Now this is no small favor and privilege, while many people are left in darkness and in the shadow of death, to have this light arise upon us, and to be in the region of it, the church, the Goshen of the world; for by this outward light we are invited to the happy state of saving. inward light, and the former is here to be understood as the means of the latter. These Jews who were called to the professiou of the Christian faith, were even in that respect called unto a light hidden from the rest of their nation, and from many other nations in the world; but because the apostle doth undoubtedly describe here the lively spiritual state of true believers, therefore this calling doth further import the effectual work of couversion, making the daylight of salvation, not only without, but within them, the day-star to arise in their hearts. When the sun is arisen, yet if a man be lying fast in a