Flavel, Fountain of Life, File 2.
( ...continued from File 1)
Sermon 2. Sets forth Christ in his essential en primeval Glory. 
Proverbs 8:30 
Then I was by him, [as] one brought up [with him]: and I was daily 
[his] delight, rejoicing always before him; 
    These words are a part of that excellent commendation of 
wisdom, by which in this book Solomon intends two things; first, 
Grace or holiness, Prov 4: 7. " Wisdom is the principal thing." 
Secondly, Jesus Christ, the fountain of that grace: and look, as the 
former is renowned for its excellency, Job 28: 14, 15, so the 
latter, in this context, wherein the Spirit of God describes the 
most blessed state of Jesus Christ, the wisdom of the Father, from 
those eternal delights he had with his Father, before his assumption 
of our nature: "Then was I by him," &c. that long Evum was wholly 
swallowed up, and spent in unspeakable delights and pleasures. Which 
delights were twofold, (1.) The Father and Son delighted one in 
another (from which delights the Spirit is not here excluded) 
without communicating that their joy to any other, for no creature 
did then exist save in the mind of God, verse 30. (2.) They 
delighted in the salvation of men, in the prospect of that work, 
though not yet extant, verse 31. My present business lies in the 
former, viz. the mutual delights of the Father and Son, one with and 
in another; the account whereof we have in the text; wherein 
    1. The glorious condition of the non-incarnated Son of God, 
described by the person with whom his fellowship was, "Then was I by 
him," or with him; so with him as never was any, in his very bosom, 
John 1: 18, the only begotten Son was in the bosom of the Father, an 
expression of the greatest dearness and intimacy in the world; as if 
he should say, wrapt up in the very soul of his Father, embosomed in 
    2. This fellowship is illustrated by a metaphor, wherein the 
Lord will stoop to our capacities, (as "One brought up with him"), 
the Hebrew word "amon" is sometimes rendered a cunning workman, or 
curious artist, as in Cant. 7: 1, which is the same word. And indeed 
Christ shewed himself such an artist in the creation of the world; 
"For all things were made by him, and without him there was nothing 
made, that was made," John 1: 3. But Montanus, and others, render it 
nutricius; and so Christ is here compared to a delightful child, 
spotting before its Father: the Hebrew root "shachak", which our 
translation renders "rejoicing before him," signifies to laugh, 
play, or rejoice; so that, look as parents delight to see their 
children sporting before them, so did the Father delight in 
beholding this darling of his bosom. 
    3. This delight is farther amplified by the perpetuity, and 
uninterruptedness thereof; "I was day by day his delight, rejoicing 
always before him." These delights of the Father and the Son one in 
another, knew not a moment's interruption, or diminution: thus did 
these great and glorious persons mutually let forth their fullest 
pleasure and delight, each into the heart of the other; they lay as 
it were embosomed one in another, entertaining themselves with 
delights and pleasures ineffable, and inconceivable. Hence we 
    Doct. That the condition and state of Jesus Christ before his 
incarnation, was a state of the highest and most unspeakable delight 
and pleasure, in the enjoyment of his Father. 
    John tells us he was in the bosom of his Father: to lie in the 
bosom is the posture of dearest love, John 13: 23. "Now there was 
leaning on Jesus' bosom one of his disciples whom Jesus loved:" but 
Christ did not lean upon the Father's bosom, as that disciple did in 
his, but lay in it: and therefore in Isa. 42: 1, the Father calls 
him, "Mine elect in whom my soul delighteth;" which is variously 
rendered; the Septuagint, quem suscepit, whom my soul takes, or 
wraps up: others, complacuit, one that highly pleases and delights 
my very soul: and 2 Cor. 8: 9, he is said, in this estate, wherein I 
am now describing him, to be rich: and, Phil. 2: 7. "To be equal 
with God, and to be in the form of God," (i. e.) to have all the 
glory and ensigns of the majesty of God; and the riches which he 
speaks of, was no less than all that God the Father has, John 16: 
14. "All that the Father has is mine:" and what he now has in his 
exalted state, is the same he had before his humiliation, John 17: 
5. Now to sketch out (as we are able) the unspeakable felicity of 
that state of Christ, whilst he lay in that blessed bosom, I shall 
consider it three ways, negatively, positively, and comparatively. 
    1. Let us consider that state negatively, by removing from it 
all those degrees of abasement and sorrow which his incarnation 
brought him under: as, 
    First, He was not then abased to the condition of a creature, 
which was a low step indeed, and that which upon the matter undid 
him in point of reputation; for by this (saith the apostle) "he made 
himself of no reputation," Phil. 2: 7, it emptied him of his glory. 
For God to be made man, is such an abasement as none can express: 
but then not only to appear in true flesh, but also in the likeness 
of sinful flesh, as. Rom. 8: 3. O what is this! 
    Secondly, Christ was not under the law in this estate. I 
confess it was no disparagement to Adam in the state of innocence, 
to angels in their state of glory, to be under law to God; but it 
was an inconceivable abasement to the absolute independent Being to 
come under law: yea, not only under the obedience, but also under 
the malediction and curse of the law, Gal. 4: 4. "But when the 
fulness of time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, 
made under the law." 
    Thirdly, In this state he was not liable to any of those 
sorrowful consequent and attendants of that frail and feeble state 
of humanity, which he afterwards assumed, with the nature. As, (1.) 
He was unacquainted with griefs; there was no sorrowing or sighing 
in that bosom where he lay, though afterwards he became a man of 
sorrows, and acquainted with grief," Isa. 53: 3. "A man of sorrows," 
as if he had been constituted and made up of pure and unmixed 
sorrows; every day conversing with griefs, as with his intimate 
companions and acquaintance. (2.) He was never pinched with poverty 
and wants, while he continued in that bosom, as he was afterwards, 
when he said, "The foxes have holes, and the birds of the air have 
nests, but the Son of man has not where to lay his head," Matth. 8: 
20. Ah blessed Jesus! thou needest not to have wanted a place to 
have lain thine head, hadst thou not left that bosom for my sake. 
(3.) He never underwent reproach and shame in that bosom, there was 
nothing but glory and honour reflected upon him by his Father, 
though afterwards he was despised, and rejected of men, Isa 53: 3. 
His Father never looked upon him without smiles and love, delight 
and joy, though afterwards he became a reproach of men, and despised 
of the people, Psalm 22: 6. (4.) His holy heart was never offended 
with an impure suggestion or temptation of the Devil; all the while 
he lay in that bosom of peace and love, he never knew what it was to 
be assaulted with temptations to be besieged and battered upon by 
unclean spirits, as he did afterwards, Mat. 4: 1, "Then was Jesus 
led up of the spirit into the wilderness to be tempted of the 
Devil." It was for our sakes that he submitted to those exercises of 
spirit, "to be in all points tempted like as we are, that he might 
be unto us a merciful and faithful high-priest, Heb. 4: 15. (5.) He 
was never sensible of pains and tortures in soul or body, there were 
no such things in that blessed bosom where he lay, though afterwards 
he groaned and sweat under them, Isa. 53: 5. The Lord embraced him 
from eternity, but never wounded him till he stood in our place and 
room (6.) There were no hidings or withdrawings of his Father from 
him; there was not a cloud from eternity upon the face of God, till 
Jesus Christ had left that bosom. It was a new thing to Christ to 
see frowns in the face of his Father; a new thing for him to cry, 
"My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?" Mat. 27: 46. (7.) There 
were never any impressions of his Fathers wrath upon him, as there 
were afterwards: God never delivered such a bitter cup into his 
hands before, as that was, Matth. 26: 39. Lastly, There was no 
death, to which he was subject, in that bosom. All these things were 
new things to Christ; he was above them all, till for our sakes he 
voluntarily subjected himself unto them. Thus you see what that 
state was not. 
    2. Let us consider it positively, what it was, and guess by 
some particular considerations (for indeed we can but guess) at the 
glory of it; as, (1.) We cannot but conceive it to be a state of 
matchless happiness, if we consider the persons enjoying and 
delighting in each other: he was with God, John 1: 1. God, you know, 
is the fountain, ocean and centre of all delights and joys: Psal. 
16: 11, "In thy presence is fulness of joy." To be wrapt up in the 
soul and bosom of all delights, as Christ was, must needs be a state 
transcending apprehension; to have the fountain of love and delight 
letting out itself so immediately, and fully, and ever lastingly, 
upon this only begotten darling of his soul, so as it never did 
communicate itself to any; judge what a state of transcendent 
felicity this must be. Great persons have great delights. 
    (2.) Or if we consider the intimacy, dearness, yea, oneness of 
those great persons one with another: the nearer the union, the 
sweeter the communion. Now Jesus Christ was not only near and dear 
to God, but one with him; I and my Father are one," John 10: 30, one 
in nature, will, love and delight. There is indeed a moral union of 
souls among men by love, but this was a natural oneness, no child is 
so one with his father, no husband so one with the wife of his 
bosom, no friend so one with his friend, no soul so one with its 
body, as Jesus Christ and his Father were one. O what matchless 
delights must necessarily flow from such a blessed union! 
    (3.) Consider again the purity of that delight with which the 
blessed Father and Son embraced each other; the best creature 
delights one in another, are mixed, debased, and allayed; if there 
be something ravishing and engaging, there is also something cloying 
and distasting. The purer any delight is, the more excellent. Now, 
there are no crystal streams flowing so purely from the fountain, no 
beams of light so unmixed from the sun, as the loves and delights of 
these holy and glorious persons were: the holy, holy, holy Father 
embraced the thrice holy Son with a most holy delight and love. 
    (4.) Consider the constancy of this delight; it was from 
everlasting, as in verse 23, and from eternity; it never suffered 
one moment's interruption. The overflowing fountain of God's delight 
and love never stopped its course, never ebbed; but as he speaks in 
the text, "I was daily his delight, rejoicing always before him." 
Once more, consider the fulness at that delight, the perfection of 
that pleasure; I was delights: so the word is in its original; not 
only plural, delights, all delights, but also in the abstract, 
delight itself: as afterwards from the abundance of his sorrows, he 
was stiled, a man of sorrows, so here, from the fulness of his 
delights: as though you should say, even constituted and made up of 
pleasure and delight. 
    3. Once more, let us consider it comparatively, and this state 
still yet appear more glorious, comparing it with either the 
choicest delights that one creature takes in another, or that God 
takes in the creature, or that the creatures take in God: measure 
these immense delights, betwixt the Father and his Son, by either of 
these lines, and you shall find them infinitely short: For, (1.) 
Though the delights that creatures take in each other, be sometimes 
a great delight; such was Jacob's delight in Benjamin, whose life is 
said to be bound up in the lad's life, a dear and high expression, 
Gen. 44: 30. Such was that of Jonathan in David, whose soul was knit 
with his soul, "and he loved him as his own soul," 1 Sam. 13: 1, and 
such is the delight of one friend in another: "there is a friend 
that is as a man's own soul," Deut. 13: 6, yet all this is but 
creature-delight, and can in no particular equal the delights 
betwixt the Father and the Son; for this is but a finite delight, 
according to the measure and abilities of creatures, but that is 
infinite, suitable to the infinite perfection of the divine Being; 
this is always mixed, that perfectly pure. (2.) Or if you compare it 
with the delight that God takes in the creatures, it is confessed 
that God takes great delight in some creatures. "The Lord takes 
pleasure in his saints, he rejoices over them with singing! and 
resteth in his love," Zeph. 3: 17; Isa. 62: 5. But yet there is a 
great difference betwixt his delight in creatures, and his delights 
in Christ; for all his delight in the saints is secondary, and for 
Christ's sake; but his delights in Christ are primary, and for his 
own sake: we are accepted in the beloved, Eph, 1: 6, he is beloved, 
and accepted for himself. (3.) To conclude, compare it once more 
with the delights that the best of creatures take in God, and 
Christ, and it must be confessed that is a choice delight, and a 
transcendent love, with which they love and delight in him; Psal. 
73: 25. "Whom have I in heaven but thee? and on earth there is none 
I desire besides thee." What pangs of love, what raptures of delight 
did the spouse express to Christ? "O thou whom my soul loveth!" But 
surely our delight in God is no perfect rule to measure his delight 
in Christ by: for our love to God (at the best) is still imperfect; 
that is the burden and constant complaint of saints, but this is 
perfect; ours is inconstant, up and down, ebbing and flowing, but 
this is constant. So then, to conclude, the condition and state of 
Jesus Christ before his incarnation, was a state of the highest and 
matchless delight, in the enjoyment of his Father. The uses follow. 
Use of Information. 
Inference 1. 
    What an astonishing act of love was this then, for the Father 
to give the delight, the darling, of his soul, out of his very 
bosom, for poor sinners! all tongues must needs pause and falter, 
that attempt the expressions of his grace, expressions being here 
swallowed up: "God so loved the world, that he gave his only 
begotten Son," John 3: 16. Here is a "sic" without a "sicut"; so 
loved them: how did he love them? nay, here you must excuse the 
tongues of angels; which of us would deliver a child, the child of 
our delights, an only child, to death for the greatest inheritance 
in the world? what tender parent can endure a parting pull with such 
a child? when Hagar was taking her last leave (as she thought) of 
her Ishmael, Gen. 21: 16. the text saith, "she went and sat over 
against him, a good way off: for she said, Let me not see the death 
of the child. And she sat over-against him, and lift up her voice, 
and wept:" though she were none of the best of mothers, nor he the 
best of children, yet she could not give up the child. O it was hard 
to part! what an outcry did David make, even for an Absalom! wishing 
he had died for him. What a hole (as I may say) has the death of 
some children made in the hearts of some parents, which will never 
be closed up in this world! yet surely, never did any child lie so 
close to a parent's heart, as Christ did to his Father's; and yet he 
willingly parts with him, though his only one, the Son of his 
delights, and that to death, a cursed death, for sinners, for the 
worst of sinners. O miranda Dei philanthropic! O the admirable love 
of God to men! matchless love! a love past finding out! Let all men, 
therefore, in the business of their redemption, give equal glory to 
the Father with the Son, John 5: 23. If the Father had not loved 
thee, he had never parted with such a Son for thee. 
Inference 2. 
    From one wonder let our souls turn to another, for they are now 
in the midst of wonders: adore, and be forever astonished at the 
love of Jesus Christ to poor sinners; that ever he should consent to 
leave such a bosom, and the ineffable delights that were there, for 
such poor worms as we are. O the heights, depths, lengths, and 
breadths of unmeasurable love! O see, Rom. 5: 6, 7, 8. Read, and 
wonder; how is the love of Christ commended in ravishing 
circumstances to poor sinners! You would be loth to leave a 
creature's bosom, a comfortable dwelling, a fair estate for the best 
friend in the world; your souls are loth to leave their bodies, 
though they have no such great content there; but which of you, if 
ever you found by experience what it is to be in the bosom of God by 
divine communion, would be persuaded to leave such a bosom for all 
the good that is in the world? And yet Jesus Christ who was embraced 
in that bosom after another manner than ever you were acquainted 
with, freely left it, and laid down the glory and riches he enjoyed 
there, for your sakes; and as the Father loved him; even so 
(believers) has he loved you, John 17: 22. What manner of love is 
this! Who ever loved as Christ loves? Who ever denied himself for 
Christ, as Christ denied himself for us? 
Inference 3. 
    Hence we are informed, That interest in Jesus Christ is the 
true way to all spiritual preferment in heaven. Do you covet to be 
in the heart, in the favour and delight of God? Get interest in 
Jesus Christ, and you shall presently be there. What old Israel said 
of the children of his beloved Joseph, Thy children are my children; 
the same God saith of all the dear children of Christ, Gen. 48: 5, 
9. You see among men, all things are carried by interest: persons 
rise in this world as they are befriended; preferment goes by 
favour: So it is in heaven, persons are preferred according to their 
interest in the beloved, Eph. 1: 9. Christ is the great favourite in 
heaven: his image upon your souls and his name in your prayers, 
makes both accepted with God. 
Inference 4. 
    How worthy is Jesus Christ of all our love and delights? You 
see how infinitely the Father delighteth in him, how he ravishes the 
heart of God; and shall he not ravish our hearts? I present you a 
Christ this day, able to ravish any soul that will but view and 
consider him. O that you did but see this lovely Lord Jesus Christ! 
Then would you go home sick of love: surely he is a drawing Saviour, 
John 12: 32. Why do ye lavish away your precious affections upon 
vanity: None but Christ is worthy of them: when you spend your 
precious affections upon other objects, what is it but to dig for 
dross with golden mattocks? The Lord direct our hearts into the love 
Of Christ. O that our hearts, loves and delights did meet and 
concentre with the heart of God in this most blessed object! O let 
him that left God's bosom for you, be embosomed by you, though yours 
be nothing to God's; he that left God's bosom for you, deserves 
Inference 5. 
    If Christ be the beloved darling of the Father's soul, think 
what a grievous and insufferable thing it is to the heart of God, to 
see his dear Son despised, slighted, and rejected by sinners: 
verily, there is no such cut to the heart of God in the whole world. 
Unbelievers trample upon God's darling, tread under foot him that 
eternally lay in his bosom, Heb. 10: 29. Smite the Apple of his eye, 
and how God will bear this, that parable, Mat. 21: 37, to 40, will 
inform you, surely he will miserably destroy such wretched sinners. 
If you would study to do God the greatest despight, there is none 
like this. What a dismal word is that; 1 Cor. 16: 22. "If any man 
love not our Lord Jesus Christ, let him be Anathema Maranatha," (i. 
e.) let the great curse of God lie upon that man till the Lord come. 
O sinners! you shall one day know the price of this sin; you shall 
feel what it is to despise a Jesus, that is able to compel love from 
the hardest heart. O that you would slight him no more! O that this 
day your hearts might fall in love with him! I tell you, if you 
would set your love to sale, none bids so fair for it as Christ. 
2. Use of Exhortation 
    1. To saints: If Christ lay eternally in this bosom of love, 
and yet was content to forsake and leave it for your sakes; then, 
(1.) Be you ready to forsake and leave all the comforts you have on 
earth for Christ: famous Galleacius left all for this enjoyment. 
Moses left all the glory of Egypt: Peter, and the other Apostles 
left all, Luke 18: 28. But what have we to leave for Christ in 
comparison of what he left for us? Surely Christ is the highest 
pattern of self-denial in the world. (2.) Let this confirm your 
faith in prayer: If he, that has such an interest in the heart of 
God, intercede with the Father for you, then never doubt of audience 
and acceptance with him; surely you shall be accepted through the 
beloved, Eph. 1: 6. Christ was never denied any thing that he asked, 
John 11: 42. The Father hears him always; though you are not worthy, 
Christ is, and he ever lives to make intercession for you, Heb. 7: 
    (3.) Let this encourage thy heart, O saint, in a dying hour, 
and not only make thee patient in death, but in a holy manner 
impatient till thou be gone; for whither is thy soul now going, but 
to that bosom of love whence Christ came? John 17: 24. "Father, I 
will that they also, whom thou hast given me, be with me where I 
am:" and where is he but in that bosom of glory and love where he 
lay before the world was? ver. 5. O then let every believer 
encourage his soul; comfort ye one another with these words, I am 
leaving the bosom of a creature, I am going to the bosom of God. 
    2. To sinners, exhorting them to embrace the bosom-son of God: 
Poor Wretches! Whatever you are, or have been; whatever guilt or 
discouragement at present you lie under; embrace Christ, who is 
freely offered to you, and you shall be as dear to God as the 
holiest and most eminent believer in the world: but if you still 
continue to despise and neglect such a Saviour, sorer wrath is 
treasured up for you than other sinners, even something worse than 
dying without mercy, Heb. 10: 28. O that these discoveries and 
overtures of Christ may never come to such a fatal issue with any of 
your souls, in whose eyes his glory has been this day opened! 

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