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forbidden. And so gross actions are named, not to pass over lesser ones, but to make them more abominable, while we see how God looks on them, giving them such gross names.

5. The prohibition of the effect includes also the prohibi. tion of the cause, from which the effect flows. For instance, when the Lord forbids the profanation of the Sabbath, he forbids also all those works by which the Sabbath may be profaned. When he forbids uncleanness, he forbids intemperance, drunkenness, gluttony, and whatever may incite thereunto. When he forbids us to kill, he forbids anger and wrath, malice and revenge, from which bloodshed does oft-times proceed. On the other hand, when the law requires chastity, it enjoins also temperance and sobriety, and diligence in those particular callings wherein God has placed men in the world, their being means and helps thereunto, and the source as it were from whence they proceed.

6. The precepts in the second table of the law must yield to those of the first, when they cannot be both performed together. For instance our love to our neighbour must be subjected to our love to God; yea, we are commanded to hate father and mother for Christ, Luke xiv. 26. When our love to our parents and relations comes in competition with our love to Christ, and is inconsistent with it then we are not bound unto it, and when the commands of men run cross to the commands of God, then God is to be obeyed rather than men, as the apostle shew, Acts iv. 19.

7. Whatever God forbids in his law is at no time lawful to be done; and whatever he commands is always our duty.

Therefore it is said, Deut. iv. 9. “Only take heed to thyself, and keep thy soul diligently, lest thou forget the things which thine eyes have seen, and lest they depart from thy heart all the days of thy life. Yet every particular duty is: not to be done at all times : for there are many duties enjoined us which suppose certain conditions; and if these be wanting, there is no place for the performance of the duties. For instance, we are commanded to honour our parents; but this supposeth they are alive or present with us, or else there can be no place for that duty. But whatever vices are forbidden in God's law, they are at no time lawful to be done. The negative precepts bind us always, and at all times.

We are continually to shun and avoid every thing that is evil.

8. Whatever is forbidden or commanded with respect to ourselves, we are bound, according to our places and stations

, to endeavour that it may be avoided or performed by others

, according to the duty of their places. Hence it is said, Exod.

• The seventh day is the Sabbath of the Lord thy God: in it thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, thy man-servant, nor thy maid-servant, &c.

xx. 10.

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I shall conclude with a few practical inferences from this subject.

Inf. 1. This doctrine lets us see that the rule of man's obe. dience is not wrapt up in darkness and shades, is not ambiguous, or hard to be understood. The rule is not farfetched, and to be found out by hard study and laborious inquiry. No; it is plain and obvious to the common sense and reason of mankind. It is contained in ten plain words, and explained and illustrated in every book of the Bible. Nay, it is in some measure written on the hearts of all men; every son and daughter of Adam has some remains of it written on their hearts, which all the boisterous and dashing waves of corruption have never been able to efface. We may say of it, as the apostle does of the gospel, The rule of thy

' obedience, O man, is nigh thee, eyen in thy heart and in thy mouth. So that it is in vain to pretend ignorance of this rule. All pretences of ignorance in this matter are mere affectation, and most unaccountable.

2. What matter of regret is it, that in a land of light, where the Bible is, which contains in it this rule of obedience, and enforces it with the strongest motives, people should be so ignorant of what is so much their interest and adyantage to know! They are wofully ignorant of both the law of God, and the spirituality and extent thereof; and pay no manner of respect to it in their heart or practice.

3. The law is perfect, and requires a full conformity thereto. It requires the utmost perfection in every duty, and forbids the least degree of every sin. So that life and salvation are absolutely unattainable by it, in regard no man can perform such an obedience to it as it requires. Our salvation is suspended in obedience to the law; which since we cannot perform, let us be induced to betake ourselves to

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the obedience and satisfaction of Christ, by which the law is magnified and made honourable, and with which God is well pleased ; and will be pleased with every sinner that takes the benefit thereof.

4. The commandment is exceeding broad, reaching to every motion, desire, and affection of the heart, as well as to every action we perform. It is a rule both for our hearts and our lives. Let us then study to know this holy law of God in its spirituality and extent, and yield that obedience to it which it requires; sincere, flowing from right principles in the heart, and directed to right ends; universal, in respect of parts, without mincing; cheerful, in regard of the manner; and constant and perpetual, as to the duration. And the Lord give us understanding in all things, to know and do our duty, to the glory of his




MATTH. xxii. 37, 38, 39.Thou shalt love the Lord thy God

with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.

MARK xii. 30.—Thou shalt love the Lord thy God, with

all thy strength.

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THIS is an answer made by our Lord to a captious que

stion put to him by a learned scribe. If Christ had pitched on any particular command of the ten, the lawyer, for so the querist is called, would certainly have excepted in some other, and accused him of vilifying some other commands; but Christ gives the summary of both tables of the law, yea, of the whole scriptures touching a holy life: Thou

shalt love the Lord thy God, &c. In which words may be į noticed,

1. The sum of the first table of the law that is, love to the Lord, and that such love is as superior and transcendent; such love as gives the whole man to the Lord, with all the strength of all the powers of soul and body.

2. The sum of the second table; that is, love to our neighbour, and that such love as we bear to ourselves, (but not as to God), sincere and constant.

3. Christ compares the two together, shewing that love to God is the command first to be looked unto, and by which the other is to be regulated, whether as to the loving outselves or our neighbour. The second is like unto it, as having the same authority, and must be joined with the first, and is the fountain of acceptable obedience to the secondtable commands, as the first is the true spring of acceptable obedience to the first-table duties.

4. He shews the whole law and the doctrine of the prophets, touching holiness, to depend on these as the sum of all.

The doctrine arising from the words is,

Doct. The sum of the ten commandments is, to love

the Lord our God with all our heart, with all our soul, with all our strength, and with all our mind; and our neighbour as ourselves.'

The sum of all the commands (ye see) is love. So the ten commandments are the law of love, they are a law that is chiefly conversant about the heart, which is the seat of love. . The


of them is to unite men to God and to one another; for there is no such cement of hearts as ho, liness.

The text and doctrine consists of two parts.

I. The sum of the first table of the law is love to God. II. The sum of the second is love to our neighbour.

I. The sum of the first table of the law is love to God.

Here I shall shew, 1. The ingredients of this love to God, whereof it is

made up.

2. The properties of it.
3. Why this love is due to God.

4. How love to the Lord stands in relation to other commands.

5. Lastly, Apply.

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First, I shall shew the ingredients of this love to God, whereof it is made up.

1. Knowledge of him. An unseen but not an unknown God can be loved with all the heart, soul, strength, and mind. Ignorant souls cannot love God; what the eye sees not, the heart likes not. Hell fire may have heat without light: but all heavenly fire has light as well as heat. Thou must know God, (1.) Who he is, to wit, the Lord Jehovah, the one God in three persons, Father, Son, and Holy Ghost. These are the object of divine love. (2.) What he is in his attributes, as an infinite, eternal and unchangeable Being. Comprehend him ye cannot, but apprehend him ye must, as he has revealed himself. And so when love is shed abroad in the heart, the vail is first taken from the eyes.

2. Chusing of him for our God, our chief good and portion, Psal. Ixxiii. 25. “Whom have I in heaven but thee? and there is none upon earth that I desire besides thee.' Thou shalt love the Lord with all thy heart. If we love him not above all, we do not truly love him; if we chuse him not for our portion, we love him not above all. The soul that loves the Lord, sees that in him which may satisfy it, nothing out of him that is necessary to make the soul happy. Hence it does, by choice, take up its everlasting rest in him, and finds a match to itself in him.

3. Cleaving to him as our God: Love the Lord thy God. Love is an uniting thing; it makes the soul cleave to the object. Thou must cleave to the Lord, to his ways, word, &c. Not to be separated from him by whatsoever wedge the devil or the world may drive. Not to be bribed from

him, nor boasted either, Cant viii. 7. Many waters cannot quench love, neither can the floods drown it.' And cleave to him as thy God; for so he will be loved. He must be thy God, before thou canst love him aright. Thus was it with Adam, and Christ; and thus it is with believers.

Hence it is evident, (1.) That faith is the first spring of all true obedience. There is no obedience but from love, no love but from faith, whereby God becomes our God. How can it otherwise be? for although God is in himself the chief good, if he be not ours, the more perfect Being he is, the more terrible an enemy he is.

(2.) That the way prescribed by God himself for us to attain love to him, is to apprehend him by faith to be our

Vol. II.

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