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which the plant may grow. The soil wants this quality, and it will not fructify this kind. Witness how little reverence of the office of a Minister, or of an Elder, or of a Deacon, there commonly is now-a-days; how little reverence of a Presbytery, or a Synod, or General Assembly of the church, or of the authority of the church itself, from the members of the church : and, on the other hand, witness how little of affectionate care, pains-taking instruction, hearty encouragement, and good counsel there is from those above to those beneath. Who says now, “I would rather be a door-keeper in the house of God, than a dweller in the tents of sin ?" We are rather come into the condition mentioned by the Prophet: “Which of us will shut a door for nought?”

4. The next relation into which we are brought in the ordinary course of things, is that of husband and wife, which becomes the nourishment and support of all the rest : and well worthy it is of the last and highest consideration ; for it is the most ancient of all, instituted by God himself, pre-existent in paradise, and therefore most boly, and sanctified by the Holy Spirit to be the great symbol of the communion of Christ and his church. And the man who understandeth to cherish his wife as he ought to do, in the midst of all her weaknesses and infirmities, and never but in love to rebuke her, and with long-suffering to bear patiently with her, and in spite of all her faults to love her, and to desire no other, but in every thing, to the look of the eye, to be faithful to her, that man hath prepared in him a soil for receiving the word of the love of Christ unto his chosen and elected one-his spousal church : which love of

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election the multitude of believers in these times will not at all regard. And again, the woman who loveth and revereth her husband, and looketh up to him for necessary sustenance in every thing pertaining to the body and the mind; who hath surrendered her identity and her very name unto her husband, and veileth her countenance in the presence of another, as belonging to him, and him only; for him reserving her beauty, and for him adorning her person, and calling him lord ; that woman hath a soil prepared within her for receiving the word of the testimony of the electing love of Christ: she hath a desire for it; no common love will satisfy her soul; it must be the love of a husband unto his wife, and of such a faithful husband as a wife may at all times resort to with the fullest assurance of a welcome and cordial return. But those spouses who take no such elevated views of the married state, nor are at pains to cultivate its reciprocal affections within their souls, or to fulfil its continual offices, are not able to apprehend the mystery of Christ and his elect church, have no faithfulness nor constancy of affection towards him, but are ever committing fornication and adultery with the world; beginning with gradual accommodations, and by insensible approaches advancing, until they wholly apostatize from their faithfulness. Then they will gnash upon you with their teeth if you speak to them of election: they will call it cruelty and blasphemy, and a dishonouring of God's love, which should be general and alike to all. This is exactly the state to which we are come; it is called adultery in the spirit; and believe me, it will go

hand in hand with adultery in the letter, as may be seen in all the papal states. And why? Because wherever the fulness of the love which there is between husband and wife is comprehended, and the 'necessity of it to the well-being of the family, and the well-being of the society ; then will the heart yearn for something of the same fulness in the love of God and of Christ, and feel assured that not otherwise can the fruitfulness of children and the well-being of the family be maintained. I say, that what place the concentrated affection of husband and wife upon one another hath with respect to the fruitfulness and blessedness of the family; that same hath the doctrine of election, or choice of preference and intercommunion of love, to the fruitfulness and blessedness of the church ;--which, by preserving upon the earth the reality of these symbols in the constitution of society, doth interpret the mystery, enlarge the knowledge, and increase the use of them; which again produceth a soil for receiving the seed of the word; and thus, exactly in the way which we explained above with respect to agriculture, do they act and re-act upon one another.

Having thus gone over the relationships of the family, and shewn how they serve the interests of the church, and are, as it were, the outward court of the temple of God, we do now proceed to the relationships of neighbourhood. By neighbours are meant those beside whom God in his providence hath cast our lot. But it may be asked, Are not all men our neighbours ? and when it is said, “ Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself,” is it not meant of all men? I answer with our Lord, in the parable of the Samaritan, that the word

neighbour,” in the Commandment, includeth our very enemies, and is intended to take in all men;


so that, wherever among the habitations of men we may find ourselves, we are required to love them as ourselves. Nevertheless, there is a great appropriateness, and I would say a most precious mystery, couched in the word “neighbour," which is, that we ought not to send our affections posting over the wide world; and, as it were, a woolgathering, into all parts where men are to be

one of the fallacies and mischiefs of their modern philosophy, which would break up the little companies, and fellowships, townships, communities, and kingdoms of men; in order, as they say, to constrain with an equal arm, and entreat with an equal affection, the whole family of mankind. This is the basis of what they call political justice, which attempted to rear its head against the Christian institutions of this island some thirty years ago. : Against this the word “heighbour," in the Commandment, beareth witness ; by choosing which it is signified that we should begin, and be busy with, the near at hand, circulate how wide, soever we can go; missing no one in the widening of our circle, and not failing to love them with a love equal to that with which we love ourselves. This is the practical and working form of the law:

Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself;" and the general principle of the law is, “ Whatsoever you would that men should do unto you, do ye also unto them." This is a great province of a Christian's duty, without which that love of the elect, and devoted attachment to the household of faith, would work all the evil consequences which the Arminians, in their blindness, seek to discover in it. And therefore, besides the rela

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tionship of kindred, which may furnish the soil for that new commandment of Christ, " that we should love one another, as he hath loved us,” we should have a relationship of neighbourhood, in order to furnish the soil for that old commandment of the law, “ Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself:" of which I now entreat, as being of an importance second only to that family relationship which I have handled above.

This relationship of neighbour to neighbour, includes in it all community of whatever kind; for every kind of community, from that of a copartnery in trade up to the society of a kingdom, , groweth out of it: and all the laws, rules, and ordinances of townships, cities, counties, and kingdoms, are the effort of reason in its natural bondage, to establish and effect the building, and bear up

the burden of this very Commandment, “ Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself;" which I hold to be as certainly the basis and support of all communities, as that the law of gravitation, inversely as the squares of the distances, is the basis of the system of the material heavens. For, brethren, take thought, and consider what all interchange of commodities is grounded on, and what it tendeth to produce in men who uprightly conduct it. Is it not grounded upon the principle, that there shall be an equal rule maintained unto all men, and that we shall treat our neighbour with the same measure with which we treat ourselves ?' And is not every departure from this, accounted fraud and unrighteousness? And what is the nature of law? Is it not to reduce all men to a level, before the principles of equity? Not to level men to one con

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