« הקודםהמשך »
“ so unto them.”-A rule worthy so great an author. After this, it would be folly, it would be presumption to attempt a further illustration. We proceed then, in the
Third place, to consider briefly the necessary connection there is between “ Love to Christ" and “ keeping his commandments,” or following his example, which we take to be one and the same thing; and this will evidently appear, by just going over the particulars of the first head. Is Christ a creator, a king, a prince, a lord, a master, a father? and are we his creatures, subjects, servants, followers, disciples, children? Do we pay him the veneration that is due to him in all these relations?-How do we, how can we, make it appear any other way than by the observance of whatever he has commanded us, and given us an example of in his own person ?Would not that man be reckoned impudent to the last degree who should say he had a very strong affection for a gracious earthly prince, if at the same time he were in a state of open rebellion against him?-Would an indulgent, worthy inaster be satisfied with his servant's professing great love to him, if, notwithstanding, he should act in direct contradiction to his commands? Would a kind earthly teacher think his scholar really loved him, let his professions be what they might, should he despise his dictates ? Or would a tender earthly father be pleased with a favourite son, would he or any one else believe that son had the affectionate reverence for him which he pretended, if he contemned his advice and trampled upon his authority?-How can Christ then, or how can the world be satisfied of the love of that man to his Saviour, who wilfully transgresses what he has in the strongest manner enjoined him, both by precept and example ?Again, is Christ a brother, a friend, yea, “a friend " that sticketh closer than a brother,” and do we profess to be his friends? The only way we can evidence it, as he himself in another place tells us, is, by doing “ whatsoever he has commanded us," and then " we are his friends indeed.”. Would not that man be reckoned very hollow hearted, whatever his protestations might be, should he, in disregard of all the social ties, be, tray the interest of, or do what he is certain would be, in the highest degree, grievous, disgusting, and offensive to an affectionate friend, who studied his good in every thing, and was in himself worthy of the highest esteem?-and, last of all, has Christ given the noblest proof of his friendship, that could possibly be given? Has he died for his enemies to make them his friends
and do we pretend to have the most grateful sense of what he has done for us? Let us shew it by being to one another, as much as in us lies, what Christ has been, and is to us. man say, he is deeply sensible of what Christ has done for him, and at the same time indulge an ungenerous unforgiving temper toward his brother? or, to sum up all that can be said, in one word, can he live in the habitual wilful omission of any duty, or the habitual wilful practice of any sin, which are the very thorns which crowned the head, the very nails which pierced the hands and feet, the very spear which stabbed the side, and the very pangs which wounded the soul of the almighty compassionate Saviour? If we really love our Redeemer, we will keep his commandments, and they “ are not grievous" but joyous, “ in keeping them there is great reward: “ He that saith, I know him, and keepeth not his "commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not « in him. A new commandment I give unto you, “ that ye love one another, as I have loved you " that ye also love one another. By this shall all “ men know, that ye are my disciples, if ye have “ love one to another : he that hath my com“ mandments, and keepeth them, he it is that “ loveth me, and he that loveth me shall be to loved of my Father, and I will love him, and
“ will manifest myself unto him. Let your light “ so shine before men, that they may see your
good works, and glorify your Father which is “ in heaven." Let us “ walk in love, as Christ “ also hath loved us, and given himself for us ;" the period is fast approaching when he “ will
come again and receive all his unto himself, « that where he is there they may be also ;” his commandment is life everlasting: “ in his pre“sence there is fulness of joy, at his right hand " there are pleasures for evermore: wherefore, “my beloved brethren, be ye stedfast, unmovea“ ble, always abounding in the work of the Lord, “ forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not « in vain in the Lord,”
Bless the Lord, O my soul : and all that is within me, bless his
holy name. Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits: Who forgiveth all thine iniquities; who healeth all thy diseases ; Who redeemeth thy life from destruction; who crowneth thee with
loving-kindness and tender mercies ; Who satisfieth thy mouth with good things; so that thy youth is
renewed like the eagle's.
ON THE DUTY OF PRAISE.
THERE is hardly a case or circumstance that can occur in life to which we will not find something adapted in this book of psalms. Here we are taught how to rejoice, and how to mourn, how to address God in prayer, and how to praise, how to perform the public, and how the private duties of religion. Here, as examples of, and incentives to devotion, we are presented with the divine breathings, the heartfelt emotions of a few of the most shining Old Testament worthies, in