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in degree, to that which thou entertainest for thyself. Our self-love prompts us to seek our own happiness, as far as is consistent with the duties we owe to God and to man. Our social love should in the same manner prompt us to seek the happiness of our neighbour, as far as is consistent with the duty we owe to God and ourselves. But in all equal circumstances our love for ourselves must have a priority in degree to the love we have for our neighbour. If, for instance, my neighbour is in extreme want of food, and I am in the same want, I am not bound to give him that food which is indispensably necessary for my own preservation, but that only which is consistent with it. The rule, in short, can never be mistaken by any man of common sense. Our business is to take care to carry it far enough: nature will take sufficient care that we do not carry it too far. It is in fact nothing more than what we are taught by another divine rule very nearly allied to this, and which all men allow to

be reasonable, equitable, and practicable; "whatsoever ye would that men should do ye even so to them*.”

do to you,

This is precisely what is meant by loving our neighbour as ourselves: for when we treat him exactly as we would expect and hope to be treated by him in the same circumstances, we give a clear and decisive proof that we love him as ourselves. And in this there is evidently no impossibility, no difficulty, no obscurity.

These then are the two great commandments, on which we are told hang all the law and the prophets; that is, on them, as on its main foundation, rests the whole Mosaic dispensation; for of that, not of the Gospel, our Lord is here speaking. To explain, establish, and confirm these two leading principles of human duty, was one of the chief objects of the law and the prophets. But it must at the same time be remembered (as I have shown at large in a former Lecture +) that, great and important as these two precepts confes edly

Matt. vii. 12.

+ Lect. VII. pp. 216-218.

We find

fessedly are, they do by no means constitute the whole of the Christian system. In that we find many essential improvements of the moral law, which was carried by our Saviour to a much higher degree of perfection than in the Jewish dispensation, as may be seen more particularly in his Sermon on the Mount. also in the New Testament all those important evangelical doctrines which distinguish the Christian revelation; more particularly those of a resurrection, of a future day of retribution, of the expiation of our sins, original and personal, by the sacrifice of Christ, of sanctification by the Holy Spirit, of justification by a true and lively faith in the merits of our Redeemer. If therefore we wish to form a just and correct idea of the whole Christian dispensation, and if we wish to be considered as genuine disciples of our divine Master, we must not content ourselves with observing only the two leading commandments of love to God and love to men, but we must look to the whole

of our religion as it lies in the Gospel; we must endeavour to stand perfect in all the will of God, and in all the doctrines of his Son, as declared in the Christian revelation; and after doing our utmost to fulfil all righteousness, and to attend to every branch of our duty, both with respect to God, our neighbour, and ourselves, we must finally repose all our hopes of salvation on the merits of our Redeemer, and on our belief in him as the Way, the Truth, and the Life.

1

I must now put a period to these Lectures for the present season; and if it should please God to preserve my life for another year, I hope to finish my observations on the Gospel of St. Matthew; beyond which I must not now extend my

views.

In the meanwhile, from what I have observed in the progress of these Lectures, I cannot help indulging an humble hope that they have not been unattended with some salutary effects upon your minds. But when on the other hand, I consider

that the time of year is now approaching, in which the gaieties and amusements of this vast metropolis are generally engaged in, with incredible alacrity and ardour, and multitudes are pouring in from every part of the kingdom to take their share in them; and when I recollect further, that at this very period in the last year a degree of extravagance and wildness in pleasure took place, which gave pain to every serious mind, and was almost unexampled in any former times; I am not, I confess, without some apprehensions, that the same scene of levity and dissipation may again recur; and that some of those who now hear me (of the younger part more especially) may be drawn too far into this fashionable vortex, and lose, in that giddy tumult of diversion, all remembrance of what has passed in this sacred place. I must therefore most earnestly caution them against these fascinating allurements, and recommend to them that moderation, that temperance, that modesty in amusement, which their

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