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do any work, thou, nor thy son, thy fon, nor thy daughter, thy man-fervant, nor thy maid fervant, &c.

I fhall conclude with a few practical inferences from this fubject.

Inf. 1. This doctrine lets us fee that the rule of man's obedience is not wrapt up in darkness and fhades, is not ambiguous, or hard to be understood. The rule is not far-fetched, and to be found out by hard ftudy and laborious inquiry. No; it is plain and obvious to the common fenfe 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 fome measure written on the hearts of all men; every fon and daughter of Adam has fome remains of it written on their hearts, which all the boisterous and dafhing waves of corruption have never been able to efface. We may fay of it, as the apoftle does of the gofpel, The rule of thy obedience, O man, is nigh thee, even 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 ftrongest mo tives, people fhould be fo ignorant of what it is fo much their intereft and advantage to know! They are wofully ignorant of both the law of God, and the fpirituality and extent thereof; and pay no manner of refpect to it in their heart or practice.

3. The law is perfect, and requires a full conformi ty thereto. It requires the utmoft perfection in every duty, and forbids the leaft degree of every fin. So that life and falvation are abfolutely unattainable by it, in regard no man can perform fuch an obedience to it as it requires. Our falvation is fufpended on obedience to the law; which fince we cannot perform, let us be induced to betake ourfelves to the obedience

and fatisfaction of Chrift, by which the law is magnified and made honourable, and with which God is well pleased; and will be pleased with every finner that takes the benefit thereof.

4. The commandment is exceeding broad, reaching to every motion, defire, 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 ftudy to know this holy law of God in its fpirituality and extent, and yield that obedience to it which it requires; fincere, flowing from right principles in the heart, and directed to right ends; univerfal, in refpect of parts, without mincing; chearful, in regard of the manner; and conftant 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 name.


Love to God and our Neighbour the Sum of the ten Commandments.

MATTHEW Xxii. 37. 38. 39.

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

MARK Xii. 30.


Thou shalt love the Lord thy God,-with all thy ftrength. HIS is an anfwer made by our Lord to a captious question put to him by a learned scribe. If Chrift had pitched on any particular command of the ten, the lawyer, for fo the querift is called, would certainly have excepted in fome other, and accused him of vilifying fome other commands; but Chrift gives the fummary of both tables of the law, yea of the whole fcriptures touching a holy life: Thou shalt

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

1. The fum of the firft table of the law; that is, love to the Lord, and that fuch love as is fuperior and tranfcendent; fuch love as gives the whole man to the Lord, with all the ftrength of all the powers of foul and body.

2. The fum of the fecond table; that is, love to our neighbour; and that fuch love as we bear to ourselves, (but not as to God), fincere and conftant.

3. Chrift compares the two together, fhewing 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 ourfelves or our neighbour. The fecond is like unto it, as having the fame authority, and muft be joined with the firft, and is the fountain of acceptable obedience to the fecond-table commands, as the firft is the true fpring of acceptable obedience to the firft-table duties.

4. He fhews the whole law and the doctrine of the prophets touching holiness to depend on thefe as the fum of all.

The doctrine arising from the words, is,

DOCT. "The fum of the ten commandments is, to "love the Lord our God with all our heart, with all "our foul, with all our ftrength, and with all our "mind; and our neighbour as ourfelves." The fum of all the commands (ye fee) is love. So the ten com. mandments are, the law of love; they are a law that is chiefly converfant about the heart, which is the feat of love. The scope of them is to unite men to God and to one another; for there is no fuch cement of hearts as holiness.

The text and doctrine confifts of two parts. 1. The fum of the first table of the law is love to God. 2. The fum of the fecond is love to our neighbour.

I. The fum of the firft table of the law is love to God.

Here I fhall fhew,

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.

First, I fhall fhew the ingredients of this love to God, whereof it is made up. 1. Knowledge of him. An unfeen but not an unknown God can be loved with all the heart, foul, ftrength, and mind. Ignorant fouls cannot love God : what the eye fees 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 perfons, Father, Son, and Holy Ghost. Thefe 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 muft as he has revealed himself. And fo when love is fhed abroad in the heart, the vail is first taken from the eyes.

2. Chufing of him for our God, our chief good and portion, Pfal. lxxiii. 25. Whom have I in heaven but thee? and there is none upon earth that I defire befides 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 chufe him not for our portion, we love him not above all. The foul that loves the Lord, fees that in him which may fatisfy it, nothing out of him that is neceffary to make the foul happy. Hence it does, by choice, take up its everlafting reft in him, and finds a match to it felt in him.

3. Cleaving to him as our God: Love the Lord thy God. Love is an uniting thing; it makes the foul cleave to the object. Thou muit cleave to the Lord, to his ways, word, &c. Not to be feparated from 3 E




God, to ferve his glory in the world, Rom. xiv. 7. 8.
and makes him ready to forego what is dearest to him
in the world for God, Acts xx. 24. and fets a man
on doing and fuffering at his call.

Thirdly, I will fhew why this love is due to God. It
is due because of his tranfcendent excellency and abfo
lute loveliness. There is nothing in him but what is
good; all goodness is in him, and nothing wanting;
and each part of goodness is in him infinitely. No
love then is fuitable to him but fuch a love. There is
nothing lovely in the creatures, but what is eminent.
ly in him, Matth. xix. 17. but there is fomething
wanting in all the creatures, that muft ftint our love, fo
Fourthly, I fhall fhew how love to the Lord ftands
in relation to other commands.

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1. It is the chief duty. It is what God mainly re quires, and what we ought mainly to aim at. It is the end, to which even faith itself is but the mean, and in that refpect is by the apoftle preferred to all others, 1 Cor. xiii.

2. It is the comprehenfive duty of all, Rom. xi. 10. As is our love, fo will our obedience be. Were t cur love perfect, our obedience would be fo too. It is the fruitful womb out of which proceed all other duties.



3. It is an univerfal duty; it goes through all Whatever acceptable fervice we do, must be done in love; and if it be not done fo, it is not accepted. ne Other duties are the meat, but this is the falt to fea fon all.

Fifthly, I fhall deduce fome inferences from what has been faid.

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Inf. 1. What a fweet law is the law of God, that law of love! how rational! how drawing! Did ever prince make a law for his fubjects to love him? but God has made fuch a law; and all his loyal fubjects chearfully obey it, and find their advantage in it.


2. See the excellency of the love of God. The whole law is comprifed in love, Would ye have the

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