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observed, that nothing is required from us, which it is beyond the compass of those natural powers, with which we are endowed, to perform. The first commandment does not direct us to love the lord with the affection and intensity of angels, but with all our might, with the strength, which God has actually bestowed upon us, and the powers of that soul, which we are continually calling into exercise either for good or evil: and with respect to the second commandment, it does not require us to love our neighbour, (that is, in the language

of scripture, our fellow-mortal) with the same fervour as we should love God, nor with any mode or degree of affection, of which we are naturally incapable, but with an extent and measure of love, which we not only can, but do render, at least towards one object; for we bestow it upon ourselves.

At the same time to this extent the law is peremptory. It requires nothing more than we have power to perform. But it is satisfied with nothing less. If we give our maker one tittle less than all our hearts, all our love, all our gratitude, and all the affection, of which our minds are capable, we come short of the standard of duty, and are counted by the law, as transgressors. If we only love ourselves in the first degree, and our neighbour in the second, if we do not desire his welfare as truly and to as great an extent as we labor to promote our own, we are condemned by the letter and enactment of the second command. God himself is love; and in that divine quality he commands his intelligent creatures to be like him.

Further, whatever we may think of the extent of this law, or of its severity, there can be no doubt, that it is not only perfectly reasonable, but also eminently conducive to our welfare. Only consider, what would be the aspect of the world we live in, if every inhabitant of it loved God according to the direction of the first commandment, and if he also loved his neighbour according to the measure of the second! There would then be no war in the world, no rivalship, no jealousy, no over-reach- · ing, no suspicion, no resentment; but, even if all the present natural evils of life, its pain, and suffering, and exposure to sudden calamities

should continue, mutual sympathy would relieve and soften them, and the recollection of them would soon be lost in the tender attentions of brotherly love. When all uneasy tempers were banished, all antipathies, all mutual dislikes, all undue self-preference done away, and all mankind were exemplifying that maxim of the apostle— Let no man seek his own, 'but every man another's wealth!'-, it would indeed be seen, that the ways of God's commandments are ways of pleasantness, and that all his paths are peace.

Nor is this mere hypothesis. If the history of the bible is to be believed, the law of God was once thus observed. Adam in Paradise observed it: for God made man upright. When he had finished his work of creation, he saw every thing, that he had made; and behold! it was very good. Man in particular deserved that glorious description : for man was created in the image and likeness of God; and that likeness, as we learn from the epistles of the new testament, consisted in righteousness and true holiness. Adam therefore loved his creator with all his might; and, when that creator had given him a partner of his various blessings, he loved her, as himself. Thus the law, of which we are speaking, would not only conduce to the happiness of our species, if it were obeyed; it is not only level to our natural powers, so that it might be obeyed; but also at one period in the world's history, it actually was obeyed: and, (I may add) at a period much later, when our blessed saviour exhibited to the world a specimen of spotless innocence and triumphant love, it was obeyed again.

Now then let us take another view of the subject! Let us contrast the demands of the law with the actual and present condition of the world ! Do men now love the lord with all their heart, mind, soul, and strength, and their neighbour, as themselves, according to the injunction of the law ? or is it true, my brethren, as the text asserts, that none of you keepeth the law

For this purpose look abroad, my brethren, through the world ! If the law of God be a law of love, is it also the law of the world ? I do not ask, whether there be any love, existing in the world. Human society could not go on without it. If parents did not love their children, they would perish. If families were not held together by the ties of mutual affection, there would be nothing, but mischief and massacre, in the world. If great benefactions did not awaken gratitude, or great virtues excite love, fear and mistrust and hatred must accompany us in all our dealings with each other. I do not therefore ask, if such feelings exist, but if they prevail. Can you say, that men at large love God as well as it is possible for them to love him, or that they love their fellow-creatures, as they do themselves ? Is this the prevailing tone and character of society ? With respect to the first commandment, do men love God well enough to make his will their uniform rule of action in preference to their own convenience and profit? or do they say to his law, when it interferes with present enjoyment-'Go thy way for this time!

When I have a convenient season, I will send ' for thee'-? With respect to the second, does the success of a neighbour commonly diffuse joy in a neighbourhood ? or is the more com

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