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ing with Expressions of Zeal, and eagerly contending for their Own way of Worship, tho' at the same time they have a Pharifaical contempt of all besides themselves, and, with them, peglect the more weighty matters of the Law,
Fudgment, Mercy, and Faith? those indispensable Duties which God desires rather than Sacrifice, which are the true Love of God, and therefore expressly so callid by St Luke in a parallel place, where he expresses what St Matthew calls Fudgment,Mercy, and Faith, by Judgment and the Love of God. Luke 11.42. Wo unto you Pharisees, for ye Tithe Mint and Rue, and negle& Judgment and the Love of God.
Are there not those, who think they have fulfill'd this first Great and Comprehensive Commandment of Loving God with all their Heart, if they are exact and scrupulous in the Duties of the first Table, tho they slight and disregard, as meer Heathen Virtues, all those of the second? Who are very Devout towards God, but very Unmerciful towards Men; Abhorrers of Idols, but full of Covetoufneß, which is also Idolatry ; exceedingly fearful of a vain Oath, but reconcileable enough to a profitable Lye; who can after a long Prayer devour a Widow's House, and after a folemn Fast greedily drink up the Tears of the Oppressed; in short, who are of a Burning Zeal, but a Frozen Charity. Whereas if we consider
our Saviour's Life, the perfect pattern of Love, we shall find that he lays as great ftress upon Beneficence, and Charity, and Universal good Will, and all those Duties that relate to our Neighbour, as upon those that we are bound to pay immediately to God himself. And this Command, says St John, we have from him, that he who Loveth God Love bis Brother also; For if a Man fay he Loveth God, and Hatetb his Brother; he is a Lyar. 1 John 4. 20, 21.
But yet farther has not this Spirit; that works in the Children of Disobedience, infatuated fome to that degree, as to make Legal Obedience even inconsistent with Evangelical Love? to pronounce good Works not only Unnecessary to Salvation as Some, but even Pernicious, as Others have dar'd to Blafpheme. To affert that a strong Faith and Assurance, a confident Relying, and familiar Refting upon Chrift, is all that is requir'd to Saintship here, or to Salvation hereafter. Willingly enough they would use Christ as their Prieft, but care not to Obey him as their King; not considering what St Peter and the other Apoftles taught Acts 5. 31. Him has God exalted to be a Prince and a Saviour, a Prince to give Laws to be submitted to by Obedience, as well as a Saviour to procure Redemption to be embrac'd by Faith. But
these it seems, who are more intimate with Chrift, are not oblig’d to the observance of the Moral Law, for St Paul has in se veral places told them, that the Faithful are freed from the Law, are Dead to the Lan, are no longer under the Lam, and such like expressions, which these unlearned, presumptuous Souls woreft , as they do other Scriptures, to their own Destruction. Ņot rightly understanding, or not duly attending to, this plain Distinction, that will clear up all this Difficulty; namely, that the Law in Scripture is sometimes consider'd as a Covenant, sometimes as a Rule; and when it is spoken of as abrogated, it is taken as a Covenant of Works; but when 'tis urg'd as still in force, 'tis consider'd as a Rule of Life: fo Chrift has freed us from the Curse of the Law, as it was a Covenant of Works; but more strongly enforc'd che Obedience of the Law, as it is a Rule of Life. For as a Coc venant, twas rigorous and condemning, Do This and Live, Fail in One Tittle and Die. That Rigour and Condemnation Christ has taken away : but as a Rule it was Equal, and Juft, and Good, commanding nothing, but what God himself did, when he was pleas'd to become Man; and that Equity, and Justice, and Goodness, he has by no means taken away, he has rather establishid and confirm'd Them; Think not, says he himself,
that I am come to destroy the Law, I am not come to destroy the Law, but to fulfill; and St Paul, De we then make Void the Law by Faith? God forbid. Yea we establiso the Lam. In fine, the Duties of the Moral Law being not Good because commanded, but commanded because Good, are of indispensable and never ceasing Obligation, so exactly conformable to the Eternal Rectitude and immutable Holiness of God, the Copy not only of his Will but his Nature, that it is as impossible that God should ever abrogate or dispense with these, as it is that he should deny himself
. As concerning thy Testimonies, I have known long since, that thou haft founded them for ever. Plal. 119. V. 152. and again, all his Commandments are True. They stand fast for ever and ever, and are done in Truth and Equity. Psal. 111. 8. and our Saviour himself, Veo rily I say unto you, 'Till Heaven and Earth pass away, one fot or one Tittle fball in no wife pass from the Law. Mat. 5. 18.
Can any One therefore, who lives in opposition to these Holy Rules, think, that he can have the least pretence to any share in God's Favour, or persuade himself that he has within him the least Inclination or Affection towards God? No certainly; Love, which is rightly defin'd a Desire of Union with the Object Belov’d, towards that end produces ever a most natural Effect, a desire
of Likeness, a study of Imitation and Conformity with that Perfection and Excellence, with which it is enamour'd. It is manifest Deceit therefore and Hypocrisy to pretend to Love God without endeavouring to be like him. And This none can ever hope for, but by adjusting his whole Life to those moft Holy Laws of his, which as I faid are not only the Arbitrary Declarations of his Will, but a Sample of his Essential Goodness, the Image and Reflection of his Divine Nature,
An Heart enflam'd with Love seeks out, and delights in, what is agreeable and pleafing to the Beloved, is ever poffefsd with a dread of Offending, a jealousy of Difpleasing, a tenderness of Grieving the Fountain of its Delight. Is it not then an ima pious and absurd piece of Nonsense to imagine, that any one can be actuated by this generous and tender Affection toward God, at the same time that he is in league with his profest Enemy, the Devil, and cherishes That most, which is the only Thing in the whole World which God hates, SIN; The utmost Abomination to his Purity, the most audacious Outrage to his Adorable Majesty, the perfect Contradiction to his Deity?
This I think is too plain to be further infifted upon, and shall therefore take it for granted now with the Apostle, that