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eternal life, than gratitude for the forgiveness of sin.—This thankful spirit, instead of being an operation of self-love, or regarding God merely in subserviency to our own happiness, greatly consists in self-abasement, or in a sense of our own unworthiness. Its language is, Who am I, O Lord God, and what is my father's house, that thou hast brought me hitherto? What shall I render to the Lord for all his benefits? This is holy gratitude; and to be destitute of it, is to be unthankful, unholy.
With respect to a cordial approbation of the divine character, or glorifying God as God, and which enters into the essence of holy love, there can be no reasonable doubt whether it be obligatory on sin
Such is the glory of God's name, that nothing but the most inexcusable and deep-rooted depravity could render any intelligent creature insensible to it. Those parts of scripture which describe the devout feelings of godly men, par. ticularly the psalms of David, abound in expressions of affection to the NAME of the Lord. How excellent is thy NAME in all the earth! Not unto us, O Lord, not unto us, but unto thy NAME give glory-O magnify the Lord with me; and let us exalt his NAME together-Sing unto God, sing praises to his nAME: let them that love thy NAME say continually, the Lord be magnified-Blessed be his glorious NAME for ever and ever; and let the whole earth be filled with his glory. Amen, and Amen.
This affection to the name of the Lord, as it is revealed in his word and works, and particularly in the work of redemption, lies at the foundation of all true desire after an interest in his mercy. If we seek mercy of any one whose character we disesteem, it is merely for our own sakes ; and if he be acquainted with our motives we cannot hope to succeed. This it is that leads us to mourn for sin as sin, and not merely for the inconvenience to which it exposes us.
This it is which renders salvation through the atonement of Christ so acceptable. He that loveth only himself, provided he might be saved, would care little or nothing for the honour of the divine character: but he that loveth God, will be concerned for his glory. Heaven itself would be no enjoyment to him, if his admis. sion must be at the expence of righteousness.
“God is to be loved, says Dr. Gill, for himself; “ because of his own nature, and the perfections of • it, which render him amiable and lovely, and “ worthy of our strongest love and affection; as “ these are displayed in the works of creation and “providence, and especially of grace, redemption, " and salvation ; to all which the psalmist has res“pect, when he says, O Lord, our Lord, how ex“ cellent is thy NAME, nature and perfections, in all (6 the earth! Psalm viii. 1. As God is great in “ himself and greatly to be praised; great, and
greatly to be feared; so, great, and greatly to be " loved for what he is in himself. And this is the
purest, and most perfect love of a creature
" towards God : for if we love him only for his “ goodness towards us, it is loving ourselves rather " than him, at least a loving him for ourselves, and
so a loving ourselves more than him.”* But this “ most pure and perfect love" is manifestly the duty of all mankind, however far they are from a compliance with it.
Give unto the Lord, ye kingdoms of the people, give unto the Lord glory and strength : give unto the Lord the glory DUE unto his name: bring an offering, and come before him: worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness: make a joyful noise unto the Lord, all ye lands—Kings of the earth, and all people, princes and all judges, of the earth—both young men, and maidens, old men, and children-Let them praise the name of the Lord, FOR HIS NAME ALONE IS EXCELLENT~His glory is above the earth, and heaven-Let the people praise thee, O God, let all the people praise thee ! +
Love to Christ, I suppose, may be taken for granted to be a spiritual exercise. The grace, or favour of God, is with all who possess it in sincerity. I But love to Christ is the duty of every one to whom the gospel is preached. On no other principles could the apostle have written as he did
- If any man love not our Lord Jesus Christ, let him be anathema maranatha! It is worthy of notice, that this awful sentence is not denounced against sinners as positively hating Christ, but as
* Body of Divinity, Vol. iii. Chap. 9.
Psalm cxlviii. 11-13. lxvii. 3.
* 1 Chron. xvi. 28, 29. * Ephes. vi. 24.
not loving him: plainly implying his worthiness of à place in our best affections, and that were it possible for us to be indifferent towards him, even that indifference would deserve the heavy curse of the Almighty at the last judgment. Paul appears to have felt as a soldier would feel towards the best of princes or commanders. If after David's return from his engagement with Goliath, when the women of Israel were praising him in their songs, any of the sons of Belial had spoken of him in the language of detraction, it would have been natural for one of a patriotic spirit, deeply impressed with an idea of the hero's worth, and of the service he had rendered to his country, thus to have expressed himself-If any man love not the son of Jesse, let him be banished from among the tribes of Israel.'. Of such a kind were the feelings of the apostle. He had served under his Lord and Saviour for many years : and now sensible in a high degree of the glory of his character, he scruples not to pronounce that man who loves him not, accursed !
The fear of God is a spiritual exercise : for it has the promise of spiritual blessings. But it is also a duty required of men, and that without distinction, as to their being regenerate or unregenerate. O that there were such an heart in them, that they would FEAR me and keep all my commandments always ! FEAR before him, all the earth-Let all
* Psalm xxxiv. 7, 9. ciii. 11, 13, 17.
that be round about him bring presents unto him THAT OUGHT TO BE FEARED-Who would not fear thee, O King of nations ? _FEAR thou God-FEAR God, and keep his commandments, for this is the whole duty of man—Gather the people together, men, women and children, and the stranger that is within thy gates, that they may hear, and that they may learn, and FEAR the Lord your God: and that their children, which have not known any thing, may hear and learn to FEAR the Lord
GodServe the Lord with Fear, and rejoice with trembling—And I saw another angel fly in the midst of heaven, having the everlasting gospel to preach unto them that dwell on the earth, and to every nation, and kindred, and tongue, and people, saying FEAR God, and give glory to him, for the hour of his judgment is come; and worship him that made heaven and earth !--Who shall not FEAR thee, O Lord, and glorify thy name for thou only art holy.t-To say of men, they have no feur of God before their eyes, I is to represent them as under the dominion of depravity.
It may be objected, that the scriptures distinguish between that holy fear of offending God which is peculiar to his children, and a mere dread of the misery threatened against sin, which is found in the wicked. True: there is a fear of God which
* Deut. v. 29. 1 Chron. xvi. 30. Psalm lxxvii. 11. Jer. x. 7. Eccles. y. 7. xii. 13. Deut. xxxi. 12, 13. Psalm ii. 11. Rev. xiv, 6, 7. xv. 4. † Rom. iii. 18.