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love thy neighbour as thyfelf. On thefe two commandments hang all the law and the prophets."* The "The gofpel, in like manner, has its fource in love, the love of God; and its great aim and end is to produce love to God. "God fo loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whofoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life." "And we love him because he firft loved us." "The love of Chrift conftraineth us, because we thus judge, that if one died for all, then were all dead: and that he died for all, that they which live fhould not henceforth live unto themselves, but unto him which died for them, and rofe again." And, "By this fhall all men know that ye are my difciples, if ye have love one to another."S" "He that fays he loves God, and hateth his brother, is a liar. For he that loveth not his brother whom he hath feen, how can he love God whom he hath not feen ?" || And, when both fhall have produced their full effect," perfect love fhall caft out fear," the voice of God fhall be unaccompanied with thunder and lightning, cloud and tempest. The storm is in the mind of the guilty creature. The wrath of fire is not in God, but in fallen man; in "the carnal mind, which is enmity against God; for it is not fubject to the law of God, neither indeed can be." When that is extinguished, all is at peace. The aim and labour of the gospel is not to reconcile God to man; but to reconcile men to God: for "God is love; and he that dwelleth in love, dwelleth in God, and God in him.”**

Fourthly, Both the legal and evangelical difpenfations equally discover to us our distance from God. The one, by enumerating and declaring our offences; the other, by enumerating and declaring the tender mercieş

*Matt. xxii, &c.
2 Cor. v. 14, 15,
1 John iv. 20.


2 John iv. 16.

+ John iii. 16.
John xiii. 35.
¶ Rom. viii. 35,

mercies of our God. The law treats us as alienated friends, whom it is needful to convince, to reprove and humble. The gospel confiders us as friends restored, no "longer ftrangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens with the faints, and of the household of God:" "once darkness, but now light in the Lord: once afar off, but made nigh by the blood of Chrift." The law fhews us how far we have deviated from the path of duty and happinefs; the gospel conducts us back through our wanderings, unravels the intricacies and errors of our dark steps, and replaces us in our father's houfe. Mofes informs us that we are wrong, "like sheep going aftray;" Jefus is "the way, the truth, and the life," and takes us under the care of the fhepherd and bishop of fouls." Mofes points out the dreadful depth into which we have fallen, the dreadful distance from heaven to hell; Christ reveals the glorious heighth to which we are raised, the glorious distance from hell to heaven. Mofes tells me what I ought to be and to do; Chrift makes me fuch as he would have me to be. "And you hath he quickened who were dead in trefpaffes and fins, wherein in time past ye walked, according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the fpirit that now worketh in the children of difobedience: among whom alfo we all had our converfation in times paft, in the lufts of our flesh, fulfilling the defires of the flesh and of the mind; and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others. But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us, even when we were dead in fins, hath quickened us together with Chrift; (by grace ye are faved) and hath raised us up together, and made us fit together in heavenly places in Chrift Jefus."*

But the law was delivered to the world in a very different manner from the publication of the gospel;

* Eph. ii. 1, &c.


in fire that burned, in tempeft that roared, in a cloud that darkened, in words that threatened. It awed men into distance; it infpired terror. But the gofpel comes in light that confumes not, in glory that dazzles not, in language that threatens not. The law fays, "Take heed to yourselves, that ye go not up into the mount, or touch the border of it: whofoever toucheth the mount fhall furely be put to death. There shall not an hand touch it, but he fhall furely be ftoned, or shot through; whether it be beast or man, it shall not live; when the trumpet foundeth long, they fhall come up to the mount. And the Lord faid unto Mofes, Go down, charge the people, left they break through unto the Lord to gaze, and many of them perish." The gofpel fays, "Look unto me, and be ye faved, all the ends of the earth." Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you reft."+ "He that cometh to me, I will in no wife caft out." But to the impenitent and unbelieving, the gospel speaks the fame terror which the law did from Sinai; nay, it wears a still more frowning aspect, "Indignation and wrath, tribulation and anguifh upon every foul of man that doeth evil, of the Jew firft, and alfo of the Gentile."S "How fhall we escape if we neglect fo great falvation; which at the first began to be fpoken by the Lord, and was confirmed unto us by them that heard him." He that defpifed Mofes's law died without mercy, under two or three witneffes: of how much forer punishment, fuppofe ye, fhall he be thought worthy, who hath trodden under foot the Son of God, and hath counted the blood of the covenant, wherewith he was fanctified, an unholy thing, and hath done despite to the Spirit of grace" And on the other hand, to them that believe, the law fpeaks in the mildeft,

*Exod. xix. 12, &c.
‡ John vi. 37.
Heb, ii. 3,

+ Matt. xi. 28.
g Rom. ii. 8, 9.
qx. 28, 29.

mildeft, gentleft language of the gofpel; for "there is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Chrift Jefus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit."* "And the Lord paffed by before him, and proclaimed, The Lord, the Lord God, merciful and gracious, long-fuffering, and abundant in goodness and truth, keeping mercy for thoufands, forgiving iniquity and tranfgreffion and fin.'"And thewing mercy unto thoufands of them that love me, and keep my commandments." I know not whether the whole bible contains an expreflion of goodness more fingular and ftriking than thefe words which iffued from the mountain that burned with fire. Our fears are alarmed at the mention of the great and dreadful name-" The Lord God, a jealous God, vifiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children." But justice has its limits. It may be ftretched out to the third or fourth generation of offenders. Yet the "Lord will not ftrive continually, neither will he keep his anger forever." But grace knows no bounds. When mercy is to be extended, it looks forward and forward, from a third and a fourth, to thoufands of generations of them that love God. In what promife of the New Teftament is the love of God preached more fweetly than in this precept of the Old?



Both difpenfations then have their mildness, and both their terror. Their mildnefs from the grace the Creator; their terror from the guilt of the creaAnd if the proclamation of the law were thus dreadful; if the alarm of judgment to come fhake the foundation of the everlafting hills; if Sinai tremble, and the rocks melt before the Lord, coming as a Protector and a Friend, what muft the feffions be, the great day of doom, the awful hour of execution when the Judge fhall come "in flaming fire, taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not

*Rom. viii. I.

+ Ex. xxxiv. 6, 7. ‡xx. 6.


the gospel of our Lord Jefus Chrift."* << When the heavens being on fire fhall be diffolved, and the ele ments fhall melt with fervent heat." "Confider this, ye that forget God, left he tear you in pieces, and there be none to deliver."

"Now of the things which we have spoken, this is the fum: We have fuch an High Priest, who is fet on the right hand of the throne of the Majefty in the heavens; a minifter of the fanctuary and of the true tabernacle, which the Lord hath pitched and not man. For every high priest is ordained to offer gifts and facrifices wherefore it is of neceffity that this Man have fomewhat to offer. But now hath he obtained a more excellent ministry: by how much alfo he is the Mediator of a better covenant, which was established upon better promifes. For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Ifrael after those days faith the Lord; I will put my laws in their minds, and write them in their hearts; I will be to them a God, and they fhall be to me a people. For I will be merciful to their unrighteousness, and their fins and their iniquities I will remember no more. In that he faith,

A new covenant, he hath made the firft old. Now that which decayeth and waxeth old is ready to vanifh away." And all "this is of God, who hath made us able minifters of the New Testament, not of the letter, but of the Spirit: for the letter killeth, but the Spirit giveth life. But if the miniftration of death, written and engraven in ftones, was glorious, fo that the children of Ifrael could not stedfastly behold the face of Mofes for the glory of his countenance, which glory was to be done away; how fhall not the miniftration of the Spirit be rather glorious? For if the miniftration of condemnation be glory, much more doth the miniftration of righteoufnefs exceed in glory. For even that which was made glori

2 Theff. i. 8. ‡ Pfal. 1. 22.

+ 2 Pet. iii. 12.
Heb. viii. 1, &c.


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