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indifference, we are not religious, we are only moral" the Love of God is not fhed abroad "in our hearts." Many examples, in the heathen world, may be produced, of strict justice, and undeviating probity; but if Christianity confifted in the mere practice of moral virtue, the death of Jefus Chrift, and the Revelation of the Gofpel had, furely, been fuperfluous.
Suffer me, in conclufion, earnestly to exhort you, my brethren, to cultivate this love in your hearts, and to "nourish it with all good"nefs;" let me prevail with you, if ye have any. regard for the peace of your mind, if you have any anxiety about the fecurity of your falvation, if you have dread of the vengeance of Almighty God, let me beseech, exhort, conjure you, to keep "the firft commandment." If you refuse to fulfil the terms of falvation, you are no doubt prepared with the apology you design to offer, the perfuafive apology, which is to appease the wrath of a justly incenfed God. What is the excufe ingenuity can fuggeft, and presumption plead for having rejected the Gospel, and disobeyed the command,
mand, the first and great command of your Creator, your Redeemer, and Judge? We are, unequivocally, and peremptorily, commanded to" love the Lord our God with all our heart, ** and foul, and mind, and strength." From this fource, our every action, and our every thought are to arife. Though we give to
every one that afketh us;" though we difcharge all our moral obligations with the ftricteft fidelity, if we do not love God, if God hath not the first place in our affections, what was faid of the young man in the Gospel, may, with equal justice, be applied to us," yet one "thing thou lackeft." Let us rather endevor to arrive at that state of evangelical righteoufness, which confifts in "loving God with all "our heart, and foul, and mind, and strength; for then, and then only, can we judge with certainty, and conclude with confidence, that we are in a state of falvation.
In a matter of fuch unfpeakable moment, 'where our fouls, and our everlasting happiness are at ftake, grant us, gracious God! to be
no longer under the delufion of error, or the
anxiety of fufpenfe. Implant deep in our hearts the love of thy name. We defire to
'love thee above all things, and befeech thee, 'from the bottom of our fouls, that, actuated by this divine principle, after having lived in that perfect love which cafteth out fear, we may die in thy favor, and be received by thy mercy, through the merits and fatisfaction of thy Son our Lord.
LUKE X. 36, 37.
Which now of these three, thinkeft thou, was neighbor unto him that fell among the thieves? And he said, he that shewed mercy on him : then faid Jefus unto him, go, and do thou likewife.
UR Saviour, in this chapter, is giving directions to feventy additional difciples, whom he had appointed, “to go "to go into every city "and place whither he himself would come, to prepare the inhabitants to embrace the Gospel difpenfation. After they had received their inftructions, they went in obedience to his commands. And when they returned, they told their Master, that, so abundant was their fuccefs through his name, the very devils were fubject unto them. From the manner in which they relate the miraculous occurrence,, they were not, it should seem, prepared to exO 3
pect fo wonderful a fubjection to their feeble efforts. And he faid unto them, I beheld "Satan, as lightning, fall from heaven"-the idolatry of the Gentiles, and the wickedness of the Jews have exalted the enemy of mankind; but the propagation of my Religion, of this new Covenant which I fhall make with all the earth, fhall fubject him "to everlafting "chains under darknefs. In that hour, Jefus "rejoiced in fpirit, and faid," in a transport of rapture, foreseeing the bleffed effects of the evangelical revelation, "I thank thee, O
Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that thou "haft hid these things from the wife and pru"dent, and revealed them unto babes, even fo "Father, for fo it seemed good in thy fight: not the philofophers of Greece and Rome, not the rabbins learned in their law, are able to acquaint the world what fimplicity of worship is most acceptable to the Supreme Being, and how finful man is reftored to His mercy and favor; thefe important tidings are to be first promulged by artlefs, and ignorant men, to be "endowed," for the purpose, " with power "from on high. And behold, a certain law"yer," one of thofe Scribes, whose profeffion