Page images

tions raised to Heaven, our minds renewed, and let us walk, not as others, but as the children of God. Then, when the awful day arrives, the day, when every fon and daughter of Adam, from the existence of creation to the diffolution of all things, fhall enter upon their unalterable ftate of complete happinefs, or indefcribable mifery, we shall be welcomed, through the Merits and Satisfaction of Jefus Christ our Lord, with this tranfporting invitation, "come, ye bleffed of my Father, in"herit the kingdom prepared for you from "the foundation of the world."



LUKE X. 27.

Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy foul, and with all thy Strength, and with all thy mind.

HE Love of God is a fentiment not dictat

ed by nature, but prescribed by Revelation.

That God fhould be the object of terror to his creatures, and should avenge himself upon all that do evil, is an apprehenfion implanted in the human mind; but that he should engage our love, and become the moral delight of his offspring, for this ground of comfort, and affurance of confolation, we are indebted to the Law delivered by Mofes, and to the Gospel revealed by Jefus Christ.

Such is the origin of this divine principle, the love of God! But, like many of Heaven's best gifts, by fome it is admitted with caution, by others, received with coldness, and even re


jected with disdain. To love God, is confidered as inconfiftent with our depraved nature, and irreconcilable with our moral state: to love God, is thought to be a degree of evangelical refinement beyond what our present circumftances, and corrupt principles, will bear; for that, if we fulfil, with tolerable exactness, the moral precepts of the Gospel, nothing more will be expected of us. It is from this opinion, as unwarrantable in its principle, as fatal in its effects, that the Chriftian world, like a river, overflowing its banks, is fo deluged with wickedness.

The reasonableness of the duty of loving God will appear, from taking a review of his goodness towards us.

He is a Being infinitely good. He is the fole Author of all the happinefs we can hope for, or receive, either here, or hereafter.

To his creatures, "the works of his hands," he hath manifefted the greatest tenderness, and compaffion. "As I live, faith the Lord God,

I have no pleasure in the death of the wick"ed, but that the wicked turn from his evil

[ocr errors]

way, and live:" to which he adds, with all the fervor of affection, and the earnestness of


folicitude, "turn ye, turn ye

from your



ways, for why will you die?"

But above all, he has fignally expreffed his love in the redemption of our fouls, through the Atonement of his only begotten, and dearly beloved Son. For our fakes he debafed himfelf to the lowest condition; he willingly undertook, and cheerfully encountered, and patiently underwent, forrow, and pain, and death, to accomplish our falvation.

Here let us add, the many calls and invitations to repentance, and amendment of life, which every finner may recollect-fometimes outwardly, by the miniftry of the wordfometimes inwardly, by the fuggestions of the Spirit-to direct him to good, and withdraw him from evil.

But the comforts, the conveniences, the neceffaries of life are all, likewife, derived from God: health, ftrength, food, and raiment, are all owing to God's indulgent care over us, and his overflowing goodness to us. Every day we live, gives us repeated experience of his wonted bounty, and especial concern for man. The natural course of things, with a thousand voices, proclaims them to us, too loud not to be heard,


and too convincing not to be regarded. And fuch is the fenfe we have of his goodness to us, that, in diftrefs, we all naturally look up to God-when human help fails, we have recourfe to divine. "For the Lord is a refuge "for the oppreffed, a refuge in time of trouble. "He fatisfieth the empty foul, and filleth the hungry foul with goodness. Look at the

[ocr errors]

generations of old, and fee, did any ever trust "in the Lord, and was forfaken? Or whom did He ever defpife that called upon Him.


[ocr errors]

They that feek the Lord fhall not want any thing that is good. This poor man," faid

the Pfalmift, this or that poor wretch" cried

[ocr errors]

"unto the Lord, and the Lord heard him, and "faved him out of all his trouble."

Now, feeing God, by fo many real evidences both to our fouls and bodies, expreffes his love and care, to all mankind in general, and to every one in particular; can we reasonably do otherwife, than follow the inference of the Apoftle, "let us, therefore, love God, becaufe "he firft loved us." The measure of our love is prescribed in the text, "with all thy heart, "and with all thy foul, and with all thy ftrength, and with all thy mind."

[ocr errors]


« PreviousContinue »