« IndietroContinua »
dying command to enforce the observation of ic.
Once more, might it not be hoped, that creatures who believed and confessed that they were redeemed from death by an act of pure grace, would judge it their indispensable duty, to live unto him by whose mercy was that they lived at all? that they would feel in their hearts, and practically acknowledge the constraining force of such exhortations as these : “ Ye are not your
own, ye are bought with a price ; there“ fore glorify your Redeemer in
your bodies " and in your spirits, which are his :" " Ye were some time darkness, but now are
ye light in the Lord; walk as children of " light:"--and “ If ye call on the Father, is who; without respect of persons, judgeth “ according to every inan's work, pass the “ time of your fojourning here in fear ; for6 asmuch as ye know that ye were not re“ deemed with corruptible things, as silver s and gold, --but with the precious blood of “ Christ, as of á lamb without bleinish and s without spor?” Would you think it credible, or even poilible, that with such great
and interesting objects in their eye, they could deliberately and wilfully trample upon his authority, by breaking his laws; or arraign the wisdom and justice of his government, by fretting and murmuring against any of his dispensations? Doth it not feem far more likely, that they would habitually be dispofed to say, “ Lord, what wilt thou , « have me to do?"_" O that my ways were “ directed to keep thy statutes !"_Or if at any time they should be exercised with trials and sufferings, that the language of their lips and hearts would be,
" Here am “ I, let the Lord do unto me as seemeth « good unto him :"_" The Lord gave, and " the Lord hath taken away, blessed be the " name of the Lord ?"
These conclusions appear fo reasonable, and indeed so moderate, that were it pofsible for us to forget that we ourselves are parties to the cause in question, I am verily perfuaded this whole audience would readily acquiefce in them without one dissenting voice. Let us then proceed to inquire, in the Second place, What influence the faith of
the gospel might be expected to have upon the conduct of such creatures in their social intercourse one with another.
It might suffice to observe in general, that the supreme love to their God and Saviour, which the true faith of his rich and unmerited
grace could not fail to inspire, would naturally, and even necessarily, lead them to listen with becoming attention and reverence to all the intimations of his will, and habitually dispose them to perform, with alacrity and zeal, what duties foever he should be pleased to enjoin. Upon this obvious principle, then, nothing more would be needful for the illustration of this head, than to collect from the sacred records the several laws concerning truth, justice, mercy, beneficence, and any
precepts that regarded them in their social state; as we should not be able to entertain a doubt, that, so far as the imperfection of their nature. permitted, these would be the invariable rules of their conduct. But as the LAWS of the gospel are afterwards to be considered apart by themselves, I shall at present confine our inquiry to the influence which a
serious belief of the great doctrines of Christianity might be fupposed to have upon those kinds of intercourse which more immediately pertained to their common salvation. Say, then, doth it not appear highly probable, that they who relished the joyfnl tidings, while they made them the subject of their own delightful meditation, would likewise take pleasure in imparting them to others, especially to those with whom they were most intimately connected ? that parents in particular would rehearse and commend then to their children ; and that in
and that in every family, the God of all grace, and the Saviour of a loft world, would be presented with the morning and evening sacrifices of humble acoration, of fervent prayer, and of thankful praite?
How would they behave, do you think, to fuch of their brethren, if any such there were,
who neglected the great salvation, and ftill remained in their natural state of distance and alienation from God? Would they regard them with fupercilious contempt, or treat them with 'harsh severity ? would they lay aside all concern for their Fecovery, and leave them to perish in their folly? or rather, would they not look upon them with an eye of the tenderest pity; and, regarding them as criminals, 'who, though at present under an awful fentence of condemnation, may nevertheless obtain mercy, even as they themselves have obtained mercy,
would they not take hold of every favourable opportunity, nay, may we not conclude, that they would even seek out opportunities, of awakening them to a fenfe of their guilt and danger, that they might feel themselves constrained to implore the protection of that good Shepherd who laid down his life for the sheep, and came from heaven to earth to seek and to save that which was lost?
View them once more in their intercourse with those who have obtained the same grace,
and are become co-heirs of the same incorruptible inheritance. -Would you not take it for granted, that they could not belong together, without talking of those matters that most nearly concerned them :-Surely none could suspect, that in a campanyof such persons, it would ever