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u live and move.” Nay, all that we possess is so necessarily dependent upon him, that with regard to foul, and body, and outward eftate, we have nothing but what we daily receive from his liberal hand. Be. fides this original and unalienable right to govern us, there is another title, which, as Christians, we profess to acknowledge, and ought always to do it with the warmest and most humble gratitude ; I mean, the righs he hath obtained by redemption and purchase. As his natural subjects, we are bound to serve him to the utmost extent of
he hath given us: and this original obligation, instead of being relaxed or impaired, is rather confirmed and strengthened by the mercy he hath shown us as the objects of his
« We are not our own, we are bought with a price;" and are therefore bound, by the united ties of gratitude and justice, “to glorify our Re
deemer, both with our bodies and fpirits, of which are his.
But what I would chiefly lead your attention to, is the nature and properties of
those laws to which our subjection and obeá dience are required.
They are “ all holy, just, and good," resulting from the very frame our Creator hath given us, and from the relation we bear to himself, and to other beings with whom his Providence hath connected us. Hence it follows, that they are equally incapable of repeal or abatement. The laws of men are local, temporary, changeable, and always partake of the imperfection of their authors. Some of them are so obscure, that they need another law to explain them; and it often happens that the commentary is darker than the text. The best of them take their aim from fome temporal evil that is either presently felt, or foreseen in its cause; and the highest end they propose, is to restrain from injuries of the grosser kind : they do not even pretend to be a rule of moral conduct ; they prohibit and denounce vengeance againīt theft, robbery, murder, and the like ; but lay no restraint upon heart-hatred, covetoufness, and envy. They tell us in what instances injustice or cruelty become excessive
and intolerable; but where do we find it
repeat the words of this facred book, you are to consider them as fpoken to yourselves in particular; and no less binding upon you in their most simple and obvious meaning; than they formerly were upon those to whom they were primarily addressed.
One thing further I would recommend to your notice, viz. that the laws I am speaking of are the laws of Him“ who loved us, “S and gave himself for us, an offering and “ facrifice to God of a sweet-smelling fa“ vour;" and therefore we may rest asfured, that they are kind as well as righteous, and fuited with perfect wisdom to be the means of promoting our truest interest. They are laws which he himself hath magnified and made honourable; not only by answering all their demands, fo far as his high character would permit, or his peculiar circumstances afforded occafion; but likewise by expiating the guilt incurred by the transgression of them, and bearing in his own person the punishment that was due to the offending creature.
This last confideration sets the obedience required of us in a moft endearing point of light. It is not the servile task of a hireling who labours for his wages, but the ingenuous and grateful service of a loving
child. Christ hach purchased the glorious inheritance; and to all who believe on him, eternal life is the free gift of God through the merit of his blood : so that nothing is required of thein, but what tends to purify and perfect their natures; that, by a growing resemblance to the Father of their fpirits in this state of discipline, they may be rendered meet for the full and everlasting enjoyment of him, when death, by dissolving the earthly tabernacle, shall pull down all that remains of the first Adam, and bring a final release from the body of fin.
HAVING premised these general remarks, I shall now proceed to remind you of those particular precepts to which our conformity is required by the gospel of Christ. And we are happily furnished with a short, but most comprehensive, summary of them, by this same Apostle in his epiftle co Titus, chap. ii. 11. 12. The grace of God that bringeth salvation, hath appeared to all ing us, that denying ungodliness, and worldly lufts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly in this present world. VOL. II. Y