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men. (1:) The legal hypocrite, who, supposing that the good old law is repealed and laid aside, and that a new law, only requiring sincere ob dirnce, is established in its room, merely from self-love and for selt-ends, sets about duty, and endeavours to be sincere; and here on this foundation builds all his hopes of acceptance in the sight of God : for since the law is not lepealed, but stands in full force, therefore the religion of such is not that thing which God requires or will accept; and their new luw is a whim, and their hopes are all built on the sand: Their whole scheme results from a total ignorance of God, and bis law, and the present state of mankind; and is entirely built on falsehood. (2.) The evangelical hypocriteall whose faith and joy originally result from a supposed discovery of the love of God, or love of Christ, or that bis sins are pardoned. This discovery is the foundation of his faith, and his faith is the foundation of his joy and of all his religion :- And yet the thing discovered is a lie; for, as has been proved, every one, until he is a believer, until he has acted faith, is not pardoned, but condemned; is not beloved of God, but under his wrath ; and, therefore, to have. pardon of sin and the love of God discovered before the first act of faith, and to have such a discovery lay the foundation for the first act of faith, and a foundation for all religion, is to be imposed apon with a lie, and to have a gross falsehood lie at the foundation of their faith ; their religion, and of all their hopes. The legal hypocrite may be convinced by such scriptures as these ; Luke xviii. 9. 13. Rom. iii. 20—31. iv. 5. which prove that a man cannot find acceptance with God by his own righteousness : And the evangelical hypocrite may be convinced by such scriptures as these; John iii. 18. 36. Acts iii. 19. which
prove that a sinner is not pardoned till after faith. A true sight and sense of the law would effectually convince the one and the other, that all their hopes are built on wrong apprehensions of things, and that all their religion is counterfeit ; and that they are yet in the gall of bitterness and bonds of iniquity : and the one would no longer venture his soul on his own righteousness, nor the other on his discovery. The law's insisting upon perfect, sinless obedience, would convince the one that his own righteousness might not be depended
upon; and the law's cursing every unbeliever, would convince the other that his discovery was false ; and the law's requiring us to love God primarily for his own beauty, would convince both of their graceless estates, inasmuch as the religion of both primarily takes its rise from self-love. It is from the want of a realizing sight and sense of the nature and extent of the law, and that out of Christ we are exposed to all the curses thereof, that a sinful, guilty world are so insensible of their graceless, and their wretched and miserable condition, and so apt to flatter themselves that they are rich, and increased in goods, and stand in need of nothing. Rom. vii. S, 9. Without the law sin was dead. I was alive without the law once.
Thus we see that the obligation which we were under to love God with all our hearts, resulting from the infinite excellency of the divine nature, antecedent to all selfish considerations, is infinitely, eternally, and unchangeably binding: And. thus we see a variety of important consequences necessarily following therefrom: and I have insisted the longer upon the nature of this obligation, not only because it is the first and greatest, but because it has a migbty influence in all our ad ditional obligations. For,
5. And lastly. It is from the infinite excellency of the divine nature, that all our additional. obligations originally derive their strength, their energy, their binding power. The infinite excellency of the divine nature so entirely lays the foundation of its being our duty to love God with all our hearts, that were it not for this, it would cease to be our duty, nutwithstanding all other considerations. If he were not, by nature, God, it would not be fit that we should love and worship him as God, upon any account whatsoever: He could have no such right to us, or authority over us, as to make it our duty; nor could he render it our duty, by showing us any kindness whatsoever : Yea, if he were not, by nature, God, it would be wrong for us to pay him divine adoration; it would be idolatry; it would be worshipping one as God, who, by nature, is not God : And by the same argument which the orthodor have been wont to use against the Arians, who deny the divinity of Christ. If he be not a divine person, he ought
not to have divine worship paid him; I say, by the same argument, if God were not, by nature, God, it could not, upon any account, be our duty to love and worship him as God. le is his being, by nature, God; his being what he is, and his infinite excellency in being such, which therefore lays the original foundation of all our obligations, and which gives life and energy to all. And, accordingly, we may observe, that the original ground and reason upon which God, as Go vernor of the world, acts, in making a law that we should love him with all our hearts, is, because he is the Lord; as is evident from the tenour of the law itself: Thou shalt love the LORD, &c. i.e. because he is the LORD, &c. Yea, it is upon this ground, originally, that God takes it upon him to give all his laws to us; for this is the constant style-Thus and thus shall ye do, por LAM THE LORD.
Those, therefore, who are influenced to love and worship God not at all, because he is God, but altogether from other considerations; not at all from a sense of his infinite excellency, but altogether on other accounts, are so far from being truly religious, that they are, indeed, guilty of great wickedness in all they do: for although they pretend to love and worship God, yet it is not at all because he is God; though they pretend to pay divine adoration to him, yet it is not at all because he is a divine Being: so that when they pretend to pay divine worship and adoration to God, it is merely from some selfish consideration; from self-love, and
; for self-ends; there is no true regard to God, but all centers in self: so that self, indeed, is their idol, and the only God they serve; and their pretending to love and worship God is mere mockery. When they pretend to love and worship God, it is not at all because he is God; not at all from a sense of his divine glory, but only to appease his anger and obtain his favour, or because they consider him as their friend and benefactor. And now, to come to God and pretend to worship him as if he was God, and yet not to do it at all because he is God, but for mean, and mercenary, and selfish ends, is a very complicated wickedness; and to think to please God in this way, and get into favour by this means, discovers such ignorance and contempt of God, and a frame of heart so
full of secret blasphemy, spiritual idolatry, pride, and hypocrisy, as cannot easily be expressed : They practically deny bis divinity, yet pretend to pay him divine worship: They pretend to serve God, yet really intend only to serve themselves : They make as if they loved God, but only love themselves. Yet so intolerably mean are their thoughts of God, that they expect to please him by all this. To make the best of it, all that religion is mere hypocrisy, which does not primarily take its rise from a sense of the infinite excellency of the divine nature.
Thus, then, we see what is the first and chief motive of a genuine love to God. He is a Being of infinite understanding, and of almighty power; infinite in wisdom, holiness, justice, goodness, and truth : and so a Being of infinite glory and excellency : and so infinitely amiable, and infinitely worthy to be loved with all our hearts. And this obligation is binding originally in itself, antecedent to a consideration of any other motive whatsoever : and it is infinitely, eternaliy, and unchangeably binding, and gives life, and energy, and strength to all other obligations. And hence, if we do love God with all our hearts, we do but our duty, and deserve no thanks; but we are infinitely to blame for the least detect, and can never do any thing to atone for it, but deserve everlasting damnation. And it will always be our duty thus to love God, and the least detect will be always thus blame-worthy, let our circumstances, as to happiness or misery, be what they will. All our hearts will be always due to God, and we shall always stand bound to pay this debt, whether we have any heart for it or no: and God will always appear such an infinite enemy to the least defect, as in his law he has declared himself to be; por is there any hope of our finding acceptance in his sight, unless it be by a union to, and interest in, him who has answered all the demands of the law, in the room of those who believe in him. And all pretence of love to God, wbich does not take its rise from this foundation, is but mere hypocrisy. All these consequences so necessarily follow, from a supposition of the infinite excellency and amiableness of the divine nature, and so evidently, as that, if God be but
seen aright, a sense of his infinite beauty will immediately assure the beart that these things are so. A sense of his infinite glory will make us see and feel that we are under infinite obligations to love him with all our hearts, and that we could deserve no thanks for doing so, but that the least defect is infinitely wrong, &c. A sense of the infinite glory of God will effectually establish the heart in these things against all the subtle arguments and fair pretences of heretics. A sense of the infinite glory of God, immediately imparted to the soul by the spirit of God, whereby the heart is thus divinely established in the belief of the truth, is, therefore, that unction from the holy one, which all the saints have, whereby they are effectually secured from being finally led away by false teachers; at least, that unction consists partly in this, (1 John ii. 20-27.) And at the same time that the people of God are thus established in the belief of these truths, relating to law and duty, from a sense of the infinite glory of God: I say, at the same time this sense of the infinite glory of God, begets a disposition in the heart to conforın to this law, and do this duty. And thus it is that God writes his law in our hearts, and puts it in our inward parts, when he intends to become our God, and to make us his people. (Heb. viii. 10, 11.) And hence it begins to be the nature of the people of God, to love him with all their hearts; and their views and their temper, and every thing else being thus entirely new, hence they are called nero creatures. Old things are passed away, and all things are be
But now, this sense of the infinite glory of God, which thus lays the very lowest foundation of true religion, is entirely left out of all false religions. And by this, true religion stands distinguished, as something specifically different froin all the false religions in the world. And hence we may observe, that it is spoken of in scripture, as something peculiar to true saints, that they see God and know God. John viii. 19—55. Ye neither know me, nor my Father. John xiv. 19. The world serth me no more, but ye see me. 1 John iii. 6. Whosoever sinneth, huth not seen him, neither known him. 1 John ii. 3. Hereby we do know that we know him, if we keep his commandments. | John iv. 7, 8. Every one that loveth, knowocth God. He that loveth not, knoweth not God.