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at the bar of God. But in this we establish the law. Jesus both lived and died for us. Not only every precept of the law was honoured by his obedience for us, but every penalty of the law he suffered in our stead. Jesus substituted our persons and our guilt. The Lord laid on him the iniquity of us all, and by his obedience and death he was declared to be the Lord our righteousness. Thus the spirit of the law of faith teacheth us that Jesus was delivered for our offences, and rose again for our justification. He that believeth is justified from all things, from which he could not be justified by the law of Moses. It is, therefore, granted, that every believer renounces all dependance on the law of Moses for his personal jus. tification ; for this plain reason, he is a sinner, condemned by that law, and every time he reviews its precepts, the fire of indignation flashes on his conscience. He is, therefore, dead to the law. His only life is in Christ, and in him he lives. This sentiment is the grand peculiarity of the Gospel, and distinguisheth it from every other system of religion in the world. On this foundation peace flows to the heart; all besides is sea, sinks under us, bestorms, and then devours. True, agreeable to the argument of Paul, connected with our text, boasting is excluded. The pride of man is stained, and the Lord alone is exalted in the righteousness of his Son. The merits of Jesus answer every demand of the law against us, while the testimony of faith and the fruits of grace answer every requirement of the law in us. The righteousness of Jesus, which is, at the same time, the righteo ousness of the law, and the righteousness of God, leads us to God, creates peace in the conscience, and influences to every good word and work, whether it be required by the law, or taught by the Gospel. Thus we establish the
law, we own its authority, believe its fulfilment in the person of Jesus, whose we are, and whom we desire to
Go, you that rest upon the law,
And toil and scek salvation there,
And shrink, and tremble, and despair.
But I'll retire beneath the cross,
Saviour, at thy dear feet I lie,
Is the moral law a sufficient rule for a Christian? It undoubtedly is for his moral conduct before men; but, it by no means is adequate to direct and govern him in his walk with God. The Christian needs daily repentance, mortification of the corrupt propensities of his heart, and submission under afflictive dispensation, to gain victory over the temptations of satan, to worship and honour God as the God of all grace; to direct and assist him in which there is not one word in all the moral law as given by Moses. That law represents our Creator in no other light than the God of nature, nor gives the least aid to those who have transgressed its precepts; but 'in the Gospel, which is the law of faith, there is every direction for our moral conduct, and for our obedience, sanctification, communion, and happiness in God as our Father in Christ Jesus: therefore, if the ministration of the law of Moses was glorious, much more doth the law of faith in Christ exceed in glory.
As both precept and penalty are essential to the nature of law, we are ready to add, the law of faith hath its penalties for those who are under its authority. Not death, for Jesus saith, He that believeth in me shall never dic.The Lord knows how to bring his people to obedience without sending them to hell; he can send a sort of hell into them, by withdrawing his sensible presence from them, and raising the necessary conviction of their own folly. If his children forsake my law, and walk not in my judgments ; if they break my statutes, and keep not my commandments; then will I visit their transgressions with the rod, and their iniquities with stripes. Nevertheless, my loving kindness will I not utterly take from him, nor suffer my faithfulness to fail.
Our concluding remark will be to specify the authority of Christ to introduce this new law of faith, the Gospel, in contradistinction from the law of Moses. This does not so much arise from his divinity, IMMANUEL, GOD WITH vs, as his character and office of KING IN ZION, his triumphs on the cross, and the power of his grace in the formation of his spiritual kingdom. He had a right to rule over the people whom he had purchased with his blood, and for them only the law of faith is revealed. Thus they are under law to Christ. Every precept is expressive of his wisdom, and commanded in love. It is, indeed, the perfect law of liberty ; no hard service nothing forbidden but what would be injurious for us to possess nothing commanded but what constitutes our highest honour and pleasure to perform. Glorious is our King! vast the extent of his dominion! invaluable the privileges he bestows! and ineffably sweet the obedience he requires! Therefore it is we place the crown upon
his head, as worthy to receive honour, and power, and glory, by all on carth, and by all in heaven.
Let us then conclude with the pious wish of David, O that my ways were directed to keep thy statutes! Quicken me after thy loving kindness ; so shall I keep the testimonies of thy mouth. O how love I thy law! it is my meditation all the day. Thy testimonies have I taken as an heritage for ever: for they are the rejoicing of my heart. Thou shalt guide me with thy counsel, and afterwards receive me to glory.
* THE MOST ENDEARING CHARACTER OF GOD.
1 John iv. 16.
All my treasure is above,
THE knowledge of God is essential to human felicity. But however a general consent may exist among savage and civilized nations, that there is a God, our ideas of his nature and perfections are, by sin, so gross, that the world by wisdom knows not God. It hath, there fore, pleased the Lord to make a new discovery of him. self in his word, and through the supernatural teaching of the Spirit of Christ, that according to his invaluable promise, They shall all know me, from the least to the great. cst of them, saith the Lord. Looking for this sacred instruction, we are now to meditate upon the most endearing character of God, which is announced in the words of our text, God is love. May the fruit of the subject be richly diffused in every heart!
God is a Spirit infinite and immense. He is a Being justly to be contemplated, as possessing neither parts nor passions, declared in his word to be the invisible, imen mortal, and eternal God. Still he is revealed as possessing anger, love, with other parts and passions peculiar to humanity. Two reasons may be assigned for this. To suit the powers of our ideas, for we know nothing of