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upon him. He wilfully perseveres with, open eyes in refusing to discharge the demand which he confesses to be just,., Is this man a good subject? What if he should say to you; "I obey all the other laws; "and therefore I may gratify myself in dis"obedience to this one law ?"—" All the "laws of the land," you would reply, "rest on the fame authority. In wilfully "breaking one of the laws you are guilty "of setting ac nought the authority of all. "A good subject will pay equal obedience "to every law. You are not a good subject; "the punishment which hangs over you "is deserved." My brother f If you live in the habit of wilfully disregarding any one of the commandments of God j apply this case to yourself. You acknowledge yourself the subject of Christ. You acknowledge that every branch of his law is holy and juil and good. You are entreated by his . ministers to obey him faithfully in alt things. You are warned that in breaking any one of the precepts of the Gospel you are guilty of rebellion against the authority of Christ, which equally requires the observance of all: that no person is a real Christian, who does not resolve and strivei, to obey them, all. In pronouncing sentence^ i'^.:: ,9 against
against the disobedient subject you have passed judgement upon yourself. You are hot a sincere Christian; you deserve the condemnation which awaits you.
Attend to another example. Suppose a soldier, regular in his general. obedience to the orders of his superiors, to refuse to march upon a particular service to whicTi he.is appointed. He is requested to reflect on the nature and on the consequences of ids' Conduct. He is admonished that the service is in the line of duty; that it is absolutely necessary; that it is required from him by his lawful commander. Alt these truths he confesses: but persists in refusing to obey. Will you fay that, because he has obeyed his officer in every Other point, he is at liberty not to obey iri this? Will you fay that he does not deserve signal punishment? Since your baptism you have avowedly been the soldiers of Jesus Christ. You have promised obedience iri all things to the Captain of your salvation. If you refuse obedience to Him iris any one point, under pretence that you obey Him in all the rest; are you a faithful soldier? Do riot you set at nought his universal authority? Is not the judgement, which impends over you, deserved?
Qjz Turn Turn your thoughts to the duty of a servant. Suppose a servant to be in hi& ordinary proceedings attentive to his Master's directions. But suppose also that some particular injunction of his employer he wilfully transgresses. He acknowledges that the business in question appertains to his place. He acknowledges that his master has repeatedly ordered him to execute h. But he perseveres in disregarding the command. Shall he allege; " I have per"formed the other work of my station; "and therefore I will not perform this? I "submit to my master's authority in-other ': things: in this point therefore I may '' despise it?" Shall he not be told that, in despising his master'& authority in one point, he despises it altogether, and sets himself above it? Shall he not be told that no one is a faithful and good servant, ,who is not ready to perform his master's will in all things lawful and pertaining to his office? Shall he not be immediately dismissed from the family? You profess yourselves the servants of God through Christ. If you obstinately refuse to obey Him in any one point; do not you radically jdeny his authority, and exalt your own will in opposition to it? Why call ye him Lord, '. 4 Lord j Lord; and do not the things which he fays? Shall you not be expelled, as unfaithful and rebellious servants, from the household of God?
luct me press Upon you one example more. Suppose a child to be in the usual tenor of its conduct obedient to its parent. In one point however it is refractory. The parent repeats his command. The child perfectly understands it; discerns it to be good, and intended for his own good ; and is thoroughly conscious that in every particular consistent, as this command is, with the divine law he is bound to obey his parent. But be still refuses to obey. Cursed he be, faith the Scripture, who setteth light by his father or his mother (b). Is this child a dutiful child? What if he obeys in many things? By presuming in a single mstance to determine according to his ovyn choice whether he will obey his parentor not, does he not set parental authority altogether at nought? Shall he, who in a single instance wilfully persists in refusing obedience to his parent, claim any share of those rewards which the parent has provided for his dutiful children? You profess yourselves to
(b) Deut. xxvii. 16.
Q^3 have have become through Christ the children of God. Are you obedient children, if you have not refpecl unto all bis commandments,p
. If there be any one of his injunctions ,to 'which you stubbornly-refuse to bend your
. neck; will you justify yourself by pleading that in other cases you have submitted to
. his will? Why do you not submit in this .point also? Because you have not the
diposition of a dutiful child. Because you prefer ,yqur own wilful inclination to the 'authority of your Father who is in heaven. Shall you be received into heaven? Shall obstinate rebellion inherit the recompence of the righteous? Verily the wrath of God cometh upon all the children of difohdience.x
',.' III. You are now prepared, I apprehend,
\.to acknowledge that when St. James in
'ftructs you that "to despise the authority of
.God in one pointis to be guilty of despising
''•it in all points; and that no man, who wil
i ..fully perseveres in transgrefling one of the
v .commandments of Christ, has grounds for
/..expecting to.be received by Him into glory
. at the last day; the Apostle delivers a doc
:.trine, which is perfectly reasonable. It is
a doctrine which in the parallel cases of
*':,.:;' ... „ '«. subjects,