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the Editor belongs, has been either defensive in its nature, or relative to measures which it was believed that denomination ought to adopt, for the benefit of its own members.
The Editor has avowed himself to be the decided friend of the order taken, after a prolonged and ardent debate, by the last General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church, for conducting Missions, both Foreign and Domestick, by a Board appointed by that judicatory and responsible to it. He does firmly believe, after a careful and he hopes a candid inquiry, that it belongs to the church, in its distinctive character, to evangelize the world. On this subject, he had intended to insert in this preface a particular exposition of his views. But in making preparation to execute his design, he found that, if pursued, it would lead him to exceed the proper bounds of a prefatory article. He therefore reserves the subject to be treated, at an early day, in the body of his work. In the mean time, he will only say, that while it is his purpose, if life and health permit, to advocate to the utmost of his ability, the opinion which he has now announced, that opinion nevertheless exists in his mind, and will he hopes hereafter appear in his work, with entire friendliness toward every evangelical mission now to be found on earth—That they may all enjoy the smiles and benediction of heaven, and be instrumental, as he thinks they are calculated to be, in extending the Redeemer's kingdom, till the know. ledge and love of God shall cover the earth as the waters do the seas, is the subject of his constant and most earnest prayer.
LECTURES ON THE SHORTER CATE
CHISM OF THE WESTMINSTER AS
SEMBLY OF DIVINES-ADDRESSED
no obedience at all. In all such cases, the external conformity itself would be withheld, but from some selfish regard. This is perfectly known to God, and he would sanc
tion falsehood, which he can dever (Continued from page 483.)
do, if he should accept as done out We now proceed to the next of regard to him, what is really Q. and A.-"Q. What is the sum done only out of regard to self. of the ten commandments? A. Love, therefore, is manifestly esThe sum of the ten commandments sential to the existence of any thing is, to love the Lord our God with that can be called obedience to all our heart, with all our soul, with God-There can be none without all our strength, and with all our it. The truth is, God's first demind; and our neighbour as our. mand is on our hearts—"My son selves.” Here you perceive, as I give me thy heart,” is his indispenhave already intimated, that the sable requisition: And till we comsummary of the moral law contain: ply with this, we can never obey ed in the decalogue, is itself epito- him at all-He requires the obemized. This, you will recollect, dience, not of slaves, but of affecwas done by our Savioar himself; tionate children. and it is done by reducing the law In like manner, even in regard to its principle, namely, love. If to man, there is no real duty perwe have suitable love to God and formed without love. Man cannot man, all that we can need farther always discern the motives or is, to be informed in regard to the springs of action, in his fellow man: most acceptable ways of expressing and what purports to be done from it. On the contrary, if we have not right motives, he ought so to acthis love, we render ro acceptable, cept. But let a man know,—as he no real obedience, whatsover. In sometimes may know,—that another regard to God, who searcheth the is showing him much apparent reheart, it must be obvious at once, spect, without the least real regard; that any external conformity to his and what is his estimate of this aplaws which is not cordially render- parent respect? Is he pleased with ed—which is yielded from the ser. it? No,-he regards him who renvile principle of fear, or from any ders it only as a hollow hearted hymotive which leaves the heart really pocrite, who seeks to serve himself alienated from God and his law, is by appearing to show respect which Vol. VI.--Ch. Adv.
he does not feel. Now, this too, in ful Lord and sovereign; our creaall cases in which it takes place, is tor, our father, our preserver, our perfectly known to the heart- benefactor, our redeemer, and our searching and rein-trying. God: judge-our God, by every obligaand, of course, he knows that we tion of equity and of gratitudenever truly perform a duty to our the fountain of our being, our enfellow men, till we love them as his joyments, and our hopes. law requires.
When it is said that we are to I have been thus particular in love him with all our heart, soul, showing that love is absolutely es. mind, and strength, I do not know sential to all real obedience, be- that it is practicable or necessary, cause men are extremely apt to sa- to distinguish the exercises of love, tisfy themselves with some fair out- as they separately flow from each ward appearances, when they know of those powers, or principles of nothing of real love to God-and it our nature, which are here enumeis infinitely important to take away rated. Such a distinction, I apprefrom them this deceitful opiate of hend, it would be difficult, or pertheir consciences, and to show them haps impossible, to make with acthat they have never yet rendered curacy. The expression appears to one single act of obedience to me to have been chosen, as it is adGod; and because also it is love mirably adapted, to show that all which is distinctly and precisely our faculties, with all their enermeant, in the answer before us, by gies, are to be exerted to the utmost, the sum of the ten commandments in the love of God: That there is He that possesses genuine love to no power, or principle of our na. God, possesses a principle which ture, which this love is not to perincludes in its bosom all other du- vade, animate, and command, at all ties-Hence, said the apostle- times, and in a supreme degree. "Love is the fulfilling of the law.” “We are to prize nothing in com
Having seen the necessity and parison with him, in our mind and importance of the principle, let us judgment; we are to cleave to nonow consider the rule or measure of thing in competition with him, in its operation, both toward God and our will; we are to desire nothing toward man. Toward God, this in comparison with him, in our afprinciple is to operate in such man- fections; we are to pursue nothing ner and degree that we may truly but with relation to his glory, and in be said" to love him with all the subordination to his sacred will." heart, with all the soul, with all the Our love to our neighbour is mind, and with all the strength.” measured by the rule—“that we This is called by our Saviour the love him as ourselves." Here it first and great commandment. And is fairly implied and supposed, it is so called, because God, the ob- that there is a lawful love of ourject of it, is the first, and greatest, selves; because this is made the and most excellent of all beings, who example and pattern, according to plainly ought to have our supreme which we should love others. A love,-a love to which our affection to just distinction may be stated beevery creature should be subordinate tween selfishness and self-love. Seland subservient. Nay, our love to fishness is always criminal. It is the creature is to flow from love to seeking our own gratification, or God, as its proper spring and foun- emolument, at the expense of the tain. Love to God, therefore, may just claims or expectations of well be called the first and great others; than which nothing can be commandment. And in loving him, more opposite to that law of love let it be observed, we are to re- to our neighbour, which we are now cognise him as our God; our right- considering. But self-love is that
reasonable and just attachment, quired to believe that a man has not which a man has to his own rights injured us, when he has actually and happiness; grounded on the and evidently done so. But the equal claims which he possesses, as very notion of forgiveness implies an individual of the species. It is injury; and the Christian duty, as the dictate of nature, is necessary
laid down in the gospel, may be to self-preservation, and is the briefly stated thus. We are never, standard by which our love to our on any occasion, or be the injury or neighbour is to be measured. provocation what it may, to cherish
I shall not at present take up or yield to a desire of revenge. If your time with discussing a ques- the offending party manifest repention on which many subtile things tance and seek reconciliation, we might be said ; namely, are we are to be cordially reconciled, and bound to love our neighbour as to treat him, and feel toward him, much as ourselves ? One point is as if the offence had never existed. clear-place your neighbour and If he manifests no repentance or yourself
, or his property and yours, regret, but continues to seek to inin equal danger, and suppose it im- jure us, we may lawfully guard ourpossible that you should preserve selves against him, repel his asboth, you are certainly right to take saults, and make use of all proper care of yourself and property, be- means to obtain suitable redress. fore
you take care of him and his. Yet we are still not only to forbear The general practical rule is also vindictive acts, but really to wish clear-do to him as you might rea- him well, to endeavour, if we have sonably desire that, in similar cir- opportunity, to melt him into love, cumstances, he should do to you. by returning good for evil; and we Consult his happiness and his inte. are to pray un feignedly that he may rest, with the same sincerity and be brought to repentance, and obfidelity that you do your own; and
your own; and tain forgiveness of God. It ought as you would wish he should con- also to be added here, that the gesult yours, in an exchange of situa- nuine temper of the gospel will tions.
dispose him who possesses it, to The law of love to our neighbour throw the mantle of charity over a requires that we forgive our ene. multitude of minor faults in his mies ; that we exercise unfeigned neighbour, so as not only to forgive, benevolence to all men; and that but literally to forget them too. we possess and cherish a sincere On benevolence, or good will, to complacency and delight in those all mankind, it is not necessary to who bear the image of our Heavenly dwell long. It consists in regarding Father. The forgiveness of ene- as brethren, all who partake of our mies is a grand peculiarity of the common nature; in cherishing a gospel system. It is expressly, re- sincere desire to relieve all their peatedly, and most pointedly en- sufferings, and to promote all their
, joined by our Lord, as essential to interests, both temporal and spiriour obtaining forgiveness from God, tual. It seems to me that no one or having any claim to be regarded who possesses this essential characas his disciples. It forms the sub- teristick of a Christian, can think ject of one of six petitions, in which of the ignorance, and vice, and mihe has comprehended the subjects sery, which he witnesses around of prayer. "He who cherishes a vin- him, or reflect on the awful state of dictive spirit, therefore, cannot be the heathen world, without being a real Christian. No principle of ready to contribute of his substance, religion indeed does, or can enjoin and to use his best exertions, to reus, to believe what is not true; and move this moral wretchedness, and therefore we are certainly not re- to save the subjects of it from the more fearful misery to which they perfection or actual transgression, are exposed in the world to come. guilt has been contracted in every
Complacency and delight in the act of your whole existence. It is people of God, and because they are of great practical importance to his people and bear his image, is at have a clear view of this matter, once the duty which we owe to humbling and awful as it certainly them, and the evidence of our own is; because in this way it is, that piety. If we love God, it will cer- the law becomes “ our schoolmastainly follow that we shall love his ter to bring us to Christ.” When image or likeness, wherever we be- we see, as if truly enlightened we hold it; and so, inversely, if we shall see, that we are, throughout love his image, we certainly love and altogether, polluted and vile, him whose image it is. Hence the "that the whole head is sick, and apostle John declares—“We know the whole heart faint; that from the that we have passed from death to sole of the foot, even unto the head, life, because we love the brethren." there is no soundness in us, but The people of God are all children wounds and bruises, and putrifying of the same family, and must and sores”-0! then it is, that we see will regard each other as brethren. and feel that we must have a SaThere is a mournful degree of bi- viour; an almighty and all suffigotry even among pious people. cient Saviour; a Saviour whose me. Be it our care, my children, to avoid rits are infinite ; a Saviour to take it, as much as we can. Let us be our law place, and answer comcareful to hold the truth, and to pletely to the violated law of God, hold it fast. But wherever we see for all our innumerable transgresthe evidence of a true Christian tem- sions and our unutterable guilt. per and practice, there let us al- Then with a listening ear is ways see a Christian brother-and heard the precious offer of the goslet us feel toward him as such, and pel, presenting the Lord Jesus treat him as such, however he may Christ to us, as exactly such a differ from us in name, or in some Saviour as our ruined and helpless of the circumstantials and forms of condition demands; and inviting, religion.
yea commanding us, to come unto In making some practical im- him, that he may be made of God provement of the doctrine, taught in unto us all that we need—"wisthe answers of the catechism which dom, and righteousness, and sanctihave at this time been under consi- fication, and redemption.” And deration, I would particularly ad- when, under the blessed influence vert to what has been said on the of the Holy Spirit, the soul is perfection of obedience which the sweetly and entirely drawn to moral law requires; and on its ex- Christ, and with great delight comtent and spirituality, as reaching mits itself entirely to him, to be to to all our thoughts, feelings, and it, and do for it, all that it needswords, as well as to all the actions then ensues peace of conscience. of our lives. Consider that in every It is seen that all the demands of instance in which you have come God's violated law are completely short of a perfect obedience to this answered in behalf of the soul, by law, as well as in every instance in its dear and adored Redeemer; and which you bave altogether and in that, for his sake, God is well an aggravated manner transgressed pleased to be reconciled to the pe. it-you have been chargeable with nitent and believing sinner-Yea sin. Consider, too, that in no one that the divine glory will be made thought, word, or action, has your to shine most illustriously and to obedience been entirely perfect, all eternity, in this very wayYou will then see, that either by im- by these very acts of pardoning