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. Thus we go on, and we find the promise made good, according to our faith.
Such was the apostle's walk. · And is thine directed by the same motive? Search, O my soul, and examine upon what principle thou goest to duty. Is it in the obedience of Faith? Dost thou take no step without the warrant of the word of God ? Dost thou give full credit to what God says in it of thy state, as a justified person ? And does this appear from thy dependence upon his faithfulness to make good every thing promised to them, who are in that state ? Blessed art thou of the Lord, if thou art walking by this faith. praise his holy name, who has thus highly favoured thee, and ascribe to him all the glory. So will thy end be right, as well as thy motive. True faith takes no honour to itself. It is an emptying humbling grace. Its spring-head is in covenant love, and it is given from distinguishing favour and sovereign mercy. It has no foundation, when given, but the word of God : nothing to rest on, but the divine truth: no support, but the divine power: and no growth but from the divine influence. What then does it leave a man to glory in ? Whoever has it, has it all from God, and while he is in his right mind, living by it, he will be disposed to give God all the glory of it: Even for common mercies, as well as spiritual, he will live by the faith of the Son of God. Whether he eats or drinks, or whatever he does, he does all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God, and the Father by him. And thus will go on sweetly and happily, obeying, not from slavish fears or legal hopes, but
3. From holy love, which is the fruit and consequence of walking by faith. Faith worketh love, and then worketh by love. The faith of the gospel, as a grace of the Spirit, worketh chiefly by love to God, and to man for God's sake: for the gospel discovers the way of salvation, contrived by the eternal Three, fulfilled in the life and death of Immanuel, and applied to the sinner's heart by the eternal Spirit. Whoever is
enabled to believe the gospel will see himself an object of the covenant love of the blessed Trinity, and will therefore love Father, Son, and Spirit: for we love him, says the Apostle, because he first loyed us. And faith in his love to us will make us that we shall neither be barren nor unfruitful. Love is very active. Obeying from love is very sweet.
How active! How sweet is obedience, when the love of God is shed abroad in the heart by the Holy Ghost, who is given unto us! He is an almighty agent. He overcomes the power
of legal unbelieving workings, and puts a new spring to duty into the heart He manifests the love of God in Christ, his free distinguishing love, the exceeding riches ef it, and the numerous blessings flowing from it through time and eternity. In the sense of these mercies he excites gratitude, and puts it upon acting. This grace has a wonderful influence.
- What return 66 shall I make unto the Lord !" is the devout breathing of the grateful heart. While the love of Christ constraineth it, all the affections follow him, and the soul delights itself in his ways. Then none of his commandments will be grievous. Nay, his yoke itself becomes easy, and his burden light: 0 triumphant love! How active, how sweet did he find it, who cried out." I can do ALL things, I can suffer all things, I
am more than conqueror, through him that loveth
And is not this, O my soul, thy happy case ? O prize thy privilege, and adorn it in thy life. Walk in love with thy reconciled God, and out of love to him perform all duties, and bear all crosses. Remember, thou art not required to obey, in order to be saved for thine obedience, but thou art already saved; and therefore out of gratitude to thy dearest Saviour, thou art bound to love him and to obey him. Thou canst not love his person, and yet hate his will. “ If ye love “ me, says he, keep my commandments"--give this proof of it, keep in my way; doing my commandments. But whatever ye do, let it come from the heart
Obey me, but see it be with a willing mind, and with a free spirit. When all springs from love, then my service will be perfect freedom. I would have you to do my will, but without fear; not for life; but from life; not that ye may live, but because ye live. Do it, as sons, and not as slaves: the slave abideth not in the house for ever, but the son abideth for ever. In this free spirit of adoption serve me, as sons of God, heirs of God, and joint heirs with me. Stand fast therefore in the liberty, wherewith I have made you free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage.
To obey from life and savation received and enjoyed is sweet liberty. To obey, as the condition of life and salvation is bitter slavery: it is an intolerable yoke, because it is not possible any fallen man should so keep the law, as to live thereby. But the believer freed from this condition by Christ's keeping the law for him is in liberty, he is saved from the penalty annexed to the transgression; he is entitled to the life promised to obedience, and thereby he is delivered from legal hopes and from guilty fears. In this faith he walks on delightfully in the ways of obedience : for he is reconciled to the law through the grace that is in Christ Jesus : he loves it. O what love, says he, have I unto thy law ! Because now I find it according to promise written upon my heart. And this is a
4. Motive to gospel obedience. The new covenant runs thus—“ I will put, says God, my law in their in“ ward parts, and write it in their hearts, and I will be 66 their God, and they shall be my people: amd they “shall teach no more every man his neighbour, and every
man his brother, saying, know the Lord: for they 66 shall all know me from the least of them to the great“ est of them.” The heart is by nature as hard as adamant. It is enmity itself against the holy law. But the Lord here engages to take away the stony heart, and to give an heart of flesh, upon which he will write the ten commandments; not in tables of stone, but in the fleshly tables of the heart. The Spirit of the living God
will teach all his children to know their Father, he will manifest to them their adoption, he will reveal to them their Father's love in Jesus, and he will make their hearts happy in the enjoyment of it. Then the holy fruits of this love will
It will work sweetly in benevolence, and effectually in beneficence. The love of God will open the contracted heart, enlarge the selfish, warm the cold, and bring liberality out of the covetous. When the holy Spirit teaches brotherly love he overcomes all opposition to it
. He says to his diseiples—"Be ye kind one to another, tender hearted, for“ giving one another, even as God for Christ's sake “ hath forgiven you.” And he makes them kind to one another: they shew it by every good word and work. Thus by manifesting to them the Father reconciled in Jesus, and by enabling them to love man for his sake, he writes upon their hearts thetwo great commandments, on which hang all the law and the prophets. The love of God, says the apostle to the Romans, is shed abroad in our hearts by the holy Ghost, and to the Thessalonians, ye yourselves are taught of God to love one another. Thus he engages the affections of the soul to the holy law, and inclines the inner man to love obedience. It ceaseth to be a yoke and a burden. How easy is it to do what one loves? If you dearly love any person, what a pleasure is it to serve him? What will not love put you upon doing or suffering to oblige him ? Let love rule in the heart to God and to man, his law will then become delightful, and obedience to it will be pleasantness. The soul soul will run, yea, inspired by love, it will mount up with wings as eagles, in the way of God's commandments.
Happy are the people, that are in such a case! And is it not, O my soul, in some measure thine ? Hast thou not been taught to love God, and his ways ? Since thou hast been acquainted with him as thy loving Father in Jesus, has not thy faith been working by love to him, and to his will, and to his whole household and family? Remember this is promised. All the children of God are to be taught to know and to love their heavenly
Father. This is the very tenor of the covenant of grace, which the almighty Spirit has undertaken to fulfil: And he cannot fail in his office. It is his crown and glory to make good his covenant engagements. O trust him then, and put honour upon his faithfulness. He has promised to guide thee with his counsel, and to strengthen thee with his might in the way of obedience to thy reconciled God. What is within thee, or without thee to oppose thy walking in love with him, he will incline thee to resist, and he will enable thee to
what mayest thou not expect from such a divine friend, who is to abide with thee on purpose to keep thy heart right with God. What can he not do, what will he not do for thee? Such as is the love of the Father and of the Son, such is the love of the Holy Ghost, the same free, perfect, everlasting love. Read his promises of it. Meditate on them. Pray to him for increasing faith to mix with them; that he, dwelling in the temple of thy heart, thou mayest have fellowship there with the Father and with the Son. What.. ever in thee is pardoned through the Son's atonement, pray the holy Spirit to subdue, that it may not interrupt communion with thy God. And whatever grace is to be received out of the fulness of Jesus in order to keep up and to promote that communion, intreat the holy Spirit to give it thee with growing strength. But pray in faith nothing wavering. So shall the love of God rule in thy heart. And then thou shalt be like the sun, when it goeth forth in its might, shining clearer and clearer to the perfect day. O may thy course be like his, as free, as regular, and as communicative of good, that thy daily petition may be answered, and that the will of thy Father may be done in earth, as it is done in heaven.
When all these things concur, what can be wanting to make the way of obedience easy and pleasant ? It is not now an hard burden, impossible to be borne. The Spirit of life which is in Christ Jesus, hath made it easy. He has reconciled the believer to the law; for he shewa