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confess himself worthy of his displeasure; consequently, in such a hopeless state, he has no way for justification but by faith, or by a hearty reliance upon Jesus Christ, who died for our sins, and gained for us the mercy of our heavenly Father: yet those who are justified by faith, and have received the grace of the Holy Spirit, are indispensibly bound to prove the reality of their conversion by the fruits of love, and to have recourse to that co-operative grace in the performance of good works. The apostle has written clearly concerning this to the Ephesians, in chap. ii. 8, where justification is ascribed to faith, and at the same time good works represented as essentially necessary, from this very consideration: "For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God: not of works, lest any man should boast. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works."

But it is also necessary to understand in what sense the apostle has written these striking words to the Romans, vi. 14, " Ye are not under the law, but under grace;" and vii. 6, "Now we are delivered from the law, that being dead wherein we were held." We ought not to suppose that the apostle, by these words, laid aside the law of God,-God forbid! But he teaches us, 1st, That true be

lievers are not under the yoke of the law, which galls the wicked with its curse. 2d, That though a Christian, through infirmity, commit sin, yet grace will not deliver him up to the severity of the law; but accepts his repentance and forgives his transgressions.


What is the law?

The divine law is that which points out the difference between good and evil actions.

The law is a prescribed rule, which points out what a man ought to do, and what he ought to avoid. Hence a good action is, that which is conformable to the law; and a bad one, that which is not conformable to it. Good works are otherwise styled virtues, and evil works vices, sins, iniquities. This rule, which points out what are good and what are evil ac tions, must come from God himself; for God alone, who is from all eternity, can, without error, know real good and real evil. Farther, a man ought to do good and avoid evil, even by the dictates of his conscience; but as God alone can lay obligations upon the consciences of men, therefore all human laws are only binding, in as much as they are conformable to the law of God,

and in one way or other have their foundation in



The law of God is written on the heart of every man; and it is also contained in the ten commandments which God gave to Moses; and which are the following. Exod. xx.

1. I am the Lord thy God: thou shalt have no other gods before me.

2. Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth. Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them.

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3. Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord thy God in vain.

4. Remember the Sabbath day to keep it holy. Six days shalt thou labour and do all thy work; but the seventh day is the Sabbath of the Lord thy God.

5. Honour thy father and thy mother, that thy days may be long upon the land which the Lord thy God giveth thee.

6. Thou shalt not kill.

7. Thou shalt not commit adultery.

8. Thou shalt not steal.


9. Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbour.

10. Thou shalt not covet thy neighbour's house; thou shalt not covet thy neighbour's wife, nor his man servant, nor his maid servant, nor his ox, nor his ass, nor any thing that is thy neighbour's.

Every man has the law engraven upon his heart, that is, the power of distinguishing good from evil. Thus, for example, let a man be ever so ignorant, he yet knows that it is good to fear God, and call upon him for help: he knows also that it is praise-worthy to honour his parents, to be grateful to his benefactors, and not to offend any one. Neither is he ignorant that to blaspheme the name of God, and to do injustice to his neighbour, is evil; for this is impressed upon his mind, "that he ought not to do that to his neighbour which he would not desire to be done to himself." Now, this law is called the law of nature, or the innate law; and our reasonings, when conducted according to this law, are called conscience, which imparts joy to the soul when it does good, and reproaches it for doing evil: thus, joy is the natural and inevitable reward of virtue, and remorse the natural punishment of vice. The apostle writes of this law to the Romans, ii. 14. For when the Gentiles which have not the law, do by nature the things contained in the

law, these having not the law, are a law unto themselves; which shew the works of the law written in their hearts, their consciences also bearing witness, and their thoughts the meanwhile accusing or else excusing one another."

The law of nature, with its interpretation, is summed up in the ten words or commandments which God gave to Moses. It is evident, from sacred history, that God chose Israel, or the Jews, the descendants of Abraham, to be his own peculiar people, and by governing them in a pecu liar manner, desired to shew his purposes to the world at large. He gave them the law through Moses, his chosen, which was of a threefold nature; ceremonial, judaical, and moral.

The ceremonial law referred to the holy rites and ordinances of the Jewish church, which were types and prefigurations of the blessings of the gospel; hence every one may clearly see, that, on the appearance of the Saviour, the whole ceremonial law naturally became abrogated.

The judaical law prescribed rules according to which the Jewish civil concerns were to be managed. This law was binding only upon the nation of the Jews.

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The moral law contains our duty to God, to

our neighbour, and to ourselves. And this law

is eternal and unchangeable, because it binds all

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