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him. Again (1 Cor. i. 8): The Lord Jesus Christ shall confirm all such unto the end, that ye may be blameless in the day of the Lord. And St. Peter exhorts you to gird up the loins of your mind, i. e. to arm yourselves with vigilance, courage, and constancy, and to be sober, and hope to the end, for the grace that will be brought (or communicated to you) at the revelation of Jesus Christ. (1 Pet. i. 13.) In short, and to conclude in our Lord's own words, Matt. x. 22; though we are hated for his sake now, he that endureth to the end shall be saved; by which you see, we must be found at the last in the Lord, i. e. devoted to a life of holiness and righteousness, and consequently not living in any manner of ungodliness, or the practice of any worldly lusts. Be faithful unto death (saith the angel of the Lord), and I will surely give thee the crown of life. Thus much may be sufficient to say to you at present, on the subject of the Gospel obedience in general. In my next Lecture I shall begin with a discourse on the first and great commandment, and with God's blessing proceed to the fullest examination possible of all the rest, proving, as I go along, that they were intended as a positive rule of life and duty to Christians of all ages, as well as for the people of Israel, to whom they were originally delivered; and that, from
the condition of men in this state of trial, from the very nature of things, and from the express will of the Almighty (which cannot change), God sent his Son into the world, not to make void the law, but to fulfil it; and to prepare to himself a people zealous of good works.
Now to God, &c.
GENERAL OBSERVATION OF THE
DEUTERONOMY, XI. 26, 27, 28..
Behold, I set before you this day a blessing and a curse: a blessing, if ye OBEY the commandments of the Lord your God, which I command you this day; and a curse, if you will NOT obey them, &c.
In my last Lecture I discoursed to you, my brethren, upon the obligation of all Christians to a positive obedience of God's holy laws. Before I proceed to the immediate explanation of each commandment, I think it may profit you more to take a further view of the measure of this obedience, as applicable to the ten commandments in general; and in order the better to prepare you for understanding what they contain, I shall at this time submit to your consideration some necessary rules for the clearer exposition of them.
As in the Creed we have a collection of the
distinct articles we are to believe; so the main branches of what we are to do, were collected and delivered by God himself, in what we com monly call the ten commandments.
Now, as the law contained in those precepts or commandments, is often confounded (from similarity of terms) with the ceremonial law, or religious observances of the Jews, and thereby has occasioned abundant disputes and misunderstanding by those who are not careful to attend to the proper distinction, as it occasionally occurs in the writings of the Apostles (especially of St. Paul), it will contribute to your instruction concerning this very important difference, to acquaint you here, that, though these laws or commandments were originally given by God to the Jews, yet they still continue in force, and oblige us Christians likewise to keep them. And whereas, by enforcing this truth, some are apt, through the error just now mentioned, to assert that we expect to be saved by the works of the law, which the Apostle justly denies to be possible, there cannot be a more proper place to inform you, once for all, that, when the Apostle speaks of not being saved by the works of the law, he frequently alludes to those outward acts of the Jewish ceremonies, to which the new converts were still prejudiced by the Judaizing Christians, who taught them to believe that these works were equally necessary as a faith in