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Thirdly, To commend it to our practice, we bave an example of perfect obedience set before us. If Jesus Christ had represented in the world no other person but of "the word and wisdom of his Father;" as a master to regulate and guide us by his commands, had revealed to us the secrets of another world, and then ascended to heaven; the highest reverence and observance had been due to his laws. But to encourage and edge our industry, he was pleased to exhibit in his life a pattern of universal obedience. He gave us rules of such perfeet holiness, that there seemed no necessity of his practice for our instruction: and the living image of his laws was so visible in his actions, that his sole example affords us a model of entire sanctity. There is no kind of virtue, from the lowest to the most heroie, of which he might not say, as he did to his disciples in his last Supper, “ I have given you an example, that ye should do as I have done to you." And what should be more powerful in the breasts of Christians than a sacred ambition to be like the Son of God, than a dear affection to be conformed to their Saviour?
Fourthly, To excite us to our duty, the Gospel offers such a reward to encourage obedience, and threatens such prepared plagues against disobedience, that unless a man be miraculously transformed into a stupid beast, he cannot but be moved
Now, what darkness of mind, or rather what perverseness of heart is it, if the great interest of the one and the other eternity, the blessed and the miserable, be not sufficient to work upon us? But
alas ! how many, who pretend to be the disciples of Christ, do not obey him as their Master, love him as their Redeemer, nor fear him as their Judge ? They live as if Christ had commanded them to please, not
crucify, the flesh, and the lusts thereof;" as if he had bid them set all their affections, their loves, desires, hopes, joys, in the present perishing things, and not in everlasting things to come; to labour for the riches of this world, as if they were eternal inhabitants on the earth, and not strangers and pilgrims in the way to heaven. These are worse enemies of our Saviour than the heathens that do not know him, or the Jews that deny him. For, wearing the livery of his servants, they defame his most holy profession, obscure his glory, and blaspheme him in their lives. If infidels that never heard the sound of the Gospel, should see their conversation, what judgment would they make of the excellence of Christ, and the holiness of his law? They would blaspheme his goodness without defence. Unholy Christians are the most guilty sinners in the world. And their punishment will be heightened accordingly: for they exasperate mercy, and make the blood of atonement to cry for vengeance against them. If it be extreme perverseness to disbelieve the Gospel after so clear a revelation from God; what degree of folly and wickedness is it, for those who believe its truth, to contradict the evidence and design of it in their lives, as if there were no doubt of its falseness?
AUTHORITY, AND SELF-EVIDENCING
LIGHT AND POWER
THE HOLY SCRIPTURES.
JOHN OWEN, D. D.