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for there is one God, and there is none other but he. 33. And to love him with all the heart, with all the understanding, and with all the soul, and with all the strength, and to love his neighbour as himself, is more than all burnt-offerings and sacrifices. 34. And when Jesus saw that he answered discreetly, he said unto him, Thou art not far from the kingdom of God.” Matthew, ch. vii. ver. 12:
2: “ Therefore all things whatever you would that men should do to you, do you even so to men; FOR THIS IS THE LAW AND THE PROPHETS. Ch. v. Think not that I am come to destroy the Law or Prophets; I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil.” Luke, ch. x. beginning with ver. 25: “ And behold, a certain lawyer stood up and tempted him, saying, Master, what shall I do to inherit eternal life ? 26. He said unto him, What is written in the Law ? How readest thou ? 27. He answering said, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy strength, and with all thy mind, and thy neighbour as thyself. 28. And he said unto him, Thou hast answered right. This do and THOU SHALT LIVE. The Saviour meant of course by the words Law and Prophets, all the commandments ordained by divine authority, and the religion revealed to the prophets and observed by them; as is evident from Jesus's declaring those commandments to afford perfect means of acquiring eternal life, and directing men to follow them accordingły. Had any other doctrine been requisite to teach men
THOU SHALT LIVE.
the road to peace and happiness, Jesus could not have pronounced to the lawyer, “ This do and
It was the characteristic of the office of Christ to teach men, that forms and ceremonies were useless tokens of respect for God, compared with the essential proof of obedience and love towards him evinced by the practice of beneficence towards their fellow-creatures. The Compiler, finding these commandments given as including all the revealed law, and the whole system of religion adopted by the prophets, and re-established and fulfilled by Jesus himself, as the means to acquire peace and happiness, was desirous of giving more full publicity in this country to them, and to the subsidiary moral doctrines that are introduced by the Saviour in detail. Placing also implicit confidence in the truth of his sacred commandments, to the observance of which we are directed by the same Teacher, (John, ch. xiv. ver. 16. “ If ye love me, keep my commandments ;” ver. 24, “ He that loveth me not, keepeth not my sayings,”) the Compiler never hesitated in declaring (page 1.) “ a belief in God, and a due regard to that law, · Do unto others as you would wish to be done by,' render our existence agreeable to ourselves, and profitable to the rest of mankind.” It may now be left to the public to judge, whether or not the charge of arrogance and presumption which the Reviewer has imputed to the Compiler, under the idea that he preferred his own judgment to that of the Saviour, be justly applicable to him.
3. The respected Reviewer argues in page 26, that there are two important points, a knowledge of which is not to be acquired by following the moral precepts of Christ, but which are essential to the attainment of true peace of mind; they being entirely founded (as he alleges) upon the dogmas and histories, viz. how to obtain, 1st, the forgiveness of sins, and the favour of God; and 2dly, strength to overcome human passions, and to keep the commandments of God. These precepts, separated from the mysterious dogmas and historical records, appear, on the contrary, to the Compiler, to contain not only the essence of all that is necessary to instruct mankind in their civil duties, but also the best and only means of obtaining the forgiveness of our sins, the favour of God, and strength to overcome our passions, and to keep his commandments. I therefore extract from the same compilation a few passages of that greatest of all prophets, who was sent to call sinners to repentance; a due attention to which will, I hope, satisfy the respected Reviewer on those two points. Luke, ch. xiii. ver. 3: “ Except you repent, you shall all likewise perish.” Ch. xv. ver. 7: “I say unto you, that likewise joy shall be in heaven over one sinner that repenteth, more than over ninety and nine persons who need no repentance. I say unto you, there is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner that repenteth.” Matthew, ch. ix. “ I am not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repent
Ch. xviji. “ For the Son of man is come to save that which was lost ” Luke, ch. vi. “I came not to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.” Which sayings are confirmatory of what is taught in Ezekiel, ch. xviii. ver. 30: “ Repent and turn yourselves from all your transgressions, so iniquity shall not be your ruin.” See also the parable of the prodigal son, where the mercy of God is illustrated by the example of a father pardoning the transgressions of his repenting son. Numerous passages of the Old and the New Testaments to the same effect, which might fill a volume, distinctly promise us that the forgiveness of God and the favour of his Divine Majesty may be obtained by sincere repentance, as required of sinners by the Redeemer.
As to the second point, that is, How to be enabled to overcome our passions, and keep the commandments of God :-we are not left unprovided for in that respect, as our gracious Saviour has promised every strength and power as necessary consequences of earnest prayer and hearty desire. Matthew, ch. vii. and Luke, ch. vi. “ Ask, , and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you.” “ If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children, how much more shall your Father which is in heaven give good things to them that ask him!” Luke, ch. xi. “ I say unto you, Ask, and it shall be given you.
After a due attention to these, and to numerous passages of the same
effect, no one who believes in the divine message of Jesus of Nazareth, or even in the truth of his doctrine only, can be at all at a loss to find adequate means of attaining those two ends, justly considered to be most essential by the Reviewer.
4. The Reviewer imputes to the Compiler, error in exalting the value of the moral doctrines above that of the historical facts and dogmas contained in the New Testament. This imputation, I humbly maintain, can be of no weight or force against the authority of Jesus himself, as quoted in the above texts; which clearly show, that there is no other means of attaining eternal life except the performance of our duties towards God in obeying his commandments. That the aim and object of all the commandments of God is to teach us our duty towards our fellow creatures, may be gathered from a hundred passages of Scripture, of which, perhaps, the following may suffice. Matthew, ch. xxv. ver. 31 : “ When the Son of man shall come in his glory, and all the holy angels with him, then shall he sit upon the throne of his glory. And before him shall be gathered all nations : and he shall separate them one from another, as a shepherd divideth his sheep from the goats. And he shall set the sheep on his right hand, but the goats on the left. Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. For I was an hungered, and ye gave me meat: I