Imatges de pàgina

the law and the prophets were regularly read, and prayers made every fabbath day. These fervices our Lord himself statedly attended, as Luke informs us, ch. iv. 16. “ As his custom was, he “ went into the synagogue on the fabbath-day." And the same exercises were continued by the apostles in all christian churches, which were formed upon the same general plan, and have been transmitted through all ages to this day.


Of the social duties.

TT would be tedious, and is by no means necessary I to go over all the articles of social duty, as they are explained and enforced in the scriptures. Whatever I have observed in the first part of these Institutes, as the dictate of Nature, is strongly incula cated in the books of the Old and New Testament, and recommended by motives and considerations peculiar to revelation. I must not omit, however, to observe that the prophets in the Old Testament, and our Saviour, and the apostles in the New, do not content themselves with giving instructions, concerning men's conduct in particular cases and instances, but are more especially careful to incula cate the necessity of cultivatiog such an inward

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temper of mind as will form a complete charaEter, which will lead to the observance of every particular duty, and make the constant practice of it easy and delightful.

They more especially recommend the univerfal principle of brotherly love, and a constant attention to the interests of others. The second great commandment of the law, our Saviour says, is, “ Thou “ fhalt love thy neighbour as thyself;” and in this, as the apostle Paul observes, the whole of the mo. ral law, as far as it relates to society, is comprehended. Rom. xiii. 8. &c. “ Owe no man any " thing, but to love one another: for he that « loveth another hath fulfilled the law. For this, « Thou shalt not commit adultery, Thou shalt

not kill, Thou shalt not steal, Thou shalt not 56 bear falfe witness, Thou Malt not covet; and 66 if there be any other commandment, it is briefly " comprehended in this saying, namely, Thou « Ihalt love thy neighbour as thyself. Love work«6 eth no iil to his neighbour : therefore love is the “ fulfilling of the law.”

Our Lord and the apostles, besides this general good-will to all men, strongly recommend a more affectionate concern for our fellow..christians, hose who have the same faith, and the fame hope with ourselves, John xv. 12. “ This is my commande « ment, That ye love one another, as I have love « ed you.” And xiii. 35. “ By this Mall all men

o know

“ know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love
“ one to another.” Accordingly the apostle Peter
exhorts, i Peter i. 22." See that ye love one
o another with a pure heart fervently.” The
apostle John, more than any other, recommends
this divine principle of brotherly love, and thews
that it is impoffible to love God without it. I John
iv. 20. “ This commandment have we from him,
" that he who loveth God, love his brother also.”
v. 1. « Beloved, if God so loved us, we ought
“ also to love one another. No man hath seen
“ God at any time. If we love one another, God
" dwelleth in us, and his love is. perfected in us.
v. 16. “ He that dwelleth in love, dwelleth in
“ God, and God in him.” V. 20. " If a man
“ say, I love God, and hateth his brother, he is
“ a liar : for he that loveth not his brother, whom
“ he hath seen, how can he love God, whom he
“ hath not seen ?

Our Lord is particularly careful to warn his difciples, that they do not confine their attention to outward actions, but to consider the inward temper of their mind, with respect to every branch of social duty; and he censures the narrowness of the Pharisaical morality for its deficiency in this refpect, upon several occasions, and especially in his sermon upon the mount. Matt, v. 21. “ Ye have “ heard that it was said by them of old time, “ Thou shalt not kill; and whosoever thall kill,

“ shall

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« shall be in danger of the judgment: But I say “ unto you, That whosoever is angry with his “ brother without a cause, shall be in danger of “ the judgment:" ver. 27. “ Ye have heard that “ it was said by them of old time, Thou shalt not « commit adultery : But I say unto you, That 66 whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her, “ hath committed adultery with her already in his « heart.”

Very proper attention was also given to the temper of mind, and inclination of the heart, in the Old Testament; an instance of which we have in the tenth commandment. Ex. XX. 17. “ Thou ! shalt not covet thy neighbour's house, thou shalt s6 not covet thy neighbour's wife, nor his man"6 servant, nor his maid-Servant, nor his ox, nor “ his ass, nor any thing that is thy neighbour's.”

Far from confining our - good-will and kind offices to our particular friends and fellow-christians, our Lord strongly recommends good-will and kindness to all persons, and even to enemies: Matt. v. 43. &c. " Ye have heard that it hath .6 been said, Thou shalt love they neighbour and 6 hate thine enemy; but I say unto you, Love 66 your enemies, bless them that curse you, do “ good to them that hate you, and pray for them « who despitefully use you and perfecute you; “That ye may be the childten of your Father " who is in heaven: for he maketh his fun to rise

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« on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain " on the just and on the unjust. For if ye love " them that love you, what reward have ye? do 's not even the publicans the same? Be ye there" fore perfect, even as your Father who is in hea. “ ven is perfect.” The apostle Paul also enjoins us, Rom. xii. 17. &c. “ to recompense to no nian “ evil for evil, and not to be overcome of evil, but “ to overcome evil with good.”

The forgiveness of injuries, about which the hea. then moralists had, as we have seen, great doubts, and which some of them absolutely denied to be a duty; but which is certainly a most amiable and valuable one, is strongly recommended by our Lord and his apostles. Luke xvii. 3. &c. " If thy “ brother trespass against thee, rebuke him; and « if he repent, forgive him. And if he trespass " against thee seven times in a day, and seven“ times in a day turn again to thee, saying, I re“ pent; thou shalt forgive him.” He also particularly inforces this advice by the confideration of the divine mercy and clemency. Mat. vi. 14. “ If “ ye forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly “ Father will also forgive you: But if ye forgive “ not men their trespasses, neither will your Fa. “ther forgive your trespasses.” Luke vi. 36. “ Be “ ye therefore merciful, as your Father allo is • merciful.” To the fame purpose the apostle Paul, Eph. iv. 31. " Let all bitterneis, and


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