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4. Complacency or delight in them, suto a man's face, thing appears in them), 1 Pet. 11. 17. Bucho propri This doth in a special manner belong to the na excellent ones, in whom should be all our delig 3. Yet a delight in the good gifts of God in any husto their amiable qualities and dispositions, is our duty.fi Thirdly, I shall shew, how we are to love our neig. 2:
Shim As yourselves, says the text. Here two things are to la ticed.
1. That there is an allowable self-love, a love that we ma and ought to bear to ourselves; for that is the rule of love to our neighbour. We are to love our own bodies, by all lawful means to see to their welfare. For, says the apostle, Eph. v. 29. No man ever yet hated his own flesh; but nourisheth and cherisheth it. And we are to love our own souls, by all means to endeavour their salvation, and to beware of all that may obstruct it. For, says wisdom, Prov. viii. 36. • He that sinneth against me, wrongeth his own soul.' We are to love ourselves in God, and for God; for he and not man's self, is his chief end. This becomes sinful self-love, when it does not remain in due subordination to the love of God, or destroys love to our neighbour.
2. In what sense we are to love our neighbour as ourselves? This hath a respect both to the matter and to the manner. As to the matter, this likeness lies chiefly in three things.
(1.) That we neither wish evil, nor do evil to our neighbour, more than to ourselves. (2.) That we wish all good to our neighbour as to ourselves, and be ready to do all we can to procure and further it. (3.) That we desire these things to our neighbour, out of a true respect to him, and his advantage, not our own.
As to the manner, (1.) We must love our neighbour as truly and really as we love ourselves. No man feigns a love to himself: so must our love to others be unfeigned, not like the devouring lips, and the wicked heart.
(2.) Earnestly, as we love ourselves, without coldness and remissness, Matt. xxiv. 12. This is a fire that should never slacken, but burn intensely.
(3.) Constantly, without changing. Though they be not so favourable to us at all times, yet we are still to love them as ourselves. Our love to them must not be suspended on their love to us, and the effects of it: but it must glow to them, even though we meet with ungrateful returns.
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3. Hatred of our neighbour is an universal sin against the commands of the second table; as love to our neighbour is the chief, comprehensive, and universal duty of the second table, so is the hatred of our neighbour, the chief, comprehensive, and universal sin against that table.
4. Several persons are reproveable here.
(1.) Those that in effect do not love themselves, but go on in sinful courses, ruining to their bodies, and ruining to their souls; who treat themselves as the worst of enemies. Men must answer to God for this; for their souls and their bodies are not their own, but the Lord's.
(2.) Those that love themselves only, and not their neighbours; who value not how it be with others, if it go well with themselves; and can confortably build up themselves on the ruin of others. All seek their own things. This is a most base and selfish disposition, destructive of society, and very offensive to God.
(3.) Those that love some of their neighbours, but not all. One will say, Such an one is my enemy; be it so; but yet love to him is law; and his enmity against you cannot dissolve the obligation of the law of God to love him. Love him that he may be thy friend; love him, but not his faults. The more need he has of thy love, that he may be reclaimed; as we run to the physician for love to the man, not to his disease. The loving and shewing love to one that is our enemy, is the fairest and readiest way to reclaim and gain him. If any thing will do it, this is the most sensible means.
(4.) Those that love in word, but hate in heart; that love
like Joab and Judas : they will speak fair to a man's face, but would cut his throat behind his back. Such a practice is abominable hypocrisy, odious to God, and nauseous to every honest man.
(5.) Those that pretend to love their neighbour, but their love is fruitless; their neighbour is never the better of it. They say they love such a one; but they never give him good counsel, though he stands in need of it; they do him no service, though it be in their power, and his circumstances require it. Such love is all pretence, without substance or reality..
6. Lastly, They that do not love the Lord's people, 'who are their best neighbours, the substance and strength of a church and nation, who are, as Elijah was, the chariots of Israel, and the horsemen thereof. Love is a duty to them above all men, for what they are in themselves, lavers of God and all good men, and for the relation they stand in to God, as his people, his redeemed, and sanctified ones, who when the time of their warfare here is accomplished, shall be translated to the kingdom of glory, to the house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens. Not to love them is a great sin, inconsistent with the law and love of God; and to hate them, especially on account of their goodness, is direct rebellion against God, an insult to the Majesty of heaven, whose subjects and servants they are.
5. Let us study to love our neighbour, and to bury all strifes, animosities, hatred, and malice. For motives, con. sider,
1. That little neighbour-love, is a sad sign of little love to God, i John iv, 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?
(2.) Consider the bond of one common nature, which should cement and knit together all of the same species. Lions and Wolves do not prey on their own kind, but shew kindness to one another. As men are of one common na. ture derived from Adam, should they not love and shew kindness to one another ? for they are strictly brethren, and are as strictly bound to love one another as such.
(3.) Consider the love of God and Christ to men. It was most tree, unmerited, unsought, and unsolicited. They VOL. II.
loved not friends, but enemies and rebels, who had taken up arms against their Creator and Sovereign Lord. Men had by their sin involved themselves in utter ruin, and could not help themselves. In such deplorable circumstances did God fix his love on them, and send his Son to redeem them from the curse of the law, and from the wrath to come, by laying down his life for them. And shall not such a glorious and unspeakable instance of the love of the great God, and his Son Jesus Christ, to the ruined race of fallen man, excite and stir us up to love our neighbour, and to do him all the service we can, both as to his temporal and eternal interests ?
Lastly, How happy would the world be if men loved others as themselves ! Suppose ten men; so love would contract ten into one, and multiply one into ten. How happy would each of these ten be, who would have ten hearts to care for him, twenty eyes to see for him, twenty hands to work for him, and twenty feet to travel for him!
Let the Lord's people especially love one another. They are the Sons of God, and the brethren of Christ. God loved them with an everlasting love, and with loving-kindness he drew them to himself. Christ redeemed them at no less price than that of his most precious blood. The Holy Spirit is their Sanctifier and Comforter, and will abide with them for ever. They are members of one family, fellowcitizens, and of the household of faith. They are members of one body, of which Christ is the head. They have one Lord, one faith, one baptism, and one hope of their calling. They have all fled from one city, that of sin and destruction; and they are travelling unto one heavenly country. They are all clothed with one garment, the complete righteousness of their Surety and High Priest. They are all the spouse of Christ, who is one. They are all brethren, children of the promise. Shall then such persons fall out by the way? Nay, shall they not dearly love one another ? Be kindly affectionate one to another, (says the apostle), with brotherly love,' Rom. xii. 10. “Let brotherly love continue,' Heb. xiii. 1. Such love is a sure and infallible sign of your being the friends and followers of Christ. By this says our Lord), shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.' Be at peace then among yourselves, and shew that ye are subjects of the Prince of peace, and heirs of the legacy of peace which he has left you.
THE PREFACE TO THE TEN COMMANDMENTS.
Exod. xx. 2.-I am the Lord thy God, which have brought
thee out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage.
COME take these words, which are the first of that speech
spoken immediately by God himself, to be a part of the first commandment, shewing who is the true God, that is to be our God. Our Catechism determines them to be a preface to all the commandments; and though they have a particular relation to the first command, “Thou shalt have no other gods before me,' viz. The Lord thy God, which have brought thec out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage; yet, seeing the first commandment has a common relation to all of them, and is interwoven with all the rest, and the words natively enforce obedience to the whole, they are şet here as a preface to all the commands, like a magnificent entry into a palące, decorated with the arms of the owner, In the words consider,
1. The Speaker and Giver of these commandments. It is the Lord, particularly Jesus Christ, who gave this law in name of the Trinity. This is plain from the scripture. Acts vii. 38. Heb. xii. 24.–26. It was he that brought the people out of Egypt, and that appeared in the bush thąt burned with fire, and yet was not consumed, giving commission to Moses for their deliverance, Exod. iii. 2.-8.
2. The speech itself, wherein we have a description of the true God," bearing three reasons for the keeping his commands. (1.) From his sovereignty; he is the Lord. (2.) From his covenant-relation to his people, thy God. (3.) From the great benefit of redemption, and deliverance vrought for them,
Doct. • The preface to the ten commandments teacheth us,
That because God is the Lord, and our God, and Redeemer, therefore we are bound to keep all his commands ments,
But it may be asked, Why does the Lord make use of ar.