Imágenes de páginas
PDF
EPUB

And whereas the third commandment is, Thou shalc not take the name of the Lord thy God in vain. It is well known that I a ao swearer, neither can I abide to hear others

fwear by the name of God. And whereas the fourth commandment is, Remember that thou keep holy the sabbath day." I am sure I do very seldom either work

travel on that day; but do go to the church oth forendon and afternoon; and do both read, nd hear the word of God read, when I come jome.

And whereas the fifth commandment is, · Honour thy father and thy mother,” &c. I hank God, I was very careful to do my duty to my parents when I was a child.

And whereas the sixth commandment is, " Thou shalt not kill." I thank God I never yet murdered either man, woman, or child; and I hope, I never shall.

And whereas the seventh commandment is, “ Thou shalt not commit adultery." I thank God, I was never given to women, God hath hitherto kept me from committing that sin, and so I hope he will do whilft I live.

And whereas the eighth commandment is, " Thou shalt not steal.” I do not remember that ever 1 took the worth of twelve pence of any man's goods in all my life.

And whereas the ninth commandment is, " Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbour.” I thank God, I do abhor B4

that

that sin, and was never guilty of it in all my life.

And whereas the tenth commandment '" Thou shalt not cover." I thank God, I ne ver coveted nothing but what was mine own all my life.

Evan. 'Alas! neighbour Nomologista, the commandments of God have a larger extent than it seems you are aware of; for it seems you do imagine that the whole moral law is confined within the compass of what you have now repeated; as though there were no more required or forbidden, than what is expressed in the words of the ten commandments; as though the Lord required do more but the bare exter nal, or actual performance of a duty; and as though he did forbid no more than the bare abstinence and gross acting of sin. The very fame conceit of the law of God the Scribes and Pharisees had; and therefore it is no mar. vel though you imagine you keep all the commandments even as they did.

Nom. Well, Sir, If I have been deceived, you may do well to instruct me better.

Evan. I shall endeavour to do it with all my heart, as the Lord shall be pleased to enable me. And because I begin to fear that it is not your case alone to be thus ignorant of the large extent, and the true sense and meaning of the law of God; I also begin to blame myself, for that I have not taken occasion to expound the commandments in my public ministry, fince I came amongst you; and therefore I do now refolve, by the help of God, very speedily to fall

about

any of

about that work; and I hope I shall then make it appear unto you that the (a) ten commandments are but an epitomy or an abridgment of the law of God, and that the full exposition thereof is to be found in the books of the prophets and apostles, called the Old and New Testament.

Neo. Indeed, Sir, I have told him that we must not stick upon the bare words of the ten commandments, por reft satisfied with the bare literal fenfe, but labour to find out the full exposition and true spiritual meaning of every one of them, according to other places of holy scripture.

Evan. If you told him fo, you told him that which is most true; for he that would truly understand and expound the commandments, must do it according to these fix rules.

First, He must consider that every commandment (b) hath both a negative and an affirmative part contained in it; that is to say, where any evil is forbidden, the contrary good is commanded; and where any good is commanded, the contrary evil is forbidden; for faith Urfinus's catechism, (c) “ The Lawgiver doth “ in an affirmative commandment comprehend “ the negative; and contrariwise, in a negative “ he comprehendeth the affirmative."

Secondly, He must consider that under one good action commanded, or one evil action forbidden, (d) all of the same kind or nature are

comprehended; (a) Exod. xxxiv. 27. (6) Psal. xxxiv. 14. (c) Page 529. (d) Grounds of religion, Page 207.

comprehended; yea, all occasions and means leading thereunto; according to the saying of judicious Virell,

· The Lord minding to forbid divers evils of the same kind, he com“ prehendeth them under the name of the

great4 est.”

Thirdly, He must consider that the law of God is spiritual, reaching to the very heart or foul, and all the powers thereof, (a) for it chargech the understanding to know the will of God; (6) it chargesh the memory to retain,

and the will to chuse the better, and to leave the worse ; it chargech the affections to love the things that are to be loved, and to hate the things that are to be hated, and so bindeth all the powers of the soul to obedience, as well as the words, thoughes, and gestures.

Fourthly, He must consider, that the law of God must not only be the rule of our obedience, but it must also be the reason of it; we must not only do that which is there commanded, and avoid that which is there forbidden, but we must also do the good, because the Lord requireth it, and avoid the evil

, because the Lord forbiddeth it; (c) yea, and we must do all that is delivered and prescribed in the law, for the love we bear to God; the love of God must be the fountain, the impulsive, and efficient cause of all our obedience to the law.

Fifthly, He must consider, that as our obedience to the law must arise from a right foun.

cain,

(a) Rom. vii. 14. Mat. v. 27. (6) Dod on the Com. Page 24. (c) Urlin. Cat. Page 37

tain, so must it be directed to a right end, and that is, that God alone may be glorified by us; for otherwise it is not the worship of God, but hypocrisy, faith Ursinus's catechism; (a) fo that according to the saying of another godly writer, (b) the final cause, or end of all our obedience, must be God's glory; (c) or which is all one, that we may please him, for in seeking to please God, we glorify 'him: and these two chings are always co-incident.

Sixthly, He must consider that the Lord doth not only take notice' what we do in obedience to his law, but also after what manner we do it: and therefore we must be careful to do all our actions after a right manner, viz. humbly, reverently, willingly and zealoufly.

Neo. I beseech you, Sir, if you can spare so much time, let us have some brief exposition of fome, if not of all the commandments before we go hence, according to these rules.

Evan. What say you, neighbour NomologiIta, do you desire the same?

Nom. Yea, Sir, with all my heart, if you please.

Evan. Well then, although my occasions at this time might justly plead excuse for me; yet, seeing that you do both of you desire it, I will for the present difpense with all my other business, and endeavour to accomplish your defires, according as the Lord shall be pleased to

enable (a) Page 528. (6) Mr. Whateley God's husb. Page 1 20. (c) 1 Cor. X. 31.

« AnteriorContinuar »