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of these sentiments and affections are summed up in the scriptural phrase, “Love to God," or in more modern phrase, "True piety;" or as an eloquent preacher expresses it, "The spirit of godliness." And those who possess these sentiments and affections are, with striking propriety, denominated "The people of God."

Esteem, admiration, and reverence express themselves in worship;-secret worship, or that which the Christian daily performs as an individual; social worship, or that performed by families; and public worship, or that performed in the assemblies of God's people.

Obedience, submission, humility, resignation, shew themselves in observing the rules of strict morality, in listening heedfully to the doctrines and admonitions of sacred writ, in bearing the afflictions and inscrutable dispensations of Providence without murmuring or repining, confiding entirely in the wisdom, justice, and goodness of God.

And gratitude, good will, attachment, and devotedness, shew themselves in zealously employing every means to effectuate the declared purposes of the Deity; as, for example, the universal diffusion of the glorious Gospel of the blessed God, in being, in this world, the steward of God's providence to relieve the distressed, to compassionate the aged, to defend the widow and the fatherless, and to diminish the natural and moral evils of this guilty and afflicted world.

Love to God is farther manifested by an unsuspecting affiance or trust in him, and a constant reliance on the eventual fulfilment of his gracious promises, that he will be a father and a friend to his people, that he will never leave them, and never, never forsake them; and hence the Christian, even when appearances are most inauspicious, is still found confiding in him. Though he slay me, (said Job,) yet will I trust in him.

The first and great commandment requires all these sentiments and affections in an intense degree-"Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength." How strong this language, how vehemently intense are these expressions!

But can true piety be too ardent? Is a heartless, cold assent to the truth of religion, and a frigid attendance on its forms, a keeping of the great commandment?-Ah, No! We must all plead guilty, I fear, of habitually coming short, very far short, of what is required in this first commandment, in all respects, and in every instance. It would be impossible to exemplify every case in which even the most pious are deficient; but take for example the indifference with which they often view idolatry and irreligion, which the sacred Scriptures consider so offensive to the one living and true God. I mean not that the pietist or truly religious should feel anger or dislike to his fellow men and fellow servants, but that he should feel compassion, and benig nity, and zeal to turn men from their dumb idols, their false prophets, and their false gods; and from the service of Satan, the god of this world, the arch-rebel against the Supreme Authority, who is the rightful Sovereign of the universe, who is the Lord our God.

The obligations of the second commandment flow necessarily from the doctrines and duties of the first. "Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself." And who is my neighbour? Thy fellow man, wherever he is found—every human being. He is not only thy neighbour, but thy brother. Dost thou say with Cain, "Am I my brother's keeper?" Yes! Our Father in heaven has commanded thee to love him, and to love him as thyself. This is truly a "hard saying," who can hear it! However hard it may appear, it is a reasonable saying, built on the doctrine of one God, the Creator, Preserver, and Saviour of men, and might fairly be inferred, even if it were not commanded. Polytheism, which admits of gods many and lords many, also admits of hatred and strife, and wars and conflicts amongst the gods; and if amongst the gods there be strife and hatred, why not also amongst their adherents on earth? But we all acknowledge only one God, who is our Father, and therefore we should love each other.

The lowest possible sense of this commandment must be, that we should not dislike, despise, hate, or injure each other. And if even in this negative meaning of the pre

cept mankind obeyed it, how changed for the better would be the face of our world! what an improvement in every society!

But it is not credible that the merely abstaining from disliking, despising, hating, and injuring our neighbour is all that is meant by God's command to love each other: it must denote positive, active good will, and good deeds exercised and performed, towards and for our neighbour; it must include benevolence and beneficence, and these in an intense degree. "Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself." The idea which is sometimes brought forward in the form of an objection to this, assumes for granted, that, if we love others as ourselves, we must have all things in common with them; but this by no means follows. A father would not shew his affection for his family by sharing amongst them the whole of his substance, that they might use it as they pleased. He shews his love by husbanding the property, and by supplying their wants as they occur. And does not a good father love his children as himself? he studies and labours for their welfare just as much as for his own; he loves them as sincerely as he does himself. The same sort of feeling or affection ought to be cherished for all our neighbours, for all mankind, making only that distinction which justice requires; a distinction between those more nearly and more distantly related to us. For to a right understanding of a part of a subject, it is always necessary to view that part in connexion with the whole; any particular precept must be viewed in connexion with all the precepts of revealed religion and all the fairly deduced principles of natural religion: justice has claims as well as benevolence.

But even according to the most guarded and most moderate exposition of this second commandment, how elevated and how benevolent is the morality of our blessed Saviour! how distant (yea, infinitely removed) from the spirit of selfishness, from the hard-hearted individualism which makes one's apparent or seeming immediate selfinterest the master principle. According to the doctrine of Jesus, much that is praised and lauded in the world as

great generosity and meritorious benevolence, sinks down to the level of simple duty; and if we examine ourselves by the precept of Christ's second commandment, we shall, I fear, find ourselves as much deficient as we before did in reference to the first and great commandment. Yes! who can say that he has loved his God with all his heart, and soul, and strength; and his neighbour as himself? I believe that no merely human being could in truth say so, since the day that Adam sinned. But let us not therefore think that the first and second commandments, which we have this day considered, are not the rule of our duty. The non-attainment of the highest degrees of piety and virtue does not furnish an excuse for us, but must be considered as our sin, and should lead us to the Saviour. Would we but ourselves begin to love God and love our neighbour, as Heaven has directed; and did all who approve of the principle use rational means to diffuse it, what a comparative paradise might this earth of ours still be.

According to the principles taught by our Saviour Jesus Christ, those persons greatly err who place religion, or true piety, in the back ground. To love God is the first, the great, the greatest commandment: to love our neighbour is, indeed, like it; but it must rank second. True morality is necessarily founded on true religion; but to sink religion, and consider morality disconnected with it, is to put down what Jesus taught, and to elevate to a higher place our own notions of the due importance and right order of things.

Our first great duty, as individuals, is to get and to cherish scriptural ideas of the Divine Being; for he has, in the sacred Scriptures, revealed himself to men. And having attained right views of the divine character, we must reverence, obey, and submit to him. Good morals will follow. Make the tree good, and the fruit will be good. A pure spring will send forth pure streams. Pious and virtuous principles will ensure pious and virtuous conduct. This procedure is what enlightened self-love dictates; and if we must love our neighbour as ourselves, it becomes our duty to employ every innocent and virtuous means within our

power to diffuse the same knowledge, principles, and conduct amongst our neighbours.

I think they greatly err, who suppose that active, zealous benevolence, and beneficence, are all very well and very praise-worthy; but still, as long as one is harmless, the omission of active, zealous benevolence is not to be censured, and will not be blamed nor punished by heaven at the last, the final judgment. Ah! remember how the Saviour represents that awful day:-"Depart from me, ye cursed."—And why? I was an hungered, and ye gave me no meat; I was thirsty, and ye gave me no drink; I was sick and in prison, and ye visited me not. They reply, with confidence and arrogance, "Lord, we never thee." Well, true!-but, inasmuch as ye did it not to one of the least of these (my people, your neighbours), ye did it not to me. I never knew ye. "Depart from me." And these shall go away into everlasting punishment; but the righteous, who are described not only as the just, but rather as the benevolent, shall go into life eternal.


I mean not now to insinuate that a man may not innocently withhold his aid from some plans and pursuits which other people think benevolent; every man must judge for himself as to the channel of his benevolence. These remarks will only apply to those who are generally indifferent to the welfare of their fellow-creatures.

Whilst I plead the cause of the natives here, I do not forget our native land, and our immediate relatives, and our poor kindred; and, some of us can say—our own children. No! let all these have their share of our regard, but let us not limit our regards by the circle of our kindred.

I must confess I think it a fault in European Christians, to speak with but little feeling of kindness and consideration for those we denominate "the Natives." Things, however, are improving, and there are many exceptions to this censure; but still I doubt if we have come up to the soberly interpreted meaning of the divine command, to love them as ourselves. There is a way of putting down all such grave ideas, by a little levity and ridicule: but the

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