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and walked humbly with his God, I doubt not he would at once reply with sufficient assurance, that he did the whole of these. It is indeed to be hoped that many might make this reply without departing very widely from the truth. On the other hand, however, the justice, the mercy, and the humility in respect of their Creator, which many others would picture to themselves in making such a reply, .would be very different from what these qualities must necessarily be when unfolded and explained by the precepts and example of Jesus Christ. In order therefore, brethren, to apply securely and correctly to yourselves the directions which are anywhere to be found in the Old Testament, you must of necessity call in the New to your assistance. By such a method, and by such a method alone, will you

be enabled to ascertain whether your demeanour is more or less deserving of reproof than was that of those who were so frequently rebuked by the prophets of old. By such a method will you be enabled to ascertain the extent of your failings, and thereby enter upon the only sure road that leads to repentance and amendment, and which will conduct you to life eternal, for the sake of Jesus Christ.




Observe and hear all these words which I com

mand thee, that it may go well with thee, and with thy children after thee for ever, when thou doest that which is good and right in the sight of the Lord thy God."

It has been already suggested, that the ceremonial rites and the religious observances which were imposed upon the Jews, were numerous, and certainly, when compared with the plainness and simplicity of the injunctions of the Gospel, to a certain degree irksome and laborious. One or two selections from the chapter of which our text forms part will be sufficient to attest the truth of this remark. “ Thither ye shall bring your burnt offerings, and your

sacrifices, and your tithes, and heave offerings of your hand, and your vows, and your freewill of ferings, and the firstlings of your herds and of

your flocks.” And afterwards we read :-“ If the place which the Lord thy God hath chosen to put his name there be too far from thee, then thou shalt kill of thy herd and of thy flock, which the Lord hath given thee, as I have commanded thee, and thou shalt eat in thy gates whatsoever thy soul lusteth after. Only be sure that thou eat not the blood: for the blood is the life; and thou mayest not eat the life with the flesh. Thou shalt not eat it; that it may go well with thee, and with thy children after thee, when thou shalt do that which is right in the sight of the Lord.” Not only, therefore, in their religious rites and duties, but even in respect of the food of which they commonly partook, were the Israelites required to perform and observe many minute regulations, or otherwise to forfeit the protection of the Most High, and to subject themselves to the wrath and indignation of his offended majesty The necessity, on the other hand, of obeying these divine injunctions, is clearly and intelligibly conveyed to us in the words of our text. “ Observe and hear all these words which I command thee, that it may go well with thee, and with thy children after thee for ever, when thou doest that which is good and right in the sight of the Lord thy God.” In the foregoing passage, however, there is an expression which contains a far more specific and precise meaning than any that would harmonize with a mere vague injunction to do our duty to God. The expression to which I allude is the beginning of the verse which has been just recited. “Observe and hear all these words.” It was as though Moses had said to the Israelites: Not only are you expected and enjoined to display a disposition to do your duty to God by performing for the most part, and in a general way, the injunctions of the law, or by doing what you might carelessly and inconsiderately flatter yourselves to be your duty; but none even of the most minute and apparently insignificant commands are to be neglected. Numerous and varied as these are, still have they been enjoined by God, and therefore must the whole of them, without exception, be most religiously and most punctually performed. If this, brethren, be the meaning of the advice which Moses imparted to the Israelites, what inference ought we not to deduce from it, who have been freed from the yoke of such burthensome ordinances, and placed under the more perfect, as well as the more mild dispensation of Jesus Christ. It was this incarnate Son of the Almighty God, this unprecedented and most extraordinary prophet, whom Moses had declared that the Eternal Father would in the fulness of time raise up like unto himself;—he it was who declared, undoubtedly in reference to the grievous and burthensome dispensation of the law, that His "yoke was easy and his burthen light.” And we all of us know that the few ceremonies of the religion of Christ are a mere nothing, when compared with those to which the Jews were subject. But these, it appears, were to observe and hear all the words which Moses commanded them, if they expected that it would be well not only with them but even with their children after them. On the other hand, it is clear that, if even one of these were wilfully and deliberately transgressed, they themselves, and their children likewise, would suffer in consequence of the transgression. This principle of justice, which has been established by the Almighty as correct and immutable, is likewise conveyed to us in language to which we are all of us well accustomed: “I the Lord thy God am a jealous God, and visit the sins of the fathers upon the children of the third and fourth generation of them that hate me, and shew mercy unto thousands in them that love me.” It does not come within the scope of our present purpose, to enquire to what extent the former part of this declaration may be qualified in order to reconcile it to our notions of mercy and justice. We have merely now to contemplate the cause which produces so lamentable an effect as misery to ourselves and to our descendants of three or four generations. In the case of the Israelites, it was the transgression of one out of the many ceremonial ordinances which were imposed upon them. Can we, therefore, suppose that, if few only of these be imposed upon us, we shall escape the wrath of the Most High, if we wilfully and obstinately neglect them, even if we wilfully and obstinately neglect one of them ? Such a supposition would be most unreasonable and absurd. Let us proceed, then, to apply the conclusion, to' which we have arrived, to the case of ourselves, and, indeed, to the case of all who have been baptized into the Church of their Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ.

The ceremonies which are for the most part


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