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Inf. 1. Does God require from meni obedience to his revealed will? Then in whatsoever ftate a man is, he owes obedience to the will of God; and therefore in the saddest of sufferings, even in hell, men properly fin against God. For this obedience is founded on the natural dependence of the creature on its Creator, and the creature can no more be free of it than it can be a God to itself. Much more God's exalting men in the world gives them no allowance to be vile. Whatever mens state be, God requires of them obedience to his will therein ; and they are rebels

if they with-hold it, and shall be dealt with as such ..accordingly.

2. The doing of what God does not command can be no acceptable service or obedience to God. Our duty to God is not to be measured by our imaginations,

but by the revealed will of God. Therefore when men - make those things to be duties which no revelation

from the Lord makes to be so, the Lord may well say, Who hath required these things at your hand? . Nothing but what is commanded of God can lawfully be the object of our duty.

3. Those who never heard the gospel, will not be condemned for their not believing it ; for the revela. tion of God's will must go before our actual obliga. tion to do it, Rom. ii. 12. As many as have finned without law [that is, the written or revealed law of God] fall also perish without law. This ought to stir up all who bear the Christian name, to be vigorous and lively in obeying God, particularly the great com. mand of believing in the name of his Son: as confidering, that whosoever doth not so obey and believe the gospel, shall be damned, Mark xvi. 16.

4. All men are allowed for themselves to examine the will of their superiors, whether in church or state, to see whether it be not against the will of God; and if it be fo, not to obey it, I Cor. X. 15. The Bereans were commenced for io dying, Acts xvii. 11. There is a difference betwixt subjection and obedience. Thefe Vol. II,

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object pohose who never headlieving it; for the holica. two may be separated in our dealings with men that are our superiors; we may and mult refufe obedience to them in evil actions, while subjection to them remains in other things. Thus the apostles Chewed lubjection to the Jewilh rulers, while they refused to obey their unlawful commands, Acts iv. 8. 9. 19. God alone is Lord of the conscience, and hath left it free from the doctrines and commandments of men, when they in any respect claíh with his written word.

To obey mens unlawful commands, is to fin againt God. But in our relation to God, we owe him both fubjection and obedience in all things.

5. Let us remember then that we owe a duty to God, and that is, that we obey his will. Let us therefore lay out ourselves to do his will, and give that fincere, constant, tender, ready, vôiversal, and perfect obedience to him in all things, which he requires, looking for acceptance with God through the merits and mediation of Chrift; praying to him, that he may graciously forgive all our acts of difobedience, and cover our very imperfect and finful obedience with the perfect and complete obedience of his Son, who fulfiled all righteoufness in the room of his people.

6. Lastly, Let believers be excited to yield this obe dience to the will of God, as they have the most poble encouragement thereto, namely, That whatever God requires of them as an article of duty, there is a pro• mile of ability and strength for the performance thereof contained in his word. Thus he fays, Ezek. xxxvi. 27. I will cause you to walk in my Natutes, and J'e mall keep my judgements, and do them. The Lord puts Đo piece of service in the hands of his people, but he will a{ford them fufficient supplies of grace for the doing thereof. Let them not then decline any duty he lays before them.

Romans ii, 14. 15. For when the Gentiles, which have not the law, do by

nature the things contained in the law, these, having - not the law, are a law unto theniselves ; which thew

the work of the law written in their hearts, their con. fcience also bearing witness, and their thoughts the mean while accusing or else excusing one another. THE apostle here shews three things. 1. That

I the Gentiles have not the law, that is, the law of Moses, or written law. They want the scriptures, 2. That yet they have a law within them, they are a law to themselves'; they have the natural law, which for substance is all one with the moral law, Only it is less clear and distinct, and wants the perfection of the moral law written; several points thereof being, through the corruption of nature, obliterated in it.

3. How they have it. It is not of their own making, unor by tradition, but they have it by nature derived home from Adam: The work of that law is written in their Libearts; it is deeply intcribed there, and cannot be o erased; it is fuch a work as tells them what is right w and what wrong ; so their consciences by vircue blo thereof excuse their good actions, and accuse the evil, i Now, this natural law is nothing else but the rub.

bilh of the moral law left in the heart of corrupt man; from whence we gather, that the moral law in its perfection was given to Adam in innocence, while

we see the remains of it yet with those of his poltes 1) fity, who have not the advantage of the written law, The doctrine arising from the words is,

' Docł. " The rule which God at first revealed to at man for his obedience, was.thç moral law." : First, It is here supposed, that man always was and is under a law: for being a rational creature, capable of obeying the will of God, and owing obedience to his Creator by virtue of his natural dependence upon

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him, he behoved to be under a law. The beasts are · not capable of government by a law, because of the

imperfection of their nature; so those that will be law-
less, seeing they cannot lift up themselves to the
throne of God, who has ng superior, they do in ef-
fect caft down themselves to the condition of beasts,
whose appetite is all their rule. Indeed all the crea-
tures are subjected to laws suitable to their various
natures. Every thing has a law imprinted upon its
being. The inanimate creatures, fun, moon, and
Nars, are under the law of providence, and under a
covenant of night and day. Hence it is said, Pfal,
cxlviii. 6. He hath established them for ever and ever,
he hath made a decree which shall not pass. They have
their courses and appointed nocions, and keep to the
just points of their compass. Even the sea, which is
one of the most raging and tumultuous creatures, is
subjected to a law. God hedges it in as it were with
a girdle of land, saying to it, Hitherto halt thou come,
but no further: and here llall thy proud waves be stayed,
Job xxxviii. 11. But much more are rational crea-
tures subjecę to a law, feeing they are capable of elec:
tion and choice. Man especially, being a rational
creature, is capable of and fitted for government by a
law; and seeing he is an accountable creature to God,
he must needs be under a law,
Quest. How could map be under a law, before the
law was given by Mofes, for we are told, that the
law was given by Moses, but grace and truth came by
Jesus Christ, John i. 17.?..

Anf. Before the law was given at Sinai, all the race of Adam had a law written in their hearts, even the light of reason, and the dictates of natural consciente, which contained those moral principles concerning good and evil which have an essential equity in them, and the measurts of his duty to God, to himself, and to his fellow.creatures. This was publithed by the voice of reason, and, as the apostle' says, Rom. vii. 12. was holy, just, and good : Holy, as it enjoins things

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holy, wherein there is a conformity to those attri. butes and actions of God, which are the pattern of our imitation.--Juft; that is, exactly agreeable to the frame of man's faculties, and most suitable to his condition in the world.-Good; that is, beneficial to the observer of it; for in keeping of it there was great reward. And thus Adam in the Itate of innocence had the law of God written on his heart'; and therefore it is said, Gen. i. 27. that God created manj in his own image, in the image of God created he him. This image consisted in the moral qualities and perfections of his soul. He was made after the image of God, in righteousness and true holiness. The Lord imparted to him a spark of his own comeliness, in order to communicate with himself in happiness. This was an universal and entire rectitude in his faculties, disposing them to their proper operations. But of this I spoke largely, when discoursing of the creation of man *.

Secondly, There are three forts of laws we find in the word..

1. The ceremonial law, which was given by Moses. This bound only the Jews, and that to the coming of Christ, by whom it was abrogated, being a shadow of good things that were then to come: a hedge and partition-wall betwixt them and the Gentiles, which is now taken down,

2. The judicial law, which was the civil law of the Jews, given alto first by Moies, by which their civil concerns were to be regulated, in respect of which the Jewish government was a Theocracy, What a happy people were they under such a government: Yei does it not bind other nations further than it is of moral equity, being peculiarly adapted to the circumstances of that nation,

3. The moral law, which is the declaration of the will of God to mankind, binding all men to perfect obedience thereto in all the duties of holiness and rightfousness. The ceremonial law was given to then as

* See. vol. i. f. 243. & feq.

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