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upon these men's foundation, I will therefore bring some arguments to prove the inseparable connexion between the two commandments, the love of God and the love of our neighbour. And,
First, a man cannot love his neighbour aright, until he be endued with the love of God; because he has no principle of love in his heart. Man in his natural state, or, as our church expresses it, man before he receives the grace of Christ and the inspiration of his Spirit, has no holy, pure love of any kind. All his affections are placed upon wrong objects, and directed to wrong ends. They are turned from God, and placed upon those objects, the love of which he has forbidden, and they are directed to the pleasing of self, and not to the glory of God. This is the scripture character of fallen man. He has no brotherly love. And how should he have any? for he has no natural affection. He acts contrary to those very instincts by which the brutes act invariably. With all his boasted reason, and dignified faculties, he is in social life lower than a brute: for are there. not parents who have no love for their children, and children who have no love for their parents? Is it not a common thing to find a family divided against itself, and Cain persecuting Abel unto death ? And what principle of love can he have in his heart who is thus without natural affection ? Natural affection ties men together with the strongest bonds of love, but all these he breaks asunder; and therefore it is just as possible that any brotherly love should be in him, as that a fountain should send forth at the same time sweet water and bitter. But,
Secondly, the natural man is not only without a principle of love, but is also described by that God who created his heart, and knows it intimately, to be actuated by a principle of hatred. Until he has some of the love of God shed abroad in his hear“, he cannot have any true love for his neighbour: because he is absolutely under the influence of vicious self love, and while this reigns in the heart brotherly love can
have no place: nay, it will be absolutely shut out, as the apostle shows, Titus, iii. 3—“ We ourselves also: (as well as others) sometimes lived in malice and envy, hateful, and hating one other.” When did he, as others, live in this malicious, envious, hateful state?
he says, a slave to these base tempers, until the kindness and love of God our Saviour was manifested to him; and therefore, until this bė manifested to any inan, he must be a slave to the same tempers. He cannot be delivered from them by any hu
No knowledge, no power of philosophy, no system of morality, no stretch of genius, nor re. finements of polite life, can make a man less hateful in himself, or less disposed to hate others. Had not the Romans all these advantages and yet we have this character of them drawn by an infallible pen. They were filled with all unrighteousness, covetousness, maliciousness, full of envy, murder, debate, deceit, malignity, whisperers, backbiters, haters of God, despiteful, proud, boasters, disobedient to parents, covenant-breakers, without natural affection, implacable, unmerciful. Thus were they hateful, and hating one another; and such is every man before he receives the grace of Christ. He has all these evil tempers in him which the Romans had.
But some perhaps may ask, what is the cause of this universal depravity of man's affections? The corruption of his nature is the true cause: for all our evil tempers spring from the corrupt heart. The fountain is polluted, and therefore the streams run foul. Out of the heart, says our Lord, proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, with the other abominable deeds of the flesh, some of which the apostle mentions by name, Gal. v. 20, such as hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, envyings. These are in every heart: for the imagination of the thoughts of the heart is only evil and that continually; con ually evil, because continually set against the love of God, and against that love of our neighbour which the will of God requires us to pay him. Surely then
this heart must be changed, before brotherly love can enter into it. Grace must work upon its evil tempers, and the Spirit of God must subdue them, that love and its sweet dispositions may rule in the heart. Love first takes place in us, when the Spirit of God sheds it abroad, and manifests to us the pardoning love of our God. Then a new principle of love takes possession of the heart, which strives against and conquers our selfish tempers. But until this be done by the spirit of love, there is nothing in any man but self. His views are all narrow and selfish. The end of all his pursuits is self seeking, and the end of all his enjoyments is self pleasing. This is God's own account of his fallen creature man.
And what says matter of fact? Is this man's real character? I shall endeavour to prove, under my
Third argument, that it is. Experience demonstrates it. Look around you, my brethren, and see what men are doing. Does love reign in every breast? Are they studying how to make each other happy, and rejoicing in each other's happiness? No. The contrary spirit prevails. Is there any little village free from disputes and quarrels? Where is there any large business or manufactory free from contention and envy among the various persons concerned in carrying it on ? If they be all of one mind and of one heart, is it not generally a wicked combination to enrich themselves, by oppressing others? Is there any trading city, whose merchants rejoice in the prosperity of others as in their own? Is there any state free from parties? Blessed be God for the lessening of party spirit among us! It has received a great blow, but it is not dead. It is only waiting for some public misfortune to give it a specious occasion of raising fresh disturbance and confusion. And look into the present melancholy state of Europe ; where do you find brotherly love? O where can it subsist amidst the horrors of war! It was not brotherly love which raised armies, ranged them in order of battle, put them upon action, and made brethren rejoice in
the slaughter and death of each other. Brotherly love has not a more distressing sight, than while it surveys a field of battle, upon which there lay ten or twenty thousand unhappy men slain in one day. These are awful proofs of the ascendancy which hatred has in the human breast. It has got possession, has seized the throne, and has entirely banished all brotherly love. The fact is notorious; for men are every where complaining of the miseries which they ineet with in social life; and they do not complain without reason. The time is come when this character is fulfilled. “ Men shall be lovers of themselves, covetous, proud, boasters, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, without natural affection, truce breakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good, traitors, heady, high minded." Is not this a real picture of mankind? Do we not find these unsociable tempers prevailing among them at this day, and do not these demonstrate that man is incapable of having any true love for his neighbour, until he have the love of God in his heart?
But, supposing that man in his natural state could do some seeming acts of love to his neighbour, yet they would avail nothing without the love of God; which is my fourth argument.
Since fallen man has not the love of God in his heart by nature, nor is capable of attaining it by any means in his own power, the great business of religion is to bring him to love God, and to keep the first and great commandment; which the gospel alone can enable him to do. Moral philosophers have been trying, but they have always failed. They make religion consist in the duties of the second table, omitting the first, which is the same thing as if they laid the foundation in the air, and built the house downwards. Morality has no foundation without the love of God. All moral obligations to brotherly love fail in their motives and in their end. Their motives are like so many ropes of sand. They have no force to bind and tu oblige the conscience. We have many men who write and speak learnedly about moral duties, but here they fail; they can offer no obligation strong enough to overbalance the propensity in the sinner's heart against those duties. His heart pleads more strongly against them than they can plead for them. They may talk eloquently to him of the beauty of virtue, and inay argue with him closely upon the fitness of things, and may try to persuade him by a fine chain of reasoning, to act agreeably to the nature of things, and to the moral sense, and they may recommend the whole from the charms of universal benevolence. All this looks very pretty in theory, and may make a fine system of the religion of nature delineated : but bring it to practice; offer these motives when self love has some favourite passion to gratify, or self interest has some great prospect of advantage, and what is the consequence? The man is deaf to all your moral arguments. They cannot reach his heart, nor open and enlarge it to receive brotherly love, but leave it still under the power of its selfish tempers. These have too deep a root in nature to be driven out by the mere dint of moral reasoning. Grace alone can subdue them; and when grace places the love of God in the heart, then it delivers the affections from vicious self love, and makes them act by a con: stant uniform principle of love to the brethren.
And as morality fails in its motives, so does it also in its end. It proposes a wrong end. The glory of God should be the end of all our actions; but moral men seek their own glory by their works; for they suppose that their works are meritorious, and can procure them the love and favour of God by way of desert. Thus they set aside faitli, without which no moral works can be acceptable. Faith alone directs us to a right end, and proposes the right means to attain it, and every act and exercise of faith towards the attaining of it is well pleasing unto God. But morality, without faith, cannot please God: for it is an adjudged case in scripture, " that without faith it