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summarily love to God and man. Thus our Lord epitomises or fums chem up, Matth. xxii. 37, 38, 39, 40. On these two commandinenis häng all the law and the prophets. Every step in this way, is taken under the influence of love, and sweetned by love.
2. It is a peaceable way. Luk. i. 70. To guide our feet into the way of peace. Prov. iii. 17. All her paths are peace.... In this way they have peace with God. He is reconciled to them, and has a special favour and friendship for them. Joh. xiv. 23. If a man love me, be will keep my words, and my father will love him.
Again, in this way, they have peace of conscience. Pfal. cxix. 165. Great peace have they which love tby law, and nothing swall offend shein. Great quiet of mind, is to be found in the way of righteousneis. Ifai. xxxii. 172 The work of righteousness fall be peace, and the effect of righteousness, quietness and assurance for ever.
3. It is a safe way. It gives fafety to them that are in it. Thus, there is safety against wandring. Isa. xxxv. 3. It shall be called the way of holiness.---The wayfaring men, though fools, shall not ert therein. Those that are Tec out in this way, though never so weak and simple, shall not wander out of it, so as to miss of eternal life. Again, there is safety against burt. In this way, nothing shall do them any real harm. Psal. cxix. 165. Nothing fall offend them. In this way, they are under the guardianship of holy angels. Psal xci. 11. He shall give his angels charge over thee, to keep thee in all thy ways. Yea, the power of God is engaged for their preservation. i Pet. i. 5. Who are kept by the power of God ihrough faith unto salvation. God will carry them safe to heaven, noţwithstanding all the malice and rage
of men and devils. 1 Tim. iv. 17, 18. I was delivered out of the mouth of the lion, and the Lord Mall deliver me from every evil work, and will preserve me unto his heavenly kingdom.
4. It is the best way. It is said exprefly to be a good way, Fer. vi. 16. Ask for the old paths, where is the good way, and walk iherein. And it is not only a good' way, but also the best way. In this way, there is the bejz company. It is the way of good men, Prov. ii. 20. And these are the most excellent men in the world, Pfal. xvi. 3.-.- Again, this way leads to the best place. It is the way to heaven. Maith. vii. 14.
The narrow way leadeth unto life. It leads to heaven, which is a better place than this world, Heb. xi. 16..--- Again, this way brings to the enjoyment of the best good, even God. Gen. v. 24. Enoch walked with God, and he was not, for God took him, i. e. to himself in heaven.
Some things may be added by way of Direction.
Direct. 1. Let us be sensible of our own inability to guide ourselves. We have not, naturally, skill and wisdom, to discern the way in which we fiould walk : and if left to follow our own coupsel and judgment, we should do as they did, Ifai. vi. 29. Call evil good, and good edil: put darkness for light, and light for darkness ; bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter. We thall embrace error, rather than truth ; and take the way to hell, to be the way to heaven. And when the way of truth and holiness is made known to us, and understood by us, we cannot as of ourselves get into the way, and walk therein; but shall fhun it, or foon leave it, thall mistake our way or turn out of it. The wiselt and best of men will subscribe to that acknowledgment, Jer. x. 23. O Lord, I know, the way of inan is not in himself : it is not in man that walkech, to direct bis steps. This unskilfulness and impotency of our's, we must be duly fenoble of; otherwise we shall never accept of Christ for our Leader, and resign up ourselves to his conduct. The proud Pharisees, who conceited they had light and sight enough of their own, scorned to go to Christ for dire&tion in the way to life.
Direct 2. Study the word and example of Jesus Christ. llis word, is our rule ; and his life, is our pattern. Christ's guidance of us, is always according to these. He leads us into a conformity to his own holy will, and holy life. He makes us to order our conversation according to his word, and to walk even as he himself walked. If therefore we would be guided by Jesus Christ, we must labour to be more and more acquainted with his revealed will, and his holy walk. It is in vain to expect the conduct of Christ, and yet remain willingly ignorant of that, according to which our lives are to be squared. Nay, it is impossible for us to be led on in the right wav, if we know it not. We should then labour to grow in the knowledge of Jesus Christ and his will, desiring to be more and more conformed there. unco ; chen are we in the way of Christ's leading us.
Dire&t. 3. Cherish the gracious motions of the Spirit of Chrift. Our Lord is withdrawn from his church on earth, as to his bodily presence. But the want of this is made up, by the presence of his holy Spirit with them. By this blessed Spirit he does all that for them, which he did when bodily present with them. By his Spirit, he particularly leads them into the ways of iruth and holiness, and upholds them therein to the end. We Thould therefore give a ready entertainment, to all che operations of the holy Spirit upon our souls. If he lets light into our minds, discovering fin and duty, we should thankfully entertain it. If he quickens us unto dury, gives us any enlargement of heart in it, carries us comfortably through it, we should welcome such experiences, withal afcribing praise to the Spirit of grace. This will be the way to have further experience of his powerful, blessed influences.
Direct. 4. Let us be earnest in prayer to Jesus Chrim for his guidance of us. The gate is strait, and the way is narrow, which leads to heaven ; there is great danger of mistaking it, and there is much difficulty and oppofition in it. And if the Lord do not afford us his special direction and assistance, we shall never find, nor choose, nor walk, nor hold out in, the way that leads to eternal life. We had then need to be frequent and fervent in prayer to Jesus Christ, that he would take us by the hand, and lead us through this evil world, in safety, unto glory. One of the best of men, even the man after God's own heart, saw his need of divine guidance, and
often besought God in prayer for it. And let the pecitions, which in this case he put up to God, be ours also. Pfal. xxv. 4, 5. Shew me thy ways, O Lord, teach me thy paths : lead me in thy truth, and teach me. Pfal. cxix. 133. Order my steps in thy word. And cxxxix. 23, 24. Search me, O God, and know my heart ; try me, and know my thoughts. And see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.
Thus for the second doctrine.
Doct. III. Jesus Christ is given of God to be a Commander to the people. This is the third title here attributed to Christ; which has a special reference to his kingly office, exercised in his state of exaltation.' For explication,-
Quest. 1. What is implied in Christ's being a comqiander to the people ?
Answ. 1. His giving laws to them. As a commander, he has a legislative power belonging to him. jjai. xxxiii. 22. The Lord is our law giver. He has full right and authority to ordain laws, and enjoin obedience unto them. Matth. xxviii. 19, 20. Go ye therefore and tcach all nations ---teaching them to observe all things what foever I have commanded 30u. His commands are universally binding, fo as that all men are bound in conscience to observe them. These commands of his, are contained in the holy feriplures, which are the word of Christ, Col. ii. 16. The blefled Bible, is the statute book of that great King, comprising in it all the laws and ordinances of his kingdom.
Answ. 2. His exercising a governing providence over them. As a commander of the people, he actually bears Tule over them. Ifai. ix. 6. The government fall be upon bis shoulder. The management of providence is committed to him. Pfal. xxii. 28. The kingdom is the Lord's, and he is governor aining the nations. The whole world is under his government, but more especially the church and people of God. He governs boib his friends and his foes, but in a very different way and manner. To instance here briefly....
(1•) He governs his enemies, in a way of power.. Tha' they do oppose him, yet he has them under his powerful command. Psal. cx. 2. Rule thou in the midst of thing enemies. He so rules among them, as to overpower them, limic and restrain them. Pfal. Ixxvi. 10. Surely the wrath of san fhall praise thee, and the remainder of wrath shalt thou restrain. He will suffer no more of their wrath and rage to break forth, than what he will over-rule for his own glory. He sets bounds to their wrath, beyond which it cannot pass. And as he restrains them at his pleasure, so he can, and will, by his power destroy them. Psal. ii. 9. Thou shalt break them with a rød of iron, and dash them in pieces like a potter's veljel. (2.) He governs his people, in a way
of government over them, is most gracious and favourable. He protects and defends them from ruin and destruccion by faran and his instruments. Ifai. xxvii. 3. I the Lord do keep it, I will water it every moment ; left any burt it, I will keep it night and day. He orders and difposes all things, even their greatest afflictions and persecutions, one way or other for their good, Rom. viii. 28. He pours out his holy Spirit upon them, whereby they are disposed and strengihned to serve him, and work out their own salvation. Afts. ii. 33. Being by the right hand of God exalted, and having received of the Father the promise of the Holy Ghost, he barb foed forth this which ye now see and bear... Thus for the second answer.
Answ. 3. His dispensing rewards to them. As he is a commander, he has a difpenfative power belonging to him. The difpenfation of all things is in his hands. So that he has power, not only to make laws, but also to see them executed, according as men are found obedient or disobedient thereunto. He is such a commander, as has the power of life and death lodged with him. He is a lawgiver that is able to save or destroy, Jam. iv. 7. Accordingly he is ordained to be the
judge of all men. Akts. xvii. 31. He haib appointed a day, in the which he will judge the world in righteousness,