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we are unjust. If we are not perfectly just, we are unjust. If
withhold from your
you neighbour a single penny which belongs to him; if you defraud him in
transaction of the smallest sum ; if you impose upon him ever fo little, if you injure him in any one of his rights, though it be of all his rights, the least considerable ; you are unjust. God therefore simply commands you to do juftly. These words require of you to do justice in every particular; for otherwise
you justly. They comprehend every act of duty which is a branch of justice. · They leave nothing unrequired. But mercy is in its own nature capable of gradations. Of two persons, of each of whom it may not improperly be affirmed that he is merciful, the one may be more merciful than the other. The commandment therefore does not say, “ Thou shalt do mercifully;" or, “shalt shew mercy.” Had such been the expression, men would industriously have persuaded theinselves that by small, or moderate, or occasional acts of mercy they sufficiently obeyed the commandment. What is the injunction ? " Thou shalt love mercy:" thy heart shall be constantly set on deeds of mercy: they shall be thy study: they shall be a delight unto thee. Hear with what Hear with what energy of language, mercy in all its branches is enjoined throughout the Scriptures. Be ye merciful, as your Father also is merciful. Be kindly affectioned one towards another in brotherly love; in honour preferring one another. Rejoice with them that rejoice, and weep with them that weep, Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamour, and evil Speaking be put away from you with all malice. And be
kind one to another, tender-hearted, forgiving one another. Walk in love as Chrif loved us. Love your enemies, do good to them that bate you ; bless them that curse you ; pray for them which despitefully use you. Be ready to distribute, willing to communicate. If any man seeth bis brother have need, and foutteth up his bowels of compasion from him : bow dwelleth the love of God in him? Remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how he faid, It is more blessed to give than to receive (6). Take your Bible into your hand. Examine yourself by these palsages of holy writ. Consider them one by You will thus discover whether
you love mercy. If you truly love mercy : it will be your pursuit and your pleasure to perform acts of mercy.,. You will not idly
(6) Luke, vi. 36. Rom. xii. 10; 15. Ephes. iv. 31, 32, V. 2. Matth. v. 44.
1 John, iii. 17. Acts,
I Tim. vi. 18.
wait until opportunities of exercising kindness may chance to force themselves upon your notice. You will anxiously search for them : you will delight in availing yourself of any one, however small, which
arise. In every one of your fellow-creatures you will behold a brother, whom God, your Creator, formed ; for whom Christ, your Redeemer died. The temporal welfare, the everlasting interests of that brother, will be dear to your heart. You will bear with ignorance, with peevishness, with enmity, with ingratitude, as a Christian.. You will regard the offences of others against yourself as wisely adapted to admonish you of your own infinitely greater offences against God. You will not conceive that you discharge your duty as to almsgiving by accommodating the scale of your gifts to such a portion of your income as would remain not only when the demands of reasonable prudence but when the claims of fashion and pleasure should have been fatisfied to the utter moft. You will habitually discipline and moderate your defires, and curtail ail needless expences; that you may have the more to give to him that needeth.
3. Thirdly: You are to walk bumbly with jour God. To walk with God, signifies, in the 7.
language language of Scripture, to be a faithful and zealous fervant' of God. Thus it is said of Enoch, that he walked with God: and he was not. He was no longer to be found on earth, for God took him. His piety and holiness were so eminent that God distinguished him by translating him alive into heaven. Again, we are told that Noah was a just inan, and perfeet in his generation; and Noah walked wiih God. And his heavenly Master as a signal reward preserved him and his family from the deluge. We, like these holy men of old, and like the righteous in all ages who have trodden in their footsteps, are also to walk with God. And, like them, we are to walk : humbly with our God. We are to bring our whole hearts as well as our actions into subjection to the divine will. If you would obtain salvation, you must become like the Israelite to whose enquiries the words of Micah were a reply, humbled to the dust in sorrow for
your guilt, and fervently desirous of submitting to any method of reconciliation with the Majesty of heaven. But are you like that Ifraelite, looking round for burnt-offerings to present unto the Lord ? My Son, God will provide himself a lamb for a burnt-offering (c). Would you give your first-born for your tranfgref
(c) Gen. xxi. 8.
fion; the fruit of your body for the fin of your foul? Not your first-born is the atonement : but the only begotten Son of God. His must be the blood wherewith you come before the Lord and bow yourself before the
Most High. Look to the cross of Christ, and • to that alone. Disclaim all presumption, all boasting, all self-righteousness, all dependence on your own strength to will or to perform. Present yourself before God, not as a Pharisee demanding reward as a debt: not as a vaunter professing to be rich and bearing payment in his hand, for a blessing which he would purchase : but as a finner imploring pardon and mercy through Christ, as otherwise totally unattainable, as in every point and circumstance the free and unmerited gifts of divine grace. Look through Christ to the Holy Spirit for power to refift temptation, for power to form good resolutions, for power to carry them into effect. Remember that while God refifteth the proud, it is to the bumble that be giveth grace (d); When you have done all, confess that you are an unprofitable servant to your Lord; that you
have done only that which was your bounden duty. This it is to walk humbly with your God in the general frame and temper of your soul, In all the changeful situ(d) : Pęt. v. 5: