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3. When he says I am the Lord thy God, he engages that all the attributes and perfections of his glorious nature ahill jointly conspire and be forthcoming for thy good ( Srs, immediately upon the breach of the first covenant, all the attributes of God put on an air of wrath and vengeance againit man; hence Adam, after he had anned, falls a trembling and flees in among the thickets of Paradise to hide himlelt. But O! the divine attributes, as they thine in the face of our Immanuel, and are displayed through his blood and satisfaction, appear with an air of grace, love, and picy, inviting finners to come and thelter themselves under them, from the wrath and curle due to them for sin. So that when God lys, I am the Lord thy God, it is upon the matter as if he mould say, () impotent and helpless sinner, come under my shadow, take me as thy own God, and my power shall be einployed to help and protect thee. O foolish and bewildered linner, my wil. dom fhall be chine, to direct and instruct thee. O polluted finner, who haft “lien among the pots, my holiness thall fanctify thee, and “make thee like the wings of a dove," &C... O guilty finner, my mercy Thall pardon thee; yea, my juflice Thall acquit thee, on the score of the ransom that I have found: my goodness shall supply all thy need, and my truth and faithfulness is impignorate to accomplish all the promises unto thee: my omniscient eye shall “run to and fro, through the whole earth, to shew myself strong on thy behalf:” my providence shall be employed to manage all things for thy good and advantage : « I will ride in the heavens for thy help, and in mine ex. cellency on the skies.”

4. I am the Lord thy God; i. e. Whatever I the infinite and eternal God can do for thy advantage, it shall not be wanting. And what cannot the arm of omnipotency do! “ he doth great things, yea, wonders without number." : What wonders has God wrought for his children and people, in all ages of the world ? It was he that saved Noah by water from perith

ing in the flood. It was he that made a lane for Israel through - the deeps, as if it had been dry land. It was he that dislol

ved the flinty rock into floods of water, suspended the fury of the devouring flames, and stopped the course of the sun. “ His hand is not shortened, that it cannot save.” Now, whatever that omnipotent arm, that “ stretched out the heavens, and laid the foundations of the earth, can do for thy salvation, it shall not be wanting. All this, and infinitely more than I can name, is wrapped up in the bosom of this covenant-grant, which is here laid as the foundation and ground of our faith,

I am the Lord thy God. And thus much concerning the promise. VOL. II.

II. The II. The second thing proposed was, to speak a little of the precept subjoined or annexed unto this covenant promise, Thou shalt have no oiher gods before me. And, in speaking to the precept, I shall observe the same method as in discoursing upon the promise; 1. By premising some remarks. 2. Inquire into its import. ,

First. I would offer some remarks upon it. As,

1. I remark, that as the promise, I am the Lord thy God, is given forth by a God in Christ; so the precept in this situation must needs come from the same fountain. This law or commandment must be viewed as in the hand of a Mediator, and not of an absolute God. The reason is plain, because the command obliges us to have him as our God, to love and trust him as our own God, whịch a finner cannot do, but only as he is in Christ. Here the command stands under a covenant of grace, as is evident from the preface. Indeed, if that glorious preface, or covenant-grant, I am the Lord thy God, had not gone before the command, we might have taken it as coming from an absolute God; but, taking the precept in connection with the preface, we must needs take up the law here as in the hand of a reconciled God in Christ, and as coming from that glorious fountain. And therefore let us say, with the church, « The Lord is our judge, the Lord is our lawgiver, the Lord is our king, and he will save us."

2. This commandment of the law, Thou shalt have no other gods before me, narrows and extends its obligation upon the children of men, in a suitableness to the revelation that he makes of himself. When God reveals himself only by the works of creation and providence, as he doth to the heathen world, then this commandment obliges us to know and acknowledge him as a God Creator and Preserver, but when he superadds to this the revelation of himself as a reconciled God, a redeeming God in Christ, then the law fuperadds a new obligation, namely, to know and acknowledge him as such, and to claim hiın as the God of salvation; a faving, pitying, pardoning Gode 1

3. As the promise, I am the Lord, thy God, is the leading and fundamental blefing promised in the covenant of grace, which draws all other blellings along with it; fo this precept, Thou fhalt have the Lord JEHOVAH as thy God, is the leading and fundamental duty of the law, which sweetly and powerfully constrains the soul to obey all the other commands of it. The reason of this is plain : when a person is determined to know and acknowledge God as his own God in Christ, it binds and obliges him inevitably not to bow down to images, or to give that wor{hip and glory to any other, which is due to him alone; he will be concerned to fančtify the name of God, and his holy Sabbath, and in a word, to have a respect unto all his commande ments. Hence it is that faith in Christ Jesus (which is just the first commandment in other'words) is so much inculcated in the scriptures, particularly of the New Testament; yea, we are expressly told, that “ without faith it is impossible to please God;" and " he that cometh unto God, must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him."

4. That the command and promise are of equal extent; so that every man that is bound to obey the command, or to have a God in Christ as his own God, is concerned in this promise, I am the Lord thy God; or, in other words, he is as much obliged to believe this promise with application, as he is obliged to obey the command. The reason of this is plain, because a believing the promise with application, is the very thing that the first command requires of us; and the promise is the very ground and foundation of that faith that is required in the command; and the foundation of faith must be as extensive as the command of believing, unless we would fay, that God commands men to believe, without giving them a foundation to believe upon : so that, if I be obliged to have the Lord as my God, then it is lawful, yea, plain dury for me viewing the covenant-grant, to say to the Lord, “ Thou art my Lord.”

5. As the promise is indefinite, I am the Lord thy God, without mentioning any, or including any, but pointing to every man in particular; fo the precept is indefinite, Thou shalt have no other gods before me, without mentioning any particular person to whom it extend3. And I think it is observable, that both the promise and precept are in the fingular number, as if God spoke to every individual. And I do think that Infinite Wisdom has fo ordered it of design, that no man might neglect the promise, that thinks himself bound to obey the precept. The legal heart of man is ready to fall in with this command of the law, and own its obligation; while, in the mean time, it rejects the promise, as a thing it has no concern in. What more ordinary, than to hear some, especially under awakenings of conscience by the law, 'fay, O it is a fad truth indeed, that I am a debtor to the law, and obliged to obey it! but as for the promise of God, I am the Lord thy God, I have no inter: it or concern in it. But, Sirs, whatever you may imagine, I tell you, that by this way you are separating what God has joined; he has joined the command and the promise together, therefore let not your unbelieving hearts or legal spirits put them àfunder; for you can never obey the first command without

closing

closing with this promise, I am the Lord thy God. But more of this afterward. . Secondly, I come to inquire what is included or required of us in this command of the moral law, Thou shalt have no other gods before me. I do not design to launch out in opening of this precept in its greatest latitude, or in telling you of all the duties required, and Tins forbidden, in it; that which I have especially in my view, is the obligation that it lays upon us to receive and believe the promise, I am the Lord thy God. And for clearing of this, there are only these few things I name, as included in this commandment.

1. This commandment obliges us to believe that God is, which is the first and fundamental truth both of natural and revealed religion; and except you' be established in the faith of this, you believe nothing to purpose. We cannot open our eyes, or look upon any of the creatures of God, whether in the heavens above, or in the earth beneath, but this truth must shine into our minds with such a glaring evidence, that one would think there were no need of a command to oblige us to believe it.

2. This command obliges us to believe, that he is such a God as he has revealed himself to be in his word and in his works. It binds us to believe all the displays that he has gi. ven of his eternal power and Godhead, in his works of creation and providence ; but especially us, who enjoy the revelation of his word, to believe every thing that he has revealed of himself there; as, that he is a Spirit, infinite, eternal, unchangeable, &c.; that he is but one God in three perfons, Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, the same in substance, equal in power and glory ; that from eternity he decreed all things that come to pass in time; that he is the great Creator that made all things of nothing, by the word of his power, in the space of six days, and all very good ; that by his providence he preferves and governs all his creatures, and all their actions; and that this great God in the “ fulness of time, was manifested in the flesh,” in the person of his eternal Son, and became a Redeemer and Saviour of loft sinners; that he was “ made under the law, to redeem them that were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of fons;" and in a word, every other thing that God has revealed of himfelf.

3. This commandment requires us to believe and be persuaded, that this glorious God is the chief good of the rational foul; that as his glory is to be our ultimate end, fo our chief happiness lies in the enjoyment of him alone ; Thou malt have no other gods before me ; i.e. Thou shalt place thy chief happiness in the enjoyment of me, who am the Lord thy God. So

that,

thar, wnen God commands us to have him as our God, he commands us to be happy for ever in hiinself, and to say with David, " Whom have I in heaven but thee? and there is nonerin all the earth that I desire besides thée.”

4. This command requires us to affent unto every word God fpeaks, as a truth of infallible verity, and unto the truth of this promise in particular; that he speaks the truth in his heart, when he says, I am the Lord thy God. And therefore, not to believe that it is as God says in this promise, is to call God a liar; it is an impeaching of his veracity in the promise, and a contempt of his authority interposed in the command. From whence it appears that an unbelieyer breaks the very first command of the law of nature.

5. This command requires us, not only to believe the truth of the promise in general, buí to believe it with particular application of it, each one of us unto ourselves. It is not a ful. filling of the contents of this command, to believe that he was the God of Israel, or the God of the visible church, or the God of the elect, or of all that believe in him, for all this do the devils and reprobates believe ; but we must believe, know, and acknowledge that he is our God; and every one for himself must say, in faith, with Israel, “ He is my God, I will prepare him an habitation.” The first command requires of us a faith exactly corresponding unto the promise : now, the promise is to every one in particular, I am the Lord thy God; and the com. mand runs parallel with it, pointing out every man in parti. cular, Thou shalt have no other gods before me : and therefore it is a particular applying faith that is here required and called for. Perhaps this may appear somewhat furprising to those who nee ver considered it, that by the first commandment, they are obliged to believe that the Lord is their God by covenant grant and promise. They believe that he is their Creator, and Preserver, and Benefactor; but they never thought he was their God by covenant-grant, or that they were bound to believe it with application, till once they found themselves so and so qualified. To take down this fortress of unbelief, I would only have you consider,

At, If ever there was a time since you had a being, and had the law of God intimated unto you, wherein you was free from the obligation of the first command of the moral law, as it here stands connected with the covenant or the promise ? No, surely. And if so, there was never a time wherein you was not obliged to believe, know, and acknowledge the Lord as your God, upon the ground of the covenant grant': and all the time you have neglected to do so, you have been living in tisobedience to the firit command; and while the firit command

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