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2 promise of mercy in the general, and that not par: ticularly to those that keep that command, but all the commandments.
Queft.2. But does the law promise any thing but to perfect keeping of its commands ? and if so, what are we the better?
Anf. 'We must distinguish betwixt the law as a covenant of works, and the law as in the hand of Chrilt for a rule of life to believers. As it is a covenant of wo:ks, nothing less than perfect obedience can interest men in the promise; for the leait failure knocks off the man's fingers from the pro. mise by virtue of the curse, Gal. iii. 10. Cursed is every one that continueth not in all things which are written in the book of the law to do them. So that we can be nothing the better of this promise. But Christ being the Surety of the better covenant, ha
a he takes the same law in his hands, and gives out the commands of it as a rule of life to his covenanted people, and renews the promises of it to their fincere obedience of them, i Tim. iv. 8. Godliness is profitable unto all things, having promise of the life that now as,
and of that which is to come. As for the curse of it, they hear of it no more, he having borne it away himself. And so he crowns the fruits of his own grace in them with bleffed rewards. And as all these promises are yea and amen in him ; fo for his fake, through faith in his blood, they are obtained
In the words we may consider tliese three things; the Llesling promised, the place where it is to be enjoyed, and the regard the Lord allows his people to have to that blelling to further them in obedi
First, The blessing promised; that is, long life; trat, thy days may be long. It is a temporal mercy, a mercy much délired ordinarily by all men, and
got is then that keep this commandment.
ruta ags here to be considered. F-E. W is meant by mens days being long. Hercegs.
Si Piur. iv. 10. The years of thy life Tieur Death in its best colours has fome
ce about it. It is a diffolution of Stics, which nature shivers at. But there
zut it; all must die ; they must go ori cat dark valley to their eternal itaie. Eize be that can be made of it is promised ice. i that such thall be full of days, and not be Ciawi dill they be ripe for the fickle. Frrricy to accompany that life; for non
Tare, tita efi. Long life in miseries is ced death rather than lite. So that the na
di chi thing teaches us, that a prosperous long e is here promited. It is a good old age, Gen. xv. 1 And thus the apostle explains it, Eph. vi.
The nur be well with thee, and thou mayst live Sextir. That long life is in itself a mercy, and hervis promifed. There are many things that parx eternity mens delires of long life.' Old cminarily accompanied with a train of miferies; iu Alonger the godly live, they are the longer Rre out of heaven. Yet there are four things that make this long and prosperous life here promised pin en gedly's keeping of this command, a great
Riad good old age is an honouradle thing, Prov. Wiki Yign Lory kead is a crown of glory, if it be wowe in 'ry of righteousness. God commands a puittar reverence to be given to old men, Lev. Anni". Pies incit rise up before the hoary head, and in or Shin Atama apie the old man. It is true, fin and
tpoils che greatelt glory, and no man is piparraldiare the devil than a wicked old man, 11. lxv, Wine femme, her song" an hundred years old, shall be ac
Old age is
cursed But it is an honourable character which the Spirit of God puts on Mnafon, Acts xxi. 16. an old difeiple
. And old godly men are molt like God, Dan. vii. 9. Rev. i. 14:
2. It is profitable for the 'exercise of godliness, in so far as it makes them proof against many temptations which youth often carries men headlong unto, 2 Tim. ü 22. The frothiness and fire of youth dying out thro' time, their grace is the better it wants them. : Young people's grace may be more bulky, but old people's grace, though of less bulk, is more worth, because it is more folid. Though new li. quor may work and swell up more, the old is better. John was the loogest lived of the apostles, and wrote last of them. In his younger years he could bave burnt whole towns for Christ, Luke ix. 54. ; but if rye will look to his epistles written in his older days, they breathe nothing but love, and meekness, and folid gndliness.
34 Long life makes way for the more proofs and experiences of the goodness of God on the earth,
John ii. 13. The young foldier may be more mettled and venturous ; but the old soldier is more to be trusted, because of his experience and skill. It is no fmall advantage to have been an eye-witness of the several appearances God has made for his church, and of several storms that have gone byen her head. 9:47 Laftly, They have the larger opportunity of glorifying God here, and being serviceable in their ganeration, the longer they live on earth ; and therefore thall have a larger measure of glory hereaftery as they have been more serviceable for God than others, 2 Cor. ix. 6. How many are cut off in their early days, while they were just budding for the honour of God and the service of the cherchd: It is better for themselves, that they are foph taken away, but the church is less the better of them, Phil. i. 23. 24. The Spirit of God takes VOL.III.
abroad their own shame in speaking to the discredit of their relatives ; contempt of arid despising one ano ther. All these are quite opposite to conjugal love of 2. Against that faithfulness they owe to one another in respect of their bodies, is infidelity in the gross breach of the marriage-contract, desercing and leaving one another, and defrauding one another. In respect of their means is all idleness, mismanagement, and wastery. And in respect of their souls, is unconcernedness about thein, being at no pains to inftruct, admonith, and watch over one another; and if at any time they tell them of their faults, it is to their reproach, being before others, or in their passion, so that it can do no good. And much more then whey become snares and hinderances to one another instead of meet helps, leading and provoking their relatives to fin against God, and ruin their own souls.
Wives particularly sin against their husbands, by casting off all reverence to them, carrying themselves imperiously towards them, being disobedient, wilful, and intractable, and like Vashti, Elth. i. 10. 11. 12. who would not come to the king, when sent for by chim, will not go an inch by their own will to pleale thein. It is not their honour to command, whose province God has made it to obey, Ezek. xvi. 39. Eph.
Husbands sin against their wives in dealing untenderly with them, tyrannising and domineering over them in a masterful way, not protecting them from the insults of others, nor providing for them; giying them that are their wives no trust, but making them like Nabal accountable to the utmott farthing; nor
encouraging and praising them when they do well molt of all in beating them, in ute only with furious or mad men, Eph. V. 25. 29.
Secondly, As to parents and children:
1. Children fin against their parents by disobedience to them., Such are in the midst of the black roll, Rom. i. 30. and are in a near way to ruin, Prov. XXX,
17. So do they by all irreverence to them, and slight ing and dishonouring them in word and deed, Deuts xxvi. 16. and much more by cursing of them, Exbda xxt. '17. Many again fin against God and their pía rents, being unteachable, and will not hearken to their instruction, Prov. v. 7. ; they will not take a harp word from them, but their hearts rise against them and it too, Prov. xiii. 18.; and others, thongh they will bear with words, yet they are stubborn, and trill' not submit to correction, Deut. xxi. 18. 19. And what will we say of those that like cursed Ham make ajęłt of their parents infirmitres, waste their substance, and prove unnatural and hard-hearted to them when they are old and in distress? Prov. xix. 26. Finally, they 1 by disposing of themselves to callings or in marriage without consent of their parents, Gen. xxvi, 34. 35
2. Parents sin against their children many ways, while they are not concerned for them wliile infants, but miany are careless as to the bringing up of their children to some honest employnient, but by encou. raging them in idleness, prove a fnare to them. Most men, if they bring their children to be able to fhift for a livelihood to themselves, think they have done enough, while they have been at pains to bring them up for God. Many will learn them to work that will not learn them to read, pray, 6C. What thall we say of those that will learn them to ban, fwear, lie, pick and steal, and encourage them in luch things? Some kill thicir children by cockering of them; they indulge thein fondly to their ruin. And how indiscreetly will parents dote on one child by another, where it is not grace but mere fancy that makes the
difference? Gen. xxv.28. Some, on the other hand, ļ are wofully liarsh to their children, and break theis
spirits, by holding them to short by the head that they are driven to cxtremities, using theın as drudges sä ther than as children, immoderately beating them when they are in a fault, and inveighing again.: tucana