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Privileges of Obedience.

Privileges of Obedience.

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Published by GLENN DALE PEASE

BY JOHN STYLES, D.D.



" Great peace have they which love thy law : and nothing shall
offend them." — Psalm cxix. 165.

BY JOHN STYLES, D.D.



" Great peace have they which love thy law : and nothing shall
offend them." — Psalm cxix. 165.

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Published by: GLENN DALE PEASE on May 10, 2013
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PRIVILEGES OF OBEDIECE.BY JOH STYLES, D.D." Great peace have they which love thy law : and nothing shalloffend them." — Psalm cxix. 165.The great secret of all true felicity is obedienceto the will of God. It is therefore of infinite mo-ment that we should be acquainted with the ruleand principle of obedience, and that its delightfulPRIVILEGES OF OBEDIECE. 129effect in promoting our happiness should be soexhibited to our view, and impressed upon ourhearts, as to induce and secure the performance of it. This is one great end of an evangelical mi-nistry : and the Scriptures furnish us with an almostinfinite variety of topics, which rightly understoodand enforced, cannot fail, under the Divine bless-ing, to conduct us to it. This object is broughtdirectly before us in the text. It presents uswith,I. The Rule: II. The Principle: and III.The Privileges of Obedience." Great peace have they which love thy law, andnothing shall offend them."I. The rule of obedience is the law of God : or, in other words, his whole revealed will,as it embraces the obligations of universal holiness.Of this law we may observe,1. That it is Divine in its origin.2. Spiritual and extensive in its requirements. Itis the law of a sovereign with whom are the trea-sures of knowledge and wisdom, and who prescribesa reasonable and just law for the government of 
 
the mind and heart, as well as the outward deport-ment. The laws of men respect actions only;but God demands an inward and spiritual homage.He must likewise be obeyed, through the mediumof every duty which we owe to ourselves, our fami-lies, and society at large.3. This law, as it is unquestionable in its autho-rity, is perpetual in its obligation. It is sufficientfor us to know that it is the law of God, and that130 THE RULE, PRICIPLE, ADit is suited to man as a rational and accountablecreature, to satisfy us of the truth of this observation.It is the will of Him who is the greatest, the wisest,and the best of beings ; who is our Creator, Pre-server, and Redeemer. These considerations mustestablish its authority; and no possible circum-stances in which we can be placed have power torelax its obligations. It is not abrogated by thefall of man. It is not abrogated by his recovery.It is not peculiar to any dispensation of religion.It was essential to Judaism, but not peculiar to it.Christianity recognises and establishes it. Christ-ians are not their own masters, at liberty to followtheir own ungoverned inclinations; they are theservants of Christ, and must yield obedience to hiscommandments. These commandments are insubstance the same with the moral law of God.The servants of Christ, though free from the con-demning power of the law, are not discharged fromtheir obedience to the precepts of the law. Thoughno longer depending for acceptance with God ontheir own moral performances, they are not withoutlaw to God, " but under the law to Christ." Theyreceive the law from the hands of Christ, as therule to which all their actions, thoughts, and tem-pers must be conformed ; as the rule, by their con-formity to which their final state will be adjudged,and their future rewards proportioned." Do we then make void the law through faith ?God forbid : yea, we establish the law." The doc-trine of salvation by grace, through faith, far from
 
weakening the obligations to morality, increasesPRIVILEGES OF OBEDIECE. 131them tenfold. Our unceasing endeavour to fulfilthe whole law of God, is the most unequivocalproof of love to Christ, and an indispensible evi-dence of an interest in his merits. " If ye love me,keep my commandments. Ye are my friends, if ye do whatsoever I command you. The grace of God, which bringeth salvation, hath appeared untoall men, teaching us that, denying all ungodlinessand worldly lusts, we should live soberly, right-eously and godly in this present world." Such,then, is the rule of obedience. Let me now,II. Direct your attention to its principle,WHICH IS LOVE." Great peace have they which love thy law."Love is said to be the fulfilling of the law. " Ohhow I love thy law !" is the devout aspiration of every pious mind. There can be no acceptableobedience without love. Where it exists it mustgovern ; and there is nothing which it cannot ac-complish and endure. What makes sin strongerthan conscience, and more alluring than the joysof heaven? — love. It is loved; therefore con-science is silenced, and heaven is relinquished.What makes obedience and the most painful self-denial mightier than the passions, and successful inspite of the temptations of the world? — love. Observeits power, my brethren, in the instance of the Sonof God. It brought him from heaven : under its in-fluence he humbled himself, became incarnate, andappeared upon earth in a bodily shape, in the formand fashion of a man. Impelled by love, he obeyedthe law, magnified it, and made it honourable : love132 THE RULE, PRICIPLE, ADconstrained him to die the death. Behold him," despised and rejected of men, a man of sorrows,

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