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Motives to Duty.

Motives to Duty.

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MY meat is to do the will of Him that sent me,
and to finish his work.


MY meat is to do the will of Him that sent me,
and to finish his work.

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Published by: GLENN DALE PEASE on Jun 30, 2013
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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MOTIVES TO DUTY.BY THE REV. J. GRAT, M.A,JOH, CHAP. IV. VERSE 34.MY meat is to do the will of Him that sent me,and to finish his work.Scripture represents the whole animate andinanimate creation, as made to accomplish thedesigns, and to promote the glory, of God.Accordingly, we behold all things around usobeying his will, and fulfilling the ends of theirbeing. The sun and moon, and all the heavenlyorbs, praise their Almighty Maker, by observ-ing their appointed courses. The fire, the-(^now, the stormy wind, fulfil his sovereignword. Beasts and cattle, fish and featheredfowl, mountains and fruitful trees, all respec-tively and invariably accomplish the wisQ inten-tions of the Creator^.But when ^v^e turn our eyes to Man, what anexception do we discover to this general con-•* Psalm cxlvili,Z SER^fO I.formity unto the will of the universal Parent!How often do we observe this beings who boastsof his reason, at once assuming the sceptreover the lower creation, and degrading himself beneath it! How often do we behold him, bvcriminal negligence, how often by more cri-
minal activity, thwarting the views of Heaven,deranging the laws of the universe, and be-coming a fatal source of confusion among theharmonious works of God IThis want of conformity to the general obe-dience paid by created beings to the AlmightyGovernor, may be traced to that principlewhich exalts us above the rest of nature, oursuperiority in freedom of will. Man is, andwas designed by the Almighty to be, a moralagent. The obedience required from hiai wasappointed to proceed, not from blind instinct,or mechanical impulse, but from motives ad-dressed to his reason and conscience; — motives,which, as a free agent, he may, nevertheless,resist. While required to love and to seek thatwhich is good, he is possessed of all the powerof following what is evil; that the nature of hisconduct may be determined by a choice, an op-tion, a voluntary preference.He is, in a word, placed in a state of proba-tion : and it is difficult to form any conception of MOTIVES TO DUTY. ^Ssuch a state, without some liberty of yieldingobedience to proposed laws, or of acting inviolation of them. — Hence the same tonp-uethat should bless, may curse : — the same handmay wield the instrument of aggressive destruc-tion, that ought to hold forth relief to a fellow-creature : — the feet may be swift in run-ning to shed blood, which are formed to go onerrands of merc}^ : — and the intellect, bestowed
for the sacred purpose of ministering to truth,to utility, and to improvement, may be ren-dered subservient to artful devices; to the wilesof sophistry, and the plottings of depravity.In that trial, to which the obedience of ourgreat ancestor Adam was subjected, we beholda correct representation of our own proba-tionary condition. A certain commandment\vas given to him in Paradise : life was promisedto his observance of that commandment, anddeath denounced against transgression. Thusthe love of life and the fear of death on theone hand, and the allurements of the forbiddenfruit on the other, were the opposite considera-tions which acted on his intellect, and pleadedbefore his choice. — Transgression of every kindis OUR forbidden fruit. A variety of argumentsfor refraining from it are laid before us : andbetween these arguments, and the temptationsfrom which they dissuade us, our free choice^B 24 SERMO i.incited and aided, no doubt, but not forced, bydivine grace, has to decide.Circumstanced tlien as we are, having to work out our own salvation, by rightly using our rea-son, and by availing ourselves of the help so gra*ciously tendered, it highly behoves us to reviewthese arguments in favour of obedience to thedivine laws, to gather them together, to method-ize them, and to treasure them up in our remem-brance ; that their collected and united influ-ence may serve, under celestial grace, to coun-teract our tendency to evil, to defeat the assaults

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