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The Extent and Broadness of the Divine Law.

The Extent and Broadness of the Divine Law.

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Published by glennpease
REV. WILLIAM BRADFORD HOMER

1 HAVE SEEN AN END OF ALL PERFECTION: BUT THY COMMANDMENT IS EXCEEDING BROAD. Psa. 119: 26.
REV. WILLIAM BRADFORD HOMER

1 HAVE SEEN AN END OF ALL PERFECTION: BUT THY COMMANDMENT IS EXCEEDING BROAD. Psa. 119: 26.

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Published by: glennpease on Mar 23, 2014
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THE EXTENT AND BROADNESS OF THE DIVINE LAW. REV. WILLIAM BRADFORD HOMER 1 HAVE SEEN AN END OF ALL PERFECTION: BUT THY COMMANDMENT IS EXCEEDING BROAD. Psa. 119: 26. The Psalmist employs the word law and its synonymes in a most extended sense. In the text he designs to contrast the whole religious system with the vanities of life. He had seen an end to all earthly perfection ; as a quaint divine ex-presses it — ^^ Goliath the strongest overcome, Asahel the swift-est overtaken, Ahithopel the wisest befooled, Absalom the fairest deformed ;" and now with delight he turns to the ful-ness of religion, — its doctrines so complete, its requirements so ample, its promises so sure, its rewards so glorious. Thy commandment, he exclaims with his admiring eye on the vast and multiplied blessings of God's word, thy command-ment is exceeding broad. Included, and perhaps prominent in the mind of the writer, was the idea which lies upon the face of the text, the supe-riority of divine to human law. In his official career as a statesman and a monarch, he had seen an end to all perfec-tion here. The code of Moses divinely inspired as it was, and in its ampleness and wisdom calling for the admiration of every child of Israel, was yet subjected to all the limits and
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deficiencies of what was human and earthly. In what strik-EXTENT OF THE DIVINE LAW. 317 ing contrast to the tables of stone with all their accurate, mi-nute and magnificent detail, did the law of God stand forth in its simple majesty, and its comprehensiveness. Let us draw out this contrast in the present discourse, and consider the superior extent of the divine law, and its freedom from those limits which check the operation of human ordinances. It is not my design in the present discourse to detract from the honor and respect we all owe to those outward forms of law under which we live. They secure our peace and hap-piness, and they merit our gratitude. They are an echo of the divine law, a shadowing forth through earthly symbols of principles which are eternal, and they deserve our homage and veneration. But exposed as they are to the limits and imperfections of everything earthly and human, though as perfect as they could be, we should bear in mind that they are but an echo and a shadow. We should look away often, to the great archetype in that divine and eternal law, of which it has been so beautifully said, that '' her seat is the bosom of God, her voice the harmony of the world ; all things in
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heaven and earth do her homage, the very least as feeling her care, and the greatest as not exempt from her power, though each in different form and manner, yet all with uni-form consent admiring her as the mother of their peace and  joy." To exalt this great original, rather than to depreciate the imperfect copy, is my present design. I. I remark that the superior broadness of the divine law is manifest, from the fact that it is designed and fitted for the whole universe of moral beinors. *' The commandment is ex-ceeding broad ;" because it stretches out its arms to gather the moral universe under its sway. Its voice reaches every remote corner of space where spirit dwells, and its power is felt and acknowledged as far as its voice is heard. First, It can reach all moral beings. Human law of course issues its mandates for the earth alone, and on men alone can it execute its penalties. It can-27* 318 EXTENT OF THE DIVINE LAW.
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