Deuteronomy 6* A persuasive to obedience. (1-3) An exhortation to obedience.(4,5) Obedience taught. (6-16) General precepts, Instructions tobe given to their children. (17-25)1-3 In this and the like passages, the "commandments" seem todenote the moral law, the "statues" the ceremonial law, and the"judgments" the law by which the judges decided. Moses taughtthe people all that, and that only, which God commanded him toteach. Thus Christ's ministers are to teach his churches all hehas commanded, neither more nor less, #Mt 28:20|. The fear ofGod in the heart will be the most powerful principle ofobedience. It is highly desirable that not we only, but ourchildren, and our children's children, may fear the Lord.Religion and righteousness advance and secure the prosperity ofany people. 4,5 Here is a brief summary of religion, containing the firstprinciples of faith and obedience. Jehovah our God is the onlyliving and true God; he only is God, and he is but One God. Letus not desire to have any other. The three-fold mention of theDivine names, and the plural number of the word translated God,seem plainly to intimate a Trinity of persons, even in thisexpress declaration of the unity of the Godhead. Happy those whohave this one Lord for their God. It is better to have onefountain than a thousand cisterns; one all-sufficient God than athousand insufficient friends. This is the first and greatcommandment of God's law, that we love him; and that we do allparts of our duty to him from a principle of love; My son, giveme thine heart. We are to love God with all our heart, and soul,and might. That is, 1. With a sincere love; not in word andtongue only, but inwardly in truth. 2. With a strong love. Hethat is our All, must have our all, and none but he. 3. With asuperlative love; we must love God above any creature whatever,and love nothing but what we love for him. 4. With anintelligent love. To love him with all the heart, and with allthe understanding, we must see good cause to love him. 5. Withan entire love; he is ONE, our hearts must be united in hislove. Oh that this love of God may be shed abroad in our hearts! 6-16 Here are means for maintaining and keeping up religion inour hearts and houses. 1. Meditation. God's words must be laidup in our hearts, that our thoughts may be daily employed aboutthem. 2. The religious education of children. Often repeat thesethings to them. Be careful and exact in teaching thy children.Teach these truths to all who are any way under thy care. 3.Pious discourse. Thou shalt talk of these things with duereverence and seriousness, for the benefit not only of thychildren, but of thy servants, thy friends and companions. Takeall occasions to discourse with those about thee, not of mattersof doubtful disputation, but of the plain truths and laws ofGod, and the things that belong to our peace. 4. Frequentreading of the word. God appointed them to write sentences ofthe law upon their walls, and in scrolls of parchment to be wornabout their wrists. This seems to have been binding in theletter of it to the Jews, as it is to us in the intent of it;which is, that we should by all means make the word of Godfamiliar to us; that we may have it ready to use upon alloccasions, to restrain us from sin, and direct us in duty. Wemust never be ashamed to own our religion, nor to own ourselvesunder its check and government. Here is a caution not to forgetGod in a day of prosperity and plenty. When they came easily bythe gift, they would be apt to grow secure, and unmindful of theGiver. Therefore be careful, when thou liest safe and soft, lestthou forget the Lord. When the world smiles, we are apt to makecourt to it, and expect our happiness in it, and so we forgetHim who is our only portion and rest. There is need of greatcare and caution at such a time. Then beware; being warned ofyour danger, stand upon your guard. Thou shalt not tempt theLord thy God; neither by despairing of his power and goodness,while we keep in the way of our duty; nor by presuming upon it,when we turn aside out of that way. 17-25 Moses gives charge to keep God's commandments. Negligencewill ruin us; but we cannot be saved without diligence. It isour interest, as well as our duty, to be religious. It will beour life. Godliness has the promise of the continuance andcomfort of the life that now is, as far as it is for God'sglory. It will be our righteousness. It is only through theMediator we can be righteous before God. The knowledge of thespirituality and excellency of the holy law of God, is suited toshow sinful man his need of a Saviour, and to prepare his heartto welcome a free salvation. The gospel honours the law, notonly in the perfect obedience of the Son of God, the Lord JesusChrist; but in that it is a plan for bringing back apostaterebels and enemies, by repentance, faith, forgiveness, andrenewing grace, to love God above all things, even in thisworld; and in the world above, to love him perfectly, even asangels love him.
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