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themselves injured by their neighbour, and think they do well to be angry. But they should remember, that they as little feel the fire of love inflaming their hearts, and working with that ardency which love to a creature often produces, when it excites to use every mean for the enjoyment of the beloved object. They cannot speak of Christ in the language and with the affection of his spouse, "HIм whom my soul loveth;" and as little do they feel "the zeal of his house eating them up."

As the curse is here denounced against the not loving of Christ, it is very remarkable that the execution of it in the last day, of which we have an account, Matt. xxv. proceeds in the same manner and on the same grounds. Christ does not say, I was sick and ye endeavoured to make me worse; I was in prison and ye cried, away with me, and crucify me. They are condemned for the want of what they ought to have had, and for not doing what they should have done. The evidence will be summed up in the same manner about loving and not loving his members. Thus he addresses the righteous, "Verily I say unto you, inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me;" and thus the wicked, "Inasmuch as ye did it not to one of the least of these, ye did it not to me." Therefore, when want of love is proved, the verdict is guilty, and the sentence, "Let him be Anathema."

4. God, in pronouncing sentence against such as love not the Lord Jesus, is no respecter of persons. If any man love not Christ, let him be accursed. God has no respect to any of these outward distinc

tions which bulk so much with the men of the world. If any person is found without love to Christ, whatever outward advantages he may have, he is sure to be condemned. Though he should be a man of shining talents, and say with others, "Lord, Lord, have I not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works?" Christ will reply, "I never knew you, depart from me ye workers of iniquity." Though he should be "a man under authority, having many under him, to whom he says, Go, and they go; Come, and they come;" yet, if he loves not Christ, his greatness and authority will avail him nothing: Though he should fare sumptuously every day," if he is without love to Christ, "in hell he shall lift up his eyes." On the other hand, if any man loves Christ, though he should be in the extreme of poverty and distress, and have no help of man at all, and only the dogs to lick his sores; yet, he shall be blessed, and an embassy of angels deputed to carry his soul into Abraham's bosom: but if, while poor and distressed, he is without love to Christ, possessing the spirit of the rich man without his fortune, he shall share the same fate in the other world; and his being starved in this, does not prevent his being damned in the next. Christ too, with his eyes as a flame of fire, will search Jerusalem, and see through the hypocrite's cloak, which covered and concealed, from the eyes of others, a naughty heart without love to the Lord. In short, let a man be ever so learned and wise, great or rich, possessed of more goods than his barns can contain; or let him be


ignorant as the veriest fool, or poor as Lazarus, with nothing to cover his back or fill his belly, still none of these outward considerations cast into the scale would be of any weight. The turning point is, if he has or has not love to the Redeemer; and if he loves not the Lord Jesus, his doom is Anathema.

5. That the gospel should always be preached with certification of the danger of neglect or despising it. In this epistle, Paul sets before the Corinthians the precious truths of the gospel very fully. He opens up Christ as "made of God unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption;" and the doctrine of the cross as "the power and wisdom of God." The great ordinance of the supper is opened up in its nature and ends: the great and leading doctrine of the resurrection is largely explained, and the consolation arising from it clearly pointed out. Duties are set before us, and urged upon us, and especially the great duty of believing. And to certify them of their danger, and assure them that they cannot escape if they neglect the great salvation, Paul, with his own hand, in the end of this epistle, sets up as a standing and conspicuous beacon, the awful words in the text.

In every part of Scripture, we find that other faithful teachers also pointed out the danger of despising Christ. Moses, when near the end of his life, said, "I have set life and death before you, the blessing and the curse." Most explicit was Christ himself in giving warning, "He that believeth shall be saved, but he that believeth not shall be damned." As God in his word gives faithful warning, the watchmen on

mount Zion ought, with fidelity and impartiality, to set the danger of sinners before them. They should say to the wicked, however great and mighty they may be, that it shall be ill with them. This is the appointed mean to prevent their bringing destruction on the sinner, and blood on their own head. The charge given to Ezekiel ought to be often studied, and carefully reduced to practice by all who are ambassadors for Christ. Ezek. iii. 16-22, “The word of the Lord came unto me, saying, Son of man, I have made thee a watchman unto the house of Israel: therefore hear the word of my mouth, and give them warning from me. When I say unto the wicked, Thou shalt surely die; and thou givest him not warning, nor speakest to warn the wicked from his wicked way to save his life, the same wicked man shall die in his iniquity: but his blood will I require at thine hand. Yet if thou warn the wicked, and he turn not from his wickedness, nor from his wicked way, he shall die in his iniquity: but thou hast delivered thy soul. Again, when a righteous man turneth from his righteousness, and doth commit iniquity, and I lay a stumbling-block before him, he shall die: because thou hast not given him warning, he shall die in his sin, and his righteousness which he hath done shall not be remembered; but his blood will I require at thine hand. Nevertheless, if thou warn the righteous man, that the righteous sin not, and he doth not sin, he shall surely live, because he is warned: also thou hast delivered thy soul."

6. A proper profession of love to Christ, not contradicted by the practice, is the grand criterion of

church communion. This was a direction and warning to the church. Unfeigned love to Christ includes some knowledge of his person and work, and that there is no salvation in any other; and it will not always lie dormant in the heart, but appear more or less in the life and conduct. Love to Christ and the want of it are two powerful principles, the one for producing, and the other for preventing and opposing holiness. When the church cannot see convincing evidence of want of love to Christ in those who apply for admission, and where there is some knowledge and a scriptural profession, she ought to judge charitably. But where there is a positive opposition to his doctrines, where his laws are trampled under feet, and no love to himself appears, as was the case with the false and seducing teachers at Corinth, the church ought not to receive such into communion, and bless with the seal of the New Covenant, when the great Head says, "Let him be Anathema, Maran-atha."

7. Once more, by the rule of contraries, these words imply the blessedness of all who love the Lord Jesus Christ. If there is something, the want of which infallibly entails misery, they must be blessed who have it. If all who want love to Christ are under the curse, and exposed to wrath; they are surely blessed who love him. Yes, one thing is needful to happiness, and every lover of Christ has chosen the good part which cannot be taken away. The believer was originally an enemy, a child of wrath, and under the sentence in the text; but the enmity of his heart has been broken, he has been made willing in a

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