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are facts; the spirit in which he investigates thena is that of the utmost candour; and the deductions he makes from them, and the reasonings he founds upon them, are the most simple, natural, and logical. The study of his works is, for these reasons, a most wholesome exercise of the mind. And, inde. pendent of the views he inculcates, the manner in which he treats any subject is such as all should imitate.

There is, besides, an elevation of thought in his writings, that is most improving. He carries

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his reader into a new world, and he feels as if he breathed a purer atmosphere. Such a thing as personality could not exist in his mind. In his writings he often commends, almost never censures. Exposition, and not controversy, is his work. Truth, and not vietory, is his aim. He bears his reader aloft to the high altitude of his own musings, and so exercises, and trains, and elevates, and ennobles his whole mind. This is the true secret of the lofty dignity of his style. His soul is enlarged, and be finds it hard to get words suited to its utterance. Yet there is simplicity; for true genius is always unaffected, and dignity is joined with simplicity., Great a man as Dr. Chalmers is, we are much mistaken if he ever considered himself such.

Nor would we omit the practical character of his writings. Whatever doctrine he handles, be treats in relation to its practical application. His principles are made to bear upon the practices of men. There is thus a usefulness in bis writings, That is almost peculiar to them. He does not write for fame, or favour, but to serve his day and generation. If ever a man earned the Saviour's testimony, we believe it is he," he hatli done what he could."

The Sin of Cruelty to Animals. G. DRUITT, Belfast.

This is a tract containing a mass of scriptural information on the subject of which it treats, and citing the principal Acts of Parliament that are necessary to be known, for the punishment of offenders and the guidance of the benevolent. We wish it extensive circulation.

THE

ORTHODOX PRESBYTERIAN,

No. LXXXI.

June, 1836.

Vol. VII.

ON THE NATURE AND INFLUENCE OF

LOVE TO GOD.

It has been laid down, as a general law of human nature, that whenever we are placed within reach of any being of imagined power, but of unknown purpose, that being, instead of becoming the object of love, becomes the object of terror and dismay. In accordance with this principle, which we believe to be a correct one, the Supreme Being must not be contemplated merely as possessed of infinite power, calling things out of nothing into existence, if we wish a principle of love to obtain an introduction to our hearts. Neither must he be regarded merely as the providential governor of the world, guiding and directing the whole system of the universe to the ends which he has appointed. Neither must-he be viewed as a being possessed of natural excellencies, unconnected with moral excellencies; for eternity, immensity, immutability, 'omnipresence, omniscience, and omnipotence, viewed apart from his moral perfections, instead of producing a principle of love in our bosoms, would only inspire us with dread and distrust. He must be contemplated as a God of love, -as a reconciled Father in Jesus Christ. It is only by meditating upon the love of God, as manifested in the gift of his Son, that this principle will be generated in our souls. Whilst we see the justice of God demanding satisfaction for the violation of his law,-the truth of God pledged to execute the threatenings of that law against us--the holiness of God, which cannot look upon us without detestation and abhorrence, there will necessarily be produced in us a sense of danger, and a dread of punishment. But let our minds be so illuminated by the Holy Spirit, as to see the justice of God satisfied by the sufferings and death, and active obedience of Emmanuel, --his truth magnified and made honourable, whilst we are delivered from condemnation,--his holiness maintained inviolate, while, at the sanie time, we are looked upon with acceptance, be

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upon in the face of his anointed; in a word, let us behold God under the blessed and endearing character of “ God our Saviour,'' and all our slavish fear and dread will be dissipated, love will take possession of our souls, we will lay down our weapons of rebellion, and make a hearty sur. render of all that we have, and all that we are, tu bis authority.

To love God supremely, and to love our neighbour as selves, are the sum of the moral law. When the lawyer asked Christ, “ Which was the great commandment in the law ?” Jesus said unto him, “ Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandocent. And the second is like unto it. Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets." Now, we are not hence to conclude that these are two affections differing from each other,--one towards God, and another towards our neighbour. The affection in both cases is the same, only exercised upon different objects. It is of love, as exercised towards God, that we are, at present, to treat ; and in analysing the affection, we find it contains the following elements :-complacency in the excellencies of his character,- gratitude for his kindness,--delight in his happiness, filial fear,-and a desire of appropriation.

1. Love to God includes complacency in the excellencies of his character. It is essential to the existence of love, that there be the perception of some amiable quality, real or super posed, in the object of our affection; some moral excellence, calculated to excite our admiration and esteem,--some residing virtue, which at once captivates the mind and the beart, and de. mands our complacency and approbation. Now, in accordance with this principle, the original ground of love to God seems to be the essential excellence of his divine character. In him are manifested all the lineaments of moral grandeur. In him are to be found a loveliness and an amiableness, a moral dignity and a glory, which are not to be met with in any created intelligence; for all the excellencies of finite creatures are but a faint representation of that assemblage of excellencies that reside in the person of the Godhead. What a view of the divine character is presented to us in the 34th chapter of Exodus. Tbe tabernacle being finished and set up for worship, Moses was anxious to have just views of God, and therefore entreated that he would show him bis glory. The Lord, in great condescension to lis servant, “passed by before him, and proclaimed, The Lord, the Lord God, merciful

and gracious, long suffering and abundant in goodness and truth ; keeping mercy for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin, and that will by no means clear the guilty."? Such is the character of God. It is infinitely excellent in itself, and demands, in the highest possible degree, the supreme approbation and complacency of all his intelligent offspring. In this proclamation of his name, we see holiness and justice combined with mercy and goodness ; so that the whole of the divine character may be summed up in one short sentence, “a just God and a Saviour.” Now, this love of moral esteem, of which we are speaking, has reference to all the perfections of God. It does not single out any particular attribute, and make that the favourite object upon which all its delight and complacencies are concentrated, while other features of his character are overlooked or disregarded. No; we are to love God for what he is, and for all that he is. We are to love him for his justice and his holiness, and his truth, as well as for his mercy and his goodness. It is only they, indeed, into whose minds bath shone the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ, that can thus take complacency in his entire character; for until the sinner can look upon God in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, and not imputing unto men their trespasses,until he can behold the sword of justice, instead of being un. sheathed and directed against himself, awaked against the shepherd, and smiting the man that is God's fellow,-until he can enter into the meaning of that portion of Scripture,

Mercy and truth have met together, righteousness and peace have kissed each other,"'-until he can behold these apparently opposite attributes harmoniously blended together in the cross of Emmanuel,--the love of complacency, for all that God is, can obtain no place in his heart; on the contrary, he will still continue to have a partiality for some particular perfection of his moral nature,

-a fondness for some feature of his character, while his other attributes, which are essential to our very notions of Deity, are thrown into the shade. But, let the singer behold God as exhibited in the life and character of Christ, and he will then be able to look, with perfect calmness and tranquillity, upon all that is venerable and awful in the character of the Deity. There is nothing in it but what is exactly suited to his taste. His whole soul would recoil from the thought of it being different from what it is ; so that the person who loves God supremely, takes complacency in every excellence of his character.

II. Apother element in love to God is gratitude for his kindness. The former element is love to God for wbat he is in himself. That which we are now to consider, is love to God for what he is towards us. In the oue case, we look at the goodness of God in the abstract ; in the other, relatively, as directed towards ourselves. , It is the view which I have of the excellencies of God's character that produces in my heart the love of complacenoy. It is the view I have of his kindness, as exercised upon myself, that originates within me the love of gratitude. And let us here remark, that this affection does not consist in loving an individual merely for benefits bestowed upon us, but for benefits bestowed from benevolent motives; for it is obvious, that a person may load: us with his favours, for the purpose of displaying bis liberality; or from some mercenary interest, while he does not entertain one kind intention towards our person. In order that the love of gratitude may be excited in our bosoms, and kindled into a lively flame, we must take a minu and expansive sur vey of all the manifestations of his loving-kindness, which we have bitherto experienced. Our very being is the overflowing of divine goodness. Not only has he brought us into ex. istence, but he has given us all that makes existence, valuable,

-the air which we breathe, the raiment with which we are clothed, the food which satisfies our hunger, the water which allays our thirst, the sleep which refreshes and invigorates our bodies, and fits us for engaging, with renewed alacrity, in the business of life, all are the expressions of the divine bounty, and call forth our liveliest gratitude : But let us not merely contemplate these emanations of his kindness, which, though highly important and valuable in themselves, are still inferior to those higher exercises and enjoyments of which our natures are susceptible. Think of the high rank which we occupy in the scale of being : think of the many privileges with wbicha we are favoured. We have the Bible, the daily and prayerful study of which will teach us, wbat views we are to entertain concerning God, and what duty be requires from us towards himself, and towards one another,--the Sabbath, with all its endearing and hallowed associations,--the ordinances of religion, which are so many wells in this dry and arid wilders ness, for refreshing and strengthening those who are journeying with their faces towards Zion. Above all, let us think of the love and kindness of God so eminently displayed in devising, executing, and applying the work of redemption. Lotus meditate upon the glory of that inheritance, which is incor

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