Hopkins - HP BR75 .H65 1710

Firfl Commandment. 7' cnjoyns us a Work that in it felf is Wages, and yet promifeth U<; Wages for doing of that \Vork; when the Mercies he ha rh already given us do oblige us, and the Mercies he hath promifed yet to give us do allure us; certai!lly, wemuftneeds bc~hcmo!t. difingcnuous of all Creatures, and the greateft EnemieS to our own Happmefs, 1t thefc Confidcrations do not win us t o yield him that Obedience which redounds not at all to his profit and advantage, but our own. _ Thus you fee, how God bath inforccd the Obfer~·arion of his Law upon tls, both by l1is Authority and by his Mercy; the one to work upon our Fear, the other upon our Love, and both to engage us to Obedience. Now here it is obfervable, t hat in the rehearf.1l of thofe Mercies which ihonld oblige unto Duty, mention is made only of thofe which feem to concern the Ifnulites, and no other People, I am the Lord thy God, which brou(fht thee out of the land of Egypt, out of the houfo of bondage: From which fome would inrer, That the Decalogue ollly refpeCts them; and that the Commands then given, do not at all appertain unto us, no more than the Benefits comr:nemorated. But the Anfwer is ea lie: For this Mercy herementionedof Deliverance from Egypt, and the Houfe of Bondage, is to be underftood either Literally or Typically. If we underftand it Literally, "foin<ieed it refers only to the Peopleof Ifrael, whom God brought out of Egypt with a mighty Hand, and with a ftretched out Arm; and fuch a feries of Miracles, that they were almoft as ordinary as the common effeCts of God's Providence. But if we under!tand this Typically and Myftically, fo it is true, that God bath brought us alfo out of Egypt, and out of the Houfe of Bondage; and therefore tho inforcemcnt of the Commandments upon this account and confidernion, belongs ro us Chriftians, as well as it did belong to the Church of the :Jews; for Jbould we run llp the Allegory to the Spiritual fenfe of it, we Ihall find a wonderful Agreement betwixt them, Jnd a near Rcprefentation of our State in the State of the Jfr:relites; let it fuffice to complre them together only in a few remarkable Jnftances: As they were kept in Bondage under the rigorous Tyranny of Pharaoh, who fought both by Policy and Power to dcfl:roy them; fo were we kept in Bondage under the Tyranny of the Devil, of whom Pharaoh was a black Type and Shadow; and as God delivered thc;n from his hand by a Temporal Salvation, fo hath he dclivcred.us from the paw. er of the Dev il by :1 Spiritnal Salvation, redeeming us from the Oavilh Imploymcnt of lading our felves with thick Clay, and leading us through the Red Sea of his Son's Blood, in •Nhich ::~.11 our Spiritll:ll Enemies are deftroyed, and condutl:ing us thrmigh the Wildcrnefs of this World, unto the promifcd Canaan, that I .and that flowcth with I'vlilk and Honey, the Scat of Reft, and Eternal Joy and Felicity, even Heaven it [elf: and therefore, iftheconlidention of a Temporal Deliverance were fo pow· crfn l a Motive to in~age the lfraeltrcs unto Obedience; how much more effeCl:ually fl10nld we be obliged unto it, whofe deliverance is far greater than theirs WJS? for God hath delivered us from the power of Darknefs, and hath trannated us into the Kingdom of hisde:tr Son, ();/of. 1. r 3· He hath delivered us from the Wrath to cot~lc; 1 '(he[. I. t o. H e !nth abolin1ed Death for us, and brought Lifeand_ImmortJhty to l1ght through the Gofpel, 2 Tim. 1. to. And therefore, as our DehvcrJnce is Spiritual, fo ong.ht our Obedience to be; that being delivered from the Juftice of God, the condemmng power of the Law, the reigning power of Sin, the fl:ing of an accufing Confcicnce, the rage and malice of the Devil, and thc intollerablcTormcnts ofHell, we might with a\1 love and thankfulnefs chcarfully fcrve that God, whofe Mer~y hath been extended towards us in thofc things which arc of higheft and mort prec10ns concernmen t . And thus you fee the reafon of this Preface, t am the- Lord thy God, wh'£ch brought thee out of the land of Egypt; and how it is both applicable anCI obligatory to us Cliri~ ftians, as well as to the 'Jews; containing a Declaration ofGod's Authority to inforce, and of his Mercy to oblige us to the Obedience of thofe Laws which' he delivers. I come now to the Precepts themfelves ; whereof the firft and chiefefr is, Thou jl1alt have tJo othu J,ods before me: \Vhich becaufe it is a Negative, and all Negatives depend 11pou, and murt be meafured by t~e Truth of their contr<;~ry Affirmative; therefore l fhall firft confider, wQat Duties are commanded in this Precept; and then, wh~t Sins are prohibitedFour Things arc here required: Firfl,