Images de page

ing our duty towards God, and the other six our duty to man.°

III. Beside this law, commonly called moral, God was pleased to give to the people of Israel, as a church under age, ceremonial laws, containing several typical ordinances, partly of worship, prefiguring Christ, his graces, actions, sufferings, and benefits; and partly holding forth divers instructions of moral duties. All which ceremonial laws are now abrogated under the New Testament.f


e Matt. xxii. 37, 38, 39, 40. 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 commandment. 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. Ex. xx. 3 to 18.

Heb. x. 1. For the law, having a shadow of good things to come, and not the very image of the things, can never with those sacrifices, which they offered year by year continually, make the comers thereunto perfect. Gal. iv. 1, 2, 3. Now I say, that the heir, as long as he is a child, differeth nothing from a servant, though he be lord of all; but is under tutors and governors until the time appointed of the father. Even so we, when we were children, were in bondage under the elements of the world. Col. ii. 17. Which are a shadow of things to come: but the body is of Christ. Heb. ix. chap.

e 1 Cor. v. 7. Purge out therefore the old leaven, that ye may be a new lump, as ye are unleavened. For even Christ our passover is sacrificed for us. 2 Cor. vi. 17. Wherefore, come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you.

f Col. ii. 14, 16, 17. Blotting out the hand-writing of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to

IV. To them also, as a body politic, he gave sundry judicial laws, which expired together with the state of that people, not obliging any other, now, further than the general equity thereof may require. g


V. The moral law doth for ever bind all, as well justified persons as others, to the obedience thereof; and that not only in regard of the matter contained in it, but also in respect of the authority of God the Creator who gave it.1

us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to his cross.Let no man therefore judge you in meat, or in drink.Which are a shadow of things to come: but the body is of Christ. Eph. ii. 15, 16. Having abolished in his flesh the enmity, even the law of commandments contained in ordinançes; for to make in himself of twain one new man, so making peace; and that he might reconcile both unto God in one body by the cross, having slain the enmity thereby.

See Ex. xxi. chap. and xxii. chap. 1st to the 29th verse. Gen. xlix. 10. The sceptre shall not depart from Judah, nor a lawgiver from between his feet, until Shiloh come and unto him shall the gathering of the people be. Matt. v. 38, 39. Ye have heard that it hath been said, An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth: but I say unto you, That ye resist not evil. 1 Cor. ix. 8, 9, 10.

Rom. xiii. 8, 9. See letter (b), page 105. 1 John ii. 3, 4, 7. And hereby we do know that we know him, if we keep his commandments. He that saith, I know him, and keepeth not his commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him.-Brethren, I write no new commandment unto you, but an old commandment which ye had from the beginning. Rom. iii. 31, and vi. 15. Do we then make void the law through faith? God forbid: yea, we establish the law. What then? shall we sin, because we are not under the law, but under grace? God forbid.

i Jam. ii. 10, 11. See letter (6), page 105.

Neither doth Christ in the gospel any way dissolve, but much strengthen, this obligation.


VI. Although true believers be not under the law as a covenant of works, to be thereby justified or condemned; yet is it of great use to them, as well as to others; in that, as a rule of life, informing them of the will of God and their duty, it directs and binds them to walk accordingly; discovering also the sinful pollutions of their nature, hearts, and lives; so as, examining themselves thereby, they may come to further conviction of,


j Matt. v. 18, 19. For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled. Whosoever therefore shall break one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so, he shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven: but whosoever shall do and teach them, the same shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven. James ii. 8. Rom. iii. 31.

k Rom. vi. 14. For sin shall not have dominion over you; for ye are not under the law, but under grace. Rom. viii. 1. There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. See also Gal. iv. 4, 5, and Acts xiii. 39.

1 Rom. vii. 12. Wherefore the law is holy; and the commandment holy, and just, and good. Psa. cxix. 5. O that my ways were directed to keep thy statutes! 1 Cor. vii. 19. Circumcision is nothing, and uncircumcision is nothing, but the keeping of the commandments of God. Gal. v. 14, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23.

Rom. vii. 7. What shall we say then? is the law sin? God forbid. Nay, I had not known sin but by the law: for I had not known lust, except the law had said, Thou shalt not covet. Rom. iii. 20. For by the law is the knowledge of sin.

humiliation for, and hatred against sin; " together with a clearer sight of the need they have of Christ, and the perfection of his obedience. ° It is likewise of use to the regenerate, to restrain their corruptions, in that it forbids sin; and the threatenings of it serve to show what even their sins deserve, and what afflictions in this life they may expect for them, although freed from the curse thereof threatened in the law. 9 The promises of it, in like manner, show them God's approbation

Rom. vii. 9, 14, 24. For I was alive without the law once; but when the commandment came, sin revived, and I died.-For we know that the law is spiritual; but I am carnal, sold under sin.-O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death?

• Gal. iii. 24. Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith. Rom. viii. 3, 4. For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh; that the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. Rom. vii. 24, 25.

P James ii. 11. For he that said, Do not commit adultery, said also, Do not kill. Now, if thou commit no adultery, yet if thou kill, thou art become a transgressor of the law. Psa. cxix. 128. Therefore I esteem all thy precepts concerning all things to be right; and I hate every false way.

a Ezra ix. 13, 14. And after all that is come upon us for our evil deeds, and for our great trespass, seeing that thou our God hast punished us less than our iniquities deserve, and hast given us such deliverance as this; should we again break thy commandments, and join in affinity with the people of these abominations, wouldest thou not be angry with us till thou hadst consumed us,


of obedience, and what blessings they may expect upon the performance thereof; although not as due to them by the law as a covenant of works: so as a man's doing good, and refraining from evil, because the law encourageth to the one, and deterreth from the other, is no evidence of his being under the law, and not under grace.


VII. Neither are the forementioned uses of the law contrary to the grace of the gospel, but do sweetly comply with it:" the Spirit of

so that there should be no remnant nor escaping? Psa. lxxxix. 30, 31, 32, 33, 34.

r Psa. xxxvii. 11. But the meek shall inherit the earth; and shall delight themselves in the abundance of peace. Psa. xix. 11. Moreover by them is thy servant warned and in keeping of them there is great reward. Lev. xxvi. 1, to the 14th verse, and Eph. vi. 2. Matt. V. 5.

Gal. ii. 16. Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law, but by the faith of Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Jesus Christ, that we might be justified by the faith of Christ, and not by the works of the law for by the works of the law shall no flesh be justified.

t Rom. vi. 12, 14. Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, that ye should obey it in the lusts thereof. -For sin shall not have dominion over you: for ye are not under the law, but under grace. Heb. xii. 28, 29. Wherefore we receiving a kingdom which cannot be moved, let us have grace whereby we may serve God acceptably, with reverence and godly fear. For our God is a consuming fire. 1 Pet. iii. 8, 9, 10, 11, 12. Psa. xxxiv. 12, 13, 14, 15, 16.

"Gal. iii. 21. Is the law then against the promises of God? God forbid for if there had been a law given which could have given life, verily righteousness should have been by the law. Tit. ii. 11, 12, 13, 14.

« PrécédentContinuer »