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ward in the Flesh, but he is a Jew, who SERM. is one inwardly, and Circumcision is that VII. of the Heart, in the Spirit, and not in the Letter, whose Praise is not of Men, but of God. And if the few should reply, as St. Paul puts the Question, What Advantage then hath the Yew, or what Profit is there of Circumcision? Why, as the Apostle observes, much every Way; chiefly, because they were entrusted with the Oracles of God; but as to their Acceptance with God, they had no Advantage at all; for both Jew and Gentile are concluded under Sin. And then he proceeds to shew, that the Yews had no reason to boast upon Account of the Law, since after all they were not to be justify'd by it; for that God will justify Jew and Gentile the same Way, viz. by Faith. And in the Words of the Text he obviates an Objection, which he knew was natural enough for the Jews to urge from the foregoing Doctrine; as if Justification by Faith would make void the Law, which he denies with the greatest Abhorrence; Thewing that it is so far from making void R2
Serm, the Law, that it is on the contrary ap VII. Establishment of it. Do we then made
void the Law thro' Faith? God forbid; yea, we establish the Law.
From the Words of the Text I shall beg Leave to prove two Things.
First, That the Gospel does not make void
the Law.. Secondly, That it confirms and establishes it.
First, then, I am to prove that the Gospel does not make void the Law. By the Law I understand not the Mosaic Law in General, but that particular Past of it, that is made up of a Body of Precepts for the Regulation of the Life and Manners, which is callid the Moral Law. The ceremonial Part being adapted to the particular Circumstances of the Jews, it could not be supposed to be obligatory - upon Christians, or to extend further than the Reason for which it was first instituted, but to cease when the Gospel-Dispensation took Place, and become entirely null and void ; because there was no longer any
Reason for its Continuance. When God SERM . was pleased to establish his Religion among
VII. the Jews, he gave them Laws suitable to the Weakness of their Capacities.
Sacrifices and outward Ceremonies were accepted, till they knew how to worship God in Spirit and in Truth ; and all the legal Observances were only Shadows of what was to come, When God was known only in Judah, and his Tabernacle at Salem, Religion evaporated in Smoak, and spent it felf in ritual Performances ; but when the Fulness of Time came, that we thould not fay, Lo here, or Lo there, for that the Kingdom of God was within us, then the legal Ceremonies were abolish’d, the Hand-writing of Ordinances was blotted out, and gave Way to the Righteousness which is of God by Faith.
And in this Sense indeed the Law is made void thro' Faith: But the Moral Law, the Law here mention'd, which is a Transcript and Abridgment of the Law of Nature, did not cease with the Jews, but is binding upon all Christians.
SERM. For as it is a Law of Nature, no Cir-
tinue in full Force upon the whole hu-
But for the better handling this point, it will be necessary to consider well the true Nature and Design of the Gospel, and also the full and just Extent and Design of the Law, that we might not exalt the Gospel beyond its due Bounds, and so abuse that Liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, nor advance the Law beyond the true Intent and Design of it, and so make void the Gospel. When we have thus consider'd the Nature and Extent of each, how far they differ, and how far they agree, we shall find, that tho' the Law is not sufficient for our Justification, yet that there is no room to think, that therefore the Law is made void thro Faith. The Law consider'd as a Body of Mo
rality, and so a Rule of Life, differs not Serm. from the Gospel, any further than as the VII. Gospel is an Improvement upon it: For it claims the same God for its Author, and is founded upon the fame eternal Truth and Reason. And this Law the Gentiles had as well as the Jews. Indeed the Jews were the first to whom it was made a StatuteLaw, but that the Gentiles had it likewise is plain from St. Paul, who says of them, These, having not the Law, are a Law unto themselves. As to the whole Law taken together, which is call’d the Mosaic Law in opposition to the Gospel, as the Jews held it, or in Contradistinction to it, as the Jewish Converts, it was very defective, and could not justify us, as being only a Covenant of Works; and therefore. consisting only of Duties, which it could not enable us to perform, nor give us any Promise of eternal Life upon our Performance. (For, as the Apostle says, if there bad been a Law given, which could have given Life, verily Righteousness Mould have been by the Law.) It being thus a Covenant of Works enjoining strict Obedience, and