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who have the Spirit of Christ within them, the grace of Christ bestowed on chern, and particularly, have the grace of faith, and that in exercise, are beit qualified for doing works of real righteousness, and acts of true holiness: of all men in the world, such as have believed in Christ, as the Lord their righteousness and strength, ought to be careful to maintain good works for necesary uses; and there, indeed, are zealous of them, and are heartily desirous of performing more than they do, to testify their love to Christ, and so adorn his doctrine; which doctrine of grace teaches them, that denying ungodliness and worldly lust, they should live soberly, righteously and godly in this present world d.
Add to these things, that chat faith which is concerned in a sinner’s justifica-, tion, looks to Christ as the end, the fulfilling end of the law for righteousness ; it lays hold upon a righteoufness which is every way commensurate to the law of God; which answers all its demands, and gives it all it requires; a righteousness with which God is well p'eased, justice is satisfied, and by which the law is mag uified and made honourable ; a righteousness that is complete and perfect, pure and spotless; by which all the seed of lfrael Mall be justified, and in which they shall glory: wherefore that faith which spies this in Christ, looks to him for it, and says, Suredy in the Lord have I righteousness and strength'; can never be contrary to the law of God, or do any thing by which that is made void and useless.
2. Nor is the law made void by the doctrine of faich, particularly by the doctrine of justification by faith in the righteousness of Christ. Indeed, according to this doctrine, the law does not justify, nor can any man be justified by the deeds of it; the law neither has, nor can it have, any such use, Gince the fall of man ; this inakes the righteousness of another neceffary, and justification to proceed on another foot: For what the law could not do, in that it was weak tbrough the flesh, God sending his own Son, in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for fin condemned sin in the flesh; that the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us é Man, through lin is dead; and he must be made alive before he is capable of working righteousness, or of yielding obedience to the law; there must be life before there can be righteousness. Now if there had been a law which could bave given life, verily righteousness should have been by the law h: but inasinuch as there never was any such law which could give life to a dead sinner, there can be no justification by it. The argument used by the apostle, is sufficient to give satisfaction to any one that has any regard to Christ or true christianiļy; if righteousness come by the law, then Christ is dead in vain! ; but though this use of the law is set aside by the doctrine of faith, yet all its real and proper uses continue untouched by it, and remain in full force ; we know that the law is good if VOL. I.
4 a man
f Isai. xlv. 24, 25.
à Titus iii. 8. and ij. 11, 12. & Rom. viii. 34.
h Gal. iji. 21.
e Isai xlii. 21.
i Gal. ii, 21.
a man use it lawfullyk. There is a lawful and there is an unlawful use of the law; the unlawful use of the law is to seek for life; righteoufness and salvation by it ; the lawful uses of it, and which are not made void by the doctrine of faith, are such as these :
One use of the law is, to inform us of the mind and will of God; it is a cranscript of his holy nature and unchangeable will; and therefore is itfelf boly, just and good'; as it must needs be, since it comes from him ; it teaches us what is that good, and acceptat le, and perfeet will of God; it points out to us our duty both to God and man; what should be done or not done by us, it directs us to love the Lord our God with all our beart, foul, and strength; and to love our neighlour as ourselves; which, in a few words, contain the fum and substance of it.
Another use of the law is, to convince of sin; for by the law is the knowledge of fin"; of fin original and actual, of the fin of our hearts and nature, as well as of the fin of our lips, lives and actions: I had not known fin, says the apostle, but by the law: for I had not known luft, that is, known it to be a lin, and Gatul, except the law had said, Thou shalt not covet". Not that the law can or does of itself, really and thoroughly, spiritually and savingly, convince of fin; for this is the work of the Spirit of God: but then the Spirit of God makes use of the Jaw to work in men thorough convictions of their finful, loft, and miserable condition by nature.
Again; Another use of the law, not made void by the doctrine of faith, is, to be as a glass to believers themselves; to behold therein by the light of the divine Spirit, the deformity of their souls by fin, and the imperfection of their obedience ; whereby they grow out of love with themselves, and quit all dependence on their own righteousness for justification. So the apostle Paul, comparing himself, his heart and services, with the pure and holy law of God, thus expresses himself; We know that the law is fpiritual; but I am carnal, fold under fin. In this view of things the psalmist David was able to make such an obfervation as this; I have feen an end of all perfcction; thy commandment is exceeding broad p; that is, “I see that the law of God is so large and broad, and my obe“ dience to it so short of it, and so imperfect, that I despair of ever attaining " perfection by the deeds of it.” It was, no doubt, by the light of the Spirit, and as beholding herself in the glass of the law, that the church faw, and so faid, that her righteousness was as filtby rags, and herself as an unclean thing? Hence,
There is a farther use of the law to believers, and that is, to make the righteousness of Christ more dear and valuable to them : for when they see how imperfect their own righteousness is, and how far short of the demands of the righieous law of God their obedience comes; and when they behold what an ever
lasting ki Tim. i. 8.
Rom. vii. 12.
m Rom, iii 20. « Chap. vii: 7 o Rom. vii. 14. P Píalm cxix 96.
9 Ilai.lxiv, 6.
dafting righteousnefs Chrift, has brought in ; how perfect it is in itself, and how agreeable to the law ; insomuch that it is not only fulfilled by it, but magnified and made honourable; they are at once delighted with it, fix upon it, and desire to be found in Chrift; not having their own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is througb the faith of Christ; the righteousness which is of God by faith'.
Once more; Another use and office of the law is, that it is a rule of life, thar is, of action, walk and conversation to the saints; who are not without law to God, but under the law to Christ': and as it is in the hands of Christ, and held forth by him, as King of saints, and lawgiver in his church, it is to be observed and attended to by them; and as persons born again, being under the influences of the blessed Spirit, and having his gracious assistance, they delight in the law of God, after the inward man; and though with the flefh, they sometimes, to their great regret and forrow, serve the law of fin; yet, at other times they are enabled chearfully, and with the mind, 10 ferve the law of God'.
To say no more ; though God's justified ones are, as such, delivered from the wrath and condemnation of the law; Chrilt having redeemed them from thence by being made a curse for them“; and having the sentence of condemnation executed upon him, which their fins deserved; so that there is now no condemnation to them that are in him "; they are passed from death co life, and shall never enter into condemnation : yet the law remains a curling and damning law to others ; it lies against Christless finners ; it pronounces them guilty, and accurfes them ; it says to them that are of the works of it, and are under it, Cursed is every one that continues not in all things which are written in the book of the law to do them."; yea, it is the killing letter, the ministration of condemnation and death unto them. Thus the law, as to these uses of it, boch to faints and linners, is not made void by the doctrine of faith.
Perhaps ic will be asked, Is not the law, in some sense, destroyed and abolished? Does not the apostle say to believers, Ye are not under the law, but under gracey? Yea, he affirms that they are become dead to the law by the body of Christ; and thaç they are delivered from the law, that being dead wherein they were beld?. And elsewhere -, he argues from the former glory of the law, to the more excelling glory of the gospel, thus ; If that which is done away, that is, the law, was glorious, much more that wbich remaineth, that is, the everlasting gospel, is glorious. To which I answer,
That the law, as a covenant of works, is abolished, and done away; in this fenfe, it is made void to believers. Adam was a covenant head and representative of all his posterity, in which he was a figure of him that was to come ; the law was given to him and to all mankind in him, promising life on condition of obedience, and threatening with death in case of transgreffion. Adam soon broke this covenant, whereby sin entered into the world, and death by fin; and so death posjed upon all men ! for in bim all have finued, God's elect themselves not excepted. These were considered in Adam, their natural and federal head ; they linned in him, and fell with him; the sentence of death paffed on them as on others; the reason why it was not, and never will be executed upon them, is, because Christ, in the everlasting covenant, became their surety and subftilute; engaged to bear the punishment of their fins, and make fatisfaction to the law and justice of God for them; which he has done by his sufferings and death; and so has delivered them from the law, as a covenant of works; and from all that misery, destruction and death, it entailed upon them: wherefore they are not under the law, as a covenant of works, but under grece, the covenant of grace.
the Phil. iii. 9. s 1 Cor. ix. 21.
i Rom. vii. 22, 25. w Rom. viii. 1. x Gal. iii. 10. y Rom. vi. 14.
2 Chap.vij. 4, 6. • 2 Cor. iii. II.
Е е 2
u Gal, iji. 13
Again; The law is abolished and done away, as to the form of administration of it by Moses. The whole frame of the Mosaic oeconomy is broke to pieces ; which was fignified by the two tables of stone being cast out of his hands and broken, when he came down from the mount; which were afterwards renewed, and put into the ark, a type of Christ ; in whose hands, and not in the hands of Moses, is the law to be considered.' The Jews said to the poor blind man, that was cured by Christ, Thou art his, that is, Christ's disciple; but we are Moses's disciples'. They valued themselves upon the latter ; we christians upon the for. mer. Moses, indeed, was a faithful servant ; but he was only a servant : Christ is a Son over his own house; and it is he that we are to liearken to. and Elias were with Chriit on the mount, at the time of his transfiguration, a voice was heard, saying, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am cerell pleased: bear je him";. not Moses and Elias, but hear the well-beloved Son'
Moreover, the law is destroyed as a yoke of bondage." As it was a covenant of works, and as administered under the former dispensation, it tended to bondage, and induced a servile spirit on those that were under it. It was not only a rigid schoolmaster, but a severe task-master; not only setting hard leffons, but requiring strict and perfect obedience, without giving any strength to perform, or directing where it is to be had; but now, in Christ's hands, it is a perfeet law af liberty"; and such as are called by grace, are made a willing people in the day of Christ's power upon them; not only.to be saved alone by him, 'buc to yield a. chearful obedience to the law, as given forth by him. In this view of it, 'its commandments are not grievous ; this yoke is easy, and this burden is light; the saints serve it with pleasure, not in the oldness of the letter, but in newness of spirit'.
Likewise, © John ix. 28.
d Matt. xvii. 5. James i. 25
i Rom. vii. 6.
D Rom. v. 12, 14.
Likewise, As has been already observed, the people of God are freed from the malediction of it, and condemnation by it, and so from the terror of it ; it is a terrifying law, as it is a cursing and damning one; wherefore, to such, who desire to be under it, it may be said, what the apostle did, Do ye not bear the law ? it speaks wrath and vengeance, cursing and bitterness; it is a voice of words, of terrible words; which they that heard at mount Sinai, intreated that the word fould not be spoken to them any more; for they could not endure that which was commanded. But now the case is different with us under the gospel-dispenfation; the scene is altered; the face of things is changed; we hear a different voice ; love, grace and mercy, instead of wrath and vengeance; blessing and falvation, in the room of curling and condemnation : we are not come unto the mount that mght be touched, and that burned with fire, nor unto blackness, and darkness, and tempeft; but we are come unto mount Sion, and unto the city of the living God, the beavenly Jerusalem ; and to an innumerable company of angels; to the general assembly, and church of the first-born, which are written in heaven; and to God the Judge of all; and to the Spirits of just men made perfect; and to Yesus the mediator of the new covenant, and to the blood of Sprinkling, that speaketh better Things than that of obel
Once more ; The law is abrogated and made void, with respect to justification. We are not to seek for, and expect life and righteousness by obedience to it; and should we, our seeking would be in vain, and our expectation would be disappointed. Israel, which followed after the law of righteousness, bath not attained to the law of righteousness. Wherefore? because they fought it not by faith but as it were by the works of the law. The same success attends all those who pursue the same scheme, and take the same methods; by which they discover their ignorance, vanity and pride; their ignorance of the strictness of the justice of God; their vain opinion and conceit of their own righteousness; and their haughty and contemptuous rejection of the righteousness of Christ; all which is expressed in these few words; For they being ignorant of God's righteousness, and going about to establish a righteousness of their own, have not submitted themselves. unto the righteousness of Godk. : This is to act contrary to God's declared way and method of justifying finners. There can be no jultification by the deeds of the law; this use of the law is entirely abolished; we are not to obey it with any such view, or for such a purpose; no, we are to yield obedience to it, as in the hands of Christ, from a principle of love to him; and to express our graticude for the numerous mercies we receive from him, and through him; and to testify our profeffed subjection, and our sense of obligation to him.
But now, though the law is made void as a covenant of works, it ftill contiDues a rule of action, walk and conversation ; though it is done away as to the
form: & Gal. iv, 21, 1 Heb. xij. 18-20, 22-24.,
i Rom. ix. 3", 32
* Ron X. 3