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persetJion of the divine law, is also borne in the New Testament. When Christ delivers that summary of it, Mark xii. . 30, 31, under the two heads of the love of God with all the heart—and the love of our neighbour as of ourselves—He fays— There Wnoneother commandment greater than these. So Paul, (Rom. vii. 12.) 'the law is holy, and the commandment holy— just—and good. And again (ver. 14.) The law is spiritual.— "Enter not into judgment with thy servant, O Lord, faith the Psalmist, for in thy sight Jhall no man living be justified. Ps. cxiiii. 2.—For by the deeds of the law there jhall be no fiejh justified in his fight, faith the apostle, Rom* iii. 20. And again, Rom. iii. 19. Whatsoever things the law faith, it faith to them, that are under the law, that every mouth may be flopped, and all the world become guilty before God. After all this, to talk of f* a more excellent law—a more pure "and perfect rule of life," goes beyond folly ', it borders upon madness.
But as madness is'usually allowed to be so far consistent with itself, as to argue right, though from wrong principles, we must observe that this scheme of abrogating the old law, and os introducing a new one, was a necessary and consistent part of the Socinian plan—to suffer a rule of
life to remain, which, from its purity and holiness, concluded all men under Jin, and condemnation, so that no Jlejh could be justified by it—and, at the same time, to deny the necessity of a vicarious satisfaction and atonement (which is the very marrow of the Socinian heresy)—was to render the salvation of man impossible. Socinus, therefore, to establish a consistent plan, abrogates the divine law as delivered by Moses? by which man cannot be saved, and introduces a new law (called the law of Christ) by which he might be saved. This made way for the rest of the Socinian scheme, so that the divinity of Christ's person—His vicarious obedience -^-sufferings — atonement — and satisfaction — being rendered unnecessary, were allstruck out of the Socinian gospel. Thus the pride of fallen man's reason, or rather the reasonings of his pride, are made to triumph over the wisdom of God. But as in all wickedness there is folly, so ■ in this j for if no man could be jujlified by a law less excellent, pure, and perfect, how could he be saved by one that is more so? This has been seen by the Socinians; therefore—-fncerity is their gospel obedience, and if they fail here (as fail they must) a sneer-e defre to obey will serve the turn. — Thus ends the Socinian, with the Mahometan,
iiithes destruction both of' the' lam and the gospel': and Ghri&y, like Mahomet;, is to. annihilate Mvses and theprophetsI 1 If we- attend to our Saviour's preaching, and especially to that heavenly discourse delivered from the Mount, we, shall find Him a. most zealous advocate for. th& law of God, as delivered by Moses. We shall find Him stripping it of the falsejgk)sse*, by which the Jewish rabbies had obscured or perverted its meaning, and . restoring it to that purity and spirituality by which it reacheth even to the thoughts and intents of the heart. For instance, when He is about to ehter upon a faithful exposition of the moral law, lest his hearersshould imagine, that what he was about to fay, was contrary to the law of the Old Testament, being so different feom the, teaching- of the Scribes and Pharisees, He prefaces his discourse with those remarkable words—Matt. v. 17—^o.^fhink not that
I am come to destroy the law or the-prophets^
II am not come to destroy, but to fulfil/, for verily. I say unto you, till heaven and- earth pass away, one jot or one tittle Jh all not pass from the law, till all be fulfilled. So far from abrogating the eld rule of life delivered from God by Moss, no one single part of it, not a fentence^—a. word—a letter—a bit of a letter, was to be destroyed. Whosoever* therefore, shall break one of these least comfu 3 mandments,
mtn^mntiy and shall teach men fb, hp
shqll be called, the leafi. in the kingdom of hea-igm>. but whosoever, Jhall do and-teach them, the same Jhall be called great in, the kingdom of heaven. What commandments were these ?» The sequel shews that they were the com-, mandments of the moral law, or rule of l$e, delivered from Gqjo by Moses. For except your righteousness (or conformity to. those commandments, which ought to be, internal and Jpkitua/.J. exceed the righteous-, ness of the Scribes and Pharisees, (which was merely outward and formal j ye Jhall in na fase enter into the kingdom of heaven. Hethen enters upon an exposition of the sixth commandment, which He vindicates from the bare, outward, literal construction, received by old tradition, and taught by the Scribes and Pharisees-!-Te have heard that it was said by them of old time, 'Thou Jhalt not kill, and whosoever mall kill, shall be in. danger of the judgment—rbut I fay unto you, that whosoever is angry with his brother without a. cause, shall, be in danger of the judgment: and whosoever shall fay to his brother, Raca, shall be- in danger of the council: but whosoever Jhall say m Thou fool TTT-Jhall b# iy. danger of hell-fre.^>This—~ I say unfo youl'-r— does not imply that Christ meant to abrogate God's law against murder, and to set up a new law of HJa &W8 instead thereo£-»but to shew the
people, people, that what they had been taught by the Scribes and Pharisees, after the tradition of the elders, namely, to look upon the Jixtb commandment as reaching only to the outward act of mitrdtr, was false, for that, in the spiritual view and intendnaent of that law, it forbad every temper which resembled it, or could lead to it; such as violent, causeless, unprovoked anger, or any malicious inclination of the heart, breaking forth and shewing itself in opprobrious and injurious language $ these are as contrary to the law of the second table, —Thou jhalt love thy neighbour as thyself—in their nature and tendency, as murder itself. So i John iii. 15. He that hateth his brother is a murderer, and ye know that'no murderer hath eternal life abiding in him.
Christ then proceeds to explain the seventh commandment. Te have heard that it was said by them of old time, Thou shalt not commit adultery. But I say unto you, that, whosoever looketh upon a woman to lufi after her, hath already committed adultery with her in his heart. This —" but "I fay unto you'-r-does not imply that Christ meant to repeal the seventh commandment, but to explain it, as he had done the sixth, and to shew that it ndt only meant to forbid the act of defiling another's wife (yvvounx) but even indulging iff: the heart an evil desire towards her.