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OF THE LAW OF GOD.
God gave to Adam a law. as a covenant of work?, by which he bound him, and all his posterity, to personal, enlire, exact, and perpetual obedience, promised life upon the fulfilling, and threatened death upon the breach of it; gnd endued him with power and ability to keep it.*
15. Though lie slay me, yet will I trust in him: but I will maintain mine own ways before him. Psal. lxxiii. 15. If I say, I will speak thus: behold, I should offend against the generation of thy children. Psal. li. 8,12. (See letter p immediately before.) Isa. l. 10. (See letter p immediately foregoing.)
r Mic. vii. 7. 8, 0. Therefore I will look unto the Lord: I will wait for the God of my salvation: my God will hear me. Rejoice not against me, O mine enemy: when I fall, I shall arise ; when I sit in darkness, the Lord shall be a light unto me. I will bear the indignation of the Lord, because I have sinned against him. untit he plead ray cause, and execute judgment for me: he will bring me forth to the light, and I shall behold his righteousness. Jer. xxxii. 40. And I will make an everlasting covenant with them, that I will not turn nway from them, to do them good; but 1 will put my fear in their x hearts, that they shall not depart from me. Isa. liv. 7 to 10. For a small moment have I forsaken thee, but with great mercies will I gather thee. In alittle wrath I hid my face from thee for a moment; but with everlasting kindness will I have mercy on thee, saith the Lord, thy Redeemer. For this is as the waters of Noah unto me: for as I have sworn that the waters of Noah should no more go over the earth, so have I sworn that I would not be wroth with thee, nor rebuke thee. For the mountains shall depart, and the hills be removed, but my kindness shall not depart from thee, neither shall the covenant of my peace be removed, saith the Lord, that hath mercy on thee. Psal. xxii. 1. My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me? why art thou so far from helping me, and from the words of my roaring? (Psal. lxxxviii. throughout.)
I. a Gen. i. 26, 27. And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea. and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth. So God created man in his own imago; in the image of God created he him: male and female created he them. With Gen. ii. 17. But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof, thou shalt surely die. Rom. ii. 14,15. For when the Gentiles, which have not the law, do by nature the things contained in the law, these having not the law, are a law unto themselves: which show the work of the law written in their hearts. their conscience also bearing witness, and their thoughts the mean while accusing or else excusing one another. Rom. x. 5.
II. This law, after his fall, continued to be a perfect rule of righteousness: and, as such, was delivered bv God upon mount Sinai inteu comm.mdoieuts, and written in two tables ;b the four first commandments containing our duty towards God, and the other six our duty towards man.c
III. Besides this law, commonly called moral, God was pleased to give to the people of Israel, as a church underage, ceremonial laws, containing several typical ordinances, partly of wo1ship, prefiguring Christ, his graces, actions,
For Moses describeth the righteousness wliich is of the law, That the man which doth thoso things shall live by them. Rom. v. 12,1!). Wherefore as by one 'man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned. For as by one man's disobedience many were mado sinners; so by the obedience of one shall many be made righteous. Gal. iii. 10, 12. For as many as are of the works of the law, are under the curse: for it is written, Cursed is every one that continueth not in all things which arc written in the book of the law to do them. And the law°is not of faith: but, The man that doth them shall live in them. Eccl. vii. 20. Lo, this only have I found, that God hath made man upright; but they have sought out many inventions. Job xxviii. 28. And unto man he said, Behold the fear of the Lord, that is wisdom; and to depart from ovil, is understanding.
II. b James i. 25. But whoso looketh into the perfect law of liberty, and continueth therein, he being not a forgetful hearer, but a doer of the word, this man shall be blessed in his deed. James ii. 8, 10, 11, 12. If ye fulfil the royal law, according to the scripture, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself, ye do well. For whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all. 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. So speak ye, and so do, as they that shall be judged by the law of liberty. Rom. xiii. 8,9. Owe no man any thing but to love one another: for he that loveth another hath fulfilled the law. For this, Thou shalt not commit adultery, Thou shalt not kill, Thou shalt not steal, Thou shalt not bear false witness, Thou shalt not covet; and if there be any other commandment, it is briefly comprehended in this saying, namely, Thou shalt love thy neighbour, as thyself. Deut. v. 32. Ye shall observe to do therefore as the Lord, your God, hath commanded you: you shall not turn aside to the right hand or to the left. Deut. x. 4. And he wrote on the tables, according to the first writing, the ten commandments, which the Lord spake unto you in the mount, out of the midst of the fire, in the day of the assembly: and the Lord gave them unto me. Exod. xxxiv. 1. And the Lord said unto Moses, Hew thee two tables of stone, like unto the first: and I will write upon these tables the words that were in the first tables, which thou brakest.
c Mat. xxii. 37 to 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. Oji these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets*
sufferings, and benefits ;d and partly holding forth divers instructions of moral duties.e All which ceremonial laws are now abrogated, under the New Testament.'
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.?
V. The moral law doth for ever bind all, as well justi
III. d (Heb. ix. chapter) Heb. x. 1. For the law, having a shadow of good things to come, and not the very imago 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.
c 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. Jude 23. And others save with lear, pulling them out of the fire ; hating even the garment spotted by the flesh.
/ Col. ii. 14, Hi, 17. Blotting out the hand-writing of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it cut of the way, nailing it to his cross. Let no man therefore judge you in meat or m drink, or in respect of an holy day, or of the new moon, or of the Sabbath-days: which are a shadow of things to come ; but the body is of Christ. Dan. ix. 27. And he shall confirm the covenant with many for one week: and in the midst of the week he shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease, and for the over-spreading of abominations, he shall make it desolate, even until the consummation, and that determined shall be poured upon the desolate. Eph. ii. 15,16. Having abolished in his flesh the emhity, even the law of commandments contained in ordinances, 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.
IV. g (Exod. xxi. chapter. Exod, xxii. 1, to the 29th verse. See both in the Bible.) Gen. xlix. 10. The scepter 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. With 1 Pet. ii. 13,14. Submit yourselves to every ordinance of man for the Lord's sake: whether it be to the king, as supreme: or unto governors, as unto them that are sent by him for the punishment of evil-doers, and for the praise of them that do well. Mat. v. 17. Think not thct I am come to destroy the law or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil. With 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: but whosoever shall smite thee on thy right cheek, turn to him the other also. 1 Cor. ix. 8, 9, 10. Say I these things as a man? or saith not the law the same also? For it is written in the
fied persons its 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.' Neither doth Christ in the gospel any way dissolve, but much strengthen this obligation.k
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 ciijxicts and binds them to walk according
law of Moses, Thou shall not muz/.Ie the mouth of the ox that trcadeth out the corn. Doth Goc! take care lb- oxen? Or saith he it altogether for our sakes? For our sakes, no doubt, this is written; that he that ploweth should plow in hope; and that lie that threshcth in hope, should be pirtakcr of his hope.
V. k Rom. xiii. 6, 9, 10. (See above in letter J.) Love worketh no ill to his neighbour: therefore love is the fulfilling of the law. Eph. vi. 2. Honour thy father and mother, which is the first commandment with promise, 1 John ii. 3, 4, 7, 8. And hereby do we know that wo know him, if wo keep his commandments. He that saith, I know him, and keepcth not his commandments, is a liar, and tho truth is not in him. Brethren, I write no now commandment unto you, but an old commandment, which ye had from the beginning: the old commandment is the word which ye have heard from the beginning: again, a new commandment I write unto you, which thing is true in him and in you: because the darkness is past, and the true light now shmcth. *
i James ii. 10, 11. (See in letter J.)
k Mat. v. 17, IS, 19._ (See in letter g.) For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one title shall, in no wise, pass from the law, till all lie fulfilled. Whosoever therefore shall break one of thor.3 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. Jam. ii. H. (See in letter b before.) Rom. iii. 31. Do we then make void the law through faith? God forbid: yea, we establish the law.
VI. Z Rom. vi. 14. For sin shall not have dominion over you: for ye are not under the law, but under grace. Gal. ii. 16. Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law, but by the faith of Jesus Christ, even wo have believed m 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. Gal. iii. 13. Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us: for it is written, Cursed is every one that hangeth on a. tree. Gal. iv. 4, 5. Rut when the fulness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law, to redeem them that were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons. Acts xiii. 39. And by him all that believe are justified from all things, from which ye could not be justified by the law of Moses. Rom. viii. 1. There is therefore now no condemnation to ther/"
are in Christ Jesus, who wall; not after the flesh, but after'"
ly ;m discovering also Hie sinful pollutions of therr nature, hearts, and lives ;n so as, examining themselves thereby, they may come to further conviction of, humiliation for, and haired against sins ;0 together with a clearer sight of the need they have of Christ, and the perfection ot his obedience P It is likewise of use to the regenerate, to restrain their corruptions, in that it forbids sin ;1 and I he threatening? 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.*
To Rom. vii. 12, 22,25. Wherefore the law is holy; and the commandment holy, and just, and good. For I delight in the law of God, after the inward man. I thank God, through Jesus Christ, our Lord. So then, with the mind I myself serve the law of God: but with the flesh the law of sin. Psal. cxix. 4, C, (5. Thou hast commanded us to Itecp thy precepts diligently. O that my ways were directed to keep thy statutes! Then shall I not be ashamed, when I have respect unto all thy commandments. 1 Cor. vii. 19. Circumcision is nothing, and nncircumcision is nothing, but the keeping of the commandments of God. Gal. v. 14, 16,18 to 23. See in the Bible.
n Rom. vii. 7. What shall we say then? Is the law sin? God forbid. Nay, 1 had not known sin, but by the law: for I had not known lust, except the law had said, Theu shalt not covet. Rom. iii. 20. Therefore, by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in his sight: for by the law is the knowledge of sin.
o James i. 23, 24, 25. For if any be a hearer of the woid, and not a doer, he is like unto a man beholding his natural face in a glass i For he beholdeth himself, and goeth his way, and straightway forgeteth what manner of man he was. But wheso looketh into the perfect law of liberty, and enntinueth therein, he being not a forgetful hearer, but a doer of the word, this man shall be blessed in his deed. 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 fin. O wretehed man that I am, who shall deliver me from the body of this death?
p Gal. iii. 24. Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster to bring us imto Christ, that we might be justified by faith. Rom. vii. 24. (See before in the letter o. v. 25, in letter m.) 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 lis, wh« walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.
q 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. Psal. cxix. 101, 104,128. 1 have refrained my feet from every evil way: that I might keep thy word. Through thy precepts I get understanding: therefore I hate every false way. Therefore I esteem all thy precepts concerning all things to be right \ and I hato every false way.
r Ezra ix. 13,14. And after all that is come upon us for our evil deeds, and for our groat trespass, seeing that thou, our God, hast pun