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him to be, and that he is infinitely blameable for the least defect. Hence, those words, The law is holy, just, and good....the law is spiritual ; but I am carnal, sold under sin : 0 wretched man that I am! do exactly express the thoughts of the most exalted saint on earth ; yea, even of the great Saint Paul himself....Rom. vii. 12, 14, 24. Indeed, had St. Paul thought that the law was wholly disannulled, or much abated, he might then have imagined that he was so good as to be quite free from sin, or pretty near being so, and been ready to speak the language of the Pharisee-God, I thank thee, I am not as other men. notwithstanding all his high and wonderful attainments, yet, when he considered what the law was which he was under, and how very far he was from being exactly what that required, the native language of his humble heart is, I am carnal, sold under sin ! Owretched man that I am.!* And now the Apostle, from a sense of his infinite obligations to be what the law requires, and of his great distance from this, forgets the things which are behind ; and he runs....he wrestles....he fights....he strives...he keeps under his body....he lays aside every weight; in short, he appears like a man in a perfect agony ; so great was his sense of duty, and so much had he todo : And, at the same time, from a sense of his impotency and of his unworthiness....of his need of the redeemer and the sanctifier, it is his maxim to pray always, and to ask all things in the name of Christ. Now, in his example we have the temper which prevails more or less in ere ery godly man exactly painted: And thus we have had pictured, in miniature, three different sorts of religion, arising from three different nations of the law. The picture is begun; and, in the sequel, I purpose to paint all three as near to the life as I can, that we may see what they are, and wherein they differ ; which
* Some have thought that St. Paul had arrived so vigh to ferfection, that he could not speak these words of bimself. Their mistake seems to aris : from their wrong notions of the law, to which St. Paul compared himself, and according to which he drew up his judgment. And from the sam.: source it seems to be, that they can think those words, (ver. 22,) applicable to the upregenerate...I delight in tbe law of God after the intard man. When, in truth, the unregenerate are, in their temper, diametrically opposite to the law....Rom. vii. 7.
is right, and which is wrong.–But so much for the first inference, that the law, as a rule of duty, cannot be repealed or abated. And now to proceed,
2. From what has been said, it is evident that the law, in its threatenings of eternal damnation for the least sin, is equally incapable of any repeal or abatement : for if our obligation to love God with all our hearts and obey him in every thing, resulting from the divine perfections, is infinite, eternal, and unchangeable ; and if, therefore, the least sin necessarily be infinitely eyil, and deserving of an infinite punishment, and unalterably so, then the law, considered as threatening eternal damnation for the least sin, is, in its own nature, unalterably holy and just ; and consequently it cannot be repealed, consistently with the holiness, justice, and honor of the great Governor of the world. If the Governor of the world had, in a mere arbitrary manner, made a law that sin should be punished with eternal damnation, then he might, in a mere arbitrary manner, have repealed it : but since, in the nature of things, justice called for it, that such a law should be made, therefore, so long as the grounds and reasons of the law remain, the law cannot, in justice, be repealed.
None can deny but that the great Governor of the world has actually made a law that sin shall be punished with eternal damnation ; and none can deny but that this law is to be put in execution, to the full, at and after the great judgment-day: But if justice had not called for it, surely the infinitely good Govemor of the world would never have made such a law, much less would he ever put it in execution : for, to make and exet such a law, in a merely arbitrary, sovereign manner, when, in the nature of things, justice does not call for it, would be infinitely cruel and tyrannical, and perfectly inconsistent with the divine perfections, as is self-evident....See Genesis xviii. 25. and Ezekiel xviii. 25.
But, then, if the great Governor of the world made this law not arbitrarily, but because, in the nature of things, justice call. ed for it, then, so long as the reason and ground of the law remain, the law itself cannot, in justice, ever be repealed. If jus
tice called for its being made, then it cannot be un-made, consistently with justice, so long as the ground and reason of it remain, as is self-evident. But the reason of the law is, in the nature of things, unalterable : for the reason of the law was the infinite evil of sin, whereby it deserved an infinite punishment. As long, therefore, as sin remains an infinite evil, so long must the law stand unrepealed : but sin will always be an infinite evil, so long as we are under infinite obligations to love God with all our hearts, and obey him in every thing, which we shall always be, so long as God remains infinitely glorious and amiable, and this will be forever ; therefore, this law can never possibly, consistently with divine justice, be repealed.
For any, therefore, to desire to have it repealed, is to turn enemy to the holiness, and justice, and honor of the supreme Ruler of the world, as well as to his law and government; and argues that they have no regard to the rectitude and fitness of things, but only to self-interest ; as those among men are real enemies to the civil government who desire the good and wholesome laws thereof to be repealed : And it is upon this ground that St. Paul concludes carnal men to be at enmity against God, because they are enemies to his law....(Rom. viii. 7.) For if men loved God, they would be disposed to love his law and government, which express his nature.
To suppose, therefore, that the Son of God came into the world and died, that the law, in its threatenings, might be repealed, is to suppose that he also is turned an enemy to God...to fis holiness and justice....to his law and government; and that he is properly gone over to be on the side of his father's rebellious subjects.
Besides, to what purpose would it have been (on the hypothesis of these men), for Christ to have died, that the law, in its threatenings, might be repealed ? What need was there of it ? or what good would it have done? For if, in justice, it ought to have been repealed, there was no need of his dying to procure this; or if, in justice, it ought not to be repealed, then his dying could not procure it, and so would do no good. The righteous
Governor of the world would have repealed it of his own accord, if it had been right and fit so to do; and if, in the nature of things, it was not right, then not any thing whatever could persuade him to do it.
But the truth is, Christ came into the world, and died to answer all the demands of the law; that so, although the sinner be saved, yet the law might never be repealed, but be firmly established : for the Governor of heaven and earth was utterly against the law being repealed, as a thing in itself infinitely unreasonable : And therefore the Apostle says, Do we make void the law through faith? God forbid! yea, we establish the law.... Rom. iii. 31. And indeed it was nothing but God's infinite aversion to repeal the law, as a thing in itself infinitely unfit and wrong, that was the thing which made the death of Christ needful: for, if the law might have been repealed, sinners might have been saved without any more ado ; but, if it could not, and must not be repealed, then the demands of it must be answered by some means or other, or every sinner damned : And now Christ stepped in and did this ; and so secured the honor of God's holiness and justice, law and government, and opened a way for the sinner's salvation. And this account of the reason of Christ's death the scriptures plainly give us :-Gal. . iii. 10, 13, 14....Cursed is every one that continueth not in all things written in the book of the law to do them.-Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us. That the blessing of Abraham might come on the Gentiles, through Jesus Christ : For (Heb. ix. 22.) without shedding of blood there is no remission: Therefore (Rom. iii. 25, 26.) Christ was set forth to be a propitiation for sin....to declare his righteousness ....that he might be just, and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus : And hence (ver. 31,) Do we make void the law through faith? God forbid! yea, we establish the law.
Yea, the Apostle evidently sets out upon this hypothesis, that the law is not repealed, but stands in full force : He lays this down as a first principle, in that argumentative discourse which we have in the three first chapters of his epistle to the Romans:
Chap. i. ver. 18.... The wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men. And taking this for granted, he goes on to prove, that both Jews and Greeks are all under sin, and so the whole world guilty before God; to the 19th verse of the 3d chapter: And hence he argues, that by the deeds of the law no flesh could be justified. But now, if the law was repealed, the whole world was not guilty before God, nor any one in the world: For sin is not imputed where there is no law.... Rom. v. 13. And if the law was repealed, what need was there of such a long train of arguments, to prove, that no flesh could be justified by the law ? For it would have been enough to have said, that a repealed law could neither justify nor condemn any body. And why does he use such arguments as he does ? For thus he reasons, “ The law requires perfect “ obedience as a condition of life, and threatens tribulation and “ wrath against every soul of man that doth evil : But Jews and “Gentiles have all sinned: therefore are all guilty and condemn“ed according to law; and consequently cannot be cleared and “justified by law :" For all this reasoning supposes that the law is as much in force as ever it was : And, accordingly, he goes on to show, that the design of Christ's death was to answer the demands of the law, that there might be a way opened for the salvation of sinners, consistent with divine justice, and, at the same time, the law not be made void, but established; as we have before observed.—And now this being the case,
Hence, we find the scriptures every where look upon those who have not a special interest in the righteousness of Christ, by faith, as being as much under the wrath of God and curse of the law, as if Christ had never died. John iii. 18.... He that believeth not is condemned already : Ver. 36.... The wrath of God abideth upon him: And, Gal. iii. 10.... As many as are of the works of the law are under the curse: And, Rom. i. 18.... The wrath of God is revealed from heaven, against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness. Thus the wrath of God is revealed against the unbeliever; yea, abides upon him ; yea, the law condemns and curses him : But