« EelmineJätka »
Christ to the apostles; “But now is made manifest, and by the scriptures and the prophets, according to the commandment of the everlasting God, made known to all nations for the obedience of faith,” Rom. xvi. 26. And this same Apostle tells us, that the end God aimed at in this, and the fulfilling end of this law in all believers, is as follows; “Now the end of the commandment is charity out of a pure heart, and of a good conscience, and of faith unfeigned.” Therefore, as this law of faith, which worketh by love, came forth from God, Paul says, I am not without law to God; and, as this Paul calls the law of Christ, he says I am under the law to Christ. “Being not without law to God, but under the law to Christ,”1 Cor. ix, 21. For the want of light and experience to discern this law of Christ many good men have stumbled upon the dark mountains of Sinai and Horeb, and led others to do the same, which has kept many in confusion all their days. For instance,
The following text is made out by some to be the moral law. “I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. And be not conformed to this world; but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God,” Rom. xii. 1, 2. Doth pot this appear strange, that God's will of purpose
and promise in Christ, revealed in the better covenant, and which the angels themselves called God's good will when they sung at the birth of Christ, “ Glory to God, in the highest; on earth peace, good-will towards men:" I say, is it not strange that God's will of commandments, which is the master's will and rule to bond-servants, should be this good, and perfect, and acceptable will, of God, when without faith we cannot please God, and the law is not of faith, but of works? Charity, whether in God, in Christ, in the Spirit, or in the elect, is discriminating; but never universal, as the law is. God takes pleasure in none but them that hope in his mercy; nor will God accept us but in his Son. Is it not strange, I ask again, that the apostle should beseech us, by the mercies of God, as spiritual men, made alive by the Spirit, and living by faith, to prove what is the good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God, and that this is the moral law ? Yet he tells us that we are redeemed from the law, delivered from the law, dead to the law, and under the law
When Christ came he shook and removed both heaven and earth, the sea and the dry land, Haggai ii. 6; Heb. xii. 26. He removed the whole Mosaic economy;
the law, the covenant, the priesthood, the sacrifice, the service of God, and the Jewish nation. Old things passed away, and all things became new. “ The law and the
prophets were until John; since that time the kingdom of God is preached, and every man presseth into it.” And he that presseth into this kingdom
follows Christ in this regeneration of things, wherein all things become new. He that is in Christ, and has faith which worketh by charity, is a new creature, and follows Christ in the regeneration of soul.
Jumbling the above things together, by some good men, has kept many bad men (in the ministry) at vain-jangling all their days; who have touched upon every thing, but established nothing. Some engraft this charity upon the moral law, while others engraft the moral law upon Christ, and extend it to all mankind as objects of charity. Thus our church catechism, 'And to live in charity with all men.' Whereas charity, which is one branch of the law that came by Christ, and is in none but believers, enjoins me to love my brother, as the Lord loved me: and John says, “We ought to lay down our lives for the brethren.” But what part of the moral law is that which tells me to love my neighbour better than my own life, so as to die for him? And, as the law never requires this, would it not be, as Paul says, daring presumption so to do? “Yet peradventure for a good man some would even dare to die,” Rom. v. 7. But many have died to confirm the faith of the saints, and have fulfilled the law of Christ in so doing. Blending the law of Christ and the moral law together makes Paul both say and unsay; yea, it has made him even contradict himself through all his writings. For instance, “When faith is come we are no longer under a schoolmaster;" yet we are under the schoolmaster
to Christ. “ Ye are become dead to the law by the body of Christ,” that ye may be under the killing letter. “ We are not children of the bondwoman, but of the free;" yet we are under the yoke of bondage as a rule. “ We are all children of light and of the day,” but only under the old veil. “ The just man shall live by faith;” but the ministration of death must be his rule of life. “ There is no fear in love, but perfect love casteth out fear;" yet the law, which gendereth bondage unto fear, must be the yoke. “ He that loveth dwelleth in God, and God in him;" yet he is under the law that worketh wrath. God, as a Master, and a Father, must have but one covenant. Servants and Sons, bondage and liberty, slavish fear and filial, righteousness and condemnation, the killing letter and the quickening Spirit, divine love and vindictive wrath, spiritual worship, and service in the oldness of the letter, saints and sinners, gracious souls and varnished hypocrites, must make up one body, and are all under, one law. Impostors must be called evangelists, and ministers of the Spirit licentious livers. This confusion and vain-jangling is the work of the present day: and he that will not say a confederacy to it, is a vile, filthy, stinking Antinomian, a spiritual blackguard, and the real property of the devil; for so says my pious godfather. Then farewell vain-jangling for evermore, and welcome reproach. Amen and Amen, says
W. II. S.S.