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to all that Christ has not adopted. For, (1.) he is dead to the Levitical Law, Chrif having abolished in himself the law of ordinances, Touch not, taste not, handle not. (2.) He is dead to the ceremonial Law, which was only a shadow of good things to come, a typical representation of Christ and the blessing flowing from his facrifice. (3.) He is dead to the curse attending his past violations of the moral law, for Christ hath delivered us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us. And lastly, he is dead to the hopes of recommending himself to God, by the merit of his obedience of the moral law; for in point of merit, he is determined to know nothing but Christ and him crucified.
To make St. Paul mean more than this, is (1.) to make him maintain that no believer can fin; for if fin is the transgression of the lawu, and “ the law is dead and buried,” it is plain no believer can fin, as no body can transgress a law which is abolished; for where no law is, there is no transgression. (2.) It is to make him contradict St. James, who exhorts us to fulfil the royal law according to the scripture, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. And (3.) It is to make him contradict himself: for he charges the Galatians by love to serve one another, all the law being fulfilled in one word, even in this, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself : And he assures the Hebrews that, under the new covenant, believers, far from being without God's Laws, have them written in their hearts ; God himself places them in their minds. We cannot therefore with any shadow of justice put Dr. Crisp's coat upon the Apostle, and press him into the service of Antinomians.
And did our Lord side with Antinomians ? Just the reverse. Far from repealing the two above mentioned royal precepts, he afferts, that on them hang all the Law and the Prophets; and had the four goipels. been then written, he would no doubt have represented them as subservient to the establishing of the Liw, as he did the book of Isaiah, the evangelical Prophet. Such high thoughts had He of the Law, that when a Lawyer expreffed his veneration for it, by declaring that the love of God and our neighbour was more than all the whole burnt-offerings and sacria ficés; Jesus seeing that he had answered discreetly. faid unto him : Thou art not far from the kingdom of God.
The gospel itself terminates in the fulfilling of the commandments : For as the curse of the law like the scourge of a severe schoolmaster drives; so the gospel like a loving guide brings us to Christ, the great law-fulfiller, in whom we find inexhaustible treasures of pardon and power; of pardon for past breaches of the law, and of power for present obedience to it. Nor are we sooner come to Hiin, than he magnifies the law by his precepts, as he for. merly did by his obedience unto death. If Ye love me, says he, keep my commandments: This is his commandment that we should love one another; and he that loveth another bath fulfilled the law.
Again, the gospel displays Jesus's dying love, that by believing it we may love him; that is, have everlasting life, the life of love which abideth when the life of faith is no more. Hence St. John surns up christianity in these words, We love him because he first loved us; and what is it to love Jesus, but to fulfil the whole law at once, to love God and man, the Creator and the Creature, united in one divinely human person ?
Did the Son of God magnify the Law that we might vilify it? Did he make it honorable that we might make it contemptible? Did he come to fulfil it that we might be discharged from fulfilling it according to our capacity ? that is, discharged from loving God and our neighbour discharged from the employment and joys of heaven? No: the Word was never made flesh for this dreadful end. None but Satan could have become incarnate to go upon such an infernal errand as this. Sianding therefore upon the rock of evangelical truth, we aik with St. Paul, Do we then make void the law through faith? God forbid! Nay, we establish the law. We point finners to that Saviour, in and from whom they
may it as
may continually have the law-fulfilling power, that the righteousness of the Law may be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the fless but after the Spirit.
Such are the glorious and delightful views, which the Scripture gives us of the Law difarmed of its curse in Christ, the Law of holy, humble love, so strongly inforced in the discourses, and sweetly exemplified in the life and death of the Prophet-like unto Moses !--So amiable, so precious is the book of the law, when delivered to us by Jesus, sprinkled with his atoning blood, and
explained by his loving Spirit! And so true is St. Paul's assertion, We are not without law to God, but under the law to Chrift!
Instead then of dressing up the Law as a scarecrow, let us in our degree magnify it, and make it honorable as did our Lord. Inftead of representing
an intolerable yoke of bondage,” let us call it with St. Paul the law of Cbrist, and with St. James the perfect law of LIBERTY. And let every true believer say with David, I love thy commandments above gold and precious piones : I shall alway keep thy law, yea for ever and ever : I will walk at liberty for I seek thy precepts.
But alas! how few give us these evangelical views of the law, and practical views of the gospel! How many intimate Christ has fulfilled all righteoulness, that we might be the children of God with hearts full of unrighteousness! If some infiit upon our fulfilling all righteousness also, is it not chiefly when they want to draw us into their peculiarities, and dip us into their narrow denomination ? And what number, under the fair pretence that they “ have a living law written in their hearts,' infinuate, " there is no need of preaching the law” to them, either to thew them more of God's purity, indear the atoning blood, regulate their conduct, or convince them of the neceflity of perfecting holiness!
But suppose these Objectors have, as they say, the law written in their inward parts, (which the actions and tempers of some make rather doubtful,) is the writing so perfectly finished, that no one stroke needs be added to it? Is not the law an important part of the word of rightecusness? And could not the Holy Ghoit re-touch the writing, or deepen the engraving, by the ministry of the word of righteousness? Again, if the internal teachings of the holy spirit supersede the letter of the law, must they not by the same reason fuperfede the letter of the gospel ? Is there any more need of preaching the gospel than the law to believers ? Or have they not the gospel written in their hearts, as well as the law ?
At what amazing heights of unfcriptural per. fection must our Objectors fuppofe themselves! What palpable errors do they run into, that they may have the honor of palling for evangelical! And who will envy them the glory of countenancing the antinomian delusion, by standing in direct opposition to Christ, who thus decides the controverly : Think not that I am come to destroy the Law and the Prophets : I am not come to destroy but to fulfil. For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass away, one jot or tittle small in no wife pass from the law, till all be fulfilled, either in what it requires or denounces; for the law is fulfilled not only when its precepts are obeyed, but when rewards are given to the observers, and punishments inflicted upon the violators, of it. Whosoever therefore shall po my commandments, and teach them, shall be great in the kingdom of heaven.
Do not imagine, Rev. Sir, I thus cry up God's Law, to drown the late cries of heresy and apostacy. I appeal to matter of fact and your own observations. Consider the religious world, and say, if ANTINOMIANISM is not in general a motto better adapted to the fate of professing Congregations, Societies,
Families, and Individuals, than Holiness unto the · Lord, the inscription that should be even upon our horses bells.
Begin with Congregations, and cast first your eyes upon the Hearers. In general they have curious, itching ears, and will not endure found doctrine: Many of them are armed with the breastplate of a righteousness which they have vainly + imputed to themselves : they have on the Towy helmet of a. presumptuous hope, and hold fast the impenetrable field of strong prejudice. With these they quench the fiery darts of convincing Truth, and stand undaunted under vollies of reproof.
They say, they “ will have nothing but Chrift:" And who could blame them, if they would have Christ in all his offices: Chrift with all his parables and fermons, cautions and precepts, reproofs and expoftulations, exhortations and threatnings? Christ preaching to the multitudes upon a mountain, as well as honorably teaching in the temple? Christ fasting in the wilderness, or praying in Geth.
f Our imputation of Christ's righteousness to ourselves is a trick of our antinomian hearts, and is a dreadful delusion : but God's imputing of Christ's righteousness to true believers is a moft. blefled reality, for which we cannot too much contend. He speaks the word and it is done ; his imputation is not an idea, but a fiat, wh-rever it takes place, Jehovah our righteousness, or Christ the righteous dwells in tbe beart by faitb. I wish that with respect to imputed rigtbeousness, we paid more regard to the late Mr. Hart's sentiment. This experienced and found Calvinist, in the account of his conversion, pretixed to his hymns, says with great truth : “ As much as Lazarus coming out of the grave, and feeling himself restored to life, differed from those who only saw the miracle, or believed the fact told them; fo great is the difference between a roul's real coming to Christ out of himself, and having the righteousness of Christ imputed to him by the precious faith of God's elect; and a man's bare believing the doctrine of imputed righteousness, because he sees it contained in the scripture, or affenting to the truth of it" whe.Sproposed to his understanding by others."