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The first as we have proved is of an eternal obligation. The other was given only for a time. That the latter of these was to be taken away and abolished, the apostle proves with invincible testimonies out of the Old Testament against the obstinate Jews, in his Epistle unto the Hebrews. Yet was it not to be taken away without its accomplishment when it ceased of itself. Wherefore, our Lord Christ did no otherwise dissolve or destroy that law, but by the accomplishment of it; and so he did put an end unto it, as is fully declared, Eph. ii. 14-16. But the law Kar' oxýν, that which obligeth all men unto obedience unto God always, he came not Karaλúσaι, to destroy; that is a≈erñσaι, to abolish it, as an adernos is ascribed unto the Mosaical law, Heb. ix. (in the same sense is the word used, Matt. xxiv. 2. xxvi. 6. xxvii. 40. Mark xiii. 2. xiv. 58. xv. 29. Luke xxi 6. Acts v. 38, 39. vi. 14. Rom. xiv. 20. 2 Cor. v. i. Gal. ii. 18. mostly with an accusative case, of the things spoken of) or karapуñoαι, which the apostle denies to be done by Christ, and faith in him. Rom. iii. 31. Νόμον οὖν καταργοῦμεν διὰ τῆς πίστεως; μὲ γένοιτο, ἀλλὰ νόμον ἰστῶμεν· ‘ Do we then make void the law through faith? God forbid; yea, we establish the law.' Nóμov iorával is to confirm its obligation unto obedience, which is done by faith only with respect unto the moral law, the other being evacuated as unto any power of obliging unto obedience. This, therefore, is the law which our Lord Christ affirms that he came 'not to destroy;' so he expressly declares in his ensuing discourse, shewing both its power of obliging us always unto obedience, and giving an exposition of it. This law the Lord Christ came πληρώσαι. Πληρώσαι τὸν νόμον, in the Scripture is the same with ἐμπλῆσαι τὸν νόμov in other writers; that is, to yield full perfect obedience unto the commands of the law, whereby they are absolutely fulfilled; Anpwσaι vóμov, is not to make the law perfect; for it was always vóμoç тéλoç, a 'perfect law,' James i. 25. but to yield perfect obedience unto it; the same that our Saviour calls πληρῶσαι πᾶσαν δικαιοσύνην, Matt. iii. 15. *to fulfil all righteousness;' that is, by obedience unto all God's commands and institutions, as is evident in the place. So the apostle useth the same expression, Rom. xiii. 8. 'He that loveth another, hath fulfilled the law.'
It is a vain exception that Christ fulfilled the law by his
doctrine, in the exposition of it. The opposition between the words Anowoαι and karaλvoa, ' to fulfil' and 'to destroy,' will admit of no such sense. And our Saviour himself expounds this 'fulfilling of the law,' by doing the commands of it, ver. 19. Wherefore, the Lord Christ as our mediator and surety fulfilling the law by yielding perfect obedience thereunto, he did it for us and to us it is imputed.
This is plainly affirmed by the apostle, Rom. v. 18, 19. Therefore as by the offence of one judgment came upon all men to condemnation, even so by the righteousness of one, the free gift came upon all men unto justification of life. For as by the disobedience of one many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one shall many be made righteous.' The full plea from, and vindication, of this testimony, I refer unto its proper place in the testimonies given unto the imputation of the righteousness of Christ unto our justification in general. Here I shall only observe that the apostle expressly and in terms affirms that by the obedience of Christ, we are made righteous,' or justified, which we cannot be but by the imputation of it unto us. I have met with nothing that had the appearance of any sobriety for the eluding of this express testimony, but only, that by the obedience of Christ, his death and sufferings are intended, wherein he was obedient unto God; as the apostle saith, he was 'obedient unto death; the death of the cross;' Phil. ii. 8. But yet there is herein no colour of probability. For, 1. It is acknowledged that there was such a near conjunction and alliance between the obedience of Christ, and his sufferings, that though they may be distinguished, yet can they not be separated. He suffered in the whole course of his obedience, from the womb to the cross; and he obeyed in all his sufferings unto the last moment wherein he expired. But yet are they really things distinct, as we have proved; and they were so in him, who learned obedience by the things that he suffered; Heb. v. 8. 2. In this place úπaкon ver. 19. and dikaiwμa, ver. 18. are the same: obedience and righteousness. By the righteousness of one, and by the obedience of one, are the same. But suffering, as suffering, is not Sikaíwμa, is not righteousness; for if it were, then every one that suffers what is due to him, should be righteous, and so be justified, even the devil himself. 3. The
righteousness and obedience here intended, are opposed T TаρажTúμаr to the offence. By the offence of one;' but the offence intended was an actual transgression of the law; so is жаρáжтwμa, a fall from, or a fall in, the course of obedience. Wherefore the dikaiwμa, or righteousness, must be an actual obedience unto the commands of the law, or the force of the apostle's reasoning and antithesis cannot be understood. 4. Particularly it is such an obedience as is opposed unto the disobedience of Adam. One man's disobedience, one man's obedience. But the disobedience of Adam was an actual transgression of the law; and therefore the obedience of Christ here intended, was his active obedience unto the law; which is that we plead for. And I shall not at present farther pursue the argument, because the force of it, in the confirmation of the truth contended for, will be included in those that follow.
The nature of justification proved from the difference of the covenants.
THAT which we plead in the third place unto our purpose, is, The difference between the two covenants. And herein it may be observed;
1. That by the two covenants I understand those which were absolutely given unto the whole church, and were all to bring it is Teλɛlórηra, unto a complete and perfect state; that is, the covenant of works, or the law of our creation, as it was given unto us, with promises and threatenings, or rewards and punishments annexed unto it; and the covenant of grace, revealed and proposed in the first promise. As unto the covenant of Sinai, and the new testament as actually confirmed in the death of Christ, with all the spiritual privileges thence emerging, and the differences between them, they belong not unto our present argument.
2. The whole entire nature of the covenant of works consisted in this; That upon our personal obedience, according unto the law and rule of it, we should be accepted with God, and rewarded with him. Herein the essence of it did con
sist. And whatever covenant proceedeth on these terms, or hath the nature of them in it, however it may be varied, with additions or alterations, is the same covenant still, and not another. As in the renovation of the promise wherein the essence of the covenant of grace was contained, God did ofttimes make other additions unto it, as unto Abraham and David; yet was it still the same covenant for the substance of it, and not another; so whatever variations may be made in, or additions unto, the dispensation of the first covenant, so long as this rule is retained, 'do this and live;' it is still the same covenant, for the substance and essence of it. 3. Hence two things belonged unto this covenant. 1. That all things were transacted immediately between God and man. There was no mediator in it, no one to undertake any thing, either on the part of God or man, between them. For the whole depending on every one's personal obedience, there was no place for a mediator. 2. That nothing but perfect sinless obedience would be accepted with God, or preserve the covenant in its primitive state and condition. There was nothing in it as to pardon of sin, no provision for any defect in personal obedience.
4. Wherefore, this covenant being once established between God and man, there could be no new covenant made, unless the essential form of it were of another nature; namely, that our own personal obedience be not the rule and cause of our acceptation and justification before God. For whilst this is so, as was before observed, the covenant is still the same; however the dispensation of it may be reformed or reduced, to suit unto our present state and condition. What grace soever might be introduced into it, that could not be so, which excluded all works from being the cause of our justification. But if a new covenant be made, such grace must be provided as is absolutely inconsistent with any works of ours, as unto the first ends of the covenant, as the apostle declares, Rom. xi. 6.
5. Wherefore, the covenant of grace, supposing it a new, real, absolute covenant, and not a reformation of the dispensation of the old, or a reduction of it unto the use of our present condition (as some imagine it to be), must differ in the essence, substance, and nature of it from that first covenant of works. And this it cannot do, if we are to be jus
tified before God on our personal obedience, wherein the essence of the first covenant consisted. If then the righteousness wherewith we are justified before God, be our own, our own personal righteousness; we are yet under the first covenant, and no other.
6. But things in the new covenant are indeed quite otherwise. For, 1. It is of grace, which wholly excludes works; that is, so of grace, as that our own works are not the means of justification before God; as in the places before alleged. 2. It hath a mediator and surety, which is built alone on this supposition, that what we cannot do in ourselves, which was originally required of us, and what the law of the first covenant cannot enable us to perform, that should be performed for us, by our Mediator and Surety. And if this be not included in the very first notion of a mediator and surety, yet it is in that of a mediator or surety that doth voluntarily interpose himself upon an open acknowledgment, that those for whom he undertakes, were utterly insufficient to perform what was required of them; on which supposition all the truth of the Scripture doth depend. It is one of the very first notions of Christian religion, that the Lord Christ was given to us, born to us, that he came as a mediator, to do for us what we could not do for ourselves, and not merely to suffer what we had deserved. And here, instead of our own righteousness, we have the righteousness of God; instead of being righteous in ourselves before God, he is the Lord our righteousness. And nothing but a righteousness of another kind and nature, unto justification before God, could constitute another covenant. Wherefore, the righteousness whereby we are justified, is the righteousness of Christ imputed unto us, or we are still under the law, under the covenant of works.
It will be said that our personal obedience is by none asserted to be the righteousness wherewith we are justified before God, in the same manner as it was under the covenant of works. But the argument speaks not as unto the manner or way whereby it is so; but to the thing itself. If it be so in any way or manner, under what qualifications soever, we are under that covenant still. If it be of works any way, it is not of grace at all. But it is added, that the differences are such as are sufficient to constitute covenants