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all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy strength, and with all thy mind; and thy neighbour as thyself. And he said unto him ; Thou hast answered right : THIS DO, AND THOU SHALT LIVE':
Nothing can be clearer than this passage : and nothing can halt more wretchedly than Bishop Warburton's attempt to extricate himself from its. The lawyer asks, how he is to inherit
For instruction Christ refers him to THE LAW. The man gives a very sensible and pertinent answer. And, in return, Christ says; This do, and thou shalt LIVE: that is to say, LIVE ETERNALLY; for otherwise no answer would have been afforded to the man's original question, What shall I do to inherit ETERNAL LIFE? Hence it is evident, that a faithful and spiritual observance of the Law will intitle a man to a life of eternal happiness : and the reason, why eternal life is never in fact thus obtained, must be sought for, not in any failure of God to perform his part of the covenant, but in the failure of man to perform his part. If man faithfully obeyed the Law, it would intitle him to eternal happiness : but no man ever does faithfully obey the Law: therefore no man can obtain eternal happiness through it. The defect however is not in the Law, but in man himself. According to the plain unsophisticated words of our Saviour, the Law holds out the promise of ETERNAL LIFE to the obedient: and, as he evidently refers in his answer to that text of Leviticus, Ye shall therefore keep my statutes and judgments, which if a man do he SHALL LIVE in them'; I see not how we can avoid the conclusion, that, in some sense or other, ETERNAL LIFE was a sanction of THE LAW.
1 Luke x. 25-28.
To a similar purpose is the constant reasoning of St. Paul, as Bishop Warburton himself is compelled to acknowledge; though he endeavours to break the force of his acknowledgment by contending, that the apostle does not argue from really true premises, but from premises invented or discovered by the later Jews and by them believed to be true. Yet, whatever we may think of the bishop's shift which has plainly been invented to save his favourite theory from apprehended destruction, we can no where find a more lucid statement of St. Paul's frequently repeated argument than in his lordship’s own words.
The Law, says the apostle, we know is spiritual*: for it says, Do this and liveʻ. Therefore he, who does the deeds of the Law SHALL LIVE". But what then? I am CARNAL°; and ALL HAVE SINNED and come short of the glory of God': so that no flesh can be JUSTIFIED by the deeds of the Law', which requires PERFECT OBEDIENCE. Works then being unprofitable, we must have recourse to faith. But the Law is not of Faith". Therefore the Law is unprofitable for the attainment of salvation`.
· Levit. xviii. 5.
* Levit. xvii. 6. Gal. iii. 12. • Rom. x,b.
6 Rom. vi. 14.
Such no doubt is the argument of St. Paul: but it is manifestly built upon the identical premises employed by our Lord in his conversation with the lawyer.
ETERNAL LIFE is first assumed to be a sanction of the Law : and the text from Leviticus, alluded to in the words, Do this and LIVE, is in each case alike interpreted as holding forth the promise of ETERNAL LIFE to perfect obedience. Next it is argued, that perfect obedience never was and never will be rendered by any man. Whence the conclusion is regularly and logically drawn, that no man can obtain ETERNAL LIFE by the Law; not however on the ground that the Law holds forth no promise of eternal life, but on the quite different ground that no man can claim the fulfilment of the actually existing promise on the score of his own undeviating obedience.
The argument, in short, of our Lord and his apostle is the very same and deduced from the very same premises : the sole difference is, that the apostle brings out the legitimate conclusion in so many express words; while our Lord stops short, and leaves the lawyer himself to draw the conclusion by practically comparing his own life with the acknowledged requisitions of the Law. In each case however, the argument is plainly altogether inconclusive;
i Rom. iii. 23. 2 Gal. ii. 16. iii. 11. 13 Gal. ii. 12.
* Dir. Lag. bookivi,iseat. 4. p.488.
unless it be allowed, that the Law proposes ETERNAL LIFE as a sanction: for, in each case, the argument is professedly built upon this identical circumstance.
How then shall we account for this extraordinary discrepance between the testimony of the Law respecting itself, and the testimony of the Gospel respecting the Law ?. For the Law declares, that its sanction is TEMPORAL rewards and punishments; while the Gospel declares, that its sanction is FUTURE OR ETERNAL rewards and punishments.
To solve the difficulty, some have recourse to a spiritualization of the Law: whence they teach us, that TEMPORAL punishments and TEMPORAL blessings in the letter shadow out ETERNAL punishments and ETERNAL blessings in the spirit ; so that, when the Israelites (as in the copious passage which I have cited above) are promised all TEMPORAL blessings on their obedience and are threatened with all TEMPORAL punishments
on their disobedience, we are to view the TEMPORAL as so many types or images of the
This solution appears to me very unsatisfactory: for, though I readily acknowledge that the Law is a shadow of good things to come ; still, in argument, it would seem rather an unusual process to refer a man to a long annunciation of TEMPORAL rewards and punishments which confessedly received their full accomplishment in literal matter of fact, as any proof that ETERNAL rewards and punishments were a sanction of the Law.
The genuine solution is, I am persuaded, of a totally different description, and is built upon a totally different principle.
The Law, as St. Paul teaches us, WAS ADDED to ancient Patriarchism: and, as the sanction of ancient Patriarchism was not repealed ; that sanction, by the union of Patriarchism with the Law, became in some sort the sanction of the Law itself. Yet, in absolute strictness of speech, it was not the sanction of the Law: for the Law, properly and exclusively so called, being administered upon earth by a Theocracy, could only, both in the very nature of things and as itself repeatedly testifies, employ for its sanction temPORAL rewards and punishments. That ETERNAL LIFE therefore, to which Christ and St: Paul refer as a sanction of the Law, is in truth