Page images
PDF
EPUB

the sanction of Patriarchism: and it is no further a sanction of the Law, than as the Law WAS ADDED to a more ancient Dispensation.

This will distinctly appear, if we only advert to the professed basis of the argument employed by our Lord and his apostle.

On what do they represent the promise of ETERNAL LIFE suspended under the Law? On its ceremonial and civil part, or on its moral and religious part? Doubtless on the latter.

Thus, when Christ told the lawyer that he had answered right, and when he added, This do and thou shalt LIVE; what was it that the lawyer had previously said ? Did he build his hope of inheriting ETERNAL LIFE on the punctuality of his civil and ceremonial obedience ? Nothing of the sort: his answer had exclusive regard to the moral and religious part of the Law. Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy strength, and with all thy mind; and thy neighbour as thyself.

Thus likewise St. Paul, whenever he reasons forward to the necessity of a justifying faith in Christ, always reasons from the impossibility of sincere and spiritual obedience being paid by fallen man to the moral and religious commandments. If there had been a Law given which could have given LIFE, verily RIGHTEOUSNESS should have been by the Law. But the Scripture hath concluded all UNDER SIN, that the promise by faith of Jesus Christ might be given to them that believe'. The Law is not of FAITH : but the man, that DOETH them, shall live in them'. God will render to every man according to his DEEDS : to them, whO BY PATIENT CONTINUANCE IN WELL-DOING seek for glory and honour and immortality, eternal life, but unto them, that are contentious and DO NOT OBEY THE TRUTH but OBEY UNRIGHTEOUSNESS, indignation and wrath, tribulation and anguish, Ų PON EVERY SOUL OF MAN THAT DOETH EVIL, of the Jew first, and also of the GENTILE. many, as HAVE SINNED without thự Law, shall also perish without the Law: and as many, as HAVE SINNED in the Law, shall be judged by the Law, But we have proved both Jews and GENTILES, that they are allUNDER SIN: as it is written, There is none RIGHTEOUS, no not one : there is none that UNDERSTANDETH, there is none that SEEKETH AFTER GOD; they are all GONE OUT OF THE WAY, they are altogether become UNPROFITABLE, there is none that DOETH GOOD no not one, there is NÓ FEAR OF GOD before their eyes : Now we know, that what things soeyer the Law saith, it saith to them who are under the Law: that EVERY MOUTH MAY BE STOPPED, and ALL THE WORLD MAY BECOME GUILTY BEFORE GOD, Therefore by the deeds of the Law shall no flesh be justified in his sight: for by the Law is THE KNOWLEDGE OF SIN. But now the righteousness of God without the Law is manifested, being witnessed by the Law and the Prophets, even the righteousness of God which is BY FAITH OF JESUS CHRIST unto all and

For as

• Galat. iii, 21, 22.

2 Ibid. 12.

ироп

all them that believe: for there is no difference. For ALL HAVE SINNED AND COME SHORT OF THE GLORY OF GOD, being JUSTIFIED FREELY BY HIS GRACE THROUGH THE REDEMPTION THAT IS IN

CHRIST JESUS".

It is needless to multiply passages of a similar purport: suffice it to say, that, whenever St. Paul would prove our need of a Redeemer, he invariably argues, not from the breach of the civil and ceremonial part of the Law, but from the breach of its moral and religious part. Now whence did it receive this moral and religious part, which the apostle declares to be binding upon the Gentiles just as much as upon the Jews? Doubtless from ancient Patriarchism: for to this prior Dispensation, the Law, properly so called, WAS'ADDED. Hence it is evident, that the sanction of ETERNAL rewards and punishments HEREAFTER was not, strictly speaking, the sanction of the Law, but the sanction of Patriarchism : and it is referred to by Christ and St. Paul as a sanction of the Law, solely because the Law WAS ADDED to Patriarchism, and thence adopted both its sanction, and its doctrines. Having therefore thus adopted the sanction of Patriarchism, it ADDED to that sanction

' Rom. ii. 6-9, 12. iii. 9-12, 18-24.

[ocr errors]

its own peculiar and exclusive sanction; namely, TEMPORAL rewards and punishments HERE: which it was necessitated to do in consequence of its being administered by a Theocracy; for a Theocracy without TEMPORAL rewards and punishments is a manifest contradiction in terms.

Accordingly, we find the apostle alluding to this double sanction; under which, not the ceremonial, but the moral, Law was enforced. GODLINESS is profitable unto all things, having promise of THE LIFE THAT NOW IS and IS TO COME'. Under Patriarchism, godliness had promise only of a future life: hence we may observe Jacob and the patriarchs exposed to many severe trials, and confessing that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth. Again under Christianity, godliness has promise only of a future life; though it is the grand privilege of that Dispensation, that its great prophet should have eminently brought life and immortality to LIGÁT through the Gospel : hence the Saviour addresses his disciples; In the world YE SHALL HAVE TRIBULATION, but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world:. Under Judaism alone, partly in consequence of its having been ADDED to Patriarchism and partly in consequence of its theocratic administration, godliness had promise both of the life that now is and of that which is to come. The same extraordinary circumstance,

THAT WHICH

11 Tim, iv. 8.

2 Gen. xlvii. 9. Heb. xi. 13. s John xvi. 33.

[ocr errors]

if I mistake not, will once more occur during the millennial period, when Christianity itself shall be ADDED to evangelized Judaism. We have reason to believe, that the ancient Theocracy will then be revived; but revived so as to comprehend every servant of Christ, whether Jew or Gentile. But, if the Theocracy be revived, it must inevitably bring in its train that necessary and inseparable concomitant of a Theocracy as such, the sanction of TEMPORAL rewards and punishments'. i I consider these remarks on the sanctions of the Law, as absolutely necessary to enable us to form a right estimate of what we may reasonably expect to find in the Pentateuch relative to á future retributory state: for, without such preliminary remarks, we might be apt to raise our expectations much higher than we can have any just warrant to do. Indeed I am fülly persuaded, that a want of attention to this very thing is the main circumstance which has given any degree of plausibility to the system, - that the doctrine of a future state formed no part of the Levitical Dispensation and was wholly unknown to the great body of the Israelites. !")

[ocr errors]

1

See Dan, yii, 13, 14, 27. Rev. xx, 5-+ 9. Isaiah ii. 2, 3. xi. 10--16. xii. liv. lx. lxvi. 15—24. Ezek. xxxiv. 11.-31. xxxvi. xxxvii. xxxviii. xxxix, Hos, iii. 4,5. Joel ii. iii. Micah iv Zechar. viii. xii. xiii. xiv.

1

« PreviousContinue »