« FöregåendeFortsätt »
• the law cannot be set up as á covenant of works. You answer, * That the law and the promise having divers ends, it doth noe
thence follow, that there is an inconsistence betwixt them, 6 and that the law, even as it is a covenant of works, instead of 6 being against the promise, tends to the establishment of it. • And p. 133. that by convincing men of the impossibility of • obtaining rest and peace in themselves, and the necessity of
betaking themselves to the promise, &c. the law is not against
the promise, having so blessed a fubferviency towards the esta« bliliment thereof.' Here you own a subservieney, yea, a bleffed fubferviency of the law to the promise, which is that Mr. Sedgwick and myself have urged to prove it cannot be fo, as it is a pure Adam's covenant, but that therefore it must come under another confideration; only here we differ; you say it hath a blessed fubferviency to the promise, as it is the fame with Adam's covenant ; we say it can never be fo as such, but as it is either a covenant of grace, tho' more obscure, as he speaks ; or though the matter of it should be the same with Adam's covenant, yet it is subserviently a covenant of grace, as others speak; and under no other confideration can it be reconciled to the promise. But will
you ftand to this, that the law hath no hoftile contradiction to the promife, but a blessed subferviency to it, as you speak, p. 173. where you say, " That if we preach up the • law as a covenant of life, or a covenant of faith and grace « (which are equipollent terms) let us diftinguish as we please • between a covenant of grace absolutely and subferviently such; • then we make an ill use of the law, by perverting it to such a
service as God never intended it for, and are guilty of mingling • law and gospel, life and death together.'
Reply. Here, fir, my understanding is perfectly posed, and I know not how to make any tolerable orthodox sense out of this position: Is the law preached up as a pure covenant of works, (that is, pressing men to the personal and punctual obedience of it, in order to their justification by works) no way repugnant to the promise, but altogether so, when preached in fubferviency to Christ and faith? This is new divinity with me, and I believe must be fo to every intelligent reader. Do not I oppose the promise, when I preach up the law as a puré covenant of works, which therefore as such niuft be exclusive of Christ and the promise ? And do I oppose either, when I tell finners the terrors of the law serve only to drive: tłem to Chrift, their only remedy, who is "the end of the law
for rightcousness, to every one that believerb," Rom. X: 4.
Are works and grace more consistent than grace with grace! Explain your meaning in this paradoxical expresion, and leave ņot yourself and others in such a maze. I read, Gal. ii. 19. for what end God published the law 430 years after the promise was made to Abraham, and find it was added because of transgression, #porstson, it was put to, not set up by itself alone as a distinct covenant, but added as an appendix to the covenant of grace; whence it is plain, that God added the Sinai law to the promise, with evangelical ends and purposes. If then I preach the law to the very fame evangelical uses and purposes for which God added it to the promise, do I therein make an ill use of the law, and mingle life and death together? But preaching it, as a pure covenant of works, as it hoids forth justification to sinners by obedience to its precepts, do I then make it blessedly subfervient (as you fpeak) to the promise or covenant of grace? The law was added because of transgression, that is, to reftrain sin in the worļd, and to convince finners under guilt, of the necessity of another righteousness than their own, even that of Christ, aod for the same ends God added it to the promise. I always did, and still fhall preach it, and I am persuaded, without the least danger of mingling law and gospel, life and death together, in your sense.
It is plain to me, that in the publication of the law on Sinai, God did not in the least intend to give them so much as a direction how to obtain justification by their most punctual obedience to its precepts, that being to fallen man utterly. impossible, and beside, had he promulged the law to that end and purpose, he had not added it, but directly opposed it to the promise ; which it is manifested he did not ; Gal. iii. 21.* “ Is the law then against the promise of God? God forbid.” And verse 18. makes it appear, that had it been set up to that end and purpose, it had utterly disannulled the promise; for if the inheritance be of the law, it is no more by promise. What then can be clearer, than that the law at Sinai was published with gracious gospel-ends and purposes, to lead men to Chrift, which Adam's covenant had no respect or reference to ? And therefore it can'never be a pure Adam's covenant, as you fallely call it; neither is it capable of becoming a pure covenant of works to any man, but by his own fault, in rejecting the righ- : teousness of Christ, and seeking justification by the works of che law, as the mistaken carnal Jews did, Rom. X. 3. and nther legal justiciaries now do. And
upon this account only it is that Paul, who fo highly praises the law in its subserviency to Christ, thunders so dreadfully against it, as it is thus fet by ignorant mistaken fouls in direct opposition to Christ.
(5thly,) And further, to clear this point, the apostle tells us, Rom. *. 4. “ For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness * to every one that believeth.” Whence I argue, That if A. dam's covenant had an end, namely, the justification of men by their own personal obedience; and the law at Sinai had a quite contrary end, namely, to bring finners to Christ by faith for their righteousness; the one to keep him within himself, the other to take him quite out of himself, and bring him fus his justification to the righteousness of another, even that of Chrift; then that Sinai law cannot possibly be the same thing. with Adam's covenant of works. But the antecedent is true and plain in the forecited text, therefore so is the consequent,
Christ is the end of the law for righteoufness. Take the law here either more strictly, for the moral law, or more largely, as it comprehends the ceremonial law, ftill Chrift is the end of the law. The moral law shuts up every man to Chrift for rightequsness, by convincing him (according to God's design in the publication of it) of the impossibility of obtaining justification, in the way of works.
And the ceremonial law many ways prefigured Christ, his death and satisfaction, by blood, in our room, and so led men to Christ, their true propitiation; and all its types were fulfilled and ended in Chrift. "Was there any fuch thing in Adam's covenant. You must prove there was, else you will never able to make them one and the same covenant.
(6thly,) It seems exceeding probable from Acts vii. 37, 38. that the Sinai covenant was delivered to Moses by Jesus Chrift, there called the angel. This is he that was in the church in the « wilderness, with the Angel that spake to bim in the mount Sinai, and with our fathers, who received the lively oracles
to give unto us." Now, if Christ himself were the Angel, and the precepts of the law delivered by him to Moses were the lively oracles of God, as they are exprefly affirmed to be; then the law delivered on mount Sinai cannot be a pure
'Adam's covenant of works : for it is never to be imagined, that Jesus Christ himself should deliver to Moses such a covenant, directly opposite to all the ends of his future incarnation ; and that those precepts (which, if they were of the same nature, and revived to the same end, at which Adam's covenant directly aimed) should be called the lively oracles of God; when contrariwise, upon your supposition, they could be no other than a miniitration of condemnation and death : but that they were lively,
pracles, viz. in their design and intention, is plain in the text; and that they were delivered to Moses by Jesus Chrift, the angel of the cavenant, seems more than probable, by com. paring it with the former verses.
(7thly,) Neither is it easy to imagine how such a covenant, which by the fall of Adam had utterly lost all its promises, privileges, and blessings, and could retain nothing but the curses and punishments annexed to it, in case of the least failure, çould pollibly be numbred among the chief privileges in which God's Israel gloried ; as it apparently was, Rom. ix. 4. “Who " are Ifraelites; to whom pertaineth the adoption, and the “ glory, and the covenants, and the giving of the law, and ll the service of God, and the promises,
: These things considered, with many more (which the intended brevity of this discourse will not now admit) I am fully fatisfied of the falsity of your position, and so may you too, when you shall review the many gross and palpable absurdities with which I have clogged and loaded it, with many more, regularly and fairly deducible from it; which I could easily produce, did I not suspect these I have produced, have already prest your patience a little too far: but if ever I shall see (which I never expect) a fair and fcriptüral solution of these weighty objections, you may expect from me more arguments against your unfound position, which, at the present, I judge needless to add.
To conclude: These premises (as before I noted) can never be true, from whence fuch, and so many gross and notorious absurdities are regularly and unavoidably deducible. For ex veris nil nisi verum, from true premises nothing but truth can regularly follow.
Had you minded those things which I seasonably sent you, you had avoided all those bogs into which you are now sunk, and been able fairly to reconcile all those seeming contradictions in Paul's epistles, with respect to the law at Sinai : But, however, by what hath been said, your first position, That the Sinai covenint is the same covenant of works with Adam's in paradise, vanishes before the evidence of scripture, truth, and found reason.
But yet, tho' what I have said destroys your false position, I am not willing to leave you, or the reader ignorant, wherein the truth lies in this controverted point betwixt us; and that will appear, by a due consideration of the following particulars.
11.) It is plain and uncontroverted, that Adam's covenant in paradife; contained in it a perfect law and rule of natural righ
teousness, founded both in God's nature, and in man's; which in its perfect state of innocency, was every way enabled per fectly to comply therewith : For the scripture tells us, Eccl. vii. 29. That God made man upright ; and his punctual complying therewith, was the righteousness by which he stood.
(2.) This covenant of works being once broken, can never more be available to the juftification and salvation of any fallen man. There wa not now a law found that could give righteousness : The broken covenant of works loft immediately all the blessings and privileges which before it contained, and retained only the curse and punifoment ; in token whereof, cherubims, with flaming swords, turning every way, were fet to keep the way of the tree of life, Gen. iii. 24.
(3.) Soon after the violation of the covenant of works, God was graciously pleased to publish for the relief of mankind, now miserable and hopeless, the second covenant, which we call the covenant of grace, Gen. iii. 15. which is the first opening of the grace of God in Christ to fallen man. And tho" this first promise of Christ was but short and obscure, yet it was in every age to be opened clearer and clearer, until the promised feed should come. After the first opening of this new covenant, in the first promise of Christ, the first covenant is thut up
for ever, as a covenant of life and falvation; and all the world are shut up to the only way of salvation by Chrift, Gal. iii. 23. It being contrary to the will of God, that two ways of salvation should stand open to man at once, and they fo opposite one to another, as the way of works, and the way of faith are, Acts iv. 12. John xiv. 6. Gal. ii. 21.
(4.) It is evident, however, that after the first opening of the promise of Christ, Gen. iii. 15. God foreseeing the pride of fallen man, who naturally inclines to a righteousness of his own in the way of doing,
of doing, was pleased to revive the law of naa ture, as to its matter, in the Sinai dispensation; which was 430 years after the first promise had been renewed, and further opened unto Abraham, of whose feed Christ should come: And this he did, not in opposition to the promise, but in subserviency thereto, Gal. iii. 21. And though the matter and substance of the law of nature be found in the Sinai covenant, ftri&ly taken for the ten commandments; yet the ends and intentions of God in that terrible Sinai dispensation were twofold: (1.) To convince fallen man of the finfulness and impotency of his nature, and the impossibility of obtaining rightea ousness by the law, and so by a blessed necessity, to shut him up to Christ, his only remedy. And, (2.) To be a standing