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The law engraved on stones, never was designed for any nation but the Jews. When the time drew nigh, in which God had promised to deliver Israel from Egyptian bondage, Moses was raised up as their leader. He led them forth to the Red Sea, through which a path was opened for them to pass over, attempting to follow whom, Pharaoh and his army were overwhelmed and destroyed. From this they were led to mount Sinai, where the Lord commanded Moses to prepare two tables of stone, and come up into the mountain, and he would engrave thereon a law for the Israelites. This law was obligatory on the Jews, until Christ; the Mediator of the new covenant, should appear and promulgate the law from Sion. When the promised seed did appear, this mount Sinai law was abrogated—being no longer binding on the Israelites; for Christ had become the · Mediator of a better covenant, established on better promises.'
This mount Sinai law was given to the Israelites as an outward, national law; and required merely the death of the offender. For Moses describeth the righteousness which is of the law, that the man who doeth those things
shall live by them,-Rom. x: 5. It is plain from this, that all the righteousness required by the law, was to do as it required, and this would save the individual who observed it, and slay him who slighted it. But this law could not give life to dead sinners; - for there was no promise of eternal life contained in that law.Hence the apostle asks—'Is the law then against the promises of God? God forbid; for if there had been a law given, which could have given life, verily righteousness should have been by the law. Gal. iii: 21. The Jews had become so devoted to the law of Moses, as to imagine they were to be justified by its works.com as many of the Gentiles who never had any business with the law, appear now to think-the apostle proposes this question to them, whether they supposed the law could stand against God's promises. It certainly stands against the promises, could righteousness have been obtained by the law.
All the true righteousness of Jews or Gentiles, can only be obtained through Jesus Christ, who is the promised of God. The Sinai law does not stand against the promises of God, for there is no name or way given under
heaven, among men, whereby we must be saved, but the name of Jesus Christ; Acts iv: 12. That which is emphatically God's law, as I understand the subject, is not an outward, but an inward law, written, not on tables of stone, but on the fleshy tablets of the hearts of all men; both Jews and Gentiles.
St. Paul, after his conversion to christianity, strove with all the wisdom he had, to convince his brethren, the Jews, that the law, once given to their fathers, was abolished, and that they could not become righteous by it. He shewed them it was only a law of works; that as many as were striving to work in that law, were still under its curse.
For as many as are of the works of the law, are under the curse. For it is written, cursed is every one that continueth not in all things which are written in the book of the law to do them.'-Gal. iii: 10. The apostle knew this to be the fact from experience. He was a Jew, and after his conversion, he declared, although he had prospered in the works of the law above, most of his countrymen, he was still under the curse, while he adhered to the Jews' religion. No one, either Jew or Gentile can so perfectly keep the law as
not to offend in one point: therefore they could not be justified by the law of Moses. Justification comes to the sinner only through faith in Christ. • But that no man is justified by the law, in the sight of God, it is evident; for the just shall live by faith.'-Gal. iii: 11.
The jews did not believe in the Savior of the world, and therefore, they remained under the curse of the law. But the Gentiles never had the law of Moses and consequently were never threatened with the curse of that law. For when the Gentiles, which have not the law, do by nature the things contained in the law; these, having not the law, are a law unto themselves; which shew the work of the law written in their hearts, their conscience also bearing witness, and their thoughts the mean while accusing or else excusing one another.'-Rom. ii: 14, 15.
This law which the Gentiles have, is the new covenant, which came from mount Sion. This law David says, 'is perfect, converting the soul.' It is also called 'the perfect law of liberty.' 'This law is written on the heart, reproves of sin, and justifies man when he does right. The law of Moses was given as schoolmaster to lead them to the new and perfect
law.-Gal. iii: 24. It was a -schoolmaster, not to all mankind, but only to the Jews; for this law was given to no others than the Israelites. If they obeyed it, their lives would be preserved; but if they broke it, they were to lose their lives. This was the judgment of the law, administered upon the Jews to whom it was given. It is evident that some of Paul's Gala. tian brethren had been drawn away by some of those teachers of the law which Paul calls the letter, or law from Mount Sinai, and by that, had left the simplicity of the gospel, which alone was sufficient for them, this surprised Paul, and he addressed them in this manner, My little children, of whom I travail in birth again, until Christ be formed in you.'-Gal, iv: 19. Tell me, ye that desire to be under the law, do ye hear the law? For it is written, Abraham had two sons, the one by a bondmaid, the other by a free woman, but he who Was of the bond-woman, was born after the flesh, but he of the free woman was by promise. Here Paul draws two figures to convey the two covenants, the one from Sinia, and the other from Mount Sion, which things are an allegory, for these are the two covenants, the one from