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after the spirit, Rom. viii. 1. Paul says that by faith the believer comes to Mount Zion, not to Sinai; to God the judge of all, and to the Mediator of the New Testament, where he is not without the law of love to his reconciled Father, but under a magnified law to Christ, his surety and mediator.
Paul levels the whole contents of the law, as a covenant of works, at such gentlemen as you, who make it the food of your minds, and says, "Now we know that what things soever the law saith, it saith to them who are under the law; that every mouth may be stopped," Rom. iii. 19; from boasting, if not with food. Paul knew that God wrought in the saints both to will and to do of his own good pleasure; and that the love of Christ constraineth those that are his, for they receive grace for obedience to the faith; and they find that the grace of God teaches them to deny ungodliness and worldly lust; and to live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this evil world. Grace destroys the dominion of sin; it reigns not in them, for they are not under the law, but under grace. But these, I find, are doctrines that you know nothing about. Solomon says, that a fool, while he holdeth his peace, shall be accounted a wise man. But you go on to open your mouth, and I after you to expose your foolishness.
'The delight that the saints have always taken in the law of God confirms all that I have said. Job says, "it is sweeter than the honey and the
'honeycomb." Now when he speaks of the word
you are not to suppose that he excludes the law; 'it would be false, and an antiscriptural idea for us to entertain in our minds. When he says 'is sweeter than honey, and more desirable than 'his daily food, he includes the moral law. The 'Psalmist David frequently, and how high, does 'he extol and speak of this law of God? If any person reads the nineteenth Psalm, there David 'tells us that the law is perfect, converts the soul, 'that it enlightens the mind, that it rejoices the 'heart; I say, if any one reads the nineteenth Psalm, where David expresseth himself thus con'cerning the law, they would not only be filled 'with impiety, but blasphemy, to suppose that the 'law of God is of no use to us.'
Having chased you out from under Paul's wings, I find you have now taken shelter under the patrimony of Job and David, where I must unkennel you again.
First, with respect to Job. Job knew where to find the law as his friend, which you never have yet. Job knew that the law was against him as a sinner; hence he says, "God hath sewed up mine iniquity in a bag. I know that thou wilt not hold me innocent;" which he could not be if he were accountable to God by the law; for he owned he had sinned, and therefore says, "How should man be just with God? If he will contend with him, he cannot answer him one of a thousand.” "If I speak of strength, lo! he is strong; and if of judg
ment, who shall set me a time to plead ?" Job saw the contents of God's law, and says, "Put me in a surety with thee;" one that can deliver me from the law, and make peace between God and me; "Neither is there any Day'sman betwixt us, that might lay his hand upon us both." From the curse of the law Job expected to be redeemed, and says, "I know that my Redeemer liveth, and that he shall stand at the latter day upon the earth." And by this Surety he expected redemption from the law; and that law, disarmed of its curse and condemning power, he expected to find in the heart of his Day'sman, as the law was put into the ark under the Mosaic economy: hence he calls the Saviour the mercy-seat, where he knew he should be justified and delivered both from the curse of the law, and the vengeance of his Judge: "O that I knew where I might find him! that I might come even to his seat; I would order my cause before him, and fill my mouth with arguments. There [namely at the mercy-seat] the righteous might dispute with him; so should I be delivered for ever from my Judge," Job xxiii. 7. But by your doctrine there is no deliverance; for you frustrate the grace of God, and make void the law of faith.
You say, that the saints are to be accountable to God by the law at the great day. If so, they must perish, for " by the deeds of the law shall no flesh living be justified." Nor will a saint's best days or best duties stand the scrutiny of the law,
and so you will find it; for, if an angel in heaven, by ceasing to love, could become like them that are bound in chains of darkness, what will become of you by this doctrine, who art a composition of blindness, ignorance, and errors; filled with envy, hatred, malice, and all uncharitableness? Job saw a way in which he says, “I know I shall be justified;" but I am sure you do not.
I come now to chase you out of the covert that you have taken to in David. The King of Zion is no protector of those that slander with their tongues, but declares "They that hate the righteous shall be desolate." David saw the dimensions of the law in the hands of a just God, which you never did, and says, "Fearfulness and trembling hath taken hold of me, and I am afraid of thy judgments." And with respect to his own scanty obedience, and the impossibility of being justified by it, you have these words, "I have seen an end of all perfection, but thy commandment is exceeding broad. Enter not into judgment with thy servant, O Lord, for in thy sight shall no flesh living be justified." From this his eyes were turned to see the Saviour coming to stand in his law place. “Sacrifice and offering thou didst not desire; mine ears hast thou opened; burnt offerings and sin offerings hast thou not required.
Then said I, Lo! book it is written
I come; in the volume of the of me; I delight to do thy will, O my God; yea, thy law is within my heart," Psal. xl. 6-8. David, by the eye of faith, pursued his Saviour to the
cross, where the law was to lose its curse, and death its sting; and from hence he received the law disarmed of its curse, brought home to his heart by the Spirit of God, which proclaimed liberty to his soul from the bondage of the law; "Restore to me the joys of thy salvation, and uphold me with thy free Spirit.” “The law of his God is in his heart, none of his steps shall slide.” Thus David got the law in his heart, but you have not got it either in heart or head. Now David goes on with his Saviour. "They pierced my hands and my feet; they parted my garments among them, and cast lots upon my vesture." By this he saw that the Saviour's blood could wash him from sin, and that his righteousness could cover his soul, if revealed to him by the Holy Ghost, which goodness of God so struck him, that he says, “I had utterly fainted unless I had believed to see the goodness of God in the land of the living." Mark-it was his faith that kept him from sinking: God wrought a lively faith in him, and applied the Saviour's benefits to him, which made him rejoice after he had prayed, “Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean; wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow." Then he begins to triumph; "I believed, and therefore have I spoken." Blessed is the man whose iniquities are forgiven, through Christ's blood; Blessed is the man whose sins are covered with Christ's robe; Blessed is the man unto whom the Lord will not