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circumcised, as hoping for salvation by this covenant of Sinai, he is a debtor to the tohole law. Nor can he be saved this way, unless he obeys it all perfectly; and he thet seeks salvation by such a covenant of works, is fallen from grace, or has left the doctrine of grace, verse 4.
V. Now, since this law of Moses taken by itself, as the mere Sinai covenant was in the very nature of it a sort of covenant of works, for the man that doth the commands thereof, shall lite by them ; Rom. x. 3. Lev. xviii. 5. hence it comes to pass, that in the writings of St. Paul, who was well acquainted with all the dispensations of God, the law of Moses in some places is not only called the first covenant, to intimate another or clearer dispensation of grace to follow it, but it is brought in sometimes also as a representation or specimen of that original covenant of works, or law of innocency, which was made at first with man for immortality and eternal life ;, which law all mankind have broken, and by nature they all lie not only under the commands; but under the curse of it; and therefore by it no man can be jus. tified or saved, as in Rom. iii. 19, 20. and x. 5. Gal. iii. 10, 12.
It is evident from several verses in these two epistles to the Romans and Galatians, that the Sinai covenant docs certainly represent the original covenant of works, and the curse of it under which all men lie by nature, for it is said that Christ had redeemed the Galatian Gentiles, as well as St. Paul the Jew, from the curse of the law, by bearing the curse for them, verse 13. but the Galatians were never under the law of Sinai, nor did that law curse them, any otherwise but as breakers of the original moral law of God, Cursed is every one that continueth not in all things written in the book of the law to do them; verse 10.
VI. And indeed we may take notice, that the original covenant or law of works which required perfect obedience, in order to man's justification or acceptance with God, is frequently exbibited and represented up and down in the writings of Moses, and set before the Israelites in many views, and that for several wise purposes : as, 1. To shew them what was the perfect rule of obedience and duty which God required of man; and, 2. To instruct them how much God insisted upon perfection of righteousness, in order to justification by their own works in his sight. He did this, also: 3. To convince them that they had all wretchedly transgressed this law of works, and broken this covenant of perfection: and, 4. That they might despair of eternal life by this law; and that after all their necessary endeavours to obey this law, they might still betake themselves to faith, or a dependence on the pardoning mercy and
grace of God; in short, it was to lead them to trust in that gospel which is contained in the general promises given them by Moses, and typified by the sacrifices of their Sinai covenant, and other ceremonies.
VII. St. Paul himself in his writings make use of these Mosaic representations of the law of works, sometimes for this very purpose.
See Rom. iii. 20. By the law is the knowledge of sin, whether it be the Jewish law of Sinai, or the original law of innocency. Again, Rom. v. 20. The law entered that sin might abound; which at least must have this sense, that the Jewish law was introduced in the multitude of its precepts, in the perfection of its requirements, and its repetitions of the moral law, or law of innocency, that sin might evidently appear to abound among men, and that by the law they might be so deeply convinced of sin, as to become dead to the law, as St. Paul was ; Gal. ii. 19. that is, that they might be dead to all hopes of eternal life by the law of works, when they saw the number of its precepts, and perfection of its demands.
VIII. Thus by the law the Jews might gain, not only the knowledge of sin, but also of the curse of death that was due to it. Rom. vi. 23. For the wages of every sin is there pronounced to be death; and Gal. iii. 10. cursed is every one that continueth not in all things written in the law to do them. And thus Paul argues, that they might be excited to fly to the grace of God to obtain pardon, or justification, or a justifying righteousness by faith, or dependence on grace through Jesus Christ. Gal. iii. 24. The law was our school-master, strict in its precepts, and severe in its threatenings and punishments, to bring us to Christ, that we might be justified by faith.
He that diligently reads St. Paul's epistles to the Romans and Galatians will find much of this sort of reasoning about the Jewish law; supposing it to contain in it, or at least to represent and figure out, the first covenant or original law of works, by which we sinful creatures can never be justified, and according to which many of the Jews were ever ready to hope for justification by their own works. And probably, when the ten commands of this law, were pronounced from mount Sinai, it was called by Moses ; Deut. xxxiii. 2. a fiery law, because it was attended with such lightning and thunder, storm and terror, with a design to represent the curses of God, which attended every sinner, who had broken his general original moral law, as well as those who wilfully should break any particular law of God's making; Heb. xii. 18.
IX. Thus, though the word “law,” in some scriptures represents the covenant of works, yet in some other places of St. Paul's writings, the law of Moses, or the law and the propliets, including the whole Jewish dispensation, is brought in by the same apostle, as exhibiting the gospel, though, not in its full clearbess, and as witnessing to the covenant of grace, or the way of obtaining righteousness or justification by faith ; by which Abraham the patriarch, and David the Jew, and all the Jewish VOL. 111.
saints were pardoned, justified, and accepted of God, unto eternal life.
And indeed this covenant of grace, or gospel of salvation, through faith in the mercy of God by a Mediator, with all the benefits thereof, viz. pardon, justification, adoption, sanctification and heavenly glory, was included therein, was witnessed by the law and prophets, and was typified by many shadows and figures of the Mosaic dispensation. See Rom. iii. 21. and iv. 5—7. and Heb. iv. 2. To them was the gospel preached, as well as unto us, as the words should be translated : Even that same gospel, which was preached to Abraham; Gal. iii. 8. That gospel, which was the blessing of Abraham, containing the promise of the Spirit, to be received by faith ; Gal. iii. 14. as well as the hope of righteousness. See this made further evident by St. Paul, explaining the types of that dispensation; Heb. chapters ix. x.
X. It may be objected here, indeed, that the Jewish dispensation could never include in it the covenant of grace,
because Paul the apostle, and Jeremy the prophet, both say, concerning the gospel, Behold the days come, when I will make a new cotenant with the house of Israel, -not according to the covenant I made with their fathers, when I led them out of the land of Egypt: But this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel, in those days saith the Lord, I will put my laws into their mind, und write them in their hearts, and I will be to them a God, and they shall be to me a people: For I will be merciful to their unrighteousness, and their sins and their iniquities will I remember no more ; Heb. viii. 8–12. by which it seems evident, that the first or old Jewish covenant, did not promise sanctification of the heart, and pardon of sin, which are promised in the new covenant, or the gospel of Christ.
To this I answer, that the Jewish covenant of Sinai, taken alone by itself was, as I have said before, a éemporal covenant, or law of works, and an emblem of the original covenant of works, and did not include spiritual and eternal blessings, viz. pardon of sin and sanctification of heart: and yet it was upon this Sinai covenant, that the carnal Jews depended, and would depend for these blessings, or for acceptance before God. But the whole Jewish dispensation taken altogether, did include these spiritual and eternal blessings in it, and they were bestowed in
on all the Jewish saints, though they were mingled with many darknesses, and left the people under great fears of death, and many doubts and much bondage of soul; as Heb. ii. 15. and x. 1–3. Gal. iv. 24. But in the days of christianity, and the proposal of the gospel to the Jews, these better promises of pardon and sanctification are much more numerous, more clear and explicit, and led sinful men more directly into this salvation by Jesus Christ, as the Reconciler, and by the Holy Spirit, as the Sanctifier, and these blessings are bestowed in much greater abundance. This occasions it to be called a new covenant, though in truth, it is only a new and fairer edition of the ancient covenant of grace, much brighter than that which the Jews had at first, which was so mingled with, and partly obscured by the Sinai covenant.
XI. Thus it has been made evident, that the law of Moses' including the Sinai covenant, was so far an emblem of the origi nal covenant of works, in the rigour of its commands, do this and live, and in the severity of its punishments, the soul that s inneth shall die; Gal. ii. 12. The man that doth them, shall live in them ; and verse 10. cursed is every one that continueth not in all things written in the book of the law to do them ; and it was also an emblem of the covenant of grace, and the benefits thereof, viz. pardon and sanctification in the purifications and atonements appointed by water and fire, and bloody sacrifices; Heb. ix. 9. 13, 14, 24. and x. 1-1. The law had a shadow of good things to come: It contained figures for the time then present: The holy places made with hands are the figures of the true, and the patterns of things in the heavens ; the Greek words are Σκια, παρακολη, υποδειγματα αντιτυπα, &c. and the apostle argues upon this supposition; if the blood of bulls and goats, and the ashes of a heifer, mingled with running water, as in Num. xix. 17. sprinkling the unclean, sanctifieth to the purifying of the flesh, that is, to the removal of ceremonial defilement, how much more shall the blood of Christ-purge your consciences from dead works, that is, from works deserving death, to serve the living God.
XII. But we must remember also, what I said before, that the law of Moses was not only an emblem, but was really a covenant of works, so far as it related to temporal blessings, in the land of Canaan ; and it was really a dispensation of the covenant of grace, so far as it contained in it various promises of eternal pardon and inward sanctification, and God's acceptance of those that repented of their sins, and trusted in his grace, so far as it was then revealed.
XIII. It is a further remarkable evidence of this truth, that St. Paul distinguishes the two different ways of justification by the covenant of works, and the covenant of grace, by texts cited from the law of Moses. See Rom. x. 5. compared with verse 6. “ Moses describeth the righteousness which is of the law, saying, that the man who doth those things shall live by them : But the righteousness which is of faith, speaketh on this wise, say not who shall ascend into heaven, &c. the word is near thee, in thy mouth and in thy heart, that is, the word of faith which we preach,” &c. Here you see, is both law and gaspel,
contained in Moses' writings, if we can but learn to distinguish them, and not confound them.
XIV. Nor indeed can I think of any other way, to account for this conduct of St. Paul, in citing so frequently the law of Moses in different parts of it, both to prove the universal condemnation of all mankind, both Jew and Gentile, by the law of innocence or covenant of works, and also to prove our justificacion by faith, through the grace of the gospel. This is the only clue, that I can find to lead me into the sense and meaning of the apostle in such texts, and the only method that I know of, to reconcile the reasoning of that great and holy writer, in the account he gives us of the Jewish and christian dispensations. But I now proceed.
Chap. VII.-Of the Christian Dispensation. I. Notwithstanding God had done so much before in several ages, towards the salvation and recovery of mankind, from the ruins of their fall, and had set up his church in the Jewish nation, to maintain the light of true religion there, within sight of the Gentile kingdoms round about, yet the Gentiles multiplied their iniquities and idolatries, and the Jews turned almost all their religion into superstition and empty formalities, so that true vital godliness and morality were in a great measure lost out of the world. Therefore the blessed God saw it a proper season to put an end to this dispensation of Moses or Judaism, and to bring in the last and best of all the dispensations, and that is christianity, which is revealed to us in the New Testament: This is the last edition of the covenant of grace, and is eminently called the gospel. Herein we have many plainer discoveries of the transactions of God with men, even from the creation ; we have much clearer notices of our duty, and many richer promises of divine grace, than ever we had before, with greater assistances and encouragements to repentance, faith and holiness.
II. All this comes by Jesus Christ, the Son of God, the promised seed of the woman, the Messiah, &c. The law came by Moses, but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ; John i. 17. Jesus, who was the Son of God, before all worlds, the appointed Mediator of the new covenant, foretold by Moses, and by the proplets, is now actually come down from heaven, and dwelt with men. In his incarnation, his poverty, his preaching, his holy life, his many miracles, bis obedience and death, in his sacrifice of atonement, his burial and his resurrection from the dead, in his ascension to heaven, his intercession and exaltation to the kingdom, he fulfils the various offices of his mediation, which the ancient prophets foretold, and which the apostles have described, and explained to us, viz. that he was a teacher