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2. God owns that his people have his law in their hearts, attended with his righteousness and his salvation, both of which shall be for ever; and therefore he tells them not to fear the reproach of men, nor to be afraid of their revilings; that the secret curse of God, like a moth, shall prey upon them as upon an old garment, they being covered with nothing but the spider's web of their own righteousness. Read Zech. v. 4. And, being but mere wolves in sheep's clothing, their own guilty conscience, like a worm, shall recoil upon them for their deception, requite them for their hypocrisy, and prey upon them as a moth doth upon a fleece of wool. Having proved that God never promises to write his laws on the hearts of any but those of his own elect, and that none but spiritual men, or men born again, ha've any of God's laws in their hearts, according to the account God gives in the scriptures of truth; I shall now proceed to shew what the law is.
It consists of two parts: the preceptive and the penal; the commandments and the awful threatenings; the morality it requires, and the wrath it reveals against the immoral. The morality of it consists in its being holy, just, and good. "Wherefore the law is holy; and the commandment holy, and just, and good," Rom. vii. 12. Love is the real morality of all these three branches.
First, Love is real holiness. "According as he hath chosen us in Christ, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love," Ephes. i. 4. A real lover of God is one that is holy and without blame before him.
2. Love is real righteousness, love to God and to one's neighbour. ': Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it: Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets," Matt. xxii. 37—40. The law, which is the rule of righteousness, hangs its whole weight upon love; therefore love fulfils all righteousness. "Love is the fulfilling of the law."
3. Love is goodness. "Charity thinketh no evil;" and, "Love worketh no ill to his neighbour; therefore love is the fulfilling of the law," Rom. xiii. 10. Again, "Owe no man any thing, but to love one another, for he that loveth another hath fulfilled the law," Rom. xiii. 8. 10. Love therefore is real holiness, righteousness, and goodness.
2. The penal part of the law has three branches also. "The commandment is a lamp, and the law is light," Prov. vi. 23; and as such it discovers sin, and makes manifest the filth and pollution of the soul. "For by the law is the knowledge of sin," Rom. iii. 20. The law, as a lamp, discovers it, makes it abound and shew itself in its true colours. Sin by the commandment becomes exceeding sinful, Rom. vii. 13.
3. The law is the ministration of death, 2 Cor. ni. 7. It discovers the sinner's crimes, and passes the sentence of death upon the transgressor. "When the commandment came, sin revived, and I died." The sentence was passed, and the apostle gave himself up to death, feeling the dreadful sentence, and knowing that he was a dead man by the law. And wherever God applies the law in its power, as he did to Paul, the sinner not only feels the sentence of death, but finds the sentence of the law in a measure already executed, for the wrath of God attends the sentence; and where sin and wrath meet there is sad work in the sinner's conscience. "The law worketh wrath;" and this wrath begets bondage to fear; the law gendereth to bondage, Gal. iv. 24; and binds the sinner's guilt and filth close to his conscience, and himself, soul and body, over to endless misery. "The strength of sin is the law."
Tbe law requires knowledge also; for, if I am to love God with all my soul, and to worship him alone, it is needful that I should know something of him, or else I must love and worship I know not what. To Adam was this law given; and the image of God in Adam stood in knowledge, righteousness, and true holiness: for to all these we are said to be renewed, or made anew, or made new creatures again. "Put on the new man, which is renewed in knowledge after the image of him that created him," Col. iii. 10; "in righteousness and true holiness," Ephes. iv. 24V
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This was God's image, and the glory of God in Adam; and he enjoyed it on the conditions of his obedience; but he sinned, and we in him. All have sinned, and come short of this glory of Gpd, Rom. hi. 23.
Some rays of this glory appeared again at the giving of the law at Mount Sinai. Moses represented the second Adam, and the better Mediator; the glory of whom was reflected from Moses' face, to teach Israel to look through Moses to him who is the end of the law for righteousness, where we have the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ, 2 Cor. jv. 6. Put Israel could not behold the face of the earthly mediator, much less the heavenly one; and therefore Moses put a veil upon his face; and the god of this world put a worse veil upon Israel's heart, that they could not look to the end of that which is abolished, for their minds were blinded, 2 Cor. iii. 13, 14. They could look to the letter of the law, and to the voice of words, but no further. "They are a very froward generation, children in whom is no faith," Petit. xxxii. 2Q. These also sinned, and came short of this glory of God, which we that believe see and enjoy. "For we all with open face, beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord."
What is a law given for? The grand design of giving a law is that it may be observed, obeyed, inviolably kept, and punctually fulfilled, and then the end is answered; but all have sinned; both Jew and Gentile are all under sin; "There is none .righteous, no not one." Here every mouth must be stopped, and the whole world become guilty before God. This being the true state and case, the law looked to another, who was to mangnify it and make it honourable; and it was to stand in full force until he came in whom it was to have its fulfilling end; and every branch of its morality was to be fulfilled in his spiritual seed, and that for evermore; and this was the grand design of giving the law. To Christ the law looked, and stood in full force until he came. "Wherefore then serveth the law? It was added because of transgressions, till the seed should come to whom the promise was made; and it was ordained by angels in the hand of a Mediator," Gal. iii. 19. "The law and the prophets were until John; since that time the kingdom of God is preached." To Christ Moses and all the prophets looked, and both Moses and Elias resigned their offices to our Messiah on the mount of transfiguration, Matt. xvii. 3; then leaving the true Prophet and only Mediator alone with his disciples, they disappeared and were never seen more; though Peter wished to detain them, not knowing what he said, or what he meant; no more do they know what they say, or whereof they affirm, who are labouring to bring them in again. "Before faith came we were kept under the law, shut up unto the