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inconsistent with God's promise of mercy to those who love him,
If there is any divine law which promises mercy to the penitent, or salvation to the sinner, short of sinless obedience, it must be the law of God given to Moses on the mount. If there be any law or word of God which promises salvation short of sinless obedience, but not the law which God communicated to Moses on Mount Sinai, then, there is one law set in opposition to another law. This represents God divided against himself. It would be inconsistent to execute a law in opposition to another law which was still extant. God never gave a law to man promising pardon and salvation in case of repentance, while there was another law in force, threatening death for the first transgression without any room for repentance. Hence, before ever the law was given to Moses, the law to Adam was abrogated.
Some will say that the Gospel promises pardon and salvation to the penitent: but, that the Mount Sinai law no more promises pardon and salvation, without sinless obedience, than the law given to Adam in Paradise. You allow then that the Gospel of God” does not require sinless obedience in order to salvation; but that the ļaw of the SAME GOD requires sinless obedience in order to salvation. Do not such sei the Gospel and the moral law in opposition? But the Gospel and the moral law are in perfect harmony; and, they both require essentially the same things in order to happiness Every one must see, that if the Gospel does not require sinless obedience in order to salvation, but that the law does require sinless obedience in order to salvation, that, then the law and the Gospel are set in opposition the one to the other. But this exhibits God contending with himself. Here we have an opportunity to see the confusion in which they are involved, who make no distinction between the law given to Moses on the mount, and the law given to Adam in Paradise.
Perhaps some may think that the law to Adam could not be disannulled without involving the destruction of the moral law, or even the law of Nature. But the termination of the one no more puts an end to the other, than the abrogation of the ceremonial, supposes the destruction of the moral, law.
It is evidently inconsistent to have two laws in force at the same time, the one in opposition to the other. Between the moral law, and the law given to Adam before his fall there is an essential difference: for the farmer has mercy in store for the transgressor; he may repent and be saved: but the latter threatens death on the first aet of disobedience, without any room for repentance, or possible way to escape the evil threatened. These two different and opposite laws were never binding on mankind at one and the same time. None besides our first parents were ever bound by the law given to them in the garden. As soon as they had violated that law, by eating of the tree of knowledge of good and evil, they were led to the knowledge of the difference between good and evil; and the law was dissolved. It would now answer no purpose. It was of no use, after it was once violated: the posterity of Adam never transgressed it, and, according to it they were never punished. None but Adam and Eve were forbidden to eat of the tree in the midst of the garden. But the moral law which requires us to love God with all the heart, soul, strength, and mind, ever was, and ever will be, binding on all mankind. Heaven and earth may pass away, but this law will abide forever. The whole language of God to man
ever since the apostasy, has been that of grace and mercy. Jebovah has revealed himself to sinners as a God of grace: he has proclaimed himself a God ready to pardon. The law given to Moses on Mount Sinai makes it evident. So that if there were no other evidence in divine revelation, that God could, and that he would forgive the penitent, we should have the clearest evidence of this from the moral law. And, we have the fullest evidence, even from the very words of the moral law, that it did not require sinless obedience in order to forgiveness; and if not in order to forgiveness, then it was not necessary in order to happiness. Let some of the words of the law be cited; “And Moses rose up early in the morning and went up unto Mount şinai, as the Lord commanded him, and took in his hand the two tables of stone. And the Lord descended in the cloud, and stood with him there, and proclaimed the name of the Lord. And the Lord passed by before him, and proclaimed the LORD, THE LORD Gov, merciful and gracious, long-suffering, and abundant in goodness and truth; keeping merey for thousands, forgiving iniquity, and transgression and sin, and that will by no means ciear the guilty.” Now, would the law have contained such a proclamation as this, if at the same time, it had required sinless. obedience in order to forgiveness? I think it would not. God's proclaiming himself in this law, merciful and gracious, forgiving iniquity, transgression and sin, and that he will by no means clear the guilty, evidently teaches us, that he will forgive the sinner who repents. And if it be evident, that, according to this law, if nothing else had been revealed, God would forgive the penitent; then it is evident that this law doth not require sinless obedience in order to salvation.
The whole word of God, the law and the prophets, the Old Testament and the New, all agree with the proclamation of God contained in the Sinai law, that God will forgive and save the penitent. We are as certain, from the very spirit of the Sinai law, if nothing else had been revealed concerning God, that he would forgive the penitent, as we are that God did forgive the penitent thief on the cross, because Christ said to him, "To day shalt thou be with me in paradise.” That this penitent was forgiven admits not of a doubt. Of the truth of this all are satisfied. And is the forgiveness of the thief more evident, than that God will forgive every penitent agreeably to the divine proclamation contained in the law of Moses? It is not. The one is no more evident than the other. The moral law taught the people of Israel what was necessary on their part in order to salvation; and, the ceremonial law, which required sacrifices, pointed out to them, through whom pardon and salvation came. Hence, Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to every one that believeth.” The righteousness, therefore, which is of the law, which, says Paul, Moses describeth, is essentialiy the same with the righteous. ness of faith: for what the man who doeth those things shall be saved," (looking to Jesus as the end of the law,) is as certain as the salvation of those, “who confess with the mouth the Lord Jesus, and believe in the heart that God hath raised him from the dead.” All the sacrifices, types and shadows of the law of Moses, pointed out the Seed of the woman, who was to come for the redemption of Israel. The ceremoni. al part of the law is abolished. It was suitable that types and shadows should be laid aside, when Christ, their Antitype should make his appearance. "Hav
. ing forgiven you all trespasses,” says Paul, speaking of Christ to the saints at Colosse, “blotting out the hand writing of ordinances that was against us, and took it out of the way nailing it to his cross." The Jew who kept the ceremonial law as required, did at the same time keep the moral law: for no Jew ever offered an acceptable sacrifice, in whose heart was not that love of God, which is required in the moral law. * So, there can be no saving faith in Christ which does not necessarily involve that love of God in the heart which is required in the moral law.* Hence, the Jew keeping the law of sacrifices, or the ceremonial law as required, stood upon the same ground, and was entitled to the same salvation, as we, who, since the coming of Christ, have true faith in him. The salvation of the penitent Jew, being circumcised in heart like Caleb and Joshua, was as certain as the salvation of Peter and Paul.
What then is the difference between keeping the moral law, or the ceremonial law as required, and
* "Faith involves the inscription of the law upon the heart."
keeping the sayings of Christ, or obeying "the Gospel of God?" there is no material difference. An ob. jector no doubt will say, that the essential things required in obeying the Gospel, in order to salvation, are repentance toward God, and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ; but the Mount Sinai law required sinless obedience in order to salvation. I reply; repentance and faith are graces required as truly in the moral law, as in any part of the word of God. And agrecably to that late, salvation is not promised to any thing short of repentance. All the requirements of the moral law involve repentance. And, no Jew, ever, properly speaking, obeyed God in doing the things required in the ceremonial law, without unfeigned repentance. Can a sinner flee from idolatry? can 'he prefer the true God before all false gods? can he love him and obey his voice, and still remain impenitent? It is impossible. A sinner wlio naturally hates God cannot be brought to love him and yet remain impenitent. The moral law requires love to God, it therefore requires repentance; for no sinner can begin to love God, without repenting that he has hated him. To the penitent the law promises forgiveness, and God proclaims himself propitious, forgiving iniquity, transgression and sin. Its being said that God will by nó méans clear the guilty, supposes that he will clear those who are not guilty; that is, he will forgive the penitent.
The moral law requires faith: this is evident from the woe which Christ denounced against the scribes and Pharisees for their conduct. Woe unto you scribes and Pharisees, lıypocrites! for ye pay tithes of mint anisé and cunnin, and have omitted the weightier inatters of the law, judgment, mercy and faith; these ought ye to have done, and not to leave the other undone." Here we see that one of the weightier matters of the law was FAITH. And it is evident from what Christ said to the Jews at a certain time, in which he taught them, that between believing Moses and believing him there was no material difference. "Do not