Imágenes de páginas

proposition I have laid down. To which purpose that in Gal. iii. 10, is exceeding full. “ 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.” How manifestly is it implied in the apostle's meaning here, that there is no man but what fails in some instances of doing all things that are written in the book of the law, and therefore as many as have their dependence on their fulfilling the law, are under that curse which is pronounced on them that do fail of it? And hence the apostle infers in the next verse, that no man is justified by the law in the sight of God; as he had said before in the preceding chapter, verse 16, By the works of the law shall no flesh be justified." The apostle shews us that he understands, that by this place which he ciles from Deuteronomy, the scripture hath concluded, or shut up, all under sin, as in chap. iii. 22. So that here we are plainly taught, both that every one of mankind is a sinner, and that every sioner is under the curse of God.

To the like purpose is that, Rom. iv. 14, and also 2 Cor. iii. 6, 7, 9, where the law is called the letter that kills, the ministration of death, and the ministration of condemnation. The wrath, condemnation and death, which is threatened in the law to all its transgressors, is final perdition, the second death, eternal ruin, as is very plain, and is confessed. And this punishment which the law threatens for every sin, is a just punishment, being what every sin truly deserves ; God's law being a righteous law, and the sentence of it a righteous sentence.

All these things are what Dr. Taylor himself confesses and asserts. He says that the law of God requires perfect obedience. (Note on Rom. vii. 6, p. 308.). “God can never require imperfect obedience, or by his holy law allow us to be guilty of any one sin, how small soever. And if the law, as a rule of duty, were in any respect abolished, then we might in some respects transgress the law, and yet not be guilty of sin. The moral law, or law of nature, is the truth, everlasting, unchangeable, and therefore, as such, can never

be abrogated. On the contrary, our Lord Jesus Christ has promulgated it anew under the gospel, fuller and clearer than it was in the Mosaical constitution, or any where else ; having added to its precepts the sanction of his own divine authority." And many things which he says, imply that all mankind do in some degree transgress the law. In page 228, speaking of what may be gathered from Rom. vii. and viii, he says, “ We are very apt, in a world full of temptation, to be deceived, and drawn into sin by bodily appetites, &c. And the case of those who are under a law threatening death to every sin, must be quite deplorable, if they have no relief from the mere cy of the lawgiver."

But this is very fully declared in what he says in his note on Rom. v. 20, page 297. His words are as follows : « Indeed, as a rule of action prescribing our duty, it (the law) always was, and always must be a rule ordained for obtaining life ; but not as a rule of justification, not as it subjects to death for every transgression. For if it could in its utmost rigor have given us life, then, as the apostle argues, it would have been against the promises of God. For if there had been a law, in the strict and rigorous sense of law, which could have made us live, verily justification should have been by the law. But he supposes, no such law was ever given ; and therefore there is need and room enough for the promises of grace; or as he argues, Gal. ii. 21, it would have frus. trated, or rendered useless the grace of God. For if justification came by the law, then truly Christ is dead in vain, then he died 10 accomplish what was, or might have been effected by law itself without his death. Certainly the law was not brought in among the Jews to be a rule of justification, or to recover them out of a state of death, and to procure life by their sinless obedience to it ; for in this, as well as in another respect, it was weak, not in itself, but through the weakness of our flesh, Rom. viii. 3, The law, I conceive, is not a dispensation suitable to the infirmity of the human nature in our present state ; or it doth not sem congruous to the goodness of God to afford us no other way of salvation, but by law, which, if we once transgress, we are ruined forever. For wha. then, from the beginning of the world, could be saved ?”.... How clear and express are these things, that no one of - mankind, from the beginning of the world, can ever be justified by law, because every one transgresses it ?*

And here also we see, Dr. Taylor declares, that by the law, men are sentenced to everlasting ruin for one transgression. To the like purpose he often expresses himself. So p. 207. “ The law requireth the most extensive obedience, discovering sin in all its branches. It gives sin a deadly force, subjecting every transgression to the penalty of death; and yet supplieth neither help nor hope to the sinner, but leaveth him under the power of sin and sentence of death.” In p. 213, he speaks of the law as “ extending to lust and irregular desires, and 10 every branch and principle of sin ; and even to its latent principles, and minutest branches.” Again (Note on Rom. vii. 6. p. 308) “10 every sin, how small soever.” And when he speaks of the law subjecting every transgression to the penalty of death, he means eternal death, as he from time to time explains the matter. In p. 212, he speaks of the law “in the condemning power of it, as binding us in everlasting chains.” In p. 120. S. he says, “ that death which is the wages of sin, is the second death ;" and this p. 78, he explains of final perdition.” In his Key, p. 107, § 296, he says, “ The curse of the law subjected men for every transgression to eternal death.So in Note on Rom. v. 20, p. 291. “ The law of Moses subjected those who were under it to death, meaning by death eternal death." These are his words.

He also supposes, that this sentence of the law, thus subjecting men for every, even the least sin, and every minutest branch and latent principle of sin, 10 so dreadful a punishment, is just and righteous, agreeable to truth and the nature of things, or to the natural and proper demerits of sin. This he is very

• I am sensible, these things are quite inconsistent with what he says elsewhere, of " sufficient power in all mankind constantly to do the whole duty which God requires of them,” without a necessity of breaking God's law in any degree. (p. 63....68. S.) But, I hope, the reader will not think me accountable for bis inconsistences.

full in. Thus in p. 186. P. “It was sin (says he) which subjected us to death by the law, JUSTLY threatening sin with death. Which law was given us, that sin might appear; might be set forth in ITS PROPER COLORS ; when we saw it subjected us to death by a law perfectly holy, just and good ; that sin by the commandment, by the law, might be represented what it really is, an exceeding great and deadly evil.” So in note on Rom. v. 20, p. 299. “ The law or ministration of death, as it subjects to death for every transgression, is still of use to shew the natural and proper demerit of sin.Ibid. p. 292. “ The language of the law, dying thou shalt die, is to be understood of the demerit of the transgression, that which it deserves." Ibid. p. 298. « The law was added, saith Mr. Locke, on the place, because the Israelites, the posterity of Abraham, were transgressors as well as other men, to shew them their sins, and the punishment and death, which in strict justice they incurred by them. And this appears to be a true comment on Rom. vii. 13....Sin, by virtue of the law, subjected you to death for this end, that sin, working death in us, by that which is holy, just, and good, perfectly consonant to everlasting truth and righteousness....Consequently every sin is in strict justice deserving of wrath and punishment ; and the law in its rigor was given to the Jews, to set home ibis awful truth upon their consciences, to shew them the evil and pernicious nature of sin ; and that, being conscious they had broke the law of God, this might convince them of the great need they had of the favor of the lawgiver, and oblige them, by faith in his goodness, io fly to his mercy, for pardon and salvation.” . If the law be holy, just, and good, a constitution perfectly agreeable to God's holiness, justice, and goodness; then he might have put it exactly in execution, agreeably to all these his perfections. Our author himself says, p. 133. S. “ How that constitution, which establishes a law, the making of which is inconsistent with the jastice and goodness of God, and the executing of it inconsistent with his holiness, can be a righteous constitution, I confess, is quite beyond my comprehepsion."

Now the reader is left to judge, whether it be not most plainly and fully agreeable to Dr. Taylor's own doctrine, that there never was any one person from the beginning of the world, who came to act in the world as a moral agent, andy that it is not to be hoped there ever will be any, but what is als sinner or transgressor of the law of God; and that therefore this proves to be the issue and event of things, with respect to all mankind in all ages, that, by the natural and proper demerit of their own sinfulness, and in the judgment of the law of God, which is perfectly consonant to truth, and exhibits things in their true colors, they are the proper subjects of the curse of God, eternal death, and everlasting ruin; which must be the actual consequence, unless the grace or favor of the lawgiver interpose, and mercy prevail for their pardon and salvation. The reader has seen also how agreeable this. is to the doctrine of the holy scripture.

And if so, and what has been observed concerning the interposition of divine grace be remembered, namely, that this alters not the nature of things as they are in themselves, and that it does noi in the least affect the state of the controversy we are upon, concerning the true nature and tendency of the state that mankind come into the world in, whether grace prevents the fatal effect or no; I say, if these things are considered, I trust, none will deny, that the proposition that was laid down, is fully proved, as agreeable to the word of God, and Dr. Taylor's own words ; viz. that mankind are all naturally in such a state, as is attended, without fail, with this consequence or issue, that they universally are the subjects of that + guilt and sinfulness, which is, in effect, their utter and eternal ruin, being cast wholly out of the favor of God, and subjected to his everlasting wrath and curse.

« AnteriorContinuar »