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Lord's fupper; this is both the means and the motive thereof. What stronger motive than this,' live to him that died for us, and by his death res deemed us from the law ? For we are dead to the law by the body of Christ, Rom. vii. 4. that is, by the death of Christ, the sacrifice of his human nature; and hence comes true fpiritual life, or live ing to him.. ioth witness that I cite, is, i Cor. xv. 56, 57. The sting of death is fin, the strength of fin is the law ; where the law is called the itrength of fin, not only because by the law is the krowledge of fin, and fin would not have power to condemn 06, but by virtue of the law which difcharges fin; but also because sin gets Itrength from the law, fin taking occafion by the commandment, wrought in me all manner of concupiscence, Rom, vii. 8. For without the law fin was dead. Sin and corruption is fo irritated by the law, that thereby the finner comes to be more sinful: Which is not the fault of the law, for it prohibits, reproves and condemns sin; but the fault of corrupt nature, which the more a thing is forbidden, the more impetuously it follows it; like a mad horse, the more he is checkt with the bridle, the more mad and furious he is. Now the strength of fin is the law; but thanks be to God, which gives us the victory through Jesus Christ our Lord; victory over the law, which is the strength of fin; and so, being freed from the law, or dead to it, in this way I am freed from fin, and put in case to live unto God. These are ten witnesses instead of twenty that might be adduced for the confirmation of this doctrine, that to be dead to the law. in point of justification, &c Reccive this truth then in the love of it. :;:;
SECOND SECOND HEAD.. THE second thing proposed' was, to speak of this strange death of the believer, I through the law am dead to the law. Now here four things are to be touched at. 1. What the law is, that the believer is dead to.2. What it is in the law, that he is dead to. 3. What it is to be dead to the law. 4. The means of this, that through the law he is dead to the law.'.
ist, What the law is, that the believer is dead to. I know, I need to be cautious in what I say in this captious age, especially upon such a subjeét as this; but it is in the fear of God, to whom, I am accountable, and without regard to any man, that I desire to deliver the truths of the gospel.: What is the law, to which Paul says he was dead ? I shall not trouble you with the several acceptations of the law, nor the distinctions of it into judicial, ceremonial and moral. But here, though the apostle speaks sometimes of the ceremonial, and sonetimes of the moral law in this epistle; yet in this text, I suppose, with the current of sound divines, that he understands especially the moral law, or the law of the ten commandments, considered under the form of a covenant of works. The law is to be taken two ways. I. Materially, for its mere preceptive and directive part, Or, 2. The law may be taken formally, as it is a covenant, whether of works or grace. Now the law, materially taken, is still the fame, whatever forin it be caft. into, and it is the transcript of the divine image, after which man was created at first; so that long before the law was written in tables of stone, it was written in the tables of man's heart; and man was obliged to obedience to this law, as a creature to his Creator,'tho'
there had never been any covenant made with him ; and this obligation to obedience is eternal and everlafting and unchangeable : But this law was afterwards caft into two different forms, namely, that of the covenant of works, and afterwards that of the covenant of grace. Now, here, I say, it is meant of the law or covenant of works, in which law there were three things, a precept, a promise, and a penalty. 1. The precept, which is perfect and personal obedience, by our own strength, and in the old covenant form, do. 2. The promise, which is life eternal, do and live. 3. The penalty, which is death temporal, spiritual and eternal; if you do not, you shall die, Gen. ii. 17. The covenant of works commands good, and forbids evil, with a promise of life in case of obedience, and a threatening of death in case of disobedience; and so this law of works hath a twofold power, a power to justify, and a power to condemn; to justify, if we obey; and to condemn if we disobey. The command of the law, abstractly and materially confidered, is, as I said, eternally binding upon all rational creatures, so long as they continue to be creatures, and God the Creator : but the command of the law formally considered, or under the form of a covenant of works particularly, binds no longer than that form continues. Now, the commanding power of the law, as a covenant of works, is a power calling us to obey (or enjoining us to do) by our own strength, to obey as a condition of life, and to obey under pain of damnation.
As to the second thing here, what it is in the law, to which the believer is dead. Here it must be obferved, that it is only the believer that is dead to the law; all others are alive to it; and the believer's be
ing dead to the law, imports, that he is wholy fet free from it; or, as the words of our CONFESSION bear, They are not under the law as a covenant of works, to be thereby either justified or condemned. Thus they are dead to the law. The law is compared in our text to a hard and cruel master, and we compared to faves and bondmen, who, so long as they are alive, are under dominion, and at the command of their masters; but when they are dead they are free from that bondage, and their masters have no more to do with them. Here then, to be dead to the law, is to be free from the dominion and power of the law. Now, I think the power of the law may be considered, either as accidental, or effential. It hath an accidental power or strength: For example, by reason of our finful, corrupt and deprawed state, the believer is freed even from an if ritating power, whereby as an occafion, it provokes and stirs up the corruption of the hdart in the unregenerate, Roin. vii. 8. fo far as he is dead to the law. But next, there is a power that the law hach, that may be called essential to it, as a covenant of works, and that is, a justifying and condemning power, as I said before; a power to justify the obedient, and a power to condemn the disobedient : Now believers are dead to the law, so as they are not under it, to be justified or condemned thereby; they are wholly and altogether free from the law, as it is a covenant of life and death, upon doing or not doing. But, for the further clearing of this, I told you upon that question, what law is here meant? That in the law as a covenant of works, there are three things, 1. The precept of obedience. 2. The promise of life. 3. The threatening or penalty of death; all which the believer is dead to. ]], The precept of obedience as a condition of life,
is one part of the covenant of works, do and live; or, if thou wilt enter into life, keep the commandments; this the believer is delivered from, and so dead to the precept of the law, as a covenant or condition of life. "Take heed to what I say here ; I fay not, that the believer is delivered from the precept of the law fimply, but only as a condition of life: For the command of perfect obedience, is not the covenant of works; nay, man was obliged to perfect obedience, and is eternally bound to obey the law, tho' there never had been a covenant: But the form of the precept or command in the covenant of works, is perfect obedience as a condition of life. Now, it is the commanding power of the law, as a covenant of works, that the believer is freed from ; and it hath no commanding power but in this strain, namely, to command perfect obedience as the condition of life ; and under pain of the curse, obey and thou shalt live; otherwise thou shalt die. Now the ground of the believer's freedom from the precept of the law. as a covenant of works, or condition of life, Christ's perfect obedience to the law, in his room, in his stead, which is the true and proper condition of our eternal life and happiness, Rom. v. at the clofe. By the obedience of one, shall many be made righteous; that as fin bath reigned unto death, even fo grace might reign-through rightecufiiefs to etera nal life. There is an eternal truth in this, that life is not to be obtained, unless all be done that the law requires, Do this, and live ; and that is still true, If thou wilt enter into life, keèp the commandments. They must be kept by us, or our furety: Now, the furety's obedience being imputed to the believer, as the condition of eternal life, the believer is not obliged to obedience to the law as a condition of life : The precept of the law properly is, do; but the