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precept of the law, as a covenant of works, is une der this conditional form, do, and live. Now, if any say then, the believer is delivered from obligation, to do, or to obey the law, I deny that, for this do is eternally binding; but the precept of the law, as a covenant of works, is not simply do, but do and live; and this conditional form, which is properly the precept and command of the covenant of works, he is indeed delivered from ; for Christ as surety came under the law as a covenant of works, or as it stood in this conditional do, and live; For he yielded perfect obedience to it, to procure life by it; and so the believer is wholly delivered from obedience to it, that is, to obtain life by it, or to procure everlasting life by his obedience. The precept, thus formed as the condition of life, by virtue of the annexing of the promise of life to the obedience of it, is the precept of the covenant of works; and from this precept he is freed, and so is dead to the law in respect of the precept of it, in and through Jesus Christ his furety. 2dly, The promise of life is another thing in the covenant of works; and this runs in the same line with the former, being so connected with it. The promise of life in the law, or covenant of works, was just the promife of eternal life, upon condition of perfect obedience : Now the believer's freedom from the law in this respect, flows from his freedom from it in the former respect : For if he be freed from the do, or obedience, as required in that old covenant-form, then he is not to expect eternal life, as it is promised in that covenant : Nay, the law is divested of its promise of life to the believer 5 that is to say, his obedience to the law hath not the promise of eternal life, as the legal ground and title upon which he is to obtain it; he holds his title to
eternal life in Jesus Christ, his surety, in whom he hath a perfect obedience, to which eternal life is promised ; and which is now the alone sure ground upon which it is to be procured The believer's own obedience to the law, or his gospel obedience, and conformity to the law, wrought in him, and done by him, thro’ the help of the spirit of grace ; even this obedience of his, I say, hath not the legal promise of eternal life, as if it were the legal condition of his obtaining eternal life: No, his gospel obedience, hath indeed a gospel promise, connecting it with eternal life, as it is an evidence of his union to Christ, in whom all the promises are yea and amen ; and as it is a walking in the way to heaven, without which none shall ever come to the end, For without holiness it is impossible to see God. But the legal promise of eternal life, made to obedience, and which makes our personal obedience to be the cause and matter of our justification, and as the proper condition of salvation and eternal life, this is the promise of the law, or covenant of works; and this promise it is now wholly divested of, as to the believer in Jesus Christ, who has taken his law-room, and yielded that perfect obedience to which the promise of eternal life is now made. And the reason why I say, the promise of eternal life is now made to Christ's perfect obedience in our room and Itead, is, because the law or covenant of works made no promise of life properly but to man's own personal obedience; it made no mention of a surety; But now, in sovereign mercy, this law-rigour is abated, and the surety is accepted, to whose obedience life is promised. gdly, The threatening of
death in case of disobedience, is another thing in ! the covenant of works; death and wrarlı, and the curse, is the penalty of the law; deach is the re
ward of fin and disobedience to the law, In the day tbou finnest thou malt die; and this the believer is also freed from by the death of Christ, who died for our sins. The law faith, Curfed is every one that continueth not, &c. but the gospel faith, Christ bath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us, Gal. iii. 10, 13. As the law then to the believer is divested of its promise of life, so as it cannot juftify him for his obedience; so it is divested of its threatening of death, and cannot condemn him for his disobedience to it as a covenant, that covenant form of it being done away iu Christ Jesus with respect to the believer. I think some will, it may be, object, and say, that the believer is delivered from the curse of the law ; but still we cannot understand how he is dead to the command of the law. That he is dead to the condemning power of the law is plain : but how he is dead to the preceptive, mandatory commanding power of the law? I answer to you again, he is dead to, and delivered from the preceptive part of the law, not materially, but formally; for the command of it materially, is, do, or yield obedience; this he can never be delivered from so long as he is a creature, and God his Creator. But the command formally, or under the form of the covenant of works, is, do, and live; do by your own strength, do, as the condition of your eternal life, and do under the pain of eternal death and damnation ; this I say, which is the commanding part of the law formally confidered, as it is a covenant of works, he is wholly and altogether delivered from. To preach the manda. tory part of the law as a covenant of works, is to preach the moral law, not merely as a rule of life, but as the condition of life eternal, in which sense the believer is not at all bound to acknowledge it;
and to say, that the believer is delivered from the law, that is, only from the curse of the law, would make some very strange glofses upon many scriptures; for example, Gal. iii. 10. As many as are of the works of the law, are under the curse; the meaning of it then would be, as many as are under the curse, are under the curse. It must therefore be meant of the precept of the law, as many as are under the precept, are under the penalty thereof. The believer then is dead to, and delivered from the law in its commanding and condemning power, and that in, and through Christ: And I am not afraid, nor ashamed to say it, in the words of the famous doctor Owen, that the whole power and sanction of the first covenant was conferred upon Christ, and in him fulfilled and ended : And I think I say no more than what the apostle, a greater than he, faith, Rom. x. 4. Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to every one that believeth. Thus you see what it is in the law, the believer is dead to, more generally.
Third thing here proposed, was, what it is to be dead to the law, more particularly as it comes under the notion of death. . And here, 1. I shall Thew the import of this death. 2. Some of the qualities of it. * FIRST, To Thew the import of this death. The notion of death may here help us to the right understanding of it: For, (1.) As in death there is no relation takes place; it diffolves the relation betwixt master and servant, husband and wife, yob üz. 19. So here, the man being dead to the law, the relation betwixt him and it is diffolved, Rom. vii. 1, 2, 3, 4. He is now married to Christ, di. vorced from the law. While the man is alive to VOL. II.
the law, the relation stands. See Gal. v. 3. (2.) In death there is no care or thoughtfulness, Eccl. ix. 1o. There is no work, nor device, nor knowledge, nor wifdom in the grave, whither thou goeft ; intimating to us, that in death there is no care nor thoughtful-ness, nor concern about doing any thing ; so the man that is dead to the law, hath no more care, nor concern about the works of the law in point of JUSTIFICATION, than a dead corps about the work in which it was occupied while living. While the man is alive to the law, all his care and concern is about the works of the law, Do, and live. (3.) In death there is no hope. The land of the living is the land of hope, Eccl. ix. 4. Even so the man that is dead to the law, hath no hope nor expectation from the law, or from his obedience thereto. The man that is alive to the law hath hope, that God will pardon him, and pity him. Why? Because he does so and so; he is a good neighbour, he wrongs nobody, he is just in his dealings, and careful in his duties, and touching the law, he is blameless; he hath a good heart towards God, and he hath a good life too; and therefore he hopes to be justified and saved of God, for Christ's sake. For he hath learned, it may be, to make so much use of Christ, as to think he cannot be saved without him; but still his hope and expectation is founded upon the law: But now the inan dead to the law, hath no hope from the law, nay, he despairs of salvation by the deeds of the law, as he sees he cannot do any thing without grace and strength from above; so even when he does any thing by the help of grace, he sees it so lame and imperfect, that God cannot juftify or save him to the honour and credit of his jufticė, unless he hath a perfect righteousness. He