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hath no hope by the law. (4.) In death there is no toil, no turbulent pafsion nor affcction: Natural death puts an end to natural affections, which take place in man's life-time, such as the weary pursuit of what we love, and the wearisom fight from what we hate, or fear: There is no such thing in the grave, There the weary are at rejt, Job iii. 17. They that are alive to the law, and find the life of their hands, they weary themselves in the greatness of their way, as it is expressed, Ifai. Ivii. 10. Many a weary night and day they may have in pursuing after their lovers, in establishing their darling selfrighteousness. The law gives them a wearisom task, to make brick without affording straw; and loads them with heavy burdens of curses, in case the task be not performed. But when a man is dead to the law, then the weary is at reft. Christ is the rest, Come to me, all ye that are weary and beavy laden, and I will give you reft: Then the man gets rest to his conscience, in the blood and righteousness of Christ, the end of the law; rest to his passions and affections; he rests from his fears, legal fears of hell, and wrath threatened in the law. The believer indeed may be filled with them, but so far as he is dead to the law, so far is he at rest from these legal siavish fears. He rests from his love and delight; the law affords its votaries much pleasure, sometimes in the performance of their duty in a legal way; but now the believer takes no delight in that way of justification; he is out of conceit with himself, and his duties, because they are vile ; yea, tho' they were not so vile as they are, but perfect, yet he is out of conceit with that way of life, and beholding the glory of the new covenant and way of salvation, joins issue with Job, Chap. ix. 15, 21,
In a word, he rests from all his legal griefs and forrows, because he rests from all his legal labours. As it is said of the dead in Christ, in another sense, Rev. xiv. 13. Blessed are the dead that die in the Lord, they rest from their labours, and their works follow them ; so I may say in this case, blessed are the dead that are dead to the law, they rest from their labours, their toilsom, troublesom, wearifom, legal works, and yet their works do follow them: They are now created in Christ Jesus unto good works. But, (5.) In death there is no sense : A dead man does not see, nor hear, nor taste, nor feel, nor smell, nor exert any natural sense; so they that are dead to the law, so far as they are dead to it, they do not now see the lightnings of Sinai all in a flame, as formerly they did ; they do not bear the thunders thereof; they do not smell the fulphure of the burning mountain ; they do not feel the terror of vindictive vengeance, the tempest that surrounded the mount; they do not taste the gall, the bitterness of the wrath threatned in the law; the bitterness of death is over with them, fo far as they fee that Chrift drank the gall for them ; yea, fo far as they are dead to the law, they are dead to all Sinai wrath : For, Heb. xii. 18. They are not come to the mount that might be touched, and that burned with fire, nor unto blackness and darkness, and tempeft, and the found of a trumpet, but they are come unto mount Sion, &c. But what? Have the godly no sense of law-wrath Yea, so far as they are legal, and under the law (for they are never wholly freed from a legal temper while here) the dead ghost of the law may rise up and fright them; but to far as they are dead to the law, it is not law-wrath, but fatherly-wrath that affects them. Indeed through unbelief they may
fear hell, but they cannot do so by faith, seeing there is no foundation for either that faith or fear, in the bible, that a believer shall be cast into hell, since there is no condemnation to them, &c. (6.) In death there is no motion; vital motion ceases when death takes place: Thus far as a man is dead to the law, so far the motions of sin are killed; for the motions of fin are by the law; Rom. vii. 5. By the law occasionally and accidentally men running the more into sin, by how much the more they are forbidden to commit sin. Hence Musculus compares the law, in this respect, to a chaft matron in à brothel-house, which by her good advice does prove an occasion to some impudent whores to be more bold, and impudent in their impiety. Sin taking occafon by the law, or commandment, says the apostle, wrought in me all manner of concupiscence. But now, so far as a man is dead to the law, so far are the motions of sin killed, and the soul quickned to live unto God. Of which more afterwards.
2dly, To Thew some of the qualities of this death to the law. 1. It is an universal death. I do not mean that it is common to all the children of men. Tho' it be a common death to the children of God, and to every one of them; yet it is a rare death among the children of men. The whole world lies in wickedness, and are dead in fins and trefpasses; but few are dead in this sense. But what I mean by its being universal, is, that the man that is dead to the law in point of justification, is dead to every part of the law in its old covenantform, to the precept of it, and to the penalty of it, so as he is not to be justified by the one, nor condemned by the other. He is dead to every legal K 3
form of the law; his gospel obedience thereto, is no part of his righteousness for justification before God. If he should endeavour to make his gospel obedience to the law as a rule of life-in the hand of a mediator, any part of his righteousness for justification, he so far turns the covenant of grace, and the duties required therein, into a covenant of works, and so he seeks to live to that, to which he is, and Thould be dead. It is true, the form of the law in the gospel-covenant does not require obedience for justification ; but yet this corrupt nature is prone to turn to the old biass, and abuse the proper form of it, by turning the rule of obedience into a rule of acceptance. If a man make faith itself, or any act or fruit of it, the matter of his justification, he turns it to a covenant of works: The believer is dead to faith itself in this respect; yea, faith renounces itself, and all things else, but the righteousness of Christ, for justification. In this sense, he is dead to repentance, love, and other graces; he is dead to every obedience to the law, as a covenant of works; to his natural legal obedience before his conversion, and to his spiritual gospel obedience after conversion : which though it be a righteoulness that God works, and is the author of; yet, because it is the believer that is the subject, and made the actor thereof, it is called his own righteousness, or conformity to the law: All which he renounceth in the matter of justification, defiring to be found in Christ, not having his own righteousness, that is after the law, but the righteousness which is of God by faith, Phil. iii. 9. So that I say, it is an universal death. 2. It is a lingering death. It is not easy to get the law killed, something of a legal disposition remains even in the believer while he is in this world: Many
a stroke does self and self-righteousness get, but still it revives again. If he were wholly dead to the law, he would be wholly dead to fin; but so far as the law lives, fin lives. They that think they know the gospel well enough, bewray their ignorance; no man can be too evangelical, it will take all his life-time to get a legal temper destroyed. Tho’ the believer be delivered wholly from the law, in its commanding and condemning power and authority, or in its rightful power that it hath over all that are under it; yet he is not delivered wholly from its usurped power and authority, which takes place many times upon him, while here, through remaining unbelief. 3. It is a painful death ; it is like the cutting off the right-hand, and plucking out the right-eye: No will hath the man to part with the law. It is as natural for him to expect God's favour upon his doing so and so, and to espect life and salvation by his own obedience, or doing as well as he can, as it is natural for him to draw his breath. If we do our best, God will accept of us, is the natural language of every one, who is wedded to the do and live of the first covenant. And O what a pain is it to be brought off from that way! To die to the law is most unnatural, strange doctrine ; and legal pangs, and pains of conviction and humiliation must be born, before a right thought about dying to the law can be brought forth. 4. It is a pleasant death; it is painful at first, but pleasant at last: O how pleasant is it to see self abased, and grace exalted, self-righteousness cried down, and Christ's righteousness cried up in the soul! Wisdom's ways are pleasantness, and this way particularly, wherein no flesh does glory in his presence; but he that glorieth,