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made;" or, as himself, in Heb. ix. 10. alters the phrase, "till the time of reformation;" that is, when Christ, who was that blessed seed promised to Abraham, should come, he would so clearly and convincingly shew unto the world the way of salvation, that they should no longer need to be kept under their old schoolmaster, the law; and therefore, at his coming, the date of the whole Mosaical law should expire. And that may be one reason, why St. Paul is in this chapter so violent against those that would urge the observation of the Mosaical law; forasmuch as by enforcing it now, when the seed was already come, to whom the promises were made, they did seem to evacuate the coming and gospel of Christ.

12. Now that the Mosaical law was not given to the Jews for this end, that by the fulfilling thereof they should promise themselves the reward of righteousness, everlasting life, is evidently demonstrated, both by our Saviour in the fifth of St. Matthew, and by St. Paul through all his Epistles, but especially in that to the Hebrews. The force and virtue of whose arguments may in general be reduced to that issue, which before I mentioned, viz. That the law, by the performance whereof we may expect life, requires not only an external conformity to the outward works, but an inward, spiritual sanctification also of the soul and heart.

13. But what saith the law of Moses? * "It was said, (saith our Saviour) by them of old," ie. in the law of Moses, "thou shalt not kill;" not, Thou shalt not be angry, thou shalt not bear malice in

*Matt. v. 21.

thy heart: so that if thou abstainest from murder, thou fulfillest Moses' law; "And if thou dost kill, thou shalt be in danger of judgment," i. e. the only punishment which the law of Moses inflicted upon the transgressors thereof, was the danger to be condemned to death by the judgment, or bench of judges, appointed for the execution of this law. "But I say unto you;" I, who clearly shew unto you that way wherein you must walk, before you can promise to yourselves any hope of eternal life; I say unto you, not only, "Whosoever" shall kill his neighbour, but whosoever, out of malice or rancour, * "shall say unto his brother, Thou fool, shall be in danger of hell-fire.” So, likewise, not only he who commits adultery † in the outward act, is culpable by my gospel before God, but also he who looks upon a woman to lust after her in his heart. And so, instead of forswearing, and breaking of oaths and vows, which Moses' law forbad, Christ condemns fruitless and unnecessary, though true, oaths. Instead of the § law of retaliation of injuries, Christ commands rather to suffer a second injury, than to revenge the first.

14. But, in the last place, the last example which our Saviour gives, may seem to destroy this collection which hath been drawn out of this chapter: for, saith he, verse 43. "You have heard, that it hath been said of old, Thou shalt love thy neighbour, and hate thine enemy." What! did Moses' law then permit a man to bear hatred and malice unto another? Did I say, permit them? Nay, it commanded them so perfectly to hate

* Verse 22.
↑ Verse 33.

+ Verse 27.

| Verse 33.

their enemies, to wit, the seven nations who possessed that land, which was theirs by promise, mentioned Exod. xxxiv. 2; Deut vii. 1. to which were added the Amalekites, Exod. xxvii. 19; Deut. xxx. 19. that they were enjoined to destroy them utterly, old and young, men, women, and children, even to the very cattle, without all pity and consideration. Insomuch, that Saul, for his unseasonable pity but of one person, and that a king of the Amalekites, and reserving the best of the cattle for sacrifice to God, had the kingdom utterly rent from him and his posterity. Whereas, by our Saviour, in the words of St. Paul, enmity is slain. No enemies now in Christianity; but all neighbours, and friends, and brethren: nay, more, if any one will needs be your enemy, love him notwithstanding, saith Christ: "If he curse you, bless him; if he hate you, do good unto him; if he use you despitefully, and persecute you, pray for him." To conclude this argument from our Saviour's authority: Christ adds, as a corollary to his discourse, speaking to his disciples and followers, verse 20. "Except your righteousness exceed the righteousness of the scribes and pharisees," i. e. whereas they content themselves with an outward, carnal obedience to the law, unless you, besides this, add a spiritual sanctification of the mind, "ye shall in no wise enter into the kingdom of heaven." I deny not now, but that there may be a mystical, spiritual sense even of this law, and an application thereof almost as perfect as is expressed in the gospel; which those, who were guided extraordinarily by the Spirit of God, and with help of tradition, might collect out of it as the prophet David, (Psalm xix. 7.) where

he saith, “The law of the Lord is perfect, converting the soul; the commandment of the Lord is pure, enlightening the eyes," &c. And in this sense the succeeding prophets endeavoured to persuade the people to apprehend it: but this was a forced sense of Moses' law, not primarily intended by the author; it was no proper, natural meaning of it.


15. Proportionably to this doctrine of our Saviour, St. Paul, speaking of Moses' law, considered in its proper, natural, and direct sense, and as extremely insufficient to justify a man in the sight of God calls it ἀσθενῆ καὶ πτωχὰ στοιχεῖα, “ weak and beggarly elements.” (Gal. iv. 9.) And, Nóμov rūs EVTOANS σαρKIKNS, "a law of a carnal commandment;" (Heb. vii. 16.) i. e. a law, which a carnal man, one not guided by the Spirit of God, might perform, and a law, which made no man perfect. (Heb. vii. 19.) Nay more, saith he, it is not auεμπтos, “not without fault;" (Heb. vii. 7.) i. e. a man might perform the law of Moses, and yet not be aμμTтоç, he may be a wicked man still in God's sight; for all his legal righteousness, he may remain dead in trespasses and sins. Insomuch, as the same Paul, speaking of himself before he was converted to Christianity, says, "concerning the righteousness which is of the law, I was blameless :" I did so exactly fulfil that measure of righteousness, which Moses' law required of me, that in respect of that law I was a guiltless, innocent person; I could justify myself; I durst with confidence oppose myself in judgment to the censure of our most severe, strict judges.

*Phil. iii. 6.

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16. But what then? Durst Paul with this his legal righteousness appear before God, as expecting to be justified in his sight, as claiming any interest in the promises of eternal life, by virtue of this his innocency? By no means: No, saith he, though I were blameless, as concerning this righteousness, which is of the law; though I had all the privileges, that any Jew could be capable of, *"circumcised the eighth day, of the stock of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, an Hebrew of the Hebrews, according to the law, a pharisee," (i. e. of that sect which had preserved the law in the greatest integrity) though I were so † zealous thereof, that I persecuted the churches of Christ, which sought to abrogate it; and lastly, though "concerning the righteousness of the law, I was blameless;" yet, notwithstanding all these, I will have no better an opinion of these privileges, than they deserve; I will account them only outward, carnal privileges; if I at all rejoice in them, yet this I will account only "a rejoicing in the flesh." Far be it from me, to think to appear before Christ with such a righteousness as this is. God forbid that I should expect to be accepted of by him, for these carnal, outward privileges: nay, so far am I from that, that whatsoever I thought, before I knew him, to be a gain and a prerogative unto me, now that I have attained to the excellency of the knowledge of Jesus Christ, "I account as loss," ‡ as things likely to be rather a hindrance unto me; yea, as dross and dung: and, desire to be "found in him, not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law! (for, alas, how mean, and unworthy

+ Verse 8.

* Phil. iii. 5.

† Verse 6.

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