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Reason for its Continuance. When God SERM. was pleased to establish his Religion among

'VII. the Jews, he gave

them Laws suitable to
the Weakness of their Capacities.

Sacrifices and outward Ceremonies were
accepted, till they knew how to worship
God in Spirit and in Truth ; and all the
legal Observances were only Shadows of
what was to come, When God was
known only in Judah, and his Tabernacle
at Salem, Religion evaporated in Smoak,
and spent it self in ritual Performances ;
but when the Fulness of Time came,
we should not fay, Lo here, or Lo there,
for that the Kingdom of God was with-
in us, then the legal Ceremonies were
abolish'd, the Hand-writing of Ordi-
nances was blotted out, and gave Way
to the Righteousness which is of God by
Faith.

And in this Sense indeed the Law is
made void thro' Faith; But the Moral
Law, the Law here mention'd, which is a
Transcript and Abridgment of the Law
of Nature, did not cease with the Jews,
but is binding upon all Christians.

For

came, that

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SERM. For as it is a Law of Nature, no Cira
VII. cumstances can alter it ; but it must con-

tinue in full Force upon the whole hu-
man Nature, as long as there are such
Things in the World as Right and
Wrong; and no Privileges of Christianity
can pofsibly exempt us from our Obli-
gations to it.

But for the better handling this point,
it will be necessary to consider well the
true Nature and Design of the Gospel, and
also the full and just Extent and Design
of the Law, that we might not exalt the
Gospel beyond its due Bounds, and so
abuse that Liberty wherewith Christ hath
made us free, nor advance the Law be-
yond the true Intent and Design of it, and
so make void the Gospel. When we
have thus confider'd the Nature and Ex-
tent of each, how far they differ, and how
far they agree, we shall find, that tho' the
Law is not sufficient for our Justification,
yet that there is no room to think, that
therefore the Law is made void thro'
Faith.
The Law consider'd as a Body of Mo-

fality,

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rality, and so a Rule of Life, differs not Serm. from the Gospel, any further than as the VII. Gospel is an Improvement upon it: For it claims the same God for its Author, and is founded upon the fame eternal Truth and Reason. And this Law the Gentiles had as well as the Jews. Indeed the Jews were the first to'whom it was made a StatuteLaw, but that the Gentiles had it likewise is plain from St. Paul, who says of them, These, having not the Law, are a Law unto themselves. As to the whole Law taken together, which is call’d the Mosaic Law in opposition to the Gospel, as the Fews held it, or in Contradistinction to it, as the Jewish Converts, it was very defective, and could not justify us, as being only a Covenant of Works; and therefore consisting only of Duties, which it could not enable us to perform, nor give us any Promise of eternal Life upon our Performance. (For, as the Apostle says, if there bad been a Law given, which could have given Life, verily Righteousness poould have been by the Law.) It being thus a Covenant of Works enjoining strict Obedience, and

there

Serm. there being no Hopes of Pardon or JuftiVII. fication from it but upon strict Obedience,

the Gospel steps in to supply the Defects of the Law, not to exclude the Morality of it, or make Good Works less necessary than they were before, but to make them truely vseful by a Covenant of Grace; that makes large Allowances for the Infirmities of Human Nature, accepting of Repentance instead of Innocence, and so justifies us from all Things, from which we could not be justify’d' by the Law of Moses : For Good Works were not more necessary under the Law, than they are under the Gospel ; but there being no Provision made by the Law, as it is a Covenant of Works, to pardon our Infirmities, as there is in the Gospel, as it is a Covenant of Grace, therefore we cannot be justify'd by the Law of Moses.

The Law having two Acceptations, when it is opposed to the Gospel, it is not opposed barely as a Law, but as a Coyenant. And the whole Design of it taken in its largest Sense being to bring us unto Christ, one Part of it ceased of

Course

Course, when Christ, who is the End ofSerm. the Law, was come; the other is to con

VII. tinue in full Force for ever. As to the Word Faith, taken in a Gospel-Sense, it is not to be understood only as a Belief of the Gospel of Christ, exclusive of good Works, such as St. James mentions, as availing to Justification, and such as St. Paul, when he talks of a justifying Faith, comprehends under the Word Faith; but it is to be understood so as to be always join’d with Good Works; and so it includes the Doctrine of Faith or the Gospel.

The Law and the Gospel being thus stated, they don't differ as to Good Works, any

further than as the one is an Improvement of the other, nor do they oppose each other as a Rule, but as these. Works are made a Covenant, and are deítitute of that dispensing Power of altering the Conditions of that Covenant, which the Gospel is possess’d of. And therefore when we find Good Works mention'd in Scripture, as necessary to Justification, as we do very often in St. James, we are not by him to understand those

S

Works

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