Of the Law of God.
1. God gave to Adam a Law of universal obedience,
(a) written in his Heart, and a particular
precept of not eating the Fruit of the tree of knowledge of good and evil;
by which he bound him, and all his posterity to personal entire exact and
perpetual (b) obedience; promised
life upon the fulfilling, and (c)
threatned death upon the breach of it; and indued him with power and ability
to keep it.
a Gen. 1.27. Eccl. 7.29.
2. The same Law that was first written in the heart
of man, (d) continued to be a perfect
rule of Righteousness after the fall; & was delivered by God upon Mount
Sinai, in (e) Ten Commandments
and written in two Tables; the four first containing our duty towards God,
and the other six our duty to man.
d Rom. 2.14,15.
3. Besides this Law commonly called moral, God
was pleased to give to the people of Israel Ceremonial Laws, containing
several typical ordinances, partly of worship, (f)
prefiguring Christ, his graces, actions, sufferings, and benefits; and
partly holding forth divers instructions (g)
of moral duties, all which Ceremonial Laws being appointed only to the
time of reformation, are by Jesus Christ the true Messiah and only
Law-giver who was furnished with power from the Father, for that end, (h)
abrogated and taken away.
f Heb. 10.1. Col. 2.17.
4. To them also he gave sundry judicial Laws, which
expired together with the state of that people, not obliging any now by
vertue of that institution; their general (i)
equity onely, being of moral use.
i 1 Cor. 9.8,9,10.
5. The moral Law doth for ever bind all, (k)
as well justified persons as others, to the obedience thereof, and that
not only in regard of the matter contained in it, but also in respect of
the (l) authority of God the Creator;
who gave it: Neither doth Christ in the Gospel any way dissolve,
(m) but much strengthen this obligation.
k Rom. 13 8,9,10. Jam. 2.8.10,11,12
6. Although true Believers be not under
the Law, as a Covenant of Works, (n)
to be thereby Justified or condemned; yet it is of great use to them as
well as to others: in that, as a Rule of Life, informing them of
the Will of God, and their Duty, it directs and binds them, to walk
accordingly; (o) discovering also
the sinfull pollutions of their Natures, Hearts and Lives; so as Examining
themselves thereby, they may come to further Conviction of, Humiliation
for, and Hatred against Sin; together with a clearer sight of the need
they have of Christ and the perfection of his Obedience: It is likewise
of use to the Regenerate to restrain their Corruptions, in that it forbids
Sin; and the Threatnings of it serve to shew what even their Sins deserve;
and what afflictions in this Life they may expect for them, although free'd
from the Curse and unallayed Rigor thereof. The Promises of it likewise
shew them Gods approbation of Obedience, and what blessings they may expect
upon the performance thereof, though not as due to them by the Law as a
Covenant of Works; so as mans doing Good and refraining from Evil, because
the Law incourageth to the one and deterreth from the other, is no Evidence
of his being (p) under the Law and
not under Grace.
n Rom. 6.14. Gal. 2.16. Rom. 8.1.
7. Neither are the forementioned uses of the Law
(q) contrary to the Grace of the
Gospel; but do sweetly comply with it; the Spirit of Christ
subduing (r) and inabling the Will
of man, to do that freely and chearfully, which the will of God revealed
in the Law, requireth to be done.
q Gal. 3.21.