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ance of faith to all my precepts, to love me with all thy soul, and all thy strength, and esteem nothing preferable to that which is acceptable to me, to employ thy all in my service, at all times and in all things, to be at my command and beck, and never venture on any thing that is not agreeable to my will. But now, since thou hast once presumed to disobey me, I require no more for the future, but that thou esteem the indeed to be the truth, but not infallible; to be thy good, but not the chief; to be thy Lord, but not the Supreme: and I allow thee to doubt of some of my testimonies, to love other things besides, and above me; to place thy happiness in other things besides my favour; in fine, to depend on me in some things, but in other things to act at thy own discretion." If all these be absurd and unworthy of God, as they certainly are; it is also absurd and unworthy of God, to abate and relax any thing of his law. But if these general propositions are of immutable truth; that as God is the chief good, he is, at all times, and by all persons, to be loved with the whole heart; as he is the supreme Lord, none can ever, under any pretence, act but according to his command ; now the most perfect performance of every duty, must be the manifest consequence of all this.
XIV. Again, to perform duty perfectly, as every one will allow, is better than to do it in a slight manner. For all the goodness of duty.consists in its agreement with the rule and directory of it. There must therefore be a certain rule, enjoining that perfection, which is a greater degree of goodness. If God has prescribed such a rule, it must certainly bind man to conform himself to it.
XV. The conscience of man, upon due attention, cannot but assent to these things. To make this appear. I sbal adjoin two excellent passages, one from Epictetus, the other from the emperor Julian. The fornier speaks thus, Disser. tat. lib. 2. c. xi. “ Having found a rule, let us keep it inviolable, and not extend so much as a finger beyond it.? The latter thus, Orat. 1. “ There is an ancient law given by him wbo first taught mankind philosophy, and which runs thus: that all who have an eye to virtue and to honesty, ought, in their words and actions, in society and in all the affairs of this life, both small and great, endeavour altogether after honesty." The law therefore of the old covenant con tinues to bind all mankind, without exception, to a perfect performance of duty.
XVI. The second thing, which we said, & II. was im
mutable in the covenant of works, was this; that eternal life was not obtainable on ony other condition but that of perfect obedience : as may thus be invincibly proved : for, by virtue of this general rule, it was necessary for Christ to be made under the law, Gal. iv. 4. and fulfil all righteousness, and that for this end, that the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled, Rom. vii. 4.
But if this righteousness had not been sacred and inviolable, Christ would have been under no necessity to submit to the covenant of the law, in order to merit. eternal life for his people. This therefore is evident, that there ought to be a merit of perfect obedience on which a right to eternal life may be founded. Nor is it material whether that perfect obedience be performed by man himself, or by his surety:
XVII. The third thing which we affirmed as an unchangeable truth, regards the penal sanction; for that immutable and indispensable justice which we already defended by so many arguments, chap. v. $ XVIII. seq. certainly requires this, so that
there is no occasion to add any thing further. XVIII. Since then these three things, the law, the promise, and the threatening, constitute the entire nature of the cove nant, as proposed by God, stand so firm; one may conclude, that though man bas really on his part broken the covenant, yet no abrogation of the covenant is made on the part of God But, on duly weighing the matter, we must also acknowledge some abrogation on the part of God: as may be evidently inferred from the substitution of the new covenant of grace. For thus the apostle has taught us to reason, Heb. vii. 13. “ In that he saith a new covenant, he hath made the first old." For though the abrogation of the old does not necessarily infer the substitution of a new ; yet the substitution of a new does certainly import the abrogation of the old. It is indeed true, that the apostle, in this place, does not speak precisely of the covenant of works, but of the old economy of the covenant of grace, which he says is abrogated. But yet we properly build on his reasoning, which we may also, and ought to apply to this subject; namely, that every substitution of a new covenant supposes the abrogation of an
XIX. That abrogation on the part of God consists in this, that God has declared, That no man can, by virtue of this covenant, have friendship with him, or obtain eternal life; so that he has declared all to bave forfeited the promise of the covenant, and the hope of enjoying that promise according to
that covenant. This is what the apostle says ; " there is not
; now a law, which can give life, as that righteousness should be by the law," Gal. ii. 21. To this purpose is rohat the lawo cannot do, which he inculcates, Rom. viii. 3.
XX. And that covenant is so really abrogated, that it can on no account be renewed. For should we imagine God saying to man, “ If, for the future, thou canst perfectly keep my law, thou shalt thereby acquire a right to eternal life,” God would not by such words renew this very covenant of works ; for sin is now pre-supposed to exist, which is contrary to that perfection of obedience which the covenant of works requires. God would therefore transact here with man on a different condition, whereby forgiving the former sin, he would prescribe a condition of an obedience less perfect than that which he stipulated by the covenant of works; which, excluding all sin, knew nothing of forgiveness of sin. Nay, such a transaction would be so far from a renewal of the covenant of works, that it would rather manifestly destroy it. For the penal sanction makes a part of that covenant, whereby God threatened the sinner with death, so that if he forgave him without a due satisfaction, he would act contrary to the covenant and his own truth.
XXI. The law therefore remains as the rule of our duty; but abrogated as to its federal nature; nor can it be the condition by the performance of which man may acquire a right to the reward.“ In this sense the apostle says, “ We are not under the law," Rom. vi. 14. Namely, as prescribing the condition of life. There is indeed sti/ an indissoluble connection between perfect righteousness and eternal life, so that the last cannot be obtained without the first. But after that man, by falling from righteousness, had lost all his hope of the reward, God was at liberty either to punish the sinner according to his demerit, or give him a surety to fulfil all righteousness in his stead.
XXII. There are learned men, who, besides this abolition of the covenant of works, which regards the possibility of giving life and justification, enumerate four other degrees of abolition in this order. 1st. Of condemnation, by Christ being proposed in the promise, and apprehended by faith. 2dly. Of terror, or the power of the fear of death and bondage, by the promulgation of the new covenant, after the expiation of sin : which being once accomplished, they who are redeemed are under the law of the Redeemer. So that the same law, abolished in the Redeemer as the law of sin, becomes the law of
the Saviour, and adjudges righteousness to those who are his. 3dly. Of that war or struggle with sin, by the death of the body. Athly. Of all the effects of it, by the ressurrection from the dead.
XXIII. But let us give our reasons why we have bitherto doubled whether these things are with sufficient accuracy conceived and digested. 1st. All the particulars here mentioned belong to the covenant of grace. But the covenant of grace does not abrogate, but supposes the abrogation of the covenant of works: because there could be no place for this, without the abrogation of the other in the sense now mentioned. Adly. The covenant of grace is not the abolition, but rather the confirmation of the covenant of works, in so far as the Mediator has fulfilled all the conditions of that covenant, so that all believers may be justified and saved, according to the covenant of works, to which satisfaction was made by the Mediator. This is the apostle's meaning, Rom. iü. 31. “. Do we then make void the law through faith? God forbid; pea, we establish the law.” And again, Rom. vüi. 4. “ That the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us." Which signifies, (as the learned person, whose opinion we are now examining, comments on this place,) " that what the law accounts for righteousness, is fully bestowed on us; and consequently, that what merits the reward of the law, becomes perfectly ours.” Sdly. The very law of the covenant which gave up the human sinner to sing when his condition is once changed by union with Christ the surety, does now, without any abolition, abrogation, or any other change whatever, absolve the man from the guilt and dominion of sin, and bestow on him that sanctification and glorification, which are gradually to be brought to that perfection which he shall obtain at the resurrection of the dead; as being constrained to bear witness to the justification of the covenant of grace. This is what the learned person not improperly says in the words we have just quoted : “ So that the same law, abolished in the Redeemer as the law of sin, becomes the law of the Saviour; and bestows righteousness on those who are his:" which he has at large and learnedly explained on Rom. viii. 2. In a word, the same law which was to man in innocence a commandment to life, and is to man in sin, the law of sin, giving him up to the dominion and guilt of sin, becones again in the Redeemer the law of the spirit of life, testifying that satisfaction was made to it by the Redeemer, and bestowing on man, who by faith is become one with the Redeemer, all the fruits
of righteousness for justification, sanctification, and glorification.' All the change is in the state of the man, none in the law of the covenant, according to which man, in whatever state he is, is judged. Which things seem not to have escaped the observation of the learned person himself; when, Summa Theolog. c. xxxi. § 1. be speaks to this purpose. Nevertheless, when we say this, we mean, that this fourfold abolition and removal of the covenant concerning works to be done, which is connected without our own happiness, is founded on the same law : not that this could be done by virtue of the law in itself alone, but that the intervention of a surety and redeemer made it, at last possible to the law. I allow that what he calls the abolition of the covenant concerning works, is founded in the law of works; but I leave it to the reader's consideration, whether it is not a strange way of talking, to say, that “the abolition and remo val of the law, is founded on the law itself, and that the intervention of a surety and redeemer made it, at last, possible to the law;" namely, that itself should effect its own abolition and removal? From all which I conclude, that it will be more proper to treat of these things when we speak of the fruits and effects of the covenant of grace, than when considering the abo lition of the covenant of works : which is on no account aba lished, but in so far as it is become impossible for man to attain to life by his own personal works.