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in all things written in the book of the law to do them. But, " the sum of the ten commandments is, thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and thy neighbour as thyself. The Antinomian pleads, and says, this law is not in force with respect to fallen man at all: and so I am not in the least to blame for not continuing in all things written in it. For to love that character of God which is exhibited in his law, is the same thing as to love my own misery. But to love my own misery is to take pleasure in pain; which is an express contradiction, and in its very nature absolutely impossible; and even inconsistent with my continuing to exist as a sensible being, and a moral agent. And besides, it is contrary to the law of God, which requires me to love myself. That law, therefore, which was given to Adam in innocence, and which obliged him to love that character of God which was exhibited in it, is entirely set aside since the fall and is binding on no child of Adam, more or less, as a rule of duty. For it is not the duty of any one, to love that character of God which is exhibited in the moral law. Nay, it is now, since the fall, contrary to the law of God to do it. For the law of God requires us to love ourselves; but to love that character of God which is exhibited in the moral law, is the same thing as to love our own misery. And, therefore, instead of its being a duty, it is a sin repugnant to the law of God, to love that character of God which is exhibited in the moral law; and so it ought not to be done.-Moreover, no unregenerate unbeliever can love that character of God which is revealed in the Gospel, because he doth not know it. For an unknown object cannot be loved. For to love an object of which we have no idea, is to love nothing, which is a contradiction, and in its own nature absolutely impossible. Wherefore, before Christ is discovered to the soul by the Spirit of God, while unregenerate, no man is in duty bound to love either the character of God, exhibited in the law, or the character of God revealed in the Gospel. Nothing, therefore, remains for unregenerate unbelievers to do, as their present duty, but to reform their external practice, use the means of grace, and strive and do their utmost, as unregenerate sinners may do, while such. Of such therefore it may
be said, that they forsake all known sin, and practise all known duty. Such then, who are come to a fixed resolution. thus to do, are qualified to enter into covenant with God, and to attend sealing ordinances. For their being destitute of faith, repentance and love, is their calamity, but not their sin.' Thus Antinomians reason, thus they believe, and thus their sins are covered, even from the sight of their own consciences, and they stand justified in themselves. And thus we see, what is meant by an impenitent, self-righteous sinner, viz. a sinner obstinate in his disaffection to the Deity, who covers his sins, and justifies himself in his wickedness. To proceed:
5. By a Christless sinner is meant, a sinner who doth not receive, but doth in his heart reject Jesus Christ; and so is not interested in him, and the blessings purchased by him; and so remains at present under the curse of the law and the wrath of God, as truly and really as if Christ had never died; according to those words in John iii. 18. 36. He that believeth not is condemued already; and the wrath of God abideth on him. But, in this sense, every impenitent selfrighteous sinner, is a Christless sinner; for this plain reason, because they do not receive, but reject Christ. As it is written, Luke v. 31. The whole need not a physician, but the sick. For sinners never feel their want of Christ, or look to God through him for pardon in those things in which they justify themselves; or for divine assistance in those things which they think themselves not bound in duty to do. For instance, an Arminian, as he does not think himself to blame for not loving God with all his heart; so he never means to ask pardon of God in the name of Christ, as being to blame for this. He only blames himself, when he neglects to do as well as he can in his own sense of the phrase; and feels guilt and need of pardon only in these instances. But as to the law of perfection, as he thinks himself not bound by that, so he thinks himself not to blame for not continuing in all things written in the book of the law to do them; and so no atonement, no sanctifier, no repentance, no pardon are needed in this case. So again, an Antinomian, as he doth not believe it to be his duty to love that character of God which is
exhibited in his holy law; so he never confesseth his sin in not doing it, or asks pardon of God, or dreams that he needs. any pardon in this case; or any Redeemer to atone for this sin, or any Sanctifier to enable him to do this duty. For, if it is not his duty to love that character of God which is exhibited in his law, then he needs no assistance to do it. For we need divine assistance only to enable us to do our duty. And if it is not his duty to love that character of God which is exhibited in his holy law, then he is guilty of no sin in not loving it; and so needs no Christ, no atonement, no repentance, no pardon in the affair: and thus, that Christ, that pardon, that grace, which are offered in the Gospel, he doth not need; and so doth not receive, but reject. Yea, he rejects all as an abuse. For, to tell a sinner he needs a pardon in that in which he justifies himself, will affront him; he will think himself abused; he will think himself implicitly charged with guilt, in that in which he is not guilty. And so instead of desiring the pardon, he will reject the offer as an abuse. And thus do all impenitent, self-righteous sinners, with respect to that pardon, and to that sanctifying grace, which the Gospel offers. As they need neither the one nor the other, so they reject both, with all their hearts. For the whole need not a physician, but the sick.
And in every instance in which men justify themselves, they depend, so far as they have any dependance, for acceptance in the sight of God, not on the atonement of Christ, but on their own innocence. For their plea is, NOT GUILTY. Here they join issue; and appeal to the judgment-seat of God. Luke xviii. 9-13. And therefore,
If the divine law doth require mankind to be perfect, as our Father which is in heaven is perfect, notwithstanding our fallen state: if the law of God requires perfection of us as much as it did of Adam; if we are to blame, and deserve eternal death, for not continuing in all things, as really as Adam did for eating the forbidden fruit; and if, on this hypothesis, and in this view, Christ was made a curse to redeem sinners from this curse; yet, if we plead NOT GUILTY; if we affirm that we are not bound by this law; if we affirm that in our fallen state it is not possible that we should be bound by it; if we join is
sue on this point, and appeal to the judgment of God; if God brings us in GUILTY, at the great day, it will be too late then to shift our plea. It will be too late to say, that our dependance was on the atonement of Christ. For it may be retorted, "If you were not guilty, you needed no atonement. But this was your plea, NOT GUILTY. And you appealed to the judgment-seat of God. It is too late, therefore, now to pretend you depended on the atonement. Your first plea precludes this.' They must therefore have their trial, and stand or fall, for eternity, on their first plea of NOT GUILTY. And therefore it will come to pass, that every impenitent, self-righteous sinner will be condemned, unless they can make their first plea good, at the bar of God. If the Judge will give up his law, they may be acquitted. But if he abides by what is written, viz. As many as are of the works of the law are under the curse; as it is written, cursed is every one that continueth not in all things written in the book of the law to do them; there will be no hope in their case, at that day. And therefore, all who, either on the Arminian, or on the Antinomian, or on any other plan, do in heart reject the perfect law of God, for their rule of life in this world, will perish for ever in the next.
And thus we see what is meant by an impenitent, selfrighteous, Christless sinner. Now in the proposition it is said, that impenitent, self-righteous, Christless sinners, are under the curse of the law of God.' But.
6. By the curse of the law is meant, the curse threatened in the law of God; even all the curses written in God's book, comprising all the miseries of this life, and death itself, and the pains of hell for ever.'
7. When it is said, that they are under this curse, it is intended, that they are already condemned to all this by the law of God, and are liable to have the curse executed in its utmost rigour, i. e. to be struck dead, and sent to hell, at any moment. They are reprieved, moment by moment, by the sovereign pleasure of their Judge.
That Christless sinners are thus under the curse of the law, is evident, not only from the tenour of the law itself, but also from the whole course of the divine conduct. For accord
ing to this rule God hath dealt with Christless sinners in all ages of the world. As to the miseries of this life, he inflicts them upon them according to his sovereign pleasure. As to death itself, he inflicts it just when he pleases. And as soon as the Christless sinner is dead, in an instant he is in hell, and must endure the pains of hell for ever. Therefore, from the tenour of the divine law, and of the divine conduct, it is evident, that God is at liberty, with respect to them, to kill and damn any Christless sinner, at what moment he pleases. And therefore he is not bound not to do so. And therefore there is no covenant between God and the sinner existing, obliging God to bestow any favour on any one Christless sinner now in the world: but he may strike dead and send to hell, justly and without breach of covenant, any Christless sinner who draws the breath of life. Thus in this sense, impenitent, self-righteous, Christless sinners, are under the curse of the law.
8. And this is true of self-righteous, Christless sinners, without exception, as the apostle affirms, As many as are of the works of the law, are under the curse. Be they circumcised Jews, or baptised Gentiles; or be they both circumcised and baptised too, as doubtless many were in the churches of Galatia, to whom he was writing; yet neither their circumcision, nor their baptism, at all altered the case. For the circumcised and the uncircumcised, the baptised, and the unbaptised, are all equally under the curse of the law, if of a selfrighteous character. For they reject Christ, and so can have no interest in hin; as by divine constitution none are interested in him, but those who receive him. John i. 12. and iii. 18. And therefore, they must stand or fall by mere law. But the law says, Cursed is every one that continueth not in all things.
The law doth not say, 'cursed is every uncircumcised Gentile;' nor doth the law say, 'cursed is every unbaptised Pagan :' but thus it is written, 'cursed is every one:' be he Jew, or Gentile; be he Christian, or Pagan; be he circumcised, or baptised, or neither; if he be self-righteous, and Christless, he is cursed. For these things alter not the case at all. Rom. ii. 25. 28, 29. For circumcision verily profiteth, if thou keep