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in, proposed, and explained from the Mosaical dispensation. The commands of it from Exod. xxth. by our blessed Saviour, Matt. xix. 17, 18, 19. To the young man he saith, If thou wilt enter into life, eter. nal life, keep the commandments. And he points out the very commandments delivered from Sinai. А clear proof that they were given there as a covenant of works, to the obedience of which eternal life was promised. The promise of that covenant is assigned to the Mosaic dispensation, Rom. x. 5. Moses des cribeth, (viz. Lev. xviii. 5.) the righteousness which is of the law, that the man who doeth these things shall live by them, viz. shall live an eternal life.-- The command and the promise are brought in together, Luke x. 25, 26, 27, 28. A certain lawyer tempting our Lord, said, Master, what shall I do to inherit eternal life. Christ answereth his question by proposing another, What is written in the law? how readest thou? The lawyer repeating the sum of the ten commandments, Christ saith unto him, This do, and thou shalt live. Hence it is evident that eternal life, for of that the lawyer spake, was promised to the keeping of the law given at Sinai, and that therefore it was given as a covenant there. The terrible sanction of the covenant of works is expressly referred to the Mosaic dispensation, Gal. iii. 10. It is written, (viz. Deut. xxvii. 26.) Cursed is every one that continueth not in all things, which are written in the book of the law to do them. This was not a ceremonial, or a temporal curse, but a curse affecting the transgressor's everlasting state: à curse standing in direct opposition to the blessing promised in the Abrahamic covenant, Gal. iii. 8, 9. and therefore consisting in suffering the loss, and feeling the wrath of Abrahain's God for ever. The apostle teacheth that the ministration of death was written and engraven on stones, 2 Cor. iii. 7. That this is meant of the law in the ten commandments written on two tables of stone, at Sinai, by God himself, is too evident to be denied. It is called the ministration of death, What that death
was we liave already seen, and the same apostle ex. plains himself in the 9th verse, calling it the ministration of condemnation, i. e. condemnation to everlasting wrath, for so the word always signifies in the New Testament, John iii. 17, 18. v. 24. 1 Cor. xi. 32, 34. But how was that law which was written and engraven on stones, the ministration of death and of condemnation? Surely it was not so as a rule of life, for in that sense it is indispensably obligatory even upon those who have embraced the ministration of the Spirit and of righteousness, i. e. the covenant of grace. As a rule, it regulates the conduct of the covenanted, and it is written in their liearts, so far is it from being the ininistration of death and condemnation. It is evident therefore, that the ten commandments were not the ministration of death, but as they were the covenant of works *
4thly. That the covenant from Sinai was the cove. nant of works appears from the opposition betwixt the law and grace, so frequently inculcated in the New Testament. They are uniformly opposed to one another, not as very different degrees of one and the same thing, but as things very different in kind. The legalcovenant from Sinai did not gender minors, and the Abrahamic covenant full-grown men. That is not their difference: by no means. The one brought forth nothing but slaves, or bond-children; whereas the other brought forth heirs, heirs of God, and jointheirs with Christ, Gal. iv. 30, 31. The law was given by Moses, but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ, John. i. 17. Here law and grace are represented to be as different, as the respective messengers, Moses and Christ. Moses was the minister of the law, but not of grace: a law demanding obedience, but promising no strength to obey: a law full of types and ceremonies, but not replete with the great antitype, the truth of them all: a law which had only a shadow of good things to come, not the very image, far
Turet. Loc. 11. Q. 24. Sect. 1%.
less the body, Col. ii. 17. Heb. x. In opposition to this law, grace and truth came by Jesus Christ. Grace, to answer all the demands of its moral part: Truth to fulfil all the types of its ceremonial part. Grace came by him even before he appeared in the flesh, yea, before the Sinai transaction: for the Abrahamic covenant was confirmed before of God in Christ, Gal. iii. 17. The blessings of that covenant were showered down by him on all the faithful under the Old Testament. And as grace came by him before his incarnation, so truth at it. The great truth with which all the promises and prophecies were preg; nant. That truth in the faith of which all the Old Testament saints had died, viz. That the seed of the woman should come to bruise the serpent's head: that Messiah should be cut off, but not for himself: that he should make reconciliation for iniquity, and bring in everlasting righteousness. The law and grace are opposed to one another, as works and faith in the matter of justification, Gal. iii. 12. The law is not of faith, but the man that doeth them shall live in them. Though the perfect law requires faith, faith in God, and faith in Christ, yet it does not justify any man by faith, but by works of perfect obedience. Not by faith in God, inasmuch as that is a part only of law-righteousness, not the whole.
Not by faith in Christ, for that being nothing else but a renunciation of legal, or of personal righteousness, and a cordial embracing of surety-righteousness, Phil. iii. 9. it were a contradiction that it should justify a man in the eye of that very law from which he flecs. The law saith, The man who doeth those things shall live. Grace saith, The just by faith, shall live, Gal. iii. 11. This law, therefore, so opposite to grace, is nothing else but the covenant of works. And being solemnly published at Sinai, published in such a manner as it never was before, nor shall be to the end of the world, it follows that the Sinai-covenant was the covenant of works.
5thly, The law from mount Sinai was a covenant. So saith the text, These are the two covenants; the one from the mount Sinai. It was a very different covenant from that made with the fathers, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, Deut. v. 2, 3. And it was such a covenant as had an appearance of disannulling the covenant of grace, Gal. iii. 17. The covenant that was confirmed before of God in Christ, the law which was four hundred and thirty years after, cannot disannul, that it should make the promise of none effect. Yea, it was such a covenant as did, in its own nature, bear a method of obtaining the inheritance, so far different from that of the promise, that it was inconsistent with it, Gal. iii. 18. For if the inheritance be of the law, it is no more of promise. This implies that it could not be partly of both, but beloved to be of the one only to the exclusion of the other: either of the law exclusive of the promise; or of the promise, exclusive of the law. Alluding to Rom. xi. 6. we may justly say, the inheritance is of promise: and if by promise, then it is no more of the law; otherways promise is no more promise. But if it be of the law, then it is no more of promise: otherwise law is no more law. If they who are of the law be heirs, faith is made void, and the promise made of none effect, Rom. iv. 14. Faith is excluded as leaving any instrumentality in obtaining a title to the inheritance, and the free promise is dismissed by the haughty justiciary, telling it, I have no need of thee. From all this it is evident that the covenant of the law from mount Sinai, could not be the covenant of promise or of grace; unless one will make this last not only a covenant seeming to destroy itself, but really inconsistent: but it was the covenant of works, which indeed had such an appearance, and in its own nature did bear such a method, as was observed above *.
6thly and Lastly, That the covenant of works was repeated and delivered to the Israelites on mount Sinai, is generally granted by our best divines. To
Boston on the Marrow, p. 55, 56.
that cloud of witnesses quoted in our entry on this subject, I might add a great many more * Nay it is remarkable that some who have explained the two covenants of the two dispensations, have taught at another time that the Sinai-covenant was indeed a covenant of works t.
This seems also to be the judgment of the Westminster Divines. They bring all their proofs of a covenant of works either from the garden or the mount, from Eden or from Sinai. But if that covenant was not given at Sinai, one class of these proofs must go for nothing, being quite foreign to the purpose for which they are adduced. In our Larger Cat. Quest. 93. having defined the moral law as a covenant of works, they expressly assert, Quest. 98. that this moral law was delivered by the voice of God upon mount Sinai, and written by him on two tables of stone. Whence I think we may infer that according to them, the Sinai law was a covenant of works. The argument is shortly thus.
The moral law is the covenant of works. But that law was delivered on mount Sinai. Therefore the covenant of works was delivered there. True it is, these same Divines teach in our Confession of Faith, Chap. 19. Sect. 2. That the law was delivered on mount Sinai as a perfect rule of righteousness. But these are no how contrary. The same law might be delivered both as a rule, and as a covenant. A covenant it surely was to all such as were Abraham's carnal descendants only, and being so it was also a rule to them; for. asmuch as its federal form includes its authority as a rule: a rule only, and not a covenant, it was to Abraham's spiritual offspring. And thus the law, like the pillar of cloud, Exod. xiv. 20. had a dark side and a a lucid. To sinners, it was as blackness, darkness, tempest, and the shadow of death. To saints, it was a
Ames. Medulla, Cap. 39. fig. 4. Maccov. Loc. Com. Cap. 58. p. 500. Edward's
Hist. of Redemp. p. 67, 68. Watt's Berry-Street Serm. 13th.