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chap. 1x.] COVENANT OF WORKS. 157

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 in-
deed 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 kwe 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 proposi-
tions 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, en-
joining that perfection, which is a greater degree of É.
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 shall ad-
join two excellent passages, one from Epictetus, the other
from the emperor Julian. The former speaks thus, Disser-
tat lib. 2. c. xi. “Having found a rule, let us keep it in-
violable, and not extend so much as a finger beyond it.”
The latter thus, Orat. 1. “There is an ancient law gi
him who first, taught mankind philosophy, and which runs
thus: that all who have an eye to virtue and to o:
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. so - . . ; *...* * * * * *
XVI. The second thing, which we said, S-II, was im-

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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 f julfilled, Rom. viii. 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 unchange-
able 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 anything 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 has 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. viii. 13.
“In that he saith a new covenant, he hath made the first
old.” For though the abrogation of the old does not neces-
sarily 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 sub-
stitution of a new covenant supposes the abrogation of an
old one.
XIX. That abrogation on the part of God consists in this,
that God has declared, That no man can, by virtue of this co-
venant, have friendship with him, or obtain eternal life; so
that he has declared all to have forfeited the promise of the
covenant, and the hope of enjoying that promise according to

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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. iii. 21. To this purpose is what the law
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 1. 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 con-
trary 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 co-
venant of works, that it would rather manifestly destroy it.
For the penal sanction makes a of that covenant, where-
by God threatened the sinner with death, so that if he for-
gave 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 con-
dition 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 still an indissoluble con-
nection 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. Qf
terror, or the power of the fear of death and bondage, by the
prom ion 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, abo-
lished in the Redeemer as the law of sin, becomes the law of

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160 THE ARRocation of THE [book 1.

the Saviour, and adjudges righteousness to those who are his. 3dly. Qf that war or struggle with sin, by the death of the body. , 4thly. Qf all the effects of it, by the reasurrection from the dead. . .

XXIII. Butlet us give our reasons why we have hitherto doubled whether these things are, with sufficient accuracy conceived and digested. , 1st. All the partieulars 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. 2dly. 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. iii. 3i. “Do we then make void the law through faith? God forbid; yea, we establish the law.” And again, Rom. viii. 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 persectly ours.” 3dly. The very law of the covenant which gave up the human sinner to sin, 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 jūst 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, becomes 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 observa-
tion of the learned person himself; when, Summa Theolog. c.
xxxi., § 1. he speaks to this purpose., Nevertheless, when we
say this, we mean, that this fourföld 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 inter-
vention of a surety and redeemer made it, at last, possible to
the law;” namely, that itself should effect its own abolition
and removal P 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 abo-
lished, but in so far as it is become impossible for man to attain

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