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    PART SECOND: THE ATONEMENT AS REVEALED IN THE BIBLE

    CHAPTER I. PRINCIPLES OF THE DIVINE GOVERNMENT

    In our examination of the teachings of the Bible concerning the principles of the Divine Government, and the means therein revealed for the pardon and salvation of the penitent sinner, we ask the reader to keep in view the principles already established, and to mark how perfectly the Bible harmonizes with, and how strongly it enforces, these fundamental principles of justice. In this respect, we insist that the Bible stands alone. Among the pretended revelations which have existed or now exist in the world, it has no worthy rival. Of all known religions that of the Bible alone offers pardon on terms which do honor to divine, infinite justice. It alone offers a substitutionary sacrifice worthy to meet the claims of the violated, yet immutable law of Jehovah, through whom it is possible for God to be just—to maintain his infinite justice—and yet justify or pardon the believer in that sacrifice. And if it shall clearly appear that the Bible is the faithful expositor and upholder of these principles, then we ask the reader, even though he may have been skeptical as to its merits and its claims, to accept it as the needed light from Heaven, a revelation of the Divine will. If such be the nature of its teachings; if such be its claims, then every one who is truly guided by reason and a love of right and truth, must so accept it.AERS 55.2

    There is a tendency among men, and we think it is increasing, to make the love of God the sole element in the gospel. Universalism is the true exponent of this theory, though thousands are inclining to it who would readily repudiate the charge that they are Universalists. We never could see the consistency of that system which taught that all men will be saved, while teaching that there is nothing in all the universe from which they need to be saved. We consider that view equally faulty which is now advocated by eminent men of almost all schools, namely, that the death of Christ was not a penal infliction, that it was not a vindication of justice, but merely a manifestation of the love of God, calculated and designed to move the hearts of men that they may be led to appreciate his love. In several respects this theory fails to commend itself. 1. It is not according to the teachings of the Bible, as we shall endeavor to show in these pages. 2. The result is not at all commensurate to the expenditure. If that were the sole object, the necessities of the case did not require such an immense sacrifice as was made in the sufferings and death of the Son of the living God. 3 It is a fact that men’s emotions are more easily aroused by a consideration of human woes, by a recital of the sufferings of their own kind, than by reading of the sufferings of Christ. Dr. Clarke made some striking remarks on this fact. And we might add that they who claim the emotional ground of the death of Jesus are seldom aroused to such exalted views of the love of God in Christ as they are who believe in the judicial ground. The truth proclaimed in the word of God, that “he was wounded for our transgressions, and bruised for our iniquities,” is attested by the Spirit of God, who bears witness of it to the consciences of the truly convicted and converted.AERS 56.1

    But we are not now presenting an argument on this question; that is reserved for the future. We merely call attention to these points here, while the simple principles of justice which have been examined are fresh in the mind of the reader, (1) to lead him to consider that the emotional view of the death of Christ does not at all meet the requirements of the divine law. It ignores the claim of justice in the divine Government, and really makes sin a matter of small account; (2) that we may be prepared to appreciate the importance of those principles and rules of duty which underlie all the purposes and dispensations of God toward man; that we may understand and realize why the gospel is needed to bring man back to God, and renew his hope of everlasting life and glory.AERS 57.1

    Our first inquiry, then, relates to the principles of the Government of God, or, in other words, to his law. This is fundamental; all else must be based on it. It is difficult, if not impossible, to form just ideas of secondary principles if we have not just ideas of their primaries.AERS 57.2

    There can be no difference between the attributes of God and the principles of his Government. If God is just, justice will show forth as a principle of his Government; it will be administered in justice. If God is love, love must pervade his Government. If God is immutable, the principles of his Government must be likewise unchangeable. We cannot conceive of his possessing an attribute which does not shine forth in his Government. But as law is the basis of Government, without which it cannot exist, whatever applies to the one applies to the other. Therefore to understand the attributes of God is to understand the nature or character of his law, as the latter necessarily springs from the former. This is too plainly evident to require proof, for his law is but the expression of his will, and his will must surely correspond to his attributes.AERS 58.1

    We do not consider it necessary to examine at length the attributes of Deity. All will agree that to him belong wisdom, power, holiness, truth, justice, love, and mercy. It may be said, however, that these qualities are ascribed also to man. Thus the Scriptures speak of men who were holy, true, just, wise, etc. But such expressions in regard to man must be taken with the limitations arising from man’s nature. There are three attributes which belong to Deity which may be applied to all those mentioned above, but which man cannot possess, namely, infinity, immutability, and eternity. While man is wise, just, merciful, etc., in a certain degree, God is infinitely, immutably, and eternally wise, just, holy, true, etc. These three qualify all the others. They are “perfections of perfections,” essential to the divine character, but belonging to it alone. So let it be understood that when we speak of the justice of God, the word is not used in any ordinary sense, or as it is used in respect to man. The justice of God is infinite, immutable, eternal. We are in danger of making God (in our minds) such an one as ourselves, and of imagining that he looks upon sin with as little abhorrence as we do, who have always associated with it, and in some of its forms have always been inclined to love it instead of abhorring it. When we speak of God and his attributes, of his will, his law, we should do it with more than respect—with reverence.AERS 58.2

    It has been noticed that the governor must make a plain revelation of the law to which the subjects are amenable. This the Lord has done. In the beginning the Creator talked with man in person, and made known to him directly the rules which were to govern his life. But the book of Genesis is not a book of law; it is a very brief history of the race, covering a period of more than two thousand years. We have frequent mention of men’s violation of law, with references to the law itself, but no code left on record in the book. But all nations chose their own way—“they did not like to retain God in their knowledge”—and he separated from the nations the seed of Abraham, to be a people to his own glory. After they had been in long servitude and under deep afflictions in the land of Egypt, he “took them by the hand,” as a father does his children, to bring them into the land of Canaan, and to lead them in the way of truth and righteousness. While all the families of the earth were turning away from God, going farther and farther into the darkness of heathenism, it is not surprising that the people of Israel, oppressed in cruel bondage, should have imbibed much of the spirit of their surroundings, and retained but imperfect ideas of the sacredness of the divine law. That this was the case is proved by the readiness with which they worshiped the golden calf, after the manner of the Egyptians, when the circumstances would seem to forbid their yielding to the force of such superstitions. It was a wide departure from the faith and godliness of their fathers Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, and of Joseph.AERS 59.1

    In revealing his will to his chosen people, the Lord made known through prophets and priests, civil and ecclesiastical duties; but he taught them, and all who should come after them, to look with peculiar reverence upon the moral code, by proclaiming it with his own voice, and writing it with his own finger on tables of stone. That men have always considered the ten commandments a moral code, could only be expected from the manner in which it was given by Jehovah, and placed in the ark over which the high priest made atonement for sin; from its containing a summary of duty covering all moral relations; and from the teaching of the Scriptures in regard to it.AERS 60.1

    When God brought Israel out of Egypt, he entered into an agreement or covenant with them, promising to regard them as a peculiar treasure above all nations, if they would obey his voice and keep his covenant. This they readily promised to do. Exodus 19:5-8. “Obey my voice,” and “keep my covenant,” are two expressions used by the Lord, referring to the same thing; for when they heard his voice, the third day after the covenant was made with them, he declared his covenant which he commanded them to perform. This was the ten commandments. Deuteronomy 4:12, 13. The word “covenant” is of such extensive signification that we can only learn its meaning in any text by the sense of the passage or its connection. According to the lexicons, and to Scripture usage, it applies to a great variety of things, as, a promise; Genesis 9:9-11; an agreement; Genesis 21:22-32; mutual promises with conditions; Exodus 19:5-8; a law; Deuteronomy 4:12, 13; and a covenant of law may be the condition of a covenant of promises, as in 2 Kings 23:3. And so also in Exodus 19:5-8, the expression, “Keep my covenant,” refers to the covenant which he commanded unto them, and not to the covenant or agreement made with them. The agreement was based upon the condition, namely, “Obey my voice;” that is, obey that which he spoke to them when they heard his voice. They did not hear his voice when this covenant was made with them. Moses acted as mediator between the Lord and them. But the ten commandments were spoken by Jehovah directly to the people. This law in all things bears the pre-eminence above the revelations made through the prophets. It was not committed to Moses to bear to the people, as were the other laws. It bears the impress of Deity alone.AERS 61.1

    The Lord also said that if they would obey this law they would be a holy nation. Now it is an acknowledged truth that character is formed by our actions in reference to law; and the nature of the character is determined only by the nature of the law. Obedience to a bad law can never make a good character. It is hence evident that the character of the actor is the exact counterpart of the law obeyed. But we have the Lord’s own testimony, that if they would keep the ten commandments, they would be holy; that is, they would thereby form holy characters; and as their characters would be but a copy of the law, we have herein the word of the Governor of the universe that this is a holy law.AERS 62.1

    As law is the basis of all government, and as the Government or law is a certain exposition of the mind, the character, or the attributes of the lawgiver, and as the character of man is according to the law which he obeys, it follows that to obey the law of God is to attain unto the righteousness of God, or true holiness. The conclusion is undeniable that the holiness derived from obedience to God’s law of ten commandments is that growing out of the divine attributes, as pure and changeless as Heaven itself. The law being a transcript of the divine mind, perfect obedience to the law would bring us into perfect harmony with God.AERS 62.2

    Let no one object that by the law no such character is now formed, for Paul informs us in Romans 2 and 3 that there are none who completely obey the law. And his testimony is corroborated by many other scriptures. We are a fallen, degenerate race. The law cannot make us perfect, because of the weakness of the flesh Romans 8:3. But if we would see what the law would do in the formation of character where the weakness of the flesh was not manifested, where perfect obedience was rendered, let us look to Jesus, who said, “I have kept my Father’s commandments.” He did no sin; he never strayed from the law of his Father, and a pure and holy character was the result. And this is not a strange result, as all must admit who consider the force of the texts of Scripture which will presently be quoted.AERS 63.1

    As there cannot be diverse or unlike attributes of Deity, so there can be only one rule of holiness growing out of those attributes—one moral law for his Government. And upon obedience or disobedience to this law must all good and evil, life and death, be suspended. Therefore the following declarations apply to these commandments, or to this law, and to no other:—AERS 63.2

    Leviticus 18:5. “Ye shall therefore keep my statutes, and my judgments; which if a man do, he shall live in them.”AERS 63.3

    Deuteronomy 30:15, 16. “See I have set before thee this day life and good, and death and evil; in that I command thee this day to love the Lord thy God, to walk in his ways, and to keep his commandments and his statutes and his judgments.” See verses 19, 20; chap. 11:26-28.AERS 64.1

    Isaiah 51:7. “Hearken unto me, ye that know righteousness, the people in whose heart is my law.”AERS 64.2

    Psalm 19:7. “The law of the Lord is perfect, converting the soul.”AERS 64.3

    Psalm 40:8. “I delight to do thy will, O my God: yea, thy law is within my heart.” Also Psalm 119.AERS 64.4

    Ecclesiastes 12:13. “Fear God, and keep his commandments; for this is the whole duty of man.”AERS 64.5

    Matthew 19:17. “If thou wilt enter into life, keep the commandments.”AERS 64.6

    Romans 2:13. “The doers of the law shall be justified.”AERS 64.7

    Galatians 3:12. “The law is not of faith; but the man that doeth them shall live in them.”AERS 64.8

    1 John 3:4. “Sin is the transgression of the law.”AERS 64.9

    Romans 7:12. “The law is holy, and the commandment holy, and just, and good.”AERS 64.10

    Verse 14. “For we know that the law is spiritual.”AERS 64.11

    This law is also referred to in certain scriptures wherein it is called God’s holy covenant, and the covenant commanded.AERS 64.12

    Deuteronomy 4:13. “He declared unto you his covenant, which he commanded you to perform, even ten commandments.”AERS 64.13

    1 Chronicles 16:15-17. “Be ye mindful always of his covenant; the word which he commanded to a thousand generations; even of the covenant which he made with Abraham, and of his oath unto Isaac; and hath confirmed the same to Jacob for a law, and to Israel for an everlasting covenant.AERS 65.1

    Genesis 26:3-5. “I will perform the oath which I swear unto Abraham.... . Because that Abraham obeyed my voice, and kept my charge, my commandments, my statutes, and my laws.”AERS 65.2

    For breaking this “everlasting covenant,” the inhabitants of the earth will be desolated with a curse, and burned up. Isaiah 24:5, 6.AERS 65.3

    By indignation against the “holy covenant,” was the man of sin, the abomination that maketh desolate, set up. Daniel 11:28, 30.AERS 65.4

    As this law has sometimes been confounded with other laws, to which the foregoing declarations of Scripture will not apply, it will be in place to notice the distinction of laws.AERS 65.5

    The system (not the law) under which the people of God lived in the past dispensation was complex; its elements were moral, civil, and ceremonial. The moral was the basis of all, existing prior to, and independent of, the others, and was from the beginning the standard of duty to God and to our fellow-men. 1“The decalogue having been spoken by the voice, and twice written upon the stone tables by the finger of God, may be considered as the foundation of the whole system.”—J. Q. Adams.
    Alexander Campbell, speaking of these commandments, called them God’s Ten Words, which not only in the Old Testament, but in all revelation, are most emphatically regarded as the synopsis of all religion and morality.”—Debate with Purcell, p. 214.
    The civil enforced the moral, especially in men’s relations to their fellowmen, making application of its principles to everyday life. The ceremonial expiated the violations of the moral, and had especial reference to their relations to God. But both the ceremonial and civil were merely typical, looking forward to the priesthood of Christ and to his kingdom; and therefore illustrated the true relation we sustain under Christ to the law of God, the moral rule, in this and the future dispensation.
    AERS 65.6

    This distinction of the two laws, moral and ceremonial, is shown in the following scriptures:—AERS 66.1

    Jeremiah 6:19, 20. “Hear, O earth; behold I will bring evil upon this people, even the fruit of their thoughts, because they have not hearkened unto my words, nor to my law but rejected it. To what purpose cometh there to me incense from Sheba, and the sweet cane from a far country? Your burnt offerings are not acceptable, nor your sacrifices sweet unto me.” Here one was kept and the other rejected; but the observance of the ceremonial was not acceptable when the moral was disregarded. That this was illustrative of our position in this age is proved by Matthew 7:21-23, and John 7:16, 17, where the efficacy of faith in the Son, and of the knowledge of his doctrine, is dependent on obedience to the will or law of the Father.AERS 66.2

    Jeremiah 7:22, 23. “For I spake not unto your fathers, nor commanded them in the day that I brought them out of the land of Egypt, concerning burnt offerings or sacrifices. But this thing commanded I them, saying, Obey my voice.”AERS 66.3

    We have seen that to obey his voice was to keep his covenant, the ten commandments; and this shows that when God gave his law, which himself declared to be the rule of holiness, the ceremonial law of burnt offerings and sacrifices was not included. He spoke only the ten commandments, and wrote only this law on the tables of stone; this alone was put into the ark over which the priest made atonement for sin. No other law had such honor bestowed upon it.AERS 67.1

    The Saviour himself explicitly declares that he came not to destroy the law; yet we know he did set aside the ceremonial law, by introducing its antitype.AERS 67.2

    The same is proved by Paul in his letters to the Ephesians and Romans. In one, he speaks of a law which Christ abolished (Gr. katargeo), Ephesians 2:15, and in the other, he speaks of a law which is not made void (Gr. katargeo), by faith, but rather established. Romans 3:31.AERS 67.3

    It has been noticed in another place that it is not consistent with justice to relax the claims of a just law, neither can the acts of abolishing the law and pardoning the transgressor be united. Hence, if the law of God had been abolished by the gospel, justice would be trampled under foot. But the Bible is not thus inconsistent with reason. God is infinitely just, and his law must be satisfied; Christ, a voluntary substitute, is set forth as our Saviour, that God might be just, and the justifier of him who believeth in Jesus. Romans 3:26.AERS 67.4

    Though many other scriptures might be given to the same intent, those quoted are sufficient to show that the Bible truly harmonizes with the great principles of Government examined in the light of reason.AERS 67.5

    As objections are stronger with some persons than even positive proof, it will not be amiss to notice a few objections urged against the perpetuity of the law of God, by those who would make it void through faith, and pervert the gospel to a system of license.AERS 68.1

    Luke 16:16. “The law and the prophets were until John; since that time, the kingdom of God is preached, and every man presseth into it.”AERS 68.2

    It is unjustly inferred that the question of the existence of the law is here introduced. The translators saw that the passage was elliptical, but violated the laws of language by inserting the word “were,” which does not make the sentence complete; the verb “is” being the antithesis of “were,” the word “preached” is redundant. The following must be the correct view. The word or words understood or to be supplied must be antithetical to the words “is preached;” and therefore “were preached” would complete the sentence. The omission of these words prevents tautology, while nothing would require the omission of the word “were” if it alone belonged there. “The law and the prophets were preached until John; since that time, the kingdom of God is preached.” Now no one will claim that the law and the prophets ceased with John; even the ceremonial law remained in force later than the time of his death. Thus it is evident that the subject of the existence or continuance of the law and the prophets is not introduced in this scripture; therefore there is no objection in it.AERS 68.3

    Romans 3:21. “But now the righteousness of God without the law is manifested, being witnessed by the law and the prophets.”AERS 69.1

    In considering this text, and any other in this argument, we must bear in mind that the subject is justification by faith, and the object is “the remission of sins that are past.” And no one who understands the principles of Government will for a moment insist that a sinner can be justified by the law which he has transgressed. Justification to the transgressor comes by pardon without the law; but it never comes at all to the person who continues in transgression. Pardon, in the gospel system, stands closely related to conversion, for none but the converted will ever be pardoned. But none are truly converted without an amendment of life. Paul says we shall not sin that grace may abound. Grace superabounds above sin, to save from it; but grace never combines with sin to save any who continue in it. That justification for past sins is without law, by faith only, does not prove that a right character in the future may be formed without law, or by faith only. We are aware that without faith it is impossible to please God; and we are as well aware that faith without works is dead, being alone.AERS 69.2

    But there is another part to this text which objectors to the law never consider. It says that the righteousness of God is “witnessed by the law.” But a law cannot witness concerning that to which it does not relate. Now Paul says that “the doers of the law shall be justified.” Romans 2:13. That does not prove that any can now be justified by the law, for alas, there are no doers of it. Romans 3:9-19. But it does prove that the law contains the principles of justification; that it is of that nature that it would justify man if he had always kept it. In other words, it contains the true principles of righteousness; it is holy, and just, and good, and spiritual. Romans 7:12, 14. And Solomon attests the same truth when he says the commandments contain “the whole duty of man.” Ecclesiastes 12:13, 14. For man is a moral agent, under a moral Government in which the Supreme Governor says: “Be ye holy, for I am holy.” 1 Peter 1:16; Leviticus 19:2. And the law of God is the only rule of holiness given to man. To a sinner it is no longer the means of justification, but to all classes and under all circumstances it is the rule of justification, or of righteousness. It witnesses to the righteousness of God because it contains the principles of his righteousness; it is the expression of his will; the foundation of his moral Government; the very outgrowth of his attributes. Surely, we find in Romans 3:19 no ground for objecting against the law of God.AERS 69.3

    Romans 6:14. “For sin shall not have dominion over you; for ye are not under the law, but under grace.”AERS 70.1

    It is not difficult to show that the objection based on this text arises from an entire misapprehension of its meaning. As sin is transgression of the law, sin surely has dominion over the transgressor of the law. It is only the obedient that are free from the dominion of sin. To set man free from sin, to turn him from violating the holy law of God, is the object of the gospel. Of Jesus it was said by an angel, “He shall save his people from their sins.” Matthew 1:21. And Paul said “he appeared to put away sin by the sacrifice of himself.” Hebrews 9:26. That is, he saves us from breaking the law of his Father; he puts away transgression. He had no transgression of his own to put away, for he kept his Father’s commandments. John 15:10. Of course he came to put away our transgression; to restore sinful, fallen men to allegiance to the divine law—to loyalty to the divine Government. But this object is not accomplished in him who continues to transgress the law of God. Such are not saved from sin. Over such sin has dominion; how then can they be under grace?AERS 70.2

    If it be replied that all are under grace now, because the dispensation of law is past and the dispensation of grace has taken its place, we say, then, that is destructive of the sense of the text. The apostle offers the fact of our being under grace as the reason or the evidence that sin shall not have dominion over us. But if the relation is dispensational and not personal, then the distinction noted in the text is obliterated; if all are under grace, then also the multitudes are under grace over whom sin has dominion, and the text has no force.AERS 71.1

    This expression, “under the law,” does not mean, under the obligation, but under the condemnation of the law. Thus Paul says to the Galatians, “Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law.” Galatians 3:13. But it were surely absurd to speak of redeeming from the curse of a law which is abolished. An abolished law can inflict no curse. Now if the ungodly are not under law, it is because there is no law for them to be under; if they are under grace, they are on the same plane with the godly. Indeed, if such were the case, the distinctions of godliness and ungodliness could not exist; and the scriptures which say that sin is the transgression of the law, and, by the law is the knowledge of sin, would have no place in this dispensation. Even such a text as this: “Sin is not imputed when there is no law,” would be valid proof of the truthfulness of Universalism. Then to save from sin would be to save from the possibility of sinning; and to put away sin would be putting away that which proves sin to be sinful. See Romans 3:20, and 7:13.AERS 71.2

    That “under the law” has respect to the condemnation and not to the obligation of the law, is sufficiently proved by Romans 3:19. After showing that all, both Jews and Gentiles, are sinners, the apostle adds: “Now we know that what things soever the law saith, it saith to them who are under the law; that every mouth may be stopped, and all the world may become guilty before God.” It is the guilty, those who are convicted by the law of sin, who are under the law. If man had never sinned, he would never have been “under the law” in the sense in which Paul uses the expression. He would never have been “subject to the judgment of God,” as the margin of Romans 3:19 reads. The experience of the Psalmist would then have been the happy experience of all: “I will walk at liberty; for I seek thy precepts.” Psalm 119:45. Compare James 1:25; 2:10-12.AERS 72.1

    The truth is that they only are under grace, in the sense of Romans 6:14, who are in Christ; who are converted, and have received the grace of the gospel. All who are not Christ’s, who are sinners, who are rejecters of this grace, are under condemnation—under the curse of the law—“under the law” in the sense of the text. But no one is naturally a Christian; all are “by nature the children of wrath.” Ephesians 2:3. Therefore all who are converted, who become Christians, in their experience pass from being under the law to being under grace. Before conversion, sin has dominion over them; after conversion, it has not.AERS 73.1

    But we must not forget that “sin is the transgression of the law.” Now what is the position of a man when the transgression of the law has no dominion over him? It is that of yielding obedience to the law. We care not what may be his profession, as long as he transgresses the law, so long sin has dominion over him. This is undeniable.AERS 73.2

    The position of the antinomian perfectionists on this point is weak and deceptive; it is opposed to the whole scope of the gospel, and subversive of that system of grace which has its foundation in immutable justice. Thus the so-called perfectionists say: “Sin has no dominion over us; we are under the sole dominion of Christ, who frees us from the law; we are no longer bound to keep the law, but it is not sin in us who are in Christ.”AERS 73.3

    The fatal defect in this statement is that it denies the plainest truths of the Scriptures, and builds up that which it calls a Christian character on a false basis. It denies the Scriptures by its utter disregard of the inspired declarations: “By the law is the knowledge of sin,” and, “Sin is the transgression of the law.” They use the term “sin” without any regard to Scripture definitions. According to the above-quoted texts, a man cannot transgress the law and not be a sinner. If we would know what is sin, we must go to the law for the knowledge, according to Romans 3:20. And when a man disregards or breaks the law. he is proved a sinner, according to that text. There is no possibility of evading this truth. And if faith in Christ absolved us from obligation to keep the law, then Christ would be the minister of sin. But he is not; he is the minister of righteousness, which is equivalent to obedience, as will be further seen by our remarks on Romans 10:4.AERS 74.1

    But we have something on this point which is conclusive without any argument. It is the declaration of the apostle in the context. Following the verse on which the objection is raised, he says: “What then? shall we sin [transgress the law], because we are not under the law, but under grace? God forbid. Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey; whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness?” This declaration is a finality on the subject. Sin is the transgression of the law, and transgression leads to death, even though we have been under grace. Obedience leads to righteousness, through faith in Christ. The law cannot justify us without faith, because by transgression we have fallen under its condemnation. Romans 3:19, 20. And faith does not make void the law, but establishes it, Romans 3:31, which is in perfect harmony with the undeniable principles of justice laid down in Part One, of this work.AERS 74.2

    The grace of Christ to man is a system of favor made necessary by violation of the divine law. It is “a remedial system”—a means of pardon. The apostle’s argument is highly reasonable; he says that pardon does not make void the law, and that we again fall under condemnation if we sin after we are placed under grace. Pardon is not license. God must be just in the justification of the believer. Romans 3:26. And he will be just whether man is justified or not. This is proved in the case of every sinner lost. God could save all mankind, believing or unbelieving; obedient or disobedient. But he will not, because he cannot do it and be just. Oh, what a perversion of the gospel is that which tramples down the justice of God, professing to find a warrant for so doing in the gospel of Christ!AERS 75.1

    Romans 10:4. “For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to every one that believeth.”AERS 75.2

    There are three points in this text which claim our attention.AERS 76.1

    1. Christ is not the end of the law in the sense of abolishing it; for he says himself that he came not to destroy it, and Paul says it is not made void. The word “end” is here used as it is in James 5:11: “Ye have heard of the patience of Job, and have seen the end of the Lord,” that is, the design or intention of the Lord. See also Romans 14:9. Paul says the commandment was ordained unto life, which agrees with the scriptures which have been quoted in reference to the law. But we have merited death by transgression, for “the wages of sin is death.” Christ now fulfills the object or design of the law, by granting the forgiveness of sin, and bestowing eternal life. In this sense, and in this only, is Christ the end of the law. This view is confirmed by the other points in the text.AERS 76.2

    2. He is the end or object of the law for righteousness. Unrighteousness is sin, and sin is the transgression of the law; this shows righteousness to be the equivalent of obedience. And Christ brings the sinner to obedience, as it is said in Romans 5:19, “By the obedience of one shall many be made righteous,” or obedient. He kept his Father’s commandments, and calls upon us to follow him. He said, “Thy law is within my heart,” and promises in the new covenant to write it also in the hearts of his people. Psalm 40:8: Hebrews 8:10.AERS 76.3

    3. This is only “to every one that believeth.” He is not the end of the law in any sense to the unbeliever. This proves that it does not mean the abolition of the law, for when a law is abolished it is abolished to everybody alike. It shows that the object of the law is not accomplished in the unbeliever.AERS 76.4

    Galatians 3:13, 14. “Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us; for it is written, Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree; that the blessing of Abraham might come on the Gentiles through Jesus Christ.”AERS 77.1

    If Christ abolished the law it would not then be true that he redeemed us from its curse, for, as we have seen, abolition of law and pardon cannot go together. And we have also seen that to abolish the law which curses the transgressor, or condemns sin, is subversive of government, and does not reform the evil-doer, or save him from sin. Again, this redemption from the curse of the law is necessary, that the blessing of Abraham might come on the Gentiles. Two important ideas are presented in this declaration. 1. The curse of the law rests on the Gentiles, which proves that the Gentiles were and are amenable to it, as is also proved by Romans 3:9-19. 2. The curse of the law stands between the transgressor and the blessing of Abraham. Of course the law is the basis of the Abrahamic promises or blessings.AERS 77.2

    Some deny that the blessing of Abraham has any relation to the law; but if they were right, how could the declaration of this text be true? If they were not related the curse of the law could no more deprive us of the blessing of Abraham than the curse of the law of Russia could deprive us of American citizenship. When God gave the promises to Abraham, he connected them with his commandments. Thus he said to Isaac: “Sojourn in this land, and I will be with thee, and will bless thee; for unto thee, and unto thy seed, I will give all these countries, and I will perform the oath which I sware unto Abraham thy father; ...because that Abraham obeyed my voice, and kept my charge, my commandments, my statutes, and my laws.” Genesis 26:3, 5. And the same is taught in 1 Chronicles 16:15-18: “Be ye mindful always of his covenant; the word which he commanded to a thousand generations; which he made with Abraham, and of his oath unto Isaac; and hath confirmed the same to Jacob for a law, and to Israel for an everlasting covenant, saying, Unto thee will I give the land of Canaan, the lot of your inheritance.” See also Psalm 105:8-11.AERS 77.3

    This scripture contains two things—closely connected, but entirely distinct in their nature—namely, a law, and a promise. Both are embraced in the Abrahamic covenant, according to the words just quoted, both in Genesis 26, and 1 Chronicles 16. God’s promises are based on conditions. He made the promises to Abraham and his sons because of his obedience to his law. If it be asked, What law was it that he obeyed? the reply is found in the quotation above. It was that law which was confirmed to Jacob, and to Israel for an everlasting covenant. Although there are many covenants mentioned in the Scriptures, of promises, agreements, etc., there is but one covenant mentioned in the Bible which is solely a law, and that is the ten commandments. See Deuteronomy 4:13: “And he declared unto you his covenant, which he commanded you to perform, even ten commandments; and he wrote them upon two tables of stone.”AERS 78.1

    This is that law upon which the promises to Abraham were based; it was confirmed to Jacob for a law; to Israel for an everlasting covenant; it is the word commanded to a thousand generations. And if we would inherit the blessing of Abraham we must “walk in the steps of that faith which Abraham had,” or keep that law upon which the blessing was based. But having already broken that law (for all have broken it, both Jews and Gentiles, see Romans 3:9-19), and therefore incurred its penalty, we have forfeited all right to the blessing which can only be restored through Christ, who redeems us from the curse of the law that the blessing of Abraham may come upon us, as says our text, Galatians 3:12-14.AERS 79.1

    The text says also that the Gentiles can receive the blessing by having the curse of the law removed from them. This is further proof of what Paul said to the Romans, that the Gentiles are amenable to that law, and by it are cursed as transgressors. But why should such an evident fact need proof? Are not the Gentiles all sinners? Is not God’s law universal? Is he not the “Supreme moral Governor?” Are not all of Adam’s race alike moral agents, traveling to the same Judgment? And is not “the whole duty of man” marked out in his commandments, or law? All men, of all nations, are naturally carnal, naturally opposed to the law of God (Romans 8:7), and to be reconciled to God must become converted by and to the law of God.AERS 79.2

    Some will not admit that the law of God has any agency in conversion. But no one can be truly converted without conviction of sin; and no one can have thorough and intelligent conviction of sin without knowledge of the law, “for by the law is the knowledge of sin.” Hence the Scriptures are strictly true (they are always true) when they say, “The law of the Lord is perfect, converting the soul.” Psalm 19:7. In this age of superficial conversions many consider this passage obscure, and some endeavor to change its terms. We believe that President Finney was altogether correct in his expression of the opinion that the multitude of superficial conversion of late years is owing to the practice which is becoming so prevalent, of preaching a system of pardon without any heartfelt conviction, the conscience of the sinner not being aroused by a faithful presentation of the claims of the broken law. Genuine repentance is of sin; repentance for the transgression of the law. Therefore, where the claims of the law are not recognized, there can be no real conversion. True conversion is not merely emotional; not alone a matter of the feelings. It is a radical change of life; a turning from wrong to right. And how shall this be effected unless we are guided by the divine rule of right? By it alone is wrought that conviction which will lead us to Christ, who only can set us right.AERS 80.1

    Paul’s relation of his own conversion, in Rom. is highly instructive on this point. He says: “I had not known sin, but by the law.” And in no other manner can any one know it. “For I was alive without the law once.” His conscience was at ease while he was in the way of sin. So little was he aware of the true nature of his own actions that he thought he was doing God service in persecuting the church of Christ. “But when the commandment came, sin revived.” In the absence of the law, or of his understanding or receiving the law, sin did not appear. “I had not known sin, but by the law.” And when sin revived, or he knew sin, then, says he, “I died.” It will be noticed that he speaks of the life and death of sin, and the life and death of himself, but never of the life and death of the law. The contrary has been inferred from verse 6, which says, in the text, “But now we are delivered from the law, that being dead wherein we were held.” But the margin gives the correct reading: “Being dead to that wherein we were held.” This is certain, for, 1. It agrees with all the context; see verse 4, and others. 2. Every other version, and all authorities, give this construction. 3. The original for “being dead” (apothanontes) is plural, and therefore cannot refer to the law, which is singular, but must refer to the brethren.AERS 80.2

    Turning back to chap. 6:1-8, he speaks of our being both dead and buried. Dead with Christ; dead to sin, or transgression; dead to the law as far as it has a claim on our lives on account of sin, for “the wages of sin is death.” It was because Paul was a sinner that he found the law to be death unto him. It was “ordained unto life.” This is confirmed by many scriptures. The Lord repeatedly said of his commandments that they who did them should live. Leviticus 18:5; Nehemiah 9:29; Ezekiel 20:11; Galatians 3:12. Life and death were set before them in the commandments. Deuteronomy 30:15-20; Matthew 19:17, 18, etc.AERS 81.1

    Some have become confused over the expressions, “dead to sin,” “dead to the law,” thinking, perhaps, there was identity in the two; but Paul directly contradicts that idea, in verse 7: “Is the law sin? God forbid.” The law is against sin and the sinner. By the commandment sin becomes exceeding sinful. Verse 13. The conclusion to which the apostle comes is the point of great interest to us. Did conversion to Christ turn him away from the law, and lead him to speak of it in terms of disrespect? By no means. After the commandment came, convincing him of sin, and thereby leading him to Christ, he said: “Wherefore the law is holy, and the commandment holy, and just, and good.” And again: “For we know that the law is spiritual.” And of his own feelings—the feelings of a divinely renewed man—toward the law, he said: “For I delight in the law of God after the inward man.” And of the relation of mankind in general to the law, he said: “The carnal mind is enmity against God; for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be.” Conversion to Christ takes away the carnal mind, and removes the insubordination to, or rebellion against, the law of God.AERS 82.1

    If it be yet claimed that the law of God is abolished, we would say, there can be but two reasons urged why it should be abolished. 1. Because it was faulty in itself, and not worthy of being perpetuated. But this is a grave reflection on the wisdom of the Lawgiver; for if that law were not perfect, then he gave only a faulty law, not worthy of the respect of his creatures. This is, in effect, the position which some take. But we wonder they are not shocked at their own irreverence. And this reason also contradicts all the scriptures which have been quoted which speak of the law as holy, just, good, perfect, spiritual, and containing the whole duty of man. 2. It may be urged that the circumstances of the transgressors made it necessary. On this we refer to the remarks before, made on the conditions of pardon. It is certainly not consistent with good government, with justice, to abolish a perfect, holy law because rebellious men have violated it. Nor can even that necessity be urged, since a system of pardon has been instituted which is sufficient to fully meet the wants of the transgressor. But in harmony with every principle of justice and right, it avails only for those who penitently turn away from their transgressions.AERS 83.1

    As this law is holy, just, good, and perfect, it must be so in all its parts. No one part of a holy law can be impure, or, of a perfect law be imperfect. But the man of sin, the papal power, despite its professions, has sought to corrupt and pervert or change the holy covenant. Daniel 7:25, To establish the worship of images, it has decided that the second commandment is ceremonial, and therefore not proper to be associated with moral laws. To introduce a festival day, the Roman Sun-day, it has decided that the fourth commandment is ceremonial, so far as it relates to the observance of a particular day, notwithstanding God blessed and sanctified the particular day on which he rested, to wit: the seventh day. 1Alexander Campbell, in his debate with Bishop Purcell, charges upon the Catholic Church, that it has made a change in the ten commandments, which, he says, are “a synopsis of all religion and morality.” This declaration, warranted by the Scriptures, places those who teach the abolition of the ten commandments, or any one of them, in a very unenviable position.AERS 83.2

    None can deny that the Sabbath was instituted or made at creation; for then God rested on the seventh day. This day was not, therefore, a Jewish Sabbath, as it is so much claimed, but the Sabbath (rest) of the Lord, as the Bible always represents it to be. Space will not here admit of an argument on this point of the law, but we will notice two prominent objections urged against it, namely, that its observance was not required from the date of its institution; and that it is not moral as the other parts of the decalogue. In regard to the first, the Saviour says it “was made for man;” and we well know in what period of man’s history it was made. The following remarks seem decisive on this point:—AERS 84.1

    “The Hebrew verb kadash, here rendered sanctified, and in the fourth commandment rendered hallowed, is defined by Gesenius, ‘to pronounce holy, to sanctify; to institute an holy thing, to appoint.’ It is repeatedly used in the Old Testament for a public appointment or proclamation. Thus when the cities of refuge were set apart in Israel, it is written: ‘They appointed [margin, Heb. sanctified] Kadesh in Galilee in Mount Naphtali, and Shechem in Mount Ephraim,’ etc. This sanctification or appointment of the cities of refuge, was by a public announcement to Israel that these cities were set apart for that purpose. This verb is also used for the appointment of a public fast, and for the gathering of a solemn assembly. Thus it is written: ‘Sanctify [i. e., appoint] ye a fast, call a solemn assembly, gather the elders and all the inhabitants of the land into the house of the Lord your God.’ ‘Blow ye the trumpet in Zion, sanctify [i. e., appoint] a fast, call a solemn assembly.’ ‘And Jehu said, Proclaim [margin, Heb. sanctify] a solemn assembly for Baal.’ Joshua 20:7; Joel 1:14; 2:15; 2 Kings 10:20, 21; Zephaniah 1:7, margin. This appointment for Baal was so public that all the worshipers of Baal in all Israel were gathered together. These fasts and solemn assemblies were sanctified or set apart by a public appointment or proclamation of the fact. When, therefore, God set apart the seventh day to a holy use, it was necessary he should state that fact to those who had the days of the week to use. Without such announcement, the day could not be set apart from the others.AERS 84.2

    “But the most striking illustration of the meaning of this word may be found in the record of the sanctification of Mount Sinai. Exodus 19:12, 23.AERS 85.1

    When God was about to speak the ten commandments in the hearing of all Israel, he sent Moses down from the top of Mount Sinai to restrain the people from touching the mount. ‘And Moses said unto the Lord, The people cannot come up to Mount Sinai; for thou chargedst us, saying, Set bounds about the mount and sanctify it.’ Turning back to the verse where God gave this charge to Moses, we read: ‘And thou shalt set bounds unto the people round about, saying, Take heed to yourselves that ye go not up into the mount or touch the border of it.’ Hence, to sanctify the mount was to command the people not to touch even the border of it, for God was about to descend in majesty upon it. In other words, to sanctify or set apart to a holy use Mount Sinai, was to tell the people that God would have them treat the mountain as sacred to himself; and thus also to sanctify the rest-day of the Lord was to tell Adam that he should treat the day as holy to the Lord.AERS 86.1

    “The declaration, ‘God blessed the seventh day and sanctified it,’ is not indeed a commandment for the observance of that day; but it is the record that such a precept was given to Adam. For how could the Creator ‘set apart to a holy use’ the day of his rest, when those who were to use the day know nothing of his will in the case? Let those answer who are able.”—J. N. Andrews’ History of the Sabbath, pp. 16-18.AERS 86.2

    In regard to the morality of this commandment, we may compare it with any of the others, assured that it will be sustained by any argument that will prove their morality. Take the eighth for example. No one can be proved guilty by merely proving that he took and used a certain piece of property; beyond this it must be proved that the property was another’s, to which he had no right. Thus this commandment rests upon the right of property; and if this were not recognized, it would be a nullity. But surely no one can prove a clearer right, or put forth a more positive claim to any property, than has the Lord to the seventh day. Many times in his immutable word has he told us it is his; that he has hallowed it; and he warns us against desecrating it, or appropriating it to our own use. If it be an immorality to take without license what our neighbor claims as his, how much more so to take against God’s positive prohibition what he claims as his own.AERS 86.3

    A little reflection or examination will be sufficient to convince every one that the position here taken in reference to the maintenance and perpetuity of the law of God is in strict harmony with the immutable principles of justice and good government. While every argument presented in favor of its abolition, is contrary to those principles, and subversive of government. No one who has regard for the honor of God and for the integrity of his Government, should hesitate for a moment to decide where the truth lies on this important subject.AERS 87.1

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