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may, to be sure, be properly and profitably compared; but no LAW makes, no law can make, any other provision for compliance with its precepts than the punishment it denounces to non-compliance. The only end of laws, which we can conceive, is to promote the happiness, or prevent the misery of those to whom they are given. Were not this the case, how could they, or why should they be enforced? The law-giver indeed may dispense with his own laws; but to what degree, and for what reasons, he alone can tell. The reasons also for exercising such dispensing power may, perhaps musi, be very different froin those which induce the establishment of laws.
The various dispensations of God, prior to that of the gospel, seem to have had no other end, and to have been made for no other reason than the establishment of Christianity, at such time, and by such mode as seemed proper to the divine wisdom. Why a weak and unprofitable coinmandment (Heb. vii. 18.) should precede, and why God gave his chosen people statutes, that were not good, and judgments, whereby they should not live, we. can no more know, than we can why he permitted the fall, and why it was proper that his own and only-begotten Son should be born to die for the recovery of our fallen race.
The offences committed against the Mosaic law were of two sorts : such as admitted of expiation, made according to a prescribed forın; and such as did not admit of any expiation, but were to be punished with death. The execution of this punishment was either by persons specially appointed; or brought about miraculously by the immediate act of God. Ezek. xiv. 21. 2 Sam. xxiv. 13. Numb. xi. 33. xiv. 37. xvi. 46. The sanctions of the Jewish law were wholly temporal. Deut. xxviii. The reward of obedience was long life. Deut. v. 16, 33. vi. 2. xi.9. xvii. 20. xxii. 7. xxxii. 47. The punishment of disobedience was premature death; generally expressed by being cut off, or cut off from Israel, or from his people, or from among his people. Exod. xii. 15, 19. xxxi. 14. Numb. xv. 30, 31. xix. 13, 20. Levit. xvii. 10, 14. xviii. 29. xx. 3, 5, 6, 18. vii. 20, 25, 27. xvii. 4, 9. xix. 8. xxiii. 29. Gen. xviii. 14. Numb. ix. 13. Levit. xii. 3. Deut. iv, 26. xxx. 18.
When, then, it is said, that “the law pronounces death, without any way of remission, on all transgress: sions (transgressors); that the law bas nothing but rigida
condemnation for ALL offenders; that the penalty of death was annexed to EACH transgression; that the law condemned them (i. e. offenders) to death for EVERY transgression; and not only for every transgression, but for every the least transgression ;" we can understand it only of such offenders as neglected to make the proper atonement in cases where an expiation was appointed; for, in cases where no expiation was admitted, it does not appear that those to wbom the execution of the law was committed, had any power to suspend, or remit, the prescribed punishment.
But, surely, it cannot be affirmed, that death was the unoroidable consequence, and the irremissible punishment, of every offence, when atonements were appointed for so many violations of the law.
One great advantage, then, of the Christian above the Mosaic dispensation seems to be, that a more general and less particular acknowledgment of offences is permitted. Under the Jewish law, the expiation, it should seem, must, in most cases, follow the crime immediately; and, in some cases, a neglect of the legal expiation became a inortal offence. . But the great advantage of the Christian dispensation is the provision for God's acceptance of IMPERFECT obedience from his fallen creatures. Mr. Locke says (Rom. vi. 2. Note f.) that “the state of Gospel grace, is not a state of licence (to sin), but of EXACT obedience.” But how? Why, “in the intention and endeavour of every one, though in the performance they come short of it. This strict obedience, to the utmost reach of every one's aim and endeavours, St. Paul urges as necessary, because obedience to sin, unavoidably pro-, daces death.” But, who but God can tell what is the utmost stretch of every one's aim and endeavour? what. again are we to understand by obedience to sin ? is a SINGLE wilful transgression (and will is as necessary as law, to constitute transgression), obedience to sini or, are we to say, with Mr. Locke, (Rom. vi. 14. Note s.) ** Christians are not to be SLAVES and VASSALS to sin; not to be under the SWAY of their carnal lusts : but it, with their wiOLE BENT and INTENTION, (with full purpose of heart), they devote themselves to the law of God, though their natural propensities to sinful gratifications still remain,(and, we may add, though they sometimes prevail), yet, through faith in the atonement of Christ, they may hope to be forgiven?” As to all inquiry into the meü. súre of obedience, it resembles that, made Luke xiii. 23.
Mr. Locke, in his Synopsis of the Epistle to the Ron mans, thus explains what he calls the chief doctrines of the Gospel.
1. “Thal, by Adam's transgression, sin entered into the world, and death by sin, and so death reigned over all men from Adam to Moses." i 2. “ That, by Moses, God gave the children of Israel a law, which if they obeyed, they should have life thereby, i. e, attain to immortal life, which had been lost by Adam's transgression." . .
It does by no means appear from Scripture, and it cannot be collected from reason, that the reward of Adam's obedience would have been of the same sort as believers
shall attain through Christ. St. Paul says, “if there had · been a law given, which could have given life, salvation,
(which can alone be meant in this place by righteousness) should have been (effected), by the observance of that) law.” Gal. iii. 21. juni
Mr. Locke also says, “Though this law (i.e. the Mosaic law), which was righteous, just, and good, was ordained to life;. yet, not being able to give strength to perform what it could not but require, it failed by reason of the weakness of human nature to help men to life. So that, though the Israelities had statutes, which if a man did, he should live in them; yet they all transgressed, and attained not to righteousness and life."
Observ. 1. The Scriptures inform us, that death was the consequence of Adam's transgression; and death not only reigned over all men, froin Adam to Moses, Enoch perhaps excepted, but equally so from Moses to Christ, Elijah certainly excepted ; and death has continued to reign over all men to this day, and will continue so to do, to the end of the world, those only excepted, who shall be alive at that time. 1 Cor. xv. 22, 51. Nevertheless, it seems as if the sin, or rather the sinfulness, i. e. the disposition to yield to sinful motives, had some share in producing the present situation of mankind. For the Apostle says, “as by one man sin entered into the world, (ice, the state and condition of mankind became a sinful state), and death, (the appointed punishment of disobedience to God's commands); by sin, and so death passed upon all men, for that (i. e. because) all have sinned.” Mr. Locke indeed (Rom. v. 12. note 1,) says, “ Have sinned, I have rendered became mortal.” But, whatever, these words “ all have sipped” may mean, they will hardly admit the sense, which Mr. L. chooses to put
upon them. The Apostle says, “ As by one man sin entered into the world, and death by siū.” Now, what are we to understand by “death's entering into the world?" Surely, that all men became subject to death, i. e. became mortal. And so, when St. Paul says, that “sin entered into the world, and death by sin, because that all have sinned,” Mr. Locke makes him to say, that “all men became mortal, because they became mortal!" · Observ. 2. Although God gave the children of Israel a law, which was holy, just, and good, and which was ordained to life, i. e, actually rewarded with long life; yet it no more appears from the Scriptures, that the most perfect obscrvance of it would have secured the observers of it from death, than it appears that, if Adam had not sinned, he would have lived for ever. Zacharias and Elizabeth were righteous before God, for they walked in all the commandments and ordinances of the Lord blameless; yet they did not live for ever*. Our Lord tells us, “ He came, that those, who received him, might have, lile, and that they might have it more abundantly;" an expression implying comparison; and, what can this abundunce of life consist in, but the nature and duration of it?
Mr. Locke, i Cor. ix. 12. note c, for supues wishes to ' read solas, if the MSS. would authorize the emendation. Had Mr. L. considered, that a right means a just claiin to the unrestrained power of possessing something, or performing some action, he would have seen, that egzosa involves in it the idea of right privilege, &c. and is so used in verses 4, 5, and 6 of this chapter. In English, the word power is continually used in this sense.
* Though it is not positively said in Scripture, that, “if Adam had not sinned, he would have lived for ever;" yet this may very fairly be presumed from the circumstance, that death, i. e. a state of mortality, was the punishment, and the threatened punishment of his sinning. “In the day, that thou eatest thereof, thou shalt surely die," i.e. become mortal. Gen. ii. 17. Besides, it was only in consequence of his disobedience, that the provided means of his remaining immortal, were withheld from him. “And now, lest he put forth his hand, and take also of the tree of life, and eat, and live for ever : THEREFORE the Lord God sent him forth from the garden of Eden, to till the ground, from whence he was taken." Gen. iii. 23. After the fall of Adam, perfect obedience became, morally speaking, impossible ; but, supposing it to have taken place, there seems reason to believe, that it would have been a security from death. Nay, is there pot reason to belict what this was the case of Enoch and Elijah? Zacharias and Elizabeth are said “to have walked in all the commandments, &c. of the Lord blameless;" but then this is said in a popular and compurative, rather than in a strict sensc.
I E. P.
CURSORY REMARKS ON THĘ WORD FAITH..
With the view remarks on thipture, when use effect of that
TO THE EDITOR OF THE ORTIIODOX CHURCHMAN'S
. mistakes and disputes than the word faith. It is important, therefore, that the meaning of it should be clearly ascertained. To this purpose, the “ Essay on the, Nature, of Faith,” with its - Appendix," by the Rev. T. Ludlam, which is inserted in your Magazine for Nov. 1802,is peculiarly deserving the attention of your readers. With the view of illustrating the subject further, I wish to make a few remarks on that particular meaning of this word, which it has in scripture, when used to denote, that disposition of the mind, or rather the effect of that disposition, which is supposed by all to be necessary, and; by some to be in itself effectual, to salvation. I am the rather led to do this from considering the issue of the controversy, if I may so call it, which arose on this subject, between two very respectable writers, the Rev. Mr. Daubeny and Mrs. Hannah More. When I read Mr. Daubeny's Letter to Mrs. More, forgetting, for a moment, the difficulty of such a task, I felt assured, that, he would convince his opponent of her being in the wrong; and I anticipated that sacrifice at the shrine of truth, with which she is so seldom gratified, voluntary retractation. I must confess, that, when I saw the effect of his remonstrance, I was induced to consider Mrs. More as deficient in candour; for I could not easily persuade myself, that any one, open to conviction, could fail of being convinced by Mr. Daubeny's reasoning. On reading, however, the 12th chapter of her “ Hints towards forming the character of a young princess," a work which, for the extent and variety of its information, the justness and acuteness of its observations, and its other various excellencies, can hardly be praised beyond its merits, I have seen the matter in a somewhat differ-. ent light, and am inclined to believe, from her manner
Pol. IX. Churchm. Mag. Aug. 1805.
ny's Leiand Mrs. Harespectablach arose some of the