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Good Words 1860
Simple Thoughts on Bible Subjects


I. LAW AND GOSPEL.

There were many in the days of Christ who rejected the gospel, because of their professed love for the law; and there are many now who disregard the law, because of their professed love for the gospel. But the true disciple of Moses embraced Christ, and the true believer in Christ delights himself in the law. For the test of the profession under the law was—Do you long for the Redeemer and the Spirit to deliver you from the curse of the law, and to fill you with strength of obedience? Hence David and all Nathanaels, true Israelites without guile, rejoiced in the salvation of God. And the true test of our discipleship. is— Do we love the law? is it written on our heart, according to the promise of the new covenant? Hence Paul and all who are justified by faith delight themselves in the law; and the beloved disciple, representing Christ's bride, exclaims, "His commandments are not grievous."

What God hath joined together, let no man put asunder. Jesus gives rest to the weary and heavy laden, and in doing so He puts His easy yoke and light burden upon us. We cannot receive and retain the rest, without receiving and retaining His other most precious gift.

God's law is our friend; for it no longer accuses and condemns us. In this respect Christ has made a full and perfect end of it, as it is written, ''Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to every one that believeth." Fearlessly, boldly, manfully, and honestly, look the law in the face, and behold in its countenance, not stern condemnation, but the lovely features of Divine righteousness, truth, and purity; nay, look closely, and behold in it the very features of thy beloved Saviour, whose image is to be formed in thee. Verily, Martin Luther has expressed a deep and blessed truth in a quaint allegory, when he said, "Moses is the meekest of all men; the law demands of us nothing, but what the most tender and compassionate love desires for our blessedness."

The law drives us to Christ. During this storm and stress period, we have neither heart nor eye, neither courage and love, nor wisdom and understanding, to see Him aright. Jesus leads us back to the law, and gives us a new heart and a new mind, and the schoolmaster becomes a friend, revered, trusted, and beloved. And were it not for this one thing, that Jesus himself, that perfect man, had His delight in the law of the Lord, and meditated in it day and night, (Psalm i.,) and was made perfect in that He learned obedience, and found His nourishment and strength in doing God's will—were it but for Christ's view of the law, we must love and cherish it!

But old Adam, and the new man, Christ, the second Adam within us, make this their constant battle. The old man looks at the restrictions, pleasures forbidden, tasks imposed; the new man looks at the reward of the recompence, the promise, and the inheritance. Like two children, who have been left by their father for a while. He gave them rules for their conduct: they were to read, and work, and play, and abstain from one or two things, and he would soon return, and bring them many beautiful things. The good child cheerfully obeys, thinking of the return of the father and his promise; the other frets, and cannot get his mind and eye and heart away from the forbidden thing. And if these two children are within thy little heart, seest thou not that law and gospel are one?

The promise of the law is fulfilled immediately. In keeping of God's commandments there is great reward. God the Creator is the lawgiver, therefore it is very good; it is a law of life and of health; and while we enjoy perfect freedom in serving, and childlike peace and tranquillity in yielding ourselves to the will of our heavenly Father, we are made meet for the inheritance of light and glory, where love, joy, and obedience are perfect; where God is known only as Father, and where His will is done. (Matt. vi. 9, 10.)

"The law of the Lord is perfect, converting the soul: the testimony of the Lord is sure, making wise the simple: the statutes of the Lord are right, rejoicing the heart: the commandment of the Lord is pure, enlightening the eyes."


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