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THE LAW OF GOD
Confession19.1. God gave to Adam a law, as a covenant of
works, by which He bound him and all his posterity to personal, entire, exact,
and perpetual obedience; promised life upon the fulfilling, and threatened
death upon the breach of it: and endued him with power and ability to keep
(a) Gen. 1:26, 27 with Gen. 2:17; Rom. 2:14, 15; Rom. 10:5; Rom. 5:12,
19; Gal. 3:10, 12; Eccles. 7:29; Job 28:28.
Confession19.2. This law, after his fall, continued to
be a perfect rule of righteousness, and, as such, was delivered by God upon
Mount Sinai, in ten commandments, and written in two tables:(b) the four first
commandments containing our duty towards God; and the other six our duty to
(b) James 1:25; James 2:8, 10, 11, 12; Rom. 13:8, 9; Deut. 5:32; Deut. 10:4;
(c) Matt. 22:37, 38, 39, 40.
Confession19.3. Beside this law, commonly called moral,
God was pleased to give to the people of Israel, as a church under age,
ceremonial laws, containing several typical ordinances, partly of worship,
prefiguring Christ, His graces, actions, sufferings, and benefits;(d) and
partly holding forth divers instructions of moral duties.(e) All which
ceremonial laws are now abrogated, under the new testament.(f)
(d) Heb. 9 chap.; Heb. 10:1; Gal. 4:1, 2, 3; Col. 2:17.
(e) I Cor. 5:7; II Cor. 6:17; Jude ver. 23.
(f) Col. 2:14, 16, 17; Dan. 9:27; Eph. 2:15, 16.
Confession19.4. To them also, as a body politic, He gave
sundry judicial laws, which expired together with the State of that people;
not obliging any other now, further than the general equity thereof may
(g) Ex. 21 chap.; Ex. 22:1 to 29; Gen. 49:10 with I Pet. 2:13, 14; Matt. 5:17,
with ver. 38, 39; I Cor. 9:8, 9, 10.
Confession19.5. The moral law doth for ever bind all, as
well justified persons as others, to the obedience thereof;(h) and that, not
only in regard of the matter contained in it, but also in respect of the
authority of God the Creator, who gave it:(i) neither doth Christ, in the
Gospel, any way dissolve, but much strengthen this obligation.(k)
(h) Rom. 13:8, 9, 10; Eph. 6:2; I John 2:3, 4, 7, 8.
(i) James 2:10, 11.
(k) Matt. 5:17, 18, 19; James 2:8; Rom. 3:31.
Confession19.6. Although true believers be not under the
law, as a covenant of works, to be thereby justified, or condemned;(l) yet is
it of great use to them, as well as to others; in that, as a rule of life
informing them of the will of God, and their duty, it directs, and binds them
to walk accordingly;(m) discovering also the sinful pollutions of their
nature, hearts, and lives;(n) so as, examining themselves thereby, they may
come to further conviction of, humiliation for, and hatred against sin;(o)
together with a clearer sight of the need they have of Christ, and the
perfection of His obedience.(p) It is likewise of use to the regenerate, to
restrain their corruptions, in that it forbids sin:(q) and the threatenings of
it serve to show what even their sins deserve; and what afflictions, in this
life, they may expect for them, although freed from the curse thereof
threatened in the law.(r) The promises of it, in like manner, show them God's
approbation of obedience, and what blessings they may expect upon the
performance thereof;(s) although not as due to them by the law, as a covenant
of works.(t) So as, a man's doing good, and refraining from evil, because the
law encourageth to the one and deterreth from the other, is no evidence of his
being under the law; and not under grace.(u)
(l) Rom. 6:14; Gal. 2:16; Gal. 3:13; Gal. 4:4, 5; Acts 13:39; Rom. 8:1.
(m) Rom. 7:12, 22, 25; Ps. 119:4, 5, 6; I Cor. 7:19; Gal. 5:14, 16, 18, 19,
20, 21, 22, 23.
(n) Rom. 7:7; Rom. 3:20.
(o) James 1:23, 24, 25; Rom. 7:9, 14, 24.
(p) Gal. 3:24; Rom. 7:24, 25; Rom. 8:3, 4.
(q) Jam. 2:11; Ps. 119:101, 104, 128.
(r) Ezra 9:13, 14; Ps. 89:30, 31, 32, 33, 34.
(s) Lev. 26:1 to 14 with II Cor. 6:16; Eph. 6:2, 3; Ps. 37:11 with Matt. 5:5;
(t) Gal. 2:16; Luke 17:10.
(u) Rom. 6:12, 14; I Pet. 3:8, 9, 10, 11, 12, with Ps. 34:12, 13, 14, 15, 16;
Heb. 12:28, 29.
Confession19.7. Neither are the forementioned uses of
the law contrary to the grace of the Gospel, but do sweetly comply with it;(w)
the Spirit of Christ subduing and enabling the will of man to do that, freely
and cheerfully, which the will of God, revealed in the law, requireth to be
(w) Gal. 3:21.
(x) Ezek. 36:27; Heb. 8:10 with Jer. 31:33.