Redes Sociais



Wherein, for the better understanding of the reader, there are several questions answered touching the law and grace, very easy to be read, and as easy to be understood, by those that are the sons of wisdom, the children of the second covenant.

"For the law made nothing perfect, but the bringing in of a better hope did; by the which we draw nigh unto God" (Heb 7:19).
"Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith without the deeds of the law" (Rom 3:28).
"To him [therefore] that worketh not, but believeth on Him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness" (Rom 4:5).


It is difficult to understand those peculiar trials which called forth the mighty energies of Bunyan's mind, unless we are acquainted with the times in which he lived. The trammels of statecraft and priestcraft had been suddenly removed from religion, and men were left to form their own opinions as to rites and ceremonies. In this state of abrupt liberty, some wild enthusiasts ran into singular errors; and Bunyan's first work on "Gospel Truths" was published to correct them. Then followed that alarm to thoughtless souls-"A Few Sighs from Hell"; and, in 1659, as a further declaration of the most important truths of revelation, this work on the two covenants was sent forth to chastise error, and comfort the saints of God. It was published many times during the author's life; and since then, to a late period, very large impressions have been circulated. Upon a subject of such vast importance-upon which hangs all our eternal interests-all our indescribable joys or sorrows in a future and never-ending state-the requirements of our Creator-and His gracious provision of pardoning mercy, upon our failing to keep His Law-these are subjects of intense interest. How important is it that all our researches into these solemn realities should be guided simply by the revealed will of God! That was the fountain at which Bunyan drunk in all his knowledge; and with simplicity, and most earnest desire to promote the glory of God in the salvation of sinners, he here gives the result of his patient, prayerful, painful investigation. The humble dependence upon Divine mercy which the author felt is very striking. He was sensible of his want of education; "no vain, whimsical, scholar-like terms"-no philosophy from Plato or Aristotle. He felt, as to human teaching, his weakness, but proved that, "when he was weak, then was he strong." He claimed an interest in the fervent prayers of his fellow saints-"My heart is vile, the devil lieth at watch, trust myself I dare not; if God do not help me, my heart will deceive me." This was the proper spirit in which to enter upon so solemn a subject; and the aid he sought was vouchsafed to him, and appears throughout this important work. His first object is to define what is the Law, a strict obedience to which is exacted upon all mankind. It was given to Adam, and was afterwards more fully developed upon Mount Sinai. It commands implicit, universal, perfect obedience, upon pain of eternal ruin. He shows us that man, under the influence of that law, and while a stranger to the Law of Grace, may repent and reform his conduct, become a member of a Christian church, be a virgin waiting for his Lord, "but not step even upon the lowest round of the ladder that reacheth to heaven." While man is a stranger to the new birth, "his destiny is the lion's den; yea, worse than that, to be thrown into Hell to the very devils." Bunyan in this, as well as all other of his works, is awfully severe upon those who say, "Let us sin that grace may abound," perverting the consolatory doctrine of Divine grace to their souls" destruction. "What! because Christ is a Saviour, wilt thou be a sinner! because His grace abounds, therefore thou wilt abound in sin! O wicked wretch! rake Hell all over, and surely I think thy fellow will scarce be found. If Christ will not serve their turn, but they must have their sins too, take them, Devil; if Heaven will not satisfy them, take them, Hell; devour them, burn them, Hell!" "Tell the hogs of this world what a hog-sty is prepared for them, even such an one as a God hath prepared to put the devil and his angels into."

To the distressed, sin-beaten Christian, this book abounds with consolation, and instructions how to overcome the devices of Satan, who will plant the Ten Commandments, like ten great guns, to destroy thy hopes. "Learn to outshoot the devil in his own bow, and to cut off his head with his own sword. Doth Satan tell thee thou prayest but faintly and with cold devotions? Answer him, I am glad you told me, I will trust the more to Christ's prayers, and groan, sigh, and cry more earnestly at the Throne of Grace." To such readers as have been driven to the verge of despair by a fear of having committed the unpardonable sin, here is strong consolation, and a very explicit scriptural definition of that awful crime. Want of space prevents me adding more than my earnest desire that the reading of this treatise may be productive of solid peace and comfort.-ED.



If at any time there be held forth by the preacher the freeness and fullness of the Gospel, together with the readiness of the Lord of Peace to receive those that have any desire thereto, presently it is the spirit of the world to cry out, Sure this man disdains the law, slights the law, and counts that of none effect; and all because there is not, together with the Gospel, mingled the doctrine of the law, which is not a right dispensing of the Word according to truth and knowledge. Again; if there be the terror, horror, and severity of the law discovered to a people by the servants of Jesus Christ, though they do not speak of it to the end people should trust to it, by relying on it as it is a covenant of works; but rather that they should be driven further from that covenant, even to embrace the tenders and privileges of the second, yet, poor souls, because they are unacquainted with the natures of these two covenants, or either of them, therefore, "they say," "Here is nothing but preaching of the law, thundering of the law"; when, alas, if these two be not held forth-to wit, the Covenant of Works and the Covenant of Grace, together with the nature of the one and the nature of the other-souls will never be able either to know what they are by nature or what they lie under. Also, neither can they understand what grace is, nor how to come from under the law to meet God in and through that other most glorious covenant, through which and only through which, God can communicate of Himself grace, glory, yea, even all the good things of another world.

I, having considered these things, together with others, have made bold to present yet once more to thy view, my friend, something of the mind of God, to the end, if it shall be but blessed to thee, thou mayest be benefited thereby; for verily these things are not such as are ordinary and of small concernment, but do absolutely concern thee to know, and that experimentally too, if ever thou do partake of the glory of God through Jesus Christ, and so escape the terror and insupportable vengeance that will otherwise come upon thee through His justice, because of thy living and dying in thy transgressions against the Law of God. And therefore, while thou livest here below, it is thy duty, if thou wish thyself happy for the time to come, to give up thyself to the studying of these two covenants treated of in the ensuing discourse; and so to study them until thou, through grace, do not only get the notion of the one and of the other in thy head, but until thou do feel the very power, life, and glory of the one and of the other: for take this for granted, he that is dark as touching the scope, intent, and nature of the law, is also dark as to the scope, nature, and glory of the Gospel; and also he that hath but a notion of the one, will barely have any more than a notion of the other.

And the reason is this: because so long as people are ignorant of the nature of the law, and of their being under it-that is, under the curse and condemning power of it, by reason of their sin against it-so long they will be careless, and negligent as to the inquiring after the true knowledge of the Gospel. Before the commandment came-that is, in the spirituality of it-Paul was alive-that is, thought himself safe; which is clear, (Rom 7:9,10 compared with Phil 3:5-11, etc). But when that came, and was indeed discovered unto him by the Spirit of the Lord, then Paul dies (Rom 7) to all his former life (Phil 3) and that man which before could content himself to live, though ignorant of the Gospel, cries out now, "I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord" (verse 8). Therefore, I say, so long they will be ignorant of the nature of the Gospel, and how glorious a thing it is to be found within the bounds of it; for we use to say, that man that knoweth not himself to be sick, that man will not look out for himself a physician; and this Christ knew full well when He saith, "The whole have no need of the physician, but the sick";1 that is, none will in truth desire the physician unless they know they be sick. That man also that hath got but a notion of the law-a notion, that is, the knowledge of it in the head, so as to discourse and talk of it-if he hath not felt the power of it, and that effectually too, it is to be feared will at the best be but a notionist in the Gospel; he will not have the experimental knowledge of the same in his heart; nay, he will not seek nor heartily desire after it; and all because, as I said before, he hath not experience of the wounding, cutting, killing nature of the other.

I say, therefore, if thou wouldst know the authority and power of the Gospel, labour first to know the power and authority of the law; for I am verily persuaded that the want of this one thing-namely, the knowledge of the law, is one cause why so many are ignorant of the other. That man that doth know the law doth not know in deed and in truth that he is a sinner; and that man that doth not know he is a sinner, doth not know savingly that there is a Saviour.

Again; that man that doth not know the nature of the law, that man doth not know the nature of sin; and that man that knoweth not the nature of sin, will not regard to know the nature of a Saviour; this is proved (John 8:31-36). These people were professors, and yet did not know the truth-the Gospel; and the reason was, because they did not know themselves, and so not the law. I would not have thee mistake me, Christian reader; I do not say that the law of itself will lead any soul to Jesus Christ; but the soul being killed by the law, through the operation of its severity seizing on the soul, then the man, if he be enlightened by the Spirit of Christ to see where remedy is to be had, will not, through grace, be contented without the real and saving knowledge through faith of Him.

If thou wouldst, then, wash thy face clean, first take a glass and see where it is dirty; that is, if thou wouldst indeed have thy sins washed away by the blood of Christ, labour first to see them in the glass of the law, and do not be afraid to see thy besmeared condition, but look on every spot thou hast; for he that looks on the foulness of his face by the halves, will wash by the halves; even so, he that looks on his sins by the halves, he will seek for Christ by the halves. Reckon thyself, therefore, I say, the biggest sinner in the world, and be persuaded that there is none worse than thyself; then let the guilt of it seize on thy heart, then also go in that case and condition to Jesus Christ, and plunge thyself into His merits and the virtue of His blood; and after that, thou shalt speak of the things of the law and of the Gospel experimentally, and the very language of the children of God shall feelingly drop from thy lips, and not till then (James 1).

Let this therefore learn thee thus much: he that hath not seen his lost condition hath not seen a safe condition; he that did never see himself in the devil's snare, did never see himself in Christ's bosom. "This my Son was dead, and is alive again: he was lost, and is found." "Among whom we also had our conversation in time past." 2 "But now are (so many of us as believe) returned unto" Jesus Christ, "the" chief "Shepherd and Bishop of your souls."

I say, therefore, if thou do find in this treatise, in the first place, something touching the nature, end, and extent of the law, do not thou cry out, therefore, all of a sudden, saying, "Here is nothing but the terror, horror, and thundering sentences of the law."

Again; if thou do find in the second part of this discourse something of the freeness and fullness of the Gospel, do not thou say neither, "Here is nothing but grace, therefore, surely, an undervaluing of the law." No; but read it quite through, and so consider of it; and I hope thou shalt find the two covenants-which all men are under, either the one or the other-discovered, and held forth in their natures, ends, bounds, together with the state and condition of them that are under the one, and of them that are under the other.

There be some that through ignorance do say how that such men as preach terror and amazement to sinners are beside the book, and are ministers of the letter-the law, and not of the Spirit-the Gospel; but I would answer them, citing them to the Sixteenth of Luke, from the nineteenth verse to the end; and (1 Cor 6:9,10; Gal 3:10; Rom 3:9-19) only this caution I would give by the way, how that they which preach terror to drive souls to the obtaining of salvation by the works of the law, that preaching is not the right Gospel preaching; yet when saints speak of the sad state that man are in by nature, to discover to souls their need of the Gospel, this is honest preaching, and he that doth do so, he doth the work of a Gospel minister (Rom 3:9-25).

Again, there are others that say, because we do preach the free, full, and exceeding grace discovered in the Gospel, therefore we make void the law; when indeed, unless the Gospel be held forth in the glory thereof without confusion, by mingling the Covenant of Works therewith, the law cannot be established. "Do we then make void the law through faith," or preaching of the Gospel; nay, stay, saith Paul, "God forbid: yea, we establish the law" (Rom 3:31).

And verily, he that will indeed establish the law, or set it in its own place, for so I understand the words, must be sure to hold forth the Gospel in its right colour and nature; for if a man be ignorant of the nature of the Gospel and the Covenant of Grace, they, or he, will be very apt to remove the law out of its place, and that because they are ignorant, not knowing "what they say, nor whereof they affirm."

And let me tell you, if a man be ignorant of the Covenant of Grace, and the bounds and boundlessness of the Gospel, though he speak and make mention of the name of the Father, and of the Son, and also of the name of the new covenant, and the blood of Christ, yet at this very time, and in these very words, he will preach nothing but the law, and that as a Covenant of Works.

Reader, I must confess it is a wonderfully mysterious thing, and he had need have a wiser spirit than his own that can rightly set these two covenants in their right places, that when he speaks of the one he doth not jostle the other out of its place. O, to be so well enlightened as to speak of the one-that is, the law-for to magnify the Gospel; and also to speak of the Gospel so as to establish, and yet not to idolize, the law, nor any particular thereof! It is rare, and to be heard and found but in very few men's breasts.

If thou shouldst say, What is it to speak to each of these two covenants so as to set them in their right places, and also to use the terror of the one so as to magnify and advance the glory of the other? To this I shall answer also, read the ensuing discourse, but with an understanding heart, and it is like thou wilt find a reply therein to the same purpose, which may be to thy satisfaction.

Reader, if thou do find this book empty of fantastical expressions, and without light, vain, whimsical, scholar-like terms, thou must understand it is because I never went to school to Aristotle, or Plato, but was brought up at my father's house, in a very mean condition, among a company of poor countrymen. But if thou do find a parcel of plain, yet sound, true, and home sayings, attribute that to the Lord Jesus His gifts and abilities, which He hath bestowed upon such a poor creature as I am and have been. And if thou, being a seeing Christian, dost find me coming short, though rightly touching at some things, attribute that either to my brevity, or, if thou wilt, to my weaknesses, for I am full of them. A word or two more, and so I shall have done with this.

First. And the first is, Friend, if thou do not desire the salvation of thy soul, yet I pray thee to read this book over with serious consideration; it may be it will stir up in thee some desires to look out after it, which at present thou mayest be without.

Secondly, If thou dost find any stirrings in thy heart by thy reading such an unworthy man's works as mine are, be sure that in the first place thou give glory to God, and give way to thy convictions, and be not too hasty in getting them off from thy conscience; but let them so work till thou dost see thyself by nature void of all graces, as faith, hope, knowledge of God, Christ, and the Covenant of Grace.

Thirdly, Then, in the next place, fly in all haste to Jesus Christ, thou being sensible of thy lost condition without Him, secretly persuading of thy soul that Jesus Christ standeth open-armed to receive thee, to wash away thy sins, to clothe thee with His righteousness, and is willing, yea, heartily willing, to present thee before the presence of the glory of God and among the innumerable company of angels with exceeding joy. This being thus, in the next place, do not satisfy thyself with these secret and first persuasions, which do or may encourage thee to come to Jesus Christ; but be restless till thou dost find by blessed experience the glorious glory of this the second covenant extended unto thee, and sealed upon thy soul with the very Spirit of the Lord Jesus Christ. And that thou mayest not slight this my counsel, I beseech thee, in the second place, consider these following things-

First, If thou dost get off thy convictions, and not the right way (which is by seeing thy sins washed away by the blood of Jesus Christ), it is a question whether ever God will knock at thy heart again or no; but rather say, such an one "is joined to idols, let him alone" (Hosea 4:17). Though he be in a natural state, "let him alone." Though he be in or under the curse of the law, "let him alone." Though he be in the very hand of the devil, "let him alone." Though he be a-going post-haste to Hell, "let him alone." Though his damnation will not only be damnation for sins against the law, but also for slighting the Gospel, yet "let him alone." My Spirit, My ministers, My Word, My grace, My mercy, My love, My pity, My common providences, shall no more strive with him; "let him alone." O sad! O miserable! who would slight convictions that are on their souls, which (if not slighted) tend so much for their good?

Secondly, If thou shalt not regard how thou do put off convictions, but put them off without the precious blood of Christ being savingly applied to thy soul, thou art sure to have the mis-spending of that conviction to prove the hardening of thy heart against the next time thou art to hear the Word preached or read. This is commonly seen, that those souls that have not regarded those convictions that are at first set upon their spirits, do commonly, and that by the just judgments of God upon them, grow more hard, more senseless, more seared and sottish in their spirits; for some, who formerly would quake and weep, and relent under the hearing of the Word, do now for the present sit so senseless, so seared, and hardened in their consciences, that certainly if they should have hell-fire thrown in their faces, as it sometimes cried up in their ears, they would scarce be moved; and this comes upon them as a just judgment of God (2 Thess 2:11,12).

Thirdly, If thou do slight these, or those convictions that may be set upon thy heart by reading of this discourse, or hearing of any other good man preach the Word of God sincerely, thou wilt have the stifling of these or those convictions to account and answer for at the day of judgment; not only thy sins, that are commonly committed by thee in thy calling and common discourse, but thou shalt be called to a reckoning for slighting convictions, disregarding of convictions, which God useth as a special means to make poor sinners see their lost condition and the need of a Saviour. Now here I might add many more considerations besides these, to the end thou mayest be willing to tend and listen to convictions; as,

First, Consider thou hast a precious soul, more worth than the whole world; and this is commonly worked upon, if ever it be saved, by convictions.

Secondly, This soul is for certain to go to Hell, if thou shalt be a slighter of convictions.

Thirdly, If that go to Hell, thy body must go thither too, and then never to come out again. "Now consider this, ye that" are apt to "forget God," and His convictions, "lest He tear you in pieces, and there be none to deliver" (Psa 50:22).

But if thou shalt be such an one that shall, notwithstanding thy reading of thy misery, and also of God's mercy, shall persist to go on in thy sins, know, in the first place, that here thou shalt be left, by the things that thou readest, without excuse; and in the world to come thy damnation will be exceedingly aggravated for thy not regarding of them, and turning from thy sins, which were not only reproved by them, but also for rejecting of that Word of Grace that did instruct thee how and which way thou shouldst be saved from them. And so farewell; I shall leave thee, and also this discourse, to God, who I know will pass a righteous judgment both upon that and thee. I am yours, though not to serve your lusts and filthy minds, yet to reprove, instruct, and, according to that proportion of faith and knowledge which God hath given me, to declare unto you the way of life and salvation. Your judgings, railings, surmisings, and disdaining of me, that I shall leave till the fiery judgment comes, in which the offender shall not go unpunished, be he you or me; yet I shall pray for you, wish well to you, and do you what good I can. And that I might not write or speak in vain, Christian, pray for me to our God with much earnestness, fervency, and frequently, in all your knockings at our Father's door, because I do very much stand in need thereof; for my work is great, my heart is vile, the devil lieth at watch, the world would fain be saying, "Aha, aha, thus we would have it"; and of myself, keep myself I cannot; trust myself I dare not; if God do not help me, I am sure it will not be long before my heart deceive me, and the world would have their advantage of me, and so God be dishonoured by me, and thou also ashamed to own me. O, therefore, be much in prayer for me, thy fellow! I trust, in that glorious grace that is conveyed from Heaven to sinners, by which they are not only sanctified here in this world, but shall be glorified in that which is to come; unto which, the Lord of His mercy bring us all.

John Bunyan.

These are several titles which are set over the several TRUTHS contained in this book, for thy sooner finding of them-


1. The words of the text opened, and the doctrines laid down. [This doctrine, that there are some that are under the law, or under the Covenant of Works.] 2. What the Covenant of Works is, and when it is given. 3. What it is to be under the Covenant of Works. 4. Who they are that are under the Covenant of Works. 5. What men may attain to that are under this Covenant of Works.


1. The doctrine proved. 2. The new covenant made with Christ. 3. The conditions of the new covenant. 4. The suretiship of Christ. 5. Christ the Messenger of the new covenant. 6. Christ the Sacrifice of the new covenant. 7. Christ the High Priest of the new covenant. 8. Christ completely fulfilled the conditions of the new covenant. 9. The Covenant of Grace unchangeable; the opposers answered. 10. Who, and how men are actually brought into the new covenant. 11. A word of experience. 12. The privileges of the new covenant. 13. Two Hell-bred objections answered. 14. A use of examination about the old covenant. 15. A legal spirit. 16. The use of the new covenant. 17. The unpardonable sin. 18. Objections answered for their comfort who would have their part in the new covenant.





In the three former chapters, the Apostle is pleading for the salvation of sinners by grace without the works of the law, to the end he might confirm the saints, and also that he might win over all those that did oppose the truth of this doctrine, or else leave them the more without excuse; and that he might so do, he taketh in hand, first, to show the state of all men naturally, or as they come into the world by generation, saying, in the Third Chapter, "There is none righteous, no, not one; there is none that understandeth; there is none that doeth good," etc. As if he had said, It seems there is a generation of men that think to be saved by the righteousness of the law; but let me tell them that they are much deceived, in that they have already sinned against the law; for by the disobedience of one, many, yea all, were brought into a state of condemnation (Rom 5:12-20). Now, in the Sixth Chapter he doth, as if he had turned him round to the brethren, and said, My brethren, you see now that it is clear and evident that it is freely by the grace of Christ that we do inherit eternal life. And again, for your comfort, my brethren, let me tell you that your condition is wondrous safe, in that you are under grace; for, saith he, "Sin shall not have dominion over you"; that is, neither the damning power, neither the filthy power, so as to destroy your souls: "For ye are not under the law"; that is, you are not under that that will damn you for sin; "but" you are "under grace," or stand thus in relation to God, that though you have sinned, yet you shall be pardoned. "For ye are not under the law, but under grace." If any should ask what is the meaning of the word "under," I answer, it signifieth, you are not held, kept, or shut up by it so as to appear before God under that administration, and none but that; or thus, you are not now bound by the authority of the law to fulfill it and obey it, so as to have no salvation without you so do; or thus, if you transgress against any one tittle of it, you by the power of it must be condemned. No, no, for you are not so under it; that is, not thus under the law. Again, "For ye are not under the law." What is meant by this word "law"? The word "law," in Scripture, may be taken more ways than one, as might be largely cleared. There is the law of faith, the law of sin, the law of men, the law of works, otherwise called the Covenant of Works, or the first or old covenant. "In that He saith a new covenant," which is the grace of God, or commonly called the Covenant of Grace, "He hath made the first old," that is, the Covenant of Works, or the law (Heb 8:13). I say, therefore, the word "law" and the word "grace," in this Sixth of the Romans, do hold forth the two covenants which all men are under; that is, either the one or the other. "For ye are not under the law"-that is, you to whom I do now write these words, who are and have been effectually brought into the faith of Jesus, you are not under the law, or under the Covenant of Works. He doth not, therefore, apply these words to all, but to some, when he saith, "But ye"; mark, ye, ye believers, ye converted persons, ye saints, ye that have been born. (YE) "for ye are not under the law," implying others are that are in their natural state, that have not been brought in to the Covenant of Grace by faith in Jesus Christ.

The words, therefore, being thus understood, there is discovered these two truths in them-DOCTRINE FIRST. That there are some in Gospel times that are under the Covenant of Works. DOCTRINE SECOND. That there is never a believer under the law, as it is the Covenant of Works, but under grace through Christ. "For ye," you believers, you converted persons, ye "are not under the law but under grace"; or, for you are delivered and brought into or under the Covenant of Grace.


For the first, THAT THERE ARE SOME THAT ARE UNDER THE LAW, OR UNDER THE COVENANT OF WORKS, see, I pray you, that Scripture in the Third of the Romans, where the Apostle, speaking before of sins against the law, and of the denunciations thereof against those that are in that condition, he saith, "What things soever the law saith, it saith to them who are under the law"; mark, "it saith to them who are under the law, that every mouth may be stopped, and all the world become guilty before God" (Rom 3:19). That is, all those that are under the law as a Covenant of Works, that are yet in their sins, and unconverted, as I told you before. Again he saith, "But if ye be led by the Spirit, ye are not under the law" (Gal 5:18). Implying again, that those which are for sinning against the law, or the works of the law, either as it is the old covenant, these are under the law, and not under the Covenant of Grace. Again he saith, "For as many as are of the works of the law are under the curse" (Gal 3:10). That is, they that are under the law are under the curse; for mark, they that are under the Covenant of Grace are not under the curse. Now, there are but two covenants, therefore, it must needs be that they that are under the curse are under the law, seeing those that are under the other covenant are not under the curse, but under the blessing. "So, then, they which be of faith are blessed with faithful Abraham," but the rest are under the law (Gal 3:9).

Now I shall proceed to what I do intend to speak unto. FIRST. I shall show you what the Covenant of Works, or the law, is, and when it was first given, together with the nature of it. SECOND. I shall show you what it is to be under the law, or Covenant of Works, and the miserable state of all those that are under it. THIRD. I shall show you who they are that are under this covenant, or law. FOURTH. I shall show you how far a man may go and yet be under this covenant, or law.


FIRST. What this Covenant of Works is, and when it was given.

[What this covenant is.] The Covenant of Works or the law, here spoken of, is the law delivered upon Mount Sinai to Moses, in two tables of stone, in ten particular branches or heads; for this see Galatians 4. The Apostle, speaking there of the law, and of some also that through delusions of false doctrine were brought again, as it were, under it, or at least were leaning that way (verse 21) he saith, As for you that desire to be under the law, I will show you the mystery of Abraham's two sons, which he had by Hagar and Sarah; these two do signify the two covenants; the one named Hagar signifies Mount Sinai, where the law was delivered to Moses on two tables of stone (Exo 24:12; 34:1; Deu 10:1). Which is that, that whosoever is under, he is destitute of, and altogether without the grace of Christ in his heart at the present. "For I testify again to every man," saith he, speaking to the same people, that "Christ has become of no effect unto you, whosoever of you are justified by the law," namely, that given on Mount Sinai-"ye are fallen from grace" (Gal 5:3,4). That is, not that any can be justified by the law; but this meaning is, that all those that seek justification by the works of the law, they are not such as seek to be under the second covenant, the Covenant of Grace. Also the Apostle, speaking again of these two covenants, saith, "But if the ministration of death," or the law, for it is all one, "written and engraven in stones," mark that, "was glorious, how shall not the ministration of the Spirit," or the Covenant of Grace, "be rather glorious?" (2 Cor 3:7,8). As if he had said, It is true, there was a glory in the Covenant of Works, and a very great excellency did appear in it-namely, in that given in the stones on Sinai-yet there is another covenant, the Covenant of Grace, that doth exceed it for comfort and glory.

[When it was given.] But, though this law was delivered to Moses from the hands of angels in two tables of stones, on Mount Sinai, yet this was not the first appearing of this law to man; but even this in substance, though possibly not so openly, was given to the first man, Adam, in the Garden of Eden, in these words: "And the LORD God commanded the man, saying, Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat: but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it; for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die" (Gen 2:16,17). Which commandment then given to Adam did contain in it a forbidding to do any of those things that was and is accounted evil, although at that time it did not appear so plainly, in so many particular heads, as it did when it was again delivered on Mount Sinai; but yet the very same. And that I shall prove thus-

God commanded Adam in Paradise to abstain from all evil against the first covenant, and not from some sins only; but if God had not commanded Adam to abstain from the sins spoken against in the Ten Commandments, He had not commanded to abstain from all, but from some; therefore it must needs be that He then commanded to abstain from all sins forbidden in the law given on Mount Sinai. Now that God commanded to abstain from all evil or sin against any of the Ten Commandments, when He gave Adam the command in the garden, it is evident that He did punish the sins that were committed against those commands that were then delivered on Mount Sinai, before they were delivered on Mount Sinai, which will appear as followeth-

The First, Second, and Third Commandments were broken by Pharaoh and his men; for they had false gods which the Lord executed judgment against (Exo 12:12); and blasphemed their true God (Exo 5:2) which escaped not punishment (Exo 7:17-25). For their gods could neither deliver themselves nor their people from the hand of God; but "in the thing wherein they dealt proudly, He was above them" (Exo 18:11).

Again; some judge that the Lord punished the sin against the Second Commandment, which Jacob was in some measure guilty of in not purging his house from false gods, with the defiling of his daughter Dinah (Gen 34:2).

Again; we find that Abimelech thought the sin against the Third Commandment so great, that he required no other security of Abraham against the fear of mischief that might be done to him by Abraham, his son, and his son's son, but only Abraham's oath (Gen 21:23). The like we see between Abimelech and Isaac (Gen 31:53). The like we find in Moses and the Israelites, who durst not leave the bones of Joseph in Egypt, because of the oath of the Lord, whose name, by so doing, would have been abused (Exo 13:19).

And we find the Lord rebuking His people for the breach of the Fourth Commandment (Exo 16:27-29).

And for the breach of the Fifth, the curse came upon Ham (Gen 9:25-27). And Ishmael dishonouring his father in mocking Isaac was cast out, as we read (Gen 21:9,10). The sons-in-law of Lot for slighting their father perish in the overthrow of Sodom (Gen 19:14).

The Sixth Commandment was broken by Cain, and so dreadful a curse and punishment came upon him that it made him cry out, "My punishment is greater than I can bear" (Gen 4:13).

Again; when Esau threatened to slay his brother, Rebecca sent him away, saying, "Why should I be deprived also of you both in one day?" hinting unto us, that she knew murder was to be punished with death (Gen 27:45) which the Lord Himself declared likewise to Noah (Gen 9:6).3 Again; a notable example of the Lord's justice in punishing murder we see in the Egyptians and Pharaoh, who drowned the Israelites' children in the river (Exo 1:22); and they themselves were drowned in the sea (Exo 14:27).

The sin against the Seventh Commandment was punished in the Sodomites, etc., with the utter destruction of their city and themselves (Gen 19:24,25). Yea, they suffer "the vengeance of eternal fire" (Jude 7). Also the male Shechemites, for the sin committed by Hamor's son, were all put to the sword (Gen 34:25,26).

Our first parents sinned against the Eighth Commandment in taking the forbidden fruit, and so brought the curse on themselves and their posterity (Gen 3:16). Again; the punishment due to the breach of this Commandment was by Jacob accounted death (Gen 31:30,32). And also by Jacob's sons (Gen 44:9,10).

Cain sinning against the Ninth Commandment as in Genesis 4:9, was therefore cursed as to the earth (Verse 11). And Abraham, though the friend of God, was blamed for false-witness by Pharaoh, and sent out of Egypt (Gen 12:18-20) and both he and Sarah reproved by Abimelech (Gen 20:9,10,16).

Pharaoh sinned against the Tenth Commandment, and was therefore plagued with great plagues (Gen 12:15,17). Abimelech coveted Abraham's wife, and the Lord threatened death to him and his, except he restored her again; yea, though he had not come near her, yet for coveting and taking her the Lord fast closed up the wombs of his house (Gen 20:3,18).

[Further Arguments.] I could have spoken more fully to this, but that I would not be too tedious, but speak what I have to say with as much brevity as I can. But before I pass it, I will besides this give you an argument or two more for the further clearing of this, that the substance of the law delivered on Mount Sinai was, before that, delivered by the Lord to man in the garden. As, first, "death reigned over them that had not sinned after the similitude of Adam's transgression"-that is, though they did not take the forbidden fruit as Adam did; but had the transgression been no other, or had their sin been laid to the charge of none but those that did eat of that fruit, then those that were born to Adam after he was shut out of the garden had not had sin, in that they did not actually eat of that fruit, and so had not been slaves to death; but, in that death did reign from Adam to Moses, of from the time of his transgression against the first giving of the law, till the time the law was given on Mount Sinai, it is evident that the substance of the Ten Commandments was given to Adam and his posterity under that command, "Eat not of the tree that is in the midst of the garden." But yet, if any shall say that it was because of the sin of their father that death reigned over them, to that I shall answer, that although original sin be laid to the charge of his posterity, yet it is also for their sins that they actually committed that they were plagued. And again, saith the Apostle, "For where no law is, there is no transgression" (Rom 4:15). For "sin is not imputed when there is no law; nevertheless death reigned from Adam to Moses." saith he (Rom 5:13,14). But if there had been no law, then there had been no transgression, and so no death to follow after as the wages thereof; for death is the wages of sin (Rom 6:23) and sin is the breach of the law; an actual breach in our particular persons, as well as an actual breach in our public person (1 John 3:4). 4

Again; there are no other sins than those against that law given on Sinai, for the which those sins before mentioned were punished; therefore the law given before by the Lord to Adam and his posterity is the same with that afterwards given on Mount Sinai. Again; the conditions of that on Sinai and of that in the garden are all one; the one saying, "Do this and live," the other saying the same. Also judgment denounced against men in both kinds alike; therefore this law it appeareth to be the very same that was given on Mount Sinai.

Again; the Apostle speaketh but of two covenants-to wit, grace and works-under which two covenants all are; some under one, and some under the other. Now this to Adam is one, therefore that on Sinai is one, and all one with this; and that this is a truth, I say, I know, because the sins against that on Sinai were punished by God for the breech thereof before it was given there; so it doth plainly appear to be a truth; for it would be unrighteous with God for to punish for that law that was not broken; therefore it was all one with that on Sinai.

Now the law given on Sinai was for the more clear discovery of those sins that were before committed against it; for though the very substance of the Ten Commandments were given in the garden before they were received from Sinai, yet they lay so darkly in the heart of man, that his sins were not so clearly discovered as afterwards they were; therefore, saith the Apostle, the law was added (Gal 3:19). Or, more plainly, given on Sinai, on tables of stone, "that the offence might abound,"- that is, that it might the more clearly be made manifest and appear (Rom 5:20).

Again; we have a notable resemblance of this at Sinai, even in giving the law; for, first, the law was given twice on Sinai, to signify that indeed the substance of it was given before. And, secondly, the first tables that were given on Sinai were broken at the foot of the mount, and the others were preserved whole, to signify that though it was the true law that was given before, with that given on Sinai, yet it was not so easy to be read and to be taken notice of, in that the stones were not whole, but broken, and so the law written thereon somewhat defaced and disfigured.

[Object.] But if any object and say, though the sins against the one be the sins against the other, and so in that they do agree, yet it doth not appear that the same is therefore the same Covenant of Works with the other.

Answ. That which was given to Adam in Paradise you will grant was the Covenant of Works; for it runs thus: Do this and live; do it not and die; nay, "Thou shalt surely die." Now there is but one Covenant of Works. If therefore I prove that that which was delivered on Mount Sinai is the Covenant of Works, then all will be put out of doubt. Now that this is so it is evident-

1. Consider the two covenants are thus called in Scripture, the one the administration of death, and the other the administration of life; the one the Covenant of Works, the other of grace; but that delivered on Sinai is called the ministration of death; that, therefore, is the Covenant of Works. "But if," saith he, "the ministration of death, written and engraven on stones was glorious," (2 Cor 3:7).

2. The Apostle, writing to the Galatians, doth labour to beat them off from trusting in the Covenant of Works; but when he comes to give a discovery of that law or covenant-he labouring to take them off from trusting in it-he doth plainly tell them it is that which was given on Sinai (Gal 4:24,25). Therefore that which was delivered in two tables of stone on Mount Sinai, is the very same thing that was given before to Adam in Paradise, they running both alike; that in the garden saying, Do this and live; but in the day thou eatest thereof-or dost not do this-thou shalt surely die.

And so is this on Sinai, as is evident when he saith, "the man which doeth those things shall live by them" (Rom 10:5). And in case they break them, even any of them, it saith, "Cursed is every one that continueth not in all things which are written in the (whole) book of the law to do them" (Gal 3:10). Now this being thus cleared, I shall proceed.


SECOND. A second thing to be spoken to is this: to show what it is to be under the law as it is a Covenant of Works; to which I shall speak, and that thus-

To be under the law as it is a Covenant of Works, is to be bound, upon pain of eternal damnation, to fulfill, and that completely and continually, every particular point of the Ten Commandments, by doing them-Do this, and then thou shalt live; otherwise, "cursed is every one that continueth not in all," in every particular thing or "things which are written in the book for the law to do them" (Gal 3:10). That man that is under the first covenant stands thus, and only thus, as he is under that covenant, or law. Poor souls, through ignorance of the nature of that Covenant of Works, the law that they are under, they do not think their state to be half so bad as it is; when, alas! there is none in the world in such a sad condition again besides themselves; for, indeed, they do not understand these things. He that is under the law, as it is a Covenant of Works, is like the man that is bound by the law of his king, upon pain of banishment, or of being hanged, drawn, and quartered, not to transgress any of the commandments of the king; so here, they that are under the Covenant of Works, they are bound, upon pain of eternal banishment and condemnation, to keep within the compass of the law of the God of Heaven. The Covenant of Works may, in this case, be compared to the laws of the Medes and Persians, which being once made, cannot be altered. Daniel 6:8. You find that when there was a law made and given forth that none should ask a petition of any, God or man, but of the king only; this law being established by the king (verse 9). Daniel breaking of it, let all do whatever they can, Daniel must go into the lions' den (verse 16). So here, I say, there being a law given, and sealed with the Truth and the Word of God,-how that "the soul that sinneth, it shall die" (Eze 18:4). Whosoever doth abide under this covenant, and dieth under the same, they must and shall go into the lion's den; yea, worse than that, for they shall be thrown into Hell, to the very devils.

But to speak in a few particulars for thy better understanding herein, know,

First. That the Law of God, or Covenant of Works, doth not contain itself in one particular branch of the law, but doth extend itself into many, even into all the Ten Commandments, and those ten into very many more, as might be showed; so that the danger doth not lie in the breaking of one or two of these ten only, but it doth lie even in the transgression of any one of them. As you know, if a king should give forth ten particular commands to be obeyed by his subjects upon pain of death; now if any man doth transgress against any one of these ten, he doth commit treason, as if he had broke them all, and lieth liable to have the sentence of the law as certainly passed on him as if he had broken every particular of them.

Second. Again; you know that the laws being given forth by the king, which if a man keep and obey for a long time, yet if at the last he slips and breaks those laws, he is presently apprehended, and condemned by that law. These things are clear as touching the Law of God, as it is a Covenant of Works. If a man doth fulfill nine of the Commandments, and yet breaketh but one, that being broken will as surely destroy him and shut him out from the joys of Heaven as if he had actually transgressed against them all; for indeed, in effect, so he hath. There is a notable Scripture for this in the Epistle of James, Second Chapter, at the tenth verse, that runs thus:-"For whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all,"-that is, he hath in effect broken them all, and shall have the voice of them all cry out against him. And it must needs be so, saith James, because "He that said," or that law which said, "Do not commit adultery, said also, Do not kill. Now, if thou commit no adultery, yet if thou kill, thou art become a transgressor of the law" (Verse 11). As thus; it may be thou didst never make to thyself a god of stone or wood, or at least not to worship them so greatly and so openly as the heathen do, yet if thou hast stolen, born false witness, or lusted after a woman in thy heart (Matt 5:28) thou hast transgressed the law, and must for certain, living and dying under that covenant, perish for ever by the law; for the law hath resolved on that before-hand, saying, "Cursed is every one that continueth not in ALL things"; mark, I pray you, "in all things"; that is the Word, and that seals the doctrine.

Third. Again; though a man doth not covet, steal, murder, worship gods of wood and stone, etc., yet if he do take the Lord's name in vain, he is for ever gone, living and dying under that covenant. "Thou shalt not take the name of the LORD thy God in vain"; there is the command. But how if we do? Then he saith, "the LORD will not hold him guiltless that taketh His name in vain." No; though thou live as holy as ever thou canst, and walk as circumspectly as ever any did, yet if thou dost take the Lord's name in vain, thou art gone by that covenant: "For I will not," mark "I will not," let him be in never so much danger, "I will not hold him guiltless that taketh My name in vain" (Exo 20:7). And so likewise for any other of the ten, do but break them, and thy state is irrecoverable, if thou live and die under that covenant.

Fourth. Though thou shouldest fulfill this covenant, or law, even all of it, for a long time, ten, twenty, forty, fifty, or threescore years, yet if thou do chance to slip and break one of them but once before thou die, thou art also gone and lost by that covenant; for mark, "Cursed is every one that continueth not in all things," that continueth not in ALL things, mark that, "which are written in the book of the law to do them." But if a man doth keep all the Law of God his whole lifetime, and only sin one time before he dies, that one sin is a breach of the law, and he hath not continued in doing the things contained therein. For, so to continue, according to the sense of this Scripture, is to hold on without any failing, either in thought, word, or deed; therefore, I say, though a man doth walk up to the law all his lifetime, but only at the very last sin one time before he die, he is sure to perish for ever, dying under that covenant. For, my friends, you must understand that the Law of God is "yea," as well as the Gospel; and as they that are under the Covenant of Grace shall surely be saved by it, so, even so, they that are under the Covenant of Works and the law, they shall surely be damned by it, if continuing there. This is the Covenant of Works and the nature of it-namely, not to abate anything, no, not a mite, to him that lives and dies under it: "I tell thee," saith Christ, "thou shalt not depart thence," that is, from under the curse, "till thou hast paid the very last mite" (Luke 12:59).

Fifth. Again; you must consider that this law doth not only condemn words and actions, as I said before, but it hath authority to condemn the most secret thoughts of the heart, being evil; so that if thou do not speak any word that is evil, as swearing, lying, jesting, dissembling, or any other word that tendeth to, or savoureth of sin, yet if there should chance to pass but one vain thought through thy heart but once in all thy lifetime, the law taketh hold of it, accuseth, and also will condemn thee for it. You may see one instance for all in (Matt 5:27,28) where Christ saith, that though a man doth not lie with a woman carnally, yet if he doth but look on her, and in his heart lust after her, he is counted by the law, being rightly expounded, such an one that hath committed the sin, and thereby hath laid himself under the condemnation of the law. And so likewise of all the rest of the commands; if there be any thought that is evil do but pass through thy heart, whether it be against God or against man in the least measure, though possibly not discerned of thee, or by thee, yet the law takes hold of thee therefore, and doth by its authority, both cast, condemn, and execute thee for thy so doing. "The thought of foolishness is sin" (Prov 24:9).

Sixth. Again; the law is of that nature and severity, that it doth not only inquire into the generality of thy life as touching several things, whether thou art upright there or no; but the law doth also follow thee into all thy holy duties, and watcheth over thee there, to see whether thou dost do all things aright there-that is to say, whether when thou dost pray thy heart hath no wandering thoughts in it; whether thou do every holy duty thou doest perfectly without the least mixture of sin; and if it do find thee to slip, or in the least measure to fail in any holy duty that thou dost perform, the law taketh hold on that, and findeth fault with that, so as to render all the holy duties that ever thou didst unavailable because of that. I say, if, when thou art a hearing, there is but one vain thought, or in praying, but one vain thought, or in any other thing whatsoever, let it be civil or spiritual, one vain thought once in all thy lifetime will cause the law to take such hold on it, that for that one thing it doth even set open all the floodgates of God's wrath against thee, and irrecoverably by that covenant it doth bring eternal vengeance upon thee; so that, I say, look which ways thou wilt, and fail wherein thou wilt, and do it as seldom as ever thou canst, either in civil or spiritual things, as aforesaid-that is, either in the service of God, or in thy employments in the world, as thy trade or calling, either in buying or selling any way, in anything whatsoever; I say, if in any particular it find thee tardy, or in the least measure guilty, it calleth thee an offender, it accuseth thee to God, it puts a stop to all the promises thereof that are joined to the law, and leaves thee there as a cursed transgressor against God, and a destroyer of thy own soul. 5

Here I would have thee, by the way, for to take notice, that it is not my intent at this time to enlarge on the several commands in particular-for that would be very tedious both for me to write and thee to read; only thus much I would have thee to do at the reading hereof-make a pause, and sit still one quarter of an hour, and muse a little in thy mind thus with thyself, and say, Did I ever break the law; yea or no? Had I ever, in all my lifetime, one sinful thought passed through my heart since I was born; yea or no? And if thou findest thyself guilty, as I am sure thou canst not otherwise choose but do, unless thou shut thy eyes against thy every day's practice, then, I say, conclude thyself guilty of the breach of the first covenant. And when that this is done, be sure, in the next place, thou do not straightway forget it and put it out of thy mind, that thou art condemned by the same covenant; and then do not content thyself until thou do find that God hath sent thee a pardon from Heaven through the merits of our Lord Jesus Christ, the mediator of the second covenant. And if God shall but give thee a heart to take this my counsel, I do make no question but these words spoken by me, will prove an instrument for the directing of thy heart to the right remedy for the salvation of thy soul.

Thus much now touching the law, and the severity of it upon the person that is found under it, having offended or broken any particular of it, either in thought, word, or action; and now, before I do proceed to the next thing, I shall answer four objections that do lie in my way, and also, such as do stumble most part of the world.

[Four Objections.]

Object. First. But you will say, Methinks you speak very harsh; it is enough to daunt a body. Set the case, therefore, that a man, after he hath sinned and broken the law, repenteth of his wickedness and promiseth to do so no more, will not God have mercy then, and save a poor sinner then?

Answ. I told you before, that the covenant, once broken, will execute upon the offender that which it doth threaten to lay upon him; and as for your supposing that your repenting and promising to do so no more may help well, and put you in a condition to attain the mercy of God by the law, these thoughts do flow from gross ignorance both of the nature of sin, and also of the nature of the justice of God. And if I were to give you a description of one in a lost condition for the present, I would brand him out with such a mark of ignorance as this is.

Answ. 2. [The first answer is expounded by the second]. The law, as it is a Covenant of Works, doth not allow of any repentance unto life to those that live and die under it; for the law being once broken by thee, never speaks good unto thee, neither doth God at all regard thee, if thou be under that covenant, notwithstanding all thy repenting and also promises to do so no more. No, saith the law, thou hast sinned, therefore I must curse thee; for it is My nature to curse, even, and nothing else but curse, every one that doth in any point transgress against Me (Gal 3:10). They brake My covenant "and I regarded them not, saith the Lord" (Heb 8:9). Let them cry, I will not regard them; let them repent, I will not regard them; they have broken My covenant, and done that in which I delighted not; therefore, by that covenant I do curse, and not bless; damn, and not save; frown, and not smile; reject, and not embrace; charge sin and not forgive it. They brake My covenant "and I regarded them not"; so that I say, if thou break the law, the first covenant, and thou being found there, God looking on thee through that, He hath no regard on thee, no pity for thee, no delight in thee.

Object. Second. But hath not the law promises as well as threatenings? saying, "The man which doeth these things shall live," mark, he shall live, "by them," or in them (Rom 10:5; Gal 3:12).

Answ. 1. To break the Commandments is not to keep or fulfill the same; but thou hast broken them, therefore the promise doth not belong to thee by that covenant. 2. The promises that are of the law are conditional, and so not performed unless there be a full and continual obedience to every particular of it, and that without the least sin. "Do this"-mark, do this-and afterwards thou shalt live; but if thou break one point of it once in all thy life, thou hast not done the law; therefore the promises following the law do not belong unto thee if one sin hath been committed by thee. As thus, I will give you a plain instance-"Set the case, there be a law made by the king, that if any man speak a word against him he must be put to death, and this must not be revoked, but must for certain be executed on the offender; though there be a promise made to them that do not speak a word against him, that they should have great love from him; yet this promise is nothing to the offender; he is like to have no share in it, or to be ever the better for it; but contrariwise, the law that he hath offended must be executed on him; for his sin shutteth him out from a share of, or in, the promises." So it is here, there is a promise made indeed, but to whom? Why, it is to none but those that live without sinning against the law; but if thou, I say, sin one time against it in all thy lifetime, thou art gone, and not one promise belongs to thee if thou continue under this covenant. Methinks the prisoners at the bar, having offended the law, and the charge of a just judge towards them, do much hold forth the law, as it is a Covenant of Works, and how it deals with them that are under it. The prisoner having offended, cries out for mercy; Good, my lord, mercy, saith he, pray, my lord, pity me. The judge saith, What canst thou say for thyself that sentence of death should not be passed upon thee? Why, nothing but this, I pray my lord be merciful. But he answers again, Friend, the law must take place, the law must not be broken. The prisoner saith, Good, my lord, spare me, and I will never do so any more. The judge, notwithstanding the man's outcries and sad condition, must, according to the tenor of the law, pass judgment upon him, and the sentence of condemnation must be read to the prisoner, though it makes him fall down dead to hear it, if he executes the law as he ought to do. And just thus it is concerning the Law of God.

Object. Third. Ay, but sometimes, for all your haste, the judge doth also give some pardons, and forgives some offenders, notwithstanding their offences, though he be a judge.

Answ. It is not because the law is merciful, but because there is manifested the love of the judge, not the love of the law. I beseech you to mark this distinction; for if a man that hath deserved death by the law be, notwithstanding this, forgiven his offence, it is not because the law saith, "spare him"; but it is the love of the judge or chief magistrate that doth set the man free from the condemnation of the law. But mark; here the law of men and the Law of God do differ; the law of man is not so irrevocable; but if the Supreme please he may sometimes grant a pardon without satisfaction given for the offence; but the Law of God is of this nature, that if a man be found under it, and a transgressor, or one that hath transgressed against it, before that prisoner can be released there must be a full and complete satisfaction given to it, either by the man's own life or by the blood of some other man; for "without shedding of blood is no remission" (Heb 9:22); that is, there is no deliverance from under the curse of the Law of God; and therefore, however the law of man may be made of none effect sometimes by showing mercy without giving of a full satisfaction, yet the Law of God cannot be so contented, nor at the least give way, that the person offending that should escape the curse and not be damned, except some one do give a full and complete satisfaction to it for him, and bring the prisoner into another covenant-to wit, the Covenant of Grace, which is more easy, and soul-refreshing, and sin-pardoning.

I say, therefore, you must understand that if there be a law made that reaches the life, to take it away for the offence given by the offender against it, then it is clear that if the man be spared and saved, it is not the law that doth give the man this advantage, but it is the mere mercy of the king, either because he hath a ransom or satisfaction some other way, or being provoked thereto out of his own love to the person whom he saveth. Now, thou also having transgressed and broken the Law of God, if the law be not executed upon thee, it is not because the law is merciful, or can pass by the least offence done by thee, but thy deliverance comes another way; therefore, I say, however it be by the laws of men where they be corrupted and perverted, yet the Law of God is of that nature, that if it hath not thy own blood or the blood of some other man-for it calls for no less, for to ransom thee from the curse of it, being due to thee for thy transgression, and to satisfy the cries, the doleful cries, thereof, and ever for to present thee pure and spotless before God, notwithstanding this fiery law-thou art gone if thou hadst a thousand souls; for "without shedding of blood there is no remission" (Heb 9:22); no forgiveness of the least sin against the law.

Object. Fourth. But, you will say, "I do not only repent me of my former life, and also promise to do so no more, but now I do labour to be righteous, and to live a holy life; and now, instead of being a breaker of the law, I do labour to fulfill the same. What say you to that?"

Answ. Set the case, thou couldst walk like an angel of God; set the case, thou couldst fulfill the whole law, and live from this day to thy life's end without sinning in thought, word, or deed, which is impossible; but, I say, set the case it should be so, why, thy state is as bad, if thou be under the first covenant, as ever it was. For, first, I know thou darest not say but thou hast at one time or other sinned; and if so, then the law hath condemned thee; and if so, then I am sure that thou, with all thy actions and works of righteousness, canst not remove the dreadful and irresistible curse that is already laid upon thee by that law which thou art under, and which thou hast sinned against; though thou livest the holiest life that any man can live in this world, being under the law of works, and so not under the Covenant of Grace, thou must be cut off without remedy; for thou hast sinned, though afterwards thou live never so well.

The reasons for this that hath been spoken are these-

First, The nature of God's justice calls for it-that is, it calls for irrecoverable ruin on them that transgress against this law; for justice gave it, and justice looks to have it completely and continually obeyed, or else justice is resolved to take place, and execute its office, which is to punish the transgressor against it. You must understand that the justice of God is as unchangeable as His love; His justice cannot change its nature; justice it is, if it be pleased; and justice it is, if it be displeased. The justice of God in this case may be compared to fire; there is a great fire made in some place; if thou do keep out of it, it is fire; if thou do fall into it, thou wilt find it fire; and therefore the Apostle useth this as an argument to stir up the Hebrews to stick close to Jesus Christ, lest they fall under the justice of God by these words, "For our God is a consuming fire" (Heb 12:29); into which, if thou fall, it is not for thee to get out again, as it is with some that fall into a material fire; no, but he that falls into this, he must lie there for ever; as it is clear where he saith, "Who among us shall dwell with everlasting burnings, and with devouring fire?" (Isa 33:14). For justice once offended knoweth not how to show any pity or compassion to the offender, but runs on him like a lion, takes him by the throat, throws him into prison, and there he is sure to lie, and that to all eternity, unless infinite satisfaction be given to it, which is impossible to be given by any of us the sons of Adam.

Secondly, The faithfulness of God calls for irrecoverable ruin to be poured out on those that shall live and die under this covenant. If thou, having sinned but one sin against this covenant, and shouldst afterwards escape damning, God must be unfaithful to Himself and to His Word, which both agree as one. First, he would be unfaithful to Himself; to Himself, that is, to His justice, holiness, righteousness, wisdom, and power, if He should offer to stop the running out of His justice for the damning of them that have offended it. And secondly, He would be unfaithful to His Word, His written Word, and disown, deny, and break that, of which He hath said, "It is easier for Heaven and earth to pass, than one tittle of the law to fail," or be made of none effect (Luke 16:17). Now, if He should not, according to His certain declarations therein, take vengeance on those that fall and die within the threat and sad curses denounced, in that His Word could not be fulfilled.

Thirdly, Because otherwise he would disown the sayings of His Prophets, and gratify the sayings of His enemies; His Prophets say He will take vengeance; His enemies say He will not; His Prophets say He will remember their iniquities, and recompense them into their bosom; but His enemies say they should do well, and they shall have peace, though they walk after the imaginations of their own hearts, and be not so strict as the Word commands, and do not as it saith (Deu 29:19,20). But let me tell thee, hadst thou a thousand souls, and each of them was worth a thousand worlds, God would set them all on a light by fire, if they fall within the condemnings of His Word, and thou die without a Jesus, even the right Jesus; "for the Scriptures cannot be broken." What! dost thou think that God, Christ, Prophets, and Scriptures, will all lie for thee? and falsify their words for thee? It will be but ill venturing thy soul upon that.

And the reasons for it are these:-First, Because God is God; and secondly, Because man is man.

First, Because God is perfectly just and eternally just, perfectly holy and eternally holy, perfectly faithful and eternally faithful; that is, without any variableness or shadow of turning, but perfectly continueth the same, and cannot as well cease to be God as to alter or change the nature of His Godhead. As He is thus the perfection of all perfections, He gave out His Law to be obeyed; but if any offend it, then they fall into the hands of this His eternal justice, and so must drink of His irrevocable wrath, which is the execution of the same justice. I say, this being thus, the law being broken, justice takes place, and so faithfulness followeth to see that execution be done, and also to testify that He is true, and doth denounce His unspeakable, insupportable, and unchangeable vengeance on the party offending.

Secondly, Because thou art not as infinite as God, but a poor created weed, that is here today and gone tomorrow, and not able to answer God in His essence, being, and attributes; thou art bound to fall under Him, for thy soul or body can do nothing that is infinite in such a way as to satisfy this God, which is an infinite God in all His attributes.

[Misery of man by this law.]

But to declare unto you the misery of man by this law to purpose, I do beseech you to take notice of these following particulars, besides what has been already spoken:-First, I shall show the danger of them by reason of the law, as they come from Adam; Second, as they are in their own persons particularly under it.

[First, The danger of them by reason of the law, as they come from Adam.]

1. As they come from Adam, they are in a sad condition, because he left them a broken covenant. Or take it thus: because they, while they were in him, did with him break that covenant. O! this was the treasure that Adam left to his posterity; it was a broken covenant, insomuch that death reigned over all his children, and doth still to this day, as they come from him, both natural and eternal death (Rom 5). It may be, drunkard, swearer, liar, thief, thou dost not think of this.

2. He did not only leave them a broken covenant, but also made them himself sinners against it. He [Adam] made them sinners-"By one man's disobedience many were made sinners" (Rom 5:19). And this is worse than the first.

3. Not only so, but he did deprive them of their strength, by which at first they were enabled to stand, and left them no more than dead men. O helpless state! O how beggarly and miserable are the sons of Adam!

4. Not only so, but also before he left them he was the conduit pipe through which the devil did convey off his poisoned spawn and venom nature into the hearts of Adam's sons and daughters, by which they are at this day so strongly and so violently carried away, that they fly as fast to Hell, and the devil, by reason of sin, as chaff before a mighty wind.

5. In a word, Adam led them out of their paradise, that is one more; and put out their eyes, that is another; and left them to the leading of the devil. O sad! Canst thou hear this, and not have thy ears to tingle and burn on thy head? Canst thou read this, and not feel thy conscience begin to throb and dag? If so, surely it is because thou art either possessed with the devil, or besides thyself.

[Second.] But I pass this, and come to the second thing, which is, the cause of their being in a sad condition, which is by reason of their being in their particular persons under it.

1. Therefore, they that are under the law, they are in a sad condition, because they are under that which is more ready, through our infirmity, to curse than to bless; they are under that called the ministration of condemnation, that is, they are under that dispensation, or administration, whose proper work is to curse and condemn, and nothing else (2 Cor 3).

2. Their condition is sad who are under the law, because they are not only under that ministration that doth condemn, but also that which doth wait an opportunity to condemn; the law doth not wait that it might be gracious, but it doth wait to curse and condemn; it came on purpose to discover sin, "The law entered," saith the Apostle, "that the offence might abound" (Rom 5:20) or appear indeed to be that which God doth hate, and also to curse for that which hath been committed; as he saith, "Cursed is every one that continueth not in all things which are written in the book of the law to do them" (Gal 3:10).

3. They are in a sad condition, because that administration they are under that are under the law doth always find fault with the sinner's obedience as well as his disobedience, if it be not done in a right spirit, which they that are under that covenant cannot do, by reason of their being destitute of faith; therefore, I say, it doth control them, saying, "This was not well done, this was done by the halves, this was not done freely, and that was not done perfectly, and out of love to God." And hence it is that some men, notwithstanding they labour to live as holy as ever they can according to the law, yet they do not live a peaceable life, but are full of condemnings, full of guilt and torment of conscience, finding themselves to fail here, and to fall short there, omitting this good which the law commands, and doing that evil which the law forbids, but never giveth them one good word for all their pains.

4. They that are under the law are in a sad condition, because they are under that administration that will never be contented with what is done by the sinner. If thou be under this covenant, work as hard as thou canst, the law will never say, "Well done"; never say, "My good servant"; no; but always it will be driving thee faster, hastening of thee harder, giving thee fresh commands, which thou must do, and upon pain of damnation not to be left undone. Nay, it is such a master that will curse thee, not only for thy sins, but also because thy good works were not so well done as they ought to be.

5. They that are under this covenant or law, their state is very sad, because this law doth command impossible things of him that is under it; and yet doth but right in it, seeing man at the first had in Adam strength to stand, if he would have used it, and the law was given them, as I said before, when man was in his full strength; and therefore no inequality if it commands the same still, seeing God that gave thee strength did not take it away. I will give you a similitude for the clearing of it. Set the case that I give to my servant ten pounds, with this charge, Lay it out for my best advantage, that I may have my own again with profit; now if my servant, contrary to my command, goeth and spends my money in a disobedient way, is it any inequality in me to demand of my servant what I gave him at first? Nay, and though he have nothing to pay, I may lawfully cast him into prison, and keep him there until I have satisfaction. So here; the law was delivered to man at the first when he was in a possibility to have fulfilled it; now, then, though man have lost his strength, yet God is just in commanding the same work to be done. Ay, and if they do not do the same things, I say, that are impossible for them to do, it is just with God to damn them, seeing it was they themselves that brought themselves into this condition; therefore, saith the Apostle, "What things soever the law (or commands) 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" (Rom 3:19). And this is thy sad condition that art under the law (Gal 3:10).

But if any should object, and say, But the law doth not command impossible things of natural man,-

I should answer in this case as the Apostle did in another very much like unto it, saying, "Understanding neither what they say, nor whereof they affirm." For doth not the law command thee to love the Lord thy God with all thy soul, with all they strength, with all thy might, etc., and can the natural man do this? How can those that are accustomed to do evil, do that which is commanded in this particular? "Can the Ethiopian change his skin, or the leopard his spots?" (Jer 12:23).

Doth the law command thee to do good, and nothing but good, and that with all thy soul, heart, and delight? which the law as a Covenant of Works calleth for; and canst thou, being carnal, do that? But there is no man that hath understanding, if he should hear thee say so, but would say that thou wast either bewitched or stark mad.

6. They that are under the law are in a sad condition, because that though they follow the law, or Covenant of Works; I say, though they follow it, it will not lead them to Heaven; no, but contrariwise, it will lead them under the curse. It is not possible, saith Paul, that any should be justified by the law, or by our following of it; for by that "is the knowledge of sin," and by it we are condemned for the same, which is far from leading us to life, being the ministration of death (2 Cor 3). And again; "Israel, which followeth after the law of righteousness, hath not attained to the law of righteousness. Wherefore? Because they sought it not by faith, but by the law, and by the works thereof" (Rom 9:30-32).

7. They that are under the law are in a sad condition, because they do not know whether ever they shall have any wages for their work or no; they have no assurance of the pardon of their sins, neither any hopes of eternal life; but poor hearts as they are, they work for they do not know what, even like a poor horse that works hard all day, and at night hath a dirty stable for his pains; so thou mayest work hard all the days of thy life, and at the day of death, instead of having a glorious rest in the Kingdom of Heaven, thou mayest, nay, thou shalt, have for thy sins the damnation of thy soul and body in Hell to all eternity; forasmuch, as I said before, that the law, if thou sinnest, it doth not take notice of any good work done by thee, but takes its advantage to destroy and cut off thy soul for the sin thou hast committed.

8. They that are under the law are in a sad condition, because they are under that administration; upon whose souls God doth not smile, they dying there; for the administration that God doth smile upon His children through, is the Covenant of Grace, they being in Jesus Christ, the Lord of life and consolation; but contrariwise to those that are under the law; for they have His frowns, His rebukes, His threatenings, and with much severity they must be dealt withal-"For they continued not in My covenant, and I regarded them not, saith the Lord" (Heb 8:9).

9. They are in a sad condition, because they are out of the faith of Christ; they that are under the law have not the faith of Christ in them; for that dispensation which they are under is not the administration of faith. The law is not of faith, saith the Apostle (Gal 3:12).

10. Because they have not received the Spirit; for that is received by the hearing of faith, and not by the law, nor the works thereof (Gal 3:2).

11. In a word, if thou live and die under that covenant, Jesus Christ will neither pray for thee, neither let thee have one drop of His blood to wash away thy sins, neither shalt thou be so much as one of the least in the Kingdom of Heaven; for all these privileges come to souls under another covenant, as the Apostle saith-"For such are not under the law, but under grace"-that is, such as have a share in the benefits of Jesus Christ, or such as are brought from under the first covenant into the second; or from under the law into the grace of Christ's Gospel, without which Covenant of Grace, and being found in that, there is no soul can have the least hope of eternal life, no joy in the Holy Ghost, no share in the privileges of saints, because they are tied up from them by the limits and bonds of the Covenant of Works. For you must understand that these two covenants have their several bounds and limitations, for the ruling and keeping in subjection, or giving of freedom, to the parties under the said covenants. Now they that are under the law are within the compass and the jurisdiction of that, and are bound to be in subjection to that; and living and dying under that, they must stand and fall to that, as Paul saith, "To his own master he standeth or falleth." The Covenant of Grace doth admit to those that are under it also liberty and freedom, together with commanding of subjection to the things contained in it, which I shall speak to further hereafter.

[For what purpose the Law was added and given.]

But now, that the former things may be further made to appear-that is, what the sad condition of all them that are under the law is, as I have shown you something of the nature of the law, so also shall I show that the law was added and given for this purpose, that it might be so with those that are out of the Covenant of Grace.

First, God did give the law that sin might abound, not that it should take away sin in any, but to discover the sin which is already begotten, or that may be hereafter begotten, by lust and Satan (Rom 5:20). I say, this is one proper work of the law, to make manifest sin; it is sent to find fault with the sinner, and it doth also watch that it may do so, and it doth take all advantages for the accomplishing of its work in them that give ear thereto, or do not give ear, if it have the rule over them. I say, it is like a man that is sent by his lord to see and pry into the labours and works of other men, taking every advantage to discover their infirmities and failings, and to chide them? yea, to throw them out of the Lord's favour for the same.

Second. Another great end why the Lord did add or give the law, it was that no man might have anything to lay to the charge of the Lord for His condemning of them that do transgress against the same. You know that if a man should be had before an officer or judge, and there be condemned, and yet by no law, he that condemns him might be very well reprehended or reproved for passing the judgment; yea, the party himself might have better ground to plead for his liberty than the other to plead for the condemning of him; but this shall not be so in the judgment-day, but contrariwise; for then every man shall be forced to lay his hand on his mouth, and hold his tongue at the judgment of God when it is passed upon them; therefore saith the Apostle, "What things soever the law saith, it saith to them who are under the law"; that is, all the commands, all the cursings and threatenings that are spoken by it, are spoken, saith he, "that every mouth may be stopped"; mark, I beseech you, "it saith," saith he, "that every mouth may be stopped, and all the world may become guilty before God" (Rom 3:19). So that now, in case any in the judgment-day should object against the judgment of God, as those in the 25th of Matthew do, saying, Lord, when saw we Thee thus and thus? and why dost Thou pass such a sad sentence of condemnation upon us? surely this is injustice, and not equity: now for the preventing of this the law was given; ay, and that it might prevent thee to purpose, God gave it betimes, before either thy first father had sinned, or thou wast born. So that again, if there should be these objections offered against the proceedings of the Lord in justice and judgment, saying, Lord, why am I thus condemned, I did not know it was sin? Now against these two was the law given and that betimes, so that both these are answered. If the first come in and say, Why am I judged? why am I damned? then will the law come in, even all the Ten Commandments, with every one of their cries against thy soul; the First saying, He hath sinned against Me, damn him; the Second saying also, He hath transgressed against Me, damn him; the Third also saying the same, together with the Fourth, Fifth, Sixth, Seventh, Eighth, Ninth, Tenth; even all of them will discharge themselves against thy soul if thou die under the first covenant, saying, He or they have transgressed against us, damn them, damn them: and I tell thee also, that these ten great guns, the Ten Commandments, will, with discharging themselves in justice against thy soul, so rattle in thy conscience, that thou wilt in spite of thy teeth be immediately put to silence, and have thy mouth stopped. And let me tell thee further, that if thou shalt appear before God to have the Ten Commandments discharge themselves against thee, thou hadst better be tied to a tree, and have ten, yea, ten thousand of the biggest pieces of ordnance in the world to be shot off against thee; for these could go no further but only to kill the body; but they, both body and soul, to be tormented in Hell with the devil to all eternity.

Third, Again; if the second thing should be objected, saying, But Lord, I did not think this had been sin, or the other had been sin, for nobody told me so; then also will the giving of the law take off that, saying, Nay, But I was given to thy father Adam before he had sinned, or before thou wast born, and have ever since been in thy soul to convince thee of thy sins, and to control thee for doing the thing that was not right. Did not I secretly tell thee at such a time, in such a place, when thou wast doing of such a thing, with such an one, or when thou was all alone, that this was a sin, and that God did forbid it, therefore if thou didst commit it, God would be displeased with thee for it: and when thou was thinking to do such a thing at such a time, did not I say, Forbear, do not so? God will smite thee, and punish thee for it if thou dost do it. And besides, God did so order it that you had me in your houses, in your Bibles, and also you could speak and talk of me; thus pleading the truth, thou shalt be forced to confess it is so; nay, it shall be so in some sort with the very Gentiles and barbarous people that fall far short of that light we have in these parts of the world; for, saith the Apostle, "The Gentiles which have not the law, do by nature the things contained in the law, these, having not the law," that is, not written as we have, yet they "are a law unto themselves: which show the works of the law written in their hearts" (Rom 2:14,15). That is, they have the law of works in them by nature, and therefore they shall be left without excuse; for their own consciences shall stand up for the truth of this where he saith, "Their conscience also bearing witness, and their thoughts the meanwhile accusing or else excusing one another." Ay, but when? Why, "in the day when God shall judge the secrets of men by Jesus Christ according to my Gospel" (Rom 2:15,16). So this, I say, is another end for which the Lord did give the law-namely, that God might pass a sentence in righteousness, without being charged with any injustice by those that shall fall under it in the judgment.

Fourth, A fourth end why the Lord did give the law it was, because they that die out of Jesus Christ might not only have their mouths stopped, but also that their persons "might become guilty before God" (Rom 3:19). And indeed this will be the ground of silencing, as I said before, they finding themselves guilty, their consciences backing the truth of the judgment of God passed upon them, "they shall become guilty"-that is, they shall be fit vessels for the wrath of God to be poured out into, being filled with guilt by reason of transgressions against the commandments; thus, therefore, shall the parties under the first covenant be "fitted to destruction" (Rom 9:22) even as wood or straw, being well dried, is fitted for the fire; and the law was added and given, and speaks to this very end, that sins might be shown, mouths might be stopped from quarreling, and that "all the world," mark, "the world may become guilty before God," and so be in justice for ever and ever overthrown because of their sins.

And this will be so for these reasons-

1. Because God hath a time to magnify His justice and holiness, as well as to show His forbearance and mercy. We read in Scripture that His eyes are too pure to behold iniquity, and then we shall find it true (Hab 1:13). We read in Scripture that He will magnify the law, and make it honourable, and then He will do it indeed. Now, because the Lord doth not strike so soon as He is provoked by sin, therefore poor souls will not know nor regard the justice of God, neither do they consider the time in which it must be advanced, which will be when men drop under the wrath of God as fast as hail in a mighty storm (2 Peter 3:9; Psa 50:21,22). Now, therefore, look to it all you that count the long-suffering and forbearance of God slackness; and because for the present He keepeth silence, therefore to think that He is like unto yourselves. No, no; but know that God hath His set time for every purpose of His, and in its time it shall be advanced most marvelously, to the everlasting astonishment and overthrow of that soul that shall be dealt withal by justice and the law. O! how will God advance His justice! O! how will God advance His holiness! First, by showing men that He in justice cannot, will not regard them, because they have sinned; and, secondly, in that His holiness will not give way for such unclean wretches to abide in His sight, His eyes are so pure.

2. Because God will make it appear that He will be as good as His Word to sinners. Sinners must not look to escape always, though they may escape awhile, yet they shall not go far all adoe unpunished; no, but they shall have their due to a farthing, when every threatening and curse shall be accomplished and fulfilled on the head of the transgressor. Friend, there is never an idle word that thou speakest but God will account with thee for it; there is never a lie thou tellest, but God will reckon with thee for it; nay, there shall not pass so much as one passage in all thy lifetime but God, the righteous God, will have it in the trial by His law, if thou die under it, in the judgment-day.


THIRD. But you will say-"But who are those that are thus under the law?"

Answ. Those that are under the law may be branched out into three ranks of men; either, first, such as are grossly profane, or such as are more refined; which may be two ways, some in a lower sort, and some in a more eminent way.

First, Then they are under the law as a Covenant of Works who are open profane, and ungodly wretches, such as delight not only in sin, but also make their boast of the same, and brag at the thoughts of committing of it. Now, as for such as these are, there is a Scripture in the First Epistle of Paul to Timothy Chapter 1, verses 9, 10, which is a notable one to this purpose, "The law," saith he, "is not made for a righteous man," not as it is a Covenant of Works, "but for the" unrighteous or "lawless and disobedient, for the ungodly and for sinners, for unholy and profane, for murderers of fathers and murderers of mothers, for manslayers, for whoremongers, for them that defile themselves with mankind, for menstealers, for liars," look to it, liars, "for perjured persons, and," in a word, "if there be any other thing that is not according to sound doctrine." These are one sort of people that are under the law, and so under the curse of the same, whose due is to drink up the brimful cup of God's eternal vengeance, and therefore I beseech you not to deceive yourselves; for "know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God" (1 Cor 6:9,10). Poor souls, you think that you may have your sins, your lusts, and pleasures, and yet you shall do pretty well, and be let to go free in the judgment-day; but see what God saith of such in Deuteronomy 29:19, 20-which shall "bless himself in his heart, saying, I shall have peace," I shall be saved, I shall do as well as others, in the day when God shall judge the world by Jesus Christ; but, saith God, I will not spare them, no, but My anger and My jealousy shall smoke against them. How far? Even to the executing all the curses that are written in the Law of God upon them. Nay, saith God, I will be even with them, "for I will blot out their names from under Heaven." And indeed it must of necessity be so, because such souls are unbelievers, in their sins, and under the law, which cannot, will not, show any mercy on them; for it is not the administration of mercy and life, but the administration of death and destruction, as you have it (2 Cor 3:7,9); and all those, every one of them, that are open profane, and scandalous wretches are under it, and have been so ever since they came into the world to this day; and they will for certain live and die under the same dispensation, and then be damned to all eternity, if they be not converted from under that covenant into and under the Covenant of Grace, of which I shall speak in its place; and yet for all this, how brag and crank 6 are our poor wantons and wicked ones in this day of forbearance! as if God would never have a reckoning with them, as if there was no law to condemn them, as if there was no hellfire to put them into. But O how will they be deceived when they shall see Christ sitting upon the judgment-seat, having laid aside his priestly and prophetical office, and appearing only as a judge to the wicked? when they shall see all the records of Heaven unfolded and laid open; when they shall see each man his name in the Book of Life, and in the book of the law; when they shall see God in His majesty, Christ in His majesty, the saints in their dignity, but themselves in their impurity. What will they say then? whither will they fly then? where will they leave their glory? O sad state! (Isa 10:3).

Second. They are under the law also who do not only so break and disobey the law, but follow after the law as hard as ever they can, seeking justification thereby-that is, though a man should abstain from the sins against the law, and labour to fulfill the law, and give up himself to the law, yet if he look no further than the law he is still under the law, and for all his obedience to the law, the righteous Law of God, he shall be destroyed by that law. Friend, you must not understand that none but profane persons are under the law; no, but you must understand that a man may be turned from a vain, loose, open, profane conversation and sinning against the law, to a holy, righteous, religious life, and yet be in the same state, under the same law, and as sure to be damned as the other that are more profane and loose. And though you may say this is very strange, yet I shall both say it and prove it to be true. Read with understanding that Scripture in Romans 9:30-31, where the Apostle, speaking of the very thing, saith, "But Israel, which followed after the law of righteousness"; mark, that followed after the law of righteousness; they notwithstanding their earnest pursuit, or hunting after the law of righteousness, "hath not attained to the law of righteousness." It signifies thus much to us, that let a man be never so earnest, so fervent, so restless, so serious, so ready, so apt and willing to follow the law and the righteousness thereof, if he be under that covenant, he is gone, he is lost, he is deprived of eternal life, because he is not under the ministration of life if he die there. Read also that Scripture, Galatians 3:10, which saith, "For as many as are of the works of the law are under the curse"; mark, they that are of the works of the law. Now, for to be of the works of the law, it is to be of the works of the righteousness thereof-that is, to abstain from sins against the law, and to do the commands thereof as near as ever they can for their lives, or with all the might they have: and therefore I beseech you to consider it, for men's being ignorant of this is the cause why so many go on supposing they have a share in Christ, because they are reformed, and abstain from the sins against the law, who, when all comes to all, will be damned notwithstanding, because they are not brought out from under the Covenant of Works, and put under the Covenant of Grace.

Object. "But can you in very deed make these things manifestly evident from the Word of God? Methinks to reason thus is very strange, that a man should labour to walk up according to the Law of God as much as ever he can, and yet that man notwithstanding this, should be still under the curse. Pray clear it."

Answ. Truly this doth seem very strange, I do know full well, to the natural man, to him that is yet in his unbelief, because he goeth by beguiled reason; but for my part, I do know it is so, and shall labour also to convince thee of the truth of the same.

1. Then, the law is thus strict and severe, that if a man do sin but once against it, he, I say, is gone for ever by the law, living and dying under that covenant. If you would be satisfied as touching the truth of this, do but read Galatians 3:10, where it saith "Cursed is every one," that is, not a man shall miss by that covenant, "that continueth not in all," mark, in all "things which are written in the book of the law to do them." (1.) Pray mark, here is a curse, in the first place, if all things written in the book of the law be not done, and that, continually too-that is, without any failing or one slip, as I said before. Now there is never a one in the world but before they did begin to yield obedience to the least command, they in their own persons did sin against it by breaking of it. The Apostle, methinks, is very notable for the clearing of this in Romans 3:5. In the one he endeavours for to prove that all had transgressed in the first Adam as he stood a common person, representing both himself and us in his standing and falling. "Wherefore," saith he, "as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men," mark that; but why? "for that all have sinned" (Rom 5:12). That is, forasmuch as all naturally are guilty of original sin, the sin that was committed by us in Adam; so this is one cause why none can be justified by their obedience to the law, because they have in the first place broken it in their first parents. But, (2.) in case this should be opposed and rejected by quarrelsome persons, though there be no ground for it, Paul hath another argument to back his doctrine, saying, For we have proved (already) that both Jews and Gentiles are all under sin. "As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one." "They are all gone out of the way, they are together," mark, together, "become unprofitable, there is none that doeth good, no, not one." "Their throat is an open sepulchre; with their tongues they have used deceit, the poison of asps is under their lips." Their "mouths are full of cursing and bitterness." "Their feet are swift to shed blood." In a word, "Destruction and misery are in their ways; and the way of peace have they not known." Now then, saith he, having proved these things so clearly, the conclusion of the whole is this, "That what things soever the law saith," in both showing of sin, and cursing for the same, "it saith" all "to them who are under the law that every mouth may be stopped, and all the world may become guilty before God" (Rom 3:10,19). So that here, I say, lieth the ground of our not being justified by the law, even because, in the first place, we have sinned against it; for know this for certain, that if the law doth take the least advantage of thee by thy sinning against it, all that ever thou shalt afterwards hear from it is nothing but Curse, curse, curse him, "for not continuing in all things which are written in the book of the law to do them."

2. Thou canst not be saved by the righteous Law of God, the first covenant, because that, together with this thy miserable state, by original and actual sins, before thou didst follow the law, since thy turning to the law thou hast committed several sins against the law-"In many things we offend all." So that now thy righteousness to the law being mixed with sometimes the lust of concupiscence, fornication, covetousness, pride, heart-risings against God, coldness of affection towards Him, backwardness to good duties, speaking idle words, having of strife in your hearts, and such like; I say, these things being thus, the righteousness of the law is become too weak through this our flesh (Rom 8:3), and so, notwithstanding all our obedience to the law, we are yet through our weakness under the curse of the law; for, as I said before, the law is so holy, so just, and so good, that it cannot allow that any failing or slip should be done by them that look for life by the same. "Cursed is every one that continuteth not in everything" (Gal 3:10). And this Paul knew full well, which made him throw away all his righteousness. But you will say, that was his own.

Answ. But it was even that which while he calls it his own, he also calls it the righteousness of the law (Phil 3:7-10) and to account it but dung, but as dirt on his shoes, and that, that he might be found in Christ, and so be saved by Him "without the deeds of the law" (Rom 3:28). But,

3. Set the case, the righteousness of the law which thou hast was pure and perfect, without the least flaw or fault, without the least mixture of the least sinful thought, yet this would fall far short of presenting of thee blameless in the sight of God. And that I prove by these arguments-(1.) The first argument is, that that which is not Christ cannot redeem souls from the curse, it cannot completely present them before the Lord; now the law is not Christ; therefore the moral law cannot, by all our obedience to it, deliver us from the curse that is due to us (Acts 4:12). (2.) The second argument is, that that righteousness that is not the righteousness of faith, that is, by believing in Jesus Christ, cannot please God; now the righteousness of the law as a Covenant of Works is not the righteousness of faith; therefore the righteousness of the law as acted by us, being under that covenant, cannot please God. The first is proved in Hebrews 11:6, "But without faith it is impossible to please Him"; mark, it is impossible. The second thus, "The law is not of faith" (Gal 3:12; Rom 10:5,6), compared with Galatians 3:11. "But that no man is justified by the law in the sight of God, it is evident; for, The just shall live by faith. And the law is not of faith."

But for the better understanding of those that are weak of apprehension, I shall prove it thus-1. The soul that hath eternal life, he must have it by right of purchase or redemption (Heb 9:12; Eph 1:7). 2. This purchase of redemption must be through the blood of Christ. "We have redemption through His blood." "Without shedding of blood is no remission." Now the law is not in a capacity to die, and so to redeem sinners by the purchase of blood, which satisfaction justice calls for. Read the same Scriptures (Heb 9:22). Justice calls for satisfaction, because thou hast transgressed and sinned against it, and that must have satisfaction; therefore all that ever thou canst do cannot bring in redemption, though thou follow the law up the to the nail-head, as I may say, because all this is not shedding of blood; for believe it, and know it for certain, that though thou hadst sinned but one sin before thou didst turn to the law, that one sin will murder thy soul, if it be not washed away by blood, even by the precious blood of Jesus Christ, that was shed when He did hang upon the cross on Mount Calvary.

Object. But you will say, "Methinks, that giving of ourselves up to live a righteous life should make God like the better of us, and so let us be saved by Christ, because we are so willing to obey His law."

Answ. The motive that moveth God to have mercy upon sinners is not because they are willing to follow the law, but because He is willing to save them. "Not for thy righteousness, or for the uprighteous of thine heart dost thou go to possess their land" (Deu 9:4-6). Now understand this: if thy will to do righteousness was the first moving cause why God had mercy on thee through Christ, then it must not be freely by grace-I say, freely. But the Lord loves thee and saves thee upon free terms, having nothing beforehand to make Him accept of thy soul, but only the blood of Christ; therefore to allow of such a principle it is to allow that grace is to be obtained by the works of the law, which is as gross darkness as lies in the darkest dungeon in Popery, and is also directly opposite to Scripture-For we are "justified freely by His grace, through the redemption that is in Christ"; not through the good that is in our selves, or done by us, no, "but by faith, without"-mark that-"without the deeds of the law" (Rom 3:24-28). Again, "Not of works, least any man should boast" (Eph 2:9). No, no, saith he, "Not according to our works," or righteousness, "but according to His own purpose"; mark "according to His own purpose and grace, which was" a free gift, "given us in Christ Jesus," not lately, but "before the world began" (2 Tim 1:9).

Object. But you will say, "Then why did God give the law, if we cannot have salvation by following of it?"

Answ. I told you before that the law was given for these following reasons-1. That thou mightest be convinced by it of thy sins, and that thy sins might indeed appear very sinful unto thee, which is done by the law these ways-(1.) By showing of thee what a holy God He is that did give the law; and, (2.) By showing thee thy vileness and wickedness, in that thou, contrary to this holy God, hast transgressed against and broken this His holy Law; therefore, saith Paul, "the law entered, that the offence might abound," that is, by showing the creature the holiness of God, and also its own vileness (Rom 5:20). 2. That thou mayest know that God will not damn thee for nothing in the judgment-day. 3. Because He would have no quarreling at His just condemning of them at that day. 4. Because He will make thee to know that He is a holy God and pure.


[FOURTH] Quest. "But seeing you have spoken thus far, I wish you would do so much as to show in some particulars, both what men have done, and how far they have gone, and what they have received, being yet under this covenant, which you call the ministration of condemnation."

Answ. This is somewhat a difficult question, and had need be not only warily, but also home and soundly answered. The question consists of three particulars-First, What men have done; Second, How far men have gone; Third, What they have received, and yet to be under the law, or Covenant of Works, and so in a state of condemnation.

[First.] As for the first, I have spoken something in general to that already; but for thy better understanding I shall yet speak more particularly.

1. A man hath and may be convinced and troubled for his sins, and yet be under this covenant, and that in a very heavy and dreadful manner, insomuch that he find the weight of them to be intolerable and too heavy for him to bear, as it was with Cain, "My punishment," saith he, "is greater than I can bear" (Gen 4:13).

2. A man living thus under a sense of his sins may repent and be sorry for them, and yet be under this covenant, and yet be in a damned state. And when he, Judas, saw what was done, he "repented" (Matt 27:3).

3. Men may not only be convinced, and also repent for their sins, but they may also desire the prayers of the children of God for them too, and yet be under this covenant and curse, "Then Pharaoh called for Moses and Aaron, in haste, and he said, I have sinned; entreat the LORD your God that He may take away from me this death" (Exo 10:16, 17).

4. A man may also humble himself for his offences and disobedience against his God, and yet be under this covenant (1 Kings 21:24-19).

5. A man may make restitution unto men for the offence he hath done unto them, and yet be under this covenant.

6. A man may do much work for God in his generation, and yet be under this first covenant; as Jehu, who did do that which God bid him (2 Kings 9:25, 26). And yet God threateneth even Jehu, because though he did do the thing that the Lord commanded him, yet he did it not from a right principle; for had he, the Lord would not have said, "Yet a little while, and I will avenge the blood of Jezreel upon the house of Jehu" (Hosea 1:4).

7. Men may hear and fear the servants of the Lord, and reverence them very highly; yea, and when they hear, they may not only hear, but hear and do, and that gladly too, not one or two things, but many; mark, many things gladly, and yet be lost, and yet be damned, "For Herod feared John," why? not because he had any civil power over him, but because "he was a just man and an holy, and observed him; and when he heard him, he did many things, and heard him gladly" (Mark 6:20). It may be that thou thinkest that because thou hearest such and such, therefore thou art better than thy neighbours; but know for certain that thou mayest not only hear, but thou mayest hear and do, and that not with a backward will, but gladly-mark, "gladly"-and yet be Herod still, an enemy to the Lord Jesus still. Consider this, I pray you.

Second. But to the second thing, which is this, How far may such an one go? To what may such an one attain? Whither may he arrive, and yet be an undone man, under this covenant? [1] answer-

1. Such an one may be received into fellowship with the saints, as they are in a visible way of walking one with another; they may walk hand in hand together, "The Kingdom of Heaven," that is, a visible company of professors of Christ, is likened to ten virgins, which took their lamps, and went forth to meet the Bridegroom, "five of them were wise, and five were foolish" (Matt 25:1,2). These, in the first place, are called virgins-that is, such as are clear from the pollutions of the world; secondly, they are said to go forth-that is, from the rudiments and traditions of men; thirdly, they do agree to take their lamps with them-that is, to profess themselves the servants of Jesus Christ, that wait upon Him, and for Him; and yet when He came, He found half of them, even the virgins, that had lamps, that also went forth from the pollutions of the world and the customs of men, to be such as lost their precious souls (verse 12) which they should not have done, had they been under the Covenant of Grace, and so not under the law.

2. They may attain to a great deal of honour in the said company of professors, that which may be accounted honour, insomuch that they may be put in trust with church affairs, and bear the bag, as Judas did. I speak not this to shame the saints, but, being beloved, I warn them; yet I speak this on purpose that it might, if the Lord will, knock at the door of the souls of professors. Consider Demas!

3. They may attain to speak of the Word as ministers, and become preachers of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, insomuch that the people where they dwell may even take up a proverb concerning them, saying, "Is he among the prophets?" his gifts may be so rare, his tongue may be so fluent, and his matter may be so fit, that he may speak with a tongue like an angel, and speak of the hidden mysteries, yea, of them all; mark that, and yet be nothing, and yet be none of the Lord's anointed ones, with the Spirit of grace savingly, but may live and die under the curse of the law (1 Cor 13:1-4).

4. They may go yet further; they may have the gifts of the Spirit of God, which may enable them to cast out devils, to remove the biggest hills or mountains in the world; nay, thou mayest be so gifted as to prophesy of things to come, the most glorious things, even the coming of the Lord Jesus Christ to reign over all His enemies, and yet be but a Balaam, a wicked and a mad prophet (2 Peter 2:16; Num 24:16-25).

5. There may not only stand thus for awhile, for a little season, but they may stand thus till the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ with His holy angels; ay, and not be discovered of the saints till that very day. "Then all those virgins arose,"-the wise and the foolish; then! when? why, when this voice was heard, "Behold the Bridegroom cometh, go ye out to meet him" (Matt 25:1-6). And yet were out of the Lord Jesus Christ, and yet were under the law.

6. Nay, further, they may not only continue in a profession till then, supposing themselves to be under the grace of the Gospel, when indeed they are under the curse of the law, but even when the Bridegroom is come, they may still be so confident of their state to be good, that they will even reason out the case with Christ why they are not let into the kingdom of glory, saying, "Lord, Lord, we have eaten and drunk in Thy presence; and Thou hast taught in our streets." Nay, further, "Have we not prophesied in Thy name? and in Thy name have cast out devils?" Nay, not only thus, but, "done many," mark, we have "done many wonderful works." Nay, further, they were so confident, that they commanded, in a commanding way, saying, "Lord, open to us." See here, I beseech you, how far these went; they thought they had had intimate acquaintance with Jesus Christ, they thought He could not choose but save them; they had eat and drunk with Him, sat at the table with Him, received power from Him, executed the same power. In Thy name have we done thus and thus; even wrought many wonderful works (Matt 7:22; Luke 13:25,26). And yet these poor creatures were shut out of the kingdom. O consider this, I beseech you, before it be too late, lest you say, Lord, let us come in, when Christ saith, Thrust him out (Verse 28). Hears you cry, "Lord open to us," when He saith, "Depart, I know you not"; lest though you think of having joy, you have "weeping and gnashing of teeth."

Third. But the third thing touched in the question was this-What may such an one receive of God who is under the curse of the law?

1. They may receive an answer to their prayers from God at some times, for some things as they do stand in need of. I find in Scripture that God did hear these persons that the Apostle saith were cast out (Gen 21:17). "And God heard the voice of the lad," even of cast-out Ishmael; "and the angel of God called to Hagar" which was the bond-woman, and under the law (Gal 4:30). "out of heaven, and said unto her, Fear not; for God hath heard the voice of the lad where he is." Friends, it may be you may think, because you have your prayers answered in some particular things, therefore you may suppose that as to your eternal state your condition is very good. But you must know that God doth hear the cry of a company of Ishmaelites, the sons of the bondwomen, who are under the law as a Covenant of Works. I do not say He hears them as to their eternal state, but He heareth them as to several straits that they go through in this life, ay, and gives them ease and liberty from their trouble. Here this poor wretch was almost perished for a little water, and he cried, and God heard him, yea, He heard him out of Heaven. Read also Psalm 107:23-29. "He gave them their desire, but He sent leanness into their soul" (Psa 106:15). 7

But some may say, Methinks this is yet more strange that God should hear the prayers, the cries of those that are under the law, and answer them. Answ. I told you before, He doth not hear them as to their eternal state, but as to their temporal state; for God as their Creator hath a care for them, and causeth the sun to shine upon them, and the rain to distill upon their substance (Matt 5:45). Nay, He doth give the beasts in the field their appointed food, and doth hear the young ravens when they cry, which are far inferior to man (Psa 147:9). I say, therefore, that God doth hear the cries of His creatures, and doth answer them too, though not as to their eternal state; but may damn them nevertheless when they die for all that.

2. They may receive promises from the mouth of the Lord. There are many that have promises made to them by the Lord in a most eminent way, and yet, as I said before, are such as are cast out and called the children of the bond-woman, which is the law-"And the angel of God called to Hagar out of Heaven," that was the bond-woman, saying, "Fear not; for God hath heard the voice of the lad where he is. Arise, lift up the lad, and hold him in thine hand; FOR I WILL MAKE HIM,"-mark, there is the promise,-"for I will make him," of the son of the bond-woman, "a great nation" (Gen 21:17,18).

3. Nay, they may go further; for they may receive another heart than they had before, and yet be under the law. There is no man, I think, but those that do not know what they say, that will think or say that Saul was under the Covenant of Grace; yet after he had talked with Samuel, and had turned his back to go from him, saith the Scripture, "God gave him another heart" (1 Sam 10:9). Another heart, mark that, and yet an out-cast, a rejected person (1 Sam 15:26,29). Friends, I beseech you, let not these things offend you, but let them rather beget in your hearts an inquiring into the truth of your condition, and be willing to be searched to the bottom; and also, that everything which hath not been planted by the Lord's right hand may be rejected, and that there may be a reaching after better things, even the things that will not only make thy soul think thy state is good now, but that thou mayest be able to look sin, death, Hell, the curse of the law, together with the Judge, in the face with comfort, having such a real, sound, effectual work of God's grace in thy soul, that when thou hearest the trumpet sound, seest the graves fly open, and the dead come creeping forth out of their holes; when thou shalt see the judgment set, the books opened, and all the world standing before the judgment-seat; I say, that then thou mayest stand, and have that blessed sentence spoken to thy soul, "Come, ye blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world" (Matt 25:34).

[Objection to this head.] But, you will say, for all this, We cannot believe that we are under the law, for these reasons-As, First. Because we have found a change in our hearts. Second. Because we do deny that the Covenant of Works will save any. Third. Because, for our parts, we judge ourselves far from legal principles; for we are got up into as perfect a Gospel order, as to matter of practice and discipline in church affairs, as any this day in England, as we judge.

[Answer to reason first.] That man's belief that is grounded upon anything done in him, or by him only, that man's belief is not grounded upon the death, burial, resurrection, ascension, and intercession of Jesus Christ; for that man that hath indeed good ground of his eternal salvation, his faith is settled upon that object which God is well pleased or satisfied withal, which is that man that was born of Mary, even her first-born Son-that is, he doth apply by faith to his soul the virtues of His death, blood, righteousness, etc., and doth look for satisfaction of soul nowhere else than from that, neither doth the soul seek to give God any satisfaction as to justification any other ways; but doth willingly and cheerfully accept of and embrace the virtues of Christ's death, together with the rest of His things done by Himself on the cross as a sacrifice, and since also as a priest, advocate, mediator, etc.; and doth so really and effectually receive the glories of the same, that thereby-mark that-thereby he is "changed into the same image, from glory to glory" (2 Cor 3:18). Thus in general; but yet more particular-

1. To think that your condition is good because there is some change in you from a loose profane life, to a more close, honest, and civil life and conversation; I say, to think this testimony sufficient to ground the stress of thy salvation upon is very dangerous. First, because such a soul doth not only lay the stress of its salvation besides the man Christ Jesus that died upon the cross; but secondly, because that his confidence is not grounded upon the Saviour of sinners, but upon his turning from gross sins to a more refined life,-and it may be to the performance of some good duties-which is no Saviour; I say, this is very dangerous; therefore read it, and the Lord help you to understand it; for unless you lay the whole stress of the salvation of your souls upon the merits of another man-namely, Jesus-and that by what He did do and is adoing without you, for certain, as sure as God is in Heaven, your souls will perish. And this must not be notionally neither, as with an assenting of the understanding only; but it must be by the wonderful, invisible, invincible power of the Almighty God, working in your souls by His Spirit such a real, saving, holy faith, that can, through the operation of the same Spirit by which it is wrought, lay hold on and apply these most heavenly, most excellent, most meritorious benefits of the man Christ Jesus, not only to your heads and fancies, but to your very souls and consciences, so effectually, that you may be able by the same faith to challenge the power, madness, malice, rage, and destroying nature either of sin, the law, death, the devil, together with Hell and all other evils, throwing your souls upon the death, burial, resurrection, and intercession of that man Jesus without (Rom 8:32-39). But,

2. Do you think that there was no change in the five foolish virgins spoken of (Matt 25:1-3). Yes; there was such a change in those very people, that the five wise ones could give them admi