1. That the 'law was given by Moses' (Joh 1:17) represents the unanimous belief both of the early Christians and of the Chosen Nation. He was their first as well as their greatest law-giver; and in this matter religious tradition is supported by all the historical probabilities of the case. The Exodus and the subsequent wanderings constitute the formative epoch of Israel's career: it was the period of combination and adjustment between the various tribes towards effecting a national unity. Such periods necessitate social experiments, for no society can hold together without some basis of permanent security; no nation could be welded together, least of all a nation in ancient times, without some strong sense of corporate responsibilities and corporate religion. It therefore naturally devolved upon Moses to establish a central authority for the administration of justice, which should be universally accessible and universally recognized. There was only one method by which any such universal recognition could be attained; and that was by placing the legal and judicial system upon the basis of an appeal to that religion, which had already been successful in rousing the twelve tribes to a sense of their unity, and which, moreover, was the one force which could and did effectually prevent the disintegration of the heterogeneous elements of which the nation was composed.
2. We see the beginning and character of these legislative functions in Ex 18:16, where Moses explains how 'the people come unto me to inquire of God: when they have a matter they come unto me; and I judge between a man and his neighbour, and make them know the statutes of God, and his laws (t
and Jesus answer'd, Let it be so for the present, for it becometh us to do whatever is right. then John consented.
Don't think that I am come to abolish the law or the prophets: I am not come to abolish, but to complete them.
Don't think that I am come to abolish the law or the prophets: I am not come to abolish, but to complete them. I assure you, heaven and earth may as well cease to be, as that one jot or one tittle of the law should fail of its completion.
I assure you, heaven and earth may as well cease to be, as that one jot or one tittle of the law should fail of its completion.
I assure you, heaven and earth may as well cease to be, as that one jot or one tittle of the law should fail of its completion. whoever therefore shall break any commandment, tho' of the least importance, and shall teach men so to do, shall not have the least admittance into the kingdom of the Messias: but whoever shall do and teach them, he shall be great in the kingdom of the Messias. read more. for I declare to you, that except your righteousness shall exceed that of the Scribes and Pharisees, ye shall not enter into the heavenly kingdom. Ye have heard that it has been said to the antients, "Thou shalt not kill: and whosoever shall kill, shall be punish'd by the tribunal." but I say unto you, that whosoever is angry with his brother without a cause, shall be punish'd by the tribunal: and whosoever shall say to his brother, Raca, shall be punish'd by the Sanhedrim: but whosoever shall say, thou fool, shall be punish'd by the fire of Gehenna. When therefore you bring your gift to the altar, and there remember that your brother has reason to be displeas'd with you: leave your gift before the altar, go, and first of all reconcile yourself to your brother; then come to offer your gift. endeavour to win your adversary, even whilst you are in the way: left the adversary deliver you to the judge, and the judge deliver you to the officer, and you be thrown into jayl. I assure you, you will not be discharged till you have paid to the very last farthing. Ye have heard that it was said, "Thou shalt not commit adultery," but I tell you, that whosoever looks on a woman with impure desires is already guilty of approving the fact. If your right eye insnare you, it is better to pull it out, and to suffer the loss of that single part, than that thy whole body should be cast into Gehenna. and if thy right hand insnare thee, it is better to saw it off, and to suffer the loss of that single part, than that thy whole body should be thrown into Gehenna. It hath been said, whoever shall put away his wife, let him give her a bill of divorce. but I say unto you, whoever shall put away his wife, except in the case of adultery, is the occasion of her being an adulteress, and he that shall marry her is an adulterer. Again, ye have heard that it hath been said to the antients, "Thou shalt not for swear thy self, but shalt perform unto the Lord thine oaths." but I say unto you, swear not at all; neither by heaven, for it is God's throne: nor by the earth, for it is his footstool: nor by Jerusalem, for it is the city of the great King. neither shalt thou swear by thy head, because thou canst not make one hair white or black. but let your communication be, yes, yes; no, no: for whatever goes beyond this, is evil. Ye have heard that it hath been said, "An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth." but I say unto you, don't return evil for evil; on the contrary, if any one strike thee on thy right cheek, turn to him the other likewise. and if any man will go to law with you, to have your coat, let him have your cloke too. and if any one will press you to go a mile with him, go with him the other two. give to him that asks you, and from him that would borrow of you turn not away. You have heard that it hath been said, "you shall love your neighbour, and hate your enemy:" but I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them who traduce you, and persecute you: that ye may be the children of your father who is in heaven, for he causes his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust. but if you love only them who love you, what reward can ye have? do not the heathens themselves do as much? and if ye salute your brethren only, what mighty matter is that? do not even the heathens do the same? be ye therefore perfect, even as your father who is in heaven is perfect.
At length Jesus finished his discourse, and the people were fill'd with astonishment at his doctrine.
and Jesus said to him, take care not to tell any man, but go thy way, shew thy self to the priest, and offer the gift that Moses commanded, that it may be a testimony against them.
or have ye not observed in the law, what a work the priests made in the temple on the sabbath-day, without being blamed? now I tell you, that the work now in hand, is of greater consequence than that of the temple.
and he answer'd, which of you all that should have one of his sheep fall into a pit on the sabbath-day, would not bestir himself, and lift it out?
but if I exorcize devils by the spirit of God, then the kingdom of God is set up among you. besides, how could any one enter into the house of a man of might to rob him of his goods, except he first master the strong man? and then indeed he might plunder his house. read more. "He that is not for me, is against me: and he that is not active for me, is a Deserter."
the queen of the south shall rise up at the day of judgement against this generation, and shall condemn it: for she came from the remote parts of the earth to hear the wisdom of Solomon, and now a greater than Solomon is here.
but he answered, my commission was only to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.
however, lest we should give offence, go you to the sea, throw in a book, and take the first fish that strikes: then open its jaws, and you will find a piece of money: that take, and give it to them for me and thee.
The Pharisees likewise came to him, and maliciously propos'd this question, may a man lawfully put away his wife at discretion? and he answered them, have ye not read, that when the creator, at the beginning, made male and female, read more. he said, "for this cause shall a man leave father and mother, and be attach'd to his wife: and they two shall be one flesh?" so that they are not now two, but one. what therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder. why then, said they, did Moses permit to give a writ of divorce to repudiate the wife? he answer'd them, 'twas because of your perverse temper that Moses suffered you to repudiate your wives: but from the beginning this was not in practice. and I tell you, that whoever shall put away his wife, except it be for adultery, and shall marry another, he committeth adultery: and whoso marrieth her that is put away, causeth her to commit adultery.
as the son of man came not to be ministred unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for all.
but the Pharisees hearing that he had dumb-founded the Sadducees, they met together in council. In the mean time one of them, a Doctor of the law, to try him, started this question, master, read more. which is the most important commandment of the law? Jesus said to him, "thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind." this is the first and most important precept, and the second has an affinity with it, "thou shalt love thy neighbour as thy self." these two precepts comprehend the substance of all the law and the prophets.
for this represents my blood, the blood of the new covenant which is shed for mankind for the remission of sins.
Another time, as he was going through the corn-fields on the sabbath-day, his disciples as they pass'd along began to pluck the ears of corn. upon which the Pharisees said to him, pray observe how they trespass on the sabbath-day. read more. but he replied, have ye never read what David, and the rest of the company did, when they were press'd with hunger? how he went into the house of God in the days of Abiathar, who was afterwards high-priest, and did eat the shew-bread, giving some of it likewise to the company, though the law allow'd no body to eat of it but the priests. adding this observation, "the sabbath was made for man, and not man for the sabbath."
adding this observation, "the sabbath was made for man, and not man for the sabbath." therefore the son of man has a power of dispensing with the law of the sabbath.
the Pharisees watched Jesus, to see if he would heal him on the sabbath-day, that so they might accuse him.
in vain do they worship me, teaching for doctrines the institutions of men." for laying aside what is of divine appointment, you stick to their human traditions, about the washing of pots, and cups, and many other the like practices. read more. You are in the right, said he, to abolish the laws of God, to make way for such traditions. Moses said, "honour thy father and thy mother;" and, if any one speak contemptibly of his father, or his mother, let him be put to death. but your doctrine is this, if any one shall tell his father or his mother, that what he could bestow for their relief, is corban, that is, to be given to the temple; you discharge him from the obligation of doing any thing for his father or his mother. by such traditions, and such a number of practices, as you have settled, the word of God is stript of all its authority. Then Jesus having called all the people to him, said, attend every one of you, and understand. there is nothing from without, that entring into a man can defile him: but that which originally proceeds from the man, is what defiles him. he that hath ears to hear, let him hear. When he withdrew from the people into the house, his disciples ask'd him the meaning of that maxim. and he said, are you likewise so void of understanding? don't you perceive that what passes from without into a man cannot defile him? because that does not enter into his heart, but into the belly, whence it is discharg'd, the purest part of the food being left for nutrition.
because that does not enter into his heart, but into the belly, whence it is discharg'd, the purest part of the food being left for nutrition. but, said he, that which proceeds from a man, is what defiles him: read more. for from within, from the heart of man proceed wicked designs, adulteries, fornications, murders; thefts, avarice, malice, fraud, impudence, envy, scandal, pride, vanity. all these vices come from within, and are what defile the man.
but Jesus remain'd silent, and gave no answer. then the high priest asked him again, and said to him, art thou the Christ, the son of the most High?
The eighth day, when the child was to be circumcised, being come, he was named Jesus, the name, which the angel had given before his conception.
they delivered to him the book of the prophet Esaias, and upon opening the book, that passage occurr'd, where it is written, "the spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor, he hath sent me to heal the broken hearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovery of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised, read more. to proclaim the favourable year of the Lord." then he closed the book, and returning it to the minister, he sat down: and as the eyes of the whole synagogue were fix'd with attention upon him, he undertook to show them, how the passage they had heard, was actually then accomplished.
Then a doctor of the law stood up to try him, saying, master, what shall I do to inherit eternal life? to whom he answered, how does the law run in that case? what do you find? read more. he replied, 'tis thus, "thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, with all thy soul, with all thy strength, and with all thy understanding; and thy neighbour as thy self." you have answered well, replied Jesus, do this, and you shall live. but he being desirous to clear himself, said to Jesus, but what is meant by our neighbour? to which Jesus answered, a certain man, as he was going from Jerusalem to Jericho, fell among thieves, who stripp'd him, and beat him, then march'd off leaving him half dead. a certain priest happen'd to be travelling that way, who look'd upon him, and then pass'd on. a Levite too came to the same place, gave him a look, and pass'd on. but a certain Samaritan being on the road, came where he was, and when he saw him, he took compassion on him, went up to him, dress'd his wounds by applying oil and wine, then set him upon his own mule, and brought him to an inn, where he took care of him. upon his departure the next day, he took out two denarii, and gave them to the master of the house, take care of him, said he, and I will repay you all the charges you are at, upon my return. which now of the three do you think was neighbour to the man that was robb'd. he, reply'd the doctor, who took pity on him. then said Jesus to him, go then, and imitate his example.
While he was speaking, a Pharisee invited him to dine his house, where he went, and sat down at table. but the Pharisee was surprized to see that he did not wash before dinner. read more. upon which the Lord said to him, you Pharisees won't leave any filth upon the outside of a cup or a platter: while your consciences are abandon'd to rapine, and sensuality. do you stupidly imagine that he, who made the outward man, did not make the inward too? be but charitable to the utmost of your ability, and every thing will be pure to you.
and must not this daughter of Abraham, whom satan has held bound these eighteen years, be disengag'd from this bond, on a sabbath-day? at which all his adversaries were confounded. but the people were highly pleased, at the glorious actions which he perform'd.
the law and the prophets were the only rule till John's time: since when, the kingdom of God has been proclaim'd, and all sorts of people strive to be members.
for take notice, that scripture, "and he was number'd among the transgressors," is yet to be accomplished in my person: and all that relates to me is going to be consummated.
then beginning at Moses he explain'd all the passages there, and in all the prophets, which related to himself.
the law indeed was delivered by Moses, but grace and truth was the dispensation of Jesus Christ.
the law indeed was delivered by Moses, but grace and truth was the dispensation of Jesus Christ.
but as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the son of man be lifted up:
and immediately the man was healed, and took up his bed, and went his way: but that day being the sabbath, the Jews said to him that was cured, it is the sabbath-day; it is not lawful for you to carry your bed. read more. he answered them, he that cured me said to me, take up your bed and walk. then they asked him, who is he that said to you take up your bed and walk? and he that was healed, did not know who it was: for Jesus had slip'd away, by favour of the crowd that was there. sometime after Jesus met him in the temple, and said to him, you see you were cured: sin no more, lest you suffer something worse. then the man departed to acquaint the Jews, that it was Jesus who had cured him. upon which occasion the Jews persecuted Jesus, and sought to slay him, because he did such things on the sabbath-day. But Jesus answered them, my father works without intermission, and so do I. therefore the Jews were the more eager to kill him, because he had not only violated the sabbath, but likewise, because he had said that God was his proper father, making himself equal with God. upon which Jesus said to them, verily, verily I say unto you, the son can do nothing of himself, except he sees the father do it: for whatever he doth, that the son does likewise. for the father loveth the son, and sheweth him all that he himself doth: and he will shew him greater works than these, so that you will be surprized.
it is written in the prophets, "they shall be all taught of God." every man therefore that hath heard the father, and been instructed by him, cometh unto me.
I am the living bread, that is come down from heaven: whosoever shall eat of this bread, shall live for ever: and the bread that I will give, is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world.
are you greater than our father Abraham, who is dead? the prophets likewise are dead: pray, what do you then pretend to be?
thereupon some of the Pharisees said, this man has no divine mission, because he does not observe the sabbath. but said others, if he be an impostor, how can he do such miracles? and there was a schism among them.
They therefore again call'd the man that had been blind, and said to him, in the name of God tell the truth: for we know that this man is an impostor.
Jesus answered them, is it not written in your law, "I said ye are Gods?"
but one of them named Caiaphas, being the high priest at that time, said to them, ye don't know what you are about.
verily, verily I say unto you, when a corn of wheat is thrown into the ground, there it lies a single grain unless it dies: but if it die, it becomes very fruitful.
Upon which the people said to him, we have learnt from the law, that the Messiah is to live for ever: why do you say then, the son of man must be lift up? who is this son of man?
so that the passage is fulfilled that is written in their law, "they hated me without a cause."
the Jews answered him, we have a law, and by our law he ought to die, because he pretended to be the son of God.
know then, my brethren, it is by him, that the remission of sins is offer'd to you:
How then can we assert, "that Abraham our father obtained this from circumcision?" for if Abraham was justified by works, he had matter of pretension, whereas he had no such claim from God. read more. for what saith the scripture? "Abraham believed God, and it was counted to him for righteousness." the reward is not counted as a favour to him that has done good actions, but as a debt: whereas he that trusts in God to be made righteous, tho' he has not done such actions, shall find his faith accounted as righteousness.
the law was introduc'd, that the greatness of the fall might fully appear; but the more sin display'd its enormity, the divine favour was so much the more transcendent.
Do we then conclude, that the law is the cause of sin? by no means; but I should not have had such a notion of sin, had it not been for the law: for I should not have known concupiscence was a sin, unless the law had said, "thou shalt not covet." but sin receiving strength by the commandment, wrought in me all manner of concupiscence. for before the law sin appear'd dead. read more. then it was I once liv'd secure; but when the prohibition came, sin exerted it self, and I was in a dying condition: and the commandment which leads to life was instrumental to my ruin. for sin getting power by the commandment, deceived me, and by it slew me. wherefore the law is holy; and the commandment holy, and just, and good.
wherefore the law is holy; and the commandment holy, and just, and good. was it then good that brought death upon me? no, but it was sin, that sin might show it self by being able to bring death upon me by means of that which is good; that sin, I say, by the commandment might appear to be exceedingly destructive.
was it then good that brought death upon me? no, but it was sin, that sin might show it self by being able to bring death upon me by means of that which is good; that sin, I say, by the commandment might appear to be exceedingly destructive. for we know that the law is spiritual: but I am carnal, sold a slave to sin. read more. what I do I allow not: for what my mind leads me to, that do I not; but what I have an aversion to, that I do. if then I do what I in my mind am against, the consent of my mind is, that the law is right. now then, it is not wholly I that do it, but the sinful passions that dwell in me. for I experience, that in the carnal part of me dwells no good: for it is familiar to me, to will, but not to execute that which is good. for the good that I purpose to do, I do not: but the evil which I resolve against, that I do. now if I do that which my mind is against, it is not meerly I that do it, but sin that dwells in me. I find then a settled custom, that evil is objected in my way whenever I have a mind to act well: for my mind takes delight in the law of God, but I perceive in the animal part of me another law warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin, which is in my animal part. O wretched man that I am, what shall deliver me from this body of death?
for the christian dispensation of a spiritual life has set me free from the legal state of sin and death. God having sent his own son invested with a body like that of sinful men, as a sacrifice for sin, thereby destroyed its power; which the law could not effect, human nature being in such a corrupted state.
but Israel, who followed the law of justice, hath not attained to the law of justice.
because being ignorant of the justice which is of God, and going about to establish a justification of their own, they have not submitted themselves to that which is of God.
as to the married, I enjoin this rule, not as from my self, but from the Lord, that a woman should not leave her husband:
renouncing all secret dishonesty, and void of all artifice, I deliver the word of God unadulterated, and recommend my self by urging the truth home to every man's conscience, as in the presence of God.
for by one law, I am dead to the other law, that I might live unto God:
Is the law then opposite to the promises? by no means. for if there had been a law given, which could have given life, certainly justification should have been by the law.
so that the law was our school-master to bring us to Christ, that we might be justified by faith.
Now I say, that the heir, as long as he is a child, is in a state of servitude, tho' he is to be lord of all; being under tutors and guardians, 'till the time prefix'd by his father. read more. even so we, whilst we were children, were in a state of servitude to the elements of the world. but when the time appointed was accomplished, God sent forth his own son born of a woman, and subject to the law, to redeem those,
God sent forth his own son born of a woman, and subject to the law, to redeem those, who were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons.
bear with one another's infirmities, and so fulfil the law of Christ.
and be his true disciple, not professing that justification, which is derived from the law, but that which is from the gospel,
and be his true disciple, not professing that justification, which is derived from the law, but that which is from the gospel,
Let no man condemn you, from an affectation of humility, in worshipping of Angels, boldly prying into matters which he knows nothing of, being vainly puft up with his Jewish conceits:
besides Moses throughout his whole administration acted in quality of a servant, representing to the people what he was order'd to say.