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The Law and the Gospel.

The Law and the Gospel.

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Published by glennpease
BY RICHARD FULLER


" For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh,
God sending- his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin,
condemned sin in the flesh : that the righteousness of the law might be
fulfilled in us, who walknot after the flesh, but after the Spirit."— Rom.
viii : 3, 4.
BY RICHARD FULLER


" For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh,
God sending- his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin,
condemned sin in the flesh : that the righteousness of the law might be
fulfilled in us, who walknot after the flesh, but after the Spirit."— Rom.
viii : 3, 4.

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Published by: glennpease on Jul 16, 2014
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THE LAW AD THE GOSPEL. BY RICHARD FULLER " For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending- his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh : that the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walknot after the flesh, but after the Spirit."— Rom. viii : 3, 4. EVE in human governments, great emergencies and the expedients devised to meet them, are objects of profound interest. With what intense concern, then, ought we to contemplate that crisis in God's administra- tion which involved the destiny of our race and the amaz- ing scheme by which this difficulty was adjusted. Everything in the history of man is strange and mys- terious — his creation, his apostasy, above all his redemp- tion. A previous celestial tragedy teaches as that a vio- lation of the divine law at once works irremediable con- clusions; but in the case of this planet there was a supra-  judicial interference. The guilt and corruption of its entire population admit of no sort of doubt; yet not only is punishment respited, but there are tokens for good, signatures and symptoms of mercy and salvation which cannot be mistaken. It is to this wonderful interposi- tion —an interposition represented in the Sacred Writings as tasking the wisdom and power of Jehovah — that our attention is this day invited. I. In elucidating our text, we must first enquire what is meant, when it is affirmed that the law is "weak through the flesh/' In itself, I need not say that no infirmity can be ascribed to the law of God. Its inherent strength and 90 Richard Fuller s Sermons.
 
virtue can never be impaired. " Of law " — such is Hook- er's thoughtful and noble language — "there can be no less acknowledged than that her seat is in the bosom of God; her voice the harmony of the world; all things in heaven and earth do her homage, the very least as feeling her care, and the greatest as not exempt from her power; both angels and creatures of what condition soever, tho' each in different sort and manner, admiring her as the mother of peace and joy." ow as the true glory of all intelligent beings is obe- dience to law — self-restraint, and not the freedom some speak of, (for what liberty has an angel but that of doing God's will ?) — and as the law of the Lord is perfect, man's highest dignity, as his only happiness, must be in con- formity to the law. But humanity is fallen. Our nature, once spiritual, is now degenerated and degraded. "The flesh " — that is, our corrupt passions — has enslaved the soul ; and thus the law — though admirably efficient to regulate anu uphold unfallen beings — is enfeebled of its capacity when addressing itself to the. children of earth. The most prolific seed will be fruitless if sown in ashes; the grain is vigorous in itself, but it is weak through the soil. The most wholesome food Avill impart no nourish- ment if received into a system unfitted to digest it; the diet is nutritious, but it is weak through the diseased or- ganism. The tube may be perfect, and the light perfect, and the artist a master of his science; but if the plate be not prepared, the daguerreotypist can obtain no pic- ture. The instrument is not deficient in itself, it is de- feated by the object upon which it would trace its images. In short, Phidias himself may hold the chisel; but what can he do if, instead of the Parian marble from which he may disclose the warm breathing statue, he works upon a lump of dirt that crumbles at every touch ? He is weak, dishonored, his consummate skill and exquisite concep- tions are reduced to utter mockery by the materials which he seeks to fashion.
 
To be more particular: "the flesh" has weakened and well nigh obliterated all sense of the law, all impressions of the law upon our conscience, so that the world is "without God" as to any practical recognition of his Th? Li'u anl the Gjxjrl. 91 morn! government. That they are under 1mm an govern- ment, all feel. From the first dawn of reason the child naturally obeys the authority of the parent. In every state there is the lawgiver, and responsibility to law is the first universal instinct, — the lowest and the highest in the realm bowing to its sovereignty. And so in all the re- lations of life, between masters and servants, husbands and wives, guardians and wards — duty, obligation are innate and habitual. But God is nobody to the great mass of human beings. His laws, his administration and the penalties by which that administration asserts its authority — where are the people who naturally acknow- ledge these ? We need not enter into any discussion as to the import of the word " law," as it is here us2d. It means the re- vealed will of God; and all possess this. We have it in the Sacred Volume; and the heathen, as the Apostle de- clares, carry it written in their own consciences; but what abiding recognition is there of this law among man- kind ? To holy beings it is a source of unspeakable de- light to live in harmony with God, in all things to have his will clearly delineated. Very different is the spirit of an apostate world. Some boldly substitute their own will for the commands of the Supreme Lawgiver; either denying his existence, or rejecting all revelation of his will. Some bury themselves in the cares and dissipations of business or pleasure, thus shunning reflection as the culprit skulks from the office r who would arrest him. —

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