Christ Came to Glorify the Moral Law

William Romaine, Twelve Discourses upon the Law and the Gospel (Whole Works, vol. 3, pp. x.-xi.):

“It highly concerns those persons to consider this matter well, who fancy that Christ came as a great lawgiver, to publish milder terms of acceptance than the moral law had required. They have a notion of Christ, as if he were only the publisher of some new remedial law, which abated something of the demands, and mitigated some of the rigour of the moral law. Whereas he came not to publish any new law, but to save his people from their sins committed against the old law. He came to be a Saviour, and not a lawgiver. Indeed he preached the law, but it was to bring men to the knowledge of sin, and to see and to feel their want of his salvation. But he preached nothing new. He only enforced the law in its spiritual nature, and in its full extent, shewing the length and breadth, the depth and height of the commandment. He would not have his people so much as entertain a thought of his coming to make a change in the moral law. ‘Think not,’ says he, ‘that I am come to destroy the law, I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil it:’ and he did fulfil it; for he was born under the law, and was obedient to it even unto death. The law was unalterable. It could not change, unless God’s most holy mind and will could change, which is impossible, and therefore the law being broken could not remit the deserved punishment, unless some infinitely perfect obedience should be paid, and some infinitely meritorious sufferings should be undergone in the sinner’s stead, by which the law might be magnified and made honourable. And the Lord Christ undertook to do this. He vouchsafed to obey and to suffer for his people, to obey the precepts, and to suffer the pains and penalties of the law. The law had indicted them, and found them guilty of disobedience. Christ came to obey for them, as it is written, ‘By the obedience of one shall many be made righteous.’ The law had put them under the curse, and he came to redeem them from the curse of the law. The law threatened to punish them, and he came to bear their sins, and the punishment due to them in his own body upon the tree. So that Christ came not to publish a new remedial law, but to glorify the moral law, and to demonstrate the unchangeable nature of it, since no obedience, and no sufferings, but his, which were absolutely perfect, divine and infinite, could work out such a righteousness for any one sinner, as the law required, in order to his being justified in the sight of God.”

Source:, Comment 47


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