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Of the Abrogation of the Covenant of Works on the
part of God.

I. HAVING sufficiently considered the violation of the covenant by sin; let us now enquire whether, and how

far it is made void, or abrogated by God himself.

II. And first, we are very certain, that there are many things. in this covenant of immutable and eternal truth, which we reckon up in this order: 1st, The precepts of the covenant, excepting that probatory one, oblige all, and every one to a perfect performance of duty, in what state soever they are. 2dly, Eternal life, promised by the covenant, can be obtained upon no other condition, than that of perfect, and in every respect complete, obedience. 3dly, No act of disobedience escapes the vengeance of God, and death is always the punishment of sin. But these maxims do not exclude a surety, who may come under engagements in man's stead, to undergo the penal ty, and perform the condition. But we shall speak of this afterwards, and now proceed to what has been proposed.

III. It is indeed a most destructive heresy to maintain, that man, sinful and obnoxious to punishment, is not bound to obedience. For by no misconduct of man, can God forfeit his right and supremacy; but the right and supremacy of God requires, that man, and even every creature be subject in all respects to God, so far as possible. Moreover, the rational creature, such as sinful man is, and does continue to be, can be subject, not only to the natural, but also to the moral providence of God; nor only to his vindictive justice, but also to his legislative authority; and as he can, so he ought to be subject to him, as to the obligation of obedience, because every possible subjection is essential to the creature.

IV. If the sinner who deserves punishment was not sub ject to the law, he could no longer sin, and therefore by one sin he would set himself free from the danger of farther sin ning; for where no law is binding, there is no transgression, no sin, which John defines to be the transgression of the law, 1 John iii. 4. But nothing can be imagined more absurd, than that man by sin has acquired an impeccability.

V. Moreover, according to this hypothesis, all sinners would be equal, and an equal degree of punishment remain for every one; which is contrary, both to sound reason and scrip


ture, where the inequality of sins and punishment, is so often inculcated.

VI. There is a plain passage, Gal. v. 3. which confirms, that even by the promulgation of the new gospel covenant, the breakers of the covenant who are without Christ, are not set free from that obligation of the law, which demands perfectobedience, but continue debtors to do the whole law.

VII. Nay, even in a human court, the penal compact is deemed an additional compact, adding to the principal convention, and consequently not abrogating, but accumulating the former obligation. Much less at the bar of God, can the obligation to punishment, arising from the violation of the covenant, abrogate the primary and principal obligation of the law, whereby the covenant was ratified.

VIII. Arminius therefore, (in Epist. Præstantium viro rum, p. 173.) very basely refuses, that God, when man once fell from the state of innocence, and became obnoxious to punishment, even of right required obedience of man, as if God had forfeited his right by man's obedience. He makes use of these arguments: 1st, Because when man is in a state of sin, he is not in covenant with God; therefore there is no contract between God and man, by which he can require obedience; for by what reward, what punishment, can he give sanction to the law, since man, for the disobedience already committed, has forfeited the reward, and is become obnoxious to punishment? 2dly, As God has, because of sin, deprived man of ability and power to fulfil the law, so by this very thing he has signified, that he will no longer require man to fulfil it, unless he restore his ability, nay he cannot in justice do it. If any shall say, Could therefore the creature be exempted from the right or authority of the Creator, as no longer to be bound to obey him? He answers, Yes, indeed, if the creature be accursed, and the Creator reckon it unworthy to require obedience from it; for it is the highest punishment so to conclude the sinner under sin, as not to require any more obedience from him, that being an evidence of irreconcileable anger, namely in that state. 3dly, The law itself, to be performed, is such, as it would be unbecoming, it should be performed by a sinner who is out of the favour of God. He is commanded to have God for his God, to love, honour, and adore him, to put his trust in him, to use his name with reverence, &c. is it probable that such an obedience is required of him who is under the curse of God? Thus far Arminius, whose arguments deserve to be carefully examined.

IX. We begin with the first. Arminius supposes a great many things in this argument, which we cannot admit ; such as, that all the obligation of man arises from the covenant, that the law does not oblige, but in so far as it is enforced by rewards and punishments; that God cannot threaten a greater punishment, after man is once become obnoxious to the penalty; now, since we deny all this, so if we prove them to be false, as we hope to do, there will not remain the least appearance of force in this argument. The obligation of man to obedience is not founded first and principally on a covenant, but in the super-eminent sovereignty, majesty, and holiness of God; and every rational creature, from a consideration of these, is bound to be subject to his sovereignty, adore his majesty, and form himself according to the example of his holiness. God would not be the absolute sovereign, if any rational creature existed which was not bound to take the rule of its actions from him; and therefore in regulating its actions was not subject to God. God would not be the supreme Majesty, if there was any rational creature who was not bound to acknowledge, worship, adore, and be subject to him in every respect. God would not be perfect in holiness, if any rational creature existed, who was not bound to acknowledge that holiness as most worthy of imitation. As God is such a being, he cannot but require to be acknowledged to be so. The creature cannot acknowledge him in this manner, without owning its obligation at the same time to obey him, who is the first, the most high and most holy God. Which we have here explained and proved more fully, chap. iii. sect. 8. Moreover, it is not true that the law is not binding, but because of the sanction of rewards and punishments. The principal obligation of the law arises from the authority of the lawgiver, and the perfect equity of all his commands. Though God had enforced his law neither by rewards nor punishments, we had been no less bound to obedience; least self-love, whereby we are led, to obtain the reward, and avoid the penalty, should be the only motive to stir us up to obey God: the reverence of the Supreme Being, and the love of holiness are to hold the chief place here; in fine, it is also false, that no further punishment will be inflicted, after that man having once broken the covenant, is become obnoxious to the penalty; for there are degrees in condemnation. And if that was true, it would not take off the obligation to obedience. It would not be lawful for a robber, condemned to be burnt alive, or broken on the wheel, or to the most cruel death that man can devise, to commit, in the mean time; a new capital crime; for Vol. I:

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as we have said, the obligation arises neither primarily nor chiefly from the penal sanction, but from the authority of the law-giver.

X. To the second, I answer, 1st, Man himself is not only the meritorious, but also the physical cause of his own impotence, which he brought upon himself by his misconduct; as if an insolent and noughtý servant should put out the candle by which he ought to carry on his master's business, or by drinking to excess, willingly render himself unfit for the service of his master. In this case, the master does by no means forfeit his right of requiring every piece of service properly due to him, and of punishing that naughty servant for nonperformance. 2dly, Though God as a just judge had deprived man of ability to fulfil the law, yet, on that account, he both will in point of right, and can require the performance of it by man. He can very justly, because no wickedness of man, justly punished by God, can diminish God's authority * over him, otherwise it would be in mans power, at his own pleasure, either to extend or limit the authority of God, which is contrary to the immutable perfection and blessedness of God. He also does require this for wise reasons, of which this is one, that sinful man may by that means be convinced of his irreparable misery, upon finding such things justly required of him, which he has rendered himself incapable to perform. And since he is as unwilling as unable to obey God, he is the more inexcuseable, the more clearly the duty of the law is inculcated upon him. 3dly, It is absurd to say, that it is the greatest punishment that God inflicts on man, not to require obedience from the rebellious creature. It is indeed true, that the creature ought to reckon it a part of its happiness to have the glory of obeying. And it is the punishment of the creature, if by the just judgment of God it is condemned, never to perform what is incumbent, and may be acceptable to God. But it is another thing to say, that God will not require obedience from it. If God requires not obedience, the creature owes none; if it owes none, it does not act amiss, by disobeying, and if it does not amiss by disobeying, that cannot be the highest punishment for it. And thus Arminius destroys his own argument; who would have spoke rightly, had he said, that it is, instead of the highest punishment to the creature, to be condemned by the just judgment of God not to perform that obedience, which God consistently with his justice and holiness requires of it. 4thly, Should we deal more closely with a bold disputant, we might say, that there is a contradiction


in the adjunct, when he supposes God addressing himself thus, I will not have thee to perform any obedience to me; for if any calls for obedience, he presupposes not only some authority by which he can require it, but also a command, which requires obedience, and which must be obeyed. Whoever by his authority gives such a command, requires that obedience be yielded to it. If he should give another command to this purpose, I will not have you to obey me, he would then contradict himself; nay, contradict the nature of the command, which consists in an obligation to obedience. 5thly, It is the highest absurdity imaginable, that a creature shall, by its sin, obtain exemption from the authority of the Creator, and be no longer bound to obey him. If this is true, then the first of all deceivers spoke truth, that man, by eating the forbidden fruit would become as God. Whoever is exempted from the authority of the Creator, is under the authority of none, is at his own disposal; in fine, is God. For to be at one's own disposal, is to be God. Ah! how ridiculous is this!

XI. The third argument is no less weak. For, 1st, The sum of the law is, to love God with all the heart, mind, and strength, and our neighbour as ourselves. As this is reasonable in itself, so it cannot but be proposed as such by God to man; for conscience itself, even that of the most abandoned, will bear witness with God to the reasonableness of this. What? is it not certain that God is the chief good, consequently the most amiable? Can he be unwilling that any should acknowledge him as the chief good, or to be what he really is, what he cannot but be? Is he not the supreme majesty? Can he be unwilling to be honoured as such, with the most submissive reverence? 2dly, Arminius urges, that the law also commands us to trust in God. It does so; what can be more right, what more becoming, than that man, even a sinner, should be bound to believe the testimony of God, should give him this glory, namely, that he alone both can and will justify the ungodly, that he should seek him even when angry, hunger and thirst after his righteousness, and willingly endeavour to be for his glory; namely, that God may be glorified and admired in him by his justification and glorification by free grace; and that he should neither neglect the salvation which God has most surely revealed, and neither despise nor reject the Saviour? This is to trust in God; and will any pious person ever doubt of the probability, nay, even of the most infallible certainty of this, that man under the curse of God till now, is not called upon to this? 3dly, He will still urge, that when he speaks

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