Samuel Rutherford on the promissory part of the law and the rewards of the gospel

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Reformed Covenanter

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... But the difference is, 1. That no obedience is accepted in the Gospel without a Mediator, not so in the Law. 2. That the Law is given in its strictest bargain, to a holy, perfect nature, the Gospel to a lamed, wounded and dead sinner. 3. The Law giveth, by way of debt, not excluding boasting in some measure, not that Adam could merit an infinite crown, by a piece finite-work, or could do beyond obligation, more then we; but because, for holy works, by strict covenant, without the Mediators grace, without pardon, the worker might claim his wages humbly, yet glorying, he had won them by nature’s good deeds, and by works, and for works, not of grace. When Paul saith, Rom. 4.2. If Abraham hath whereof to glory, it’s not before God. He meaneth not, that justification by the works of the Law giveth ground of boasting, or glorying in our selves.

For 1. a conditional proposition can conclude nothing positively. 2. He speaketh of glorying, as chap. 3.27. comparatively. Law-justification is more like glorying, then grace; for Angels cannot boast, Rom. 11.36, 37. the Gospel giveth of free grace. But 4. the law could not accept another mans imputed righteousness, that is supernatural; and to believe this required grace, and strength of a higher strain then Adam had; it demandeth but man’s own personal and perfect righteousness, and curseth the sinner for the least wryness or crookedness in the first bud, or spring of the inclinations or motions, 5. The Gospel leaveth place to repentance (which the Law doth not) and openeth a door of hope, to a lost sinner; and the special condition is Faith, that a ransom paid by Christ shall buy me a title and right to heaven, of which the Law saith nothing. 6. The Law gives a reward as a due debt, though not merit; the Gospel giveth a reward against merit. ...

For more, see Samuel Rutherford on the promissory part of the law and the rewards of the gospel.
 
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