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Written by R. Anna Phillips   


CHAPTER II—A NEW AND LIVING WAY—THE LAW

How strange a process to be killed to law and made alive to grace!---”that as sin hath, reigned unto death, so might grace reign through righteousness unto eternal life by Jesus Christ. For in that; he died, he died unto sin once; but in that he liveth, he liveth unto God.” “Likewise reckon ye [who have passed from death to life], yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God.” What a paradox! The gate of death is the door of life. The very thing that is killing is making alive. The very waters that walled up to save Israel, destroyed Pharaoh, the very element that bore up the ark drowned the world. The very justice of God that we thought doomed us to eternal death hath raised us up to eternal life. He led us by a way we knew not---the very ,state and conditions that of a lost sinner---that we thought was our inevitable ruin, ensures us saved. How different from what we planned and expected? We thought if we were sinless creatures we might be saved, but to be exceeding sinful lost us every chance; while the truth is the former cuts off from all hope, and the latter brings us to the only hope. We warred with the element that alone seals us saved. Salvation is by grace and for sinners only. Ah, but we would be good sinners, as with some little merit about us. Then your acceptance (admitting it) would base on a mixture of incongruous elements; and, however little the good or merit proportioned to your bankrupt state, it is an addition to the amount for value received, it would frustrate grace; because grace is inconceivable to any and all merit. So if salvation is by grace it is no more of works, “otherwise grace is no more grace.”
Then, to be a sinner--an empty-handed sinner, though it weighs us down with inexpressible grief and self-loathing the one thing needful on our part to bring us to Christ, or rather to bring Christ to us, and wrap us all around with his own robe of righteousness, For his mission into the world was to call, not the righteous, but sinners to repentance--to seek and to save lost sinners.

Then we truly say we were led by a way we knew not--the way of a godly sorrow--of beggarly; lost, and starving condition. And this beggarly want and sorrow is the gift of God though it brings its writhing victims to say “God be merciful to me a sinner,” it shall triumph and bring to a state secure in the folds of salvation wherein he will cry with joy “who shall lay anything to my charge? it is God that justifies me. Who shall condemn? It ‘is Christ that died for me.”

But a brother, of New York, questions my position as to the law and says the Mosaic was given to national Israel alone. Another asks What about the law of sin and death? and another, of infant salvation?

The law of sin and death, as first in order, was by Adam. By eating the fruit forbidden, Adam fell under this law. This fruit represented its species and this law represented its species, so to speak, or a first system given to man embracing the laws of nature, among which, and directly concerning him, were the laws of his well-being, mentally, morally and physically. This first disobedience opened his eyes to knowledge of good and evil--to see and to read these unwritten laws in himself and all nature.

In looking upon himself, for instance, he read the law of personal need and shame, and so hid himself and began to invent a covering. In looking abroad upon the face of inanimate nature--upon the visible things of creation, he not only read the laws of God, intuitively discerning the distinction between good and evil, and that it was profitable to accept the good and refuse the wrong, but also seeing a true principle in every system, in every kingdom, he clearly saw the same in the invisible things of God, “even his eternal power and Godhead” and that by right as his Creator demanding upon him to follow the good and refuse the evil; as also that thus doing was, God’s glory and his good--that these were inseparably linked together, practically. And hence, leaving him not only “without excuse” to do evil; but, with this grand incentive to do good. Nevertheless, he was fallen.

Thus by “man sin entered into the world and death by sin so that death passed upon all for that all have sinned.” Rom., 5:12. This refers to adults, but all human creatures are manifested in the world as Adam or flesh fallen. The motions of sin are in infants “but sin is not imputed where there is no law’’ yea, “without the law sin is dead.” Rom. 7:8. During natural infancy and childhood one is not capable of comprehending law---is not come to a knowledge of good and evil and are therefore without law: as Paul explains when he, says ‘I was alive without the law once [in childhood], but when the commandment came [a knowledge of good and evil with more mature years]”sin revived and I died.” Rom. 7:9.  Yet “sin was in the world”---sin was in them as entailed by Adam, and they were in a helpless and lost condition.  But John said “Behold the Lamb of God that taketh away the sin of the world;” or “who buying the field for the sake of the treasure hid therein [that is, ‘the world for the sake of his people hid therein], and who were “children of wrath even as others;” and thus transferring their allegiance from the old to the new owner or master, took away the restraint that held them in common, banished. From God in nature: nevertheless death---corporeal death---reigned even over infants and all who had not sinned practically or “after the similitude of Adam’s transgression,’’ John, 1: 29, Rom., 5: 14: And thus, all men were left and held personally responsible for their own practical offenses, though fallen and subject to death and to be judged by Jesus Christ according to his Gospel. Rom. 2:16; see also 2:6-10.

Then so sure as Jesus took away the sin. of the world, and died for, and came to seek and save, the helpless and lost, will every infant--every child not come to a knowledge of good and evil, thus dying, be saved;. For his plan of salvation is an infant plan---these :little ones, and these only. Accordingly, we see one under conviction and condemnation for: sin; it is his own personal practical offenses, and not Adam’s. I know it was my own sins, that trouble me, I never even thought of Adam. Also we see. the adult must be adapted to this child-plan of salvation; except he is converted from his manhood,--his own strength, means and methods, and becomes as a little child, he cannot see the Kingdom of God---yes, as utterly helpless and dependent as a little child, to see or enter the kingdom of heaven. Mat. 18:3; Luke, 18:16. Then instead of preaching infants to hell,” as accused, we preach an infant plan that saves every one of them, whether natural, or become so by the power and operation of God: in: a spiritual sense.

And when one thus enters the Kingdom, it is the “‘spirit of life in Christ Jesus who has made them free from the law of sin and death.” Rom. 8:2; and were quickened from “death in trespasses and in sin.” Eph. 2:1.

But the Mosaic law? True, it was given to national Israel alone, and applies to Jews: only. But remember, “he is not a Jew who is one outwardly; neither is that circumcision [in a spiritual and Gospel sense], which is outward in the flesh: but he as a Jew which is one inwardly, and circumcision is that of the heart in Spirit, and not in the letter.” Rom., 2:28,29, The distinguishing feature---the sign and seal of a national Jew is circumcision, to which answers faith in a spiritual Jew. As that confirmed one a Jew under the legal, so faith confirms one a Jew under the Gospel covenant. God Sends forth the sharp lacerating knife of conviction and repentance killing you to the law and to sin, leaving a broken heart and contrite spirit, whence faith springs from the heart laceration, an answering witness with the blood from the dead body of Jesus testifying to redemption from the curse of the law:, and seal you a Jew a spiritual Israelite--a born Son of God.

All unbelievers are Gentiles in a Gospel sense: and all Gentiles are under the law of sin and death. All believers are Jews in the same sense; and all believers are under the Gospel law of grace. The legal and gospel are the two Covenants. The legal temple with its fixtures and service “are the figures of the true” of the gospel temple. And--to sum it up--as circumcision is the sign and seal of a legal or national Jew, so faith is the, sign: and seal of spiritual or gospel Jew. All unbelievers---Gentiles---are, without---of the world---the kingdom of darkness. So we see these are as separate as antagonistic nations. But just as the ethical import of the Mosaic law, aside from that pertaining to the tabernacle or ceremonial service, extends and applies to all men so as to bring them guilty before God in violation, so the moral import of the gospel law aside from:, that pertaining to special church service is extended and applies to the whole world, so as to bring all men guilty before God for violations of the same! For these special laws are confined to Jews, whether as national under the legal, or Spiritual under the gospel system: and no Gentile or unbeliever may observe them.

Thus the Mosaic law was binding upon all, whether Jew Or Gentile; for though the Gentiles had not the letter, God made their conscience a law-power, monitor and interpreter, as to moral import; just as the heathens---without the letter---arc, intuitively, today and forever. For herein God is no respecter of persons: for “as many. as have sinned without law [in letter--Bible] shall perish without law [or lettered condemnation], and as many as have sinned in the law [having the letter], shall be judged by the law: for when the Gentiles which have the law [in letter], do by nature the things contained in the law, these having not the law [as the heathens,, in letter are a law unto themselves which have the law written in their hearts [as I said of Adam], their conscience also bearing witness, and their thoughts the meanwhile accusing or else excusing one another,” Therefore in the day when God shall judge the secrets of men their every deed--by Jesus Christ according to this gospel, We will know that not the hearers but the doers shall be justified. Rom.,c.2. Also that all men whether Jew or Gentile, civilized or heathen, whether having the letter of Moses or Christ or having both or neither, are under the import of the law of God, whether found in Adam, Moses, or Christ, and shall be judged by his gospel law.

But as the Ceremonial law pertaining exclusively to the tabernacle service; was obligatory upon Jews only; so while the moral import of the New Testament is obligatory upon all men, that pertaining exclusively to church service of the ordinances, is obligatory upon church members only. And for such to neglect or reject them is a crime. So also, for unbelievers to touch or attempt them is a crime; for instance, for an unbeliever, an outsider, to partake of the Lord’s Supper would be a sin a profanation.

So we see the gospel church spiritual Israel--is free from the law of sin and death, and free from the Mosaic as “a ministration of death.” while the moral import of both, so ‘far from being abrogated by faith, is transferred from tables of stone to the fleshy tables of heart and established in the gospel kingdom and observed as unto Christ.

Indeed, the relative position of the church to law is that of a true natural wife, whose husband himself assuming them releases her from every legal obligation and demand formerly or otherwise bearing upon her: thus making her “free indeed”---as hid---lost in him. But this relationship releasing her from these, brings her under law to her husband her, now, sole law-giver, to obey whom comprises her whole duty,-in which law-obeying, she bas honored his name and lives in the approving health-giving light of his countenance; but disobeying which, also, what grief more poignant than to have wounded--offended --the best beloved! For the rewards and penalties of this law are through the medium of mutual love that brings both home to abide in personal body.

But one sister has asked, “Did Moses die in reality or only in figure?” Another, “for the best proof of being dead to Moses or the law, and alive to Christ”); and writes complainingly because it seems she cannot find her spiritual birth-day (I arrange these questions so as to answer two at once). I believe that Moses really died, and that God buried him: but not till the passage of the Red Sea, and the tempest and smoke and fire at Sinai; no, till he had brought Israel to Mount Horeb overlooking the land of Canaan near the borders of Jericho; all of which has meaning in experimental sense. Moses was guide from Egyptian bondage--school-master to instruct and bring in knowledge to Christ at Mount Horeb, where he ceased---died. The mysteries of his death and burial--the place of his grave--together with the transfer of leadership to Joshua, is typical, not only of personal transfer from nature to grace or from law to gospel; but also of the character and office work of Jesus Christ in the one work of’ salvation and justification to eternal life and inheritance of his people as Redeemer, King, Priest, and Mediator; through all of which we see the one mortal body born in a manger and fin ally lifted from the lowest hell and transferred to the highest heaven--once crowned with cruel thorns, now crowned with a double crown of royalty--the body once dwelling in dust now dwelling in light and immortality: yes, the Man whose heart reproach had broken--whose soul was sorrowful unto death; whom God had smitten and forsaken--whose body was scourged and crucified, finally raised and exalted to the right hand of the Majesty in the heavens and crowned with glory and honor as with the doubly royal crown of King and Priest to God. But who knows the precise time of transfer from one to the other? Who: knows when, where, and how his mortal body was made spiritual? “It doth not yet appear.” But by the given figures of Joshua, the high priest, who had “a fair miter set on his head,” and his “filthy garments taken away” and he was clothed with a change of raiment”---Zech., 3:4,5---we know Jesus was clothed with a change of body--outer raiment-and the fair miter of the royal priesthood after the order of Melchizedek and after the power of au endless life, was set on his head. And we have as much right to say that the work of salvation by Jesus Christ is not complete, or that it is doubtful because we cannot see and know and understand the precise “when?” and “how?” and “to what?” were the changes of his body, as to say we are not born of God because we cannot; point to the precise time and place cannot put our finger on the very grave of Moses or the law as do, ad to us personally, or by the sight of its death, burial, and grave-mound. But by faith in God’s Word we know Moses was buried--that death to us through Jesus Christ was abolished, and light and immortality was brought to light through the gospel.

But always remember the law by Moses was never given as a means or chance-system of eternal salvation, as whereby man by obedience might be saved; nothing of the sort. But it ,”was added”---added, mind you--long after creation--long after man had fallen under the law of sin and death, and became utterly corrupt--and “because of transgression till the seed [Christ] should come to whom the promise was made.” Gal., 3: 9. Then the law entered not to save from offense, but “that the offense might abound.” Rom., 5: 20--”that sin, that it might appear sin,” even exceeding sinful, as thus pointed out-specified and legally condemned by the just and holy law of God. Rom., 7: 13. For though Jesus had taken away the sin of the world; man was still a fallen sinner--sin was still in the world, but not imputed as there was no law. A man might kill a fellow man and not be counted a murderer. But after this law was added saying “thou shalt not kill,” let him then continue to kill, and he is now a transgressor--a murderer as legally found and condemned. And now by the extent of that law covering, and dominating the whole moral scope practically, the whole world was brought guilty before God; and man’s offenses abound as now condemned for violation against the unwritten, natural, spiritual and moral laws of God. Not that man has grown more sinful, but that this added law searches out and legally condemns their sins that were as dead without this law, but that now coming revives sin--that makes sin to appear sin as against God’s law; even as exceeding sinful as against all former laws and now also against this, legally forbidding and condemning it. That in his purpose every mouth might be stopped and all the world be found guilty before God--where all the world stands to-day--already condemned if they only had eyes opened to see it-as showing that by deed of the law shall no flesh be justified in his sight: but that the righteousness of God without the law, yet as witnessed by the law and the prophets, even the righteousness of God by faith in Jesus Christ was wherein he could be just and the Justifier of his people. For God would maintain his justice; and thus stop the mouth of the world as thus found guilty and without deed of law in which to trust: and the mouth of the believer from boasting as found without strength and helpless. Thus this law was not given, as so many seem to think, to save, or even give a chance to one to save himself; but legally to prove, demonstrate as abounding, and condemn sin. Hence it has no life; it is indeed a “a ministration of death.”

Then have we realized we have felt this condemnation? Do we realize any signs of life in Christ? any evidences, that we love the brethren? If so, then we are as certainly dead to Moses, Do we find a liberty--a freedom in Christ? If so, then “that of that law, wherein we were held” is destroyed. Yet how often even while confessing we have passed the Red sea--compassed Sinai--followed the pillar of fire by night and cloud by day--that we have drank water from the flinty rock--have even seen the misty Mount Horeb, though with eyes too holden to see a grave there or in the valley below; yet because holden and we cannot see and mark our spiritual death night to the law and our spiritual birth-day to the Lord, we are doubtful of that death and of that life and so contend with the tempter till faith, which only can defeat him comes to the rescue and says, “THE LORD rebuke thee, O, Satan !”

Last Updated ( Thursday, 05 October 2006 )
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