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By William Huntington - 1745-1813
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But perhaps my unknown friend may ask why this dispensation of the Spirit is called a law? To which I answer, first, because of its binding power; the cords of everlasting love, the bond of peace, and the girdle of truth, will hold the soul faster than all the lifeless commandments in the world, whether they be from heaven or of men. Secondly, it is called a law, because of its constraining power; "the love of Christ constrains me," says Paul; it is a powerful constraint from evil, and mightily influences the mind to that which is good. Thirdly, Because of the obedience it produces; the blessed Giver of this law circumcises our hearts, that we may love the Lord our God with all our heart and with all our soul, that we may live, Deut. 30:6. It produces the fruits of the Spirit, which is evangelical obedience; we are taught of God to love one another by the love of God shed abroad in our hearts, which is attended with filial fear that keeps us from departing from God, Jer. 32:40. God directs our work in truth by it, Isa. 61:8; and works our works in us, Isa. 26:12; he works in us an inclining and moving power, "both to will and to do of his own good pleasure," Phil 2:13. Well may this be called the law of the Spirit, when it produces such spiritual obedience; well may the desire of the righteous when it comes be called a Tree of Life, Prov. 13:12; seeing it produces love, joy, peace, meekness, temperance, etc.

This law of the wise is called a fountain, because it plays all its productions high enough to reach the spring from whence it is supplied; evangelical obedience springing from the Spirit of life and love, directed to the glory of God as the believer's chief end, makes the assembly of the saints like a garden enclosed, a spring shut up, or a fountain sealed, Song of Solomon 4:12.

This law of the Spirit of life produces more real obedience to God in one hour than ever hath been produced by all the rules that have been drawn by human wisdom from killing snares. This law of the wise is Christ's yoke that is easy, and it is his burden that is light, Matt. 11:29, 30.

Those souls that are under this are "the circumcision that worship God in the Spirit, rejoice in Christ Jesus, and have no confidence in the flesh." God wrote this law on our hearts and in our minds does He put it, (Jer. 31:33).

This is the law that goes forth of Zion, not from Sinai, and is the word of the Lord that went from Jerusalem, (Micah 4:2); and those that receive it are the people "that keep the commandments of God and the faith of Jesus," Rev. 14:12. By this law are the servants of God warned, and in keeping this there is great reward, for charity abideth forever, Psa. 19:11.

This is the holy commandment delivered unto us, from which legions have continually departed, 2 Pet. 2:21; because it was only delivered to them in the letter of it, not put into them as a fountain of life. Hence they begin in the Spirit, or with the dispensation of the gospel, and end in the flesh, or under the killing letter.

The law of the wise may be called a fountain of life, because it quickens the dead soul, and raises it to a lively hope; it produces that life which the law promised but could not give because we could give it no obedience; but this law enables a soul to live unto God, to live by the faith of the Son of God; it produces a lively motion toward God; it is attended with life and peace, and enables us to love God that we may live eternally with Him.

Thus, Sir, the believer is not without law to God, for God has written His law in his heart, and he is under this law to Christ as his eternal Head, King, and Ruler. And I think this is speaking as the oracles of God, and preaching it is doing the work of an evangelist, and making full proof of the ministry, much better than telling poor blind souls to look with one eye to Christ, who is our life, and the other to the law, which is death; and it is better than bringing rules of life from a law which is the strength of sin; or telling people that the rule of life is implied in the killing letter; or that it appears from the fitness of things; when we know that a living soul serving God in the oldness of the letter are things that can fit in no better than has darkness and light; the eye of faith and the blinding veil; perfect liberty and a yoke of bondage; real love and a gendering to fear; a display of mercy and a revelation of wrath; one working friendship and the other the motions of sin and vengeance. Are these the things that will fit; or what is the fitness that rises from them? I should like to hear the author again on this matter.

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