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The Gospel 24/7
By William Huntington - 1745-1813
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If the ten commandments in the letter be the believer's only rule, Abel, who obtained witness that he was righteous, God testifying of his gifts, had no rule to go by, Enoch walked with God three hundred years, (Gen. 5:22) and "was translated that he should not see death, for before his translation he had this testimony, that he pleased God." (Heb 11:5); yet he had no rule of life. Noah the just, who took warning of God, prepared an ark, condemned the world, and became heir of an everlasting righteousness, was without rule. Abraham, the friend of God, and the father of the faithful, and heir of the world, must walk at an uncertainty also. Melchisedek, king of righteousness, and king of peace, priest of the Most High God; after whose order Christ is a priest forever and ever, had no rule for his order. Yea, all the antediluvian and post diluvian saints, down to the time of the children of Israel's compassing the Mount Sinai, must be left to walk and to worship at random; for, if the letter of the law, or the ten commandments delivered at Sinai, be the believer's only rule of life, it is clear they were without that rule. Yet they were not without law to God, for they feared Him, loved Him, and walked with Him; and saw Him at a distance and embraced Him, were united to Him, and became one spirit with Him.

I have sometimes wondered why these ancient saints should be set forth with the encomiums of being God's friends, walking with Him, obtaining witness that they were righteous, obtaining promises, obtaining good report, as strangers and pilgrims upon earth, of whom the world was not worthy, seeking an heavenly country, and a city that hath foundations, despising all worldly pleasure, self, and honor, leaving their own house, home, and country, without any desire to return thither; and why we should be commended to go forth by the footsteps of this flock, and be said to be compassed about with this cloud of witnesses, and be directed to follow those who through faith and practice now inherit the promises; when we know that if they were on earth, in this refined age, they would be ranked among the worst of Antinomians.

It is strange that the believer is not commanded to look to Moses the law giver, and to the bondwoman that is under the law, instead of looking to Abraham our father, and to Sarah that bare us, whom God called alone, and blessed and increased. (Isaiah 51:2). Paul would have us tread in the steps of the faith of our father Abraham, the promise that he should be the heir of the world, was not to him, or to his seed, through the law, Rom. 4:12,13; and yet affirms, that as many as are of faith are blessed with faithful Abraham. And this promised blessing, and promised heirship, was given to Abraham, and to his seed, four hundred and thirty years before the law, or before our only rule of life was given.

What rule had those glorious pilgrims to walk by, who obtained so good a report, or so good a testimony from God? Paul tells us that Abel offered to God, and obtained witness that he was righteous by faith; then faith was his rule of walk; and Noah condemned the world by faith; then faith was his rule of judgment. "By faith Abraham, when he was called, went out not knowing whither he went," then faith was his rule, by which he took his journey, though he knew not whither, and his obedience was the obedience of faith. But if he had been favored with our only rule of life, he might have known whither he was going, and not have gone in ignorance, and his obedience would have been the obedience of the law instead of faith.

But Paul will have it that all Abraham's children are in the same strait that their father was, for they walk by faith, not by sight. But if the letter of the law be the only rule that the believer is to walk and live by, then he walks by sight, not by faith; he looks at the things that are seen, not at the things that are not seen. If it is by faith that Moses saw Him who is invisible, then by faith we must look at the things that are not seen, which are eternal.

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