“Election secures every minister in his station, and all the success that shall attend his labours. It has been observed that those, who have been the most forward at lampooning me for an Antinomian, have been the greatest novices in divinity; and, while they have been contending for the law as the only rule of life, they have preached the greatest confusion, discovered the greatest ignorance of the nature of the law, and have evidently appeared in the strongest bondage: “He that leadeth into captivity shall go into captivity;” he that binds grievous burdens on other men’s shoulders goes a sure way to load his own back.
No wonder that legions are flocking back to Sinai; it is a proof that the law is not dead to them, nor they to it; they begun in the Spirit before they had been killed by the letter. Their first husband, it is to be feared, is not dead, therefore they are not loosed from that law: and being adulteresses, the first husband has taken them up and brought them back, not being loosed from their old bond of wedlock, nor favoured with a writing of divorcement; therefore, as a wife of the first covenant, the eloped Lo-ruhamah is brought back, Hos. 1:6; Hos. 2-1,2; but Hephzibah, the Lord’s delight, whom He has espoused to Himself, if she goes back, will return again to her first husband, saying, It was better with me then than it is now.
Consider, Sir, and see if there be anything that you want to make you holy or happy that does not come from the law of the Spirit of life; and whether any of these things come from the law of works; whether mercy, grace, hope, or help comes from that quarter: and take heed that you do not jumble these two covenants together. One is a covenant of works, the other of grace; one is the law of death, the other the law of life; bond children are under the law; free children are under grace; they that are under grace are under the blessing, those under the law are under the curse; one are the heirs of promise, the other heirs of wrath; one are children of God, the other are children of the devil. The free-born children receive the inheritance freely, the bond children work to earn it. “The gift of God is eternal life,” “the wages of sin is death.” And in order to clear the doctrine from the charge of Antinomianism, I will inquire what this law of the Spirit of life produces, for we are told that the gospel brings forth fruit, Col. 1:6. Paul says, “the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, long-suffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance, against such there is no law.”
Now let us see what the law of the wise, which Solomon calls a fountain of life, produces. I think we shall find the same things springing from this fountain as comes from Paul’s law of the Spirit: Solomon says wisdom loves them that love her; and that love is better than a house full of sacrifices; and that, “if a man would give all the substance of his house for love, it would utterly be condemned.”
Here is what Paul calls the first fruit of the Spirit, the next is joy; “the heart knoweth his own bitterness, and a stranger doth not intermeddle with his joy.” Peace; “wisdom’s ways are pleasantness, and all her paths are peace.” Longsuffering; “the patient in spirit is better than the proud in spirit.” Gentleness; “be not hasty to go out of his sight; stand not in the evil thing.” Goodness; “the upright shall have good things in possession.” Faith; “in the fear of the Lord is strong confidence, and His children shall have a place of refuge.” Meekness; “Surely he scorneth the scorners, but he giveth grace to the lowly.” Temperance; “the righteous eateth to the satisfying of his soul.” Thus the fruits of Paul’s law of the Spirit are the same as those that spring from Solomon’s law of the wise, which he calls a fountain of life: and remember the gospel is called the ministration of the Spirit, and the law is the ministration of the letter; “the letter killeth, but the Spirit giveth life.” Solomon’s fountain of life is supplied from God in covenant, who tells us that all his springs are in Zion; therefore it is vain to expect help from Sinai. The law of the Spirit will remain what it is, notwithstanding men’s legality; and the ministration of the letter will remain what it is, notwithstanding man’s faith and love, one will ever give life, and the other will ever give death: the one will ever produce freedom, and the other will ever gender to bondage.” – William Huntington