One of Works, the Other of Grace

A very interesting portion from the works of William Huntington worth reading. He makes note of two covenants and explains the Mosaic covenant was indeed a covenant of works.

“God has two covenants, one of works and the other of grace; these are called the law of works and the law of faith. The one is a ministration of condemnation, the other of salvation. One is a ministry of the letter, the other of the Spirit. One is a voice of words, the other the word of life.

They must be kept apart. William Huntington

The law is not of faith, but of works; nor is faith of the law, but of grace. The one was graven on tables of stone and written on parchment, the other is put in the mind and written on the heart. The former was a law of the hand, and might be put in the pocket; the latter is put in the mind and kept in the heart. The former is the strength of sin, (1 Cor. xv. 56,) the ministration of death, (2 Cor. iii. 7,) and of condemnation; (2 Cor. iii. 9;) the latter is the ministration of pardon, reconciliation, righteousness, life, and salvation.

To him that expects life, sanctification, or perfection by the works of the law, the reward is reckoned of debt. The law is the labourer’s rule: “This do, and thou shalt live;” his reward is of works, and if by works, then it is no more of grace. “But to him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness, his reward is reckoned of grace, (or free bounty,) and if by grace, then it is no more of works.” In the law, God’s will of commandments is made known to the servant what he will have done, and what he will have left undone, and what may be expected by the servant if tile Master’s will be obeyed. God’s will of purpose and of promise is made known by the Spirit in the law of faith to the pre-adopted sons: ” Having made known to us the mystery of his will.”

This good will of purpose reveals what is to be believed, received, and expected by the heirs of promise, and all of grace. To the sons it is given to know these mysteries of the kingdom, but not to the servants: ” The servant knoweth not what his Lord doeth;” to him it is spoken in parables, and the preaching of it is to him foolishness. These two covenants, these two rules, these two laws, together with the bond women and the free women, the child of the flesh and the child of the Spirit, the servant and the son, must be kept asunder, by an “earnest contention for the faith once delivered to the saints;” for there are certain men crept in unawares, who are ever blending these two covenants together, by vain jangling, knowing neither what they say nor whereof they affirm.

One gospelizes the ministration of the killing letter, while another legalizes the dispensation of the Spirit. One ridicules the sovereignty, impeaches the justice, and contemns the counsel of his Maker, and debases him to a level with the sinner, while another exalts the free-agency and perfection of the rebel above him. One strips the bond-child of his rule, and makes it the only rule of the son’s life; another applies God’s good-will to the briers and thorns, which are nigh unto cursing, and debases the heir of promise. Thus, one dresses up the law and robs the gospel, the other strips the heir to adorn the slave.

One sets up Moses (whose office it is to accuse the legalist) on the throne of Zion’s King, and renders the Lord’s government so imperfect, that his subjects have no rule but what is fetched from the servant, who was no more than a witness of the grace and truth which were to come by his Master; another enforces a perfect obedience to the servant’s rule, before we can obtain favour of the King, degrading the merit of the Sovereign, to exalt the servant and the letter. But as it. was in the beginning, so it is now, and ever shall be; for Moses had in old time, hath now, and will have, in every city, them that preach him.” – William Huntington

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