R0976-7 The Law Covenant Extinct

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It was not as an expression of the will of God, but as a Covenant, that the Law was annulled and completely set aside. To illustrate: Suppose you owned a glassware establishment and employed help and had written out rules and penalties and posted them conspicuously; suppose that they provided as a penalty for each breakage, one day’s salary, and that on hiring your men you sent them first to read those rules, and then bargained with them and then engaged them with the understanding that the penalties mentioned in the rules were a part of your contract, covenant, or agreement with them. Suppose that at the close of the week their breakages had been so many as to more than offset their wages, and left them each in debt to you.

Suppose that on the same day a legacy had come to you, and that after letting your employees realize their carelessness and its cost, you said to them, I propose to meet all your breakage losses out of this legacy I have just received; and now the week for which we covenanted is expired, I engage you all for another week without asking you to enter into this agreement for next week. The rules however will remain posted up, and you will recognize them as the general expression of my wishes

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and will break as little as possible through respect for my interest, and by and by when you have become skilled, I will put substantially those same laws into the new covenant that I will then require each to enter into.

Though perhaps not a perfect illustration, this may help some to see how the Law given by Moses to Israel was violated by all, and at the end of their age there was no reward of life for any of them—they were all in debt according to their Covenant or bargain, made at Sinai. (Exod. 19:3-8. Deut. 27:9-26.) The legacy applied to cancel their debt was Christ’s sacrifice, arranged for by the Father, and freely given by our Lord the Redeemer. The second week represents the Gospel age, the Law still hangs before all, and is an indirect expression of our Father’s wishes supplemented by other rules and arrangements which show that it is no longer a covenant though its spirit pervades all the new rules. We may still use the old rules or laws to guide us as to the Master’s wishes, where we find nothing explicitly stated in the new supplementary rules (the New Testament provisions). But to refer to those Rules thus to seek the mind of the Master, and to esteem them a bondage and Covenant over us, are totally different matters.


— September, 1887 —