Antinomianism Anatomized: Two Sorts of Antinomians

Discussion in 'The Law of God' started by NaphtaliPress, Oct 11, 2019.

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  1. NaphtaliPress

    NaphtaliPress Administrator Staff Member

    John Sedgwick, Antinomianism Anatomized, or a Glass for the Lawless, Who deny the ruling use of the Moral Law unto Christians under the Gospel (London, 1643); repr. in An Anthology of Presbyterian & Reformed Literature, v. 4 (Naphtali Press, 1991).

    1. One doctrinal: such who in opinion and judgment do presume to outlaw the Law of God, making the moral Law itself, and the preaching thereof useless, both to unbelievers and believers, even a thing abrogated by the Gospel, which is as clear a dismission or making void the Law, as can be imagined. There are [those] who do reject the whole Old Testament, showing themselves therein adversaries to the Law and the Prophets: I mean among our new lights, which I thus evidence by their own sayings. One of them teaches “that no other word must be pressed upon men, or preached unto men, but the Gospel, and the promises thereof.” Another teaches, “He that makes the Law a rule of his life, whatever he be in heart, he is a Papist in practice.” And the same man was bold to vent, “that the Law was not of force to a believer, no, not as a rule.” And as if he had not spoken enough, his learned brother comes up the next day, saying, “I deny that the Law is a rule for believers. Nay, let me tell you, that it is no rule for unbelievers to walk by; it shall be a rule for God to condemn him by, but it is no rule for him to walk by.” Another of them says, “that after a man is justified by Christ, he is no more subject to the commandments of the moral Law; he must do nothing in conscience of the Law; he must not take himself to be bound to or by it.” Nay, let me tell you, beside this and the like stuff vented by them, this they hold a rule, that you may not regard anything that can be said against these, or any of their tenets, which shall be brought out of the Old Testament. If you urge them with the doctrine or examples thereof, as against their way, they presently give you this answer: “What do you tell us of these things, they concerned Christians before Christ’s time, and were done and spoken by men under another covenant and administration of grace and life then we are. Show me these and these things out of the New Testament, and then I will hearken to you.” I pray tell me, is not this to make void the Law, and to be a direct Antinomian.

    2. Another practical. This you shall observe, that “a lawless head, a lawless heart, and a lawless life, seldom are divided.” Ministers that preach against the Law, do practice against the Law, though they carry the matter smoothly and covertly. And people who are the followers and admirers of such lawless preachers, do show themselves to be sons of Belial, whose wills are the Laws; for they do profess that no Law of Moses shall bind them. They trample God’s commands under their feet, saying, Let us break their bands asunder, and cast away their cords from us.” (Ps. 2:3). It may be justly said of them as it was of Ephraim: I have written to them the great things of my Law, but they were counted a strange thing (Hos. 8:12). Mark well the place, in the Law, there was Honorabilia et eximia [the honorable and the excellent]; but the people accounted them aliena et vilia [the strange and the despicable].
     
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