The Spiritual Nature and Enlightening Efficacy of the Moral Law
Psalm 19:8
The statutes of the LORD are right, rejoicing the heart: the commandment of the LORD is pure, enlightening the eyes.

The purity of the law, if there were no other evidence, is sufficient to establish the fact, that it is the commandment of the Lord. We wish to set before you the moral law in its essential and Divine purity. During the patriarchal ages there was no written document bearing the sanction of a Divine moral law. Tradition, so long as man is eider fallible or fallacious, cannot possibly, for any length of time, from a channel for truth. By and by it pleased God to inscribe with His own finger upon tablets of stone the substance of those floating intimations which He had made from time to time to His servants of old. The law was ordained for something beyond the mere curbing of transgressions; its further object was to detect, expose, and condemn the transgressing principle; in other words, by the purity which it developed and enforced to enlighten man's eyes upon the character of God, the extent of his own moral ruin, and the absolute necessity of the restoration of the moral principle. The human soul never was suffered to lose an intuitive sense of the simple fact that there is a God; but having assented to this simple fact, the human mind, by its own light, made no further progress towards the discovery of the Divine character. We attribute this failure to moral rather than physical causes. The intellect was not so much in fault as the heart. Man's favourite sins were thought by him not only to experience the Divine toleration, but even to form no insignificant elements in the Divine character, so that he had nothing to do but to turn over the records of the pagan theology, whensoever he wished to place some act of crime under the protection and the patronage of the god of lust, or fraud, or violence. It was in order to afford some remedy for this dreadful evil — in order to vindicate His own character as well as to elevate that of His creatures, that God published His moral law. The tenor of the law proclaimed at once the high strain of moral perfection belonging by right of nature to the God with whom we have to do. But does man like these ordinances? Do these definitions of duty suit his feelings? If he confess the truth he will confess that he hates such instruction. Many, however, even with the law of God in their hands, are never brought to this confession. They have not been led to see the mighty moral difference between the mind that originated and the minds that received the law. This comes of carelessness and prejudice. Upon the careless generalising of human with Divine systems of law the whole mistake hinges about Christian morals. But human laws only touch actions. Divine laws touch morals, that is, touch motive and action in conjunction. Therefore I am a transgressor of Divine laws if motive as well as action do not tender homage and obedience. Bring human perfection, of whatever nature, side by side with the perfection of the moral law, and of the first the end appears at once. The law shows us our moral ruin, our spiritual death But "Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to everyone that believeth."

(T. E. Hankinson M. A.)

Parallel Verses
KJV: The statutes of the LORD are right, rejoicing the heart: the commandment of the LORD is pure, enlightening the eyes.

WEB: Yahweh's precepts are right, rejoicing the heart. Yahweh's commandment is pure, enlightening the eyes.

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