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"Know ye not, brethren (for I speak to them that know the law), how that the law hath dominion over a man as long as he liveth? For the woman which hath an husband is bound by the law to her husband so long as he liveth; but if the husband be dead she is loosed from the law of her husband, so then if while her husband liveth, she be married to another man, she shall be called an adulteress; but if her husband be dead she is free from that law; so that she is no adulteress though she be married to another man. Wherefore, my brethren, ye also are become dead to the law by the body of Christ, that ye should be married to another, even to Him who is raised from the dead, that we should bring forth fruit unto God." (Rom. 7:14). If Paul has any meaning I think it amounts to this, that the law has the same dominion over the sinner, that expects life or help from it by his own obedience to the rules of it, as the husband has over his wife by the law of marriage; and the law communicates bondage to the soul; which the soul naturally genders to, until the soul be pregnant with horror, despair, and misery, just as a man communicates seed to a wife, who brings forth a still-born or dead child, which is the worst of labours without any heir to satisfy the husband, as Paul aims to prove. "For, when we were in the flesh, the motions of sin, which: were by the law, did work in our members to bring forth fruit unto death, Rom. 7:5. But when God tells the poor sinner, who is so fond of being Moses' disciple, that "Moses my servant is dead;" and the soul is quickened to feel and enlightened to see that the law is a killing letter, the law of death, and ministration of condemnation; and that the soul can bring forth no fruit to God under its gendering bondage, no fruit but fruit unto death or dead works; the soul seeing a dead husband, and a dead law, that cannot give life, the soul is loosed from that law; nor is it an adulteress, nor an Antinomian, though it be married to another man. For that law has no more power over such a soul than the corpse of Anna's husband had over her, who had been a widow upwards of forty years, and had lived with an husband but seven years from her virginity, and was then waiting to be married to the consolation of Israel. (Luke 2:36) The way that the soul gets released from that law is by the body of Christ. The soul that sees that the law cursed the Savior as well as the sinner, and that the Lord died under the law; that it was the law of death to the Savior as well as to the sinner; and, finding Christ raised from the dead, it goes after him and unites with Him, and is begotten to a lively hope by His resurrection from the dead; and Christ formed in the soul the hope of glory is an incorruptible seed indeed, a precious fruit. Such are no adulteresses though they be married to another man. Nor do they deserve the name of licentious Antinomians, seeing the Holy Ghost affirmeth that this is done that they may bring forth fruit unto God, Rom. 7:4; namely, the fruits of the Spirit. If the rigorous husband of a poor simple woman be dead, according to Paul's doctrine, one would think that he could command her person, and beat her back no more; and that the other man whom she had married had got the sole and whole command of her; I am sure he has by the laws of God, and by the covenant of wedlock, or else I know not who would marry a widow to have her hunted with the commands of a ghost.
--- William Huntington – Published 1811
Excerpts from: The Righteous Glad in the Lord
"The righteous shall be glad in the LORD, and shall trust in Him; and all the upright in heart shall glory." (Psalm 64:10)
In what way is a man made righteous before God? I answer; he is not made so by any good works proceeding from himself, by his prayers, duties, and obedience, or by his faith and love to the Lord. God has made him righteous in His own way; and He has revealed it in the word of His grace. There we find that He has in sovereign mercy and discriminating grace, imputed to and laid upon the beloved Surety all the sin and transgression of His chosen inheritance, and transferred to them all the obedience, righteousness, and holiness of His beloved Son, placing it to their account as their justification; and here it is that they are exclusively righteous before God. "Of him are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom, righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption," (1 Cor. 1:30). So nothing belonging to the poor soul can be his righteousness before God; it is not his humility and prayers, nor his love and faith, and communion with God that makes him so. Neither can his fretfulness, peevishness, unbelief, nor all the devilish workings of his heart ever shake or alter it.
What a blessing is this! If you and I are among the righteous, it is because we are made so in Christ. The Apostle says, (and it is such a comfort to our souls, because it admits of no contradiction, neither sin nor Satan can overthrow it), He was, "made sin for us, who knew no sin; that," it almost makes me afraid to utter the words, they are full of such grandeur and immortal glory, and shine like a diamond set with all manner of beauty, "we might be made the righteousness of God in him," (2 Cor. 5:21). Come, poor child of God, who are cast down by looking at your wanderings of heart, carnality, and daily failings, and who perhaps have come here full of confusion, feeling yourself a helpless and wretched creature, with your head hanging down like a bulrush, look up to Jesus, He is the blessed head for the righteous, the perfect center of all glory and beauty! Look at the perfect work of Christ, He is, "the Lord our Righteousness!" "Ye are complete in him!" Nowhere else you see; the church is, "accepted in the Beloved;' and here it is she stands righteous in the sight of God! Now do you want to know when this took place? I cannot tell you: there is no date but what God Himself has put to it, and that is from eternity. Past, present and to come are all present with Him; He knew from everlasting all that should ever come to pass. "Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ; according as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world," (Eph. 1:3,4).