Posts Tagged ‘Republication’

Reading through Turretin’s section on the ‘Covenant of Grace and Its Twofold Economy’ has been simply brilliant. Speaking of the Mosaic Law, he picks up the idea of the “spirit of bondage” (Rom 8:15):

This bondage, the spirit of bondage attended (adjusted to the servile economy, Rom. 8:15), which commonly wrought a servile fear of God, the judge, and a dread of punishment. From this continual anxiety and solicitude as it were by the law and its threats sounded daily in their ears (more than alacrity) by the doctrine of grace preached sparingly and somewhat obscurely; not that believers were absolutely destitute of the spirit of adoption…, but because it excited emotions suitable to that condition, in which the heir being still a child did not differ much from a servant.

Hence rigor and severity arose from the legal discourses frequently mingled and the promises of grace repeated somewhat rarely and obscurely; also through compulsion, by which they were impelled to duty through fear of punishment rather than from the love of God and of righteousness; Moses continually like a hard master with his rod, not so much persuading as extorting obedience. Here belongs the terrible apparatus under which the law was given, by which not only the people, but Moses himself also is said to have been terrified. That rigor was not without purpose; the wantonness of Israel could hardly otherwise be thoroughly tamed, whom moses and the other prophets so often reproached for its hard neck and adamantine hearts.
Institutes of Elenctic Theology, volume 2, Section 12, p. 229.

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