“Two Laws and Their Operation” American Sentinel 14, 44, pp. 689, 690.

THE apostle Paul, speaking as a Christian and for every Christian, to the Romans, said: “The law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death.”

Paul was a transgressor—a law-breaker; insomuch that he spoke of himself as the “chief of sinners.” This is what he was when this divine law took hold of him—the law of God against whom he had transgressed. And that law set him free. This is not the way human law deals with the transgressor.

Human law, when it takes hold of the transgressor, shuts him up. It takes away his freedom. It restrains him, curtails his power. It puts a veto upon him. It is simply an acting negative, and is not meant to be anything more.

But far otherwise with the law of God, under the provisions of the gospel. In Jesus Christ, the law of God is altogether a positive force, operating upon the [690] transgressor not to curtail his power, not to put him under bonds or behind bars, but in the opposite direction. It is a law of liberty.

Human law contents against crime, and operates by shutting up the criminal; the divine law contents against sin, und [sic.] operates by liberating the sinner.

And under the present order of things, and so long as Jesus Christ remains the Saviour of sinners, the law of God is designed to operate only in this way. When finally that law takes effect upon the transgressor, merely as a law of condemnation, it will put him forever out of existence.

Is it not evident, then, that these two laws are altogether different in nature—different in their aims, in their operation, and in the spheres to which they belong? Is it not evident that these two systems will not blend into one, and that no human power can operate them both?

This being evident, as it must be, what only could be the outcome of an effort to incorporate the Bible into the civil law of the land, and so place “all Christian institutions, usages, and customs on an undeniable legal basis” in that law? This is what the National Reform party and its numerous and powerful allies are now aiming to do, and hope to do by their proposed “Christian Amendment” to the Constitution. Can anything else than a complete miscarriage of justice result from the attempt to blend two systems of law so essentially different in character? and must not the same result ensue from any act which embodies the principle of this unnatural and really impossible union?

This is why the SENTINEL stands opposed to every scheme which would make religion or a religious institution a subject of civil legislation.

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