Buchanan: The Law Was Not Relaxed But Republished

If the original law required perfect obedience, could it be abrogated, or even relaxed, otherwise than by God’s authority? If it was not abrogated, but republished, at Sinai, was it relaxed by Christ, when He repeated it, saying, ‘Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thine heart, and thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself,—for on these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets,’ or when He expounded its spiritual meaning in His sermon on the mount? Did He come to abrogate, or relax, that eternal rule of righteousness, of which He said,—‘I am not come to destroy the law and the prophets, but to fulfil,’—‘Heaven and earth shall pass away, but one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law till all be fulfilled?’ Or did His Apostles exceed their commission when they said, ‘Do we then make void the law through faith? God forbid! yea, we establish the law?’

—James Buchanan, The Doctrine of Justification: An Outline of Its History in the Church and of Its Exposition from Scripture (Edinburgh: T&T Clark, 1867), 286.

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