The obligation to obey this law and to he conformed to God?s perfect moral character is based upon man?s original ability and the gifts which God bestowed upon him at the beginning. Created in the image of God, it is man?s duty to render back to God that which God first gave, enlarged and improved by growth and culture. ( <421923>Luke 19:23 ? ?wherefore gavest thou not my money into the bank, and I at my coming should have required it with interest?). This obligation is not impaired by sin or by the weakening of man?s powers. To let down the standard would be to misrepresent God. Adolphe Mound would not save himself from shame and remorse by lowering the claims of the law: ?Save first the holy law of my God,? he says, ?after that you shall save me!?
Even salvation is not through violation of law. The moral law is immutable, because it is a transcript of the nature of the immutable God. Shall nature conform to me or I to nature? If I attempt to resist even physical laws, I am crushed. I can use nature only by obeying her laws. Lord Bacon: ?Natura enim non nisi parendo vincitur.? So in the moral realm, we cannot buy off nor escape the moral law of God. God will not and God cannot change his law by one hair?s breadth, even to save a universe of sinners. Omar Kh-yy-m, in his Rub-yat, begs his god to ?reconcile the law to my desires.? Marie Corelli says well: ?As if a gnat should seek to build a cathedral and should ask to have the laws of architecture altered to suit its gnat-like capacity.? See Martineau, Types, 2:120.
Secondly, the law of God as the ideal of human nature. A law thus identical with the eternal and necessary relations of the creature to the Creator and demanding of the creature nothing less than perfect holiness, as the condition of harmony with the infinite holiness of God, is adapted to man?s finite nature, as needing law. It is to man?s free nature, as needing moral law and to man?s progressive nature, as needing ideal law.
Man, as finite, needs law just as railway cars need a track to guide them ? to leap the track is to find, not freedom, but ruin. Railway President: ?Our rules are written in blood.? Goethe, Was Wir Bringen, 19 Auftritt: ?In vain shall spirits that are all unbound To the pure heights of perfection aspire; In limitation first the Master shines, And law alone can give us liberty.? ? Man, as a free being, needs moral law. He is not an automaton, a creature of necessity, governed only by physical influences. With conscience to command the right, and will to choose or reject it, his true dignity and calling are that he should freely realize the right. Man, as a progressive being, needs nothing less than an ideal and infinite standard
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