韦修斯论律法与福音

最后,律法的宣讲应该以何种方式和次序来配合福音的宣讲。要想解决这个问题,我们必须首先知道:1. 律法是什么;2.福音是什么。

律法指的是上帝话语中包括规定和禁令的部分,其中承诺把奖赏赐给那些顺服的人,惩罚给那些不顺服的。……任何对责任的规定都属于律法,就如尊敬的沃舍斯(Voetius)跟随先辈们谆谆教导的。

福音指的是恩典的教义,是在基督耶稣里最丰盛的救恩,是蒙拣选的罪人靠着信心领受的……如果我们以最严格的意义来看“福音”这个词,以恩典之约的形式来说,福音只包括应许,或者说福音是基督救恩绝对的彰显,因此福音本身并不规定任何责任,并无任何需要,并无任何要求,只是去相信、信靠、盼望在主里等等。但是福音向我们传递、宣告、表明,上帝在基督里所承诺应许的事,就是那些他意愿要做的事。

因此,任何对美德和责任的规定,所有的劝诫和禁令,一切的责备和威吓,以及所有回报完美顺服的应许,都属于律法。而福音则是所有能给罪人拯救盼望的事,即耶稣基督的位格、职分、状态、恩惠的教义,以及所有的应许,包括赦罪、恩典和荣耀都藉着信靠基督而得到。这是福音与律法这两个词最严格的定义,也是在这整个辩论中我们所必须持守的。

……我毫不隐藏,以我来看,新生的开始不是从宣讲律法,而是从宣讲福音而来。

——赫尔曼·韦修斯(Herman Witsius, 1636-1708),Conciliatory or Irenical Animadversions on the Controversies Agitated in Britain: under the unhappy names of antinomians and neonomians(1696), trans. Thomas Bell (Glasgow: W. Lang, 1807), chapter XVII.


Finally, it is required, in what manner and order the preaching of the law should accompany that of the gospel. To the determination of which question, we must first know, 1) what is understood by the law, and 2) what by the gospel.

1) The law here signifies that part of the Divine word which consists in precepts and prohibitions, with the promise of conferring a reward upon them who obey, and a threatening of punishment to the disobedient.  …Every prescription of duty belongs to the law, as the venerable Voetius, after others, hath inculcated to excellent purpose.

2) The gospel signifies the doctrine of grace, and of the fullest salvation in Christ Jesus, to be received of elect sinners by faith. …If we take the word gospel in a strict sense, as it is the form of the testament of grace, which consists of mere promises, or the absolute exhibition of salvation in Christ, then it properly prescribes nothing as duty, it requires nothing, it commands nothing, no not so much as to believe, trust, hope in the Lord, and the like. But it relates, declares, and signifies to us, what God in Christ promises, what he willeth, and is about to do.

Therefore every prescription of virtues and duties, all exhortations and dissuasions, all reproofs and threatenings also all the promises of a reward in recompense of perfect obedience, belong to the law. But to the gospel appertains whatever can give a sinner the hope of salvation, namely, the doctrine concerning the person, offices, states, and benefits of Jesus Christ, and all the promises wherein is included the pardon of sins, and the annexed possession of grace and glory, to be obtained by faith in him. This is the strictest notion of both words, to which we must attend, in the whole of this disputation.

… I do not conceal, however, that in my judgment, the beginning of the new life is not from the preaching of the law, but of the gospel.

—— Herman Witsius (1636-1708), Conciliatory or Irenical Animadversions on the Controversies Agitated in Britain: under the unhappy names of antinomians and neonomians(1696), trans. Thomas Bell (Glasgow: W. Lang, 1807), chapter XVII.

发表评论

此站点使用Akismet来减少垃圾评论。了解我们如何处理您的评论数据