who rejected Christ observed them, and thought thereby to win salvation. But it will be
evident to all men of understanding that in such matters the Injil did not abrogate the Torah, but explained the spiritual meaning of the Ceremonial Law, and insisted on the
necessity of rendering this spiritual service to God. It was in this sense that Christ
Himself said: "Think not that I came to destroy the Law or the Prophets: I came not
to destroy, but to fulfil. For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass away, one
jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass away from the Law, till all things be
accomplished" (Matt. v. 17, 18). What we have now said may suffice to show in what
way Christianity deals with the Jewish Ceremonial Law.
With regard to the Moral Law, on the other hand, as we have already said, it is in the
nature of the case impossible that it should ever be abrogated. The New Covenant, so far
from abrogating the Moral Law as taught in the Old Testament, amplified and emphasized its
meaning and requirements. For example, murder was forbidden in the Torah (Exod. xx. 13;
Deut. v. 17) : but Christ declared that this command was transgressed not only by killing
a human being, but by permitting angry feelings in the heart, which if unchecked would
lead to the desire to kill (Matt. v. 21, 22). In the Torah God had forbidden adultery (Exod.
xx. 14; Deut. v.18): but Christ declared that a lustful glance and thought were a breach
of this law in God's sight (Matt. v. 27, 28). He also said that, though Moses had
permitted divorce because of the hardness of men's hearts, yet those who practised divorce
for any cause but the one which rendered it necessary were guilty of adultery, and of
causing others to commit it (Matt. v. 31, 32). The Torah forbade men to forswear
themselves, but bade them, if they swore, to take an oath in God's name, and keep it (Exod.
xx. 7; Lev. xix. 12; Deut. vi. 13). In our Lord's time the Israelites were accustomed to
use oaths lightly in ordinary conversation. Christ told them that the
need for taking oaths at all arose from evil, from men's common habit of speaking falsely.
He bade them abstain altogether from this light taking of oaths when not necessary, and
always to speak the truth without an oath (Matt. v. 33-37). The Torah commands to love
one's neighbour as oneself (Lev. xix. 18). The Jews applied this rule to those who were of
their own nation, and in ordinary speech, when quoting this injunction, used to add the
words, "and hate thine enemy." Christ commands love even to our enemies (Matt.
v. 43-48). The best and most God fearing men in Moses' time probably found it a hard task
to restrain their wrath, and abstain from murder when offended. It was also difficult to
obey the other commandments which prohibited theft, adultery, and covetousness. But
perhaps in Christ's time the influence of God's Holy Spirit and the teaching of the
Prophets had made these things possible for all but the very worst of the Jews. Hence the
time had come for an advance in the teaching of the Moral Law, and to show how much more
exacting were its demands than even the best of the Israelites realized. Through the life
and example of Christ, and through the grace of the Holy Spirit, even the very humblest of
His true followers were enabled to reach a higher level of obedience to the Moral Law than
the very best of men had done before. The Law of Moses prohibited evil actions, that of
Christ forbids not only evil actions, but even evil thoughts. The Law of Moses was
negative, that is to say, prohibitory in its teaching; the Law of Christ is positive, not
merely saying, "Thou shalt not do evil," but, "Thou shalt do good."
Under the Mosaic Law men were condemned for having done evil: under Christ's law men are
condemned for not having done good. Hence in one of His Parables Christ condemns the
priest and the Levite who did not help the man wounded by the robbers (Luke x. 30-37), and
in another the servant who had hid in a napkin the pound which he should have used for his