- SIN, THE LAW AND
THE GLORY OF THE GOSPEL
- By Joseph Bellamy
- Preface by Bernard
- To purchase the book go to International Outreach
- The Lord Jesus Christ, just before his
death prayed these words; "And this is life eternal, that
they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom
thou hast sent" (John 17:3). The purpose of true preaching
and writing should be, that we and our hearers, come to know
this one true God and His Son. Joseph Bellamy was one who fulfilled
that mandate. He teaches us the knowledge of the true God who
gave His holy law, its usefulness in bringing a sinner to Christ
and clearly shows that Christ is the end of the law for righteousness.
- We must have some understanding of the
law before we can receive Him, who is the end of the law for
righteousness. John Bunyan wrote, "The man who does no know
the nature of the law cannot know the nature of sin; and he that
does not know the nature of sin, cannot know the nature of the
- I am very thankful that God has given
us such men as Bunyan and Bellamy, and preserved their writings
for us. We are also blessed that God has, in these last years,
raised up people who have been led to re-print their writings.
- There is much misunderstanding of the
scriptures in the present time. Some have told me that after
reading the writings of godly men of the past, they then understood
what I had been trying to teach them. I am thankful that I can
point others to Mr. Bellamy and his clear message of God's way,
in both the law and the gospel. When reading the messages he
gave us, I am reminded of what Thomas Boston (1676-1732 wrote
in his book, Human Nature In Its Fourfold State, "There
is no mixing of the law and faith in this business."
- Listen to a quote taken from the Law Our
School-Master; one of the sermons in this book: "So, although
true faith in Christ implies an hearty approbation of the law,
which cannot be without a supreme love to God, which will naturally
lay a foundation for repentance and sincere obedience; yet, it
is not this hearty approbation of the law, nor this supreme love
to God, nor this repentance, nor this sincere obedience, no,
nor the act of faith itself, that makes atonement for sin; but
only the blood of Christ according to the constant language of
the New Testament. Nor are any of these, therefore, to be depended
upon; but only Jesus Christ. Nor can faith do anything toward
justifying us, unless it unites us to Christ. For in the very
act of faith, all pretences to the divine favor on our own account,
are given up; and hell is owned to be our due.'
- In Romans 3:20-22 we read: "Therefore
by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in
his sight: for by the law is the knowledge of sin. But now the
righteousness of God without the law is manifested; being witnessed
by the law and the prophets; Even the righteousness of God which
is by faith of Jesus Christ unto all and upon all them that believe,
for there is no difference..." We find this truth expounded
by Mr. Bellamy in the messages in this book: The Great Evil of
Sin; The Law our School-Master; and The Nature and Glory of the
Gospel of Jesus Christ. I hope that you will read them all and
- Joseph Bellamy was one of the men responsible
for what became know as New England Theology although, some might
call this modified Calvinism and believe he and others moved
away from the teaching of Jonathan Edwards and older Calvinism.
I believe it might better be called refined Calvinism. There
are too few people who know both our inability and our accountability
in a right way before God. There might be less of both hyper-Calvinism
and Arminianism, if God's holiness and just requirements were
preached and taught today as in the following three messages.
To be taught these truths by God, will bring us guilty, with
our mouths stopped in repentance before God and also give the
pardon, adoption, and assurance that we can have by faith in
Christ Jesus our Lord. John 6:45
- It is very easy to come short and be confused.
The denial of these greath truths is bringing much division in
the church and, sadly, confusion before the world. Paul wrote,
"Do we then make void the law through faith? God forbid,
yea we establish the law."
- We read of some who in our time make such
statements as the following; "Our churches are committed
to a New Covenant position in which we do not preach, nor wish
to preach, the Old Testament law." I do not see Mr. Bellamy
in such a position, and I believe we can learn much from him.
- When David
Brainerd (1718-1747) was under conviction and the teaching
of God's Word and Spirit, he wrote, "While I was in this
distressed, bewildered, and tumultuous state of mind, the corruption
of my heart was especially irritated with the following things:"
He then stated four things, which he found great inward opposition
to. One of which was, "The strictness of the divine law".
- Mr. Brainerd, like Paul, had to learn
this from God's Word. He had to bow to the law that he had rebelled
against, and learn from it his sin against God and his need of
a Savior. As Paul wrote, "I had not known lust except the
law had said, thou shalt not covet". (Romans 7:7b) We can
read Paul's answer for deliverance in verse 25, "I thank
God through Jesus Christ our Lord."
- Under such a teaching from God, Paul could
also write, "Yea doubtless and I count all things but loss
for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord:
for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count
them but dung, that I may win Christ and be found in him, not
having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that
which is through the faith of Christ, the righteoueness which
is of God by faith". (Philippians 3:8-9) Paul found the
law to be holy, just and good; by it he knew that he was carnal,
sold under sin, and with that knowledge wanted to "win Christ."
- We may believe that God also taught Mr.
Bellamy these wonderful sublime truths. He comes with truth,
not lightness and lies; as God described some prophets in Jeremiah
23:32. It is my prayer that God will, because of Christ, teach
us the same truths through the words of this writer, whom, "Being
dead, yet speaketh." If we have ears to hear what the Spirit
says to the churches, then we can learn to have not only a faith
that saves, but also a "Faith which worketh by love."
"For all the law is fulfilled in one word, even in this;
Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself'. (Galatians 5:6,14)
- I close with the words of Jonathan Edwards
in a preface to another of Joseph Bellamy's works, True Religion
Delineated. "And I cannot express my sincere wishes,
that what is here written by this reverend and pious author,
may be taken notice of, read without prejudice, and thoroughly
considered; as I believe, from my own perusal, it will be found
a discourse wherein the proper essence and distinquishing nature
of saving religion is deduced from the first principles of the
oracles of God in a manner tending to a great increase of light
in this infinetely important subject--discovering truth, and
at the same time, showing the grounds of it or showing what things
are true, and also why they are true." I believe these words
are applicable to this present volume as well.
- The Lord Jesus prayed, "That they
all may be one as thou Father, art in me, and I in thee, that
they also may be one in us: that the world may believe that thou
hast sent me". (John 17:21)
- May God use the words of this book to
fulfill that prayer in us.
- Bernard Timmerman
- February 9, 1998