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Jonathan Edwards on the Demand and Curse of the Law

Jonathan Edwards, in his Miscellanies, noted that God's demand for perfect obedience to the law (with its subsequent curse on any and all disobedience) spanned from the time of Adam throughout redemptive history. He wrote:

"That saying in Deuteronomy 27:26, "Cursed is everyone that continues [not] in all things contained in the law to do them," was in force before it was written in the law of Moses, even from the beginning of the world. As is evident, because, by the testimony of the Apostle, it was that curse chiefly that made the satisfaction of Christ necessary [Galatians 3:10–13]. But persons were saved by Christ before that, from the beginning of the world: the Apostle [speaks] of the covenant of grace being made with Abraham, long before the giving of the law by Moses [Galatians 3:6–9]. And the Patriarchs were saved by faith in Christ; see No. 874. But this was not but by virtue of the law of nature, the law written on the [heart], referred to and presupposed in those occasional revelations that were given before Moses. Seeing this law was especially most plainly written in the heart of Adam, so was that curse annexed."1

1. Edwards, Jonathan The Miscellanies, 833-1152 (WJE Online vol 20)

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