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PART ONE Chapter 1 HERE WERE MANY in the primitive Church who assert- ed that the rituals of the Old Law together with those of the New Law must be observed and that there could be no salvation without observing them. Their opinion was rejected by the decree of the Apostles written in the Acts of the same Apostles and repudiated most effectively by blessed Paul in his letters to the Romans and to the Galatians. Because, therefore, they were able to support the error of their position with authorities as well as fallacious arguments—and by these arguments and authorities even now the faith could waver in the minds of the weak—I will set out the points that seem to confirm their position as they occur to me, though my ability and memory are small and little. After these arguments are set out in my own way and refuted in their turn, I will also make the arguments that disprove this error and establish that the Law was made void by the grace of Christ. Chapter 2 The first argument: from the covenant of Exodus 31 1. In Exodus Moses says, “Let the children of Israel keep the Sabbath, and celebrate it in their regions. It is an everlasting covenant between me and the children of Israel, and a perpetual sign” (Ex 31.16–17). But how is the observance and celebration of the Sabbath an everlasting covenant if it is now made void? For a covenant among some persons is not everlasting unless what they agree upon among themselves remains forever. A covenant is so called either because of the act of those agree27 28 GROSSETESTE ing, or because of the thing brought into being by the common consent of those agreeing. But the action of the participants is not everlasting when in fact they have agreed among themselves that this kind of action cease. Therefore, if the covenant is everlasting , what the participants agree upon abides forever. But God and the sons of Israel are not said here to have made a covenant with each other except for the keeping and celebration of the Sabbath. And so there abides the everlasting observance and celebration of the Sabbath. Second argument: from the sign 2. Similarly, if something is a perpetual sign, it signifies forever , and if it signifies, it exists. Therefore, if something is a perpetual sign, it exists forever. The observance and celebration of the Sabbath, then, because it is a perpetual sign, exists forever. 3. Again, if something is a sign, and it is always useful and necessary that what it signifies be signified, then the annulment of this kind of sign is never useful but always harmful. If the primary signification of the sign was useful or necessary, then in fact now and earlier it is in the same way useful and necessary that what is signified be signified. And yet if someone should say that an old sign should be made void because of the coming of a new one, this can be seen to be false by many examples. For after synonymous words are established with some sign value, they do not lose the signification that the words had before they were made synonymous with each other and given the same sign value. When light signifies fire, it does not render smoke incapable of signifying the same, although smoke precedes light and gives a previous indication of fire. And when the sign is grasped and impresses what it signifies upon the mind (although the impression in the mind is reinforced through many signs for the same thing), the impression is formed more clearly in the mind and better remembered. Clearly it is not a little advantageous for a single thing to have a multitude of signs profitably understood, chiefly when that multitude is not so great that it generates confusion nor so diverse that it hampers itself in the act of existing or in manifesting what it is to signify. But the Sabbath was given as a sign by which it is known that the CESSATION OF THE LAWS 1.2 29 Lord himself is God. This is clear from the words of the Prophet Ezekiel, where he speaks in the voice of the Lord: “I gave them also my Sabbaths, to be a sign between me and them: and that they might know that I am the Lord that sanctify them” (Ezek 20.12). And again a little later, “And sanctify...


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