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107. The New Law and the Old Law Compared

1. The New Law and the Old Law are at one in their effortto bring man into proper order with God. But the Laws are otherwisedistinct. The Old Law stands to the New Law as imperfect toperfect, as promise to fulfillment, as childhood to perfectmanhood.

2. The Old Law could not move man to righteousness(justification, grace), but it could prepare man for righteousness,could foreshadow it, and promise it. The New Law fulfills thepromise by making men righteous in the grace of Christ. The New Lawbrings the substance of Christ to take the place of the shadow ofprophecy and prefiguring set forth in the Old Law. Even the moralprecepts of the Old Law, though eternal in value, were perfected inthe New; these precepts were made more definite and clear by ourLord's teaching, and had the counsels of perfection added tothem.

3. The New Law is the flowering and fruitage of what was,in the Old Law, the seed. Thus, the New Law was contained in theOld, not formally or as such, but virtually as aplant is contained in the seed from which it springs.

4. The New Law imposes a lighter burden than the Old Law,in the sense that it has not so many ceremonies to be performedwith painful accuracy and bothersome frequency. Yet the New Lawimposes a heavier burden than the Old, inasmuch as it demands theunceasing practice of virtue in the spirit of promptitude and joy.And hence St. Augustine (In John v 3) says thatChrist's commandments "are not heavy to the man thatloveth, but they are a burden to him that loveth not."

"God gives us some things, as the beginning of faith, even when we do not pray. Other things, such as perseverance, he has only provided for those who pray."
St Augustine

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"Spiritual persons ought to be equally ready to experience sweetness and consolation in the things of God, or to suffer and keep their ground in drynesses of spirit and devotion, and for as long as God pleases, without their making any complaint about it."
St Philip Neri

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"It is vanity to be concerned with the present only and not to make provision for things to come."
Thomas á Kempis

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