"If a man sees a thing to be law, he wants to break that law; our nature is so evil, that forbid us to do a thing, and at once we want to do the thing that is forbidden, and in many minds the principle of law, instead of leading to purity has even offered opportunities for greater impurity. Beside, although you may point out the way of uprightness to a man, and tell him what is right, and what is wrong with all the wisdom and force of counsel and caution, unless you can give him a heart to choose the right, and a heart to love the true, you have not done much for him. This is just the province of law. It can write out its precepts on the bronze tablets, and it can brandish its fiery sword and say, “Do this, or else be punished,” but man, carnal man, only wraps himself the more closely in his self-conceit, and perseveres the more doggedly in his obstinate rebellion! He defies God, defers to his own reprobate mind, goes on in sin, and waxes worse and worse, knowing the judgment threatened, yet committing the transgressions prohibited. And he takes pleasure in those who do such things as his companions; because of the malignity, as well as the infirmity of our flesh, the mere principle of law will never do anything to purify or ennoble our moral nature. It has been tried by eminent teachers, and social reformers. Dr. Chalmers tells us that in his early ministry he used to preach morality, and nothing but morality till, he said, he had hardly a sober or an honest man left in the parish! The preaching of morality seemed to lead to immorality; something more is needed than merely to din into men’s ears what they ought to be, and what they ought to do; something is needed more effectually to renovate the heart, and move the springs of action. The water is nothing, and if you make it flow it is bitter; you need an ingredient to be cast into it that will heal its poison springs, and make them sweet and clear."
The sermon goes on and points to the fulfillment of the Law, Christ himself (Romans 10:4). He himself is worth celebrating.