enforced by the penalty of death to be inflicted by the civil magistrate. This penalty belongs to the civil code; but the law itself belongs to the ecclesiastical code.
The Puritan mistakes the nature of the threatening in Lev. 18:29; he takes it to be capital punishment—(p. 20, fifth par.) Gesenius confirms him in his opinion. Both are, in our judgment, in error. It is the same penalty that enforces compliance with the rite of circumcision, appointed as a seal of the covenant made with the father of the faithful. "My covenant shall be in your flesh for an everlasting covenant. And the uncircumcised man-child, whose flesh of his foreskin is not circumcised, that soul shall be cut off from his people; he hath broken my covenant." (Gen. 17:13, 14.) This did not mean capital punishment, inflicted by the magistrate's hand, but exclusion from the Church, and deprivation of the blessings of the covenant. The text, Exod. 31:14, speaks of two distinct kinds of punishment. The latter does not, as the Puritan supposes, define the former.
Besides, let it be remembered, the punishment does not always determine the nature of the law.