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whoever were of the law, so as to discover in it the gracious promises of the gospel, belonged to that seed of Abraham, to which the promise was declared. And, according to this different relation of the law, the apostle in a different sense says, that some are of the law; fome who, because they want to be of the law, are not heirs; namely those, who reckon their works as a condition of righteousness with God, either for purification or satisfaction; and some again who are of the law, and yet are heirs; namely those, who suffer themselves to be led by the law, as a schoolmaster, to Christ. But works contradistinguished from faith, can have no other than an opposite relation in justis fication. A
LXXVII. To this purpose I formerly wrote with the generality of interpreters, and even Cocceius himself; who lo explains the words of Paul, that he divides into two classes all that seed, to which he maintains the promise was made sure ; one of which classes is said to be of the law, the other, of the faith of Abraham: the one, of the Ifraelites, to whom pertained the giving of the law; the other of the Gentile believers, who without circumcision, but only in imitation of his faith, become the seed of Abraham. But I afterwards met with the discourses of James Atingius, who observes that the Greek of Paul, παντί τω σπέρματι, ε τω εκ τη νομιμόνων αλλά και τω εκ πίςεως- 'Αβραάμ, is not necessarily to be translated, “ to all the seed, not to that only which is of the law, but to that also which is of the faith of Abraham ;" so as to apply the restrictive particle only to the seed; but is more properly translated, “ to all the seed, not to that which is of the law only, &c.” So that the restrictive particle should be joined to the law, not to the seed. And he thinks this verse is to be compared with verse 13. “ the father of circumcision to them who are not of the circumcision only, but also walk in the steps, &c.” That the meaning is, that thote are the seed of Abraham, to whom the promise can belong, not who, by circumcision only, or any other carnal precept, in which they vainly glory, may in some measure resemble Abraham; but who resemble him in faith. Thus both members belong to the Jews, and those are excluded from partaking in the blessing, who are only of the law, verse 14. Those only being admitted who are of the faith of Abraham. But those descendants of Abraham, who received the covenant proposed to them by God, as a covenant of works, and circumcision as the sacrament of such a covenant, are of the law, and indeed only of the law. These things are at large and with accuracy deduced by the very learned author. But if this interpretation holds, the brethren are YOL. II, 22
"si tã ortique Atingius, who afterwards met wi
so far from finding any fupport in the passage, that rather every thing is against them.
LXXVIII. For the proof of the latter, it is alledged, that the time of the Old Testament is called the time of wrath and severity, Isa. X. 25. Dan. viii. 19. and that Moses, the minister who gave the law, is called “ the minister of death and condemnation,” 2 Cor iii. 7, 9. and that “the law worketh wrath," Rom. iv. 15. that is, imposeth something, which proceeded from sin and guilt, and so from wrath. But these things are not to the purpose. For, ist, There is nothing there concerning a curse or execration, which constantly in fcripture denotes the deplorable condition of the wicked, especially if any one is said to be under it. 2dly, Isaiah and Daniel speak not of the time of the Old Testament in opposition to that of the New; but represent that period of time, in which God more feverely punished the sins of his people : which he likewise does sometimes under the New. 3dly, Moses is called the minister of death and condemnation, because his ministry, for the most part, tended to terrify the sinner, and convince him af his fin and curie. 4thly, In the same sense the law is said to work wrath; which is not to be understood of the ceremonial law alane, but also, and indeed, chiefly of the moral law, which, by its most accurate precepts, discovers sin, and, by the dreadful comminaa țions of divine wrath against finners, raises in the soul a sense of wrath. But these things are no proof that believers of the Old Testament were under the curse. :
Of the real defects of the Old Testament...
I. T TOWEVER the Old Testament had really some pe
D culiar defects, on account of which it is found fault qwith, Heb. yiïi. 7, 8.; and because of these, it was to make room for the New. When we say this, we do no injury to the divine wisdom, as if it was inconsistent with that, to make the first covenant with his people, such as would afterwards want çorrection. For as God, in the first creation of the world, began with things, that were more rude, and by degrees, as it were first roughhewed them, then polished and exactly squared them, till they attained to that beauty, in which he acquiefced: fo, in like manner in the formation of his church, he would
have the beginnings to be more unpolished, which, in the regular course of things, were to arise, in process of time, to a more beautiful symmetry and proportion, till he should put the the last hand to them, at the consummation of the world. And if it was not unworthy of God, to have made something imperfect in the kingdom of grace, which shall be brought to abfolute perfection in the kingdom of glory: neither is it unworthy of him, to have granted something more sparingly under the Old Testament, which he could most liberally vouchsafe under the New. Nay, by this very thing he displayed his manifold wisdom, in that he distinguished the diversity of times by proper and suitable marks or signs. Paul represented the Jews, as resembling children ; Christians, grown men. What irregularity is there in God's thus ordering matters, that he should confine the former to the rudiments, as being more suitable to their measure of age, and train up the latter in a more hardy, and as it were manly discipline.
II. But let us particularly rehearse in order the things, in which the Old Testament was defective. The first is, that the fathers under the Old Testament had not the cause of salvation present, much less completed. They had the figure of Christ in various appearances, as preludes of his future incarnation, in the pillar of cloud and fire, in the tabernacle, the temple, in the pictures of the ceremonies, the riddles of the prophecies: but they had not the privilege of beholding him present among them. The prophets of those times, “ prophesied of the grace that should come unto us.” “ And unto them was revealed, that not unto themselves, but unto us they did minister the things, which are now reported 'unto us concerning the sufferings of Christ, and the glory that should follow, i Pet. i. 10, 11, 12. · III. And as the cause of salvation did not then appear, namely, God manifested in the flesh, neither did righteousness, or that on account of which we are justified. Because the captain of their salvation, was not yet made “ perfect through sufferings," Heb. ii. 10. that in which the expiation of our fins consists, did not then exist, and consequently, “everlasting righteousness was not yet brought in,” Dan. ix. 24. For as the ransom was not yet paid, the debts were not actually cancelled, that day had not yet shined, on which God “ removed the iniquity of the earth,” Zech. iii. 9. The fathers, indeed, had a true and a sufficient remission of sins; yet had not that, for which fins are justly, and in a manner worthy of God, remitted ; namely, the fatissaction and expiation of Christ. Pareus fays well, ad Heb. viii.
. Z 22
, 18. 18. “ the expiatory offering was not yet made, in which the remission of lins, wherewith they were favoured, was founded.”
IV. In this respect it is no absurdity to say, that the fins of believers remained, and still existed, till they were cancelled by Christ's satisfaction. For, they exifted in the accounts of the surety, who was to answer for them: nor were they. blotted out, till after the payment was made. We are not to think, they so lay upon believers, as that they went to heaven loaded with the guilt of them; than which nothing can be more absurd; nor are we to maintain, that they were entirely cancelled out of the book of God's accounts : for, in that cafe, Christ's satisfying for them had been superfluous. But they remained as debts upon the surety, which he was to pay. And therefore God, who had already before hand, remitted very many. fins, exacted them of Christ at the time appointed, Ifa. lii. 7. " to declare his righteousness for the remission of fins that are paft,” Rom. iii: 25. Pareus again l. c. “ In the mean time therefore, sins even remitted without true expiation, remained till they were at length expiated by the death of the mediator: which expiation being made, both their fins and ours were at Iaft truly abolished in the judgment of God. Calvin uses the same way of speaking, Instit. Lib. 2. C. vii. 5. 17. “ For which reason the apostle writes, that the remiffion of the fins which remained under the Old Testament, was at length accomplished by the intervention of Christ's death." This then was the first defect of the Old Testament, that it had not the cause of fale vation completed, and consequently not a true expiation of sins.
V. The second defect was the obscurity of the old economy. This follows from the preceding. What can there be at most but twilight before the rising of the sun ? The Lord therefore dispensed the light of his word to them in such a manner, that they could only view it still at a distance and obscurely. Peter has elegantly repesented this, by comparing the prophetic langriage “unto a lamp that shineth in a dark place,” 2 Pet. i. 19. When he calls it a šamp, he intimates the absence of the sun; and when he speaks of a dark place, he represents the condition
of the ancients, which, amidst the darkness, had the glimmer· ing small light of a burning taper, and no more than a taper,
which is used only in the night time, not in the full day. To this purpose also is the saying of Christ, Mat. xi. 13. that “the law and the prophets were until John. From that time the kingdom of God was preached.” What did the law and the prophets discover to those who lived in their days ? Certainly nothing but a taste of that wisdom, which was afterwards to be clearly displayed, by foretelling it as shining at a distiance.
fore it was Chrift's perfonly in the cere
Whenever Christ can be pointed out with a finger, the kingdom of God is disclosed.
VI. There was certainly in the ceremonies, an instituton concerning Christ's person, offices, and benefits. And therefore it was a distinguishing favour, that God should honour Ifrael alone, above all other people, with that kind of instruction, as we have formerly intimated. But, as the ceremonial rites were vaftly increased, and the repetition of the promises of grace was in the mean time more sparing and uncommon; the very great number of rites was like a vail, by which the naked limplicity of the ancient promise was very much clouded. And the event thewed, that the greatest part of the Israelites cleaved to the ceremonies themselves, fought for justification and expiation of fin in them, and did not penetrate into the fpiritual mysteries, which were hid under the vail, with the eyes of the understanding and of faith. This, indeed was their own fault; but that method of teaching was not so well adap'ted and effectual for the correcting of it. This is also represented by the type of Moses, who “ put a vail over his face, that the children of Israel could not stedfastly look to the end of that which is now abolished as useless,“ 2 Cor. iii. 13. There the apostle by way of allegory proposes the person of Moses, to represent the economy of the Old Testament. It had indeed the light of the promises of grace, as the face of Moses had an extraordinary glory, ver. 7. But while Moses spoke with the Ifraelites, he covered his glory with the vail of the ceremonies, which he had introduced; the end of which, indeed, was Christ and his grace ; but Ifrael being intent on the contemplation of these, fatisfied themselves in them, and forgot to look to that, to which had they turned their mind, as became them, they would have been led by the ceremonies themselves. And this is “ that vail, which, in the reading of the Old Testament, not being taken away, still remaineth on Ifrael, ver. 14.
VII. To the same purpose, was the vail of the tabernacle and temple, which kept the Israelites from entering and beholding the facred things. These two vails may be thus compared together. By the vail of the temple they were reminded of something, which they were not yet suffered to behold, because something stood in the way; namely, guilt, which was removed in the flesh of Christ, Heb. x. 19. and that the way to the heavenly sanctuary was not yet set open to them, Heb. ix. 8. By the vail over the face of Moses, they were put in mind, that the eyes of their understandings were weaker, than that they could bear the naked declaration of the truth. For if it