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the Philole, who plans and Bedience of
the seed of Abraham all nations of the earth should be blessed, Gen. xxii. 18. that unto the Messiah should the obedience of the people be, Gen. xlix. 10. that the Egyptians and Babylonians should be mentioned among those, who know Jehovah ; and that it should be said of the Philistine, the Tyrian, and the Ethiopian, they were born in Zion, Pfal. lxxxvii. 4. And that all nations should flo v to the mountain of the house of Jehovah, Ifa. ii. 2. and that Ifrael should be the third of Egypt and Ali syria ; and that the Lord shall fay, blessed be my people the Egyytians, and the work of my hands, the Assyrians, and Israeli mine inheritance, Ifa. xix. 24, 25. and numberless other passages, which frequently occur in scripture to the fame purpose. . XLIX. Moreover, Isaiah declares; that both Israel and the converted Gentiles should obey the same laws, and be bound together by the same religious ties, chap. xlii. 4. " and the isles Thall wait for his (the Messiah’s) laws.” Again, Ifa. ii. 3. " and many people shall go and say, come ye and let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, to the house of the God of Jacob, and he will teach us of his ways, and we will walk in his paths : for out of Zion shall go forth the law, and the word of Jehovah from Jerusalem.” And he adds, no stranger who hath joined himself to Jehovah, fhall fay, Jehovah hath utterly separated me from his people : but on the contrary, even unto the eunuchs Thall be given, in the house of God and within his walls, a place, and a name better than that of sons and of daughters, Ila. lvi. 39.5. that is, that the converted Gentiles should, in matters of religion, be on an equal footing with the Israelites. To this purpose is that of Zeph. iii. 9, 10. “ for then will I turn to the people a pure language, that they may all call upon the name of Jehovah, to serve him with one consent: from beyond the rivers of Ethiopia, my suppliants, even the daughters of my disa persed shall bring mine offering :' and Zech. xiv. 9. “and Jea hovah shall be king over all the earth : in that day shall there be one Jehovah, and his name one :" one shall be the worship, and one the veneration of the one God. The Jews themselves also frequently declare, that, in the time of the Meffiah, many nations thall be converted to the God of Israel, and that thei they shall walk in the doctrine of that law, as the Chaldee speaks on Isa. ii. 3. and all embrace one common law with the Ifraelites, as Menafle speaks, de Refur. Lib. 2. c. 3. and so thall incorporate into one people with Israel, and be partakers of the same privileges, as being proselytes of righteousness.
L. Whenever this Thall come to pass, it is plain', that the ancient ceremonies cannot possibly be observed by all the subjects of the Messiah. For how is it podlible, the paying of vows and VOL. II. 3 E
ehovah, And he addhe law, and
fythes, the presenting the first-born, the observation of the paflover, pentecost and feast of tabernacles, which were confined to the place, which God had chosen, should be binding on those, who are to be at a great distance from Judea ? And how can men, who dwell in the utmost parts of the earth, come to Jerusalem, to offer sacrifice for every fin, and every pollution, in order to avoid the curse? How could women, newly delivered, undertake so long a journey, and present themselves in the place chosen by God, to perform the offerings commanded ? Where could so many beasts, so many priests, so many altars be found, sufficient for all the sacrifices? What extent of country, much less town, could be large enough to hold fuch numbers ? Menasse, if I rightly remember, idly talks, that then the gates of Jerusalem should be extended to Damascus; but had he extended them, which he might with equal ease, beyond the Porta Caspiz, or pass of Teflis, he would have more commodiously provided for so prodigious a conflux of people, flocking from all parts to the facrifices. Put the case of the leprosy, and of a house infected with that plague, of which Lev. xiii. must the priests make incursions to the Scythians, the Sarmatians and the Indians; to the Britons separated from the rest of the world, and to the outmost Thule, to form a judgment of the scab or scall? To omit many other confiderations, which might with equal propriety be urged ; and which Eusebius among the ancients, Demonftr. Evangel. Lib. 1. and among the moderns, Spahemius, Dubior Evang. P: 3. Dub. 112. have fully and learnedly done.
LI. You may poffibly alledge, that God will grant a kind of dispensation of, and relax these impossible laws. But where is there any promise to that purpose? Have not these laws been made by the fame authority with the others ? is not their duration in like manner extended for ever, which in other respects is so much objected to us? Do not these, and the like laws, constitute the principal part of the ceremonial ? And if the conscience can be set free from the obligation of thefe, why not also from that to the others, which are of the same nature ?
LII. Shall they not cease to bind, because the observation of them is impossible, any more than we teach, that the moral law is binding, though we allow the perfect performance thereof to be a thing impossible ? But who does not see a very wide difference here? That the moral law cannot now be perfectly performed, is a thing accidental, owing to our corruption. That these other laws cannot be observed under the kingdom of the Messiah, arises from the nature of the laws themselves, without any default of man. And thus we have demonstrated, that the
der III. This the ceretti a ped
ceremonies, in so far as they are acts of the obedience, prescribed by the old law, cannot be observed in the universal church, gathered together from among Jews and Gentiles, under the king Messiah. .
LIII. This will be more manifest, if we, moreover, congder the formal of the ceremonies: thus there was a yoke in them, that must be broken off; a pedagoguy, and an accusation of childhood, which cannot take place in a more advanced age. There was a partition-wall to be broken down, when, on removing all distinction of nations, the Messiah is to be all in all; an enmity, to be abolished at the time, in which the Messiah is to publish to the Gentiles, that they should have peace both with Israel and with God. There was, in fine, a hand-writing, bearing testimony concerning guilt not yet expiated, and payment not yet made. This, when all things are fulfilled by the Messiah, is to be taken out of the way, lest any institution of God should be found to testify against the truth and Son of God. Such are either ignorant of, or overturn all the signification of the ceremonies and their true efficacy, who bind the obligation of them on the consciences, after the Messiah had perfected all things.
LIV. There now remains the fourth head, namely, to explain the progress and the various degrees of this abrogation, which we digest in the following order: ist, When Christ came and was manifested to Israel, the ceremonies lost much of their splendor, as when the sun in the heavens extinguisheth the Stars. Nevertheless they were binding, while Christ was not yet made perfect by sufferings, but yet their abrogation was drawing near : “ Jesus saith unto her, Woman, believe me, the hour cometh, when ye shall neither in this mountain, nor yet at
Jerusalem worship the Father. But the hour cometh, and now · is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and
in truth,” John iv. 21, 23. To this purpose is that proclamation, which John several times published, that the kingdom of hea ven is at hand. 2dly, They were abrogated in point of right by the death of Chrift; for, all their typical presignification being fulfilled in Christ, and the blood of the New Testament being thed, and the guilt expiated, which they were appointed to be a charge of, with what right could ceremonies lately discarded claim any longer to keep their former ftation? Hence Christ is said, “ to have taken the hand-writing out of the way, nailing it to his cross,” Col. ii. 14. and to “ have abolished in his flesh (on his fes being broken by death) the law of commandments, contained in ordinances,” Eph. ii. 15. Certainly the flesh of Christ was the vail; and while that was still entire, a new and living way was not opened to the heavenly sanctuary, Heb. x.
3 E 2
20. For, while Chrift was not yet made perfect by sufferings, the ceremonies which required that perfection or consummaa tion, were in full force. But whenever the utmost farthing was paid by the death of Christ, the vail and enclosure of the ceremonies being taken down, there was a free access to God; which was signified and confirmed by the rending the vail of the temple upon the death of Christ. 3dly, God declared, confirmed, and sealed this abrogation by the resurrection of Christ from the dead, and his ascension into heaven, and the plentiful effusion of the Holy Spirit. For the hand-writing was then discharged. He, who hicherto was in bondage to the elements of the world, equally with the other worshippers of God, was placed with his people in heavenly places, where no such bondage takes place; and the spirit was given, as the seal of a more delightful dispensation of the covenant. 4thly, But this liberty was for sometime not sufficiently known, even to the apostles themselves, till Peter was instructed therein by a heavenly vision, Acts x. 11. 5thly, Then, by a solemn decree of a' fynod of the apostles, under the prefidence of the Holy Spirit, it was ordained, that a yoke was not to be put on the neck of the disciples, besides those few things neceffary for that time; namely, to abstain from meats offered to idols, and from blood, and froin things ftrangled; to which was subjoined, though of a dif*ferent kind, fornication, Acts xv. 10, 28, 29. 6thly, Afterwards Paul preached freedom from these things also, excepting fornication, that being contrary to the moral law, 1 Cor. vii. 4, 8. and 1 Cor. x. 25—29. 7thly, Yet because the Jews, who were converted to Christ, having been accustomed to the ceremonies, were with very great difficulty drawn from them, the apostles, and other believers with theni, that they might not offend the weak, according to the rules of Christian charity and prudence, freely used those ceremonies, not with any opinion of holiness; but in order not to wound tender consciences, accommodating themselves to all, to gain some to Christ, see Acts xxi. 22.8thly, But after that the church seemed now to be sufficiently instructed in her liberty, and the fondness for the ceremonies was no longer a degree of weakness but of obstinacy, Paul would not give place by subjection, no not for an hour, and sharply rebuked Peter, whose conduct was rather too remiss, Gal. ii. 5, 14. and exhorted every one in particular, to stand faft in the liberty where with Christ had made us (him) free, and not to be entangled again with the yoke of bondage, nor to make Christ of no effect to themselves, Gal. v. 1, 2. Sthly, and lastly, All the ceremonies were actually taken away at the destruction of
Jerusalem and the temple, and buried as it were in their ruins, never to be revived any more. See what we have said conçerning circumcision, chap. viii. g. 21, &c.
·CH A P. XV.
Of the Benefits of the New Testament.
ntervals of tintake place, by of the New. Buiten
I. A S the darkness of the night is only dispelled by the beams
of the rising morn, so the Old Testament was abrogated only by the introduction of the New. But at what time this first began to take place, by what degrees it advanced, by what intervals of time it was confirmed and completed, we have explained in the third chapter of the foregoing book. We are now, in the first place, to treat of the benefits of the New Testament: then of the facraments : the othe particulars are obvious, from what we have spoken concerning the covenant of grace simply considered, and by comparing with them, what we have more largely treated of concerning the Old Testament.
II. We rehearse the benefits of the New Testament in the following order. I. The first is the exhibition of the Messiah made perfect. II. The gospel* under another name or designation, III. The calling of the Gentiles. IV. A more abundant and delightful measure of the Spirit. V. A greater and better liberty, VI. The restoration of Israel, VII. The revival of the whoie church, as from the dead.
III. The first spring of our glorying, and the sum of our felicity beyond those that expected the consolation of Israel, įs, that “ Christ Jesus came into the world,” i Tim. i. 15. He who was promised from the beginning, shadowed forth by so many types, fo ardently longed for, and for so many ages expected, came forth in the fulness of time, in that place, from that tribe and family, in that manner from a virgin, and appear. ed in the flesh, just as the holy prophets had long before prophesied he should come. “ Through the tender inercy of our God, whereby the day-spring from on high hath visited us," Luke i. 78. “ we have found him, of whom Mofes in the law, and the prophets did write, Jesus of Nazareth the son of Jofeph,” John i. 45. This, as the angel told the shepherds
.* The author's words are, Evangelium evrovouasıxã, which I know not how to · render otherwise to make it intelligible to the English reader.