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adhere. They must first “look on Him whom

they have pierced,” as their Saviour and Deliverer. They must renounce the righteousness that is by the works of the Law, and acknowledge the righteousness that is by faith. They must relinquish that ritual which had only “ the shadow of good things

to come,” and embrace those better promises which realize what their own institutions did but mystically represent.

All that was peculiar to the Mosaic Law having thus necessarily given way, the Law itself, as a distinct dispensation, is now become as useless to the Jew as to the Gentile. Its operation did not cease immediately upon our Lord's coming, nor was it even diminished during the continuance of his ministry. It remained in full force till after his crucifixion. Even after that event, we find no fixed period prescribed for its formal abolition, nor any compulsory act of authority prohibiting its observance. It åppears, therefore, to have been the Divine will, that its actual termination, or rather its general discontinuance, should be the result of those clearer and more enlarged views of the Christian dispensation, which, from time to time, were vouchsafed to the inspired preachers of the Gospel. By these mankind in general, and the Jews in particular, were to be taught wherein the true value of the Mosaic Law consisted, and in what its real design and use had terminated. No violence was done to ancient prepossessions in favour of what had been justly reverenced as sacred. Full time for deliberation, full latitude of inquiry, were allowed. By deeper and deeper researches into the scriptures of the Old Testament, by more and more profound reasoning upon their signification, and by daily increasing accessions of light and knowledge from that Holy Spirit which was to “guide them into “ all truth,” the Apostles, slowly indeed, but successfully, combated those prejudices and those errors, which would otherwise have frustrated the object of their mission. All this was done by means the best adapted to conciliate as well as to correct, to instruct as well as to reprove.

“ Do we make void the Law,” says the Apostle, “ through faith ? “ God forbid : yea, we establish the Law *." The great points these teachers constantly laboured to prove, were the harmony of the Law and the Gospel; their mutual dependence on each other, and the mutual support given by the one to the other; the fulfilment, not the destruction of the former by the latter; and the testimony which God had given to both, as the work of one almighty hand.

* Rom. iii. 31.

These points, however, have already been more largely treated in two former Discourses, to which the present may be considered as supplementary only, for the purpose of shewing, still more distinctly, the entire consistency of the Divine proceedings throughout the whole of this wonderful dispensation.

If this purpose has been attained, some main obstacles raised by the infidel and the sceptic may have been removed : and these being removed, minor difficulties will more readily disappear. If the Law shewed the necessity of a Redeemer, and prepared men for his coming ;—if that Redeemer came to fulfil, and did actually fulfil, all that the Law intended ;—and if, in consequence of the one dispensation being thus merged in the other, the Apostles sufficiently proved in their writings and discourses the entire cessation and extinction of all its peculiar institutions ; then we are in possession of some great leading facts and principles, by which the whole system of revealed religion ought to be judged, and its several component parts examined and adjusted. With this clue to our researches, many perplexities may be avoided, many embarrassments diminished. Peculiarities in the Mosaic ritual, which the scoffer contemns and derides, may be found to have their appropriate fitness and utility. The Law will derive dignity and importance from the reflected lustre cast upon it by the Gospel : the Gospel will claim additional regard and veneration from the homage which the Law has paid to it. The founders and the preachers of each dispensation will also share in the honours thus ascribed to both. Moses and the Prophets prepared the way for Him “ whose shoe's latchet they were not worthy “ to unloose :”—Christ and his Apostles bore testimony to what Moses and the Prophets had spoken of him, and enhanced the value of the Law by connecting it with a higher and better system. Even that which to a superficial observer might seem to indicate, on the part of the Apostles, a vacillating and indecisive disposition, halting between Christian and Jewish opinions, with respect to the point which has been considered in this Discourse, appears rather to be the natural and proper result of a desire to maintain the sacred character of both, so as not to compromise the veneration due to either, in adjusting their respective claims.

Two general observations remain to be made, with a view to our practical improvement of the present subject.

The conduct of our Lord towards his Apostles, and of the Apostles towards their fellow-countrymen, may teach us that there are prejudices which must be treated with lenity, with compassion, and even with respect; that there may be deeply-rooted prepossessions, the result of early habit, of education, of hereditary feeling, which will not bear to be rudely handled; that hasty and violent efforts to eradicate these will avail nothing; that sober and dispassionate reasoning must be blended with authoritative admonition, if we hope to extirpate error without injury to truth. These are the lessons of that charity, which, while it censures the offence, compassionates the offender; which discriminates between wilful and unconscious error ; between defects of understanding or of information, and intentional hostility to what is right and

good.

But while we are thus taught lenity to the errors of others, we may also learn the no less important lessons of self-correction and improvement. Little will it avail that we enjoy the meridian splendour of the Gospel, if our eyes are closed against those evidences of its truth and perfection which on every side sur

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