Imágenes de páginas
PDF
EPUB

the only one which expressed its penalty by the cursed death of hanging on a tree; and adjudged sinners to have incurred that curse, by the violation of it. Now, Christ yielded obedience to such a law: "It is written (viz. in the Mosaic Law) Cursed is every one that continueth not in all things Written In The Book Of The L.Aw to do them."—" Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us; for it is written, Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree *" Jt was the Mosaic edition of the law which demanded obedience to it as the condition of life: "For Moses deferibeth the righteousness which is of the Law, That the man which doeth those things fliall live by them \." Now, Jesus Christ was constituted under that law which required obedience and sufferings as the condition of life, that, by his obedience and death, he might become the author of eternal salvation to them who obey him. But it may be objected, perhaps, That it is improper and absurd to lay a yoke on Israel which was designed only for Jesus Christ,—absurd to demand that obedience from them which was only competent to him alone to yield. To which it may be replied, That it was very proper to intimate the law, under this special consideration, unto them, as they, in their original state, were the proper subjects of it: And if they were dc

* Gal, ill. 10, 13. f l\p«i. x. 5.

*■ livered livercd from the law-curse, it was an useful leston for them to look back unto the awftil state from which they had been freed.i It may also be added, Th:it it. is agreeable to the genius of types, to ascribe things unto them-which ave only true of their antitype: Therefore, it is bv no means improper to speak of their obedience as the condition of life, while the obedience of Christ is intended as the substance of that shadow; This is, indeed, the usual'style of the Mosaic ritual, especially respecting sacrifice. It may be also-observed, That it is equally proper to propose the obedience of one type as the cause ot' life, as to make promises to other types, which, strictly speaking, can only belong unto the true Mestiah: For example, God promised to Abraham, saying, "In Thee shall1 all the families of the earth *e Blessed." Whereas, it is only competent unto Jesus Christ to Bless men in the fense intended. Various things are :like ways promised to David, which in' their fullest'emphasis,--belong only unto -him who is both David's Son and David's Lord *. Now, if it was propel' to give out promises to the type, which are fulfilled" only in the'antitype, Why may not precepts be, laid on the type^ which cottid only be fulfilled by the antitvpc like ways? In one word, We may answer, Though the system of precepts demanded obedience, as the condition

* Sec Psal. lxxxix.

of of life; yet it did not exclude, but enjoin a vicarious satisfaction, in cafe of failure. As the moral law .was broader than their obedience to it, £0 the ceremonial law was super-5 induced to point out the plan of divine atonement and acceptance. The demands of the moral law were so broad, as to shut them out from all hopes of attaining life and salvation by their own obedience j but it did not (hut them up from seeking salvation by the obedience of another. The ceremonial law, which was an appendage of the moral, taught the person, who presented his sacrifice before God, to lay his hand upon the head of the sacrifice, as an emblematical representation of transferring the guilt from the sinner to the surety: "And he (hall lay his hand upon the head of the sacrifice*," Sec. Secondly, As the congregation of Israel may be considered as made up of persons either unregenerated or regenerated by the grace of God. In the latter view, it was proper to intimate the law to them even as a covenant of works, to shew them how much they were indebted to Christ in fulfilling the law in their stead. In the former view, It taught them the danger of their present state, and the necessity of betaking themselves to a mediator; and it appears to have had the desired effect upon some of them j-. Third

* Levit. iii. 2. •f Exod. xx. 18—23. compared with Dent, xviii—18.

* M in lv

ly, As the congregation of Israel stood in the capacity of a visible church, this system of precepts was the rule of their social worfliip, and even of their personal obedience. That this system demanded social worship,—that it was the standard,of external obedience, is universally granted: That it required private and personal obedience is equally certain from the very form of the precepts themselves. They run in the singular number, intimating, that they were directed to individuals: '.' Thou (halt have no other gods before me. Thou (halt not make unto thee any graven image." —" Thou (halt not take the name of the I,ord thy God in vain," &c. " Thou shalt not commit adultery." And such is the spiritual nature of the divine law, that it binds every one in the inward man, as well as the outward: The Pharisees thought otherways indeed; but Christ spent two sermons to detect their mistake *. The fiim of our duty is love; and God commanded Israel to love him with all their Heart; while he prohibited them from hating their brethren In Their, Heart -j-.

3. As the moral law bound them to observe both ceremonial and judicial precepts; so ceremonials regulated Israel in her ecclesiastical

* His sermon on the mount, and his sermon on the plain.

• f Lo it. xix. 1 7.

capacity. capacity, as a typical church; and judicials, her civil polky, as a nation under a theocratical government. Under the Mosaic œconomy, there was a greater affinity between the church and the state, indeed, than under the Christian dispensation; yet they were perfectly distincr, and had distinct laws accordingly*. The end for which the feed of Abraham were separated to be a typical church has been declared on the Abrahamic Covenant. Now, God saw meet to appoint a theocratical government in the state, as the best means of preserving that nation in which he had placed them. Because some attribute too much to this form of polity, and others too little, it might not be unprofitable to spend a moment in die consideration of it's. In a theocracy, then, Jehovah,

by

* Mr Tocke is pleased to set aside the distinction of the Mosaic Law into moral, ceremonial, and judicial, in the following manner: "There is nothing more frivolous than that common distinction of the moral, ceremonial, and judicial law, which men ordinarily make use of," Letter on Toleration, p. 123. But as this distinction is sounded in the nature os things; and as distinct names are given "to each of these laws by God himself, we need not, and ouo;ht not indeed, to be swayed by any human authority, however g;eat.

t The word 1-tx.fxTix, sorined by Josephus tn>r Deus *p«ts« impero, very happily expreiieth that peculiar government which God exercised over Israel, Jenning's Jewish Antiq. Vol. I. p. 20. Some consider the Jewish Church and the Jewish State as of the fame extent, or rather, they suppose they find only a State-church; or, Mm 2 perhaps,

« AnteriorContinuar »