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state. In the church, it was to bring christians to the acknowledgment of the scriptures, as the sole rule of their faith and practice, and the sure foundation of their hope, and to oppose terms of hold. ing.communion with Christ, in the ordinances of his own institution, imposed by human authority, whether that authority bears the name of papist or of protestant; and in the state, to promote a scriptural and reasonable obedience to legitimate government and equal laws, so that all men might be protected in leading quiet and peaceable lives in godliness and honesty, and the government itself protected from slander and sedition.
The text explained - Of the moral law of nature Of positive lawama
Penalties to be executed by man, belong to positive law-Civil government founded on the law of nature-Peculiar law of Israel, positive and abolished - Christ's delegated power examined—The magistrate's power to ratify and sanction the laws of the Most High God examined.
HE Reverend Author of “ The two Sons of Oil, or the faithful witness for ministry and magistracy upon a scriptural basis,” introduces the subject by a text from the prophecy of Zechariah, chap. 4, ver. 14. " Then said he, these are the two anointed ones, that stand by the Lord of the whole earth.”
Of his analysis of this text, and his premises drawn from it, I will only observe here, that he makes it the foundation of his system, viz. That the gospel ministry, and civil magistracy, are not distinct govern- , ments, but component branches of one government. To this purpose, page 8, he says, “ This universal dominion committed to him, (Christ) as it respects the human family, in its administrations, consists in two great branches, namely, the magistracy and the ministry.” As he afterwards more fully explains and applies this doctrine, I will take no further notice of
it in this place, than just to observe one error in his statement. The church of Christ, and the gospel ministry are not, as the author says, committed to Christ. The gospel ministers are appointed to feed the church of Christ, which he hath purchased with his own blood. The church is his purchased possession. It is the body of Christ, of which believers are members. It is his kingdom, which is not of this world, &c. We read of the word of reconciliation, and a dispensation of the gospel of Christ, being committed to the ministers of Christ, as ambassadors from him ; but not of the church being committed to him. It is his own house, in which Moses and the apostles were servants. It is not committed as a trust. It is, by virtue of union, his body, his spouse.
The real meaning of this text, on which the au. thor erects such a visionary superstructure, I will offer in the words of the learned and judicious Scott, in his notes on the place.
“ The prophet was still ignorant of the meaning of the two olive-trees, especially of those branches from which the oil was immediately conveyed to the lamps, and on enquiry he learned, that they were the two anointed ones, which stood before the Lord of the whole earth. Zerubbabel and Joshua, the anointed ruler and high-priest of Judah, who stood before the Lord, and were his instruments in the work of the temple, were the anointed ones intended : but they were only types and shadows (as the temple itself was) of him that was to come. They therefore typified Christ, as anointed with the Holy Spirit without measure, to be the king and high-priest of the church, and to build, illuminate and sanctify the spiritual temple. As the
anointed high-priest, he purchased those gifts by the sacrifice of himself; and through his intercession in heaven, they are communicated by him as the anointed .king of his church. From the union of these two of. fices in his mysterious person, both God and man, this inexhaustible fulness of grace is derived and conferred. Thus the olive branches of themselves distil the golden oil through the two golden pipes into the bowl: and from his fulness all receive that grace which they require for their several places and services, through the means of grace, as the seven pipes fed the seven lamps of the candlestick. It is plain, that the candlestick is the Jewish church, both civil and religious ; and the oil with which the lamps were supplied, is the Spirit of God: and is it not equally plain, that Zerubbabel and Joshua were in these transactions typical persons, types of Christ our king and high priest." See also the venerable Henry to the same purpose.
The vision was for the encouragement of the Jew. ish church and nation, then newly emerged out of captivity, and was suited to that 'symbolical economy under which they were placed during the continuance of the theocracy, or immediate government of Jehovah, in another and more peculiar manner than other nations were, and which was to continue until Christ the antitype should come and fulfil all that was prefigured of him by that typical economy, and introduce the new covenant, or gospel dispensation. When Israel was brought out of Egypt into the waste and howling wilderness, they were constituted a peculiar and holy nation. “ And ye shall be unto me a kingdom of priests, and an holy nation.” Exod. xix. 6. This was the divine proposal; and after they had been ceremo