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concerning it, "Let Baal plead for himself." The notion undermines the very doctrine of redemption, and hides its glory; it makes void the holy, just, and good law of God; and gives the Jew one of his most plausible arguments against Christianity.
P. 47. 1. 29. The law of Moses is perfect,'Each of these laws cannot be perfect in exactly the same sense, or the one never could have been preferred before the other. Each of them is perfect, as entirely suited for the purpose for which God intended it. But, if God intended the moral law as the complete and unchangeable standard of holiness, and rule of duty, to all his worshippers under every dispensation, according to which also he will judge the world: if he intended the ritual law as a temporary rule for instituted worship, a wall of separation to preserve Israel from apostacy to idolatry, and from being lost among idolaters, by familiar intercourse with them; and as a shadow of good things to come : and if he intended the judicial law for the political law of Israel, under the theocracy: the perfection of each, to answer these several intentions, could not be precisely the same.-Now absolute perfection must be entirely the same, wherever it exists; that is, in God alone: relative perfection, in the fullest sense, belongs to all his works, as he made them; not more to an angel than to Adam, or the lower creation, or any part of it. "God saw every thing that he had made, "and behold it was very good."1 "As for God,
1 Gen i. 31.
"his work is perfect:" yet the perfection of the human body does not consist in all being one member; but in the completeness and symmetry of the whole, consisting of many members, each perfectly fitted to its place and office.
P. 48. 1. 12. I have produced,' &c. Perfectly satisfied with the testimonies from Moses and from David, when soberly interpreted, we have no desire to bring forward any witnesses to oppose them. If indeed there were any contrariety, we might point out Immanuel, and say, " Behold
a greater than Moses, than David is here!" "I am one that bear witness of myself; and the "Father that sent me beareth witness of me." The apostles also concur in his testimony; and so doth" the Holy Spirit, which God hath given to "them that obey him." But there is no contrariety; yea, rather there is the most entire coincidence.
P. 48. 1. 27. These two tables contained the 'whole law.' Then the ceremonial and judicial law form no part of that in behalf of which Mr. C. is pleading; for the ten commandments alone were written on the two tables of stone. And, in that case, I have no further controversy with him on this part of the subject.
P. 48. 1. 28. In the ten,' &c. I should probably labour in vain, did I attempt to advise Christians to count the letters of the ten commandments; and to compare them with the number of precepts, of every sort and kind, in the law of Moses. Will not reasonable Jews allow this to be egregious
'Matt. xii. 41, 42. John viii. 13-18. xv. 26, 27. Acts v. 32.
trifling? How forcible are right words! but
"what doth your arguing prove?" If indeed God, or Moses, had told us that each letter in the ten commandments was the representative of a precept in the law, we ought to have attended to it: but asserting that it is so, without proof, or with no proof but from " the tradition of the elders," requires no attention. The only sense, in which the ten commandments comprised the whole law, moral, ceremonial, and judicial, is this:-it virtually required every one to obey each ritual, or instituted appointment, for the time in which it continued to be in force, as a part of the general obedience to the law of God: but, if the same authority, which instituted, afterwards abolished the institution, that obligation ceased.
Let it, however, be carefully observed, that a law, in every sense as perfect as it can be, is not. all which a sinner wants, in order to salvation or happiness. (P. 48. 1. 34.)" If there had been a "law given which could have given life, verily 'righteousness should have been by the law: "but the scripture hath shut up all under sin." 2 An act of parliament, however good, cannot meet the case of a criminal exposed to condemnation, or already condemned for breaking it; or supersede the necessity of a pardon from the king. Mr. C. himself observes that, in the twenty-eighth chapter of Deuteronomy, is pronounced the 'blessing for obedience and the curses for dis'obedience.' Now the law cannot be sufficient
1 Job. vi. 25.
* Gal. iii. 21, 22. Comp. Psalm cxxx. 3, 4. cxliii. 2.
for the happiness of him whom it
The law in itself The law in itself says nothing concerning forgiveness: this must come from the mercy of the Lawgiver. "Blessed is he whose "transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered."1 And" the circumcision of the heart," by which transgressors are brought to repent and turn to God, and to love and serve him, is the work of his special grace, according to the new covenant, by which he "writes the law in our hearts," while "our sins and iniquities he remembers no more." 2 We suppose that the ritual law, rightly understood, contained the gospel of mercy and grace, as proposed to Israel; which when Christ came, and after his crucifixion, was virtually abrogated: and plain testimonies, invitations, and promises made known the way of salvation to mankind. As a law of works,' the gospel itself cannot save transgressors, any more than the law of Moses can. "All have sinned, and come short of the 'glory of God." Yea, every man has broken his own law; that which he, however erroneously, has proposed to himself as the law of God; and thus he is condemned by his own conscience and heart and, if our "heart condemn us, God is "greater than our heart and knoweth all things."
We do not then say, that God has by Jesus given a new and better law: but that "he is the "Mediator of a better covenant," than that made with Israel by the typical mediation of Moses. It is manifest that God made a covenant with Abraham, of which circumcision was the outward
'Ps. xxxii. 1, 2.
Jer. xxxi, 31-34.
seal; but of which the Aaronic priesthood and most of the ceremonies were no part: and surely the apostle's argument is conclusive, "The cove"nant which was confirmed" (that is, with Abraham)" of God in Christ, the law, which "was four hundred and thirty years after, could "not disannul." This covenant, so manifestly distinct from the Sinai covenant, we suppose to have comprised for substance what the prophets, and the writers of the New Testament, speak of, as" a new and everlasting covenant."
But as the new covenant, in various circumstances, differed from that made with Abraham ; it is generally spoken of, in appropriate language, distinguishing it from the national covenant with Israel. The passage from Jeremiah, which the apostle produces and argues from, in an unanswerable manner, has been considered: 2 and the same prophet proposes the subject in similar language in a subsequent chapter. "I will give them "one heart and one way, that they may fear me "for ever, for the good of them, and of their chil"dren after them: I will make an everlasting "covenant with them, that I will not turn away "from them to do them good; but I will put my "fear in their hearts, that they shall not depart "from me."3 This must certainly be distinct from the Sinai covenant, in which none of these things are engaged for.-Thus Ezekiel also; "I "will remember my covenant with thee, in the days of thy youth, and I will establish with thee
1 Gal. iii. 16, 17.
2 Jer. 31-34. Heb. viii. 8—13. x. 15—18. "Jer. xxxii. 39, 40.