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Such is a concise view of the purity and extent of the moral law, delivered by Moses. How admirably are such language and such sentiments as these suited to the sacred original whence they flow! How strongly do they attest the Divine benevolence which dictated the Jewish law, which alone could enforce such precepts by adequate sanctions, and impress such sentiments upon the human heart with practical conviction. If the intermixture of such sentiments and precepts with the civil code, and the union of political regulations with moral instructions and religious observances, is unparalleled in any other country, and by any other lawgiver, does not this circumstance afford a strong presumptive evidence of the divine original of the Mosaic code ?

VI. The Mosaic dispensation, in its general provisions, comprehended a complete form of government, both civil and religious; and in both these respects it was purely a theocracy. Its civil enactments were adapted to peculiar cases and circumstances; but they enjoined, as we have seen, the duties of social life in all its several relations; and they appointed civil rulers to carry these laws into effect. The religious enactments of the Mosaic dispensation contained certain doctrines, promises, threatenings, and predictions, which were the authoritative rule of faith to the Jews; these enactments also prescribed a great multitude of ceremonial and judicial institutions, which, however indifferent in themselves, were obligatory on the Jews by the commanding authority of God. The precise use of all these institutions we cannot, at this distance of time, fully ascertain. But some of them were manifestly established in opposition to the rites of the Egyptians and other neighbouring nations, and with a view to preserve them from the infections of their idolatries. Others of their rites were instituted as memorials of the signal and extraordinary acts of Divine Providence towards them, especially those by which their law had been confirmed and established. And the history of the Jewish people, the vengeance executed by them on idolatrous nations, the wonderful works of God wrought among them, and the excellency of their laws and constitutions, could not but awaken the attention of the rest of mankind, and hold forth a light to the heathen world throughout which they were dispersed.

Infinite wisdom, however, had a still further design in the Mosaic dispensation. It was designed to prepare the way for that more perfect dispensation which was to succeed it. Its rites and ceremonies prefigure and set forth the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, who was the end of the Law (Rom. x. 4.), and who is pointed out and referred to through every part of the Old Testament. The law was their schoolmaster to bring them unto Christ. (Gal. iii. 24.) And though the elements which it taught were weak and poor, in respect of the more complete system which was afterwards to take place, yet they

the heathen, but as it carried with it the appearance of barbarity. Vide Phil. Jud. Tepi pidav&pinias. Joseph. contra Apion, 1. ii. § 22, &c.

See a full account of the religious and civil polity of the Jews, infra, Vol. III.

were excellent in their kind, and wisely adapted to the exigencies of those times.

The law, though not absolutely perfect, had a perfection suitable to its kind and design: it was adapted to the genius of the people to whom it was given, and admirably calculated to keep them a people distinct from the rest of mankind, and prevent their being involved in the idolatries common among other nations. And it was at the same time ordained to presignify good things to come, and to bear a strong attestation to the truth of the Christian religion. These were surely good ends, and worthy of a wise and good God. If God then chose Israel for his peculiar people, it was because all the rest of the world was immersed in idolatry and superstition. Nor did he thereby cease to be the God of the Gentiles. He left not himself without witness amongst them; he did them good, and gave them rain from heaven, and fruitful seasons. (Acts xiv. 7.) And his eternal power and godhead (Rom. i. 19, 20.) was manifested to them by the works of his creation. He was also at all times ready to receive those who turned from their idolatries, and became proselytes to the true religion. And he had prepared his son a ransom for all, to be testified in due time. (1 Tim. ii. 6.) The Jews might indeed take occasion from hence to value themselves, and despise others: but their law gave them no encouragement or pretence so to do; but quite the contrary. And with regard to their ceremonial Law, they were all along taught, both by Moses and their Prophets, that true religion did not consist in such external observances. Circumcise the foreskin of your heart (Deut. x. 16.)-said Moses to them. And again,The Lord thy God will circumcise thine heart, and the heart of thy seed, to love the Lord thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, that thou mayest live. (xxx. 6.) The like doctrine taught Samuel:- Hath the Lord as great delight in burnt-offerings, and sacrifices, as in obeying the voice of the Lord? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to hearken than the fat of rams. (1 Sam. xv. 22.) Thou desirest not sacrifice, says David, else would I give it: Thou delightest not in burnt-offering. The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit: A broken and contrite heart, O God, thou wilt not despise. (Psal. li. 16, 17.)- To do justice and judgment, says Solomon, is more acceptable to the Lord than sacrifice. (Prov. xxi. 3.) Isaiah speaks very fully to the same purpose: To what purpose is the multitude of your sacrifices unto me? saith the Lord: I am full of the burnt-offerings of rams, and the fat of fed beasts, and I delight not in the blood of bullocks, or of lambs, or of he goats, &c.— Wash ye, make ye clean, put away the evil of your doings from before mine eyes, cease to do evil, learn to do well, seek judgment, relieve the oppressed, judge the fatherless, plead for the widow. (Isa. i. 11, &c.) Thus also speaks Jeremiah, Thus, saith the Lord of Hosts, the God of Israel, Amend your ways and your doings, and I will cause you to dwell in this place. Trust ye not in lying words, saying, the temple of the Lord, the temple of the Lord. (Jer. vii. 3, 4.) I desired mercy, and not sacrifice, says God by the Prophet Hosea, and the

knowledge of God more than burnt-offerings. (Hos. vi. 6.) Lastly, we read in the Prophet Micah,- Wherewithal shall I come before the Lord, and bow myself before the high God? Shall I come before him with burnt-offerings, with calves of a year old? Will the Lord be pleased with thousands of rams, or with ten thousands of rivers of oil? Shall I give my first-born for my transgression, the fruit of my body for the sin of my soul? He hath showed thee, O man, what is good; and what doth the Lord require of thee, but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God? (Mic. vi. 6, &c.) If then the Jews placed their dependence on an external show of religion, they must stand condemned by their own Law, and their Prophets.

But, however excellent the Mosaic institution was in itself, and admirably adapted to the Jews, for the purposes for which it was intended, yet it was imperfect, as being only one part of the grand revelation of the divine purpose to save mankind through the blood of the Messiah, and also as being designed for a small nation, and not for the whole world. It was indeed strictly of a local and temporary nature. One part of its design being to separate the Israelites from the rest of mankind, (which it effectually accomplished,) many of its ordinances are therefore of such a nature, that they are not calculated for general adoption. The Jewish dispensation was only temporary, and preparatory to that fuller manifestation of the divine will, which in the fulness of time was to be made known to the world. This is not only implied in its typical character, which has already been noticed, but is also intimated, in no obscure terms, in those predictions which announce its abrogation, the substitution of the evangelical laws by the advent of the Messiah, and the conversion of the Gentiles. To omit the prophecies concerning the Messiah, which have already been noticed, the cessation of the Mosaic dispensation is foretold by Jeremiah in the following explicit terms:-Behold the days come, saith the Lord, that I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel, and with the house of Judah: not according to the covenant that I made with the house of their fathers, in the day that I took them by the hand, to bring them out of the land of Egypt; (which my covenant they brake, although I was a husband to them saith the Lord); but this shall be the covenant which I will make with the house of Israel. After those days saith the Lord, I will put my law in their inward parts, and write it in their hearts, and will be their God, and they shall be my people. And they shall teach no more every man his neighbour, saying, Know ye the Lord: for they shall ALL know me, from the least of them to the greatest of them, saith the Lord: for I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more. (Jer. xxxi.

1 Thus the Jews were commanded to appear personally in Jerusalem at their three great festivals: and if all men had been converted to Judaism, this law would have been equally binding upon them. But it would have been impossible for the greater part of mankind to repair to Jerusalem three or four times in the year; for, if this was a necessary part of religion, the lives of half the world would be entirely spent in a wearisome never-ending pilgrimage. Faber's Hora Mosaica, vol. ii. p. 435.

2 See pp. 334-342. supra, and the Appendix, No. IV.

31-34.) From which passage, Paul infers (Heb. viii. 7—13.), that the mention of a new covenant necessarily implies the first to be old, and that, if that first covenant had been faultless, there would have been no occasion for the second. Compare also Haggai ii. 6. with Heb. xii. 26, 27.

Equally important are all those predictions, which mention the calling of the Gentiles. All these are punctually fulfilled in the preaching of the Gospel, but are not so much as possible, supposing the law to be still in force, which confined all solemn worship and sacrifices to the temple at Jerusalem. Nay, further, this enlargement of the church plainly supersedes those other ceremonies, which were designed to distinguish the Israelites as God's peculiar people; for the partition wall must necessarily be broken down, and Jew and Gentile both made one whenever those prophecies should be accomplished.

Let us then adore the wisdom and goodness of God in all his dispensations. His statutes are right and rejoice the heart, and all his commandments are righteous. (Psal. xix. 8.) And these same righteous commandments and holy doctrines are delivered to us in the Gospel (as will be shown in the following pages), with still greater purity and perfection, and free from that burthen of ceremonies, which the circumstances of the Jewish age and people rendered necessary.

3. A SUMMARY VIEW OF THE doctrines and precepts of the GOS



1. Divine character of the founder of the Christian religion. — II. The leading doctrines of the Gospel, worthy of the character of the Almighty; particularly, 1. The account of God and of his perfections, and the duty and spiritual worship which we owe to him.-2. The vicarious atonement made for sin by Jesus Christ.—3. Forgiveness of sins. 4. Justification by faith.-5. The promise of the Holy Spirit to sanctify and renew our nature. -6. The immortality of the soul; and a future state of rewards and punishments. — III. The moral precepts of the New Testament admirably adapted to the actual state of mankind. — 1. Summary of the duties it enjoins between man and man, particularly integrity of conduct, charity, forgiveness of injuries.2. The duties of governors and subjects, masters and servants, husbands and wives, parents and children. -3. The personal duties of sobriety, chastity, temperance, &c.-4. The holiness of the moral precepts of the Gospel, a proof of its divine origin. — 5. Considerations on the manner in which the moral precepts of the Gospel are delivered; and on the character of Jesus Christ as a moral teacher.-IV. Superiority of the motives to duty presented by the Gospel. They are drawn, 1. From a consideration of the reasonableness of the duty. 2. From the singular favours bestowed by God. 3. From the example of Christ.-4. From the sanctions of duty, which the civil relations among men have received from God. 5. From the regard which Christians owe to their holy profession.

1 See Isa. ii. 2. x. xi. xix. 24. xlix. lx. Mic. iv. Mal. i. 11.

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6. From the acceptableness of true repentance and the promise of pardon.-7. From the divine assistance offered to support men in the practice of their duty.-8. From our relation to heaven while upon earth.-9. From the rewards and punishments proclaimed in the Gospel.

I. THE third and last dispensation of religion is that which was introduced by that divine and glorious person whom the prophets had foretold. This is properly the Christian dispensation, which was designed and fitted for an universal extent, and in which, considered in its original purity, religion is brought to its highest perfection and noblest improvement. An admirable wisdom, goodness, and purity, shone forth in the whole conduct and character of the great author of it. He came in the fulness of time, the time which had been pointed out in the prophetical writings. In him the several predictions relating to the extraordinary person that was to come were fulfilled, and the several characters by which he was described, were wonderfully united, and in no other person. He appeared, as was foretold concerning him, mean in his outward condition and circumstances, and yet maintained in his whole conduct a dignity becoming his divine character. Many of his miracles were of such a kind, and performed in such a manner, as seemed to argue a dominion over nature, and its established laws, and they were acts of great goodness as well as power. He went about doing good to the bodies and to the souls of men, and the admirable instructions he gave were delivered with a divine authority, and yet with great familiarity and condescension. And his own practice was every way suited to the excellency of his precepts. He exhibited the most finished pattern of universal holiness, of love to God, of zeal for the divine glory, of the most wonderful charity and benevolence towards mankind, of the most unparalleled self-denial, of a heavenly mind and life, of meekness and patience, humility and condescension. Never was there so perfect a character, so godlike, venerable, and amiable, so remote from that of an enthusiast or an impostor. He is the only founder of a religion in the history of mankind, which is totally unconnected with all human policy and government, and therefore totally unconducive to any worldly purpose whatever. All others, as Mohammed, Numa, and even Moses himself, blended their religious and civil institutions together, and thus acquired dominion over their respective people: but Christ neither aimed at nor would accept of any such power; he rejected every object which all other men pursue, and made choice of all those which others fear to encounter. No other founder of a religion ever made his own sufferings and death a necessary part of his original plan, and essential to his mission. Jesus Christ, however, most expressly foretold his own sufferings, the cruel and ignominious death he was to undergo, his resurrection from the dead on the third day, his ascension into heaven, the dreadful judgments and calamities that should be inflicted on the Jewish nation, and, what seemed the most improbable thing in the world, the wonderful progress of his own Gospel from the smallest beginnings, notwithstanding the persecutions and



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