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and that the end of that commandment was the love of God, out of a pure heart, and faith unfeigned. "Circumcise (says he) the foreskin of your hearts, "and be no more stiff-necked"." And again, "The "Lord thy God shall circumcise thy heart, and the "heart of thy seed, to love the Lord thy God with "all thy heart, and with all thy soul, that thou mayest live"." When a Jew, reading this, still continues to think that the legal rites were instituted for their own sake, and that their value lies in the opus operatum, is the veil on Moses' face, or on his heart? For hath not Moses told him, in terms as plain as those in which St. Paul hath told us, that "He is not a Jew, who is one outwardly, nor is "that circumcision, which is outward in the flesh: "but he is a Jew, who is one inwardly; and cir"cumcision is that of the heart, in the spirit, and not "in the letter; whose praise is not of men, but of "God"."

Thus, with regard to the many ablutions enjoined and practised under the law" Wash you, make you "clean," saith God to his people, by the prophet Isaiah. So far the terms are legal, and may be deemed ambiguous; but, by what immediately fol lows, their meaning is explained and fixed: "Put

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away the evil of your doings from before mine (6 eyes, cease to do evil, learn to do well"." As if he had said, What avails the outward and visible sign, without the thing signified by it? When we read in

m Deut. x. 16.
Rom. ii. ult.

■ Deut. xxx. 6.
Isa. i. 16, 17.

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the 51st Psalm, "Purge me with hyssop, and L "shall be clean; wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow ;"we may think we hear the voice of a Jew. But let us hear him again-" Wash me throughly "from mine iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin. "Hide thy face from my sins, and blot out all mine is iniquities. Create in me a clean heart, O God; "and renew a right spirit within me. Cast me not

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away from thy presence, and take not thy Holy "Spirit from me. Restore unto me the joy of thy "salvation, and uphold me with thy free Spirit.” What can a Christian-what can the devoutest and best-informed Christian, in the like unhappy circumstances, say more, than thus to pray, that God would by his mercy pardon the guilt, and efface the stain of sin, and renew the heart and soul again to righteousness, by the grace and power of his Holy Spirit? And whoever peruses with attention the writings of the prophets, will find, that it is always one part of their employment to recall the Israelites from the dead letter to the living spirit of their law; to press upon them the necessity of suing for the divine favour by that true repentance, and that steadfast faith in God's promises, in the exercise of which it was the design of their ritual to train them. The office of a Christian minister, mutatis mutandis, is, in this particular, the same: and it may be executed, with the utmost propriety, in the very same language. The noble and affecting exhortation in our Commination office affords a striking proof of this;

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4 Psal. li. 7.

? Ver. 2, 9, et seq.

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where the prophetical and the evangelical expressions are finely interwoven, and, like the colours in a good picture, most harmoniously melt into each other.

To speak a word more, touching the perpetuity of the law of Moses. The Jew argues for it, from the immutability of God. But it is no more a reflection upon the divine immutability, that the law, having' answered its end, should be abolished, than it is, that the world should be destroyed, after the accomplishment of the design for which it was created. He, who gave the law, foretold, in the clearest terms, by his prophets, that, at a certain period, it should cease; that he would make a new covenant by the Messias, and that the old covenant should be disannulled; that the old things should pass away, and be forgottten; that the ark of the covenant should. come no more to mind"; that the legal sacrifices should cease, and sacrifices of a purer kind be established in their room; that the Aaronical order of priesthood should be dissolved, and the order of Melchisedek be introduced by the Messiah; and that this latter priesthood should be an ordinance for every.

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From these considerations it appears, that the law, in its nature, was figurative and transitory, being a dispensation interposed between the promise and its accomplishment. Previous to the law, the Gospel

s Jer. xxxi. 31. * Mal. i. 10.

t Isa. xliii. 18, 19.

" Jer. iii. 16.

Ps. cx. 4. See PASCHAL'S Thoughts, p. 187,

was preached to Abraham, that in his seed, the Messiah, all nations should be blessed. The same Gospel, at the beginning, had been preached to Adam, that the seed of the woman, or the Messiah, should bruise the head, that is, destroy the power, of the old serpent, who is called the Devil and: Satan, who deceived our first parents, and deceiveth the whole world. But as there was to be a long interval between the promise and its performance, in the mean time, till the seed should come to whom the promise was made, the law took men under its. tuition, prescribed to them their duty, showed them their guilt and their pollution, and pointed out the means of pardon and sanctification. When the promise was fulfilled, and the seed came, it had executed its office, and ceased of course, giving place to him whom it had hitherto prefigured and predicted. It spoke by the mouth of the aged and dying Simeon, when, upon embracing the child Jesus in the temple, he exclaimed, "Lord now lettest "thou thy servant depart in peace, according to thy "word; for mine eyes have seen thy salvation, "which thou hast prepared before the face of all "people; a light to lighten the Gentiles, and to be "the glory of thy people Israel."

The third point, taken for granted by the Jews in our Saviour's time, was, that the possession of their city, temple, and country, in peace, wealth, and prosperity, was the end of the promises.

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But their own Scriptures militate, with equal force, against this notion likewise.

For here we must recollect again, that the pro

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mise, emphatically so styled, was made, in Abraham, to "all the nations of the earth," who could not possibly have any concern in the blessing of Ca

naan.

God

We must observe, that if Canaan were indeed the end of the promise, the fathers of the Jewish people, Abraham, Issac, and Jacob, never were, nor could hope to be, partakers of it. They sojourned in the land of promise, as in a strange land. gave them none inheritance in it, not so much as to set their foot on. They confessed themselves to be strangers and pilgrims, travelling towards a country in which they might fix their abode. Such they lived, and such they died. The country, therefore, which they sought, was one beyond the grave.

When the children of Abraham were settled in Canaan, true Israelites understood, that the rest they there enjoyed was by no means the real, permanent, final rest promised and intended. In the 95th Psalm, David, though king of Israel, and seated on the hill of Sion, still speaks of another future rest, warning the people of his time, that they fell not short of it, as their ancestors, who came out of Egypt, fell short of Canaan, through unbelief and disobedience. If Joshua had given them the true final rest, David so long afterward could not have spoken of another day of trial, and another rest reserved in store for the faithful. For this reason it is, that the same David, in that sublime and devout act of praise and thanksgiving uttered just before his death, recognising the mercies of God to Israel in the land of promise, yet makes the very confession

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