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SECT. plation to the Moft High, through the meII. rits of the Moft High his only begotten Son; and in the myfterious facrifice, then offering upon the altar, he views with the eye of faith the fufferings of the one great facrifice for loft mankind: fuch is the myftery of the altar.

The fame belief in the divinity of the Meffiah may be deduced from the following very remarkable paffage in the Midrafh. "Thus he faved them by the hand "of other judges, who being but flesh "and blood, ye fell into flavery again: but in the age to come (i. e. of the Mesfiah) I in my own fubftance will redeem you, and ye fhall not be reduced into "fervitude any moreh."


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According to R. Salomon Jarchi, the Talmuds, and Maimonides, when the priest fprinkled the blood of the victim upon the confecrated cakes, and other hallowed utenfils, he was always careful to do it in the form of a crofs. The fame symbol was used when the kings and the high-priests

• Differt. in Maimon. de Vaccâ Rufâ, p. 495.
Cited by Bp. Patrick, Comment. on Judges, c. iii.



were anointed. And whenever they had CHAP. occafion to move the victims, or to wave the branches of the palm-tree, the motion was always made fo as to exprefs the figure of a crofs.

From thefe authorities we may judge, how far the Jews were in that total ignorance of the end and purport of their Law, which fome perfons are fond of afferting. To maintain, indeed, that they enjoyed those clear views of the nature of Chrift's kingdom, which we do at prefent, would be no less abfurd, than contrary to the declarations of Scripture. They lived in the twilight of the Gofpel; we in the full blaze of its day. They looked forward with eager expectation to the first advent of the Meffiah; we are in the fame fituation as to his fecond coming. They believed, that he would shortly manifest him

i Differt. in Maimon. de Vaccâ Rufà, p. 497.

I am aware, that many of these Jewish writers flourished after the commencement of the Christian era; but that circumftance does not appear to invalidate the argument drawn from their declarations. Since they do not admit Jefus to be the Meffiah, they are placed in exactly the fame predicament, with regard to any of their particular tencts, as they were previous to the advent of Chrift.



SECT. felf upon the earth, though they did not fully comprehend the mode of his appearance; we believe, that he will come to be our judge, though, with regard to the particular process of that awful day, we are, and must remain, considerably in the dark, till inftructed by the event. In short, it feems to be nearly as unreasonable to maintain, that Chriftians do not believe in a future ftate of rewards and punishments, because their views of it are indistinct, and their perceptions clouded; as it is to affert, that the Jews did not look beyond their ceremonial Law to its completion in the promised Saviour, because their apprehenfion of his nature and office was not fo definite, as if they had lived pofterior to his ministry.

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The refult of the whole is, that the very Gofpel, which is now univerfally received by the Chriftian world, was in reality preached to the ancient church of Ifrael. Veiled indeed it was beneath the types and fhadows of the Law; but it still propofed to loft mankind the fame offer of redemption, and the fame doctrine of a mediator. From the creation of the world, to the day of its final diffolution, one mode only of


of falvation has been revealed; and the CHAP, everlafling happiness both of Jew and Gentile is equally built upon the perfect obedience and the meritorious facrifice of the Son of God.

All dependence then upon our own righteousness we utterly difclaim; for we know, alas! by bitter experience, that we can do no good thing. We presume not to demand falvation as a debt; but we rely entirely upon the worthiness of him, who hath promifed, that he will not fuffer the gates of hell to prevail against his church. Here the Chriftian refts in the full affurance of hope; an affurance depending upon God's oath, and built upon his omnipotence. When this oath can fail, and when this omnipotence can be fubverted, then, and not till then, will the joyful confidence of the believer be shaken. Meanwhile, his grateful heart labours to bring forth fruits, in some small degree at least, worthy of his free and unbought justification. Hath God, through Christ, done all for him, and shall he not strive to make the smallest return? His foul revolts from the very idea of fuch bafe ingratitude; the

* Heb. vi. 16.



SECT. remembrance of benefits conferred is a constant spur to his industry; and his daily lamentation is, that he, who hath received so much, should repay fo little. Refpecting futurity he has no lasting anxiety; he trufts that all things work together for his good; and his flesh rests in hope, notwithstanding his ignorance of the peculiar manner of fpiritual existence. "The fecret


things belong to the Lord our God; but "those things which are revealed belong "unto us, and to our children for ever, "that we may do all the words of this "Law1."

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