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when first converted, in common with CHAP. their unbelieving brethren. They, too, fond- 11. ly hoped one day to fee the lowly Jefus, a mighty temporal prince; and expected, that they, who had fhared his humility, fhould be partakers of his power and glory. This is fufficiently evident from a variety of paffages contained in holy Scripture.
"Then he took unto him the twelve, "and faid unto them, Behold, we go up "to Jerufalem, and all things that are "written by the Prophets concerning the "Son of man fhall be accomplished. For "he fhall be delivered unto the Gentiles, "and fhall be mocked, and fpitefully in"treated, and fpitted on: and they fhall fcourge him, and put him to death: and "the third day he fhall rife again
Such is the defcription, which the Meffiah gives of his humiliation and sufferings; circumstances, which had never once occurred to the afpiring and worldly-minded Jews; accordingly, we find that his Difciples were totally at a lofs to comprehend his meaning." And they understood none "of these things, and this faying was hid
Luke xviii. 31.
"from them, neither knew they the things "which were spoken."
The fame obfervation may be made on the defponding language of the two dif ciples, who were paffing from Jerufalem to Emmaus. "We trufted that it had "been he, which fhould have redeemed "Ifrael." The death of Chrift had put an end to all their hopes, and they concluded themselves to have been mistaken in fuppofing him the promised Saviour. For a season, they were as blind as the other Jews to the real defign of his miffion; and imagined, that fuch an ignominious punishment as crucifixion was utterly incompatible with the character of him, who came to restore the legal obfervances with additional fplendor and majefty. They remained in this ignorance and perplexity, till Chrift himself was pleased to remove their doubts; firft by explaining the intent of the ceremonies and prophecies, and afterwards by fending the Holy Ghost to enlighten their understandings, and to enable them to comprehend the true connection of the Law and the Gofpel.
death of our Lord.
3. The error of the Judaizing Christians CHAP. after the death of our Lord, when their 11. mistakes concerning his office and functions were removed, and when they no Jewish longer imagined him to be a temporal de- after the liverer, confifted in fuppofing; that the Gospel was not to fuperfede the Law, but that the ceremonial part of it was to remain ftill in force, even after the promulgation of Christianity. The more moderate of these converts included only themfelves as Jews under this obligation; but the more violent infifted, that the Gentile Christians were equally bound in confcience to obferve the rites and ordinances of the Mofaical difpenfation. Had this been required only as a temporary matter, and folely with a view to foften the prejudices of the Jews against the preaching of the Gospel, the compliance with it could have involved no bad confequences; and St. Paul, whose liberality of character is re markably conspicuous, would doubtless not have opposed it, fince he himself, in more than a single instance, yielded in non-effentials, in order to avoid giving offence f. Whence then arose the Apostle's strenuous
SECT. resistance to this notion of the Judaizing Christians? The reafon is clear; they wished to make the obfervance of the Law a condition of justification, without which not even the merits of the Redeemer himself could effect the falvation of finners; a doctrine clearly ftriking at the very vitals of Christianity.
Perhaps the Epiftle to the Galatians is at once the beft account and confutation of this error. The Galatians, a church of Gentile converts, and therefore peculiarly under the jurifdiction of St. Paul, the great Apoftle of the Gentiles, had been induced, by the mistaken zeal and false representations of the Jewish Chriftians, to adopt the rites of the Levitical church, and to endeavour to unite them with the pure and fpiritual doctrines of the fecond difpenfation under the Meffiah. This error was fo common in the early ages of Chriftianity, that we find St. Peter himself infected with it; or, at least, fuppofing his private fentiments to have been just, giving his countenance and fupport to it, from fear of difpleafing the Jewifh converts.
Under fuch circumftances, St. Paul judged
it to be the best antidote against the pre- CHAP. vailing evil, to remonstrate openly with St. Peter, and afterwards to admonish by letter thofe churches, which had been deceived. Accordingly, in the Epistle under confideration, he acquaints the Galatians with his proceedings, and concludes his narrative with these ftriking and decifive words. 66 Knowing that a man is not juf"tified by the works of the Law, but by "the faith of Jefus Chrift, even we have "believed in Jefus Chrift, that we might
be juftified by the faith of Chrift, and "not by the works of the Law: for by "the works of the Law fhall no flesh be "justified §."
This error in the Chriftian Jews derived its origin from a very natural, and indeed a very pious caufe. Not thoroughly understanding the evangelical scheme of juftification folely through the merits of Chrift ; they joined the works of the Law with it, as effentially and efficiently neceffary to falvation. They seem to have argued in this manner: If the Law of Mofes, the Law of our forefathers, in the firm belief of