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though the words are different. The apostle after the Greek version says, a body hast th«u prepared me; that is, a body wherein to suffer and be obedient unto death: the psalm says, mine ears hast thou pierced: for the word is the same as in the 22d psalm, they pierced my hands and feet; and here the piercing of the ear, the symbol of obedience, was a sign of his suffering in that body which should be prepared for him. All this being a reference to the custom observed under the law toward the obedient servant, that custom was a standing testimony in the volume of the book of Moses, that the Messiah, taking the form of a servant, should offer himself freely to do the will of God for our salvation; and in consequence of this determination, should be pierced in the body, as the willing servant was bored thro"ugh to the post of the door; the plade where the blood of the passover was sprinkled with the same signification once every year.
In this and the preceding lecture I have endeavoured to shew, as my plan requires, how the language of the other parts of scripture is borrowed from the language of the law, and is to be interpreted thereby. To what has been said, give me leave to add a few general obi 4 servations servations on the nature and design of the law of Moses.
St. Paul asks the question; ivherefare then serveth the lazc? To which he gives this answer; it was added because of transgression, till the seed should come to whom the promise teas made*. The expectation of the seed first promised in paradise, and afterwards to Abraham, was the sum and substance of the patriarchal faith; and all the earliest institutions of priesthood and sacrifice were intended to keep up this expectation. But when the perverseness of men had changed and corrupted the primitive institutions for the base purposes of idolatry and the worship of false Gods, it became necessary on account of these frequent transgressions to add a written law, with a stated form of positive services, never to be altered nor departed from; and all of them descriptive of the salvation which was to be effected by the promised seed; whence you are not to wonder, that in him they all meet and find their interpretation.
They who were bound to the observation of the law, were thereby separated of necessity from the world; and, as St. Paul very strongly expresses it, shut up unto the faith which should
* Galatians iii. 19.
afterwards be revealed*; confined to a set of ceremonies and services, under which it was in a manner impracticable for them to evade the objects of their faith, when they should be revealed in their true foim. Not only the substance of what was expected, but all the particulars and circumstantials had been acted over in figure for ages together: and so the law was a schoolmaster unto Christ; preparing those who were under it for the reception of the gospel, and as it were forcing them upon it, if men could on that principle be reconciled to truth.
When the gospel appeared, the Jew should have reasoned thus with himself. Do they say Jesus died for our redemption? So did the paschal lamb die to redeem our whole nation in Egypt. Did he ascend afterwards into heaven? So did our high priest go yearly into the most holy place, carrying thither the blood of a sacrifice slain in the worldly sanctuary. Is there no remission of sin without shedding of blood ?— There certainly was none under the law. Has Jesus appointed a baptism with water? So had our law its purifications for the washing away of uncleanness. Is the partition we have so diligently kept up between ourselves and the
Heathens * Galatians v. 33.
Heathens to be broken down at last, and is the true religion to be carried out amongst all nations? So was our tabernacle brought from the" solitary wilderness under Joshua, whom the' Greeks call Jesus, into the possession of the Gentiles. Numberless other questions might be asked, shocking to the prejudices of a Jew, which would bring their own answers with them out of the law of Moses: and such was the use the Jew ought to have made of it.
From the various applications of particular passages from the law, previous to the revelation of the gospel, it appears that the law was in itself a spiritual as well as a figurative system, for the forming of the heart, and the purifying of the mind; yet conveying its precepts in parables and signs which wanted an interpretation: and that interpretation is occasionally dropped in so many parts of the scripture, especially in the Psalms, that the prophets and masters of Israel appear to have understood the law in a spiritual sense. If the bulk of the people did not understand it so, we must not impute this to any uncertainty or obscurity in Moses and the prophets, but to that carnal affection which naturally chuses the form of religion without the spirit of it. Their pride, their alfectation of false wisdom, their avarice, their adultery, blinded
them, and made them as averse to the sense of a miracle wrought before their eyes, as to the sense of the darkest verse- in the Pentateuch. The world always has been, and now is, to those that are shut up under its laws, a schoolmaster . to turn men away from Christ ; and a conceited worldly-minded Christian, proud of the powers of reason without grace, is at this hour as blind to the spirit of the gospel as the Jew ever was to that of the law. For ignorance of the true spirit of Christianity, and the design of its doctrines, I would match the modern philosophising Socinian with the blindest Jew: for the one has made the gospel as void as the other made the law. Read the writings of some whose books have made a great noise in the present centurv, and vou will know no more of the Christian church and the Christian sacraments,' than the wandering Jew, who now travels about to cheat Christians with his wares, knows of the priesthood and sacrifices in the books of Moses. __ .
The law is of use to us Christians for the illustration of the new testament, whose language and mysteries are so founded upon it, that the language of the gospels and epistles is unintelligible without a particular attention to the law; and in proportion as our knowledge of it en