Page images


4. D.5 8. Christ * hath been e. vation without the Mofaical Law ?

vidently set forth, cru. You that have had the Crucified
cihed among you? Jefus represented * to you as the
only Redeemer of Mankind, with as much Earneftness
and Clearness as if you had seen him hanging on the
Cross before your Eyes ?

2 This only would 2. Nor have you only heard his
I learn of you, Recei. true Doctrine, but had it con-
ved ye the Spirit by formed to you by such Powers and
the works of the law, Gifts of the Holy Spirit conferred
or by the hearing of
faith ?

on you, as were never before seen

in the Church of God. Now let me argue with your Yewish Zealots, from these very Endowments, in the first place. Were they conferred on you upon any Consideration of your Observance of the Mosaical Law, or as you were Jews ? Was it not absolutely on account of your becoming Christian Disciples ?

3 Are ye so foolish ? 3. How weak and foolish a Prohaving begun in the ceeding is this, for Men to lay the Spirit, are ye now Foundation of their Pardon and made perfect by the Happiness in the Chrisian Religion, flesh ?

as demonstrated by such Evidences of the Holy Spirit ; and then run back and build upon the Ceremonial Law ; which they before allowed to be so external and carnal a Dispensation, as to be insufficient for it.

4 Have ye fuffered

4. And then, to what Purpose so many things in have you endured so many Pervain ; if it be yet in fecutions for the sake of your vain.

Gospel Profession, if you now lose all its happy Privileges, by relinquishing the main Articles of it? But I hope you will prevent that by conGidering better.

5. I say

* Ver. 1. Hath been evidently set forth. z posypełom was before described and represented to you: Viz. Before ever these Jewish Notions, of the Neceflity of their Law, were heard of amongit them

5 He therefore that 5. I say then, when I wrought A. D.58. miniftreth to you the fuch Miracles for your Conversion, Spirit, and worketh and conferred the Power of workmiracles among you, doth he it by the ing them upon several Members works of the law,

of your Church ; did I do it as a by the * hearing of Jewish Teacher, or had the least faith?

regard to the Ceremonial Law ? No,

it was purely as a Gospel Minister, and as you were Christian Professors. Wherefore, as this Earnest and Pledge of your Justification was not in the least owing to that Law, neither can the thing it


self be.

ness :

6 Even as Abra 6 & 7. In the next place, Can ham I believed God, any of those who are so zealous and it was accounted for the Jewish Rites, desire to be to him for righteous- justified and accepted of God, up

on a better foot than Abraham the 7 Know ye therefore, that they which very Father of the Jewish Naare of faith, the same tion was ? Now, 'tis certain the are the children of Christian Faith is that very PrinAbraham.

ciple of believing God's Revelation,

and obeying his Will, that obtained him his Justification ; and whoever he be, whether Jew or Gentile, that so believes in God through Christ the Mesiah, is the Spiritual Son of Abraham, and has a Right to the Promise made to that great Patriarch.

8 And the scripture 8. For it being the original and foreseeing that God gracious Design of God to save would justifie the hea- the Gentiles, as well as the Jews, then through faith, by bringing them all, one day, preached before the

under the Christian Covenant ; you gospel


* Ver. 5. The Hearing of Faith. The Word Hearing signifies either the Doétrine of Faith, i. e. of the Gospel, or else Obedience to the Faith. In this former Sense, 'tis the same as in Ifai. liii. 1. Lord, who hath believed our Report, (Heb. our Hearing, i.e. the Doctrine' heard.) From whence St. Paul probably took it.

I See the fame Argument in Rom. iv,

Xxvii. 26.
Rom. iii.

1. D. 58. gospel unto Abraham, are to understand that special Blefw saying, In thee Thall all fing promised to Abraham (Gen. xii. nations be blesled.

3.) to be meant of Christ, who was to be born of his Family, and become the Saviour of all Nations that would embrace his Religion.

9 So then they which 9. As therefore it was Faith in be of faith, are blessed God that justified Abraham, so is with faithful Abraham.

it Faith in Christ, and Obedience to his Religion, that faves all Christians, and the Ceremonial Law has no hand at all in it.

10 For as many as 10. For indeed, that Law is of are of the works of quite a different Nature from one the law, are under the that is to justify and save Mancurse : for it is writ- kind : It is a most severe Dispenten, Cursed is every fation, abounding in Duties and one that continueth not

in all things which Injunctions, and laying all under & See Deut. are written in the Guilt that breaks | any one of

book of the law to do them ; but provides no sufficient

Attonement to clear their Con-
20. viii. 3.
Heb. X.

sciences of that Guilt. 11 But that no man

Il, and 12.

And accordingly,
is justified by the law the Prophet Habakkuk afcribes the
in the fight of God, it Justification of all good Men to
is evident: for, The Religious Faith in God. Whereas
just shall live by faith.

the Ceremonial Law puts it not
12 And the law is
not of faith : but, the upon that Principle, but insists on
man that doth them an exact and rigid observance of
shall live in them. all its numerous Rites and Pre-

cepts ; proposing the promised
Land of Canaan for its Reward; but Sin and Guilt
was the Effect of the Transgression of any one of them.

Chrift hath re 13. Now from this severe Dif-
deemed us from the penfation, and from the Guilt of
curse of the law, be-

our numberless Violations of its
ing made a curse for
us for it is written, Injunctions, has Christ our Mesiah


us by his Death ;


* Redeemed us, étagéparer ; Has bought us out as from a Slavery. Or has deliver'd us from it as effectually, as if he had paid down a Price for us. Compare 2 Tim. ii. 26. 1 Pet. i. 18, 19, with Deut. vii. 8. Exod. vi. 6. Deut. xxxii. 6. 2 Sam. vii. 23.

[ocr errors]



Cursed is every one whereby he suffered the Curse, in A. D. 58. that hangeth on our itead, agreeably to the Words of

the Law (Deut. xxi. 23.) which call Hanging on a Tree an * accursed death.

14 That the blef 14. And thus the grand Promise sing of

Abraham made to Abraham, of his Seed bemight come on the ing a Blessing to all Nations, is fulfilGentiles through Je led in Christ ; and makes it plain, fus Christ, that we might receive the that as his Death was the sole and promise of the Spirit fufficient Expiation for the Sins of through faith.

both Gentiles and Yews ; fo 'tis the

embracing of His Religion alone that procures all Christians these Gifts and Graces promised to the Church of the Messiah ; and the Ceremonial Law contributes nothing towards it.

15 Brethren, I speak 15. Thus the Christian Covenant after the manner of is grounded on Abraham's Promise. men : though it be Now common Equity, even in hubut a man's covenant,

man Affairs, makes it utterly unyet if it be confirmed; lawful to any Man to cancel or alter no man disannulleth or addeth thereto.

a Covenant, Will, or Contract, that

is once regularly made, and duly ratified. How much less should any Person dare to break or change the solemn Covenant of God!

16 Now to Abra. 16. But now your Jewish Zealots, ham and his feed were by preaching up the absolute Necefthe promises made, fity of the Ceremonial Law to ChriHe faith not, And to fian People, are evidently guilty of seeds,



* Made a Curse-Cursed. Christ was not accursed of God, in the proper Sense of that Phrase ; but by being Crucified, was in the Efteem of the Jews, the fame polluted and abominable Thing that, by their Law, all Persons were that were hanged as Malefactors. As Le Clerc well observes.

Tavirayliajar ts svúst. The Promise of the Spirit, i.e. Either the Spiritual Blessings promised to Abraham in general, or else the particulør Gifts and Endowments of the Holy Spirit on the Apostles and the Primitive Church, called emphatically, The Promise, Acts ii. 32. and xiii. 32. and the Prom mife of the Father, Acta ii. 33. i. 4.

1. D.58. seeds, as of many ; this Crime. For 'tis clear, the Pro

but as of one, And to mise made to Abraham was meant thy seed, which is of one particular Person, that was Christ.

to be born of a particular Branch of his family. Christ was the Saviour promised, of Isaac's

Line ; and it was not every one that should be meerly * See the * born of Abraham, but only such as should be Members fame Ar

of the Church of this Meffiah, that were entitled to his gument, Rom. ix. Blessings; and all that were his Members, be they Gentiles

or Jews, were certainly to enjoy them.

17 And this I say, 17. Whereas your Zealots say, Noni that the covenant that the Blessing must be by the Obserwas confirmed before vation of the Law. As if a Law of God in Christ, the of God could ever be supposed to law which was four hundred and thirty come, and disannul, and set aside a years after, cannot moft solemn and absolute Promise ; disannul, that it should a Promise of infinite Importance make the promise of made to the Pious Ancestors of the none effect.

very People to whom that Law is

given (and in him to all the obedient Part of Mankind) four hundred and thirty Years before.

18 For if the in 18. Either therefore this great heritance be of the Blessing of Mens Pardon and Sallaw, it is no more of vation is wholly founded in the Propromise : but God gave it to Abraham 'tis most evident from Scripture it

mise to Abraham or not; if it be (as by promise.

was) then 'tis Faith in Christ's Religion alone that is the Condition of a Christian's Justification and for you to join the Ceremonial Law to it, is to alter the Promise and folemn Covenant of God. 19 Wherefore then

19. To this Argument I know serveth the law? It the Jewish Zealots will make this transgressions, " till the Objection, viz. If Pardon and Salfeed Thould come, to

vation were not to be had by virtue whom the promise of the Mofaical Law, why then was was made, and it was that Law given, and what was it ordained by angels in good for? I answer, It was given the hand of a mediator

. to the Jewish People for very wise and good Purposes, viz. To preserve and fence them, who were the Church of God, and of whole Nation Chrift was to be born, from the Idolatrous Rites and Practices of


« EelmineJätka »