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paid to the words of Moses, and what emphasis he has laid upon them. Moses had transiently observed, “ The word is in thy mouth and in thy heart;" but the Apostle amplifies the idea, and shews repeatedly that the confessing of Christ with the mouth is quite as necessary as the believing on him with the heart: by the latter indeed we obtain " righteousness;" but by the former we obtain complete“ salvation m.” In that age, to confess Christ before men was to subject oneself to persecutions and death in their most cruel forms: but our Lord would not acknowledge any one as his disciple, who should neglect to do it: he warned his disciples that such cowardice would infallibly exclude them from the kingdom of heaven. How necessary then and indispensable must a confession of Christ in this age be, when we have nothing to fear but the loss of some temporal interest, and the being stigmatized with some ignominious name! Truly, if we are ashamed to confess him, we may well be banished from his presence as the weakest and most contemptible of the human racen. Let this then be considered by all who would secure the salvation of their souls; they must openly confess their attachment to Christ, and must “ follow him without the camp, bearing his reproach.” A public acknowledging of him indeed will not supersede the necessity of internal piety; nor will the piety of the heart supersede the necessity of honouring Christ by an open profession of our faith: both are necessary in their place; and both must be combined by those who would derive any benefit from either.] LEARN then from hence, 1. To value aright the privileges you enjoy
[The Jews were far exalted above the heathen; but we are no less exalted above them : for we have the substance, of which they had only the shadow. But even among Christians also there is a great difference; some having the Gospel more fully and clearly opened to them than others. We pray God that the light which you enjoy may be improved by you; else it will leave you in a more deplorable state than Sodom and Gomorrha.]
2. To guard against entertaining discouraging thoughts about the salvation of your souls
[Moses tells you that you have no occasion for such thoughts; and St. Paul guards you against the admission of them into your minds : "Say not in thine heart," who shall do such and such things for me? It is very common for persons to think their salvation on one account or other unattainable. But “what could God have done for us that he has not done?" or what provision do we need which he has not laid up in store for us? To
m Rom. x. 9, 10.
n Mark viü. 38.
• This salvation is not for me,' is to contradict the Scriptures, and to “make God a liar.” Repeatedly is it said, that " whosoever believeth in Christ, and whosoever shall call on his name, shall be saved.” It matters not whether he be a Jew or a Gentile, a greater sinner or a less; for “God is rich unto all that call upon him,” whatever guilt they may have contracted, or whatever discouragements they may labour under. Put away then all unbelieving fears, and know, that, as the Gospel is revealed for the benefit of all, so it shall be effectual for all who believe and obey it.]
o Rom. x. 11-13.
THE GOSPEL CLEARLY CONTAINED IN THE OLD TESTAMENTS. Deut. xxx. 11–14. This commandment which I command thee
this day, it is not hidden from thee, neither is it far off. It is not in heaven, that thou shouldest say, Who shall go up for us to heaven, and bring it unto us, that we may hear it, and do it? neither is it beyond the sea, that thou shouldest say, Who shall go over the sea for us, and bring it unto us, that we may hear it, and do it? But the word is very nigh unto thee, in thy mouth, and in thy heart, that thou mayest do it.
THE Old Testament is a rich mine of spiritual knowledge, and reflects as much light upon the New Testament as itself receives from this fuller revelation of God's will. Each is necessary to the understanding of the other: in that is the model of the edifice, which, under the Christian dispensation, has been erected: and, if it were duly attended to, it would prove sufficient to convince the whole world, that Christianity is Judaism perfected and completed; perfected in all its types, and completed in all its prophecies. To this effect spake Moses in the words before us. “ The commandment” which he mentions, is not to be understood, as many Jews imagine, of the law given upon Mount Sinai, but of another covenant which God entered into with his people in the land of Moab; and which was, in fact, the covenant of grace. It is by Moses himself distinguished from the covenant of worksb: and that distinction is confirmed by the account which he gives of it elsewhere. The law, as published on Horeb or Mount Sinai, made no provision for the pardon of any sin whatever: it simply said, “ Do this and thou shalt live :" but the covenant made afterwards in the land of Moab, was ratified with the blood of sacrifices; which blood was sprinkled upon the altar, the book, and all the people°; and therefore sprinkled, that they might know how to seek the remission of their sins, as often as occasion for it should arised. In this act the gospel way of salvation was set before them; so that they needed not henceforth to be looking for any one to come down from heaven, like Moses, or from the depths of the sea, like Jonah, to proclaim it, seeing that it was “ very nigh unto them” already, even “ in their mouth,” which approved of the law, and “ in their heart," which loved it.
a The author's First Address to the Jews, at St. Catharine Cree, London. The preceding Discourse on the same text was written many years before, for Gentiles : this in 1818, for Jews.
The things which the Gospel more particularly inculcates, are, Repentance, Faith, and Obedience; and these are almost as clearly revealed in the Old Testament as in the New.
To shew this to the Jewish people is, I conceive, the very first step towards bringing them to Christianity. The Apostles, when preaching to the Jews, always appealed to the Old Testament in confirmation of all that they delivered : and I also, after their example, will endeavour to shew you, my Jewish Brethren, that your own Scriptures declare in the plainest terms, I. That you are guilty and condemned by the moral
law. The law is a perfect transcript of the mind and will of God; and it requires of every human being an obedience to all its commands. For one single transgression it utterly and eternally condemns us : nay more, it requires every individual to express his b Deut. xxix. 1.
c Exod. xxiv, 3-8. The author of the Epistle to the Hebrews, who was so deeply conversant with the whole of the Mosaic law, refers to this very covenant in this precise point of view. Heb. ix. 19, 20.
assent to this as true, and his approbation of it as right and good : “ Cursed is he that confirmeth not all the words of this law to do them : and all the people shall say, Amen." But of the impossibility of coming to God by the law, we have a most striking illustration in the conduct of your forefathers at the very time that the law was given : they were so terrified by all that they saw and heard, that they repeatedly declared, that, if the same scenes should pass again, “they should die:” they entreated that God would no more speak to them himself, but giv them a Mediator, through whom they might receive his law in a mitigated form, and divested of those terrors which they were not able to endure. And of this request God expressed the highest approbation, saying, “ They have well said all that they have spoken. O that there were such an heart in them?!” In this matter, dearly beloved, my heart responds to the wish of your Almighty Lawgiver, “O that there were in you such an heart !' Could we but once see you thoroughly convinced of your guilt and condemnation by the law, we should have no fear of your speedily and thankfully embracing the salvation offered you in the Gospel. The great obstacle to your reception of the Gospel is, that instead of regarding the law as a ministration of death and of condemnation, you are looking for life from obedience to it. True it is that temporal blessings were promised to obedience: and that eternal blessings also were promised to those who should “lay hold on God's covenant,” and keep his commandments. But the covenant on which they were to lay hold, was that which had been made with their father Abraham; and which never was, nor could be, disannulled by the law. The law, as published on Mount Sinai, was intended to shut them up to this covenant, by making known to them the impossibility of being saved in any other way than by the promised Seed. And, when once you understand and feel this, you will not be far from the kingdom of God. e Deut. xxvii. 26.
f Deut. v. 22–29.
This conviction would also prepare you for another lesson taught you by Moses; namely, II. That you must be saved altogether by an atoning
sacrifice. This was taught you throughout the whole ceremonial law: the daily and annual sacrifices proclaimed it to your whole nation. Nor was this merely taught in theory; it was required of every offender, whatever his sin might be, to bring his sacrifice, in order that it might be put to death in his stead, and deliver him from the condemnation which his sin had merited. Even for sins of ignorance this was required; and the offender, whether he were a priest, or an elder, or a ruler, or one of the common people, was required to put his hands on the head of his sacrifice, and thus, by the most significant of all actions, to transfer to it his sins 6. What an instructive ordinance was this ! Yet was the ordinance of the scape-goat, if possible, still more instructive. On the great day of annual expiation, the high-priest, after killing the goat on which the Lord's lot had fallen, was to put his hands on the head of the scape-goat, and to confess over him all the sins of all the children of Israel; and then the goat was led into the wilderness from before them all, never more to be seen; that so the removal of their sins might be made visible, as it were, to their bodily eyesh
Yet, whilst this glorious truth was thus plainly declared, the insufficiency of the legal sacrifices, and the necessity of a better sacrifice, was proclaimed also. For these very sacrifices were to be repeated from year to year; which shewed, that the guilt expiated by them was not fully removed. Hence the very sacrifices were, in fact, no other than an annual remembrance of sins, not finally forgiven. In this light they were viewed by those of your forefathers whom you cannot but venerate, and whom
8 Lev. iv. 4, 15, 24, 29.
h Lev. xvi. 20—22.