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is that the Law, when taken in its just extent, is called spiritual, because including Christ; but, when taken in the sense of unbelieving Jews, exclusive of Him as the completion of it; not as a 66 shadow of good things to come,” but an ordinance of self-sufficient virtue; it is termed “ the Law of a carnal Commandment, the Letter that killeth.” Hence it is that the Chris'tian Fathers contend, that the Gospel, as to the substance of it, is more ancient than the Law, * and that all the holy inen of old, were saved by virtue of it. And hence the Gospel is so often spoken of, not as the forming of a new design, but as the completion, or filling up of an old one. “ Think not, said Christ, that I am come to destroy the Law or the Prophets; I am not come to destroy but to fulfil.” Matt. v. 17.—The Law therefore is the Gospel typified and foretold; the Gospel is the Law fulfilled and perfected ; and destroys the Law in no other sense, than the infant is destroyed by his arrival at manhood, or
* See Euseb. Demonstr. Evang. Lib. i.-Hieron. in Gal. v.-et Ephes. iii.
the faint shining of the rising Sun is done away by his meridian splendour.
Till then that blessed time shall arrive, when the mystery, which was kept hid from ages and generations, but is now made manifest in Christ, shall be compleatly revealed ; it is our duty to make the best
: use of the light that has been afforded ; which, though not sufficient to bring divine things before us as it were face to face, will yet be found abundantly so, for the purpose for which it has been vouchsafed ; namely, the establishment of our Faith, and the preparation of our thoughts for that more perfect manifestation of divine wisdom, the admiration of which will constitute a principal part of our employment in a better world.
Our Saviour's direction to the Jews, who would not come to him, was; that they should search the Scriptures for information respecting his character. The internal evidence which the Scriptures of the Old Testament bear to the character of the
promised Messiah is so uniform and striking, that the general way adopted by modern unbelievers to get rid of it, has been, to
set aside the external; by denying either the authenticity, or the inspiration of the records appealed to.
But the Jews were not arrived at this advanced stage of infidelity. Our Saviour's appeal to the Scriptures, was to them an appeal to acknowledged authority; to the result of which they were consequently bound to submit. “ Search the Scriptures, (said Christ to them) for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me.”—John v. 39.
If the Jews thought they had eternal life in their Scriptures, it must have been from their understanding those Scriptures in their spiritual sense; in that prophetic and typical sense, in which they respected the Messiah and his kingdom; for in this sense only is the hope of eternal life to be drawn from them. And that the bearing testimony to the Messiah was one principal object these writings had in view, iş to be fairly concluded from the frequent appeals made to them by our Saviour for that purpose; particularly at a very important period of his ministry, when, for the conviction of his doubting, and as yet
uninformed Disciples, and with the view, doubtless of qualifying them for the discharge of their future mission; beginning at Moses and all the Prophets, he expounded to them in all the Scriptures, the things concerning himself.” Luke xxiv. 27,
The Scriptures of the Old Testament then furnish evidence in favor of Chris, tianity, adequate to the conviction of every faithful and competent enquirer. This evidence, whether derived through the medium of type or prophecy, those general channels through which the plans of divine wisdom, relative to the office and kingdom of the Messiah, have been conveyed to the world, bears decided testi. mony to the divinity of its origin. For the typical representation of a future event, and the prophetical description of it, though differing from each other in the mode of conveying the information intended, bear equal testimony to the foreknowledge of the party, who adopts them. In both cases the character of that Divine Being, who“ seeth the end from the beginning” is equally demonstrated.
But though the object in view, in both
cases be the same, namely, the conveying to the world, from time to time, that information on the great subject of Redemption, necessary to the actual condition of the parties concerned in it; yet the mediums that have been generally employed for the purpose, furnish evidence of a somewhat different kind.
Prophecy, as it is elegantly described by an Apostle, is “ a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn.”—2 Pet. i. 19. It was wisely ordained that it should be so; because it was not designed so much to give information to the party to whom it was originally delivered; as to furnish conviction to those who should live to see the prediction substantiated by the event. The declared use of prophecy, therefore, being subsequent to the facts which it adumbrates, the obscurity intervening between the prediction and its correspondent event, is a circumstance that necessarily belongs to the nature of the subject.
Whereas, a type is a sort of evidence for the time present; its purpose being to illustrate the subject which it is designed