Imatges de pÓgina

ty of the true church. Christ, who is our peace, hat! made both Jews and Gentiles one, having broken down the middle wall of partition between them, Eph. ii. 14. The New Testament church is not one, and the Old Testament church another, but one and the saine church under different dispensations. They are not two houses, but one built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner-stone, Eph. ii. 20. As the corner-stone unites the two walls, so does Christ the Old and New Testament churches. In him all the building fitly framed together, groweth unto an holy temple in the Lord, verse 21. The Old and New Testament church. es make but one body, Eph. iv. 4. of which Christ is the Head. As there is but one Head, Shepherd, and Saviour, Ezek. xxxiv. 23. Hos. i. 11. Eph. i. 22. so but one body, flock, and church, Eph. v. 23. Now it must be obvious to the attentive, that the two women and their sons are represented as quite different from one another. The sons are held forth as two opposite seeds, and therefore cannot be understood of the Old and New Testament churches, which are but one seed. This their opposition to one another is totally inconsistent with the unity of Abraham's believing seed. For, as our apostle argues they are all one in Christ Jesus. Gal. iii. 28, 29. This their unity, he observes, verse 16. Now to Abraham and his seed were the promises made: He saith not, and to seeds, as of many; but as of one, and to thy Seed, which is Christ. It cannot be denied that the word seed is often used collectively, and therefore must signify many, as well as flock, army, or people. Hence God said to Abraham, tell the stars if thou be able to number them: So shall thy seed be, Gen. xv. 5. Yet here the apostle argues that Abraham's seed were not many, but one: i. e. as I conceive, they were not of many kinds, or sorts *, as if some were justified one way, some another. However distinguished by the dispensations under which they live,

Compare Lev. xix. 19. Deut. xii. 9.

as the sea by the coasts it washes, they are still the one seed. Hence our apostle observes elsewhere, that the promise is to all the seed, not to that which is of the law, or the circumcision only; but to that which is also of the faith of Abraham, who is the father of us all, Rom. iv. 12, 16. As he is one God who justified the circumcision by faith, and the uncircumcision through faith, so both are one seed, not two different seeds, Rom. iii. 29, 30.4 They have the same spirit of faith within them: 1 Cor. xii. 13. 2 Cor. iv. 13. the same robe of imputed righteousness upon them: Jer. xxiii. 6. Rom. iii. 22. Phil. iii. 9. are heirs of the same inheri, tance: Gal. iii. 9, 29. and travelling towards the same celestial country: Heb. ii. 15—16. xiii

. 14. They are all branches of the same Abrahamic root, with this difference, that the Jews are the natural branches, the Gentiles the ingrafted, Rom. xi. 17-24.

The church under the Old Testament does not differ from that under the New, as one person from another, as did Ishmael from Isaac; but as the heir when a child, differs from himself when come to age.

So our apostle expressly teacheth, Gal. iv. 1-7. But it is quite otherways with the two women and their children, mentioned by the prophet and apostle. They are represented as parties totally different, the one woman as free, the other as bond; and accordingly the child. ren of the one as heirs, those of the other, as outcasts, Gal. iv. 30. Characters these, which cannot be applied, the one to the Old Testament church, and the other to the New; but well may the one to the patriarchal church, looking for Messiah, the other to the carnal Israelites, who trusted in Moses. 2dly, If by the

barren woman and her children, be understood the Gentile church, in opposition to the

+ It is with respect to the one seed, as I conceive, that the apostle saith, Gai. iii. 20. Now that ediator is not the mediator of one, but the God is one. That mediator, viz. Moses, in whose hand the law was ordained, verse 19. is not the mediator of one, viz of the one seed, but of that part of them only who stood at Sinai. But the God is the God of all the one seed, whether Jews or Gentiles, Rom. iii. 30. r. 12. Thus the word onę, Gal. iii. 20. refers to the subject, as in verses 16, 28.


church of the Jews, it will not be easy to apply the characters given her, and to say what is meant by the shame of her youth, and the reproach of her widowhood. It cannot be denied that the woman congratulated on her having at last a numerous offspring, is told that on that joyful event she should forget the shame of her youth, and not remember the reproach of her widowhood any more; the Lord having called her as a woman forsaken, and grieved in spirit, and a wife of youth, when she was refused, Isa. liv. 4, 6. Let us see what is meant by these things, and to what church they can with propriety be applied. The woman is characterized as having been a wife of youth, i. e. from her youth; compare Jer. xxii. Ezek. xvi. 60. Prov. v. 18. Mal. ii. 14. and so was Sara, being ten years younger than Abraham, Gen. xvii. 17. The woman is congratulated that on her bringing

forth, she should forget the shame of her youth. What was that shame? Why, her barrenness, as appears not only from its standing opposed to her bringing forth, but also from the well known style of holy scripture, Gen. xxx. 23. Luke i. 25. In like manner, Sara was long barren, She had been full five and twenty years in the married life, before she brought forth the son of the promise; compare Gen. xii. 4. with chap. xvii. 17. Her mar. riage being mentioned, her barrenness is immediately taken notice of, Gen. xi. 29, 30. It was not in her teeming age, but in her old, even in her ninetieth

year that she brought forth, Gen. xvii. 17. The woman is also congratulated that on her bringing forth, she should forget the reproach of her widowhood. And what was that? Why, the reproaches wherewith her cnemies reproached her, as being forsaken of God in whom she had gloried as her husband, Psal. xlii. 9, 10. Isa lxi. 7. Mic. vii. 10.

Sara's state, when forsaken of Abraham, bore a strong resemblance to widowhood. I say, when forsaken; for his turning aside to Hagar was interpretatively a deserting of her. His cleaving to the one, was a leaving of the other. Hagar, when conscious that she had con

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seived, despised Sara, Gen. xvi. 4. This contempt she did not conceal, else Sara had not known it. She had much the same temper of mind to Sara, as had Pe. ninnah unto holy Hannah, whom she provoked sore to make her fret, because the Lord had shut up her womb, 1 Sam. i. 6. Sara being thus as a woman forsaken and despised, was grieved in spirit, Isa. liv. 6.

These things respecting the woman's youth and widowhood cannot be applied to the New Testament church, the church of the Gentiles. If it be held that the Gentiles were long barren, this must be understood of them, not in their church-state, but in their heathenish: which does not at all consist with the nature of the allegory. Sara was married long before Hagar, but was barren when Hagar was prolific: Not so with the Gentiles. They were not married long before the Jews, but long after. As Sara the barren woman was in the married state, so the society typified by her, behoved to be in church-state, visibly espoused unto the Lord. It is observable, that in holy scripture no woman is ever spoken of as barren, till in the conjugal state; witness Sara, Gen. xi. 3o. Rebekah, chap. xxv. 21. Rachel, chap. xxix. 31. Manoah's wife, Judg. xiii. 2, 3. Hannah, 1 Sam. i. 2. and Elizabeth, Luke i.

The Gentiles in their heathen state were not married to the Lord, and therefore could not be expected to bring forth children unto him. During their bea. thenish state they were suffered to walk in their own ways, Acts xiv. 16. xvii. 30. The barren woman and the bond were both in Abraham's house, and therefore analogy requires that both the parties typified by them should be in God's house: which cannot agree to the Gentiles in their heathen state, for then they were afar off, being aliens to the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers to the covenants of promise, Eph. ii. 12, 13. As little can barrenness or the shame of youth be applied to the New Testament or apostolic church. Was she barren in her youth? No truly. On the ever-me. morable day of Pentecost, which was but about the fiftieth after our Lord's resurrection, she brought forth thousands, Acts ii. 41. The apostles having gone forth, preached every where, the Lord working with them, and confirming the word with signs following, as we read in the Acts of the Apostles. Nor can the reproach of widowhood be with any propriety applied to the apostolic church. She knew that her husband was risen from the grave, and therefore could not but rejoice with a joy unspeakable and full of glory. He had shewn himself to more than five hundred of her members at once, 1 Cor. xv. 6. Was this like a state of wi. dowhood? They had a ready and a joyful answer to enemies, in asking where was their Husband? They could boldly answer that he was in heaven at the Father's right hand, Acts ii. 33-36. iii. 21. Though they had his bodily presence no more, they were as certain of his spiritual, as his promise could make them. Matt. xxviii. 20. I will not leave you comfortless, said he; I will pray the Father, and he shall give you an. other Comforter, that he may abide with even tlic Spirit of truth, John xiv. 16, 17. No forsaking here. Though often under the hatchets of persecution, she could not be called desolate, having her children as on every hand. She enjoyed the Comforter whose presence was as a thousand witnesses, that her Husband was on high. A striking testimony to all this we have recorded, Acts ix. 31. Then had the churches rest throughout all Judea, and Galilee, and Samaria, and were edified, and walking in the fear of the Lord, and in the comfort of the Holy Ghost, were multiplied. “ No Sara appears here, long barren, and at last to bring forth after Hagar.(Vitringa.) Nothing bearing the least affinity to desertion, desolation or wi. dowhood. So far from this, never had she such fellow. ship with her Husband as now; never did he manifest himself more gracious than now. For God who had lately sent forth his Son, now sent forth the Spirit of his Son, Acts i. 4. And thus her maker, God personally considered as Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, was, i. e. manifested himelf to be her Husband, Isa. liv. 5. Now the promised day was come when she was to call

you for

for ever,

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