Imatges de pÓgina
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mitted to succeeding ages : fo that the Sinai covenant was inforced not only by the temporal promises which it literally contained, but also by the spiritual promises, which the letter of that covenant pointed out.-As this is plausible, it merits to be thoroughly examined. That types not explained, were too obscure a medium, for conveying the pretended spiritual sanctions of the Sinai covenant, especially to so gross and carnal a people as the Jews, will be proved § 5. Now no explanation is given of the types, in the books of the Old Testament, which were the only rule of faith and practice to the Jewish church. And surely, that which was intended as a principal fanction of the Sinai covenant, would not have been left to so treacherous and uncertain a method of transmission as oral tradition. We are told, 2 Cor. iii. 13. that “ Moses put a veil

over his face, that the children of Israel could

not stedfastly look to the end of that which is " abolished,” i. e. could not discern what was typified by the precepts and fanctions of the temporary Sinai covenant. Surely, casting a veil over an object, and holding it up to full and open view, are two things so very opposite, that a scheme to do both at once, could never enter in to any rational mind. If the meaning of the types was delivered to the Jewish church, a ty.. pical delineation would no more have veiled from them the spirit of the law, than the meaning of a Greek or Latin clasick is veiled from a boy at school, by publishing it along with an exact literal translation into his mother language. The nature of types demonftrates, that they can have no existence, where there is nothing to be veiled or covered. If therefore, when the law of Mo

ses

fes was given to Israel, the spiritual sense of it was known, or was intended to be revealed, a carnal veil to conceal that sense, muft on either of these suppofitions be absurd and preposterous, So that the typical genius of the Old Testament, instead of proving, plainly confutes the alledged spiritual sanctions of the Sinai covenant. God Saw proper, under the Jewish dispensation, to give some delineation by types and prophecies of the promised Messias, and the blessings of his purchase; that when the Meffias should come, the exact correspondence of the gospel-dispensa, tion, to what had been delineated so many ages before, might afford evidence, that both the Old Testament and the New were of divine original. But it would have been highly improper, that the delineation should have been so plain, as to bę understood by the people of the Jews, at the time it was given, or at any other period, while the ceremonial law remained in force. The knowledge that their religion was only a shadow of good things to come, would have greatly leffened their esteem of its excellency; nay, would have rendered the yoke of the ceremonial law so galling and burdensome to them, that they would have been forward, without the divine permission to shake it off.. But perhaps the saying so much upon this head can hardly admit an apology, after the clear light in which it has been set by Bishop Warburton in his Divine Legation, and the author of The argument of the Divine Legation fairly ftated, and of the free and candid examination of the Bishop of London's elegant fermons. My only plea is, that the best books do not always happen to fall into the hands of those who peruse meaner compositions. And it seemed to me less

culpable,

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culpable, to adopt sentiments, which I could not improve; than to do wrong to iny argument by omitting an essential branch of it, and perhaps also to raise fufpicions in some of my readers, that I declined meddling with a knotty objection, merely because I was conscious I could not resolve it. Upon the whole, I firmly believe that Canaan was a type of the heavenly inheritance. But this only proves, that it represented heaven, as the Jews who pofleffed it, represented the heirs of heaven. It does not prove, that the land flowing with milk and honey, was bestowed, to reveal and feal to its inhabitants fpiritual and heavenly blessings.

$ 4. The unchangeable faithfulness of God is another proof, that spiritual and heavenly bleffings were not conveyed by the Sinai covenant. Antecedently to that æra, Moses and some others of the children of Israel were under a covenant

The Sinai covenant therefore being made with Mofes, as well as with the body of the Jewith people, Exod. xxxiv. 27. could not be a covenant of works, for obtaining eternal life. An opposite way of salvation by free grace, had been established long before, which no conftitution or covenant could abolish.

" The covenant that was confirmed before of God in “ Christ, the law which was four hundred and " thirty years after, cannot disanul, that it should « make the promise of none effect." Gal. iii. 17.

The gospel covenant is not according to the covenant, made with the Jews, when they came out of Egypt (v), but essentially different from it, being a better covenant, established on better promises (w). Therefore as the gospel covenant (v) Jer, xxxi. 31. (w) Heb. viii. 6.

bestows

of grace:

bestows spiritual and heavenly blessings, it is evident, that the Sinai covenant does not bestow them. The blessings of the Sinai covenant, were patterns of the heavenly things (x), fhadows of good things to come (y), and surely patterns and hadows differ in nature from the things of which they are patterns and shadows.

The beauty and renown of the Jews, or their dignity, privileges and advantages by reason of the Sinai covenant are represented by Ezekiel (2), as something external in which they trusted, which led them to play the harlot, and to confe-. crate to their idols, what had been bestowed upon them by the bounty of God. Such felf-confidence and alienation of heart from God, is often occafioned by outward prosperity. But the influences of divinc grace produce other and better fruit.

$ 5. Divine illumination is one of the most important spiritual blessings. But it was not promised to God's antient covenant people. And to the greater part of them it was not vouchsafed. “ The Lord gave them not an heart to perceive, « and eyes to fee, and ears to hear (a).” This may be one reason, why the Old Testament dispensation is termed darkness (6), and a dark place().

From this defect in the Sinai covenant, two proofs of what I have been asserting, naturally arise. Divine illumination is bestowed on all interested in the gospel covenant, agreeably to the promises, Ifa. liv. 13. “ All thy children fall “ be taught of the Lord.” Jer. xxxi. 34. “ This (x) Heb. ix. 9, 23:

(y) Col. ii. 16, 17 (z) Ezek. XVI. 15,20. (a) Deut. xxix. 4. (b) 1 John ii. 8. Heb. xii. 18. Ifa. ix. 2. (c) 2 Pet. ii. 19.

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is thali

" shall be the covenant, that I will make with “ the house of Israel, after those days, faith the « Lord, I will put my law in their inward parts,

s and write it in their hearts, and they shall “ teach no more every man his neighbour and " every man his brother, saying, know the Lord, “ for they shall all know me from the least of " them to the greatest.” But this fundamental spiritual blefling, without which there can be no holiness here, and no meetness or relish for the heavenly glory hereafter, was imparted to a small proportion of these interested in the Sinai covenant. Consequently grace and glory, which are ulhered in by divine illumination, were not conveyed by it.

Again, men not divinely enlightened, but whose minds were blinded, as we are told, 2 Cor. jii. 14. the minds of the Jews generally were,. must be greatly indisposed to raise their thoughts to things future and invisible. If therefore fpiritual and heavenly blessings, were veiled from their view under dark and figurative representations, and not promised to them in plain and explicit language, these blessings could not be intended as any part, far less, as the chief part of the fanction of the Sinai covenant : because obscure hints of them must needs escape the notice of fo grofs and carnal a people, and therefore could neither affect their hearts, nor influence their practice. Surely, infinite wisdom could never design a promise as the great foundation and support of obedience, which the teinper and fituation of these in covenant with God incapacitated them to understand, so long as mtead of being clearly notified and promulged, it was industriously secreted from them by types and obscure

prophecies,

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