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figurative, and that by temporal blessings, the prophets mean something further, we need only notice, First, That it would be beneath the Deity, to call men ly to the enjoyment of temporal happiness. Secondly, That the language of the prophets most distinctly expresses the promise of temporal good, whilst they, at the same time declare, that their discourses are really obscure ; that the ostensible meaning is not the real one, and that it would not be understood till the latter days. (Jeremiah xxiii. 20.) Then evidently they speak of other sacrifices, and another Redeemer.

Besides, their discourses are contradictory and suicidal, if by the words law and sacrifice, they understood only the law and sacrifices of Moses. There would be a manifest and gross contradiction in their writings, and sometimes even in the same chapter; whence, it follows, that they must mean something else.

7. It is said that the law shall be changed; that the sacrifice shall be changed; that they shall be without a king, without a prince, without a sacrifice; that a new covenant shall be established; that there shall be a new law; that the precepts which they had received were not good; that their sacrifices were an abomination ; that God had not required them.

On the other hand, it is said, that the law shall endure for ever; that this covenant is an everlasting covenant ; that the sacrifice shall be perpetual ; that the 'sceptre should never leave them, seeing that it could not depart till the arrival of the Everlasting King. Do these passages prove the then present system to be the substance ? No! They only shew that it is either a substance, or a figure ; but as the former passages conclude against the reality, they shew that the law is a figure.

All these passages, taken together, cannot be predicated of the substance; all may be affirmed of the shadow. Then they do not relate to the substance, but to the shadow.

8. To ascertain whether the law and its sacrifices be the substance, or a figure, we should examine if

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the views and thoughts of the prophets terminated in these things, so that they contemplated only this original covenant ; or whether they did not look for something beyond, of which these were a pictural representation ; for in a portrait we see the thing presented typically. With this view, we have only to examine what they say.

When they speak of the covenant as everlasting, do they mean to speak of that covenant, of which they allirm that it shall be changed ? and so of the sacrifices, &c.

9. The prophets say distinctly, that Israel shall always be loved of God, and that the law shall be eternal. They say also, that their meaning in this is not comprehended, and that it is, in fact, hidden.

A cypher, for secret correspondence, has frequently two meanings. If, then, we intercept an important letter, in which we find a plain meaning, and in which it is said, at the same time, that the sense is hidden, and obscured, and that it is so veiled purposely, that seeing we might not see, and perceiving, we might not understand; what would we think, but that it was written in a cypher of two-fold signification, and much more so, if we found in the literal sense some manifest contradictions? How thankful should we be then to those who would give us the key to the cypher, and teach us to discern the hidden meaning, especially when the principles on which they proceed are quite natural, and approved principles ! Jesus Christ and his apostles have done precisely this. They have broken the seal: they have rent the veil: they have disclosed the meaning: they have taught us that man's enemies are his passions; that the Redeemer was a spiritual Redeemer; that he would have two advents—the one, in humiliation to abase the proud, the other, in glory to elevate the humble; that Jesus Christ was both God and man.

10. Jesus Christ taught men, that they were lovers of themselves; that they were enslaved, blinded, sick, miserable, and sinful; that they needed him to deliv

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er, enlighten, sanctify, and heal them; and that, to obtain this, they must deny themselves, take up the cross, and follow him through suffering and death.

The letter killeth : the sense lies hidden in the cypher. A suffering Saviour; a God in humiliation; the circumcision of the heart; a true fast; a true sacrifice; a true temple; two laws; a twofold table of the law; two temples; two captivities ;-there is the key to the cypher which Jesus Christ has given to us.

Christ has at length taught us, that these things were but figures, and has explained the true freedom, the true Israelite, the true circumcision, the true bread from heaven, &c.

11. Each one finds in these promises, that which lies nearest to his heart, spiritual or temporal blessings, God or the creature; but with this difference, they who desire the creature, find it promised, but with

many apparent contradictions—with the prohibition 1. to love it, and with the command to love and worship

God only; whilst they who seek God in the promises,

find him without any contradiction, and with the comI mand to love him exclusively.

12. The origin of the contrarieties in Scripture, is found in a Deity bumbled to the death of the cross ; a Messiah, by means of death, triumphant over death; two natures in Jesus Christ; two advents; and two states of the nature of man.

As we cannot ascertain a man's character, but by reconciling its contrarieties, and as it is not sufficient to infer from a train of congruous qualities, without taking the opposite qualities into tlre account, so to determine the meaning of an author, we must shew the harmony of the apparently contradictory passages.

So that to understand the Scripture, there must be a sense in which the seemingly contradictory passages agree. It is not enough to find a sense which is borne out by many analogous - passages; we must find one which reconciles those that seem to differ. Every author has a meaning with which all seemingly incongruous passages harmonize, or he has no meaning at all. We cannot say that the Scriptures or the prophets have no meaning. They had too much good sense for that. Then we must look out for a meaning, which reconciles all their incongruities.

Now the Jewish interpretation is not that true meaning; but, in Jesus Christ, all the apparent contradictions completely harmonize.

The Jews would not know how to reconcile the termination of the kingdom and principality predicted by Hosea, with the prophecy of Jacob.

If we take the law, the sacrifices, and the kingdom for the ultimate reality, it were impossible to reconcile all the assertions of the same author, the same book, or the same chapter. This sufficiently indicates the meaning of the writer.

13. It was not allowed to sacrifice out of Jerusalem, which was the place that the Lord had chosen, nor even to eat the tenths elsewhere.

Hosea predicted that they should be without a king without a prince, without a sacrifice, and without a ser: aphim. This is now accomplished, for they cannot legally sacrifice out of Jerusalem.

14. When the word of God, which is necessarily true, if false literally, it is true spiritually. Sit thou on my right hand. Literally this is false: it is spiritually true. The passage speaks of God after the manner of men, and means no more than that God has the same intention, as men have when they cause another to sit at their right hand. It indicates the purpose of God, not the mode of fulfilling it.

So when it is said, God has received the odour of your incense, and will recompense you with a good and fruitful land; it is only affirmed, that the same intention, which a man has, who, pleased with your incense, promises a fruitful land, God will have for you,

because you

have had the same intention with respect to him, that a man has to him to whom he gives perfume..

15. The end of the commandment is charity. Whatever in it appears to fall short of this end is figurative; for since there is but one end, all that does not bear upon it in express terms, must do so figuratively.


God diversifies the mode of inculcating this one precept, to satisfy that weakness in us, which seeks variety, by giving a variety which leads us ever towards the one thing needful. For one thing only is necessary, and we love variety ; God has met both difficulties, by giving a variety which leads to that one thing needful.

16. The Rabbins only regard as figurative, the breasts of the spouse, and such things as do not literally express the sole object of temporal good which they have in view.

17. There are men who see plainly that the only enemy of map is his concupiscence, which leads him away from God; and that the only good is not a fertile land, but God. As for those who believe that man's supreme joy is in the flesh, and his bane in that which robs him of sensual delight, let them take their fill and die; but for those who seek God with all their heart, who have no sorrow but absence from him, and no desire but to enjoy him, no enemies but those who hinder their approach to him, and who mourn, that by such enemies, they are surrounded and oppressed ; let them be comforted. For them there is a deliverer; for them there is a God. A Messiah has been promised to deliver man from his enemies. A Messiah is come, but it is to deliver him from his iniquities.

18. When David foretels that the Messiah shall deliver his people from their enemies, a carnal mind might understand him to mean the Egyptians; and in that case, I could not shew that the prophecy was accomplished. But it is very possible also, to understand that he meant our iniquities. For in truth, the Egyptians are not men's real enemies, but their iniquities are. The term enemy then is equivocal.

But if, in common with Isaiah and others, he says also, that Messiah shall deliver his people from their iniquities, then the ambiguity is removed, and the equivocal sense of the word 66 enemy,” is reduced to the simple sense of iniquities. If he had really mean: sins, he might properly convey the idea by the ter

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