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The Circumcision of our LOID
JESUS CHRIST, 0: 120W:
H AT Festival doth the Church celes
brate this Day? A. The Circumcilion of our Lord Jesus Chrifi, who, when eight Days were accomplimex, subjected himself to this Law, and for thed his facred Blood for us.
Q. What was Circumcision?
À. A Rite of the Jewijs Law, whereby that People were received into Covenant with God, as Christians are by Baptism. It was first enjoined to Abraham, as a Token of the Co-Gen. 17. venant God made with him and his Posterity: 19. It was renewed by Ishua, when the Isrcelitis Joh. 5.2. entered the Land of Cancun ; it having been difused for forty Year's during their fojocrning in the Wilderness.
Q. When was Circumcision to be cdminiftcred?
Ā. On the eighth Day, because the Mother Lev. iz. being unclean seven Days, and the Child by 2, 3. touching her pertaking of the fame Misfortune, was not till then fit to be admitted into Covenant; nor by Reason of its Weakners could it well eridure, before that Time, the Pain of the Operation. The Jews laid fuch Stress upon Pucts:f. this, that Circumcision before that Time was Synag. counted no Circusacifion; ard after thai Time it J.d.c.4.
was of lesser Value; hence they thought it necefsary, rather than defer it beyond the stated Time, to perform it on the Sabbath-Day, though all Work was on that Day forbidden.
Q. What was the Punishment threatened for neglečting this Rite ?
A. That Soul was to be cut of from God's People; which, as the Jews generally interpret, fupposed a Man to neglect it when he came to a
fitting Age to understand the Obligation of it. Exod. Por when Mofes's Child was uncircumcised, the 24. Angel sought not to kill the Child, who was un
circumcised, but Moses, the Father, who should have circumcised it.
Q. What was the original Design of Circumcision ?
A. That every Son of Abraham might bear in his Body the Seal of the Inheritance of the Land of Promise, and the Badge of Distinction from all other People, with which all that were marked, professed their Resolution to obey the only true God, Creator of Heaven and Earth; and that this visible Sign might put them conftantly in Mind of their Duty, and make them strive after the invisible Grace which it sealed, the Inheritance of Heaven, and walking as the Peculiar of the Lord.
Q. Why was it to cease after the Coming of Christ?
A. The Necessity of the Change of it appears from the appropriated and peculiar Ends of the Rite. For when there was to be no more Distinction betwixt the Children of Abraham and other People, and no one Land more peculiarized than another, but of every Land and Nation he that feareth God and work
eth Righteousness is accepted of him; that Badge of Appropriation, and Seal of Singularity, muft · either clean come to rothing, or become unnecessary.
Q. What dob Circumcision figuratively represent to us?
A. That as our Birch is impure by Reason of Original Sin, so we ought to lay afide all Filihi- jam. t. ness, and Superfluity of Naughtiness, putting off the Body of the Sins of the Flesh, by the Circuncision of Christ, mortifying the Pleasures of the Body, which bewitch the Mind, and make us Captives to 'Sin and Death.
Q. What Rité of Admission into the Christian Church answereth to that of Circumcision under the Law ?
A. The Sacrament of Baptism, called by Col. 2.it, St. Paul, The Circumcision of Christ, whereby 12. the Children of Christian Parents are made Members of Chrijl, and obliged to observe the Laws of the Gospel Institution; as the circumcised Infant, by that Rite, became a Debtor to ob- Acts 15:50 serve the whole Law of Mofes. By this Means Gal. 5. 3. the Children of Belivers are entered into Covenant with God under the Gospel, as they were under the Law by Circumcision ; and that Infants are capable of this foderal Relation, is plainly declared by Mojes; and since they Deut
. 29. are the Offspring of Adam, and consequently obnoxious to Death by his Fall, how can they be made Partakers of that Redemption which Cbrift hath purchased for the Children of God, if they do not enjoy the Advantage of that Methód which is alone appointed by Christ for them to become Members of God's Kingdom? For Jesus himself hath assured us, ExI 2
John 3.5. cept one be born of Water and of the Spirit, he
cannot enter into the Kingdom of God. And there. fore it was the constant Custom of the Primitive Church to administer Baptism to Infants for the Remission of Sins. And this Practice was esteemed, by the best Tradition, to be derived froin the Apostles themselves.
Q. Why was Jesus Christ circumcised, who was boly, and without Sin ?
A. That he might thereby be esteemed the Son of Abraham, and be the better qualified to do good among his Countrymen the Jews, by bearing this Mark of Distinction which they so much valued, as to despise those that wanted it ; and that he might fulfil the whole Law, and shew that he came to bear the Punishment due to our Sins, and to expiate them with his Blood.
Q. What Name was given unto the Son of God when he was circumcised ?
A. The imposing a Name being one of the Circumstances that attended Circumcision, even from the first Institution of it, as many think,
our Lord was then called Jesus, according to Luk.1.31. the Direction of the Angel before he was con
ceived in the Womb : And the Reason of it is Mat.1.21. given by the Angel, because he should save his
People from their Sins.
Q. What is implied in his faving us from 01!r Sins ?
A. That by his Death he should deliver us from the Punishment due to Sin, and reconcile us to God; and that by his Grace he should deliver us from the Power and Dominion of Sin, by enabling us to repent of it, and to mortify it. Q. Is the Name of Jesus worthy of all Honour ?
A. At the Name of Jesus every Knee shall bow. The bowing of the Knee was counted a Gent. 41. Testimony of Reverence; and it was very ho- 43. pourable to excite such Marks of Respect, not only to such as were present, but to such as were abfent, upon the mentioning of their Names. And it was the Custom of the World in several Religions, to express some kind of Reverence when that which they acknowledged for their God was named.
Q. What bath the Church enjoyed wben we kear that holy Name mentioned in Time of Divine Service?
A. That due and lowly Reverence shall be Can. 18. done by all Perfons prefent, as hath been accustomed ; testifying by these outward Ceremonies and Gestures, their inward Humility, Christian Resolution, and due Acknowledg. ment, that the Lord Jesus Christ, the true and eternal Son of God, is the only Saviour of the World.
Q. Wbat may we learn from the Observation of this Festival ?
A. The Necessity of spiritual Circumcision, or the Change of Heart and Life, which our Lord hath made the Condition of Salvation; in order to which the mortifying our corrupt Affections and sinful Lufts is neceflary. It teaches us also great Humility of Soul, whereby we fhould be ready to facrifice our Reputation, rather than neglect our Duty; after our Saviour's Example, who, in order to fulfil the Will of God, took upon him not only the Form of a Servant, but the Appearance of a Sinner.
Q. What is fartber implied in Spiritual Cirçumcision? I 3