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Cloppenburg in Schola Sacrificiorum, Problem. 1. § 3. would prove from the same passage of Paul, that there was no interval of time between the first promise of the future seed of the woman, and the first sacrifice. “The apostle, says be, confirms this our opinion, when he says that the Old Testament was not dedicated without blood, and that without shedding of blood there is no remission of sins. For hence it follows, that, with that promise about the future seed of the woman, there was either no solemnizing of the spiritual covenant of God with man, by which he might hope for, and believe the remission of sins, or that there was none without shedding of blood." The apostle, indeed, mentions what we have in Exod. xxiv. as an example. But it does not follow, that no other example of that truth could be given before that, or that any would mistake the subject, who should add to the apostle's argument, what we find Gen. xv. about the beasts which were slain by Abraham.
XXIX. And the term dedicated ought not to be so insisted upon, as if that necessarily inferred, that the testament thus dedicated was entirely new. For, even that may be said to be dedicated, which is again solemnly dedicated, though the thing itself was in being long before. Thus the author of the 1 Maccabees, chap. vi. writes about the temple profaned by Antiochus, χαι ενεκαινισθη το αγιασμα ως το προτερων and the sanctuary was dedicated as before. Yet Antiochus had only profaned, but not destroyed the sanctuary, so as to make it necessary to build one entirely new, wbich Judas Maccabeus purified, chap. iv. 43. and thus dedicated it to God. From this was sa syraiva the feast of the dedication, John X. 22. On which place Grotius comments; syrarvige “ to dedicate, whence the appellation), syramvia, and feast of dedication, in Hebrew 7377 is used of any dedication, whether the first, or that which is renewed. And
And indeed, when the apostle was saying, Heb. x. 20. that Christ EvexawC, consecrated a way to heaven, he by no means intimated, that there was no way to heaven before that time.
XXX. But let us allow, the Old Testament was then new; and that this may be proved by the word syxexanigai, let us also allow, that the apostle, speaking of the shedding of blood, with which the testament was dedicated, does not look back to any time prior to that described Exod. xxiv. Yet nothing will be concluded in favour of the hypothesis. For, the Old Testament was certainly new at that time, not absolutely and in its whole substance, but only with respect to those circumstances under which it was proposed to Israel, promising them
329 the immediate possession of the land of Canaan, for an inheritance, together with the imposition of so many new rites. We ought to be upon our guard against being guilty of the sophism, called arguing from what is hypothetical to what is absolutę. As these things are neither unskilfully nör improbably observed by very learned men, I could have wished that hard:, saying had not dropt from the learned person, that they, who thus proceed, wrest this passage contrary to the meaning of the Holy Ghost. Cannot such a dispute as this be determined, without such warmth and vehemence of language ?
XXXI. On Deut. v. 2, 3. many things have been taken notice of by interpreters. I imagine nothing appears more simple and solid, than what the very learned Dutch interpreters have observed, to the following purpose: that this covepant was not entered into with the fathers, in the same manner with all its circumstances and particular laws, and in that form (as we use to speak) in' which it was revealed to Israel at Sinai or Horeb. For, even the believing patriarchs had the substance of the moral and ceremonial law, and, by the grace of God, managed their religious worship according to it. This exposition is confirmed chiefly by two reasons : lst. That it is no new thing in the sacred writings, for something to be said not to be mentioned before, and to be revealed at that time, when it is more clearly discovered, and some new addition made to it. Thus the apostle writes Rom. xvi. 25, 26. “ Which was kept secret since the world be gan, but now is made manifest;" and yet the same apostle says, preached before the Gospel to Abraham, Gal. ii. 8. and to the other ancient fathers, Heb. iv. 2. It was therefore kept secret not simply, but in a comparative sense: pot preached in the same manner as now. The apostle himself thus explains the matter, Eph. ii. 5. “ Which in other ages was not made known unto the sons of men, as it is now revealed to his holy apostles.” What God here says may be taken in the same sepse; that he did not make this covenant with their fathers, namely, in the same manner and form, by speaking to them from the midst of thunderings and lightnings, giving them the law of the covenant written with his own hand, with an addition of so many ceremonies. 2dly. It also ap pears that these words of God not only may, but ought to be explained in this manner. For since the decalogue, which constitutes the principal part of the federal precepts, was likewise, with respect to its substance, given to the ancient patriarchs, as God's covenant-people, for a rule of gratitude and a new life: and the sum of it was comprised in those words
[BOOK 111. spoke to Abraham, which God, when he formerly entered into covenant with hiny, said, Gen. xvii. 1. “ I am the Almighty God, walk continually before me and be thou [sincere] perfect :" it cannot therefore absolutely be denied, that that covenant, whose first and principal law is the decalogue, was also entered into with the ancient patriarchs. Neither, as has been often hinted, do all the cerctonies owe their original to Sinai or Horela From the whole I conclude, that it cannot be proved from the alleged passages, that the Old Testament took its first commencement from the exodus out of Egypt or from mount Sinai, and that it is more probable, and more agreeable to the analogy of scripture, to adhere to the received opinion. But how great the difference between the economy of the Old and New Testament, and what prerogatives the last has above the first, we shall carefully explain in its time and place.
Of Election. We are now first of all to consider those benefits' which belong to the covenant of grace, taken absolutely and in itself, and therefore common to all those in covenant, under what economy soever: which we enumerate in the following order : 1. Election. 2. Effectual calling to the communion of Christ. 3. Regeneration. 4. Faith. 5. Justification. 6. Spiritual peace. 7. Adoption. 8. The Spirit of Adoption. 9. Sanctification. 10. Conservation, or preservation. 11. Glorification. The devout meditation of all these things cannot fail to be glorious to God, agreeable, delightful, and salutary to ourselves.
II. The beginning and first source of all grace iş election, both of Christ the Saviour and of those to be saved by him. For even Christ was chosen of God, and by an eternal and immutable decree, given to be our Saviour, and therefore is said to be “ foreordained before the foundation of the world," 1 Pet. i. 20. And they whom Christ was to save were given to him by the same decree, John xvii. 6. They are said to be “ chosen in Christ," Eph. i. 4. That is, 'not only by Christ as God, and consequently the elector of them; but also in Christ as Mediator, and on that account the elected, who by one and the same act, was given to them to be their head and lord, and at the same time they were given to him to be his members and property, to be saved by his merit and power, and to enjoy communion with him. And therefore the book of election is called “ The book of life of the Lamb," Rev. xü. 8. Not only because life is to be ob
tained in virtue of the Lamb slain, but also, because the Lamb takes up the first
of that book, is the head of the rest of the Elect,“ the first born among many brethren, and joint-heirs with him," Rom. vii. 17, 29. But we before treated of this election of Christ the Mediator, B. II. chap. ii. & VIII. and now we are to speak of the election of those to be saved.
III. We thus describe it: “ Election is the eternal, free, and immutable counsel of God, about revealing the glory of bis grace,
in the eternal salvation of some certain persons. Most of the parts of this description are in these words of the apostle, Eph. i. 4, 5, 6. “ according as he hath chosen us in him, before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy, and without blame before him in love: having predestinated us unto the adoption of children, by Jesus Christ to himself, to the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved."
IV. We call Election, the counsel of God, by which term we mean that which is commonly called decree. Paul on this subject calls it the purpose of God. This term appears very familiar to the apostle, which he very frequently makes use of, and denotes a sure; firm, and fixed decree of God, which he can never repent of, and which depends on nothing out of himself, but is founded only in his good pleasure. All this is intimated, 2 Tim. i. 9. “ who hath saved us, and called us with an holy calling, not according to our works, but according to his own purpose and grace." To this purpose also, Eph. i. 11. “ we are predestinated according to the
purpose of him who worketh all things after the counsel of his own will.” And elsewhere the same apostle also speaks of the purpose of Election, Rom. väi. 28.“ who are call
. ed according to his purpose, and Rom. ix. 11. “ the purpose of God according to Election." And thus we distinguish this internal election, and of counsel, from the external and of fact, which signifies the actual separation of believers from unbes lievers, by effectual calling. In this sense the Lord Jesus said to his apostles, John xv. 19. “ but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you." But the eternal and internal decree of God could not be the cause of this hatred, but only as it discovered itself by the event, and by the actual separation of the apostles from the world. To this we may also it seems apply what the apostle writes, 1 Cor. i. 26, 27. " ye see your calling brethren, how that not many wise men, &c. But God hath chosen the foolish things of the world, to confound the wise," &c. Where he seems to take calling and election for the same thing. Nor does this
internal Election and of counsel, differ from the external and of fact, but only in this, that the last is the demonstration and execution of the first.
V. It is likewise clear, that we are not here speaking of an election to any political or ecclesiastical dignity, 1 Sam. X. 24. and John ix. 70. nor even to the privilege of an external covenant with God; in the manner that God chose all the people of Israel, Deut. iv. 86. “ he luved thy fathers, and chose their seed,” compared with Deut. vii
. 6, 7. But of that election which is the designation and enrolment of the heirs of eternal salvation : or as Paul speaks 2 Thes. ii. 18. by which “God hath from the beginning chosen you to salvation through sanctification of the Spirit and belief of the truth."
VI. For this purpose the book of life is so frequently mentioned in scripture: it will not then be improper here to enquire what is intended by that appellation. That God has no book properly so called is self-evident: but as men write down those things in books which they want to know and keep in memory; so the book of God denotes the series of persons and things, which are most perfectly known to God. Moreover, the scripture speaks of several books of God. 1st. God has a book of common providence, in which the birth, life, and death of men, and every thing concerning the same are inserted, Psal. cxxxix. 16.1“ in thy book all my members were written." 2dly. There are also books of judgment, in which the actions, good or bad, of every man in particular, are written, Rev. xx. 12. “ and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books according to their works." These books are mentioned in the plural number, as if each. particular person had his own peculiar book assigned him, lest the good, or bad behaviour of one should be put to the score of another, and thence any confusion should arise. By which is signified the most exact and distinct knowledge of God. And because, in other respects, God knows all things at one intuitive view of his understanding, this very book is mentioned in the singular pumber, Mal. iii. 16. “ a book of remembrance was written before him." 3dly. There is also the book of life, which is three-fold. 1st. Of this natural life of which Moses speaks, Exod. xxxii. 32. Where entreating the face of the Lord, who had said, he would consume Israel in the wilderness, and make Moses a great nation. Moses prays, that God would preserve his people, and bring them into the inheritance of the land of Canaan, offering himself at the same time, in