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I. I am to show that the Mosaic dispensation was abrogated by the gospel. This will appear if we consider,

1. That the Mosaic dispensation was of such a nature, that it might be abrogated. It was altogether a positive institution. It was founded on mutable, and not immutable reasons. Moral laws are founded on the nature of things, or on certain relations between God and his rational creatures, which are permanent and immutable. But all positive laws and institutions are founded on mutable relations and circumstances; and, of course, are as mutable as the relations and circumstances upon which they are founded. For about two thousand years after the apostacy of the human race, there was no occasion for the Mosaic dispensation. But when God saw it necessary to select one nation from the rest of mankind, then he saw it necessary to institute the Mosaic dispensation. Hence it is evident that that dispensation might be abrogated, or set aside, when it was no longer necessary to preserve one nation distinct from all the other nations of the earth. And when Christ appeared in the flesh,

. the time was come, in which God had designed to break down the legal distinction between the Jews and the Gentiles, and to send the glad tidings of salvation to all nations, without distinction. Accordingly, he then saw the same reasons for abrogating, that he first saw for the instituting, of the Mosaic dispensation. It is to be supposed, therefore, that he could abrogate that dispensation which had answered the ends of its institution, and establish another. So that the very nature and design of the Mosaic dispensation, afford a strong presumptive evidence that it was actually set aside when the gospel dispensation commenced.

2. It was predicted that the Mosaic dispensation should be abrogated, by another and more perfect dispensation under the gospel. God foretold this by the prophet Jeremiah. “Behold, the days come, saith the Lord, that I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah ; not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day that I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt.” The same thing is foretold by the prophet Isaiah. “ And it shall come to pass when ye be multiplied and increased in the land, in those days, saith the Lord, they shall say no more, The ark of the covenant of the Lord; neither shall they remember it; neither shall it come to mind; neither shall they visit it; neither shall it be done any more." The same abrogation of the Mosaic dispensation is predicted by all those passages in Isaiah, Jeremiah, Micah and Malachi, which foretell the calling of the Gentiles into the church of God. But there are one or two predictions of this import, which deserve to be cited in this connection. Daniel, speaking of the Messiah, says, “ And after threescore and two weeks shall Messiah be cut off, but not for himself; and the people of the prince that shall come, shall destroy the city and the sanctuary; and the end thereof shall be with a flood, and unto the end of the war desolations are determined. And he shall confirm the covenant with many for one week; and in the midst of the week he shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease." This is a plain prediction of the entire end of the Mosaic dispensation, in the day of Christ. And it is still farther to be observed, that even Moses himself foretold that his own dispensation should give place to another, instituted by a superior lawgiver. These are his words. " And the Lord said unto me — I will raise them up a prophet from among their brethren, like unto thee, and will put my words in his mouth, and he shall speak unto them all that I shall command him. And whosoever will not hearken unto my words which he shall speak in my name, I will require it of him.” This great prophet was no other than Christ, who was to come and reveal his Father, and fulfil his pleasure in setting up his kingdom among all nations. It appears from these predictions, that it was God's original design and revealed will, that the law should give way to the gospel, and that when the christian dispensation commenced, the Mosaic should cease. And this, I may observe,

3. The apostles assure us did actually take place at the death of Christ. Here the epistles to the Romans, the Galatians, Ephesians and Hebrews, might, were there time, be pertinently quoted. But I shall select a few plain passages only. The text expressly asserts that Christ has abrogated the whole Mosaic dispensation : “He taketh away the first, that he may establish the second." If we now turn to the third chapter of the second of Corinthians, we shall there find the apostle expressly declaring that the Mosaic dispensation is wholly done away. if the ministration of death, written and engraven in stones, was glorious, so that the children of Israel could not steadfastly behold the face of Moses for the glory of his countenance, which glory was to be done away; how shall not the ministration of the Spirit be rather glorious ? For if the ministration of condemnation be glory, much more doth the ministration of righteousness exceed in glory. For even that which was made glorious had no glory in this respect, by reason of the glory ihat excelleth. For if that which is done away was glorious, much more that which remaineth is glorious.” The same apos

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. tle, speaking to the Ephesians, who were Gentiles, says, “But now in Christ Jesus, ye, who sometimes were afar off, are made nigh by the blood of Christ. For he is our peace, who hath

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made both one, and hath broken down the middle wall of partition between us, having abolished in his flesh the enmity, even the law of commandments contained in ordinances; for to make in himself of twain one new man, so making peace; and that he might reconcile both unto God in one body, by the cross.” The law of commandments here mentioned, undoubtedly means the Mosaic rites and ceremonies, all which the apostle says Christ has abolished, or completely abrogated. The next thing is,

II. To show how the Mosaic dispensation was abrogated, or set aside by the gospel.

There are two ways in which human legislators abrogate their own laws. One way is, to pass them for a limited time; and when that time is expired, they cease of course. And another way is, to pass new particular acts to repeal them. But we do not find that the Mosaic dispensation was abrogated in either of these ways. There was no certain period specified in the Mosaic laws, how long they should continue in force; nor did Christ authoritatively declare that the legal dispensation should be no longer binding. But there were two ways by which he took away the first, and established the second dispensation.

1. By completely fulfilling the legal dispensation, which was designed to be typical of him as Mediator. The temple, the

, priests and their sacred services, the sacrifices, the oblations, the purifications, and almost all things under the law, were types and figures of Christ; and all these he fulfilled, by his incarnation, obedience and sufferings. When he first began his ministry, he told the people that he came to answer the design of the legal dispensation. “ Think not that I am come to destroy the law or the prophets; I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil." And when John declined baptizing him, he urged the necessity of his baptism, in order to fulfil the law of purification. “Then

" cometh Jesus from Galilee to Jordan unto John, to be baptized of him. But John forbade him, saying, I have need to be baptized of thee, and comest thou to me? And Jesus answering, said unto him, Suffer it to be so now; for thus it becometh us to fulfil all righteousness.” He pursued this course of conduct through his whole life, until he drank the last drop of the bitter cup of suffering. So that he could say before he expired on the cross, “ It is finished.” So far as the legal dispensation either bound him, or typified him, he completely fulfilled it. And when it was perfectly fulfilled in the great anti-type, it no longer had any meaning, force, or obligation. A human law becomes null and void, when there is no occasion for it. Thus a law against destroying certain animals, necessarily dies when those animals become extinct. All the laws, rites and ceremo

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nies of the Mosaic dispensation, which were typical of Christ before his incarnation, entirely ceased when he actually appeared, suffered and died on the cross. This was signified by the rending of the veil in the temple at his crucifixion. Just so far as the law had a shadow of good things to come, it was entirely abrogated, by the incarnation, life and death of Christ.

2. Christ set aside the legal dispensation, by appointing new ordinances which superseded it. Human legislators often pass new acts, and declare them to be binding, any law or laws to the contrary notwithstanding. And such new acts entirely supersede or abrogate any old ones of a contrary nature or import. So Christ made a number of new laws or institutions, by virtue of his own divine authority, which virtually superseded or set aside the laws and institutions of the Mosaic dispensation. He instituted baptism in the room of circumcision, and the sacramental supper in the room of the passover. He instituted one order of ministers in the room of the high priest, the priests and the Levites. He instituted congregational churches in the room of one national church. He committed all ecclesiastical authority to the members of a congregational church, instead of confining it to the officers of a church. And he commanded the gospel to be preached to all nations, instead of confining it, as before, to one nation only. Thus, by his new institutions, he put an end to all the religious institutions, rites, and ceremonies of the Mosaic dispensation; which was, to all intents and purposes, breaking down the wall of partition between Jews and Gentiles; or taking away the first, and establishing the second dispensation. As soon as either Jews or Gentiles became believers of the gospel, they were no longer obliged to regard a single article of the Mosaic dispensation; but were bound to give up all its types and shadows for the substance. Accordingly, the apostle exhorts the Galatians to renounce the legal dispensation entirely, that they may enjoy the liberty and benefits of the gospel dispensation. “Stand fast, therefore, in the liberty wherewith Christ has made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage. Behold, I, Paul say unto you, that if ye be circumcised, Christ shall profit you nothing. For I testify again to every man that is circumcised, that he is a debtor to do the whole law. Christ is become of no effect unto you, whosoever of you are justified by the law; ye are fallen from grace.” Thus it appears that Christ did absolutely take away the first, or Mosaic dispensation, by establishing the second, or Christian dispensation. It only remains to inquire,

III. What things under the law were abrogated by the gospel. There is room for this inquiry, because the Mosaic laws

were not individually and particularly repealed, by any thing that Christ did or said. They were only virtually abolished; which proved an occasion of a diversity of opinions on the subject, in the days of the apostles, and indeed ever since. It is universally allowed by christians, that some part of the legal dispensation is abrogated; but still many imagine that some part of it continues to be binding. And in order to determine this point, it may be proper to enter into particulars; and I observe,

1. That all those things which were merely typical of Christ, are undoubtedly abrogated. After Christ came, all the types and figures respecting the promised Messiah became totally insignificant and unmeaning, To observe them after that period, would be virtually to disbelieve and deny that Christ has come in the flesh, and performed the work of redemption. It is utterly inconsistent with the belief of the gospel to maintain that the typical part of the Mosaic dispensation is still binding upon christians.

2. All things of an ecclesiastical nature under the law, are abrogated under the gospel. By instituting congregational churches, Christ entirely dissolved the national church of the Jews. And when that church was dissolved, all the laws, rules, regulations and forms of proceeding in that church, became totally null and void. Christians are not holden to observe any of the ecclesiastical laws of Moses, because Christ has completely established all the rules and orders to be observed in the government of the churches which he has instituted. The laws and the modes of executing the laws in the Christian church, are not to be found in the Old Testament, but only in the New.

3. All things of a political nature in the Jewish church, were abrogated by the gospel. Though the political laws of Moses were distinct from his ecclesiastical laws, yet they were inseparably connected together; because the Jewish church took in all the Jewish nation. When, therefore, their church was dissolved, their political laws and constitutions were dissolved with it. There was an indissoluble union between Moses and Aaron, or between the civil and religious government of Israel. It was a theocracy, or a government instituted by God, and administered by those whom he appointed. And he united the civil and religious rulers in the administration of government. The dissolution of their religious government was necessarily the dissolution of their civil government. But when the Christian dispensation commenced, the Jewish theocracy was entirely superseded and dissolved. 4. All things which were designed to separate the Jews from

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VOL. V.

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