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by scourging, and his spirit grieved by reviling and persecution,
- but when a multitude of believers was around him, when his way had been strewn with branches of trees, and when the cry of the people had been, “Hosanna to the Son of David; blessed is he who cometh in the name of the Lord !” These words of Jesus were proved true. The wise men and scribes whom he sent forth were persecuted: Paul and Barnabas were scourged; Peter was crucified ; James was cast from a pinnacle of the temple; while John lived to see how the blood of righteous men was required from the unbelieving portion of your people, when their habitation was at length left desolate.—This desolation still continues: but a better country lies before you, which many are entering from the east and from the west, from the north and from the south; which you will also enter gladly, and where
national sins and sorrows shall be remembered against you no more.
IV. Tandem assignetur locus, in quo dixit Deus, omnia Legalia, præter moralia, fuisse umbram seu figuram futurorum in adventu Messia, et quod fere omnia quæ et in Divina Lege et in Prophetis fuere revelata MYSTICE et TROPOLOGICE explicare liceat, quantumvis sensus literalis omnino despiciatur.
It would indeed be as difficult to find the place where God has permitted such a license as this to the imagination of man, as for the imagination to make out a perfect analogy between the institutions of Judaism and those of Christianity. Those institutions were so unlike each other, designed for such different purposes, offered to minds in so different a state, and constituted for so different a degree of extent and permanence, that nothing but error can be the result of supposing the one to be typical of the other. Error has been the result; error, which has overspread Christendom as a curse, which has hindered the remnant of Israel from entering into companionship with the redeemed portion of their people; error, which has defiled the purity of Christ's moral law, and overshadowed the glory of the Supreme. From this have arisen the dreams of imputed guilt and imputed righteousness-dreams by which you
have ever wisely refused to be deluded. From this has arisen the pernicious notion of an arbitrary and mysterious signification in the death of Christ, which can only be understood by means of an arbitrary and mysterious gift of grace. From this has arisen the imposition of terms of salvation which are recognised neither by the understanding of man nor the laws of God. Your knowledge of the Almighty, your firm faith in his
. justice and in his impartial benevolence, lead you to reject these inconsistent and imaginative doctrines, and the false systems of interpretation from which they spring, and therefore fit you for a more correct understanding of the Gospel (when once its evidences are admitted,) than is entertained by a multitude who bear the name of Christ. Some of the errors of this multitude are the same which have been perpetuated from a very early age, and which arose from the intermixture of the Oriental mystical philosophy with the Gospel. Others have from time to time arisen from a misunderstanding of the purpose and mode in which the Apostle Paul and others recommended the Gospel to the consideration of your nation and of the Gentiles. The ignominious death of Christ was ever a difficulty with the men of that time. It was, as Paul declared, “to the Jews a stumbling-block, and to the Greeks foolishness;" the one being unwilling to believe that the Prince of Israel could suffer the death of a malefactor; and the other being disposed to scoff at a faith, whose founder had died under such degradation. The temptation was great, and to many who foresaw not the consequences it proved irresistible, to conciliate the attention of polite heathens by mysticizing, in their method, upon plain facts; by philosophizing, embellishing, and accommodating; till the obnoxious facts assumed a new appearance, and an arbitrary union was effected between the vain conceits of man and the imperishable truth of God. This was done, not by Apostles or original disciples, but by converts from among the Gnostics, who fitted their doctrine of emanations to the Christian system; intimating that the body of Christ was tenanted by a superior spirit,-an emanation from God, and thus at
tempting to get rid of the reproach of the cross. To remove this stumbling-block from the Israelites a different method was pursued ; advantage being taken, at first through a mistaken intention, and afterwards through a mistaken conviction, of the writings of Paul, and of that Epistle to your nation which has been generally attributed to him. It has been already observed, that his arguments on the comparative states of the converted and unconverted Hebrews and Gentiles of his time have been ignorantly and unwarrantably applied to the conditions of a future state ; and a similar misapplication of his arguments has been made in other instances. The epistle addressed to the Hebrews has been treated in the same manner. Paul was learned in all the learning of the Pharisees; his imagination was vivid, and possessed with the imagery most natural to one who had studied the Law from his youth up, and he was devotedly attached to the institutions of his nation. His writings therefore abound in allusions to the events and persons of your history, in analogies between old and new institutions, in illustrations of what is strange by reference to that which is familiar. All this is natural; and the beauty of Paul's writings is much increased by it in the eyes of those who understand Judaism; while those who do not, find many things which are hard to be understood, and from which a mystical signification is therefore extracted. No wonder that
who are familiar with the stores whence he drew his imagery should refuse to admit its supposed mystical import. You are as fully justified in doing so, as you would be in rejecting the supposition that the statesmen of Greece and Rome were truly types of the statesmen of the present day because they have been connected in the classical allusions of eminent writers. The same remarks apply to the Epistle to the Hebrews, whoever might be its author. The style and argument of this Epistle were alike adapted to the purpose of conciliating the interest of Israelitish readers. The then present condition of the converted and unconverted Hebrews, the mission, death, and doctrine of Christ, and the appointed destination of the Gospel, are illustrated in every possible way
by imagery which was familiar and clear to the designed readers of the Epistles. But since no imagination can frame these allegories, references, and analogies into a consistent system; since the figures are perpetually shifted, and the imagery utterly irreconcilable in its different parts,-it is clear that no typical system was meant to be shown forth by the writer, or could have been supposed by his best informed, that is by his Hebrew readers. No one analogy holds throughout; and those which relate to the death of Christ are above all various; as he is represented sometimes as the sacrifice offered, sometimes as the priest who offered sacrifice, sometimes as the high-priest who entered the Holy of Holies; and again, as the veil of the sanctuary; and again, as the successor of Moses offering a second and better covenant. But it is useless to point out this delusion-of a typical mode of interpretation-to you, who never have been and never will be deluded by it.
The true nature of the connexion between the two dispensations has been already pointed out: namely, no mystical arbitrary connexion, but the connexion of the beginning of a scheme with the end, of the manifestation of a plan with its promised consummation. This closest possible connexionthat of absolute unity-can only be obscured by the embellishments of man's imagination ; and this obscuration is the cause of the hitherto very imperfect recognition of the two dispensations as one.
Thus then do you perceive it to be acknowledged by Christians that the questions of Orobio are reasonable, and the doubts implied in them well grounded, since they all relate to the corruptions of Christianity. Examine for yourselves whether they touch Christianity itself; whether they call in question the design of God to complete the spiritual education of the whole race by a teacher sprung from your nation; whether they impeach the claims of Jesus the son of David to be your Messiah; whether they obscure the glory which we perceive in the spiritual nature of his kingdom; whether they overthrow the evidence of his resurrection, the truth of his doctrine, or the rectitude of the moral system of which that doctrine was the sanction.
Orobio, while asking these questions, might consistently have believed that Jesus was the Messiah, that he died and was raised from the dead; testifying that there is a future life, and that that life is a state of proper retribution; that is, -Orobio, while asking these questions, might have been a Christian,
Section IV.—Prophecy. The Prophecies of the New
Dispensation. It is evident that a different species of testimony to the truth of Christ's pretensions was required by the different classes of people to whom his Gospel was made known,-a difference which subsists in some degree to this day. To the Gentiles, one miracle, -one unquestionable manifestation of Divine power,—was sufficient to prove the Divine authority of him who wrought the miracle: and to us, being Gentiles, satisfactory testimony to any one of the miracles of Jesus is, in like manner, sufficient to command our belief. The same amount of evidence was also enough for those classes of your people which at first furnished the greatest numberof disciples to Jesus. The humble, the simple-minded, who were little versed in the intricacies of Rabbinical learning, thought the evidence of their own senses superior to any derived evidence whatsoever; and witnessing deeds of Divine power done by a man, they naturally and firmly believed that Divine power wrought through this man.
But the evidence of miracles was not sufficient for those who sat in Moses' seat, or for such of their disciples as were, like them, wedded more to the Law than to truth in the abstract. To them the miracles of Jesus, however numerous, however well attested, and whatever else they might prove, failed to prove his claim to supersede Moses; since Moses also wrought miracles, not more numerous perhaps, but certainly