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how fearfully they of old did fall from him, and forget all that he had taught them; and shall he then be supposed to have retained the same imperfect institutions now, which failed him so sadly then ? Now far from there being any objection in this to what I have hitherto said, it seems to me rather a confirmation thereof. Much falling off there often wasma total loss never. It was necessary that the hopes of the people should be often tried, and this was done in the way best suited to put them to the keenest test. First, they were left to wander forty years in the wilderness, that they might long for their promised land; then they were from time to time given over to enemies, that they might wish for deliverers from God, that so the desire for redemption might ever be before their eyes. And this period may all well correspond to the early days of persecution in Christianity, wherein rest and ease from tyrannical oppression were its most earnest prayer. Then came in both the time of religious dissension, of schism, and heresy. For in the old times, men must have been severely tried, after the division in the kingdom took place, and later when in Samaria the true God was worshipped in a separate national, communion, from hardly knowing how to reconcile domestic feelings and social customs with that unity which called them to God's appointed temple in a foreign land ; and many doubtless thereby fell, and kept themselves separated from it, through these worldly considerations. And, even as then, this sort of trial was allowed by God to prove the fidelity of his people, so does St. Paul assure us that “now there must needs be also heresies, that they also that are approved may be made manifest amongst us.”* But not even formerly did the greatest of those defections destroy the deposit of hope given unto them; seeing that in the main it was found entire in their hands, when Jesus Christ came to demand it; and that, whenever they had seemed most grievously fallen away, it needed no new reformings or great study of matters, to restore the knowledge of all that had once been taught.
* 1 Cor. xi. 19.
And here we come to the last and great fulfilment of former types. The Jewish dispensation was necessarily imperfect; otherwise it never need have been superseded. It was subjects therefore, to constant disturbances and failings; and a remedy was supplied for these in the establishment of prophecy-of a series, that is, of godly men-extraordinary messengers sent by God, whenever any particular derangement or error had crept into his inheritance. Now since prophecy, considered as an ordinance, was necessarily to cease with fulfilment, some provision was requisite to take its place in the new state, and act as a counteract to the tendency towards error of the human mind. And see how beautifully this part of the figure was accomplished, and that two ways. First, the prophets were the types of Jesus Christ; and, we shall see Jesus Christ himself come and take their place, assuming here also their ministry, promising to remain with his new kingdom, teaching therein always, to the consummation of the world. Secondly, the prophets were the tongues of the Holy Ghost, and the Holy Ghost himself down
upon his Church to guide it into all truth, and teach always therein. And thus is an institution for the removal or correction of error, changed, by a twofold fulfilment of the most beautiful and perfect character, into a provision for the entire and perpetual prevention of the same.
But, my brethren, I have thus far rather appealed to your own recollections, than laid before you any specific proof, either of the connexion which I have described as existing between the Old and New Testaments, or of the correspondence of institutions between the two, especially in reference to the preservation of the Church from error. I could, indeed, have occupied your attention much longer, by entering into a detailed examination of the prophecies of the old law; I could have shown you how, from the very beginning until the end, there is a most beautiful series of manifestations, which go on gradually unfolding new qualities of the kingdom of Christ, until at length the picture is not only as complete as I have attempted to sketch it, but goes beyond my representation in
clearness and strength, as much as the Word of God is superior to that of man.
But yet, that I may not appear to be building upon a frail foundation, I will read to you one prophecy, and a very small portion of another, which seem to gather within themselves all I have laid down, and give us much more than I require, to secure the train of argument which I shall afterwards pursue. Both are from the prophet Isaias; and all interpreters, who admit the existence of prophecy, allow them to be descriptive of the Church of the Messiah. The first is comprised in the fifty-fourth chapter.
“ Enlarge the place of thy tent and stretch out the skies of thy tabernacle; spare not, lengthen thy cords, and strengthen thy stakes. For thou shalt pass on to the right hand and to the left, and thy seed shall inherit the gentiles, and shall' inhabit the desolate cities. Fear not, for thou shalt not be confounded nor blush, for thou shalt not be put to shame; because thou shalt forget the shame of thy youth, and shalt remember no more the reproaches of thy widowhood. For he that made thee shall rule over thee, the Lord of Hosts is His name and thy Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel, shall be called the God of all the earth. For the Lord hath called thee as a woman forsaken, and mourning in spirit, and as a wife cast off from her youth, said thy God. For a small moment have I forsaken thee, but with great mercies will I gather thee. In a moment of indignation have I hid my face from thee, but with everlasting kindness have I had mercy on thee, saith the Lord, thy Redeemer. This thing is to me as in the days of Noah, to whom I swore that I would no more bring the waters of Noah upon the earth; so have I sworn not to be angry with thee, and not to rebuke thee. For the mountains shall be moved, and the hills shall tremble; but my mercy shall not depart from thee, and the covenant of my peace shall not be moved, said the Lord, that hath mercy on thee. Oh, poor little one, tossed with tempest, without all comfort, behold I will lay thy stones
in order, and will lay thy foundation with sapphires.-All thy children shall be taught of God, and great shall be the peace of thy children. And thou shalt be founded in justice; depart far from oppression, for thou shalt not fear: and from terror, for it shall not come near thee. Behold, an inhabitant shall come who was not with me ; he that was a stranger to thee before, shall be joined to thes.* No weapon that is formed against thee shall prosper; and every tongue that resisteth thee in judgment, thou shalt condemn. This is the inheritance of the servants of the Lord, and their justice with me.'
To this striking passage I will add the concluding verse of the fifty-ninth chapter. “This is my covenant with thee, saith the Lord. My spirit which is in thee, and the words that I have put in thy mouth, shall not depart out of thy mouth, nor out of the mouth of thy seed, nor out of the mouth of thy seed's seed, saith the Lord, from henceforth and for ever.”
Assuredly, my brethren, the drift of these two passages cannot be mistaken. In them we are told that the Church of God, identified with the Jewish Church then existing—for it is addressed—should not continue much longer in a state of abasement; but that God should raise it up and extend its boundaries, so as to embrace all the kingdoms of the world, and the nations from the east unto the west ; that it should be authorised to condemn every one that may rise up against it in judgment; that its teaching should be such as though the very words were put into its mouth by God; so that they may depart from its seed, or its latest posterity, to the end of time; that God Almighty, the Lord of Hosts, the God of heaven and earth, should himself teach in it, and that this divine teacher should be the Redeemer of his people, in such a way, that all its children should be called taught of God. This covenant is everlasting, and can
• This verse is obscure in the original Hebrew, and is translated in the version authorized in the English Church, so as to accord with the succeeding verses; but even so, the general sense of the prophecy is not weakened. It may be right to state that, the title of the chapter in this version, applies it to the Church of the Gentiles.
no more fail than his covenant made to Noah, that the waters of the Deluge shall no more return to cover the earth; and, hence his protection is pledged to prevent any attempt from prospering, that may be designed or directed against its existence or prosperity.
Now, my brethren, all this I am confident, is more than sufficient to show you, first, the exact connexion between the old and the new dispensation, inasmuch as the latter was but the continuation and prolongation of the former ; and, secondly, that a supreme advantage belongs to the religion which Christ came to establish, in its being taught and instructed by the Almighty himself, the Redeemer of his people. If, therefore, the principles which I have laid down are correct, on looking into the new Testament, we must necessarily expect to find such an institution as will exactly comprise within itself all the terms of this prediction, corresponding accurately to the means provided in the old law to teach mankind, and preserve from destruction the doctrines by God delivered; and I think, that if we diligently study the several passages of the new Testament, wherein our blessed Lord directs and describes the constitution of his Church or Kingdom, we shall easily discover precisely such a continuation and such a provident scheme. And thus we are brought to the second portion of my theme, the direct testimony of God to the teaching of his Church.
And where can we better expect to find such a testimony, than in the very words wherein Christ conveys to his apostles and their successors his own supreme authority ? For we read in the last verses of St. Matthew's Gospel, how, before he ascended into heaven, he called them all together and addressed them in most solemn language, giving them his last and most especial charge ; and introducing it by a preamble wherein he should seem to allude to that testimony, which at the beginning of this discourse I described, that of his eternal Father, who commanded all to hear him, as one in whom he was ever pleased.
“ All power is given to me in heaven and on earth.--Go