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God hath fulfilled the same unto us their children, in that he hath raised up Jesus' again *. . But the contradiction is only seeming. The two texts are, indeed, very consistent. The Writer to the Hebrews is speaking of the condition of the heads and leaders of the faithful Israelites in general; who certainly had not the promise of the Gospel revealed unto them. St. Paul, in his speech to the Synagogue, is speaking particularly of their father ABRAHAM : as appears from his introductory address, Men and Brethren, Children of the stock of Abrahamt; and Abraham certainly had the promise of the Gospel revealed unto him, as appears from the words of Jesus himself. Pour father Abraham rejoiced to see my day; and he saw it, and was glad. He saw the resurrection of Jesus in the restoration of his son Isaac. But of this more hereafter. And to this solution, the Author of the Epistle to the Hebrews himself directs us, who, though he had said that the holy men in general received not the promise, yet when he reckons up the distinct effects of each particular man's faith, he expressly says, who through faith subdued kingdoms, wrought righteousmess, obta INED PROM is Es, stopped the mouths of lions, quenched the violence of fires, &c. That is, some like David, through faith, subdued kingdoms; others, like Samuel, wrought righteousness; others, like Abraham, obta INED PROMises; others, as Daniel, stopped the mouths of lions; and others, again, as his three companions, quenched the violence of fire. From whence I would infer these two conclusions: 1. That as the promise here said to be obtained, doth not contradict what the same Writer says presently after, that the faithful Israelites in general received not the promise; and as the promise, said by St. Paul to

* Acts xiii. 32. # Ver. 26. ; Heb. xi. 33.

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be made to the fathers, means the same thing with the PROM is Es said, by the Writer of the epistle to the Hebrews, to be obta INED, namely, the promises made to Abraham, who saw CHRist's day, and the oath sworn to David, that of the fruit of his loins he would raise up Christ to sit on his throne"; consequently, neither do the words of St. Paul contradict the Writer of the epistle to the Hebrews, where he says, these all received not the promise. 2. As these gospel Promises are said to be obtained by faith, it follows that the FAITH mentioned in this famous eleventh chapter to the Hebrews, could not be faith in the Messiah : because the promises of a Messiah are here said to be the consequence of faith; but faith in the Messiah is the consequence of the promises of a Messiah: For how could they believe in him of whom they had not heard? From whence it appears, that the FA1th so much extolled in this chapter was faith in God's veracity, according to the interpretation given above. - - III.

This is all, as far as I can learn, that hath been objected to my Proposition; and this all is such a confirmation of it, that I am in pain lest the reader should think I have prevaricated, and drawn out the strongest Texts in the New Testament to support my Opinion, under the name of a Confutation of it. But I have fairly given them as I found them urged; and to shew that I am no less severe, though a little more candid, to my own notions, than my Answerers are, I shall produce an objection, which occurred to me in reading St. Paul's epistles, of more real moment than their whole bundle of Texts weighed together. It is this: The learned Apostle, in his reasoning' against the

. . ... -- • Acts i. 30. - ; F F 2 Jews,

Jews, argues upon a supposition, that “By the Law they had eternal life offered to them or laid before. them, on condition of their exact performance of the Commandment; but that all coming short of perfect obedience, there was a necessity of recurring to FAITH.” —For what the Law could not do (says he) in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin condemned sin in the flesh; that the righteousness of the Law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit *. This general Argument, which runs through the epistles to the Romans and Galatians, wears indeed the face of an objection to what I have advanced: but to understand the true value of it, we must consider the Apostle's end and purpose in writing. It was to rectify an error in the Jewish Converts, who would lay a necessity upon all, men of conforming to the Law of Moses. As strangely superstitious as this may now appear to us, it seems to have been a very natural consequence of opinions then held by the whole Jewish Nation, as doctrines of Moses and of the Law; namely, a future state of Rewards and Punishments, and the resurrection of the Body. Now these Doctrines, which easily disposed the less prejudiced part of the Jews to receive the Gospel, where they were taught more directly and explicitly, at the same time gave them wrong notions both of the Religion of Moses and of Jesus: Which, by the way, I desire those, who so much contend for a future state's being in the Mosaic Dispensation, to take, notice of Their wrong notion of the LAw consisted in this, that having taken for granted, that the reward of obedience proposed by Moses was Immortality, and that this immortality could be obtained only by - * Rom. viii. 3,4- the

the works of the Law, therefore those works were, of necessity, to be observed. Their wrong notion of the Gospel consisted in this, that as Immortality was attached to Works by the Law, so it must needs be attached to Works by the Gospel also.

These were fatal mistakes. We have seen in our explanation of the eleventh chapter to the Hebrews, how*the Apostles combated the last of them, namely, Justification by Works. The shewing now in what manner St. Paul opposed the other, of obligation to the Lore, will explam the reasoning in question. Their opinion of obligation to the Law of Moses, was, as we say, founded on this principle, that it taught a future state, or offered immortality to its followers. The case was nice and delicate, and the confutation of the error required much address. What should our Apostle do? Should he in direct terms deny a future state was to be found in the Law? This would have shocked a general tradition supported by a national belief. Should he have owned that life and immortality came by the Law? This had not only fixed them in, their error, but, what was worse, had tended to subvert the whole Gospel of Jesus. He has recourse therefore to this admirable expedient: The later Jews, in, support of their national Doctrine of a future state, had given a spiritual sense to the Law. And this, which they did out of necessity, with little apparent grounds of conclusion then to be discovered, was seen, after the coming of the Messiah, to have the highest reasonableness and truth,. Thus we find there were two spiritual senses, the one spurious, invented by the later Doctors of the Law; the other genuine, discovered by the Preachers of the Gospel; and these coinciding well enough-in the main, St . Paul w as enabled to seize a spiritual sense, and from thence to argue on their

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own principles, that the Law of Moses could not now oblige; which he does in this irresistible manner. “The Law, says he, we know is spiritual *; that is, in a spiritual sense promises immmortality: for it says, 1)o this and lice f. Therefore, he who does the deeds of the Law shall live f. But what then? Iam carnal $: And all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God|. So that no flesh can be justified by the deeds of the Law", which requires a perfect obedience. JWorks then being unprofitable, we must have recourse to Faith: But ifie jaw is not of Faith ** : Therefore the Law is unprofitable for the attainment of salvation, and consequently no longer obligatory.”—Never was an important argument more artfully conducted, where the-crroneous are brought into the right way on their own principles, and yet the truth not given up or betrayed. This would have been admired in a Greek or Roman Orator. But though the principle he went upon was common both to him and his adversaries, and conscquently true, that the Law was spiritual, or had a spiritual meaning, whereby, under the species of those temporal promises of the Law, the promises of the Gospel were shadowed out; yet the inference from thence, that the LAw offered immortality to its followers, was solely Jewish, and urged by St. Paul as an argument ad hominen only ; which appears certain from these considerations: 1. This spiritual sense, which St. Paul owns to be in the Law, was not a sense which was conveyed down with the literal, by Moses, to the followers of the Law; but was a sense incented or discovered long * Rom. vii. 14. t Lev. xviii. 5. Gal. iii. 12. t l{om. x. 5. § Rom. vii. 14. | Rom. iii. 23. 1 Gal. ii. 16. Chap. iii. ver, 11. * Gal. iii. 12. after;-

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