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After the pattern of Christ, and according to their proper measure, all Christians have the presence of God abiding within them; whence their bodies also are the temples of the Holy Ghost ; from which consideration they are instructed to dedicate them, to the service of God; for that is certainly one use of a temple ; and not to defile them, for that is sacrilege. And the subject gives them this consolation, that though their earthly house of this tabernacle be dissolved, he who raised up the tabernacle of David from its ruins to a more glorious state in the Gentile world, and raised up the temple of Christ's body which the Jews destroyed, shall in like manner quicken our mortal bodies by the spirit that dwelleth in us, and give us a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens.
It was observed above, that the tabernacle of David is a figurative term for the Christian church as the mystical body of Christ: we shall likewise find, that the blessings and privileges of the Christian society or assembly of Christian people do all correspond with the economy of the congregation of Israel, and are described in terms borrowed from the law; of which the following example in the epistle to the Hebrews will be sufficient, where the apostle says-Ye are come unto Mount Sion, and unto the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to an innumerable company of angels, to the general assembly and church of the first born which are written in heaven, and to God the judge of all, and to the spirits of just men made perfect, and to Jesus the mediator of the new covenant, and to the blood of sprinkling that speaketh better things than that of Abel. Every Christian is to conceive what his own state is, by looking back to the privileges of the church of old. He is come to
mount Zion, to a situation exalted above the world; a mountain chosen and favoured of God, blessed with the dew of heavenly grace, and inheriting the promise of eternal life; even to that holy hill, on which Christ is established as King against all the opposition of the world below. It is the new Jerusalem, because it is ordained to be, as that city was of old, at unity with itself, and a principle of unity to all the land; where all the tribes of the earth unite, in one religion, as the tribes of Israel assembled to worship at Jerusalem. The cities of the neighbouring nations were dedicated to some tutelary idol; Jerusalem alone to the true and living God; so now is the same God connected with the Christian city and with that only; and all the company of heaven, innumerable as they are, who assisted at the delivery of the law, are with him. As the first-born of Israel, who had the right of inheritance, were redeemed and written down by name; so are all the children of the Christian society enrolled in heaven as the first-born of God, and the book of life in which they are written answers to the register of the church of Israel. We are come to God the Judge of all, because we are taken out of the world of the ungodly, who are aliens, to be subject to his laws, and consequently to be under his government. It is true that all the world are under the authority of God; but then all are not related to him as citizens and subjects. In this respect, God was said to be nigher to the Jews than to any nation upon earth, because he was with them as their judge and protector. We have our Jesus, as they had their Moses; both of them mediators, to stand between God and the people. The Hebrews were not permitted to draw near to God to treat for themselves on pain of death; but Moses was to be between them, as Christ is now betwixt us and God, and no man can come to the Father but by him: and in his blood we have remission, as all things were purified under the law, and nothing accepted or sanctified without the blood of sprinkling; which speaketh better things than that of Abel; for the blood of Abel cried for vengeance, this for mercy and pardon.
every respect: and to these particulars I may add, that as the congregation of Israel on great and solemn occasions was called together by the sound of a trumpet, so shall the great assembly of all nations, all the tribes of the earth, and we ourselves among the rest, be summoned after the same form: the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised: and then we shall see with our eyes what that great society is, in the which we now live by faith.
There are many particular institutions remaining, some of a religious, some of a moral, and others of a civil nature; a few of the most useful of which I must select, and shew how the scripture has applied them.
The sabbath, which succeeds the labours of the week, appears to have been appointed from the beginning as a perpetual sign, a sign for ever *, of that happy Rest which the servants of God are to expect after the labours of this life. For thus the apostle hath reasoned about it; that being called the Rest of God, it cannot be of an earthly, but must be of an heavenly nature; for God doth not rest upon earth where men labour. He shews that the true rest promised to the faithful was not the sabbath that was appointed after God had finished his works; nor yet the state of rest so called, in the land of Canaan ; because the promise is still suspended, and repeated again in the time of David : whence he concludes that it was a rest never yet fulfilled in this life, but still remaining for the people of God, and into which the faithful enter when they die in the Lord and rest from their labours. I say no more of this here, because I have considered the subject more at large in my Lectures on the Epistle to the Hebrews, to which it properly belongs. · Circumcision was that rite of the law by which the Israelites were taken into God's covenant; and (in the spirit of it) was the same as baptism among Christians. For as the form of baptism expresses the putting away of sin; circumcision was another form to the same effect. The scripture speaks of a cir. cumcision made without hands, of which that made with hands was no more than an outward sign, which denoted the putting off the body of the sins of the flesh *, and becoming a new creature; which is the sense of our baptism. Of this inward and spiritual grace of circumcision the apostle speaks expressly in another place; he is not a Jew which is one outwardly, neither is that circumcision which is outward in the flesh ; but he is a Jew which is one inwardly, and circumcision is that of the heart, in the spirit, and not in the letter t. Some may suppose that this spiritual application of circumcision, as a sacrament, was invented after the preaching of the gospel, when the veil was taken from the law : but this doctrine was only inforced to those who had it before, and had departed from the sense of their own law: for thus did Moses instruct
* Exodus xxxi. 17.
the Jews, that there is a foreskin of the heart which was to be circumcised in a moral or spiritual way, before they could be accepted as the servants of God; and again, that the Lord would circumcise their heart, to love him with all their heart, and with all their soul * ; which was the same as to say, that he would give them what circumcision signified, making them Jews inwardly, and giving them the inward grace with the outward sign: without which, the letter of bap, tism avails no more now than the letter of circum
said of the other, “ He is not a Christian which is "one outwardly, and baptism is not the putting away “ the filth of the flesh by washing with water, but the " answer of a good conscience towards God t."
Nearly allied to this was the precept which forbad them to touch any dead carcase; and, in case of any such accident, enjoined a religious purification by water. Here apply the general rule, he is not a Jew which is one outwardly, and then you will understand, that outward defilement was not the thing to be feared, but the defilement of the mind, lest evil com munications should corrupt good manners. This precept in its moral acceptation teaches that there is a certain relation between death, and sin, and pollution, For why do men die but for their sin ? and also, that he who converses with such as are under the death of sin, that is, dead in spirit, dead to faith and holiness, will be defiled by their company, and will want washing; till which he will be unfit for the service of God. Thus the apostle himself explains the case ; that as those who were unclean by touching a dead body, were purified with a flye made of the ashes of a