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timp it reminded the Jews, how far the power of the Lord extended beyond the restoration of the people, since the mere expression of his will so easily re.animated the dry and dispersed bones. Wherefore you may properly compare that passage with another of Isaiah: ,"Thy dead men shall live, together with my dead body shall they arise. Awake and sing, ye that dwell in dust: for thy dew is as the dew of herbs, and the earth shall cast out the dead. Come, my people, enter thou into thy chambers, and shut thy doors about thee: hide thyself as it were for a little moment, until the indignation be overpast. For, behold, the Lord cometh out of his place to punish the inhabitants of the earth for their iniquity: the earth also shall disclose her blood, and shall no more cover her slain." (p)
XXII. It would be absurd, however, to attempt to reduce every passage to such a canon of interpretation. For there are some places, which shew without any disguise the future immortality which awaits the faithful in the kingdom of God. Such are some that we have recited, and such are many others, but particularly these two: one in Isaiah: "As the new heavens and the new earth, which I will make, shall remain before me, saith the Lord, so shall your seed and your name remain. And it shall come to pass, that from one new moon to another, and fro n one sabbath to another, shall all flesh come to worship before me, saith the Lord. And they shall go forth, and look upon the carcases of the men that have transgressed against me: for their worm shall not die, neither shall their fire be quenched." (7) And another in Daniel: "At that time shall Michael stand up, the great prince which standeth for the children of thy people: and there shall be a time of trouble, such as never was since there was a nation even to that same time: and at that time thy people shall be delivered, every one that shall be found written in the book. And many of them that sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt." (r)
XXIII. Now the two remaining points, that the fathers
(/>) Isniab sxvi. 19—21. (?) Isaiah lxvi. 22—24. (r) Dan. \ii. I, 3.
had Christ as the pledge of their covenant, and that they reposed in him all their confidence of the blessing, being less controvertible and more plain, I shall take no pains to prove them. We may safely conclude therefore, what all the machinations of the devil can never subvert, that the Old Testament, or covenant which the Lord made with the Israelitish nation, was not limited to terrestrial things, but contained a promise of spiritual and eternal life; the expectation of which must have been impressed on the minds of all who truly consented to the covenant. Then let us drive far away from us this absurd and pernicious notion, either that the Lord proposed nothing else to the Jews, or that the Jews sought nothing else, but an abundance of food, carnal delights, flourishing wealth, external power, a numerous offspring, and whatever is esteemed valuable by a natural man. For under the present dispensation Christ promises to his people no other kingdom of heaven, than where they may sit down with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob; (s) and Peter asserted the Jews in his time to be heirs of the grace of the gospel, when he said that " they were the children of the prophets, and of the covenant which God made with their fathers." (*) And that this might not only be testified in words, the Lord also proved it by a matter of fact. For on the day in which he rose from the dead he honoured many of the saints with a participation of his resurrection, and caused them to appear in the city; (v) thus furnishing a certain assurance that whatever he did and suffered for the acquisition of eternal salvation, belonged to the faithful of the Old Testament as much as to us. For, as Peter declares, they also were endued with the same Spirit, who is the author of our regeneration to life. (w) When we are informed that the same Spirit, which is as it were a spark of immortality in us, and is therefore called in one place "the earnest of our inheritance," (x) dwelt in a similar manner in them, how can we dare to deprive them of the inheritance of eternal life? It is therefore the more surprising, that the Sadducees formerly fell into such stupidity as to deny the resurrection, and the immortality of the soul, since they had proofs of these
(<) Matt. viii. u. (t) Acts iii. 25. («) Matt. sxvii. 52.
(w) Acts xr. 8. (x) Eph i 14.
The Difference of the Two Testaments.
W HAT then, it will be said, will there be no difference left between the Old Testament and the New? and what becomes of all those passages of Scripture, where they are compared together as things that are different? I readily admit the differences which are mentioned in the Scripture, but I maintain that they derogate nothing from the unity already established; as will be seen when we have discussed them in proper order. But the principal differences, as far as my observation or memory extends, are four in number. To which if any one choose to add a fifth, I shall not make the least objection. I assert, and engage to demonstrate, that all these are such as pertain rather to the mode of administration, than to the substance. In this view, they will not prevent the promises of the Old and New Testament from remaining the same, and the promises of both testaments from having in Christ the same foundation. Now the first difference is, that although it was
(y) 2 Cor. iii. 14—16.
always the will of the Lord that the minds of his people should be directed, and their hearts elevated, towards the celestial inheritance; yet in order that they might be the better encouraged to hope for it, he anciently exhibited it for their contemplation and partial enjoyment under the figures of terrestrial blessings. Now having by the Gospel more clearly and explicitly revealed the grace of the future life, he leaves the inferior mode of instruction which he used with the Israelites, and directs our minds to the immediate contemplation of it. Those who overlook this design of God, suppose that the ancients ascended no higher than the corporeal blessings which were promised to them. They so frequently hear the land of Canaan mentioned as the eminent, and indeed the only, reward for the observers of the Divine law. They hear that God threatens the transgressors of this law with nothing more severe than being expelled from the possession of that country, and dispersed into foreign lands. They see this to be nearly the whole substance of all the blessings and of all the curses pronounced by Moses. Hence they confidently conclude, that the Jews were separated from other nations, not for their own sakes, but for ours, that the Christian Church might have an image, in whose external form they could discern examples of spiritual things. But since the Scripture frequently shews, that God himself appointed the terrestrial advantages with which he favoured them for the express purpose of leading them to the hope of celestial blessings; it argued extreme inexperience, not to say stupidity, not to consider such a dispensation. The point of controversy between us and these persons, is this: they maintain that the possession of the land of Canaan was accounted by the Israelites their supreme and ultimate blessedness, but that to us since the revelation of Christ it is a figure of the heavenly inheritance. We on the contrary contend, that in the earthly possession which they enjoyed they contemplated, as in a mirror, the future inheritance which they believed to be prepared for them in heaven.
II. This will more fully appear from the similitude, which Paul has used in his Epistle to the Galatians. (z) He compares
(a) Gal. iv. Vol. I. 3 P
the Jewish nation to a young heir, who being yet incapable of governing himself, follows the dictates of a tutor or governor, to whose charge he has been committed. His application of this similitude chiefly to the ceremonies, is no objection against the propriety of its application to our present purpose. The same inheritance was destined for them as for us; but they were not of a sufficient age to be capable of entering on the possession and management of it. The Church among them was the same as among us; but it was yet in a state of childhood. Therefore the Lord kept them under this tuition, that he might give them the spiritual promises, not open and unconcealed, but veiled under terrestrial figures. Therefore when he admitted Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, with their posterity, to the hope of immortality, he promised them the land of Canaan as their inheritance: not that their hopes might terminate in that land, but that in the prospect of it they might exercise and confirm themselves in the hope of that true inheritance which was not yet visible. And that they might not be deceived, a superior promise was given them, which proved that country not to be the highest blessing which God would bestow. Thus Abraham is not permitted to grow indolent after having received a promise of the land, but a greater promise elevates his mind to the Lord. For he hears him saying, "Abram, I am thy shield, and thy exceeding great reward." (a) Here we see that the Lord proposes himself to Abraham as his ultimate reward, that he may not seek an uncertain and transitory one in the elements of this world, but may consider that which can never fade away. God afterwards annexes a promise of the land, merely as a symbol of his benevolence, and a type of the heavenly inheritance. And that this was the opinion of the saints, is plain from their own language. Thus David rises from temporary blessings to that consummate and ultimate felicity. "My soul longeth, yea, even fainteth for the courts of the Lord." (6) "God is my portion for ever." (c) Again: "The Lord is the portion of mine inheritance and of my cup: thou maintainest my lot." (d) Again: "I cried unto thee, O Lord: I said, Thou art my refuge
(a) Gen. xv. 1. (A) Psalm Ixxxiv. 2.
(c) Psalm lxxiit. 26. (d) Psalm xvi. 5