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advanced. It never adds a new one, without giving freshness, and beauty, to the old. In fact, in reading the history of the substance of true religion, we are always looking on the same landscape. The only difference is, that as the Day advances, more of the mist is rolled away from the horizon, and more of the magnificent surface comes distinctly into view. The difference between our religion, and that of the Patriarchs, is just the difference between the moon, when she turns to us a thin crescent of her illuminated disc, and when, in the freshness of her beauty,
“She walks the calm blue firmament,
Her silver mantle throws."* It is no new landscape on which we gaze as the green and yellow radiance illuminates the noble panorama.
It is no new planet which comes travelling in its majesty, as the crescent swells into the circle, and the thread of light, into the orb of burnished silver. And, it is no fresh system of religion, that “the Dayspring” from on high has revealed to us. No! It is the same landscape—it is the same planet - it is the same system of power, thrown into continuous action, by the ever-brightening interference of the same Lord!" Whether, therefore, we listen to Job, as he moans out in the bitterness of his soul. " I know that my Redeemer liveth,"
or, to Abraham, who “rejoiced to see His day," + or, to Moses legislating for Israel, or to Isaiah bending into futurity, or, to the Apostle proclaiming the Glad Tidings, or to the beloved Disciple, as he gazes on the jasper throne, or to the four and twenty elders, as they fling their crowns before it-whether we look at the history, or the prophecy, or the parable, or the proverb, or the psalm, or the canticle, or the finger of the Baptist, the pen of the Evangelist, the quiet epistle of love, or the dazzling vision of Glory—we find the attention rivetted, on the same absorbing, expanding, and ennobling object—the foundation of peace, hope, and love—the One Almighty and Adorable Saviour, the strength and righteousness of the people of God, under every form and in every age!
And, now, let us see what kind of evidence this state of things presents to us. Here are men of every age, caste, and character, separated by continents, and centuries, having no earthly connexion, or, communication whatever, submitting to their own local, and limited superiors, but, knowing absolutely nothing of a universal authority which should press them into plausible, and superficial smoothness. And yet! here they are all standing on the same rock, breathing the same spirit, rejoicing in the same hope, coming up from the same wilderness,* and, what is most important, differing in the forms.of their religious worship! There is no resemblance between this state of things, and the position, and pretension, of the Church of Rome. Her catechism of opinions-her antical ceremonies-her boundless authority and her artificial uniformity have neither warrant nor counterpart here.
* Job xix. 25. + John viïi. 56.
There is no analogy between the inspired history of religion, and the structure of an exclusive, infallible, and domineering corporation.
THE STRUCTURE AND POSITION OF THE JEWISH CHURCH.
In tracing the history of true religion from Genesis to Revelation we are met-half way-by the peculiar structure and position of the Jewish Church and people—peculiar, because they were chosen from among the nations, separated by multiplied and singular bulwarks, and moulded into singularity by the visible hand of Godbearing no resemblance to anything that went before, or, to anything in the Bible that follows after them-a new chapter in the history of redemption--an onward movement in the way of salvation-in fact, “a different administration."
* Cant. viii. 5.
The solitary stones of witness that lay scattered in Arabia, and at Salem, and on Mount Moriah, and through the wilderness are here brought together and built up into a-solid, regular, and gorgeous pile of emblems, representing the Atonement, the intercession, the righteousness, the Priesthood, the free forgiveness, the purifying influence, the regal authority, and the grace and glory of the Lord ! And this, so fully, and so minutely, that the author of the Epistle to the Hebrews, does not hesitate to give them the precedence.* In fact, God taught His people as we teach our children—first by an alphabet, and then by a picture book. The Patriarchal Church is the alphabet, the Jewish Church is the picture book of salvation. And the Jewish believer was quite aware of this. For, while the thoughtless, the carnal, and the worldly rested in the mere ceremonial, and exulted in their adhesion to its forms, and went about to establish “ their own righteousness,"—thus turning the ministry of life into a ministry of condemnation the Jewish believer saw the Divine reality in the beauti
similitude, and he rejoiced that “ though his sins were as scarlet, they would be as white as snow, though red like crimson they would be as wool.”+ Coming up from the wilderness, he too, said to his Almighty companion,“ Thou shalt guide me with thy counsel, here, and afterwards receive me to glory."* Yes ! the significant symbol and the holy commandment served as “a schoolmaster” || to “bring them to Christ.”# To the eye of faith, His blood streamed from every altar-His prayer gave fragrance to every cloud of incense—the pure gold of His righteousness covered the mercy seat-His lights and perfections gleamed from the jewelled breastplate-His glory dwelt between the cherubim, and every blast of the silver trumpet proclaimed His final triumph and that of His believing
* Heb:ews iv. 2.
# Isaiah i. 8.
But besides being a shadow of good things to come, the Jewish Church was also a light shining in a dark place. It was a brilliant beacon to guide surrounding nations to the knowledge and worship of the One true God. We notice this latter peculiarity because it leads us to the different administrations as distinctly as does the former to “the same Lord.” The beautiful similitude, though not as widely as the Divine reality, was yet “a light to lighten the Gentiles.” It burned like the bush. in Horeb, of which Moses said, “I will now turn aside and see this great sight.” Gentiles of every age and
* Psalms lxxii. 24. & Galatians iii. 24.
|| This word, "schoolmaster,” does not convey the meaning of the original. The word is pædagogue, that is, the person, generally a slave, who conducted children to and from school, and attended them out of school hours. The leading idea of the Apostle, is, that of bringing unto and preparing for, as the Law did for the Gospel, viz: by its types and prophecies, doctrines, and moral precepts, all leading men to the Gospel, by shewing the impossibility of performing any law of works,