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heaven." And that he saw his Father he testifies in the same Gospel, chap. vi. 46, where he states, “ Not that any man hath seen the Father, save he which is of God, he hath seen the Father.” That he beheld the life and happiness which he announced to us, is evident both from what he himself declares (John iii. 11), that he testified what he had seen; and also from what John the Baptist asserts colicerning him in the same chapter (ver. 31, 32), where he observes, “ He that cometh from above is above all," “What he hath seen and heard, that he testifieth.” That he heard and learnt from the Father what he was to teach to others, appears partly from the passage just cited, and partly from what Christ declares, John viii. 26, “I speak to the world those things which I have heard of him :" and (ver. 28), “As my Father hath taught me, I speak these things. With which agrees ver. 38, “ I speak that which I have seen with
my Father :" and also, what he states chap. xii. 49, 50, “I have not spoken of myself ; but the Father which sent me, he gave me commandment, what I should say, and what I should speak.” “Whatsoever I speak, therefore, even as the Father said unto me, so I speak.'
Whence likewise it is, that he says, his doctrine and word are not his, but the Father's who sent him. That he had descended from heaven, or come forth from the Father, is intimated in some of those very passages which I have just quoted; namely, John iii. 13 and 31: to which
be led John vi. 38, “ I came down from heaven not to do mine own will, but the 1 2
will of him that sent me:" and chap. xvi. 28, “I came forth from the Father, and am come into the world.” That he was largely endowed with the Holy Spirit, is sufficiently evident from the history of his baptism, not to adduce other testimonies—such as that of Isaiah Ixi. 1, quoted (Luke iv. 18) by Christ concerning himself, “ The spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor," &c.; and that of the apostle Peter (Acts x. 38), that “ God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Ghost and with power.” And lastly, that he spoke the words of God by virtue of his spirit, John the Baptist testifies, John iii. 34, where, discoursing of Christ, he says, “ He whom God hath sent speaketh the words of God; for God giveth not the spirit by measure unto him.” To which
be added Acts i, 2, where it is said that Christ had given commandments unto the apostles “ through the Holy Ghost," that is, hy the direction and impulse of the Holy Spirity.
y [The doctrine maintained in the former part of this answer respecting the literal ascent of Jesus into heaven, his vision of God and of celestial happiness, and his instruction in the divine truths he was afterwards to promulgate to the world, constitutes one of the chief points of difference between the opinions of the old Socinians and those of the Unitarians of the present day. In what sense the latter interpret the passages upon which the former grounded their hypothesis, has already been shown above, page 67, note (k), in respect to one of the principal texts. The reader is again referred to that note; and he may consult the authorities there cited for the modern Unitarian exposition of the other texts adduced by the authors of this Catechism in support of their system. TRANSL,]
What What is that Will of God which has been declared to us by Jesus Christ?
It is that contained in the New Covenant which God has made with the human race through this Mediator (Heb. viii. 6; 1 Tim. ii. 5).
What does this New Covenant comprise ?.
It comprises both the perfect Precepts, and the perfect Promises of God, together with the mode whereby, and the ground upon which, we ought to conform to these precepts and promises; which ground is itself a command of God, and has respect to his promises.
OF THE PRECEPTS OF CHRIST, WHICH HE ADDED TO
THE LAW. What are the perfect Precepts of God comprised in the New Covenant ?
They are in part included in the commands delivered by Moses, together with those which were added to them by Christ and his apostles: and in part contained in those which were delivered exclusively by Christ and his Apostles.
What are those of the former class ?
They comprehend all the moral precepts; that is, all those laws which relate to the duties of virtue and probity.
Are there then other precepts delivered by God through Moses? 'There ire: Of these some pertain to external
rites, commonly denominated Ceremonial; and other to judicial proceedings. But Christ has abrogated, either expressly or tacitly, those of the ritual kind. He has by the Apostles, and especially by the apostle Paul, openly abrogated and annulled a great part of the precepts relating to external rites or ceremonies: and the other external rites or ceremonies, that are not openly abrogated, ought to be considered as annulled by the property of the New Covenant, for the very reason on account of which those that we find to have been openly abrogated were done away. The judicial precepts belonged to the constitution of this commonwealth.
But what is the property of the New Covenant?
It is altogether spiritual; being placed not in external things which from their nature conduce nothing to virtue, but in things internal, possessing some natural moral value. But external rites, commonly denominated ceremonial, are not spiritual; nor do they of themselves, and from their nature, at all conduce to virtue and piety. Unless, then, there exist in the New Testament some express command concerning things of this kind; it is by no means to be believed that they are to be observed under the New Covenant. It must' therefore be understood, that what is commanded in the Old Covenant in respect to what are usually called ceremonies, in no way pertains to the New.
On what account were certain ceremonies belonging to the Old Covenant openly abrogated ?
Because those ceremonies were shadows of things
future ; which are now present, and have appeared in the New Covenant. Wherefore, the body being come, the shadows retire.
Do the Scriptures contain any express testimony in proof of this ?
There is one in Paul's Epistle to the Colossians (chap. ii, ver. 16, 17), “Let no man therefore judge you in meat or in drink, or in respect of an holyday, or of the new moon, or of the sabbath days : which are a shadow of things to come ; but the body is of Christ.” Hence it happens that all the other ceremonies, although not openly abrogated, are to be considered as tacitly done away, since it is evident that they were all shadows of those things which have appeared in the New Covenant. Add to this, that some of the ceremonies of the Old Covenant were of such a kind that they were abolished because they related only to the Israelites,
State, what were the ceremonies of this class?
You have examples of them in the Paschal Lamb, and the Feast of Tabernacles. These, and some others of a similar kind, pertained to the Israelites alone; because they were instituted in commemoration of benefits conferred upon them exclusively, or which they alone had obtained. But they in no way relate to the Gentiles, converted to God by Christ, who at this day compose the largest part of God's people.
But what say. you respecting the judicial precepts are not Christian governments bound by these ? By no means : since many of them contain laws