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rule of duty, both towards God and man, to the end of the world. But if we take the Sinai covenant more largely, as inclusive of the ceremonial with the moral law (as it is often taken, and is so by you, in the New Testament ;) then it did not only serve for a conviction of impotency, and a rule of duty; but exhibited and taught much of Christ, and the mysteries of the new covenant in those its ceremonies, wherein he was prefigured to them.
(5.) Whence it evidently appears, that the Sinai covenant was neither repugnant to the new covenant in its scope and
“ The law is not against the promise,” Gal. iii. 21. nof yet set up as co-ordinate with it, with a defign to open two different ways of salvation to fallen man; but was added to the promise in respect of its evangelical purposes and designs: On which account it is called by some a covenant of faith, or grace, in respect of its fubferviency unto Chrift, who is the end of the law for righteousness, Rom. x. 4. and by others a subservient covenant, according to Gal. iii. 23, 24. And accordingly we find both tables of the law put into the ark, Heb. ix. 4. which fhews their confiftency and subordination with, and to the method of salvation by Christ in the new covenant.
(6.) This design and intention of God was fatally mistaken by the Jews, ever since God promulged that law at Sinai, and was by them notorioufly perverted to a quite contrary end to that which God promulged it for, even to give righteousness and life, in the way of personal and perfect obedience; Rom.
“ For they being ignorant of God's righteoufness, and go« ing about to establish their own righteousness, have not sub“ mitted themselves unto the righteousness of God." Hence Christ came to be lighted by them, and his righteoufness rejected : For they rested in the law, Rom. ii. 17. were married to the law, as an husband, Rom. vii. 2, 3. and so might have no conjugal communion with Chrift. However, Mofes, Abraham, and all the elect, discerned Christ as the end of the law for righteousness, and were led to him thereby.
(7.) This fatal mistake of the use and intent of the law, is the ground of those seeming contradictions, in Paul's epiftles. Sometimes he magnifies the law, when he speaks of it according to God's end and purpose in its promulgation, Rom. vii. 12, 14, 16. But as it was fatally mistaken by the Jews, and set in opposition to Christ; so he thunders against it, calls it a ministration of death and.condemnation; and all its appendant ceremonies weak and beggarly elements. And by this distinczion, whatsoever feems repugnant in Paul's epistles, may be
Rom. x. 3.
sweetly reconciled : and it is a distinction of his own making Tim..i. 8. “ We know that the law is good, if we use it law.
“fully." There is a good and an evil use of
the law. Had you attended to these things, Rom. ii. 13. you had not so confidently and inconsiderately pronounced it a pure covenant of works.
II. Pofition. Secondly, You affirm with like confidence, That the covenant of circumcision is also the same ; viz. the covenant of works made with Adam in paradise.
This I utterly deny; and will try whether you have any better success in the proof of your second, than you had in your first position. And to convince you of your mistake, let us con fider what the general nature of this ordinance of circumcifion was; what its ends were ; and then prove, That it cannot be what you affirm it to be, the very fame covenant God made with Adam before the fall, but must needs be a covenant of grace.
(1.) Circumcision, in its general nature, was, (1.) An ordinance of God's own institution, in the gyth year of Abraham's age ; at which time of its institution, God renewed the covenant with him, Gen. xvii. 9, 10. (2.) That it consisted (as all fa. craments do) of an external sign, and a spiritual mystery fignified thereby. The external part of it (which we call the fign) was the cutting off the fore-skin of the genital part of the Hes brew males, on the eighth day from their birth. The fpiritual mystery thereby fignified and represented, was the cutting off the filth and guilt of fin from their souls, by regeneration and justification, called the circumcifion of the heart,” Deut. x. 16. And though this was laid upon them by the command, as their duty, yet a gracious promise of power from God to perform that duty, was added to the command; Deut. xxx. 6. « The Lord thy God will circumcise thy heart to love him," doc. just as promises of grace in the New Testament are added to commands of duty. (3.) Betwixt this visible outward sign, and spiritual mystery, there was a facramental relation ; from which relation it is called the "token of the covenant," Gen. xvii. 12. “The sign and seal of the covenant,” Rom. iv, 11. Yea, “ the covenant itself," Acts vii. 8.
(2.) Next, let us consider the ends for which circumcision was instituted and ordained of God : Of which these were the principal.
(1.) It was instituted to be a convictive sign of their natural corruption, propagated by the way of natural generation : For which reason, this natural corruption goes in feriptura under the name of the uncircumcision of the heart, Jer. ix. 26.
(2.) It also fignified the putting off of this body of fin, in the virtue of Christ's death, Col. ii. IÌ.
(3.) It was appointed to be the initiating sign of the coveriant, or a token of their matriculation, and admifsion into the church and covenant of God; Gen. xvii. 9, 10, 11.
(4.) It was ordained to be a diferiminating mark betwixt God's covenanted people, and the Pagani world, who were strangers to the covenant, and without God in the world. And accordingly both parties were, from this ordinance, denomihated the circumcifion, and the uncircumcifion, Col. iii. 11.
(5.) It was also an obliging sign to Abraham and his feed, tò walk with God in the uprightness and sincerity of their hearts, in the performance of all covenanted duties; in which duties; Abraham, and the faithful, walked obediently with God, looking to Christ för righteousness: but the carnal Jews resting in, and trusting to those duties arid ördinances for righteousness and justifications made it a covenant of works to themselves, and circumcision itself a bond of that covenaut.
(6.) Now, forasmuch as circumcifion prefigured Christ, who tvas to come of this holy circumcised seed of Abraham, and his death also was pointed at therein, Heb. ii. 16. Col. il. 11. of necessity this ordinance muft varish at the death of Christ; and accordingly did so.
These things duly pondered; how irrational is it to imagine this covenant of circumcision to be the very fame with the paradifical covenant ? Did that covenant discover native corruption, and direct to its remedy in Christ, as this did ? Surely it gave not the least glimpse of any fuch thing. Did that covenant separate and distinguish one person from another, as this did? No, no; it left all under equal and comon misery, Eph. ii. 3.
Had Adam's covenant a seal of the righteousness of faith añ.. nexed to it, as this had ? Rom. iv. 11. « He received circum
cision, a seal of the righteousness of faith.” The righteousness of faith is evangelical righteousness; and this circumcision sealed. Say not it was to Abraham only that it sealed it; for it is an injurious restriction put upon the seal of a covenant, which extended to the fathers as well as to Abraham, Luke i. 72. But you admit, however, that it fealed evangelical righteousness to Abraham : but I hope you will not say, thať a feat of the covenant of works ever did, or could, seal evangelical Tighteoufness to any individual person in the world. So then;
But it is ; ergo,
turn which way you will, this truth ftill follows you, and will faften upon you, that the covenant of circumcision was not a pure covenant of works, but a gospel-covenant. Which I thus prove :
Argument I. If circumcifion be a part of the ceremonial law, and the ceremonial law was dedicated by blood, and whatsoever is so dedicated, is by you confessed to be no part of the covenant of works; then circumcision is no part of the covenant of works, even by your own confeflion.
That it is a part of the ceremonial law, was never doubted, or denied by any man : that it was dedicated by blood, and therefore no part of the moral law, you yourself not only acknowledge, but vehemently plead for it, p. 148, where you blame Mr. Sedgwick with some sharpness, and unbecoming reflection, for making no distinction betwixt the ceremonial covenant, which was dedicated by blood, and the law written in tables of stone; which was not so dedicated, and therefore could not be the same with the moral law, which you make the covenant of works ; telling him, that this dedication by blood ought to distinguish it from the moral law, or Sinai covenant of works, as you say it doth, and ought to do; how then can circumcision be the same with, and yet quite another thing from the Sinai covenant ? Was the ceremonial law dedicated by blood ? Yes, the apostle plainly afferts it, from Exod. xxiv. 7, Heb.ix. 18,19.
8. “ Moses took the book of the covenant, and
“ read it in the audience of the people; “ and took the blood, and sprinkled it upon the people, and « faid, Behold the blood of the covenant, which the Lord hath « made with you, concerning these things.” But what kind of covenant then was this covenant that was sprinkled with blood ? You tell us, p. 147, it could not possibly be the law written in stones, (which you make the covenant of works); but was indeed another covenant, delivered at a distinct seafon, and in a distinct method. What covenant then must this be, seeing it could not possibly (as you say) be the Sinai covenant written in ftones ? It must'either be the covenant of grace, or none. No, say you, that it was not, neither for it was of the fame na ture with, and is no other than a covenant of works, p. 151. It was the same, and yet could not possibly be the same.
Mr. Sedgwick, that learned and grave divine, is checked, p. 148, for confounding the ceremonial law that was sprinkled with blood, with the moral lazo (which you call the covenant of works) that was not sprinkled with blood; and say you, po
147, It could not possibly be the same. And then, p. 151, you fay, It is clear, these two, viz. the moral and ceremonial law, were both of the fame nature; that is, no other than a covenant of works. How doth this hang together? Pray reconcile it, if
You say, It is an ungrounded supportion of Mr. Sedgwick's, thut that covenant which was so confirmed by blood, mult of necessity be confirmed by the blood of Christ also; p. 148. But, fir, the truth you oppose, viz. That the book of the ceremonial law was sprinkled by typical blood, and therefore confirmed by the blood of Christ, for the time it was to continue, fhines like a bright sun-beam in your own eyes, from Heb.ix. 14, 23.
Was not the blood that sprinkled this law, the figure ortype of Christ's own blood? Whole blood was it then, if not Christ's ? How dare you call this an ungrounded supposition? Was not that blood typical blood ? And what, I pray you, was the antitype, but Christ's blood ? And did not the holy Ghost signify the one by the other? Heb. ix. 8. I stand amazed at these things ! You distinguish, and confound ali again. You say, it could not possibly be the same with the law written in stone: and you say, it is clear both were of the same nature, no other than a covenant of works. At this rate you may say what you please; for I fee contradi&tion is no crime in
Argument I'. If circumcision was the seal of the righteousness of faith, it did not pertain to the covenant of works ; for the righteousness of faith and works are oppolates, and belong to two contrary covenants.
But circumcision was the seal of the righteousness of faith; Rom. iv. 11. " He (i. e. Abraham) received the fign of cir« cumcision, a seal of the righteousness of faith.” Therefore it pertains not to the covenant of works, but grace.
A man would think it impossible to evade so clear and fcriptural an argument as 'this is. The major proposition is even self-evident and undeniable; the minor, the plain words of the apoftle.
And what is your reply to this ? Certainly as strange a one as ever I met with; p. 105. you say, It is true, circumcision was a seal of the righteoufness of faith to Abraham ; but it was so to him only in his extraordinary circumstances ; but it was not so to any of bis natural feed in its ordinary use.
I cannot deny but I have met with such an assertion before in Mr. Tombes; and I can tell you too, that Bellarmine invented it before Mr-Tombes was born, and that Dr. Ames fully