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vileges of the church of old. He is come LECT* 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 Ifrael, 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
LEJC T. of God, and the book of life in which they
are written answers to the register of the
for the blood of Abel cried for vengeance, LECT. this for mercy and pardon.
Thus is our society on like terms with theirs in every respect : and to these particulars I may add, that as the congregation of Israel on great and folemn 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 rett, be summoned after the fame form: the trumpet Mall found, 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 Thew how the scripture has applied them.
The fabbath, which succeeds the labours of the week, appears to have been appointed from the beginning as a perpeK
LECT. tual sign, a fign 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 fabbath 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 . * Exodus xxxi, 17.
which the Israelites were taken into God's LECT. covenant; and (in the spirit of it) was the same same as baptism among Christians. For as the form of baptism expresses the putting away of lin; circumcision was another form to the same effect. The scripture speaks of a circumcision made without bands, of which that made with hands was no more than an outward fign, which de- . noted the putting of the body of the fins 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 few which is one outwardly, neither is that circumcifion which is outward in the flesh; but he is a
few which is one inwardly, and circumcifion is that of the heart, in the spirit, and not in the letter of. 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, * Col. ii. 11. † Rom, ii. 28: K 2