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Mark xii. 33.
before the LORD, and bow my felf before the high God? Shall I come before him with burnt-offerings, with calves of a year old? will the LORD be pleased with thousands of rams, or with ten thousands of rivers of oyl? Shall I give my first-born for my transgreffion, the fruit of my body, for the fin of my foul? No, by no means; nor can any Ignorance of this fort be justly pleaded; for the Answer is, He hath fhewed thee, O man, what is good. And what doth the LORD require of thee, but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God? And, in fupport of this great Truth, the new Testament ecchoes to the old; even out of the Mouths of those who were not yet thorough Converts to CHRIST'S Doctrine. For even one of the Scribes could fay, for a Man, To love God with all the heart, and with all the underftanding, and with all the foul, and with all the ftrength, and to love his neighbour as himfelf is more than all whole burnt-offerings and facrifices. Upon which, JESUS faw that he answered difcreetly, and faid unto bim, Thou art not far from the kingdom of God.
Such gracious Intimations was God, all along, pleas'd to give, that Sacrifices, tho' he had condefcended to humour the Infirmities of Mankind by permitting them for a while, were not what He requir'd, upon his own Account; but, after having been tolerated for a certain Time, were, with all the rest of the ceremonial Law, to be taken away and abolish'd, to make room for a Dispensation of another kind; which, being perfectly agreeable to the Divine Nature, was to I continue for ever.
Mofes himself clearly forefaw and fore@told this; tho' he had been fo intirely inftrumental in delivering to them the ritual Inftitution of Sacrifices. For he y tells the Ifraelites, The LORD thy God Deut. will raise up unto thee a prophet, from the xviii. 15, 1 midft of thee, of thy brethren, like unto me; unto Him ye shall bearken. According to all that thou defiredft of the LORD thy God in Horeb, in the day of the affembly, faging,
Let me not hear again the voice of the LORD my God; neither let me fee this great fire any more, that I die not. And the LORD faid unto me, They have well Spoken that which they have spoken. I will raife them up a prophet, from among their brethren, like unto thee, and will put my words in his mouth, and he shall speak unto them, all that I fhall command Him. And it fhall come to pass, that whosoever will not hearken unto my words, which He shall Speak in my name, I will require it of him.
Here God commends this Request of the People, as rational and right; it was according to the Divine Will, and He is refolv'd, in due Time, to comply with them. Which he accordingly did; by fending the Son, the fecond Perfon of the Godhead, to be born of a Woman, of one of their own Tribes; that fo, concealing the Divinity under the Form of Humanity, he might dictate the Will of the Father, in the most familiar eafy manner, and instruct without terrifying.
For, (to purfue this feafonable Digreffion a little further) If the Mofaical Dif penfation were the intire Will of God, and
as fuch, to abide for ever; while they obferv'd that, there could be no Occafion for them to receive further Inftruction from any Prophet whatever; nor did any of the mere Prophets, who arose after Mofes (but not one like unto him, whom the LORD Deut. knew face to face) pretend to teach any new Doctrine, or give another Inftitution, different from what they had before; but only to exhort them to the Observance of the old one. But when, in the Fulness of Time, CHRIST was come into the World, and had begun to promulge his new Com- John xiii. mandment, of univerfal Charity, a Voice from a bright cloud upon the mount, without the Terror of Thunders and Lightnings, pronounc'd; This is my beloved fon in whom Mat, I am well pleafed, hear ye Him.
CHRIST, accordingly, refers the unbelieving Jews to the Teftimony Mofes had given of him; fays He, Do not think that John ili. I will accufe you to the father: there is one 45. that accufeth you, even Mofes, in whom ye truft. For, had ye believed Mofes, ye would have believed me; for he wrote of
And his Disciples followed him with fuch a view, even before he had made this John i. Declaration. Philip tells Nathanael; We bave found Him, of whom, Mofes in the Law, and the Prophets did write, JESUS of Nazareth, the fon of Jofeph. The fame Notion the multitude entertain'd of him, when he fed and fill'd about five thousand, with five barley-loaves and two fmall fishes; even those men, (however ignorant and vulgar they might be in Comparison with the Chief-Priests, the Scribes, and Pharifees, who were profefs'd Doctors of the Law) when they had seen the miracle that JESUS did, faid, This is, of a truth, that Prophet that should come into the world.
And when the Time was come, that he fhould return to the Father, He gave it in Commiffion to his Apoftles, that they fhould go and teach all nations the true way of worshiping God, and confequently of attaining everlasting Happiness. Joh. xx. As my father bath fent me, even fo fend I you to publish to the whole World the glad Tidings of Salvation, by expresly declaring to them the perfect, eternal and unchangeable Will of God.