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And, upon this Foundation the Apostles began to build and raise up the glorious Fabric of an Univerfal Church, Immediately after the Descent of the Holy Ghoft, to infpire and prepare them in a I proper manner for the Discharge of their high Commiffion, we find St. Peter, the Acts ii, G Chief of them, afferting the Divinity and 32. iii, Meffiahfhip of CHRIST from the great Miracle of his Refurrection: and appealing to the Prediction of Mofes, as a Proof that He was the Prophet whom God had promis'd to their Fathers. St. Stephen Acts vii, brings the fame Teftimony; and seals the 37. Truth of it by his Death.
The Apology St. Paul makes for himfelf before King Agrippa, is built upon the [fame Foundation. Having obtained Acts help of God, I continue unto this day, witneffing both to Small and great, faying none other things than those,which the prophets and Mofes did fay fhould come. That CHRIST fhould fuffer; and that he should be the firft that should rife from the dead; and fhould fhew light unto the people, and to the Gentiles. And again, when he is at Rome, and the Jews come to vifit him at his 0 4
Acts xxviii, 23.
Lodging, he expounds and teftifies the kingdom of God to them; perfuading them concerning JESUS both out of the law of Mofes, and out of the prophets.
Heb. i. 8.
Heb. i. 5. And endeavouring to convince his Brethren the Hebrews (for I am perfuaded that he is the Author of that Epiftle) that JESUS was the Son of God; no Angel, but fomething far fuperior, and even Heb. ii. very God; he proceeds to fay; Verily be took not on him the nature of Angels; but he took on him the feed of Abraham. Wherefore, in all things, it behoved him to be made like unto his brethren; that he might be a merciful and faithful High-Prieft in things pertaining to God, to make reconciliaHeb. iii. tion for the fins of the people. Who was faithful to Him that appointed him, as Mofes alfo was faithful.
The Ceremonial Law abolish'd.
Having brought thefe Proofs to fhew that JESUS was the Prophet, by whom God promis'd Mofes, that he would deliver his whole Will to Mankind; we may
be convinc'd likewife from fundry Places, in the new Teftament, that upon his coming forth from God, and taking upon him the Nature of Man, the Ceremonial Law was to be abolish'd, and a new Covenant to take place.
He tells the Samaritan Woman, (who was defirous to argue with him about the peculiar Place of Worship, as whether it were in Samaria or at Jerufalem) The hour Joh. iv. cometh when ye shall neither in this mountain, nor yet at Jerufalem; worship the father. This, in relation to Place; and then, in regard to Ceremonies, he adds, The hour cometh and now is, when the true ib. 23. worshipers shall worship the father in spirit and in truth. He fays, The law and the Luke 5 prophets were until John: fince that time xvi. 16. the kingdom of God is preached, (the new Covenant in the Gospel) and every man prefeth into it. The Evangelist tells us, The law was given by Mofes, but grace and truth came by JESUS CHRIST.
And when, after CHRIST's Afcenfion . and the Coming of the Holy Ghoft, certain of the Sect of the Pharifees, which were Converts to Christianity, in opposition to Paul
Paul and Barnabas infifted upon having the Gentile Profelytes circumcifed, and very warm Debates enfued thereupon, Peter rofe up; and, among other Things which he offers upon that Occafion, con
cludes his Speech with this pathetick ExActs xv. poftulation, Now therefore, why tempt ye God, to put a yoke upon the neck of the dif ciples, which neither our fathers, nor we, were able to bear?
St. James, who fpeaks next, is of Opinion, that they which, from among the Gentiles, were turned to God, should not be troubled with obferving the ceremonial Law, And, at length, the whole Council make a Decree concerning the Question; which Acts xv. begins in thefe Words; Forafmuch as we have heard, that certain which went out from us, have troubled you with words, fubverting your fouls, faying, Ye must be circumcifed, and keep the law; to whom we gave no fuch commandment: It seemed good unto us, &c.
Rom. vii. 4. 6.
St. Paul tells the Romans, They are become dead to the law through the body of CHRIST. Immediately after; Now, fays he, we are delivered from the law; that
being dead wherein we were held; that we should ferve in newness of spirit, and X not in the oldness of the letter. He says again, Chrift is the End of the law. He Rom.x.4. I tells the Galatians that by the works of the law no flesh fhall be justified. And asks, iii. 1. 19. who bath bewitched them that they should 24, &c, not obey the truth? (that is, adhere to the Gospel, and abandon the Law.) And in cafe any Judaizing Chriftian, by way of Op: pofition, should demand of him, wherefore then ferveth the law? To what end was it inftituted? He anfwers; It was added because of tranfgreffions, till the feed fhould come, to whom the promife was made. He fays,Before faith came we were kept under the law, fhut up unto the faith which fhould afterwards be revealed. Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster, to bring us unto Chrift; that we might be justified by faith. But after that faith is come, we are no longer under a school-master.
Again, he chides them severely, for their Inclination to Judaize, or obferve the Ceremonies of the Law: Now, after that bave known God, or rather are known of 9, 10,11. God, how turn ye again to the weak and