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when first converted, in common with CHAP. their unbelieving brethren. They, too, fond- ir. ly hoped one day to see the lowly Jesus, a mighty temporal prince; and expected, that they, who had shared his humility, should be partakers of his power and glory. This is sufficiently evident from a variety of pafTages contained in holy Scripture.

" Then he took unto him the twelve, “ and faid unto them, Behold, we go up " to Jerusalem, and all things that are " written by the Prophets concerning the « Son of man shall be accomplished. For “ he shall be delivered unto the Gentiles, “ and shall be mocked, and spitefully inis treated, and spitted on: and they shall « scourge him, and put him to death : and “ the third day he shall rise again d.”

. Such is the description, which the Meffiah gives of his humiliation and sufferings; circumstances, which had never once occurred to the aspiring and worldly-minded Jews, accordingly, we find that his Difciples were totally at a loss to comprehend his meaning. “ And they understood none of these things, and this saying was hid

a Luke xviii. 31, VOL. II. D

6 from

sect. “ from them, neither knew they the things

1. “ which were spoken.”

The same observation may be made on the defponding language of the two difciples, who were passing from Jerusalem to Emmaus.“ We trusted that it had “ been he, which should have redeemed “ Ifrael.” The death of Christ had put an end to all their hopes, and they concluded themselves to have been mistaken in supposing him the promised Saviour. For a season, they were as blind as the other Jews to the real design of his mission; and imagined, that such an ignominious punishment as crucifixion was utterly incompatible with the character of him, who came to restore the legal observances with additional splendor and majesty. They remained in this ignorance and perplexity, till Christ himself was pleased to remove their doubts; first by explaining the intent of the ceremonies and prophecies, and afterwards by sending the Holy Ghost to enlighten their understandings, and to enable them to comprehend the true connection of the Law and the Gospel.

Luke xxiv.

13. The 3: The error of the Judaizing Christians CHAP. after the death of our Lord, when their 11. mistakes concerning his office and functions were removed, and when they no Jewishi longer imagined him to be a temporal de after the liverer, consisted in supposing ; that the decades of our Gospel was not to supersede the Law, but that the ceremonial part of it was to remain still in force, even after the promulgation of Christianity. The more moderate of these converts included only tbemfelves as Jews under this obligation; but the more violent infifted, that the Gentile Christians were equally bound in conscience to observe the rites and ordinances of the Mofaical dispensation. Had this been required only as a temporary matter, and solely with a view to foften the prejudices of the Jews against the preaching of the Gospel, the compliance with it could have involved no bad consequences; and St. Paul, whose liberality of character is res markably conspicuous, would doubtless not have opposed it, since he himself, in more than a single instance, yielded in non-efsentials, in order to avoid giving offence . Whence then arose the Apostle's strenuous

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sect. resistance to this notion of the Juđaizing 1. Christians ? The reason is clear ; they wished - to make the observance of the Law a con

dition of justification, without which not even the merits of the Redeemer himself could effect the falvation of finners; a doctrine clearly striking at the very vitals of Christianity.

Perhaps the Epistle to the Galatians is at once the best account and confutation of this error. The Galatians, a church of Gentile converts, and therefore peculiarly under the jurisdiction of St. Paul, the great Apoftle of the Gentiles, had been induced,

by the mistaken zeal and: false represen· tations of the Jewish Christians, to adopt

the rites of the Levitical church, and to
endeavour to unite them with the pure
and fpiritual doctrines of the second dif-
pensation under the Messiah. This error
was so common in the early ages of Chrif-
tianity, that we find St. Peter himself in-
fected with it; or, at least, fuppofing his
private sentiments to have been just, giv-
ing his countenance and support to it, from
a fear of displeasing the Jewish converts.

Under such circumstances, St. Paul judged

it to be the best antidote against the pre- CHAP. vailing evil, to remonstrate openly with St. 11. Peter, and afterwards to admonish by lets ter those churches, which had been deceived. Accordingly, in the Epistle under consideration, he acquaints the Galatians with his proceedings, and concludes his narrative with these striking and decisive words. “ Knowing that a man is not juf4. tified by the works of the Law, but by “the faith of Jesus Christ, even we have “ believed in Jesus Christ, that we might “ be justified by the faith of Christ, and

not by the works of the Law: for by " the works of the Law shall no flesh be “justified 6.”


This error in the Christian Jews derived its origin from a very natural, and indeed a very pious cause. Not thoroughly understanding the evangelical scheme of juftification folely through the merits of Christ; they joined the works of the Law with it, as essentially and efficiently necessary to falvation. They seem to have argued in this manner : If the Law of Moses, the Law of our forefathers, in the firm belief of

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