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as that which is brought into view in this chapter, could hardly have subsisted. The cause of it seems to have been, that which is at the foundation of many disputes and divisions at the present day ; the not distinguish, ing carefully between anterior institutions and laws ; and those which were added, as peculiar to the cove. nant of Sinai, which only have waxed old, and vanished away. The observance of the sabbath was contin. ued under the authority of Christ, and liis apostles, The usages which were sanctioned by the Sinai covę, nant, did not actually cease at once, with the removal of that covenant. They were abolished gradually, as the weak believers among the Jews could bear. Hence it was natural enough for those Jews to contend, that if the sabbath was to be observed, the other cousecrat ed days ought to be observed likewise. This dispute the apostle manages, with the same spirit of accominodation, with which he circumcised Timothy, kept the feast at Jerusalem, and conformed, on occasions, tq several things in the ritual law..
The other passage brought forward as an objection, is in Colos. ii. 16, 17. “Let no man, therefore, judge you in meat, or in drink, or in respect of an holy day, or of the new moon, or of the sabbaths." What sab. baths were these ? The term sabbath was first applied to the seventh day. Afterwards it was applied as de. scriptive of all the consecrated days of the Sinai cove. nant. See Leviticus xxiii. 32, and 38. As the plu. ral therefore is used, there seems to be reason to pre. sume, that, as in the former case, the apostle had respect to these days of the Sinai law. The 4th verse, if attended to, will convince us that he had. " Blotting out the hand writing of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to his cross." What was this hand writing of ordinances ? It was what he calls, in his letter to the Ephesians," the middle wall of partition.” It was the ritual of the Sinai covenant. But it has been prov. ed that the primitive sabbath did not belong to this covenant. The passage therefore, cannot prove the discontinuance of the sabbath.
The fact of the change of the sabbath from the sev, enth, to the first day, as having taken place under the authority of God, is admitted by the whole Christian Church, a few individuals excepted. The universal, undisputed practice of the Church in the earliest and purest times of it, and as ordered by the Apostles themselves, is conclusive evidence, both of the perpetu, ity of the sabbath, and of this circumstantial change respecting it. “ All Christians” says Dr. Mosheim, " were unanimous in setting apart the first day of the week, on which the triumphant Savior arose from the dead, for the solemn celebration of public worship. This pious custom, which was derived from the ex, ample of the Church of Jerusalem, was founded upon the express appointment of the Apostles, who conse, crated that day to the same sacred purpose, and was observed universally throughout all the Christian Churches, as appears from the united testimonies of the most credible writers."
This change was evidently necessary, to mark the accomplishment of the typical system, respecting Christ; as a public standing testimony, that he was come, and was risen from the dead ; that the promises were accomplished in the purification of Israel and the accession of the Gentiles; and that these were the last times ; especially, and signally, the accepted times, and the day of salvation.
As the sabbath, and not the less evidently on account of this modification, is perpetuated, in the essential na. ture of it, as a holy rest, an ordinance forever, a sign of the covenant, a public standing token that God is in the midst of the Church, to sanctify it, a pledge of his love, commemorative of the accomplishment of the great work of our redemption, and a type of heaven, it ought to be received, and observed conscientiously by all Christians, as a most precious blessing of the cove. nant. All labor ought to be suspended during the complete day, according to the original requirement. No work ought to be done upon it, but such as is of absolute necessity, and the dictate of mercy. The day ought to be spent in those devotional employments, public and private, which, instead of being a labor and burden to the children of God, are their refreshment, strength, and joy.
Those who trample upon the sabbath are to be understood as trampling upon all that it exhibits ; upon the covenant of God; upon its provisions and promises ; upon the whole work of redemption ; upon the interests of virtue ; and as despising the pleasant land. • The passover is another ordinance which was appointed to Israel prior to the introduction of the Sinai covenant. : It was instituted before their departure from Egypt, and as a standing memorial of their de. liverance from the destruction, which cut down all the first born of Egypt. See the 12th ch. of Exodus. The reason given for its institution, is in these words : “ For I will pass through the land of Egypt this night, and I will smite all the first born of the land of Egypt, both man and beast, against all the Gods of Egypt will I execute judgment : I am the Lord. And the blood shall be to you a token, upon the houses where you are, and when I see the blood, I will pass over you ; and the plague shall not be upon you to destroy you, when I smite the land of Egypt." Then it is added, " And this shall be unto you for a memorial; and you shall keep it a feast to the Lord, throughout your generations; you shall keep it a feast, by an ordinance for. ever." This exemption of the first born of Israel was an expression of special covenant favor, and stood in close connexion with their miraculous deliverance from Egypt, which was another signal expression of the same thing. Both the events are blended in the design of the institution.
The blood of the lamb sacrificed at the passover, sprinkled upon the door posts of the houses of Israel, was typical of the blood of Christ; through the expiatory efficacy of which, the elect are saved. For it is said, I Cor. v. 7. “For even Christ our passover is sacrificed for us." And in 1 Peter i. 18, 19.“ Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with
corruptible things; as silver and gold, from your vain conversation, received by tradition from your fathers; but with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish, and without spot.” The passover was then, not only retrospective, as commemorative of the great events which took place in favor of Israel, when they were brought out of the house of bondage, but prospective, as it prefigured a far greater deliverance to be wrought for the whole Church in the personal sàcrifice, resurrrection; and conquests, of Christ her king. The expressions respecting the perpetuity of this ordinance, are the same, with those which are used, respecting the sabbath; and if they are to be taken in the same sense, then it is to be understood, that in the substance, in the spirit, and trúe import of it, it is perpetuated in another form, that of the Lord's supper. So that the supper may not be improperly styled the Christian passover. The deliverance, which the Savior wrought in his death, and resurrection, was so much superior, -the consummation of that, which was initial and emblematical, that it seemed to be necessary; at least divine wisdom saw it proper, that this ordinance, as to the form of it, should be changed for one simply retro. aspective.
That the design of the passover, in a typical view, Was answered in the death of Christ, is evident from
his own words, Luke xxii. 15, 16. “And he said *ụnto them, with desire I have desired to eat this passo
ver with you, before I suffer. For I say unto you, I will not any more eat thereof, until it be fulfilled in the kingdom of God." The passover, was then to be ful. filled, in the kingdom of God. The Apostle's calling Christ our passover ; and the scripture account, gener. ally, of the design of his sufferings, and the efficacy of his blood, determine, that it was fulfilled in his death.
By his death he wrought the deliverance of his whole - Church, and triumphed over all his enemies. : Col. ii.
15. “And haying spoiled principalities, and powers, he made a shew of them openly, triumphing over them in it.” It became then entirely improper that the Passover,
in the original form of it, should be continued. To have preserved the type, would have implied that the antitype was not come. It would have been a negative upon the whole gospel testimony. And it is an incontestible fact, which nobody disputes, the universal practice of the primitive church concurring to prove it, that the passover, in its original form, was abolished. Still the essence, the commemorative language of it, was preserved and transmitted, and will be con, tinued to the end of the world, in the supper. This was instituted immediately after the Saviour made the declaration above quoted. The supper, like the passover, is a memorial, and is a matter of law,: "Do this in remembrance of me." It commemorates and manifests the same almighty deliverer, whom the passover commemorated; and yirtually, that first great deliverance, and not that only, but all the great deliverances he has wrought; his great salvation in the whole extent of it. It manifests the same covenant, and is a far clearer, and more affecting exhibition, of the blessings it contains. For our Lord says, Luke xxii. 20. "This cup is the new testament in my blood.” i. e. a public token of the New Testament, as the passover was. In the participation of it Christians eat of the flesh, and drink of the blood of Christ, as the true paschal lamb.
Circumcision was another standing ordinance appointed to Israel, before the Sinai covenant was pub, lished. In proof of this, enough has been said already. That it was continued to the coming of Christ nobody disputes. We have therefore, but two questions before us here; first, whether circumcision, as outward in the flesh, was abolished ; and secondly, whether the essence, or symbolic language of it, as a token of the covenant, is perpetuated in baptism, as its substitute. Circumcision is declared expressly to be a token of the covenant. It is a distinct token from the other two. If it was abolished ; if baptism was in. stituted upon the abolition of it; and is the third token of the covenant, distinct from the Lord's day, and the supper; to be administered, like that, once only,