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y And, upon this Foundation the Apostles began to build and raise up the glorious Fabric of an Universal Church. Immediately after the Descent of the Holy Ghost, to inspire and prepare them in a proper manner for the Discharge of their high Commission, we find St. Peter, the Acts if. Chief of them, aflerting the Divinity and ?z- & Messiahfhip of Christ from the great Miracle of his Resurrection: and appealing to the Prediction of Moses, as a Proof that He was the Prophet whom God had promis'd to their Fathers. St. Stephen Acts vii, brings the fame Testimony $ and seals the 37* Truth of it by his Death.
The Apology St. Paul makes for himself before King Agrippa, is built upon the ffame Foundation. Having obtained Acts. help of God, I continue unto this day, witnessing both to small and great, saying none ether things than those,which the prophets and Moses didfay should come, 'that Christ should suffer-, and that he should be the first that should rise from the dead; and jhouldshew light unto the people, and to the Gentiles. And again, when he is at Rome, and the Jews come to visit him at his O 4 Mg
Acts... Lodging, he expounds and testifies the kzng33. ' dom of God to them; persuading them concerning Jesus both out of the law of Moses, and out of the prophets. Heb. i. 5. ^nd endeavouring to convince his Brethren the Hebrews (for I am persuaded that he is the Author of that Epistle) that j Es us was the Son of God j no Angel, but something far superior, and even Heb. ii.' very God; he proceeds to fay; Verily he l6, 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-Priest in things pertaining to God, to make reconciliaHcb. iii. tion for the fins of the people. Who 'was faithful to Him that appointed himt as Moses also was faithful.
The Ceremonial Law abolish'i, '•
Having brought these Proofs to sliew that Jesus was the Prophet, by whom God promis'd, Moses, that he would deliver his whole Will to Mankind; we may
be convinc'd likewise from sundry Places, in the new Testament, that upon his coming forth from God, and taking upon him the Nature of Man, the Ceremonial Law was to be abolifh'd, and a new Covenant to take place.
He tells the Samaritan Woman, (who was desirous to argue with him about the peculiar Place of Worship, as whether it were in Samaria or at "Jerusalem} The hour Joh. iv. eometh when ye Jhall neither in this mountain, nor yet at Jerusalem,' worship the father. This, in relation to Place; and then, in regard to Ceremonies, he adds, The hour eometh and now is, when the true ib. 23. worshipers Jhall worship the father inspirit and in truth. He fays, The law and the Luve prophets were until John: Jince that time xvi. 16. the kingdom of God is preached, (the new Covenant in the Gospel) and every man freffeth into it. The Evangelist tells us, The Jo'i. L17. law w-as given by Moses, hut grace and truth came by Jes Us Christ.
And when, after Christ's Ascension and the Coming of the Holy Ghost, certain of the Sect of the Pharisees, which were Converts to Christianity, in opposition to
Paul and Barnabas insisted upon having the Gentile Proselytes circumcised, and very warm Debates ensued thereupon, Peter rose up; and, among other Things which he offers upon that Occasion, concludes his Speech with this pathetick ExActs xv. postulation, Now therefore, why tempt ye io. 19. ^^ to put a yoke upon the neck of the disciples, which neither our fathers, nor we, were able to bear?
St. James, who speaks next, is of OpUnion, that they which, from among the Gentiles, were turned to God, Jhould not be troubled with observing the ceremonial Lav), And, at length, the whole Council make a Decree concerning the Question j which Acts xv. begins in these Words; Forasmuch as we have heard, that certain which went out from us, have troubled you with words, subverting your fouls, faying, Ye must be circumcised, and keep the law, to whom we gave no such commandment: It seemed good unto us, &c. Rom.vii. St. Paul tells the Romans, They are become dead to the law through the body of Christ, immediately after j Now, fays he, we are delivered from the law j that
being dead •wherein we were held; that we should serve in newness of spirit, and not in the oldness ' of the letter. He says again, Christ is the End of the law. He Rom.x.4. tells the Galatians that by the works of the law no flesh shall be justified^ And asks, Hi. 1.19. who hath bewitched them that they should 2*'&c* not obey the truth f (that is, adhere to the Gq/pel,and abandon the Law.) And in cafe any jsudaizing Christian, by way of Op* position, should demand of him, wherefore then serveth the law? To what end was it instituted? He answers; It was added because of transgressions, till the feed should come, to whom the promise was [made. He fays,Before faith came we were kept under the law, shut up unto the faith which should afterwards be revealed. Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster, to bring us unto Christ-, 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 jsudaize, or observe the Ceremonies of the Law: Now, after that ye Gal. iv, have known God, or rather are known 0f9,10)11 God> how turn ye again to the weak and