« SebelumnyaLanjutkan »
are abrogated. They are abrogated, yet only in the letter; and not in such sense abrogated, but they are in their substance continued still. Let us recollect why they are abrogated, and we shall understand in what sense. They are abolished, because they were types, and because Christ, their Antitype, is come. True, so far then as they are types they are abolished; but not as they are religious services, and principles and elements of religious worship. That is, we must distinguish between the precept itself, and the particular fulfilment of it under the Jewish Law, that is, the Jewish rite. As the duty to love our neighbour continues still; but by our neighbours are no longer meant merely inhabitants of Palestine, nor our own countrymen, but all men; so also the duty remains of coming to God's house for His favours, of obeying His priests, of offering Him our sacrifices, though the particular forms in which these duties were fulfilled under the Law, being types of Christ, were abolished when Christ came. The Jewish temple, the Jewish priesthood, and the Jewish sacrifices, then, were abolished because they were but shadows, and “the body was of Christ;" but the precepts remain though the types disappear.
5. This, as I have already observed, is taught us in the chapter from which the text is taken, as is very plain. For instance, it tells us that the Sabbath is a shadow, and its observance not binding, since Christ is come, of whom is “the body." The Sabbath, according to St. Paul, is of the rudiments of this world, a car. nal ordinance, and brings us into bondage. It had been a witness of the creation of heaven and earth, which was no longer needed. It was a memorial of past mercies to the Jews, which are surpassed in the Gospel. It was a type of the Gospel rest, which is now come. The type is fulfilled; the whole period of the Christian Church, from the day of Pentecost to the end of all things, is one holy and spiritual Sabbath. Again, the whole life of each individual Christian, from his baptism to his death, is also an antitype of the Jewish Sabbath. The heaven on earth, which abides in the Christian Church and in the regenerate soul, this is that true spiritual rest which God promised of old time; in the words of Zacharias, “that we, being delivered out of the hands of our enemies, might serve Him without fear, in noliness and righteousness before Him all the days of our life.” Yet, though this be so, shall we therefore say, that the Fourth Commandment is abrogated ? surely not. The Sabbath indeed is abolished, but the commandment which enjoins it remains; it is fulfilled in another manner. The Sabbath, with other shadows of the Law, has flitted away; but “the word of God endureth for ever," and has a real and imperishable substance, issuing forth in ever fresh manifestations, fresh duties, fresh promises, as its older forms successively do their work and dissolve. The old fulfilment of this commandment, with its observance of the seventh day, its memorial of the creation, and of the deliverance from Egypt, its ceremonial inactivity, its preciseness and formality, is at an end; but the duty of keeping it, with new objects, and new acts of service, remains. It is observed still in substance, though not in the letter. And what is true of the institution of the Sabbath, is true also of other ritual precepts in the Old Testament; that they are typical, and, as such, fulfilled, is quite consistent with their ecclesiastical obligation, and their perpetual abidance.
The Sabbath then is one instance in point; though the Apostle implies that it has come to nought, yet it endures, though in a new manifestation. Another instance, suggested by the passage before us, is the rite of circumcision. This is altogether done away with in the Gospel ; yet not so done away with, but it leaves behind it a representative. It is abolished as a type fulfilled, a type of Christian renewal; yet still there is such a rite as Christian circumcision, and it is called Baptism. This is what St. Paul expressly says in the chapter before us. “Ye are complete in Christ,” he says,
“ which is the Head of all principality and power. In whom all ye are circumcised with the circumcision made without hands, in putting off the body of the sins of the flesh by the circumcision of Christ: buried with Him in baptism.” Here he says, first, that the Colossians had received a circumcision, though not the Jewish; and then names what it is, “buried with Him in Baptism.” Thus, though circumcision is abolished, Scripture has not left us without its substitute, lest the great and fundamental rule which circumcision implied, of entering God's service by a formal act of dedication, should be slighted. And on account of this correspondence between the two rites, we infer the duty of baptizing infants, because infants were circumcised, though there is no command to that effect in Scripture. Nor need there be, if, as I am here showing, the Law
contains in it the ecclesiastical and ritual rules of the Gospel, only under a veil.
6. These two instances, of the Sabbath and of circumcision, are suggested by the very chapter of which I am speaking; but what is true of these, is true of
many other parts of the Law, as in some particulars all will allow; and if in them, why not in others ? No one will deny that the principle or spirit of the commandment concerning the Paschal feast is still fulfilled in our feast of Holy Communion. It is true, that the Paschal feast was a type of our Lord's atoning death, and therefore has come to an end, as being a type fulfilled; but it has not come to an end without leaving behind it a rite in its place, without reviving, as it were, in a new form; why? because the Jewish Church and the Christian Church are one; and the rules given to the Jewish are in some sort the ritual and the canons of the Christian, though not as Jewish rules; the form, the manner, the virtue being different, the substance the same.
I say, without looking for directions in the New Testament, we shall be able to see at once the reason of other institutions and usages, which have ever existed in the Christian Church, by merely referring to the Old. For instance, the three orders of the Jewish ministry, high-priest, priests, and Levites, are done away in Christ in their Jewish form; yet, let us suppose that the commandment on which they rested remains in force now, and needs not to be repeated in the New Testament, and we see it fulfilled in our three orders of bishops, priests, and deacons.
Again: we learn from the histories of Nadab and Abihu, of Korah, Dathan, and Abiram, and of Uzziah, that no one could intrude upon the priestly office, or rebel against the priest, without the most fearful responsibility. What was the rule of the Law is the rule of the Gospel, as St. Jude expressly teaches us; for he speaks of the opposers of Church authority in his day as "perishing in the gainsaying of Core;" nay, and St. Paul, who lays down the general principle, “No man taketh this honour unto himself, but he that is called of God, as was Aaron.”
Again : under the Jewish law, the ministerial office was continued by a succession; it was not committed to men here and there, as it might be, but passed from father to son. The carnal form of this ordinance is now at an end, but the succession remains; spiritual sons succeed spiritual fathers. As under the Law, each preceding generation of priests begat the following, so each generation ordains the next, under the Gospel
Again: the Jewish temple is abolished, because the True and Spiritual Temple, the Communion of Saints, has been established by Christ. Yet, though the type is at an end, the precept remains. Temples are to be built to God's honour under the Gospel, and to be consecrated, and to be treated as His dwelling-places ; and in other respects, as far as suitable, to be conformed to the model of that ancient building once commanded.
Once more: under the Law there were altars and sacrifices; these very altars, these very sacrifices, have come to nought, for they were a shadow of good things to come: but still Altars and Sacrifices endure, though