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Lord, "I will cause the remnant of this people to possess all these things." It was not promised then that all Israel should be a light of the earth, and should possess the nations, but that the remnant should thus be favoured to the remnant it was promised; and how small the remnant might be, is plain from St. Paul's reference to the time of Elijah, when it was but seven thousand men. As then no one would say that the chosen people did not continue one and the same after the captivity in Babylon, though instead of Israelites they had become Jews; as the Church remained the same as before, though the nation was gradually changing; so when it changed altogether and became Gentile for Jewish, still there was no substitution of a new Church for an old: it was but a manifestation of the old law of "the remnant," by which the many were called and the few were chosen. And so it has been ever since; the Church has lasted, but as a pilgrim upon earth, having a secure dwelling-place in no country; first identified with one nation, then with another; losing children and gaining them; sure of a sojourn nowhere, yet sure of it somewhere; Israel being but the first of many nations in which she had been lodged, and from which she takes her name in prophecy.

I consider, then, that the word "remnant," so constantly used in Scripture, is the token of the identity of the Church, in the mind of her Divine Creator, before and after the coming of Christ. Express and precise as are the sacred writers in declaring that the Gentiles shall be called, and again, that the Jews as a body shall be rejected, still, instead of stating the solemn appoint

ment of God in a simple contrast like this, and thus drawing a line of demarcation between His two Dispensations, they are accustomed to speak of the remnant of Israel inheriting the Gentiles; as if to make the Law run into the Gospel, and to teach us, as St. Paul expressly inculcates, that the promises made to Israel are really accomplished, without any evasion, in the Divine protection accorded to Christians.

To conclude: the object of the foregoing remarks has been to remove some difficulties in the way of looking upon the prophecies made in the Old Testament to the Church, as having been already fulfilled, and literally fulfilled, in Gospel times. At first sight, any one, looking first at the prophecies, then at the history of the Christian Church, would say that they have been strikingly fulfilled; but still, in spite of this broad fulfilment, there are certain points to clear up, and with these I have been engaged.

1. I will but observe, first, that whether we can clear them up satisfactorily or no, they are not greater than the difficulties which attend on other confessedly fulfilled and very chief and notable prophecies, as that of the dispersion of the Jews. No one surely can read the twenty-eighth chapter of Deuteronomy, and then survey the actual state of the Jews at this time and since our Lord came without being sure that their present state is indeed a fulfilment of the prophecy; yet, observe, they were threatened with the evils which have befallen them, supposing they did not keep their Law; whereas in the event the punishment has come upon them, apparently for keeping it; because they would not

change the Law for the Gospel, therefore have they been scattered through the nations. If then the prophecy of Moses is really fulfilled in their case, as we believe it to be, it is implied of necessity, that in rejecting the Gospel they in some way or other rejected their Law; or that the Gospel is the continuation or development of the Law. But if the Gospel may be considered as a new state or condition of the Law, surely it is not stranger or harsher to consider the Church of the Gospel as a continuation of the Church of the Law; and as the prophecies concerning the reprobate body of the nation are fulfilled in the past and present history of the Jews, in spite of this difficulty, whatever it is, so, in spite of a less difficulty, are the prophecies concerning the elect remnant fulfilled in the history of the Christian Church.

2. Secondly, and lastly, let it be observed, that if the prophecies in their substance certainly have had a literal fulfilment, as I think any one might see who considered the matter, so that the Jewish Church and Christian are really one, then this will follow, viz. that that very appearance of separation and contrast between them which I grant does exist, does but make it more necessary that there should be some great real agreement and inward unity between one and the other, whether we can discover what it is or not, on account of which they are called one. What has taken place in the Christian Church is of course no fulfilment at all of promises made to the Jewish, unless in some very true sense they may be called one Church. The greater the difficulty on the surface, so much the firmer and stronger must be the principle of continuity and identity within, to

counterbalance it. And what are these points of intimate union between the Church in her Jewish and in her Christian form, it is of course important to inquire.

All Scripture has its difficulties; but let us not, on account of what is difficult, neglect what is clear. Let us be sure there are many things said in Scripture most clearly, many things which any one, under God's grace, might gain for himself from Scripture, which we do not gain from it; many truths, which all men, if they carefully thought over the sacred text, would one and all agree in finding there. Perchance, if we had learnt from it what we can learn by our own private study, we should be more patient of learning from others those further truths which, though in Scripture, we cannot learn from it by ourselves

SERMON XV.

The Principle of Continuity between the Jewish and Christian Churches.

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If ye be dead with Christ from the rudiments of the world, why, as though living in the world, are ye subject to ordinances, (Touch not, taste not, handle not, which all are to perish with the using ;) after the commandments and doctrines of men?"—COL. ii. 20—22.

THE
HE whole passage of which these words form part

is often brought to show that any regard to outward religion is unchristian, and a mere remnant of Judaism. St. Paul just before seems to condemn, or at least to set aside, observance of meats and drinks, of holy days, of sabbaths, as being but a shadow of the good things which are given us in the Gospel, and perishable, or rather perished and dead ordinances, and of one family with those more dangerous and destructive superstitions which substituted Angels as the objects of our worship instead of the one Lord and Saviour. This, I say, is what is argued from this passage,-that the Gospel is quite contrary to the Law in this respect, that it has no ritual, no regimen, no ordinances; and that to submit to any such, is to do injury to the simplicity of the Christian religion.

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