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“ the decree of God, prescribing unto men a necessary
mean, whereby they may aptly attain supernatural beati“ tude, which is the last end of man's life.”
The law of Moses hath three parts; moral, ceremonial, and judicial. The moral part commandeth this or that good to be done, and this or that evil to be avoided, in particular; as also it declareth for whose sake it is to be done; as, Do this, for I am the Lord; whereas the law of nature commands it but in general. Again, the moral law entreateth of virtue and goodness; the ceremonial of divine service and of holiness; (for external worship, and the order of hallowing ourselves unto God, is called ceremony ;) and the judicial teacheth the particular government, fit for the commonwealth of the Jews, and prescribeth orders for justice and equity. And therefore was it said of St. Paul, Rom. vii. 12. The commandment is just, holy, and good; just, or justice, being referred to the judicial; holy, or holiness, to the ceremonial ; good, or honest, to the moral. The judicial part is touching the government of the commonwealth of the Jews, in which many things must needs be proper to that estate, as, such as were instituted either in respect of place or persons.
The ceremonial is divided into four parts, according to the four kinds of things of which it speaketh, to wit, sacrifice, holy things, sacraments, and observances. To sacrifices belong beasts, and the fruits of the earth ; to holy things the tabernacle, temple, vessels, altars, and the like ; to sacraments, circumcision, the passover, and such like. For the observances, they consisted either in prohibition of certain meats, as not to eat the blood and fat of beasts; or in some other outward things, as in washings, purifyings, anointings, and attire, as not to wear mixed garments of linen and woollen ; as also it prohibiteth other unnatural and unproper commixtions, as, Thou shalt not yoke together in a plough an ox and an ass, or cast mingled seed in one field. It also exhorteth natural compassion, and forbiddeth cruelty even to beasts, birds, and plants, whereby the creatures of God might be destroyed without any profit to man. For so some refer these precepts; Thou shalt not kill the bird sitting on her nest, nor beat down the first buds of the tree, nor muzzle the labouring ox, and the like, to the ceremonial law.
Neither is there any of these three parts of the law of Moses, but it hath as yet in some respects the same power which it had before the coming of Christ. For the moral liveth still, and is not abrogated or taken away, saving in the ability of justifying or condemning; for therein are we commanded to love and worship God, and to use charity one towards another, which for ever shall be required at our hands. Therein also are we in particular directed how this ought to be done ; which power of directing by special rules and precepts of life it retaineth still. For these things also are commanded in both testaments to be observed ; though principally for the fear of God in the one, and for the love of God in the other.
The ceremonial also liveth in the things which it foresignified. For the shadow is not destroyed, but perfected, when the body itself is represented to us. Besides, it still liveth, in that it giveth both instruction and testimony of Christ, and in that it giveth direction to the church for some ceremonies and types of holy signification, which are still expedient; though in a far fewer number than before Christ's coming, and in a far less degree of necessity.
Lastly, The judicial liveth in substance, and concerning the end and the natural and universal equity thereof.
But the moral faileth in the point of justification, the ceremonial, as touching the use and external observation, (because Christ himself is come, of whom the ceremonies were signs and shadows,) and the judicial is taken away, as far forth as it was peculiar to the Jews' commonweal and po licy
SECT. X. A proposal of nine other points to be considered, with a touch of the
five first. AS for that which remaineth in the general consideration of the divine written law, it may in effect be reduced into these nine points.
1. The dignity and worth of the law. 2. The majesty of the Lawgiver.
3. The property and peculiarity of the people receiving it.
4. The conveniency of the time in which it was given. 5. The efficacy and power thereof. .
6. The difference and agreement of the Old and New Testament.
7. The end and use of the law.
1. The dignity of the law is sufficiently proved by St. Paul in these words; Wherefore the law is holy, and the commandment is holy, and just, and good; which three attributes are referred, as aforesaid, to the moral, ceremonial, and judicial.
2. The majesty of the Lawgiver is approved in all his creatures ; who, as he hath given all things their lives and beings, so he only gave the law who could only give the end and reward promised, to wit, the salvation of mankind: but he gave it not to Moses immediately, but by the ministry of angels, as it is said ; s And the law was ordained by angels, in the hand of a mediator; and in the Acts, He gave the law by the ordinance of angels.
3. The propriety and peculiarity of the people, receiving this law, is in three respects: first, In that they were prepared ; secondly, In that they were a nation apart and dissevered; thirdly, In that they were the children of the
promise made to Abraham. Prepared they were, because they had the knowledge of one God, when all other nations were idolaters. A nation apart and severed they were, because of God's choice and election. Children of the promise they were, for the promise was made by God unto Abraham, and his seed; not unto his seeds, as to Esau and Jacob, but to his seed, as to Jacob, or Israel singularly, of whom Christ. Now to Abraham and his seed were the promises made: he saith not, To the seeds, as speaking of many, but, To thy seed, as of one, which is Christ.
s Gal. iii. 19.
4. The conveniency of the time, in which it was given, is noted by St. Augustine ; that it was about the middle time, between the law of nature and grace; the law of nature continued from Adam to Moses; the law written in the commandments, received by Moses in the world's year 2514, continued to the baptism of John; from which time begun the law of grace, which shall continue to the world's end. Other reasons for the conveniency are formerly given.
5. The fifth consideration is of the efficacy of this law, the same being a disposition to, or sign of our justification; but not by itself sufficient, but as a figure of Christ in ceremonies, and a preparation to righteousness in moral precepts. For through the passion of Christ were sins forgiven, who taketh away the sins of the world; and therefore St. Paul calleth the rudiments of the law ubeggarly and weak ; beggarly, as containing no grace; weak, as not able to forgive and justify. The blood of goats and bulls, and the ashes of an heifer, could only cleanse the body; but they were figures of Christ's blood, which doth cleanse the inward soul. y For if the law could justify, then Christ died in vain.
Of the sixth point, to wit, of the difference and agreement of the
Old and New Testament. THE Old and New Testament differ in name, and in the mean and way proposed for attaining to salvation; as the Old by works, the New by grace; but in the thing itself, or object and remote end, they agree; which is, man's happiness and salvation.
The Old Testament, or law, or letter, or the witness of God's will, was called the Old, because it preceded the New Testament; which is an explication of the Old; from
+ Gal. iii. 16. u Gal. iy. * Heb. ix. y Gal. ii.
which the New taketh witness. Yet the New of more excellency, in that it doth more lively express, and openly and directly delineate the ways of our redemption. It is also called the Old, to shew that in part it was to be abrogated : z In that he saith, the New Testament, he hath abrogated the Old. For the old law, though greatly extolled by the prophets, and delivered with wonderful miracles, yet was it constituted in a policy perishable; but the New was given in a promise of an everlasting kingdom, and therefore called in the Apocalypse, a testament and gospel for ever during.
The Old Testament is called the law, because the first and chief part is the law of Moses, of which the prophets and psalms are commentaries, explicating that law.
The New Testament is called the gospel, because the first and chief part thereof is the glad tidings of our redemption ; the other books, as the Epistles or letters of the apostles, and the Acts or story of the apostles, are plentiful interpreters thereof; the word eủayyénov signifying a joyful, happy, and prosperous message, or (as Homer used it) the reward given to the messenger bringing joyful news. It is also sometimes taken for a sacrifice, offered after victory, or other pleasing success, as by Xenophon. In the scriptures it hath three significations : first, For glad tidings in general, as in Isaiah lii. 7. concerning peace ; secondly, By an excellency it is restrained to signify that most joyful message of salvation, as in Luke ii. 10. whence also by figure it is taken for the history of a Christ; and so we understand the four gospels.
Lastly, For the preaching and divulging the doctrine of Christ, as 1 Cor. ix. 14. and 2 Cor. viii. 18.
The agreement of both testaments (taken, I think, as they are divided in volumes) is by Danæus comprised in these four.
In their author.
* Heb. viii. 13
• Acts i.