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nity upon a firm and immoveable foundation,

they could be at any time after ; and yet the event did not answer these expectations. When the Apostles entered upon their ministry, they set out (without any nonconformist that appears) upon these two principles, which may be considered, if not as the foundation, yet, at least, as corner-stones in the Christian building; viz. First, that Christianity is a supplement to Judaism, and therefore was to be grafted upon it ; the doctrine of Christ's having abolished the law of ceremonies and nailed them to his cross having then not been beard, or so much as thought of. This principle seems to have stood firm and unshaken till St. Paul's conversion, who, after he became a Christian, opposed it greatly; which oppofition does not appear to have arisen from any special revelation St. Paul had received for abolishing the aforesaid law, but from the nature of the thing itself, as it obviously appeared to be a law of carnal commandments, which carried with them such a yoke of bondage as was unbearable, and therefore ought to be abolished ; and that this was St. Paul's sense of the matter, is most evident from his writings. Secondly, that the Gospel was a G 3

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favour which was to be vouchsafed to the Fews only; and therefore, to them only it was to be preached. This principle the Apostles seem to have been naturally and unavoidably led into from the declaration of their master, viz. that he was not sent but unto the loft seep of the house of Israel, Mat. xv. 24. And from the charge given them, when they were first sent forth to preach, viz. not to go to the Gentiles, nor Samaritans, but rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel, Mat. X. 5, 6. And that the Apostles, in the exercise of their ministry, in time to come, would be concerned with the Jews only, seems to have been set forth in what Christ foretold should take place when his kingdom should come, which he had required them to pray for, Matt. xix, 28. And Jesus said unto them, verily I say unto you, that ye which have followed me in the regeneration, when the fon of man skall fit in the throne of his glory, ye also pall fit upon twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel. Luke xxii. 28, 29, 30, Ye are they which have continued with ine in my temptations, and I appoint unto you a kingdom, as my father hath appointed unto me : that ye may eat and drink at my table in my

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kingdom, and fit' on thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel. From all these declarations, it was very natural for the apostles to conclude that Christ's kingdom, whether it was to be spiritual or temporal, was confined to the Jews, and that they, as his ministers, were to be concerned only with the twelve tribes of Israel : And therefore, when Christ

gave it in charge to his Apostles to preach his gospel to all nations, they could not well understand him to mean others wise, than that they were not to confine their ministry to those Jews who then inhabited Canaan ; but were to go out and preach it to all those who were then dispersed over the world. This principle, of the favour of the gospel being confined to the Jews,seems to have been fixed until St. Peter's vision, Afts x. which vision led Peter to give it up; but then, whether this vision was a proper ground for Peter to act upon, in an affair of such consequence, may, perhaps, be questioned ; because, as it needed explanation, so it was liable to be misunderstood, and therefore something more than fuch a vision seemed necessary for the settling a point of such importance : however, after St. Paul's conversion to Christianity, the

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aforesaid principle was more ftiffly opposed by him, and for which he assigns an extraordinary rcafon, Aets xiii. 46. It was necessary that the word of God mould first have been Spoken to you (Jews :) but seeing ye put it from you, and judge jourselves unworthy of everlasting life, lo, we turn to the Gentiles, Rom. xi. 11. I say then have they (the Jews) stumbled that they should fall ? God forbid: but rather through their fall salvation is come unto the Gentiles, for to provoke them (the Jews), to jealousy. So that, according to St. Paul, the favour of the Gospel being vouchsafed to the Gentiles seems to be owing to a pique and resentment which God had taken up against the Jews for their rejecting it; God gave it to the Gentiles thereby to provoke the Jews to jealousy, who had confined God's favour to themselves ; which, as God forefaw, so he foretold that this would be the case. Afts xiii. 47. But, with St. Paul's leave, this is a spring of action much too low, and altogether unworthy of the supreme Deity, whose kindness to his creatures always springs from a much better principle. And, as the favour of the Gospel was equally va

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Juable to, and equally wanted by the Gentiles, whether the Jews behaved properly with regard to it, or not; so, surely, God did equally intend it for the Gentiles, and would certainly have vouchsafed it to them, whether the Jews had reje&ted it, or not. And as these principles, or corner-stones in the Christian building, were laid by the Apostles themselves, at a time when they seem to have been best qualified for settling Christianity upon a true and lasting foundation ; so this part of their work was all dug up and destroyed, even in the Apostolick age, and partly, at least, by the Apostles themselves ; and from hence this question does very naturally and obvioufly arise, viz. whether the Apostles acted right or wrong in proceeding upon the forementioned principles ? If they acted right, then the queftion is, by what authority was their work destroyed ? If they acted wrong, then the question will be, how do we know, or upon what principle can we determine, with certainty, that they ever after acted right? and this, surely, greatly perplexes the subject. The points referred to were not trifles, but matters of great moment ; and therefore, if

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