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Spirit filled any of the Old Testament saints, it was only temporarily and irregularly. How does he reconcile this with his previous statement, that when he speaks of the old dispensation having its appropriate spiritual influences,' he refers not to the recorded communications of God to the Patriarchs, nor of the inspiration of the Holy Spirit in the Prophets, for these were exceptional and intermittent illapses, but of a permanent and ordinary operation of Divine grace? Can an operation which was 'permanent and ordinary' be an operation that took effect ' only temporarily and irregularly?'

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These reasons are, we think, sufficient to prove that Mr. Litton has not shown his usual soundness in the theory he has thus advanced regarding the superiority of the Christian to the Jewish dispensation in the matter of spiritual influence. We cannot enter at large into this question, but must state in a few sentences what a comparison of the passages in the Old Testament, bearing on this subject, with those in the New, having the same relation, seems to us to suggest as the proper answer to the question—at least approximatively, for in this question we have before us one of the difficulties of Scripture which will never perhaps be wholly removed. Premising, then, that we think both the ordinary and the extraordinary gifts of the Spirit are to be considered as included in the question, we would state the superiority of the Christian over the Mosaic dispensation in respect of these gifts, as consisting in the following particulars:-1. In the greater extent to which the blessing was conferred. Under the former dispensation miraculous gifts were enjoyed but by a few, while under the latter they were conferred so extensively that, as has been justly remarked, there were, probably, more inspired men during the last half of the first century than during the whole period of the old economy;'* and as respects the ordinary gifts of the Spirit, there can be no doubt that from the day of Pentecost onward, a more liberal effusion of them has been poured forth from year to year than was ever at any time enjoyed during the best days of the Jewish commonwealth. 2. In the more general, i.e., the less restricted and exclusive communication of these gifts. Under the ancient dispensation only persons of a special class received communications from God, and only men of one nation enjoyed spiritual blessings; under the new dispensation all this is done away; the Spirit is shed forth abundantly,' is 'poured forth on all flesh,' so that even servants and handmaidens prophesy; every believer is a priest and king unto God; and men of all countries and all tribes may come freely and drink of

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* Brown's Discourses and Sayings of our Lord, &c., vol. ii. p. 41.

Relation of Judaism to Christianity.


the living waters. And 3. In the richer, and brighter, and more blessed results of the Spirit's operation, both as respects the truths made known to the Church, and as respects our apprehension of their import, and realization of their preciousness. What were under the Old Testament economy only figures and promises, are now historical facts; what was then only seen dimly amid the shadows of the future, is now seen clearly amid the realities of the past; life and immortality have been brought to light by the gospel; reconciliation with God has been effected on behalf of the sinner; the way into the holiest of all has been thrown open; heaven has been taken possession of for the Church by her exalted Head; and the things of Christ' being thus revealed to us by the Spirit, we receive in larger measure, and in more vivid consciousness, the light, and life, and joy of our religion. In these particulars we submit, consists the main superiority of the Christian over the Mosaic dispensation, in respect of spiritual influences. The advantage which the former has over the latter is thus shown to be great, but yet to be one only of degree, and not of kind.

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We have dwelt so long on this part of our subject, that we must dismiss very briefly the other topics on which we shall touch. One topic, indeed, of great interest, on which we had designed to say something, viz., the ethical condition and sentiments of the ancient Jews, we must wholly omit, as it is not one which admits of being compressed into narrow limits. We hope ere long to take it up and discuss it in a separate article. Meantime we turn for a little to ask,-Seeing such was the religious condition of the ancient Israel, in what relation does Christianity, as a religious system, stand to the system under which they lived?

To this question the Author of Christianity Himself has given a brief but categorical answer in the words-Think not that I am come to destroy the Law or the Prophets : I am not come to destroy but to fulfil.'* By the Law and the Prophets here, our Lord must be understood as intending not the written word of the Old Testament, but the religious system therein contained, so that if we can but justly interpret his words, we shall at once reach the best answer that can be given to the question above proposed.

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Now here everything depends on the meaning we attach to the words destroy' and fulfil.' By these our Lord's meaning is determined, so that in ascertaining the sense to be attached to them we ascertain the force of the whole declaration. The meanings

* Matthew v. 17.

in which commentators have proposed to take these words are various. By some destroy' is assumed to be synonymous with abrogate,' by others with violate,' and by others with invalidate. None of these, however, seems the correct exegesis here. We must dismiss abrogate' and 'invalidate' as fixing a sense on our Lord's words incompatible with truth; for undoubtedly He did come to abrogate and invalidate the ancient dispensation as such, inasmuch as by the system which He established the former became weak and vanished away. It is absurd to say that a system which He is expressly said to have taken out of the way and to have caused to decay and wax old, He did not abrogate or invalidate. As to violate' the objection is, that it brings out a sense which is not relevant to the occasion: the question was not whether our Lord would observe and obey the Mosaic institutes, but what was the bearing of his doctrine on the system of which these formed a part; and had our Lord not spoken to this latter question, He would have spoken aside from the real point in hand. We would suggest that the sense in which the original word is used in Acts v. 38, 39, is that which should be retained here. Gamaliel, prudently counselling the Sanhedrim not to proceed to violent measures against the Christians, says, 'If this counsel or this work be of men it will come to nought ‘(KATAλvĺnσɛTaι), but if it be of God ye cannot bring it to nought (Karaλvoα). The subject of which Gamaliel here speaks is analogous to that of which our Lord had to speak in the passage we are considering, viz., a system claiming to be of divine appointment, and the word he uses in reference to it is the same as that. used by our Lord. Now this word, as used by Gamaliel, can only mean as our translators have given it in the thirty-eighth verse, to bring to nought,' i. e., to render vain, nugatory, or contemptible. This no man can effect with reference to any scheme of God's appointment. What God has instituted as a mere temporary scheme may be laid aside when its end is answered, and God may commission any one of his servants to do this. But no scheme of God can ever be brought to nought. It must serve its purpose; it must prosper in the thing whereto He sends it. And when it ceases to operate, it is not brought to nought or rendered nugatory, for it ever ceases in the realization of its end, which is triumph, not defeat, a higher perpetuity, not a mortifying or dishonourable annihilation. This, we take it, is what our Lord intends here. It is as if he had said, 'I am not come 'to bring the ancient economy to nought-to annihilate it as a 'nuisance, or to sweep it away as an incumbrance; I am come to put on it its crowning honour by giving it its fulfilment." What our Lord intends by this fulfilment we must now inquire.

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Christ came not to destroy, but to fulfil

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Were we to interpret our Lord's words here only by what follows in his discourse, we should probably restrict the fulfilment of which He speaks to that exposition of the true meaning of the preceptive parts of the ancient Scriptures which He goes on to lay before his hearers. But we cannot so restrict our Lord's statement here. It is to be kept in mind that He is speaking of the Prophets, as well as the Law, as included in what He had come to fulfil, so that we must of necessity regard Him as referring to something more than merely the explanation and vindication of the preceptive parts of the Old Testament-we must include under the fulfilling' here at least the accomplishment of ancient predictions, as well as the performance and assertion of ancient law. If, however, we take the phrase, The Law and the Prophets,' in the sense above proposed as equivalent to the whole religious system of the ancient dispensation, and keep in mind also that fulfil' here as the antithesis of destroy' must be commensurate in signification with it, we shall see occasion to enlarge the meaning of fulfil' in this passage, so as to make it equivalent to the carrying out to full and complete realization of all that the ancient dispensation commanded or promised. Our Lord's words, then, may be explained thus: I am not come 'to bring to nought or to nullify the ancient dispensation: I am come to carry it out to perfection, to complete in a glorious reality 'all that it intimated, enjoined, or foreshadowed.' Christianity, in other words, was to take the visible place of Judaism; Christ had come to abrogate the ancient dispensation as such; but He had not come to sweep it away as if it had been a godless thing. He had come to abrogate it as the dawn is abrogated in the day-as the seed is abrogated in the plant-as the child is abrogated in the man, by making what was merely introductory pass into what was permanent, and developing into fulness that which before existed only in the germ.

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Here, then, we have an answer to the question, in what relation did Judaism stand to Christianity? That relation is not one of hostility or rivalry; the later religion has not come to combat with or cast out the earlier; it has come simply to carry it forward to its full development. The change to be effected is one of progress and enlargement, not one of annihilation or degradation. Judaism is Christianity in nonage; Christianity is Judaism in full maturity; the latter the man, the former, his earlier and less perfect self. We are not to seek, then, for any antagonism between the two; we are rather to explore the fulness of their essential harmony.

And if such be the relation of Christianity to Judaism, in what light ought those who enjoy the teaching of Christ and his

apostles to regard the documents that unfold the principles of the ancient faith, and record the history and experience of the men who lived under its influence? Does it become us to cast these documents aside as unworthy our reverential study? or to treat them as if of more doubtful authority, or possessing less of Divinity than the documents of the Christian faith or to regard them with a kind of cold courtesy, that refrains from questioning their pretensions, but carefully avoids cultivating acquaintance with their contents? It was not so that Christ and his apostles regarded the Old Testament. By them it was evidently loved and revered. They studied it deeply; they referred to it confidently; they had its language ever on their lips; and they rested the claims of their own doctrine principally on the fact that it had its roots deep in the Old Testament revelation, and drew sap and strength from that generous soil. So completely have they thrown the protection of their authority over the ancient Scriptures, that they impose on us the necessity of either admitting the Divine authorship of these writings, or questioning the Divine authorship of their own. It is impossible for any mind, imbued even slightly with logical perception, to admit Christ and his apostles as infallible teachers, and yet repudiate the Old Testament as of doubtful authority, or of inferior authority to the New. If any were to do this he would pronounce his infallible teachers to have erred, and that in one of their most clearly enunciated and most earnestly advocated doctrines. What, then, shall we say of those who profess that it is their respect for the teaching of Christ and his apostles, that leads them to turn slightingly from the Old Testament, and to confine their studies to the New?

We are strongly persuaded that it is neither for the interest of theological science nor for the advantage of real, vital, experimental godliness, that the writings of the Old Testament should be lightly esteemed or carelessly scanned by Christian teachers and their flocks. For one thing, we can never expect to see a just apprehension even of the New Testament writings, where this is the case. One consequence of the familiarity of the apostles with their own Scriptures, is that Christian ideas are continually presented in forms so directly borrowed from the Old Testament, that it is impossible to attach to them their just significancy, without a correct and extensive acquaintance with the sources from which they are drawn. Even the very phraseology of the apostles is tinged deep with hues derived from the ancient Scriptures, and is sure to be misunderstood by any one who does not interpret it in the light of those Scriptures. Of this Mr. Litton gives some apt and convincing instances in the volume

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