Abbildungen der Seite
PDF
EPUB

1

was a more

the baptized were “sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise in their hearts.” This is, indeed, the true antitype of circumcision; for, truly, now-adays "circumcision is in the heart, in the spirit," and neither in letter nor in water.

That circumcision was a sign as well as a seal, a shadow as well as a substance, was not only intimated in the law, but is also confirmed by the Apostles. Moses says, Deut. xxx. 6, The Lord thy God will circumcise thy heart and the heart of thy seed to love the Lord thy God with all thy heart and with all thy soul, that thou mayest live.' This is the true or real circumcision. So Paul says, “We are the true circumcision that worship God in the spirit.There never glaring hoax ecclesiastic practised on mankind than that which makes baptism the antitype, the substitute, or substance, or the shadow of circumcision. They are not two seals of one and the same covenant-in one dispensation or in two dispensations. The new covenant is sealed by

the circumcision of Christ. The cutting off of his flesh, the shedding of his blood was the seal. “This," said he, “is the new testament in my blood.We formally enter into this covenant by baptism—that is, by putting on Christ; by dying, being buried, and rising again with him; and then he gives us the witness, that the sign, the sphragis, the seal of his own spirit, circumcising our hearts to the Lord. Only, then, in this most subordinate sense can baptism, not the water, but the putting off the old man and putting on Christ, be called a sealing of the covenant or a confirmation of our determination to serve the Lord.

What, Thomas, do seals to covenants mean?

66

Thomas. They are confirmatory marks affixed by the parties.

Olympas. Do both parties always make a mark in guarantee of the stipulations ?

Thomas. So it would seem.

Olympas. But does God make any mark in person ?

Thomas. No: he only appointed us to make some mark.

Olympas. He did more: he appointed a Mediator to sign and seal for him. For when Moses had spoken every word of the Hagar covenant to the Jews, he sprinkled the parchment and the people with blood, and so marked the bond and the people. Thus the parties were bound to fulfil the conditions. The old covenant in the circumcision and in the Sinaic form was sealed by blood. So is the new by better blood. But on the adoption of it we are immersed into Christ, and sealed by his Spirit in our hearts.

Thomas. Is a seal of any value when the covenant is dead or changed ?

Olympas. It is then of no more value than a seal would be cut off from a bond. If the covenant and the seal be separated, or either of them changed, the other is of no earthly value.

Reuben. I wonder, then, how persons so learned as Dr. Godfather and Elder Miller could think and teach that circumcision was done away to infants, and baptism came in the room of it, and that they were both seals of the same covenant.

Olympas. Wonder not at this. The Pope and all his Cardinals believe and teach that a wafer is transubstantiated into the proper flesh of the Messiah, and wine into blood, by the breath of a Priest; and they are much more learned than Dr. Godfather and Elder Miller. Besides, Elder Miller is one of the most hazardous and reckless men of the Princeton Chapel. He says that as the Jews' infants, by virtue of the flesh, were born members of God's political and worldly church, the commonwealth of Israel; so infants, by virtue of Dr. Godfather's faith, are born, by virtue of carnal generation, members of Christ's spiritual kingdom. Indeed, both Dr. Godfather and Elder Miller have found out that Dr. Nicodemus was right, and the Prophet of Nazareth wrong, when the latter asserted, and the former doubted the necessity of being born again. But I have several lessons for these scribes as soon as I can write them out. Meanwhile let us look back to the five points of the allegory. Which be they, Susan?

Susan. Hagar, Ishmael, born after the flesh, living according to the flesh, and the earthly inheritance.

Olympas. And what the contrast?

Susan. Sarah, Isaac, born after the Spirit, living according to the Spirit, and the eternal inheritauce.

Olympas. And what, William, is thus allegorized?

William. The two covenants, the two seeds, the two births, the two ways of living, and the two inheritances.

Olympas. And, Eliza, what saith the Scripture as interpreted by Paul?

Eliza. Cast out the bond-woman and her son; for the son of the bond-woman shall not inherit with the son of the free-woman."

Olympas. Well, then, brethren, we are children

[ocr errors]

not of Hagar, but of Sarah; not of the flesh, but of the Spirit; "not of the bond-woman, but of the free." Now had not Hagar literally gendered to bondage, she could not have fully represented the true genius of the Law or Sinaic covenant; and had not Isaac been born above and beyond nature, by a promise, and by faith in that promise, he never could have been a fit metaphor to represent the Christian people under a covenant that genders to liberty-an emancipation from sin, death, and

the grave.

Olympas. What, James, was the doom of the upcircumcised man-child?

James. “The uncircumcised man-child shall be cut off from his people.”

Olympas. Do not all the substitutes fill the place and occupy the ground of the principal? If then, Eliza, any ordinance come in the place of circumcision, then the law of circumcision is the law of that ordinance. For example: Did baptism come in its place, then the unbaptized man-child should be cut off from his people—he has broken the covenant.

Olympas. Rehearse, Reuben, the whole law of circumcision.

Reuben. The whole law of circumcision comprehends some six items of primary importance.

1st. Its subjects were males only. 2nd. Its subjects were sons or slaves. 3rd. The day of circumcision was the eighth.

4th. The administrator was not a religious functionary.

5th. It guaranteed a share in Canaan to the worthy.

6th. And secured the flesh of the Messiah.

Olympas. These are a few specimens of its peculiar law, and show that its substitute is not easily found in this our day and generation. Was there no adult circumcision?

William. Yes, Abraham was an adult, and all that were proselyted to the Jew's institution were, like him, circumcised.

Olympas. How was it a seal to Abraham rather than to any one else

Thomas. Paul says it was a seal of a righteousness of faith wbich he had before the command was given; consequently it never could be to any one what it was to Abraham, The fact that God selected Abraham on account of his faith, was an approval and pledge—a sign and seal as peculiar to him as was the singularity of his position in the human family.

Olympas. We will have to take up this subject again.

« ZurückWeiter »