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viz. their proceeding from the strange nations of the Assyrians before mentioned; the mixture at first of the Jewish and Pagan religion together; and their temple and sacrifices at mount Gerizim, in opposition to those at Jerusalem; there arose and still continued a great hatred and difference between the Samaritans and the Jews*, insomuch, that the Jews thought they could not more reproach Christ, than by saying that he was a Samaritan, and (which they accounted came aļl to one) had a devil'.
Fourth remark. Christ came not to destroy, or make void, the law and the prophets, but to fulfil? ; that is, first, To make good in himself, what was signified and shadowed by many parts of the law of Moses, to give substance instead of shadows. Secondly, To make clearer revelations of God's love to mankind, and better promises, not of temporal blessings only, but of spiritual and eternal ones. For although some had respect unto the recompence of the reward hereafter, and looked for a better country, that is, an heavenly"; yet the generality of the Jews attended more to the rewards promised in this life; such as victory over their enemies, a prosperous condition, and such like; which, on the performance of the law, they were chiefly to expecto, And although their doctors taught a resurrection and the state of happiness after this life, yet their doctrines were loose, uncertain, and different from each other; some placing the happiness in carnal delights, and such as men value in this world ; others in a more spiritual enjoyment of God, and knowledge of hima. Thirdly, Christ came to fulfil the law, that is, more fully to explain the grand design of it, by shewing
* John iv. 9. y John viii. 48. z Matt. v. 17. a Heb. viii. 6. b Heb. xi. 16, 26. c Deut. vi. d Alii in resurrectione, alii in diebus Messiæ, alii in mundo futuro. See at large Maimon. Porta Mosis de fundamentis, p. 133, &c, and Pocock's Not. Misc. chap. vi. particularly page 90—114.
the sublimity or height of the commands, according to their full extent and intention, and by setting forth the spiritual import of them, together with those rules and precepts of inward purity and holy life, which he hath given us in the Gospel ; for one great design of the law was to make men really virtuous and good, by worshipping the true God, and trusting in him, and by loving and doing good one to another. Hence, even in the law itself, they are commanded to love the Lord their God with all their soule, and to circumcise the foreskin of their hearts. So that the law, at first, was like a picture rudely drawn, with a coal or pencil; but Christ's fulfilling the law was like the painter's finishing the picture, filling it up, and drawing it to the life..
Hence it appears, that the Jews themselves, though they pretended so much zeal for the law of Moses, yet by their misinterpretations, and keeping to the letter of the law, so as not to attend to the substance of what many of the Levitical ordinances were but shadows, nor to the spiritual meaning of them; I say, by this means, the Jews themselves destroyed the law, as to the grand design and intent of it; and Christ truly fulfilled, accomplished, and perfected it.
Thus much for Christ's fulfilling the law. In the next place, we are to observe what the Scripture saith of Christ's fulfilling the prophecies, so often mentioned in the Gospel ; as Matt. i. 22. All this was done, that it might be fulfilled, which was spoken by the prophet, &c. and in many other places. Some observes, that the particle that sometimes signifies not a cause or end, but only a consequence, and is of the same signification with so that ; and therefore they render the aforementioned passage thus,“ By the doing of all this it fell out so, than an ancient prophecy was fulfilled;" to strengthen which, it hath been furthermore observed, that all those circumstances of Christ's birth happened not to the end such prophecies should be fulfilled, but for the salvation of mankind. But to this it is replied “, that there are several ends or causes of the same thing set forth in different places. So one end of Christ's suffering is said to be the leaving us an example of meekness and patience; but there were other more eminent ends of Christ's sufferings, viz. that he might reconcile us unto Godk. So one end of Christ's being born of a virgin, &c. was, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophet. Another, m to save his people from their sins. So that there seems no necessity to depart from the plain sense of the expression, That it might be fulfilled ; that is, such things were done, to the end that such a prophecy might be fulfilled, or, that it might appear that by such actions Christ did most signally accomplish such a prophecy concerning the Messiah. Not but that some of the prophecies, mentioned to be fulfilled by Christ in the Gospel, might at first be understood in the primary and literal sense, relating to the Jews; but the Holy Ghost teaches us, that they are also to be understood in a higher and mystical sense, in respect to Christ the Messiah, as hath been observed before in the third general remark on the prophets.
e Deut. vi. 5. Grot.
Deut. x, 16.
& Hammond, &c. ex h Grotius et Spanhemius in Matt. i. 22. and Whitby's Appendix to the Gospel of St. Matthew. i 1 Pet. ii. 21. * Eph. ii. 16. ' In the forementioned place, Matt. i. 22. m Matt.
It is objected against this plain interpretation of the words, That it might be fulfilled, from John xii. 38. where it is said, the Jews believed not in Christ, that the saying of Isaiah might be fulfilled, He hath blinded their eyes, and hardened their hearts, &c. it being improper to affirm, they believed not, that this prediction might be verified: but then it is to be considered, first, That according to the propriety of the Jewish language, (often imitated in the New Testament,) by an action said to be done, is meant sometimes a declaring, or permitting it to be done"; and then the sense would be, they believed not, that the saying of Isaiah might be declared or shewn fulfilled. Secondly, That the Jews, by their own hardness of heart, had provoked God to leave them to their blindness and infidelity, and to permit them to continue in it; and the cause of this permission at that time was, that the saying of Isaiah might be fulfilled, which foretold that such an infidelity should happen in the days of the Messiah. So that although the proper cause of their infidelity was their own hardness of heart', yet the final cause of the Divine permission of that infidelity was, that the saying of Isaiah might be fulfilled. From all which it follows, that although it may be granted in some respects, things were not effected merely for the sake of such prophecies, but that such prophecies were uttered, because the things were to be effected; yet since it was God's decree, that such a thing should come to pass, as our redemption by Christ, notwithstanding he foresaw that the Jews, being left to their infidelity, would be the more hardened therein, and since it was also his pleasure, that their infidelity should be foretold by his prophets, it was therefore done, that God might execute his decree, which he had before declared by his prophet”.
As hath been proved in Part I. chap. i. §. 9. Numb. xxi. • S. Augustinus, tract. 53. in Johannem. Quidam inter se mussitant, dicentes, quid fecerunt Judæi ? vel quæ culpa eorum fuit, si necesse fuit ut sermo Esaiæ impleretur? quibus respondemus, Deum præscium futurorum, per prophetam prædixisse infidelitatem Judæorum : prædixisse tamen, non fecisse. See Grot. in Matt. i. 22,
Fifth remarki Qur Lord is often termed in the Gospel, the Son of God; and by St. John he is called, the Word.
The ancient Jews understood the words?, I will declare the decree; the Lord hath said unto me,
Thou art my Son, this day have I begotten thee, to be meant of the Messiah, whom they expected"; insomuch, that about our Saviour's time, the title of the Son of God was understood to belong to the Messiah or Christ; and therefore Nathaniel said unto Jesus, Rabbi, thou art the Son of God, thou art the King of Israels; and Martha, I believe that thou art the Christ, the Son of God, that should come into the world. Now, whatever notion the Jews had of the Messiah being the Son of God, (which seems to be obscure and uncertain about the time of our Lord's appearance in the world, when they dreamed so much of his being a temporal king,) we can have no other notion of the terms Father and Son in the proper sense, which it appears the Jews understood him in', but that they denote persons of the same nature; and however this term Son of God be in general sometimes attributed to creatures; as to Adam, and the angels, in regard to their original being from God, and to the ancient Jews and Christians by adoption; yet it is hard to give a just reason, why the Scripture should style the true God as being emphatically the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ*, and also should style Christ not only the Son of God, but the only-begotten of the Father, and his own Son?, unless it were with the design that we should apprehend by this propriety and singularity, that he so derived himself from the Father,
q Psal. ii.7. Grot. in Matt. xiv. 33.' Cartwright. Mellific. Hebraic. 1. i. cap. 5. See also Psal. Ixxxix. 26, 27. John i. 49: John xi. 27 See also Matt. xxvi. 63. u John iii. 16, 17, 18. and v. 17, 18. * Colos. i. 3. y John i. 141 and iii. 16. ? Rom. viii. 32.