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not-draw some of their strongest arguments on behalf of their system from the Mosaic ritual. Finding nothing, literally nothing, to support their views in the New Testament, they betake themselves to the Old; they find there an elaborate ritual ordained of God; they affirm that what God has instituted is not now to be condemned, and that the gorgeous worship prescribed for the Jews may be safely and rightly transferred into the Christian Church. Nay, they maintain that, by adapting as far as possible the rich ceremonial of Judaism to the requirements of Christian worship, you arrive at the highest form of worship which man is capable of rendering.
“Now, there is one consideration which seems to me absolutely to sweep away this argument, and it is this : that the apostles of Christ, although Jews by birth, educated in the observance of the Jewish ritual, having had their whole intellectual and religious character nursed in the lap of that ritual, not only made no effort, in establishing the Christian Churches, to introduce a ritual analogous to that of Judaism, but protested emphatically against every attempt to do so on the part of Judaizing Christians. Surely, had it been the will of the founder of the Christian Church that the Mosaic ritual should have been carried over into Christianity and adapted to the exigencies of the Christian Church, He took the most likely means of securing such result, by appointing men who were ritualists by birth, by education, by conviction, to be, under Him, the founders of that Church; and that these men not only made no effort to bring about such result, but did all they could to hinder it, affords the strongest possible proof that they, in common with their Divine Master, conceived that the spirit of ritualism was antagonistic to the spirit of Christianity, and that the new life of the Gospel could not thrive beneath the enervating influences of a weak and beggarly formalism. Had the transition of St. Paul from Judaism to Christianity been gradual instead of sudden,—the work of years, instead of days, or even moments, we could have conceived that his hold upon Judaism might have become gradually weaker, and that, by certain slow and easily-defined stages, he might have passed from the love of ritualism into the region of pure and spiri. tual Christianity. The suddenness of the change, the completeness of his abandonment of the old system, the firmness of the grasp with which he laid hold upon the new one, prove that, in doing so, he must have followed, not only the light of nature, but the light of grace, and that it was the purpose of God to erect in him a barrier against that ritualistic system, in which he had, indeed, educated his people for the blessings of the Gospel, but which was no longer to hold them in bondage, now that the day of liberty had arrived. God knew well how prone is the heart of man to cling to the outward and the formal in religion, and what strong arguments might be drawn from the ceremonial of Judaism in favour of the introduction of a like ceremonial into the Christian Church. The anticipated evil soon showed itself; and that it did so was well, for this reason,—that it received from apostolic hands its immediate condemnation; not only obtaining no countenance from that inspired
apostle, who, by birth and early conviction, would have been most likely to encourage it, but, on the contrary, finding in him its most vigorous opponent, and being classed by him amongst those systems of heathenism from which it was the design of the Gospel to set men free.” (p. 274.)
The relation which the Abrahamic covenant bore to the national covenant made with Israel at Sinai, is very clearly explained by the following apt illustration which we quote from the Sermon on the Abrahamic covenant:
“The covenant of grace was announced to Abraham in the promise made to him and to his seed, Christ, long before the giving of the covenant of Sinai. Its conditions were fulfilled by Christ during the incarnation, at a period long subsequent to the giving of that covenant; it was therefore independent of and superior to it. It was designed for the benefit of the whole human race; whereas the Sinaitic covenant was confined to a single nation, was limited in its application, imperfect in its provisions, and, as far as the Jews were concerned, a failure in its results. We may conceive of the covenant of grace as stretching through time like some vast geological formation, having its beginning in the ages that are past, and reaching onward to the ages that are to come. As such formation, however, displays itself upon the surface of the earth, there is at one point a depression, a sinking of its outline ; and that depression or valley is filled up by a formation of more recent growth, an overlying stratum which conceals the older formation from view, but does not destroy it. Such older formation crops up on the one side and on the other of the later one, and in fact underlies it in all its parts; the one being limited and partial as contrasted with the other, which is comparatively unlimited and universal. Thus the covenant of grace stretches through the entire period of man's history; but at one point in its course it becomes overlaid by a covenant of more recent growth, the national covenant of Sinai. But the older covenant is neither lost nor superseded; it recedes for a while from view; it gives place in the history of man to an intermediate covenant; but it does not vanish from our history. It had shown itself in Abrahamic times; it was to display itself yet more gloriously at the coming of Christ; but even yet, during the period of its seeming obscuration, its operation was not suspended. The pious Jew looked through his own covenant to the covenant of grace; he dug, as it were, through the mixed and local deposit of his own economy to the rock beneath him. Just as the man of science often finds, in the character of the soil upon the surface, no uncertain indication of the treasures which lie concealed beneath; so the devout Jew saw in the requirements of his law and in the sacrificial system of his own ritual, an intimation that a righteous. ness better than the law could give must be sought for, and a blood more efficacious than that of bulls and of goats must take away his sin. So far from the Jewish covenant abrogating the covenant of grace, it was designed for the very purpose of proving to mankind the necessity which existed for some better covenant, and of edu. Vol. 68.-No. 376.
cating a nation for the blessings which were to be revealed; whilst, even in the most flourishing period of the Mosaic economy, the pious looked beyond it to the fulfilment of the Abrahamic promise ; yea, found that, although but dimly seen, the substantial blessings of that promise lay within their reach.” (p. 234.)
Without further multiplying extracts, we have little doubt that our readers will be enabled to appreciate the character of Mr. Bayley's volume; those who are anxious to ascertain how much, or rather how little, has been the amount of emendation of any consequence in the sacred text, and what is the value of modern illustration of it, will find themselves amply repaid by making further acquaintance with his labours.
"LIKE-MINDED ONE TO ANOTHER, ACCORDING TO
CHRIST JESUS.” The great Apostle of the Gentiles prays for the primitive Christians in Rome, that they might be like-minded one to another, according to Christ Jesus. In doing this, he sets before us the heavenly features and the genuine essence of practical Christianity. It consists neither in outward ceremonies, nor inward convictions, but in the crucifixion of self, and conformity in mind and heart and life to Him by whose name we are called, and whose steps we are commanded to follow. As we are like Christ, we are Christians; and as we are unlike Him, we are unchristian. We are bound by our Christian profession to be conformable to the image of Christ. He is the greatest Christian who reflects most clearly, in all his dealings with others, the mind of Christ; and he has the least claim to the worthy name by which he is called, who habitually displays a mind contrary to the mind of Christ.
I. What is it to be like-minded one to another, according to Christ Jesus ? When St. Paul breathes out this fervent petition for the Romans, (Rom. xv. 5, 6,) he had been showing both the sin and the folly of breaking the unity of the Church for the sake of those smaller matters, which in no wise affect the essential verities of the Gospel. He is prosecuting the same subject when he says, at the opening of the chapter, "We then that are strong ought to bear the infirmities of the weak, and not to please ourselves.” He enforces his exhortation by referring to the disinterested zeal and love of the incarnate Redeemer. « For even Christ pleased not himself.” Then follows the prayer, that they may imitate this perfect
copy. The whole subject he concludes by adding, “Wherefore receive ye one another, as Christ also received us to the glory of God.” Can there be, then, any doubt what is meant, when he urges them to be like-minded one to another, according to Christ Jesus?
(1) It is to be like-minded one to another, according to the great humility of our only Master and Saviour, Jesus Christ, We are, by profession, the disciples and the followers of Him who came to visit us in great humility; and we are to make it our great aim, and daily, business, to learn of Him who is meek, and lowly in heart. All of us, without a single exception, are miserable sinners, who could only be redeemed from the bitter pains of eternal death, by the Lord of life and glory, in our nature, and in our place, dying in our stead. Are these things so, and can we be otherwise than mean and little, and humble and lowly in our own sight? The only raiment suitable for a Christian, and that which is suitable for him at all times and in all places, is humility. “Be clothed with humility.” Did the everlasting Lord, the Creator of all the ends of the earth, stoop so low for us, and shall we be unwilling to stoop and condescend one to another? How divine and glorious is the model for our condescension, which is here placed before us. “Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus; who being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God; but made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men; and being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.” Whatever else we may know, or profess, or pretend, without a lowly mind and a contrite heart, we have not learnt, as yet, the very first lesson which is taught in the school of Christ, “Behold, his soul which is lifted up, is not upright within him.” We are none of his, if we strive not to follow the example of his great humility.
(2) Again, to be like-minded one to another, is to exemplify the loving mind of Christ in our intercourse with each other. Very cold, and selfish, and unloving are all our hearts and minds by nature. But when we have known and believed the love that God has to us, we begin to feel the constraining power of the love of Christ. That love not only overcomes the natural enmity of our hearts to God and His holy ways; but it kindles within us the never failing flame of love to all mankind, and more especially to all the people and children of God. The love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord, acts in a two-fold manner upon our hard and sinful hearts. It acts upon them both as the fire and seal upon the melting wax. It not only warms and dissolves, but it leaves impressed upon them
death unto his brothers be likenting and the post The
the image and superscription of the heavenly King. A loving heart is both the genuine essence and the undoubted evidence of the new birth. “Every one that loveth is born of God, and knoweth God. He that loveth not, knoweth not God, for God is love." It is the Saviour's new commandment to all His disciples that they love one another, even as He loved them. But how did He love us ? Not in word, neither in tongue, but in deed and in truth. “He laid down his life for us, and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren.” Oh for the abundant increase of this fervent and genuine Christian love! This alone can make us like-minded one to another, according to Christ Jesus. As the presence of this is the infallible witness of our spiritual life, so its absence is the undoubted seal of spiritual death. “We know that we have passed from death unto life, because we love the brethren.” But “he that loveth not his brother, abideth in death."
(3) Once more, to be like-minded one to another, according to Christ Jesus, is, eminently and especially, to show the forgiving mind of Christ to each other. The Apostle points out this, when he says, in connexion with the mind of Christ which he is urging upon us, “Wherefore receive yo one another, as Christ also received us." How did Christ receive us? Had we any of us anything to recommend ourselves to his favourable notice ? No! No! a thousand times No! Of his own sovereign grace and boundless compassion, for the great love wherewith He loved us, even when we were dead in sin, He received us graciously and loved us freely, having forgiven us all our trespasses. And since, as we humbly trust, he forgave us that great debt, have we had nothing else to be forgiven ? Has He been extreme to mark all that we have done amiss ? Has He dealt with us after our sins, and rewarded us according to our deservings? No! there is a secret witness within every breast, which testifies to the contrary. Had this been so, which of us would have been here alive this day? With what astonishing patience, and forbearance, and long-sufferance have we been treated. “It is of the Lord's mercies that we are not consumed, because His compassions fail not. They are new every morning.” If His compassions had ever failed for one single instant-if His mercies had not been new every morning, yes, and every evening, every hour, and every minute, what would have become of the very best among us? Well then, how are we, the receivers of all this free forgiveness, and this large forbearance, how are we to act to our fellow servants and our fellow debtors ? We are to “be like-minded one to another, according to Christ Jesus." We are to have compassion on our fellow servant even as our most merciful Lord and Saviour had pity upon us. Under all the provocations, and