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St. PETER, to justify his Preaching to the Gentiles, concludes his Discourse with saying, (e) To Jesus give all the Prophets Witness, that throbis Name, whosoever (That is, Jew or Gentile) believeth in him shall receive Remisson of Sins.
St. Paul also endeavours to prove to the Jews, in the Synagogue of Antioch, (f) that the History of JESUS was contain'd in the Old Testament, and that he and BARNABAS were commanded, in the Old Testament, to preach the Gospel to the Gentiles.
1; On Occasion of a (8) Dispute among the Christians, whether the Gentile Converts were to be circumcised after the Law of Moses, and to observe the other parts of the Jewish Law ; a Council of Apostles and Elders was held at Yerusalem, wherein, after much difputing, and Speeches made by Peter, BARNABAS, and Paul, James concludes the point from the Old Testament, (citing Amos and Moses ;) from whence, in all Probability, all their Arguments were taken ; the Things in Debate being such as had long before been Matters of Controversy among the Jews in relation to their Profelytes of the Gate; some Jews being so narrow as to think Circumcision and a strict Observance of all the Laws of Moses necessary in all, who pretended to be Profelytes to them; and others requiring a Conformity from ProseLytes in such Matters only as should keep them at a Distance from all idolatrous Practices.
(e) Afts 10 43.
(f) Ib. 13...
(8) Ib. 15.;
And JAMES, fuitably to the latter more gentle Determination and common Practice of the Jews in relation to their Profelytes of the Gate, infers, that the Gentile Converts to Christianity, were to be bound by no other Laws of Moses but those, which required the Abstinence from Pollution of Idols, and from Fornication, and from Thing's strangled, and from Blood; the Practice of those Things having too great a Connection with Heathen Idolatry, and rendering Men too impure for Society with Chris ftians, who were now the Real and True Jews. Upon which the Assembly came to a Determination to that Effect, and order'd Letters to be written to notify the same to all concern'd.
The Bereans are highly extollid for (b) searching the Scriptures, That is, the old Testament, daily, in order to find out, whea ther the Things preach'd to them by the Apostles were fo or no; who, if they had not proved those Things, That is, Christianity from the Old Testament, ought to have been rejected by the Berecns, as Teachers of false Doctrine. :
St. PAUL, when accused before AGRIPPA by the Jews, faid, (i) I stand and am judged for the Hope of the Promisë made of God unto our Fathers ; That is, for teaching Christianity or the true Doctrine of the Old Testament; and to this Accusation he pleads Guilty, by declaring in the fullest Manner, that he taught
(b) Acts 17. 11.. 19, &c. and 23, 29.
(i) Ib. 26. 6. See Ib. 25.
Nothing but the Doctrine of the Old Testament. (k.) Having, therefore, says he, obtain'd belp of God, I continue unto this Day, witnessing both to small and great, saying none other Things than those, which the Prophets and Moses did fay should come ; that Christ fould fuffer, and that he should be the first, who pould rise from the Dead, and should shew Light unto the People and to the Gentiles.
St. Paul says, (2) JESUS rose again the third Day, according to the Scriptures; That is, according to the Old Testament; and he is supposed to ground This on the History of the Prophet Jonas, who was three Days in a Whale's Belly, and then came out.
But most divine - is St. Paul's Argument in his Epistle to the Galatians, to prove Christianity to the Jews from the Old Testament. (m) Tell me, says he, ye that depre to be under the LAW, do not ye bear the Law ? For it is written, that ABRAHAM had two Sons; the one by a Bond-maid, the other by a Free-woman. But he, who was of the Bond-woman, was born after the Flesh; but be, who was of the Freewoman, was by Promise. Which Things are an ALLEGORY; for these are the two Covenants ; the one from the Mount Sinai, which gendereth to Bondage, which is Agar. But this Agar is Mount Sinai, in Arabia, and answereth to Jerufalem that now is, and is in Bondage with her Children. . But Jerufalem, which is above, is free, which is the Mother of us all. For it is
(mm) Gal. 4. 21
written, (n) Rejoyce thou barren that bearest not; break forth and cry, thou that travailleft not; for the desolate hath many more Children than she which hath an Husband. Now we, Brethren, as ISAAC was, are the Children of the Promise. But as then be that was Born after the Flesh persecuted him that was Born after the Spirit, even fo it is now. Nevertheless, what says the Scripture? (0) Cast out the Bond-woman and her son, for the Son of the Bond-woman shall not be Heir with the Son of the Free-woman. So then, Brethren, we are not Children of the Bond-woman, but of the Free. Stand fast, therefore, in the Liberty, wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not intangled again with the Yoke of Bandage.
In fine, St. Paul, throughout his Epistles, reasons in the same divine Manner from the Old Testament, which, according to him, () was able to make Men wise unto Salvation; asserting himself, and others, to be (9) Ministers of the New Testament, as being Ministers not of the Letter, but of the Spirit, of the Law, That is, of the Old Testament spiritually understood ; and endeavouring to prove, efpecially in his (r) Epistle to the Hebrews, that Christianity was contain’d in the Old Testament, and was imply'd in the Jewish History and Law, both which he makes Types and Shadows of Christianity.
(n) Ifa. 54. 1. (e) Gen. 21. 10, 12. (P) 2 Tim, 3. 15. (9) 2 Cor. 3. 6, 14. (r) Heb- 8.5. 10. 1. See also Col. 2. 16, 17.
The grand and fundamental Article of Chriftianity was, that Jesus of Nazareth was the MESSIAS of the Jews, predicted in the Old
Testament. “And how could That appear, and be proved, but from the Old Testament?: "In a Word, the Books of the Old Testament were the sole Canonical Scriptures, and the fole Scriptures during the Life of Jesus, and for near thirty Years after his Death, (tho' Christianity had by that time made ao(s) mighty Progress ;) and from them did the most primitive Fathers, BARNABAS, POLICARP, CLEMENS ROMANUS, IGNATIUS, and TUSTIN MARTYR, as well as the Apostles and Authors of the Books of the New Testament, declare, and endeavour to prove Christianity to the World; with all whom the Church of England concurs in Sentiment, when she says, that (ss) in the Old Testament everlasting Life is offer'd to mankind by CHRIST.
That the Old Testament is the Canon of
INDEED, to speak properly, the Old T Teftament is yet the fole true Canon of Scripture (meaning thereby a Canon establish'd by those, who had a divine Authority to establish a Canon, and in Virtue thereof did esta
: (s) Massueti Annot. in Iræneum, p. 43, &c.
fss) Article the 7th.