« ForrigeFortsæt »
"as new born babes desiring the sincere milk of the word, that we may grow thereby;" (1 Pet. ii. 2) and meekly, "as the engrafted word which is able to save our souls." (James i. 21.)
Q. How can we show that the genuineness of the Pentateuch is established by the New Testament?
A. By referring to many passages in the ministry of our Blessed Lord in which He alluded to Moses and to his writings. In the Sermon on the Mount He expressly says, "Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy but to fulfil." (Matt. v. 17.) Again, after cleansing the leper, He tells him, "Go thy way, shew thyself to the priest, and offer the gift that Moses commanded for a testimony unto them." (Matt. viii. 4.) In the same chapter our Lord refers to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, whose histories form so prominent a part of the book of Genesis. Perhaps, however, the most remarkable of all the many references of our Blessed Lord to the Scriptures of the Old Testament, may be found in his parable of Lazarus; "If they hear not Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded though one rose from the dead." (Luke xvi. 31.) Words which were perhaps intended to predict that which has too surely and too often come to pass, viz., that they who have ventured to doubt or to neglect the Scriptures of the Old Testament and the testimony of Moses have made shipwreck of faith altogether, and have refused to be persuaded even by Him who "rose from the dead," and who, after his resurrection, thus confirmed the testimony of Moses and the prophets concerning Himself: These are
the words which I spake unto you while I was yet with you, that all things must be fulfilled, which were written in the law of Moses, and in the prophets, and in the psalms concerning me." (Luke xxiv. 44.) St. Stephen laid down his life in testimony of the genuineness of the Pentateuch, as may be plainly gathered from the seventh chapter of the Acts of the Apostles; and
the Evangelists and Apostles frequently refer to it in their writings. St. Paul says of the unbelieving Jews, "Even unto this day when Moses is read the vail is upon their heart. Nevertheless, when it" (that is, their heart) "shall turn to the Lord the vail shall be taken away;" and he goes on to speak of that person of the Holy Trinity by whom this impediment shall be removed. "Now the Lord is that Spirit; and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty." (2 Cor. iii, 15
17.) Liberty to discern through every (otherwise) blinding obstacle the perfect harmony, agreement, and truth of the several portions of the word of God.
Q. Explain the word Testament as applied to the scriptures of God.
A. The word Testament thus applied, signifies not only the declared will of God, but also a covenant between God and man. Thus, our Lord when He instituted the commemorative Sacrament of the Lord's Supper, declared, "This is my blood of the New Testament," (or covenant) "which is shed for many for the remission of sins" (Matt. xxvi. 28); and St. Paul, speaking of the Apostolic ministry, says, "Our sufficiency is of God; who also hath made us able ministers of the New Testament, not of the letter but of the spirit." (2 Cor. iii. 5, 6.)
Q. WHAT is the signification of the word Genesis? A. It signifies generation or origin, and therefore it is a very appropriate title for the first Book of the Pentateuch, which contains an account of the creation of the world.
Q. What record of the New Testament most strikingly elucidates this first record of the Old?
A. The record of St. John the Evangelist: "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made." (John i. 1-3, and context.)
Q. Show, in the words of St. Paul, that "the Word " here spoken of, is the Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God.
A. "God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets, hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son, whom he hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds." (Heb. i. 1, 2.)
Q. Verse 26.-Explain this verse.
A. The expression, "Let us make man in our image," seems to imply a plurality of persons in the Godhead, and thus it may have been intended to prepare mankind for that more full revelation of the doctrine of the Trinity, which we find in the New Testament. In Matt. iii. 16, 17; xxviii. 19; and Luke i. 35, the three persons of the Trinity are distinctly enumerated, in accordance with the prophecies, Isai. xlii. 1, and xlviii. 16, while many other passages may be cited, which as distinctly prove the Unity of these
three Divine Persons in One Godhead. Our Blessed Lord declared to the Jews, "I and my Father are One." (John x. 30.) His prayer immediately before his betrayal was, "O Father, glorify thou me with thine own self, with the glory which I had with thee before the world was,"-"Holy Father, keep through thine own name those whom thou hast given me, that they may be one, as we are" (John xvii. 5-11, and context); and after his resurrection, it was by a direct emanation from the Lord Jesus Himself, that his disciples received the gift of the Holy Spirit. "He breathed on them, and saith unto them, Receive ye the Holy Ghost." (John xx. 22.) That man should be created "in the image of God" is an expression which may not be applied literally or personally, but it is to be received simply as an assurance that man was originally created "in righteousness and true holiness;" (Eph. iv. 24) and that, therefore, he was, in that sense, a faint image of the goodness of Him, who, when He had made all things "saw every thing that He had made; and, behold, it was very good."
Q. Verses 2, 3.-What Scriptural evidence have we that this holy institution of the Sabbath was observed before the enactment of the ten commandments?
A. In chap. i. 14, we are told that God said, “ Let there be lights in the firmament of the heaven to divide the day from the night; and let them be for signs, and for seasons, and for days, and years." In this record we may trace the divisions of time into days, by the earth revolving upon its own axis once in twenty-four hours, and thus giving to the sun an apparent diurnal motion: into months, by the revolution of the moon round the earth once in about twenty
eight days and into years, by the revolution of the earth round the sun in three hundred and sixty-five days, which is commonly called the sun's passage through the twelve signs of the zodiac. But we have no clue to the division of time into weeks, beyond the institution of a Sabbath; the regular recurrence of which, from the time of its institution, would obviously mark such a division. Perhaps it was in recognition of this sacred day, "blessed and sanctified" as it was from the beginning, that Noah, at intervals of seven days, "sent forth a dove from him, to see if the waters were abated from off the face of the ground:" (Gen. viii. 6-12) and that the Israelites observed a Sabbath before the enactment of the fourth commandment, is evident, from the fact that a double quantity of manna was sent to them on the sixth day, in order to provide against their going out to gather it on the seventh. It is worthy of particular notice, that when Moses was told of this extraordinary supply, he at once exclaimed: "This is that which the Lord hath said, To-morrow is the rest of the holy sabbath unto the Lord: bake that which ye will bake to-day, and seethe that ye will seethe; and that which remaineth over lay up for you to be kept until the morning." (Exodus xvi. 23.) As if he had but to mention that sacred day, in order to bring to their remembrance an institution universally known and understood.
Q. What is the instruction which we may gain from this early observance of a Sabbath, or day of rest?
A. That the commandment is equally binding upon us, as upon our predecessors of all ages. The soul and the body alike require this needful rest. Our Blessed Lord's own gracious words assure us, that "the Sabbath was made for man." (Mark ii. 27.) To Adam and Eve, in its original observance, it must have been a day of perfect holiness and happiness; a day of intimate communion with their Maker, in which "they heard the voice of the Lord God walking in the garden in the cool of the day"