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ARTICLE VII.

OF THE OLD TESTAMENT.

THE OLD TESTAMENT IS NOT CONTRARY TO THE NEW ;

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TOUCHING CEREMONIES AND RITES, DO NOT BIND
CHRISTIAN MEN, NOR THE CIVIL PRECEPTS THEREOF
OUGHT OF NECESSITY TO BE RECEIVED IN ANY COM-

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This Article is composed of the sixth and nineteenth Articles as they were arranged in King Edward's reign, except that the latter had the following words after moral : “Wherefore “ they are not to be heard, which teach that the

Holy Scriptures were given to none but to the “ weak, and brag continually of the spirit, by “ which they do pretend that all whatsoever “they preach is suggested to them; though

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“ manifestly contrary to the Holy Scriptures.” These words were added in opposition to the extravagance of some enthusiasts at that time, but were removed in Queen Elizabeth's reign, when the sect fell into disrepute. As it now stands, the Article is directed against the Antinomians, who, from misunderstanding the doc- . trine of justification by Christ, without the works of the law, were led to fancy that a Christian was tied by no law as a rule; that by his renovation he became a law to himself, but that he obeyed not any written commandment. These errors and the licentiousness that flowed from them, arose from their not understanding the import of the word law in the New Testament, in which it stands most commonly for the complex of the whole Jewish religion in opposition to the Christian ; as sometimes when it is put for a book, it means merely the Pentateuch of Moses. Hence, they supposed that the Old Testament having brought the world to the knowledge of the Messias, was no longer of any

a The enthusiasts here alluded to, are probably the Anabaptists. Among other opinions, they held that the Old Testament was abrogated by the coming of our Saviour. See Bullinger, Adv. Anub.

p. 75.

• This sect was founded by John Agricola, a Saxon divine and native of Islebe, whence they were called Islebians. See Mosheim's Hist. v. 3. cent. 16. sec. 3. Part, 2. c. 1.

use, and in opposition to this opinion was the the Article framed.

The Article consists of two parts:

I. It asserts the harmony of the Old and New Testament: and

II. It declares the degree in which the Mosaic law is obligatory on Christians.

I. The harmony of the Old and New Testaments appears from the following considerations:

1. From the fulfilment of the prophecies of the one in the transactions of the other. The Manicheesa of old, who fancied there was a bad as well as a good God, thought these two great principles were in a perpetual struggle, and they believed the old dispensation was under the bad one, which was taken away by the new, or the work of the good God. But they who held such monstrous opinions, must reject the whole New Testament, since there is nothing plainer than that the Prophets of the Old foretold the New with approbation, and the writers of the New prove both their commission and their doctrine, from passages of the Old Testament. This, therefore, could not be asserted without rejecting many of the Books that we own, and corrupting the rest.

The principal subject of prophecy in the Old Testament, was the Messias ; of whose coming the Jews have long had, and still have an expectation. Now, if the characters and predictions concerning this person must have been fulfilled long ago, or the prophecies will be found to be false, and if they were completely accomplished in our Saviour's person, then the harmony of the two parts of Scripture will be fully established. The first promise to Adam after his sin, speaks of an enmity between the seed of the serpent and the seed of the woman: “ Ita shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel.” (Gen. iii. 15.) The one might hurt the other in some lesser instances, but the latter was in the end to have an entire victory, which was to be performed by a person bearing this character of the woman's seed. The next promise was made to Abraham : “In thee shall all the families of the earth be blessed.” (Gen. xii. 3.) This was subsequently renewed to Isaac, (xxvi. 24.) and to Jacob, (xxviii. 14.) and finally lodged in the tribe of Judah : “ The sceptre shall not depart from “ Judah, nor a lawgiver from between his feet “ till Shiloh come, and unto him shall the ga“thering of the people be.” (Gen. xlix. 10.) It

a See Mosheim, Hist. v. 1. cent. 3. p. 2. c. 5.

a In the Vulgate this text is reudered, she shall bruise thy head,” and is referred by Roman Catholic writers to the Virgin Mary. This reading, however, is opposed to the gender, not only of the person but also of the verb in the original ; and is besides unsupported by a single manuscript. See Beveridge on the Articles.

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is certain that the ten tribes were lost in their captivity, whereas the tribe of Judah returned and continued to be a political body under their own laws,a till their first reduction by the Romans to the form of a province, and their subsequent destruction by the same people. This prediction, therefore, either was not accomplished, or the Shiloh has come. Again, Moses declared that “ God was to raise up among them a pro

phet like unto him, to whom they should “ hearken.” (Deut. xviii. 15.) They were therefore to look for one who resembled Moses in his character of a lawgiver and author of a new body of religion. Balaam foretold, that “a star “ should come out of Jacob, and a sceptre out of “ Israel;" (Num. xxiv. 17.) some memorial of which was probably preserved by the Arabians. In the Psalms, it is said, “ Thou art my Son, this day have I begotten thee.” (Ps. ii. 7.)

Thy throne, O God, is for ever and ever.” (xlv. 6.) “ Thou wilt not leave my soul in hell.”

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2 This tribe, too, seems to have retained a separate government during the captivity; which is inferred from the phrases, “ a prince of Judah ;" “ Chief of the Fathers,” &c. Ezra, i. 5, 8. See Newton on the Prophecies, Diss. 4.

• For the fulfilment of this prophecy, see Acts, iii. 22. See Kidder's Demonst. of the Mess. p. 1. c. 4, and Bp. Chandler's Def. of Christianity, c. 1. sec. 2. p. 39. Ed. 1725.

See Newton, Diss. 5. It should be observed, that this prophecy is referred to the Messias by Onkelos and the Chaldee Paraphrasts.

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