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to the worship of the only living and true God. The way was prepared for the reception of a universal religion. Judaism under God was the means of introducing Christianity into the world, the original stock upon which the more perfect tree was engrafted. Having thus apparently accomplished the purposes of its existence, the nation soon ceased to be. Jerusalem was overthrown and trodden under foot of the Gentiles. Ruin drove her ploughshare through her crumbling walls, and a temple of an impostor now occupies the very site where abode the Ark of God, and where the Saviour taught. A remnant still survives, for what purpose is known to God alone. Perhaps they are to be restored once more to their native seats, still longer and more gloriously to testify to the truth of God's word.
“Fallen is thy throne, O Israel,
Silence is on thy plains,
Thy children weep in chains.
On Etham's barren shore?
Now lights thy path no more.
Lord, thou didst love Jerusalem,
Once she was all thy own;
Her power thy glory's throne,
When earth no more beneath the fear
Of his rebuke shall lie; When pain shall cease, and every tear
Be wiped from every eye.
Then Judah, thou no more shalt mourn
Beneath the heathen's chain, Thy days of splendor shall return
And all be new again. The fount of life shall then be quaffed
In peace by all who come; And every wind that blows shall waft
Some long lost exile home.”
MATTH: 5: 17.-Think not that I am come to destroy the law and
the prophets: I am not come to destroy but to fulfil.
No one can open the New Testament without perceiving, not only that the world has changed since the closing of the Old, but that it has advanced. No one can read the first discourse of Christ, for instance, without discovering, that it is adapted to a much higher state of intellectual cultivation than any part of the Old Testament. One is addressed to the childhood, the other to the maturity of man. One consists of precepts, the other of principles. In giving instructions to childhood we confine ourselves to precepts, minute and positive directions. If it is writing we define with all possible precision what must be done in certain emergencies. To a grown and intelligent man our manner is different. We give principles not precepts. We state our purposes, we give our reasons, we define our designs, and leave the application of our directions in some measure to his judgment. On the young we enjoin actions, practices, habits, which we know to be salutary, without giving the reasons on which they are founded, and base them upon authority alone. With the mature we proceed differently. We give the reasons, we state principles, we enjoin actions, not so much grounded on our own authority, as the intuitive conviction of those we address, of what is proper and expedient.
Moses dealt in no abstractions, for the world could not then have seen their force. Christ reduced the whole Mosaic system to two great principles, “to love God with all the heart, and our neighbor as ourselves.” You meet with no such statement of fundamental principles in all the Old Testament. Moses rests the observance of the Sabbath on the sanctity of the day, as well as its humanity and mercy. Christ declared that “the Sabbath was made for man,
and not man for the Sabbath.” Moses addressed the senses, and the mind through them, he instituted a splendid ceremonial to impress the imaginations of a rude people. Indeed, the Mosaic religion was a sort of compromise between Paganism and a pure, spiritual religion. It brought mankind as far toward pure religion as they could come at one step. It was the worship of the true God by the same rites, which the heathen performed to their gods. Yet no thinking mind could ever suppose that the true God could be propitiated by the blood of bulls and goats. But