who does feel and reproduce in his writings the difference between the natural and the supernatural, can ever become really great.

Christ was the reality to which the types and ceremonies of Judaism pointed; and these latter disappeared when Christ had come. Just as the petals of the blossom drop away when the fruit appears, many promises to the O. T. saints, which seemed to them promises of temporal blessing, were fulfilled in a better and a more spiritual way than they expected. Thus God cultivated in them a boundless trust ? a trust which was essentially the same thing with the faith of the new dispensation, because it was the absolute reliance of a consciously helpless sinner upon God?s method of salvation and so was implicitly, though not explicitly, a faith in Christ.

The protevangelium ( <010315>Gen. 3:15) said ?it [this promised seed] shall bruise thy head? The ?it? was rendered in some Latin manuscripts ?ipsa.? Hence Roman Catholic divines attributed the victory to the Virgin. Notice that Satan was cursed but not Adam and Eve for they were candidates for restoration. The promise of the Messiah narrowed itself downward from Abraham Judah, David, Bethlehem, and to the Virgin, as the race grew older. Prophecy spoke of ?the Scepter? and of ?the seventy weeks.? Haggai and Malachi foretold that the Lord should suddenly come to the second temple. Christ was to be true man and true God, the prophet, priest and king, humbled and exalted. When prophecy had become complete, a brief interval elapsed, and then he, of whom Moses in the law and the prophets, did write, actually came.

All these preparations for Christ?s coming, however, through the perversity of man became most formidable obstacles to the progress of the gospel. The Roman Empire put Christ to death. Philosophy rejected Christ as foolishness. Jewish rituals, the mere shadow, usurped the place of worship and faith, the substance of religion. God?s last method of preparation in the case of Israel was that of

C. Judgment. Repeated divine chastisements for idolatry culminated in the overthrow of the kingdom and the captivity of the Jews. The exile had two principal effects. It had a religious effect (in giving monotheism firm root in the heart of the people, and in leading to the establishment of the synagogue-system, by which monotheism was thereafter preserved and propagated). It also had a civil effect (converting the Jews from an agricultural to a trading people, scattering them among all nations and finally imbuing them with the spirit of Roman law and organization).

<- Previous Table of Contents Next ->

Was this article helpful?

0 0

Post a comment