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the Old Testament, and preach upon it in the public churches u.
Quest, Clvi. Must we believe that Moses's law did ever bind other nations; or that any other parts of the Scripture bound them, or belong to them? or that the Jews were all God's visible church on earthl
Answ. I conjoin these three questions for dispatch. 1. 1. Some of the matter of Moses's law did bind all nations; that is, the law of nature as such. 2. Those that had the knowledge of the Jewish law, were bound collaterally to believe and obey all the expositions of the law of nature in it, and all the laws which were given upon reasons common to all the world; (as about degrees of marriage, particular rules of justice, &c.) As if I heard God from heaven tell another that standeth by me, 'Thou shalt not marry thy father's widow; for it is abominable,' I ought to apply that to me, being his subject which is spoken to another on a common reason *.
3. All those Gentiles that would be proselytes, and join with the Jews in their policy, and dwell among them, were bound to be observers of their laws. But, 1. The law of nature as Mosaical, did not formally and directly bind other nations. 2. Nor were they bound to the laws of their peculiar policy, civil or ecclesiastical, which were positives. The reason is, (1.) Because they were all one body of political laws, given peculiarly to one political body. Even the decalogue itself was to them a political law. (2.) Because Moses was not authorized or sent to be the mediator or deliverer of that law to any nation but the Jews. And being never in the enacting or promulgation sent or directed to the rest of the world, it could not bind them. II. As to the second question, Though the Scripture as a writing bound not all the world, yet, 1. The law of nature as such which is recorded in Scripture did bind all. 2. The covenant of grace was made with all mankind in Adam and Noah: and they were bound to promulgate it by tradition to all their offspring. And no doubt so they did; whether by word, (as all did,) or by writing also, (as it is likely some did, as Enoch's prophecies were it is likely delivered, or else they had not in terms been preserved till Jude's time). 3. And God himself as aforesaid by actual providences, pardoning, and benefits given to them that deserved hell, did in part promulgate it himself. 4. The neighbour nations might learn much by God's doctrine and dealing with the Jews J.
u 2 Tim. iii. 15. Rom. xv. 4. xvi. 6. Matt. xxii. 89. Luke xxiv.Sf7.32. 45. John V. 39. Acts xvii. 2. 11. xviii. 24, 25. John xx. 9. vii. 38. 42. X. 35. xiii. 18. xix. 24.28. Luke iv.18. 21. 2 Tim. iii. 16. 2 Pet. i. 19, 2a Acts viii. 32,33. 35. Rom, i. 2.
* Rom. i. 20, 21. ii. Exod. xii. 19.43. 48, 49. xx. 10. Lev. xvii. 12.15. xviii. 26. xxiv. 16. 22. Numb. ix. 14—16.29,30. xix. 10. Deut; i. 16.
III. To the third question, I answer, 1. The Jews were a people chosen by God out of all the nations of the earth, to be a holy nation, and his peculiar treasure, having a peculiar Divine law and covenant, and many great privileges, to which the rest of the world were strangers; so that they were advanced above all other kingdoms of the world, though not in wealth, nor worldly power, nor largeness of dominion, yet in a special dearness unto God *.
2. But they were not the only people to whom God made a covenant of grace in Adam and Noah, as distinct from the law or covenant of innocency. 3. Nor were they the only people that professed to worship the true God; neither was holiness and salvation confined to them; but were found in other nations. Therefore though we have but little notice of the state of other kingdoms in their times, and scarcely know what national churches, (that is, whole nations professing saving faith,) there were, yet we may well conclude that there were other visible churches besides the Jews. For, 1. No Scripture denieth it; and charity then must hope the best. 2. The Scriptures of the Old Testament give us small account of other countries, but of the Jews alone, with some of their neighbours. 3. Shem was alive in Abraham's days, (yea, about 34 years after Abraham's death, and within 12 years of lshmael's death, viz. till about An. Mundi 2158). And so great and blessed a man as Shem, cannot be thought to be
J Psal. cxlv. 9. ciii. 19. c. 1. Rom. xiv. 11. Acts xxxiv. 35. Jude xiv. 15.
< Deut. xiv. t, 3. vii. 2. 6, 7. Exod. xix. 5. vi. 7, 8. Lev. ». t4. Q6. Deut. iv. 20. 33, xxix. 13. xxxiii. 49. Rom. iii. 1—3
less than a king, and to have a kingdom governed according to his holiness; and so that there was with him not only a church, but a national church, or holy kingdom. 4. And Melchizedec was a holy king and priest; and therefore had a kingdom holily governed; and therefore not only a visible but also a national church; (supposing that he was not Shem, as the Jews and Broughton, &c. think; for the situation of his country doth make many desert that opinion). 5. And Job and his friends shew that there were churches then besides the Jews. 6. And it is not to be thought that all Ishmael's posterity suddenly apostatized. 7. Nor that Esau's posterity had no church state: (for both retained circumcision). 8. Nor is it like that Abraham's offspring by Keturah were all apostates, being once inchurched. For though the special promise was made to Isaac's seed, as the peculiar holy nation, &c. yet not as the only children of God, or persons in a state of salvation. 9. And the passages in Jonah about Nineveh give us some such intimations also. 10. And Japhet and his seed being under a special blessing, it is not like that they all proved apostates. And what was in all other kingdoms of the world is little known to us. We must therefore take heed of concluding (as the proud Jews were at last apt to do of themselves,) that because they were a chosen nation privileged above all others, that therefore the Redeemer under the law of grace made to Adam, had no other churches in the world, and that there were none saved but the Jews and proselytes\
Quest, Clvii. Mttst we think accordingly of the Christian churches now, that they are only advanced above the rest of the world as the Jews were, but not the only people that are saved?Answ. This question being fitter for another place, what hope there is of the salvation of the people that are not Christians, I have purposely handled in another treatise (in my " Method. Theologiae"), and shall only say now, 1. That those that receive not Christ and the Gospel revealed and
» It is this Jewish pride of their own prerogatives which Paul so much laboureth in all hit epistles to pull down. offered to them cannot be savedb. 2. That all those shall be saved (if such there be) who never had sufficient means to know Christ incarnate, and yet do faithfully perform the common conditions of the covenant of grace as it was made with Adam and Noah; and particularly all that are truly sanctified, who truly hate all known sin, and love God as God above all, as their merciful, reconciled, pardoning Father, and lay up all their hopes in heaven, in the everlasting fruition of him in glory, and set their hearts there, and for those hopes deny the interest of the flesh, and all things of this worldc. 3. But how many or who doth this abroad in all the kingdoms of the world, who have not the distinct knowledge of the articles of the Christian faith, it is not possible for us to know. 4. But (as Aquinas and the schoolmen ordinarily conclude this question) we are sure that the church hath this prerogative above all others, that salvation is incomparably more common to Christians, than to any others, as their light, and helps, and means are more. The opinions of Justin, and Clem. Alexandr., Origen, and many other ancients, of the heathens' salvation I suppose is known. In short:1. It seems plain to me, that all the world that are no Christians, and have not the Gospel, are not by Christ's incarnation put into a worse condition than they were in before; but may be saved on the same terms that they might have been saved on befored. 2. That Christ's apostles were in a state of salvation before they believed the articles of Christ's dying for sin, his resurrection, ascension, the giving of the Holy Ghost, and Christ's coming to judgment, as they are now to be believede. 4. That as more articles are necessary to those that have the Gospel, than to those that have it not, and to those since Christ's incarnation that hear of him, than to the Jews before, so before, there were more things necessary even to those Jews (that had a shorter creed than that which the apostles believed before the resurrection) than was to the rest of the world that had not promises, prophecies, types and laws, so particular, distinct and full as they had*.
3. That all the faithful before Christ's coming were saved by a more general faith than the apostles had, as not being terminated in this person, Jesus, as the Messiah, but only expected the Messiah to comef. b Mark xvl. 16. John. iii. 16—20. i. 11, 12. « Psal. xix. 1—5. Acts x.2, 3. 35. Rom. ii.
d 1 Tim. ii.4. iv. 10. Tit. ii. 11. John i. 29. iii. 17. iv. 42. Rom. i. 21. « John i. 5. &c. ix. 12. &c. Matt. xvi. 22. John xii. 16. Luke xviii. 34. 'Mai. iii. 1, 2. John iv. 25.
6. That the promises, covenant or law of grace was made to all lapsed mankind in Adam and Noah h. 6. That this law or covenant is still of the same tenor, and not repealed'. 7. That this covenant giveth pardoning mercy, and salvation, and promiseth victory over satan, to and by the holy seedk.
8. That the condition on man's part, is repentance, and faith in God as a merciful God thus pardoning sin, and saving the penitent believer. But just how particular or distinct their belief of the incarnation of Christ was to be, is hard to determine1. 9. But after Christ's incarnation, even they that know it not, yet are not by the first covenant bound to believe that the Messiah is yet to be incarnate, or the Word made flesh; for they are not bound to believe an untruth, and that as the condition of salvation m. 10. Men were saved by Christ about four thousand years before he was man, and had suffered, satisfied or merited as man. 11. The whole course of God's actual providence since the fall, hath so filled the world with mercies contrary to man's demerit, that it is an actual universal proclamation of the pardoning law of grace; which is thereby now become even the law of nature, that is, of lapsed, pardoned nature, as the first was the natural law of innocence".
* Rom. ii. 12. 14. 26. Luke xii. 47, 48. xvi. 10.
* Gen.iii. 15. ix. 1—4.
1 Psal. cxxxvi. ciii,27. c. 5. k Gen. iii. 15. Jonah iii. 9,10. iv. 2. 1 Jonah ibid. Rom. ii. 4. Luke xiii. 3. 5. Acts x. 35. John iii. 19—21. "' 1 John iv. 2,3. 1 Tim. iii. 16."Rom. i.20, 21. Acts xiv. 17. Rom. ii. 15,16. Psal. xix. 1—3. Prov, i. 20—24. Kxod. xxxiv. 6. Jer. iii. 12. John iv. 2. Luke vi. 36. x»iii. 13.