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it back to him again. If thou see the ass of him that hateth thee lying under his burden, and wouldest forbear to help him, thou shalt surely help with him.” Here observe the agreement between the Law and the Gospel, Matt.v. 43 -48. No private enmity was to interrupt those good offices which were due to other members of the same community. Also, it must be remembered, that the enactments of the ceremonial law kept the Jew at a distance from heathens ; still there were occasions when, in the way of duty, he had intercourse with them, and then these precepts were binding on him ; while, since the promulgation of the gospel, the application undoubtedly extends to all, even as God hath made of one blood all nations upon the earth. The command of our blessed Lord is thus widely applicable. As Graves says,
“ It was reserved for him, the expected Messiah, the God of love and mercy, to extend and enforce the principle of benevolence, to teach men to regard all human beings requiring their aid, as friends and brethren, however different their country, however opposite their faith, to teach them to love their enemies, to return blessing for cursing, and good for evil; to imitate the example of their Redeemer, who laid down his life for his enemies, and in the agonies of death prayed for his persecutors. Thus it was strictly true, that the commandment of our Lord, to
love one another, even as he loved us,' was new, John xiii. 34. New, in the universality of its application ; new, in the all-perfect example by which it was illustrated; and new, in the sanction by which it was enforced, and the preeminence which it obtained in the scheme of Gospel duties, where it is ranked as the peculiar characteristic of the followers of Christ, and an essential condition of obtaining forgiveness from God. But the principle was recognised in the Mosaic law, and applied as extensively as existing circumstances would permit.” And the duties referred to were not ceremonial observances, acts of the hand, with which the heart went not ; but “ These words shall be in thine heart,” Deut. vi. 4, 5. And when warned of the punishments that would attend departure from these laws, the Jews were not only called to resume the practice of the acts required, but to humble the heart, and to turn to the Lord with all the heart and soul. See Deut. xxx. To such returning only, a blessing was promised.
The same may be observed in reference to Solomon's intercession at the consecration of the Temple : though that was a place especially provided for the observance of outward rites, yet Solomon, when pleading for the Divine answer to the repenting Jew, spoke of prayer only: “Hear thou in heaven thy dwelling-place, and forgive.” Josephus thus observes : “ When we offer sacrifices, we do it, not in order to surfeit ourselves and be drunken, for such excesses are against the will of God, and would be an occasion of pride and luxury; but by keeping ourselves sober, orderly, and ready for our other occupations, and being more temperate than others, and for our duty at the sacrifices themselves. We ought, in the first place, to pray for the common welfare of all, and after that, for our own; for we are made for fellowship one with another; and he who prefers the common good before what is peculiar to himself, is above all acceptable to God. And let our prayers and supplications be made humbly to God, not so much that he would give us what is good, for he hath already given that of his own accord, and hath proposed the same publicly to all, that we may duly receive it, and when we have received it, may preserve it." On this passage Whiston truly and judiciously remarks, “ That we may here observe how known a thing it was, that sacrifices were accompanied with prayers, -whence came those phrases, of the sacrifices of prayer, of praise, and of thanksgiving."
Philo, another Jew, as Graves states, “is full of the same moral and religious spirit in his comments on the significancy of the dress of the priests, the sacrifices, and all the various circumstances of the ritual. Indeed, the inscription on the holy crown of Aaron, of “Holiness to the Lord,” naturally suggested such ideas to every pious and reflecting Israelite. Philo has pursued them certainly often with overstrained refinement and fanciful ingenuity; but his writings show, that the enlightened Jews, when Christianity was introduced, (for Philo was contemporary with the apostles), were addicted to spiritual and moral views of their ritual and law. The spiritual nature of the law was farther shown by the requirements of the ceremonial institutions, of a trespass-offering for every offence, pointing typically to the atonement of Christ, independently of any infliction of punishment upon the offender, by the directions of the law. The offender might undergo the penalty of his sin, and so satisfy the judicial law, but that was only a part of the Hebrew code, there was a pardon to be sought from Jehovah, their just God, as well as supreme Ruler.
Thus“ the Jewish law enjoined love to God with the most unceasing solicitude, and love to our neighbour, as extensively and forcibly as the peculiar character of the Jewish people would permit. It impressed the deepest conviction of God's requiring, not mere external observances, but heartfelt piety, well-regulated desires, and active benevolence. It taught that sacrifice could not obtain pardon without repentance, or repentance without reformation and restitution. It described circumcision itself, and by consequence every other legal rite, as designed to typify and inculcate internal holiness, which alone could render man acceptable to God ; and it represented the love of God as a practical principle, stimulating to the constant and sincere cultivation of purity, mercy, and truth."
The injunctions for the daily offering of sacrifices to God are given in Exod. xxxix. 38–46, and Numb. xxviii. 1-8. Other and additional offerings were made on the sabbath-day, and also at the beginning of every month. These public observances were especially needful, when the means of private instruction were generally limited. “ How plain and easy,” says Lowman, “ how grave and solemn, and even how rational and instructive is this daily worship of the Hebrew church, as directed by the Mosaic ritual. Thus God was honoured and worshipped, and the people blessed every day : they acknowledged the loving kindness of Jehovah in the morning, and his faithfulness in the evening ; and they hoped for their safety and happiness every day of their lives in the protection and blessing of Jehovah, who dwelt among them as their God.” And there is a promise referring to the gospel day, Mal. i. 11. :“For from the rising of the sun, even unto the going down of the same,
My name shall be great among the Gentiles;
THE PRINCIPLES OF THE JUDICIAL LAW.
The judicial law, in its relative effect upon the community, affords full proof that it was worthy of its Divine Author, and calculated to promote the temporal as well as the eternal welfare of the people. The chief crime forbidden in it was idolatry. This was punished by death, and was treated as a treasonable offence, and it will be noticed under the first commandment.
The next class of offences that will be noticed here are those against the sixth commandment, murder or homicide. According to the early practice of men, the punishment of murder was usually left to the relatives of the deceased, who proceeded upon the impulse of the moment, and sought to shed blood for blood, without reference to the degree of malignity, or due inquiry whether it was an accidental or deliberate act. This provoked retaliation; and, among the heathens, we find deadly feuds perpetrated, as in fact they were even until recent times. Here the law discriminated aright. Following up the patriarchal code, “ Whoso sheddeth man's blood, by man shall his blood be shed ;” it declared, “ If a man come presumptuously upon his neighbour to slay him with guile, thou shalt take him from mine altar that he may die.” Exod. xxi. 14. But examinations were made, as to whether there had been malice between the parties. See Numb. xxxv. By that remarkable institution of the cities of refuge, which were typical of Christ, our sure refuge, and also were directed to accomplish an important object of legislation, by providing for the due trial of the manslayerthe murderer was not protected. Here was a wide difference from the sanctuaries of the heathens, and of papal Rome. No ideal sanctity was attributed to the place, to delay or impede justice, and afford facility for atrocious crime; but due inquiry was secured, and the murderer was executed, while the inadvertent homicide was kept there under protection.
Montesquieu observes, “ These laws of Moses were perfectly wise. The man who involuntarily killed another was innocent, but he was obliged to be taken away from before the eyes of the relatives of the deceased ; Moses,
therefore, appointed an asylum for such unfortunate per
Great criminals deserved not a place of safety, and they had none. The criminals who would resort to the temple from all parts might disturb the Divine service. If persons who had committed manslaughter had been driven out of the country, as was customary among the Greeks, there was reason to fear they would worship strange gods. All these considerations made them establish cities of refuge, where they might remain until the death of the high priest.” These cities were six in number, Josh. xx. 8. Kedesh, Shechem, and Hebron, on the one side of Jordan, and Bezer, Rameth, and Golan on the other; so that one of them might be easily reached from any part of the land. The roads to them were always kept in good repair, bridges were provided, and way-marks prevented the traveller from mistaking his course.
Not only the life of man was thus carefully protected, but humanity towards animals was enjoined, and the eating of blood was expressly forbidden, even to the eager hunter after wild animals. See Levit. xvii. 13-14. This tended to keep up a reverence for the sacrifices that typified the precious blood of Christ which cleanseth from all sin.
Inquiries which did not affect life were treated with more mercy than they are in many modern codes. Damages to compensate, or retaliation to punish, were the expedients. The latter law was enacted for purposes of mercy, though the Jews in later times perverted that intent. It never was designed for individuals to retaliate on their own account; and our Saviour, when on earth, censured this application, showing how contrary it was to the duties of forbearance, and forgiveness, Matt. v. 38.
Impurity of every kind was to be punished with death. Here was a wide difference from the laws of the heathens, who treated such offences as venial, or of no importance. The Jewish law strictly maintained conjugal and domestic happiness. Graves well says, “ A system so favourable to the interests of virtue, and restraining so powerfully, and yet so judiciously, the excesses of passion, a system introduced at that early period, in an eastern climate, and amongst a people accustomed to be irresistibly led by objects of sense, had a higher origin than mere human wisdom; and to secure submission to its restraints, required an interference more powerful than mere human authority.”
Presumptuous disobedience, whether against the magis