David Dickson: Of the Law of God

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By David Dickson (c.1583–1663) - Posted at Presbyterian Reformed Church:

Truth’s Victory Over Error,
from which the following ex­cerpts were taken, was the first published commentary on the Westminster Confession of Faith. It was written by David Dickson (1589-1662), a contemporary of the Westminster Assembly, and a close ministerial associate of the Scottish commissioners to the Assembly. In 1640 Dickson was appointed Professor of Divinity at Glasgow University. In 1650 he was transferred to the corre­sponding chair of theology at Edinburgh University, which he held until his death in 1662. It was in the first two years at Edin­burgh, 1650-1652, that Dickson delivered his lectures on the Westminster Confession of Faith. These were apparently the basis for his printed commentary on the Confession, which was published posthumously in 1684. The book has not been reprinted since 1726. What follows are Dickson’s comments respecting the ceremonial and judicial laws of Moses. They appear on pp. 141-145 and pp. 198-201 of the 1684 edition.
Are the ceremonial laws now abrogated under the New Testament? Yes, Col. 2:14 , 16-17, Dan. 9:27 , Eph. 2:15-16 . Well then, do not the Judaisers err, who maintain that all the ceremonial laws remain in their former strength and vigour, and are obliging to believers under the gospel, and not abrogated or disannulled by Christ? Yes. 
By what reasons are they confuted? (1) Because Christ hath abolished the law of commandments contained in ordinances, that he might gather together both Jews and Gentiles into one new man, Eph. 2:14-15 , Col. 2:14 . Note that the apostle here speaks of all believers, both of Jews and Gentiles, as of one man, because they being all under Christ the Head, as members of one spiritual body, are made up as one renewed man. (2) Because the apostle says, let no man judge you in meat or in drink or in respect of an holy day, or of the new moon, or of the sabbath days: all which are shadows of things to come, but the body is of Christ, Col. 2:16-17 . This verse is a conclusion of the apostles’ foregoing discourse against ceremonies, and things commanded by the ceremonial law, which by the coming of Christ are abolished. He calls them in the 17th verse, a shadow of things to come, but the body (says he) is of Christ. That is, the thing signified is of Christ: for all the shadows of the Old Testament had respect to Christ and his benefits, by whose coming they also have an end, John 1:17 , Gal. 4:3-5 .


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