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THE CHRISTIAN GUARDIAN,
AND SUNDAY SCHOOL TEACHERS' MAGAZINE
IN CONNECTION WITH THE CHURCH OF ENGLAND
SHORT LECTURES ON THE COLLECTS.
FOR THE USE OF FAMILIES AND SUNDAY SCHOOLS.
THE CIRCUMCISION OF CHRIST, AND THE SUNDAY AFTER.
AFTER the account of the birth of our Lord, one of the first events we read concerning him, is, that he was circumcised on the eighth day. Circumcision was, at the beginning, enjoined on Abraham and his seed, as a seal to them of the covenant of grace. It was, afterwards again commanded to all Israel, under the law of Moses. Christ, therefore, by being circumcised, shewed himself both a descendant of Abraham, and also a servant of the Mosaic law.
What is meant by Christ's being “ obedient to the law for man ?”
In explaining this, we must remember that man is a sinner, and as such he is exposed to the wrath of God. But in man's stead, Christ was willing to suffer, and did suffer. And God was pleased to accept Christ as our substitute. The Lord however would not have so accepted him, unless Christ had been, in the bighest possible sense, holy. That he might be fully and altogether holy, Christ condescended (as he himself expresses it,) « to fulfil all righteousness." He not only was free from all sin, but he complied with even the minutest points of the Jewish religion. « Think not (he says) that I am come to destroy the law or the prophets : I am not come to destroy, but to fulll. For verily I say unto you, till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled.” Matt. v. 17.
In commemorating the circumcision of our Lord, we are taught by this Collect to pray for " the true circumcision of the Spirit.” St. Paul expressly declares, that “ circumcision is that of the heart, in