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observance of the true Passover is explained and enforced upon Christians1. Circumcision again was enjoined upon Abraham and his descendants (Gen. xvii. 9-14) as a sign of God's covenant with them, until the fulfilment of the covenant in the coming of Christ (Gen. xii. 3; xviii. 18; xxii. 18; xxvi. 4) through whom all nations were to be blessed, and who was to be descended from Isaac (Gen. xvii. 19). This covenant was to be everlasting and therefore not subject to abrogation, as that verse proves. Hence Christ cannot be succeeded by any one else to all eternity. Circumcision becomes spiritual at His Advent (Jer. xxxi. 31-34; xxxii. 40; Deut. xxx. 6; Rom. ii. 28, 29; Phil. iii. 3), after which circumcision in the flesh (as with Jews and Muslims) practically becomes a sign of unbelief in Him as the Saviour. This is something like the case of the Brazen Serpent in the Wilderness, made by Moses at God's command (Num. xxi. 8, 9), but afterwards broken by the pious king Hezekiah (2 Kings xviii. 4) because the Israelites had made it into an idol. These rites and ceremonies were like a cheque, which is of value until it is cashed, but after that is of no 

1 As truth underlies all error, so the truth which underlies the erroneous doctrine of naskh (abrogation) is that the perfect must ultimately take the place of the imperfect, the permanent and eternal that of the temporary. This is what Christ teaches when He claims to have come to fulfil the law. The Rev. Dr. Hooper shows that the Epistle to the Hebrews argues on these lines (cf. Heb. vii. 11-19).

monetary value, and is worth preserving only as a sign that the money was promised and has been paid, as we have already seen. But here you are arguing against yourself, for Muslims still keep up the practice of circumcision, because (as they rightly say) God once enjoined it upon Abraham and his descendants, and they think it still necessary. Hence it is evident that the Law, the Psalms, and the Qur'an did not abrogate that command, at least in their opinion. This completely overthrows your argument. Again, the Qur'an represents Muhammad as stating that Abraham was a Muslim (Surah III, Al 'Imran, 60). If so, in what respect has his religion been abrogated?

73. M. Since Christ and Timothy were circumcised, how can you say the rite is not binding on Christians?

C. Christ was born of a Jewish mother, and therefore He received circumcision according to the Law of Moses. Timothy's mother (Acts xvi. 1-3) was also a Jewess, hence Paul circumcised him, else he would not have been able to work among Jews. But this was not necessary from a Christian point of view, for St. Paul himself says, "Circumcision is nothing and uncircumcision is nothing" (1 Cor. vii. 18, 19; Rom. ii. 25-29; Phil. iii. 3).

74. M. A king can change his laws as he pleases: why should not God do so? Jesus came to preach the Gospel peaceably, and forbade His disciples to draw the sword to spread their faith.

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