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§ 75. Christ’s Application of Passages from the Old Testament.

What we have said in regard to Christ’s habit of taking up a concealed truth is especially applicable to his use of quotations from the Old Testament, which enveloped, as it were, and contained the germ of truths which he was fully to unfold and develope. In this point of view, he derived, from the Old Testament, truths which, though not contained in the letter of its words, were involved in its spirit and fundamental import. The higher spirit, which appeared in its unlimited fulness in Christ, was predominant in the Old Testament; all the preparatory revelations of that spirit had Christ for their aim; the Theocratic idea, which formed the central-point both of the Scriptures and the Jewish nation, had found no fulfilment, but looked to the future for its realization. Christ was perfectly justified, therefore, in so interpreting the Old Testament as to bring out clearly its hidden intimations and germs of truth, and to unfold from the covering of the letter the profounder sense of the Spirit. We shall have occasion to illustrate this more fully in our exposition of Christ’s didactic and polemic use of the Old Testament. Paul’s interpretation of the Old Testament was of precisely the same character; with this difference only, that Christ was better able to distinguish the different stages of the Theocratic developement, pointing, as they all did, to his manifestation.

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