the land of Egypt; which My covenant they brake, although I was an husband unto them,
saith the LORD. But this is the covenant that I will make with the House of Israel after
those days, saith the LORD; I will put my Law in their inward parts, and in their heart
will I write it; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people."
It is from this passage that the name of the New Covenant (Testament) is given to the
second volume of the Bible.
The Lord Jesus Christ's words in John iv. 21-24, teach the same lesson, that the
temporary parts of the Law
(شريعة), and those parts which dealt with Jewish rites and
ceremonies, were to be done away with in the fuller spirituality of the New Covenant which
He was about to make with all who believed in Him, to whatever nation they might belong.
Therefore He says to the woman of Samaria: "The hour cometh, when neither in this
mountain, nor in Jerusalem, shall ye worship the Father . . . But the hour cometh, and now
is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and truth: for such doth
the Father seek to be His worshippers. God is a Spirit: and they that worship Him must
worship in spirit and truth." That not only the faithful Jews (Luke ii. 29-32) but
the most thoughtful of even the Samaritans understood that the Promised Messiah would
introduce this New Covenant is clear from the Samaritan woman's reply to these words of
Christ (John iv. 25).
The Epistle to the Hebrews quotes the passage of the Prophet Jeremiah which we have
given above, and points out that the mention of the future New Covenant implies
that even in Jeremiah's time it was recognized that the Mosaic Covenant was old, and that
it was therefore destined to give place gradually to the New Covenant (Heb. viii. 13),
which would not annul (Rom. iii. 31) but fulfil the types and spiritual teaching of the Torah
(Matt. v. 17, 18).
Truth is in its very nature eternal and everlasting,
and incapable of change or abrogation. The eternal truths of the Old Covenant must always
remain true. The New Covenant, instead of abolishing them, taught them more clearly, and
presented them in a form suited for all men in all ages. The Old Covenant was made with
Israel alone, and was to be binding until its fulfilment in the coming of the Messiah and
the establishment of His Kingdom. Then, as Jeremiah foretold, the New Covenant was to be
made with all true believers in Christ, with the spiritual Israel, the Israel of God,
whether by birth Jews or Gentiles. It would thus be world-wide, as distinguished from the
Mosaic Covenant. For the latter, as we have seen, was limited in its temporary parts, its
rites and ordinances, to the one special nation which was being trained by means of it to
become the disciples of the Promised Messiah and, through His grace, the religious
teachers of the whole world. The husk in due time fell off, the seed grew and developed
into a plant, into a tree. It could no longer be confined within the narrow bounds of the
husk. But the seed was not destroyed and replaced by a new plant. It was developed into a
tree, which is a very different thing.
Hence it is not correct to say that the Old Testament was abrogated by the New, except
perhaps with respect to the local and temporary parts of its rites and ceremonies, which
were enjoined on the Jews only, and on them merely for a time. The husk was let fall off
the growing plant, but the latter grew and flourished, and still bears fruit to God's
glory. Let it be again noted that to say this is quite different from saying that the
Torah was abrogated by the Gospel, unless it can be said that the blade of wheat destroys
the seed from which it sprang. It does not destroy it; otherwise there would be no young
shoot to spring up. The latter is the proof of the survival of the seed in a more vigorous
form. It is not the destruction but the development of the germ from which it came forth.
Only the husk is left behind, because the duty of the