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anise to Abrahe the gre

pe as cvii.

thee.

For when he could swear by no greater, he swore by himself. 43 made promise to A- pare one spiritual object with another, and are sect. brabam, because he better skilled in the method of interpreting the vil. could swear by no greater, he sware by Sacred oracies, on principies which i

to lay down. For I may in the first place lead vi. 13
you to observe, that when God made the great
and comprehensive promise to Abraham, (Gen.
xii. 2, 3, and xvii. 1-6,) on which so much
of our hope as Christians doth also depend, the
promise that he would be a God to him, and
that all nations should be blessed in his seed;
seeing he had no greater [a person) to swear by,

he swore by himself, even by the honours of his 14 Saying, Surely own sacred and Divine name ; Saying, by 14 blessing, I will bless an audible voice from heaven when he repeated thee, and multiply. the promise. while Abraham stood with Isaac ing. I will multiply the promise, while Abraham stood with Isaac

'before that altar on which with humble sub.

mission to the Divine appointment he had just
before laid him, (Gen. xxii. 16, 17,) “ By my-
self have I sworn, saith the Lord, because
thou hast done this thing, and hast not with-
held thy son, thine only son, that blessing I
will assuredly bless thee, and multiplying I will
assuredly multiply thee ; b I will bless and mul.
tiply thee remarkably, so as to make thy seed

as the stars of heaven, and as the sand which
15 And so after is upon the sea shore.And thus having 15
he had patiently en. waited long in humble faith and patience, he
dured, he obtained
the promise.

obtained in due time the accomplishment of the
promise, first in the birth of Isaac, and then,
after a much longer attendance, the consum-
mation of a better hope. And we whose cir-
cumstances so happily resemble his in this re-

spect, may well follow the example of his faith,
16 For men verily when we survey the foundation of it. For men 16

by the great truly swear by a [being] greater than them-
er: and an oath for
boat to selves, to whom they ascribe that knowledge

and power, which is supposed to render him
the object of their veneration and worship; and
an oath, when thus taken for confirmation [is] to

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Multiplying, I will multiply thee.] plains it, of the Gentiles converted to ChrisThat part of the promise to Abraham tianity, I cannot think he would have which immediately follows the clause here stopped short at multiplying, I will multiply quoted, in Gen. xxii. 17, most certainly thee, and omitted what follows, of making relates to the Gentiles; and therefore had his seed as the stars of heaven, and as the the apostle intended ver. 12, of this chap- sand on the sea shore, and, in thy seed shall ter in the sense in which Mr. Peirce ex- all the nations of the earth be blessed.

VOL. 6.

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W

44

Reflections on God's fidelity to his promises. sect. them an end of all farther strife and contention. them an end of all vii. On which account, the blessed God, in humblé stri

17 Wherein God, condescension to our infirmities, being willing willing more abunbiz in the most abundant manner to manifest to the dantly to show unto heirs of the promise, the immutability of his coun. the heirs of promise

.the immutability of sel, and his determinate resolution of bestow.

nis determinate resolution of bestow• his counsel, confirm. ing upon them the blessings he engaged, inter- ed it by an oath : 18 posed with the solemnity of an oath. That by 18 That by two

two immutable things, in each of which [it is) immutable things, in impossible for God to lie, even his word and his which it was impos.

sible for God to lie, oath, we might have strong consolation, even we who in humble obedience to the gracious de- strong consolation, signs of his gospel, have fled for refuge to lay who have fled for hold on the hope laid before us, the noble prize refuge to lay hold

upon the hope set which that gospel proposes as the great object before us : * 19 of our ambition and pursuit; I speak of eter: 19 Which hope we

nal life, the hope of which through the Divine have as an anchor of goodness we have, and I trust we shall reso. the soul, both sure

and steadfast, and lutely retain it, as an anchor of the soul, both which entered into secure and steadfast, and as entering into the that within the vail, place within the vail, the holy of holies, where

God dwells, and where we hope to dwell for 20 ever with him. This anchor will indeed be 20 Whither the

sufficient to enable us to outride all the storms Forerunner is for us of temptation, being fixed in that glorious, en

e entered, even Jesus

orious, made an High Priest though invisible world, whither Jesus as the for ever after the or. Forerunner is entered for us, to take possession der of Melchizedec. of glory in our name, and prepare all things necessary for our admittance into it : even he, (who is made an High Priest for ever, accord. ing to the order of Melchizedec; as we are going more largely to show.

IMPROVEMENT.

verse With what amazing condescension doth God, by his apostles, 10 speak of those works and labours of love, which the persons who

have performed them with the greatest simplicity of heart, know to be most undeserving of his regard! How kindly hath he made himself a debtor to us, or rather to his own promise and oath, so that it would indeed be unrighteous in him to fail those expectations which nothing in ourselves could possibly raise !

Let us then be animated to the greatest diligence, by a full as11 surance of hope. There are those who inherit the promises, of

which we are the heirs, and they have passed to that glorious 12 inheritance by the exercise of faith and patience. Let us chide

our sluggish souls into a more resolute imitation of them. And when they are ready to sink into indolence again, let us again

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The apostle having mentioned Melchizedec, awaken them by viewing those promises, and the fidelity of that secr. God who hath made them, and who hath added, by a conde. vil. scension that can never be sufficiently acknowledged and adored, the sanction of his path to that of his word. Behold the strong 13 consolation which he hath given. And given to whom? To 16, 18 those who fy for refuge to lay hold on the hope set before them in the gospel. Thither let us fly for our lives; fly, as if we heard the footsteps of the avenger of blood just behind us, and our lives depended upon the speed of the present moment. Happy the souls that have found this refuge! Whose faith and hope like a strong and steady anchor, hath entered into heaven, hath fixed on 19 that blessed Redeemer who lives and reigns there, who appears as an Intercessor for his people, and intercedes with such efficacy and success, that he is also to be regarded as their Forerunner, as gone to prepare a place for them. Let us constantly retain that view of him; and while we continue exposed to all the 20 labours and sorrows of mortality, let us seek our safety and our comfort by fixing our regards upon him, waiting continually the aids of his grace, till he shall see fit to call us to fill the place he hath provided, and receive the inheritance he hath secured for us.

SECT, VIII.

The apostle enters into a parallel between Melchizedec and Christ,

as agreeing in title and descent ; and from various respects, in which the priesthood of Melchizedec was superior to the Levitical priesthood, infers also the superior glory of the priesthood of Christ. Heb. VII. 1-17.

He

Hebrews VII. 1. HEBREW VII. 1.. TOR this Melchi. I HAVE again and again mentioned that sect. 1. zedec king of I scripture, in which the Messiah is spoken VII. Salem, priest of the of in prophecy, as mad most high God, who

of the of in prophecy, as made a priest for ever after um

the order of Melchizedec. Now I think, it vii. 1
may be worth our while to dwell a little more
intently on the contemplation of this subject ;
and then we shall find, that without straining
the allegory, it holds in a variety of instructive
particulars : for this Melchizedec, of whom
Moses speaks in that celebrated history, (Gen.
xiv. 18, &c.) to which David refers, [wasking
of Salem, and priest of the most high God: in
both which offices he was a remarkable type of
our blessed Lord. And it is well known, he
was the celebrated and holy person who met
that illustrious patriarch, our father Abraham,

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Expluins his title, King of righteousness and peace. sect. when returning from the slaughter of the kings, met Abraham revill. who had taken Lot prisoner, with the king of turning from the

slaughter of the - Sodom, Gomorrah, and the neighbouring cities king Heb. vii. i of the plain. And we are expressly told, that him;

he blessed him on this occasion, that is, he pronounced on Abraham himself a blessing in the 2 name of God to whom he ministred. To 2 To whom also whom also Abraham divided the tenth a of all the Abraham gave a spoils he had brought back, in token of his rev. firs

tenth part of all; erence to the office he bore. And indeed when pretation king of we come to consider his name and title accord, righteousness, and ing to the signification of it in the Hebrew af

after that also king on of it in the Hebrew of Salem, which is language, we shall find it bear a remarkable king of peace : analogy to that of our Lord Jesus Christ : for first, his name Melchizedec, being interpreted, signifies that he [is] King of righteousness, or a most righteous sovereign; and then, his title taken from the place where he resided and ruled, is, King of Salem, that is, King of Peace ; for it is well known that Salem in the Hebrew tongue is peace, as Melech is King, and Tse.

dec righteousness. 3 Now if we come to compare this Mel. 3 Without father,

chizedec, this King of righteousness and without mother, peace, with the Mosaic priests, we shall find a remarkable difference in many respects, in all which there is a resemblance between him and our Lord. For instance, whereas it is necessary the Jewish priests should all be of the family of Aaron, and there are several laws concerning the descent and qualities of their mothers, which must be observed and recorded, in order to make out their le. gitimacy, and their consequent right to serve at the altar, Melchizedec is, as it were, without father, and without mother, neither his

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* Abraham divided the tenth.] The ob- answered by the author of the case of jection which Mr. Chubb has brought Abraham and Melchizedec, Jacob and Esau, against this from Gen. xiv. 23, as if it were &c. considered, published anno 1746, Melchizedec who paid tithes to Abraham, against Chubb's four Dissertations, that í and not Abraham to Melchizedec, is re. need not particularly enlarge. This may ally triAing; a change of person, without however be a proper place to observe, that express notice given of it, being usual in the relative must evidently refer to the rethe sacred scriptures, and in all writers, mote antecedent in the following passages, and languages; not to observe, that the Luke xvii. 16. Acts xxii. 23. 2 Kings version of the Seventy in the common edi. xviij. 29. Psal. cv. 37. Acts vii. 5. tions, and in that copy which is printed Deut. xxxi. 22, 23. Gen. xiv, 20, sc. in the polyglot, instead of He, expressly Without father, without mother.] It reads Abrahain. But Mr. Chubb's par- has been observed by many, and it is not ticular exceptions have been so abundantly unfit the reader should be reminded of it

To whom Abraham gave the tenth of his spoils :

47 without descent, father nor his mother are mentioned in scrip- sect. having neither be- ture ; and he is without pedigree or any writ. viil. ginning of days, nor ten account of his genealogy, by which it may end of life; but made like unto the Son of be traced up to more distant progenitors of the vii. 3 God, abideth a priest priestly order ; and herein he answers to continually.

Christ, who with respect to his human nature,
had no father, nor any mother with regard to
his Divine. Again, as there was a certain age
at which the Jewish priests entered upon their
ministry in the tabernacle or temple, and at
which they quitted it, Melchizedec having nei-
ther beginning of days, nor end of life, mention-
ed in scripture, but being in that respect as if
he were immortal, and therein made like to the
Son of God, who existed before all worlds, he

remaineth a priest for ever.d
4 Now consider Now, I doubt not, my brethren, but that as I pro- 4
how great this man ceed in this argument, you see and reflect, how
ces, unto whom even great a man this Melchizedec [was,] to whom,
the patriarch Abra.
ham save the tenth as I hinted above, even the patriarch Abraham
of the spoils gave the tenth of all the spoils he had recovered

5 And verily they from the king of Shinar and his allies. And this 5 that are of the sons will be farther illustrated, by considering that

.who receive truly they of the descendants of Levi who receive the office of the

have the Aaronical priesthood, have according to the commandment to law by which they are constituted, a command

ment; and in consequence of that, a right

here ; that several ancient writers of by the evangelists Matthew and Luke, character among the heathens, speak of there may seem here to be a failure in the persons being born of no father, or without resemblance : I therefore added the a father, when they mean only to express words which determine it to the idea of by it that their father was unknown. See some priestly ancestors, which will render Harris on the Messiah, Serm. ix. p. 262. the propriety very conspicuous, and is Elsner likewise, (Obsero. Sacr. Vol. II. p. agreeable to Elsner's interpretation men. 347,) hath some remarkable quotations to tioned in the note above. shew that it was usual among the Greeks, Remaineth a priest for ever.] to say of a person that he was analog

Bishop

Burnet would transpose this clause, He ajatus, without father, without mother, when his parents were unknown. And

was a priest of God for ever, made like unto accordingly several of the fathers imagine, he

the Son of God. I cannot forbear observing, that this is bere asserted of Melchizedec,

that I think his interpretation and illus. because there is no mention made of his

histration of this Scripture, (4 Dis. p. 69– parents in the sacred scriptures. But then, the best

t the 71,) the best I remember to have seen. reason, in Elsner's opinion, is, that there How great a man.] This is a severe was no trace of his parentage in the sacer- stroke upon the Jews, not only as it proves Gatal genealogies, be being without priestly the superior dignity of Christ above the descent, asearcgulos, as it immediately fol. Aaronical priesthood, but shews also that lows, not enrolled among the priests. God had of old a people among the Gen

Without pedigree.] As the genealogy tiles, and that there was a person among of our Lord is so distinctly delivered both them superior to Abraham himself.

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