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sect, only to tithe the people that is their brethren, take tithes of the viii. though indeed coming as well as themselves, people according to - out of the loins of Abraham : But he of whom the law, that is,

out of their brethren a we have now been speaking, whose pedigree is though they come

not reckoned from them, nor had any relation out of the loins of at all to the Abrahamic family, took tithes of Abraham..

6 But he whose Abraham himself, and even blessed him who had descenti received the promises, so much celebrated in ed from them, re. your history through every generation. But ceived tithes of A

braham, and blessed without all contradiction, the inferior is blesssd hi

Dessa him that had the of the superior, rather than the superior of the in- promises ferior : so that while pronouncing this blessing 7 And without upon Abraham, Melchizedec evidently acted

luonted all contradiction, the

" less is blessed of the
in an higher character than the patriarch him- better.
self sustained at that time, and in that circum.
8 stance. And again, it may farther be observed 8 And here men

for the illustration of this argument, that here, that die receive
under the institution of Moses, men who die, tith
receive tithes ; the priests of that dispensation whom it is witness.

receiveth them, of
are mortal men, like their brethren :. but there, ed that he liveth,
in the case of Melchizedec, he [receiveth them]
of whom it is only testified in scripture, that he
liveth, but of whose death we have no account ;
and in that respect, he may be said to bear
some resemblance to the ever living, and ever
9 blessed Jesus. And indeed as one may say, 9 And as I may
by Abraham and in his person, even Levi, who in so say, Levi also who
his posterity received the tithes of the other ed tithes in Abra.

receiveth tithes, pay. 10 descendants of Israel, was himself tithed. For ham.

he was yet in the loins of (his father Abraham,8. 10 For he was yet
when Melchizedec met him upon the occasion I in
Sim non the occasion 'I in the loins of his

* father, when Mel. have just been mentioning.

chizedec met him. 11 . Now I introduce all these reflections, to lead 11 If therefore you to consider the aspect this wears as to the perfection were by

the Levitical priest. gospel, and the view it gives of its superior ex." cellence in comparison of the law. And I may reason thus upon the premises, If perfection had been by the Levitical priesthood, and no

As one may say: WS ATOS uruv.] Els & In the loins of Abraham.] Christ ner is of opinion, (Obsero. Sacr. Vol. II. p. could not be said to be so, because of his 350,) that this should be translated, to say extraordinary descent ; otherwise the arthe truth; alleging, that it is not agreeable gument would, I think, have been incon. to the respect we owe to the apostle's char. clusive, as it would have been proved that acter, to suppose that he inserted those Christ, as well as Levi, paid tithes in words as an apology for an assertion in it. Abraham. self not strictly just and exact ; and he produces some passages out of the classics h Now, if perfection, &c.] Elsner justly to vindicate this version. But the just. observes, (Obsero. Sacr. Vol. II. 351,) ness of it is largely controverted by Re. that this is not to be considered as a consephelius Annot. ex Herod, in loc.

There was need of another Priest like Melchizedec. 49 hood, (for under it more excellent atonement and intercession than sect. the people received theirs could be expected, (for you know that viii. the law,) what fur. : ther need was there." it was under it that the people received the law, u

Heb. that another priest that is, it was a part of the legal appointment is in should rise after the to which a multitude of other precepts in the order of Melchize. wol of

38: ritual referred, and on which the possibility of
dec, and not be call."
ed after the order of performing them depended,) what farther need
Aaron ?

[was there that another priest should rise ac-
cording to the order of Melchizedec, and that he
should not be reckoned according to the order of

Aaron? 12 For the priest. This will draw after it a long train of exten- 12 hond being changed, sive and important consequences ; for the there is made of ne. priesthood being changed, there must of necessity cessity a change also of the law.

also be a change of the law; for as I hinted
above, all the ceremonial law depended upon
it : and if our regards be directed to another
priest, who is not of the family of Aaron, there
is then an end of the obligation to the ritual,
which confined all its precepts to priests of that
line, and supposed that as long as it was bind.

ing, they would always subsist and bear office. 13 For he of whom And that is now evidently the case, for the per- 13 these things are son of whom these things are spoken, belongeth spoken pertaineth to another tribe. of to another tribe, of whom no one appertained to which no man gave the Jewish altar, or had any right to minister at attendance at the it. For at is] plain that our Lord Jesus Christ, 14 altar.

14 For it is evident the only true Messiah, foretold by David in that our Lord sprang the passage I have been discoursing upon, out of Juda: of sprung from Judah, of which tribe Moses spake which tribe Moses nothing at all relating to the priesthood he orspake nothing con. cerning priesthood. dained, so as to reserve any right of sacerdotal

ministry to them, more than to any other tribe 15 And it is yet far in Israel. And independent on all genealo- 15 lent: for gical controversy, which the most ingenious

malice could urge concerning Mary's family,
it is yet more abundantly manifest, from the least
attention to that single scripture alone which

more ey

quence flowing directly from the verses i Sprung from Judah.] It may be immediately preceding, as might be con- worth remembering here, that justin claded from the rendering of the vulgate Martyr, Tertullian, and Chrysostom, re. and Erasmus Schmidius, and our common fer to the table made at the taxation, in translation ; but that it is the beginning of proof of this ; and it may be considered a new paragraph, or branch of discourse ; whether the apostle does not insinuate the and that u pe sy should be rendered, but if, same reference. See Dr. Barrow's Works, Or, which is much the same, now if, in Vol. II. p. 188. Undoubtedly he would support of which he produces several au. not have spoken with such confidence, if thorities.

it had not been generally allowed.

Na

50 Reflections on the likeness of Christ to Melchizedec. SECT. I have so frequently mentioned, that there that after the simili. viii. arisesk another priest according to the simili- there ariseth another

Cimilitude of Melchizedec s tude of Melchizedec; Who therefore, we may priest vii, 16 assure ourselves, is made and constituted not 16 Who is made according or in regard to the law of the carnal not after the law of

“a carnal command. commandment, that system of ceremonial pre- ment, but after the cepts which contained so many things of an ex- power of an endless ternal, and comparatively of a carnal nature, life. and which considered men as dwelling in mortal flesh, and so to succeed each other; but

according to the undecaying power of an indis17 solvable and endless life. For you will be care. 17 For he testi.

ful to remember what he testifieth, Thou (art) fieth, Thou art a
a priest for ever according to the order of Mela priest for ever, after
chizedec : which implieth all that I have assert- chizedec.
ed concerning Christ. Let us reflect upon it
with pleasure, that he retains his priesthood
for ever; and therefore is able to give ever-
lasting efficacy to his administration, and ever-
lasting blessings to those who cast themselves
upon its protection, animated by the glorious
promises which it exhibits.

IMPROVEMENT: chap. Let our souls adore the King of righteousness, and the King of vii. 2 peace; submitting to him under the former title, that we may

experience the peace which he gives, and which none can take 3 away. Let us repose our confidence in the Son of God, who without beginning of days, or end of life, abideth a priest for ever; a priest on a throne, to confirm the counsels of eternal peace transacted between the Father and himself. (Zech. vi. 13.) To him do all the prophets bear witness, to him did all the patriarchs 6 render humble homage, and his blessing was that which

rendered Abraham, the father of the faithful, blessed indeed. 14 He sprang from the tribe of Judah, and was the Shiloh that was

to come before it ceased to be a tribe, according to the ancient

oracle of dying Jacob. (Gen. xlix. 10.) But the honours of 15, 16 the priesthood are now transferred to, and centred in him, not

according to the law of a carnal commandment, but the superior

k That there arises.] Dr. Whitby proves influence which the views of immortality by many convincing authorities, that the proposed by it, will have upon the mind. particle a sometimes signifies that, as it is (Vol. III. P. 407.) I have therefore kept plain it here does.

that thought a little in view, though I am I of an endless life.] Archbishop Til. far from imagining it to be the chief delotson thinks the gospel is called the power sign of the expression. of an endless life to intimate the powerful

verse

For the law is abolished because of its weakness

51 power of an endless life. Let us rejoice that his life is endless, sect. and that by him we may likewise attain to an endless life, to an viii. immortality of glory. The priests of the Old Testament, the ministers of the New, as well as private believers under both dispensations, die ; but the eternally prevailing priesthood of yea sus gives us life in death, and entitles us to the hope of that glorious world, where he will put his own likeness and splendor upon us, and make us in our inferior degrees of dignity, immor. tal kings and priests to God, even the Father : to him be glory for coer and ever. Amen. Rev. i. 6.

SECT. IX.

From what has been said above, the apostle argues, that the Aaron.

ical priesthood was not only excelled, but vindicated and consummated by that of Christ ; and by consequence that the obligation of the law was dissolved. Heb. VII. 18, to the end.

HEBREWS VIJ. 18.

HEBREWS VII. 18. TOR there is ver. I HAVE been discoursing largely on the sect. T ily a disannul. 1 resemblance between Melchizedec and ix. ment going before, me. Christ ; and I may fairly argue from hence,

? Heb. for the weakness not only the superior dignity and excellence of vii and unprofitableness Christ, but the freedom of Jews as well as thereof.

Christians, from the obligations of the ceremo.
nial law. Let me urge it therefore plainly, that
there is an abolition of the former command-
ment in all extent of ritual observances, because
of its weakness and unprofitableness : for weak
and unprofitable it appears to be, in comparison

of that everlasting priesthood which I have 19 For the law just now mentioned. For the law of Moses 19 made nothing per- made nothing perfect,a but left in its most essen

but the bring: tial institutions, as we shall presently shew, the
ing in of a better
hope did by the manifest traces and evidences of its own im-
which we drawnigh perfection; whereas full provision for our par.
anto God.

don and sanctification, must be ascribed to the
introduction of a better hope, by a dispensation
of a far superior nature by which we now un-
der the gospel draw near to God in cheerful

dependence upon the efficacious intercession of 20 And inasmuch our ever living and glorious High Priest : A 20

The law made nothing perfect.] Mr. make the priesthood so ; it could not rePeirce includes these words in a parenthe. move the guilt of sin, or give strength to as : as if the Apostle had said, “ Since the obey its commands." law made nothing perfect, it could not

VOL. 6.

priest.

art a

52

And Jesus is the surety of a better covenant. sect. High Priest, evidently superior to any of the as not without an ix. Aaronical line, on many other accounts, and oath he was made

we may add on this likewise, inasmuch as [he Heb. 20 was) not [constiluted] without the solemnity of

an oath on the part of God; intended no

doubt to shew the great importance of what he 21 was to transact. For they indeed are become 21 (For those

priests by a general Divine ordination, without priests were made the interposition of an oath at their investiture; without an oath, but

this was an oath, by but he, of whom we have been speaking, was him that said unto set apart to his office with an oath, by him who him, The Lord said unto him, The Lord hath sworn and he will swear, and will not not repent, Thou (art) a priest for ever accord-repent

priest for ever after 22 ing to the order of Melchizedec. Now by so much the order of Melchi.

dignity as such an introduction to his office by zedec ;)
the oath of God adds to him, does it appear 22 By so much
that Jesus our Lord is preferable to Aaron and was Jesus made a

and Surety of a better
his sons : from whence it is natural to infer, testament.
that he is the Surety of a better covenant ;c or
that the covenant of which he is the great Gua-
rantee between God and man, is more excellent
than that, of which Aaron and his sons might be
said to be sureties in reference to certain acts
which they were to perform on the part of the
people to God, and in the name of God to the
people, with which promises of temporal par.
don and blessings are connected ; for to them

alone did that covenant extend. 23 And again, I may further observe that they 23 And they truly were many priests, because they were hindered by me

were many priests, use they were ninaerea oy because they were death from continuing in the perpetual execu- not suffered' to con24 tions of their office. But he, because he abideth tinue by reason of for ever, and is risen to a life of immortal glo

Lad death ;

mo... :: ry in the heavens, where he shall reign as long because he continua as any can need the benefit of his ministrations, eth ever, hath an

hath a priesthood that never passeth over to anunchangeable priesto 25 other as his successor. From whence also it"

appears, that he is able to save to the utter most, is able also to save that is always and completely to save, those who them to the utterhumbly approach to God by him as their appoint. most, that come unto ed High Priest, always living to intercede for he ever liveth to

God by him, seeing them in every circumstance of their respective make intercession lives, through all successive ages and genera- for them. tions.

An oath.] Which argues the solemn Better covenant.] So I render Sock Onx», nity and importance, and also the immuta. and as this is the most common use of the bility of the action.

word, so here it best suits the connection.

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