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constituted according to the order of Melchizedec : the way: for that he offerings are provided ; because he himself also sect. himself also is com- is incident to infirmity. And for this reason v. nasmi, it is necessary he should offer an appointed ex

Heb. 3 And by reason piatory sacrifice for sins on his own account, as bereaf he ought, as well as for the people, and should make way So for himself, to of.

at for their sin offering by the presentation of fer for sins.

his own. 4 And no man tak. And this is so awful an office, that no man 4 eth this bonour unto who has any regard to duty or safety, taketh it bineself, but he that is called of God, as to himself ; but he only wears it who is called of ses Aaron. God for that purpose, as Aaron (was.] Šo 5

5 So also Christ Christ also, we well know, did not glorify himglorified pot himself self to be made an high priest ;8 he did not asto be made an High seu to be made an nign P Priest; but he that pire to, or seize upon this exalted office withsaid unto him, Thou out a proper call; but he raised him to this art my Son, to day conspicuous dignity, who said unto him, in the have I begotten thee.

wice place quoted and pleaded above, Thou art my 6 As he saith also Son, this day have I begotten thee.. As also in 6 in another place, another place,] which it will be proper to take Thou art a Priest for very particular notice of, (Psal. cx. 4,) He erer after the order of Melchizedec.

es saith to him whom he had called to sit on his

right hand, Thou [art]a Priest for ever accord

ing to the order of Melchizedec,
7 Who in the days Such a Priest shall we presently see our 7
of his flesh, when great Redeemer to have been, even that com.
be had offered up
prayers and suppli. passionate saviour, who in the days of
cations, with strong and while he sojourned here amidst the infir-
crying and tears, mities and calamities to which human nature
unto him that was is obnoxious, being assaulted with the utmost
able to save him
from death, and was violence by the powers of darkness, offered re-
heard, in that he peated prayers and supplications, which were
feared;

attended with humble prostrations, a strong
cry and flowing tears, to him who was able to
sade him from death : and his supplications
were not in vain ; for though his heavenly
Father did not think fit to exert that power in
his total deliverance ; yet he was heard in be-
ing delivered from that which he particularly
feared, and which threw him into such an

i Did not glorify himself, &c.] He did day of his resurrection, not to mention the not assume the mediatorial office without other absurdities of that supposition, it · Divine authority, nor affect to appear would, contrary to the judgment of those before his time in the pomp and splendor who bring it in this view, prove, that

Christ was a Priest while he was upon This day have I begotten thee.] This earth, that is, during the period between will by no means prove he was not a High his resurrection and ascension. Pricat before his resurrection from the i From that which he particularly feared.] dead : and indeed if it signifies that his So I chose to render and explain the priesthood is to be dated only from the words ; though Bishop Fell and some

34

And the author of salvation to them that obey him, sect, agony in the garden, that he sweat drops of v. blood. It is indeed a wonderful, but at the 8Though he were same time a very instructive dispensation, a

on a Son, yet learned he

istructive dispensation, obedience, by the Heb and therefore worthy of our deep consideration things which he suf

and reflection ; that though he were a Son, yet fered:
he learned obedienced by the things which he suf-
fered, and was trained up for more eminent

services, by a series of painful discipline. 9 And being thus consecrated to God' by his own 9 And being made blood, in virtue of which he was installed in pa

perfect, he became vhich he was installed in the author of eternal his priestly office, he became the author of eter- salvation unto all nal salvation to all them that obey him ; to all them that obey bim; that practically own his authority, as well as

profess a dependence on his grace ; being, 10 as we observed before, Called and denominat 10 Called of God ed of God an High Priest according to the order in

Wer an High Priest after

est according tome order the order of Mel. 11 of Melchizedec : Concerning whom by the chizedec.

way, it is necessary that before we dismiss 11 of whom we this argument, we speak, having much discourse, have many things to

say, and hard to be and some of it perhaps hard to be understood ; uttered, seeing ye not so much from the difficulty of the thing are dull of hearing. itself, as because you are slow and sluggish of hearing, and your minds are not awakened to that attention to these things, which might reasonably be expected from you : and especially as you are much prejudiced against

every thing which may seem to lessen the 12 glory of the Levitical priesthood : For in- 12 For when for

deed, whereas you ought for the time that you the time ye ought to have been under the instructions of the gospel, ne

an undersheinamatione of hemen be teachers, ye bave to have been qualified to be teachers of others, you are so attached to Jewish ceremonies and forms, that ye have need again that one should

ed that one

others, taking evad best for a religious rever. sin; and his patient and cheerful submig. ence of God, (compare chap. xii. 28,) inter. sion was improved by every trial. But pret it, as if it had been said, that his piety Dr. Whitby would render it, he taught rendered his prayer acceptable. Dr. obedience to others by it. Whitby has said so much to confute this Being made perfect.) Archbishop Til. sense, and establish the rendering in the lotson would translate it having attained paraphrase, that I need not add more, but the end of his race through sufferings, that is, refer to the note on Luke xxii. 42,(Vol. II. past through sufferings in his way to conp. 483, note",) for a further illustration of summate glory. (Compare John xix. 30 ; the general interpretation here given to Luke xiii. 32 , Heb. ii. 10.) But Dr. Jack. this text.

son would render it, being consecrated, and * Learned obedience.] He found he must is large in shewing how Christ might be suffer, and by one degree of suffering was said to be consecrated to his priestly office better fitted for another. As Christ's hu- by his passion. Compare chap. vii 28, man soul advanced gradually in knowl. ii. 10. See Dr. Jackson's Works, Tom. ii. edge, so also in the perfection of virtue, Book ix. p. 943, &c. and Dr. Owen on though always free from any defilement of chap. ii. 10.

usness

Reflections on the tenderness of Christ as our High Priest. 35 you again which be lead you back as it were to some of the first sect the first principles principles of religion, relating to the ends and V of the oracles of God and are be purposes of Christ's death, and teach you what come such as have [are] the first initial elements of the Divine

Heb.

v. 12 need of milk, and oracles ; so that you seem to be in a state of not of strong meat. infancy as to these things, and are become per.

sons who have need of milk, and not of strong

food, such as suits a manly age and robust con13 For every one stitution. For every one who partaketh of milk, 13 that useth milk, is and subsists on that, without being able to digest unskilful in the word

? strong food, [is] to be considered as unskilful for he is a babe. in the word of righteousness," that is in the gos

pel, which directs us in the true way to justifi.
cation by the blood and righteousness of the
great Redeemer ; for he is yet but an infant,
and a compassionate regard must be paid to
him under this view, in hope that he may

hereafter attain to a superior stature, and more
14 But strong meat vigorous age. But strong food belongs to full 14
belongeth to them grown men, who by long use and habit, have
that are of full age,
per those who by (their) senses exercised, so as to be able readily
reason of use have to distinguish between both good and evil ;
their senses exercis- which if they cannot, there may indeed be
ed to discern both donor of heine

oth danger of being imposed upon by that which good and epil.

would be unwholesome to their souls ; though
administered under the pretence of being fit to
nourish them, and adapted to persons of most
eminent attainments.

IMPROVEMENT.

May we all experience more of the efficacy of the Divine chap. word upon our hearts. May we all be more and more thoughtful ". of the account we are to give up of ourselves to God; and of that perfect discerning which he has not only of our actions, but the secrets of our hearts ; that we may never go about to conceal any 13 *** thing from him, before whom all things are naked and open.

When we consider how many evils this all penetrating eye hath discerned there, let it teach us to rejoice in that compassion. 14 ate High Priest, who hath undertaken our cause ; which could never succeed in any other hand. And let it embolden our petitions in humble expectation, that we shall not only receive

- Word of righteousness.] This phrase the epistle to the Romans and Galatians ; Mr. Peirce explains by referring to the which these Hebrews might seem to passages of the Old Testament, which overlook. L'Enfant explains them much speak of justification, by faith, quoted in in the same sense.

VOL. 6.

verse

36 The apostle would dismiss the first principles of Christ, SECT. that mercy, without which we perish, but grace to strengthen v. and help us in proportion to all our necessities. And when press

ed with temptations, let it revive us to recollect, that he was in 16 all points tempted as we are, so far as it was consistent with the 15 perfect innocence which his office required, and which always

gained new lustre by every attempt of the enemy to obscure and pollute it.

Let inferior ministers in God's sanctuary learn to imitate him ; chap. and being themselves compassed with so many infirmities, have

compassion on the ignorant, and on them that are out of the way. And under a sense of our common weakness, let us all be earn.

est in our applications to the throne of grace for help. If Christ 7 himself, in the days of his flesh, poured out supplications with strong

crying and tears, let none of us imagine we can be safe in the neglect of prayer, or that we are ever to despond in any circumstances which leave room for devout ejaculations to God. Still he lives, who is able to save from death, and who can also hear us

in that which we fear. '8 Let us wisely prepare for affliction. If Christ, though a Son,

learned obedience by sufferings, how much more do we need the salutary lessons they teach. But let no sufferings prevent our adhering to him, who being consecrated by them to so high an office, is become the author of salvation, of eternal salvation, to his 9 faithful followers. Let it ever be remembered, that it is to them

that obey him, that this salvation is promised : may we be found

in their number ; and being entered as obedient disciples into 11, 12 his school, may we become proficients there ; not such dull and

forgetful scholars, as need to be led back daily to the first elements and first principles of the Divine oracles, not babes in Christ, and unskilful in the word of righteousness; but such as having

our senses spiritually exercised to discern good and evil, may be 14 capable of receiving and digesting strong meat, and may thereby

grow stronger and stronger.

SECT. VI. The apostle declares his resolution of advancing to sublimer truths without dwelling farther upon the first principles, for the sake of those who might have apostatized from Christianity; and whose case he represents us very hopeless. Heb. VI. 1.-9.

HEBREWS VI. 1.

HEBREWS VI. 1. SECT. W E have had reason to complain, that too THEREFORE,

vi. V many of you are but in an infant state ; 1 leaving the Heb. yet I know, that as I intimated before, there vi. 1 are some among you, who can bear stronger

food than the state of babes will admit: to such

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that he might lead them on to perfection :

37 principles of the doc. I would shew some regard. Dismissing there- sect. trine of Christ, let fore any farther discourse on the first principles a vi. es go on unto per-'isthe doctrinel of Christ let ve he can fection; not laying LTE again the foundation perfection, and pursue more eminent degrees of vi of repentance from improvement in it, and more advanced and faith towards God, works, and of elevated knowledge ; not laying again the first

foundation of Christianity, by inculcating the
well known necessity of repentance from dead
works, from the practices of those who are dead
in sin, and whereby the soul is defiled, as the
priests of God were by the touch of a dead.
body ; nor insisting on the importance of faith

in the one living and true God, as the universal 2 of the doctrine Lord of all ; Nor leading you back to the 2 of baptisms, and of doctrine of baptisms, those instituted under the laying on of hands, Mosaic dispensation to inculcate moral purity

on all who would draw near to God with ac.
ceptance ; or that appointed by Christ, as the
rite by which we enter into his church. And
we will not now treat of the imposition of
hands, by which the Spirit hath been commu.

* Firat principles.] Mr. Peirce under. the inhabitants of Sodom, &c. I thought stands all that follows as referring to the it not improper to propose so remarkable Jewish doctrines, which might be consid. an interpretation, but not seeing any rea. ered as the elements of the Christian. son for confining several of the clauses to Repentance from dead works, that is, from so contracted a sense, I have taken them sin, was a Jewish doctrine, and he thinks in a much larger extent. it had a peculiar reference to that solemn b of baptisms.] Lord Barrington under. and public repentance on the day of atone. stands this of the baptism of water, and ment. Faith towards God, he considers the effusion of the Holy Spirit, by which as without any regard to the Messiah. the first disciples among the Jews, and The baptism-s he takes for the Jewish wash. the first converts among the devout and inge, observing that Barl10 por in the plu. idolatrous Gentiles were initiated. He ral number is never used in any other also explains the laying on of hands, as resense. Laying on of hands, he takes for ferring to the immediate communication of the rite that attended sacrifices; and im. spiritual gifts by means of the apostles. agines that the resurrection of the dead, and These he thinks were first principles, as eternal judgment, are either to be under. baptism was the first entrance into the stood as principles common to Judaism church, and laying on of hands, the great and Christianity, or rather peculiar to the evidence of it, as faith and repentance are former: in which view, the resurrection of the substance of Christianity, and a resur. the dead, refers either to the resurrection rection and eternal judgment the great mo. of particular persons under the Old Testa- tives leading inen to embrace it. Bar. ment in confirmation of the Divine mis- Mis. Ess. II. p. 116. sion of the prophets, (which might in the The imposition of hands.] This an. nature of things render the doctrine of swered such great purposes in the ChristChrist's resurrection more credible to ian church, as the appointed method of those who believed these,) or the resur- communicating important gifts, that it rection of the Jewish people from Egypt, might well be mentioned among first prin. or deliverance from any other great ex- ciples. But it is by a very precarious tremity. Compare Isa. xxvi. 19; Ezek. consequence, that any can infer from Xxxvii. 11, 12 And the latter, that is, hence the universal obligation of this eternal judgment, he thinks may be ex. rite, in admitting persons into full church plained of dreadful judgments inflicted of meinbership, or even to the ministry. See old, as upon the sinners of the old world, Peirce's Vindicat. p. 463.

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