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48 He was therefore superior to the Levitical priests. secr. 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, Heb.

of their brethren we have now been speaking, whose pedigree is though they come vii. 6

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 descent is not count

received the promises, so much celebrated in ed from them, re. 7 your history through every generation. But ceived tithes of A. without all contradiction, the inferior is blessed him that had the

braham, and blessed 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 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, tithes : but there he
receive tithes; the priests of that dispensation whom it is witness-
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, Levialso who his posterity received the tithes of the other receiveth tithes, pay.

ed tithes in Abra. 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

in the loins of his when Melchizedec met him upon the occasion I

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 priestgospel, 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 &TOS ETU.] 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 ar. the 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 Ra. that this is not to be considered as a consephelizas Annot. ex Herod. in loc.

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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,

Heb. hat another priest that is, it was a part of the legal appointment vii. 11 should rise after the to which a multitude of other precepts in the dec, and not be cali: ritual referred, and on which the possibility of 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 also be a change of the law; for as I hinted of the law.

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 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 [et 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 Judai of sprung from Judah, of which tribe Moses spake which tribe Moses nothing at all relating to the priesthood he or, 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 more evident : 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

quence flowing directly from the verses Sprung from Fudah.] 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, reand 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 anew paragraph, or branch of discourse ; whether the apostle does not insinuate the and that u jeky sy should be rendered, but if

, same reference. See Dr. Barrow's Works; O, 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.

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- tude of Melchizedec

tude of Melchizedec; Who therefore, we may priest. Heb. 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 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 Mel priest for ever, after

the order of Mel. 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 everlasting efficacy to his administration, and everlasting 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 thrane, 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 Facob. (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

* 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 u 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 de. lotson thinks the gospel is called the power sign of the expression. of an endless life to intimate the powerful

8

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 Testument, the ministers of the New, as well as private believers under both verse dispensations, die ; but the eternally prevailing priesthood of Jesus gives us life in death, and entities 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, immortal kings and priests to God, even the Father : to him be glory for ever 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. POR there is ver

I .

resemblance between Melchizedec and ix. ling of the command. Christ ; and I may fairly argue from hence,

Heb. for the weakness not only the superior dignity and excellence of

vii, 18 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 essenfect, but the bring. tial institutions, as we shall presently shew, the hope did , by the manifest traces and evidences of its own im. which we drawnigh perfection; whereas full provision for our parunto 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.

8

Heb. vii. 20

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 she priest.
was] not [constituted) 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 but he, of whom we have been speaking, was him that said unto

this was an oath, by 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, Thou art a 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

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 Guarantee 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 pardon 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 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. death ;

24 But this man, ry in the heavens, where he shall reign as long because he continuas any can need the benefit of his ministrations, eth ever, hath an

hath a priesthood that never passeth over to an- unchangeable priest25 other as his successor.

hood. From whence also it

25 Wherefore he appears, that he is able to save to the uttermost, 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 them in every circumstance of their respective make intercession lives, through all successive ages and genera- for them. tions.

An oath.] Which argues the solem- Better covenant.] So I render Soboxen, 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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