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11. Let us endeavour, therefore, to enter into that rest, that none may fall after the same example of disobedience. 12. For Christ, who is the essential Word of God, by the lively efficacy of his Spirit in his word, is quick and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the separating between the soul and spirit, so as to affect also the joints and marrow in the bones, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart. 13. And there is no creature that is not manifest in his sight: but all things are naked and open to the eyes of him to whom we must give an account.
14. Seeing we have a great high priest, who is gone into the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our profession. 15. For we have not an high priest who cannot sympathize with us, by feeling our infirmities; but he was in all points tried like as we are, tho' without sin.
16. Let us, therefore, come freely to the throne of grace, to obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.
OF Chiust's Priesthood.
For every high priest taken from among men, is appointed for (the good of) men, over things pertaining to God, to oiler both gifts and sacrifices for sins; 2. Who can have compassion on the ignorant, and on them that are led astray, because he himself also is compassed with infirmity; 3. And for this reason he ought, as for the people, so also for himself, to offer for sins. 4. And no man (rightfully), Numb. xvi. 2 Chron. xxvi.) taketh this office himself, but he that is called of God, as was Aaron: 5. So also Christ glorified not himself to become an high priest, but he did it who said to him, Thou art my Son, to-day have I begotten thee, (Acts xiii. 33.) 6. He saith also in another place, Thou art a priest for ever after the order of Melchizedcc. 7. In the days of his ahode in the
strong crying and tears, to him who was able to save him from death, and was heard in that which he feared; 8. Tho' being a Son, yet he learned obedience by the things he suffered; 9. And being consecrated, he became the author of eternal salvation to all that obey bim: 10. Being called of God to be an high priest, after the order of Melchizedec: 11. Of whom we have much to say, and hard to be explained; seeing ye are dull of understanding. 12. For tho' ye ought to be teachers by this time, ye have need to be taught again what are the first principles of the oracles of God; being like those that have need of milk, and not of strong meat. 13. For whoever useth milk is unskilful in the doctrine of justification, being a babe. 14. But strong meat is for the mature, who, by practice, have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil.
Therefore, let us leave discoursing on the first principles of the doctrine of Christ, let us go on to perfection; not laying again the foundation of repentance from sinful works that bring death, and of faith toward God, 2. Of the doctrine of baptisms (of water and the Spirit), and of laying on of hands, Marth. xix. 13. and of the resurrection of the dead, and of eternal retribution.
3. And this we will do, if God permit. 4. For it is impossible that those once enlightened, who tasted of the heavenly gift, and became partakers of the Holy Spirit, (in gifts and graces), 5. And have tasted the good word of God, and felt the mighty powers of the world to come, (in joys and terrors), 6. If they fall away, to
OF CHRISTIAN PROGRESS.
renew them again by repentance: seeing they again crucify to themselves the Son of God, and expose him to public shame, (as much as possible)* 7. For the earth which drinks in the rain, that comes often upon it, and brings forth herbs useful for them by whom it is dressed, receiveth blessing from God; S. But that which bearcth thorns and briers is rejected, and near the curse; whose end is burning.
9. But, beloved, we are persuaded better things of you, even things that accompany salvation, tho' we thus speak. 10. For God is not unrighteous, to forget your work and labour of love, which ye have shewed toward his name, in ministering to the saints; 11. But we desire each of you to shew the same earnestness to the full assurance of hope to the end; 12. That ye be not slothful, but imitators of them who thro' faith and patience inherit the promises. 13. For when God made a promise to Abraham, because he could swear by no greater, he sware by himself, 14. Surely I will greatly bless thee, and abundantly multiply thee. 15. And so, having patiently waited, he obtained the promise. 16. For men verily swear by the greater; and an oath for confirmation is to them an end of all strife, 17. On which account, God willing most abundantly to shew to the heirs of promise the immutability of his counsel, confirmed it by an oath; 3 8. That .by two immutable things, (his word and oath), in each of which it was impossible for God to lie, we might have a strong consolation, who have fled for refuge, to lay hold on the hope set before usj 19. Which hope we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and steadfast, and which entereth into heaven, (the place) within the vail; 20. Whither the forerunner is entered for us, even Jesus, made an high priest for ever, after the order of Melchizedec.
OF THE ORDER OF MELCHIZEDEC
For this Melchizedec was king of Salem, and priest of the most high God, who met Abraham returning from the slaughter of the kings, and blessed him; 2. To whom also Abraham gave a tenth part of all (the stores): first being by interpretation, King of righteousness, and then also King of Salem, which is, King of peace; 3. Without father, without mother, without descent (recorded), having neither beginning of days nor end of life (mentioned); but resembling the Son of God, in having neither predecessor, nor successor in his function.
4. Now, consider how great this man was, to whom even the patriarch Abraham gave the tenth of the stores.
5. And verily the sons of Levi, who receive the office of priesthood, have, according to the law, a command to take tithes of the people; that is, of their brethren, tho' descended from Abraham; 6. But he who is not of their race, received tithes of Abraham, and blessed him that had the promises.
7. And without all contradiction the less is blessed by the better.
8. And here men that die receive tithes, but there he received them, of whom it is testified that he liveth, (as his death is not recorded.) 9. And as it may be said, Levi also, who receiveth tithes, paid tithes in Abraham. 10. For he was yet in his father when Melchizedec met him.
11. Therefore, if perfection were by the Levitical priesthood, for under it the people received the law, what need was there for another priest to arise after Melchizedec's order, and not to be reckoned after Aaron's. 12. For the priesthood being changed, there is of necessity a change also of the law. 13. For he of whom these things are spoken, is of another tribe, of which none attended the altar. 14. For it is evident that our Lord sprang out of Judah; of which tribe Moses spake nothing concerning priesthood.
15. And it is far more evident, because after the similitude of Melchizedec another priest ariseth. 16. Who became such not according to the law of the carnal command, but according to the power of an endless life. 17. For he teBtifieth, Thou art a priest for ever, according to Melchizedec's order.
18. For the former command is verily disannulled, for its weakness and unprofitableness. 19. For the ritual law made nothing perfect, but it introduced a better hope; by which we draw near to God. 20. And as he became not a priest without an oath; 21. As those priests were made without it; but he with it by him who said to him, The Lord sware, and will not repent, Thou art a priest for ever after the order of Melchizedec; 22. By so much dignity was Jesus made a surety of a better covenant.
331 And they indeed were many priests, as they were not suffered to continue by death; 24. But he continuing ever, hath a priesthood that passeth not over to another. 25. Therefore he is able also to save them to the uttermost that 6ome to God by him, seeing he ever liveth to make intercession for them.
26. For such an high priest befitted us, who is holy, harmless, undented (with sin, being thus) separate from sinners, and made higher than the heavens. (Psal. cxiii. 4.) 27. Who needeth not daily, as those high priests, to offer sacrifice, first for his own sins, and then for the people's; for this (last) he did once, when he offered up him