« AnteriorContinuar »
“ power of God unto salvation unto every “ one that believeth y," and whose faith is productive of its proper fruits. But whatever delusive expectations we may be disposed to cherish,“ the hope of the hypocrite shall “ perish ?." For “ the grace of God, that
bringeth salvation, hath appeared unto all “ men, teaching us that, denying ungodli
ness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly in this pre
sent world ; looking for that blessed hope, “ and the glorious appearing of the great 66 God and our Saviour Jesus Christ, who
gave “ himself for us, that he might redeem us “ from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works a.”
“ Now unto him that is able to keep you “ from falling, and to present you faultless “ before the presence of his glory with ex
ceeding joy, to the only wise God our Sa“ viour, be glory and majesty, dominion and
power, now and ever b. Amen.”
2 Job viii. 13.
a Titus ii. 14.
y Rom. i, 16. b Jude 24.
HEBREWS vii. 25. Wherefore he is able also to save them to the utter
most that come unto God by him, seeing he ever liveth to make intercession for them.
THERE is none of the sacred writers who has treated the subject of the Christian dispensation so systematically as St. Paul has done; nor is there any of St. Paul's writings in which the comparison between that and the Jewish economy is so fully drawn out as in his Epistle to the Hebrews.
The general design of this Epistle is, to shew that the ritual Law of Moses was a typical or figurative service, introductory to the Gospel; that its institutions were, for the most part, no otherwise efficacious than as connected with that Redeemer whom they foreshewed; that to him they bore testimony, and in him were fulfilled; and that this
purpose having been accomplished, they ceased, and gave way to that better covenant which had long before been promised, and which was the consummation of all the Divine proceedings for the redemption of mankind. This view of the subject, though addressed to Jewish converts, and founded upon the Jewish scriptures, is no less interesting to every Christian reader. The New Testament depends upon the Old for some of its most substantial evidences; nor can any thing tend more to heighten our veneration of both, than this their mutual harmony and coincidence. By this they are shewn to have been equally the result of the Divine counsels, and equally indispensable to the fulfilment of those gracious purposes of the Almighty.
Among various other topics specifically touched upon by the Apostle relative to this connection betwixt the two dispensations, that of the priesthood is largely discussed. The Jewish priesthood was ordained for local and temporary circumstances; the Christian is distinguished by its permanent and universal character. Our Lord differed from all who had preceded him in the sacerdotal office, in that he held it, “not after the law “ of a carnal commandment”—not subject to decay and death—“ but after the power of
an endless life a." He was to abidefor 6 ever.” He was to exercise the mediatorial
a Heb. vii. 16.
office, after his departure from this world, and until the final consummation of all things, in the immediate presence of God. “They “ truly,” says the apostle, “were many priests, “ because they were not suffered to continue, by reason of death. But this
But this man, because “ he continueth ever, hath an unchangeable
priesthood. Wherefore he is able to save 6 them to the uttermost that come unto God by him, seeing he ever liveth to make in66 tercession for them.”
To this striking contrast the Apostle subjoins another, grounded on the perfection of our Lord's character, to which none before Him could lay claim. “Such an High Priest,” he observes, “ became us, who is holy, harm
less, undefiled, separate from sinners, and “ made higher than the heavens; who needed
not daily, as those high priests, to offer up “ sacrifice, first for his own sins, and then “ for the people: for this he did once, when 6 he offered
himself. For the Law “ maketh men high priests which have infir
mity; but the word of the oath, which was “ since the Law, maketh the Son, who is con“ secrated for evermore b.” “ And now,” adds the Apostle in the beginning of the next chapter, “ of the things which we have spoken
b Heb. vii. 26, 27, 28.