Imágenes de páginas
PDF
EPUB

Christ an“ apostle” and “high priest,” omitting the title of king, he only intended to say, that in the church of God, Christ once fulfilled the part of Moses, and now fulfils the part of Aaron; the former as an apostle or ambassador, and the latter as a high priest. He treats of the former in this passage in which he compares him with Moses, and afterwards proceeds to an explication of the latter* when he compares him with Aaron. He had already adverted to Christ's kingly office,t nor was there any reason for repeating in this place what he had advanced but just before.

V. But Crellius argues :f The other writers of the New Testament rather mention the kingly and prophetical offices of Christ, nor does either of them ever call him a priest or high priest, as without 'doubt they would very frequently have done, if this

office on which our eternal salvation depends, could ' not be understood and tacitly comprehended in his

other offices, and especially in his regal one, considering certain circumstances of those offices, in · which Christ resembles a legal priest.' As though it were impossible for Christ to possess a sacerdotal office properly so called, unless many of the sacred writers give him the name of priest.

But do many of them give him the name, either of prophet, or of king? This is by no means the case. There is no passage in the apostolical epistles in which Christ is expressly called, either a king, or a prophet; though our eternal salvation depends also upon the offices which are designated by those words. The Apostle to the Hebrews has twice called him a captain, leader, or author , j but he has given him * Heb. v. 5. + Heb. i. 2

Contra Grot. c. X. p. 55. f Heb. ii. 10. “ The captain of salvation.” xii. 2. “ The author of

[ocr errors]

the title of priest seven times, and that of high priest ten times.

But, it will be said, the apostolical epistles attribute to Christ such things as belong to a king and prophet, though they do not introduce those words. This is true. And they likewise attribute to him things peculiar to a high priest, notwithstanding the

omission of that naine. To pass over other instances, this is the case where Christ is said to be our advocate, or to intercede for us. Nor is there any weight in what is afterwards asserted by Crellius ;* that the apostle Paul, in the intercession of Christ, comprehends the exercise of his regal power for our de‘liverance from punishment, as well as any imme

diate effect of his intercession. For in the passage to'which Crellius refers, “Who is at the right hand " of God, who also maketh intercession for us, the apostle intends to assert these two things : first, that Christ possesses the most exalted dignity and the highest favour with God, ás being seated at his right hand : secondly, that he who enjoys such exalted dignity, and such great favour with God, is pleading our cause before him. And this belongs not to the kingdom of Christ, but to his priesthood, as will be more fully demonstrated in another place.

VI. But there is another passage also with which Crellius has found himself not a little'embarrassed. He says:T “When John stiles Christ the advocate

whom we have with the Father, and at the same * time calls hin the propitiation for our sins, I he may 'be considered as having given us a description of his sacerdotal office, where he has nevertheless

“ faith.” The original word is the same in both these places; Asxnyos.

I John ii. 1,'%.

Ubi supra.

+ Ibid.

<

6

[ocr errors]

'made no mention of the kingly office. But since it forms a part of the consolation, which John here proposes to those who sin, to know that Christ has the most ample power to deliver us from the punishment of sins, he must be considered as having tacitly included the kingly office in the words he

has used'. What? is it usual with the other sacred writers, when they mention any one particular topic of consolation to the fallen, to accumulate at the same time all the topics that may in any respect conduce to the same end? was there any necessity for this apostle to introduce every consideration tend- . ing to console the fallen, in this one passage; so as to oblige us to consider him as having asserted what is by no means implied in his words ? For the original term here used* signifies, not a king, but an advocate

or patron, whose office it is to plead with one person - the cause of another. This Christ performs for us,

not in the character of a king, but as our high priest in the presence of God. The apostle, therefore, intended to propose to the fallen no consolations but such as result from the high priesthood of Christ; and those he has proposed most clearly and distinctly. But the consolations arising from Christ's kingly office, he neither has glanced at, nor can be considered as having intended to glance at, in this passage; unless we are determined to fix upon his words, meanings which are not conveyed

But if it is lawful to treat the sacred writers in this manner, we may ascribe to them at our own pleasure those senses which are not expressed by their words; indeed every individual will attribute to the scriptures, and will think himself at liberty to at

* Παρακλητος. .

by them.

hism

tribute to them, such notions as may be agreeable to his own particular fancy. But if this licence be once granted, what limits can ever be placed to such folly and profanation ?

VII. The assertion of Crellius, * 'that whatever ! we expect from Christ as a priest, may be said to

come from him as a king,' has not the least appearance of truth. It is expected from him altogether in the character of a priest, that he commend us and our services to God, and procure his favour towards us. But no one ever sought this from him in the character of a king. Crellius, therefore, argues

to no purpose, when he says, that'Christ vanquishes vivos et hors and destroys sin, death, and Satan, his and our opet

enemies, as a king,' and that this is to expiate

and purge away sins, which is the part of a priest: and again, that it is the part of Christ, as a king, * to succour his people who flee for refuge to his ' throne, and to help the afflicted; but that it is his

part also, as a priest, to afford help in time of need . to them who approach the throne of grace, and

readily to succour those who are afflicted.'t Christ · succours us in one way as a king, and in another as a priest. As a king, he confers upon us those things which pertain to eternal salvation : as a priest, he commends us and our prayers to God. He acts the part of a king to us, and that of a priest to God. As bis regal office is exercised towards us, his sacerdotal one is exercised towards God.

VIII. But the inspired writer of the epistle to the Hebrews,' says Crellius, clearly refers that passage

of the second psalm, “Thou art my Son, this day have I begotten thee,” to the priesthood of

+ Heb. ii, 17, 18. iv. 15, 16. # Ubi supra. Heb. v. 5.

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

# Ubi supra.

6

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

Christ, and shews that the pontifical dignity was 'thus conferred upon him by God. But these words as clearly relate to Christ's kingly office. For David, who was a type of Christ, exhibits in these ' words the divine decree, hy which after a long exile ' he was actually constituted king, and seated on the royal throne ; as any one will perceive on a perusal

of the psalm. Hence Paul declares them to have 'been accomplished at the resurrection of Christ * from the dead.* For then God gave his people a

king according to his promises, and constituted Jesus · both Lord and Christ, or, which is the same thing,

the Son of God with power.' But whatever was the meaning of these words, " Thou art my Son, this : “ day have I begotten thee," as applied to David ; when they are transferred to Christ, they signify his being raised from the dead by God to an immortal life. And the attainment of this iinmortal life being equally : necessary to the discharge of the priestly and the kingly office by Christ in heaven; consequently, these same words, which certainly designate the resurrection of Christ to an immortal life, may be applied, and are indeed actually applied, to both offices : to the regal, in the first chapter of the epistle to the Hebrews; to the sacerdotal, in the fifth chapter. Nor are these two offices, distinct both in name and in fact, on this account confounded into one. For nothing more frequently happens, than that things, which are widely different have yet something in com

And the kingdom and priesthood. of Christ have this in common, that both being equally perpetual, each requires an immortal life. IX. Crellius also urges,t that it is impossible for

+ Contra Grot, ci . p. 54.

mon.

Acts xiii, 32, 33.

« AnteriorContinuar »