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men to condemnation ; even so by the righteousness of one the free-gift came upon all men unto justification of life. For as by one man's disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one shall many be made righteous."* Here the Apostle is evidently running a parallel between Adam and Christ, the sin of the former and the work of the latter, and the effects of these upon their respective seeds.
To the views which we have thus stated objections have been made, on the ground that they reflect upon the justice of God. All that is included in original sin, it has been stated, is the loss of original righteousness; by which is meant the withholding of those influences by which Adam was sustained in his state of innocency, and which he held as a chartered right for himself and his descendants, and that being deprived of it for partaking of the forbidden fruit, he became a fallen creature, as the consequence of its withdrawal, and also from a natural tendency in himself to evil; and that his descendants, being born into the world without the original righteousness, which they lost in him, go astray like himself.*
Not only is it difficult, however, to reconcile these views with those scriptures to which we have referred above, but it may be fairly questioned whether to suppose that God made man with a natural proneness to evil, without the restraining influence of his Spirit; and viewing that influence as a chartered right, is not a greater reflection upon God's other perfections, especially his holiness, than to suppose him to * Rom. v. 12—19. . + See Dr. Payne's Con. Lecture.
impute the sin of Adam directly to his descendants, would be upon his justice. In fact, the difference here seems to be rather in words than in reality; for if the children of the first man were endowed with original righteousness in him, in whatever way he may be considered to have held it, and they are deprived of it on account of his sin--what is this but making them to suffer on his account; and, in truth, imputing his offence to them?
But whatever may be the conclusion to which we come, with respect to the nature of original sin, it is our happiness to know, from the volume of Inspired Truth, and especially from the words of the Apostle already quoted, that it is provided for in Christ; and that whatever was lost in the first Adam, is more than regained in the second : “For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive."* “ But where sin abounded, grace did much more abound: that as sin hath reigned unto death, even so might grace reign, through righteousness, unto eternal life, by Jesus Christ our Lord.”+
These benefits, flowing from Christ, are received by faith. This is the principle that brings us into a spiritual union with the second Adam, as we are naturally united to the first. This Divine grace, wrought in the heart by the spirit of God, is in itself the pledge and the earnest of eternal glory; but whoever is destitute of it, is lying under all the guilt and consequences of the fall: “He is a child of wrath,”I " the wrath of God abideth on him."S And who can think of * 1 Cor, xv, 22. f Rom. v. 20, 21. Eph. ii. 3.
§ John iii. 36.
this without making it a matter of heartfelt concern and earnest prayer, that “as we have borne the image of the earthy, we may also bear the image of the heavenly ?** ,
MELCHIZEDEC. Numerous and great as were the difficulties in the way to the Jews receiving the Gospel, they had not a more formidable one to surmount than the circumstance of its being, as they supposed, without a priest and without an altar. Knowing, as was the case, that God had appointed one family only to officiate in holy things, under the former dispensation, and possessing the most unquestionable evidence of the Divine sanction of the authority to which they had yielded in their spiritual concerns, they very naturally demanded that the system which they were required to embrace should, in respect to the sacerdotal office, bear a resemblance to that which they were called upon to renounce; and when they were assured that its great leader did himself sustain the priestly character, that they should demand some proof of his relation to the house of Aaron, which God had chosen.
The propriety of their expectations, in this respect, the Apostle admits; when he says, “ And no man taketh this honour unto himself but he that is called of God, as was Aaron;"* and again, “For every high priest is ordained to offer gifts and sacrifices: wherefore it is of necessity that this man have somewhat also to offer."! But in Jesus Christ all this was sought in vain. On behalf of him the Apostle could
* 1 Cor. xv. 49. + Heb. v. 4. Heb. viii. 3.
make out no such claim, but conceded to them that literally he was not only no priest himself, but had descended from a tribe 5 of which no man gave attendance at the altar."
That it was “ evident that our Lord sprang out of Juda; of which tribe Moses spake nothing concerning priesthood."*
Nevertheless, he shows that it did not follow that because Jesus Christ could claim no relation to Aaron, and had not been formally introduced into his office, as the first high priest, and his sons under the law were, therefore, he was no priest at all—that he was without call, and altogether irregular; for there had been another order existing long before that of Aaron was established, and far superior to it; to that order our Lord belonged. That he should bear an official relation to Melchizedec, and not to Aaron, had many years previously been announced by David, in the 110th Psalm; and to show that Jesus of Nazareth was the person there predicted, is the design of a large portion of the Epistle to the Hebrews. To identify him as the character spoken of by the Psalmist, the writer mentions him in the 6th verse of the 5th chapter-refers to him in the 10th verse as called of God an high priest, after the order of Mel. chizedec, and accompanies his reference with a declaration that he had more to disclose on the subject. In accordance with this he again introduces him in the 21st verse of the 6th chap., and calls him “ the forerunner; even Jesus, made an high priest for ever after the order of Melchizedec;" and then having, in the beginning of
* Heb. vii. 13, 14.
the 7th chapter, given a more full explanation of the subject, he mentions him again in the 17th verse, and then concludes his remarks, in the 21st, by adopting the words which the Almighty Father addressed to his exalted Son, “ Thou art a Priest for ever, after the order of Melchizedec.”
Let us now consider in what sense Melchizedec was a type of Christ, in his priestly office. Of course we are not to understand the words of the Apostle as implying that there is a perfect resemblance between the two persons, or offices, for, in fact, that is not the case. Here, as in all other instances, the antitype excels the type. The office of Christ, as a priest, was, strictly speaking, unique, and peculiar to himself; but so far as it has any similarity at all, the resemblance is to that of Melchizedec, and not to Aaron's. Melchizedec was a type of Christ
I. In the peculiarity of his office.
1. It was altogether unprecedented; hence it is asserted of him, that he was “ Without father, without mother, without descent, having neither beginning of days nor end of life; but, made like unto the Son of God, abideth a priest continu
These words are, by some eminent writers, taken in their strictest literal sense, and applied to the person of Melchizedec, as if the Apostle's meaning were that he was actually without parents ; consequently, he has by some been considered as a much more extraordinary person than he really was. It has even been thought
* Heb. vii. 3.