Imágenes de páginas
PDF
EPUB

a far greater character than Abraham. Malachi, charged with robbing God “ Now consider,” saith the Apostle, (Mal. iii. 8,) when they withheld “ how great this man was, unto whom their tithes. God says in Numbers Abraham gave a tenth of the spoils, xviii. 20, to Aaron, “ thou shalt have and who blessed Abraham; and with- no inheritance in their land, neither out all contradiction, the less is bless- shall thou have any part among them ed of the better.” By better, we I am thy part and thy inheritance must here understand that God had aniong the children of Israel; and bebestowed greater blessings on him, hold I have given the Levites all the and had made unto him better prom- tenth in Israel for an inheritance.” ises, and had given to him greater God himself maintained the Levites rights; otherwise there could be no out of that, which was a sacred repropriety in' saying that he blessed serve of his, which no creature had bim, who received the promises, un- the least claim to. If Melchisedec then less Abraham was the less with all received tithes of Abraham, he took the blessings and promises bestowed that, which absolutely belonged to on him by his Maker. Yet God had God, and therefore he was in truth made Abraham the father of all the the living and true God. Otherwise redeemed to the end of the world—he he must have robbed God of his sahad promised him that his natural cred due,uuless God had made a grant seed should become as the stars of of these tithes to Melchisedec, as he heaven and as the sand of the sea for did afterwards to the Levites. But if multitude, and should be his chosen this be granted, then his receiving people forever, and that his covenant tithes was no evidence of his greatwith them should not be broken, ness and superiority to Abraham. while the sun and moon should en- God granted a part of the tithes to the dure. He had also given to him and poor of the land; but this was not behis seed all that land, which Melchis cause they were greater than Abraedec himself (on the supposition that ham, but because they were poor and he was a mere man) possessed; and needy. The Apostle however brings to crown all his other blessings, he this instance of paying tithes to Mel. had promised that the Saviour of the chisedec, as an evidence of the dignity world should be of his offspring. Now of this person. “ Now consider how from all things it is beyond dispute great this man was, to whom even that Abraham was the greatest char- the patriarch Abraham gave the tenth acter on earth, the highest favourite of the spoils ;” and again, " as I may of God, and had received more pre so say, Levi also who received tithes, cious promises, than could be granted payed tithes in Abraham” &c. This to any other person in the world. extraordinary priest must have reThe bare mentioning such a charac- ceived these tithes in his own inherter as being the less, bespeaks the bet- ent right, or else it could be no more ter to be Divine.

proof of his greatness than it was of JIJ. It is also said of Melchisedec his indigence. But if he received that he received tithes of Abraham. these tithes as his own proper due, But tithes were due only to God. as he evidently did, then he received Nu creature had any more right to pay that, which was due to God and to tithes to a mere man, than he had to no other, and of course claimed to be pay divine adoration to him, neither

a Divine person. has any creature any more right to re IV. What next demands our attenceive tithes of any person, than to re tion is the order of this priesthood, ceive worship from him. God ex by which is to be understood its form, pressly declares that the tithes are construction, or what it effects and bis, that they do not belong to man, how long it continues in force. (Levit. xxvii. 30.) Therefore the 1. It is an everlasting priesthood. children of Israel were by the prophet The Apostle says, that this Melchise

Vol. 3.-No. X. 66

dec abideth a priest continually. order. “For now hath he obtained a This could not be, even were he im more excellent ministry by how much mortal, unless his priesthood was ev- also be is the Mediator of a beterlasting also. To this David bears ter covenant, which was establishwitness in the 110tb Psalm, and bis ed upou better promises; for if that words are quoted by the Apostle to first covenant had been faultless, then prove the perpetuity of the priest- no place had been found for the sechood of the Son of God, (Heb. vi. 20.) ond.” (Heb. viii. 6, 7.) But how

2. The order of this priesthood could this priesthood, which is of the was such, as admitted of but one same order as Melchisedec's, be foundpriest, who was as endless in his du ed on better promises than that of ration and office, as the priesthood Aaron, if Melchisedec was but a was. This is evident from what has man? How could it be faultless if like just been said, and further it is said the priesthood of Aaron, its offerings that he “has neither beginning of days for sin were to be but the blood of nor end of life.” These passages of bulls and goats ? Moreover, if the scripture furnish sufficient evidence priesthood of Melchisedec and that that this priesthood admits of no suc of Christ were distinct, why is the cession, but is ever administered by priesthood of Aaron constantly called the same immortal priest.

by the Apostle, the first, and that of 3. This priesthood is of an order, Christ the second? This could not be that hath perfection, that is, it can true. Melchisedec's was the first, Aarmake complete atonement for sin. In on's the second, and Christ's the third. this respect, it is contrasted with the After having in the beginning of priesthood of Aaron, which had not bis epistle drawn, in the most exalted perfection. “If therefore perfection language, the character of the Son of were by the Levitical priesthood (for God, the Apostle attempts to prove under it the people received the law,) that the promised Messiah is a Divine what need was there that another person—the only high priest of God, priest should arise after the order of and that his sacrifices, and his alone, Melchisedec, and not be called after are sufficient to take away sin. He the order of Aaron?" (Heb. vii. 11.) proceeds to prove this from the scripThe sum of the Apostle's reasoning tures, and shews them that David in here is this—the priesthood of Aa. the Spirit acknowledged him to be ron was so faulty, as to render it ne- the Lord he worshipped, and the evercessary that there should be another lasting priest of tire Most High. And priesthood, such an one as that of because the Jews had gone into the Melchisedec, introduced to supply its same error, respecting Melchisedec, defects; and this is that of the Son of to whom he was likened, which God, who supplies the place of Mel- exists at the present day, he goes on chisedec, and administers a priest- to show who he is. He shows them hood of the same effcacy as his was.' from the scriptures, that he is an everThis is attaching to the priesthood of lasting priest, that he was greater Melchisedec all the perfection of that than Abraham &c. as has been pointof Christ, for he assures us that it is ed out in the preceeding pages. of the same order.

When we consider the almost idolaIt is worthy of remark also that trous estimation, in which Abraham in this comparison of priesthood, if' was held by the Jews, the last menit may be called a comparison), tioned argument must have had there is not a syllable, in which the great weight with them. priesthood of the Divine Redemer is One or two objections have been placed in any degree above that of often urged against the assertion that Melchisedec. They are kept on a by Melchisedec is meant a divine perperfrct equality, till they are termic son ; and now demand our attention. nated in one standing on better prom The first is that the priesthood of ises than the priesthood of Aaron's Christ is said to be after the order

of Melchisedec : and if he was a di- in such a case a proof of identity on vine person, he must himself be of diversity ; that is, can likevess in Christ': and then he must be a the suspected person be a proof tha priest after his own order: which is he is the person in question, or an a mere identical proposition convey evidence that he is not that person ? ing no idea to the mind.

When the wife of Manoah told ber The Apostle is labouring to prove husband (Judges xiii. 6,) saying, "a that the Lord spoken of in the 110th man of God came unto me, and his Psalm, who is said to be of the order countenance was like the countenance of Melchisedec, and the Melchisedec of an angel of God," bave we auspoken of by Moses, are really one thority to say that because his counand the same person. He therefore tenance was like that of an angel, proves incontestably that they are of therefore it was not the countenance she same order of beings, that is, that of an angel ? Certainly not, for it they are eternal beings, having nei. was the countenance of an angel, and ther beginning of days nor end of we can have no right to assert what life. He proves also their priesthoods is not true. When Nebuchadnezzar to be the same order, being both eve saw four men in the furnace and said erlasting priesthoods. Having prov

Having prov- “ the form of the fourth is like the ed these points, he has incontestably Son of God,” (Deut. iii. 25,) did he shown them to be one being, as truly mean to imply that it was not the as God is one, for he has proved them Son of God? both to be God. Therefore, this If there can be yet any doubt reoath of God that the Lord is a priestmaining as to the futility of this objecforever after the order of Melchisedec, tion, the following instance must reis not an oath that they are two dis- move it. John saw in the midst of tinct persons; but an oath that they the seven candlesticks one like unto are one and the same person, which the Son of Man. The language of was the great truth the Apostle was this person leaves no doubt as to his labouring to prove. This objection being the very person whom he is then has no weight as such, but has said to resemble. “I am he that much weight in proof of the point in liveth and was dead; and behold I question.

am alive forevermore, Amen, and The second objection arises from have the keys of hell and of death," Heb. vii. 3. In the description of (Rev. i. 13 and 18,) and before John Melchisedec, in this passage, he is saw him he heard his voice saying said to be made like unto the Son “ I am the Alpha and the Onega, of God.” The objection is, that if the first and the last." (Rev. i. 11.) he is like unto the Son of God, he Another answer however, distinct cannot be the Son of God himself. from the preceding, may be given to

Now to answer to this objection this objection. nothing more is necessary than to be The two characters under considassured of the truth of the assertion eration, which are said to be like the that he is like the Son of God; for one to the other, are visibly and exhe could not be like the Son of God, ternally two persons; they appeared unless he were a divine person, and at different times and were known by they both belong to the undivided different names. One of them was essence of the one living and true before Abraham, the other was the God. But let this mode of objecting seed of Abraham. One of them was be examined a little inore at large. without descent, the other was de

The identity of persons, who are scended from David. These formed imperfectly seen, or who have been an ostevsible difference, and the one jong absent, is often a matter of un- might with propriety be said to be certainty, and such a case is the one like the other, yet this did not prebefore us. The inquiry now, is sim- vent their being both of them Divine ply this. Is an assertion of likeness persons, and as such the only living

and true God, and as really one, as opinion respecting this character is no God is one, for the same divine per- more worthy of trust than their opinson might and did appear in different jon respecting the Messiah, or the forms. When the Lord was about ability of their legal sacrifices to atone to appear on Mount Sivai in flaming for sin. fire, he appeared to Moses as a flanie We learn that a plurality of perof fire in the bush; and when He was sons in the Divine Essence was taught, about to drive out the Canaanites be- and believed in the patriarchal siate fore Joshua, He appeared to him in of the Church. If Melchisedee was the character of a man of war with a a Divine person, as he evidently was, drawn sword in his hand : and when we have a convincing evidence of this He was to appear in the world as the interesting and important truth. great high priest of God, who was to This Divine Person blessed Abraatone for the sins of the world, why ham in the name of a second divine should he not appear to Abraham the Person. “Blessed be Abrahamof the father of the church, in the pontifical Most High God, possessor of heaven robes, and by the name of the Priest and earth,” and then he addresses the of the Most High God? There is no same Divine Person in a similar malreal difficulty in the way of the con- ner-- Blessed be the Most High God, clusion that Melchisedec was a Di- who hath delivered thine enemies invine Being : but on the other hand, to to thine hand.” Such modes of ersuppose him but a man, envelops the pression can have no meaning, unless whole subject in the deepest obscu there be a plurality of persons in the rity.

Divine Essence. This is not a soliA few important remarks are sug tary instance ; for we find the same gested by what has been said, and language generaly used by this Divine merit attention.

Person, who so frequently appeared We see how little importance to the patriarchs of old, and whom should be attached to the Jewish no they worshipped as their God. The tion on this subject. Many are ready angel who appeared to Joshua as a to consider Melchisedec as a mere man of war, says—“as Captain of the man, who was a priest and king at host of the Lord am I come.” He Jerusalem, because this was the opin- speaks of the Lord as a person dis ion of the Jews, considering them as tinct from himself, yet Joshua pays fully competent to understand the his- bim divine homage, and he receives tory of their own times. But we have his worship. This he could not do, not the least evidence that they ever unless he were God himself. When heard of Melchisedec till Moses wrote John was about to worship the angel, the book of Genesis, which must have who shewed him the river of life, supbeen more than four hundred years posing him to be a divine being, be after the meeting with Abraham. said, “ see thou do it not, for I am thy Furthermore there occurred nothing tellow servant, &c.” (Rev. xxii, sch special to call their attention to the and 9th.) The receiving worsbip subject, till David wrote the 110th from Joshua was then evidence that psalm, about nine hundred years after he, who appeared as Captain of the this extraordinary meeting, so that Lord's host, was in reality a divine they were so far removed from the person. Again, Moses says, the “* Anevent that nothing could be learned gel of the Lord appeared to him in a respecting it except what could be de- flame of fire in a bush,” (Ex. iij. 2d.) rived from the scriptures, which are as that is a messenger of God, yet Moopen to us now, as they were then to ses worshipped him as God, and them. And in addition to this they when he speaks, he does not speak as were predisposed, as has been abund- a creature, for he says “I am the God antly shown, to draw false conclusions of Isaac and the God of Jacob.” Again on this subject. On the whole, their God says to Moses “ I will not go up

with this people, lest I consume them; God is known-all his perfections. but I will send an Angel before them, When the Angel appeared to Manoah and he shall lead them. Beware, and and his wife the former said “we provoke him not, for he will not par- shall surely die, for we have seen don your transgressions, for my name God.” Now whether Manoah was is in him.” (Compare Ex.xxiii, 21 and right or wrong in his opinion of the xxxiii, 3d.) God said that He would character of this person, his believing not go with them, but would send him to be God, although he knew an Angel, yet this Angel had power that the Angel had just been talking to pardon sin or not, as he pleased of God as a person distinct from himAnd God said that “his name is in self, is an evidence that the belief of a him,” which is the same as to say plurality of persons in the Godhead that he is God himself, for the name was a common one at that early peof God means every thing by which riod.

B. E. T.

Miscellaneous.

For the Christian Spectator. whose deep spring shall, in another 4 Sabbath among the Highlands in world, swell the river of life and joy Virginia.

forevermore. It was a Lord's day toward the close We pursued our way through a counof October last, that I passed with a try, whose features, not often abrupt, friend among the highlands. The morn- or strikingly romantic, presented a ing was clear. There was a coolness pretty continuous succession of roundabroad, that was singularly refreshing ed hill and retiring valley. Yet they to a northern constitution, half wast- did not weary by uniformity, but were, ed away by the sultriness of the long ever and anon, developing new comsummer. All without door was pro- binations of upland and lowland, rock pitious and animating. I therefore and stream, that finely harmonized cheerfully accepted an invitation of with each other. A superficial and my friend to attend a discourse, that savage system of agriculture, has done was to be delivered sub dio on the much to deface nature here, said banks of the Rappa hannock, by an my friend, but, continued he, it is itinerant preacher of some popular still a beautiful country, and would distinction in those parts.

be infinitely more so, were it improAs I was mounting my horse, the ved by a numerous population, of breath of the mountain air upon my steady habits, and intelligent industry. breast, seemed to make my heart As we approached the Blue Ridge, dance within me, and to spread vi- the hills, seeming to claim kindred brations of pleasure through all my with that beautiful range, began to asframe--so renovating is the return of sume a loftier character; and to exautumn to the animal spirits of a stran- hibit, now and then, impending brows ger, exhausted by the long and unre- of massive rock; and to be intersectmittent fervour of a summer at the ed by something like deep and narsouth. Memory and hope smiled row glens, where appeared the track upon me just then ;-and every thing of the torrent. We had arrived at combined to render it one of those the top of one of these eminences, seasons, when the christian feels a which lay in our route, and from which fulness of soul toward the God of his my friend had promised me a view mercies, that he cannot unbosom; of the Blue Ridge, as beautiful and imwhen his heart overflows with some pressive, as that portion of highland incipient gushings of that gratitude, scenery any where presents,-when

« AnteriorContinuar »