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ments can be answered on this subject. "If there"fore perfection were by the Levitical priesthood; "(for under it the people received the law;) what "further need was there that another Priest should "arise after the order of Melchisedek, and not be "called after the order of Aaron? For, the "priesthood being changed, there is made of ne"cessity a change also of the law: for he, of whom "these things are spoken, pertaineth to another "tribe, of which no man gave attendance at the "altar.i" How could the ritual law of Moses continue in force, under a priest of the tribe of Judah, of the family of David, and " after the order "of Melchisedek?" The Messiah's priesthood, as being " after the order of Melchisedek," a King and a priest at the same time, a priesthood in which, like Melchisedek, he had no predecessor and would have no successor; that of one "who abideth a "priest continually," and for ever; of one whose priesthood was confirmed by an oath, the irrevocable oath of Jehovah : * all these things, and several other circumstances might be enlarged on: but it suffices for our purpose, that the Messiah was predicted as " a Priest for ever," as well as a King, though he was not to arise from the family or tribe, to which by the law of Moses the priesthood was absolutely restricted.
It is remarkable that Melchisedek, after the brief and indeed obscure account of him by Moses,2 is never once mentioned in the Old Testament, except in this remarkable prophecy of the Messiah: nor in the New, except in this argument of the apostle to the Hebrews, concerning the ritual law; and as shewing that it was especially a type of the blessings of the Messiah's atonement and intercession. The whole seems to have been arranged by the Holy Spirit, for this one express purpose.
1 Heb. Tii. * Gen. xiv. 18—20.
If then, the apostle's argument, (to say nothing of his inspiration,) be unanswerable; (which I venture to say it is;) and if the shedding and sprinkling of blood, with the burning of incense, under the law, were shadows of the all-atoning sacrifice of Christ, and his all-prevailing intercession: if He was indeed " the Lamb slain from the "foundation of the world ;" so that the shedding of blood, even before the law, was needful to remission and acceptance: it is sufficiently clear, why, after his atonement had been made, and his intercession, as our High Priest in heaven, openly revealed, the shedding and sprinkling of blood, and the burning of incense, with the whole institution of the Levitical sanctuary and priesthood, should at once terminate. The thing signified was come; the sign was no longer needful.—This makes the whole satisfactory on Christian principles; but the cessation of bloody sacrifices, now for above 1700 years after they had been continued through 4000 years preceding, can never be explained on the principles of the Jews.—The subject, however, will again come under consideration, when the scriptures relating to the sufferings, death, resurrection, intercession, and glory of the promised Messiah, (a subject wholly omitted by Mr. C.,) shall be brought forward, and distinctly examined.
P. 86. 1. 30. ' Seventy nations.'—The seventy nations, and the age of Abraham at the building of Babel, have occupied enough of our attention: the whole is destitute of foundation, and indeed inconsistent with the scripture. /
P. 86. 1. 34. 'The Lord made a covenant with 'Abraham.—Abraham was seventy years old.'— Moses expressly records that "Abram was seventy "and five years old when he departed out of "Haran." l Some time occurred after this before God entered into covenant with him;2 and he was " ninety-nine years of age," when circumcision, the outward seal of the covenant, was instituted.3 These scriptural dates are quite sufficient to sweep away the cobweb of the seventy nations, seventy years, seventy descendents, seventy angels, &c. It is wonderful that a Jew, writing on such an argument, and building so very much on these numbers, should not ha,ve previously examined the dates of his Hebrew Bible!
P. 87.1. 25. 'Every nation,' &c.—Daniel's words shew no more than that the angel who spake to him was, on that particular occasion, commissioned to aid the kings of Persia. How absurd it is to suppose, that God so left the nations of the earth to guardian angels, that these angels, aiding Persia, or Greece, should fight, by God's approbation, against each other! or that he should commission one angel to help this nation, and another to help that nation, in direct opposition to one another! just like the gods and goddesses in Homer's Iliad, or Virgil's ^Eneid!
'Gen. xii. 4. 'Gen. xv. 'J Gen. xvii. 1. 24.
P. 81.1. 1. 'From the destruction of the first 'temple,' &c.—It has been shewn, that above six hundred and fifty years intervened between the destruction of the first temple and that of the second: but, apart from the chronological computation, the language of the angel, "from the "going forth of the commandment to restore and "to build Jerusalem," cannot possibly allow us to date the seventy weeks from the desolation of the first temple.
P. 88.1. 17. ' Account.—From>the covenant'— 1. 20. 'From the desolation,' &c.—I shall not stay to inquire how far this computation agrees with one before given, (p. 67.) Neither of them proceeds on any fixed principles of chronology which can stand the test of examination; and enough has been said to shew that the seventy jubilees have no foundation in scripture.
P. 88. 1.31. 'By this calculation,' &c.—Mr. C.'s conjectures, in this passage, coincide with those of some Christian expositors of prophecy: but how far recent events operate to deduct from the vast importance given, by these calculations or conjectures, to the French revolution, or to subvert the whole system, I do not determine. He who lives at the end of the thirty-six years, here mentioned, will know whether the passage printed in capitals has then been verified. A former calculation left 137 years yet to pass, before these expected events: (p. 67.) but 'the end of the 'things' seems to have been ' shortened,' to make it concur with the French revolution : and, should the Bourbons be again established on the throne of France, as it is probable that they will, the end
may perhaps be again lengthened. I do not, however, at all profess to prophesy from prophecy. Our posterity will be more competent judges than we are.
P. 89. 1. 6. 'Israel is separated for ever from 'all nations,' &c.—There is an important meaning in which this position is grounded on scripture: Israel will never be finally or totally mixed with the other nations of the earth; but will be gathered from their present dispersions, to reside, as a separate nation, in their own land. But Mr. C. is neither consistent with scripture, nor with himself, when he avers, 'that all the gentiles 'will not worship the true God even until the 'last day.'
P. 89.1. 24. 'Moses foretold,' &c. P. 90.1. 2. 'But what,' &c. ?—The writer of the thirty-fourth chapter of Deuteronomy, whether Joshua, or Samuel, or some other prophet, previous to the captivity, or Ezra, merely stated the fact; that, at the time when he wrote, there had not arisen a prophet in Israel like unto Moses, &c.l but he by no means asserted that there would never be another prophet equal to Moses. This indeed would be directly to contradict the words of Moses himself. Christians maintain, that the Messiah (not the 'Messiah of the gentiles,' as distinguished from some other Messiah,) was predicted, as " a prophet like unto Moses;" and that he was far superior to Moses. And, if the Messiah were indeed to be a prophet, (as the name imported, p. 16.) one would suppose that even Jews
1 Deut. xxxiv. 10—12.