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priesthood, than with that of Jethro, who is priest in the presence of both Moses and Aaron.
On the general subject of the priesthood of our Lord Jesus Christ, some Christians have felt a difficulty in the assertion that its sphere is in the heavens, and that it was not entered upon until after His resurrection from the dead, and His ascension into the heavens. The objection springs from a jealousy which confounds the
proper dignity of our Lord's person, with the work He accomplished and the offices to which the dignity of His person gives effect. But the Scripture is plain, " If He were on earth, He should not be a priest" (Heb. viii. 4). And again, “ We have a great High Priest that is passed into the heavens” (iv.14). And still further,“ Christ glorified not Himself to be made a high priest; but He that said unto Him, Thou art my Son, this day have I begotten thee" (v. 5). That is, His call to the Melchizedek priesthood (referring to Ps. cx.) is declared to be in resurrection; as it of necessity must be, to be “after the power of an endless life."
But even the Aaronic part could only be in resurrection, and in the heavens, as the whole argument of the Hebrews is designed to show. Christ and His Church are indeed typically represented by Aaron and his sons; but then it is not in Christ on earth that the type finds its answer, but in Christ and His Church in their true position in the heavens—in the holiest of all-in the blessed presence
of God, where there is now no vail to hide His presence, or to obscure for a moment the sight of Him who is “the High Priest of our profession ”-and who is ever there for us.
But nothing of this marks the exercise of Christ's Melchizedek priesthood, except its continuity; for, whatever its display, His entire priesthood is “ not after the law of a carnal commandment, but after the power of an endless life.” As Melchizedek, there is the necessity, as we have already seen, of kingly rule; and the subjugation of enemies, and the possession of heaven and earth, in fact as well as by title, by the Most High God; and lastly, of universal blessing.
With all this, the communion of the Church will be
most perfect and full. Associated with Him in union and life, who bears this glory and exercises this priesthood, what joy will it be to witness that scene which in there will be a full accomplishment of that word, “ I will hear, saith the Lord, I will hear the heavens, and they shall hear the earth; and the earth shall hear the corn and the wine and the oil; and they shall hear Jezreel”the seed of God!
But who can picture the joy of that scene, when the enemy shall be expelled from the higher sphere of Jehovah's praise, and every hostile banner that has been erected on earth shall be overthrown; when the bondage of creation shall be exchanged for “ the glorious liberty of the sons of God;" when in the height of heaven, and to the uttermost parts of the earth, blessing shall be poured forth in tides, according to the measure of the desire of his heart, who to the death was obedient, that God might be glorified, and that He might in this joy see of the travail of His soul and be satisfied!
Precious is it to look forward, with the earnestness of a certain hope, to that day when He “whom the heavens must receive until the times of the restitution of all things,” shall come forth, and become the minister of blessing which will make heaven rejoice and the earth be glad: and when He will not only minister, but will “ drink the new wine of the kingdom ” with His saints ! Poor, indeed, is man's best happiness and glory, in comparison with this ! And poor and feeble are these thoughts, as the expression of that bright scene of joy which shall crown the counsels of grace and glory of our God; and of which Jesus, as the conqueror of sin and death and Satan, will be the centre and the spring!
It is not always in the most lengthened descriptions and minute details, that we find the fullest subjects of heavenly truth; as the succinctness of Melchizedek's history, in contrast with the book of Leviticus, and other histories of the sacred Word may show. But every ray of Christ's glory is precious, though it may not reach the central lustre which in certain portions bursts upon the soul. Every name which attaches to the Lord Jesus, and every office which He sustains-every perfection of His
nature—and every glory in which He will be revealed, should be the meditation of our hearts; and the more it is so, the more will the blessed force of that Word be understood, “ Let him that glorieth glory in the Lord."
This is given to us of our God, to be the staple of our joy; and while the soul dwells on this, the world becomes dim, and all earthly hopes vanish, while the Word of promise is echoed back, “ Even so, come Lord Jesus! come quickly!"
SUGGESTIVE.—If we attend carefully to the “words” of the 10th chapter of the Book of Revelation, we may be kept clear of much of the perplexity and confusion which prevail in the Church of God with respect to this momentous and deeply-interesting portion of God's Holy Word. Chap. x., “The mighty angel (verse 1) sware (verse 6) by Him that liveth for ever and ever, who created heaven, and the things that therein are, and the earth, and the things that therein are, and the sea, and the things which are therein, that there should be time no longer: but (verse 7) in the days of the voice of the seventh angel, when he shall begin to sound, the mystery of God should be finished, as he hath declared to his servants the prophets.”
In chap. xi.ver. 15, to the end we have the fulfilment of this oathconfirmed prophecy. “And (verse 15) the seventh angel sounded, and there were great voices in heaven, saying, The kingdoms of this world are become the kingdoms of our Lord, and of His Christ, and He shall reign for ever and ever. And the four and twenty elders, which sat before God on their seats, fell upon their faces, and worshipped God, saying, We give Thee thanks, O Lord God Almighty, which art, and wast, and art to come, because Thou hast taken to Thee Thy great power, and hast reigned.” “ And (verse 18) the nations were angry, and Thy wrath is come, and the time of the dead, that they should be judged, and that Thou shouldest give reward unto Thy servants the prophets, and to the saints, and them that fear Thy name, small and great; and shouldest destroy them which destroy the earth.". And (verse 19) the temple of God was opened in Heaven, and there was seen in His temple the ark of His testament: and there were lightnings and voices, and thunderings, and an earthquake, and great hail.” My object is to call attention to the thought, that the 18th and 19th verses of this 11th chapter contain a complete general account of the finished mystery of God. That, in fact, the Book of Revelation has an end here.
That which follows consists of circumstantial scenes or detailed pictures, which compose the eventful history, so wonderfully generalized and condensed as to be comprised in the last two verses of the 11th chapter,
REMARKS AS TO ISRAEL;
ON THE CHANGES INCIDENTAL TO THE RECOGNI
TION OF A KING; AND ON THE TERM “ Lo AMMI.”a I DESIRE to make a few remarks upon the Priesthoodas centre of unity to Israel,—and upon the change which took place at the time of the establishment of Royalty. That a remarkable change then took place cannot be questioned. Ichabod had been written upon Israel, and every ordinary relationship with God had heen broken, for the Ark of the Covenant had been taken. Hannah, in the song in which she celebrates, before this disaster, the goodness of God toward herself, had proclaimed that He would give power to His king, and would exalt the horn of His anointed.
The kingly rule is established, but, at first, not such as was according to the will of God, but, in truth, by the great sin of the people, who, in making a king, rejected God, who was their King. And from that time the Ark was never restored to its place in the Tabernacle, but David removed it to the Mount Sion; and having established all the order of the house of God upon a new footing, he had to leave to his successor (Solomon) the execution of all that which he had received by inspiration, as well as the instalment of the Priests in the temple. The order established by David was communicated to him by revelation, just as much as that of the Tabernacle had been to Moses. Everything was arranged afresh, although there were elements common to both. It was, then, the epoch of a great change, when grace, acting by means of David, placed the blessing of the people upon a new footing, at a time when all had been lost. The prophet comes in between the two states referred to, it is true, as a sort of mediator, in the person of Samuel; but we will leave this for the present. His office was the sovereign means, employed by God, to maintain His relationship with the people, when it was unfaithful and fallen into decay. That I have rightly estimated this standing of the kingly authority of David, is proved by the close of the lxxviii. Psalm, where it is said:
a This translation from the French has been corrected by the author.
When God heard this, he was wroth, and greatly abhorred Israel: so that he forsook the tabernacle of Shiloh, the tent which he placed among men; and delivered his strength into captivity, and bis glory into the enemy's hand. He gave his people over also unto the sword ; and was wroth with his inheritance. The fire consumed their young men ; and their maidens were not given to marriage. Their priests fell by the sword ; and their widows made no lamentation. Then the Lord awaked as one out of sleep, and like a mighty man that shouteth by reason of wine. And he smote his encinies in the hinder parts: he put them to a perpetual reproach. Moreover he refused the tabernacle of Joseph, and chose not the tribe of Ephraim: but chose the tribe of Judah, the mount Zion which he loved. And he built his sanctuary like high palaces, like the earth which he hath established for ever. He chose David also his servant, anil took him froin the sheepfolds : From following the ewes great with young he brought him to feed Jacob his people, and Israel his inheritance. So he fed them according to the integrity of his heart; and guided thein by the skilfulness of his hands.
Here we see the sovereign grace and election of God, who raises up David, as an instrument to lift up the people, when God had forsaken His tabernacle, and delivered up His people to the sword. This passage is very important, as portraying the true royalty willed by God; but our subject now is the priesthood.
But before giving power to His king, and lifting up the horn of His Anointed,- of whom the True Anointed was to be the descendant, and who bore, indeed, prophetically, his name of “ Beloved” (David, see Ezekiel) before the existence of that kingly authority, what was the link between God and the people? What, I say, was the link when there was no king? For some link there must have been. He who is ever so little acquainted with the ways of God in the Old Testament, will at once answer," It was the high priest.” For
“ " after Moses (who was king in Jeshurun), who else could