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had a sufficient call to their office, but not of the same kind with that of Aaron himself For the office itself was established to continue by virtue of God's institution. And there was a law of succession established, by which they were admitted into it, whereof I have treated elsewhere. But it was the personal call of Aaron ,which is here intended.

Obs. I. It is an act of sovereignty in God, to call whom he pleaseth unto his work and especial service; and eminently so when it is unto any place of honour and dignity in his house. The office of the priesthood among the Jews, was the highest and most honourable, that was among them at the first plantation of the church. And an eminent privilege it was, not only unto the person of bim who was first called, but with respect also unto his whole posterity; for they, and they only, were to be priests unto God. Who would not think now, but that God would call Moses to this dignity, and so secure also the honour of his posterity after him? But he takes another course, and calls Aaron and his family, leaving Moses and his children after him in the ordinary rank and employment of Levites. And the sovereignty of God is evident herein : 1. Because every call is accompanied with choice and distinction. Some one is called out from among others. So was it in the call of Aaron, Exod. xxvii. 1. “ Take unto thee Aaron, from among the children of Israel." By a mere act of sovereign pleasure, God chose bim out from among the many thousands of bis brethren. And this sovereign choice, God insisted on to express the favour and kindness that is in any call of his, 1 Sam. ii. 27, 28. And herewith he reproacheth the sins and ingratitude of men, upbraiding them with his sovereign kindness, Num. xvi. 9, 10. 2. Because ante. cedently unto their call, there is nothing of merit in any to be so called, nor of ability in the most, 'for the work whereunto they are called. Under the New Testament, none was ever called to greater dignity, higher honour, or more eminent employment, than the apostle Paul. And what antecedaneous merit was there in him unto his vocation ? Christ takes him in the midst of his madness, rage, persecution and blasphemy, turns his heart unto himself, and calls him to be his apostle, witness, and great instrument for the conversion of the souls of men, bearing forth his name to the ends of the earth. And this we know that he himself mentions on all occasions, as an effect of sovereign grace, wis, dom and mercy. What merit was there, what previous disposition unto their work, in a few fishermen about the Lake of Tiberias, or sea of Galilee, that our Lord Jesus Christ should call them to be his apostles, disposing them into that state and condition, wherein they sit on twelve thrones, judging the twelve cribes of Israel ? So was it ever with all that God called in an extraordinary manner. See Exod. iv. 10, 11. Jer. i. 6. Amos vii. 15, 16. In his ordinary calls there is the same sovereignty, though somewhat otherwise exercised. For in such a call, there are three things: 1. A providential designation of a person to such an office, work, or employment. When any office in the house of God, suppose that of the ministry, is fixed and established, the first thing that God doth in the call of any one thereunto, is the providential disposition of the circumstances of his life, directing his thoughts and designs toward such an end. And were not the office of the ministry in some places accompanied with many secular advantages, yea provisions (for the lusts and luxuries of men) that are foreign unto it, this entrance into a call from God thereunto, by a mere disposal of men's concerns and circumstances, so as to design the ministry in the course of their lives, would be eminent and perspicuous. But whilst multitudes of persons, out of various corrupt ends, crowd themselves into the entrances of this office, the secret workings of the providence of God towards the disposal of them, whom he really designs unto his work herein, are greatly clouded and obscured. 2. It is a part of this call of God, when he blesseth, succeedeth and prospereth the endeavours of men, to prepare themselves with those previous dispositions and qualifications which are necessary unto the actual call and susception of this office. And hereof also there are three parts. First, An inclination of their hearts, in compliance with his designation of them unto their office. Where this is not affected, but men proceed according as they are stimulated by outward impressions or considerations, God is not as yet at all in this work. Secondly, An especial blessing of their endeavours for the due improvement of their natural faculties and abilities, in study and learning, for the necessary aids and instruments of knowledge and wisdom. Thirdly, The communications of peculiar gifts unto them, rendering them meet and able unto the discharge of the duty of their office, which in an ordinary call is indispensably required as previous to an actual separation unto the office itself. 3. He ordereth things so, as that a person whom he will employ in the service of his house, shall have an outward call according unto rule, for his admission thereinto. And in all these things, God acts according to his own sovereign will and pleasure.

And many things might hence be educed and insisted on. As, 1. That we should have an awful reverence of, and a holy readiness to comply with the call of God; not to run away from it, or the work called unto, as did Jonah, chap. i.

to be weary of it becahse of difficulty and opposition which we meet withal in the discharge of our duty, as it sundry times was ready to befal Jeremiah, Jer. xv, 10. xx. 7- 9. much less to desert or give it over, on any carthly account


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whatever ; seeing that he who sets his hand to this plough, and takes it back again, is unworthy of the kingdom of heaven. And it is certain that he who deserts his calling on worldly accounts, first took it up on no other. 2. That we should not envy nor repine at one another, whatever God is pleased to call any unto. 3. That we engage into no work wherein the name of God is concerned, without his call; which gives a second observation, namely, that,

Obs. 11. The highest excellency and utmost necessity of any work to be done for God in this world, will not warrant our undertaking of it, or engaging in it, unless we are called thereunto. Yea,

Obs. III. The more excellent any work of God is, the more express ought our call unto it to be.- Both these observations will be so fixed and confirmed, in the consideration of the instance given us in the next verse, as that there is no occasion here to insist upon them.

Obs. IV. It is a great dignity and honour to be duly called unto any work, service, or office in the house of God.

Ver. 5.-_The description of a high priest according to the law, with respect, Ist, unto his nature ; 2d, bis employment, (ver. 1.); 3d, his qualification, (ver. 2.); 4th, his especial duty, with regard, 1. to himself, 2. to others, (ver. 3); 5th, his call in the instance of him who was the first of the order, (ver. 4.) being completed ; an application of the whole, is in this verse entered upon, unto our Lord Jesus Christ. And this is done in all the particulars wherein there was, or could be, an agreement or correspondence between them and him, with respect unto this office. And it was necessary to be thus declared by the apostle, unto the end designed by him, for two reasons. 1. Because the original institution of those priests, and their office, was to teach and represent the Lord Christ and his, which was his main intention to manifest and prove. Now this they could not do, unless there were some analogy and likeness between them ; neither could it be apprehended or understood for what end and purpose they were designed, and did so long continue in the church. 2. That the Hebrews might be satisfied, that their ministry and service in the house of God was now come to an end, and the whole use whereunto they were designed, accomplished. For by this respect and relation that was between them, it was evident that he was now actually exhibited, and had done the whole work which they were appointed to prefia gure and represent. It was therefore impossible that there should be any farther use of them in the service of God; yea, their continuance therein, would contradict and utterly over

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throw the end of their institution. For it would declare that they had a use and efficacy unto spiritual ends of their own, without respect unto him and his work, whom they did represent ; which is to overthrow the faith of both churches, that under the Old Testament, and that under the New. Wherefore a full discovery of the proportion between them, and relation of the one unto the other was necessary, to evince that their continuance was useless, yea pernicious. But on the other side, it could not be, but that those high priests had many imperfections and weaknesses inseparable from their persons in the administration of their office, which could represent nothing, nor receive any accomplishment, in our Lord Jesus Christ. For if any thing in bim had answered thereunto, he could not have been such an high Priest as did become us, or as we stood in need of. Such was it, that they were subject to death, and therefore were necessarily m.:ny, succeeding one another in a long series according to a certain genealogy “ They truly were many priests, because they were not suffered to continue by reason of death ; but this man, because he continueth ever, hath an unchangeable prieste hood," or a priesthood that passeth not from one to another, chap. vii. 23, 24. Herein therefore, there was a dissimilitude between them, because of their being obnoxious unto death ; whence it was inevitable that they must be many, one succeeding to another. But Jesus Christ was to be one high Priest only, and that always the same.

Again, They were all of them personally sinners, and that both as men and as high priests, whence they might and did miscarry and sin, even in the administration of their

office. Where. fore it was needful that they should offer sacrifice for their own sins also, as hath been declared. Now, as nothing could be represented hereby in Jesus Christ, who knew no sin, did no sin, neither was guile found in his mouth, nor could therefore offer sacrifice for himself; so these things do cast some darkness and obscurity on those instances wherein they did represent him. Wherefore our apostle steers a strait course between all these difficulties. For, first, he manifests and proves, that the legal high priests were indeed types of Jesus Christ in his office, and did bear forth a resemblance of him therein ; as also that they were appointed of God, for that very end and purpose. Secondly, He shews what were their qualifications and properties, which he distinguisheth into two sorts. 1. Such as belonged essentially, or were required necessarily unto the office itself, and its regular discharge. 2. Such as were unavoidable consequents or concomitants of their personal weakness or infirmity. This late ter sort in this application of their description unto Christ and bis office, as prefigured thereby, he discards and lays aside, as

things which though necessary unto them from their frail and sinful condition, yet had no respect unto Christ, nor accomplishment in him. And as for the former, he declares in the discourse immediately ensuing, how they were found in Christ as exercising this office, in a far more eminent manner than in them. This is the design of the discourse in the second part of the chapter, which we are now entering on. Only whereas in thre description of a high priest in general, he begins with his nature, qualifications, work and duty, closing and issuing it in his call; in his application of the whole unto the Lord Christ, he taketh up that first, which he had lastly mentioned, namely the call of a high priest, and proceedeth unto the other in an order absolutely retrograde.

VER. 5.-Ούτω και ο Χριστος χ ιαυτον ιδοξαστ γενηθήναι αρχαριω αλλ'

ο λαλησάς προς αυτού, Υπος με τι συ, εγω σημερον γεγενητα σε. VER. 5.-So also Christ glorified not himself, to be made an high

Priest ; but he that said unto him, Thou art my Son, to-day

have I begotten thee. Oita rai, so also,' and so, or in like manner.

A note this urodotews, of the application of things before spoken, unto the subject principally intended. A respect may be herein unto all the instances in the preceding discourse; as it was with the legal high priest in all the things necessary into that office, so in like manner was it with Christ, which he now designeth to manifest. Or the intention of this expression, may be restrained to the last express instance of a call to office. As they were called of God, so or in like manner was Christ also, which he immediately declares. And this is first regarded, though respect may be had to it, in all the particular instances of analogy and similitude which ensue.

On this note of inference, there ensueth a double proposition on the same supposition. The supposition that they both are resolved into is, that Christ is a high Priest. Hereon the first proposition with respect unto his call and entrance on that office is negative; “ He glorified not himself to be made an high Priest.” The other is positive or affirmative; “ but he that said unto him, Thou art my Son;" that is, he glorified him so to be, or he made him so.

'O Xgrotos, Christ,' the subject spoken of; that is, the promised Messiah, the anointed One. The apostle in this epistle calls him occasionally by all signal names; as the Son, chap. i. 248.; the Son of God, chap. iv. 14. ; the word of God, chap. iv. 12.; Jesus, chap. ii. 9. ; Christ, chap. iii. 6. ; Jesus Christ, chap. iii. l. Here he useth the name of Christ, as peculiarly suited unto his present occasion. For he had designed to prove VOL. IV.


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