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fore that of Levi. He being a Priest after the Order of Melchizedec, v. 17. Who was a Priest of the most High God. And therefore to bless the People in his Name, apd therefore to. receive the Tithes for Him. It being here to be noted, That the Priests of the Lord, are the proper Receivers of Tithes and Offerings; or, the First fruits which are God's Portion, both before the Law, and also under it, as well as fince in the Times of the Gospel. It is their Inheritance, as it is called, Numb. 18. 21. Behold, I haye given the Children of Levi, all the Tenth in Ifrael for an Inheritance, for: their Service which they serve, even the Service of the Tabernacle of the Congregation.

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And yet this Priesthood of Levi was pot fo great as that of Melcbizedec, which was the Type of Christ's Priestlood, from whence the Priests of the Gospel derive their Title, and conse

quently their Right to God's due. Dz. Com- Wherein Abraham (says St. Chryfo. Tithes,"stam) is a Tutor to all to express much Page 68. gratitude, and to bring in the Firstfruits of ophat God gives,

Now

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Now says the Apostle, Heb. 7. 4. In Hub. 7.4. his magnifying the Priesthood of Melchizedec, beyond that of Levi. Consider home great this Man was, unto

.3 wbom even the Patriarch Abraham gave the Tenth of the Spoilse

It seems therefore that Melchizedec was greater than Abraham, and his Priesthood better than the Aaronical, which was to spring from Abraham, out of whose Loins Levi was tà come, and who in Abraham paid Tithes,

2

For which the Apostle in the following Verses is very Particular and Express. And verily, they that are of the Verse 55 Sons of Levi, who receive the Office of tbe Priesthood, bave a Commandment to take Tithes of the People according to the Law, that is of their Brethren,' the they come out of the Loins of Abraham.

But He whofe defcent is not counted Verse 6 from theme received Tithes of Abra- i ham, and bleffed Him that had the Promises.

Verse 7;

And without all Contradiction the less is blessed of the better.

Verse 8.

And here Men that die, receive Tithes :. But there be receiveth them, of whom it witnessed, that be liveth.

And as I may so. Say, Levi alfo who receiveth Tithes paid Tithes in Abrabam.

5.

Verse 9.

Verse 1o.

For he was yet in the Loins of bis. Father, when Melchizedec met him.4. o

This is a main Proof of the Payan ments of Tithes before the Law. Anda of all the Increase, and of the choice cest and best too, because such oughts

to be picked out for the Offerings to Agaipegar om Godai as the Greek Words fignifie, Arestine. by which they are expressed.

And if of all the Increase of the Spoils taken in War, which is the

Soldier's Harvest, certainly much more Ix loc. a. likely of all the Increase out of the

Earth, that were possessed by Him. And that says Dr. Hammond) will be a sufficient Example and Testimony of

the

the Custom in Abraham's Time of paying Tithes' to the Priest of all our Increase, of what kind foever it is.

For doubtless, this was not the only Time that Abraham paid Tithes to Melchizedec, but that he was wont to do fo yearly being his High Priest ; tho this be the single Record of his paying Tithe of Spoils upon that extraordinary Occasion for it, when he returned thro' his Country: from the Victory that he had obtained ; and he so readily came out to meet him, and to rejoice with him, and to refresh him and his Men with Bread and Wine. And to receive from him the Sacrifice of Praise, or his Offering the Tenth unto God, who gave him the Vi&tory,

Another Instance of this. Practice before the Law, and what much confirms the frequency of it at that Time, we have in Jacob, (who was Abraham's Grandfon, bred up according to the religious Customs of that Family, made Heir of his Blessings, and being the Father of the Twelve Patriarchs, and-no doubt but well informed of such Pious Dedications, as were ac

ceptable

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ceptable unto God, and at first of Divine Revelation) He made a 'Jolemn Vow of giving to God the Tenth of all that he should give him, Gen. 28. 20

21, 22: It is mentioned by way of Verse 20. Gratitude, If God will be mith me, and

will keep me in this way which I go, and will give me Bread to eat and Raya ment to put on.

Verse 21.

that I come again to my Father's House in Peace, then pall the Lord be .my

Gode

Verse 22.

And this Stone which I have set for 4 Pillar shall be God's House: And of all that thou malt give me, I will surely give the Tenth unto Thee. Unless God had blefed. him with Prosperity, he could not pay him that folemn Part of his Worship, which he vowed to do: But not doubting of his most gracious Promise just made unto, bim, ver. 13, 14. He made a solemn Declaration of his Faith, That the Lord should he bis God. And so being the soie Object of his Worship, as a natural Consequent thereof, he knew that Tithes were his due, and therefore as, a Testimony, that all which he bad

came

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