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tory of the commotions among the nations, and the sanguinary conflicts of the human race, shall be closed by the coming of the great Melchisedec, in the power of his kingdom, to proclaim an universal peace, and make the world as tranquil as Salem was of old.Men “shall beat their swords into ploughshares, and their spears into pruning-hooks : nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more.
“ All kings shall fall down before him: all nations shall serve him.”+ “Of the increase of his government and peace there shall be no end, upon the throne of David, and upon his kingdom, to order it, and to establish it with judgment and with justice, from henceforth even for ever.” I “With righteousness shall he judge the poor, and reprove with equity for the meek of the earth: and he shall smite the earth with the rod of his mouth, and with the breath of his lips shall he slay the wicked. And righteousness shall be the girdle of his loins, and faithfulness the girdle of his reins. The wolf also shall dwell with the lamb, and the leopard shall lie down with the kid: and the calf and the young lion and the fatling together; and a little child shall lead them. And the cow and the bear shall feed; their young ones shall lie down together: and the lion snall eat straw like the ox. And the sucking child shall play on the hole of the asp, and the weaned child shall put his hand on the cockatrice'
* Isa. ii. 4.
† Ps. lxxii. 11.
| Isa. ix. 7.
den. They shall not hurt nor destroy in all my holy mountain : for the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the Lord, as the waters cover the sea. " In his days shall the righteous flourish; and abundance of peace so long as the moon endureth.”+
Who can read these animating predictions, and connect them with the work of the High Priest of our profession, without feeling a new spring-tide of hope, in reference to the world, setting in upon his soul ; without looking round upon it with an eye of deepening interest, and a heart of largest expectation; without being induced to address it in the language of inspiration! “Make a joyful noise unto the Lord, all the earth: make a loud noise, and rejoice, and sing praise. Sing unto the Lord with the harp; with the harp, and the voice of a psalm. With trumpets and sound of cornet make a joyful noise before the Lord, the King. Let the sea roar, and the fulness thereof; the world, and they that dwell therein: let the floods clap their hands; let the hills be joyful together before the Lord; for he cometh to judge the earth: with righteousness shall he judge the world, and the people with equity.”I
* Isa. xi. 4-9.
† Ps. lxxii. 7. | Ps. xcviii. 4-9.
THE ALL-SUFFICIENCY OF CHRIST'S PRIESTHOOD SUPER
SEDES THE NECESSITY OF SACRAMENTAL EFFICACY.
At this stage of our progress, we are able to present more clearly to the view than we previously could, the nature and design of the ritual observances of the Christian church; and to show, that as in Christ's sacrifice there is infinite efficacy, which we may receive by faith, without the intervention of a priest to recommend us to him, and convey virtue to us from him, of sacramental efficacy we have no need. By disconnecting baptism and the supper of the Lord from the work of a priesthood; and by showing that the latter was committed to the church to celebrate, rather than to its pastors to administer, we have already shaken the foundations on which the doctrine of sacramental efficacy rested. As we consider the doctrine to be unscriptural, and part of the structure of an antichristian priesthood, which yet remains as a stumbling-block in the path of many members of Protestant communions, we shall endeavour to remove it entirely out of their way.
We seriously object, in limine, to the term sacra
ment. It is of pagan origin,* and conveys an idea altogether foreign to the design of either part of the
* " The word sacramentum properly means the military oath, which every Roman soldier was obliged to take, of fidelity, and obedience to his general.”--Dr. A. Clarke on the Eucharist.
The Doctor gives in his work, in a quotation from Polybius, the matter and form of the oath.
“When, in embodying and enrolling the troops, all the proper arrangements were made, and the different companies formed; a chiliarch, or military tribune, selecting a proper person from all the rest, propounded the sacramentum, or oath of fidelity and obedience; who immediately swore, SUBMISSIVELY TO OBEY, AND PERFORM WHATSOEVER IS COMMANDED BY THE OFFICERS, ACCORDING TO THE UTTERMOST OF HIS POWER. The rest, all coming forward, one by one, take successively the same oath ; that they would perform every thing, according to what the first had sworn."
Now, if we refer to the institution of the supper, we shall find, that instead of there being a swearing in of the disciples, a sacramentum propounded to them on the occasion, there was a prophetic declaration, that they would all, on that very night, desert their Master; and a considerate excusing of the individual, who was ready to give an unrequired oath of fidelity. How frequently may the disquisitions of literary men, on scriptural subjects, be in a moment exploded, by a simple statement of plain matter of fact. This simple matter of fact, too, goes far towards
ritual of the Christian church. Its use has engrafted superstition and bondage on the stock of Christian simplicity and privilege. Obligation under the bondage of an oath, is the idea which it originally expressed, and which its use still conveys. Hence the phrases, baptismal vow, and sacramental vow ;*
exploding the whole theory of sacramental efficacy. If the ritual institutions of the Christian church had been intended to convey saving efficacy, surely when administered by the Saviour's own hand, their work must have been complete and perfect. His own hand gives the disciples the bread and the wine ; his own lips the words of institution. But then, instead of telling them of any efficacy which he had conveyed, any transformation wbich he had effected, his next words after they had communicated, were,
shall be offended because of me this night; for it is written, I will smite the Shepherd, and the sheep of the flock shall be scattered abroad."
* These phrases were never employed by the writers of the New Testament, and were they to revisit the church, would certainly require to be explained to them. And yet, perhaps, scarcely any two, of those who have become learned on Christian subjects, beyond what the Apostles have written, would agree in their interpretation. Reason and sound sense dictated the question which Henry the Eighth wrote, in the margin of one of the papers which contained the discussions of the divines of his day, on the nature of the sacraments, and in which they admit, that,