« PreviousContinue »
THE LEVITICAL TERMS EMPLOYED IN THE NEW TESTAMENT, WHICH DO NOT APPLY EXCLUSIVELY TO CHRIST, BELONG EQUALLY TO ALL TRUE CHRISTIANS.
THE DESIGNATION GIVEN BY PETER TO THE MEMBERS
GENERALLY OF THE CHRISTIAN CHURCH, CORRESPONDS WITH THE DECLARATION OF MOSES TO THE JEWS, THAT THEY SHOULD BE A "KINGDOM OF PRIESTS."
The passage of the New Testament, in which Levitical terms are most remarkably and decisively employ, ed in reference to any other individual than Christ, is found in the First Epistle of Peter. It is Peter, whose pretended successors have contrived to exalt themselves to the throne, and to trample the people in the dust, who tells the strangers of the circumcision which were scattered abroad, what, as there is in the Christian church no distinction between Jews and Gentiles, applies equally to all; that Christ, not himself, is the rock
of the church, and they all, “as lively stones, are built up a spiritual house, an holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ.”* And again : “But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people ; that ye should show forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light. Which in time past were not a people, but are now the people of God; which had not obtained mercy, but now have obtained mercy.”+
It will be remembered in illustration of Peter's meaning in these words, that a very similar declaration had been made to the Jewish people shortly after God had delivered them from the bondage of Egypt and had taken them under his own immediate guidance and care. “ And Moses went up unto God, and the Lord called unto him out of the mountain, saying, Thus shalt thou say to the house of Jacob, and tell the children of Israel ; Ye have seen what I did unto the Egyptians, and how I bare you on eagle's wings, and brought you unto myself. Now, therefore, if ye will obey my voice indeed, and keep my covenant, then ye shall be a peculiar treasure unto me above all people: for all the earth is mine: and ye shall be unto me a kingdom of priests, and an holy nation. These are the words which thou shalt speak unto the children of Israel." I
* 1 Pet. ii. 5. † 1 Pet. ii. 9, 10. Exod. xix. 3–6.