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ed with the exercise of miraculous powers. The one was, no more than the other, intended to be a perpetual rite in the Christian church. When the Catholic priesthood can open the eyes of the blind, then they may introduce another rite, and anoint with clay; and when they possess an unction by which they can heal the sick, then we shall be glad to receive their offices, and dismiss the physician.

After the twelve had been commissioned, other seventy also were appointed. But their work and instructions corresponded with what had before been given to the twelve. It was an increase of labourers on the apostolic, not the priestly, model. The apostolic model itself, however, wanted yet its finishing stroke. It had been framed hitherto for Judea only; it was to be made sufficiently expansive to embrace the world. Thus extensive was the commission made after the Saviour's resurrection : “ Then the eleven disciples went away into Galilee, into a mountain where Jesus had appointed them. And when they saw him, they worshipped him: but some doubted. And Jesus came, and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth. Go ye therefore and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world."*

* Matt. xxviii. 16-20,

Now, at the time when this commission was given, the Jewish priesthood was virtually abolished. The. Saviour had finished the work, which the sacrifices they had been accustomed to offer had prefigured. He, the “Lamb of God," had shed his own blood to take away the sin of the world. He had offered his own body once for all. When, therefore, he had given up the ghost, the vail of the temple was rent in twain from the top to the bottom. The most holy place,in which the mysterious symbols of a present Deity, the lambent flame of fire hovering over the mercy-seat, and between the wings of the cherubim, had been previously enshrined, -was laid open to the public gaze. The glory was departed, never more to return. Deity, there being none henceforth in the temple to propitiate, sacrifice and priest were there alike without an object, and in vain. The priests might retain their names and their vestments, might slay their victims and present their smoking censers, might chant their songs, and offer their intercessions as before ; but there was no eye complacently to witness, no ear well pleased to listen, no voice in mercy to answer, no radiance, indicative of divine favour, to spread around the scene of their service, no streams of blessings to make glad the place once holy, but now desecrated, and doomed to the approaching curse. God had departed; and the priesthood, in respect to the purposes for which he had appointed it, was already defunct. The lifeless body indeed yet remained in its vestments, like royalty in the

funereal chamber; but the torch of the Roman soldier was enkindling, to fire the devoted pile, and reduce both the priesthood and the temple to ashes, which the winds of heaven should scatter, and which no power on earth should be able to gather together again.

If then, at any time, the office of the priesthood were transferred to the Christian church, this surely, when the Jewish priesthood was in effect abolished, would have been the period. If any men have been invested with its functions, the eleven, when receiving their commission, would have been the first. No rites of consecration were however, on this occasion, performed. The eleven came to Christ at the place where he had appointed to meet them, in their usual attire, the raiment commonly worn by their countrymen, and they departed in the same garb. They received from Christ, not the vessels or implements of a worldly service, not the insignia of political or ecclesiastical authority, nothing which could charm the eye, or captivate the sense ; they received only the breath of his lipsthe words of his mouth. The words however were spirit and life. They could effect, what no ritual has the power to accomplish, the illumination of the understanding, the invigoration of the heart, the transformation of the whole character. They could, and did, make the men who had been struck dumb with astonishment, who had trembled with fear, who had 'fled like affrighted sheep, in the hour of their Master's sufferings, bold as lions in his cause, ready to go to the

ends of the earth at his command, and prompt to bear their testimony for him with celestial fervour, before the kings and rulers of the earth, who were leagued together against him. Those who would give proof of their call to the Christian ministry, should show it, in the developement of a portion of the same spirit. In this way only can they commend themselves to the confidence and regard of those, who understand the nature of the Christian dispensation, and are conversant with the oracles of truth. In this way only can they retain their influence in a world, fast growing out of the state of its childhood, in which it could be amused with spectacles and toys, and thirsting for knowledge, principle, and truth. In this way only can they prove, that they are moved by the Holy Ghost to serve Christ in the ministry of his gospel, and that they have a right to any of the official titles which they wear.

The religion which Christ came to introduce, and which he sent his Apostles through the world to teach, was to have no affinity with what one of them designates, “weak and beggarly elements.” The expressive character of these terms, which Paul applies to the rites of Judaism, shows how abhorrent to his mind was a relapse of the members of the Christian church, to that state of bondage to the senses under which the Jewish church had been held. The time of reformation was come; and the meats, and drinks, and divers washings, and carnal ordinances of the law of ceremonies, were for ever to pass away.

The human

mind was, by the religion of the gospel, to be emancipated from its shackles, and purged from its grossness and darkness. It was to come forth into light and liberty, and to enteren an endless career of moral and intellectual improvement. A new and living way

of access was opened to God, who is the Father of lights, that by daily intercourse with him, the soul might become assimilated to his image, and be prepared for the beatific enjoyment of his presence. The design of the religion which Christ sent his Apostles to teach, is no where more clearly unfolded, nor its spirit of elevated and expansive benevolence any where more fervently breathed, than in that comprehensive passage, which was written by “the disciple whom Jesus loved :"

That which we have seen and heard declare we unto you, that ye also may have fellowship with us: and truly our fellowship is with the Father, and with his Son Jesus Christ. And these things write we unto you, that your joy may be full."* And, as in what they write, no reference to the existence of Levitical ceremonies in the Christian church can be found, but that, in which their introduction is censured, and their continuance forbidden, we may be assured that in what they taught to the nations of the world with the living voice, they were consisteni with what they have communicated to us, and to all the generations of mankind, in the imperishable productions of their pen. And, if

* 1 John i. 3, 4.

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