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knew full well how the prophecy in that psalm was in our books, and, by Christians, applied to the Messiah, and how the ceasing of their law and worship was, from thence, invincibly proved in this epistle. This made them maliciously to pervert the words in their paraphrase, although they durst not violate the sacred text itself. But the text is plain; “Melchise“deck was Cohen to the high God;" a priest, one called to the office of solemn sacrificing to God; for he that offereth not sacrifice to God, is not a priest to him; for this is the principal duty of his office, from which the whole receives its denomination. But, that Melchisedeck was by office a sacrificer, appears, from Abraham's delivering up unto him, Gen. xiv, 20, “The tenth of all;" that is, as our apostle interprets the place (Tw angob.vwv) of the spoils he had taken; among which, there is no question but there were many clean beasts meet for sacrifice. For in their herds and cattle consisted the principal parts of the riches of those days, and these were the principal spoils of war, See Numb. xxxi, 32, 33. Abraham, therefore, delivered these spoils to Melchisedeck, as the priest of the high God, to offer in sacrifice for him. And it may be, there was somewhat more in it, than the mere preeminence of Melchisedeck, whereby he was the first and only priest in office, by virtue of special Divine call, namely, that Abraham himself coming immediately from the slaughter of many kings, and their numerous armies, was not yet prepared for this sacred service.
Sacrificing had been hitherto left at liberty; every one who was called to perform any part of solemn religious worship, was allowed to discharge that duty also. But it pleased God, in the reducing of his church, into peculiar order, the more conspicuously to
represent what he would afterwards really effect in Jesus Christ, to erect among them a peculiar office of priesthood; whereby an inclosure of sacrificing was made to the office of the priests; that is, so soon as there was such an office, by virtue of special institution, it belonged exclusively to that office.
Whereas, therefore, it is prophesied, that the Messiah should be a priest, the principal meaning of it is, that he should be a sacrificer; one that had a right, and was actually called to offer sacrifice unto God. This is the general and real notion of a priest amongst all men throughout the world.
$5. We have seen that Jesus Christ is a priest; he was prophesied of under the Old Testament, and declared to be so in the New. The ultimate origin of this office lies in the eternal counsels of God; but our present design is, to trace those discoveries, which God hath made of his eternal counsels in this matter, through the several degrees of Divine revelation.
Our first condition under the law of creation was a condition of innocency and natural righteousness; and therefore God had not ordained an establishment in it of either priest or sacrifice. They would have been of no use in that state; for there was nothing supposed, which might be prefigured or represented by them. Wherefore God did not pre-ordain the priesthood of Christ, with any respect to the obedience of man under the law of creation; nor should any
such have been upon a supposition of its continuance.
There is an indissoluble relation between priesthood and sacrifice; they mutually assert or deny each other. Where the one is proper, the other is so also; and where the one is metaphorical, so is the other. Thus, under the Old Testament, the priests who were properly so by office, had proper carnal sacrifices to offer'; and under the New Testament, believers being made priests unto God; that is, spiritually and metaphorically, such also are their sacrifices, spiritual and metaphorical. Wherefore, arguments against either of these conclude equally against both. Where there are no priests there are no sacrifices; and where there are no sacrifices there are no priests. We may, therefore, conclude, that there was no priesthood to be in the state of innocency; whence it will follow, that there could be no sacrifice. And, that there was to be no sacrifice properly so called; whence it will equally follow, that there was no priesthood therein. That which ensues on both, is, that there was no counsel of God concerning either priesthood or sacrifice in that state.
$6. “For every high priest taken from among men, is ordained for men in things pertaining to God, that "he may offer both gifts and sacrifices for sins," saith our apostle, Heb. v, 1. What is here affirmed of the high priest is true, in like manner, concerning every priest; only the high priest is here mentioned by way of eminence; because by him our Lord Christ, as to his office, and the discharge of it, was principally represented. Every priest is, therefore, one “taken from “among men;" he is (naturæ humanæ particeps) partaker of human nature in common with other men; and antecedently to his assumption of his office, he is one of the same rank with other men; he is taken, or separated from among them, and is vested with his office, by the authority and according to the will of God.
This office, therefore, is not a thing which is common to all, nor can it take place in any state or condition, wherein the whole performance of Divine service is equally incumbent on all individually; for
none can be taken from among others, to perform that which those others are every one obliged personally to attend to. But every priest properly so called (ucol01c741 UTED av@gwtwv) is ordained, or appointed, to act for other men.
He is set over a work in the behalf of those other men, from among whom he is taken, that he may take care of, and perform (Ta tpos tov Okov) things pertaining to God; or do the things that in be half of men are to be done with God; that is (
B587 boz) to pacify God, to make atonement and reconcilia. tion, by offering (dwgee nai duolas) various sorts of gifts and sacrifices, according to God's appointment. This office, therefore,could have no place in the state of innocency; for it will not bear an accommodation of any part of this essential character of priesthood. I acknowledge, that in the state of uncorrupted nature, there would have been some (υπερ τε Θεε, τα προς τον ανθρωπον) to deal with others for God; for some would have been warranted and designed, in virtue of natural relations, to instruct others in the knowledge of God, and his will. They were to be (UTES ©£8) for God, or in his stead to them, to instruct them in their duty suitable to the law of their creation.
But every one thus instructed, was, in his own name and person, to attend to the things of God, or what was to be performed on the behalf of men; for in reference to God, there would have been no common root or principle for men to stand upon. Whilst we were all in the loins of Adam, we stood all in him, and we also fell all in him; but (8Q? @ Tuvieç yu ceplov, Rom. v, 12;) so soon as any one had been born into this world, and should have a personal subsistence of his own, he was to stand by himself, and to be no more, as to his covenant interest, concerned in the obedience of his progenitors. Every one was in his own person to
discharge all duties of worship towards God. Nor is it conceivable, how any one could be taken out from the residue of men, to discharge the works of religion officially towards God for them, without its being to the prejudice of their right, and the hindrance of their duty. It follows, therefore, that the office of a priest, acting for men towards God was impossible in that state.
87. This is also the case with reference to sacrifices; because of the relation between them and the priesthood. Hence is that saying (in Bereshith Rabb.) “As is the altar for sacrifice, so are the priests belonging to it.” By sacrifice, in this inquiry, we understand those that are properly so; for that which is proper
in every kind, is first. Nor is there any place for that which is improper, or metaphorical, unless something proper, from whence the denomination is taken, have preceded; for in allusion thereunto, doth the metaphor consist. Now, in the state of innocency nothing went before with respect to which any thing might be so called; as now our spiritual worship is, with respect to them, under the Old Testament.
Concerning these sacrifices, we may consider their nature and their end. A sacrifice is (n2), Buoll, victima; sacrificium mactatum;) a slain or killed offering; yea, the first proper signification of the verb (n=7) is (mactavit, jugulavit, decollavit, occidet) to kill, to slay by effusion of blood, and the like. The substantive also (721, viz. mactatio, jugulatio,occisio,) conveys the same meaning. It is, therefore evident, that there neither is, nor can be, any sacrifice, properly so called, but what is made by the killing or slaying of the thing sacrificed. And the offering of inanimate things under the law, as of flour, or wine, or the fruits of the earth, were improperly so called, by virtue of their