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“ sworn and will not repent, Thou art a priest for
ever, after the order of Melchisedek."1 It is also foretold by Zechariah, “ Behold the Man, “ whose name is the BRANCH: and he shall grow
up out of his place; and he shall build the temple of the Lord. Even he shall build the temple of the Lord; and he shall bear the
glory; and he shall sit and rule upon his “ throne ; and he shall be a Priest upon his “ throne; and the counsel of peace shall be be
tween them both.” 2 It is in vain to attempt explaining this either of Zerubbabel or of Joshua. Zerubbabel, even if his authority might be considered as that of “ a king upon his throne," (which was far from the case,) was not, and could not be A PRIEST. Joshua, the priest, did not sit and “ rule on his throne:" but the two persons, exercising separately the ruling and the sacerdotal office, formed a type and shadow of “ the “ BRANCH,"3 in whom the two characters of King and Priest would be combined; and, from this union, “the counsel of peace" and reconciliation between God and man would be accomplished.
The Messiah was, as all acknowledge, to be the descendent of Judah, and of king David ; and these prophecies therefore, of his being a Priest, are in fact express predictions of the abolition of the whole Mosaic ceremonial : according to which, no one, except of the tribe of Levi, and the family of Aaron, might on any account act as priests. Whatever objections Jews may have to the authority of St. Paul, it behoves them to inquire whether his argu
Psi cx. 4.
Zech. vi. 12, 13.
* Is. xi. 1, 2.
ments can be answered on this subject. “ If there“ fore perfection were by the Levitical priesthood;
(for under it the people received the law ;) what “ further need was there that another Priest should “ arise after the order of Melchisedek, and not be “ called after the order of Aaron?
For, the “priesthood being changed, there is made of ne
cessity a change also of the law: for he, of whom " these things are spoken, pertaineth to another “ tribe, of which no man gave attendance at the “ altar.1” How could the ritual law of Moses continue in force, under a priest of the tribe of Judah, of the family of David, and“ after the order “ of Melchisedek :" The Messiah's priesthood, as being “ after the order of Melchisedek,” a King and a priest at the same time, a priesthood in which, like Melchisedek, he had no predecessor and would have no successor; that of one « who abideth a “priest continually,” and for ever; of one whose priesthood was confirmed by an oath, the irrevocable oath of JEHOVAH:1 all these things, and several other circumstances might be enlarged on: but it suffices for our purpose, that the Messiah was predicted as “ a Priest for ever," as well as a King, though he was not to arise from the family or tribe, to which by the law of Moses the priesthood was absolutely restricted.
It is remarkable that Melchisedek, after the brief. and indeed obscure account of him by Moses, is never once mentioned in the Old Testament, except in this remarkable prophecy of the Messiah: nor in the New, except in this argument of the
1 Heb. vii.
Gen. xiv. 18-20.
apostle to the Hebrews, concerning the ritual law; and as shewing that it was especially a type of the blessings of the Messiah's atonement and intercession. The whole seems to have been arranged by the Holy Spirit, for this one express purpose.
If then, the apostle's 'argument, (to say nothing of his inspiration,) be unanswerable ; (which I venture to say it is;) and if the shedding and sprinkling of blood, with the burning of incense, under the law, were shadows of the all-atoning sacrifice of Christ, and his all-prevailing intercession : if He was indeed “the Lamb slain from the “ foundation of the world ;” so that the shedding of blood, even before the law, was needful to remission and acceptance: it is sufficiently clear, why, after his atonement had been made, and his intercession, as our High Priest in heaven, openly revealed, the shedding and sprinkling of blood, and the burning of incense, with the whole institution of the Levitical sanctuary and priesthood, should at once terminate. The thing signified was come; the sign was no longer needful.—This makes the whole satisfactory on Christian principles ; but the cessation of bloody sacrifices, now for above 1700
years after they had been continued through 4000 years preceding, can never be explained on the principles of the Jews.—The subject, however, will again come under consideration, when the scriptures relating to the sufferings, death, resurrection, intercession, and glory of the promised Messiah, (a subject wholly omitted by Mr. C.,) shall be brought forward, and distinctly examined.
P. 86. 1. 30. • Seventy nations.'—The seventy nations, and the age of Abraham at the building of Babel, have occupied enough of our attention: the whole is destitute of foundation, and indeed inconsistent with the scripture.
P. 86. 1. 34. The Lord made a covenant with • Abraham.—Abraham was seventy years old.'— Moses expressly records that “Abram was seventy “ and five years old when he departed out of “ Haran.” Some time occurred after this before God entered into covenant with him ; 2 and he was “ninety-nine years of age,” when circumcision, the outward seal of the covenant, was instituted.3 These scriptural dates are quite sufficient to sweep away the cobweb of the seventy nations, seventy years, seventy descendents, seventy angels, &c. It is wonderful that a Jew, writing on such an argument, and building so very much on these numbers, should not have previously examined the dates of his Hebrew Bible!
P. 87.1. 25. 'Every nation,' &c.-Daniel's words shew no more than that the angel who spake to him was, on that particular occasion, commissioned to aid the kings of Persia. How absurd it is to suppose, that God so left the nations of the earth to guardian angels, that these angels, aiding Persia, or Greece, should fight, by God's approbation, against each other! or that he should commission one angel to help this nation, and another to help that nation, in direct opposition to one another ! just like the gods and goddesses in Homer's Iliad, or Virgil's Æneid!
Gen. xii. 4.
. Gen. xv.
3 Gen. xvii. 1. 24.
the New, except in the Revelation of St. John, will be passed under the especial rule of the Messiah, as the acknowledged, and willingly obeyed, King over all the earth : but that they comprise the whole term of his reign is not only not said, but it is directly contrary to many scriptures; especially that of Isaiah ; “ Of the increase of his
government and peace there shall be no end :"I and that of Daniel, concerning “ the stone cut “ out of the mountain without hands," which “ became a great mountain, and filled the whole “ earth." 2
P. 83. 1. 31. The opinion of the Gentiles concerning the sabbath.' The views of Christians concerning the law of Moses have been sufficiently explained. Some things further concerning the abolition of the ritual law, as predicted in the Old Testament, will come under consideration, when the priesthood of the Messiah (a subject wholly omitted by Mr. C.) will call for our attention,
We certainly consider the dedication of a portion of our time, even of one day in seven, as a part of the moral law. It was appointed, as it appears evident to me at least, from the creation; and was merely incorporated into the law of Moses, being of previous and universal obligation. But perhaps it is not so easily ascertained, as at first glance it may appear to be, which of the seven days that constitute our weeks answers to the seventh day at the creation. A voyage round the world, whether it be entered upon in a wes
! Is. ix. 7.
? Dan. ii. 34, 35, 44, 45.