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by the Jews, even in their dispersions, confirms instead of answering, our argument.
P. 86. 1. 16. Now when,' &c.-It is no part of our present concern, to inquire into the nature of the services, said to be performed by the Jews in the synagogue on the day of atonement: this at least is certain, that they do not, and cannot, perform the sacrifices and ceremonies, instituted in the sixteenth chapter of Leviticus. The temple, the holy of holies, the high priest; his own sinoffering, the sin-offering for the people; the two goats, and the entrance of the high priest into the holiest, with the blood of the sacrifices, and the burning of incense; these, and other things, essential to the observance of that day, as a part of the ritual law of Moses, and typical of good things to come, have been wholly disused for above seventeen hundred years.
Several parts of the ritual law may be performed by the Jews in their dispersions, and some are attended to: but who can read the books of Moses, especially Leviticus, without a deep conviction, that the priesthood of Aaron's family, the altar, the sacrifices of innocent and clean animals, with the shedding and sprinkling of blood, and the burning of incense; as connected with the tabernacle, the holy of holies, the ark, and the mercyseat; are the most appropriate and central parts of the ritual law? In fact all the rest had such an intimate connexion with these, that, take away the sanctuary, the priesthood, and the sacrifices; and the whole must appear as broken and scattered fragments of a fabric, once grand, but now
irrecoverably destroyed and shattered to pieces. "Almost all things were by the law purged with "blood, and without shedding of blood, there was no remission." From the entrance of sin, till the death of Christ, this principle pervaded every dispensation: but a short time after that event, this was entirely superseded. Christians offer no sacrifices with shedding of blood; and for seventeen hundred years Jews have offered none. This extraordinary change, this sudden cessation of the whole system of blood-shedding, which had continued from the fall of Adam, as connected with acceptable worship of the true God, must surely require some explanation; and that, however it took place, whether by express divine appointment, as Christians suppose, or by the dispensations of providence, as the Jews must allow : for chance and fortune are out of the question; in one way or other, "it is the Lord's doing, and it is mar"vellous in our eyes.'
And here, I shall introduce a few remarks on a subject, wholly omitted by Mr. C. namely, the PRIESTHOOD of the promised Messiah. He indeed admits, that priests, as well as kings and prophets, were anointed under the law: (p. 15:) and, if so, they were typically MESSIAHS; but he waves all further notice of this part of prophecy. Had we no other evidence of Messiah's priesthood than that to be derived from types, analogy, and intimation of a sacrifice for sin to be offered by the Messiah; the proof might perhaps be rejected as inconclusive. But it is most explicitly predicted of the Messiah, and in a Psalm, which Mr. C. does not deny to belong to him: "The Lord hath
sworn and will not repent, Thou art a priest for 66 ever, after the order of Melchisedek." 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," 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
1 Ps. cx. 4.
Zech. vi. 12, 13.
3 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 necessity 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." 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 : 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,2 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
2 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.