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CHRIST SUPERIOR TO THE AARONIC HIGH-PRIESTS.

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Julian Pe- 9 There remaineth therefore a rest to the people of Italy.
riod, 4775.
Vulgar Æra,

God. 62.

10 For he that is entered into his rest, he also hath ceased from his own works, as God did from his.

11 Let us labour therefore to enter into that rest, lest any man fall after the same example of unbelief.

12 For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword", piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.

19 Neither is there any creature that is not manifest in
his sight: but all things are naked and open unto the
eyes of him with whom we have to do.

HEB. iv. 14, to the end.
The Apostle shews the Superiority of the Priesthood of Christ
to Aaron, and all other High-Priests, and in allusion

per's
haps to the Jews, who encouraged the Hebrew Christians to
apostatize, because the Gospel did not enjoin propitiatory
Sacrifices, affirms the High-Priest of Christians is the Son
of God, who has passed through the visible Heavens with the
Sacrifice of himself, of which the Holy of Holies was a Type
—who having taken the human into the divine Nature,
must ever feel for the Infirmities of Men, through whom

all, instead of the High-Priest only, may approach the that“ both in the Old and New Testament everlasting life was offered to mankind by Christ. Wherefore they are not to be heard, which feign, that the old fathers did look only for transitory promises." The Gospel was preached before to Abraham (Gal. iii. 8.), and the Israelites were called out of Egypt under Moses, to take possession of an unknown promised land; so are Christians, under the Gospel, called by Christ the lawgiver of the New Testament, ont of the Egypt of this world, that they may prepare for an unknown and heavenly country. The revealed will of God has been made manifest from the foundations of the world, the nature of man being unchanged, and Jesus Christ the same yesterday, to-day, and for ever. The bistories of the eminent men of the Old Testament prefigured the divine life and character of the promised Messiah, and the chosen people of God illustrated in their history the warfare to which Christians are exposed, and the blessings of which they are wade partakers in the Gospel.

+ Adam Clarko remarks, " the law and the word of God in general is repeatedly compared to a two-edged sword among the Jewish writers, mog'o nw ann—the sword with two mouths. By this sword the man himself lives, and by it he destroys his enemies.” See also Schoetgen. In Ephesians vi. 17. the doctrine of the Gospel is called “a sword of the spirit ;” and in Revelation i. 16. the word of God is spoken of as “ a sharp twoedged sword which went out from the mouth of Christ. See Isaiab xi. 4. As the apostle is representing throughout that the Gospel was described by the law, as a body is by its shadow, there is reason to suppose that in the expression here used, both the Old and New Testament were includod.

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Julian Pe- Throne of Grace, and by the Intercession of Christ, obtain Italy. riod, 4775.

seasonable Assistance in the Time of Temptation. Vulgar Æra,

14 Seeing then that we have a great high priest, that is passed into the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our profession.

15 For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities ; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin.

16 Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of
grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help
in time of need.

§ 10. HEB. V. 1-10.
After having declared the Benefits of the Priesthood, and

Sacrifice of the Son of God, he compares the Priesthood
of Christ with that of Aaron, shewing that every High-
Priest was taken from among his Brethren (chap. ii. 17.)
and was appointed to mediate between God and Man,
offering the Gifts of the People in Acknowledgment of
God's Bounty and Providence, and the Blood of Ani-
mals as an Atonement for Sin; who being of the same
Nature may compassionate the erring, and who for his
own Infirmities must offer a propitiatory Sacrifice both for
himself and the People - He connects this Account of the
Offices of the Priesthood by affirming, that as no Man in
the Jewish Church could take upon himself the Dignity of
an High-Priest, so Christ, the High-Priest of the Chris-
tian Church, who possessed all the other Qualifications,
was also appointed to his Office by God himself, who
declared him to be his Son, as was evident from their own
Scriptures (Ps. cx. 4. ii. 7.)-The Apostle asserts, that
although Christ, the High-Priest of the Gospel, was the
Son of God, he was exposed in his human Nature to the
greatest and most agonizing Sufferings, by which he
learnt the Difficulty Men find in Obedience under Afflic-
tion, and being made Perfect as Man by Suffering, he be-
came the Author of Salvation to all who obey him in his
crucified human Nature, and was constituted by God a
Priest for ever, after the Order of Melchisedec.

1 For every high priest taken from among men, is or-
dained for men in things pertaining to God, that he may
offer both gifts and sacrifices for sins :

2 Who can have compassion on the ignorant, and on them that are out of the way; for that he himself also is compassed with infirmity.

3 And by reason hereof he ought, as for the people, so also for himself, to offer for sins.

4 And no man taketh this honour unto himself, but he that is called of God, as was Aaron.

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§ 11.

Tue LAW AND GOSPEL COMPARED TO MILK AND STRONG MEAT.
Julian Pe- 5 So also Christ glorified not himself to be made an Italy.
riod, 4775. high priest ; but he that said unto him, Thou art my
Vulgar&ra, Son, to-day have I begotten thee.

6 As he saith also in another place, Thou art a priest
for ever after the order of Melchisedec.

7 Who in the days of his flesh, when he had offered up prayers and supplications, with strong crying and tears, unto him that was able to save him from death, and was heard in that he feared ::

8 Though he were a Son, yet learned he obedience by the things which he suffered ;

9 And being made perfect, he became the author of eternal salvation unto all them that obey him ;

10 Called of God an high priest, after the order of
Melchisedec.

HEB. v. 11, to the end. vi. 1-3.
The Apostle, in a parenthetical Digression, reproves them

for their slowness of Apprehension in spiritual Matters ;
that instead of being Teachers of others, as they ought
to have been, they need themselves to be again instructed
in the first Elements of the Oracles of God, the Types
and Figures of the Old Testament, and are become such
as require to be fed with Milk, and not with strong Meat
-Those who know nothing but the Letter of the ancient
Oracles (represented as Milk, because they were the
first Rudiments of Religion) are Babes in Ignorance
and Growth, and are unskilful in the Doctrines of the
Gospel, which being concealed under the Figures and
Prophecies of the Law, are called strong Meat, because
they belong only to spiritual Adults, whose Faith they

5 Commentators are much divided as to the signification of
this verse, some supposing these bitter supplications of Christ
to be offered to save him from lying under the power of death,
from wbich fear he was delivered ; or, as some interpret it, he
was heard for his piety: and others refer them (which appears
to me the most correct opinion) to his agony in the garden. As
the second Adam, I have already shewn that the devil, who had
departed from Christ for a season, was then permitted to assault
him with all the powers of darkness, and with the whole weight
of temptation to which the human nature could be exposed.
At this unconceivable spiritual agony and conflict, the weakness
of man shewed itself, and he earnestly prayed that this trial
might be spared him; but as the representative of man, it was
appointed for him to submit to that agony of spirit which sin
without an atonement had passed on all mankind. As both
temporal and spiritual death were pronounced on the fall of
the first Adam, so did the second Adan, in accomplishing our
redemption, suffer and triumph over both.–See notes 32, 33, p.
468, vol.i.

I cannot receive the opinion of Mr. Faber, and his authorities, that Melcbisedec, who appeared to Abraham, was Christ, in one of his temporary manifestations.-See Horæ Mosaicr, vol. ii. p. 58.

Julian Pe- strengthen, and who, by their spiritual Senses constantly Italy.
riod, 4775. exercised, are enabled to discern the deep meaning of
Valgar Ara,
62.

the Oracles of God, and to distinguish between Truth
and FalsehoodThe Apostle therefore exhorts them to
leave the Law, or the first Principles of the Doctrines of
Christ, and gradually advance in spiritual Perfection
(chap. v. 14.-He will not now discourse on the Christian
Principles as taught in the ancient Oracles, which are the
Foundation of Religion-Repentance from Works, which
merit Death-Faith in GodThe Doctrine of Baptisms,
and the laying on of Hands on the Sacrifice as an Ac-
knowledgment that the Offence deserved the Death inflict.
ed, or of the Resurrection of the Dead, and of eternal
Judgment-But he will shew them, with God's Assistance,
the more sublime Truths of the Gospel, as typified by the
Law and its sacrificial System.

11 Of whom we have many things to say, and hard to
be uttered, seeing ye are dull of hearing.

12 For when for the time ye ought to be teachers, ye have need that one teach you again which be the first principles of the oracles of God: and are become such as have need of milk, and not of strong meat.

13 For every one that useth milk is unskilful in the word of righteousness : for he is a babe.

14 But strong meat belongeth to them that are of full age, even those who, by reason of use, have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil.

1 Therefore, leaving the principles of the doctrine of
Christ, let us go on unto perfection; not laying again the
foundation of repentance from dead works, and of faith
toward God.

2 Of the doetrine of baptisms, and of laying on of
hands, and of resurrection of the dead, and of eternal
judgment.
And this will we do, if God permit.

HEB, vi. 4--12.
The Apostle digresses to enforce the Necessity of spiritual

Improvement, from the Consideration that if they did not
advance they would be in Danger of apostatizing irre-
coverably-The impossibility of those who have been
thoroughly instructed in the Christian Religion and
made Partakers of all its Blessings, and were Eye-wit-
nesses of the powerful Miracles by which it was confirm-
ed, and the miraculous Operations of the Holy Spirit,
who have apostatized from the Faith of Christ, to be re-
newed again to an availing Repentance--no stronger or
higher Evidence could be given them, and by renouncing
the divine Doctrine they crucify the Son of God aguin,

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THE REJECTERS OF CARISTIANITY ARE IRRECOVERABLY LOST. Julian Pe.

and publicly dishonour him, rejecting the only sacrificial Italy. riod, 4775. Vulgar/Era, Offering - The Apostle

, by analogy, shews that those who 62.

bring forth the Fruits of Holiness, corresponding to the
spiritual Advantages they have received, shall be blessed
of God; but those who bring forth the Thorns and Briers
of Sin and Unbelief are rejected of him, whose end is to
be burned as the barren Soil is burnt up by the Heat of
the SunThey are encouraged to a firm adherence to the
Gospel, from the Consideration that God will not forget,
but Reward according to his Promise, their Work and La-
bour of Love, in ministering to the poor Christians,
which were Proofs of their Faith in himHe exhorts
them to the same active Faith and Love to the End of
their Lives, to be Imitators of the believing Gentiles, who,
through Faith in Christ, and Patience, are now inheriting
in the Gospel Church, the Promises made to Abraham and
to his Seed through Faith.

4. For it is impossible for those who were once enlight-
ened, and have tasted of the heavenly gift, and were made
partakers of the Holy Ghost,

5 And have tasted the good word of God, and the powers of the world to come,

6 If they shall fall away, to renew them again unto repentance; seeing they crucify to themselves the Son of God afresh, and put him to an open shame.

7 For the earth which drinketh in the rain that cometh oft upon it, and bringeth forth herbs meet for them by whom it is dressed, receiveth blessing from God:

8 But that which beareth thorns and briers is rejected, and is nigh unto cursing; whose end is to be burned?.

9 But, beloved, we are persuaded better things of you, and things that accompany salvation, though we thus speak.

10 For God is not unrighteous, to forget your work and labour of love, which ye have shewed toward his name, in that ye have ministered to the saints, and do minister.

11 And we desire that every one of you do shew the same diligence to the full assurance of hope unto the end :

12 That ye be not slothful, but followers of them who through faith and patience inherit the promises.

? The apostle is supposed in this analogy to refer to the great spiritual advantages enjoyed by the Jews, and to foretel as a punishment of their abuse of them, and their apostacy, tbe approaching destruction of their city and temple, which took place about seven years after they were therefore“ nigb unto cursing."

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