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THE 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 Era, Son, to-day have I begotten thee.

62.

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".

11. 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

* 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 which 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 Adam, in accomplishing our
redemption, suffer and triumph over both.—See notes 32, 33, p.
468, vol. i.

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

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Julian Period, 4775. Vulgar Æra, 62.

strengthen, and who, by their spiritual Senses constantly Italy.
exercised, are enabled to discern the deep meaning of
the Oracles of God, and to distinguish between Truth
and Falsehood-The 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 God-The 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 doctrine of baptisms, and of laying on of hands, and of resurrection of the dead, and of eternal judgment.

3 And this will we do, if God permit.

§ 12. 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 again,

Julian Period, 4775. Vulgar Era, 62.

THE REJECTERS OF CHRISTIANITY ARE IRBECOVERABLY LOST.

and publicly dishonour him, rejecting the only sacrificial Italy.
Offering-The Apostle, by analogy, shews that those who
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 Sun-They 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 him-He 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.

7 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, the ap proaching destruction of their city and temple, which took place about seven years after-they were therefore "nigh unto cursing."

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Italy

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62.

$ 13. HEB. vi. 13, to the end.

Valgar Era, From the Covenant made with Abraham the Apostle shews the Necessity of Faith and Patience, and that not his Children by descent, but by Promise, are made his Heirs -He affirms, that Abraham had long waited in Faith and Patience when he obtained the beginning of the Promise made to him (Gen. xii. 2, 3. xvii. 1—8.) in the supernatural Birth of Isaac; and after his Faith had been fully tried in his offering up, God confirmed his Promise to him, and to his Seed, of having their Faith counted to them for Righteousness, by an Oath (Gen. xxii. 16, 17.) -That his believing Posterity of all Nations might be convinced of the Unchangeableness of his Purpose-by two Things, the Promise and the Oath of God, which like him must be infinite and of eternal Obligation, affording strong Consolation to those who have fled for Refuge in the Hope of eternal Life, promised through Faith in the Gospel, which Hope is the Soul's Anchor, fixed on Jesus, who is within the Veil, gone before them into Heaven with the Sacrifice of himself, and made an High Priest for ever, after the Order of Melchisedec.

13 For when God made promise to Abraham, because he could swear by no greater, he sware by himself,

14 Saying, Surely blessing I will bless thee, and multiplying I will multiply thee.

15 And so, after he had patiently endured, he obtained the promise.

:

16 For men verily swear by the greater and an oath for confirmation is to them an end of all strife.

17 Wherein God, willing more abundantly to shew unto the heirs of promise the immutability of his counsel, con. firmed it by an oath ;

18 That by two immutable things, in which it was impossible for God to lie, we might have a strong consolation, who have fled for refuge to lay hold upon the hope set before us.

19 Which hope we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and stedfast, and which entereth into that within the veil ;

20 Whither the forerunner is for us entered, even Jesus, made an high priest for ever after the order of Melchisedec.

$ 14. HEB. vii. 1-10.

The Apostle resumes his Subject-the Superiority of the
Priesthood of Christ to Aaron, and endeavours to lead
them on to perfection in the deeper Mysteries of the Gospel
by drawing a parallel between Melchisedec and Christ,
(Gen. xiv. 18.)-He shews that Melchisedec was without

Julian Period, 4775.

Vulgar Era,

62.

THE ETERNAL PRIESTHOOD OF CHRIST-CHAP. XV.

Father or Mother; his Descent and Pedigree not being Italy.
recorded, nor the End or the Beginning of his Life or
Priesthood mentioned-which, therefore, like that of the
Son of God, may be regarded as perpetual-On account
of his superior Dignity, Abraham, the Head of the Pa-
triarchs, paid him Tithes-The Priests were divinely
appointed to receive Tithes of their Brethren the Levites;
not because they were superior in Descent, but as a por-
tion for their Maintenance, (Numb. xviii. 24-31.)
But Melchisedec, who was not of the Family of Aaron,
as universal Priest, received Tithes of Abraham, and as
the Representative of Christ, the High Priest of the hu-
man Race, blessed him who held the Promises, (prefiguring
through whom they were to be accomplished,) by which act
he manifested his superiority both as King and Priest-
Under the Jewish Law, Tithes are paid to Men who are
removed by Death, constantly changing, but under the Pa-
triarchal Dispensation, he received them who has an end-
less Life, (Psalm cx. 4.) and therefore an unchangeable
Priesthood-Levi, who was commanded to receive Tithes,
was tithed and blessed by Melchisedec, in the Person of
Abraham, he being yet in the Loins of his Father.

1 For this Melchisedec, king of Salem, priest of the
most high God, who met Abraham returning from the
slaughter of the kings, and blessed him;

2 To whom also Abraham gave a tenth part of all: first being, by interpretation, King of righteousness, and after that also King of Salem, which is King of peace;

3 Without father, without mother, without descent, having neither beginning of days, nor end of life; but, made like unto the Son of God, abideth a priest continually.

4 Now consider how great this man was, unto whom even the patriarch Abraham gave the tenth of the spoils.

5 And verily they that are of the sons of Levi, who receive the office of the priesthood, have a commandment to take tithes of the people according to the law, that is, of their brethren, though they come out of the loins of Abraham.

6 But he, whose descent is not counted from them, received tithes of Abraham, and blessed him that had the promises.

7 And without all contradiction the less is blessed of the better.

8 And here men that die receive tithes; but there he receiveth them, of whom it is witnessed that he liveth.

9 And as I may so say, Levi also, who received tithes, payed tithes in Abraham.

VOL. II.

561

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