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of an endless life."" Not by a corporeal unction, legal ceremony, or the intervening act of a human ordination; but by a heavenly institution, and immediate unction of the Spirit of life, by that extraordinary manner, whereby he was to be both king and priest unto God, as Melchizedek was.
Thirdly, Why was he not a priest after the order of Aaron? The apostle giveth us this answer, “ Because the law made nothing perfect,” but was “ weak and unprofitable ;” and therefore was to be abolished, and to give place to another priesthood. Men were not to rest in it; but by it to be led to him, who was to abolish it, as the morning-star leadeth to the sun, and, at the rising thereof, vanisheth. The ministry and promises of Christ were better than those of the law: and therefore his priesthood, which was the office of dispensing them, was to be " more excellent" likewise For when the law and covenant were to be abolished, the priesthood in which they were established, was to die likewise.
Fourthly, Why Melchizedek brought forth bread and wine? The papists, that they may have something to build the idolatry of their mass upon, make Melchizedek to sacrifice bread and wine, as a type of the Eucharist. I will not fall into so tedious a controversy, as no way tending to edification; and infinite litigations there have been between the parties already about it. In one word; we grant that the ancients' do frequently make it a type of the Eucharist; but only by way of allusion, not of literal prediction, or strict prefiguration : as that, “ Out of Egypt have I called my Son,” and, “ In Rama was there a voice heard;" which were literally and historically true in another sense, but are yet, by way of allusion, applied by the evangelist unto the history of Christs. But we may note, First, It is not · Sacrificavit,' but · Protulit,' he brought it forth,' he did not offer it up. Secondly, He brought it forth to Abraham as a prince, to entertain him after his conquest, as Josephus", and from him, Cajetan understand it; not as a priest, to God. Thirdly, If he did offer, he offered bread and wine truly; these men, only the lying shapes thereof, and not bread and wine itself; which, they say, are transubstantiated into another thiny. Fourthly, The priesthood of Melchizedek, as type, and of Christ, as the substance, was exatabatos, a priesthood, which could not pass unto any other, either as successor or vicar, to one or the other; and it was only by divine and immediate unction: but the Papists make themselves priests, by human and ecclesiastical - ordination, to offer that which (they say) Melchizedek offered ; and by that means most insolently make themselves either successors, or vicars, or sharers, and co-partners, and workers together with him and his antitype, Christ Jesus, in the offices of such a priesthood as was totally uncommunicable, and intransient i; and so most sacrilegiously rob him of that honour, which he hath assumed to himself as his peculiar office.
c Heb. vii. 16. Sacra. p. 423.
d Heb. vii. 11, 12.
e Heb. viii. 6. f Glass. Philol.
Fifthly, What kind of blessing it was, wherewith Melchizedek blessed Abraham ? To this, I answer, that there is a twofold benediction : the one · Caritativa,' out of love ; and so any man may bless another by way of euprecation or well-wishing: “The blessing of the Lord be upon you; we bless you in the name of the Lord*:--the other "Auctoritativa,' as a king, a priest, an extraordinary superior and public person, by way of office, and to the purpose of effecting and real conveying the blessing itself desired: “Without all contradiction,” saith the apostle, “the less is blessed of the greater':” and such was this of Melchizedek, · Benedictio obsignans,' a seal, assurance, and effectual confirmation, of the promise before made m.
Sixthly, In what manner he received tithes ? I answer with Calvin ", that he had . Jus decimarum,' and received them as testifications of homage, duty, and obedience from Abraham: for the apostle useth it as an argument to prove his greatness above Abraham; which could be no argument in the case of pure gift; since gifts, 'quatenus' gifts, though they prove not a general inferiority in him that receives them, yet they prove, that, in that case, there is something which may be imputed, and which deserves acknowledgment. But, in this particular, all the acknowledgments are
i Heb. vii. 24. k Psal. cxxvi. 8. 1 Heb. vii. 7. m Gen. xii. 2, 3. A Quod debebat Abraham Deo, solvit in manum Melchizedec. Decimarum ergo solutione, se minorem professus est. Calv. in Heb. vii. 5, 8, 9,
from Abraham to Melchizedek. Besides, nothing was here, by Abraham or Melchizedek, done after an arbitrary manner, but extraordinario spiritus afflatu et ex officio, on both sides, as learned Cameron hath observed.
Lastly, In what sense he was árátwp and apýtwp, &c. without father, mother, or genealogy? I answer with Chrysostum”, that it is not meant literally and strictly; but only the Scripture takes notice of him, as an extraordinary nian, without signifying his line, beginning, end, or race (as Tiberius said of Rufus, that he was · Homo ex se natus"); that so he might be the fitter to typify Christ's person and excellency, in whom those things were really true, which are only, quoad nos,' spoken of the type, of whose beginning, end, or parentage, we neither have nor can have any knowledge. These things thus premised, it will be easy for you to preoccupate those observations which grow between the type and the antitype, which therefore I will but cursorily propose. Note, First, That Christ's priesthood is such as did induce a kingdom with it; for Melchizedek was King of Salem, and priest of the Most High God. This St. Jerome, and from him Ambrose, report to have been meant by the order of Melchizedek, namely, Regale Sacerdotium,' that Christ was to be a royal priest; by way of merit, purchasing a kingdom of his father,—and by way of conquest, recovering it to himself out of the hands of his enemies.
Note, Secondly, That Christ, by offering up himself a sacrifice unto God, is become unto his people “ a king of righteousness," or, “ the Lord our righteousness;” in which sense he is called “ The Prince of life p;" that is, he hath all power given him as a prince, to quicken and to justify whom he will. And this comes from his sacrifice, and perfect obedience to us imputed, and by faith employed and apprehended: for having fulfilled the righteousness of the law, and justified himself by rising from the dead, he became, being thus made perfect, the author of righteousness and salvation to us'. We had in us a whole kingdom of sin; and therefore requisite there was in him what should justify us, a kingdom of grace and righteousness : that “ as sin reigned unto death, even so might grace through righteousness reign unto eternal life, by Jesus Christ our Lord. And therefore we are said to be justified by “ the righteousness of God,” that is, such a righteousness as is ours by gift and grace, not by nature"; and such a righteousness as God himself did perform, though in the human nature, in our behalf.
ο Δια το μη μνημονευθήναι τους γεγενηκότας αυτόν. John v. 20, 21.
r Heb, v. 9.
P Acts iji. lá. u Rom. x. 4.
And this is the ground of all our comfort, the best direction in all our miseries and extremities whither to fly. A king is the greatest officer amongst men, and his honour and state is for the support, defence, and honour of his people : he is. Custos Tabularum,' the father and the keeper of the laws. If I want any of that justice and equity, of which his sacred bosom is the public treasure, I may freely beg it of him, because he is an officer to dispense righteousness unto his subjects ; so also is Christ unto his church. I find myself in a miserable condition, condemned by the conscience of sin, by the testimony of the Word, by the accusations of Satan, full of discomforts: God is a God of justice, and all fire ; myself a creature of sin, and all stubble; Satan the accuser of the brethren, who labours to blow up the wrath of God against me. In this case what shall I do? Surely God “ hath set his king on Sion ;” and he is a king that liath life and righteousness to give to me; that hath grace enough to quench all sin, and the envenomed darts of Satan; in whom there is erected a court of peace and mercy, whereunto to appeal from the severity of God, from the importunity of the Devil, and from the accusations and testimonies of our own hearts. And indeed he had need be a king of righteousness that shall justify men; for our justification is in the remission of our sins; and to pardon sins, and dispense with laws, is a regal dignity; and God taketh it as his own high and peculiar prerogative, “ I, even I, am he that blotteth out thine iniquity for mine own sake, and will not remember thy sins 9.” No man, or angel, or created power, no merit, no obedience, no rivers of oil, nor mountains of cattle, no prayers, tears, or torments, can wipe out the stains, or remove the guilt
* Acts xx. 28.
* Rom. v. 21. Phil. ji. 6, 7, 8.
t Rom. ii. 21, 22.
y Isai. xlii. 25.
“ I only, even I," and none else can do it; none but a divine and royal power can subdue sina.
And this is a ground of a second comfort, that, being a king of righteousness, he is rich in it, and hath treasures to bestow; that as we have a kingdom, a treasure, and abundance of sin ; so we have a king, that hath always a residue of spirit and grace, that hath a most redundant righteousness “ from faith to faith a.” A man's faith can never overgrow the righteousness of our king. If we had all the faith that ever was in the world, put into one man, all that could not overclasp the righteousness of Christ, or be too big for it. As if a man had a thousand eyes, and they should, one after another, look on the sun, yet still the light would be revealed from eye to eye; or as if a man should go up by ten thousand steps to the top of the highest mountain, yet he could never overlook all the earth, or fix his eye beyond all visible objects, but should still have more earth and Heaven discovered unto him from step to step: so there is an immensity in the righteousness and mercy of God, which cannot be exhausted by any sins, or overlooked and comprehended by any faith of men. As God doth more and more reveal himself, and the righteousness of Christ unto the soul, so man maketh further progresses from "faith to faith.” And therefore we should learn everlasting thankfulness unto this our king, that is pleased to be unto us a Melchizedek, a priest to satisfy his Father's justice, and a prince to bestow his own.
Note, Thirdly, Melchizedek was "king of Salem,” that is, of peuce. Here are two things to be noted; the place, a city of the Canaanites, and the signification thereof, which is peace. First, Then, we must observe, that Christ is a king of Canaanites, of Gentiles, of those that lived in abominable lusts : "Such were some of you; but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus b." Be a man never so sinful or unclean, he hath not enough to pose or nonplus the mercy and righteousness of Christ; he can bring reconciliation and peace amongst Jebusites themselves. Though our father were an Amorite, our mother a Hittite; though we were Gentiles, estranged
Micah vii. 18.
a Rom. i. 17.
b1 Cor. vi. 11.