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John v, 26, 27. And to be a priest by virtue of, or according to this power, stands in direct opposition to the law of a carnal commandment; because, thereby alone was he rendered meet to discharge that office, wherein God was to redeem his church by his own blood, Acts xx, 28. By "power" therefore here, both meetness and ability are intended; and both these the Lord Christ had from his divine nature, and his endless life inseparable from it.


I say, therefore, this life of Christ was not absolutely the life of the human nature, considered separately from his divine; but was the life of the of the Son of God; God and man in one person. And so his life was endless; for although he was once (though a priest) truly and really dead in his human nature, he was still alive in his indissoluble person.

§6. (IV.) The proof of all before asserted is given in the testimony of the psalmist so often before appealed to: "For he testifieth thou art a priest for ever after the order of Melchisedec."

The introduction of this testimony is by (paplupe) hẻ witnesseth, or testifieth, that is, David, or rather the Holy Ghost speaking by David. Testifies; because he used his words by way of testimony to what he had delivered; "Thou art a priest," although a stranger from the Aaronical line, "after the order of Melchisedec." The priesthood of Christ, in the mind of God, was the eternal idea, or original exemplar of the priesthood of Melchisedec. God brought forth the latter, and vested him with his office, in such a manner, as that he might outwardly represent, in sundry things, the original idea of Christ's priesthood. Hence he and his priesthood became an external exemplar of the priesthood of Christ as to its actual exhibition; and therefore he is said to be made a priest "after his order,"

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that is, suitably to the representation made thereof in him. "A priest for ever." This word is also applied to the law and legal priesthood, and signifies "a duration commensurate to the state and condition of the things to which it is applied." While the (□) age of the law continued, all the promises annexed to it stood in force; and when ascribed to the new state of things, under the gospel, it doth not signify absolute eternity, but a certain unchangeable duration to the end of the time and works of the gospel. For then shall the exercise of the priesthood of Christ cease with his whole mediatory work and office, 1 Cor. xv, 28; Christ therefore is said to be a priest for ever-In respect of his person, endued with an "endless life;"_of the execution of his office to the end of it; (he lives for ever to make intercession)-Of the effect of his office, which is to save believers to the utmost, or with an everlasting salvation.

§7. (V.) Obs. 1. Present truths are earnestly to be contended for. So the apostle Peter would have believers established (εν τη παρεση αληθεια) “in the present truth." All truth is eternal, and in itself equally subsistent and present in all ages; but it is especially so, either from the great use of it in some seasons, or as to any great opposition made to it. So this doctrine about the abolition of the Mosaical ceremonies and institutions, with the introduction of a new priesthood and a new ordinance of worship, was then the present truth, in the knowledge and confirmation of which the church was eternally concerned. And so may other truths be at other seasons; as for instance, the Deity or satisfaction of Christ, justification by faith, and the like, being so opposed, become the present truth of the age; and by requiring a steady adherence to which, God will try the faith of his people; and he requires

that they be earnestly pleaded for. Satan is always awake and attentive to his advantages; and therefore though he hates all truth, yet doth he not at all times equally attempt all, but waits to see an inclination in men from their lusts, or prejudices, or interests in this world, against any special truth, or appointed way of divine worship. When he finds things so ready prepared, he falls to his work; and then should we fall to


§8. Obs. 2. Important truths should be strongly confirmed; but arguments that are equally true may yet, in point of evidence, not be equally cogent. Yet in the confirmation of the truth we may use every help that is true and seasonable, though some of them may be more effectual to our end than others. The things which our apostle had discoursed concerning Melchisedec and his priesthood were more effectually demonstrative of the change of the Levitical priesthood, than what he had newly observed concerning the rising of our Lord Jesus Christ from the tribe of Judah.

§9. To the foregoing observations we may add the following:

1. What seemed to be wanting to Christ in his entrance into any of his offices, or in the discharge of them, was on the account of a greater glory. Aaron was made a priest with a great outward solemnity; but yet in reality these things had no glory, in comparison of that excelling glory, which accompanied those invisible acts of divine authority, wisdom, and grace, which communicated to him his office,

2. The eternal continuance of Christ's person gives eternal continuance and efficacy to his office. Because he "lives for ever," he is "a priest for ever." His life is the foundation of his endless priesthood.

Whilst he

lives we want not a priest; and therefore he says, that, "because he lives, we shall live also."

3. To make new priests in the church, is virtually to renounce the faith of Christ's living for ever as our priest; or to suppose that he is not sufficient to the discharge of his office.

4. The alteration that God made in the church by the introduction of the priesthood of Christ was progressive towards its perfection. To return therefore to legal ceremonies in the worship of God, is to go back to poor "beggarly elements and rudiments of the world."

VERSES 18, 19.

For there is verily a disannulling of the commandment going bẹfore, for the weakness and unprofitableness thereof. For the law made nothing perfect, but the bringing in of a better hope did: by the which we draw nigh unto God.

1. Connexion of the text. §2. (I) Exposition of the words. $3. The commandment abrogated. How this could be, §4. How it was done. $5--8, The reason why. $9--13. Observations.

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$1. In the twelfth verse of this chapter the apostle affirms, that the priesthood being changed, there was of necessity a change made of the law also. Having proved the former he now proceeds to confirm his inference from it by declaring that the priest and priesthood, that were promised to be introduced, were in all things inconsistent with the law.

§2. (I.) The (Evloλ) command, is of as large a signification (ver. 18, as the voμos, Law, in ver. 19,) for the same thing is intended in both. It is not therefore the peculiar command for the institution of the legal priesthood that is intended, but the whole system of Mosaical institutions. And indeed it was of such a

nature and constitution, that, pull one pin out of the fabric, and the whole must fall to the ground. Nor is it the whole ceremonial law only that is intended, but the moral law also:-so far as it was compacted with the other in one body of precepts for the same end. For with respect to the efficacy of the whole law of Moses, as to our drawing nigh to God, it is here considered.

"The commandment going before," is the law whereby the worship of God was regulated before the introduction of the gospel.

Of this "command" or "law," it is affirmed, that there is an (0) abrogation, which consists in taking away all its power of obliging to obedience or punishment. The apostle elsewhere expresseth that same act by another word (ngapyew, Eph. ii, 15; 2 Tim. i, 10.)

§3. It is therefore plainly declared, that the law is abrogated, abolished, disannulled: but we must yet farther inquire-How this could be done?-By what means? and-For what reason?

A law may be abrogated when, on any consideration whatever, its obligation to practice is taken away. Thus was it with this law; for, as every other law, it may be considered two ways:

1. With respect to its main end, and directive power, to guide. The moral law, in the first covenant, had no other end but obedience and rewardableness. It is the entire instrument of our living to God, and of our eternal consequent rewards. But as in its renovation it was made a part of the law ed, it came with it to be of another nature, or to have another use and end. For the whole scope and design of this law was to direct men, not to look after that good which was its end, in obedience to itself, but

here intend

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