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limited period, but spiritual and eternal blessings, even all that man can need, or God bestow; not coming forth, himself a sinner, delegated to pronounce a blessing, but " appearing without sin to confer by his own authority everlasting salvation” on all his believing people".

Such are the views which the Apostle gives us of our great High-priest, and of " the transcendent excellence of his ministry.”] Judge then,

1. What is our duty towards this great Highpriest

[As “a minister of this new covenants," I hesitate not to say what my duty is. It is to make known this Saviour to you in all his offices: to set before you this covenant in all its fulness, its freeness, its sufficiency, its immutability: to point him out as the only Mediator of it, through whose sacrifice and intercession you must seek its blessings, and through whom alone you can obtain them: to open from time to time all the promises contained in it; and to lead you to a simple reliance on them, as the one only means of obtaining the accomplishment of them to your soulst.

What then is your duty, but to contemplate these subjects with admiration, and love, and gratitude; and to seek a personal interest in them all ? Contemplate " the covenant," “ ordered in all things, and sure;” and expect nothing but as the fruit of God's eternal love, as expressed towards you in that covenant

Contemplate the peculiar privileges which you enjoy under this " better” covenant, above all that were ever enjoyed by God's people of old -- Contemplate Jesus as " the Mediator" of this covenant; and see all the conditions of it fulfilled by him for you, and all the blessings of it as the fruit of his sacrifice and intercession

Contemplate the “promises” of it, so abundant, so suitable, so sufficient, so sure to all who plead them before God, and rely upon them as the only ground of their hopes. In a word, look to the ministry of Christ, as the Jews did to that of their high-priests. They expected nothing but through the intervention of their appointed mediators: and do you in like manner expect nothing but in and through your adorable Advocate and Intercessor --]

r Heb. ix. 28.
s 2 Cor. iii. 6. dalykng the same word as in the text.

+ If this be the subject of an Ordination or Visitation Sermon, it will be proper to shew here how inadequately they execute the ministerial office who dwell on the evidences of Christianity, or on morals to the exclusion of the sublimer subjects.

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2. The danger of neglecting it

[The generality of Christians do lamentably neglect their duty in relation to our great High-priest. Instead of relying on that “ better covenant,” of which he is “the Mediator," they make covenants of their own precisely similar to the Mosaic covenant, which for its unprofitableness is abrogated and annulled. They reduce the standard of the moral law to their own fancied ability to fulfil it: they look for the first motions to good to arise from themselves, from some fancied stock of which they imagine themselves possessed; and then expect ulterior blessings as a reward for their own personal merits and deserts. They will be as little indebted to the free grace of God as possible: and, instead of receiving from the Lord Jesus Christ all their salvation as the fruit of what he has done and suffered for them, they give him no higher honour than that of obtaining for them a right and a power to save themselves. And this is the covenant which they prefer, and for which they abandon that “ better covenant, which God has revealed in his Gospel. But let all such daring contemners of the Gospel hear what the Apostle Paul speaks to them in this epistle: “ If,” says he," he that despised Moses' law died without mercy under two or three witnesses, of how much sorer punishment, suppose ye, shall he be thought worthy, who hath trodden under foot the Son of God, and hath counted the blood of the covenant an unholy thing, and hath done despite to the Spirit of grace*.” Mark, this is not an assertion merely, but an appeal, an appeal to every considerate man: and, if you will only consider it candidly, I will consent that you shall be judges in your own cause

- If you say, 'I am not guilty of the things here spoken of;' I ask, • How is it possible to deny your guilt, if you are systematically rejecting the Christian covenant, and substituting another of your own? or how can you be guiltless in respect to these things, when you thrust the Lord Jesus Christ from his mediatorial office, and seek to place his crown upon your own head ?' Beware, I pray you, of this fatal evil: for, “ how shall ye escape, if ye neglect so great salvation?" Remember, there is no other covenant whereby any human being can be saved; no promise, but what is contained in that; no mediator, through whom we can obtain an interest in it, but the Lord Jesus Christ. Lay hold on this covenant, and you are safe : reject it, and you perish for ever

-]

u Heb. vii. 18, 19.

* Heb. x. 28, 29.

y Heb. ii. 3.

MMCCCI.

CHRIST ABOVE THE LEVITICAL PRIESTS.

Heb. ix. 11, 12. Christ being come an High-priest of good

things to come, by a greater and more perfect tabernacle, not made with hands, that is to say, not of this building; neither by the blood of goats and calves, but by his own blood he entered in once into the holy place, having obtained eternal redemption for us.

THOUGH there are a multitude of types, besides those which were instituted by Moses, yet the most direct and complete representations of Christ are certainly to be found in the Mosaic ritual. Amidst the various ordinances relative to the priests and the temple, there is perhaps not any one point, however minute, which has not a typical reference, though, for want of an infallible instructor, we cannot precisely ascertain the meaning in every particular. The Epistle to the Hebrews, however, affords us great assistance in our inquiries into this subject, inasmuch as it declares the exact relation between the types and the one great Antitype in all the principal and most important points. The text especially, connected as it is with the whole preceding and following context, leads us to consider, I. The resemblance between Christ and the Aaronic

priests, It would be endless to enumerate all the points of agreement between them: we shall rather confine our attention to those referred to in the text.

1. The high-priests were taken from among men to mediate between God and them

[This is expressly declared to be the end of their institutiona. Aaron and his descendants were called to this officeb; and, in all the transactions between the Israelites and their God, they performed that office according to the commandment. Thus our blessed Lord was taken from among men; he was bone of our bone, and flesh of our flesh. He assumed our nature for that very purpose, that he might be capable of

a Heb. v. 1.

b Heb. v. 4.

officiating as our great High-priesto, and, in that nature, he both comes from God to us, and goes to God from us.]

2. Their mediation was to be carried on by means of sacrifices,

[The precise method in which they were to execute their office is recorded in the 16th of Leviticus: nor could they deviate from it in the least: if any but the high-priest had presumed to enter within the vail, or he, on any other day than that of the annual atonement, or even then without the blood of the sacrifices 4, he would have instantly been smitten, as a monument of Divine vengeance. Thus Christ approached not his God without a sacrifice. He presented his own sacred body as an offering for sin ; and, having “ offered himself without spot to God,” he is “gone with his own blood within the vail," and makes that blood the ground of his intercession on our behalf".]

3. They obtained blessings for those on whose behalf they mediated

[The judgments, which God had denounced against the transgressors of his law, were averted, when the high-priest had presented the accustomed offerings, and God was reconciled to his offending people. In like manner does Christ make reconciliation for us by the blood of his cross 8: He “gives his own life a ransom for us," and thus redeems us from those awful judgments which our sins have merited. Nor is it a mere deliverance from punishment that we obtain through him: “we are brought nigh to God by his blood,” and are restored to the possession of our forfeited inheritance".]

But while the text intimates the resemblance between Christ and the high-priests, it most unequivocally declares also, II. His pre-eminence above them

This part of the subject also would open a large field for discussion : but, confining ourselves to the text, we shall notice his pre-eminence only in the particulars which are there specified. 1. He officiated in a far nobler tabernacle

[As he belonged not to the tribe to which the priesthood attached, he could not exercise his ministry within the precincts allotted to them! The tabernacle therefore, in which he

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c Heb. ii. 14-17. f ver. 24. with the text. 1 Heb. vii. 13. VOL. XIX.

officiated, was his own body, while he continued upon earth; and the heaven of heavens, when he ascended within the vailk. How infinitely does this exalt him above all the Aaronic priests! We allow that the tabernacle was glorious: but what glory had it, when compared with Christ's immaculate body, in which, not a mere symbol only of the Divine presence dwelt, but all the fulness of the Godhead? And what was the holy of holies in comparison of heaven itself, where Christ sitteth at the right hand of God? Surely in whichever light we view the tabernacle in which Christ officiated, we must acknowledge it to have been far “greater and more perfect than that which was made with hands."] 2. He offered a far more valuable sacrifice-

[The high-priests could offer nothing but the blood of beasts, which had not in itself the smallest efficacy towards the expiation of sin: the virtue, which it had, was wholly derived from its typical relation to the great Sacrifice. But “ Christ is entered into the holy place with his own blood ;” and there presents it before God as a propitiation for our sins. Compare the sacrifices then, the blood of goats and of calves, with the blood of our incarnate God: who does not see the worthlessness of the one, and the infinite value of the other? No wonder that the former needed to be “ offered year by year continually,” since they had no power to take away sin, or to pacify an accusing conscience': but the latter fully satisfies for the sins of the whole world, and, having been once offered, perfects for ever them that are sanctified by it m.] 3. He obtained far richer benefits for his people

[The utmost that the high-priest obtained for the people was, a remission of those civil or political penalties which were annexed to their several transgressions: with respect to real pardon before God, the annual repetition of their sacrifices sufficiently manifested, that that was beyond the sphere of their influence". But Christ has obtained for us redemption from all the bitter consequences of sin; as well from the sufferings, which we should have endured in the future world, as from the bondage, to which we should have remained subject in this present life. Nor are the effects of his sacrifice transient, like those under the law: it excels no less in the duration than in the greatness of the benefits it procures; it obtains for us, not redemption only, but “eternal redemption."

k Heb, viii. 2. The "tabernacle" seems primarily to refer to his body. Compare John i. 14. 'Eokýrwoer, with Col. ii. 9. But it may also relate to heaven, since it certainly was a figure of that also. ver. 24. m 1 John ii. 2. Heb. x. 14. n Heb. x. 1, 4,

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