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is a testimony born to his truth, and faithfulness
heard." Cor. 2.9. Is. 64.4
The administration of this house, is in the Old
This house is termed by St. Paul the true taber- Heb.8.2
of man. In it, figurative ordinances still obtain. What then is this true tabernacle, and such as the hand of man does not appear in? The apostle himself tells us, that it has nothing to do with any thing of earth. "It is," he says (" ou tautes tes ktiseos) not of this earth ;" i. e. it is immaterial.
The ministry which Christ at present exercises, is said to be more excellent than that of Moses. Now the excellence lies in this, that it acts upon the will and the affections, and there engraves his laws; whereas Moses presented his laws to a stiff-necked people, written on tables of stone. The first service is termed the letter, the second the spirit.
It is admitted that this ministry exercises its beneficent influences upon earth, but then it still labours under much opposition from the abounding corruptions of the human heart. The language of the new covenant is too strong, and expresses perfection of character too high for the present state Jer 31.33 of man. Jer.33. "I will put my laws into their hearts, and write them in their minds; and I will be to
Heb.8.10 them a God, and they shall be to me a people."
Being to them a God, implies such a state in
is in this state, and no other, that they can be unto God" a people set apart (Am-Kedosh) a royal priesthood, a peculiar people." God himself gives a hint when this is to take place; it is to be after these days, i. e. after they have done with time. It may be contended that this is susceptible of another meaning; that "after these days," means the coming in of the New Testament dispensation: but was such a covenant made with none till then? The covenant made with Abraham was this new covenant, and was it not realized to him after his death? What must have become of all the other patriarchs, if, “after these days," signified the period of the New Testament? By Israel and Judah are meant such as are not to be found upon earth, but that Israel, whose dwelling is not with flesh. It is evident that St. Paul so understands it, by applying the quotation to Messiah's ministry in that tabernacle which the Lord pitched, and not man. The adjuncts and circumstances expressed of this abode, prove,. that "after these days," must signify when they have done with time; such as, when recorded laws are to be superseded by the internal writing on the heart, and when there exists no necessity for teachers. Now when is it that this takes place on earth, that even the least shall not need a teacher? Another adjunct meriting consideration, and which agrees with the view in which the RabL 1 2
bins understood it, that God here promises to be their God, and they his people, in a sense in which none of the parties had been before that is, say they, after this mortal life is ended. In this light also, that great master among the Jews, Maimonides, understood it. It is then, he says, "the whole law of Moses is to be obeyed, without dislike, disorder, or coercion, as he has promised, they shall not teach every one his neighbour, &c. with many passages of scripture, of a similar tendency, in which way the future age is fully understood."
Messiah is now the high priest of the blessings of the future age. Through his hands these are dispensed in foretastes and anticipations to that portion of the church that is yet in the wilderness, but in the most full and abundant manner to the assembly of departed spirits that inhabit the region of peace and this he does by means of a greater and more perfect tabernacle, which the Lord hath pitched..
His being the high priest of these blessings, is fully expressed in the book of Revelation, by his being represented as leading them to living streams; and under the image of pastures that are ever green, as admitting them to the participation of joys which know no abatement, and making them recline by the waters of his perfect rest. These are the living springs of that glorious land,
land, which are perpetually rising up to everlasting life.
This will have further light thrown upon it from the view of a passage in the 110th psalm, in v.4, which it is thus expressed: "thou art a priest Heb.7.1%,2 (Le-Olam) for the future age." In our version it is for ever. But it is impossible that this can mean an endless duration, because his priesthood, to which also is annexed his kingly power, is to be exercised only while time remains, and which in the end is to be delivered up to the Father. To this it may be objected, is not his priesthood said to be unchangeable? This is the language of our English version, but not that of the original. There it is," He has an intransitive priesthood (aparabaton,") i. e. not passing by reason of death from one priest to another. Standing by the golden altar, his censor sends up its smoke through all ages, and with this ascend the prayers of all saints before God. This act is termed (entungchenein) standing in the midst, between God and them, being the blesed daysman, who lays his hand upon both, bringing God and man together by an indissoluble bond of union.
Every priest," says St. Paul," is appointed.8.3 to offer gifts and sacrifices:" this being the case, the great High Priest of our profession must have something to offer analagous to these. The material offerings of the Aaronic priesthood were the