Billeder på siden


shadows of the law; we must now look that there be that body which is of Christ; i. e. those realities which the offerings of the Mosaic dispensation représented. This discovers to us that several of the offerings under the law, were in their nature eucharistic, and representative of those internal feel. ings which God values most of all. In that state the various and vigorous emotions of the soul, darting forth towards God as their center and object, are the sacrifices and the offerings, which, in order to their acceptance, must pass through the hands of the great High Priest. Here it is that he sustains the double character of the altar and the priest. As to the first, the apostle Paul says, we have an altar of which they have no right to eat, who serve the tabernacle;" i. e. those who still desire to adhere to the old dispensation, notwithstanding that the new has commenced. As to the second, he says, “Let us therefore offer up, by him, the sacrifice of praise to God continually; that is, the fruit of our lips confessing to his

When all this takes place on earth, although in much weakness, and labouring under many imperfections, it stands in the middle between the material offerings of the law, and the things of the unseen world, by the name of (eikón) or the image of these things. To the first it is retrospective, and to the second it is prospective, as looking to grow and to be ripened into


vi 15.


[ocr errors][ocr errors][merged small]

that after death. It was this view which suggested to Paul the following language : “ For the Heb.10.1. law having a shadow of the blessings of the future age, but not the image of the things themselves could not make the comers thereunto perfect.” In the first dispensation, there were exhibibited merely the outlines of celestial things. In the times of the gospel, the image succeeded, which is a still more lively resemblance, and approaches much nearer to the truth than a shadow; and yet after all is but an image still, and must ever remain at a wide distance from the reality, or the things themselves in all their truth and life.

We are witnesses to this exercise of confessing to his name in the intermediate state, as we have it in the latter part of the 7th chapter of the book 9-17 of Revelation; and must after all declare, that when the sounds of that world meet our ear, how small a part do we know. Looking into the bright mirror of Deity, they saw - and instantly this song of ascriptions followed, Amen, blessing, and glory, and wisdom, and thanksgiving, and honour, and power, and strength, be to our God for ever and ever.” Thus they serve God in his temple day and night, and the Lamb who is in the midst of the throne, “ leads them forth into pastures."

“ Thou art a priest (Le-Olam) for that future Heb.7.17,21. world,” This sense St. Paul seems to have had Rs.110.44

in his eye, for he renders it almost verbatim, minister of the sanctuary, or holy place; and this might be suggested to him as the sense of his nation from the Chaldee paraphrase, to the hearing of which publicly read, he would be accustomed from his earliest youth. The words run thus: « The Lord hath sworn, and will not repent that thou shalt be appointed High Priest in the future age.

With St. Paul, high Priest and Minister are synonymous terms. This latter, in the Jewish church,' was termed Hazan, overseer, and to which bishop corresponds; whose office it was to take the lead in every act of worship, to preside at the reading of the law, pointing out the portion and the manner in which it was to be read. It was also his office to stand up, and to offer prayers for the people, which act is expressed by the word (entungchanein) se interponere medium, to supplicate or intercede for.

When this apostle 'speaks of Christ being “a priest for the future age, after the order of Melchizedec,” he views this order or resemblance as extending not simply to the person, but to the title which this prince bore as Melchi-zedec, king of righteousnes ; and Melchi-shalom, king of peace, both of which names he is careful to interpret, that we may see how they fit Messiah in their truest sense. But what we are to attend to, is

the language


[merged small][ocr errors]

the language of the Father to the Son, declaring that his being made a priest to the future world, was to meet the situation of that world, as a king whose government was to be unspotted, and whose subjects were to be all righteous—who was to be king of Salem, sovereign of that peaceful region into which the righteous nation only enter, and there are kept in perfect peace.

Of this house, so often mentioned by David, Messiah only has the keys, when “ he opens none can shut, and when he shuts none can open.”.

The Chaldee paraphrast views the term Melchizedec as a name descriptive of character. The words are,

Thou shalt be anointed king to the future age, for thy merit, because thou hast been a spotless king.” To which agrees what is said in Psal. xly.“ Thou lovest righteousness and hatest wickedness, therefore God thy God hath anointed thee with the oil of gladness above thy fellows." v.6.7.

Viewing the name Melchizedec as descriptive of what Messiah is, the whole may be rendered in this manner : “ The Lord hath sworn and will not repent; thou art priest to the future


(41dibarti) according to my appointment, О king of righteousness.” Having an altar which makes the comers thereunto perfect, and inviting ail thy people to look to thee as Jehovah-Tzidkenu, the Lord nur righteousness. I have now endeavoured to trace through both Mm


ments, what, in some instances, may be denominated undesigned or inadvertent notices of the intermediate state; by which terms it is not meant that the inspired penmen wrote without being conscious of what they were transmitting, but merely, that in many cases they gave notice of this state in hints,* or eliptical expressions ; sometimes in circumlocutory phrases, conscious that their meaning would be instantly caught by their countrymen. Remaining satisfied with this, they looked no farther, and gave themselves no concern as to the obscurity into which language of this kind might fall, or as to the construction that after ages might put upon it. Of these notices, some are more express

and clear than others, according to the particular adjuncts and circumstances with which they come attended; but taken altogether, they furnish an irresistible body of evidence that there are distinct places of abode assigned to reprobate and happy souls during the interval which takes place between death and the resurrection.

* Thus the Latins say of death, discessit, vixcrunt ; and with respect to the state of the soul, abiere ad plures, abiere in communem loeum, which in the language of Job is, they have gone to the house of assembly for all the living. Facit quod faciendum fuit Plautus. To denote that there is no resisting the law of mortality.



« ForrigeFortsæt »