« PreviousContinue »
SER M. for us, and without us, by providing himself a Lamb that takes away the Sins of the World. All therefore that is left upon our Hands is only to take Care that we turn not this Grace of God into Wantonnefs, and render it an Occafion of Security and Prefumption. In a Word, and to conclude: The Account I have given you of our High Priest and his Sacrifice, should raise your Spirits under those Dejections, into which Sorrow for Sin, in fuch of you as endeavour to live without Sin, is apt to fink you: It should bring you into the Difpofition of those honeft Debtors, who, the more they are forgiven, the more they love. And you know what Judgment must needs be made, and what Proofs will be expected of this, by him that said, If you LOVE me, keep my Commandments, John xiv. 15.
Jefus an High Priest after the Order of
HEB. v. 9, 10.
Christ, being made perfect, became the Author of eternal Salvation, unto all them that obey him.
Called of God, an High Prieft after the Order of Melchifedec.
N difcourfing on the Offices which our SERM. Bleffed Saviour was, and is ftill, for ever, to execute as the Meffias or Chrift; from his Office of Prophet, we were advanced to his Priesthood, and have fhewed, that, as it was foretold that the Meffias fhould be a Prieft as well as a Prophet, fo Jefus was one as well as the other: An High Priest as much beyond the Jewish High Prieft, as he was a Prophet greater and higher than Mofes : Such a Priest, as by one fingle Sacrifice or Offering,
SER M. did more than all the Sacrifices of the Jews could ever effect: By the offering of himfelf, of his own Body on the Cross once for all, he made full Satisfaction for the Sins of the whole World, and fo finished and compleated, and put a final End to all the burthenfom Rites and Ceremonies of the Aaronick Priesthood, which could do nothing of themfelves to the putting away Sin, except only prefigure and point at him, the great High Prieft who in Time was to come, the Substance, of which they were only the Shadow.
But this Text calls us to contemplate him as performing a more high and excellent Priesthood ftill: A Priesthood to which all he did to compleat and fulfil the Jewish Priesthood, served only to confecrate or prepare him. For fo my Text tells us, that being made perfect, i. e. being confecrated (as the Word* fignifies) by the Things which be fuffered (as the Verse before tells us) i. e. by the Things which he fuffered to expiate our Sins, He was made the Author not of a temporal, but of eternal Salvation to all that obey him, called of God, an High Priest after
Theb. See Whitby on Heb. ii. 10.
the Order of Melchifedec: After the Order SER M. of one, of whom though many Things may be faid, yet they are hard, the inspired Penman tells us, to be uttered: Though they are hard, as he intimates, not fo much through any Difficulty in the Things themselves, but through the Dullness or Slownefs of them that were to hear them. For he fuppofes that those who are of full Age, or of ripe Understanding, and who, by Reason of Use, or of Habit, have their Senfes, or their Apprehenfions, exercifed to difcern both good and evil; ver. 14. fuch Perfons, I fay, as being capable of digefting ftrong Meat, i. e. the substantial and solid Doctrines of Christianity, the holy Penman fuppofes capable of conceiving and apprehending what he was defirous to fay concerning the typical and antitypical Melchifedec: i. e. of Melchifedec as the Type of Chrift, and Chrift as a Prieft after the Order of Melchifedec; to both which Subjects he therefore proceeds, and in which, fo far as he goes before us, we may fafely follow him. For the Divine Author intimates the Subject to be hard or difficult, not fo much with intent to debar, as to whet, our Enquiry. For as a thing of common Obfervation, or eafy to be underflood, is geP 2
SER M. nerally neglected as not worth our looking into; fo things abftrufe, and above the Reach of common Apprehenfions are more apt to excite our Attention. Of fuch Nature he represents the Order of Melchifedec's Priefthood to be: A Subject not level to every Capacity, but yet fuch as he thought proper to notify and declare to those who were capable of apprehending it: He therefore that bath Ears to hear, let him hear. For fince all Scripture is given by Inspiration of God, and is profitable, fome for Doctrine, fome for Reproof, fome for Correction, and fome again for Instruction in Righteousness, 2 Tim. iii. 16. it is not meet that a Subject on which an infpired Writer infifts fo particularly, fhould be paffed over unheeded by us; especially a Subject fo fruitful of Docrine and Inftruction in Righteousness, as this upon Examination will appear to be. We are only to be careful not to be wife beyond what is written: Not to fay any thing which the Holy Scriptures do not teach, but foberly to examine what they do. And to do this in as clear a Method as I can think of: I fhall