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of God, and who, inasmuch as he has offered his body on the cross, as a holy and living sacrifice unto God, and even now sitteth at God's right hand making intercession for us,-abideth a priest continually.
The argument of the Apostle, which we have now been considering, is as strong as any could or can possibly be in favour of the superiority of our Saviour, that is, in favour of his divinity. The Jews, or Hebrews, recognized, as their descendants still recognize, the inspiration of the scriptures of the Old Testament. In these scriptures, Melchisedec is spoken of as superior to Abraham their ancestor. And the same scriptures, in another part, that is, in the Psalms of David, declare that Christ is to be like to Melchisedec; who, as we have seen, was superior to all, and consequently to every priest of their own nation. Abraham, the “less," is blessed of “Melchisedec, the better,” to whom, in return for the blessing, and in acknowledgment of his own inferiority, Abraham gives tithes.
The Jewish priesthood, therefore, were inferior to Christ, for “as I may so say,” in the words of the Apostle, “ Levi also, who receiveth tithes, payed tithes in Abraham. For he was yet in the loins of his father, when Melchisedec met him.”
The subject of this discourse may have been uninteresting to some—to some it may have been unintelligible. It occupies, nevertheless, a position in Holy Writ, and as such must be deserving of consideration, though it may be both unintelligible
and uninteresting It was suggested to me by reading the second lesson of last Sunday, and by the recollection of a very good and conscientious Christian, who almost seemed to doubt the inspiration of this epistle, because she could not understand how Melchisedec could have been described as having been without father and mother and descent; how it could be said of him that he had neither beginning of days, nor end of life, and that he abode a priest continually. Such a difficulty is easily cleared up, as are many others which must necessarily occur in a volume written at so many different periods, in languages which now, even at the best, can be but imperfectly understood, in which manners and customs, and ideas, are alluded to, and in which phraseologies are oftentimes made use of, with which we must be unacquainted. Let it, however, be remembered that, practically speaking, the word of God may be easily understood.
When we are virtually told, that by grace we are saved, through a practical and lively faith in the crucifixion of the Redeemer, through whom alone we can approach the Divine Presence, there is no difficulty in comprehending thus much. And further, when we are told that the truth of this doctrine is based on the fulfilment of ancient prophecies, and on the miracles of Jesus, there can be no great difficulty in comprehending this argument, though certain arguments adapted to others rather than to ourselves, and certainly rather adapted to the consideration of the better educated, may be unintelli
gible to the unlearned, and even to many whose
profession it is not to examine into them. scriptures, however, are written for our learning, and, therefore, though we may not understand them at first, yet is it our business to endeavour to do so. We are commanded by our Lord to search the scriptures, not to be satisfied with a cursory and inattentive perusal of them, but to sift and examine into them with assiduity and attention. May God, therefore, brethren, assist both you and me in such
ur endeavours ; may he enable us to help each other according to our respective callings and ability, and mutually to promote and assist each other in the great object we ought all to have in view-a perfect, indeed, yet not so much a theoretical as a practical comprehension of the Holy Scriptures, by which means, and by which means alone, we shall most assuredly attain happiness in heaven, through Him who has been aptly typified by one of our fellow mortals; who is in every respect the Great High Priest of our Christian profession; who is now seated at the right hand of God, making intercession for us; who needeth not daily, as those, the Jewish high priests, to offer up sacrifice, first for his own sins, and then for the people; who, having once offered
himself for the sins of the world, was made an high priest for ever, after the order of Melchisedec; who abideth our priest continually!
MYSTERIES OF THE GOSPEL TO BE BELIEVED THOUGH INCOMPREHENSIBLE.
1 CORINTHIANS, ii. 11.
“ For what man knoweth the things of a mun, save
the spirit of man which is in him? even so the things of God knoweth no man, but the Spirit of God.”
The argument of the Apostle, conveyed to us in the language of the text, must be equally convincing and satisfactory to every one possessed of common sense, and a common regard for the welfare of his immortal soul. The epistle, from whence this text has been selected, was addressed by St. Paul to the church at Corinth, and was intended to furnish them with a general view of the nature and design of the religion which they had recently embraced, and of the practical duties which were necessarily inherent in it, and which of course could not be separated from it.
It opens with a declaration of the harmonious integrity of the gospel, of its consistency with itself, and of the consequent impropriety of those persons' conduct who
fomented divisions and disputes within the church to which they all equally professed to belong.
The world, as the Apostle insists, despite the wisdom to which a certain portion of it laid claim, knew nothing whatever of the essence and the attributes of the Deity : “ The world by wisdom knew not God.” Hence it followed, that all those disputes and differences, even among the professed disciples of Christ, must have been perfectly useless, and even unlawful, inasmuch as the entire word of God proclaimed all that was necessary to be known, and from its clearness and perspicuity, could not admit of uncertainty or doubt. “ Christ crucified” was the great corner stone to which the whole superstructure of the Christian edifice was affixed; to the Jews, indeed, a stumbling block, because, in spite of the miraculous proof which our Lord afforded them to the contrary, they obstinately persisted in regarding the promised Messiah as a temporal prince, who should, by deeds of conquest, raise their country to its former splendour and power; and to the Greeks “ foolishness,” because their philosophy and mere worldly wisdom could not explain to them how the murder of the man Jesus could be the means of reconciling sinners unto God. “ But,” as the Apostle further declares, “unto them which are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God.”
Is it, then, you may probably ask, that the mysterious reconciliation of man to his Maker, by the sacrifice of the man Jesus, is more intelligible to