Entered according to the Act of Congress, in the year 1844, by WILLIAM STEWART,

in the clerk's office of the district court of the United States in and for the eastern district of Pennsylvania.



3-20-33 SunB

*Tappan Presb, Assor,


AGREEABLY to a regulation of the Associate Reformed Church, the Presbytery of Philadelphia, on the 15th November 1805, assigned the author the cx. Psalm, as the subject of a critical discourse. The chief difficulty in that psalm is the parallel between the priesthood of Melchisedec and that of Messiah. He had before that time read various hypotheses on the subject, without being satisfied with any of them; and without that careful and patient examination of the scriptures, which is necessary to obtain satisfaction. on such a point. He was now obliged to study the psalm and the apostle's commentary on it. At a subsequent meeting of the Presbytery, the substance of the following dissertation was read. It did not produce much conviction; and was but feebly supported by the author, who, though strongly impressed with the correctness of the views exhibited, was neither dogmatically certain, nor prepared to repel detailed objections. During a part of the years 1808, and 1809, he was engaged in expounding the epistle to the Hebrews to his congregation, and was not displeased with


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the necessity imposed on him of analysing, with what accuracy he could, the apostle's phraseology and argument respecting Melchisedec. The consequence was that every doubt evanished.

When the discourse was moulded into its present

form, the intention was to publish it in a periodical pa

per; with which view it was divided into parts. But the extent to which the matter spread, and the injury which a continous discussion suffers from being cut up into shreds, induced the adoption of the present mode of publication. During the composition, but chiefly since, he has examined every author he could procure, who has treated the subject: in one or other of whom he found most of the ideas here communicated, some apparently thrown out at random, others stated for refutation. The only thing he could refer to, as affording any support to his general views, is a passage in the third volume of Wolfius's Curæ Philologicæ.

Care has been taken that the Hebrew and Greek quotations should create as little embarrassment to the English reader as possible.

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