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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.
PRINTED BY T. K. & P. G. COLLINS, PHILA.
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
the necessity imposed on him of analysing, with what accuracy he could, the apostle's phraseology and argument respecting Melchisedec. was that
every doubt evanished.
When the discourse was moulded into its present form, the intention was to publish it in a periodical paper; 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.
Analysis of the passage beginning at the 11th verse of
the v. chapter and continuing to the end of the vi. 20
I. Melchisedec was not an angel
Nor the Holy Ghost
Nor the son of God
He was a man.
An inquiry what particular man he was
II. Explanation of the name Melchisedec.
Explanation of the name Salem
III. The meaning of Heb. vii. 3, viz. “ without father,"
Hypotheses on the subject examined, viz, that Melchise-
dec was without human descent, without predecessor
or successor in office, without human genealogy.. 77
That the passage relates wholly to Levitical genealogy 84
IV. Of the duration of Melchisedec's priesthood; expla-
nation of Heb. vii. 3, 8, 15, 16, 17, 23, 24...... 94
Meaning of obu's, and eis alwva, and eis to dimuaxes .... 95
V. The dignity of Melchisedec's priesthood .... ...103
VI. Comparison of Jesus with Melchisedec.