[ocr errors]

fies; whereas, the priest's office looks towards God, to whom atonement and intercession are made. 2. Because he is never exhibited as a type of Christ. 3. Because, granting the hypothesis, we would then have two equal priests: and yet one of them would have no offering, and of course could make no intercession, not

being qualified to enter into the holy place with blood. 4. It would be worse than nonsense to tell us the Holy Ghost is without father or mother, and does not reckon his genealogy from the Aaronic priests.

3. Some insist that he is none other than the Son of God himself, who assuming the appearance, or reality, of humanity, exhibited to Abraham an early picture of his future priesthood.

This is all over contemptible.-1. Because every high priest is taken from among men ; the appearance of humanity is not enough.-2. Because, if he was at that time a priest, and discharged the duties of his office, he must have "suffered often," (twice) " from the beginning of the world ;" and not "by the once offering up of himself, have for ever perfected them who are sanctified:" then, moreover, Abraham would have received the promised blessing, contrary to the scriptures: and, in fine, the appearance of the Son of God, as the Son of Mary, was superfluous. If, to avoid those absurdities, it

be alleged that though he appeared as a priest, he did not discharge the duties of his office: then, in the first place, he is degraded into a mere pageant, an officer without functions: and, in the second place, he is stripped of all typical character; for the priest who neither sacrifices, nor intercedes, can never be a type of one who does both.-3. Because, if Melchisedec was the Son of God, whether in real humanity, or only in its appearance, he must have been a type of himself; the ideas of identity and similarity are confounded; and Paul, instead of saying, apWHOW/LEVIS TW JI 78, that he was "made like to the Son of God," should have said, wv og 78 68, that he was the Son of God.-4. Because it would be unworthy the manly sense of Paul, to say nothing of inspiration, to labour through a long dissertation to prove a mere truism, which it would disgrace an idiot to utter, and insult a child to offer for information; namely, that Messiah's priesthood was very like itself.-6. Because it would be extremely irreverent to suppose that the adorable God lifted up his hand and swore, that his Son's priesthood should be like his Son's priesthood. An indentical proposition does not require such a solemn confirmation. But enough: proof is complete when absurdity is exposed.

Melchisedec was a MAN.

This follows from what has been said. But, if the reader should prefer direct evidence, to an inference from negative propositions, it is an easy matter to gratify him. For,

1. The historical evidence is complete. We have the same evidence to believe that Melchisedec was a man, as that Abraham and the king of Sodom were men. By what plea is such evidence to be set aside?

2. His priesthood proves his humanity. For if, as the apostle says, Heb. v. 1., every high priest be taken from among men, this high priest must be a man.

3. As all the other personal types of Messiah were men, so must this personal type. And, indeed, it is altogether inconceivable, how a being, not possessed of human nature, should be a type of priest Messiah, in human nature.

4. The apostle's argument requires, on many accounts, that Melchisedec should be a man: for instance, if he were not a man, but the Son of God, the Holy Ghost, or an angel, (for other supposition is inconceivable,) why should Paul call his brethren to behold and admire his superiority over Abraham?

But, perhaps, too much, on so very plain a subject. No reader, not far gone in criticism, ever did imagine, from the scriptural account of

him, that Melchisedec was any thing else than a man. Some phrases in the 7th chapter of the epistle to the Hebrews, owing, in reality, to an imperfect translation, may puzzle a common reader. Of these he will say, "Si non vis intelligi nolo ego intelligere," if you will not be understood, I shall not understand you. But still he will adhere to it, that Melchisedec was a human being. Let what will be dark, this is clear. It is reserved for the affected ingenuity of spurious criticism, to affix a random meaning to obscure phrases, and then to make the plainest language forego its sense in favour of the hypothesis. Pranks of this kind, not a few, have been played on the subject under consideration. Hence, the labour of interpretation has been increased on our hands. Be this the apology of minuteness.

One more enquiry on this head remains. What particular man was Melchisedec? Enoch

Shem-Ham - Canaana Canaanitish prince-a descendant of Japhet-Job? Each of these conjectures has had its advocates, not one of them has a particle of evidence, and it would be a waste of time and toil, to sit down to weigh the respective merits of unsupported conjectures. The fact is, we do not know, and we do not care, who he was.

II. Of his royalty and kingdom.

Heb. vii.

1. ουλος γας ὀ Μελχισε- 1. "For this Melchisedec, δεκ βασιλέυς Σαλήμ, king of Salem, priest of the ¡egeus 78 per 158.-2. Most High God.-2. First, beπρῶτον μὲν ἐρμηνευόμενος ing by interpretation, ling of

ιερευς 18



righteousness; and after that,

also king of Salem, which is, king of peace."

έπειτα δε και βασίλευς Σαλημ, ό εςι βασιλευς


We have here a Greek translation of the name of Melchisedec, and of the name of the city where he reigned: both, therefore, are brought into the typical group.

In the Hebrew tongue, Melech, signifies king, and prs, Zedek, righteousness: and the name pp, Melchisedec, signifies king of righteousness, or righteous king. If the charac、ter of this prince corresponded with his name, (which is to be supposed,) his government must have been distinguished by righteousness. And thus he is, both in name and conduct, a noble similitude of that king, whom God ordained to reign in righteousness over Zion. Whether his name was TVEUSOV, or immediately imposed by God; or whether, under the direction of Providence, it was given him by his parents in hope that his conduct would realise the title; or by his subjects, or the neighbouring nations, as an honorary reward for his political justice, we know not. Be these things as they may, the


« VorigeDoorgaan »