« VorigeDoorgaan »
After all, if both the above extremely awkward expressions, in the sense given to them, be put together, they amount to just this, that Messiah is God. This indeed was a doctrine which Paul laboured to establish and mark what mighty weapons he wields in that warfare. It is the perfections of the deity which Jesus displays it is his creation of the universe-his government, and final disposition of the universe -his superiority over all creatures—and the lofty terms, inapplicable to a creature, in which his father speaks of him-these, and such as these, are the apostle's arguments for the Deity of his Lord. And who can believe, that from this elevation, worthy of an inspired man, and worthy of such a theme, he would stoop down to the miserable puniness of telling the church. that her Saviour, the Son of God, had as God, no mother; had no genealogical register in the Archives of heaven!
3. I object to the interpretation, because it does not treat the type and antitype on the same principle of illustration. The apostle speaks of a genealogy, parentage, birth and death which a priest might have; and denies that Melchisedec had them. The interpretation speaks of a genealogy and parentage, with respect to Jesus, which were impossible. Now the true, and only
true, principle of interpretation is to deny the very SAME genealogy, parentage, birth and death to both Christ and Melchisedec. But to change the terms, and deny one species of parentage and genealogy to the one, and a different species of genealogy and parentage to the other, is to get rid of the very idea of a type.
It is what logicians call an argument" on all fours;" or a syllogism with four terms: as if one should say, John has money, and Thomas has wisdom: therefore-nothing. Melchisedec has no register of his parentage, birth and death, Messiah has no parentage,birth or death: therefore— nothing. You cannot infer from the premises whether they are like, or unlike each other; whether they are different persons, or the same person.
It is somewhat worthy of observation into what a vortex one wrong idea will hurl the greatest minds. Some after affirming that it is the silence of the scriptures respecting the genealogy of Melchisedec, which constitutes him a type of Messiah; proceed the next moment to tell us who he was, and who was his father; and frequently pitch upon men, whose genealogy can be traced to Adam. There are not wanting others to rebuke their audacious attempt: and
to remind them, that to seek after the purposely concealed genealogy of this man, is nothing less than an effort to defeat the divine wisdom, to contradict the divine Spirit, and to destroy a glorious type of Messiah! Let all this zeal cool down. For should the autograph of Melchisedec's genealogical register be produced; or should an angel descend and certify us of his father and mother; and of the year, month, day and hour, on which he was born; and of those, on which he died; it would not affect a single point in his typical character, nor discredit a single scriptural expression respecting him. It would in fact be the best possible commentary on Paul's language; it would verify the whole of his argument: for it would prove that Melchisedec was not an Aaronic priest-had no genealogy among those priests-which is the very fact the apostle asserts. For
Is what the apostle denies to Melchisedec; and of consequence Levitical priesthood. The very SAME genealogy he denies to Jesus; verses 13, 14,—and with it Levitical priesthood, chap. viii. 4. And this was one point of similitude between
them, that both were priests, and neither of them an Aaronic priest. But to proceed with the analysis.
It is customary with the inspired writers, when they introduce a difficulty, to leave a key appended to the lock it is scarcely less customary for their interpreters to neglect that key, and to go to the laboratories of learning and criticism, to have one forged; which, (when they have got it,) grates in the lock and discomposes its wards, but never will open it. The apostle has left his own key to this passage; if indeed, which I very much doubt, he considered it as containing a difficulty. What we need as a key, and therefore may call it by that name, is found in the 6. verse, ὃ δε μη γενεαλογsμεος εξ αυτών, "he whose genealogy is not reckoned from them; viz., the sons of Levi who received the office of priesthood. This then is the whole matter, a negation of Levitical genealogy. Melchisedec, says Paul, is ayeveahoyros, without geneαγενεαλογητος, alogy :—that is, μη γενεαλογεμενος εξ αυτων, without Levitical genealogy.
But what shall we do with απασώς, αμήτως, μητέ αρχην ήμερων, μητε ζωης τελος εχων. "Without father, without mother, without beginning of days or end of life?" I answer, this is nothing else
than a circumstantial verbal description of a Levitical genealogical register.
The following diagram may serve to convey an idea of such register.
NAME. FATHER'S NAME. MOTHER'S NAME. BIRTH. DEATH.
that is, M-; Son of C—, and D-; born P-; died E
Turn over all the genealogical registers of Levi, and you will not find Melchisedec's name, αγενεαλογητος, he he is, "without genealogy: nor his father's name, he is ararwg, "without father:" nor his mother's name, he is aunowe, ❝ without mother:" and both the column containing the register of births, and that containing the register of deaths, are empty ; μητε αρχην ήμερων, μητε ζωης τέλος έχων, “ having neither beginning of days nor end of life;" neither his birth, nor death are recorded in those registers. If I be not egregiously mistaken, the above interpretation carries evidence along with it, which will commend itself to the candid mind. Lest however it should be considered as only one of the many