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XI.

S É R M. Abraham ; otherwise he could not have been

the promised Seed, which was to come from Abraham, and was to be Priest as well as Prophet and King. For Abraham he descended through Isaac and Jacob, to each of which Patriarchs the Promise of that Seed in whom all Nations should be blessed, was renewed and confirmed. But Jacob had twelve Sons : All of whose Descendants were admitted into Covenant, and chosen as the peculiar People of God : But to the Tribe or Family of Levi only was the administring in sacred Things confined : And out of that Tribe the House of Aaron alone was chosen to enter into the Tabernacle, and officiate at the Altar. Both High Priest and Priests were to be Descendants from him. Whoever else presumed to minister in holy Things, the Service was profaned. But now our Lord, though descended from Abraham, from Isaac and Jacob, and fo of Israel, the chosen and peculiar People of God; yet was he descended neither from Aaron nor Levi : His Descent was, no more than Melchisedec’s, counted from them, chap. vii. 6. With Relation to that Tribe, he was without Father, without Mother, without Genealogy. For He, of whom these Things are Spoken, pertaineth, faith the holy Text, to

another

XI.

another Tribe, of which no Man gave Atten- SE R M.
dance at the Altar: For it is evident that our man
Lord sprang out of Judah, of which Tribe
Mofes Spake nothing concerning the Priesthood,
ver, 13, 14

And therefore our Lord, as
springing from Judah, had no Right to the
Office of Priesthood, according to the Rule
or Regulation of Priesthood which Moses
from the Mouth of God prescribed.

This was the first Difference between the Aaronick Priesthood and Christ's; and which might denominate Christ a Priest more after the Similitude of Melchisedec, than of Aaron. But a more material Difference consisted in the Nature or Kind of Priesthood which they feverally executed. The Aaronick Priesthood was almost wholly imployed in offering Gifts and Sacrifices, in Meats and Drinks and divers Washings, and carnal Ordinances, chap. ix. 9, 10. Things that could not make even them that did the Service, perfect as to Conscience. But no such Services were ever performed by Melchisedec or Christ: Their Performances were of a much more pure and Spiritual Nature. The Sacrifice indeed which Chiit made of himself; that was material : And by that, as I have shewn

you,

he finished and compleated the Aaronick Priesthood, fully

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XI.

SERM. performing what all their Sacrifices only

shewed was wanting to be done, but what he did; and so putting an end to, as rendring thenceforth of no further Use all thole Sa. crifices, and Offerings, and Burnt Offerings, and Offerings for Sin, in which God had no Pleasure : All these he finished by his own coming to do the Will of God: By the which Will we are fančtified, through the Offering of the Body of Jesus Christ once for all, chap.x, 8, 9, 10, By which one Offering he hath perfested for ever them that are fan&tified, ver, 14. But this I count not as any part of his Melchifedecian Priesthood : In this he was rather the Antitype. of Aaron : The Antitype of his Priesthood and Sacrifices both: The Performance and Completion of which Sacrifice and Priesthood was his Consecration to his Priesthood after the Order of Melchisedec. For so my Text tells us, that being made perfect, i. e. being consecrated, by the Things which he suffered, in fulfilling and finishing the Priesthood of Aaron, be became thé Author of eternal Salvation to all that obey bim,,called of God an High Priest after the Order of Melchifedec, i, e. confticuted thenceforth not a sacrificing but a blessing Priest ; Not a Priest to offer himself ofteil, as

the

XI.

the High Priest entered into the holy Place, S ER M. every Year with Blood of others; (For then must be often have suffered fince the Foundation of the World: But now once in the end of the World (or in the Conclusion of the Ages) has be appeared to put away Sin by the Sacrifice of himself, chap. ix. 25, 26. And in Virtue of this one Sacrifice bas he now obtained a more excellent Ministry, by bow much he is the Mediator of a better Covenant, which was established upon better Promises, chap. viii. 6. viz. Promises of Pardon and Grace to the Penitent, and of everlasting Happiness to the Faithful and Persevering. Of all which he is in actual Poffeffion himself ; he has them entirely at his own Disposal; and confers them on all that with Faith and Repentance apply to him for them. Thus without any more Offering for Sin has he Authority and Power to bless his People ; God having railid up his Son Jefus, fent bim to bless us in turning every one of us from our Iniquities, Acts iii. 26. Blefjed (faith St. Paul) the God' and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who beth blessed us with all spiritual Bleffings in holy Things in Chrift. He is able to save, to the uttermol, them that come unto God by him; seeing he ever liveth to make In

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iercellion

XI.

SER M. tercession for them, Heb. vii. 25.

Which leads us to

ji Another principal Circumstance which shews Christ's Priesthood to be after the Order of Melchisedec, and very different from Aaron’s : And that is the Perpetuity or Eternity of his Priesthood. For it is yet far more evident, that after the Similitude of Melcbijedec, there arijeth another Priest, who is made, not after the Law of a carnal Commandment, but after the Power of an endless Life, ver. 15, 16. i. e. not subject to Mortality and Death, but as immortal as an endless Life can make him : For He (i. e. God, who constituted him) testifieth (by the Pfalmift). Thou art a Priest FOR EVER, after the Order of Melchisedec, ver. 17.

This the holy Penman notes as a very great Difference (as indeed it is) between the Priesthood of Christ and the Priesthood of daron. For they (i.e. the Jewish Priesls, they) truly were many Priests, because they were not sufficient to continue by reason of Death;. ver. 23. and therefore when one died, another Priest must fucceed in bis Room; But this Man, i.e. Christ, because he continuetb ever,

hath an unchangeable Priesthood, ver. 24. or (as the Greek Word signifieth) a Priesthood that does not pass from one to

another.

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