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to condemn her at once. 'Woman,' said he, where are those thine accusers ? hath no man condemned thee? She said, No man, Lord. And Jesus said unto her, Neither do I condemn thee: go, and sin no more.'* But we need not multiply instances. They lie every where upon the eventful page of the history of the life of Jesus. All may go to him and find rest. There is room enough in this hiding-place for every sinner, and for all the afflicted on earth. Blessed be God for this hiding-place. We will go to it. Are any afflicted ? Look to Jesus. Behold him persecuted even unto death. Are any tempted ? Fly to Jesus. 'He was tempted in all points as we are, yet without sin.' Are any poor? Look to Jesus. Though possessing 'all power in heaven and earth,' yet 'he had not where to lay his head.' Are any dying? Go to Jesus, and find an hiding-place. He came to show man how to live and how to die. Indeed, man can be in no situation where he will not find Jesus to be an hiding-place for him. We must look away from ourselves unto him, and we shall find that peace and security which the world cannot bestow nor take away.
"When dread misfortune's tempests rise,
* John viii. 1-11.
XXXVIII. HIGH PRIEST.
•Wherefore, holy brethren, partakers of the heavenly calling, consider the Apostle and High Priest of our profession, Christ Jesus.'
Heb. iii. 1.
We come now to a very important part of our work; the consideration of a title which throws the mind back to the dispensation of rites and ceremonies, when the good things of the kingdom were shadowed forth by emblems.
We must apprize the reader that we cannot possibly go into all the various particulars connected with this title; for a little reflection must convince any one that a comparison is involved, not only between the Jewish high priest and Jesus, but between different priesthoods; their nature and design; and between the law and the gospel. Indeed, the two dispensations seem to have met in Jesus.
"You behold,' says an elegant author, 'the Law and the Prophets standing, if we may speak so, at the foot of the cross and doing homage. You behold Moses and Aaron bearing the ark of the covenant; David and Elijah presenting the oracle of testimony. You behold all the priests and sacrifices, all the rites and ordinances, all the types and symbols, assembled together to receive their consummation.'
This appellative occurs in forty-two instances, but is only applied to Jesus in the epistle to the Hebrews
in ten places. To ascertain why Jesus is thus styled, it may be well to look at the duties of the high priest under the former dispensation, and then present a comparison. The high priest enjoyed peculiar dignities and influence. He alone could enter the Holy of Holies in the temple; the supreme administration of sacred things was confined to him; he was the final arbiter of all controversies; in later times he presided over the sanhedrim, and held the next rank to the sovereign or prince. His authority, therefore, was very great at all times, and especially when he united the pontifical and regal dignities in his own person. The most interesting light in which he can be viewed, is in making an atonement for the sins of the people. A judicious writer thus speaks on this subject :-"The high priest, after he had washed, not only his hands and his feet, as usual at common sacrifices, but his whole body, dressed himself in plain linen like the other priests, wearing neither his purple robe, nor the ephod, nor the pectoral, because he was to expiate his own sins, together with those of the people. He first offered a bullock and a ram for his own sins, and those of the priests, putting his hands on the heads of the victims, and confessing his own sins, and the sins of his house. Afterwards, he received from the princes of the people two goats for a sin-offering, and a ram for a burnt-offering, to be offered in the name of the whole nation. The lot determined which of the two goats should be sacrificed, and which set at liberty. After this, the high priest put some of the sacred fire of the altar of burnt-offerings into a censer, threw incense upon it, and entered with it, thus smoking, into the sanctuary. After having perfumed the sanctuary with this incense, he came out, took some of the blood of the young bullock he had sacrificed, carried that also into the sanctuary, and, dipping his fingers in it, sprinkled it seven times between the ark and the veil, which separated the holy from the sanctuary, or most holy. Then he came out a second time, and beside the altar of burnt-offerings killed the goat which the lot had determined to be the sacrifice. The blood of this goat he carried into the most holy place, and sprinkled it seven times between the ark and the veil, which separated the holy from the sanctuary; from thence he returned into the court of the tabernacle, and sprinkled both sides of it with the blood of the goat. During this time, none of the priests, or people, were admitted into the tabernacle, or into the court. This being done, the high priest came to the altar of burntofferings, wetted the four horns of it with the blood of the goat and young bullock, and sprinkled it seven times with the same blood. The sanctuary, the court, and the altar being thus purified, he directed the goat which was set at liberty by the lot, to be brought to him, which being done, he put his hand on the goat's: head, confessed his own sins, and the sins of the people, and then delivered it to a person to carry it to some desert place, and let it loose, or throw it down some precipice. This being done, the high priest washed himself all over in the tabernacle, and, putting on other clothes, (some think his pontifical dress, his robe of purple, the ephod, and the pectoral,) sacrificed two rams for burnt-offering, one for himself, and the other for the people.'
There are four kinds of priesthood: 1. The priesthood of kings, princes, heads of families, and the firstborn. 2. The priesthood according to the order of Melchisedec. 3. The priesthood of Aaron and his family. And, 4. The priesthood of Jesus Christ, which is infinitely superior to all others in dignity, in duration, in prerogatives, in object and power. The priesthood of Aaron was to end, but that of Jesus Christ is everlasting. That of Aaron was limited to his own family, was exercised only in the temple, and among only one people; its object was bloody sacrifices and purifications, which were only external, and could not remit sins; but the priesthood of Jesus Christ includes the entire christian church, spread over the face of the whole world, and among all the nations of the earth.'*
I. The priesthood of Jesus was superior to that of the law in its dignity. Jesus, our great High Priest, was consecrated by God himself.
In him, every virtue met. There was a grandeur in his ministry which called forth even the admiration of his enemies. He was the Son of God, clothed with a power and authority never before vested in any being. He was not a typical priest, but a real priest. All others, in comparison with him, were mere types and shadows.
II. The priesthood of Jesus was superior in respect to duration. The law, its priesthood, its rites and ceremonies, were only designed for a limited period. A brighter and more perfect dispensation was to suc
* See Calmet's Dictionary, as revised by Robinson, articles Day or ATONEMENT, and PRIESTHOOD.