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your ears;" (Luke iv. 21.) and the confession of the synagogue at Nazareth, who “all bare him witness, and wondered at the gracious words which proceeded out of his mouth :" (Luke iv. 22.) yet we are furnished with more ample and plentiful demonstrations; for whether we consider his preparation, his mission, or bis administration, all of them speak him fully to have performed it. To Jeremiah indeed God said, “Before thou cainest forth out of the womb, I sanctified thee, and I ordained thee a prophet unto the nations;” (Jer. i. 5.) and of John the Baptist,“ He shall be filled with the Holy Ghost, even from his mother's womb." (Luke i. 15.) And if these became singular prophets by their preparative sanctification, how much more eminent must his prophetical preparation be, to whose mother it is said, “The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee ?” (Luke i. 35.) If the Levites must be " thirty years old, every one that came to do the service of the ministry," (Numb. iv. 47.) Jesus will not enter upon the public administration of this office “till he begin to be about thirty years of age.” (Luke iii. 23.) Then doth the “Holy Ghost descend in a bodily shape like a dove upon him: then must a voice come from heaven, saying, Thou art my beloved Son, in thee I am well pleased.” (Luke iii. 22.) Never such preparations, never such an inauguration of a prophet.
As for his mission, never any was confirmed with such letters of credence, such irrefragable testimonials, as the formal testimony of John the Baptist, and the more virtual testimony of his miracles. “Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the Lord," saith God by Malachi. (iv. 5.) And John went “before him in the spirit of Elias,” (Luke i. 17.) saith another Malachi, even an angel from heaven. This John, or Elias, saw the Spirit descend on Jesus, “and bare record, that this is the Son of God." (John i. 34.) The Jews took notice of this testimony, who said unto him, Rabbi, he that was with thee beyond Jordan, to whom thou barest witness, behold, the same bap, tizeth, and all men come unto him;" (John iii. 26.) and Jesus himself pats them in mind of it, “Ye sent unto John, and he bare witness unto the truth;" (John v. 33.) nay, they themselves confessed his testimony to be undeniable, “John did no miracle, but all things that John spaķe of this man were true.” (John x. 41.) But though the witness of John were thus cogent, yet the testimony of miracles was far more irrefragable; “I
have greater witness than that of John (saith our Saviour); for the works which my Father hath given me to finish, the same works that I do, bear witness of me, that the Father hath sent me.” (John v. 36.) Notwithstanding the precedent record of John, Jesus requireth not an absolute assent unto his doctrine without his miracles: “If I do not the works of my Father, believe me not.” (John x. 37.) But upon them he chal
lengeth belief: “But if I do, though ye believe not me, believe the works; that ye may know and believe that the Father is in me, and I in him.” (John x. 38.) If then Moses and other prophets, to whom God gave the power of miracles, did assert their mission to be from God by the divine works which they wrought; much more efficacious to this purpose must the miracles of Jesus appear, who wrought more wonders than they all. , Never therefore was there so manifest a mission of a prophet.
Now the prophetical function consisteth in the promulgation, confirmation, and perpetuation of the doctrine containing the will of God for the salvation of man. And the perfect administration of the office must be attributed unto Jesus. For “no man hath seen God at any time; the only begotten Son, which is in the bosom of the Father, he hath declared him.” (John i. 18.) He gave unto the apostles the words which his Father gave him. (John xvii. 8.14.) Therefore he hath revealed the perfect will of God. The confirmation of this doctrine cannot be denied him, who lived a most innocent and holy life to persuade it, for "he did no sin, neither was guile found in his mouth :” (1 Pet. ii. 22.), who wrought most powerful and divine works to confirm it, and was thereby “known" to be “a teacher from God;" (John iii. 2.) who died a most painful and shameful death to ratify it, “witnessing a good confession before Pontius Pilate;" (1 Tim. vi. 13.) which in itself unto that purpose efficacious, was made more evidently operative in the raising of himself from death. The propagation and perpetual succession of this doctrine must likewise be attributed unto Jesus, as to no temporary or accidental prophet, but as to him who instituted and instructed all who have any relation to that function. For * the Spirit of Christ was in the prophets :” (1 Pet. i. 11.) and “when he ascended up on high, he gave gifts unto men.' (Eph. iv. 8.) For “he gave some apostles, and some prophets, and some pastors and teachers; for the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying the body of Christ.” (Eph. iv. 11,12.) It is then most apparent that Jesus was so far Christ, as that he was anointed to the prophetical office, because his preparation for that office was most remarkable, his mission unto that office was undeniable, his administration of that office was infallible.
Now as Jesus was anointed with the unction of Elizeus to the prophetical, so was he also with the unction of Aaron to the sacerdotal office. Not that he was called after the order of Aaron; “for it is evident that our Lord sprang out of Judah, of which tribe Moses spake nothing concerning priesthood;" (Heb. vii. 14.) but after a more ancient order, according to the prediction of the Psalmist, “the Lord hath sworn and will not repent, Thou art a priest for ever after the order of Melchizedek.” (Psal. cx.4. Heb. vii. 21.) But though he
were of another order, yet whatsoever Aaron did as a priest was wholly typical, and consequently to be fulfilled by the Messias, as he was a Priest. For the priesthood did not begin in Aaron, but was translated and conferred upon his family before his consecration. We read of “ the priests which came near the Lord;" (Exod. xix. 22.) of "young men of the children of Israel which offered burnt-offerings,
and sacrificed peace-offerings of oxen unto the Lord :” (Exod. xxiv. 5.) which without question were no other than the first-born,* to whom the priesthood did belong. Jesus, therefore, as the first-begotten of God, was by right a Priest, and being anointed unto that office, performed every function, by way of oblation, intercession, and benediction. “Every high-priest is ordained to offer gifts and sacrifices: wherefore it is of necessity that this man Jesus, if he be a high-priest, have somewhat also to offer.” (Heb. viii. 3.) Not that he had any thing beside himself, or that there was any peculiar sacrifice allowed to this Priest; who, "when he cometh into the world, saith, Sacrifice and offering thou wouldest not, but a body hast thou prepared me :" (Heb. x. 5.) and, "by the offering of this body of Jesus Christ are we sanctified.” (Heb. x. 10.) For he who is our Priest hath “ given himself an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweet smelling savour." (Eph. v. 2.)+
Now when Jesus had thus given himself a propitiatory sa crifice for sin, he ascended up on high, and entered into the Holy of Holies not made with hands, and there appeared before God as an atonement for our sin. Nor is he prevalent only in his own oblation once offered, but in his constant intercession. “Who is he that condemneth ? (saith the apostle), it is Christ that died, yea rather that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God; who also maketh intercession for us.” (Rom. viii. 34.) Upon this foundation he buildeth our persuasion, that “ he is able also to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by him, seeing he ever liveth to make intercession for them.” (Heb. vii. 25.) Nor must we. look upon this as a servile or precarious, I but rather as an efficacious and glorious, intercession, as of him to whom all power is given both in heaven and earth. Besides these offerings and intercedings, there was something more required of the priest, and that is blessing. “ Aaron was separated, that he should sanctify the most holy things, he and his sons
. For the Hebrew myy signifying 1 Παράκλητον έχομεν Ιησούν, ουχ ώς juvenes, by all the Targums is rendered υπέρ ημών πρoκαλινδούμενος του πατρός 2013 that is primogeniti: and so the kaì a poorintovra dovlekūç. ätayɛ rov Arabic and Persian translations. δούλην όντως υπόνοιαν και αναξίαν του
+ Unus ipse erat qui offerebat et πνεύματος ούτε γάρ του πατρός τούτο quod offerebat.'. S. August. de Trin. Éminteīv, otte toŨ vioő háo xelv, û as 1. iv. 5. 19. “Unum cum illo manebat περί θεού διανοείσθαι δόκιμον· αλλ' οις cui offerebat, unum in se fecit pro qui- πέπoνθεν ως άνθρωπος, πείθει καρτερείν bus offerebat; unus ipse erat qui offe- úslóyoç kai tapaivétnS. TOŪTO Vocītai jot rebat et quod offerebat. Id. ibid. jj Tapáxinois. S. Greg. Naz. Orat. 36.
for ever, to burn incense before the Lord, to minister unto him, and to bless in his name for ever.” (1 Chron. xxiii. 13.) We read of no other sacerdotal act performed by Melchizedek the priest of the most high God, but only that of blessing, and that in respect both of God and man: First, " He blessed man, and said, Blessed be Abram of the most high God, possessor of heaven and earth: then, Blessed be the most high God, which hath delivered thine enemies into thine hand.” (Gen. xiv. 19, 20.) Now it is observable what the Rabbips have delivered, that at the morning sacrifice the priests under the Law did bless the people with the solemo form of benediction, but at the evening sacrifice they blessed them not; to shew that in the evening of the World, the last days, which are the days of the Messias, the benediction of the Law should cease, and the blessing of the Christ take place. When Zachariah the priest, the father of John Baptist, the forerunner of our Saviour, “ executed his office before God in the order of his course," and the whole multitude of “ the people waited for him,” to receive his benediction, “ he could not speak unto them,” (Luke i. 8. 21, 22.) for he was dumb; shewing the power of benediction was now passing to another and far greater priest, even to Jesus, whose doctrine in the mount begins with blessed; who, when he left his disciples, “ lift up his hands and blessed them.” (Luke xxiv. 50.) And yet this function is principally performed after his resurrection, as it is written, “ unto you first, God having raised up his Son Jesus, sent him to bless you, in turning every one of you from his iniquities." (Acts iii. 26.) It cannot then be denied that Jesus, who offered up himself a most perfect sacrifice and oblation for sin, who still maketh continual intercession for us, who was raised from the dead, that he might bless us with an everlasting benediction, is a most true and most perfect Priest.
The third office belonging to the Messias was the regal, as appeareth by the most ancient tradition of the Jews,* and by the express predictions of the prophets. “ Yet have I set my king (saith the Psalmist), upon my holy hill of Sion.” (Psal. ii. 6.) “Unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given, and the government shall be upon his shoulder," saith the prophet Isaiah, (ix. 6.) who calleth him the “Prince of peace," shewing the perpetuity of his power, and particularity of his. seat. «« Of the increase of his government and peace there shall be no end upon the throne of David, and upon his kingdom, to order it, and to establish it with judgment and with justice, from henceforth even for ever. (Isa. ix. 7) All which most certainly belongs unto our Jesus, by the unerring interpretation of the angel Gabriel, who promised the blessed
For the Chaldee paraphrase in the Messias doth it with the addition the most places where it mentiopeth of king, NÖV Kays.
Virgin that “the Lord God” should "give unto” her son " the throne of his father David, and he shall reign over the house of Jacob for ever, and of his kingdom there shall be no end.” (Luke i. 32, 33.) He acknowledgeth himself this office, though by a strange and unlikely representation of it, the riding on an ass; but by that it was fulfilled which was spoken by the prophet, Tell ye the daughter of Sion, Behold thy King cometh unto thee, meek, and sitting on an ass.” (Matt. xxi. 4, 5.) He made as strange a confession of it unto Pilate; for when he said unto him, “ Art thou a king then? Jesus answered, Thou sayest that I am a king. To this end was I born, and for this cause came I into the world, that I should bear witness unto the truth.” (John xviii. 37.) The solemn inauguration into this office was at his ascension into heaven, and his session at the right hand of God: not but that he was by right a King before, but the full and public execution was deferred till then, “when God raised him from the dead, and set him at his own right hand in the heavenly places, far above all principality, and power, and might, and dominion.” (Eph. i. 20, 21.) Then he, whose name is called the Word of God, had on his vesture, and on his thigh a name written King of kings, and Lord of lords.” (Rev. xix. 13. 16.)
This regal office of our Saviour consisteth partly in the ruling, protecting, and rewarding of his people; partly in the coercing, condemning, and destroying of his enemies. First, he ruleth in his own people, by delivering them a Law by which they walk; by furnishing them with his grace, by which they are enabled to walk in it. Secondly, he protecteth the same, by helping them to subdue their lusts, which reign in their mortal bodies; by preserving them from the temptations of the world, the flesh, and the devil; by supporting them in all their afflictions; by delivering them from all their enemies. Thirdly, whom he thus rules and protects here, he rewards hereafter in a most royal manner, making them “ kings and priests unto God and his Father.” (Revi i. 6.) On the contrary, he sheweth his regal dominion in the destruction of his enemies, whether they were temporal or spiritual enemies. Temporal, as the Jews and Romans, who joined together in his crucifixion. While he was on earth he told his disciples, “ There be some standing here, which shall not taste of death till they see the Son of man coming in his kingdom:" (Matt. xvi. 28.) and in that kingdom he was then seen to come, when he brought utter destruction on the Jews by the Roman armies, not long after to be destroyed themselves. But beside these visible enemies, there are other spiritual, those which hinder the bringing in of his own people into his Father's kingdom, those which refuse to be subject unto him, and consequently deny him to be their King; as all wicked and ungodly men, of whom he hath said, “These mine enemies, which would not that I should reign over them, bring