« EelmineJätka »
offer himself, yet his sacrifice and oblation of himself, were pro. perly on the earth, as I have fully proved elsewhere.
This text being urged by Grotius with respect unto the offering and sacrifice of Christ, Crellius replies, Concludit scriptur divinus ex co quod Christus sit sacerdos, necesse esse ut habeat quod offerat ; non ut loquilur Grotius necesse fuisse ut haberet quod offeret, quasi de re præterita loquatur. Respons. ad cap. x.. But as Beza very well observes, the apostle had before mentioned the one offering of Christ, as already perfected and completed, Heb. vii. 27. He cannot, therefore, speak of it now, but as that which was past; and here he only shews bow necessary it was that he should have himself to offer, and so to offer himself, as he had done. And from these words we may observe,
Obs. III. That there was no salvation to be had for us, no not by Jesus Christ himself, without his sacrifice and oblation, It was of necessity that he should have somewhat to offer, as well as those priests had of old according to the law. Some would have it, that the Lord Christ is our Saviour, because he declared unto us the way of salvation; and gave us an example of the way whereby we may atlain it, in his own personal obedience. But whence, then, was it of necessity that he must have somewhat to offer unto God as our priest, that is, for us ? For this belongeth neither unto his doctrine nor example. It was necessary that he should have somewhat to offer, in answer unto those sacrifices of old, which were offered for the expiation of sin. Nor would our salvation be otherwise effected, by any other acts or duties of our high priest. For the church could not be saved without taking away the guilt of sin. The whole design of the priests and sacrifices of old, was to teach and instruct the church, how alone this might be performed ; and this was only by making atonement for it by sacrifice, wherein the beast sacrificed, did suler in the room of the sinner, and did by God's institution, bear his iniquity. This our apostle hath respect unto, and the realizing of all those typical representations in Christ, without which, his whole discourse is useless and vain. Wherefore, there was no other way for our salvation, but by a real propitiation or atonement made for our sins. And whosoever looketh for it otherwise, but in the faith and virtue thereof, will be deceived.
Obs. IV. As God designed unto the Lord Christ, the work which he had to do, so he provided for him, and furnished him with, whatever was necessary thereunto.-Somewhat he must have to offer. And this could not be any thing which was the matter of the sacrifices of the priests of old. For all those sacrifices were appropriated unto the discharge of the priesthood. And besides, they were pone of them able to effect ihat which he was designed to do. Wherefore, a body did God prepare for him, as is declared at iarge, Heb. x. 1--$, &c.
,אפ לא כומרא הוא
Obs. V. The Lord Christ being to save the church in the way of office, he was not to be spared in any thing necessary thereunto.—And in conformity unto him,
Obs. VI. Whatever state or condition we are called unto, what is necessary unto that state, is indispensably required of us. So is boliness and obedience required unto a state of reconciliation and peace with God. VER. 4.-Ει μεν γαρ ην επι γης, ουδ' αν ην ιερευς, οντων των ιερεων των
προσφερονίων κατά του νομον τα δωρα. Vul. Lat. Si esset super terram; all others, in terra, to the same purpose. Syr. NYI, in the earth.' Ovd' av svingtus,
, even also he should not be a priest.' 0.1 we twy ingowy, the Vulgar omits isgear, and renders the words, cum essent qui offerrent. Rhem. whereas there were who did offer.' The Syriac agrees with the original ; Beza, manentibus illis sacerdotibus ; quum sint alii sacerdotes.
In the preceding discourses the apostle hath fully proved, that the introduction of this new priesthood under the gospel, had put an end unto the old ; and that it was necessary that so it should do, because, as he had abundantly discovered in many instances, it was utterly insufficient to bring us unto God, or to make the church-state perfect. And withal he had deelared the nature of this new priesthood. In particular he hath shewed, that although this high priest offered his great expiatory sacrifice once for all, yet the consummation of this saerifice, and the derivation of the benefits of it to the church, depended on the following discharge of his office, with his personal state and condition therein. For so was it with the high priest under the law, as unto his great anniversary sacrifice at the feast of expiation, whose efficacy depended on his entrance afterwards into the holy place. Wherefore he declares this state of our high priest to be spiritual and heavenly, as consisting in the ministry of his own body in the sanctuary of heaven.
Having fully manifested these things, unfolding the mystery of them, he proceeds in this verse to shew how necessary it was that so it should be, namely that he should neither offer the things appointed in the law, nor yet abide in the state and condition of a priest here on earth, as those other priests did. In brief he proves that he was not in any thing to take on him the administration of holy things in the church, according as they were then established by law. For whereas it might be ohjected, If the Lord Christ was a bigh priest as he pleaded, why then did he not administer the holy things of the church, according to the duty of a priest ? to which he replies, that so he was not to do ; yea a supposition that he might do so, was inconsistent with his office, and destructive both of the law and the gospel. For it would utterly overthrow the law, for one that was not of the line of Aaron to officiate in the holy place; and God had by the law made provision of others, so that there was neither room nor place for his ministry. And the gospel also would have been of no use thereby, seeing the sacrifice which it is built upon, would have been of the same nature with those under the law. This the apostle confirms in this verse. Ver. 4.-For indeed if he were on earth, he should not be a
priest, seeing that there are priests that offer gifts according
to the law. The words are an hypothetical proposition, with the reason or confirmation of it.' The proposition is in the former part of the verse ; ' for if indeed he were on the earth, he sbould pot be a priest.' And the remainder of the words, is the rea. son or confirmation of this, seeing that there are priests that offer gifts according unto the law.'
We may consider first the causal connexion, gag, for,' which relates unto what he had discoursed immediately before, as introducing a reason why things ought to be, as he had de clared. He had in sundry instances manifested his present state and condition, with the way and manner of the discharge of kis office. A priest he was, and therefore he must have somewhat to offer, which must be somewhat of his own, seeing the law would not accommodate him with a sacrifice, nor yet the whole creation; the law having prepossessed unto its own use, all that was clean and fit to be offered unto God. A sanctuary he must also have wherein to officiate, and this was to be heaven itself, because he was himself exalted into heaven, and set down at the right hand of God. And of all this there was yet another especial reason ; “ for if he were on the earth,” &c.
• If indeed he were on earth.' E. pasy. The emphasis of the particle is not to be omitted. If really it were so; or there. in is force granted unto the concession that the apostle here makes ; truly it must be so.
• If he were on earth,' n epi ayas, incudes two things.
1. Ilis continuance and abode on the earth. If he were not exalted into heaven in the discharge of his office, if he were not at the right hand of God, if he were not entered into the heavenly sanctuary, but could have discharged his whole office here on the earth without any of these things. If he were thus on the earth, or thus to have been on the earth.
2. The state and condition of his priesthood. If he were on the earth, or had a priesthood of the same order and constitution with that of the law, if he were to have offered the same sacrifices, or of the same kind with them, which were to be perfected on the earth; if he were not to have offered himself, wherein his sacrifice could not be absolutely consummated with,
out the presentation of himself in the most holy place, not made with hands.
These two things the apostle was treating of, 1. His present state and condition as to the sanctuary wherein he administer. ed, which was heavenly. 2. His sacrifice and tabernacle, which was himself; in opposition unto both these, is this supposition made, “ If he were on the earth.”
This therefore is the full sense of this supposition, which is well to be observed to clear the meaning of the whole verse, which the Socinians endeavour with all their skill and force, to wrest unto their heresy. If we did aver him to have such a priesthood, as in the discharge thereof be were always to continue on the earth, and to administer in the sanctuary of the tabernacle or temple with the blood of legal sacrifices.' On this supposition the apostle grants that he could not be a priest,'
d av hv ligios. He had not been, or could not be so much as a priest, or a priest at all in any sense. That a priest he was to be, and that of necessity he must be so, he had proved before. And on the occasion thereof he declares the nature of his sacri. fice, tabernacle and sanctuary; and now proves that they were so necessary for him, that without them he could not have been a priest.
It will be said, that he was a priest on the earth, and that therein he offered his great expiatory sacrifice in and by his own blood. And it is true. But, 1. This was not on the earth in the sense of the law, which alone appointed the sacrifices on the earth; it was not in the way, nor after the manner of the sacrifices of the law, which are expressed by that phrase, on the earth.' 2. Although his oblation or sacrifice of himself was complete on the earth, yet the whole service belonging thereunto, to make it effectual in the behalf of them for whom it was offered, could not be accomplished on the earth. Had he not entered into heaven to make a representation of his sacrifice in the holy place, he could not have been the bigh priest of the church from that offering of himself; because the church could have enjoyed no benefit thereby. Nor would he ever have offered that sacrifice, if he had been to abide on the earth, and not afterwards to enter the heavenly sanctuary to make it effectual. The high priest on the great day of expiation, perfected his sacrifice for his own sin, and the sins of the people, without the tabernacle. But yet he neither could nor would, nor ought to have attempted the offering of it, had it not been with a design to carry the blood into the holy place, to sprinkle it before the ark and mercy-seat, the throne of grace. So was Christ to enter into the holy place not made with hands, or he could not have been a priest.
The reason of this assertion and concession is added in the
latter part of the verse,' seeing there are priests that offer gifts according to the law.'
Ortwr toy iseswr, Sacerdotibus existentibus, cum sint sacerdotes, • whereas there are priests.' The apostle doth not grant that at that time when he wrote this epistle, there were legal priests de jure, offering sacrifices according to the law. De facto, indeed, there were yet such priests ministering in the temple, which was yet standing. But in this whole epistle, as to right and acceptance with God, he proves that their office had ceased, and that their ministrations were useless. Wherefore osłwy, respects the legal institution of the priests, and their right to officiate then when the Lord Christ offered his sacrifice. Then there were priests who had a right to officiate in their office, and to offer gifts according to the law.
Two things are to be inquired into, to give us the sense of these words, and the force of the reason in them.
1. Why might not the Lord Christ be a priest, and offer his sacrifice, continuing on the earth, to consummate it, notwithstanding the continuance of these priests according to the law ?
2. Why did he not in the first place take away and abolish this order of priests, and so make way for the introduction of his own priesthood ?
1. I answer to the first, that if he had been a priest on the earth, to have discharged the whole work of his priesthood here below, whilst they were priests also, then he must either have been of the same order with them, or of another; and have offered sacrifices of the same kind as they did, or sacrifices of another kind. But neither of these could be. For he could not be of the same order with them. This the apostle proves because he was of the tribe of Judah, which was excluded from the priesthood, in that it was appropriated to the tribe of Levi, and fainily of Aaron. And therefore also he could not offer the same sacrifices with them, for none might do so by the law but themselves. And of another order together with them he could not be. For there is nothing foretold of priests of several orders in the church at the same time. Yea, as we have proved before, the introduction of a priesthood of another order was not only inconsistent with that priesthood, but destructive of the Jaw itself, and all its institutions. Wherefore, whilst they continued priests according to the law, Christ could not be a priest among them, neither of their order nor of another; that is, it the whole administration of his office had been on the earth together with theirs, he could not be a priest among them.
2. Unto the second inquiry, I say the Lord Christ could not by any means take away that other priesthood, until he himself had accomplished all that ever was signified thereby, aecording unto God's institution. The whole end and design of God in its institution had been frustrated, if the office had