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Title: Christ the True Melchisedec
Author: Church, John
Language: English
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Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Christ the True Melchisedec" ***

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Transcribed from the 1813 R. Thomas edition by David Price, email
ccx074@pglaf.org

                   [Picture: Public domain book cover]



                                  CHRIST
                         _THE TRUE MELCHISEDEC_.


                           BEING THE SUBSTANCE

                                   OF A

                                 SERMON,

               Preached on SUNDAY Evening, JULY 24th, 1813,

                          At the Obelisk Chapel.

                                * * * * *

                             _BY J. CHURCH_,
                         MINISTER OF THE GOSPEL.

                                * * * * *

       “Your Father _Abraham_ rejoiced to see my day—he saw it and was
                           glad.”  _John_ viii, 56.

  “He will bless the House of Israel—he will bless the House of Aaron.”
                              _Psalm_ cxv.—

                                * * * * *

         [Picture: Decorative graphic with London printed in it]

            PRINTED BY R. THOMAS, 11, RED LION STREET, BOROUGH

                                * * * * *

                                  1813.

                                * * * * *



CHRIST THE TRUE MELCHISEDEC.


            “_Now consider how great this Man was_.”—Heb. vii, 4.

THE sacred pages are an exhibition of the loving heart of a covenant God,
Father, Son, and Spirit; from whence flow all the blessings of eternal
life to guilty man.  All spring from love, for _God is love_—he is love
itself, the fountain of it.  He loves himself, his Son, and the eternal
Spirit—it is a perfection of his nature, boundless and incomprehensible.
This eternal Three in the One Jehovah, hath condescended of his sovereign
goodwill and pleasure, to love and chuse millions of men, though fallen
and depraved, guilty and hell-deserving—yet in a way of mercy, pity, and
compassion, determined to shew how far this love could go—the Covenant of
Redemption being made in eternity, wherein the Father proposed to call
his dear Son to engage in the Work of Salvation—the Son as graciously
accepting, offering himself to be all, and do all in the great Work of
Redemption, it was purposed he should assume the nature of his people—for
this grand purpose, that he might represent them, obey, suffer, and die
for them; for which he should be glorified in that nature—see the travail
of his soul, and be delighted with all the happy consequences of his
Work.  This being settled in infinite wisdom, our dear Lord anticipated
the pleasure of it before the world began—_My delights were with the Sons
of Men_.

On the sixth day of the creation he formed his creature, Man, in the
image in which he intended to appear four thousand years after.  His
heart was so intent upon this great Work, that directly after the Fall,
yea, the very same day that Adam sinned, the dear Redeemer hastened to
make known the Covenant of Redemption and Mercy—and even before he
pronounced the Curse in consequence of transgression, he pronounced the
Blessing!

Adam heard the voice of the Lord God walking in the Garden—the WORD that
was to be made flesh, that spoke for us in the Covenant—he came, and
foretold his future incarnation—promised victory, and threatened Satan,
who was the instigation of the Fall.  He frequently manifested his
gracious intention—proved himself to be the glorious Mediator, and that
he longed to become incarnate, to manifest his grace by dying in our
stead.  In the act of cloathing our guilty parents, he shewed himself the
_end of the Law for Righteousness_.  In Abel’s Person and Offering, he
shewed himself the acceptable Sacrifice—the Lamb to take away sin.  In
the Person of Noah, the Ark he built, the Sacrifice he offered, the
Covenant made with him in the Rainbow (as the outward sign of it) were
sweet tokens of him _who is mighty to save_.  The Blessing of Shem,
clearly pointed out his gracious intention—_God shall enlarge Japheth_,
_and HE_ (_God_) _shall dwell in the tents of Shem_.  _The Word was made
flesh_, _and dwelt among us_.

He afterwards singles out Abram, the Father of the Faithful, (of the line
of Shem) called him out of darkness, favored him with several glorious
visions of himself, as predicting his future incarnation, for _he saw his
day and was glad_.  Abraham, under peculiar leadings of Providence, was
for a season, situated at Mamre, where he built an altar to the Lord.
This Mamre was in Kirath-Arba, afterwards called Hebron, where David
reigned for a season.  But, alas, a christian is seldom long at ease; we
have no continuing city, we seek one to come—no place, or house, or
family, is free from trouble long together, from the palace to the most
retired cot.  Sad news was brought to Abraham, that his nephew, Lot, was
taken prisoner, and almost all his goods seized, by Cherdorlaomer and his
allies, who were at that time ravaging the country.  Abraham directly
took his servants and friends and pursued the enemy to Hobah, and
overtook their captives and the booty, and of course restored Lot.

When Abraham was returning from routing Chedorlaomer and his allies,
Melchisedec met him in the valley of Shaveh, in the King’s Dale, and
tendered to him and his weary troops, a refreshment of bread and wine.
He also blessed Abraham, and thanked God for giving him the victory.
Abraham acknowledged him the Priest of the Most High God, and gave him
the tenth part of the spoil.  Perhaps this was to shew God’s approbation
of Abraham’s conduct, and to point out the future victories of our Lord
Jesus Christ on the Cross, in the hearts of his people, and, finally,
over mystical Babylon, and its kings—the recovery of his elect, who lay
in the hands of Satan, Sin, and Law; and of whom the Father had
covenanted with his dear Son, _that he should divide the spoil with the
strong_, because _he poured out his soul unto death_.  While all who are
interested in this great Work must exclaim, _Unto him that washed us from
sin in his own blood_, _to him be glory_.  _Amen_.

_Now consider how great this Man was_, to whom Abraham gave the tenth of
the spoil, and that blessed Abraham; and truly the less is blessed of the
greater.  May God the Holy Spirit assist us in our views of this great
Man, the God-man Mediator, the Priest, the King, the All in All.

We shall notice the opinion of others.  We propose then to examine the
Scripture testimony of this great One, and to answer the objections which
rise in the mind, concerning the reality of this Person being _Lord_ and
_Christ_.  We shall finally notice the Nature of his Blessings.

I believe the general opinion of this great Man is, that he was some King
of Canaan, who was a good man, but whose genealogy cannot be traced.  The
Jews and Samaritans will have him to be Shem, their ancestor.  The
Arabians suppose him to be Ham.  Dr. Owen will have him to be a
descendant of Japhet; but how a descendant of Japhet came to be a king of
Canaan, I know not.  Some are inclined to think he fell from the Moon.
But all these ideas are too mean, and none of them agree with what the
Holy Ghost has said of him.  Many years ago there was a Sect of
Melchisedecian Heretics, who held that he was some celestial power or
virtue not revealed; but that he was superior to Christ, and made
intercession for angels, as the Saviour did for Men.  The most general
opinion is that he was merely a figure or type of our dear Lord; but we
are about to prove he was more than the figure—he was the adorable
Redeemer himself.  We are not to make any thing in Scripture a type when
the Scripture declares it is a substance, and infinitely exceeds all the
figures.  Our dear Lord is certainly represented by many figures, but in
the case before us he is not; for the Apostle, treating upon the Subject,
not considering it as mystical but real.  He is not explaining a mystery,
but merely commenting upon a reality.  _Now consider how great this Man
was_.—Perhaps no subject in the Bible has had a greater diversity of
opinions than this, and the reason is, because Men are so dissatisfied
with the Spirit’s testimony concerning him: let us therefore notice the
Apostle’s own words, and follow him in his comment, and there rest
satisfied.  This will lead us to answer a few objections as we proceed.

The Apostle in this grand Epistle, is setting before the believing
Hebrews the Dignity, Majesty, and Glory of Christ, as the Christ of God.
He first proves him to be God over all, equal with the Father in power
and glory, in all his essential attributes.  He then shews _how far he
excels the angels_, they being the work of his hands, and he their great
Creator; and having accomplished the great Work of Atonement, he has
entered into his joy, and is now representing our Persons before the
throne; and as our great High Priest, still pleading the virtue of what
he has done, before the Father.  In the three following Chapters he shews
the necessity there was that Jesus, our great High Priest, should be
tried by temptation, that he might know how to succour the tempted—that
his people, by believing, might find a Sabbath of Rest in him, he
encourages them to hold fast their profession, seeing our great High
Priest is passed into the heavens for them; and as he knew what sore
temptations meant, they might warranty apply to him for all that grace
they wanted in time of need.  This is sweet encouragement to the Lord’s
tried ones.

In the 5th Chapter, the Apostle carries on the subject of the Priestly
Office of Christ, knowing it to be of such vast importance to the Church.
He shews the commission of Jesus to act as High Priest, and they, the
Hebrews, well knew that no man had a right to this Office but he that was
called of God, as was Aaron.  So our dear Lord was called to it in the
Covenant, in which the Father glorified him, and as God-Man Mediator,
called him Son, and told him he should be a Priest for ever, after a
peculiar Order, that is, of Melchisedec: his own Order, not of Levi or
Aaron’s, but his own divine Order.—The Apostle then complains of these
Believers, they were dull of apprehension, or else he would tell them
many more very great things; but they had had the Gospel preached to them
nearly thirty years, yet had made little or no progress in the things of
God.  He complains that they were but babes in knowledge, unskilful,
weak, and had got no further than the first principles of the christian
Religion, which he begs they will leave, and press after greater lessons
in the School of Christ, namely, The final Perseverence of God’s elect,
though they might backslide, and even some of them go such sad lengths,
as even to give up their profession for a time, that nothing short of the
precious blood of Christ applied to their hearts by the Spirit, could
ever renew them to Gospel repentance.  Ministers could not—they could not
do it themselves—but a sight of Christ, put to open shame for them, would
ever accomplish it.

The Apostle proceeds to stimulate them to persevere in the good ways of
God, notwithstanding their weakness, sins, infirmities, strange feelings,
and at times, want of confidence—no heart to pray or believe, but all
deadness, darkness, and sorrow; amidst all oppositions, yet to keep on,
encouraged by this, that a covenant God had provided every needful mercy
in Christ; that he has covenanted with him, and all his seed in him, that
they might have hope in his faithfulness, and not in their own feelings
or experience, which would waver, or change.  But for the further
encouragement of that hope, he would have them remember, that Christ is
their Head and Representative—that the Father’s love is the same to them
as to him; that Christ and they are one; that they are beheld in him
complete; and that as their High Priest, he is perfect—done a perfect
Work; that he ever lives, and that his great Work he is now doing in
heaven, and will live to do for ever, is simply, to bless his people, as
he blessed their father, Abraham, when he returned from battle.  And now,
oh ye believing Hebrews, _Consider how great this man was to whom Abraham
gave a tenth part of the spoil_.

Passing by the curious conjectures of men, let us attend to the mind of
the Spirit, and by close attention it will be clearly seen that the
Melchisedec which met Abraham was the adorable Redeemer himself.  We
begin with the 6th verse of me 5th Chapter—_As he saith also in another
place_, _THOU art a Priest for ever_, _after the Order of Melchisedec_,
_WHO in the days of HIS flesh_, _offered up strong cries and tears to
God_, _and was heard in that HE feared—though HE were a SON_, _yet
learned HE obedience by the things which HE suffered_, _and being made
perfect_, _HE became the author of eternal salvation to all that obey
HIM_; _called of God an High Priest_, _after the Order of
Melchisedec_—_of whom we have many things to say_, _and hard to be
uttered_, _seeing ye are dull of hearing_.  Can any point be more clear
than this; The terms _Thou_, _Who_, _He_, _a Son_, _Him_, in the _days of
his flesh_—and surely if Melchisedec had been a mere Man, Paul would not
have complained of the Hebrews being dull of understanding this Subject,
of God manifest in the flesh, before his incarnation, when he met
Abraham, and afterwards by actually taking our nature.

I would observe the connection between the last verse of the 6th Chapter,
and the opening of the 7th.  The Apostle, encouraging Believers, who fled
for refuge, tells them their fore-runner is gone to heaven, and is acting
there as High Priest for them, after the Order of Melchisedec—it is
essential to this Order only to make intercession in heaven.  From which
passage we may then conclude, that Melchisedec and the second Person in
the ever blessed Trinity were, and are the same; for none but Christ in
our nature ever did, or will intercede for us in heaven.

The Apostle then goes on with this Subject in the 7th Chapter.  After
declaring this Melchisedec is in heaven, interceding according to his own
peculiar Order, he adds, _For THIS Melchisedec_, _King of Salem_, _Priest
of the Most High God_, _who met Abraham returning from the slaughter of
the kings_, _and blessed him—to whom also Abraham gave a tenth part of
all_.  First, being, by interpretation, _King of Salem_, which is, _King
of Peace_—he being _without Father_, _without Mother_, _having neither
beginning of days nor end of life_, _but made like the Son of God_,
_abideth a Priest continually.—Consider now_, _how great this man
was_.—It is my grief, I cannot read the Greek for myself; but upon good
authority I have to remark, that the verb Substantive not to be used here
in any tense, but must be read _Person_—and _is_ instead of _was_—so the
text should be read, Now consider how great this _Person is_—the Person
who continues a Priest for ever, spoken of in the close of the 3rd verse,
and which must be read in the tense the Apostle speaks it.  From which it
appears plain, that the Person who in the text met Abraham, is now in
heaven, interceding for his Church.—Abraham gave him the tenth of the
spoil, and therefore acknowledged him to be his divine Priest and King.
The Apostle then proceeds with the Subject, and says, (5th verse) that
this glorious Person, this High Priest is not of the descent of Levi, not
at all of that tribe—as all Priests that belonged thereto were imperfect
and died, but this Melchisedec now receiveth tithes, because he is our
ever-living Priest.  And at the close of the 8th verse the Apostle says,
It is witnessed of him that he liveth, that is, that he is alive now—and
in the 3rd verse says, he abideth a Priest continually.  This surely can
never be said of any mere man, of any typical character, of any
Canaanitish King, or any Priest, but our great Melchisedec.  Some may
object that he may be said to live as many departed saints do, but then
it could not be said of him that _he continued to live in his Office_,
_as a Priest for ever_.

I think this Subject appears more clearly by the titles the Holy Ghost
gives him.  The Apostle having asserted the identity of the Person, goes
on to prove the fact, by the name Melchisedec, _King of Righteousness_.
This title belongs to Jesus only, of whom it was prophesied, _Behold a
King shall reign in righteousness_, _and Princes shall rule in judgment_.
This was first accomplished upon the ascension of our dear Lord, when he
was exalted at the Father’s right-hand, and the decree went forth that
all men should bow to him.  This shews him to be the righteousness of his
people, and that he fills Zion with it; and that one day he will appear
as the judge of quick and dead, and act before assembled worlds, as a
righteous Judge—_King of Righteousness_.

The next title is _King of Peace_—as the author, the preacher, and
revealer of all Peace, external, internal, and eternal.  This title some
have conjectured belonged to some Canaanitish king who reigned in Salem,
afterwards called Jerusalem.—But the Apostle tells the Hebrews to regard
the meaning of the title, _King of Peace_—though the time of his actual
reigning in Jerusalem was not come, nor will it till the latter day
glory.  At present he is King of Peace, in the Gospel, in the Conscience,
and in Mount Zion.—_Without Father_.—The human nature he had assumed at
that time, in which he appeared to Abraham, was without Father or Mother,
without Descent; for as a Priest, the Apostle is proving the fact, that
he had no predecessors or successors, so of course, unlike the tribe of
Levi.  As God, he was without Father; the divine nature was underived,
not begotten.  He is the Son of God, in his official capacity, but not in
the divine essence.  His human nature was without Father—“The Son of Man
but no Man’s Son,” _Erskine_.—_Without Mother_.  The body, the likeness,
the form in which he appeared to Abraham, was without Mother, for it was
many years afterwards he was born of the Virgin; and though she had the
honour to bear him yet she was purely passive is the act of the formation
of his nature.  In these same senses he was _without Descent_—he had no
predecessors or successors, as God, or as the High Priest of our
Profession.  Hence he is said to be the first and the last; if so, then
there were none before him, and there can be none after him.  The
objection to this expression is, that it only refers to a want of the
knowledge of his Genealogy; but though this might be the case of some
persons, or of any, yet they certainly descended from some one.  It might
as well be argued that because I stand alone, and never heard of any one
relation in the world, that I was without descent.  But then the Apostle
speaks in stronger terms still, and which can only be applied to Divinity
itself—_having neither beginning of days_, _nor end of life_: this
expression must refer to his Divine Nature.  He is himself the beginning,
in whom God made all things.  In the beginning God created Heaven and
Earth; that is, in Christ; he was in the beginning with God, one with him
in the council and secret purposes of God; as well as the everlasting
God; nor will he ever die as Man any more.  As Priest he never did die at
all; as God, in his Divine Nature, it is impossible.  As the glorious
Mediator, he ever lives, and all who are united to him live also.—

_But made like the Son of God_.  This expression, _like_, seems dark to
many at first sight, but when we look at the Subject altogether, it is
very clear that none can be like God but God himself.  None can be like
such a Priest, after such an Order, but the High Priest, Jesus himself.
The body he was to assume from the beginning, he frequently assumed a
likeness of.  Hence Nebuchadnezzar saw one like the Son of God in the
Furnace.  Now no christian can for a moment disbelieve that this was
Christ; and that, long before his incarnation, the likeness that appeared
was the likeness of his body, now glorified.  This appeared to Joshua, to
Moses, to Lot, to Abraham, Jacob, Ezekiel, and John.—These all saw the
likeness of the body that is now in heaven.  So that this Son of God
appeared like the Son of God, after his glorification.  He loved our
nature so well that he anticipated the assumption of it; he rejoiced in
the habitable parts of the earth, and _his delights were with the Sons of
Men_.  This the dear Redeemer shewed frequently, by his visits to our
earth, in the likeness of that body which is now raised and glorified,
and to which likeness the bodies of God’s elect are predestinated to be
conformed.

I would make the remark here, as we have answered the above objection, so
another is started, _How_, _and in what sense could this Melchisedec
receive tithes_?  And, if a divine Person, _What did he do with them_?
On this I must confess there is a difficulty.  Paul says he _met_
Abraham—yet the word (as say the learned) means _being in company
together_.  We shall now investigate this Subject a little, and attend to
its signification.

If this Melchisedec was only a Canaanitish King, I can see no reason why
Abraham should give him the tenth of the spoils he had taken in battle;
for I do not read of any king assisting in this war, or even minding the
stuff, or guarding the coast; for it seems to have been a law among the
warriors to divide the spoil, as in the 1st of _Samuel_, 30th Chap.  _But
as his part shall be that goeth to battle_, _so shall his be that
tarrieth by the stuff_, _they shall part alike_.  Now considering how
great this Man was (or this Person _is_) to whom Abraham gave the tenth,
we are prone to ask those questions that are of no importance to us, as,
If this was Christ, what use could they be to him—and what did he do with
them?  We may as well ask, How the Lord and his attendants eat, when
Abraham made an entertainment at the tent door—they appeared to him to
eat.  So, after his resurrection from the dead they gave him a piece of
broiled fish and of an honey comb, and he took it, and did eat before
them.  This may lead us to ask still more curious questions, as, What
body was it in which our Lord made those appearances, and what became of
it?  These things we must die to know; it is but of little consequence to
us now—what tithes Abraham gave him he knew how to dispose of.—But in
this instance the glory of our Lord appears; for it is clear no man on
earth was so great as Abraham; so the Apostle argues, _and truly the less
is blessed of the greater_—Abraham, the less, was blessed of Melchisedec,
the greater.  This was peculiar to his Order only, nor does there want
another Priest to arise after his similitude, seeing he ever liveth to
represent his people.

There was undoubtedly something of importance in this act of Abraham’s,
and in which we may see, _First_, Abraham’s gratitude to the Captain of
his Salvation, who had given him success in this war, which was just and
necessary.  So we find the Israelites devoted a part of the spoils taken
in battle, to the Lord, and the rest was divided among them, (See
_Numbers_ xxxi, 25 v. to the end).—When Jacob vowed to the Lord, he said,
_Of all thou shall give me I will surely give the tenth unto thee_;—and
hence in his posterity we find the tenth of their portions were to be
consecrated to the Lord, and this tenth, so devoted, was a type of God’s
elect, Jews and Gentiles, who were to be devoted to his service.  God, by
the Prophet _Isaiah_, Chap. vi, says, _But yet in it shall be a tenth_,
_and it shall return and shall be eaten_.  Abraham giving the tenth to
Melchisedec, and keeping the rest, (thus dividing the spoil) was an
exhibition of what the Saviour would do, actually, when he should divide
the spoil with the strong; when he should rise up early to the prey, and
in the evening of his death divide the spoil—give to God’s Law and
Justice infinite satisfaction—to his people all the blessings he secured,
and get to himself a name above every other, that at his name every knee
should bow.—Thus he divides the spoil, because he poured out his soul
unto death.  So in the hearts of his elect, by the conquest of his grace,
when he spoils the works of the Devil in us, as well as for us, and by
Faith, leads us to get victory over every sin and every fear, and enables
us to give him the heart in a way of love, the mind in his service, and
all our powers devoted to his glory, body, soul, and spirit, time and
talents: this is giving him the tenth.  We have got the blessings he has
enabled us to get by Prayer and Faith, and we give him the glory due to
his holy name—while he oft refreshes us with himself as the Bread of
Life, fills us with the Wine of his love, and blesses us with communion
with himself—so we give him tithes of all—hence the Apostle says, _that
he now receiveth them_.—_Thirdly_.  This act may be a type of that
important period when our glorious High Priest will receive his elect at
his second coming, when the faithful of whom Abraham was a figure, will
come from their graves, and meet Jesus—and he will come from the third
heaven and meet them, introduce them into the heavenly country, the new
heaven and earth.  Here our Priest will bless us, and here we shall cast
our crowns at his dear feet, and sing—Worthy the Lamb that was slain.
Thus we shall give him tithes of all.

The Dignity and Identity of this glorious Person may be clearly seen by
the nature of his Priestly Office—this is what the Apostle is proving by
a quotation from the 110th _Psalm_—_Thou art a Priest for ever_, _after
the Order of Melchisedec_.  How mean is the common idea that he was a
Canaanitish king, and that Christ is a Priest after his order.  Had
Christ been constituted a Priest after any Order of human Beings, it
would have been after the Order of Aaron, a Priest of God’s own
appointment; but Christ is a Priest after his own Order.  When God means
to swear he swears by himself, because there is no greater—when he means
to draw a similitude of himself he likens himself to himself; and when
Jesus reveals himself as a Priest after an Order, it is his own Order,
and his glory will he not give to another.

The Apostle in this Epistle, is setting forth the Divinity and Glory of
Jesus, as God-Man Mediator; and shews how far he excels angels, and then
how far he excelled Moses.  He then points out how far he excelled Aaron;
and in his Office of High Priest, how far he excelled all the Priests of
the Levitical Order—they were mere men, he the God-Man—they were mortal
and died, he was immortal, and ever lived.  The fact is, that the Son of
God having finished the great Work of Redemption, sat down on the
right-hand of God, agreeably to what is said in the 110th _Psalm_—_The
Lord said to my Lord_, _sit at my right-hand_, _for THOU art a Priest for
ever_.  This makes it evident that the Priests under the Old Testament
Dispensation typified Jesus, as exercising his Priestly Office before his
ascension; but the Order of our Melchisedec is appearing in a glorified
state, at the right-hand of the Majesty in heaven, representing and
blessing his people.  This is the Order the Father appointed him, and in
this he continues.  This he revealed to Abraham, and in the act of
blessing him shewed what he was to be and do, upon his glorification,
after his battle was over, of which Abraham’s war was but a faint shadow.
That Melchisedec is the Son of God appears evident from his call to the
Priesthood.  So the Apostle has coupled these two texts together in the
5th Chapter—_Thou art my Son_, _this day have I begotten thee_.  _As he
saith_, _also_, _in another place_.  _Thou art a Priest for ever_, _after
the Order of Melchisedec_.  From which we must infer that Melchisedec is
the eternal Son of God—for God declaring Christ to be his Son, was at the
same time constituting him a Priest for ever, after his own Order, as
King of Righteousness and Peace, fulfilling the one, and making the other
for his Church.  Upon his ascension he was to abide a Priest and King for
ever—the eternity of his Priesthood clearly demonstrates the fact—the
term _for ever_—a Priest _for ever_.  This was essential to his Order,
eternal Priesthood, therefore he must be eternal, which could never be
said of any mere man—of course the Son, or second Person, is the
Melchisedec that met Abraham, that now _liveth_ and _abideth_.  The
Apostle also declares that his Order is Perfection, and the Power of an
endless Life, in opposition to the Levitical Priesthood, which was
imperfect, and they carnal men.—The Father’s language to the Son in the
110th _Psalm_, according to the learned _Morrison’s Scripture
Dictionary_, is rendered literally in the original, _Jehovah hath sworn_,
_and will not repent_, _Thou art a Priest for ever_, _upon or according
to my Word_, _O MELCHISEDEC_.  This is addressed from the Father to the
Son, and to no other Person.  On this verse, the good Dr. _Hawker_
remarks, that the Psalmist is tracing up the Subject to the everlasting
Council of Peace between them both, in Jehovah swearing-in Christ into
his Priestly Office, even that of an everlasting Priesthood.  These
things cannot be said of any mere man; nor does it any where assert that
Melchisedec was a type—but the above arguments clearly prove he was the
eternal Son of God; and to doubt this, or be ignorant of it, the Apostle
declares the Hebrews were dull of hearing; and surely so are many of
God’s people, to this day, upon this Subject—therefore, _Consider now how
great this Person is_—he is called the great God, the great Saviour,
great King, great Prince, great Shepherd, great High Priest; great in his
nature, his love, his mercy, his wisdom, his glory, his grace, his power;
and these he delights to shew to his dear people, who are called upon to
consider him—these are said to fly for refuge to him, to cast anchor
within the veil, either of his flesh, and lay hold of his eternal
Divinity, or into ultimate glory, and view Jesus as an ever-living
Priest, carrying on their cause, representing their Persons, pleading the
virtue of his blood and righteousness, and abideing till all his foes
become his footstool, and the mystery of God shall be finished; then the
Son will deliver up the mediatorial kingdom to the Father, and God,
Father, Son, and Spirit shall be all in all.

The last consideration is, _The Work he carries on as a Priest_, _under
this peculiar Order_.  The Priest under the old Law, no doubt, typified
him; but perhaps very little further as types than his death, or entering
into the Holy of Holies.  Here they as types fail, and we see Jesus of
another Order, and under a different view, upon his glorification, carry
on his Priestly Office in heaven.  Aaron the High Priest, in many things
typified him, tho’ Christ was not of that Order, but of the tribe of
Judah, of which Moses spake nothing pertaining to the Priesthood.  But
our dear Lord is become the author of eternal salvation to his people,
and still officiates as an High Priest after his own Order—and this Order
is not to make an atonement, or fulfil the Law, this he had done; but
exalted to _bless_ his people for ever.—This Office was shewed to Abraham
when Christ met him, and refreshed him with bread and wine, a figure of
his body and blood, which were to be offered up in sacrifice, and upon
that offering his intercession was founded, and all blessings are
dispensed by him, as it followed, and he blessed Abraham.  Hence, having
purged our sins, he has sat down at his Father’s right-hand to bless us
for evermore.  This is peculiar to his Order only, for this he ever
lives.  Perhaps every blessing he communicates as a Priest, is included
in that prescribed form the Priests used under the old Law, _Numbers_ 6th
Chap, verse 22, to the close.

He met, and blessed Abraham with Righteousness and Peace; and to this day
he gives the same to us, for as many as are of Faith are blessed with
faithful Abraham.  Hence the benediction, the Lord give thee Peace.  And
the Apostle says, He is exalted to give Repentance and Remission of
Sins—_thy sins are forgiven thee_; _go in peace_.  He blesses us with
converting grace.  God hath sent his Son to bless us, by turning us from
our iniquities, with a better righteousness.  David describeth the
blessedness of the man to whom the Lord imputeth righteousness without
works, with the adoption of children—to them gave he power to become the
Sons of God—with spiritual life.  The Lord commanded his blessing on
Mount Zion, even life for evermore.  He blesses them with his preserving
power; his guiding Spirit in all his Offices; the light of his
countenance; a new nature and a new name—these are all included in his
Priestly Benediction, which the Priests could only pronounce, and we can
only pray for, but which it is his glory to give, as our Melchisedec—_the
Lord bless thee and keep thee_—_the Lord make his face to shine upon
thee_, _and be gracious unto thee—the Lord lift up his countenance upon
thee_, _and give thee peace_.  _And they shall put my name upon the
Children of Israel_, _and I will bless them_.  This act of the Redeemer’s
intercession and blessing, is in an authoritative way—_Father I will that
those whom thou hast given me_, _be with me where I am_, _that they may
behold my glory_—which God grant us all.—AMEN.

                                * * * * *

Thus we have endeavoured to prove that Christ is the true Melchisedec,
without a type or figure—that he was not Shem, nor his Grandson, nor an
earthly King, however pious; but that it was Jesus appearing in the
likeness in which he should appear for ever, before the throne, to bless
his people in.  This fact we have attempted to prove from express
passages, from his glorious titles, from the peculiarity of his Order,
and the nature of his Work, as a Priest.

For a most judicious handling of this Subject I refer my Readers to
MORRISON’S BIBLIOTHECA SACRA—to which I am much indebted.



AN HYMN.


    KING of Salem, bless my soul!
    Make a wounded sinner whole!
    King of righteousness and peace,
    Let not thy sweet visits cease.

    Come, refresh this soul of mine
    With thy sacred bread and wine;
    All thy love to me unfold,
    Half of which cannot be told.

    Hail, Melchisedec divine!
    Thou great High Priest shalt be mine;
    All my powers before thee fall—
    Take not tythe, but take them all.

                                * * * * *

                                  FINIS.





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