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lowest part of perfect felicity. “ Infima pars fælicitatis perfectæ est terrena fælicitas."-Augustin.
Be much in private prayer, for the more you come to God, the more welcome you are ; his customers have the best pennyworths; and if God do much for you in the morning duty, do much for him all the day after ; and if you have little from God in the morning, walk humbly all the day after. “ A prece principium.”
Let your company be always such as you may get good from, or do good unto. When you are alone, think of good things ; and when you are in company, speak of good things.
Keep the truth, and the truth will keep you.
And whatever mercy or blessing you receive, trace it to heaven gates, and to Christ's blood; for it flowed from Christ's blood, and leads you to heaven. “ And the God of peace, that brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great Shepherd of the sheep, through the blood of the everlasting covenant, make you all (parents and children) perfect in every good work to do his will, working in you that which is well-pleasing in his sight, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory for ever and ever."
Your servant in the gospel of Christ,
CHRIST'S PRIESTLY OFFICE.
Wherefore in all things it behoved him, to be made like unto his brethren, that he might be a merciful and a faithful High Priest, in things pertaining to God, to make reconciliation (or atonement) for the sins of the people. For in that he himself hath suffered, being tempted, he is able to succour them that are tempted.”-HEB. II. 17, 18.
The apostle Paul, (whom I take to be the penman of this epistle) having in the former part of this chapter, shewed the reasons, why it behoved Christ for to suffer death: he comes now, in the latter end thereof, to give you an account, by laying down some reasons, “ Why it behoved Christ, to be in all things made like unto us,” whom the apostle here calls the brethren of Jesus Christ.
In other scriptures we find, that our Lord and Saviour Christ, is called our Father, “ The Everlasting Father, the Prince of peace.” Here he is called our Brother, we his brethren. Now the same person, to be both a father, and a brother unto the same man, in nature it cannot be.
But because all these relations, are too scant, and narrow vessels to hold forth the love of Jesus Christ towards us : therefore inconsistent relations are given unto him. A father provides for his child, which the brother doth not. A brother can stoop, and condescend unto his brother, which the superiority of the father will not bear. So that here is held forth unto us, the stooping, condescending love of Jesus Christ: and therefore he is called our Brother, and we his brethren.
But why, and what reason is there, that the Lord Jesus Christ should in all things be made like unto us his brethren?
The apostle in these words gives the reason, “ That he might be a merciful, and a faithful High Priest, in things pertaining to God, to make reconciliation for the sins of the people,” &c. The Lord God our Father, sware unto Jesus
Christ, “ Thou art a Priest for ever after the order of Melchizedek.” He was to be the great High Priest. Among the Jews, in the times of the Old Testament, they had an high priest, that was in all things to stand between God and them, and in case any sinned, to make an atonement for them. As the Jews had their high priest : so the Lord Jesus Christ, he was to be, and he is, the Apostle and the High Priest of our christian profession, as Aaron was of the Jews' profession. And therefore says the apostle,“ It behoved him, in all things to be made like unto us."
But could not Jesus Christ be merciful unto poor tempted souls, unless he were in all things made like to them: like in their natures, like in their affections, like in matter of temptations?
Christ as God, could have been merciful unto us, although he had not been made like unto us : but not as our High Priest.
There is an ability of sufficiency, and of power: and so Christ as God, was able to succour those that are tempted, although himself had never been tempted. But there is an ability of idoneity or fitness, or aptness and disposition : and so the apostle says here, “ For in that himself hath suffered being tempted, he is able to succour them that are tempted.”
It is plain then, what that is, that is the great support of a christian against all temptations : wherein lies our succour against all temptation, namely, in the priestly office of Jesus Christ.
The priestly office of Christ, it is the great magazine and storehouse of all that grace and comfort which we have on this side heaven: it is that whereby we are reconciled to God the Father, and relieved against all temptation. This is the great thing that these words hold forth.
And therefore, upon this account, the apostle Paul, finding the Hebrews labouring under great temptations, doubtings, fears, and much unbelief; he does not only here, but all along in this book of the Hebrews, open the priestly office of Christ unto them.
And indeed, what comfort can we have in God himself, but through Christ? and what comfort can we have in Christ himself, but as he is clothed with his priestly garment, with