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REMARKS On the Fourteenth Chapter of Genesis. . (Continued from page 389, Vol. III.) The 14th Chapter of Genesis gives the history of a campaign undertaken by Chedorlaomer, and three kings in league with him, to reduce to obedience five kings, who had served him for twelve years ; but in the thirteenth they rebelled, and in the fourteenth, Chedorlaomer, after having been victorious over several neighbouring tribes, (ver. 5–7,) joined battle with the five kings, who had rebelled against him, among whom were the kings of Sodom and Gomorrah, and was victorious over them. The kings of Sodom and Gomorrah fled, and fell in the vale of Siddim, which was full of slime-pits, and the victorious party went on and ransacked those towns, and, among the captives, carried away Lot, (who then dwelt in Sodom) his goods and family. (ver, 10–12.) Abram, however, being informed by one who escaped, of what had befallen his relation, went out against Chedorlaomer, with three confederate princes, slew him, and the kings that were with him, and recovered not only Lot, and all that belonged to him, but also rescued the inhabitants of Sodom and their goods, ver. 13-16.
V.12.-" And they took Lot,” &c. When Lot left Abram, it seems, that he only consulted his temporal interests: he was now made to see his error,
NO. 34.- VOL. III.,
and to find, that “ Wealth gotten by vanity shall be diminished.”
V. 13. Abram “ the Hebrew,” or pilgrim, so called from his wanderings, and confessing himself a stranger and sojourner upon earth ; and, from him, this became the distinguishing title of the holy family and people. .
v. 14. “ Trained servants, born in his own house, three hundred and eighteen.” What an idea does this give us of the wealth Abram ; that, besides his household servants and herdsmen, he had three hundred and eighteen men trained to arms !
V. 18-20. In these verses we have the history of the meeting of Melchizedek, king of Salem, and Abram ; and, as Melchizedek is a striking type of Christ, and as his meeting with Melchizedek is remarkable for the use made of it by St. Paul, in his Epistle to the Hebrews, to illustrate the superiority of the Priesthood of Christ oġer that of Aaron, we will consider it a little. This is the only place where Melchizedek is mentioned in the historical part of Scripture; and all that we are told of him is, that he was the king of Salem, and also a Priest of the true God; and that, when Abram returned from the slaughter of the kings, he went to meet him with bread and wine, to refresh him and his followers; that he blessed Abram, and that he “ Abram gave him tythes of all” the spoil. We will now examine, by the help of St. Paul's Epistle to the Hebrews, how all this was typical of Christ. n
Melchizedek was, a type of Cbrist in bis name, in the name of the city over which he reigned, and in wbat we are told of his history. His name, Melchizedek, signifies King of Righteousness, and Christ is the Lord, “our Righteousness :" and he was also “ King of Salem, which is King of Peace," and Christ is “ Prince of Peace.” In the circumstances related of him; he appears, “ without father, without mother, without descent, having neither
beginning of days, nor end of life.” (Heb. vii 1-3). Not that Melchizedek really had no earthly parents, but that none are mentioned ; for the Church was to be instructed not so much by what he was, as by what is recorded of him. With respect to other persons named in Scripture, we know who they are, we have their genealogy; but Melchizedek is suddenly introduced, and as suddenly withdrawn. To us he appears “ without father, without mother, without descent,” &c. for we are told of none. We are not informed who were his parents, what was his descent, when he was born, nor when he died; so that as to us he “ abides a Priest continually.” And all these particulars are purposely omitted to make him a type of Christ; to make him “ like unto the Son of God;" to foreshew so much of the Priesthood of Christ, as that Christ might be said to be a Priest after his order ; and the Priesthood of Christ did not depend on any descent from Aaron, so as to make it necessary for him to prove his lineage from him; but he was immediately called to it by God, as Melchizedek was. The great objection of the Jews to the Priesthood of Christ, was, its being contrary to the law, because he was not of the line of Priests; but, in this instance of Melchizedek, the Apostle shews that there was, before the institution of Aaron's Priesthood, a representation of an eternal unchangeable Priesthood like that of Christ.
Having shewn that Melchizedek was intended as a type of Christ, St. Paul proceeds to argue from the history of the meeting between him and Abram, that Abram regarded him as his superior, The two priestly actions of Melchizedek are, his blessing Abram, and his, receiving tythes; both which actions declare his superiority over Abram; for, “ without all contradiction the less is blessed of the better;" and " consider how great this man was, unto whom even the patriarch Abraham gaye the tenth of the spoils,” (Heb. vii. 4–11.) And if (argues St. Paul) Abram's receiving a blessing and paying tythes proved his inferiority to Melchizedek, it also proved the inferiority of Levi, and thus of the Levitical Priesthood to that of Melcbi. zedek. For to sum up all in a word, “ Levi also, who receiveth tythes, payed tythes in Abraham ; for he was yet in the loins of his father, when Mel. chizedek met him."
But, at the coming of Christ, and the accomplishment of this type, the Jews had lost all knowledge and understanding of it, and of the promise in Psalm cx., where the Holy Ghost instructs the Church, that the things spoken of Melchizedek, were recorded with respect to another Priest afterwards to arise, whom he represented; and teaches it, that the Priesthood which it then enjoyed, was not always to continue. One of their great objections to Christianity was, that if they believed in Jesus of Nazareth, as the Messiah, it put an end to all their ancient institutions which they had practised so many hundreds of years ; and to which, from length of time, and from the circumstance of their having been given them from God himself, by the hand of Moses, they had become so attached, that it made them unwilling to admit evidence, leading to a cessation of their priesthood and worship. St. Paul, therefore, introduces Melchizedek, in his Epistle to the Hebrews, to shew them that the Ministry and Priesthood of Christ were superior to every other; for being made a Priest after the order of Melchizedek, as declared Psalm cx., and Melchizedek being superior to Abram, he must needs be superior to one descended from Abram; and consequently, the Priesthood of Melchizedek superior to that of Aaron, which the Jews were so reluctant to give up. . . .:V, 21-24. The king of Sodom 'offered to reward the services of Abram, by giving him the goods
which he had rescued, but requested the restoration of his subjects. But Abram, that his “ good might not be evil spoken of," to shew that concern for his nephew, and not a desire of gain, was his only motive in the enterprise ; delared, that “ he had lift up his hand. (the form of taking an oath), to the most high God,” that he would not take the smalļest thing that belonged to the king of Sodom, lest he · should be able to say, he had made Abram rich, and thus his prosperity should be attributed to any other than God. Only what the young men, his trained servants, had eaten during the expedition, he was willing to receive. And the three princes who went with him, might if they pleased take a . portion of the spoil. He did not wish to influence
(Continued from page 407.) David, in the prophetic cha. St. Matthew records that racter, says, “ They gave me the Jews gave our Saviour, on also gall for my meat; and, the cross, vinegar to drink in my thirst, they gave me vi- mingled with gall; and that negar to drink. Psalm lxix. when he had tasted thereof 21.
he would not drink. Matt.
xxvii. 34. The same prophet adds, David foretells what death .“ they pierced my hands and Christ should suffer; and this my feet, I may tell all my was fulfilled ; they crucified bones, they look and stare him. Matt. xxvii. 35. upon me; they part my gar- In St. John's gospel we ments among them, and cast read that the soldiers took the lots upon my vesture. Psal. garments of Jesus, and made xx, 16, 17, 18.
four parts, to every soldier a part, and also his coat: now the coat was without seam, woven from the top through
out: they said, therefore,