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“ maketh men high priests which have infirmity; but the word of the oath, which was since the law, makette the Son, who is consecrated for evermore ;">that is, is perfected a priest. Hence he says (chap. v. ver. 5) that “Christ glorified not himself to be made an high priest,”intimating that Christ was made a priest by his glorification : and he quotes these words from Psalın ii. 7, “ Thou art my son, to-day have I begotten thee:” in which he states that he was made a priest by God :--but God, as the apostle Paul testifies (Acts xiii. 33), addressed Christ in these words after he had raised him from the dead. : Why then does the apostle say (Ephes, v. 2) that “ Christ hath given himself for us an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweet-smelling savour?"
First, You must observe that I do not separate the death from the offering of Christ; but constantly assert that Christ no otherwise offered himself than by the intervening of his death:what I maintainis,that his expiatory sacrifice, in which he is compared with the high priest under the law, was not actually completed and perfected, until, after being raised from the dead, he had entered into heaven. For in that annual legalsacrifice, which principally shadowed forth the sacrifice of Christ, in order to the completion of the offering it was absolutely necessary that the blood of the slaughtered animal should be carried into the holy of holies, as the author of the epistle to the Hebrews testifies, chap. ix. ver. 7. In the next place, though I were to admit that the death of Christ was, in the apostle's meaning, an offering and sacrifice to God for
a sweet-selling savour, it would not thence follow that it was that perfect expiatory sacrifice whereof the author of the epistle to the Hebrews speaks : since the apostle inay, in these words, refer to those offerings which were called peace-offerings, as the expression “ for a sweet-smelling savour” indicates, which are very frequently used in reference to peace-offerings, but scarcely ever in relation to expiatory sacrifices. Nor ought the word GIVEN to be joined with OFFERING, but should be read by itself, and understood to mean that Christ GAVE, or delivered, himself to death. For the word give is used in this sense in other places in the Scriptures (Ephes. v. 25; Gal. ii. 20; Rom. viii. 32). Moreover, the words following, “ an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweetsmelling savour,” connect with the pronoun himSELF, to which they are joined by apposition ; and are an illustration or commendation of this work of Christ—that he gave himself for us,-by which the apostle exhorts believers to imitate this act of Christ's in loving their neighbour. Other good works are elsewhere commended by a similar mode of speaking, as Phil. iv, 18. Wherefore also doing good and communicating are called sacrifices with which God is well pleased (Heb. xiii. 16); as are likewise all good works performed by believers in Christ ;-which good works of Christians were shadowed forth in the legal sacrifices (Heb. xiii. 16; 1 Peter ii. 5; Rom. xii. 1). Or if Christ himself giving (or delivering) himself to death for us is called by the apostle an offering and sacri·fice acceptable to God, this ought to be interpreted
of an oblation and sacrifice as far as he offered himself to God to be slain for us,-although the offering of Christ himself in heaven might be understood here. And the meaning would he-that Christ delivered himself to death for us, that he might be an acceptable offering and sacrifice to God for our sins. For accusatives added by apposition are wont to have the force of the final cause. See among other places, Acts v. 21; 1 John iv. 10, 14.
What then is the meaning of this passage of Scripture (Heb. i. 3), that Christ “when he had by himself purged our sins sat down on the right hand of the majesty on high?”
It does not follow from this passage that Christ made his oblation, and his purgation of our sins, by his death; since between his death, and his being seated at the right hand of the throne of the majesty on high, intervened his entrance into the heavenly tabernacle, and his appearance before the presence of God, which began from his offering, whence followed the purgation of our sins; and the power was given to Christ of delivering us for ever from our sins and the punishment of them ; which is meant by his being seated at the right hand of the majesty.
Why does the Scripture (Rom. viii. 34; Heb. vii. 25), when it treats of the priesthood of Christ, state that he maketh intercession for us?
When the Scripture testifies that Christ makes intercession for us, it is not because he literally offers prayers to God for us; for this would not comport with the full authority which God has actually
conferred upon him, and on account of which he is our king;--but because those things which Christ, by the will of God, does for the remission of our sins, have a certain resemblance to prayers, in so far as they powerfully impell God to grant the remission of our sins, and are the most efficacious means of our reconciliation :-which mode of speaking the Scripture employs the more freely, in order the more thoroughly toimpress upon our minds that all the authority which Christ possesses, he possesses not of himself but by the gift of the Father; and that he performs all things, not as if he did them himself, but as if God performed them at his solicitation. This the Holy Spirit does, in order that the prerogative, the preeminence, and glory of the Father might be preserved entire and inviolate m.
m [The reader ought to be apprized, that few modern Unitarians, if any, will assent to the preceding interpretations respecting the offering and sacrifice of Christ, the death of Christ being regarded by them generally as a sacrifice only in a figurative sense. TRANSL.]
I wish now to learn from you what the kingly office of Christ is ?
You shall directly. You must know then that the kingly office of Christ is to be considered in two points of view;—first, as it respects his kingdom; and secondly, as it relates to his people, who are subject to him.
What is to be considered in respect to his kingdom?
That God, having raised him from the dead, and taken him up to heaven, las placed hini at his right hand, having given him all power in heaven and on earth, that he might at his own pleasure govern, protect, and eternally save those who believed in him.
Where are these things written?
The Scripture is full of them. Concerning the resurrection, among other things, Paul testifies, when he says (Ephes. i. 19, 20) that “God showed the exceeding greatness of his power, which he wrought in Christ, when he raised him from the dead.” And in his epistle to the Romans (chap. x. ver. 9), he says, “If thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.”