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THE GOSPEL TO EVERY CREATURE.
Go ye into all the world, and preach the Gospel to every crea. ture. He that believeth, and is baptized, shall be saved; but he that believeth not, sha be damned.-(Mark xvi. 15, 16.)
In our former consideration of the subject before us, we found that Jesus becomes our Saviour, by assuming the distinctive characters of Prophet, Priest, and King. We have seen him as the divine instructer ; let us now behold him in the equally important character of the
High Priest of our profession.” If we receive the Scriptures as the word of God, there can be no doubt of his sustaining this character ; for it is distinctly given to him by the apostle to the Gentiles. (Heb. iii. 1.) Much might here be said of the privileges and duties of the priest under the Mosaic economy; we pass over them, to the all important doctrine of the annual atone: ment made for all the sins of all the people. To some, it may appear that our view of the extent of the atone. ment is too large ; then hear the Scripture speaking of the priest. “ He shall make an atonement for the holy sanctuary ;, and he shall make an atonement for the ta. bernacle of the congregation, and for the altar ; and he shall make an atonement for the priests, and for all the
people of the congregation : and this shall be an ever. lasting statute unto you, to make an atonement for the children of Israel, for all their sins, once a year. (Lev. xvi. 33, 34.) :
The ornaments on the official garments of the priest, appear to us indicative of the above sentiment ; for on his heart he wore a breastplate of twelve precious stones, each having the name of one of the tribes of Israel engraven on it; on his shoulders, he wore two onyx stones, each having the names of six of the tribes of Israel engraven on it, the whole set in gold, and ornamented with the richest embroidery ; on the head he wore a mitre, and in its front a plate of pure gold, and engraven with the sacred words, HOLINESS TO THE LORD. (Ex. xxiii.) The whole of his garments corres. ponded, for they were made for glory, and for beauty. And was it only to attract the gaze of an unthinking multitude, that all this beauty and glory was displayed ? A holier purpose must be ascribed to God. The high priest was but a type of Christ ; and surely we may, without being justly chargeable with enthusiasm, con. sider these ornaments as intimating the divine virtues of our Lord and Master. By the omnipotence of his power, he bears the people, all his people, into the holiest of all. The breastplate worn on his heart, had the names of all the tribes engraven there ; for the head was reserved holiness to the Lord ; yet, if one member suffer, all the members suffer with it, or one member be honoured, all the members rejoice with it. (1 Cor. xii. 26.) The honour is conferred on all by union with the head. Let us not think that these blessings are for a favourite people only. Is our God the God of the Jews only ? Is he
not also of the Gentiles? Yes, of the Gentiles also. (Rom. iii. 29.) The middle wall of partition is broken down. (Eph. ii. 14.) Let not those who think them. selves emphatically united to Christ by faith, look down on those who yet have not their hope; rather let them look within, and know that their best performances require the blood of atonement ; for it was enjoined on Aaron to wear this motto, that he might bear the iniquity of the holy things, which the children of Israel shall hallow in all their holy gifts; and it shall be always upon his forehead, that they may be accepted before the LORD. (Ex. xxviii. 38.) How pure and holy is God; how impure are we, even in our best estate on earth, and in our best performances. From the epistle to the He. brews, we learn the great and glorious character of Christ as our High Priest. There we are told, that “ it behoved him to be made like unto his brethren ; that he might be a merciful and faithful High Priest in things pertaining to God, to make reconciliation for the sins of the people. (ii. 17.) Again, we have a great High Priest, that is passed into the heavens, Jesus, the Son of God. (iv. 14.) Christ glorified not himself to be made a High Priest, but he that said unto him, “ Thou art my Son, to-day have I begotten thee.” Thou art a priest for ever after the order of Melchisedec. (v. 5, 6.) Called of God a High Priest, after the order of Mel. chisedec. (v. 10.) Melchisedec has been called a type of Christ, because he was both king and priest ;* without father, without mother; or, as it is rendered in the margin, without pedigree. (vii. 3.) Scripture tells us nothing of his father, or of his mother, or of his
* Eng. Annotations, Heb. vii. 1.
genealogy, or of his birth, or of his death ; and in this sense he was a figure of Jesus Christ, who is a Priest for ever, according to the order of Melchisedec, and not according to the order of Aaron, whose origin, life, and death, are known.* The same epistle, teaching us the superiority of the sacrifice of Christ over all Jewish sacrifices, tells us that he, being become a High Priest, by his ownblood, he entered in once into the holy place, having obtained eternal redemption for us. (ix. 12, 13.) And again, Christ is entered into heaven, to appear in the presence of God for us ; (ix. 24;) in the end of the world hath he appeared, to put away sin by the sacrifice of himself. (ix. 26.) By the will of God we are sanctified, through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all. (x. 10.) We see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels, for (or by) the suf. fering of death, crowned with glory and honour, that he, grace
of God, should taste death for every man. (ii. 9.) Who, that has seen the wisdom of Christ as our Prophet, offering lessons of divine truth, and now beholds him giving himself a sacrifice for the sin of the world, can for a moment think of saying, we will not have this man to reign over us? (Luke xix. 14.) We would rather suppose that, overcome by his wisdom and his love, they would fall down, worship, and adore.
We are now to consider our blessed Lord in the cha. racter of King. The Scripture gives abundant testi. mony that he is King. When he was about to make his public entry into Jerusalem, he gave instruction to two of his disciples relative to it; and we are told that all this was done that it might be fulfilled which was
* Taylor's Calmet, art. M.
spoken by the prophet, saying, Tell ye the daughter of Zion, Behold thy King cometh unto thee, meek, and sitting upon an ass, and a colt, the foal of an ass. (Mat. xxi. 4, 5.) Isaiah says, Behold, the Lord hath pro. claimed unto the end of the world, Say ye to the daugh. ter of Zion, Behold, thy salvation cometh ; behold, his reward is with him, and his work (or recompense) before him. (Is. Ixii. 11.) Zechariah says, Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion; shout, 0 daughter of Jerusalem ; behold, thy King cometh unto thee: he is just, and having salvation; lowly, and riding upon an ass, and upon a colt, the foal of an ass. (Zech. ix. 9.) Our Lord not only claims to be'a King, but to have kingdoms at his command; for, at the institution of the supper, he says to his disciples, I appoint unto you a kingdom, as my Father hath appointed unto me, that ye may eat and drink at my table, in my kingdom, and sit on thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel. (Luke xxii. 29, 30.) When interrogated by Pilate, Art thou the king of the Jews ? he answered, my kingdom is not of this world; else would my servants fight. And again : Art thou a king ? he answers, Thou sayest that I am a king. (John xviii. 33–37.) When suffering on the cross, one of those who suffered with him even then recognised him as a king, by saying, Lord, remember me when thou comest into thy kingdom. And Jesus said unto him, Verily, I say unto thee, to-day shalt thou be with me in paradise. (Luke xxii. 42, 43.) In the book of Revelation we are told of those who would make war with the Lamb, and the Lamb shall overcome them, for he is Lord of lords, and King of kings. (Rev. xvii. 14.) We close our quotations on this subject with the following from the