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Christ Our Priest.

Christ Our Priest.

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Published by GLENN DALE PEASE
BY THOMAS ARNOLD, D.D.


HEBREWS X. 14.

By one offering he hath perfected for ever them that are

sanctified*
BY THOMAS ARNOLD, D.D.


HEBREWS X. 14.

By one offering he hath perfected for ever them that are

sanctified*

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Published by: GLENN DALE PEASE on Oct 05, 2013
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CHRIST OUR PRIEST.BY THOMAS AROLD, D.D.HEBREWS X. 14.By one offering he hath perfected for ever them that aresanctified*The peculiar circumstances of the Epistle tothe Hebrews give it, as We might have ex-pected^ a peculiar character. For althoughmany points relating to it are, and ever willbe, unknown, yet it seems impossible todoubt that it was written to Jewish Chris-tians ; and that not only to persons partly of Jewish blood, and acquainted with the Scrip-tures before their conversion to Christianity,yet, using the language, and, in many points^the customs of the Gentiles ; but to thosecalled Hebrews, Jews of unmixed descent, and,like the Jews of the present day, clinging withfondness to every peculiarity of their nation, toits language, no less than to its ceremonies.And if this be so, would not the epistle ad-dressed to such a class be written in Hebrew ?and would not what we now possess, be120 CHRIST OUR PRIEST.according to a very old opinion, no more thana translation. For in all points of national feel-ing, the Hebrew Christians closely resembledtheir unconverted brethren ; and as we aretold that St. Paul, at Jerusalem, was listenedto with the more attention when he spoke
 
in the Hebrew tongue, so we can hardlydoubt that a letter written to Hebrews, in orderto secure their favourable reading of it, musthave been lyritten in the Hebrew tongue also.From being addressed, then, to Jewish Chris-tians, in the strongest sense of the term, thatis, to Hebrews, this epistle naturally takes adifferent view of the gospel from that whichwe find commonly in the other epistles. Inthe other epistles, indeed, as being addressed,in part at least, to persons who, before theybecame Christians, had believed in the trueGod, and knew the Old Testament, the allu-sions to the Old Testament are frequent; andits prophecies, and generally the system de-scribed in it, are often referred to. Still theminds of their readers were not exclusivelyJewish ; and therefore other views are, fromtime to time, presented, such as would be morenatural to the heathen convert, or even to thehalf Greek or Hellenist Jew. But in anaddress to Hebrews, the gospel was to beCHRIST OUR PRIEST. 121considered solely with reference to Hebrew feel-ings and institutions ; and as one of the mostsacred of these last was the priesthood^ espe-cially as it regarded that most solemn of thehigh priest's duties, the great atonement offeredby him once in every year for the sins of thepeople, so it was to be seen in what respectsChristianity either did away with this institu-tion or perfected it ; what, in short, it had tooffer to the Hebrew Christian, which, while itfilled up the place of his former priesthood, andsatisfied those moral and spiritual wants whicha priesthood is meant to satisfy, might make it
 
well worth his while to part with his ownnational priesthood, as being in all respectsbetter and more perfect than that.In meeting this peculiarity in the circum-stances of those to whom it was written, theEpistle to the Hebrews furnishes us, and allChristians, with one most valuable view of Christ's person and office. It represents himas our high priest, and his office as a priest-hood ; as a priesthood in the two great partsof the priestly character, sacrifice and interces-sion, or mediation. And it declares also, thatthis is the only priest, and the only priesthood,which the gospel acknowledges ; for he beingeternal, and having done once perfectly one122 CHRIST OUR PRIEST.part of his office, namely, sacrifice, and beingfor ever engaged in doing perfectly the otherpart of it, namely, intercession or mediation ;what room can there be for any other priest ?seeing that any other priest's work would beonly a vain repetition, if he attempted to sacri-fice, or a no less vain and presumptuous imita-tion, if he were to attempt to add his ownimperfect mediation to the perfect mediationever offered in the presence of God by the oneperfect Mediator.But first, and for this day's service, it seemsbest not to consider so much how there canbe no other priest, or priesthood, save Christand Christ's, but rather how he is our priesthimself: after which, the other part of thesubject may find its place more profitably.For the merely saying that there is no other

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