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Christianity an Holy Priesthood.

Christianity an Holy Priesthood.

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Published by GLENN DALE PEASE
BY REV.WILLIAM BEVERIDGE, D.D.


1 PET. ii. 5.

" Ye also, as lively stones, are built up a spiritual house, an holy
priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by
Jesus Christ."
BY REV.WILLIAM BEVERIDGE, D.D.


1 PET. ii. 5.

" Ye also, as lively stones, are built up a spiritual house, an holy
priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by
Jesus Christ."

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Published by: GLENN DALE PEASE on May 06, 2014
Copyright:Traditional Copyright: All rights reserved

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CHRISTIAITY A HOLY PRIESTHOOD. BY REV.WILLIAM BEVERIDGE, D.D. 1 PET. ii. 5. " Ye also, as lively stones, are built up a spiritual house, an holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ." WHE the Lord, the Lord God omnipotent, had by the word of his power commanded all things out of no thing, it is written, " That God saw every thing that he had made, and behold it was very good ." Every thing was just as he would have it, exactly fitted to the ends and uses for which he designed it ; and therefore it was very good in his sight, or he was much pleased with it ; and so he hath been ever since with all things in heaven, except the apostate angels ; every thing else moving and acting there continually accord ing to his will and pleasure. either is there any thing that he hath made upon earth, but what is very good in his eyes, so that he is infinitely pleased with it, except mankind ; who, being fallen from their first estate, are so far from being very good, that they are very bad in the sight of God, as bad as bad can be : for it is written, " God saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagina tion of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continu- 1 Gen. i. 31. CHRISTIAITY A HOLY PRIESTHOOD. 31 ally 2 ." This is the case of man in general, even of all mankind, from first to last. There never was a mere man, from the fall to this clay, that was every way such
 
as God made him ; and, therefore, never one, that did any one thing that in itself was perfectly good in the sight of God, and so pleasing or acceptable unto him. But the whole race of mankind being corrupted in all the faculties of their souls and members of their bodies, and always, therefore, acting irregularly and contrary to the will of God, he is alway displeased with them, and with every thing they think, or speak, or do of themselves, or by their own natural powers. So that he might justly have condemned them all to the same everlasting fire, " that is prepared for the devil and his" apostate " angels ;" and would certainly have done it, but that he knew how to advance the glory of his goodness and truth, in restoring them to a capacity of pleasing him again, and enabling them accordingly to do so, if they will, and to be willing also to do it. This is a mystery that is beyond the reach of human understanding; neither could any man have thought it possible, if God had not revealed it in his holy word : but now that we have his word for it, we have surer grounds to believe it, than we have to believe any thing that w r e ourselves can understand. From whence we may see how much we ought to value the Holy Scriptures, and likewise how far the Christian exceeds all other religions : for though all sorts of people profess some kind of religion, whereby they hope to please the god they worship ; yet none have any sure ground to believe they worship the true God, nor to hope that he will be pleased with what they do, but only they who believe the Holy Scriptures both of the Old and ew Testament to be given by his inspiration ; which seeing none but Christians do, none but they can be ever certain that any thing they do is pleasing unto God : but they may be certain of it, and ought to be so, in that they have the way and manner how to 2 Gen. vi. 5.
 
32 CHRISTIAITY A HOLY PRIESTHOOD. [SERM. do it most plainly revealed to them by God himself in many places of his Holy Scriptures, and particularly in that which I have now read. The apostle writes this epistle to the elect, or saints of God. And having in the first chapter put them in mind how they became such, even by being born again by the word of God 3 , in this he adviseth them as " new-born babes to desire the sincere milk of the same word," that as they were born, " so they may grow by it V " If so be," saith he, " ye have tasted that the Lord is gracious 5 ." For if they had once tasted of it, as be sure they had, they could not but long for more of the grace of Christ, here called the Lord, as appears from the following words ; " To whom coming, as unto a living stone, disallowed indeed of men, but chosen of God, and precious, ye also, as lively stones, are built up a spiritual house." For the Church being wholly built upon Christ, and all our hopes of salvation depend ing upon him ; for the better strengthening and con firming our faith in him, he is often spoken of in Holy Writ under the name and notion of a rock, or stone. " Behold," saith God by the prophet, " I lay in Zion for a foundation a stone, a tried stone, a precious corner stone, a sure foundation : he that believeth in him shall not make haste," or "be confounded 6 ." And " the stone," saith David, " which the builders refused, is become the head of the corner 7 ." For that this stone is Christ, appears from the many places in the ew Testament, where these words are applied to him, not only by his apostle 8 , but by Christ himself 9 . And to this the apostle alludes in this very place, saying, " To whom coming, as unto a living stone, disallowed indeed of men, but chosen of God, and precious:" which is the same in effect with his being " refused of the builders, but chosen of God to be the head of the corner." The corner, or foundation-stone, upon which

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