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inform Abel that blood-shedding would propitiate the Deity? As Abel partook .of his father's corruption, who could teach him to perform a rite to which God would have “ respect.” There is but one answer to such questions : Sacrifice was ordained by God himself as a type of the atonement.
After the first promise made to Abraham, to foretell the limited duration of the Levitical priesthood, there met him a priest of the most high God *, typical of Christ, “ without father, without mother, without descent, having neither beginning of days, nor end of life.”+ Wherefore David
of our Redeemer, 66 Thou art a priest for ever, after the order of Melchisedec;" which prediction St. Paul applies, in a forcible manner, to the eternal priesthood of Christ. †
As the priesthood under the law was professedly a type, the altar, the sacrificial lamb, the scape-goats the vail, the holy of holies, the sprinkling of blood, the mercy-seat, the temple, and the city of Zion itself, were shadows of good things to come, and each received their antitypical accomplishment in the person and offices of the Redeemer.
The law could not give righteousness S; the
* Gen, xiv. 18. | Heb. vii.
+ Heb. vii. 3. § Rom. x.
sacrifice could not cleanse the conscience* ; the priest was not sinlesst; the ordinances of the worldly sanctuary did only prepare a way for Him, “ who was consecrated for evermore a minister of the true tabernacle. " When, therefore, Christ appeared in the synagogue at Nazareth, “ He stood up for to read; and there was delivered unto Him the book of the prophet Esaias ; and when He had opened the book, He found the place where it was written, • The spirit of the Lord is upon me, because He hath anointed me to preach the gospel to
He hath sent me to heal the broken hearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind : to set at liberty them that are bruised, to preach the acceptable year of the Lord.' And He closed the book . and began to say unto them, “ This day is this scripture fulfilled in your ears.' ”S Thus testifying of Himself that He was come according to the prediction of the prophet, “ To make all men see, what is the fellowship of the mystery, which, from the beginning of the world, had been hid in God according to the eternal purpose which He purposed in Christ Jesus our Lord.”ll Christ was, accordingly, ordained into His sacred office by
* Heb. ix. 9. + Ibid. vii. 27. # Ibid. ix. § Luke iv. 18, 19. 21. || Eph. iii. 9. 11.
the spirit of God descending from heaven like a dove, and abiding upon Him; and was declared by John Baptist to be He who should baptise with the Holy Ghost. The purpose of God, in the first hour of the ministration of Jesus, our blessed Redeemer, being declared by His “witness” the “ forerunner,” John, to be peculiarly adapted to the wants of mankind, in the regeneration of the corrupted powers of the human heart. Whence the beloved Apostle says, that Christ “ gives power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on His name."* And thus, also, by divine authority, our blessed Saviour was inaugurated into the mysterious character of the Messiah, whom the prophetic writers had so long foretold.
In my next letter I wish to continue these observations.
I am, &c.
* John i. 12.
ON THE TYPICAL NATURE OF THE LEVITICAL
PRIESTHOOD, AND THE VICARIOUS CHARAC. TER OF THE REDEEMER.