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IV.

of holiness and perfection requisite to the LECT. high priesthood of the law should be in me wardly verified and accomplished; with no blemish of nature, no defilement of fin; fanctified by an eternal consecration, and exalted to execute that office in the heaven itself, which the high priest performed yearly in the most holy place of the tabernacle. Even the clothing of the high priest was not without its signification ; his garments were expressive of purity, sanctity and divinity itself: they are therefore called holy garments *; and there is a reference to them in the psalms which gives them this meaning, let thy priests be clothed with righteousnesst ; let them be in spirit and truth what their clothing outwardly signifies: The fine white linen worn by the priest is here applied in its emblematical capacity to fpiritual sanctification ; and it is thus interpreted for us in the Revelation; the fine linen is the righteousness of saints &. The sense of this is still preserved amongst us, with those who understand it right; it being the custom for a * Exodus xxviii. 2. Pfalm exxxii. 9. § Rev. xix. 8.

bride

H

IV.

LECT. bride to go to her marriage in white, as a

testimony of her virgin state; and they
who minister in the church, either to serve,
or to pray, or to sing, are clothed in white
linen, to fignify the purity which is proper
to their calling, and should be found in
their characters. The evangelists in their
accounts of our Saviour's transfiguration
are all of them very particular as to that
one circumstance, that his raiment was
white as the light. This divine fplendor
of his person was denoted by the splendor
of the high priest's garments, which are
faid to have been appointed for glory and
for beauty; such beauty as is applied in
the psalms to its proper sense, the beauty
of holiness*. This clothing of light was
proper to an earthly high priest, only in
consideration of his being a representative
of that divine intercessor, who was to be
the glory as well as the priest of his peo-
ple Israel.

Such dignity hath God been pleased to grant to his ministers; not for their own . . * Pfalm xcvi. 9.

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fakes, but from their relation to Jesus LÉCT. Christ. As the Jews shewed all reverence w to their high priest, much more ought we to ours, and to all that act in his name, for his fake : and they who think meanly of the priesthood, or speak of it with contempt, as some do of malice, and some of ignorance, shall one day see heaven and earth fly away from before the face of a

priest.

When the name of a priest is applied to Christ in the new testament, we understand the term in a figurative sense, and go to the law for its literal meaning; because Christ did not serve at the alter, mor officiate in the temple, nor was of the family of the priesthood. Whereas in truth, he was the original, and they of the law were figures of him. Had it not been for his priesthood fore-ordained of God, there never had been such a thing as a priest in the World. Why was one man appointed to intercede for another? Where can be the sense and reason of it? For why cannot that man as well intercede for himH2

felf?

IV.

LECT. self? It was to shew that there should be

in the fulness of time one to intercede effectually for all : and that this great interceffor should be taken from among men, like the other priests who were before him: this is the true reason why some men in preference to others were admitted to intercede; though still on a level with the rest, and obliged to offer sacrifices for their own fins.

In one respect.we are to this day in the state of the Jewish people. They could not offer their own facrifices; they were to bring them to the priest and he was to offer them. So cannot we now offer up our prayers and praises to God but by Jesus Christ; and so the apostle applies the case for us; by him therefore let us offer the facrifice of praise to God continually, that is, the fruit of our lips, giving thanks to his name. Yea and even under the law, while the earthly high priest served, as a shadow, to present the offerings of the people to God, it was understood by the prophets that he was no more than a shadow, and that there was another divine priest to

whom

IV.

whom the office properly belonged. For LECT; who is he that faith in the 16th psalm, their drink offerings of blood will I not offer nor make mention of their names within my lips? David was no priest; and though he was a king, he could offer no sacrifice either for himself or for others. The parsage refers to the impure and unsanctified offerings of the heathens who went after other gods; yet he, who refuses to offer these, must be the person whose office it is to present to God, as the common intercessor, the offerings of all men : for the speaker here is the same as in the 10th verse, where the same priest faith, thou wilt not leave my foul in hell, nor suffer thy holy one to fee corruption ; which words are expressly said to have been spoken of the resurrection of Christ: as the next words are of his exaltation.--Thou wilt New me the path of life: in thy presence is the fulnefs of joy, and at thy right hand there is pleasure for evermore : for certainly this place at the right hand of God is the place of the Son of God, which he assumed when he ascended into heaven : this was the jay

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which

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