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Angel, is the same by which Job, a few years afterwards, eulogized his REDEEMER,* whom he expected to see in his own nature, at the morning of the resurrection ; and it is also the same word that is used as the title of the redeeming and vindicating Kinsman, in the typical ordinance of the ceremonial law.f
It is, my dear friend, the unvarying doctrine of the Bible, that “our help is in the name of JEHOVAH, who made heaven and earth.”* It constantly and exclusively directs the attention of fallen man to Jehovah his Maker as being his Saviour also. It is JEHOVAH who says, “ Look unto me and be ye saved all the ends of the earth; for I am God, and there is none else."S No other foundation of confidence, -no other source of happiness,-is recognised throughout the Book of God.
But the New Testament demands the same attention, for the same purposes, for Jesus of Nazareth who was crucified, and thereby “made a curse for us." " Believe in THE LORD JESUS CHRIST, and thou shalt be saved.” Is there then discrepancy, contrariety, inconsistency, between the two volumes of the same Scriptures, the counterparts of the indenture of mercy, “written,” as all Scripture is declared to be,“ by inspiration of God?” Assuredly not: but then there is only one way of avoiding this dilemma,--and that is by identifying the Jehovah of the Old Testament, with Jesus* the Saviour spoken of in the New. Without this clew the Bible must be allowed to claim supreme regard to two different objects ; whereas it informs us that there is salvation but in one Being, and that “there is no other name by which we must be saved but the name of Jesus Christ."
* Job xix. 25. 383 # Ps. cxxiv. 8.
+ Num. XXXV.
19, 21, &c. § Isa. xlv. 22. 3x the Mediator.
THE PRIESTHOOD OF THE PATRIARCHAL
MY DEAR FRIEND.
The inquiry which has been instituted in our correspondence has brought us to a conclusion that Christianity is, substantially, as old as the occasion for the annunciation of that plan of mercy
which God had previously determined to adopt for the recovery of man from his lapsed state. We not only have found, in the verbal promises of the period we have reviewed, a clear revelation of a gracious provision made for this purpose ; but we have seen those promises illustrated by the institution of sacrifice, and by the appendages of that institution, the Tabernacle erected on the east of Eden with its Cherubim and Mercy-seat. We have sought and obtained an exposition of the brief notices of the patriarchal dispensation in the long train of symbolic observances which runs through the Levitical period ; which .symbolic observances were an enlarged edition of a Divinely communicated code of instruction, previously given to the progenitors of the human race at the time of the Fall and of the Deluge. The notices of this typical instruction, recorded in the book of Genesis, are short and incidentally introduced in the narrative, because the historian was to give a full and explicit account of the whole system in his subsequent account of the Sinaitic Revelation.
The doctrine of sacrifice supposes a priesthood, or persons “taken from among men, and ordained for men in things pertaining to God, to offer both gifts and sacrifices for sin.” As, therefore, rites of sacrificature were coeval with the Fall of
man, we must date the existence of a priesthood back to the same period. And, indeed, since it has appeared in the course of our inquiry, that the ordinances of the patriarchal dispensation, as well as those of the parenthetic interval between it and the Christian dispensation, were all “shadows of good things to come,” that is, of
truth and grace by Jesus Christ;" it is natural to expect, a priori, that the priesthood, as well as the sacrifice of Christ, should be found to have been prefigured from the time of the first promise of his advent and office. We might also expect to find that priesthood as fully exhibited in the type, as the nature of the case would admit.
I think we shall not be disappointed in these legitimate expectations, though I am aware of difficulties whịch lie in the way of that hypothesis on the subject which, after much consideration,
I have adopted. These difficulties arise out of the incidental manner in which the patriarchal institute is brought to our notice.
It is needless for me to enter on a laboured proof that typical priests existed before the Aaronic order. The previous existence of sacrificature renders such proof unnecessary. The question which I now propose to your consideration is this, Whether there were any persons specially set apart to this office by Divine designation, and who they were i Or, whether every one was at liberty to assume it to himself?
It was the opinion of the most ancient and eminent Jewish writers,* with whom a long
* Thus the Chaldee Targum paraphrases Gen. xlix. 3 : “ Reuben, thou art my first born, and to thee belonged three portions, the birthright, THE PRIESTHOOD, and the kingdom. Quoted by Lightfoot in his Temple service.. P. 18. See also the quotations ex Mishnd Talmudicá, the Bereshith Rabba, the Jerusalem Paraphrast, and Onkelos, produced from Selden by Vitringa. Observ. Sacre. Lib. ii. cap. 2. The opinion also of St. Jerom,* on the same side of the question, is there referred to. “ Judæi et Christiani plerique sacerdotium ante Mosis tempora penes primogenitos fuisse, iisque sacrorum incubuisse, statuant. Opinionem illam, dignitatem nempe sacerdotalem primogenituræ privilegium fuisse, in Judæorum animo altè descendisse pateat, e plurimis illis quæ Cl. Seldenus congessit, Rabbinorum testimoniis. (Lib. de success. in bon. defunct. c. 5. et Lib. 1. de success. in Pontificat. Lib. 1.) E Christianis in eandem sententiam concedunt Grotius, (Annot. ad Luc. 2. 23) Seldenus, (Lib. de success, in pontificat. P. 110.)
* Tradunt Hebræi, qudd usque ad sacerdotium Aaron, omnes primogeniti, ex stirpe Noæ, fuerint sacerdotes, et Deo victimas immolari, et hæc esse primogenita quæ Esau vendidit. St. Hierom. ep. ad Evagrium.