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office is holy. And if even an Apostle could say, "who is sufficient for these things?" much more may the ministers of Christ in these degenerate days feel their need of the prayers of the church for them. "Brethren, pray for us," said one who may well be considered as the chief of the Apostles. Let your prayers then ascend to heaven in behalf of those who now are the ministers of God in sacred things, that they may be wholly devoted to the work of their ministry, that they may be truly enlightened in the knowledge of Christ, and filled with all spiritual wisdom and judgment, that they may be zealous and active, that they may be men of pure and holy lives and character, moreover that they may be successful through the grace of the Holy Spirit in winning souls and in turning many from darkness unto light, and from the power of Satan unto God. Pray that their ministry may be greatly blessed to your own souls. Truly in praying for them you pray for yourselves, for of every spiritual blessing that they receive you become the immediate partakers. Their increase in knowledge, love, faith, and holiness, is for your
benefit so that your prayers when answered for them, return also with blessings into your own bosom. And let me not conclude this head without a particular request that he who now ministers to you the things of God may be borne on your hearts continually, as you are borne on his, before the throne of grace.
2. But I would now direct your thoughts from the servants to the master, from the ministers to the glorious and gracious Lord. I would now say to you, "Consider the Apostle and High Priest of our profession, Christ Jesus." He alone sustaineth this office in the Christian dispensation: and in order that he might sustain it, he took the manhood into the godhead. As those whom he came to redeem
are partakers of flesh and blood, he also himself likewise took part of the same;" " he took not on him the nature of angels, but he took on him the seed of Abraham." "Wherefore in all things it behoved him to be made like unto his brethren that he might be a merciful and faithful high priest in things pertaining to God, to make reconciliation for
the sins of the people." The priests of the family of Aaron were many, succeeding each other as a predecessor died. "But he continueth ever and hath an unchangeable priesthood." "Wherefore he is able to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by him, seeing he ever liveth to make intercession for them." Then the Apostle shews the infinite superiority of Jesus from his sinless nature. "For such an high priest became us, who is holy, harmless, undefiled, separate from sinners, and made higher than the heavens; who needeth not daily, as those high priests, to offer up sacrifices, first for his own sins, and then for the people's, for this he did once, when he offered up himself." The practical uses of this doctrine of the priesthood of Jesus are also strikingly set forth in this Epistle to the Hebrews from which I have already quoted so largely. Stedfastness in our profession and confidence in his love and power are deduced from it, as we see in the fourth chapter, and fourteenth verse, Seeing then that we have a great high priest, that is passed into the
heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our profession. For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin. Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need." He repeats these uses with additions, and further references to these very consecrations, in the tenth chapter and at the twenty-first verse, as you may read at your leisure. My beloved brethren, let these practical uses drawn by the scripture itself from these old testament ordinances and ceremonies be duly regarded by us. So shall we honour our great High Priest above with the honour which is now his due.
AARON'S ENTRANCE ON HIS OFFICE.
LEVIT. IX. 22-24.
And Aaron lifted up his hand towards the people, and blessed them; and came down from offering of the sin-offering, and the burnt-offering, and peace-offerings. And Moses and Aaron went into the tabernacle of the congregation, and came out and blessed the people: and the glory of the Lord appeared unto all the people. And there came a fire out from before the Lord, and consumed upon the altar the burntoffering and the fat: which when all the people saw, they shouted, and fell on their faces.
IN our last sermon we saw the solemn consecration of Aaron and his sons to the office of the priesthood. In the present we shall consider the first public service in which