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“Now, what says the miscellaneous writer in reply to all this 1 He talks to us of the dress of the Jewish high priests; asking, very sagaciously, where are the golden ephod, the breast plate, the embroidered girdle, in which Aaron and his successors were clad. I call upon him here to lay his hand upon his heart, and say, whether this is just reasoning. He knows it is not. What, the Jewish priesthood not figurative of the Christian, because of a variety in dress Is it necessary, in order that one thing be typical of another, that there should be no points of difference between them 7 No more than it is necessary that we should be able to rise to the perfection of the character of Christ, because we are called upon to propose him as the model for imitation, and to become holy as he is holy.
“Is the miscellaneous writer aware of the conclusion to which his mode of reasoning conducts? If he has proved that the Jewish priesthood was not typical of the Christian, he has proved, equally, that the law was not a shadow of the gospel; thus destroying, effectually, all connexion between the Old and New Testament. Is there no difference between our Saviour and the Paschal Lamb by which he was prefigured? Abraham, Moses, Joshua, David, were all types of Christ; but were there no points of distinction between these men and the Saviour of the world ! Give to the infidel the weapons of this writer, and how easily will he demolish, with them, the whole fabric of Christianity If the points of difference which have been mentioned, between the priesthood of the law, and of the gospel, prove that the one was not typical of the other, they equally prove that our Saviour was never prefigured, and that that intimate connexion, between the Jewish and Christian dispensations, which has been so much relied upon by the defenders of the faith, never existed but in the imagination of men. But I feel as if I were insulting the understanding of the reader, in dwelling on this point. I dismiss it, therefore, especially as I have not been able to bring myself to believe that the writer had any thing more in view, in it, than a flourish of rhetoric to attract the vulgar gaze. “The Mosaic dispensation, then, was figurative of the Christian. The priesthood of the law was typical of the priesthood of the gospel. The former consisting of distinct and subordinate orders, a strong presumption thence arises in favour of that distinction and subordination of office which, until the days of Calvin, characterized, without a single exception, the Christian church. This we contend, as was said before, gives us possession of the ground, and throws the burden of proof upon the advocates of parity. “So much then for the Jewish priesthood. It was a shadow of the Christian priesthood, according to the express declaration of the apostle Paul. While the miscellaneous writer does not venture openly to deny this, but rather seems to admit it, in representing the whole Jewish system as typical, he endeavours, nevertheless, in an indirect manner, to destroy all relationship between the priesthood of the law and of the gospel, by dwelling on the variety of dress, with some other subordinate points of distinction. Here he acts with his usual imprudence ; tearing up, in his rage, against Episcopacy, the very foundation of the Christian faith.” The same analogy is thus traced by Cyprian: “Why should not the orders of the priesthood under the old economy be supposed to typify those orders that were to be established under the new Besides, the fact is, that the Christian dispensation was not so much the abolition, as it was the fulfilment of the Jewish. Christ came, not to destroy, but to fulfil the law and the prophets. “It is true, indeed, we possess not the Jewish form of church government. We possess one, however, which is the consummation of the Jewish—a government of which the
Jewish was an imperfect image. We possess a priesthood more glorious than the Levitical, inasmuch as it ministers under a more glorious dispensation—inasmuch as it performs purer and more exalted offices—inasmuch as, in its nature and offices, it is the glorious substance which was only faintly shadowed out under the law. “We think, therefore, that we stand on substantial ground when we maintain that we derive a strong argument in demonstration of the divine origin of our form of church government, by showing that on this point the new dispensation is made to correspond with the old; is made the true substance of which the old was the shadow. What the high priests, the priests, and the Levites, were in the temple, such are the bishops, the presbyters, and deacons, in the church of Christ. This is the uniform language of the fathers. This is the conclusion to which the data afforded us by the apostles inevitably lead. “Such was the model of church government instituted by God himself, and intended to be transmitted through all ages, with modifications that should vary, no doubt, according to the varying circumstances of mankind; provided these modifications affected not its great and cardinal principles. We say that the Jewish priesthood was the image of the Christian. We say that it is sound reasoning to deduce the probable form of the substance from the lineaments of it that may be traced in its image.” It is somewhat curious to observe the rapid growth of this argument from the Jewish to the Episcopal priesthood. With the Layman it is not proof; it is merely “presumptive evidence, entitled to real attention.” By the time it has travelled to
Cyprian, it is a “strong argument in demonstration of the divine origin of their form of church government;” and it places them, as well it may, “on substantial ground.” But while we are looking through Cyprian's magnifier, at this Jewish image of the “Christian priesthood,” he suddenly shifts his glass, and the giant, DEMONSTRATION, dwindles down again into the dwarf, PROBABILITY. “We , say,” adds he, in the next paragraph, “that it is sound reasoning to deduce the probable form of the substance from the lineaments of it that may be traced in its image.” One hardly knows what to do with writers who drive their argument backwards and forwards between “proof” and “presumption;” between “probability” and “demonstration;” as if a rational debate were a game at shuttlecock! But they are not without excuse; for to one who can see the tendency of this argument of theirs, it is pretty clear that they did not know what to do with themselves. For if, as they assure us, the Jewish was a type of the Christian priesthood—if the former was “a shadow,” and a “faint shadow,” of which the latter is the true and “glorious substance,” then there must be a coincidence between the essential parts of the type, and the essential parts of the thing typified. But according to the divine institution, the three orders of the high priest, the priests, and Levites, were essential to the legal priesthood; and if this was typical of the evangelical “priesthood,” there must of necessity be three orders in that also. If
* No. VIII. Collec. p. 119, 120.
it were not so, the type would not tally with the antitype, the image would not representits object, and the end of the typical system would be defeated. A body with a head would as soon cast a shadow without one, as a type of three orders represent a reality of two, five, or seven. This reasoning supposes, that the number of orders enters into the nature of the type; and on the same supposition rests the Episcopal argument. For if the number of orders in the Jewish priesthood constituted no part of the type, it is extreme weakness to mistake it for a “ demonstration,” or even a “presumption,” that there ought to be three orders in the thing typified. It is producing your type to prove that the thing typified possesses a property which the type does not exhibit. The fallacy is too obvious to impose upon a child. On the other hand, if the number of orders in the Jewish priesthood makes a part of the type, and the Christian ministry is the thing typified, the conclusion is inevitable, that there must be three orders in the Christian ministry. If such a typical relation really exists between the ministry of the old and of the new economy, we will lay down our pen. Our cause is desperate; the hierarchy has triumphed, but not a Protestant hierarchy. For according to all the laws of typical analogy, it is not more necessary that there be three orders in the “Christian priesthood,” than that the highest order be confined to a single person. In this