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These passages prove the existence of an order of men, or ministry, in the Christian Church under the name of Priests; a continuation of the order of Mosaic Priests and Levites. We are therefore bound to ascribe to the ministry of Christ such a general conformity to the Priesthood of the law as may justify the prophetic declarations, and be a fulfilment of the Divine promise of its everlasting continuance; and this conformity can only exist on an identity of principle, in being divinely instituted, and continued by successive ordination according to a prescribed form of consecration, given as the sign of the transmission of the holy office, with the authority and privileges attached to it by its Divine Author.
APPLICATION OF THE PRIESTHOOD TO THE CHRISTIAN
MINISTRY BY ST. PAUL.
The propriety of considering the Christian ministry as a continuation of the Priesthood of the first covenant adapted to the institutions and worship of the Gospel is confirmed by St. Paul, who declares that he was appointed a minister of Jesus Christ, to the Gentiles, ministering the Gospel of God (Rom. xv. 16); the word translated ministering being in the original, performing the office of Priest, acting as Priest in the Gospel of God. He establishes also the same analogy when he says, "No man taketh this honour unto himself, but he that is called of God, as was Aaron." (Heb. v. 4.) The command of our Redeemer to his disci
* Sacerdotis munere fungere.-Schleusner in verb.
+ John iii. 3. "Rabbi, we know that thou art a teacher come from God.' Rabbi was the distinctive title of each person who was ordained, by which he was honoured with the title of master or judge. In what manner does ordination take place, saith Maimonides, not always by the imposition of the hands of the Elder, but by calling the person ordained Rabbi, and saying to him, 'Lo, thou art ordained, and hast the power of judging.' (Sanhedr. Perek. 4.)"-Lightfoot Harm. Ev. Joan. iii. 3.
We see then that no man in the Jewish Church assumed the honour of the ministry unless called of God, as Aaron, whose call or appointment included all his posterity, as the call of the Elders (Numb. xi.,) included their ordained successors down to the transmission of the sacred office from the Jewish to the Christian Church. The phrase called of God is no doubt synonymous with that of the text, "God gave to his Church some Apostles, &c." Unless they be sent, how can they preach? (Rom. x. 15.) Our Lord sent his apostles, his seventy disciples; and so all his ministers are his ambassadors, sent from him, to beseech the world in Christ's stead to be reconciled to him. (2 Cor. v. 20.) It is then an essential mark of the ministers of God to be called of him,-given by him to his Church,-sent by him; and unless so commissioned, 66 no man taketh this honour."
ples to observe the Jewish teachers as divinely commissioned, as sitting in the seat of Moses (Matt. xxiii. 2), seems to imply a necessary continuance of the office of the Priesthood in the Church; for the command could have had no object if confined only to the Jewish Priests, whose teaching and authority were directly opposed to the faith and practice of the disciples of Christ. Our Lord's command therefore must have referred to obedience to the same authority in his Church, -to the observance due to those who derive their office and authority by succession from a Divine institution--who sit in the seat of the Apostles, as the Scribes sat in the seat of Moses. Our Lord's command gives his sanction to the authority of the Priesthood as a successive commission from God. Unless such office and authority exist in the Church, our Saviour's command cannot be obeyed: there will be none whom his disciples can regard as sitting in the seat of one sent from God.
22.-ST. CLEMENT TEACHES A PRIESTHOOD IN THE CHURCH.
St. Clement, mentioned in the Epistle to the Philippians, (iv. 3), as a fellow labourer of St. Paul, whose name was written in the book of life, speaks thus of the institution. of the Christian Ministry, as being a fulfilment of prophecy : "The Apostles having received their commission, and being fully confirmed by the resurrection of our Lord Jesus, and being entrusted with the Word of God, went forth with the full assurance of the Holy Ghost, preaching the coming of the Kingdom of God. And as they declared it through countries and cities, they appointed the first fruits of their preaching to be Bishops and Deacons of those who should afterwards believe, having first approved them through the Spirit: nor was this a new institution, for it had been written for many generations concerning Bishops and Deacons ; for thus says the Scripture, "I will establish their Bishops in righteousness, and their Deacons in faith."* (Isaiah lx. 17.) It is thus that St. Clement translates the 17th verse of the 60th chapter of Isaiah, which in our version is, "I will make thy officers peace, and thine exactors righteousness." The translation of St. Clement is much the more exact, and agrees with that of the Septuagint. The statement of St. Clement is sufficient to teach us how the Church, in the Apostolic age, regarded the prophetic declarations respecting the Christian ministry. There is another passage in the
*Clement. Epist. i. ch. 42.
same author in which he describes the agreement between the Christian and Levitical Priesthoods. "Since then these things are manifest to us, when we have looked attentively into the depths of the Divine knowledge, we ought to do in order all things which the Lord hath commanded us to perform that our oblations and acts of worship should be performed at the seasons ordained by Him, and that they should not take place in a discretionary or irregular manner, but in the appointed seasons and hours; for He himself hath appointed by His supreme counsel where and by whom He will have them performed, that all things being done harmoniously, may be acceptable to his will: they, therefore, who, in the appointed seasons, perform their oblations are accepted and blessed, for, following the ordinances of the Lord, they have not sinned; for to the Chief Priest his own ministrations have been appointed, to the priests their own place has been assigned, and to the Levites their own ninistry (Deaconship) is appropriated. The layman is bound by the injunctions for the laity. Let each of you, then, brethren, give thanks to God in his own station in a good conscience, with all gravity, not transgressing the appointed rule of religious service prescribed for you. It is plain that St. Clement considers the ordinances of the Priesthood of the Law applicable to the Christian ministry, and that he understands the orders of High Priest, Priests, and Levites as answering to those of Bishop, Presbyters, and Deacons. Indeed in the original he speaks of the deaconship of the Levitest, and compares the acts of Chris
*Clement. Epist. i. 40.
+ St. Augustin de Civit. Dei, 1. xvii. 954, describes the transfer of the Jewish Priesthood. He argues, that the judgment upon Eli (1 Sam. ii.) implies the change of the Jewish Priesthood to the Church of Christ. The family of Eli were to be cut off, and the Lord was "to raise Himself up a faithful Priest, and He would build him a sure house, and he should walk before His Anointed (His Christ), for ever," so succeeding to the Priesthood of Aaron, to whom He had said, "Thy house shall walk before me for ever." (v. 35.) "The Lord chose Aaron to be his Priest, to offer sacrifices upon his altar, to burn incense, to wear an ephod," &c. (v. 28.) But this appointment no longer exists; there is no tabernacle, no temple, no altar, no sacrifice, and so neither any priest of the seed of Aaron. The fulfilment of the prophecy, that God would raise up a faithful Priest to walk for ever before His Christ, every one must see, who beholds the Christian sacrifice prevailing throughout the world. The sacrifice not according to Aaron, but to Melchizedek, an offering of bread and wine, according to our Lord's words, "The bread which I will give is my flesh for the life of the
tian worship with the oblations of the law; enforcing the duty of observing prescribed seasons and ordinances of worship, in the Christian Church, by similar ordinances having been prescribed in the Mosaic law.
23.-PRIESTHOOD IN THE CHURCH THE OPINION of ANTIQUITY.
A similar application to the Christian Ministry of the attributes and character of the Priesthood prevails through succeeding Christian writers. The Bishops were distinguished by the titles of Chief Priests and High Priests. Thus St. Ambrose says, "All orders are in the Bishop, because he is the first Priest, that is the Chief Priest."* And St. Jerome, "I was judged in the opinion of nearly all to be deserving of the Chief Priesthood," (i.e. the Episcopal office); and in ano
world," which is here typified. The Lord had said to Eli, that He had given to the Priests of Aaron "all the offerings made by fire of the children of Israel," (v. 28); but that those who shall be left of their house shall say to the faithful Priests whom God should raise up to succeed them for ever, "Put us into one of the Priest's offices, that we may eat bread," which is in the N. T. the sacrifice of the Christians." In place of the burnt offerings sacrificed by the Priesthood of Aaron, they would seek the bread of the Christian Priesthood, its commemorative sacrifice. This shows us the sentiments of St. Augustin on the transfer of the Jewish Priesthood. He understands the prophecy of the "faithful Priest," as imme-' diately fulfilled in Samuel, as a type of Christ, the ever-living Priest; and in the comparison of the Jewish and Christian sacrifices explains the transfer and succession of the Priesthood of the Gospel. So also St. Jerome ad Evag. tom. iii., p. 29, "The Apostle declares that the Priesthood of Aaron had a beginning and an end, but that of Melchizedek, which is the Priesthood of Christ and of the Church, shall be eternal; and that the Priesthood being transferred (translato sacerdotio), there may also be a change of the law." In another Epistle to Evagrius, tom. iii. p. 330, he says, "That we may know that the Apostolic traditions were taken from the Old Testament, that which Aaron and his Sons and the Levites were in the Temple, the same are the Bishops, Presbyters, and Deacons in the Church." "There is, therefore, an order of Priesthood which is endowed with the power of performing the offices pertaining to the Hierarchy; but the order of Priests is subject to the order of Chief Priests."-S. Dionysius, lib. iv., c. 20.
"To the Bishops we have assigned and attributed what pertains to the Chief Priesthood,-to the Presbyters what belongs to the Priesthood."-Apost. Const., lib. viii., c. 46.
"The Chief Priest, who is the Bishop, hath the right of conferring baptism."-Tertull. Lib. de Bapt.
Ambros. in Ephes. iv.
+ Hieron. Epist. 99.
ther place he says, "The safety of the Church depends upon the office of the Chief Priest."* So, St. Augustin says, "What is a Bishop, unless the first Presbyter, that is the Chief Priest?" On the whole, then, it is strongly to be inferred, from the Divine institution of the first Priesthood,from the positive promises of its everlasting continuance, from the prophetic declarations of its existence under the Christian dispensation,-from the language of St. Paul, and of his disciple St. Clement, and the general consent of the ancient Christian writers applying it to the Christian ministry, that the Priesthood in its distinctive and inalienable character as a Divine institution, perpetuated through a succession of persons by a divinely prescribed form of ordination, has never ceased to exist from its first institution, has been transferred by our Saviour to the Church, and continues in it, fulfilling the Divine promise attached‡ to it at its institution, of being a ministry of Priests and Levites everlasting throughout their generations.
* In Dial., c. Lucif., p. 139.
† Aug. Quæst. Vet. et N. Test., c. 101.
An exact analogy to the transfer of the Priesthood from the Law to the Gospel, in completion of the prophecy that it should be perpetual, will be found in the transfer of the Kingdom of David to the Church of Christ, fulfilling the promise that that kingdom should be everlasting. (See Jer. xxxiii. 17; Mark xi. 10; Ps. cxxxii. 11; 2 Sam. vii. 12, 13.) The Kingdom of David had as its peculiar characters, 1st, That its King was chosen, appointed, consecrated, or anointed, by the Almighty. 2nd, That the kingdom was the people of the Lord. Both which characters are, in the highest sense, true of Christ's Kingdom. In the same manner, the peculiar characters of the Mosaic Priesthood as a Divine institution, to endure for ever, with a divinely appointed form of ordination, are transferred and continued in the Christian Ministry.
Another striking analogy to the transfer of the Jewish Priesthood is the continuation of the Sabbath in the Christian Church. The Lord instituted the Sabbath "for a sign between him and the children of Israel for ever, to observe the Sabbath throughout their generations for a perpetual covenant." (Exod. xxxi. 16, 17; Ezek. xx. 20.) It was a commemoration of the creation in six days by the Lord (Exod. xx. 11.), and a type of the eternal rest or Sabbath prepared in Heaven for the people of God. (Heb. iv. 2.) It was also a day set apart for Divine worship, with a promised blessing. "Blessed is the man that keepeth the Sabbath from polluting it; also the sons of the stranger, that join themselves to the Lord, to serve him and to love the name of the Lord, to be his servants, every one that keepeth the Sabbath from polluting it, and taketh hold of my covenant, even them will I bring to my holy mountain, and make them joyful in my house of prayer." (Isai. lvi. 6.) In all these respects the Sabbath is continued in