We have frequently been called on for our views on the subject of Melchisedec, and have published such views as we have on the subject, but as the file of our papers are not accessible to all our readers, we will remark that we do not understand the inspired writer, in Hebrews vii., to be speaking of Melchisedec as a man, but as a type of Christ, both as King of Salem (or peace); and as Priest unto the most high God. Uniting in one person the two offices of king and priest. Melchisedec, as a type, supplies what Aaron in his priesthood failed to show of the royal priesthood of the Son of God. The priesthood of Aaron was hereditary, it was vested in Levi, with whom according to the prophetic blessing, the Thummim and Urim was established. As a son of Levi, who had paid tithes when in the loins of Abraham, to Melchisedec, he received the priesthood, and transmitted it to his descendants, and it passed down from sire to son, until it expired by its own limitation. But of Melchisedec no lineage is reckoned; nothing being said of him, as to who was his father and mother. As a man we have to doubt he had both father and mother, like all other men, but as a priest he had neither, for his descent is not counted. His priesthood was immediately from God, and not to be transmitted to posterity.
All that is presented in the type is that Melchisedec met Abraham when returning from the slaughter of the kings, and that Abraham gave him a tenth part of the spoils of his spoils of his victory, and that Melchisedec blessed Abraham. We are also informed that this Melchisedec was king of Salem, or king of righteousness, as the type signifies, and at the same time he was priest unto God, but not after the order of Aaron, of an order which recognized no descent, no predecessor or successor. As a type he was made like unto the Son of God, that is, as we understand it, the account given of Melchisedec embraced just enough, and no more than enough, to set forth the peculiar order of the priesthood of Christ, in distinction from the order of the Levitical priesthood. The type was made like unto, or made to resemble and clearly to set forth its antitype, as now presented in the great Apostle and High Priest of our profession, Christ Jesus. In this type no descent or date is given, that he might more clearly typify Christ, whose goings forth are of old, from everlasting, and whose kingdom and priesthood shall have no end. As it is written, The Lord hath sworn, and will not repent, thou art a priest forever, after the order of Melchisedec. Not made or constituted a priest after the law of a carnal commandment like the sons of Levi, but with an oath and by the power of an endless life, by the which power he is able also to save them unto the uttermost who come unto God by him, seeing that he ever liveth to make intercession for them.
April 15, 1859
Elder Gilbert Beebe
Editorials Volume 4
Pages 215 – 216