BROTHER BEEBE: – Please give your views on Hebrews v. 1, 2. “For every high priest taken from among men is ordained for men in things pertaining to God, that he may offer both gifts and sacrifices for sins; who can have compassion on the ignorant, and on them that are out of the way; for he himself also is compassed with infirmity.”
J. A. BRISTOW.
Winnsborough, Texas, Dec., 1880.
REPLY. – The inspired writer has compared and contrasted the priesthood of the Old Testament, which was after the law of a carnal commandment, with that of our Lord Jesus Christ which is after the power of an endless life, and after the order of Melchisedec. In the fourth chapter, and immediately preceding our text, it is said, “Seeing then that we have a High Priest, that is passed into the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our profession. For we have not a 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.” While the priests of the former dispensation were taken from among men, who like all other men had infirmities and sins of their own, for which they were first to make offerings according to the law which they were under, before they were allowed to make for the sins of others; it was not so with our great High Priest, for although in the flesh of his members, he was tempted in points as they are, and he knows the feelings of their infirmities, and knows how to succor them that are tempted, yet he was himself personally without sin, and had no occasion to make offerings only for the sins of his people. He, the immaculate Son of God, is holy, harmless, separate from sinners, and made higher than the heavens.
The high priests of the old covenant were taken from among men, and ordained, or inducted into that office by an ordinance in the Levitical law, and being thus ordained and duly qualified for the position, could sympathize with the ignorant and such as were out of the way, being themselves men in the flesh, and required the same ceremonial cleansing from their sins as did those for whom they officiated. Thus we see that the law, with all its handwriting of ordinances, had only a shadow of good things to come, and not being the very image of the things which they pointed to, could never with those sacrifices make the comers thereto perfect. For neither the law itself, nor that priesthood which was under it, could make anything perfect. But our great High Priest who has now passed into the heavens, has by one offering perfected forever them that are sanctified. He has opened the way whereby those who are of his holy priesthood are admonished to come boldly unto the throne of grace, that they may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.
Elder Gilbert Beebe
Middletown, N. Y.
Signs of the Times
Volume 49, No. 5.
March 1, 1881