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To the same-unfinished.
You ask my advice relative to your meeting house; alas! my friend, what can I say? It may be large enough, it may not. Neither you, nor I, nor any other person, can determine this question. I think you have got a most excellent committee, and this is certainly in your favour. I am very glad the Doctor is determined on coming this way, and by his good wishes I am much obliged.
You would know my sentiments of the third chapter of Zechariah's prophecy.
The first thing in this section of the prophecy which the Lord showed the prophet, was Joshua the High-Priest standing before the angel of the Lord, and Satan standing at his right hand to resist him. And the Lord said unto Satan, the Lord rebuke thee, O Satan; even the Lord that hath chosen Jerusalem, rebuke thee: Is not this a brand plucked out of the fire?
In the first place let us inquire, of whom was Joshua a figure? Undoubtedly of the High-Priest of our profession, and it is no wonder therefore, that we find Satan standing at his right hand to resist him. But the LORD, the Jehovah, the Divinity rebukes him, effectually rebukes him, when, even in this moment of arrogance, he informs him he hath chosen Jerusalem. The LORD that hath chosen Jerusalem, rebuke thee Satan.
Now Joshua was clothed in filthy garments, and the angel before whom he stood commanded those who stood by him, to take from him those filthy garments, and then observed, Behold I have caused thine iniquity to pass from thee, and I will clothe thee with change of raiment. And he said, he who ordered the filthy garments to be taken away, said, Let them set a fair mitre on his head; and this being done, he was clothed with garments, and the angel of the Lord stood by, and protested unto Joshua saying: Thus saith the Lord of hosts, if thou wilt walk in my ways, and if thou wilt keep my charge, then thou shalt also judge my house, and shalt also keep
my courts, and I will give thee places to walk among these that stand by.
Was Joshua a figure of the great High-Priest of our profession? Then whatever was done and said to Joshua, was figurative of what was done and said to Jesus Christ. But filthy garments were taken from Joshua, he was clothed with garments, a fair mitre was set on his head, the angel of the Lord protested unto Joshua, saying, If thou wilt walk in my ways, and if thou wilt keep my charge, then thou shalt also judge my house, and keep my courts, and I will give thee places to walk among these that stand by.
That we may enter more fully into the spirit of this part of the prophecy, let us dwell particularly upon the name; upon the office; upon the attendants; upon the garments; upon the removal of these garments; upon the change of raiment; upon the fair mitre on his head; upon the angel of the Lord standing by; upon his protesting in the name of the Lord of hosts, that he should judge his house, keep his courts, and have places to walk among these that stand by, on condition that he would walk in God's ways, and keep his statutes; upon walking in God's ways; upon keeping his charge; upon God's house; upon judging this house; upon God's courts; upon keeping these courts; upon the places to walk among; upon those who stand by.
The name Joshua, literally rendered, says Mr. Cruden, is the Lord, the Saviour. This fact must be considered as illustrating the propriety of Joshua being appointed to succeed Moses, to take God's people out of his hands, and to bring them into his promised rest. Moses was the promulgator of the law-but he was an of fender; he broke the tables on which was engraven the commandments of his God; he spake unadvisedly with his lips, at the waters of strife-he therefore could not, in his own character, enter the promised rest; he had offended in one point. But Joshua, the Lord, the Saviour, was appointed to lead the people into the land of promise.
"Now after the death of Moses, the servant of the Lord, it came to pass that the Lord spake unto Joshua. Moses my servant is dead; now, therefore arise, go over this Jordan, thou and all this people unto the land which I do give to them, to the children of Is rael. Every place that the sole of your foot shall tread upon, that I have given unto you, as I said unto Moses. There shall not any man be able to stand before thee, all the days of thy life; as I was
with Moses, I will be with thee; I will not fail thee nor forsake thec. Be strong and of good courage, for unto this people shalt thou divide this land for an inheritance, which I swear unto their fathers to give them. Only be thou strong and very courageous, that thou mayest observe to do according to all the law which Moses my servant commanded. Turn not from it to the right hand, or to the left, that thou mayest prosper whithersoever thou goest.
"This book of the law shall not depart out of thy mouth, but thou shalt meditate therein day and night, that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein for then thou shalt make thy way prosperous and then thou shalt have good success. Have not I commanded thee, Be strong and of good courage, be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed for the Lord thy God is with thee whithersoever thou goest ?"
"Accordingly when it came to pass, that he was by Jericho, the captain of the Lord's host met him. And the Lord said unto Joshua, See I have given unto thy hand Jericho, and the king thereof, and the mighty men of valour."
I have just glanced on the foregoing passages, for the purpose of showing how the name of Joshua corresponded with his office; and both name and office with the character of which he was a luminous type. We have seen that the name Joshua is synonimous with Lord and Saviour; and that he was appointed to do that for the people, to which Moses was insufficient. Thus is the Redeemer called Jesus, or Joshua; for he shall save. For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh; God sending his Son in the likeness of sinful flesh; and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh, that the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the spirit.
Secondly, We will attend to the office. Jesus was ordained a priest forever. Amongst the people of God, priests were ordained by God, to teach the people, and to pray for them; and also to offer sacrifices for his own sins, and for those of the people.
But the high priest was distinguished by a privilege which appertained solely to himself, viz. that of entering once a year into the holiest of all, to make atonement for the sins of the people, of the whole people. To him also was committed the oracle of truth, so that when he was habited in the sacred garments, and with the urim and thummim, he, the high priest, gave the responses, because God discovered to him secret and future events.
The Apostle observes, " that it became him who took upon him the seed of Abraham, 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."
Again, "Wherefore, holy brethren, partakers of the heavenly calling, consider the Apostle and High Priest of our profession, Christ Jesus, who was faithful to him that appointed him, as also Moses was faithful in all his house."
Again, "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 who cannot be touched with a feeling of our infirmities, but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin."
Again, "So also Christ glorified not himself to be made High Priest, but he that saith unto him thou art my Son, this day have I begotten thee, saith also in another place thou art a priest for ever after the order of Melchizedek.
Again, "But this Man because he continueth forever, hath an unchangable prisest-hood.
Again, "For such an High Priest became us, who is holy, harmless, undefiled, separated from sinners, and made higher than the heavens; who needed not daily, as the Jewish high priests, to offer up sacrifices, first for his own sins, and then for the sins of the people; for once offering himself, this one sacrifice was a full and complete oblation, propitiation, and atonement for the sins of the whole world."
For the law maketh men high priests which have infirmity; but the word of the oath, which was since the law, maketh the Son, who is consecrated forevermore.
The priests entered always into the first tabernacle, accomplishing the service of God. But into the second the high priest entered alone, once every year, not without blood; which blood he offered for himself, and the errors of the people. The Holy Spirit intimating by this regulation, that the way into the holiest of all, was not yet manifest; while the first tabernacle (which was a figure of the then present time) was standing.
But Christ Jesus having descended, an High Priest of good things to come, hath by his own blood once entered into the holy place, having obtained eternal redemption; and for this cause he is the Mediator of the New-Testament.
But it is not necessary that Christ should often offer up himself a sacrifice as the high priest entereth into the holy place every year with blood of others, for then must he often have suffered since the foundation of the world; but now once in the end of the world hath he appeared to put away sin by the sacrifice of himself. And as it is appointed unto all men once to die, but after this the judgment; so Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many, and unto them that look for him shall he appear the second time without sin unto salvation.
But again; the law having only a shadow of good things to come, and not the very image of the things, can never with those sacrifices which they offered, year by year, continually, make the comers thereunto perfect.
For then "would they not have ceased to be offered?" most undoubtedly they would; because that the worshippers once purged, should have no more conscience of sins.
But in these sacrifices, thus repeatedly offered, we observe a remembrance of sins every year; and therefore the sanctification of the people, which God willed should be effected by sacrifices, not being accomplished by all the sacrifices offered up under the law, and offered by children of error, it being impossible that the blood of bulls and of goats should take away sin, or that imperfection should please God. In this distressing emergency, our sinless High Priest presented his sacred person, and by offering up once for all, his own immaculate body, completely effectuated every purpose.
Thus, while every high priest standeth daily ministering, and offering oftentimes the same sacrifices, without being able by all these sacrifices to take away sins. This man after he had offered one sacrifice for sins, having by this one offering forever perfected them that are sanctified, sat down on the right hand of God, in full expectation from thence forward, of making his enemies his foot stool.
Of these solemn, sacred, glorious truths, the Holy Ghost witnesseth to our souls, proving to every individual taught of God, that his thus taking away the sin of the world by the offering up of himself as a lamb without blemish, corresponds with the sacred affirmation, their sins and iniquities will I remember no more. It is in consequence of the perfection of this offering accomplishing that in fact, for all mankind, which the law of Moses directed the high