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Which, he tells his Countrymen the 72>brews, was a Figure for the Time then present; a Type; By which the Holy Ghost signified, that the way into the holiest of all (the Kingdom of Heaven open'd by our Lord in the New Testament) was not yet made manifest. But was to be fulfill'd and open'd by Christ; who, being an High-Priest of good things to come, would, by bis own blood, enter, once for all, into the holy place (Heaven) having obtained eternal redemption for us. From whence, we may justly conclude that all the rest of the Rites and Ceremonies of the Old Testament, however insignificant they may appear to usnow, and tho' they were only imposed until the Time of Reformation, yet were all prophetical of, and received their Completion by, some Circumstance or other of the New; of which Jesus Christ himself is the Mediator; Who is not entered into the holy places made with hands, which are the figures of the True, but into heaven itself; to appear, in the presence of God for us. ♦
The Succession to the High-priest's Office.
This Office, at its first Institution, was established and made hereditary, by God himself, to Aaron and his Family. Concerning some Part of the Sacrifices, there Exod. is this Direction, It Jhall be Aaron's and 28 X&c bis sons by a statute for ever, from tbe children of Israel. Againi The holy garments of Aaron Jhall be his sons after him; to be anointed, therein, and to be consecrated in them. And that son that is Priest in bis Jleady Jhall put them on, seven daysS when he cometh into the tabernacle of the congregation, to minister in the holy place. Again, of Aaron and his Sons, it is said; lb.xl. 15. Vbeir anointing Jhall surely be an everlasting Priesthood, throughout their generations. Numb. Again, The Lord spake unto Moses, say' xxv. 11. jngt Phinehas the son of Eleazar, the son of Aaron the Priest, was zealous for my fake among the children of Israel. Wherefor*% behold 1 give unto him my covenant of peace: And he Jhall have it, and his feed after him, even tbe covenant of an everlasting Priesthood. Accord
Accordingly, when Aaron died, he was Numb, succeeded by Eleazar his Son; and he again by, his Son Thinehas; who seems Jofli. to have been a Coadjutor to his Father, XX11,3°' some Time before his Death: and was so ib. xxiv, highly favour'd of God, that he liv'd and 33" continued in the Office of High-Pries to a very extraordinary Age. For, at the latter End of all the Judges, we find him Jlanding before the ark of the cove- JjjdS-xx' nant of God, when the children of Israel gathered together unto the Lord in Mizpeh, to ask counsel about going up to battle against the rebellious tribe of Benjamin. •'
Whether he was succeeded immediately by Eli (said, by Jofephus, to be a Descendent of Ithamar the younger Son of Aaron) the Scripture is silent; though Josephus places three between them, Abi/hua, Bukki, and JJzzi; successively descended from Phinehas j as we find in the Chro- 1 Chron, nicies. However, after some Years, the vi- 4* Succession again took place, in the Family of Eleazar; where it is said to have continued until their Return from the Captivity. After that, their State was so often disturb'd by the Kings of Syria, S 3 and.
and other incroaching Powers, that the Succession in the House of Aaron was quite set aside; though the High-Priejihood was still confin'd to the Tribe of Levi.
That the High-Triejis had a great Share in the Administration of the civil Government, before the Time of the Kings, is very plain; and that they had some Influence, after the Monarchy took place, is not to be doubted of: witness the no2 Kings table Restoration Jehoiada was so instru
z Ghron. mental in> in relation to Jehoajh King xxiii. of Judah. And, after the Return from the Captivity, it is credible (as Jqfepbus relates) that they had the chief Management of all publick Affairs.
When therefore the Family of the Maccabees, who were of the Tribe of Levi, in regard to their singular Merit, came to be entrusted with the Helm of Government, there were Princes first, and afterwards Kings, who were High-Priejis, at the fame Time; in a. manner, till the Birth of Christ j the Great * Anointed;
* Christ, in the Greek Tongue, is the Anointed.
: ?. both
tooth King and Priest: of whom it was prophesied, as St. Paul applies it, That Heb. vii. lie should be an High-Priest, for ever, 2Iafter the order of Melchisedec: Who, we read, was King of Salem, and Priest of the most high God. Which was a Practice not unusual even among the * Gentiles.
The High-Priest held his Office during his natural Life; unless in some extraordinary Case. As in that of Ahimelech the Great-Grandson of Eli; who, with above fourscore other Priests, was put to Death ' S*m-6 at the Command of Saul, because he had reliev'd 'David in his Distress. Again, Abiathar the Son of Ahimelech, who was the last of the House of Eli, was depriv'd by Solomon, because he had be$n } King* an Adherent of Adonijah, who aspir'd to "' *7, the Throne. In the latter Times, under the Hereds and the Roman Governors, they wete created and depos'd at Pleasure.
There are few Instances, if any, of there ever having been more than one HighPriest, at the fame Time. Zadokt indeed,