And since Christ was the builder of this great and eternal temple, He must also have an everlasting priesthood in it; and there can be no approach to the shrine of the temple, and to the sight of God, except through Him who built the temple. David in the cixth Psalm teaches the same, saying:
Do nothing without the bishops; for they are priests, and thou a servant of the priests. They baptize, offer sacrifice,
Lord, have mercy on us: since we are full of fear and trembling, when about to stand at Thy holy altar, and to offer this dread and bloodless sacrifice for our own sins and for the errors of the people:
The third-a new name shall be called over Him, because He shall arise as King from Judah, and shall establish a new priesthood, after the fashion of the Gentiles, to all the Gentiles.
Neither do we permit the laity to perform any of the offices belonging to the priesthood; as, for instance, neither the sacrifice, nor baptism, nor the laying on of hands, nor the blessing, whether the smaller or the greater: for "no one taketh this honour to himself, but he that is called of God."
and named the Priest of God the Father unto eternity.
who was not a priest, and yet would exercise the functions of the priests, was smitten with leprosy for his transgression; so every lay person shall not be unpunished who despises God, and is so mad as to affront His priests, and unjustly to snatch that honour to himself: not imitating Christ, "who glorified not Himself to be made an high priest; "
to lay his spirit low in sorrows, to exchange for severe treatment the sins which he has committed; moreover, to know no food and drink but such as is plain,-not for the stomach's sake, to wit, but the soul's; for the most part, however, to feed prayers on fastings, to groan, to weep and make outcries
Thus the Mediator of God and men, Christ Jesus, having the power of every creature subjected to Him by His own Father, inasmuch as He is God; with every creature subdued to Him, found at one with His Father God, has, by abiding in that condition that He moreover "was heard,"
of growing up; and, when grown up, is not eager to be recognised, but is furthermore contumelious to Himself, and is baptized by His own servant; and repels with words alone the assaults of the tempter; while from being" Lord" He becomes" Master," teaching man to escape death, having been trained to the exercise of the absolute forbearance of offended patience.
if not on the ground of equity and righteousness, (in the observance) of a natural law? Whence was Melchizedek named "priest of the most high God,"
What was the subject-matter which led the apostle to write such (words)? The inexperience of a new and just rising Church, which he was rearing, to wit, "with milk," not yet with the "solid food"
But solid food belongs to those who are of full age, who by reason of use have their senses exercised so as to distinguish between good and evil. Wherefore, leaving the first principles of the doctrine of Christ, let us go on to perfection."
Wherefore also, writing to the Hebrews, who were declining again from faith to the law, he says," Have ye not need again of one to teach you which are the first principles of the oracles of God, and are become such as have need of milk, and not of strong meat? "
But strong meat belongeth to them that are of full age, even those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil."
There is also an arche in a matter of learning, as when we say that the letters are the arche of grammar. The Apostle accordingly says:
"For every one that useth milk is unskilful in the word of righteousness; for he is a babe,"
If you serve good desire, and be subject to it, you will gain the mastery over evil desire, and make it subject to you even as you wish."
But it is not such as to be unattainable without it; but it is attainable only when they have learned, and have had their senses exercised.
"But strong meat belongeth to those that are of full age, even those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil."
ciple, and Beginning of existence"-the Son-from whom we are to learn the remoter Cause, the Father, of the universe, the most ancient and the most beneficent of all; not capable of expression by the voice, but to be reverenced with reverence, and silence, and holy wonder, and supremely venerated; declared by the Lord, as far as those who learned were capable of comprehending, and understood by those chosen by the Lord to acknowledge; "whose senses," says the apostle, "were exercised."
even those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil."
For a mystery ought to be most faithfully concealed and covered, especially by us, who bear the name of faith.
" Now to find out all the particulars of these and to state in its relation to them that sacrifice of the spiritual law which took place in Jesus Christ (a truth greater than human nature can comprehend)-to do this belongs to no other than the perfect man,
Go to the Chronological List of all Early Christian Writings
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