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and therefore, God's Appointing Eleazar (the Eldest Son of Aaron) to succeed his Father in the High-Priest's Office, is no Argument that it was a Standing Law of God, that this Of fice was always to remain confin’d to the Eldeft of Aaron's Sons. And since any of those Sons might happen to have a Blemish, therefore God made no express Law (as our Expositor says he did) to FIX the High-Priesthood in the ELDEST of Aaron's Family: For the Law exprefly fix'd it in Aaron and his Sons, that if one of them had any Blemish, or indeed any other Impediment, another Son might validly enter into the Holy Place. For, the Atonement was exprelly cominanded to be made Once a Year; and it must not have been omitted to be made, even tho' the High Priest in.Poffession had chanced to have a Blemish, as long as another Son of Aaron was to be had, and a Vail (or Holy Place) was in being, until the Coming of the Great High Priest, Christ Jesus: For, says the Law, “This “ Mall be AN EVERLASTING Statute
unto you, (i. e. Everlasting till the Coming of Christ) to make an Atonement for the Chil“dren of Israel, for all their Sins, ONCE A " YEAR, Lev. xvi. 34.
Which could not have been obey'd, if none but the Eldest of Aaron's Family must (by the Law) have enter'd within the Vail; and if he had been at the same time so blemish'd, as that he might not enter therein. For the Atonement must
(in such Cafe) have ceas’d to be perform'd during the Life of such a High-Priest; which is contrary to the Express Law, that required it to be constantly made Oncea Year; and therefore the High-Priesthood was not by Express Lam fix'd in the Eldest of Aaron's Family. This we find in Fact to have been true ; for the Scrip'ture records several High-Priests who were not of the Line of Eleazar the Eldest, but of Ithamar, the Younger Son of Aaron. For Example: Eli; in the Time of the Judges, I Sam. ii. 27, 30. Ahiah, i. e. Abimelech, in the Reign of King Saul, 1 Sam. xiv. 3. xxi. 1. and xxii.15.called also Abiathar the High-Priest, St. Mark ii. 26. whom King Saul I flew. So likewise another Abimelech, in the Reign of of King David, 2-Sam. viii
. 18. and in the Reign of King Solomon, Abiathar. These, 'tis plain, were not in the Line of Eleazar; for his Sons are mention'd particularly by Name, i Chron. vi. and not one of these Higli, Priefts is reckon'd among them: Yet they executed the Office, and no Mark of Infamy is set upon them for so doing, because they were not the Strangers, who by the Law of Moses were to dye for coming within the Vail; for they were of the Sons of Aaron. And cers tainly, if they had been Invaders of the HighPriesthood, God would have given us some Notice of his Dispensing with his own sup: posed Law, or else fome Mark of his Displeasure at their Usurpation; to have warn'd others
from the like Sin for the future: As he did upon King Saul, for but Offering a Burnt-offering, when he had no Authority to do so, being no Priest.
This Argument might be prosecuted much further; but I think enough has been said, to prove, That God did not by an Express Law, fix the High-Priesthood in the Eldest of Aaron's Family: And therefore, when any other of Aaron's Sons got into the High-Priesthood, the Essential Law of God concerning the High Priesthood (which requir’d that it should be in Aaron and his Sons) was not vacated. And this was the Case of the Maccabees, and all their Successors of the Asmonean Family; they were of the Sons of Aaron, and therefore Valid High-Priests; because the Institution requir’d, that a Priest of the Sons of Aaron shquid bé Anointed and Consecrated High-Priest, and that no other should be fo.
To come now to the High-Priests in Herod's and the Romans Time, they were also of the Sons of Aaron: "For, notwithstanding the Wickedness of setting that Office to Sale, &c. Josephus affures us, that it was done with this particular Regard, that those whd obtain'd it were in Holy Orders. His Words are these: “ Herod having now receiv'd the Kingdom from " the Romans, made no longer any Scruple of ♡ Chasing the High-Priests out of the Asmonean “ Race; but conferr?d the Honour indiferently
upon Persons, tho? never so obscure, provided they were but in HOLY ORDERS. 7fe
phus's Jewish Antiquities, Book XX. Cap. 8. pag. 1206. 8vo. This shews, that Herod and the Romans, as wicked as they were, had fo much regard to the Jewish Laws, as not to prostitute the High-Priest-hood to any who were not of the Seed of Aaron: And therefore it is reasonable to conclude, that the HighPriests in our Saviour's time were Valid HighPriests, because of their Descent from Aaron, whereby God's Institution of the High-Priesthood was preserv'd, tho' wickedly Circumftantiated by the buying and selling of so Sacred an Office.
Thirdly, and Lastly, The Expositor's Aflertion, “ T'hat the Atonement was still perform’d " by their (i. e. what He calls the Usurping " High-Priests) Ministry, is begging the Question ; 'tis affirming what he ought to have prov'd, and has not once attempted to do any thing towards it: And till he do's make it good, I shall take the liberty to deny, that his luppos’d Ulurping High-Priests perform’d any Atonement at all: And the Reason why I do deny it, is, Because if they were not instituted High Priests, their pretended Sacerdotal Acts, attempting to propitiate the Divine Nature, were as Null to that Purpose, as King Saul's was before them; that is, wholly Null and Void; and for the same Reason as his was. But further, even tho' those High-Priests were, as I have endeavour'd to prove them, High
Priest according to the express Law or Insti-
Atonement for the Sins of the