Priestism Brought to the Touchstone
"Search the Scriptures."
1. No person in the Christian church, whether he be an apostle, an elder, or an evangelist, is ever spoken of in the New Testament as a priest; nor do we find the most distant allusion to the appointment of an order of priesthood.
2. For the work of the ministry, Christ "gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers;" but never do we read of his giving priests.
3. The apostle wrote Timothy and Titus particular directions relative to the appointment of bishops, deacons, etc.; but no mention is made of priests.
4. And why this silence of Scripture? Simply because the office of priests was unknown in the primitive church; and, moreover, in no way needed, for the weakest and humblest believer may now enter with boldness, even into the holiest, by the blood of Jesus.
5. Having so great a High Priest as Jesus the Son of God, who is "touched with the feeling of our infirmities," and "ever liveth to make intercession for us," what need we of any earthly priest?
6. Priestly confession is not needed; for if we confess our sins to the Lord, "He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness." 1 John 1:9.
7. Priestly absolution is not needed; because the blood of Jesus Christ, and that alone, "cleanseth us from all sin."
8. Priestly intercession is not needed; for "if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous."
9. "No man taketh this honour unto himself, but he that is called of God, as was Aaron;" but this cannot be said of any humanly-appointed priest.
10. Every priest under the law was ordained to offer gifts and sacrifices for sin, and "without shedding of blood is no remission;" but no such sacrifices are now offered, nor are they needed, Christ "hath appeared to put away sin by the sacrifice of himself," and "by one offering he hath perfected for ever them that are sanctified."
11. But the Scriptures distinctly teach, that all believers, by virtue of their union with the Lord Jesus Christ, are made kings and priests unto God, a holy and a royal priesthood, "to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ." 1 Pet. 2:5, 9; Rev. 1:6.
12. From all this it clearly follows, that a humanly-appointed order of priesthood is a deceptive invention of man, and directly opposed to the teaching of Holy Scripture.
"To the law and to the testimony: if they speak not according to this word, it is because there is no light in them." Isaiah 8:20.
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