PROTESTANTISM, MEDIATION AND PRIESTHOOD
An address by Dr. P. M. Rowell, D.Phil., at Evington Chapel.
It will have become clear, during the course of these lectures, that a Protestant is one whose faith and practice is founded upon Holy Scripture. This evening we come to one aspect of this subject which is vital and approaches the centre of true Protestantism. We have to consider the Person and Work of the Lord Jesus Christ. This is truly the centre, the sum and substance of true religion; for without a right and truly Scriptural knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ; without the work of the Holy Spirit in our hearts who takes of the things of Jesus Christ revealing them to us; then we have no right to the name of Protestant nor have we any certain hope for the future.
Firstly, consider the subject in a rather general way. We may well ask concerning the two words before us. Mediation and Priesthood, why they have arisen and what they mean? Let me first emphasise the positive aspect. In Romans I, the apostle Paul brings before us the condition of men in general. It is declared that ”The wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness.” Paul continues by declaring that “Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath showed it unto them. For the invisible things of him from the foundation of the world are dearly seen, being understood by the things which are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse.” It would be only the most blatant atheist, who is a liar as well, who would say that he has no inner consciousness of the being of God. Men may describe their feelings in different ways and express them in different words, but there is, deep down in each one of us, a consciousness of a higher being, and the apostle Paul emphasises that this indeed is the truth.
This may be denied, it is almost always perverted except in the case of those who are taught of the Holy Spirit, nevertheless there is this consciousness of God which Paul emphasises. By the same inspired authority we are taught that man is conscious of a great disparity between his position and that of God. This varies in intensity and when the soul of a man, woman or young person is blessed by the Holy Spirit there is a work of real conviction concerning this truth whereby the soul knows that it has most grievously sinned against a good and gracious yet holy and just God. Here, the apostle says, we may see in the work of creation, the things Â“Clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made” even something of the “Eternal power and Godhead” of God. This emphasises our position as created beings, we are created by God, we owe our life and being to Him and there is that disparity between God our creator and we as created beings, the product of His power. This inner consciousness of God has shown itself not only in those who profess a good proper Christian faith but in many other faiths
as well. There has always been a widespread attempt to produce some sort of intermediary between God and man. The idolater will produce his idol which he can see, he will appoint his own priest to serve the idol and will rely upon this priest and the visible idol to do all that is necessary for his soul and thus obtain some salve for his conscience. It is an attempt, though a vain one, to gain the good will of one who he feels is so high above him. But, I am sure that there is something more solemn, which is essentially sinful in the position of man as he is today and as he has been from the very dawn of history. Man is a fallen creature and as such his very thoughts are sinful. These attempts of the idolater and the false professor of religion to provide some intermediary of his own are a great evil, an evil that is in the heart of every one of us. The evil is to try to justify ourselves before God. It is what our fathers have termed “Justification by WORKS.” This is a deep and inbred principle in a sinner, a sinner conscious, to some extent, that he has offended God, However he may think of God, there is also, along with this consciousness of God; of the majesty of His great power which he so little understands; a sense of guilt, that he has offended against his Maker. This is very evident when great sinners come to die; they are afraid to die. There is a real difference in those who are blessed by the Holy Spirit, they can look forward to the time of their departing and know that to depart is to be with Christ “Which is far better.”
Man’s need of a priest. The work of a priest.
You will see from these remarks that there has been, throughout the world’s history, an attempt to produce some “Go-between,” some man, some image, or some other invention of man’s mind, to stand between him and God. In this sense we must understand the two words which are the subject of this address. Man is conscious of the need of a priest. It may only be a dim consciousness in many persons, in others it becomes a very deep, real sense of the need of a priest.
A priest is one who will make offerings and sacrifices with prayer. We cannot rightly and Scripturally understand this word, “Priest,” without knowing that a priest is one that is engaged in sacred duties of religion which involve sacrifice, which include offerings to God. In the word, “Mediation,” we see before us one who is an intermediary, one who stands between an offended God and a guilty man. A mediator is one who does mediate between those who are alienated and that is our condition as sinners. We are alienated from God.
Mediation and priesthood as taught by Scripture
To move from the more general to the particular aspects of this truth we must, as true Protestants, look within the Words of Scripture to find the clear teaching of God. If we leave the Scriptures and solely consider the idolatrous behaviour of many nations in early days we shall move away from that which is clear and beautiful to that which is confused, dark and deceptive. So, as we
look within the Scriptures we find, right at the beginning, in Genesis 4, evidence of man’s need of a priest and of mediation. Man had fallen from his condition of innocence. Adam and Eve were together in the transgression and their children, being the children of those that had transgressed, bore in their nature the evil of sin. Now we see Cain and Abel coming to worship God, they were both conscious of the nature of God to some extent. We read, “In the process of timeÂ—Cain brought of the fruit of the ground an offering unto the Lord. And Abel, he also brought of the firstlings of his flock. And the Lord had respect unto Abel and his offering. But unto Cain and to his offering he had not respect. And Cain was very wrath, and his countenance fell, (Gen. 4, 3/5). Here we have two men, they come to worship God and to present offerings. In the early part of the Scriptures we are shown that it was the office of certain men, usually the firstborn in families, (But occasionally it was not so), who was in the position of a priest to make offerings for himself and on behalf of the family. But here in these early days, in the dawn of history, both Cain and Abel come with their offerings. There must have been, in a way which we are not told, some revelation of the purpose of God concerning this because God receives Abel’s offering, when he brings the firstlings of his flock and the fat thereof. Abel was the one who offered an offering acceptable to the Lord, (See Hebrews 11, 4), an offering which was indeed a sacrifice, in Abel’s offering there was the “Shedding of Blood.” This was a confession by one that had sinned against God, of his need of some reconciliation between himself and God. He confessed that there must be some expiation for his sin and in this offering, by faith given to him, he looked forward to one who was at last, after the passage of so many years, to make that one offering for sin for ever.
But the offering of Cain is refused. It was not an offering that could be acceptable to the Lord because in no true or right way did it depict sacrifice. There was no blood shed and by the rejection of Cain’s offering the Lord shows that there can be no approach to Himself but through this expiation for sin. Sin must be paid for, dealt with by atonement and put away through sacrifice. The sacrifice of Abel speaks of this, his was the offering and he was the one that was accepted.
The continuous testimony of Scripture to the necessity of mediation.
Throughout the book of the Genesis, all through this age of the Patriarchs, an account is clearly given of offerings to the Lord in the form of sacrifice and in these the eldest sons in the family were in the position of priests who brought their offerings to the Lord. Abraham was told by God himself to take Isaac and offer him as a burnt offering to the Lord. Abraham was well aware of the nature of a true “Offering;” that there was to be, in such an offering, the taking of life and the shedding of blood.
The case of Jacob and Esau is also instructive concerning this. When Esau was hungry he sold his birthright and Jacob receives it in his place. The significance of this birthright was that now he took his place as the head of the family. He was now in the position
of the family priest and to him was committed the religious duties of the family in a particular way. Esau’s sin, in selling the birthright, denied him the right of ever again being in that position. In Genesis 31 we also read of Jacob, in the position of a priest, approaching God in the way of offering; in the 54th verse we read of Jacob offering sacrifice upon the mount, and calling his brethren to eat bread. Here he is seen in the position of a priest making an offering to the Lord.
Moses, approved by God as the leader of His people, is shown as a MEDIATOR. The account is given in Exodus 32 of the sin against God by the people whom he had led out of Egypt who had corrupted themselves and turned to the worship of an idol. The Lord clearly showed His indignation and wrath against them and Moses said, “Ye have sinned a great sin: and now I will go unto the Lord; peradventure I shall make an atonement for your sin.” Here is Moses in the office of priest and mediator under Divine appointment. He ventures, as an intermediary to God; as one standing between an offended,Â—a rightly offendedÂ—God and a guilty people. Moses returned to the Lord and said, “Oh, this people have sinned a great sin, and have made them gods of gold. Yet now, if thou wilt forgive their sin; and if not, blot me, I pray thee, out of thy book which thou hast written. And the Lord said unto Moses, Whosoever hath sinned against me, him will I blot out of my book.” Here is one who, in the anguish of his spirit and deep desire for the well being of this people, will go to God as a mediator between God and the people and to plead on their behalf. In the next chapter, (33. ver. 11), is shown the way in which the Lord honoured Moses in a very outstanding way. “The Lord spake unto Moses face to face, as a man speaketh to his friend.” That was Moses’ exalted position, as one that stands between God and the people.
By mediation the communication of blessing.
Now a mediator also is one by whom blessing is communicated to men. Moses stands in this position as a mediator in conveying to the people the will of God, the Law of God which was for their national well being as well as their personal well being. He conveyed to them, by mediation the very Word of the Living God Himself.
Continuing the study of the mystery of this specially chosen people we discover that God appoints a particular family, associated with a particular tribe, to the office of the priesthood. Aaron and the tribe of Levi were thus chosen by God. Aaron and his sons to be high priests and priests and the whole tribe of Levi as assistants to the priestly work of the tabernacle. This priesthood, chosen and ordained of God, was a typical priesthood, but it was a priesthood that was restricted to the children of Israel and any proselytes who might be joined to them. It was a greatly restricted priesthood and this is in contrast to the priesthood of Melchizedek.
Abraham, returning from his conquest of the kings that had pillaged Sodom, (Genesis 14), brought an offering and tithes to Melchizedek who was a priest of the Most High God and who stood in his office of priesthood in a much wider sense than that of Aaron. The children of Israel were at that time not a nation, they were still in the “Loins of Abraham,” though the promise concerning the nation and its blessing was very plain. Levi, as yet unborn, gave tithes in Abraham to one that was superior to him and Melchizedek was not only a priest to Israel in Abraham but to many others in the vicinity of Salem; in a far wider sense was he a priest and mediator than of this one family or nation. Thus, Paul in writing to the Hebrews emphasises the nature of the priesthood of Melchizedek as being a special type of the priesthood of the Lord Jesus Christ, a priesthood not only to the Jew, but to men of all nations of the earth.
The priesthood, an exalted position.
Considering more carefully the priesthood of Aaron, appointed by God, and communicated to his successors we need to examine Exodus 28; “Take thou unto thee Aaron thy brother, and his sons with him, from among the children of Israel, that he may minister unto me in the priest’s office.” Here is the Word of God constituting Aaron as a priest, a high priest, in this particular way. The Lord goes on then to speak of the way that Aaron shall use the office of priest and sets forth many things which we know now to foreshadow the person and work of the Lord Jesus Christ. “Thou shalt speak unto all that are wise hearted, whom I have filled with the spirit of wisdom, that they may make Aaron’s garments to consecrate him, that he may minister unto me in the priest’s office.” It was a very exalted position that Aaron took as a High Priest. The people of Israel were made well aware of the exalted position that he occupied by the order of his dress, his behaviour and the way in which he would enter the holy place to make atonement for his own sins and those of the people before he could enter into the Holy of Holies where God promised to reveal Himself. This one who stands in such an exalted position, a leader amongst the people and in the nation, a leader in the religious affairs of the nation; this one alone shall enter into the Holy of Holies to make a typical atonement for sin. There was to be the shedding and sprinkling of blood so closely associated with the work of a High Priest. There was to be confession of sin, his own and the sins of the people, over the head of the sacrificial victim. In all this there was set before the people the necessity of atonement and reconciliation. The work of the priest is essentially connected with sacrifice and in this way God is manifest as forgiving sin, a way, which we shall see later, is the only way in which sin can be forgiven. These were typical sacrifices for we know, by the Scripture, that in these sacrifices there was not really a putting away of sin, but there was figuratively set before the people the way in which sin is put away and in these sacrifices the way of reconciliation was depicted. There is Gospel in the Old Testament as well as in the New, though so much more fully revealed and so clear in the New Testament as compared with the Old,
The priesthood of Aaron contrasted with that of Melchizedek.
The Aaronic priesthood was restricted in its form for the priests were to receive a certain training according to their age and the length of time through which they were permitted to labour in the priest’s office was restricted. This was in contrast to the priesthood of Melchizedek which was not similarly restricted. Yes, the priesthood of Aaron and his successors was but a foreshadowing a type of good things to come in the work of Jesus Christ. There is no portion of the word of God which deals more fully with this aspect of the priesthood in Christ Jesus than Paul’s epistle to the Hebrews. We shall do well to look in some detail at the way in which the Apostle Paul speaks to the Hebrews regarding the priesthood of the Lord Jesus in comparison with that of Melchizedek and in contrast to that of Aaron and his successors.
CHRIST JESUS, the ETERNAL SON OF GOD, born of a woman, taking into union with His Divine nature a pure and perfect human nature that as THE GREAT HIGH PRIEST he might fulfil all that was prophesied concerning him, is manifested as a MEDIATOR, the ONE Mediator between God and man, the Man, Christ Jesus. (1. Timothy, 2, 5). Isaiah, emphasising the same truth, under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, says, “They shall call his name EMMANUEL,Â—God with us.” (Matthew 1, 23). In Hebrews 5,1 is written, “Every high priest taken from among men is ordained for men in things pertaining to God, that he may offer gifts and sacrifices for sin.” This is a brief summary of the office of a priest. He is to offer both gifts and sacrifices for sin, sin cannot be put away in any other manner than this, the way which God has required and appointed.
Turning to Hebrews 7, Christ, the great High Priest, is shown as a fulfilment of that which was foreshadowed in Melchizedek, “Melchizedek, king of Salem, priest of the most high God, who met Abraham returning from the slaughter of the kings and blessed him; to whom also Abraham gave a tenth part of all; first being by interpretation King of righteousness, and after that King of Salem, which is, King of Peace; without father, without mother, without descent, having neither beginning of days, nor end of life; but made like unto the Son of God: abideth a priest continually.” Here indeed is one whose person, office and work depicts the great fulfilment in the person of the Lord Jesus Christ. In verse 11 there is shown a limitation in the priesthood of Aaron, although it was a great and glorious appointment of God. “If therefore perfection were by the Levitical priesthood, (For under it the people received the law), what further need was there that another priest should rise after the order of Melchizedek, and not be called after the order of Aaron.” You will see that Melchizedek was not one of the priestly tribe for he lived before Levi was born, he was appointed by the Most High God. The Lord Jesus Christ did not come from the priestly tribe; He himself was appointed, eternally appointed, as the great High Priest of His people. There was another Priest that should appear
of the order of Melchizedek, not called after the order of Aaron for the priesthood was to be changed.
The nature and continuance of the Aaronic priesthood was restricted to the life and history of the chosen people, Israel, until the time of the appearing of the Lord Jesus Christ, the great High Priest. Continuing in the 18th and 19th verses we read, “The law made nothing perfect, but the bringing in of a better hope did; by he which we draw nigh to God and inasmuch as not without an oath was he made priest”. Yes, truly, the law made nothing perfect but the bringing in of a better hope did. The previous verse reads, Â“There is verily a disannulling of the commandment going before or the weakness and unprofitableness thereof”. This centres upon he fallibility and sinful humanity of the Aaronic priesthood. Aaron and his successors must offer sacrifices both for themselves and the people, this is the limitation, here is the defect. But, HERE IS ONE who, in all his work, is perfect and is perfectly suited and perfectly qualified and ordained by His Father to the office of High Priest, who is perfect also as a MEDIATOR.
Paul continues (verses 26/28), “For such an high priest became us, who is holy, harmless, undefiled, separate from sinners, and made higher than the heavens; who needeth not daily, as those high priests, to offer up sacrifice, first for his own sins, and then for the people’s; for this he did once, when he offered up himself. 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 for evermore”.
The great fulfilment
In the person of the Lord Jesus Christ is the fulfilment of all that was forshadowed by the Aaronic priesthood and that of Melchizedek. Here is One that is appointed as a Priest of His people and this priesthood is not to be restricted to the Jewish people but, is in the type of Melchizedek, His priesthood is to be UNIVERSAL, in the sense that He is the Great High Priest of all those for whom he makes this perfect offering whether they be Jews or Gentiles. His PRIESTHOOD is ETERNAL, wherefore He is able also to save them to the uttermost that come to God by Him. His MEDIATION IS ETERNAL seeing He ever liveth to make intercession for them.
Grievous misunderstanding of mediation
There have been and still are, some grievous misunderstandings of this mediation and priesthood of Christ. One of these is the misunderstanding concerning the nature of the offence which the Lord feels towards His people. Truly God is offended, and his offence is against the sins of His creatures. This is perfectly correct, so far, but when teachers go on to say that the Lord Jesus Christ is attempting to change the anger of God into love there, I believe, is a grievous mistake. The Lord Jesus Christ, as High Priest and mediator made His one offering for sin. His work is a work of sacrifice, to offer himself as the Lamb of God. In this work of sacrifice in atonement is made for sin most satisfying to the demands of holiness and justice in God but NOT a turning of anger into love
BECAUSE the Father’s love for His people is eternal and the work of Jesus Christ, as Mediator and High Priest, is the direct consequence of the love of God the Father for those whom He has eternally chosen. It is NOT the work of the Lord Jesus Christ to turn the wrath of the Father into love but to satisfy the demands of a Holy God and propitiate that righteous indignation of our Creator against our sins, those sins that have so deeply offended against His Holy Law.
In the epistle to the Hebrews there is set before us in detail the perfect work of the Lord Jesus Christ as Mediator and High Priest. He has something to offer. It is necessary that He should have something to offer. He offers Himself, perfect, holy, harmless, undefiled, separate from sinners. He offers Himself, as a perfect sacrifice, an atonement is perfectly made. He triumphs over sin, death and the grave. He ascends to the right hand of the Father there to make intercession. That intercession is eternal. He still intercedes on behalf of His people.
Perversions of priesthood
Considering the more negative aspects of this truth we shall see how various perversions of the Priesthood have crept in since the early days of the CHURCH. The human priesthood, in the sense of priests of the order of Melchizedek and Aaron, was concluded by the coming of Christ. In Hebrews 8 we read these words, “For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, saith the Lord; I will put my laws in their mind, and write them in their hearts; and I will be to them a God, and they shall be to me a people; and they shall not teach every man his neighbour, and every man his brother, saying. Know the Lord; for they shall know me, from the least to the greatest. For I will be merciful to their unrighteousness, and their sins and their iniquities will I remember no more. (Quoted from Jeremiah 31. 33/34). It is “A NEW COVENANT and he hath made the first old. Now that which decayeth and waxeth old is ready to vanish away”. There is here, in the statement of this new covenant, a declaration of the position of the people who are the subjects of the new covenant, those who are taught by the Holy Spirit Himself. This new covenant does not have within its terms a merely human High Priest neither is there a place in it for the sacrifices of the Old Testament offerings. Hebrews 9. 23/24 reads, “It was therefore necessary that the patterns of things in the heavens should be purified by these; but the heavenly things themselves with better sacrifices than these. For Christ is not entered into the holy places made with hands, which are the figures of the true; but into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God for us”. The Lord Jesus Christ hath made one sacrifice for sins for ever (Hebrews 10, 12), and is set down now at the right hand of God to make intercession on behalf of His people (Hebrews 7, 25). He has entered into the holy places, not made with hands, into the presence of God, the apostle says, FOR US.
We need then no human high priest nor do we need any repetition or continuation of Old Testament sacrifice and offering, for
there is ONE offering made for sin for ever whereby “He hath perfected for ever them that are sanctified” (Hebrews 10, 14), even that perfect offering that fulfils all that was foreshadowed in every Old Testament offering.
The Anachronism of Human Mediators
There is no need for human mediators. In Moses, Aaron and his successors, in Melchisedek there was a human mediator, there was one who took the appointed offering and laid it before the Lord. In the New Testament Church there is no need for such a mediator, for the Lord Jesus Christ, after making one offering for sin. Himself is entered into that heavenly and holy place to make intercession for His people. If we turn to the Epistle to the Romans we shall see that Paul emphasises the same truth, (8, 34), “Who is he that condemneth? It is Christ that died, yea rather, that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us.” A conviction of sinfulness, a sense of alienation from God can only be removed in this God appointed way, as the Holy Spirit takes the things of Jesus Christ and reveals them to us. The Holy Spirit is especially given, (8, 26), by the Lord Jesus Christ, sent forth in answer to His prayer, into the hearts of His people to be their teacher and guide. This same blessed Holy Spirit brings them to the One Mediator between God and man. He leads them to the Lord Jesus Christ directly; not through any intermediate person or persons, neither human saint nor human priest, not even Mary, the mother of the Lord Jesus Christ, but DIRECTLY to The One Mediator the Lord Jesus Christ. It is the Holy Spirit’s blessed office to direct the hearts and thoughts of all the Lord’s people directly to their One Mediator who maketh intercession for the saints according to the will of God. The Lord Jesus Christ sitteth at the right hand of the Father and maketh intercession for us. I believe here is the centre of real experimental religion. By that I mean, a religion that is embedded in the heart by the Holy Spirit and not a religion which is merely a matter of mental power and ability.
A man can make himself appear to be a Christian by diligent study, reading and application to history; the history of the Church, and so on. By such means he can make himself appear to be a Christian but here we have the very centre of real and vital knowledge, for without this knowledge where are we and what are we? A sense of real need, a need of reconciliation, how necessary is this, to show us our spiritual inability, to prove to us that without the mercy and love of God in sending His Own Son into the world to save sinners then there would be no way of return, there could be no approach to a Holy and offended God. But in the person of the Lord Jesus Christ there is a new and living way opened into the holiest, yes, by His suffering and death, by the shedding of His blood and the offering He has made. He says, there IS a new and living way opened into the holiest, (Hebrews 10, 19/20). Sinners, though so far off from God by their wicked works, are made nigh to Him; there is atonement made for sin and there is conveyed into
the heart of those grieved for their sin, the spirit of reconciliation whereby the sorrowing sinner is assured that his sins, which are so many, are forgiven him for Jesus’ sake, and in that is a pledge of eternal happiness. Without this vital inner work of the Holy Spirit in our souls what hope have we either now or in the future?
The Priesthood of believers.
Questions may be asked relative to the words of Revelation 5, 10, “And hast made us unto our God kings and priests, and we shall reign on the earth.” These are words of great significance. It is well to notice in the previous verse that a work by God, in the Lord Jesus Christ, has been performed in thus making this people “Kings and priests,” (or, “A kingdom of priests” as it is sometimes translated). It might thus be said, “So there is a priesthood that is human.” Allow me to lay the following facts before you, Christ is truly and rightly the High Priest of the true Church of Christ. He is the One who takes the offering, of Himself, presenting it unto the Father as a perfect atonement for sin. There is an approach made by a sinner to a Father, through His Son, Christ Jesus. The Spirit of Adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father, is granted to us as a free and sovereign gift. Thus we see, through Christ alone, can a great sinner approach the Father who is rightly offended by sin. But now the Father sees the sinner, perfect, forgiven, his sins blotted out for Jesus’ sake, a true atonement having been made, so that the sinner now comes boldly into a holy place, a place of communion with God. That place of communion was specifically the place of a priest, but, AND LET ME EMPHASISE THIS, it is NOT as a SACRIFICING PRIEST, that he enters into this position and privilege. This communion is a spiritual communion between the soul of a reconciled sinner and the Father. “Our fellowship is with the Father, and with his Son Jesus Christ,” (1. John 1, 3). It is a fellowship upon the ground of the One sacrifice for sin for ever. The believers’ priesthood is NOT a sacrificing priesthood but it is the priesthood of privilege, for all the Lord’s people are now privileged to enter into that Holy Place of communion with God. Moses was highly privileged to speak with God face to face. The Lord’s people are also highly privileged to come to God pleading the Name of the Lord Jesus Christ, with this assurance, it is a well grounded assurance, that He will receive them for Jesus’ sake.
Truly there are many perversions of this great truth and it is but right that we should consider some of these. I have tried to set before you in a positive and negative way what I feel to be the true teaching of Scripture. Now, in contrast, we must consider the way in which so many have perverted the truth.
The perversions of Rome.
It is essential that we should consider one of the greatest offences against the person and work of the Lord Jesus Christ, the doctrines of the Roman Catholic Church. I am quite convinced that the Papacy, as it is constituted today is a solemn offence in the sight of God. There may well be many living under this solemn delusion who are the Lord’s people, whom He will eventually bring
out from that apostate body. But, let it be clearly stated, that the Roman Church is guilty of perverting the great central doctrine of the person and work of the Lord Jesus Christ. The leader of this system, the Pope, asserts that he stands as God’s representative and has assumed to himself powers which were never given to Him by God and for which he has no authority from Holy Scripture. He claims succession from Peter and this is completely without proof. Under the power and authority of the Pope there are a vast number of bishops and priests, so called, who have been given, according to the claims of the Papacy, wide and specific powers. They claim to have power to either remit or retain the sins of those who come to them. They are considered to be priests in a sacrificing sense, for when they come to administer the sacrament of the Mass, they claim to offer again a new sacrifice of the Lord Jesus Christ, a claim to offer AGAIN a real sacrifice. Here is the centre of this perversion for there is ONE sacrifice which has been made and it avails for EVER, and it is so absolutely perfect and complete that nothing can be added to it. There is no need, there is no Scriptural ground whatever for a performance of any further sacrifi