Office, Ministerial

Office, Ministerial i.e. of the Christian Ministry. The ministers whom Christ and his apostles, and their successors, appointed, are completely distinct from priests, such as those of the Jews and of the pagans, in office, as well as in name. Among the former it was not so much the family of Aaron as the whole tribe of Levi that seems to have been set apart for the purpose of teaching the law; and, indeed, even persons of any tribe might teach publicly in the synagogue on the Sabbath-day, whereas an intrusion into the priest's office would have been vehemently resented. As for pagan priests, their business was rather to conceal than to explain the mysteries of their religion; to keep the people in darkness, rather than to enlighten them. Of the office of Christian ministers, on the contrary, one principal part is that it belongs to them' (not exclusively indeed, but principally and especially) to give religious instruction and admonition; while another, and that a peculiar and exclusive office, is to administer the sacraments of baptism and the Lord's supper. But this administration does not at all assimilate the Christian priesthood to the pagan or Jewish; the former of those rites being an admission into the visible Church, and therefore very suitably received at the hands of those whose especial business it is to instruct and. examine candidates for baptism; while the latter is not, as the Romanists pretend, a fresh sacrifice, but manifestly in celebration of the one already made, and dependent for its efficacy on the personal holiness of the communicant, not of the minister; he, so far from offering any sacrifice himself, refers them to the sacrifice already made by another, the rite of the Lord's Supper seeming plainly to have been ordained for the express purpose (among others) of fixing our minds on the great and single oblation of himself, made by the only high-priest once for all-that great high-priest who has no earthly successor. SEE FUNCTIONARIES; SEE MINISTRY; SEE PRIESTHOOD.

Topical Outlines Nave's Bible Topics International Standard Bible Encyclopedia Online King James Bible King James Dictionary

Verse reference tagging and popups powered by VerseClick™.