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Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers, Vol. V:
A Treatise on the Merits and Forgiveness...: Chapter 19

Early Church Fathers  Index     

Chapter 19.—Zacharias and Elisabeth, Sinners.

Now what must we say of Zacharias and Elisabeth, who are often alleged against us in discussions on this question, except that there is clear evidence in the Scripture 534 that Zacharias was a man of eminent righteousness among the chief priests, whose duty it was to offer up the sacrifices of the Old Testament? We also read, however, in the Epistle to the Hebrews, in a passage which I have already quoted in my previous book, 535 that Christ was the only High Priest who had no need, as those who were called high priests, to offer daily a sacrifice for his own sins first, and then for the people. “For such a High Priest,” it says, “became us, righteous, 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.” 536 Amongst the priests here referred to was Zacharias, amongst them was Phinehas, yea, Aaron himself, from whom this priesthood had its beginning, and whatever others there were who lived laudably and righteously in this priesthood; and yet all these were under the necessity, first of all, of offering sacrifice for their own sins,—Christ, of whose future coming they were a type, being the only one who, as an incontaminable priest, had no such necessity.


Footnotes

52:534

Luke i. 6-9.

52:535

See above, Book i. c. 50.

52:536

Heb. 7:26, 27.


Next: Chapter 20

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