The Holy And The Common -- By: William J. Jones

Journal: Westminster Theological Journal
Volume: WTJ 19:2 (May 1957)
Article: The Holy And The Common
Author: William J. Jones


The Holy And The Common*

William J. Jones

[* An address delivered on May 16, 1956 at the Commencement Exercises of Westminster Theological Seminary in Philadelphia.]

LET us hear the Word of God: “And that ye may make a distinction between the holy and the common, and between the unclean and the clean” (Leviticus 10:10, A.S.V.).

And again that Word, for after charging the prophets with conspiracy, God through the prophet turns to the priests with these words: “Her priests have done violence to my law, and have profaned my holy things: they have made no distinction between the holy and the common, neither have they caused men to discern between the unclean and the clean, and have hid their eyes from my sabbaths, and I am profaned among them” (Ezekiel 22:26, A.S.V.).

And again: “And they shall teach my people the difference between the holy and the common, and cause them to discern between the unclean and the clean” (Ezekiel 44:23, A.S.V.).

Amenities impel me to acknowledge with deep gratitude the gracious and, in my judgment, the altogether undeserved invitation to be with you on this glad occasion. For one engaged even in the noble work, yet humble, of the American Sunday-School Union, to be given the opportunity to share in this program with my yoke-fellows of the years is a privilege not to be taken lightly.

But to be also granted the opportunity to speak a word or two to the men of God here in the graduating class, men who have been called, set aside by the Spirit of God with gifts sovereignly bestowed by God is one which I trust I gladly grasp with all humility and also gratefulness.

I would but say two things essentially as I address directly the members of the graduating class here today. And what I would say will be, I most earnestly hope, of challenge and also of hope and cheer to the rest of us who, as those who by

Christ do believe in God, are also kings and priests unto God through His blessed Son.

Now, these two truths, for they are that—principles, truths found in the very Word of God, are simply, first, that there is a distinction between the holy and the common; and second that there will come a time when the holy and the common will be, in a very true and real sense, but one. The record is clear (as pointed out in the Scriptures just read) as to the trifling with the Law on the part of priests in apostate Israel beginning with the foul, black and iniquitous misdeeds of Phinehas and Hophni, sons of the weak ...

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