And no man takes this honor unto himself, but he that is called of God, as was Aaron.
All Commentaries on Hebrews 5:4 Go To Hebrews 5
George Leo Haydock
See in 3 Kings xiii.; 2 Paralipomenon xxvi.; and 1 Kings xiii. the manifest punishments of the Almighty on laics that impiously and sacrilegiously attempted the ministry of priests. In the Christian dispensation, archbishop Cranmer, the very soul of the pretended reformation, dictatorially pronounces, "he that is appointed to be a bishop or priest, needeth no consecration: "words quoted by Dr. Stilling fleet from his own handwriting, in his Irenicum, p. 391, 2nd ed. But the Catholic Church has given a very different decision, which is confirmed by the testimony of Scripture, apostolical tradition, and the unanimous consent of the Fathers. See Acts vi. 6. and xiii. 3. and xiv. 22.; 1 Timothy iv. 14. See in the history of Socrates, who lived in the fifth century, how the usurpation of Ischyras, in taking upon himself the name and office of a priest without receiving holy orders, was reprobated as a crime worthy of death. (lib. 1. chap. xxvii. Ed. Val.)