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^|theological seminary,! 

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^1 f'ffSf\ Division iV 

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Search the Scriptures.' — John v. 39. 


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Printed for T. Pitcher, No. 44, Barbican; 

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Chap. I. Ver. i, 2. 


§ I. Tbe apjlk' s dcjlgn, § 2. The fnhjsSf jtiUd. § 3. (I.) 
The lazv and gofpel both agree iri havhig God for their au- 
thor. § 4 — 6. (II.) The difference as to their revelation 
conjijls I. Lithe times of their prormdgation. § 7 — 9. 2. 
The manner of it, § 10, 11. 3. Perfons employed. § 12. 
(III.) fcvjifh prejudices againjl the gofpel obviated^ by at' 
tending to. § 13' !• The jufl ftatemcnt of God' s reveal- 
ing his will by his Son. § 14. 2. Several excellencies at- 
tending the revelation if elf. § 15. 3. The concefjlons 
bf the Jevus. § 16. 4. The dignity and glory of Chriji 
the revealcr^ who is^ § 17 — 20. (i.) Heir of all, 
§ 2 1. (2.) By appointment. And § 22 — 24. (3.) 
Maker of the world. ^ 25 — --36. (IV.) Dotirinal and 
pr apical obfervations. 

§ I. J. HE apofllc's grand clcfign, throughout this epiflle, 

is, to engage the Hebrews to conllancy and perfeverance 

in their attachment to the gofpel with its fundamental 

Vol. II. B doc- 


clo£\rliic> , and his niaiu argument, for that purpofc, is 
taken from the immediate, author^ the promifed Meliiah, 
the Son of God. Him, therefore, in this chapter, he 
dcfcribcs at large, declaring what he is abfdutclyy in his 
pcrfon and otRccs, and compayativcly^ with rcfpe6t to other 
miniflcrial rcvcalers of the mind and will of God ; prin- 
cipally infilling on his excellency and pre-eminence above 

§ 2. A compart fon being intended in thcfe verfes be- 
tween the Mofaicnl law and the gofpel-, and particularly 
in reference to their revelation and inilitution, the apoille 
llicws ; 

I. Wherein tlic law and gofpel in that view do both 

I I . Wherein the gofpel differs from the law. And then, 
HI. He obviates the great Jewifh prejudice againft the 

gofpel, by the confidcration of Chrill's fuperior exctl- 
Icncv. After the difculfion of thefc points, we Ihnll , 

IV. Make fomc doctrinal and practical obfervations.cMi 
tlie whole. 

§ 3. (I.) That wherein the law and gofpel, as to thcv|^ 
promulgation, do both <7rrtv, is, (J ^^cg) God was the 
author of each. About this there Svas no difference, 
as to mod of them to whoni the apoille immediately 
wrote; which, therefore, he take* for granted. For the 
profelfmg Jews did not adhere toMofaical inilitutions, be- 
caufe God was the author of thcfc, and not of the gofpel ; 
but becaufc, as they apprehended, they were given from 
C7od by Mofcs as unalterable. Now Gcd being here 
fpokcn of in diftinflion from the Son, cxprcflly, and 
from the Holy Ghoft, by evident implication; that term, 
be it obfervcd, is not taken to denote primarily the e;'- 
fince or being of the Deity, but one certain pcrfon^ and the 
divine nature only as fubfilling in that pcrfon, which is, 
the Father ; fo that he, by way of cmincncy, was the pe- 
culiar author of the law and gofpel. Befidcs, he imme- 
diately adigns divine properties and excellencies unto anz- 
ther pcrfon, evidently dillinguiflied from him whom he de- 
note* by the name God in this place ; which he could not 



do, did that name abfolutely exprefs the divine na- 
ture. From this head of their agreenunty the apoflle 

§ 4. (II.) To the inilances of d'lfcrence that "was Be- 
tween the law and the gofpel, as to their revelation ; and 
thefe refer to the Umes^ the manners^ and perfons employ- 
ed. Let us, 

I. Confider that which concerns the tines of their pro- 
mulgation, feveral of the other inflances being regulated 

With reference to the law it is faid that God fpakc 
{ttuKul) foynicrly^ or of old. Some fpace of time is de- 
noted in this word, which had then received both its be- 
ginning and end. Take the word abfolutely, and it com- 
prlfes the whole fpace of time from the giving out of the 
firfl promife, to the end of the Old Tellament Revelations. 
Take it as relating to the Jews (which the apoille hath 
refpe£l to) and the date is the giving of the law by 
Mofes in the wildernefs. So that this difpcnfation of 
God's *' fpeaking in- the Prophets," continued for the 
fpace of twenty-one jubilees, or near eleven hundred 
years. After the death of the latter prophets, Haggai, 
Zechariah, and Malachi, as the Jews freely confefs, the 
Holy Spirit was taken from Ifrael. The fathers, there- 
fore, to whom God fpake in the Prophets, were all the 
faithful of the Jewifli church from the giving of the law 
until the ceafing of prophecy. 

§ 5. The revelation of the gofpel is afhrmed to be 
made, {i7r\(rxpcla}y loov i^jJLSpMV tovtccv) in thcfe loft days. 

Mod expositors fuppofe this phrafe, " the lall days," 
is a periphrafis of the times of the gofpel. But it doth 
not appear that thefe are any where fo called ; nor were they 
ever known by that name among the Jews, upon whofe 
principles the apoftlc proceeds. Some feafons, indeed, 
under the gofpel, in reference to fom.e churches, are 
called ** the laft days," but the whole time of tlie gofpel, 
abfolutely, is no where fo termed. It is therefore, the lafl 
days of the Jewifh church and flatc, which were then 
drawing to their linal abolition, that are' here intetided. 


4 AN LXPOSITIOX 01' THL Lha?.!, 

'The apoftlc takes it for grantcJ, tljat the JewiHi church 
Hate did yet continue ; and proves that it was drawing to 
its period, [chap. viii. ult.J having its prcCcnt Handing in 
the turbcarance of God. Again, the pcribiial miniilry of 
tlie Son of God, whihl on earth, is here eminently, thougii 
not folcly intended. For fo tlie contrail runs — As God 
cf old fpakc by the prophen, fo in thcfe At/? djys he fpakc 
by his Son. His pcrfonai miniftry was confined to the 
loft fheep of the houfc of Ifraeh [Matt. xv. 24.] to 
whom alone at flrft he font his apoftlcs, [Matt. x. 5, 6. "5 
and is therefore faid to be a " miniller of the circumcifion 
for the truth of God," [Rom. xv. i.l The wordbi, 
[Matt. xxi. 37.] * Laji cf all he fcnt unto them hh Son,' ex- 
plain the apofllc's meaning. Thus Jacob alfo, [Gen 
xhx. I.] * I will tell you that which fhall befall yoa 
(iT cjyu\L'yj {jjji-pcAjyy Si pi.] ' in the laJl days \ the words 
here ufcd by the apoftle. The days pointed out ()y Jacob 
are evidently thofc wherein the Meffiah Ihould come, be- 
fore Judah was utterly deprived of fcepter and fcribe. 
The fum is, tliat fincc the end of thei; church llate was 
toretold to be a perpetual dcfolation, [Dan. ix. 27.] and 
the laft days were now come upon tlicm, they might un- 
dcrllriiid what they were ihortly to expeft. The important 
end ot the Jews being a people, a church, and kingdom, 
was to bring forth the Melliah, whofe coming and work 
mull of nccclTity put an end to their old flate and con- 

§ 6. This makes it evident who were the pcrfons fpokcn 
to in thcfe laft days. To us ■ that is, the members of the 
Jewilh church, who lived in the days of our Lord's per- 
lonal miniftry, and afterwards under the preaching of the 
gofpel to that day [chap. ii. 3.] The Jews of thofe times 
were very apt to think, that if they had lived in the days 
of the former prophets, and had heard them deliver their 
mcflage from God, they would have received it with a 
cheerful olKdiencc. Their otUy unhappinefs, as they 
thought, was, that they were *' born out of due time," 
as to prophetical revelations, [Matt. ;cxiii. 30.] Now 
the apoftle, aware of this prejudice, informs them, that 



God, in the revelation of the gofpel, had fpokeu to them- 
ielves what they fo much deiired. If then they attend not 
to this word, they mull needs be fclf-condemncd. Be- 
fides, that care and love which God manifeiled towards 
them, in fpeaking to them in this immediate manner, re- 
quired the mofl indifputable obedience, efpcciallv conli- 
dering how far this mode excelled what he had before 
ufed towards the fathers. This leads to 

§ 7. 2. The next difference, which refpe£ls the man- 
ner of thefe feveral revelations of the will of God, and 
that in tvv^o particulars ; for, 

§ I. The former was made {ttoKvimzdmc) by many and 
•divers parts^ one after the other, and confequently at ** fun- 
dry times." The branch of the antithefis anfwering 
hereunto is not cxprefled, but is evidently implied to be 
(•ira^ or s'pa.Tru^J at once. The expreffion intends the 
gradual difcovery of the mind and will of God, by the ad- 
ditions of one thing after another at feveral feafons, as 
the church could bear the light of them, and as it was 
fubfervient to his main deiign of preferving all pre-emi- 
nence to the MelTiah. How all this is argumentative to 
the apoftle's purpofs will inilantly appear. Take the ex- 
preffion abfolutely, to denote the whole progrefs of divine 
revelation from the beginning of the world, and it com- 
prifeth foiir principal parts or degrees, with thofc that 
were fubfcrvient to them. The firji of thefe was made 
to Jdam, whicli was the principle of faith and obedience 
to the antediluvian fathers ; and to this were fubfervient 
all tlic confequent particular revelations before the fiood. 
The fecond to Noah, after the flood, in the renewal of 
the covenant and eilablifliment of the church in his fa- 
mily, [Gen. viil. 21. ix. 9, 10] whereunto were fubfer- 
vient the revelations made to Melchifedcch [Gen. xiv. 13.I 
and others, before the calling of Abraham. The third to 
Abraham, with a peculiar refl:ri<?tion of the promife 
to his feed, and a fuller illuftration of the nature of it, 
[Gcn.xii. I — 4. XV. 1 1,1 2. and xvii. 1,2.] coniirmedin the 
revelations made to Ifaac, [Gen. xxvi. 2. 4.] Jacob [Gen. 
xlix.] and others of their pofterity. ^\\^ fourth \o Moles, 
in ;he giving of the law, and crc£\ion of the Jev/ifh church 



in the wiUlcrncfs, to which was principally fubfervicnt the 
revelation made to David, which was peculiarly dcfigned 
to perfcd tlic Old Teflament worfhip, [i Ciiron. xxiii. 
25 — 28. xxviii. I I — 9.] I'o which wc may add Solo- 
mon, with the reft of the prophets in their rcfpcdive days ; 
particularly thofc who before and during the captivity 
pleaded with the people about their defedlion by fcandalous 
fins and fnlfc worlhip ; and Ezra, with the prophets that 
aflifted in the reformation of the church after its return 
from Babylon, who, in an eminent manner, excited the 
people to expc£l the coming of the Alelliah. 

§ 8. Thefc were the principal parts and degrees of divine 
revelation from the foundation of the world to the com-» 
ing of Chriil, at lead until his forerunner, John the Bapti/}, 
And this the apoitle reminds the Hebrews of; that the 
will of God concerning his worPnip, was not formerly 
all at once revealed to his church by Mofes or any other , 
but by fcvcral parts and degrees, by new additions of light, 
as in his infinite wifdom and care he £aw meet : and herjby 
he clearly convinces them of their miftakc in their obili- 
nate adherence to the Mofaical inftitutions. It is as if lie 
had faid, Confidcr the way whereby God revealed his v;ili 
to tlie church hitlicrto, hath it not been by parts and de- 
grees ? Hath he at any time Ihut up the progrefs of reve- 
lation ? H.ith he not always kept the church in expcclation 
of new difcovcrics of his will r Did he ever declare that 
he would add no more to what he had commanded, or 
make no alteration in what he had inftituted \ I'here- 
fore Mofcs, when he had iinifhed all his work in tlie Lord's 
boufc, tells tiic church, God would raife up another pro- 
phet like unto him ; that is, who Ihould reveal new laws 
and inftitutions as he had done, whom they were to hear 
and obey, on the penalty of utter extermination, [Deut. 
xviii. 13.] In oppofition to this gradual revelation, the 
apoftlc intimates that now, by Jefus the Melliah, the Lord 
hath, ut once begun and fmiihed the whole revelation of 
his will, according to their own hopes and cxpc(ftations. 
So Judc iii. the faith was ** once dd'ivacd to the Saints ;'* 
not in one day, or by one perfon, but at oncjeafoft, or under 



one difpenfation, comprifing all the time from the entrance 
of the Lord Jefus Chrift upon his miniftrjn to the doling 
of the canon of fcripture, which period was now at hand. 
This feafon being once pafl and iinifhed, no new revela- 
tion is to be expeded to the end of the world, nor any 
alteration in the worfliip of God. 

§ 9. (2.) God fpake in the prophets (TToKvlpoTrcAjg) after 
divers forts and manners. Now this refpefits either the 
various ways of God revealing himfelf to the prophets by 
(breams, viiions, infpirations, voices, and angels ; or, 
tlie ways of his dealing with the fathers, through the 
miniftry of the prophets, by promifes, threats, fpecial 
melTages, prophecies, public fermons, and the like. The 
latter is principally intended, though the former be not 
excluded, it being that from whence this latter variety 
principally arofe. \\\ opposition to this, the apoftle inti- 
mates that the revelation by Chrift was accomplifhed 
{^(^vi&'jog) in one only ivay and manner — by his preaching 
the everlafting gofpel. 

§ 10. (3,) The lad difference in the comparifon is» 
that of old, God fpake (sy ^oig TTpo'p'/ijcK'ig) in the prophets, 
but now (ev too vioc) (in the Son/^ 

Now the prophets, in whom God fpake of old, were 
all thofe who were divinely infpired, and fent to reveal 
die mind and will of God, whether by word of mouth 
or by writing. That which made any revelation to be 
prophecy, in that i^enk fo as to be an infallible rule for the 
church, was not the means of its communication to the 
.prophets, but that infpiration of the Holy Gholl which 
implanted in their minds, what God would have theui 
utter. [2 Pet. i. 24, 28.] 

§ 1 1. Anfvverable to this fpeaking of God in the pro- 
phets, it is afTerted, that in the gofpel revelation God 
fpake by or in his Son. This is the main hinge on which 
all the apoftle's after arguments throughout the epiftle 
turn ; and this bears the {Ircfs of all his inferences. And, 

* Ev here anfwcrs the Hebrew n, [Numb, xii.] God fpake 
no^DH in Mofes. The exprelTioii intiinates the certainty of the re- 
velation, and the prefence of God with his word. 

Vol. U, C there. 


thcrffore, having mentioned it, he proceeds immediately 
to that dcfcription ol" him» which gives evidence to all he 
deduces from this coiifidcration. That the Son of God 
did moftlv appear to the fathers under the Old Teflament, 
is acknowledged by the ancients, and evident in fcrip- 
turc : [See Zach. ii. 8 — i i."] The divine Mediator hav- 
ing, from the foundation of the world, undertaken the 
care and falvation of the church, he it was who imme- 
diately dealt with it in what concerned its inll:ru£lion and 
edification. This, however, doth not hinder but that 
God the Father is the fountain of all divine revelation. 
There is a confiderablc dilfcrence between the Son of God 
revealing the Father's will in his divine perfon to the pro- 
phets, and the fame divine perfonage as incarnate, reveal- 
ing it immediately to the church. Under the Old Tefla- 
mcnt he inllruclcd the prophets, and gave them that Spi- 
rit on whole infpiration their infallibility depended ; 
[i Pet. i. II.] but now under the gofpel, taking our 
nature as hypoflatically united to himfelf, he becomes 
the immediate teacher, in the room of all the 'ir.iiDiunciiy 
or prophetical melfcngers, he had before employed, whe- 
ther human or angelic, from the foundation of the world. 
—We come now, 

§ 12. [III.] To obviate the great Jcwifh prejudice 
againft the gofpel, to which end obferve, That though 
the apoftle mentioi^s the prophets ii\ general, yet it is 
Mofcs whom he principally intends. This is evident 
from thr application of this argument wliich he ureses, 
(chap. iii. 3.) wIktc he cxprclslv prefers the Lord jcfns 
before Mofis by name, in this matter of miniftnng to the 
chuulj. For, wlurea'. tho apoftlc manages this poiiil 
with excellent wifdoni, and confidc-riiig the inveterate pre- 
judices of the Hebrews in f.ivoiir of iMolcs, he could not 
mention him in particular, until he had proved Jefus, 
whom he had preferred above Inm, to be fo excellent nnd 
gloricus,^ fo far exalted above men and angels, tint it was 
no dilpar;»gement to Mofc^ to be efleemcd inferior to him. 
Again, tlic great rcnfon why the Jews adhered (o pcrti- 
:i.c>..i^rv !•>, Mofn. lillanit .»in',,, ',vas their pcrfuaiion of 



the unparalleled excellency of the revelation made toMofes. 
This they retreated to, and boallcd of, when preifed with 
the doctrine and miracles of Chrift, [John ix. 28, 29.] 
And this was the main foundation of all their contelis 
with the apolllcs, [A£ts xvi. xxi. 21. 28.] The Ia\y and 
all legal obfervances, according to them, w^cre to be con- 
tinued for ever, on account of the incomparable excellency 
of the revelation made to Mofes. Not to follow tlicm in 
their imaginations, the juil privileges of Mofcs above all 
other prophets lay in thefe three things: (i.) That he 
was a lawgiver, or mediator, by whom God gave that law, 
and revealed that worfhip, in the cbfervance of which the 
very beginning of the Jewifh church coniiiled. (2.) That 
God, in revealing his will to him, dealt in a more familiar 
and clear manner, than with any other prophet. (3.) In 
thac the revelation made to him, concerned the ordering 
of the whole houfe of God, when the other prophets were 
employed only about fome particulars built upon this 
foundation. Herein confifted the juft and free pre-emi- 
nence of Mofcs ; but of no force, v;hcn urged againft our 
divine prophet and his gofpel, if we conlider — the jull 
ftatement of the gofpel revelation by the Son, and particu- 
larly his qualifications as a prophet, — the incomparable 
circumllances attending the revelation itfclf — the con- 
cellions of the Jews — and efpecially the glory and excel- 
lency of the revelation of the gofpel. 

§ 13. (i.) Let us attend to the juft ftatemcnt of the 
mind and will of God, revealed to us by the Son. To 
this end obfcrve, (i.) That the Lord Jefus Chrift, by 
virtue of the perfonal union, was furnilhed with all the 
treafures of wifdom and knowledge which the human 
nature was capable of, both as to principle and excrcife. 
He pofTcffed it by his union, and therefore immediately 
from the perfon of the Son, fan^lifyingby the Holy Gholl 
that nature which he took into fubfiftencc with himfclf. 
But the revelation, by which God fpake in h'lm unto us, 
was ultimately from the Father, [Rev. i. i.] So that, 

(2.) The miflion and furniture of the Son, as the in- 
carnat-e mediator, for declaring the holy pleafure of God to 

C % the 


the church, were peculiarly from the Father. He re- 
ceived command of the Father concerning the whole work 
of his mediation, [John x. 18.] and what he fhould fpeak, 
[John xii. 4.] according to that commandment he wrought 
and taught, [John xiv. 31.] Whence that is the com- 
mon pcr>phraiis whereby he exprelfed the perfon of the 
Father, he that fcnt him, as alfo he that failed and anointed 
him. And his do(5\rine on that account, he tellificd, was 
not his originally as mediator, but his that fent him, 
(John vii. 16.] That blelFcd tongue of the learned 
wliereby he fpake the refrelhing word of the gofpel to poor 
weary iinners, was the gift of the Father. 

(3.) As to the manner of his receiving the gofpel re- 
velation, a popular miilakc mull be difcarded. 

The Sociniiinsj to avoid the force of thefe teflimonics 
which are urged to confirm the deity of Chrift, from the 
afTcitions in the gofpel that he who fpake to the dilciples 
on e:\rth was then alfo in heaven, have broached a Maho- 
metan fancy, that the Lord Chrift, before his entrance on 
hi^ public miniftry, was locally taken up into heaven, 
and there inllrudtcd in the miniftry of the gofpel which 
he was to reveal. 

But this imaginary rapture is grounded folely on their 
(ttqmIov •■^sv^og) fundamental crrDr, that the Lord Chrift, in 
his whole perfon, was no more than a mere man. There 
is no mention of any fiich thing in the fcrlpture ; where 
the Father's revealing his will to the Son is treated of, and 
the fanciful hypothcfis is exprcllly contrary to the fcrip- 
ture : for the Holy Ghoft alfirms, that Chrift entered oncf 
into the holy place, and that after he had obtained eternal 
redemption for us, [Hcb. ix. 12.] But that ffiould have 
been Xw^ jecond entrance, had he been taken thither before, 
in his human nature. As to the time of his afcenfion, 
which tliefc men alTign, namely, the forty days after his 
baptifm, it is faid cxprellly, that he was all that time in the 
wildcrnefs among the wild beafts, [Mark i. 13.] fo that 
tins figment muft have no place in our inquiry into the 
way of the l^ulier fpcakin^ ia the Son. AVhercfore, to 


Vef.1,2. epistle to the HElfREWS. it 

declare the nature of this revelation we niuft obferve. 
fu rther, 

(4.) That Jefus Chri{>, as he was the eternal word and 
wifdom of the Father, had an omnilciency of the wliole 
nature and will of God, as the Father himfelf hath, their 
wllJ and wifdom being the fame. This is the blelfcd 
((TL^yTTcp/x^p'^^^a) ^'^^^^^^ in-bcing of each perfon, by virtue 
of their onenefs in the fame nature. Moreover, 

(5.) The myilcry of the gofpel, the fpecial counfcl and 
covenant concerning the redemption of the eledt in his 
blood, and the worfhip of God by his redeemed ones, 
tranfafted between the Father and the Son from all eter- 
nity, were known to him as the Son. Although the perfon 
of Chrift, God and man, was our mediator; [A£ls xx. 8. 
2 John i. 14, 18.] yet his human nature was that wherein 
he difcharged the duties of his office, and (the principhim 
quod J the immediate or proximate fource of all his me- 
diatory a6lmgs, [I. Tim. ii. 5.] 

(6.) T'his human nature of Chrift, in which he was 
made of a woman, made under the law, [Gal. iv. 4.] was 
from the inftant of its nnion with the perfon of the Son 
of God, an holy th'mg, [Lukei. ^S-^ holy, harmlefs, unde- 
filed, and feparate from finners, and radically filled with 
all that perfe«^ion of habitual grace which was necelTary 
to the difcharge of that whole duty which, as man, he 
owed to God. But, 

(7.) Befides this furniture with habitual grace for the 
performance of holy obedience as a man made under the 
law, he was peculiarly endowed with '* the Spirit without 
meafure," which he was to receive as the great prophet of 
the church ; and this communication of the Spirit was the 
foundation of his fufficiency for the difcharge of his pro- 
phetical office, [Ifaiah xi. 2, 3. xlviii. 16. Ixi. i — 3. 
Dan. ix. 24.] As to the reality and being of this gift, 
he received it from the womb ; whence in his infancy he 
was faid to be (7r7\.rip€V^s\^cg (rcpiag) filled with wifdomy 
[Luke ii. 40.] wherewith, in a very early period, he con- 
futed the dodors to their amazement, [vcr. 47.] And 
with his years were thefe gifts incrcafcd in hmi ; he zvcnt 



forward, in wifdom, andjlaturc^ and favour , [ver. 52.] but 
the full communication of this Spirit, v/ith fpecial reference 
to the difchargc of his public office, and the vifiblc pledge 
of it, he was made partaker of at his baptifm, [Matt.iii. i 6.) 
It remaincth, then, for us to Ihew, wlicrein ilill more 
cfpccially his pre-eminence above all the ancient prophets 
did confift, fo that the word fpoken bv him is principally 
and eminently to be attended to, which is the apoille's ar- 
gument in this place. To which end obftrve, that, 

§ 14. (2.) There were fundry excellencies and incom- 
parable circumftances that attended the revelation itfelf 
made to Chrifl: as a prophet. For, 

( I .) Not receiving the Spirit by meafure, [John iii.34.] 
as all other prophets did, he had a perfect comprehenlion 
of the whole mind and will of God, as to the myflery of 
our falvation, and the duty he would require of his church. 
It pleafed the Father that in him all fulncfs fliould dwell, 
[Col. i. 19.] a fulnefs of grace and truth, [John i. 17.] — 
not a tranhent irradiation, but a permanent fulnefs; all 
treafurcs of wifdom and knowledge being hid in him as 
their proper dwelling-place. Hence the reafoii why he 
did not at once reveal to his difciplcs the whole counfel of 
God, was not becaufc all the treafures of it were not com- 
mitted to him, but becaufe they could bear no other than 
that gradual communication tlicreof, which he afi'orded 
them, [John xvi. 12.] He himielf dwelt in the midljt 
of thofe trcafuies, and, however unfathomable by others, 
lie faw to the bottom of them. 

(2.) The prophets receiving their revelation as it were 
by number and meafure from the Holy (jhoft, could not 
add one word of infallibility and authority to what thvy had 
fo received , but Chrift having all the treafurcs ot wifdom, 
knowledge, and truth, lodged in himfelf, dclivcrcil his 
oracles, at all times, and in all places, with equal infalli- 
bility and authority, and what he fpakc derived its whole 
authority from him fpeaking it, and not from its conio- 
nancy to what was otherwife revealed. 

(3.) The prophets of old were fo barely indrumcntal 
in receiving and revealing the will of God, being only 



fcrvants in the houfe for the good of others, that they faw 
not to the bottom of the things by themfelves revealed ; 
and therefore diligently read and Itudied the books of pre- 
ceding prophets, [Dan. ix. 2.] and meditated upon their 
own predictions, to obtain an underftanding in them, 
[I. Pet. i. 10 — 12.] But the Lord Jefus, the Lord over 
his own houfe, had an abfolute, perfed comprehenfioii 
of all the myileries he reveakd. 

(4.) The difference was no lefs between them in refpe£t 
of the revelations themfelves. For although the fubftance 
of the will and mind of God concerning falvation by the 
Meffiah, was more or lefs made know^n to all the pro- 
phets, yet it was done fo obfcurely, that they came all Hiort, 
in the light of that glorious myllery, to John the Baptifl:, 
who yet was inferior, as to a clear and diilinc'^ apprehenlion 
of it, to the leaft of the two difciples of Chriil, [Matt. xi. 
1 1.] and the giving of the law by Mofes to inllruCt the 
church in that myitery, by its types and fliadows, is op- 
pofed to that grace and truth which were brought by Jefas 
Chriit, [John i. 17, 18.] 

§ 15- (3.) Wemufl further obferve, that the Jews with 
whom the apoftle had to do, had an expedation of a fig- 
nal and final revelation of the will of God to be made by 
the Mefliah in the lail: days of their church and ftate, and 
not as they now fondly imagine, of the world. Hence it 
is laid down as a principle (in Neve Jhalom) " Mefliah the 
king Ihali be exalted above Abraham, be high above 
Mofes, yea, and the miniftring angels.'' And it is for 
the exellency of the revelation made by him that he is 
thus exalted above Mofes. Whence Maimonides him- 
felf acknowledgeth, (Tra^at, de reg'ibus) •* That at the 
coming of the Mefliah, hidden and deep things (/. c. of 
the counfel of God) fhall be laid open to all." And this 
perfuafion they built on a promife of a new covenant to 
be made with them, not like the covenant made wirh their 
fathers, [Jercm. xxxi. 32, 32.] From all thcfc obferva- 
tions we may evidently perceive, wherein the force of the 
apoftle's prefent argument lies ; which he rather infinuatcs 
from their own principles, than openly prefling them with' 




its rcafon, which laft mode he afterwards more conveni- 
ently adopts. 

§ I 6. (4.} Having declared the Son to be the immediate 
rcvcalcr of the gofpel, he proceeds to affcrt his glory and 
exccilcncv, botli antecedent to his mediatorial otfice, and 
what he received upon his invclliture therewith. I'wo 
things in the clofc of this verfe are aifigned to him. — That 
he was appointed heir of all — and by him the worlds were 

§ 17. (i.) He was appointed (xKy,pc>ciJicc) hdr of all. 
KKrccg is a lot, and a peculiar portion received by lot ; 
thence it fignilies an inheritance, which is a man's lot and 
portion. Stridly it is the fame with hi^rcs, an heir. — 
And an heir generally is, " he who entercth into the 
right, place, and title of him that is deceafcd, as if he were 
tlie fame perfon." But yet the name of an heir is not re* 
ftraimd m law to him who fucceeds a dfccafcd pcrfon, in 
which fenfe it can have no place here,) but alfo compre- 
hends ^LpoJfcJJor, atrullee, and a legatary. Nor is the title 
and right given to the Son as incdiator, the fame with tliat 
of God abfolutely confidered. ^his is eternal, natural, co- 
cxiftcnt with the being of all things; that is new, created 
by grant and donation ; by whofe eredion and eflablilh- 
mcnt, neverthelefs, the other is not at all impeached. For 
whereas it is affirmed, that the Father judgeth no man, but 
hath committed all judgement to the Son, [John v. 22, 
27, 30.] it rcfpecls not title and rule, but aftual adminif- 

^ I 8. As the term {KkYtOcg) denotes any rightful poflllTor 
by grant from another, it is properly afcribed to the Son; 
and there arc three things intended in this word : 

(l.) Title, domii\ion, lordlhip ; (hares cji qui hcrus \) 
** the heir is the lord of that which he is heir unto ," fo 
the apoftic, [Gal. iv. 1.] the heir is Lord of all. And ia 
this fenfe isChrift called the firfl-born, [Pfalm lxxxix.27.] 
* I will give him to Ix; my firfl-born, higher than (or 
high above) ' ihe kings of the earth.* 

(2.) Vofj'cjjicn. Chrift is made a£\ual poffefTor of that 
which lie hath title to, by the furrcndcr or gr^nt of ana- 


- Vj£r. I, 2. EPISTLE TO THE HEBREWS. . li 

then God, in refpecH: of his dominion, is called the ab- 
folute polfjlTor ot heaven and earth, [Gen. xiv. 22.] 
Chrilt, as a mediator, is a pollelfor by grant, and there 
was a fuitablenefs, that he who was the Son Ihould thus 
be heir. Whence Chrysostom and I'heoimiyl act 
affirm, that the words denote " the propriety of his fon- 
fliip; and the immutability of his lordfhip." Not that he 
was then made heir of all, as he was {^o\oy3y/,g) the only 
begotten Son of the Father, [John i. 144] but it was meet 
that he who was ctcrnallv^ iuch, and had on that account 
an ablblute dominion over all with his I'ather, Ihould be- 
come the firll-born amoiig many brethren : ihould have a 
delegated heirfliip of all, and be appointed ' head over all 
* to the church :" [Ephef. i. 2 2. J 

(3.) That he hath both this title and poileiTion by ^-rant 
from the Father ; by virtue of which grant he is madi- 
Lord bv a new title, and hath poflcffion given him ac- 

§ 19. He is the Lord [ttocTIjov) of all. This is the 
object of Melliah's heirlhip ; that his extenlive inheri- 
tance. The word may be taken either in the mafculine 
gender, and denote all pcrfons ; or in the neuter, deno- 
ting, abfolutely, all things. And it is this latter itnfe 
that fuits the apoillc's argument, and adds a double force 
to his deflgn. For, 

I. The author of tlie gofpel being heir and T-ord of 
all things univerfally, the fovereign difpofer of all thoie 
rites and ordinances of worfliip, about which the Jews 
contended, miiil needs be at his difpofal, to cliange and 
alter them as he thought proper. And hence it was eafy 
for them to conclude, that if thev intended to be made 
partakers of any good in heaven or earth, in love and 
and mercy, it mult be by an interell in him ; which yet 
without conAant obedience to his gofpel cannot be at- 
tained. 2. This fenfe is evinced from the words imme- 
diately following, ' Rv whom alfo he made the worlds.' 
Probably they render a reafon of the equitahlenefs of this 
great truft repofcd in the Son. He made all, and there- 
Vol. n. D fore. 



fore it w.In' meet lie flioiild be Lord of all. However, 
the force of tlic word is equal to the term {cii(Aj;ccg) u-'orlds. 
§ 20. Upon the creation of man, God gave him a 
dominion over all things in this lower world. (Gen. i. 
28, 29.) He made him his heir, vicegerent and fiibUi- 
tute on earth. And as for the other creatures, to which 
his power and authority did not immediately extend, iis 
the whole inanimate holl of the fuperior world, they 
were ordered by him that made them to ferve for his good. 
[Gen. i. 14. Deut. iv. 19.] Butbcfides the lower part of his 
dominion, God had for his glory created angels in heaven 
above. Thefe made up another branch of God's provi- 
dential kingdom ; the whole, notwithilanding, the upper 
and lower world, bemg independent of each other, and 
meeting in nothing but their fubjedlion to God himfelf. 
When man fell from his delegated dominion, all things 
returned to an immediate, abfolute dependence on the 
government of God. But as the fall of angels did not, 
in its own nature, prejudice mankind ; no more did this 
fall of man the angels, that perfifted in their obedience, 
they being no part of his inheritanee. However, by the 
iipollacy and punilhment of thole angels, that kept not 
th'jir firft flation, it was manifcfted how pofhble it wa^ 
tliat the remainder of thejn mav fin after the fimilitude 
of their tranfgreirion. Things being brought into this 
condition ; ojic branch of the kingdom of God, that which 
had been under the adminii^ration of man and allotted to 
\\\^ fcrvice, being call out of that order wherein he had 
placed it ; and the other in an apparent polfibility of bc- 
ifig fu alio ; it feemed good to the Lord in his infinite 
Wifdum, to ere6l one kingdom out of thefe two difordercd 
members of his firft dominion, and to appoint one com- 
tr.ofi hrir Lord and ruler of them both. [Ephef i. 10.] 
' He gathered together in one all things in Chrift, both 

* which arc in the heavens, and which arc in earth, even 

* in Iiim.* 

§ 21. (:.) Tlic way whereby Chrift the Son came to 
hh inheritance is exprclfcd by ('^;;>cf) he hath nppointrJ. 
Which denotes, in this connexion, ** The glorious in- 



vcftiture of the Lord Mefliah in the full and a6lual pof- 
fellion of his kingdom after his refurrcction, with the 
manifcllation of it in his afcenfion, and the illuftrious 
token of its liability in his fitting at the right hand of 
Crod." The grant was actually made to him upon his re- 
furre£lion ; [Matt, xxviii. 18.] and all was fealed and 
ratified when he took pofleffion of his throne at the right 
hand of the Father ; and in virtue hereof was he declared 
to be " both Lord and Chriit/' [A6ls ii. 36. v. 31.] 
And fuch weight do the fcriptures lay upon this glorious 
invelliturc of Chriil in his inheritance, that they fpeak 
of his whole power as then firfl granted him. [Rom, 
xiv. 9. Phil. ii. 7. 10.] And the reafon of it is, becaufe 
he had then a^ually performed that ftupendous work, on 
account of which his mediatorial power and authority 
were originally granted and eternally defigned. And it is 
manifefl that he who is the Lord and heir of all things, 
fpiritual, temporal, and eccieliaflical, muft needs have 
power over all IVIofaical inftitutions as a part of his un- 
rivalled jurifdiftion. — In fhort, God, in purfuit of the 
fovereign purpofe of his will, hath granted the Son as 
incarnate, and mediator of the new covenant, according 
to the eternal counfel between them both, a fovereign 
power over all things both in heaven and earth, with the 
pofreffion of an abfolute proprietor, to difpofe of them at 
his pleafurc, for the advancement of his proper and pe- 
culiar work, ac head of his church.* 

§ 22. (3.) i^y whom he made the worlds. The apoftle 
in thefe words corroborates his prefent argument, from 
another confideration of the perfon of the Mclhah, where- 
in he alfo difcovers the foundation of the pre-eminence be- 
fore defcribed to him. By him the worlds -zt.-r^ made ; 
fo that they were his own, [John i. 11.] and it was meet 
that, in the new condition which he underwent, he fhould 
be Lord of them all. JVIoreovcr, if all things were tnade 

* The demirable digrcffion " of the dominion or Lordfliip of 
Chrift," (lands, in this edition, as the concluding prehniinar/ 

i% Vs • -rOSlTION OF THE Citap. I. 

bv him, nil dil'olxiJiciicc to him is moil iinreafonablc, 
and will bcnlttndcd with intvitahle ruin. 

Tliat uliich fome nu-n design in their wrelling of tliis 
placf, is to defeat the illuftrioiis teftimony herein given 
to the eternal deity of t!ic Son of God, and to this pur- 
pofc thcv proceed vai ioullv. * 

§ 2^. The Ss.'hiinri generally lay no cxce})tion againfl 
the perfon making, whom they ackimwledge to be the Son 
Mtfluih, but to the world faid to be made. *' Thefe are 
not, fay they, the thing*; of the old, but of the new crea- 
tion ; not the fabrick of heaven and earth, but the con- 
vcrfion of the fouls of men , not the Jiril inllitution and 
forming of all things, but the relloration of mankind, 

* Some aftirm that by (^i ^i) h; zvhom^ {ll "ov) for ivho?n is 
intended. According to this expofition of the u ords, \ve have in 
them an ex])rcJrion ot the love of (lod towards the Mtifiah, in that 
for hii fide he made the worlds ; but not any thing of the excel- 
lency, power, and glory of the Mclliah himfelf. But neither is it 
pro\ ed that in an\ other place thefe exprelfions are cquipolkut ; 
nor, if that could be fuppofed, is there any reafon oft'crcd ^\ hv 
the one of them Ihould in this place be put for the other. For 
the places ufually referred to, do no way prove that (^io.) with a 
^enitk'c doth ever denote the firial caiifc, but the efiilcnt only. 
As to Rom. vi. 4. be it obftr\ed, the cafe is not the faiue where 
things^ as where perfons are i'poken of : » here relates to a perfon, 
(whom) and yet is ^»» joined with it, aiferted by the objectors, 
to denote the end of the things fpoken of, w hich is infolent. Be- 
fidcs rVJ^a TCar^c.-:, in that place, is indeed the glorious po-wcr of the 
Father's, the cflicient of the refurrection of Chrill treated of. So 
that, whereas ^la is ufed, Jix hundred times with a genitiv e cafe 
in the New Ttllnment, no one inilancc can be given, where it 
many be rendered propu^r^ for, and therefore cnnnot be fo here. 
But on fuj>pofiti()n that fome fuch inlVance might be produced, 
yet being contrary to the conllant ufc of the word, fome cogent 
reafon fron» the text wherein it is ufed, or the thing treated of, 
inuO be urged, to give that {ai^xi admittance : and nothing of 
Th:it nature tan be licrc pit adc d. Bclidcs, as ^» i , and u: ov, arc 
tliilinginnuil, the one cxprefling tlu cflicient, the other the final 
cauicj Rom. xi. 36. fo alio are they in this Ncry epillle, chap. ii. 
10. ^l bf T-x wavTa, xal ^i h rec 'sroimK, * For li'hom are all things 
•and h rvhom an- all things :* and is it likely that the apoftte 
would put one of them tor the othci,\ tf» the |Mope! nfe 
which he ir:e:u!> d niuiciliafely to allign icveiidly unto them r — 
Aqain, 5/ •., here is the lainv wiih ^» otura, kj hi/rtj 

johr» i. :. , -"V^bly ri^jiyli',? t!»e efi:icnt cattfc. 


Ver.i,^. fiPISTLE to the HEBREWS. 19 

and their tranflation into a new condition of life.'* To 
this we reply, 

1. The' only new creation granted by fuch pcrfons be- 
ing nothing but a moral fwafion of men's minds, bv the 
outward dodrine of the gofpcl, I know not what allufion 
can be fancied in it to the creation of the world out of 

2. I'he apofile fpeaks licre of the fame creation that 
John treats of in the beginning of his gofpcl ; but that is 
the creation of the whole world, and ail things contained 
in it, it muil be granted, or we may well deipair of ever 
underftanding one line of the facred oracles, or the com- 
mon forms of fpeech. 

The expreffion of ' planting the heavens,' and * Jav- 

* ing the foundation of the earth,' [Ka. li. 17.] are plainly 
allegor'icat^ as appears from the circumilance of time when 
this is faid to be done, which was at the coming of Ifrael 
out of Egypt ; when the heavens and the earth, pro- 
perly fo called, could not be made, planted, founded, or 
created. And is yet more evident from an adjoined ex- 
polition of the allegory ; * I have put my words into 

* thy mouth, and faid unto Sion thou art my people.' 

§ 24. We may again conlider the reafons that prefent 
themfelves from the context, for the removal of the in- 
terpretation above fuggelled. 

I. It fmks under its own wcaknefs and abfurdity. The 
apoftle intendirjg to fet out the excellency of the Son of 
God, affirms that by him ' the worlds were made;' that 
is, fay thev, Chrift preaching the gofpel converted fouls 
to tlie fiiitli, and many more were converted by the 
apollle's preaching the fame docSliine, whence bleflrd 
times of light and falvation enfucd. Who, not over- 
powered with prejudice, could once imagine any fuch 
meaning in tliefe words ? efpecially contidering that it is 
as contrary to the delign of tlie apoAIe, as it is to the 
import of tlie words themfelves. This is what Peter 
calls, ' men's wrcfting the fcriptures to their own per* 
f dipon.' 

;2t Th«: 


2. The apolllc writes dida£lically, exprelTing plainly 
the matter wlicrcot" he fpcaks, in vvorJs ufual and proper. 
To whnt end then fhould he ufe fo ilrained an allegory 
in a point of do<ftrincs ; yea, a fundamental argument 
of the religion he taaght ^ Echdes, the phrafc ' by whom 

• he n.ade the worlds/ is no more in thefe men's apprc- 
henfions, than, ' in him hath he fpokcn in thefe latter 

• davs.' Nor is this mode of fpeaking any where ufcd, 
not in the moll allegorical prophecies of the Old Telia*- 
mcnt, to denote that which they would here wrefl it to 
cxprefs. But * making ol the world,' llgnifies makiufr 
the u-orld, in the whole fcripturc throughout, and nothing 

3. The making of the worlds here intended, was a 
thing pa/} {iTroiVia-'c) he made them, that is he did fo of 
old ; and the fame word is ufed by the fcptuagint to ex- 
prefs the old creation. But now that which the Jews 
called the ** world to come," or the blefTed Hate of the 
church tinder the Mclfiah, the apoflle fpeaks of, as of 
tliat which was not yet come ; the prefent worldly ilate of 
the Jewifh church yet continuing. 

4. Tiie Greek words [aucv and a/:^>r$-) or the Hebrew 
\vords (any and C'mi*) whicli are fo rendered, taken ab- 
folutcly ai they are here ufed, do never in any one place, 
in the Old or New Teftamcnt, lignify the new creation, 
or Hate of the church under the gofpel ; hut the 'njhole 
world and all things therein contained, they do fignify 
in this very epiftlc, chap. xi. 3. 

5. Wherever the apoftle in this epiflle fpcak?: of the 
church ftatc under the Mclliah, he never calls it by the 
fnigle name (uKou^Vi] or aiu'v) 'U'crld, but i^ill with the 
limitation of*' to come ^'^ as chap. ii. 5. chap. vi. 5. But 
where it is ufed ahfolntely as in this place, and chap. xi. 3, 
it is invariably the whole 'world that is iniended. 

6. The context is utterly abhorrent from this glafx. 
The Son in the ]. receding words, is faid confcifcdly to be 
made heir or Lord oi all things abfolutely and univcrfalh ; 
and to that alfcrtion he fubjoins a rcafon of the equity of 
that tranfccndcnt grant miidc unto him, namelv, bccaufo 


Ver.1,2. epistle to the HEBREWS, zt 

by him ^7/ tlv^igs zct-re mndc, whcrcunto he adds, his 
upholding, ruling, and dilpoling of them, * by tlie word 
' of his power.* Thustlic apollle having declared the honour 
of the Son as mediator, in that he was made * heir of 
* all,* adds thereunto his excellency in himfclf from his 
eternal power and godhead ; which he not only aflerts, 
but evinces by an argument from the works of creation. 
And to avoid all contracted thoughts of this work, he 
exprefTeth it in terms comprehending the whole creation 
as a ftupendous fabrick, having a permanent fubfiftence 
through fuccellive ages; as John alfo contents not him- 
felf by affirming that he made all things, but adds to that 
alTertion, that without him nothing was made that was 
made, [John i. 3.] — We now proceed as propofed, 

§ 25. (IV.) To make fome doftrinai and pra£tical 
obfervations on the words : 

Ohf. I. The revelation of the will of God, as to all 
things concerning his worfl^iip, our faith and obedience, 
is peculiarly and eminently from the Father. This is that 
which the apollle partly aiTerts, partly takes for granted, 
as the fpring of his future reafoning ; and this fhall 
now be a little further illuflrated and confirmed. 'Yo 
which end we may particularly remark, 

(i.) That the whole myflery of his will, antecedently 
to the revelation of it, is faid to be * hid in God,* that 
i?;, the Father, [Ephef. iii. 9,] It lay wrapt up from the 
eyes of men and angels, in his eternal wifdom and coun- 
fel, [Col. i. 26, 27.] The Son, indeed, who was from 
eternity in the bofom of the Father, [John i. 18.] as 
one brought up with him, his eternal delight and wifdom, 
[Prov. viii. 29, 30.] was partaker with him in this coun- 
fel, [ver. 31.] as alfo his eternal Spirit, who fearches and 
knows all the deep thing-; of God ; [I. Cor. ii. 10, 11.] 
but yet the rife and fpring of this myftery was in the Fa • 
tlier. For the order of adding in the bleiTed Trinity, fol- 
'lows the order of fubfiflancc. As the Father, therefore, 
is the fountain of the Trinity, as to fubfiftence, fo alfo as 
to operation, 

(2.) That 


(2.) 'J'liat the revelation of the myflery of the will of 
God fo hitltleii in the counlel of his will from eternity, 
was always made iji purfuit and for the :icco:npli(hnunt 
of the purpofe of the Father ; or, that eternal purpofe 
is by way of cminency, afcribed to liini, [Mphel. i. 8, 9.] 
* He liatli abounded towards lis in all wiidom and pru- 
dence, having made known unto u^ the myi\ery of his 
will, according to his good pleafure which he hath pur- 
pofed in himieif * It is the luithcr of whom he fpeaks, 
[ ver. 3.] * Blelled be the God and Father of our Lord Jefus 
ChrilL' Now he abounds to usward by w^ifdom and pru- 
dence, or abundantly manifefls his infinite wifdom in his 
dealings with us, by the revelation of the myllery of his 
will ; and this he doth in purfuit of his good pleafure 
which he purpofed in himfelf ; or that purpofe of his will 
which had its foundation folcly in his good pleafure. 

(3.) This j)urpofe of God the Father being commu- 
nicated to the Son, whence refulted the counfel of peace 
between tliem both; [Zech. vi. 13.] and the Son rejoi- 
cing to do the work that was incumbent on him for its ac- 
complilhment , [Prov. viii. 30 — 32.] it became pecu- 
liarly the care and work of the Father, to fee that tlie in- 
heritance promifed him upon liis undertaking, Ihould be 
j;iven to him. This is done bv the revelation of the will of 
God to men concerning their obedience and falvation where- 
by they are made the lot, the {\:^i\, the portion, and inhe- 
ritance of Chriil : to this end the Father, who laid to the 
Son, * Sit thou on my right hand,' [Pfahn ex. 2. J fend the 
rod of hi;? power out of Sion, [ver. 2.] to declare his rule 
even over his enemies, and to make thofc people given 
him, willing and obedient, [ver. 3.] lUit the inheritance 
thus given by the I'atlicr to the Meiliah being wholly 
in the poirelhon of another, it became him to take it out 
of the ufurper's hands, and deliver it up to him whole 
right it was ; and this he doth by the revelation of his 
mind in the preaching of his word, [Col. i. 12, 13.] 
And from thefc confiderations it is that, 

(4.) The whole revelation and difpenfation of the will 
of God in and by the word, is (as before obfervcd) cmi- 



neatly appropriated to the Father. Eternal life (the pur- 
pofe, the couufel, the means, and procurer of it) was 
with the Father, and was manifeftcd to us by the word of 
truth, [I. John i. 1,2.] And it is the Father, that is, his 
vill, mind, grace, love, and purpofe, that the Son de- 
clares, [John i. 18,] in which work he fpcaks nothing 
but what he heard and learned from the Father, [John 
viii. 28.] And thence he fays, ' The do£lrine is not 

* mine,' (that is, principally and originally) ' but his that 

* fent me,' [John vii. 16.] And the gofpel is called the 
gofpel of the glory of the ' blefied God,' which is a 
periphralis of the perfon of the Father, who is the * Fa- 
' tlier of glory.' And we might alio remark that the great 
work of making this gofpel eifeftual on the minds of men, 
doth peculiarly belong to the Father, which he accom- 
plilheth by his Spirit, [II. Cor. iii. 18. iv. 6.] 

§ 26. And from the appropriating of this work origi- 
nally and principally to the Father, there are three things 
that are particularly intimated unto us : 

1 . The authority that is to be coniidered in it : the Fa- 
ther is the original of all power and authority ; of him 
the whole family of heaven and earth is named, [Eph. 
iii. 15.] He is the Father of the whole family, from 
whom Chrill himfelf receives all his power and authority 
as mediator, [Matth. xxviii. 18.] which, when his work 
is accompliflied, he fhall give up again into his hand, 
[I. Cor. XV. 28.] He fent him into the world, fet him 
over his houfe, gave him command and commiflion for 
liis work. The very name and title of ' Father' carries 
authority along with it; [Mai. i. 6.] he hath all power 
clTcntiallv in him over the fouls and eternal conditions of 
them to whom he fpeaks. And what holy reverence, 
humility, and univerfal fubjedlion of foul to the word 
doth this require ? In this reprcfcntation, 

2. There is alfo love. In the oeconomy of the blefied 
Trinity, about the work of our falvation, that which 
is eminently and in an efpccial manner afcribcd to the 
Father is love, [I. John iv. 9, 10. 16.] * God,' that is, 
the Father^ * is love.' To be love, full of love, to be 

Vol. II. E the 


the fpccial fpring of all fruits of love, is peculiar to him 
as the Father. It is out of love, infinite love, mercy and 
compalhon, that CtocI would at all reveal his mind and 
will to iinners. He might for ever have locked up the 
treafures of his wifdom and prudence, wherein he abounds 
towards us in his word, in his own eternal brcaft. He 
might have left all the fons of men to that woeful dark* 
nefs, whereunto by fm they had call thcmfclves, and 
kept them under the chains and power of it, with the 
angels that finned before them, unto the judgement of 
tlie great day. But it was from infinite love that he made 
this condcfccnfion to reveal himfelf and his will unto us. 
This mixture of authority and love, which is the fpring 
of the revelation of the will of God to us, requires all 
readinefs, willingnefs, and cheerfulnefs in our rcceptiou 
of it. Befides thefe, 

3. There is alfo care peculiarly difcoverable in it. The 
great care of the church is eminently in the Father. He 
is the hufbandman that takes care of the vine and vine- 
yard, [John XV. I, 2.] And thence our Saviour, who 
had a delegated care of his people, commends them to 
the Father, [John xvii.] as to whom the care of them 
did principally and originally belong. Care i^ proper to 
a father as fitchy and efpecially to God as a Father. Care 
is infcparable from paternal love. 

§ 27. As for the difpnifcrs of the word, let them take 
heed of purfuing that work negligcntlv, which hath its 
fpring in the authoritv, love, and care of God, [fee I. Tim. 
iv. I ;^ — i^.] Let them know to whom to look for fup- 
port, ability, and encouragement in their work, [Ephef. 
vi. 19, 20. J And let them not be difcourngcd whatever 
oppoiition they meet with in the difchargc of their duty, 
conlidering whofe work they have in liand, | 11. Cor. iv. 
15, 16.] Let them learn how thcv ought to difpcnfe the 
word fo as to anfwer the fpring from whence it comes ; 
namely, with authority, love to, and care for the fouls 
of men. And, let them confider to whom they arc to 
give an account of tlic work they arc called to difchargc, 



and the talents with which they are entruflcd, [Heb. 
xiii. 7-] ^ 

§ 28. And for them to whom the word is preached, let 
til em coniider, 

With what reverence and godly fear they ought to at- 
tend to the difpenfing of it, feeing it is a proper efFe£t 
and ifTue of the authority of God, [Heb. xii. 25.] How 
they will efcape if they negled fo great a falvation declared 
to them from the love and care of God, [Heb. ii. 3.^ 
And, with what holinefs and fpiritual fubje6lion of foul 
to God they ought to be converfant with all his appoint- 
ed ordinances ofworfhip, [Heb. xii. 28, 29.] 

§ 29. Ol^f, 2, The authority of God fpeaking by the 
infpired penmen, is the fole foundation of our affenting 
to the fcriptures, and what they contain, with divine 
faith. He once fpake in thcm^ he flill continues to fpeak 
by them, and therefore is their word to be received, 
[II. Pet. iii. 2 I, 22.] 

§ 30. Obf, 3. " God's gradual revelation of his mind 
and will to the church, was a fruit of infinite wifdom and 
care towards his eled." — •' Thefe are parts of his ways, 
^ fays Job, but how little a portion is heard of him ?* 
[Job. xxvi. 14.] Though all his ways and difpenfations 
are ordered in infinite wifdom, yet we can but ftand at 
the verge of the ocean, and admire its glory and great- 
nefs. Little it is that we can comprehend ^ yet what 
may be inflru<n:ive to fi^rther our faith and obedience 
is not hidden from us. And the following things are 
evident \\\ this matter : 

(i.) That he did not overfill their veflels ; he admir 
nlftered light as they were able to bear it : though we 
know not perfe6tly what their condition was, yet this we 
know, that as they needed no more light than they had in 
their refpedive generations for the difcharge of the duty 
God required of them j fo more light would have unfitted 
tliem for fon^ewhat or other^ that; was their incun^ibent;- 

(2.) He kept than continually dependent upon hiin-^ 
felf, waiting for their rule and direclioii from his fove- 

E 2^ X^%^\ 


reign plcafurc, which, as it tended to his glory, fo it was 
exceedingly fuitcd to their lafcty to keep them in an 
humble, waiting frame. 

(3.) He lb gave out the light and knowledge of him- 
fclf, as that the great work which he hadfo accomplilhed, 
which lay in the ilores of his infinitely w^ifc will, might 
not be impeded. He gave light enough to believers to 
enable them to receive the Redeemer, and not fo much, 
as to hinder obdurate finners from crucifying him. 

(4.) He did this work fo, that the pre-eminence of a 
full and ultimate revelation might be refcrved for him, in 
whom all things were to be ' gathered unto an head.' And 
(5.) There was tender care joined to this infinite wif- 
dom. None of his ele£t in any age were left without 
that inftru^tion which was needful for them in their re- 
(pe£live circv.mflances and generations : and this was fo 
difpenfed to them, as that they might have frelh confo- 
lation and fupport as their occafions required. Whilfl the 
church of old was under this difpenfation, they were ilill 
hearkening in hopes to hear new tidings from heaven for 
their teaching and refrelhment. And if any difficulty 
befell them, they were fure not to want relief in this 
V:ind ; which appears to have been a procedure equally 
proper and necellary, before the final hand was fet to the 

And this difcovcrs the w^ocful (late of the prcfent Jews. 
They maintain that divine revelation is not perfected ; 
and yet, notwithilanding all their miferics, darkncfs, and 
diftrcffes, they dare not pretend that they have heard one 
\Nord from heaven thefe two thoufand years ! that is, 
from the davs of Malachi ; but (awful ftate ') they flill 
labour to keep tiie veil upon their eyes. 

§ 31. Ohf. 4. '* We may fee hence the abfolute per- 
fc6\ion of the revelation made by Chrifl and his apoiUcs, 
as to every end and purpol'e whatever, for which God 
ever did or ever will reveal himfclf to mortals.'* For as 
this was the iq/i way and means that God ever defigncd 
for that intcrcfling purpofc, ib the pcrfon by whom he 
accomplifhcd this work makes it indifpcnfably nccefTary, 



that it be alio abfolutely perfeft ; from whicli nothing 
can be taken, and to which nothing mu ft be added, under 
the penalty of tliat extermination threatened to all that 
will not attend to the voice of that prophet. 

§ 32. Obf. 5. *' The Lord Jefus Chrift who is the 
great prophet of his church under the New Teftament, 
the only revealer of the will of the Father, as the Son 
and wifdora of God, made the worlds and all things 
contained in them." And herein we have. 

An illuflrious teftimony given to the eternal Godhead 
and power of the Son of God, for * he who made all 
* things is God,' as the apoftle elfewhere affirms ; and, 
to the equity of his being made heir, Lord and judge 
of all. No creature can decline the authority, or 
wave the tribunal of him that made them all. And, 
a firm bafis for faith, hope, patience, and contentment 
is adminiftered to the faints in all difpenfations. He 
w^ho is their Redeemer, he who bought them with his 
blood, hath all that intereft in all the things wherein 
they are concerned, that the fovereign right of crea- 
tion can afford him ; befides that grant which is made 
to him for this very end, that they may be difpofed of 
for his own glory to their advantage, [Ifaiah iv. 4, 5.] 
From this order of things, that Chrift as the eternal Son 
of God, having made the worlds, hath them and all things 
in them put under his power as mediator and head of the 
church ; we may fee in what fubferviency to the intereft 
of the faints of the Moft High, the whole creation is 
placed. And, hence we learn the way of obtaining a fane- 
lificd intereft in, and a right ufe of all created things ; 
namely, not to receive them merely on the general ac- 
count as made by the Son of God, but on the more fpe- 
cial account of their being granted Kim as mediator of the 

^33' ^V' ^' ** From the apoftle's defign in this 
whole difcourfe we may farther learn, that God in infi- 
nite wifdom ordered all things in the firft creation, fo 
as that the whole might be fubfcrvicnt to the glory of his 
grace in the new creation by Jefus Chrift." By the Son 



he mndc the world in the l)cgliinliig of time, that in the 
fulncfs of time he might be the juft heir and Lord of all. 
The Jews have a laying, that, *' the world was made 
for tlie Mclhah ;" which is thus far ttuc, that all things 
were originally made and ordered, fo that God might be 
cverladingly glorified in the work which the Mclhali was 
to accomphlh. Hence the apoftlc John, in the begin- 
ning of his gofpel, brings both the creations together ; 
the firft by the eternal word, abfolutely ; the other by 
liim as incarnate, that the fuitablencfs and correfpondency 
of all things in them, might be evident. AH things at 
:firft were made by him ; that when they were loil, ruined, 
fcattcrcd, they mij}ht again, in the appointed feafon, be 

* gathered together into one head' in liim. The apoftlc 
declares not only that all things were made h\- him, bjt 
alfo for him ; fo made for him, that he might be the 
head of the body of the church, that is, that he might 
be the fupreme liead and original fountain of the new 
creation as he had been of the old. And the end and de- of God in the whole of this myfterious plan, was, 
that the Son might have the pre-eminence in all things. 

§ 34. It is not for ns to inquire much into the par-, 
ticular reafon of this oecanomy ; for * who can by fearch- 

* ing find out God, who can iind out the Almighty unto 

* protection r' [Jobxi. 7.] It may fuffice us, tliat he dif- 
pofcth of all things * according to the counlcl of his own 

* will.' [Ephcf. i. 12. J This, antecedently to tiic con- 
fidcration of its effects, we cannot, we may not fearch 
into. [Dcut. xxix. 29.] The effc(5^s and cojifcqunices of 
his infinitely holy and wife counfel^ wherein his glory 
fliincs fortli to his creatures, we may confider and contem- 
plate, and rejoice in the light that they will afford us 
into the trcafurcs gf thefc counfels thcmfclves. Now 
lie re in we fee, 

I. That it was the eternal defign of God, the whole 
creation Ihould be put in fubje^ion to the Word incar- 
nate. * God hatli highly exalted him, and given him 

* a name which is above cvcrv name, that at the name of 

* Jcfus every knee Ihould bow, of things in heaven, and 

* things 


* things in the earth, and things under the earth ; and 

* that every tongue fliould confefs, that Jelus Clirill 

* is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.' [PhiL 
ii. 9 — II.] God hath put all things whatever in lub- 
je£lion to him, [fee I. Cor. xv. 24. Heb. ii. 8. Rom. 
xlv. II.] Hence John fa v^ every creature which Is in 
-heaven and earth, and under the earth, and fuch as arc 
in the fea, afcribing * bleffing and glory and honour* 

* and power unto the Lamb for ever and ever,' [Reveh 
V. 13.] that is, avowing their duty and fubjedion to him. 

^35. 2» God defigned from eternity that his great 
and everlafting glory lliould arife from the new creation^ 
and the work thereof. Herein hath he ordered all things; 

* to the praife of the glory of his grace.' [Ephcf. i. 6.] 
It is true the works of the old creation did fet forth the 
glory of God, [Pfalm xix. i.] they manifefted his eternal 
power and godhead, [Rom. i. 20.] but God had not re- 
folved, ultimately, to commit the manifeftation of his 
glory to thofe works, though verv glorious ; and therefore 
did he fufFer fin to enter into the world, which utterly 
ilained the beauty of it, and brought it wholly under the 
curfe. But he never fuffeted any I'pot or {lain to come- 
upon the work of the new creation, [l^phef. v. 6.] no- 
thing that might in the leaft defeat, eclipfe, or impair the 
glory that he intended fliould accrue to hiliifelf thereby. 
God hath fo ultimately laid up his glory in the new crea- 
tion, as that he will not lofe any thing of that, which 
alfo is due to him from the old : but neither will he re- 
ceive it from thence, but as it is transferred into a fubfer- 
viency to the work of the new. Now God ordered all 
things fo, as that this might be effefted witliout force* 
coadtlon, or wrefting of the creation befides its own order. 
And is there any thing more natural and proper, than that 
the world Ihould come into fubjedllon to him by whom 
it was made ? And this I take to be the meaning of what 
the apoftle fays about the bondage and liberty of the crea- 
ture, which we have, [Rom. viii.- 19 — 22.] He tells u.s 
tiiat the creature itfelf had a dclire after the manifeftation 



of the Sons of CiucI, or the bringing forth of the king- 
dom of Chrift in glory and power, and gives this reafon 
for it, hccaufc it is brought into a condition of vanity, 
corruption, and bondage ; wlierein it did, as it were, un- 
willingly abide, and groaned to be delivered from it. 
That is, by the entrance of fin, the creation was brought 
into that condition wherein it could not anfwer its pri- 
mitive end, to declare the glory of God, that he might 
be worlhippcd and honoured as God ; but was left, ef- 
pccially the earth and its inhabitants, to be a ftage on 
which men ad their enmity againll God, and a means 
for the fulfilling their filthy lulls. This flate being pre- 
ternatural, occafional, and forced, the creation is faid to 
dillike it, to groan under it, to hope for deliverance ; 
doing that according to its nature, which it w-ould do vo^ 
iuntati/y, were it endowed with a rational undcrfland- 
ing. But, faith the apoftlc, there is a better condi- 
tion for this creation, after which, vvhilil: it was afar ojf, 
it * put out its head,* as if in anxious expcdtation. \\ hat 
is this better ftate ? Why the *' glorious liberty of the 
Sons of God," the new flate and condition that all things 
are rcflored to for the glory of God by Jefus Chrifl. The 
creation hath as it were a natural propcnlitv, yea a long- 
ing to come into a fubjeclion to Chrift, as that which 
retrieves and frees it from the vaiiity, bondage, and cor- 
ruption into which it was caft, when put out of its 
firll order by fin. And this arifeth from that plot and 
dcfign which God firft laid in the creation of all things ; 
that they being made bv the Son, Hiould naturally and 
willingly, as it were, give up tlicmfclves in obedience to 
liim, when he fliould take the rule of them upon the new 
account of his mediation. Moreover, 

§ 36. God would hereby inftru£l us in the ufe and 
improvcnufif we are to make of his cicatum to his glory ; 
for it is his will, that we ihould not ufe any thing as 
merely made by him, lecing, as they are now in fa£l lo 
let'i, they are under the curfc, and thcicforc arc impure 
and unclean to them that ufe them, [Tit. i. 15.] but he 
would have us look upon them and receive tliem as they 



are given over to ChrilT:. For the apoftle in his applica- 
tion of the eighth Pfahn to the Lord Mcffiah [chap. ii. 
6 — 8.] manifefls, that even the bcails of the field, on 
which we live, are transferred in a peculiar manner to his 
dominion : and he lays our intercll: in them, as to a clear, 
profitable, and fandtified ufe, in the new ll:ate of things 
brouglit in by Chrifl, [I. Tim. iv. 4 — 8.] * Every creature 

* of God is good, and nothing to be refufcd, if it be re- 

* ceived with thankfgiving ; for it is fandlified by the 
' word of God and prayer.' The v/hole myftery of lay- 
ing the works of the old creation in a fubferviency to the 
new being hid from many ages and generations, even from 
the foundation of the world, men by the efe^s which 
they faw, concluded, that there was an eternal power and 
infinite wifdom whereby they were produced. But when 
any lb all by faith perceive and confider, that the produc- 
tion of all things is originally beholden to the Son of 
God ; that the world was made to this very end and pur- 
pofe, that, he being afterwards incarnate for our redemp* 
tion, they might all be put in fubjedion to him ; they 
cannot but be raviflied with admiration of the power, wif- 
dom, goodnefs, and love of God, in this holy, wife, beau- 
tiful difpofition of all his works and ways ! 

The moil reafonable and intelligible way of confidering 
the order of God's decrees, is that which refers them to 
the two general heads which all rational agents refpe£l in 
their purpofes and operations ; namely, thofe of the Iq^ 
endy and the means conduc'mg thereunto. Now the utmoft 
end of God, in all his ways towards the fons of men, 
being the manifeflation of his own glory, by way of 
mercy and juftice, whatever tendeth thereunto, is alfo 
jointly to be looked upon as one entire means tending to 
that end. The works therefore of the old and new crea- 
tion being of this fort — one joint and general mean for 
compaffing the afore -mentioned end — nothing can hinder 
but that they may have that refpe£t to each other w^hich 
we have before declared. 

Vol. II. F Verse 


Verse 3. 


§ I . The fuhje^ propofcd, § 2. (I.) A defcription of 
Chr'iJ} as to ivhat he is in him f elf. And^ i . To what of 
Chrijl this dcjcription belongs. § 3, 4. 2. The particu- 
lar meaning of the cxprejfions. § 5, 6. (II.J irhat 
Chrif doth and has done. And, I . He upholds and rules 
oil things by the word of his power, § 7. 2. He hath 
by himf elf purged our fins. § 8, 9. (III.) ffhathecn- 
joyclh as the confequcnce of both. § lO — 1 8. (IV.) 

§ I. A HE apofllc proceeds in the dcfcriptioii of the 
pcrfoii in whom God fpake in the gofpel revelation, af« 
ccnding to fuch a maiiitcftation of him, as that they 
might uiulcriland liis cmincncy above all formerly em-f 
ployed in limilar miniflration ; as alio how he was point- 
ed out by iundry types and figures under the Old Tcfla- 
mcnt. Of this defcriptlon there are three parts ; the firll 
declaring what he is — the fecond, what he do:h or did — 
and the third, as the confequent of both, what he en- 
joyi th. 

§ 2. (1.) We begin with the dcfcription given us of 
Chriil, as to what he is in himfclf. And here a double dif- 
ficulty prcfcnts itfclf ; to what of Chrijl this dcfcription 

belongs ; 

Ver.3. epistle to THE HEBKtvvb. 33 

belongs ; and what is the particular meaning of the ex- 

I. To zvhat nature^ ov u-hat of ChrijI this defcription 
belongs. I fliall not examine in particular the reafons 
that are alledged for feveral interpretations ; but onlypro- 
pofe and confirm that fenfe of the place which on full 
and due coniideration appears agreeable to the analogy of 
faith, as expreflly anfwering the apoftle's defign. To this 
end the following politions are to be obferved : 

(i.) It is not the dire£l and immediate defign of the 
apoille to treat abfolutely of either ?7atw'e of Chrifl, his 
divine or human ; but only of his pejfon. Hence though 
feme of the things mentioned may belong to or be the 
properties of his divine nature and fome of his human, 
yet neither of them is fpokcn of as fuch, but are all con- 
lidered as belonging to his perfon, of which he treats pro- 

(2.) That which the apoflle principally intends with 
refped to the perfon of Chrifl, is to fet forth his dignity ^ 
pre-eminence, and exaltation above all ; and that not only 
confequentially to his difcharge of the ofhce of mediator, 
but alfo antecedently, in his w^orth, ability, and fuitable- 
nefs to undertake and difcharge it, which in a great mea- 
fure depended on his divine nature. 

(3.) As none of thefe exprefTions, efpecially in their 
prefent connexion, are ufed concerning any other but 
Chrifl alone ; fo they plainly exprefs things that are more 
fublimc and glorious, than can by fcripture rules, or the 
analogy of faith, be afcribed tq any mere creature however 
exalted. Unto God afking that queflion, " Whom will 
ye compare to me and whom will you liken unto me ?" 
We cannot anfwer of any who is not God by nature, that 
he is " the brightnefs of his glory, and the exprefs image 
of his perfon." 

(4.) Though the defign of the apoflle in general be to 
fliew how the Father declared himfclf to us in the Son i 
yet this could not be done without manifefling what the 
fon is in himfclf and in reference to the Father. The 

f 2 woi-d!? 



words cxprcfs him fuch an one, as in whom the infinite 
fcftions and excellencies of God arc revealed to us. 

( c.) There is nothing in thcfe words that is not appli- 
cable to the divine nature of Chrift. He is in his perfoii 
diflinfl from the Father, another, not the Father ; but 
yet the fame in nature and all glorious properties and ex- 
cellencies. This onenefs in nature, and di{lin£lion ia 
pcrfon, may be well Ihadowcd out by thefe exprcllions, 
he is ** the brightnefs of his glory and the exprefs image 
of his perfon." The bold curiofity of the fchoolmen and 
fomc others, in exprelTnig the manner of the generation of 
the Son by fimilitudes, is intolerable. Nor are the rigid 
impojittons of thofe words and terms, which they or others 
have invented to exprefs tiiis profound myftery, of any 
better nature. Yet I confefs, that fuppofing with fome 
the apoftle intends by *' the brightnefs of glory," to fet 
forth to us the relation of the Son to the Father, by an 
allulion to tht fun and its bcamsy fome relief may thence 
be derived to our weak underftandings, in the contempla- 
tion of this myflcry ; provided we obfervc that one known 
rule whofe ufe Chrysostom urgeth in this place, namc- 
Iv, ** That in the ufc of fuch allufions, every thing of 
imperfection is to be removed in their application to God." 
To fay that there is only an allufion in the words, and 
that the Son is not properly, but by a metaphor, the 
*' brightnefs of glory," is to teach the apoflle to exprefs 
himfclf in the things of God. For my part, I undcr- 
fland as much of the natuic, glory, and properties of the 
Son by this cxprcllion, " He is the brightnefs of glory," 
as I do by any of the mod; accurate cxprclTions whicl> 
have been arbitrarily invented to lignify the fame thing. 
This, and this alone, is clearly iiitcndcd f-)y them — that 
lie ifi one diftin£l from God the Father, related unto him, 
and partaker of his glory. 

(6.) Thefc things being promifcd, wc may difccrn the 
general import of the expreilions. The words themfelves 
being no where elfc ufcd in fcripturc, we may receive fomc 
light from thofe in other places which are nearefl allied 
tn t'.un'. Such arc tbcfc and the like: * We >»ave feen 

* his 

Ver.3. epistle to THE HEBREWS. 35 

* his glory, the glory of the only Son of God,* [John i. 
14.] ' He is the image of the invihble God/ [Col. i. 15.] 
' The glory of God Ihines forth in him,' [II. Cor. iv. 6.] 
Now in thefe and the like places, the glory of the divine 
nature is fo intimated, as that we are directed to look to 
the glory of the abfolutely invifible and incomprehenfible 
God, in him hicarnatc. And this is the apoftle's general 
meaning; the Son, in whom God fpeaks to us in the re- 
velation of the gofpel, doth in his own perfon fo every 
way anfwer the excellencies and perfections of God the 
Father, that he is in him cxpreffly reprefented to our faith 
and contemplation. 

§ 3. 2. It remains then, that we confider the ex- 
preffions feverally, with the reafons why the apoflle thus 
cxprefTes the divine glory of Jefus Chrift. 

("0$- wy ( ryjg ^o^Yjg) *^ Who being tI:o 
brightnefs," light, luilre, majefty *' of glory." The apof- 
tle, in my judgement, (wliich is-innrrbly^'fabmitted to-eon- 
^lideratidii) alludes to fomething that the people were in- 
^ruCled by, typically, under the Old Teflament, with 
»efpe£l to this great myflery, the manifeftation of the 
glory of God to them by the Son, the fecond perfon in 
the Trimty. The ark, which was the mpft fignal reprc- 
Ivntation of the prefence of God amongft them, was 
called '' his glory.'* So the wife of Phineas, upon the 
taking of the ark, affirmed, that the glory was departed, 
[I. Sam. iv. 22.] ' The glory is departed from Ifrael, for 

* the ark of God is taken.* And the pfalmifl, mentioning 
the fame thing, calls it * his glory* abfolutely ; (Pfahn 
Ixxviii. 61.) * He gave his glory into the hand of hii 

* enemies,' that is, the ark. Now, on the filling of the ta- 
bernacle with the iigns of God's prefence in cloud and 
fire, the Jews affirm, that there was a conftant (oi7ra,i' 
yao-jjun, a nnwan) or majcjik^ Jlnning glory refling on tbe 
ark ; which was the {aivocvyaT^cc rvig ^o^'.^g) the fplendcur 
of the glory of God in that typical rcprefcntation of his 
prefence; and this was to inflruCl them in the way and 
manner whereby God would dwell amongft them. The 
apoflle, therefore, cal}ing them from the types, by which 



they had been obfcurely iiiftrufted ia thcfe niyfleries, to 
the tilings thcmlcives reprcfVntcd, acquaints them with 
what that typical glory and fplcndour iignificd ; namely, 
the eternal glory of God, with the eflential beaming and 
hrightnefs oi* it in the Son, in and by whom the glory of 
the Father Ihincth forth to us. 

§ 4. The apoftlc adds, that he is (yy.cocKlyjp VTrocflaa-cOog 
d'Sji) * the exprcfi figure or image of his pcrlbn ,' that is, 
of the perfon of God the Father. Hence obfcrve, that, 

The hypojlajis of the Father, is the Father himfelf. Of 
him is the Son faid to be the exprefs image. As is the 
Father, fo is the Son. And this agreement and likenefs 
between the Father and the Son is eiTential ; not acci- 
dental, as thofe things are between relations finite and 
corporeal. What the Father is, doth, hath ; that the Son 
is, doth, hath ; or elfe the Father, as the Father, could 
not be fully him, nor reprefented by him. 

By charader two things feem to be intended. /V;y?, 
that the Son hi himfelf is (5'y \Lo^ty\ 0iS) * in the likenefs 

• of God*, [Phil. ii. 6.] Secondly, that unto us he is {ukmv 
0ry) *the image of God,' reprefenting him to us, [Col. i. 6.] 
For thcfe words {^oppn, siKMy, yjx.^ciy?i7,'j) are ufed of the 
Lord Chrill with rcfpeft to God the Fatlicr ; and they 
feem to be thus diflinguifhed by their ufe : (iv u.oz'p)] 0i« 
VTTcczy^CA^v) being ox fuhfiftingin the form of God — implies that 
lie is eifentially fo ; for there is no (^op(pjy). or form in the 
Deity, but what is cffcntiaL This he was abfolutcly, an- 
tecedently to his incPTnation; the whole nature of God 
being in him, and confequcntly was in the form of God. 
In the manifeftation of God to us, he is faid to be (uxm',' 
I'd 0.i< dofojcVi Col. i. 6) * the image of the invifible 

* God,' bccaufe in him, as partaker of the natuife of the 
lather, do the power, goodnefs, hoHnefs, grace, and all 
other glorious properties of C^od Ihinc forth, [II. Cor. iv. 
6.] — aiul bs?th thcfe feem to i)e compriied in this word 
{yjx OiKJ fi{j) exprefs inrcgc, both that tl'.e whole nature of 
God is in him, as ajfothat by him God is declared andex- 
preflcd to us; ^rhc ordinary engraving of ring«^ or feak, 
or Hones, is generally tliought to be alluded to. It may- 

Ver.3. epistle to THE HEBREWS, 37 

be alfo that the apoftle had rcfpeft to fome reprefentatioii 
of the glory of God by engraving amongil the inflitutions 
of Mofes. Now there was fcarcely any thing of old that 
more glorioullv reprefented God, than that of engraving 
his name on a plate of gold, to be worn on the front of 
the mitre of the high-prieil:, (Exod. xxviii. 36.] ' Thou 

* fhalt make a plate of pure gold, and grave upon it, like 

* the engraving of a lignet (riMi^b \i^ip) ' Holinefs to Je- 

* hovah/ Here was that name of God which denotes 
his elfence and being characleyized^ and engraven to re- 
prefent his holinefs and glory to the people. And thus 
alfo when God promifeth to bring foith t)je Son, as the 
corner flone of the church, he promifeth * to engrave 
' upon him the feven eyes of the Lord,' [Zech. iih 9.] or 
the perfeftion of his wifdoni and power to be exprefled 
unto the church in him. There having been, then, this 
reprefentation of the pre fence of God, by the character, 
or engraving of his glorious name upon the plate of gold 
which the high-priefl was to wear that he may bear ini*- 
quities, the apoftle lets the Hebrews know, that in Chrift 
the Son is the real accomplifhment of what was typiHed 

§ 5. (H.) After the dcfcriptlon of the perfon of ChriH, 
the apoflle returns to fliew what h& doth ox did, and begins 
with aflerting his poiver. He fliewcd before, that by him 
the worlds were created : he adds, 

( I .) That he continues to uphold, or to yule and difpofe of 
all things which he fo made. For the explication of thefe 
words, two things are to be confidered ; Firft, In what 
fenfe Chrift is faid to uphold all things ; and, Secondly, 
How he doth it by the word of his power. 

(i.) How Chriit is faid to uphold all things. The terra 
((Pipwv) upholding, is taken by expofitors in a double {'n\{^, 
and accordingly is varioufly rendered. Some render it by 
upholding, fupportlng, hearing, carrying. And this, faith 
Chrysostom on the place, is ** a greater work than that 
of the creation." By \hQ former all things were brought 
forth from nothing ; by the latter are they preferved front 
that return to nothing j which their own nature, not ca- 
X pablc 


pabic of exiftence without dependence on their firft caufc, 
would precipitate them into. Others take the word to 
exprcfs his rulifi^^ gozrrrning, and difpo/tng of all things 
which he made ; and fo it may denote, either the putting 
forth that power over all things which is given to the Son 
as Mediator ; or ellc that providential rule over all, which 
he hath with his Father ; which feems rather to be in- 
tended, bccaufe of the way expreded whereby he excrcifcth 
this rule, ** by the word of his power." But I fee no 
reafon why we Ihould fuppofe an inconflancy in thef© 
fenfes, and not rather conclude that they are both implied. 
For, as abfolutcly, it is the fame divine power and provi- 
dence which is exercifed/in upholding, as in d'lfpojing of all 
things ; fo alio rule and government is a matter of weight 
and burden, [Ifa. ix. 6.] ' The government Ihali be on his 

• fhoulder.* Among men this is done with much labour 
and travel ; but he doth it with inexpreflible facility * by 

* the word of his power.' And to take the expreffion 
in its mofl comprehenfive fenfe, is moil fafe. 

§ 6. (2.) Our next inquiry is after the w^ww^r whereby 
the Son upholdeth and diipofcth of all things — (t:*) oy/fJiccJi 
T'/jg dvyccuyjcgj * by the word of his power.* (P>j^^) 'x'oid, 
in the New Teflament, is ufed in the fame latitude and 
extent with (121) dahar m the Old. That which in this 
'place is denoted by it, with its adjunft (t>)$- dv^oc^-ocq) of 
power, is the divine power executing the counfels of the 
will and wifdom of God ; or, the efficacy of God's provi- 
dence, whereby he worketh and effe£let}i all things ac- 
cording to the counlcl of his will. Now the efficacy of 
divine providence is called * the word of God ;' to inti- 
mate, that as rulers accomplifli their will by a word of 
command, about things fubjcft to their pleafurc ; [Matt, 
viii. 9.] fo doth God accomplifh his whole mind and will 
in all things by his power. And therefore, of his power, 
is here added by way ot" diftinOion, to ihcw what word 
it is that the apoflle intends. It is not {Koycg ^fTix^;]g) 
the ejjentialword of Ciod, who is the perfon fpoken of, nor 
{Xoycg'K^o^ocuxog) the word fp'^kenhs him in the revelation 
ofbimfelfi but a word that is cflcL^ual and operative — 


Ver.3* epistle to THE HEBREWS. 39 

the putting forth of his divine power accomplifhing with 
eafe and authority his will and purpofe in all things. — 
This, in the vifion of Ezekiel, is the communication of a 
fpirit of life to the cherubs and weels, to a6t and to move 
them as feems good to him, by whom they are guided. And 
tiiis exprelfion of upholding or fupporting of all things 
by the word of his power, doth fully declare the glorious 
providence emblematically exprefled in that vilion. The 
Son being over all things made by himfelf, as on a thronp 
over the cherubims and w^els, influenceth the whole crea- 
tion with his power, communicating unto it refpedivcly 
fubiiftence, life, and motion, acting, ruling, and difpofmg 
of all according to the counfel of his own will. And 
hence will follow his power and authority to change the 
MofaicaJ inflitutions, as alfo his truth and faithfulnefs in 
revealing the will of God. 

§ 7. 2. He hath by himf elf purged our fins. Two thing? 
are here included-^What he did, purged our fins — and hout 
he did it, by himfef. And what he fuppofeth as the 
foundation of both thefe is, that he was the great high- 
prieil of the church, they with whom he dealt knowing 
full well that this matter of purging fins belonged only 
unto the priell. 

IVhcn he had purged our fins. The Greek word {yjx^oc- 
glIoo) moft frequently denotes real, atlual purification^ either 
of outward defilements, by healing and cleanfmg, or fpiri- 
tual defilements of fin, by fan£lifying grace. But it \% alfo 
frequently ufcd in the f^ie fenfe with [noiSjctif^'jo^ and ?c«- 
Scciooucx-i) to purge by expiation o\' atonement, [Hob. ix. 22, 
23.] But (}iCi9apio-^ov TTOiTjo-cci) to make a purgation or puri- 
fication of our fins, cannot here be taken for real and in- 
herent fan£lification ; becaufe it is fpoken of as a thing 
already pafl and pcrfeflcd ; having purged our fns. He did 
it hj hiiTif If alone, without the ufe or application ot any 
other medium; but real inherent fandlification is witU 
< wafhing of v/ater by tlie Word,' [Ephef. v. 26.] or by 
* regeneration and renewing of the Holy Ghoft,' [Titus 
iii. 5.] That is alT^.gned to the death of Chrift really and 

Vol. II. G effedvialiy 


cffe£>ually which was done typically of old in the legal 
iacrificcs by the pricfts ; as is evident from the antithefis 
couched m that exprcfTion * by himfclf.* The word {xoi- 
SuDia-LLcg) then imports fuch a purgation as is made by ex- 
piation and atonement. And therefore is he faid * to 
* purge our Jjnsy^ and not ' to purge us from our fins.' And 
wherever yJ;/.r, not Jinncrsy are made the objeft of any me- 
diatory a6l of Chrift, that a6l imn-vcdiately rcfpeOcth Gofi 
and not the finner, and intends the removal of fin, fo as 
that it Ihould not be imputed. 

And this the apoftle farther declares by manifefting the 
'u.'ijy whereby he did it, {It Ic/.v;'^) ly himfe/f; by the facri- 
fice and offering of himfelf. The high-prieft of old made 
atonement, and typically purged the fms of the people, by 
facrifking of henjh according to the appointment of the 
law ; but [Levit. xvi.) this high-prieil by the facriiice of 
himfelf, by his blood-fhedding and death on the crofs, with 
liis antecedent preparatory fuHerings. He himfelf was 
both pried, facriflce, altar, and inccnfe ; and he perfected 
his whole facrifice at once, making an atonement tor our 
fins, that to believers they fliould not be imputed. 

§ 8. (in.) The apoftle having thus affertcd in generaJ 
the facerdotal ofRce of Chrift, and the cfrc6lual facrifice he 
offered, and becaufe that could not be doi>e without tlic 
j^reatdt humiliation and abaU-ment of the Son — he in- 
iVantly removes onr gloomy apprehenlion«^, by adding the 
blcffed €'i:£nt of his all-important undertaking. He fat 
rioivn on the right hand of the A'luff/iy on h'r^h. The Lord 
MefTiah undertaking to purge our lins, did by the one of- 
fering of himfelf perfcj^ly ctfe^fl it, which the blcifed ////>? 
of his undertaking demonftiates ; for he in^mediately en- 
tered into tlic glorious condition here cxprcfl'ed ; as a lignal 
pledge and evidence not onlv that his work was perfc(^ed, 
but alfo that God was fully fatlsfied and well pleafed with 
what he had do^ic. 

The righvhand^ in fcrlpturc language, confrantly denotes 
dignity and pre-eminence. Th(j inftance of Jacob's blefling 
jofcph's children teftifics alfo the conftant ufage of thofc 
anticnt times from the intimation of nature itfe^f, [Gen. 


Ver.3.. epistle to the HEBREWS. 41 

xlviii. 17, 19.) and the difpofal of the flieep and goats at 
the laft day, to the right hand and left, gives the privi- 
lege to the for miT. So Basil, *' The right hand place 
denoteth a quality of dignity." And Chrysostom, "If 
he would have iignified any diminution, he would not 
have faid, fit on my right hand, but on my left." Solo- 
mon placed his mother, when flie came unto him, on his 
right hand, as a token of honour ; while he himfelf fat 
down on the throne of the kingdom; [I. Kings ii. 19.] 
and the church is faid to be at the right hand of Chrift, 
f Pfalm xlv. 9.] It is not unlikely but there may be an 
allulion in this expreffion to the Sanhedrim, the higheft 
court of judicature among the Jews. He who prefided 
in it was called, the Father of judgement , cr Father of the 
houfe of judgement ; who fat next to, and at the right hand 
of the prince of the Sanhedrim, to whom belonged the 
execution of the fentence of the court. Agreeable to 
that are thefe words, ** the Father judgeth no man, but 
bath committed all judgement to the Soil." The great- 
eft honour that can be done to any one among the fons 
of men, is for the chief ruler to fet him next: himfelf on 
}iis right hand : fo is the Son of God as mediator, made 
partaker of the greateft glory that God hath to beftow 
in heaven. Nor is the ' right hand of God' here taken 
abfolutely for the po-ivcr and ftrength of God ; but, with 
the adjun£l o^ fitting at it, it reprefents a place and cmi- 
nency of glory, as he is confidered on his throne of ma- 
jefty : and therefore it is here termed the right hand of 
majcfty and not of power, 

§ 9. Two things are particularly intended in this ex- 
prellion : 

I. The fccurity of Chrift from all his adverfaries anci 
fuffcrings for the future. Now he is, in pcrfon, cvcr- 
laftingly free from all oppofition ; for where he is, thither 
his adverfaries cannot come. He is above their reach, 
beyond their power, fecure in the throne and prefence of 
God. Thus the fruit of the church being delivered from 
the rage and perfecutiori of Satan^^ is faid to be caught 
up unto God, and to his throne, [Rev. xii. 5.] Hence 

G 2 t;hougl\ 


though men do, and will continue their malice and 
wrath againft the Lord Chriil to the end of the world, 
as if they would crucify him afrelli, yet * he dies no more,' 
being triumphantly fecure at the right hand of God. 

2. Hi!^ inexprclfible majefty and glory. God on his 
throne, is God in the full maniRiVation of his own gk)- 
rious mnjcdy. On his right hand fits the Mediator ; yet 
fo, as that he alfo is * in the midil of the throne' 
[Rev. V. 6.] How little can our weak underilandings com- 
prehend of his majtfty ! It is not his rule and authority, 
hut his fafetv, mn.jefty, and glory which accompany them, 
that are here intended, as reprefented by the magnificent 
throne of Solomon. Bciides, the apollle is not treating 
of the kingly power of Chriil, but of his facerdotal 
office ; and the glory that enfued upon the difcharge 
thereof. That, therefore, which he Iccms to refpec^, 
was the high-priefi's entrance into the holy place, after 
liis offering of the folemn annivcrfary facrifice of expia- 
tion. Then alone was he admitted into that auguft and 
holy place, that heaven below ; where was the fokmn 
rcprefcntation of t!ic prefcnce, the throne, and glory of 
God. And what did he there ? He llood with all humi- 
lity and holy reverence miniilcring before the Lord, whofe 
prcfence was there reprefented. He did not go and irt 
down between the cherubims, but worfliipping at tlte 
footl^ool of the Lord, he departed. It is not, faith the 
apoftlc, fo with Chriit ; but as his facrifice was infmitely 
more excellent and efit^lual than theirs, fo upon the of- 
fering of it he entered into heaven itfelf above, and into 
tlie real glorious prefence of God ; not to miniflcr in hu- 
mility, but to participate of the throne of majefty and 
glory. He is a * king and prieil upon his throne,' [Zech. 
vi. I ;^.] 

^ lo. (IV,) We now proceed to the following obfer- 

Ohf. 1 . All the ::lorious perfections of the Deity belong 
to, and dwell :n the perfon of the Son. Were it not fo, 
Jic could not glorioully rcprcfent to us the pcrfon of the 
1 aihcr. Thi:; X\\z apollle hcjc teachcth us, ns wc liave 


Ver-s- epistle to the HEBREWS. 43 

manlfefted in the explication of the words ; and the fami 
truth will again occur to iis. 

§ II. Ohf. 2. The whole manifcftation of the nature 
of God unto us, and all communications of grace, arc 
immediately through the perlbu of the Son. There arc 
lundry fignal indances wherein God reveals himlelf, and 
communicates from his own infinite fullnefs to his crea-r 
tures; and in all of them he doth it immediately by th« 

(i.) In the creation of all things, God both gave them 
their being, and imparted unto them of his goodnefs, and 
manifefled his nature to thole that were capable of an 
holy apprehenlion of it. Now all this God did imme- 
diately by the Son ; not as a fubordinate inilrument, but 
•as the principal efficient, being his own power and v/ifdom. 
The Son, as the power and wifdom of the Father, * mad^ 
^ all things;' fo that in that work, the glory of the 
Father fhines forth in him, and no otherwife: by hi;m 
■was the communication of being, goodnefs, and exigence 
to the creation. 

(2.) In the pr&vidt'htial rule and difpofal of all created 
things, God farther manifefts himfelf to his creatures, 
and makes farther communications of his goodnefs to 
them, through the fame imcreated medium. 

(3.) The matter is yet more plain, as to the revelation 
of his will, and the inftitution of ordinances from firll 
to laft. This is the fubflance and grand defign of the 
gofpel — to reveal the Father in and by the Son ; to 
declare that through him alone we can be made partakersr 
of his grace and goodnefs ; and that no other way can we 
have cither acquaintance or communion with him, (fee 
Jolm i. 18.] The whole end of the gofpel is to give us 
• the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jefus 
« Chrift.' [II. Cor. iv. 6.] 

As the Father is the originpl and fountain of the whole 
Trinity as to fubfiflence, fo alfo as to the operation he 
works not but by the Son ; who, having the divine na- 
ture communicated unto him by an ineffable eternal gene- 
rat;ion, is to communicate the effects of the Divine power, 



' fcrifdom, and goodncfs by temporary operation. AnJ 
thus he becomes the * brightncl's of his Father's glory, 

* anJ the cxprefs image of his pcrfon.' 

§ 12. In the difpcnfation and counfcl of grace, God 
hath determined, that all communications of himfelf to 
us ihall be by the Son as incarnate. This the whole 
gofpcl abundantly tcll:iiics; which difcovers to us the nc^ 
tcility of coming unto God only by Chrlft. God m 
himfelf is faid to be in * thick darkncfs,' as alfo to dwell 
in ' light whercunto no creature can approach ;' which 
txprcilioiis, tliough feemingly contrary, teach us the 
/^mc thing, (viz.) the infinite diftance of the Divine 
nature from our apprehenfions and conceptions ; no man 
iiaving feen God at any lime. But this God, invifiblc, 
eternal, incomprehenfjbly glorious, hath imprefled fundry 
characters of his excellencies, and left footileps of his 
Jjlfllcd properties, on the things that he hath made, that 
by the conilderation and contemplation of them, wc 
might come to fqme fuch acquaintance with him as might 
encourage us to fear and feive him, and to make him. 
our utmoll: end. But all thefe exprellions of God in other 
things, bofides his Son Chrifl Jefus, are partial and ob- 
fcurc: pait'ial-y not what is necellary to be known, that 
we may live unto him lierc, and enjoy him hereafter : — 
obfcure , net leading us to any perfcft or fettled knowledge 
o^' him. And hence it is tliat thofc who have attempted 
|o come to God any other way than in Chrifl Jefus, have 
r.]I failed and come fliort of his glory. But feeing tho 
I^rd Chrifl is the * brightnefs of his glory,' in whom his 
glory fhines out of the immenfe darknefs that his nature 
is enwrapped in with rcfpefl to us, and beams out of that 
inacceffible light which he inhabits ; and * the cxprefs 

* iinagc of his p(?rfQn,;,reprefenting to us all the pcrfec- 
ti()?!s of his pcrfon fully and clearly — it follows, that ii\ 
%ht Redeemer alone can "we attain a faving aci]uaintance 
m\X\\ Deity. On this account he tells i'hiiip, [John 
y»v. 9.] * Ht* -that Uatji kaw me, liath feeji the Father.' 

. Woulid we know hi.s love and grace, would we adniiro 
his irifdoin %ud ji^linelii ? LiC^ u^ iubo.u.i to s:p,mc to an, 


Ver.3* EPIStLE TO tHE MEBReWS. 4; 

intimate gracious acquaintance with his Son Jcfus Chrift, 
in whom all thefe excellencies dwell in their fulnefs, and 
by whom alone they are revealed and exhibited to ns. 
Seek, the Father in the Son ; for out of him not one pro- 
perty of the divine nature can be favingly apprehended, 
or rightly underflood ; but in him all are difplaycd to 
our faith and fpiritual contemplation. This is at once 
our greateft wifdom, and moft exalted privilege. 

§ 13. Ohf. 3. Our Lord Jefus Chrill as the Son of 
God fupports the weight of the whole creation and dif- 
pofeth of it by his adorable power and wifdom. Such 
—awful yet charming thought i — fuch is the nature and 
condition of the univerfe, that it could not fubfill a mo- 
ment, nor could any thing in it ad regularly to its 
appointed end, without the continual fupport, guidance, 
influence, and difpofal of the Son of God. Created 
things can no more fupport, adt, and difpofe themfelves, 
than they could at firfl: make themfeives out of nothing.. 
The greateft cannot preferve itfelf by its greatnefs, power, 
or order ; nor the leaft by its diftance from oppof tion. 
Were there not a mighty hand under all and each one of 
them, they would fink into confufion ; did not an effec- 
tual force impel them, they would become a flothful 
heap ; remove fuftaining power and adlive influence, and 
they inftantly precipitate into their primitive nothing. 
It is true God hath in the creation of all things implanted 
i\\ every particle o-f the creation, a fpecial natural incli- 
nation and dilpofition, according to which it is ready to 
tt£^, move, or wo-rk regularly ; but he hath not placed 
this nature and power abfolutcly in them, and indepen- 
dently of his own power and operation. The Son is en- 
dued with a nature to produce all the glorious effects of 
light and heat, the lire to burn, the wind to blow, &c. 
But yet neither could fun, or fire, or wind preferve 
themfeives in their being, or retain the principles of their 
operations, did not the Son of God, by a continual ema- 
nation of his eternal power upheld and preferve them ; 
nor could they produce any one effc£t, did not he work in 
them, and by them ; nor are the fons of men excepted, 



or any other agents, however fice \\\ their clioice ?ji(j 
operations \ for ' by him all things conlill.' It is ut- 
terly repugnant to the very nature and being of a God, 
that he lliould produce any thing without himfelf, that 
fliouJd have either a fclf-fubfiftencc or a I'elf-rufFiciency, 
or be independent on himfelf. When wc name a crea- 
ture, \vc name that which hath a dtiived and dependent 
being. And that. which cannot fublift in and by itlclf, 
cannot act fo neither. He did not create the world ta 
leave it to an uncertain event ; to fland by and to fee 
what would become of it ; but the fame power and wif- 
dom that produced, doth ftill attend it, powerfully poi- 
vading every particle thereof. To fancy a divine provi^ 
dence without a continual energetic operation, or a di- 
vine wifdom without conilant care and infpec^ion of the 
works of his hands, is not to form apprehenfions of the 
living God, but to cretl au idol in our own imagina- 


§ 14. This work is peculiarly affigned to tl.e .^on, not 
only as he is the eternal power and wifdom of God, but 
ilfo becaufe by his intcrpofition, as undertvVicing the work 
of mediation, he reprieved the world from an immediate 
difTolution upon the iirll entrance of fin ; that it might 
continue, as it were, the great ftage for the mighty work?^ 
of God's grace, wifdom, and love to be wrought on it. 
Hence the care of the continuance of the creation, and thu 
difpofal thereof, is delegated unto him, a.-N having under- 
taken to bring forth and confummate the gloiy oi God 
in it, notwithflanding the hideous breach made upon 
it by the fm of angels and men. When the work of the 
reconciliation of all things to God Ihall be accomplilJi- 
<d, the glory of God will be t'uily retrieved a:id cftablhh^d 
for ever. 

(i.) Wc may fee from licnce the vanity of expei\ing 
any thin^; from the creatures, but what the Lord Chriit 
is plcafcd to communicate to us by them. They that 
cannot fuflain or actuate thcmfelvcs, by any power or 
virtue of their own, arc very unlikely of thcmfeivcs to 
afford any real relief or help to others. I'hcy all abide 

I arii 

Ver,3' epistle to THE HEBREWS. 47 

andexifl fcverally and coiifift together, in their order and 
operation, by the powerful word of Chrifl ; and what lie 
will communicate by them, that, and that alone, they 
will aixord us. In themfelvcs they are broken ciilcrns 
that will hold no water ; they who depend upon them, 
without the coniideration of their conflant dependence 
on Chrift, will find at length all their hopes difappointed, 
and all their enjoyments vaniili into nothing. 

(2.) Learn hence alfo the full felf-fufficiency, and ab- 
folutc fovereignty of the Son of God our Saviour. A 
king bears rule over the fubje£ts of his kingdom, but he 
d^oth not give them cxljicncc ; he doth not uphold and ac- 
tuate them at his pleafure ; but every one of them Hands 
upon an equal bottom with himfclf. He can, indeed, by 
the permiHion of God, take avjay their lives, but cannot 
continue their lives at his pleafure one moment, or make 
theaii fo much as to move a finger. But with the Lord 
PvCdeemer it is otherwife ; he not only rules over the 
whole creation, difpofing of it according to the rule of 
his own counfel and pleafure ; but they all derive their 
beings, natures, inclinations, and lives from him : and 
as this argues his all-fufFiciency, fo it demonftratcs his 
abfolute fovereignty over all other things. Let this teach 
us our conftant dependence on him, and our univerfal 
fubjedion to him. 

(3.) And this abundantly difcovers the vanity and 
folly of them, who make ufe of the creation in oppoli- 
tion to Chrill, and his peculiar intereft in this world. 
His own power is the very ground that they ftand upon in 
their daring oppofition to him ; and all things which 
they ufe againfl him, ' coniift in him.' lliey hold their 
lives abfolutely at the pleafure of him whom they oppofe : 
and they a6t againft hhn^ without w^iofc continual fup- 
port and influence they could neither live nor a£l one 
moment ; v/hich is the greatefl madncfs, and mofl con- 
temptible folly im?.ginable. 

§ 15. Qbf. 4. So great wa5 the work of freeing us 
from fin, that it could no otherwife be efre<^eJ but by 
the felf-facrifice of the Son of God, Our apoftle makes 

Vol. IL H ic 


it Ills dciign ifi fevcral places to evince, that none of thofe 
things, from whence mankind tifually expc£l relief in 
this cafe, would yield them any at all. The bcft that 
the Gcutilcs could attain, all that tlicy had to truft to, 
was but the improvement of natural light and reafon, 
under the condud of which they fought for reft, glory, 
and immortality. How miferablv they were difappoint- 
ed in their aims, and w^hat a woeful ilfuc all their en- 
deavours had, the apoftlc fliews at large Rom. i. The 
Jcws^ who enjoyed the benclit of divine revelation, hav- 
ing lofl for the mofl: part the true fpiritual import of them, 
fought for the fame ends by the law, and their own diligent 
obfcrvancc of it; ' Theyrcrtcdin the law ;' [Rom. ii. 17.] 
Now w^ithin the compafs of thcfe three, natural light, 
the moral law, and the inflitution of facrifices, coniill all 
the hopes and endeavours of finncrs after deliverance and 
acceptance with God. And if all thefc fail them, as 
alluredly they will, it is certaiii there is nothing under 
licaven that can yield them the leafl relief. Jehovah is 
the fupcrior governor of all, and as fm dilfolvcth the de- 
pendence of the creature upon him, fhould he not avenge 
that defection, his whole rule and government would be 
difannullcd. But now" if this vengeance and punifliment 
Ihould fall on the iinners thcmfelves, they muft perifli 
\indcr it eternally ; not one of them could efcape, or ever 
be freed from their fins. A commutation then there muft 
be ; that the punilhment due to lin, which the holinefa 
and righteoufncfa of God exa6leth may be inrii£lcd, and 
mercy and grace fliewed to the finner. And this Ihould 
teach us to live in an holv admiration of this mighty and 
wonderful produift of the wifdom, rightcoufnefs, and 
grace of God, which appointed this way of delivering 
linncr.-, and ^loiloullv accomplifhcd it in the facrilicc of 
the Son of God. The Holy Ghoft every where propofeth 
this to us, as a myiUry, a hidden mvHery, which none 
of the great, or wife, or dlfputers of the world, ever 
cotwc to the hall ac(juaintance witli. And three things 
lie alleris concerning it : 

(1.) That 


(i.) That it is revealed in the gofpcl, and is thence 
alone to be learned. Whence we are invited, again and 
again, to fearch and inquire diJigcntly, to this very ^w^^ 
that we may become wife in the knowledge and acknow- 
ledgement of this fublirae myflery. 

(2.) That we cannot in our own ftrength, and by 
our own mofl diligent endeavours, come to an holy ac- 
quaintance with it, notwithftanding the revelation that is 
made of it in the letter of the word ; unlefs moreover we 
receive from God, the fy'irit of w'lfdom^ knowledge, and 
revelation ; opening our eyes, making our minds fpiri- 
tual, and enabling us to difcover thefe depths of the Holy 
Ghoft in a fpiritual manner. 

(3.) That we cannot, even by thefe helps, attain in 
this life to a perfect knowledge of this unfathomable 
truth ; but muft Hill labour to grow in grace and fpiritual 

The fcripture every where fets forth the blelTednefs and 
happinefs of them, who by grace obtain a fpiritual infight 
into this grand myflery, and themfelves alfo find by ex- 
perience the fatisfying excellency thereof with the apoftlc, 
[Phil. iii. 8.] All which considerations are powerful mo- 
tives to this profitable duty, wherein we have the angels 
themfelves for our afibciates. 

§ 17. We may alfo confider the unfpeakable love of 
Chr'ifl in this work of his delivering us from fin. And 
this he did, when we were finncrs^ when we were loft, 
when we were children of wrath, under the curfe, when 
no eye did pity us, when no hand could relieve us. And 
if John mourned, greatly mourned, when he thought 
there was none found worthy in heaven or earth to open 
his book of vifions, and to unloofe the feals thereof ; how 
juflly might the whole creation mourn and lament if there 
had been none found to yield relief, when all were ob- 
noxious to this fatal ruin ! And this is an exceeding com- 
mendation of the love of Chrift, that he fct his hand to 
that work which none could touch; and put his fhouldcrs 
under that burden which none elfc could bear, when all 
iay in a dcfpcratc condition. — Again : it is a deliverance 

W X from 


from eternal 'x-rath and vengeance, not from a trouble or 
danger of a few clays continuance; not from a momen- 
tary fuffering ; but from evcrlafting wratli, under the 
curie of God and power of Satan. — And farther : confi- 
der the zvay whereby he did it ; not by his word, whereby 
he made the world ; not by his power, whereby he fullains 
all things ; not by paying a price of corruptible things ; 
Jiot by merely revealing a way to us, whereby we our- 
fclvcs might efcape that condition wherein we were, as 
fome foolifhly imagine ; but by the ' facrilicc of him- 
* felf,' making his foul an offering for fin through the eter- 
nal fpirit, by laying down his life for us ; and greater 
love can no one manifeft. — Confider, moreover, his in- 
finite condffcenjion to put himfelf into that condition where- 
in, by himfelf^ he might purge our lins. For this purpofe, 
tiiough he was in the form of God, he emptied himfelf of 
his glory, made himfelf of no account, was made flcfh, 
took on him the form of a fervant, that he might be obe- 
dient unto death, the painful and ignominious death of the 
crofs. — Once more ; rctieft on the end of his undertaking 
for us ; which was the bringing of us unto God, into his 
love and favour here, and the eternal enjoyment of him 
hereafter. All thefe things, I fay, doth the fcripture infift 
frequently and largely upon, to fet fortli the excellency of 
the love of Chrift, to render it admirable and amiable unto 
us : and thefe things Ihould we lay up in our hearts, that wc 
may continually ponder them, and give due acceptance and 
entertainment to this wonderful love of the Son of God. 
§ I 8. 0/'/".^5. That there is nothing more vain, fool- 
ilb and fruitlefs, thnn the oppolition which Satan and his 
agents yet nuike to the Lord Melliah and his kingdom. 
Can they afccnd into heav( n r Can thcv pluck the divine 
regent from his throne r A little time will manifefl: eternally 
this extreme madncfs. Moreover, the fervice of the 
Lord Chrifl is both fafe and honourable. He is both a 
good and a glorious mailer ; one that fits at the right hand 
of God ; and great is the fpiritual and eternal fecurity of 
all that truly believe in him. 


Ver.4. epistle to THE HEBREWS. 

Verse 4. 

being made so much better than the angels, 
as he hath by inheritance obtained a more 
excellent name than they. 

^ I. Connexion of the words. § 2. (I.) 'The excellency of 
Chr'rft above angels, § 3. (11.) I-Fhcn fo exalted. •§ -4. 
(III.) To what degree. § 5. (IV.) How he obtained iti 
§ 6. The pertinency of the comparifon. § 7. Obferva-' 

§ I. JljLAVING proceeded thus far in general, the 
apoftle defcends now to the confidcratlon of particular in- 
fiances, in all thofe whom God employed in the minlf- 
tration of the law and conftitution of the Mofalcal wor- 
fhip : and takes occafion from them all to fet forth the 
dignity and incomparable excellencies of Chrill, whom 
in all things he exalts. Firft, then, he treateth concern- 
ing angels, as thofe who were the moft glorious creatures 
employed in giving of the law. The Hebrews held that, 
befides the mediation of Mofes, God ufcd the miniftry of 
angels in the giving of the law and in other occalional in- 
ilru6lions of their forefathers. Holy Stephen, upbraiding 
them with their abufe and contempt of their greatefl pri- 
vileges, tells them, that they received the liw by the dif- 
pofition or miniftry of angels. This then might leave a 
fpccial prejudice in their minds, that the law being fo de- 
livered by angels, muft needs have therein the advantage 
above the gofpel, and be therefore immutable. To re- 
move this prejudice, and farther to declare the univerfal 
excellency and pre-eminence of Chrift, the apoftle proves 
to them out of the fcriptures of the Old Teftament, that 
lie is exceedingly advanced and glorious above the angels 



thcmfclvcs ; and to this purpofc procluceth four flgnal tcf- 
timonics one after another. The apofllc hath no dcfign 
to prove by arguments and tcflinionies the excellency of 
the {ihine nature above the angelicah Neither is the 
comparifon between the human nature of Chrift and the 
nature v>i angels. The apoflle then treats of the per/on 
of Chrift, God and man, as the revealcr of the gofpel, 
and mediator of the New Teftamcnt ; and concerning 
liim, as Inch, arc the cnfuing teflimonics to be interpreted. 
There arc fcveral things coniiderablc in thefe words. — 
Tarticuhrly, -what it is that the apoftle affcrts in them as 
his gcru-Tal propofjtion — zuhcn he was fo preferred above 
tliem — -the dcp-ce of this preference of him above the 
angels intimated in the comparifon — the proof of the af- 
feriion, taken from his name — and the iL'ay ivhercbs he 
came to have this name : he obtained it as his lot and in- 

§ 2. (1.) He is {x^3i7]cAjv yivoiJL-vcg) made more cxccU 
lent than the angels ; is preferred above them, exalted, ac- 
tually placed in more power, glory, and dignity. This 
John the Baptift affirms of him, * he was preferred be- 
' fore me, bccaufe he was before me.* Preferred before 
him ; called to another manner of office than that in 
which John miniflcred : made before or fuperior to him 
in dignity, becaufe he was before him in nature and exif- 
tcncc. And this is the proper fcnfe of the words wl^ea 
Ticrc applied to the angels. 

§ 3. (II.) And this gives us light into our fccond in- 
quiry, (viz.) when it was, that Chrift was then exalted 
above the angels ? Some fay, that it was in the time of 
his incarnation ; for then the human nature, being taken 
into pcrfonal fuSfiftencc with the Son of God, became 
more excellent than that of the angels. Some fay that 
it was at the time of his buptifmy when he was anointed 
with the Spirit, for the difcharge of his prophetical office ; 
but it is the lime of his refurrcclicn, afcenfion, and exal- 
tation at the right hand of God which enfued thereon that 
is here dcfigncd, as evidently appears from the text and 
context, hor^ that was the time when he was glorioufiy 

Ver.4- epistle to THE HEBREWS. ^j 

vefled with all power in heaven and earth. The order 
alfo of the apofllc's difconrfe leads us to fix on this fea- 
fon. After he had by himfclf purged our fins, he fat 
down, &c. being then made fo much more excellent. Be • 
fides, the firll tcllimony produced by the apoflle in con- 
firmation of his aficrtion, is cxpreflly applied to his refur- 
re£tion and the glory that enfued. And this unrivalled 
preference is plainly included in that grant of all power 
which our Lord himfclf mentions, (Matt, xxviii. 13.) and 
which Saint Paul expounds, (Ephef. i. 21, 22.) to which 
we may add, that the firfl teflimony ufed by the apoftle is 
the word that God fpake unto his king, when he fet him 
upon his holy hill of Sion, [Pfalm ii. 6, 7, 8.] which 
typically exprelTeth his glorious enilalment in his heavenly" 

§ 4. (III.) In this preference and exaltation of the 
Lord Chrifl, there is a degree intimated ; being made * fo 
' much more, &c.' Now our conceptions here are wholly 
to be regulated by the name given him. Confider, faith 
the apoflle, how much the name given the Mefiiah, ex- 
cels the names given to angels j fo much doth he him- 
fclf excel them in glory, authority, and power ; for their 
names are feverally given them of God, to fignify their 
fi:ate and condition. Obferve, faith he, how they are 
called of God, by what names and titles he owns them, 
and you may learn the difference between them. This 
7iame he mentions in the next verfe ; God faid unto him, 
* Thou art my fon, this day have I begotten thee.' It 
is not abfolutely his being the Son of God that is intended ; 
but that by the teftimony of the Holy Ghoft, God faid 
thcfe words unto him. * Thou art my Son ;' and there- 
by declared his flatc and condition, to be far above that of 
the angels. 

§ 5. (IV.) The lafl thing confiderable is, how the 
Lord Chrift came by this name ? (Ks;iA'/7Gc:o^av;x.i) He 
' obtained it by inheritance,' as his peculiar lot and por- 
tion for ever. As he was made the heir of all, fo he 
inherited a more excellent name than the angels. Now 
he was made heir of all, in tliat all things being made and 
I formed 

54 AN EXPOblTlON OF THE Chap. L 

formed by him, the Father con)mlttcd unto him as mediae 
lor a pccuUar power over all things, to be dilpofed of by 
bun for all the ends of his mediation : fo alfo being the 
natural and eternal Son of God, upon the difcliarge of his 
-vkork, the Father declared and pronounced that to be his 
name , [Sec Luke i. 35. Ifa. vii. 14. ix. 6.] His bcin^ 
the Son of God is the proper foundation of his being 
called Jo \ and his dilcharge of his oflkc the occajion of its 
declaration ; fo he came unto it * by right of inheri- 

* tancL*,* when he was * declared to be the Son of God 

* with power, by the refurreclion from the dead,' [Rom. 

i. 4-] 

§ 6. This difcourfe of the apoftle, proving the pre- 
eminence of the MelTiah above the angels, was peculiarly 
neceflary to the Hebrews ; and it is to this day a traditioii 
amongft them, that " the Melliah Hiall be exalted above 
Abraham, and Mofes, and the miniikring angels." Be 
fides, they acknowledged the fcripturcs of the Old Tcila- 
meiit wherein the apoille ihews them this truth was con- 
tained. But they were dull and ilow in making the pro- 
fitable application of thefc principles for the contirmatioa 
of their faith in the goi'pel, as the apoftle chargeth them, 
[chap. V. II, 12.] We may farther remark, that they 
bad at that time great fpeculations about the gloiy, digm 
uity, and excelleney of angels, and were fallen into a 
kind of worlhippingof them. And it is not improbable, 
that this vain curiolity, and dangerous fupcrdition, was 
heightened by the cojitroverfy agitated between the Pha- 
rifecs and Saduccs about them ; the latter denying their 
exigence, thc/sr;^;, whom the body of the people fol- 
lowed, exalting them above meafurc, and inclining to an 
idolatrous vcticration of them. It was nccclfary, there- 
fore, in ore' r to take them off from tliis idolatrous fupcr- 
llition, to inflruft them in the pre-eminence of tlie Re- 
deemer above them all ; that fo their thoughts might be 
difcdcd to, and their trull placed in him alone. 

§ 7. ObJ. All pre-eminence and exaltation of one 
above others depends on the fupreme counfel and will ot 
C#oJ. Chrift, as mediator, is a pattern of all privileges 



a«id pre-eminence in others. Grace, mercy, and glory, 
i'piritual and eternal things, arc thole wlierein really there 
is any difference among the Ions of men ; and that any 
one in this refpecl is preferred before another, depends 
merely 01:1 the fole good pleafure of God ; feeing no one 
in thefe things makes himfelf to differ from another, 
neither is he poffcffed of any thing that he hath not re- 
ceived. And this difcrimination of things by the fu-r 
preme will of God, efpeciaily fpiritual and eternal, is the 
fpring and rule of all that gloiy which he will manifeil j 
and in which he will be eternaliv exalted. 

Verse 5. 
for unto which qf the angels said he at any 


§ I. Introduci'ion. § 2. The apDjllc' s manner of producing 
the te/iimony. § 3 — 5. (II.) The tcjiimony itfc If produ- 
ced. § 6 — 8. (III.) The genuine fenfe of the pajfage. 
§ 9 — ^3* Obfervations. 

§ I. X HE apoflie here proceeds to confirm his propo- 
jition concernmg the pre-eminence of the Meffiah above 
the angels, by fundry teftimonies produced out of the Old 
Teflament ; two of which are contained in this verfe. 
Let us coniider, 

I. The manner in which the apoftle produces the tef- 
timony ; * Unto which of the angels faid he at any 
' time ?' 

II. The teft'imony itfelf * Thou art my Son, this day 
t have I begotten thcc.' ^vVc fhall then, 

Vol. IL 1 III. Li- 


III. Inquire into tlic genuine lenfe of the pafTiige, 

IV. Make foinc obfcrvations. 

§ 2. (1.) In the fonner tlircc things may be obferved : 

1. That the tellimony infiikd on being a matter ol" 
faith^ is that of l\\c jcriptuye.. Our apoflle here confidently 

refers the Hebrews to the acknowledged rule of their taith 
:l\\l\ worlliip ; whofe authority he knew they would not 
decline, [Ifa, viii. 21,] 

2. That the apoflle argues yicgni'ivcly from the aullio- 
rity and ]>erfe6lion of the fcripture in things relating to 
faith and the worlhip of God, It is no where faid in 
the fcripture to angels ; therefore they have not the name 
fpoken of, or not in Uiat manner wherein it is afcribed to 
the MelHah. An argument taken negatively from the 
authority of the fcripture in matters of faith, or what re- 
lates to the worfhip of God, is valid and efleftual, and 
liere confccralcd for ever for the ufc of the church. 

3. That the apoftle either indeed grants, or clfc, for 
argument fake, condcfcends to the apprchenlions of the 
Hebrew?, that there is a diilin^lion of degrees and pre- 
eminence amongft the angels thcmfelves. * To which 
* of the angels faid he ?' This refpefts not only the com- 
inunity of tlicm, but any or all of the chief or princes 
among tiiem. 

§ 3. (II.) W'q now proceed to the icjllmany itfelf \\(t\c 
produced. Three things arc required to make it perti- 
nent to the t\\i\ propofcd — I'hat the IMcffiah is intended 
■ — that a signal name be appropriated to liim^ — that this 
be a proot of his pre-eminence above angels. 

I. That it is the Aitjjluh who is prophcfied of in tiic 
fecond Pfalm, from whence the words are taken. This 
with all Chriftians is put bevond difputc by its applica- 
tifiii to Chriil in fcv^ral places of the Xcw Tcilament, 
.is Av\s iv. 2 5---2 7. A(fls xiii. 33. lleb. v. ^. It is 
certain alfo, that the Jews cilcemed that Pfalm to relate to 
the Melljah. Eut it was not enough for tl»e apuOle, tlmt 
thofc with whom he dealt cuknox'lfagru thcfc thing., un- 
jefs they were really fo ; lln^ his argument mii^ht pro- 



ceed (ex vnis) from wlnt wns true, as well as {ex cojicrjjis) 
from what was granted. There is no corent reafon why we 
Ihoukl acknowledge David and his kingdom to be at ail 
intended in this Pfalm. The apoilles, we fee, apply it to 
the Lord Chrill without any mention of David, and that 
four feveral times ; twice in the Afts, and twice in this 
epiflle. We may indeed grant that conlideration was 
had of David and his kingdom typically, but not abfolute- 
ly. When the thing lignificd is principally aimed at, it 
is not necelLiry that every thing fpoken ihould be ap- 
plicable properly to the type itfe-lf ; it being fufficient that 
there was in the type fomewhat that bore a general refem- 
blance to what was principally intended. On the contra- 
ry, where the type is principally intended, and an appli- 
cation made to the thing iigniiied only by way of general 
allufion, there it is not required that all the particulars 
affigned to the type fhould belong to the anti-type. Hence 
though in general David, and his deliverance from trouble, 
with the eilablifhment ol his throne, might be refpefted in 
this Plalm, as an obfcUre reprefcntation of the kingdom of 
Chrill ; yet fundry particulars in it, and among them this 
mentioned by oUr apoftle, fcem to have no rcfpc<!:1 to him, 
but direftly and immediately to intend the Mefhah. If it 
yet he fuppofed that what is hence fpoken, * Thou art 
* my Son, this day have I begotten thee,' is alfo to be ap- 
plied to David-, yet it is not afcribed to him perfonally 
and abfolutely, but merely confidered as the type of Chrift: 
what then is principally and dire<flly intended in the 
"Words, is to be fought for in Chrift alone ; it being fuffi- 
cient to preferve the nature of the type, that there was in 
David any refemblance or reprefcntation of it. Thus, 
w^hcthcr David be admitted here as a type of Chrifl or nr, 
the apolllc's purpofe ftands firm, that the words weie 
principally and properly fpoken of the Mcffiah. 

§ 4. 2. It is required tliat in the tc-flimony produced a 
fignal name be appropriated to the Mcffiah, fo as that he 
may inherit it exclufively. It is not being calkd by this 
or that name, in common with others, that is intended; 
but fuch a j)eculiar afhgnatioii of a name to him, as 

i 2 where- 


whereby he might for ever be diftinguiflied from others. 
Thus many may be * beloved of tl>e Lord,' and be (o 
termed ; but yet Soloj7imi only was peculiarly called (nnn*) 
'Jcdcd'iah ; and by that name was diftinguilhed from others, 
in this way it is that the Mclliah has this name alTigned 
to him. He is not called the ' Son of God' upon fuch 
a common account as angels and men, the one by creation 
the other by adoption, peculiarly and by way of emi- 

§ 5. 3. This name mufl be fuch a«^ proves his pre- 
eminence above all the angels. It was never faid to any 
angel perfonally, upon his own account, ' Thou art the 
' Son of God,' efpecially with the reafon of the appella- 
tion annexed; * This day have I begotten thee.' It is 
not, tlien, the general name of ' a fon,' or ' the fons' of 
God, that the apoUlc inlillcth on, but the peculiar afTigna- 
tion of this name to the Lord Jefus on his own particular 
account, with the reafon fubjoincd, * this day have 1 bcgot- 

* ten thee.' And this appropriation proves his unrival- 
led dignity : for it is evident, that God intended thereby 
to declare his fingular honour and glorv, giving him a 
name to denote it, that was never allkiicd to anv mere 
creature, as his peculiar inheritance. 

§ 6. (111.) Wc Ihall brictiy inquire after the genuine 
fcnle of the words abfolutcly confidercd. Expofilors are 
n^uch divided about the precife intcntnicnt of this phralc, 

* This day have I begotten thee.' Some fuppofc the words 
contain the f(;rmal reaion of Chriil being properly called 
the Son of God, and lo to denote his »'ternal generation. 
Others take the words only to exprefs an o^ca/ion of giving 
this name at a certain feafon to the Lord Chrift, when he 
was revealed or declared to be the Son of (lod. And 
fome alhgn this to the day of his incarnatlo)!, when he de- 
clared him to be liis Son, and that he Ihould be fo called, 
(Luke i. 35.] Some to the day of his bnptifmy when he 
was again folcmnly proclaimed^ from heaven to be in, 
[Matt. iii. 17.] Some to the day of hi> rcfurrcrtion^ when 
he was declared to be ilic Son of God with power, [Rom. 
i. 3. Ads xiii. 33. J And fome to the day of his afcen/icn. 



All thcfe interpretations are confiftent and reconcileable 
with each other, inafmuch as they arc all means lerving 
to the fame end ; that of his rcjurrccl'ion from the dead 
being the moil fignal, and fixed upon in particular by our 
apolUe in his application of this tcftimony : [A«5ls xiii. 
^3.] And in this {tw{^ alone the words have any ap- 
pearance of refpe<St to David as a type of Chrifl ; as he 
was raifed up and eftabliflied in his rule and kingdom. 
Neither indeed does the apoflle treat m this place of the 
eternal generation of the Son, but of his exaltatioa and 
pre-eminence above angels. The eternal Sonihip is to be 
taken only dcclaratlvely ; and that declaration to be mads 
in his refurreftion and exaltation. But everv one is left 
to the liberty of his own judgement herein. And this is 
the tiril teflimony, whereby the apoftle confirms his af* 
fertion^ from the name that he inherits as his peculiar right 
and pofleliioni 

§ 7% For the fartheif confirmation of the fame truth he 
adds another teftlmony of the fame import : ' And again, 
* I will be to him a father, and he fliall be to me a fon.* 
Lideed the main difficulty, with which cxpofitors gene- 
rally trouble themfelves in this place, arlfcth purely from 
their own miilake. They cannot underfland how thefe 
w^ords fliould prove a ' natural fonfliip' of Jefus Chrifl, 
which they fuppofe they are produced to confirm ; feeing 
it is from thence that he is exalted above the angels. But 
the truth is, the words are not defigned to any fuch end ; 
his aim being only to prove, that the Lord Chrill has a 
name afiigned him more excellent, either in itfelf, or in 
the manner of its being attributed, than any that is given 
to the angels ; which is the medium of his argument to 
prove him the mofl exalted revealer of the will of God. 
The words are taken from IL Sam. vii. 14. and are 
part of the anfwer returned from God to David by Na- 
than, upon his refolution to build him an houfe. The 
difficulty arifeth hence, that it is not cafy to apprehend 
how any thing at all in thcfc words ihould be appropri- 
ated to Chrift. 

I. Some 


1. Some cutting; that knot which they fuppofc cannot 
othervvifc be untied, affirm that Solomon is not intended 
in thcfe words, hut that they are a dirccl r.nd immediate 
prophecy of Chrift, who was to be the ion of David, and 
who was to build the fpiritual houfe or temple of God. 
But this is to make the whole anfwer of God ecjuivocal. 
I*'or David inquired of Nathan about building an houfe or 
temple : Nathan returns him an anfwer from God, that 
he (hall not do fo^ but that his Son Ihould perform that 
work* This anfwer David undcrlhinds of his immediate 
fon, and of a material houfe, and thereupon makes an 
anfwerable provifion for it. It remains then, that Solo- 
mon primarily and immediately is intended in thefe 

2. Some on the other hand affirm, the \\ho!e prophecy 
to be lb exclufively fulfilled in Solomon, tliat there is no 
direcfl rcfpe6l therein to our Lord fefus Chriil. The 
words, * If he commit iniquity I will chaftife him with the 

* rod of men ;* cannot, fay thcv, be applied to him who 
did no iin, neither was there guile found In his mouth. 
'J'hey therefore plead, that the apoftle applied thefe words 
to Chriil only by wav of allcgorv. But, 

3. The words here cited principallv concern the perfon 
of Chriil himfelf, yet being uttered in the form of a cove- 
nant, they have refpc6t alio to him as the head of tliat 
covenant, which God make* with all the elect in him. 
And thusChrllt's mvllical head and members are rcterreJ 
to in tl»e prophecy ; and therefore David in pleading thl> 
oracle [Pfalm Ixxxix. 30.] changcth thofe words, * if he 

* commit iniquity,* into * if his children forfakc my law.* 

§ 8. But more particularly wc may fay with others, that 
both Solomon and Chrift are here intended ; Solomon li- 
terally as the type ; Chrifl principally and myilically as ty- 
pified. Our fenfc herein ffiall be farther explained and 
coniirmcd in the cnluing confiderations. 

i» There never was a^y c.r type of Chriil and his 
offices, that int'irch reprefcnted him, and all his undertak- 
ings, bccaufc of tlie perfe^ion of his perfon, and the ex- 
cellency of hii office. I knee the multiplying of types. 

2. Ko 


2. No type of Chriil was in all things a type of him, but 
only in fome exprcflly intended particular. Thus David 
was a type of Chrift in conquering the church's enemies, 
&c. but not in his private a£tions, whether as man, king, 
or captain, 

3. Not ali things fpoken of a typical perfon, even iu 
that wherein he was a type, are fpoken of him as a type ; 
but fome of them may belong to him in his perfonal capa- 
city only. And the reafon is plain, becaufe he who was 
a type by God's inllitution, might morally fail in the per- 
formance of his duty, even in thofe things wherein he 
was a type. Thus that* expreffion, * If lie lin againft me,* 
related to the moral duty of Solomon in the typical admi^ 
?iijhation of his kingdom. 

4. What is fpoken of any type, as fuch, doth not really* 
and properly belong to him, or that, which was the type, 
but the anti-type. For as to the type itfelf, it was enough, 
that it polTelTed fome refemblance of what was principally- 
intended ; the things belonging to the anti-type being af- 
firmed of it only analogically^ on account of the relation 
between them by God's inllitution. Thus at the facri- 
lice of expiation, the fcape goat is faid to ' bear away the 

♦ fms of the people into a land not inhabited ;' not really, 
but only in an inilituted reprefentation j for the law w^as 
given by Mofes, but grace and truth came by Jefus Chrift, 
Much lefs may the things confequent upon Chrifl's real 
taking away of our fins, be afcribed to the devoted beaft. 
So in this cafe, the words applied by the apoflle do not at 
all prove that Solomon, of whom they were typically 
fpoken, fhould be preferred above all angels ; feeing he 
only reprefentcd him who was fo reftri£lively, not abfo- 
lutely. Thcfe conliderations being premifcd, I fay, the 
words infilled on by the apoftle, ' I will be to him a 

* father and he ihall be unto me a fon,' belonged prima- 
rily to Solomon, denoting the fatherly love, care, and pro- 
tection that God would afford him in his kingdom, fo 
far as Chriil was reprefented by him therein, which re- 
quires not that they mud abfolutcly, and in ali jull con- 
sequences, belong to tlie perfon of Solomon i but princi^ 

3 pally 


fally they intend Chrlil hinifclf, cxprciTing that eternal 
linchangcahlc love vvliich the Father bore to him, grounded 
on tlic relation of fatlier and Ton. Now herein God pro- 
miTetli to be to Cluift, as exalted to his throne, a father 
in love, care, and power, to protect and carry him on m 
hii ruie to the end of the world. And, tlicreforc, npoa 
his aiccniionhe fays, that he went to ' his God and Father,' 
{John XX. 17.] and he rules in the name and majefty of 
God, [Mic. V. 4.] This, and not the eternal- ana natu- 
ral relation that fubiifls between the Father and Son, whicli 
neither is nor can be the fu bjc6t of any promifc is intended. 
And this is the apoflle's firft argument whereby he proves 
that the Son, as the rcvealer of the mind and will of God 
in the gofpel, is made more excellent thari the angels, 
whole glory was a refuge to the Jews in their adherence 
to legal rights. According to our propofcd method we 
ihali [§ 9. IV.] draw hence Ibmc inilruclions for our ufe 
and edification. 

Ohf. I. Every thing in the fcrlpture is inflru6tive. The 
apoflle's arguing in this place is not fo much from the 
tiling fpuken, as from the 77ianner wherein it is fpoken. 
Nothing in fcripture is ufclefs, nothing needlefs, becaufe 
• it proceeds from infinite \Vifdom, which hath put an im- 
prefs of itfelf upon it, and filled all its capacity ; it being 
full of wifdom as the fca is of water, which fills and 
covers all the parts of it. The infpired volume contains, 
direflly or by confequence, the whole revelation of God 
to men. God hath given it to his fervants for their con- 
tinual excrcife day and night, and requires of them thch* 
\itmoft diligence and Qn(\^: vours. A conftant av»e of the 
raajclty, authority, and holinefs of God in his word is 
the only teachable frame, and the humble are made wih: 
therein — it is an endiefs ftorehoufe, a bottomlt'fs treafurc 
of divine truth : there Is gold in every fand of it ; ?.\\ the 
wife men in the world mav, each one for himfelf, learn 
Ibmc important Icllbn out of every word, confldered in its 
proper connection, and yet leave enough flill bciiiiid tor 
the inftru(f^ion of all that fhall come after them. The 
fountains and fprlngs of wifdgm la it arc deep, and wid 



never be dry. We may have much truth and power out 
of a word ; fonietimes €non?h^ but never all that is in it. 
There will ilill be enough remaining to exercile and re- 
frefh us anew for ever. So that we may attain a true fenfe, 
but we can never attain xhtfull i^wk of any place. 

§ 12. Obf. 2. It is lawful to draw confequences from 
fcripture aiTertions ; and fuch confequences rightly de- 
duced are infallibly true and decilive. Thus from the 
?tamc given to Chrill, the apoflle deduceth, by jufl confc- 
quence, his exaltation and pre-eminence above angels. 
Nothing will rightly follow from truth but what is true, 
and that of the fame nature with the truth from.whence it 
is deduced ; fo that whatever, by jufl: confequence, is 
drawn from the word of God, is itfelf alfo the word of 
God, and of truth infallible : and to deprive the church 
of this liberty in the interpretation of the word, is to de- 
prive it of the chief benefit intended by it. This is that 
on which the whole ordinance of preaching is founded ; 
which makes that which is derived from the word, to have 
the power, authority, and efficacy of the word accompa- 
nying it. Thus, though it be the proper work and efFeft 
of the word of God to quicken, regenerate, fan£tify, and 
purify the ele6t, and the word primarily and directly is 
only that which is written in the fcriptures ; yet we find 
all thefe effe£ls produced by the preaching of the word, 
when perhaps not one fentence of the fcripture is repeated 

§ 13. Ohf. 3. The declaration of Chrifl to be the Son 
of God is originally the care hnd work of the Father. It 
is the delign of the Father in all things to glorify the Son ; 
that all men may honour him even as they honour the 

§ 14. Obf. 4. God the Father is perpetually prefent 
with the Lord love, care, and power, while 
engaged in the adminiitration of his office, as he is the 
mediator, head, and king of the church. He hath taken 
upon himfelf to {land by him, to own him, to efFe£l every 
thing that is needful for the eflablifhment of his throne, 
the enlargement of his kingdom, the ruin and dellrudion 

Vol. II. K of 


of his cncmlcii. And this he will afTuredly do to the end 
of the world, bccaufe he hath promifed to give him ii 
throne, a glorious kingdom, an cverlajlhig rule and go- 
vernment ; and what he hath promifed in love and grace, 
lie will make good with care and power. [Sec Ifa. xlix. 
^ — -Q. ch. iv. 7^9-] Belidcs, thele and fmiilar promifes 
liavc refped to the obedience of Chrift in the work of me- 
diation, which being performed ftri£lly and to the utmoll:, 
gives him a peculiar right to them ; and n>akcs that juft 
and righteous in the performance, wlvich was merely fove- 
reign grace in the promife. The condition being abfo- 
Jutely performed, the promife iliall be ccrtamly accom- 
plifhed. Again, God hath appointed him to reign in the 
niidft of his enemies, and mighty oppolitions are made on 
all hands to his whole defign and every part. This makes 
the prefence of the authority and power of the Father ne- 
ceflary to him in his work. This he alTerts as a great 
ground of confolation to his difciples. [John x. 28, 29.] 
There will be great plucking, great contending to take 
believers out of the hand of Chriil, one way or other, to 
make them come fhort of eternal life ; and though his 
own power be fuch, as is able to preferve them, yet he lets 
them know alfo for their greater affu ranee and confola- 
tion, that his Father, who is over all, is greater and 
more powerful than all, greater than he himfelf in tl>c 
work of mediation, [John xiv. 28 ] is alfo engaged with 
him in their defence. The Lord {lands by him on his 
right hand, to fmite and tread down his enemies ; all that 
rife againfl his defign, intereft, and kingdom, be they 
never fo manv, and never fo great, he will ruin them, 
and make them his footllool every one. [Sec Micah v. 4. J 


Ver.6. epistle to the HEBREWS. 65 

Verse 6. 

and again, when he bringeth in the first-be- 

§ I. Connexion of the words. § 2. In what fenfe Chr'ift 
is firjfi born, § 3. The fuhjea Jlated. §4. (I.) That 
the Son is intended in the paffage referred to. § 5. (11.) 
That they are the angels who are commanded to worfhip him, 
§ 6. (III.) The force of the conch fion, Chrif^s pre-cmi- 
7ience above angels. § 7. — li. (IV.) Obfcrvations. 

§ I. X HE apollle proceeds to the confirmation of 
the fame important truth, by another teftimony. The 
phrafe of * bringing him in,' refers to Old Teftament 
promifes of his coming into the world, [Mai. iii. 1,2.] 
^ The Lord whom ye feek fhall come— but who may 

* abide the day of his coming ?* Now it was not any one 
fpecial acl, nor any one particular day, that was defigned 
in that and the like promifes : but it is the whole work 
of God in bringing forth the Mefliah by his conception, 
nativity, unftion with the Spirit, rofurreftion, fending 
of the Holy Ghoft, and preaching of the gofpel, which 
is the fubject of thofe promifes. * When he brings the 

* firft-born into the world ;' that is — after he had kept 
his churcli, under the adminiflration of the law given 
by angels, in the hands of Mofes' the typical mediator, 
in expc6lation of the promifed Mefliah— when he bring- 
eth him forth to, and carries him on triumphantly through 
his work, he fays, ' Let all the angels of God worfhip 

* him.' {Jlporryjjvrj(rc^oco-c^v ccvju^) * Worfliip him.' The 
word, in the New Teflament, is no where ufcd but for 
religious worj^ip, which is due to God alone ; and when 
it is recorded of any that they did {TTOorrKV^uy}' perform thi 

K 2 diit^ 


duty and homage ^denoted by this word to any but Godf it is 
alio recorded as their idolatry, [Rev. xiii. 12. 16.] As to 
feveral forts of religious worlhip divcrfitkd by its objc£ls, 
the fcripturc knows nothing of it. The word properly 
denotes to boiv dozvrif and when it refers to God, it 
refpe(^s the inward reverence and fubjcclion of our 
minds. And without controverfy, he who is to he wor- 
fhipped, is greater than they whofc duty it is to worlhip 

§ 2. In what fenfe is Chrift called (TrpcoToroxcg) * the 
* firft-born f' The common anfwer is, not that ;iny was 
born after him, (in the fame way) but that none was 
born before him. But if we fuppofe that his perfon and 
eternal generation may be intended in this expreflion, we 
mull make {TroujroTOKOc) ' the firft-born,' to be the fame 
with (jLcoj/oytvvj^) * only begotteiv,' which is now^ allowable. 
On the other hand, Chrill: has not many brctliren in the 
fame kind of fonlliip, whereby he is himfelf the Son of 
God, and is on that account called the liril-born ; be- 

1. Chrifl in his fonfhip is (^xovcycvvjc) the only begotten 
Son of God; and therefore it is impoffible that God 
lliould have any more fons in the fame kind with him ; 
for if he had, certainly the Lord Chrifl could not be 
(iLOvoyiyeig) his only begotten Son ; beiides, his elTence be- 
ing infinite, took up the whole nature of divine fdiation; 
fo that it is impojjiblc there JJjoidd be any other of the fame 

2. The only kind of fonfliip that believers fhare in, 
is that of adoption. Now if Chrill: be the Son of God in 
this kind, he muft of uecellitv, antecedently to his adop- 
tion, be a member of another family, that is, of the fa- 
mily of Satan and the world, as we arc by nature, and 
from thence be tranfplantcd by adoption into the family 
of God ; which is blafphcmy to imagine. 

3. If this were fo, that the Lord Chrift and believers 
were the Sons of God by the fame kind of fonfhip, dif- 
fering only in degrees, what great matter is there in the 
condcfccnfion mcntionecf by the apofllc, [chap. ii. 11.] 


Veii,6. epistle to the HEBREWS. 67 

tiiat he is not adiamed to call them brethren ; which yet 
he compares with the condei'ceiiiion of God, in being 
called their God, [chap. xi. 16.] It is not, therefore, 
the thing itfelf, of being the firjl-horn^ but the dignity and 
privilege that attended it, which are defigned in this ap- 
pellation, [fo Col. i. 15.] He is faid to be (ttdwtoto^co^ 
^oi(Tr^q yjTKTiicg) ' tlie firit-born of the creation ;' which is 
no more but he that hath power and authority over all 
the creatures of God ; and implies the fame with what 
we have iniided on, of his being ' heir of all,' which 
was the privilege of the firfl-born. And this privilege 
was fomctimes tranfmitted to others that were not the 
firfl-born, although the natural courfe of their nativity 
could not be changed, [Gen. xxi. 10. xlix. 3, 4. 8.] The 
Lord Chrift, then, by the appointment of the Father, be- 
ing entrufted with the whole inheritance of heaven and 
earth, and authority to difpofe of it, that he might give 
out portions to all the reft of God's family, really is, and 
is therefore called, the firji-hom thereof. This is the 
fum : again, in another place, where the Holy Ghoft fore- 
tells bringing forth into the world, amongft men, him 
that is the Lord and heir of all, to undertake his work, 
and to enter into his kingdom and glory, the Lord fpeaks 
to this purpofe, * Let all the angels of God worlhip 
* him.' 

§ 3. To manifeft the propriety, appoiitenefs, and force 
of this teftimony, three things are required : 

I. That it is the Son who is intended in the pafTagc 
referred to, and fo deiigned as the perfon to be wor- 

II. That they are angels who are commanded to wor- 
lliip him. Whence it will follow, 

III. That on thefe fuppofitions the w^ords prove the 
pre-eminence of Chrift above angels. And then, 

IV. Way will be made for fuitable obfervations. 

§ 4. (I.) With them who acknowledge the divine au- 
thority of this epiftle, it might be fufficient for the fup- 
port and dignity of this argument, to refleft, that the 
place is applied to Chrift, and this paflage to miniftering 



angels, by the fame liifallible Spirit who firft indited the 
fciipture. Many of the ancients conceive the words to be 
cited from Deut, xxxii. 42. where they exprellly occur in 
tlic Sept. tranflation : but there arc no fuch words in the 
original text, nor any thing fpoken that might give occa- 
i'lon to the (cnCc cxprelTed in them ; but the whole verfe 
is infcrtcd in the Greek, verfion quite befides the fcope of 
the place. And indeed 1 no way queftion, but that this 
addition to the GtecJc text was made i^fter the apoftle had 
ufed this teflimony. For feme officious pcrfon, notcon- 
fidcring from whence it was taken, becaufc the words 
do not occur exatlly in the Greek, it is not unlikely in- 
fcrtcd it there amidft other words of an alike found. 
But later expofitors generally agree, that the words arc 
taken out of Pfalm xcvii. 7. where the original is ren- 
dered by the Sept. witli a very fmall variation in the 
words, and none at all in the fenfe. And the matter of 
the Pfalm makes it manifefl, that the Holy Ghoft treats in 
it about God's ' bringing in the firft- begotten into the 

• woild,* and t!ic fctting up of his kingdom by him. A 
kingdom is dcfcribcd wherein (yod would reign, which 
Should dcftrov idolatry and falfe worlliip ; a kingdom 
vrhercin the illcs of the Gentiles fliould rejoice, being 
called to an intcrcil therein ; a kingdom that was to be 
preached, proclaimed, to the increafe of light and holi- 
nefs in the world, with tlie manifeliation of tlic glory of 
God to the ends of the earth. Each part declares the 
kingdom of Chrifl to be intcniled in the Pfalm, and con- 
fcquently that it is a prophecy of the ' biinging in of the 

* tiril-begottcn into tlie world.* 

^ 5. (H.) Our fccond inquirv is, whether the an- 
gels be intended in thcfc woi ds. Some, as all the mo- 
dern Jews, fay, that the gods of the Gentiles, thofe 
whom they worlhip, are intendid ; fo confounding (o'nV^^ 
C3''/'Vs) j»-5^.v and ^•Jin idols in this place ; but, 

It cannot Ix:, that the pralmill Ihouid exhort the 
idols of the heathen, fome whereof were devils, fomc 
dead iTKU, fome inanimate p;irts of the creation, to a 


Ver.6. epistle to THE HEBREWS. ^ 

reverential worfliipping of God reigning over all. Be- 

The Word Elohim doth never alone, and abfolntcly 
taken^ iignify falfe gods or idols, but only when it is 
joined with fome other word difcovering its application ; 
as " his god," or *' their gods," or the gods of this or 
that people : in which cafe it is rendered by the Sept, 
fometimes {-i^mKov) " an idol," fometimes (yjru0770i'.]lo-A 
an " idol made with hands," fometimes (Pj^zKh^y^a) an 
'* abomination;" but here it hath no fuch limitation or 
rcflridion. Whereas therefore there are fome creatures, 
who by reafon of fome peculiar excellency and likcnefs to 
God, or fubordination to him in his work, are called 
gods, it maft be thefe, or fome of them, that are intended 
in the expreffion : now thefe are either mag'ijlratcs or 
angels ; not the farmer, there being no occaiion admlnif- 
tered for fuch an apoftrophe, therefore che latter, who are 
called Elohim (7\-you.ivoL ^loi. Cor. viii. 5.) are intended. 
Having called on the w^iole creation to rejoice in the 
bringing forth of the kingdom of God, and prefTed his 
exhortation upon things on the earth, he turns to the 
miniflering angels, and calls on them to the difcharge.of 
their duty to the king of that kingdom. For the com- 
mand itfelf, it confifted in thefe two thiiigs : 

1 . A declaration of the ftate and condition of the Mef- 
iiah, which is fuch, as that he is a meet obje£l of religious 
adoration to the angels, and attended with peculiar mo- 
tives to the difcharge of their duty. The former he hatli 
from his divine nature, the latter from his work, with his 
flate and dignity that cnfued thereon. 

2. An intimation of the pleafurc of God to the angels — 
not merely that divine worfliip was abfolutely due to the 
Son of God, for that thev knew from the firrt iiiHant o^ 
their creation, but — that all honour and glory wore due 
to him on account of his work and office, as mediator and 
king of his church. 

§ 6. (III.) It remalneth only, that w^e hint how this 
teftimony, thus explained, was fuitable to the apollle's 
defign and purpofc. Now^ it is impoHible that there 



fliould be any more clear or full demonftration of thiy 
truth, that the Lord Chrifl hath an unfpcakable pre-emi- 
nence above the angels, than this, tiiat they are all ap- 
pointed and commanded by God himfclf to adore him 
with divine and religious "jcorjh'ip. We may now, there- 

§ 7. (IV.) Confider what obfervations the words will 
afford us for our own inftru<fllon. 

Ohf. I. The authority of God fpcaking in the fcripturc 
is that alone which divine faith refls upon, and is to be 
refolvcd into. ' He faithJ' For as faith is an a<ft of reli- 
gious obedience, it refpefts the authority of God requiring 
it ; and as it is a religious infallible aflent of the mind, it 
regards the truth and veracity of God as its objcft. On 
this alone it rcfls, * God faith.' And in whatever God 
fpeaks in the fcripture, his truth and authority manifeft 
themfelvcs to the fatisfacSlion of faith, and no where elfe 
doth it find reft. 

§ 8. Obf. 2. For the begetting, incrcafing, and ftrength- 
cning of taith, it is ufcful to have important and funda- 
mental truths confirmed by many tcftimonics of fcripturc. 
* Again he faith.' Any one word of God is lufricicnt to 
cftablifh the moft important truth to eternity, fo as to 
uphold the falvatlon of all mankind if fufpended thcrcoiv^ 
neither can any thing impeach or weaken what is fo con- 
firmed. Rut God dealeth not upon ftri6l terms. Infinite 
condcfccnfion lies at the bottom of all his dealings with 
us. He rcfpc£\s not what the nature of the thing ftriftjy 
requires, but what is needful to our infirmities. Hence he 
multiplies his commands and promifes, and confirms a4l 
by his oath, fwcaring to his truth by himlcU, to take 
away all pretence of diftriKT: and unbelief. For this caufe, 
alfo, he multiplies teftimonics to the truth, wherein the 
concerns of his glory and our obedience lie ; what is (it 
may be) obfcure in one, is cleared in another ; and fo 
what doubts and fears remain on the confidcration of one 
teftimony, are removed by another, whereby the fouls of 
believers are carried on to a full all'urance : and, therefore, 
becaufe fuch is our wcakncfs that there is great need 
2 thereof 


thereof in ourfelves, fuch is the goodnefs of God that 
there is no want of it in the word. And this fhould 
teach us to abound in the ll:udy and fcarch of the fcrlp- 
tures, that we may thereby come to be eftabhfhcd in the 
truth. God hath thus left us many teilimonies to each 
important truth, and he hath not done it in vain ; he 
knows our need of it ; and for us to neglect this great 
efled of divine wifdom, grace, and love, is unfpeakable 

s^ 9. Ohf. 3. The whole creation is deeply concerned 
in God's bringing forth Chrifl into the world, and his 
exaltation in his kingdom, 

(1.) Becaufe in that work confifled the principal ma- 
iilfcilation of the wifdom, power, and goodnefs of God. 
The very inanimate parts of the v/orld are introduced, bj^ 
a figure, rejoicing, exulting, fhouting, and clapping their 
hands, vvlien the glory of God is manifefled ; in all which, 
their fuitablenefs and propenfity to their proper end is 
declared ; as alfo, by their being burdened and groaning 
under fuch a ilate and condition of things, as doth any 
way eclipfe the glory of their Maker. Now in this work 
©f bringing forth the firfl-born is the glory of God prin- 
cipally and eminently exalted : for the Lord Chrifl is the 
brightnefs of his glory; and in him the treafures of wif- 
dom, grace, and goodnefs are laid up. 

(2.) The whole creation receiveth a real advancement 
and honour in the Son being made ' the firfl-born of 
* every creature,' that is, the fpecial heir and Lord of 
them all. Their being brought into a new dependence 
on the Lord Chrifl, is their honour, and they are exalted 
by becoming his pofTeflion. And however any part of it be 
violently, for a feafon, detained under its old bondage, yet 
it hath fubflantial grounds of an earnefl expectation of a 
full and total deliverance, a glorious liberty, by virtue of 
this primogeniture of Chrifl. 

(3.) Angels and men, the inhabitants of heaven and 
earth, the principal parts of the creation, on whom God 
hath in an efpeciai manner cnflamped his own likenefs 
and iniage, are hereby made partakers of fuch ineftimable 

Vol. IL ' L benefits 


benefits, as indifpenfably call for rejoicing, thankfulnefs, 
and gratitude. And if this be the duty of all without 
exceptions, it is cafy to difcern in what a fpccial manncr 
it is incumbent on believers, whofc benefit and glory was 
principally intended in the whole of this ftupendous work. 
Should they be wanting in this duty, God might as of 
old call heaven and earth to witnefs ngalnd them. 

§ 10. Ohf. 4. The command of God is the ground 
and rcafon of all religious worfliip. He faith, * Worfliip 
* him, all ye angels.' Now the command of God is two- 
fold, formal and vocal ; or real and interpretative. The 
very nature of an intelligent creature made for the glory 
of God, and placed in a moral dependence upon him, and 
fubje£lion to him, hath in it the force of a command, as 
to the worfliip and fervice that God requireth. But this 
law in man being blotted and impaired through fin, God 
hath in mercy to us collefted and difpofcd all the directions 
and commands of it in vocal formal precepts, recorded in 
his word ; whereunto he hathy/z/oW^^'^^fundry new com- 
mands in the inllitutions of his worfhip. With angels it 
is otherwife. The ingrafted law of their creation requi- 
ring of them the worfhip of God, and obedience to his 
whole will, is kept and preferved entire ; fo that they 
have no need to have it exprcfled in v seal formal com- 
mands. And by virtue of this law were they obliged fo 
conftant and everlafling worfliip of the eternal Son of 
God, as being created and upheld by him. But now* 
when God brings forth his Son into the world, and placctli 
him in a new condition of being Incarnatey and fo be- 
coming the head of his church, there is a ticzo modification 
of the worfliip that is due to him brought in, and a new 
rcfpc£l to things not confidcred in the firft creation. 
Hence God gives a new command to the angels for that 
peculiar kind of worfliip and honour which is due to him 
in that ftate. I'hus in one way or other command is the 
ground and caufc of all worfliip. For, 

All worfliip is obedience; obedience rcfpc£ls authority; 
^nd authority exerts itfcif in commands. And if this au- 
tliority be not the authority of God, the worfliip per- 




formed in obedience to it, is not the worfliip of God, but 
ofhimorthem whofe commands and authority are the 
reafon and caufe of it. It is the authority of God alone 
that can make any worfliip to be religious, or the per- 
formance of it to be an a«Sl of obedience to him. 

§. II. We might hence alfo farther obfervc, 

(i.) That the mediator of the new covenant is, in 
his own perfon, * God blefled for ever,' to whom divine 
or rehgious worfliip is due from the angels themfelves. 
As alfo that, 

(2.) The Father, upon the account of the work of 
Chrift in the world, and his kingdom thence enfuing, 
gives a new command to the angels to worfhip him, his 
glory being greatly concerned therein. And that, 

(3.) Great is the church's fecurity and honour, when 
the head of it is worfhipped by all the angels in heaven. 
And alfo that, 

(4.) It can be no duty of the faints to worfhip angels, 
who are their fellow fervants in the worfhip of Jefus 

Verse 7. 

and of the angels he saith, who maketh his 
angels spirits, and his ministers a flame 


§ I. The fuhjc^ JlatccL § 2, 3. (I.) Who they are of whom 
the Pfalmijl /peaks. § 4. (II.) What it is that h^ 
affirmeth of them. § 5, 6. (III.) Obfcrvations. 


§ i.xiAVING in one teflimony from the fcripturcs^ 
exprefling the fubjedion of angels to the Lord Chrift, 
iignally proved hij main dciign ; the apoftlc proceeds ta 

L 2 hiii 


his third argument in proof of tlie fame point. And here 
ve Ilia 11 inquire, 

I. IFho they are of whom the Pfalmifl fpeaks ? 

II. If hat it is that he affirmeth of them r And then, 

III. Improve the fubjeft by fuitablc obfcrvations. 

§ 2. The modern Jews deny tl;at there is any mention 
made of angels ; and affirm, that the Pfalmifl: treats of the 
winds, with thunder and lightning, which God employs 
as his mcjjlngcrs and miniflers to acconiplilTi his will and 
pleafure. But as this opinion is diredly contradictory to 
the authority of the apollle ; fo is it alfo to the dcfign of 
the Plalmift, the fcnfe of the words, and the confvnt of 
the antient fcws ; and fo is not admiffible. — Some aver 
that the winds and meteors are pruiclpally intended, but 
yet fo, as that God affirming, that he makes the winds his 
mcircngers, doth alfo intimate that it is the work and em- 
ployment of his angels above to be his meflcngers alfo ; 
and that becaufc he maketh ufe of their minifrry to caufe 
thofc winds and fires, whereby he accomplifheth his will, 
and this they illuftrate by the fire and winds caufed by 
them on IMount Sina, at the giving of the Law. But 
this interpretation, whatever is pretended to the contrary, 
doth not rearly differ from the former, denying angels to 
be intentionally fpoken of, and only hooking in, as it were, 
a rcfpe£l to them, not lo be feen to contradid the apoflle. 
■ — Others grant, that it is the angels of whom the apofllc 
treats, but make fpirits to be the lubjc£l of what is affirm- 
ed, and angels to be the predicate. In this fenfe, God 
is faid to make thofe fpiritual fubftancts, thofe inhabitants 
of heaven, his mrjjcngers^ employing them in his fervice — 
them whofc nature is a tlaming tire, that is, the feraphims, 
to be his minijiers to accomplifh his pleafurc ; making the 
term * angels' to denote merely an employment, not 

§ 3. But neither of thcfe interpretations appears fatif- 
fa£lory. On the contrary, that the winds and tcm- 
pclls and their ufe in the earth arc not intended, either by 
the pfalmifl or the apoflle, and that the angels are pro- 
perly dcfigned by both, might be flicwn from the fcope 



and dcligii of the palTagcs— -the confent of the ailticiit 
Jews-— from the common ufe of the word (cdo«V») ren- 
dered angels, feeing no reafon can be given why it fliould 
not denote them here— -from the apoftle and Sept, fixing 
the articles before the words {(xyy-Xovg and Xstjov^yevg) 
angels and minyicrs, which plainly determine them to be 
the fubjed fpoken of. Not to iniift particularly on thefe 
things, let it be only obferved, that the apoflle's intention 
is to prove by this tellimony, that the angels are employ- 
ed mfuch vjorks and fes vices, and in fuch a manner, as thati 
t!)ey are no way to be compared to the Son of God, ia 
refpe£l of that office which, as Mediator, he hath under* 
dertaken ; which the fenfe and conflruflion now con- 
tended for, but no other, evidently prove, 

§ 4. (II.) Our next inquiry is after what is affirmed 
concerning thcfe angels and miniilers fpoken of, and that 
is, that God makes them * fpirits' and a * flame of 
* fire.* Some fuppofe that the creation of angels is con- 
tended, and the nature whereof they were made. He 
made them fpirits \ that is, of a fpiritual fuhjlance \ and 
his heavenly miniflcrs quick, powerful, agile, as a flaming 
Jire. But the pfalm evidently refers to the providence of 
God employing angels, and not to his power in making 
them. And the apoftle in this place hath nothing to do 
with the elTence and nature of the angels, but with their 
dignity, honour, and employment. Wherefore the pro- 
vidence of God in difpofing and employing of them in his 
fervice is intended in the words, and fo they may have a 
double fenfe ; either, 

I. That God employeth his angels and heavenly mi- 
nifters in the produftion of thofe tuinds (nimn) and Jir^^ 
{^rh ir«) thunder and lightning, whereby he executeth many 
judgements in the world. Or, 

(2.) A note of fimilitude may be underflood to com- 
plete the fenfe ; which is exprefTed in the Targum on the 
pfalm ; he maketh or fendeth his angels like the wind, or Ills 
a flaming fire ; maketh them fpeedy, fpiritual, agile, pow- 
erful, quickly and efFe£lually accomplilhing the work ap- 
t)ointed them. Either way this is the plain intendment of 

2 thtt 


x\\Q pfalm ; that God cmploycth his angels in cffc£ting the 
"ivorks of his providence here below, in that way and man- 
ner. This, faith the apoflle, is the teflimony which the 
Holy Ghoft gives concerning tbem ; but now confider 
>vhat the fcripture fiith concerning the Son, how it calls 
him Gody how it afcribcs a throne and a kingdom to him, 
(tcllimonics whereof he produccth in the next verfes) 
and you will callly difccrn his pre-eminence above tliem, 

§ 5. (III.) The words thus explained, let the follow- 
ing things be obfcrved: 

Olf, I. Our conceptions of the angels, their nature, 
Qffice, and work are to be regulated by the fcripture. This 
\\'i\\ keep us to that becc.ning fobricty in things above us, 
which both the fcripture greatly commends, and is ex- 
ceeding reafonablc. And the rule of that fobriety is given 
us for ever, (Deut. xxix. 28.) * Secret things belong 

• unto the Lord our God, but revealed things to us and 

* our children.' Divine revelation alone is the rule and 
meafureof our knowledge in thefe things, which bounds 
and determines our fobricty. And hence the apofdc con- 
demning the curjolity of men in this very fuoje£t about 
angels, makes the nature of their {in to coniirt in exceed- 
ing thefe bounds. This alone will bring us into nny cer- 
tainty ajud truth. If men would keep themfclves to the 
ijiTord of God, they would have allu ranee and evidence of 
truth in their conceptions, without which, pretended high 
^nd raifcd notions arc but the ihadow of a dream, and 
worfe than profcilcd ign ranee. 

§ 6. O/^f. 2. We may hence obfcrvc that the glory, 
pr true honour of angels, lies in their fubferviency to the 
providence of God ; it lies not fo much in their nature^ as 
in their work and fovlce. God hath endowed the angels 
with a very excellent nature, furnilUed them with many 
eminent propeii cs of wifdom, power, and agility; but 
their gIoi\ v nfifts — not merely in their nature itfclf, and 
its cflciuial pro \rtics, all which abide in the mofl: horrid 
And dctcftcd part of the whole crci^tion — tlie devils \ but — 
in their conforniity to \\w mind and will of God, their a£\ive 
niuiii eiidownKnts : thefe make them amiable, glorious, 


Ver.7. epistle to THE HEBREWS. 77 

excellent. Hence remark, that the greatefl glory that any 
creature can be made partaker of, is to ferve the pleafure, 
and fct forth tLu praifes, of its creator. It is glorious, even 
in the angels, to f^rve the God of glory ; and what is there 
above this for a creature to afpire to, that its nature is capa- 
ble of ? Thcfc among the angels who, as it feems, attempted 
fomewhat farther, fomewhat higher, attained nothing but 
endlefs ruin, fhame, and mifery. Men are ready to faficy 
ilrange things about &ie glory of angels ; and little confider 
that all the difference in glory, in any part of God's cre- 
ation, lies merely in wiUingnefSf ability, and readinefs to 
ferve God their Creator. And, doubtlefs, the works 
wherein God employs them in fubferviency to his provi- 
dence, as the meflengers of judgement or of mercy, are in 
an efpccial manner, glorious works. And they dif J^arge 
their fervice in a very glorious manner ; w^ith great power, 
wifdom, and uncontrolable efficacy. Thus one of them 
ilew * a hundred and fourfcore and five thoufand' of the 
enemies of God in one night. And of like power and 
expedition are they in all their fervices ; in all things to 
the utrnoll capacity of creatures anfwering the will of God. 
Now if this be the great glory of angels, and we fK)or 
worms of the earth are invited, as indeed we are, into a 
participation with them therein, what unfpeakable folly- 
will it be in us, if we be found negligent ! Oar future 
glory confifls in this, that we fliall be made like unto the 
angels ; and our way towards it is to do the will of oqr 
Father on earth, as it is done by them in heaven. Oh ! 
in how many vanities doth vain man place his glory ! no- 
thing fo fliameful that one or other hath not gloried in -, 
whilli the true and only glory of ' doing the will of God/ 
is iiegleded by almoll all. 



Verses 8, 9. 

but unto the sos he saith, thy throne, o goit, 
is for ever and ever ; a iickpter of righte- 
ousness is the scepter ok thy kingdom. thou 
hast loved righteousness, and hated iniqui- 
ty ; therefore god, even thy god, hath 
anointed thee with the oil of cladn£bs 
above thy fellows. 

§ I, ConncHlon of the vjords. § 2. The Mcjfiah intended by 
the PfalmiJI. § 3. fVhat the apoJIU's dcjign. § 4. (I.) 
llhc words explained. Chr'ijl called God, bccaufe fo by na^ 
ture. § 5. His throne. §6. Its perpetuity. §7. Hi: 
fcepter, § 8. His difpojttion. ^ 9. His unction. § 10. 
His fupcrior prerogative therein, § li — 13. (II. j Ob^ 

§ 1. JLA AVING given an account of what the fcrip- 
ture teaches and teftifieth concerning angels — in the fol- 
lowing vcrfcs he flieweth how much more glorious things 
are fpoken of the Son, by whom God revealed his will in 
the gofpel. This teftimonyis produced by the apollle in 
anfwer to that foregoing concerning angels. 7l?ofe word*^ 
faith he, were fpoken by the Holy Ghoft of the angels, 
wherein their oflicc and employment under the" providence 
of God is defcribed ; thefe are fpoken by the fame Spirit 
of or to the Son, denoting his prior cxiilcncc to the pro- 
phecies thcmfclves. 

§ 2. 'Ihcre is little or no dilTiculty to prove that this 
tcftimony [Pf xlv. 6, 7.] belongs /);-5/)<.77y to the Mcliiah. 
The ancient Jews granted it, and the prcfent do£tors can- 
not deny it. The Tar?um wholly applies it to the Melliah ; 
nor is there fcarce any thing in the Pfalm that can with 
propriety of ipccch be applied to Solomon. Two things 



are efpeclally inlUled on in the former part of the Pfalm ; 
tlie y'lghteouftiefs of the perfon fpokeu of, ia all his ways 
and adminillrations ; and the perpctuhy of his kingdom. 
How the former o( thefe can be attributed to him, whofe 
tranfgreffions and fins were fo public and notorious ; or 
the latter to him who reigned but forty years, and then 
left his kingdom, broken and divided, to a wicked foolifli 
fon, is hard to conceive. As all, then, grant that the 
MefTiah is principally, fo there is no cogent reafon to prove 
that he is not fokly intended in the Pfalm. I will not 
contend, but that fundry things treated of in it might be 
obfcurely typified in the kingdom and magnificence of So- 
lomon ; yet it is certain, that mod of the things men- 
tioned, do fo immediately and direftly belong to the Lord 
Mefiiah, as that they can in no fenfe be applied to the 
perfon of Solomon ; and fuch are the words here produced 
by our apoftle. 

§ 3. We mufl then, in the next place, confiderwhat it 
is that the apoftle pretends to prove by this teflimony, 
whereby we fhall difcover its fuitablenefs to his defign. 
Now this is not, as fome have fuppofed, the Deity of 
Chrifl, (although the teftimonies produced do eminently 
mention his divine nature) but that whom they faw for a 
time made lower than the angels, [chap. ii. 10,] was yet 
in his whole perfon fo far above them, as that he had 
power to alter and change thofe inftitutions which were 
given put by the roiniftry of angels. And this he doth, 
undeniably, by the teftimonies alledged. For whereas 
the fcrlpture teftifies concerning angels, that they arc all 
fervants, and that their chief glory confifts in the dif- 
charge of their duty in that relation, to him are afcribed 
a throne, rule, and everlafting dominion, admlniftered 
with glory, power, and righteoufncfs : whence it is evi- 
dent, that he is exceedingly exalted above them, as ^ 
king on his throne is above the fervants that attend \\\n\ 
to perform his plej^fure. Let us, 

I. Explain the feveral parts of the words, and lhei\ 
^ay will be made for, 

IL The obfervations, 


§ 4. (I.) The fir ft thing to be attended to is the ex- 
planation of the words, 

' Thy throne, O God.* Some would have Elohhn 
(oOzog) to be a name common to God with angels, and 
judges ; and in that large acceptation to be here afcribcd to 
Chrift ; fo that though he be expreilly called Eloh'im^ and 
(0 0ioc) Gody yet that proves him not to be God by Jia- 
tu>t\ but only to be fo termed in rcrpc£t of his ofHce, 
dignity, and authoritv. ]>at this glol's is contrary to the 
perpetual uTe of ficrcd fcripture ; tor no one place can 
be inftanced in, where the name Elohim is ufed abfolutclv, 
and rcftrained to any one pcrf^ju^ wherein it doth not un- 
deniably denote the true and only God. Magilliratcs, in- 
deed, are faid to be Elohim, in refpefl of their cJJJcc^ but 
no rjic magiftratc was ever fo called : nor can a man lay 
without blaiphemy to any of them, ' Thou art Elohim,' 
or God. It is Chrift the Son, therefore, that is fpokeii 
to, and denoted by that name, as being the true God 
by nature ; though wiiat is here affirmed of him be not 
as God, but as the king of his church and people ; as \\\ 
another place, God is faid to redeem his churcii with 
his own blood. 

§ 5. Among the injigma regalia, the royal enfigns of 
the Melfiah's kingdom, is liis * throne.' A throne 
Ari£lly is the feat of a king in his kingdom, and is fre- 
quently ufed metonymically for the kingdom itfelf. Nor 
does it here funply denote the kingdom of Chrift, or hii 
fupreme rule and dominion, but the glory alfo of his 
kingdom ; being on his throne, is to be in the height of 
his glory, and becanfe God manifefts his glory in heaven, 
lie calls that his throne, as the earth is his footftool, 
[Ifaiah Ixvi. 1.] So that the throne of Chrift is his glo- 
rious kingdom, elfcwhere cxpreffcd by his fitting down at 
the right hand of the Majefty on high. 

§ 6. 'Vo this throne eternity is attributed ; it is ' for 

* ever and ever.' The throne of Chrirt is faid to be * for 

* ever,' in oppofition to the frail and mutable kingdoms of 
the earth. * Of the incrcafe of his government and peace, 

* there (ball be no <:i\l\, upon the throne of David, and 

' upoi^ 


' upon his kingdom to order it, and to cftablifh it with 

* judgement and with juilice from hc]iccfortIi and for 

* ever,' [Ifaiali ix. 7.] His dominion is an everlalling do- 
minion which fliall not pafs away, and his kingdom that 
which fliall not be deftroyed. It fliall neither decay, of 
itfclf, nor fail through the opposition of its enemies: for 
' he muft reign until all his enemies are made his foot- 

* flool,' [I. Cor. XV. 24 — 27.] It is alfo intimated that 
the divine nature of Chrill: is what gives eternity, liability, 
and unchangeablenefs to his throne and kingdom. ' Thy 
' throne, O God, is for ever.* 

§ 7. The * fcepter of righteoufnefs,* denotes both 
the laws of the kingdom and the efficacy of the govern- 
ment. So that what we call a righteous government, 
is here called ' a fcepter of righteoufnefs.' The king- 
dom of Chrift is ' a fcepter of righteoufnefs,' becaufe 
all the laws of his gofpel are righteous, holy, and jufi ; 
full of benignity and truth, [Titus ii. 11, 12.] And all 
his adminillration of grace, mercy, juftice, rewards and 

§ 8. The habitual frame of the heart of Chrift, in 
his legal admlniflrations, is next defcribed: ' He loveth 
' righteoufnefs and hateth iniquity.' This fliews the 
abfolute completenefs of the righteoufnefs of Chrifl's 
kingdom, and of his righteoufnefs in his kingdom. 
Among the governments of this world, oft-times the 
very laws are tyrannical, unjuil, and oppreffive, and if the 
laws are good and equal, yet oft-times their adminiflra- 
tion is unjuft, partial, and wicked ; orv*4ien men do ab- 
llain from fuch exorbitances, yet frequently they do {o 
on nccount of fomc fclf-intercft and advantage hke Jehu, 
and not out of a conftant, equal, unchangeable love of 
rigliteoufnefs, and hatred of iniquity ; but all thcfe are 
al)folutely complete in the kingdom of Jefus Chrifl:. 

§ 9. The conlequence of this righteous rule in Chrift 
is. his being * anointed with oil of gladnefs.' ' God, thy 
.* God hath anointed tliec.' God is (aid to be the God of 
tlie Son, in refpcft of his zvhole po-fon^ God-man, as he 
iv'vas dcfigncd by his Father to be the head and king of the 

IV I 2 church ; 


church ; for thcreui did God the Father undertake to be 
witli him, to "ftand by him, to carry liim through with 
his work, and in the end to crown him with glory. — 
• Thv God hath anointed thee with oil of gladncfs.^ Thefc 
words may allude, cither to the common ufe of anointing 
with oil, which was to make the countenance appear 
cheerful at feafts and public folemnities ; or, to the fpe- 
cial ufc of it in the un£tion of kings, pricfts, and pro- 
phets. I'hat the ceremony was typical, is evident ; and 
it denoted tlie collation of the gifts of the Holy Ghofl, 
whereby the perfon anointed was enabled for the difchargc 
of the office he was called to, [Ifaiah Ixi. i.] And in this 
fcnfc there is commonly alTigned a threefold un6\ion of 
Chrill ; at his conception^ at his haptifm^ and at his afcen- 
Jion, when he received from the Father the promife of 
the Spirit, to be poured forth upon his difciples, [A£t$ 
ii. 33.] But that which the apoftle fcems here to exprefs 
with the pfLihnill, is the glorious exaltation of Chrifl, 
when he was folemnly enflated in his kingdom : this is 
that which is called the making of him both Lord and 
Chrift, [A£ls ii. 36.] Wl^cn God railed him from the 
dead, and gave him glory, [1. Pet. i. 21.] He is called 

• Chriil' from the un£lion of the Spirit ; and in his 
rxnltation, he is faid in an efpecial manner to l)e * made 

• Chrift ;' that is, taken glorioufly into the poflefTion of 
all the offices and tiieir full adminiftration, whcrcunto he 
was fo anointed. * 7he oil of gladmfs,'' denotes triumph 
and exaltation, freedom from trouble and diflrefs. 

§ 10. Finally, we have the prerogative of Chrill iii 
|his privilege ; * He is anointed ahovc hisfe/Iozvs.* Now 
thefe fellows, companions, or aflbciates, may denote- 
either all believers, partaking with him in this un£\ion» 
who arc co-htirs with him ; or, more cfpecially thole 
who wi re employed by God in the fcrvicc and rule of 
his church ; fuch as the prophets of old, and aftcrwardiJ 
the apoftlcs, [Kphef. ii. 20.] With refpe£l to both thclc, 
Chrill is anointed with oil of gladncfs * above them,* 
but the latter fort arc efpecially intended ; concerning 
whom the apollle gives un efpecial iuilance in Moles, 
1 [chap. 

[chap, ili.] In a word, he is incomprchenfibly exalted 
above angels and men. 

§ 1 1. (II.) Let us now advert to fuch obfervations as 
the words naturally afford. ^ ^ 

Obf. I. The comparing of fcripture with Icripture is 
an excellent means of becoming acquainted with the 
mhid and will of God therein. Thus the apoftle com- 
pareth what is fpoken of angels in one place, and what 
of the Son in another, and from thence manifefteth what 
is the mind of God concerning them. And this difcovers 
the root of almoft all the errors and herefies that are in 
the world. Men whofe hearts are not fubdued by faith 
and humility to the obedience of the truth, lighting on 
fome expreffion in fcripture, that fingly confidered feems 
to give countenance to fome fuch opinion as they are wil- 
ling to embrace ; without farther fearch, they fix it on 
their minds and magnify the importance of- it in their ima- 
gination. Hence it appears what diligence, patience, and 
W'ifdom are required of all in fearching the facred oracles, 
who defire an accurate and profitable knowledge of the 
truth. And as to thofe who openly and habitually ne- 
glea the ineftimable privilege of this word, as the infil- 
lible guide to all ufeful and faving truths, how woefully 
will it rife up in judgement againft them ! And how great 
will be their mifery, who, under various pretences fub- 
fervient to their own corrupt ends, deter others from ths 

(ludy of it ! 

§ 12. O^/ 2. It is the duty of all believers to rejoice 
in the glory, honour, and dominion of Jefus Chrift. The 
church (in the xlvth. Pfalm) takes by faith a profpeft at 
a great diftance of his coming and glory ; and then breaks 
out with exultation and triumph, into thefe words, * Thy 
« throne, O God, is for ever.' And if this was a matter 
of fo great joy and tranfport to them, who had only an 
obfcure reprefentation of the glory which was to follow 
many ages after, what ought the full accomplifhment, 
and clear manifeftation of it be to us! This made 
them of old ' rejoice with joy unfpeakable and full of 
* glory,' even becaufe they faw and heard the things which 



king. «-ire n,cn, and prophets dcfircd to fee, and faw them 
not; God having provided fomc better tiling for us 
that they wuliout us ihould not be made perfeft/ [chap' 
^d^Mo "7','; ';^'°'' S'°-fied ; herein doth the honou; 
and glory of Chnft as mediator con.ill ; and ihM not tliis 
be a matter of great rejoicing to all that love him in fin- 
cerity rl hat he „ho loved us. that gave himfelf for „ . 

cu ^"T 7'' ''""' '•^P--'-'''^ o^ -iferable fo 
our fakes ; that he is now exalted, gloriiied, enthroned 
m an everlartmg immoveable kingdom, above all his ene- 
mies, and fccure from all oppotition; this, furcjv is , 
matter of niexpreflible joy. Our own fecuritv and' iatety! 

>". W h,m he reigneth we are fafe ; and are fure to be in 
our never-failmg way to glory. To fee by faith this kin. „, 

Idhng the temple; to iec all power committed to him all 
tmngs given into his hands, difpoling of all, and rulin<.'all 
for the advantage of Iiis church-how exhilarating, liov^ 
joyful the profpeft ! The whole world, all the creation of 
(.od, are concerned in this kingdom of Chrift. Settin-. afide 
his enemies under the curfe in hell, the whole creation 
IS benehtted by this mediatorial dominion : for as fome 
men arc made partakers of faving grace and falvation 
thereby, fo the rehdue of that race receive unfpeakable 
advantages m the patience and forbearance of God ■ ind 
the very creature itfelf is raifed, as it were, into an expec- 
tation thereby of deliverance from that Hate of vnnitv 
^hereunto it is now fubjcfted, [Rom. viii. 20 -^ i | So 
that if we arc capable of being moved with the glo'rv of 
God, the honour of Jefus Chrift, our own etern'al inte- 
rcK, the advantage of the whole creation— have we 
not caufe to rejoice in this throne and kingdom of the Son ' 
V 'I y''(\3- '^1' tl'c laws, and the whole adminillra- 
tion of the kmgdom of Chrift, by his word and fniiit 
are e^ual, righteous, and holy. His foepter is a fccptc^ 
o nghtoou.nefs. The world, indeed, like, them not ; 
M thing, in his lulc feem to it weak, al.luid. and foolilh ■ 
■I.Cor- ,. 20, 21,] but, the Holy Gholl being judge, 


Ver.8,9. epistle TO THE HEBREV/S. 85 

they are otherwlfe ; and fuch they appear to them that 
believe ; yea, whatever is requiiite to make laws and ad- 
miniftrations * righteous' here concur. Is authority, a 
juft and full authority, requiiite to make laws righteous? 
He has it fupremely. Is luifdom, the eye of authority, 
fo requifite that no legiflator ever obtained juft renown 
without it? The Lord Chrifl is abundantly furnifhcd 
with wifdom for this purpofe. He is the foundation-ilone 
of the church, that liath * feven eyes upon it.' [Zech. 
iii. 9.] A perfection of wifdom and underftanding in all 
its affairs. But it defcrves particular attention, that his 
Liws are righteous in fuch a i'cnic as to be eajj', gentle, and 
not burdenfome. The righteoufnefs and uprightnefs here 
intended doth not denote flria, rigid, fevere jufticc, ex- 
tending itfelf to the utmoil of what can be required of 
the fubjeas ; but equity mixed with gentlenefs, tender - 
ncfs, and condefcenfion ; ' His yoke is eafy and his bur- 
' denhght,' [Matt. xi. 30.] and ' his commandments are 
f not grievous,' [L John v. 3.] His commands are all rea^ 
fonable, fuited to the principles of that natural obedience 
we owe to God ; and fo not grievous to any thing in us, 
but that principle of fm and darknefs which is to be de- 
iiroyed. He hath not multiplied ^precepts merely arbi- 
trary, to exprefs his authority ; as might be evinced by 
the particular confideration of his inlHtutions. Hence 
our obedience to them is called our ' reafonable fervicc,' 
[Rom. xii. i.] His commands are eafy, becaufe all of 
them are fuited to that principle of the new nature, which 
he worketh in the hearts of all his genuine difciples. This 
principle likes them, loves tliem, delights in them, which 
makes them eafy. His commands are eafy, becaufe he 
continually gives out fupplies of his fpirit, to make his 
fubjeas yield obedience to them. That is it which above 
all fets a luftre upon his rule. This adminiftration of 
Chrift's kingdom is righteous, becaufe ufeful and piotitable,^ 
freeing the foul from the power of luft, the fervice of 
fin, the fear of death, hell, and the world ; guiding it 
in the truth, making it fruitful amongft men, and ami- 
able to God himfelf. How righteous alfo their end ' A 
•■ • jnorQ 


more worthy and exalted cannot be conceived. Hence it 
appears — that our fubmiflion to this fceptcr, and our obc* 
dicnce to thefe laws, mull needs be very righteous and 
reafonable. What can be farther defired to provoke us 
to it ? On the other hand, does it not awfully follow, 
that the condeninatiou of thofe who refufc the reign of 
Chrift over them, that will not yield obedience to his 
laws, is moft juft and righteous ? How will the equity of 
his government flop the mouth of every rebel for ever, 
when he comes to deal with them wjio know not God, 
and obey not the gofpel I 

Verses 10 — 12. 

an'd thou, lord, in the begikning hast laid 
the foundation of the earth *. and the hea- 
vens are the work of thine hands. they 
6hall perish, but thou remainest : and they 
all shall wax old as doth a garment ; and 
as a vesture shalt thou fold them up, anq 
they shall be chanced: but thou art the 
same and thy years shall not fail, 

^ I — 4. Eryoficous IntcrprctaUofts refuted. § 5 — 7. (T.) 
Ihe iL'ords explained. §8 — 10. (II.) Fiaiticidobfct^ 

^ i.lN thefe vcrfcs the apoftlc by another lUuftrlous 
teftimony, (taken out of Pfalm cii.) confirms his princi-. 
pal aflTcrtion. There is no qucftion but that thefe words 
do fufficiently prove the pre-eminence of him of whom 
they are fpoken, incomparably above all creatures what- 
ever. Some fav that the words arc only accommodated to 
Chiift, * thou haft laid the foundation of th^ cavth,' that 


is, <' the world was made for thy fake." But this inter- 
pretation, or rather violcFit dctortion of the words defboys 
itfelf. For if they are fpoken of God abfolutely, and not 
of the Mcifiah to whom they arc accommodated, how can 
it be faid that the ' world was made for his fake,' and not 
by him P Both fenfes of the words cannot be true. Bat 
this is, indeed, plainly to deny the authority of the 

§ 2. The Socinians — who cannot deny but that thefe 
.words fome way or other belong to Chrift, yet plainly 
perceiving that if they ^re vjholly underftood of him, there 
is an end of all their religion — fix here upon a new and 
peculiar evafion. Some words of this tcftimony, fay they, 
.belong to Chrift, (fo much they will yield to tlie authority 
of the apoftle) but not all of them. "■ Thefe words," 
they urge, being firft exprellly fpoken of God, and here 
referred to Chriji, we muft confidcr what in them is 
agreeable to the nature and condition of Chrift, who 
certainly was a man.'''* But this is meanly to beg the quef - 
tion, *' That Chrift was a mere man, and not God by na- 
ture.'^ It is true, as here granted, that the words were 
firft exprellly fpoken of God ; but it is no lefs true, the 
apoftle being judge, that it is the Son of God who is that 
God. It is true alfo, that he was man, and nothing is 
afcribed to him but what belongs to him who was man, 
but not as he was man. And fuch was the creation of 
heaven and earth. By this teftimony, then, the Holy 
Ghoft proves, that he who was * made lets for a little 
* while than the angels,* in one relpc»fl, was abfolutcly 
and in his whole perfon infinitely above them, as being 
the creator of heaven and earth. 

§ 3. There is another fpecious cavil that has been fomc- 
times urged to this effect : ** The Hebrews were either 
perfiiaded that Chrift was God, the creator of heaven 
and earth, or they were not; if they were, what need of 
all thefe arguments and teftimonics r one plain word might 
have fufticed. If they did not yet believe it, wliy (\oti 
he take for granted what, if direftly urged, that he was 
the maker of heaven and earth, would }iive put all out of 
Vol. 11. N doubt." 


doubt.'* Wc reply ; let it be granted that they did ex- 
preHIy believe Chrifl to be God; have believers no need 
to have their faith confirmed by teftimonics out of the 
word, that may not fo readily occur to themfelvcs ? Have 
they no need to be ftrengthened in their faith, efpecially 
in fuch points as were in thofe day* greatly oppofed, as was 
this of the eternal glory of the Mclllah ; concerning 
which the believing Hebrews had to do with learned and 
•flubborn adverfaries continually. And if the apoftlc 
might have ended the whole controverfy, as thcfe object- 
tors pretend, bv plainly affirming, that he was * the crea- 
* tor of all things,' a»ld that the angels are his creatures ; 
we retort, might he not as well have ended riie difputc 
about * his pre-eminence above angels,' which it is al- 
lowed he here defigns to prove, with * one word,' without 
citing fo many teftimonies to prove it ? But would he then 
have unfolded the myllcrics of the Old 'i'eftament to the 
Hebrews, which was his grand defign ? Would he then have 
manifeftcd that he taught nothing but what was before re- 
vealed (though obfcurclv) to Mofes and the prophets, which 
he allidtjoufly aimed to do, thereby to ftrcngthen and con- 
firm believers and convince gainfayers ? Again, fuppofe 
fome of them to whom he wrote did not yet expreifly be- 
lieve the Deity of Chriff, (as the apoflles themfclves did not 
for awhile believe his rcfurrci-ilon ;) could any more con- 
vincing way be fixed on to perfuade them thereto, than by 
minding them of thofe tcftimonie* of the Old Teftament, 
wherein the attributes and works of God are afcribcd to 
him r But unto the Son, he faith, * thv throne, O God, is 

* for ever — and, thou hall laid the foundation of the earth/ 

^ 4. Were it affirmed in this piacc onhy, that * Chriil 

* made all things,' yet the words being plain and evident, 
and the thing Itfelf agreeable to fcripture in other places,, 
and not repugnant to any one facred teilimony, there is 
no pretence for anv who truly reverence the wildom and 
authority of inf[)iratIon, to deny the words to be fpoken 
of him properly and dlrc^ly. If not, will there be ony 
t^'in^ left tliat we can call a facred and unlhakcn bafis ot 
faith in all the facred volume ? Befidcs, we have Ihewed al- 

j ready 


ready the vanity of that diftindion of God's making 
things hy Chr'iji^ as though it denoted any fubordinatioii 
in cafualjty ; nor will the Socinians themfelves admit of 
any fuch thing, but confute that notion in the Arians. 
But this is not the only place wherein it is affirmed that 
Chrifl niade all things that are in the heaven and the 
earth, [Jghni. 1,2, Col. i. 16, &c.] To fuppofe that in 
thefe fentences, * thou liaft laid the foundation of the 
^ earth,' and, * thou fiialt fold them up as a garment,' 
one perfon is underftood in i\\t former, and another in the 
latter^ no fuch thing being intimated by the pfalmift or 
the apoflle, is to fuppofe what vye pleafe, that we may 
eftablifh what vy^e have a mind. One perfon» and only 
one, is here certainly and only fpoken to ; if this be the 
father, the words concern not Chrift at all, and the 
apoftle w^as deceived in his allegation pf them \ if the Son, 
the whole is fpoken of him, as the apoflle affirms. Can 
any fhew of reafon be affigned, why the latter words 
fliould be attributed to Chpfl, and not th^ former ? If it 
be faid, becaufe God by him fhall deflroy the world, 
which is the thing in the laft words fpoken of; we afk, 
where is it \yritten that God fhall deflroy the \yorld by 
Chrifl ? If they fay in this place ; I fay then Chrifl is 
fpoken of in this place ; and if fo, he is fpoken of in the 
iirfl words, * And thou, Lord,* or not at all : befides, to 
whom do thofe clofing words belong, but to thefe, ' Thoi; 

* art the fame and thy years fail not?' If thefe words are 
fpoken qf Chrifl, it is evident that all the foregoing mufl 
be fo alfo j fpr his enduring, ai>d the not failing of his 
years ; that is, his eternity, is oppofed to the creation 
and temporary duration of the wprld. If they fay, that 
they belong tq the Father primarily, but are attributed 
to Chrill, becaufe the Father doth it by him \ I dclire to 
know, what is the meaning of thefe words, ' Thou art the 

* fame hy Chriji y^ and ' lliy years fail not Ify Chr'ijl ?^ 
What ! is not the Father eternal, except in the man 
Chrifl Jefus ? He who made them, is faid to fold thcni 
\ip. Who then can but believe, on this tcflimony of the 
apqf^le, tliat Chrifl the Lord made heaven and earth, 

N % and 


and if the apoftlc intended not to aflert it, what is there 
in the text, or near it, to warn men from running on a 
Ihclf, where fo fair an harbour appears to them ? From 
all that has been faid, it is evident, that the whole tcfti- 
mony belongs to Chrift, and is by the apoftle expreflly 
applied to him. 

§ 5. *(I.) Proceed we now to the interpretation of the 
words, * Thou haft laid the foundation of the eartli.* 
In coniidering the works of God, to admire his greatncfs, 
power, and wifdom in them, or to fet forth his praifes for 
them, it is ufual in fcripture to difti ibute tlicin into parts. 
So, for inftancc, the Pfalmifl does when furveying the 
vorks of God*s providence in bringing the children of 
Ifrael out of Egypt, [Pfalm cxxxvi.] and fubjoins this 
inference of praife to every one of thcni, ' for his mercy 
• enJureth for ever,' and fo he does with refpecl to the 
works of creation, [Pfalm xix.] — In the palTage under 
confideration, the earth is faid to be * founded,' bccaufe 
of its ftability and immovcablencfs. He fet it faft, he ef- 
tablilhed it, that it Ihould not be moved for ever. The 
whole fabrick of heaven and earth is compared to an edi^ 
ficc or building ; whereof the earth, as the loweft and 
moft deprelfcd part, is as it were the foundation of the 
wliole ; but the ftability, immoveablenefs, and firmnefs of 
it is what the word denotes, and what is here moft pro- 
perly intended. * yind the heaz'ens are the works of thy 

* hands,'* This alludes to the curious framing and gar- 
nilhing of the vifible heavens. The (nnau^ Job xxvi. 
13.) cxquifite Inaut'ifidncfi and ornament of the heavens, 
is what the Pl'almift ain>s to exprefs. * The hca\Tns arc 

• the works of thy hands;* that which thy hands, thy 
power joined with infinite wifdom, have framed, fo as to 
fet olf, and give luftrc and beauty to the whole fabrick ; 
as a maftcr workman doth the upper and moft noble parts 
of his Imilding. Thus the founding of the earth, and 
parnilhliig of the heavens, is the firft thing alligned to the 
Lord Redeemer in this tcftimonv of his glorv. 

§ 6. The next part of the tclliinony is not lefs illuf- 
trious and decifivc. The mutation or abolition of rl'>tfc 


Ter, io*-ia. EPISTLE TO THE JiJlBRKWS. 9; 

things is no Icfs an efFeft of infiiiite p.owcr than the for- 
mer ; yet this is alcribcd to the Lord Chrifl. ' They iliall 

* perilh and they Ihall all wax old as dath a garment : and 

* as ?, vefturc llialt thou fold them up, and they Ihall be 

* changed.' Whatever the change be, he compares the 
things to be changed to a garment no more to be ufed, or 
at leall not to be ufed. in the fame manner as it was be-* 
fore ; and the work itfelf to the folding up of fuch a gar- 
ment ; intimating the greatncfs of him by whom this 
work (hall be performed, and the facility with which he 
docs it. The whole creation is as a garment ; \vhereii"\ 
the Great Supreme Ihcws his power to men, as it were 
cloathed. ^Vhence l;e is faid to cloath himfelf with light; 
as with a garment ; and in it is the hiding of his power: 
it is hid as a man is hid with a garment ; not that he 
fhould not be {cen at all, but that he Ihoald not be feeii 
perfe£lly, and as he is ; it fliews the man and he is known 
by it, but alfo it hides him that he is not perfectly or 
fully {cen. So are the works of creation with 
God : he fo far makes them his garment or cloathing, as 
in them to give us foirje notices of his power and Vv'ifdom; 
but he is alfo hid in them, in that by them no creatures can 
come to the full and perfed knowledge of him. Now 
when this work fliall ceafe, and God fliall uncloath or 
unvail all his glory to his faints, and they lliall know him 
perfeftly, fee him as he is, fo far as a created nature is ca- 
pable, Vhen will he lay them afide, at leall as to that ufe, 
and fold them up with as much eafc as a mqm lays ?ifidc 
his garment that he will wear or ufe no more. 

§ 7. On this aiTertion the apoflle infinuates a comparifon 
between this glorious fabrick of heaven and earth and 
him that made them, as to durablenefs and liability — 

* They Ihall perifh — and wax old as doth a garment.' 
By their penjhhig r^ioft unJerftand their being changed 
from their prefent condition and ufe, others, their utter 
abolition. And, to fay the truth, it is hardly fuppofable 
that an alteration only, and that for the hcitc)\, fliould be 
thus exprelTcd ; that word (ccTroXovfja.i) being always ufed 
'^i\ the worfl fcufe, for a perhhing by a total dellrudion. 



1'hclr * waxing old as a garment' is their tendency to 
this condition, and may denote the gradual decay ot tlic 
heavens and cartli as to their worth and ufc ; and a near 
approximation to their final period. In this fcnfe ovn* 
npoftlc affirms, that die difpenfation of the covenant, 
which cftablilhed the Judaical worlhip and ceremonies, 
waxed old and decayed, (chap. viii. 13.) not tliat it had 
Ujl any of its firfl vigour and efficacy before its abolition. 
And it may be, that it fhall be with thefe heavens and 
earth at the lafl day, as it >vas with the heavens and the 
earth of Judaical inftitutioi^s ; (for fo are they frequently 
called, cfpccially when their diffolution or abolition is fpo- 
kcn of) for though the ufe of them, and their power of 
obliging, was taken away and aboliflicd, yet arc they kept 
in the world as venerable monuments of the goodnefs and 
\\ifdom of God in teaching his church of old. So may- 
it be with the heavens and earth of the old creation ; 
though they fliall be laid afide at the lafl day from their 
ufe, yet may they be preferved as everlafling monuments 
pf divine power and wifdom. In oppoiitiou to this it is 
faid of Chrifl^, * Thou remaineft — thou art the fame, and 
• thy years fhall not fail,' both expreflions intending his 
eternal and abfolutcly immutable exiflence. Eternity if? 
not improperly called (yiunc Jlans) a prcfcnt cxijloicc^ with 
Tcfpc6l to which nothing is pafl or future : it being al- 
ways wholly prcfcnf. * Thy years fail not.* He who i^ 
the fame eternally, hatli properly no years, which are a 
meafure of tranfient time denoting its duration, its be- 
ginning and end. 

§ 8. (II.) Hence we may with great propriety make 
the two following obfcrvations : 

Ohf. I. All the properties of God, confidcred in the 
pcrfon of the Son, the head of the cluncli, are fuitcd to 
give relief and confolation to believers in all their diflreffes. 
This truth prcfcnts itftlf to us from the ufc of the word^ 
in the Pfnlm from wliich they arc taken. The PfalmJLll 
under the confideration of his own frailty and mortality, 
Tclieves himfclf with the thoughts of the omnipotence aiu\ 
eternity of tlic divine Redeemer. ^lan wa^ fo created at 


iirft as that every thing in God was fuited to be his re- 
ward and fatisfadtion ; but this being wholly loll by fin, 
and the whole reprefentation of God to man becoming 
full of dread and terror, all gracious intercourfc in fpccial 
love on the part of God, and all fpiritual obedience ou 
the part of man, were inevitably intercepted. But again 
God defigning to take finners into communion with him- 
felf, in their love and obedience, it muft be by reprcfcHtln^ 
unto them his blelfed properties, as fuited to their en- 
couragement, fatisfadlion, and reward, which he does in 
Chrift. And without fuch a reprefentation in him no 
rational ground of communion is conceiveable. 

§ 9. Obf. 2. The old creation, even the mofl glorl-* 
©us parts of it^ haftening to its period, at leall with re- 
gard to its prefent ufe, calls upon us not to fix our hearts 
on the fmall perifhing fhares which we have therein, ef- 
pecially iince we have him who is omnipotent and eternal 
for our inheritance- The figure or fafhion of this world, 
its prefent lovely appearance, the apoftle tells us, is paffing 
away, is haftening to its period ; it is a fading dying 
thing, and therefore can yield us no true fatisfaftion. 
Such is the frailty of the nature of man, and fuch the pe 
rifhing condition of all created things, that none can ever 
obtain the leaft ftable confolation, but what arifeth from 
an intercft in the omnipotency, fovereignty, and eternity 
of the Lord Chrift. Where fhall man, this poor crea- 
ture fo frail in itfelf, in its aftings, in its enjoyments, 
fcek for reft, and fatisfad^ion ? In this alone, that * the 
' word of the Lord abides for ever ;' the Lord Jefus 
Chrift as preached in the gofpel. 

§ 10. Man was made for eternity. He was not called 
out of nothing to return to it again* When he once is — • 
he is for ever. God made him for his eternal glory, 
and gave him therefore a fubfiftence without end. He is 
confcious of this condition. Men find a witncfs in them- 
felvcs, fomewhat ajjhres them of an after-reckoning ; and 
that the things they now do w^ill be called over in ano- 
ther world. Hence the children of men out of Chrift are 
cxpofcd to a twofold trouble and perplexity ; for tlieir 



AN EXPOSltlOK OF Ti-IE Ck\\>.l, 

eternal fuhfiilence, as to the crijoymcnt of good or bad, 
depends upon their prcitnt lite, which is fraiJ, fading, 
and pcriihing : and yet no perifhing thing will atford 
them rcHef or fupport in this condition. And indeed iiow 
Ihould it ? They and thefe are parting every moment, 
and that for eternity. And what comfort is there in a 
perpetual taking leave of things that are beloved ? Yet 
fuch is the life of man, every one mult allow, as to all 
earthly enjoyments. It is but a parting with what a maa 
hath ; and the longer he is about it, the more trouble he 
'hath with it. Created enjoyments will not contiiuie our 
lives licrc, becaufe of cur frailty ; they will not accom- 
pany us into eternity becaufe of tlieir own frailty ; we 
change and they change ; we arc vanity and they are no 
better. But an intereft in the omnipotency, fovereignty, 
and eternity of the Lord Chrift, will yieI4 a foul relief 
and fatisfadion even in this condition ; having tbat in 
•them, which is fuitcd to relieve us under our prefent 
frailty, and to give us fatisfaclion during our future ever- 
lafling exigence. In Chrilt we have liability and un- 
changeablenefs : though zve dye, yet he dieth not , and 
• becaufe he liveth we fhall live alfo.' But Oh ! the 
inifery of thofe who have no intereft in him ; and have 
therefore nothing to confole themfelves with againft the 
evils of anv condition. AH their hopes are in this life, 
and from its flattering but delufive enjoyments ; wlie?i 
thefe are once paft, they will be eternally, and univerfally 
mifcrable ; miferable beyond our exprelhon or their own 
apprcheniion. And what is this life r a vapour that ap- 
peareth for a little while, and then vanifheth away. \\ hat 
are the cnjovments of this life r dying perilhing things ; 
and, with rcfpeft to them, fuel to lu/I, and fo to hell. 
h>urcly the contentment that a dying man can take in 
dving things is very contemptible in itfeli', and au awful 
indicatioii of everlalVing dlfnppointmcnt. 



Verse 13. 


§ I. Introdu^'ion. § 2 — 5. The words explained. § 6 
— 9. (I.) Who are the enemies of Chriji, and how they 
are to he made his footjiool. § lO, 11. (II.) By whom 
they Jhall be Jo made. § I2, 13. Inferences. 

§ I. 1 HE ufefulnefs of this teftimony for confirming 
the dignity and authority of the Meffiah, appears by the 
frequent quotation of it in the New Teflament. See par-* 
ticularly Matt. ^xii. 44. 

In the interrogation, a vehement negation is included ; 
he faid not at any time to any of the angels : he never 
fpeak thefe words or the like concerning them ; there is 
no teftimony to that purpofe recorded in the whole book 
of God, the only means of fuch knowledge, and rule of 
our faith, in fuch things. The manner of the expref- 
lion puts an emphafis on the denial ; and he makes appli- 
cation of this teftimony to every angel in heaven, feve- 
raliy confidcred. For whereas he had before fufficiently 
proved the pre-eminence of the Meftiah above the angels 
in general; to obviate any remaining obje6lion that might 
be left in rcfcrve, he applies the prefent teftimony to every 
one of them fingly and individually. ' Unto which of 
* the angels faid he at any time ?* That the teftimony it- 
fclf clearly proves the intendment of the apoftlc, provided 
the words are juftly applied, (and furcly no Chriftian will 
deny that) is beyond all exception. For they contain an 
eloginm, an aftignation of honour and glory, beyond what- 
ever was or can be afcribcd to any angel whatever, 

yOL= II. O ^2, 


§ 2. * Tlie Lord faid unto my Lord.' ^ In the Greek 
both the pcrfon fpeakhig and the perlbn fpoken to, are 
expreffed by tha fame name, (KvDiog) Lord; but in the 
Hebrew they have different denominations. The perfon 
ipeaking is Jehovah, that is, God the Father ; for 
though this name be often ufed where the Son is diflindlly, 
fpoken of, yet where Jehovah fpeaketh to the Son, or of 
liim, as here, it is the perfon of the Father that is deno- 
ted* The perfon fpoken to therefore is the Son ; (tn«) 
the Z5;y/, David's Lord. In rei'pe6l of his divine nature, 
being of the fame efkiice, power, and glorv, with the Fa- 
ther, he is, abfolutely confidered, capable of no fubordi- 
naiion or exaltation ; vet, oeconomlcally, the eternal Son 
of God J?umhlcd himfclf, and emptied himfelf of this glory ; 
[Phil. ii. 7, 8.] not properly by parting with it, but by 
the affumption of human nature into perfonal union with 
himfelf; being thus made flcfh, [ John i. 14.] wherein 
liis eternal glory was clouded for a feafon, [John xviii. 5.] 
and liis perfon humbled to the difcharge of thofe media- 
torial afts which were to be performed in the human na- 
ture, (Phil. ii. 9, 10.) But we mud carefully obferve, 
that the pcrfon of Chriil is here addreffcd, not in rcfpeft 
of his divine nature only, which is not capable of exalta- 
tion or glory by way of free donation; nor in rcfpc£l of 
liis human nature only, which does not conllitute exclu- 
fively the Jsing and head of the church ; but with refped 
to his whole perfon complexly, wherein the divine nature, 
exerting its power and glory with the underllanding and 
will of the human nature, is the prbiciple of thofe acls, 
whereby ChriO: rulclh over all in the kingdom given him 
of his Father, (Rev. i. 17, 18.) as he was God, he was 
David's Lordy but not his i'o;/, as he was man, he was Da- 
vid's fon, and fo abfolutely could not be his Lord. In 
his perfon god-man he was his Lord and his Son : which 
is the import of our Saviour's queftion. Matt. xxii. 4, 

§ 3. The nature of this fpeaking, or when God faid it, 
fccms to intend — the original deerec of God concerning the 
exaltation of the Son incarnate. So David calls this worci 
tJic decree, the flatute or eternal appointment of God, 



[Pfalin ii. 7.] — The eternal covenant between the Father 
and the Son concerning the work of mediation — The de- 
claration of this decree and covenant in the prophecies and 
proniifes given out concerning their accomplifhment and 
execution from the foundation of the world, [Luke i. 40. 
L Pet. i. II, 12. Gen. iii. 15.] ' Ke faid it by the 

* mouth of his holy prophets which have been fuice the 

* world began.' — The aftual accompUJhmcnt of them all, 
when upon the refurreftion of Chrill, and the fulfilling of 
his work of humiliation, God aftually inveilcd him with 
the prom i fed glory. 

§ 4. Hence the manner of exprefTion, * Sit thou at my 

* right hand.' It has the force of a promlfc^ having a re^ 
fpedl to the decree, covenant, and declaration thereof frorp 
the foundation of the world ; and God engaging his faith- 
fulnefs and power to it in the appointed fcafon, fpeaks 
concerning it as a thing inflantly to be done. And as 
thofe words refpeft the glorious accomplifliment of the 
thing itfelf, (o they denote the acquiefcence of God in the 
work of Chrift, and his authority in his glorious exalta- 
tion. The ' fitting, at the right hand of God,' hath been 
explained before, [verfe 3.] In brief, it is the exaltation 
of Chrift into the glorious adminiftration of the kingdom 
granted him, with honour, fecurity, and power ; or in 
one word^ as our apoftle exprefles it, ' his reigning,' [I. 
Cor. XV. 25.] ' For he muft re'ign^ till he hath put all his 

* enemies under his feet.' 

§. 5. There is in the words the end aimed at in this fit- 
ting down at the right hand of God, and that is, the 
' making of his enemies his footftool.' This is promifed 
him as the exalted Saviour and Sovereign. For the open-^ 
ing of thefe words we muft inquire, 

I. Who are thefe enemies of Chrift, and how they are 
to be made his footftool. And, 

II. By whom. 

§ 6. (I.) We have already fliewn, that it is the glorious 
exaltation of Chrift in his kingdom that is here fpoken of; 
and therefore the enemies intended muft be the enemies of 
his kingdom, or ratherenemies to him in his kingdom. Now 

O 2 the 


the kingdom of Chrift maybe conficlcrcd cither \i\ refpci^ 
of the IiUernal fpiritual power and efficacy ot it, in the 
hearts of his fubjc<Sls ; or, with rel'peft to the outward 
glorious adminillration of it in the world ; and in both 
thefc rcfpc£ls it hath enemies in abundance ; all and every 
one of which muft be made his footllool. We Ihall con- 
fidcr them apart. The kingdom or reigning of Chrifl, 
in the firll fenie, confirts in his authority and power, 
which he employs for the converfion, fanftification, and 
falvation of his eleft. As he is their king he quickens 
them by his fpirit, fan6lities them by his grace, prefcrves 
them by his faithfulnefs, raifeth them from the dead at the 
lall: day by his power, and glorioufly rewardeth them ia 
bis righteoufncfs to all eternity. 

§ 7. In this work the great MefTiah has many enemies ; 
fm, S^tan, the world, death, the grave, and hell : all 
thcTe are enemies to the work and kingdom of Chrill, 
and confcquently to his perfon, as having undertaken; 
that work. — Sin is iiniverfally and in its whole nature 
liis enemy ; hence it is, that ilnncrs and enemies are the 
fame, [Rom. v. 8. 10.] It is that which makes a fpccial, 
dircft, and immediate oppofition to the quickening, fanc- 
titying, and faving of his people — Satan is the fvvorn 
enemy of Chrift ; the adverfary that openly, conftantly, 
and avowedly oppofeth him in his throne. And he ex- 
erts his enmity by temptations, accufations, and periecu- 
tions, all which are the work of an enemy. — The %vorld 
is alfo a profeiTed enemy of the kingdom of Chrift, [John 
XV. 18.] The things of it, as under the curie and fubjcdl 
to vanity, are fuitcd to alienate the hearts of men from 
Chrift, and fo to a^ as enemies againft him. The men 
ot the world aft tlie fame part ; by their examples, their 
temptations, their reproaches, their pcrfccutions, or by 
their allurements, they make it tlicir bufmefs to oppofc 
the Meifiah's kingdom. — Death is alfo an enemy, and fo 
it is cxprellly called, [I. Cor. xv. 26.] for it comes to exe- 
cute the firft curfe and judicial fcntencc even uponbelievers. 
- — The graze alfo is aii adverfary s it fights againft the faith 
of the fubjefts of Chrift, by reducing their mortahty 


Ver.13. Epistle to the Hebrews. 


into corruption, and holding faft the dead until they ar^ 
J)Ovvertuny rclcued from the jaws of it. — Finally : Hell 
Is that enemy in a fubordination to which all thcfe otlicrs 
aft. They all bring men into hell ; which is an eternal 
enemy where it prevails. This attends the workings of 
thofe other adverfaries to confume an.d deflroy, of it were 
polTible, the whole inheritance of Chrift, [Rev. vi. 8.] 
All thefe, we may jilftly fay, are enemies to the Redeemer 
in his work and kingdom, w^ith v^hatever contributes to 
their afhftance, in purfuit of their enmity. 

§ 8. Now all thefe enemies, as far as they oppofe tlis 
fpiritual and eternal advancement of the work of Chrill, 
muft be made ' the footftool of his feet.' The cxprellion 
is metaphorical, and is to be interpreted and applied va- 
rioufly, according to the nature and condition of the ene- 
mies with whom he has to do. The allulion, in general, 
IS taken from what was done by Jolhua his type, towards 
the enemies of his people, [Jofliua x- 24.] To ihew the 
ruin of their power and his abfolute prcvalency againll 
them, he caufed the people to fet their feet upon their 
necks, [fee II. Samuel xxii. 39. Pfalm viii. 6.] 7'o have 
his enemies then brought * under his feet,' is to have an 
abfolute and corhplete conqueft over them ; and their 
being made * his footftool,' their perpetual and unchange- 
able duration in that condition, under the weight of 
whatever burden he lliall be pleafed to lay upon them. 
And this is accomplished in various refpefts : 

1. McriioriQiifly : by his death and blood-fliedding he 
hath procured the fentence of condemnation to he pro- 
nounced againft them ; fo that their rigjit to exert their 
enmity againft him, or his, no more exifts. He \\2X\\ 
given them all their death wounds, and leaves them to 
die at his pleafurc. 

2. Exemplary : all thefe adverfaries cxcrcifed, in a pc- 
cuhar manner, their enmity againft him, and tried all 
their ftrength. Now he abfolutely conquered all them 
in his own perfon ; and in his own perfon hath he {itt 
an example of what Hiall be done in behalf of the whole 

3. Eff.. 

too An exposition of the Chap.J; 

']. EJJictcntly : when he unites any to himfelf, hc^ be- 
gins the conqucfi: oF all his enemies, giving them a right 
to the complete, total, and final vidlory over them all. 
He gradually carries them on towards perfection, treading 
down their enemies under them. When having freed 
them from the law, and fin, trodden down Satan, pre- 
vailed againil the world, recovered them from death, ref- 
cued them from the grave, and delivered them from hell, 
he fhall be himfelf perfectly vidorious in them, and they 
made complete fharers in his vidory. 

§ 9. The kingdom of Chrift, in the next place, (fee 
§ 6.) may be confidercd with refpe6l to the external ad- 
miniftration of it in this world ; which alfo, with the 
oppoiition made to it, is intended in this palTage. God 
the Father, in the exaltation of Jcfus Chrift, hath given 
to him * all nations for his inheritance, and the utter- 

* molt parts of the earth for his polTcffion, [Pfalm ii. 8.] 
Upon this grant a right enfued, to call^ gather, and erefV 
his church, in any nation or part of the w^orld ; to give 
to it his laws and ordinances of worfliip. Alfo a right 
and authority to difpofe of all nations and perfons, for the 
good and advantage of his kingdom. Now in purfuit of 
his afferting \\\U grant and right, great oppofition is made 
to him by all forts of perfons, inftigated thereunto by 
Si^tan. The world undcrftands not his right, hates his 
government, aiul would not have him to reign : but 
hitherto his kingdom and intereil iii the world hath been 
maintained againft all ihcir enmity and oppofition, and 
themfclves brought to dtftru£\ion one after another ; {o by 
virtue of this proniilc he Ihall reign in fccurity and glory, 
until all their hearts be broken, their ftrcngth ruined, 
and themfclves brought ' under his feet.* Now, 

§ 10. (II.) We arc to confider by wJyom thefc enemies 
of Chrift Ihall be made thus his footftool : ' I will make 

* them,' faith God the Father. It is not the work of 
Chrift himfelf, to ful)duc and conquer his enemies : Is it 
not faid, that he fliall do fo ? We reply ; that work which 
is immediately wrought by the Son, may, as here, by 
way of cmincncy be afcrlbcd to the Father. Power and 



authority to fubdue and conquer his enemies, is given to 
the Lord Chrift by the Father as a rcvjard ; it is therefore 
fsiid to be his work, becaufe the authority for it is from 
lijm, {fee Ifaiah iii. 12.] Befides, the work of fubduing 
enemies is itfelf a work of power and authority, Now 
in the oeconomy of ^the bleiTed Trinity, the works of 
power and authority are peculiarly afcribed to the Father ; 
as thofe oi wifdom are to the Son, who is the eternal 
wifdom of the Father. And on this account the fame 
\yorks are afcribed to the Father and th^i Son. But the 
Son alfo, confidered as mediator, receives and holds his 
kingdom by grant from his Father, to whom therefore 
this work of fubduing enemies may be afcribed. 

§ 1 1. The laft thing is the limitation of this all conquer- 
ing work (:u» iwg- cAv) until \ * until I make thine enemies,' 
&c. The Son of God fliali continue eternally in the 
e^fl^ential and natural dominion he has over all creatures, 
and they in their dependence upon him and fubjedlion tQ 
Lira. But as to the oeconomical kingdom of Chrift over 
the church, and ail other things for its protedlion and 
f^lvation, the immediate ends of it will ceafe, and all 
his faints being faved, all his Sons brought to glory, all enemries fubdued ; the end of that rule, which con- 
fided in the guidance and protciftlon of the one, the re- 
flraint and ruin of the other, mufl neceffarily ceafe. The 
Lord Jefus, however, fliall not fo leave his kingdom at 
the lail day, as that the Father Ihould take upon himfelf 
the adminiflratlon of it. Upon the giving up of the 
kingdom, whatever it be, the apoftle doth not fay, the 
Father fhall rule, or reign, as though he Ihould exercifc 
tiie fame kingdom ; but that ' God Ihould be all in all ;* 
that is — God, the Father, Son, and Holy Ghoft, without 
the ufe or intervention of fuch ways or means as were 
in ufe before, during the full continuance of the difpenfa- 
;iLory kingdom of Chrili, Ihall fill and fatlsfy all his faints, 
ihall fupport and difpofc of the remnant of creation. — 
Moreover: this ceafing of the kingdom of Chrift is no 
way derogatory to his glory, or the perpetuity of his 
kingdom ; no more than his ceafing to intercede for his 



people is to the perpetuity of his priefthood, which is con- 
firmtd to him hy oath. — -The kingdom of Chrii\ may be 
fzid to abide for ever, in that all his faints and angels lliall 
eteiTially adore and worfhip him on account of the glory 
which he hath received as the king and head of the church ; 
and in that all the faints Ihall abide in their ftate of union 
to God, through him as their head. God communica- 
ting o( his fiilnefs to tliem in this way, will be the me- 
diator's eternal glory, when all his enemies fhall be his 
foQttlool. Befides, as the righteous judge of all, he fhall 
continue, and that to all eternity, the punilLment of his 

§ 12, Hence we may iiifer the following remarks, 

1. The authority of God the Father in the exaltation 
of jefus Chriil as the head and mediator of the church, 
is greatly to be regarded by believers. ' Sit thou. on my 
•^ right hand.* Much of the confolation and fecurity of 
the church depends on this coniideration. 

2. The exaltation of Chrift is the great /)/^^^f of his ac- 
ceptance as the furety of the church. Now, faith God, 
* fit thou an my right hand ;* the work is done wherein 
my foul is well pleafed. 

3. Chrift hath manv enemies to his kingdom ; I, faith 
God, will deal with all of them. 

4. The kingdom and rule of Chrift is perpetual and 
abiding, notwithftanding all the oppofition that is made 
againft it. His enemies rage, at leaft,fomctimes, as tliough 
they would pull him out of his throne. Frultlefs rage I 
He hath the faithfulnefs and power, the word niul right 
hand of Jehovah, for the fecurity of his kingdom. 

5. The end to which the Lord Jefus Chrift will af- 
fu redly bring all his enemies, (tremendous yet delighful 
thought ?) (hall be to them miferable and ihamcful, to the 
faints Iiappy and jovful, to himfclf victorious and triumph- 
ant. Yes, ruin to enemies, jov to faints, and glory to 
Chrift, will be the momciUous ilTue of all the world's en- 
mity and oppolltion I I'hcy come upon the breadth ot the 
eartii, ?ud compafs the camp of the faints, and the beloved 
city, [Rev. XX. 9.] They go about their work as if they 

2 W0UI4 


would accomplifh it in a day ; and what is the ifTue ? 
The city which they look on as an unvvallcd town, no 
way defenfible or tenable, is not yet taken ; no, nor 
never fhall be, but they fall before it, one after another, 
and their bones lie under the walls of the city they op- 
pofe. Difappointment, fliame, and everiafting punilh- 
ment is their portion. The people they affail nave their 
habitation in a rock. This pledge we have already, that 
all who have formerly rifen up in enmity to the kingdom 
of Chriil: are dead, gone, periihed under his feet, and have 
left their work undone ; as far from accomplifliment as 
the firft day they undertook it. The fame fliall be the lot 
of thofe that are, and thofe that follow, to the end of the 
world. And when they have all done their utmofl, thea 
Ihall the end be ; then fliall all their mifery be completed, 
ttie joy of the faints filled, and the glory of Chrili ever- 
laflingly exalted. Oh ! joyful profpeft to the opprefled 
righteous ; all the Nimrods of the earth, that have op- 
pofed the kingdom of Chrifl, lying in fliame ? id mifery, 
with their necks under the footllool of his feet 1 And 
the like profpe£l mr.v they take of what is to come ; they 
may by faith fee Babylon fallen, the whole confpiracy 
that is in the world againfl them and their Lord dlfap- 
pointed, and all his enemies that fhall arlfe, even to the 
confummation of all things, brought to ruin ! He will not 
fail to put forth his power in the appointed feafon ; he 
will bruife them all with a rod of iron, and daiti them 
in pieces like a potter's veflel. His glory and honour re- 
quire it Ihould be fo. Here they reproach, blafpheme, 
dcfplfe, and perfccutc him. But fhall they cfcape and 
go free ? Shall they always profper ? What then would 
he do to his great name ? The glory of Chrifl indifpenfa- 
bly requires that there be a feafon, a day appointed for the 
eternal ruin of all his llubborn adverfaries. His enemies 
deferve it to the utmoll: : fo that his JuJ^ice, as well as 
liis glory, his interefl, and people, is concerned in their 
deflrudlion. And thus whilll God is righteous, and the 
fcepter of ChrilVs kingdom a fcepter of rightcoufncfs, 
themfelvcs call aloud for their own dcliruflion. 

Vol. H. P Verse 


Versk 14. 

are they not all ministering sf»irits, sent 
forth to minister for thkm who shall bf 
heirs of salvation? 

§ I. ConncLl'i'iu of the argument. § 2. — 5. *Thc wordy ex- 
plained. § 6, 7. Obfirvatmis. § 8 — ^"14. (I.) JVhy 
God ujes the m'unjiry of angels. § 15 — 25. (II.) For 
ii'hat Ipecial ends, § 2 2. /Idditional ohjervations. 

§ I. A HE apoftic — having proved the prc-cminenc? 
ot the Son, as Mediator of the New Tcftamcnt, above all 
the angels, from attributes of honour and glory that are 
afcnbcd to him in tlie fcriptures, that he may not appcap 
to aiguc merely in a negative manner from what is 7iot 
fnid concerning them — adds, in this laft verfe, fuch a. 
defcription of their natures and office, or work and em- 
ployment, as fiievv, that indeed no fuch tiling can h 
rightly affirmed concerning them^ as he hath before ma- 
nikfied to be fpoken and lecorded concerning the Son. 

§ 2. As to their tiaturey they are {TDfivu-cojoc} fpni^ 
ritual fuhjlances ; npt qualities or natural faculties, as th^ 
Sadducees imagined : and as to their offiecs^ they are 
(7rvi'jju,of/« X'zilH'^yiKe/^) mhnjlerhig fpirits. So are they 
tern^ed, Pfahn ciii. 21. * Blefs ye the Lord, all ye his 
* hofls : {Sipt. Ki'iji^rjyiis ccviki) ye mmifters of his that do 
' his pleafurc.' Now what kind of ollicc or minillry it 
is that is afcribed to them, the word itfclf (ma^) partly 
deciures, as it iignifxs to mlmjlcry principally about holy 
things ; and it is performed with honour and cafe, as ©p- 
pofed to another word, (naj?) which is, * to miniiler witlv 
labour and but den.' And hence it is, that the church and 
they make up but one family; [Rphcf., iv. 15.] and ir> 
it they arc all fcllow-fcrvants with thciu that keep the tef- 



timony o£ Jefus, [Rev. xxii. 9.] The defcription of 
this fuperior part of tlie family of God is given us, [Dan. 
vii. 10.] ' Thoufand thoufauds minijicred unto hiin, and 
* ten thoufand times ten thoufand ficod before him,' [Rev. 
V. 1 1.] So concerning the lower part of it, [Deut. xviii. 
5.] God (jhofe the Prieils and the Levites to m'mijicr in 
the name of the Lord. 

§ 3. As to the execution of their office, they are mi- 
niflering fpirits, (sig ^la^KGyia^y (Z7ro(r]sXKo^cy<z) * fent out 
unto a miniftry ;' fent out, that is, they are daily fo, con- 
tinually fo ; the word denoting the prefent time, which- 
is perpetual. They ftand before the prefence of God, 
and are fent forth, fometimes thefe, fometimes others, 
but always thofe that are fufficient for the deflined 
work. And their work is exprelTed by two words, 
which comprife the whole miniftry of the church, 
((X7ro(rj oKvj) apojllcjhif^ and Qnccy^^oviu) labouring m'lmftry ; 
and therein the harmony fublifting between both parts of 
the family is ftill preferved. And as in the fervice of the 
church, the minillers thereof do not minillier to men, but 
to the Lord in the behalf of men, [Ac^s xiii. 2.] fo is it 
with thefe fpirits alfo, they are fent out to minifler for 
the good of men, but properly, it is the Lord to whom 
they minifter : his fervants they are, not ours, [Pfalni 
ciii. 21.] rather ihey are our fellow--ferva}its. As all the 
fervants of a king, though otherwife they greatly differ, 
agree in this, that they are all fervants to the fame per- 

§ 4. Their miniflry is reflri6led to the fpecial objecl of 
their work and employment ; it is * for them that Ihall 
' be heirs of falvation ;' for them.^ for their fakes, for their 
good, in their behalf, who fliall inherit falvation. Heirs 
they are at prefent, and hereafter fhall inherit, or 
actually obtain falvation, by virtue of their heirlhip. 
This privilege, amongil others innumerable and inex- 
preffibly great, we have by our adoption ; being admitted 
into the family of God, thofe blelfed angels have us un- 
der their conllant care. It is true, that the minillry of 
aiigcls is not always abfolutely reflrained to the church., 

P 2 for 


for they are employed alfo in the government of the 
world , yet be it obfcrvcd, notwithilanding, that even 
this is ultimately for the church. 

§ 5. But It may be objected, that this their miniilry 
will no*- clearly evince their inferiority and fubordmatioii 
to Chrift, feeing he himfelf alfo was fent for fie good of 
them who Ihall inherit falvation, and is thus called, 'the 
* apoftle of our profcflion.' But the difference between 
him and them, in their being ' fent,' is fo great and ma- 
iiifefl, that his fuperiority and pre-eminence are not in 
the leall impeached. He was fent by his own prevjous 
choice and condefceniion ; they are fo, in purfuit of the 
ilate and condition of their creation. He was fent to 
miniftcr, in the form of a fervant, only for a fhort feafon, 
in the days of his flefh ; they continue to be fo from the 
beginning to the end of the world. He was fent to the 
great and mighty work of mediation, which none was 
worthy to undertake, none able to go through, but him- 
felf alone, the only-begotten Son of God ; they are fent 
about the ordinary concernments of the faints. He, as 
the Son ; they, as fcrvants. He, as the author of 
the whole work of the redemption and falvation of the 
church ; they, as fubordinate affiflants. in the particular 
promotion of it. Hence, 

§ 6. Obf. I. The higheft honour of the moil glo- 
rious fpirits in heaven is to miniller to the Lord in the 
fervice whereunto he appoints them. This is the work 
of angels, and this is their honour and glory. For what 
greater honour can a creature be made partaker of, than 
to be employed in the fervice of his Creator? What 
greater glory, than to ftand in the prefence, and to exe- 
cute the pleafure, of the King of Heaven ? If it be ai> 
honour on earth to ftand before princes, dying, perifn- 
ing men, who, as to nature and kind, {land on a level 
with themfelvcs, what muft it be for them, who by na- 
ture arc at an infinite diflance from the glorious God, to 
i\and before him ? And how inconceivably vvoful will 
it be to poor fouls at the lall day, to find how they de- 
fpifcd in tlm world a Ihare and intercfl in that fcrvicc, 



which is, and ever was, the glory and hlghefl honour of 
angels ! 

§ 7. Ohf. 2. Such is the love and care of God to-^ 
wards his faints labouring here below, that he fends the 
moll glorious attendants on his throne to rainifler unto 
them, and to take care of them. Re who gave his only 
^)on for them, will not fpare to fend his holy angels^ 
Heaven and earth fhall be witnefles of his care, and of 
the value that he puts upon them. Now, this being a 
matter of fo great importance, as it evidently is, and the 
do£lrine diredlly taught in the text, we may a little far- 
ther inquire, 

I. Wherefore God is pleafed to ufe the miniftry of 
angels, in the difpenfation of his care and good will to 
the heirs of falvation, feeing he could, by an almighty 
facility, produce the fame effedt by his own immediate 
power. And, 

IL To what fpecial ends and purpofes doth God 
make ufe of their miniftry in behalf of believers. 

§ 8. (I.) As to the firft, it is to be refolved princi- 
pally into his own fovereign wifdom and pleafure. God 
hath appointed it. Neverthelefs, the fcripture fuggeils to 
us other fubordinate reafons ; as, 

I . God doth it for prefcrving and manifefling the glo- 
rious order of his kingdom. God is pleafed to rule his 
creatures in the chara£ler of Supreme Lord and King ; 
and thereby he difplays his fovereignty, and makes way 
for the manifeflation of his glory. Now to a kingdom 
there are three things efTential ; rule, obedience, and or- 
der. In this kingdom, the fovereign rule is in the hand 
of God alone — the monarchy is his — while obedience is 
the work and duty of the fubjefts of his dominion. Now 
the glory of both thefe lies in ordcr^ to which the miniftry 
of angels eminently contributes. 

§ 9. 2. God is pleafed to do this, to exercife the 
obedience of the angels themfelves, and particularly to pre- 
ferve and rule them in a manner fuitable to their ftate 
and condition — and that in them he might give an ex- 
ample of ready obedience to the church. Thefe angels 

' \ 9X 


of God, being ill tlieir nature excellent, and great in 
power ; always ready, watchful, and free from all avo- 
cations ; eminent in light and holinefs, as always behold- 
ing the face of God, and fiUed with his grace, are pro- 
pofed to us, in their obedience and readinefs to do the 
will of God, as an example and pattern which we are llu- 
dioully to imitate : and thence are we direftcd to pray, 
that we may ' do the will of God on earth as it is done in 
♦ heaven.' 

^ lo. 3. God employeth them in an efpccial manner 
in this miniltry, to manifcil: to the heirs of falvation tho 
greatncfs and glory of the work of rcdcmptian. For as of 
thcmfelvcs they defire particularly to look into thefe things, 
which in general appear to them fo glorious ; fo, by 
God's dealing with his church, in whofe behalf they arc 
employed, they learn the manifold wifdom of God, and 
the riches of his grace, [Ephef. iii. 10.] And thus, in 
all their employments about the faints, for whofe fake 
they are fent out to miniiler, they learn much of the 
wifdom and love of God, and arc thereby excited to ho- 
nour, glorif^% and praife him. Somewhat of this they fee 
in the leaft and meaneft work that is committed to tliem ; 
and ihcy muft needs eternally rejoice in the ovcrtlowings 
of the love and grace of God, taking care of all the con- 
cernments of the poorefi: and meanelt of his I'ervants. 

§ I I. 4. This is done, that God may thereby, in an 
efpecial manner, give glory and honour to Jc/hs Chr'ift^ 
This is his will, ' that all men Ihould honour the Son 
as they honour the F.thcr,' [John v. 23.] He hath 
therefore railed him, and given him honour and glory ; 
and, in particular, exalted him far above the angels, puttinjr 
them in fubjcftion to him, as their head, prince, and gover- 
nor, ( Kphef. i. 21, 22.] Neither is it a Ihew of glory, or 
a titular kingdom and dominion, that is given him, but a 
real fovcrcigiuy, wherein all things, fubjec> to him, arc 
at his ahfolute difpolal ; and therefore nmft the angels 
thcmfclves be at his fervice in the affairs of his kingdom, 
which thev acknowledge themfelvcs to be, and the fellow^ 
(crvants of (hem that keep his t^flimony, [Kcv. xx. 9.3 



Kow the heart and love of Jefus Chrift is greatly fixed 
tipon that part of his church and people which is labour- 
ing witli fin, affliction, and pcrfecution, here below, 
[Hcb. ii. 57. iv. 15.] It is then greatly for his honour, 
that the glorious angels lliould be employed for the good 
of all his poor labouring faints. How diilinguifliing and 
deferved the honour done to Jefus Chrift in heaven, when 
all the attendants of the throne of God fee what care ia 
taken about the meaneft that believe in him ! 

§ 12. 5. The love, and care, and condefcenfion of 
God to his faints is hereby manifefted to the faints' 
thcmfelvcs. God eniployeth the angels for their good, that 
they may know how he careth for them, and be comforted 
thereby, [Pfalm xci. 10—12.] The faints of God con- 
fefs, that they are lefs tlian all his mercies, and unworthy 
that he fliould have any regard for them, on account oi 
their manifold fins and failings. Of the glorious angels, 
their thoughts and apprehenfions are high and honourable. 
Their nature, their ftate and condition, their power and 
greatnefs, their holincfs and enjoyment of the prefence 
of God, do all prefent them to their minds as polTelfed of 
much excellency and glory— a glory which fome have 
been fo weak and fuperftitious as to adore. Now, when 
they conlider that God is pleated to employ thcfe glorious 
ipirits to watch over them, and to do them good ; to en- 
camp round about them, and to keep them from all evil ; 
this fills them with an holy admiration of his infinite love-y 
and unparalleled condefcenfion. They alio dcfervedly ad- 
mire the excellency of the mediation of the Lord Mefiiah, 
who hath brought them into this condition of favour. 

§ 13. 6. Hereby a blefied intcrcourfe 2i\\A fdlo^vfblp 
ate maintained between the feveral parts of the family oi 
God, confiding of angels and men. Now it is the will 
of God, that for the honour of our Lord Jefus -Chrift, 
the immediate head of this family, there fhouid be a!i in- 
tercourfe and an helpful commuifion between the feveral 
parts of it ; for to this are we brought into the foc'ety of 
the innumerable company of angels, [Hcb. xii. 22.] And 
becaufc ourgoodnefs, our helpfuinefs, is coniuied to the 



iiiints that are in the earth, [Pfalm xvi. 3.] not extend- 
ing itfclf to God, or any of liis holy ones above, nor do 
they ftand in need of our aid, hence God employs them 
about the affairs and concernments of believers, that fo a 
becoming fcllcBvlhip may be kept up in the family of 
Chrill:, which otherwife could have no place. 

§ 14. 7. Perhaps we may add, that God makes ufe 
of the miniftry of angels, in the fervice of the church, to 
reproach, awe, and reflrain the devi/. It is a continual 
reproach call upon Satan, when he fees thofe to whom he 
is like in nature, and with whom he had been a companion 
in glory, willingly, cheerfully, and triumphantly obey 
the will of God in the fervice of Chrift ; while he, on 
the contrary, by his wickednels, has call out himfclf from 
tht fiiue honourable employment, and enflaved himfelf to 
the vilcll ferviccs that any part of the creation of God is 
debalcd to. The whole work of the angels, therefore, is 
a continual reproach to Satan for his fin and folly. It 
cries to him, " This might have been thy work, thi3 
might have been thy condition." And hereby God 
alfo, in manv things, fruflrates his endeavours, reflrains 
his power, and dilappoints his malice. It is inconceiv- 
able what havock he would make of the lives, and liber- 
ties, and ellates, of the faints, did not thefe watchers 
from the Holv One difappoint him. He fees the church, 
and every member of it, which he fceks to devour, en- 
camped about, protected, and defended, by this heavenly 
holl ; nay, he fees he cannot touch the foul of any one 
of them, nor caufc an hair of his head to perilli. This 
fills him with felf-devouring envy and wrath. 

§ I 5. (II.) The fccond quellion is, To what ends and 
purpolbs doth God make ufe of the minillry of angels in 
behalf of believers ? In general, God doth it to commu- 
nicate by them the eff'cfts of his care and love to the 
church. This God rcprefentcd to Jacob in the vifion he 
gave him of the ladder, which flood upon the earth, and 
whole top readied unto heaven, [Gen. xxviii. 12, 15.] 
For altliougli the jews fay fomewhat to the purpofe, when 
they affirm this ladder to have denoted the dependence of 



all things here below on them above, under the rule of 
Divine Providence, yet they faw not all that was lignified 
thereby. Our Saviour tells us, [John i. 51.] that from 
thence his dlfciples fhould * fee heaven opened, and an- 
* gels afcending and defcending upon the Son of man ;* 
plainly alluding to this vilion of Jacob. They afcend and 
defcend on his mediation, fent by his authority, aiming 
at his glory, doing his work, and carrying on his inteiefts. 

§ 16. I. They are fent in an extraordinary manner, 
to make revelations of the will of God about things tend- 
ing to the obedience and fpiritual advantage of believers. 
Hereof we have many inftanccs in the Old Teftament, ef- 
pecially in God's dealing with the patriarchs before the 
giving of the law ; which alfo was confirmed under the 
New Teftament, in many inftances, [fee efpeciaily Rev. i. 
I.] How far God is pleafed to continue this part of the 
miniftration of angels to the prefent period of the church, 
is hard to determine. For, as many have pretended to 
revelations by angels, which have been mere delufions of 
Satan, or imaginations of their own brains ; fo to af- 
firm, that God doth not, or may not, fend his angels to 
any of his faints, to communicate his mind with refpe£l 
to fome particulars of their own duty, according to his 
word, or to forefliew fomething of his own approaching 
work, feems, in my judgement, unwarrantably to limit 
the Holy One of Ifrael. Howbeit, fuch things, in their 
particular application, are to be duly weighed, with fo- 
briety and reverence. 

§ 17. 2. God, bv them, fuggefts good motions into the 
minds of his faints. As the devil fet himfelf on work to tempt 
them to evil, by fuggcftions fuited to the principles of fin 
withiii them ; fo God employs his holy angels to provoke 
^hem to that which is good, by fnggefting what is fuit- 
able to the principle of their fpiritual life and grace. And 
as it is difficult to dlfcover the faggeftions of Satan in mod 
cafes, from the workings of our own minds, their opera- 
tions becoming efTcdlnal only as they mix themfelves with 
•ourdarkncfs and lufts ; fu, on the other hand, it is no 

Vol. II. CL Icfs 


lefs difiicult diflinftly to take notice of thefe angelical 
motions for a fimilar reafon. For, being fuitable to the 
inclinations of that principle of grace which is in the 
liearts of believers, and producing no cfFcd but by 
them, they are hardly difcerned. So that we may have 
the benefit of many angelical fuggeftions of good 
things, which we ourfelve^ take no notice of. And it 
it be inquired, how thefe good motions from angels are, 
or may be diftinguilhed from the motions of the Holy 
Cthoft, and his aftings in believers ? I anfwer, that they 
diiTer fundry ways -, as, 

(i.) Thefe angehcal motions are (qI extra) from witly 
cut. Angels have no inbeing, no relidence in our fouls, 
but work upon us as an external principle ; whereas tl>c 
Holy Spirit abideth with us, and dwelleth in us, and 
works (ah intra) from within^ influencing the very prin- 
ciples of our minds. Whence it follows, 

(2.) That thefe angelical motions confifl in occafional 
Imprcjfions o\\ the mind and imagination ; and are made by 
advantages taken from outward obje£ts, and the prefent 
difpofition of the foul ; whereas the Holy Ghoft, in his 
operations, engages all the faculties of the foul, really 
and immediately citing them to gracious aAings> accord- 
ing to their nature and quality. Whence alio it appears, 
(3.) That angelical fuggeflions communicate wo Jhcngth 
or abihty to perform the good which they guide and di- 
rect to ; only they flir up men to a£t and exert the 
ilrength they have. But the Holy Ghoft, in his gracious 
motions, does really communicate Ipiritnal power to the 
faculties of the foul, enabling them rightly to perform tlie 
duties propofcd. And, 

(4.) Whereas angelical impreftlons are tranjicnt, and 
abide only in the effcfts which the mind, excited by them, 
product-s ; on the contrary, there is a conftant, abiding 
effectual work of the Holy Giioft in the hearts of belie- 
vers, enabling them to will and to do, according to his 
good plcafure. 

§ 18. 3. God fends forth his angels on this miniftr\v 

to prefervc believers from many dangers, and ruinous ca- 

fualtic.; that would othcrwife befal them. One great dc- 

I figii 


fign of Pfalm xci. is to acquaint its with this important 
particular. And to this purpoic alfo it is faid, that * the 
* angel of the Lord cncampeth round about tliem that 
' fear him,* as they did about Elifha to prefcrve them from 
the danger to which they are expofed. Nor is this im- 
peached by the evils ^nd calamities thatbefal the righteous, 
for God hath given commillion to his angels only to adt 
according to his good picafure : and this does not hinder 
but that his faints fhould be cxercifed with various trou- 
bles and calamities for the trial of their faith arid obe- 
dience. But yet, in the ordering and managing of thefe 
calamities or troubles, they have no lefs benefit by the 
niiniflry of angels, than they have in refpe(ft of thofe 
from which they are preferved by them. For, inafmuch 
as they alfo are defigned for their good, their being ex- 
pofed to them in the bed feafons, their fupport under 
them during their continuance, and deliverance from them 
in the appointed time, are all iignal mercies which they 
receive by the minillry of angels. 

§ 19. 4. By this miniflry of angels doth God parti- 
cularly preferve us from the fudden and violent incuriions 
of Satan. Satan in the fcripture is called a * ferpent,* 
from his fubtility and lying in wait to do mifchief ; and 
a * lion,' from his rage and dellru6live fury : and as the 
one, and the other, he continually feeks the harm and 
ruin of the whole man ; not only of our fouls in fin and 
punifliment, but of our bodies, in our lives, health, and 
welfare. Hence we find fo many in the gofpel troubled 
with bodily infirmities from the aflaults and impreifion of 
Satan. Hereto alfo belong all thofe hurtful terrors, af- 
frightments, and furprifals which he endeavours by him-i 
felf and his agents to call upon us. Had he his defired 
liberty, he would, at Icaft, make our whole lives full of 
difappointments, horrors, vajn fears, and perplexities, if 
he could proceed no farther. Now in all thcfe defigns 
it is more than probable that he is prevented by the mi-» 
jiiftry of angels, [fee Job i.] 

§ 19. 5. They arc appointed in their minillry to be 
wiUieffcs of the obedience, fufferings, and worfhip of the 

0.2 4if- 


difclplcs of Chrift ; that they may give tcftimony con- 
cerning them before God, and m the great ailembly of the 
laft day ; fo glorifying God for the grace beftowcd upon 
believers, and the aHirtance afforded them. I'hus Paul 
tells us, that the apofties in their preaching and fufferings, 
were * made a fpeftacle to angels,' [I. Cor. iv. 9.] The 
holy angels looked on, rejoicing to behold how glorioufly 
they acquitted themfelves in the work of their minillry. 
And to this end doth he charge Timothy, * before the cleft 
* angels,* to difcharge aright the work of an evangclill:, 
[I. Tim. V. 2.] becaufe they were appointed of God to 
be witnclTcs of his faithfulnefs and diligence. And it is 
not improbable but he hath refpc£l to the prefence of an- 
gels in the alTcmblies of the faints for the worfliip of God, 
where he enjoins modefly and fobriety to women on their 
account, [I. Cor. xi. 10.] And from that particular in- 
flance, a general rule may be drawn, for the obfervation 
of comtlincfs and order in all our aflcmblies, for thcfe 
holy witiieffes arc prcfent at all our folemn worfhip* 
Church aflcmblies are the court, the dwelling place, the 
throne of Jefus Chrift, and therefore in them he is in an 
cfpccial manner attended by thefe glorious miniftcrs of his 
prefence. And although an holy regard to God, and our 
Lord Jcfus Chrift, be the firft and principal motive to 
a right and holy acquitment of ourfelves in all our obe- 
dience, fufferings, and worfliijv ; yet, in fubordinatioii 
thereunto, wc may alfo have refped to the angels, as 
thofe who are employed by him to be witnclTes of out 
ways and carriage. Such a refpeft, I mean, as may ad- 
minifter occafion to them to glorify God in Chrift on our 
behalf; that lb all the honour may finally redound to h'nn 

§ 20. 6. God iifeth the miniftrv of angels, to avenge 
his cleft of their enemies and perfccutors. Thus by an 
angel he deftroycd the army of Sennacherib, when he ir^ 
tended and threatened the deftruftion of Jcrufalem ; and 
by an angel he fmote Merod in the niidft of his pride and 
perfecution ; [A(f^s xii.] and this minillry of theirs is in 
an efpecial manner pointed at in fcveral places of the 



Revelation, where the judgements of God are foretold to 
be executed on perfecutors. And this work they v/ait for in 
an holy admiration of the patience of God towards many 
a provoking generation ; and are in continual readinel's 
to difcharge it to the uttermofl, whenever they ihali re- 
ceive their commilhon for that purpofe. 

§ 21. 7. Laftly, the miniftry of angels refpe£ls th© 
general refurreftion and day of judgement. The Lord 
Chrill is every where defcribed coming to judgement at 
tlie lafl day, attended with all his holy and glorious an- 
gels. And great fhall be their work towards the eledl ia 
that day, when the Lord Jefus ihall be admired in all that 
believe. For although the work of the refurre£tion, lika 
that of the creation, is to be efFe£led by the immediate 
operation of almighty power, without the intervention 
of any fecondary agents, limited in their power and ope- 
ration ; yet many things preparatory thereunto, and con« 
fequent upon it, fliall be committed to the miniftry of 
angels. By them are the figns and tokens of it to be 
proclaimed to the world ; to them is committed the 
founding of the laft trumpet and the giving out the ge- 
neral fummons for all flelh to appear before Jefus Chrift:, 
with all the glorious folemnity of the laft judgement*. 
And as they carry and accompany the departed fouls of 
the faints into the receptacles of their heavenly reft, [Luke 
xvi. 22.] fo, doubtlefs, alfo Ihall they accompany them in 
their joyful return to their beloved former habitation, 
(their bodies) that they may be rebuilt and adorned with 
glory. By them alfo will the Lord Redeemer at length 
bring all the heirs of lalvation triumphant into the full 
poflelhon of their inheritance. 

§ 22. To what has been faid, let the following obfer- 
vations be added : 

I. That we ought to be very careful to ufe fobriety 
in our fpeculations and meditations about this matter. 
Herein doth the apoftle's caution apply in an efpecial 
manner, that we fhould be ' wife to fobriety,' and not 
^Q think ourfelves * wife about what is written.* Thi^ 
foipe negle£ting of old, and endeavouring to intrude 



thcmfclves into the * things which they had not fecii.* 
[Col. Ji. 1 8.] that is, boafting of a knowledge and ac- 
quaintance with angels, which they had no fate revealed 
grownd for, fell into pride, fupcrilition, and idolatry, as 
the apoftle declareth. And alinoll: in all ages of tlie 
church, men have failed on this account. 

2. Danger Ihould not deter us from duty. Becaufe 
fome have failed in this matter, we ought not, therefore, 
wholly to neglcft it ; there being fa great a concernment 
of the glory of God, and our own good involved therein. 
Had others erred, becaufe they had neither way to walk in, 
or guide to attend to, it had been fufficient to reflrain us 
from attempting any thing in this matter; but whereas it 
is evident, that they wilfully neglc£led or tranfgrelTed the 
way, and dcfpifed their guide, following their own ima- 
ginations, fhall others be difcouraged in their duty, while 
the5^ may avoid their mifcarriages ? Wc have the word 
of God for our way and guide ; if we go not hejidcs it, 
and if we go not beyond it, we are as fafe when we treat 
of angels, as if we treated of worms. And it is pride to 
the height, not to inquire after what may be known, be- 
caufe there are many things that we may not know nor 
comprehend. If that take place, it will debar us from 
all fcarch into the myfleries of the gofpel \ for upon our 
■utmofl attainments we know but in part. God's reve-» 
lation is the obje£t of our knowledge ; and fo far as that 
is made and given, fo far wc may inquire and learn. Be- 
iides, it is the height of ingratitude not to fcarch after 
what may be known of tliis great privilege and mercy, 
whereof we are made partakers, in the miniil;ry of angels. 
God hath nrither appointed nor revealed it for nQthing. 
He cxpefts a revenue of praife and glory from it; and 
how can we blefs him for what we know nothing of? Let 
us on this account glorify God and be thankful. Great 
38 the privilege, manifold are the blcflings and benefit* 
that wc are hereby made partakers of. Now what fliall 
we render for the exalted privilege, and to whom ? Shall 
wc go and {>ow ourfelves down to ^he angels thcmfclves, 
and pay to them our homage and obedicjice ? They all cry 


out with one accord, * fee you do it not,' we are your 
fellow fervants. What Ihall we then do ? They unaili- 
moufly reply, * worfhip God ;' glorify and praife him, 
who is the God of all angels, who fends and employs 

3. The fancy of one iingle guardian angel attending 
every one, is both a real impeachment of the confola- 
tion of believers, and a great inducement to fuperftitioii 
and idolatry. 

4. Behevers obtain heaven by inheritance ; by a free 
gift of their Father, and not by any merit of their own. 
Heirs among men claim their inheritance {jure nafcendi,) 
becaufc they are born to it, not bccaufe they deferve it 
better than others. Believers look for thdirs {jure adop- 
iionisj) by right of adoption, whereby thev become fons^ 
heirs of God, and co-heirs with Jefus Chrift. 

Verse i. 


§ I. Introdu&ton. § 2 — 4. (I.) Expojition of the words. 
§ 5 — 10. (11.) The fubjeft improved by pratlkal obfcr- 

§ I. An this fecond chapter the apoftle declares his de- 
lign and fpecial aim, which was not merely for inftrudion 
or information, though that alfo was iu his eye, but chiefly 
to prevail with the Hebrews to fledfaftnefs in the faith 
of the gofpel, and diligence in attending to all thofe 
ways and means whereby tliey might be eftablilhed. The 



foundation of bis exhortations to this purpofc, he lavs 
in the incomparable cxcL-llency of the author of the gof- 
pel. Hence naturally flow juft and cogent inferences to 
conftancy in the profefTion of his do£lrines, and obedi- 
ence to him, both abfolutcly, and in rcfpeft of the com- 
petition fet up againll the fame by the Mofaical ini\itu- 
tions. We fhall, according to our ufuai method, 

I. Give the expofltion of the words ; and 

II. Draw fuch obfervations from them as may be mod 

§ 2. (I.) From the confideratlon of the glory and ex- 
cellency of Chrift, as the author of the goipel, he draws 
the inference, {'^ic/. tSto) * therefore ought we ;' that is, 
for the reafons and caufes infifted upon. And thus the 
word (iTCi^j<zcioi'CjoiL'zv) flow out, exprelFeth their lo/in^ by 
any ways or means the dodrine of the gofpel wherein 
they had been inllrufted, and the benefits thereof. See- 
ing the gofpcl hath fuch a blcfTcd Author, we ought to 
take care that \\c forfeit not, or lofc not, our intereft in it. 
(AT/ yjuccg) * Ought zve ;' the apoftle joins himfelf here 
with them, to manifcll that the duty he exhorts them to, 
is of general concernment to all to whom the gofpel is 
preached, fo that he lays no fingular burden on them ; 
and that he might not as yet difcover to them any jealoufy 
of their inconllancv, or that he entertained any fcvcrc 
tlioughts concerning tliem : appreheniions whereof are 
apt to render exhortations fufpe£led ; the minds of men 
being ready enough to dllVcgard that which they are per- 
fuaded to, if they fufpe£t that undeferved blame lies at 
the bottom of the exhortation. The word (7rzpio-a-ci:-pxg} 
mere ahundayitly, is joined to {%lcc Tif.'c) thertfore, or, * tor 
* this caufe,' and feems immediately to refped it ; and fo to 
intimate the excellent and abundant reafon we have to 
attend to the gofpel. But if we tranfpofe the word>, 
Sj/ %lJ^.g TT-^tG-croTipcjug iTpco-C'XStv) then the word {TTipia-c-c 
1-pu^g) * more abundantly,* refpc(n:s the following word 
{TTpoo-c^^tv) * to attend unto,' and fo cxprefTeth fomewhat 
of the mamicr of the performance of the duty propofed. 
And tliis application of the word is mofl commonly re- 


ccived. The reader may embrace what feiife he judgeth 
mod agreeable to the fcope of the palFage. 

§ 3. In reference to the duty exhorted to, there is ex- 
prelfcd the ohjeft of it, ' the things heard.* Thus the 
apoflle chufeth to exprefs the dodrine of the gofpel, with 
refpc6l to the way and manner whereby it was commu- 
nicated, namely, by preaching ; for ' faith cometh by 

* hearing,' and hearing is of the word preached, [Rom. X. 
14, 15.] And herein doth he magnify the great ordinance 
of preaching, as every where elfe he maketh it the great 
means of begetting faith in men. So that the apoftle jn- 
lifls upon, and commends to them, not only the things 
themfelves, wherein they had been inftruded, but alfo the 
way whereby they were comniunicated ; this as the means; 
of their believifig, as the ground of their profeflion, they 
were diligently to remember, confider, and attend to. The (■ 
duty itfelf, and the manner of its performance, are ex- 
prefled in the word (Tfooa-E'x^siv) * to attend or give heed/ 

It is an attendance with reverence, affent, and readinefs 
to obey, [fee A6ls xvi. 14.] God opened the heart o£ 
Lydia (™crf^t/j/) * to attend unto the things that were 

* fpokeii ;' not to give them the hearing only; there was no 
need of the opening of her heart for the mere attention o£ 
her ear ; but llie attended with readinefs, humility, and 
refolution to obey the word. To attend, then, to the 
word preached, is to confider the author of it, the matter, 
the importance, and the ends of it, with faith, fubjec* 
tion of fpirit, and conftancy. 

§ 4. The duty exhorted to being laid down, a motive 
or enforcement is fubjoined, taken from the danger that 
would enfae from the negle£l of it. And this is either 
from the fin, or from the punifhment, that would attend 
it, according to the various interpretations of the word 
(TrapccoDVcouicv) fiow out, or fall. If it fignifies to * fall,' 
or * perilb,' then the punijhment of tlic negle£l is inti- 
mated. We fliall perilh as water that is poured on the 
earth. This {c\\{q of the word is embraced by few ex- 
pofitors, yet is it not altogether unv/orthy our notice ; 
though ftri^lly it is our finful lofin^ of the word, and the 

Vol. IL R ' be- 


benefits thereof, which the apoille intciuleth And this 
appears further if we remark, that in the next verfes he 
dotli not proceed to prove what he had aflcrted in this 
vcrfe, but goes on to other arguments to the fame pur- 
pofe. The exprclTion is fuppofcd generally to allude to 
leaking vejjchy which let the water, poured into them one 
way, to ru!\ out many ways. The word relates to the 
perfonsj not to the things, becaufe it contains a crime. 
It is our duty to retain the word which we have hcnrd ; 
and, therefore, it is not laid that the water tlows out, 
but that wc, as it were pour it out. And this crime is de- 
noted by the addition of the prej)oiition [iroi'^oi) to the 
verb {I'jfiv.) For as the fimple verb denotes the * paf- 

* ling away' of any thing, as water, wlicthcr it dcfcrvcs 
to be ret: ined or no ; fo the compound doth the lofing of 
that pcyjctjely which we ought to have retained. And 
there is an elegant nivtaphor in the word \ for as the drops 
of rain falling on the earth, water it and make it fruitful, 
\'o does tlic ccleftial doctrine make fruitful unto God the 
fouls of men, upon whom it defccnds. And in refpect to 
the word of the gofpcl it is, that the Lord Chrill is faid 
to comedown * as the fliovvers on the mown grafs, [Pfalni 
Ixxii* 6.] fo the apollle calls the jireaching of the gofpcl 
to men, the waiaing of them, [I. Cor. iii. 6, 7.] and 
clfewhcre compares them, to whom it is preached, to the 

* earth that drinkcth in the rain,' [Heb. vi. 7.] Hence, 
in the words wc arc upon, men are faid to pour out the 
word preached, when by their negligence they lofc, in* 
llead of retaining, the benefit of the gofpel. So when 
our Saviour had compared the fame word to (ccd^ he fcts 
out men's falling from it by all the ways and means where- 
by {t:i:(.\ into the earth may be loft or become unpro- 
fitable, [Matt, xiii.] And as he Ihews this h done various 
ways ; fo there arc many times and fcafons, ways and 
means, by which wc arc in danger of lofnig, or of pouring 
out, through mifimprovemcnt, (as a vellel that docs not 
anfwer the end for which it is made,) the water or rain 
of the word which we have received. And this is referred 
to in thatexprelhon, ' left at any time.' 

2 ' § 5- 

Ver.i. epistle to the HEBREWS. 121 

§ 5. (II.) From the words thus explained, we may- 
proceed to the following obfervatjons : 

Obf. I. Diligent attendance to the word of the gofpel 
is indilpcnfably necellary for perfeve ranee in the profelfion 
of it ; fuch a profeflion, I mean, as is acceptable to 
God, or will be ufeful to our own fouls. The profef- 
fion of moil is a merely not renouncing the gofpel in 
word, whilft in their hearts and lives they deny the power 
of it every day. A faving profeflion is that which ex- 
prelleth the efficacy of the word to falvation, [Rom. x. 10.] 
This will never be the effe£l of a lifelefs attendance ; for 
it implies, 

( J.) A due ^^luation of the grace tendered in it, and 
of the word itfelt on that account. Thus the original 
word (7J"pocri%c/v) denotes fuch an attendance to any thing, 
as proceeds from an eftimation and valuation of it an- 
fwerable to its worth. If we have no fuch thoughts of 
the gofpel, we can never attend to it as we ought ; and 
if we confider it not as that wherein our chief interefl lies, 
we conlider it to no profit. The field wherein is the 
pearl of great price, js fo to be ' heeded,' as to be valued 
above all other poffelTions whatfoever, [Matt. xiii. 45, 46.] 
They who efteemed not the marriage feall of the king ■ 
above all avocations and wordly concerns, were fhut out as 
unworthy, [Matt. xxii. 7.] If the gofpel be not more to 
us than all the world befides, we fhall never continue in 
an ufeful polTeffion of it. Conflant high thoughts, then, 
of the neceffity, worth, glory, and excellency of the 
gofpel, cfpecially on account of the author of it, and the 
grace difpenfed in it, is the firfl ftep in that ' diligent heed- 
' ing' of it, which is here required, that we may keep 
our faith firm unto the end. 

(2.) Diligent iludy of the gofpel and fearching into 
the mind of God in it, that fo we may grow wife in 
its holy myfleries, is another part of this duty. The 
gofpel is the wifdom of God, [I. Cor. i. 24.] and in it 
are laid up all the ilorcs and trcafures of that wifdom, 
[Col. ii. 2, 3.]- It is to be fought for as filver, and to be 
iearched after as hid treafures, [Prov, ii. 4.] that is, a? 

R, 2 \vorthy 


worthy tlic utmofl pains and diligence. Men with inde- 
fatigable pains, and often with great danger, pierce into 
the bowels of the earth in fearch of hidden treafurcs. 
Such treafures are not gathered, by every lazy pafTenger 
on the furfacc of the earth. They mud dig, feek, and 
fearch, who intend to be made partakers of them ; and 
fo mud we do for thefe treafures of heavenly wifdom. 
The mvAery of the grace of the gofpel is great and deep, 
fuch as the angels defirc to bow down and look into, 
[I. Pet. i. 12.] ; and which the prophets of old, not- 
vithllanding the advantage of infpiration, ' inquired di- 
* ligcntly' after, [verfe i i.] Without this, no man will 
hold fail his profeffion. Nor doth any man ncgled the 
gofpel, but he that knows it not, [II. Cor. iv. 3, 4.] 
This is the great principle of apoftafy in the world, that 
men have owned the gofpel, but never knew wliat it was ; 
and therefore fooliflily leave the profefTion of it, as they 
lightly took it up. Studying the word is the fecurity of 
our faith. 

(3.) Mixing the word with faith is alfo required in 
this attention. [See chap. iv. 2.] As good not hear, as 
not believe; believing is the end of hearing, [Rom. x. 
II.] and therefore Lydia's faith is called her attention, 
[A£^s xvi. 14.] I'o hear, and not believe, is, in the 
fpiritual life, what to fee meat, and not to cat it, is in the 
natural ; it will plcafc the fancy, but will never nourilli 
the foul. Faith alone realizeth the things fpoken to thq 
heart, and gives them fubfiflcncje in it, [Heb. xi. i.] 
without which, as to us, they hover in loofc and uiiccrr 
tain notions. 

(4.) Labouring to exprefs the word received, in a con- 
formity of heart and life to it, is another part of this at- 
tention. This is the next proper end of our hearing; 
and to do a thing appointed for a certain end, without 
aiming at that end, is no better than the not doing it at 
'A\y in fome cafes much worfe. The apofllc fays of the 
Romans, that they were cafl: into the mould of the gof- 
pel do(!^rine, [chap. vi. 13.] It left upon their hearts an 
imprcffion of its own likencfs, or produced in them an 



txprefs image of that holinefs, purity, and wifdom, 
which it revealeth. This is * to behold, with open face, 

* the glory of the Lord, as in a glafs, and to be changed 

* into the fame image,' [IL Cor. iv. i8.] that is, the 
image of the Lord Chrift, maniicfted to us, and reflefted 
upon us by means of the gofpel. When the heart of the 
hearer is animated with g fpel truths, and is thereby 
moulded and falliioned into their likenefs, and expreffetli 
that likenefs in its fruits, or a converfation becoming the 
gofpel, then is the word attended to in a right manner. 
This, and this alone, will fecurc to the word a ftation ia 
our hearts, and give it a permanent abode. 

(5.) Watchfulnefs againft all oppofition to the truth, 
or power of the w^ord ^n us, belongs alfo to this duty. 
And as thefe oppofitions are fo many, powerful, and dan- 
gerous, fo ought this watchfulnefs to be great and dili- 
gent. Hence, 

§ 6. Obf. 2. There are fundry times and feafons, kvc^ 

ral ways and means, men are in danger of lofing the word 

that they have heard, if they attend not diligently to pre- 

ferve it. (M'W-O * ^f ^^y ^^>''^^' ^r * by any way or 

* means.' This our Saviour teacheth us at large in the 

parable of the feed, which was retained but in one fort of 

ground out of the four into which it was caft, [Matth, 

xiii.] And this is confirmed by the experience of all ages. 

Yea, few there are at any time, who, when they have 

heard the gofpel, keep it as they ought. We may briefly 

name the feafom wherein, and the ways whereby, the 

hearts and minds of men are made like * leaking vefTels,' 

(contrary to the ufe for which they were made) to pour 

out, or let flip, the word of truth. ^ -3 

(I.) Some lofe it in a time of peace ^nd profperity. 
That is a feafon which flays the foolilh. ' Jefliurun wax- 
* edfat, and kicked.' According to men's paflures, fo 
are they filled, and then forget the Lord. They fill their 
lulls, until they loath the word ; and thus qua'ils often 
make a lean foul. A profperous outward eflatc hath 
{lifted many a promising convidion, yea, and weakens 
faith and obedience often in many of the faints. The 




warintli ot prorperity breeds fwaniis of apoftatcs, as the 
heat of" the fun doth infedts in the fpring. 

(2.) Some lofe it in a time o( pet fccution. * When per- 
* fecufion arifeth,' faith our Saviour, * they fall away.* 
jMany go on apace in profeffion, until they come to fee 
the crofs. The iight of this puts them to a iland, and 
turns them quite out of the way. They thought not of 
it, and do not like it. 

(3.) Some lofe it in a time o^ temptation. It pleafeth 
God, in his wildom and grace, to fuffer fometimes an 
hour of temptation to come upon the church for trial, 
[Rev. iii. 10.] that the members may be made thereby 
conformable to Chrill their head, who had his fpccial 
hour of temptation. In this trying {late, many lofe the 
-word. They have been caft into a negligent flumber, by 
the ffcret power of temptation ; aiid when they awake, 
and look about them, the whole efficacy of the word is 
loft and gone. 

§ 7. The "jua^s and means alfo, whereby this woefu] 
efr^«St is produced arc various, ven, iniiumerable. For 
inftance, the love of this pre ft nt world. This made Demas 
a * leaking vellel,' [II. Tim. iv. ic] ; and this choaked 
one iourth part of the feed in the parable, [Matth. xiii.] 
IVIanv might have been rich in grace, had they not made 
it their end and bufmefs to be rich in this world, [Tim. 
vi. 9.] Again, z/;^ love of fin. A fecret luft cherilhcd 
in the heart will make it (plenum r'lmarum), * full of 

* chinks,' fo tliat it will never retain the Ihowers of the 
word ; and it will alTu;edly open thofe chinks again as 
faft as convi6lions mav ftop them. Moreover, falfe doc- 
trines, falfe worfhipy r\u\ fupetfitious fancies will do the fame. 
1 place thefe things together, as thofe which work in the 
fnne kind upon the curioiity, vanity, and darkncls of 
the human mind. Thelc break the velfei, antl at once 
pour out all the benefits received. 

§ 8. Ol'l. 3. The gofpel heard is not loll: without great 
fm, as well as the incvitalilc ruin of the fouls ot men. 
And loft it certainlv is, when it is not ' mixed with 

* faith,' when wt- receive it nut into * good and honeft: 

* hearts/ 


* hearts,' and when the end of it Is not accomplifhed in 
lis. But this, undoubtedly, befalls us not without our 
lin, and woful ncglecl of duty. The word, of its own 
nature, is apt to abide, to incorporate itfelf with us, and 
to take root ; but we call it out, and pour it forth from 
us. Surely, then, they have a woful account to make, 
on whofe fouls (Oh fliuddcring thought !) the enor- ; 
mous guilt thereof Ihall be found at the lalt day. 

§ 9. Obf. 4. It is in the nature of the gofpel to water 
dry and barren hearts, and to make them fruitful unto 
God. Where this word comes, it makes * the parched 

* ground a pool, and the thirfty land fprings of water,' 
[Ifa. XXXV. 7.] Thefe are * the waters of the fanduary, 

* that heal the barren places of the earth, and make them 

* fruitful,' [Ezek. xlvii.] the * river that makes glad the 

* city of God,' [Pfal. xlvi. 7.] that ' river of living wa- 

* ter that comes forth from the throne of God,' [Rev. 
xxii. I.] and the places and perfons which are not heal- 
ed or benefited by thofe waters, are left to barrennefs and 
burning for evermore, [Ezck. xlvii. 11. and Heb. vi. 
8.] With the dew hereof doth God water his church 
every moment, [Ifa. xxvii. 3.] and then doth it ' grow 

* as a lily, and cafl forth its roots as Lebanon,' [Hof. 
"xiv. 5 — 7.] Abundant fruitfulnefs to God follows a 
gracious receiving of this dew from him ; and bielTed are 
they who have it diftiUing on them every morning, who 
arc watered as the garden of God, or as a land for which 
he careth. 

§ 10. OhJ, 5. The confideration that the gofpel is re- 
vealed by the Son of God himfelf, is a powerful motive ^"^ 
to that diligent attention which is here inculcated. This 
is the apoftle's inference, which he purfues through the 
greateft part of the enfuing chapter. And the divine re- 
quifition, that * we ought to give the more carneft heed 

* to the things which we have heard,' is moil reafonable 
"upon many accounts. 

(I.) Becaufe of \\\^ authority wherewith Chrlfl: fpake 
the word. Others fpake and delivered their meifage as 
fervants, he as the Lord over his own houfe, [chap. iii. 



6.] The Father himfelf proclaimed from heaven, that 
if any one would have any thing to do with God, they 
were * to hear him,' [Matth. xvii. lo. II. Pet. i. 17.] 
The whole authority of God was with him ; for him did 
God the Father feal, or upon him did he put the ftamp 
of all his authority. It cannot then be ncglcfled, with- 
out the contempt of all the incontcilable authority of 
God ; which cannot be but a fore and tremendous ag- 
gravation of the fins of unbelievers and apoftates at the 
lafl day. 

(2.) Becaufe of the love that is in it. There is in it 
the love of the Father in fending the Son ; and there is 
alio in it the love of the Son himfelf, condefcending to 
teach and inftru£t the fons of men, who, by their own 
fault, were caft into error and darknefs. What greater 
love (except his dying for us) could the eternal Son of 
God manifeft unto us, than that he Ihould undertake, in 
his own perfon, to become our inftrucftor, [See I. John 
T. 20.] He that Ihall confidcr the brutifn ignorance and 
flupidity of the generality of mankind in the things of 
God ; the mifcrable, fluctuating, and endlcfs uncertain- 
ties of the more inquiring part of them ; and withal th<? 
importance of their being brought into the knowledge of 
the truth, cannot but, in fome meafure, fee the great- 
ncfs of the love of Chriil: in revealing to us the whole 
cou>nfel of God. Hence his words arc faid to be ' gra- 
• cious,* [Luke iv. 22.] and grace is faid to be poured 
into his lips, [Pfal. xlv. 2.] and this is no fmall mo« 
tive to our earneil attention to the gofpcl. 

(3.} The fulnefs of his revelation is alio of the great- 
eft importance. He came not to declare merely a parr, 
but the -whole will of God ; all that we ihould know, all 
that wc Ihould do, and all that we Ihould believe. In 
him arc hid all the treafurcs of wifdom and knowledge, 
[Col. ii. 3.] He opened all the dark fcntences of the 
will of God, hidden from the foundation of the world. 
There is in his do£lrine all wifdom, all knowledge, as 
all light is in the fan, and all water in the fca. Now if 
every word of God be excellent, if every part of it, de- 


livcred by bis fcrvants of old, was to be attended to upon 
penalty of extermination out of the number of his people ; 
how much more miferable will our condition be, and 
how much more deplorable is ourblindnefs and obftinacy, 
if we have not a heart to attend to this full revelation of 
himfelf and his will ! 

(4.) Becaufe it is final. * Laft of all, he feni. his Son.' 
No new, no farther revelation of God, is to be expe£ted 
in this world, but what is made by Jefus Chrift, To 
this only we mufi: attend, or (dreadful, yet equitable al- 
ternative ! j we are loll for ever ! — In fhort, the true and 
only way of honouring Chrift, as the Son of God, is by 
diligent attention and cheerful obedience to his gofpel. 
The apoftle having evidenced his glory as the Son of 
God, draws this as the moft important inference from it. 
Thus alfo he himfelf; * If ye love me, keep my com- 
* mandments.' Where there is no obedience to the word> 
there is no faith in, nor love to Jefus Chrift. 

Verses 2—4. 

for if the word spoken by angels was stf.dfast 
and every transgression and disobedience 
received a just recompence of reward ; how 
shall we escape, if we neglect so great sal- 
vation; which at the first began to bb 
spoken by the lord, and was confirmed un- 
to us by them that heard him ; god also 
bearing them witness, both with signs and 
wonders, and divers miracles, and giftb of 
the holy ghost, according to his own will. 

§ I. Connexion and f:opc of the iL'ords. § 2. — 9. (I.) Their 

cxpofition. § 10. (II.) Obfervations, I. Threatenings 

are evangelical, and of fingular ufe, § 1 1 . This farther 

Vol. II. S p-Qved, 


proved. § 12, 13. 2. JIl piitiiJhmcHtSarc effcfis of vin- 
diii'ive juftice. § 14. 3. T}?e concernments of the law and 
gcfpel are to he weighed by believers. § 15. 4. Divine 
revelation is flcdfafl. § 16 — 22. 5. T'he gofpel bein^ 
a great falvation^ whofocvcr ncgUdeth it fhall therefore 
unavoidably perifh. 

§ I. A N thefe verfcs the apofllc profccutes his exhorta- 
tion laid down in that foregoing, with the addition of 
many peculiar enforcements. If a difregard to the lavj 
was attended with a fare and fore revenge, how much 
more muft the negle£t o{ the gofpel be fo. The words 
conlift of two general parts— a dcfcription of the law — 
and, a dcfcription of the gofpel. 

§ 2. * For if the word fpoken by angels was flcdfafl.' 
The law, is called by a periphrafis, ' the word fpoken, or 
* pronounced, by angels.' The Greek word [y^oyoq) 
is very varioufly ufed in the New Teflamcnt, and I*s 
here taken for a fyflcm of do£lrines ; and by the addition- 
of the term (KaKrfisig) fpoken, as publilhcd, preached or 
declared. Thus the gofpel from the principal fubjc£l mat- 
ter of it, is called (0 K&yog li (TiocvJi.) [I. Cor. i. 18.] 
the word, the do£lrinc, the preaching concerning the crofs^ 
or Chrifl crucified. So here {J^oyog) the * word,' is the 
doftrinc of the law ; that is, the law itfelf fpoken and 
promulgated {Taa. c/.yy'c'Kucv) b\ angels ; that is, by the mi- 
niflry of angels. Having newly inlilled on a comparifon 
between Chrill: and the angels, his argument is greatly 
corroborated when it is confidered, that the law was, 

* the word fpoken by angels,' but the gofpel was deli- 
vered by the vSox, who is fo far exalted above them. It 
is no where affirmed, that the \:\w was ' given by angels ;* 
but that the people * received it bv the deputation of 

* angels ;' and that it was * ordained' by angels, and here 

* fpoken' by them. From hence it is evident, that not 
the original authoritative giving of the law, but the nil- 
niflerial ordering of things in its promulgation, is that 
which is afcribcd to angels. They raifcd the fire and 


^^ , ,o,u- they framed the 

fcoke, they ftook and rent t^e ^^^ ^^ -^ ^^.^^^^^^ ., 
i-out.d of the trumpet, they e ^^ ^^^^ ^^_^^ ^^ ^,^, 

,hich conveyed the -- °f^/ ^^ Wifbed the law ; 
people . and therein P^^; ■■ J^,^„ {^ .ngcls.' 
thereby ■^became thej P ^^ ^,^^ ^^^^, 

And that m t^e^ wo ds ^^^^ .^^^^^^„g,,,,y parucles 
argument .s man. eft ^^^^^ ^^^^ p„bh(hed to ou. 

C'-r-p) ,/- '-^^J'; fo vh.dicated againftthe d>fobe- 
S::; L^ri mi fhaU the neglea of the gofpel be 

revenged. ^^ tl,„s pubhihed, that it 

He afhrms « tU ^ ^^ ^^^^^^^^^ ^„ ,f. 

was (,G3,' >- ^'^■^^tfa'na he people. That peac« 
fored covenant between G<k1 - J ^ P ^ J^ _^; ,^.^ ^_.^,,,) 
.vhich is firm and well g'-°""'l!j^^^ l^^,^ tecounng hrm. 
. . a firm tmalterable P«'«, ^ ;„ it3 being ratified to 
1-ure, or ftedfaft, confift thereto ^^^^^_ ^_ 

be the covenantbetween God and P^^^^^ ^.^^^ ^^ 

xxvi. IS-] , „r<Trrffion and ftubborn difobe- 

. ,. . And every "anfgrcfhon ^ ^^^^^^ 

. dlnce received a meet ,.mbut. • ^^^^^^^^^^^^ , ^^^^ 

.vord (7r«p.-|3<r,f) '^ /^"f/^^f.iot- obedient attendance 

other (,r«p«KO.) '^^t extend d to every fin and tranf- 
But how may this be extendc ^^^^^ ^^^^ j^^ 

greffion. feeing it is "^"^^/T; atonements ? We 
tvcre not puninred, but ^''P f^^;,^7^„„,„,y to the doc- 
ftouUl remember, ^f . every i>n was^^^^^^^^^T ^^_^^^,^,^^^,,, 
tvine and precepts of th law ^^^^^^^^^ ^^^ ^^^^^ 

.vas affigned to every im hou ^ ^^^^^^^^^ 

finner. And fo the word (^>.« A ) ,„„ftitution of 

tue aaual mfl.aionof pmlbment b^^ ^^^^ ^.^^ .^^^^^ 

it in the fanaion of the 1^_^ l„,.e been due, 

atonement "'^-^^^^^^^^ ^cr.. Rot the fins, 
though the finncr was vel-^ed a a ^^^ ^^^ ^^^^^^ ^^ 

efpeeialiy intended by the apoltie, ^,^^.^ 

c^enant being broken tl" ^nnL 7'"'^''°" ^ ^"^^l- 
"!"cy; and thus to be ut er v elt '° '" ""''"^ 

f God, or thatof n^an bJS'aoo "''"''' '>' '''= ''^^^ 
f°- the fins againft the g^ X: '"" ''"' '''"- 
'•-' not ail tranfgreflionf or 'n ' «^<= «PPofed to thofe. 
-•^>; be guilty ol but ZJ apo'fl! '""■"' ^'"' P-'-^'r°" 
-"cler the doftrine of i to^^^f^r' ^ ""'^^'"^' ^^'"■^'^ 
f".pt.on, altogeti>er unpr^fitab T ° ""= °^ ^'^« "'-- 

' '-^-ard- (,a«o, u..a-wt '• ' J"" ^^compence of 
'.-A P-PortionaSe to tX'^;;. ' — Pence,,^ ,nj 
Judgement of God, which i' ' Z' h"°''"S '° "- 
fi" are worthy of death ■' [rL ^'^ ''"''° ^^-^'nit 

ly refers to the temporal 'p„„iZ' '' '"^ ^'"^ Part.cular- 
t'^e 'and of the liviL accor '"' °' "'"'"S off from 
the law which the If^'el te IJ''^-" "" '^'^P-fat.on of 

f"l^jca -atte"fpok",o1.'"ro"r'^ 'l^ °"— Tl-e 
t'>er defcription of it . f°L ,-f° ^■■.'■" '^^'"tion.'-A far- 
' gan to be fpoken o/ b^S^ Lo?;'''^'^P "'*°^' ' " ^^• 
of us propagation ; . if w^s ctnf, 7'°'" *^ '"='""^^ 
' «''« i,card it. '-From t ^ '°" ""'' "'"" "= ^y them 

; s"ts of the Ho,; dhort'-if 'f ,7 "°^'^ ^"^ "-o- 

Jd : '. -Mve neglea ;• and final; I" "'^^'^^ '^ '""fP- 
°f >s nnimated ; ' how ftall 7 P""""™ent there- 
to be feveraiiy explained T "I"'"' ■^"^^'"- -- 
expreffed in thefe words < f„ '■Z^'^-^^^' '""«" treated of is 

; - the ,.Aa-/ whicl t i,„if7« ';'"''°n-' And tha 
^-t fron. the preceding S'";."'--","P-ffi°n. i^ evi- 
.""^■d ' the word wlnci we ," T' "''"'' '^ ^'-- 
'gteat falvation:' as alWr '"''' " ^'''' ""ed 

"•'^;- " is fi.,d to be didT 'T r'°"°^""S words, 
and farther ' propieit..^ , , P"^"" ^v the Lord •' 

'ff^a for the caufe. .f^"T ^y "^ ""^tonymy of the 

' " " '^'= g^a« of God bring- 

Ver.j_4. epistle to the HEBREWS.- ,31 
• ing fa!vatio„,.> [Titus .i. , i.] The word that is able 
to us. The doarine, the difcovery, the inllrumcn- 
tal efficent caufe of falvatio.i. [Rom. i. 16. 1 Cor i 
20, 21. j ■ ' ■ 

§ 5- The apoftle farther defcribes tl>e gofpel from its 
prwapM author or revealer; ' which at firft be-an to b= 
Ipo.en by the Lord.' Here the word («p,,,,) denotes b.. 
pnmng, (p,,na,u,m lemporhj ' the beginning of time ' That 
IS, .t began ,n its open, clear and adual revelation to be 
fpoken by the Lord hi.nfelf, and was carried to perfeftio. 
by thofe who were appo.nted and enabled by him for tint 
nobe purpoe. [Job . :;, .g.l Thus L it dec W 
bgnm .n h,s own perfon, as the law was given by 

§ 6. He farther defcribes the gofpel from the «.«v and 
means of n, conveyance to us ; ' it was confirmed unto us 
by them that heard him.' And herein alfo he pre 
vents an objection that might arife in the minds of' ij 
Hebrews : ,nah„uch as they, at leaft the greateft pa t 
o. them were not acquainted with the perfoLl minir 
of the Lord ; they heard not the word fpoken by him 
Hereunto the apoftle replies ; that though they tjJZ', 
heard huB not, yet the fame word which he pre t 

Z 'T "fl ''''"''' "^"^ "'■■^'--'^' ""to them.Tv ofe 
that heard h,m. ' Thofe that heard him,' is a peHp Ira 
I ot . the apoftles.' from that great privilege'of t"e r 
l>eanng unmed.ately all thofe things that our Lord taud t 

ill 1, t 1 '' " ^'^ P-^^'^o-nced or heard by a.- 

feels but had u confirmed to them by ways and mea^,s of 
God s appomtment. And he doth not fay merely that 
the word was taught, or preached by them • buTT O^ 

"•o^efi^, ftedfaft, and fure ».W. A:^ this infalhble 



certainty of their word was from their divine infpira- 

&' 7 Our infpircd teacher farther defcribes the gofpel 
by the Hhinc alicftatlom given it, which alfo adds greatly 
to the force of his argument and exhortation. The 
word (^vvi^m«p7up«v7oc, agreeing with tk 0») is of a 
doul,le compoUtion, denoting a ' concurring teft.mony 
• of God,' a tcliiraony given unto, or together with that 
of the apoftlcs. Thefc miraculous tokens are various. 
The firft are (o-;iu.=;«) A"s ; that is, miraculous works, 
Tsrou^ht to fignify the prcfcncc of God by his power with 
thcm^that wrouc;ht them, in confirmation ot the doctrine 
which they tauglit. The fccond arc (rrpo^ry.) proc/,^:cs 
^vonders, works beyond the nature, above the energy of 
natural caufes, wrought to fill men with wonder and ad- 
miration, ftirring them up to a diligent attention to the 
doftrine they accompanied. Thirdly, (Svv^/xi/f) r«,.hly 
..orks, wherein evidently a mighty power the power of 
God, is exerted in their operation. And fourthly, {-rrviv- 
ualoi «v;« ps.'^/^c,) ^ifts of the Holy Ghofi. 

And ihis was of fpecial confidcration in dealing with 
the Hebrews. For the delivery of the law, and the mi- 
niftrv of Mofes, having been accompanied with many 
figns'and prodigies, they made great inquiry after J,;., 
for the confirmation of the gofpel, [I. Cor. i. -2. J 
which though our Lord neither in his own perfon, nor 
bv his apoliles. would grant them in ihar time and man- 
ner, to fatisfy their wicked and carnal curiofity, yet in 
bis »u.„ way and feafon he exhibited them abundantly for 
their conviaion, or to leave them utterly .nexcufaole. 

^""ts ''■rS'gofp^i '^^'"5 °f »'»' "'*"''■ '''"' ""^'''' *!-'".' 
delivered, thus confirmed, there is a ,.^A-.V of it iuppo cd, 
(ver. 3. «/x.=A.a-«v7^=f) ' It" we neglea,' .f vve regard not, 
f . . take not due care about it. The word nUimates an 
omiffion of all thofc duties which are neceflary tor our 
profitable retaining the word preached =«";> *=";° ^^ 
; degree as utterly to reieft it; for it anfwers to ihoK 
.ranfgveftions of, and ftubborn difobcd.cKCC to the av^ 


which difaniiuUed it as a covenant, and were punifhed 
with excifion. * If we negle<5^ i' that is, if we continue 
not in a diligent obfervancc of all thole duties which arc 
indifpenfably neceflary to a holy, ufeful, profitable profef- 
lion of the gofpel. 

§ 9. There is an awful punifhment intimated upon 
this linful negleft of the gofpel; ' How fhali we efcape,* 
fly from or avoid, a jull retribution, ' a meet recompencft 

* of reward ?' As the breach of the law had a punifh- 
ment, fuitable to the demerit of the crime, inflidcd oft 
the quality ; fo there is to a negle6l of the gofpel even a 
punilhment juftly deferved by fo great a crime, fo much 
greater and more dreadful than that attending the law, by 
how much the gofpel, on account of its nature, eireds, 
author, and confirmation, was more excellent than the 
law. A * forer punifhment,' as our apoHle elfewherc 
calls it, [chap, x.] as much exceeding the other as eter- 
nal deflruftion under the curfe and wrath of God, ex- 
ceeds all temporal punifhments whatever. The manner 
of afcertaining the punifhment intimated, is by an inter- 
rogation ; * How fhali we efcape ?' Wherein three 
things are intended. (i.) A denial of any ways or 
means for efcape or deliverance. There is none that can 
deliver us, no way whereby we may efcape. [See Peter 
iv. 17, 18.] And (2.) the certainty of the punifhment 
itfelf, it will as to the event aiTuredly befal us : And (3) 
the inexpreffible greatnefs of this unavoidable evil. * How 
' fhali we efcape ?' We fhali not, there is no way for it, 
nor ability to bear what we are, if continued negle£ters, 
liable unto, [Matt, xxiii. 33. I. Pet. iv. 18.] 

§ 10. (II.) The words thus explained prefent to us 
many interefting obfervations. 

OSf. I. Motives to a due valuation of the gofpel, and 
perfeverance in the profeflion of it, taken from the pefial- 
//Vj annexed to its negle6l, are c-jangelical^ and of fingular 
ufe in preaching the word. * How Ihall we efcape if we 

* neglc6l ?' Some would fancy, that all threatcnings be- 
long to the law; as though Jefus Chrill: had left himfelf 
and his gofpel to be fecurely defpifed by prophane and im- 


penitent finncrs; but as tliey will find the contrary to their 
eternal ruin, fo it is the will of Chrill we fhould let them 
know this, and thereby warn others to take heed of their 
lins and plagues. 

Now thefc motives from comminations or thrcatcninss, 
I call evangelical. 

(i.) Becaufe they are recorded in the gofpel ; that we 
are thence taught them, and thereby commanded to make 
ufe of them And if the difpenfers of the word infifl not 
on them, they deal deceitfully with the fouls of men, and 
detain from them the whole counfel of God. And as 
fuch perfons will find themfelvcs. t6 have a weak and fee- 
ble miniflry here, fo alfo they will have a fad cxcount of 
their * partiality in the word' to give hereafter. Let 
not men think themfclves more evangelical than the author 
of the gofpel, more {killed in the converiion and edifica- 
tion of the fouls of men than the apoflles ; in a word, 
more wife than God himfelf, which they mufl do if they 
riegle6l this part of his ordinance. 

(2.) Becaufe they become the gofpel. It is meet that 
the gofpel fhould be armed with threatenings, as well as 
attended with promifes : and that on the part of Chrift — 
of finners — of belicvrrs — and of preachers. — On the part 
cf ChriJ} h'lmfclf the author of it. A fcepter in a kingdom 
without a fword ; or a crown without a rod of iron, will 
quickly be trampled upon. Both are therefore given into 
the hands of Chrifl, that the glory and honour of liis 
dominion may be known. [Pfal. ii. 9 — i 2.] On the part 
af f.nncrs ; yea of all to whom the gofpel is preached.— 
I'd keep them in awe and reilraining fear, that they may 
not boldly and openly break out in contempt of Chrift. 
Tliefc are his arrows that arc fharp in the hearts of his 
adverfarics, whereby he awes them. Chrifl never fuffcrs 
them to be fo fecure, but that his terrors in thefc thrcat- 
cnings vifit them ever and anon ; that they may be left in- 
exciijablr, and the Lord Chrifl julllfied againft them at 
the lafl day. He hath told them bcforeliand plainly what 
tliey arc to look for, [Heb. x. 26, 27,] On the part of 
believers \ even thcv fland in need to be put in mind of 



the terrour of the Lord, and what a fearful thing it is to 
fall in the hands of the living God ; and that even our 
God is a ' confuming iire.' And this to keep up in their 
hearts a conflant reverence of the majefty of Jefus Chrift 
with whorn they have to do. Thefe commi nations give 
them, alfo, conftant matter of pra/fe and thankfulnefs, 
when they fee in them, as in a glafs that'will neither flat- 
ter nor caufelellly terrify, a reprefentation of that wrath 
which they are delivered from by Jefus Chrift, [L ThefT. 
i. 10.] They are needful to them, moreover, to ingene- 
rate u\2it fear which may check the remainder of their 
/«//i and corruptions ; and to prevent y^cwnVj/ and negli- 
gence in attending to the gofpel, which by means of thofe 
lufls and corruptions are apt to grow upon them. The 
hearts of believers are like gardens, wherein there are not 
only flowers, but weeds alio; and as the former muft be 
watered and cheriflied, ib the latter muft be deftroycd. 
If nothing but dews and fliowers of promifes fhould fall 
upon the heart, though they feem to tend only to the che- 
riihing their graces, yet the weeds of corruption will be 
apt to grow up with them, and in the end to choak theni, 
unlefs they are blafted by the feverity of threatenings. And 
notwithftanding their perfuaiions, t^at in the ufe of means 
they fhall be fecured from finally falling, yet they know there 
is an infallible connexion fignified in thefe awful threat- 
enings, between fin and deftru£lion, [I. Cor. vi. 9.] and 
they muft avoid the one, if they would efcape the other. 
Hence they have ina readinefs wherewith to balance temp- 
tations, efpecially fuch as accompany fufferings forChrift and 
the gofpel. Liberty would be fpared, life would be fpared ; 
it is hard to fuffer and to die. But arc we afraid of a man 
that fhall die, more than of the living God ? Shall we, to^ 
avoid the anger of a worm, caft ourfelves into his wrath 
who is confuming fire. Shall we, to avoid a little mo- 
mentary trouble, to preferve a perifliing life, which afick- 
nefs may take away to-morrow, run ourfelves into eternal 
ruin ? Man threatens me if I forfake not the gofpel, but 
God threatens if I do. Man threatens death temporal, 
which yet it may be he fhall not have the power to infli6l ; 

T God 


God threatens death eternal, which no backflidcr in heart 
ihaW avoid. On thefe and the like accounts are commina- 
tJons ufcful even to believers. Again — Thefe declarations 
of eternal punifhment to negleclers of the gofpel are be- 
coming on the part of the pycacJ?ers and difpenfers of it; 
that their meirage be not flighted, nor their perfons de- 
Ipifcd. God would have even thtm to ' have in a rcadi- 
' nefs to revenge the difobedience of men,' [II. Cor. x. 
6.] not with carnal w^enpons, killing and dcltroying the 
bodies of men, but by fuch a denunciation of the ven- 
geance that will enfue on their difobedience, as fhall 
undoubtedly take hold upon them, and end in their evcr- 
laftii\g ruin. 

§ I I. And this \\\\\ fart'ner appear if wc confider, 

1. That thrcatcnings of future penalties on the difo- 
bedient are far more clecn- and exprefs in the gofpel than 
in the law. The curfe, indeed, was threatened and de- 
nounced under the law, and inflances of its execution 
were given in the temporal punilhments that wcie in- 
flicted on the tranigreifors of it : but in the gofpel the 
ymturc of this curfe is explained, and wherein it confill:eth 
is made manifeil. For as eternal life was but obfcurely 
prom i fed in the Old Tcflament, though really prom i fed ; 
fo deatli eternal under the curfe and wrath of God was 
but obfcurely threatened therein, though really threatened. 
And therefore, as life and immortality were brought to 
light by the gofpel, fo death and hell, the punifhment 
of fin under the wrath of God, are more fully declared 
therein. The nature of the judgement to come, the du- 
ration of the penalties to be intiided on unbelievers, with 
fuch intimations of the nature and kind of thofe punilh- 
ments as our underflandings are able to receive, are fully 
and frequently inililed on in the New Teflament ; whereas 
they are but obfcurely inftrrcd from the writings of the 
Old Teftament. 

2. The punifhment threatened in the gofpel, as tr> 
degrees, is greater and ' more fore' than that which was 
annexed to the mere tranfgreflion of the firft covenant. 
Hence the apoillc calls it, * death unto death,' [11. Cor. 



ii. 16.] by reafoii of the fore aggravations which the firft 
fentence of death will receive from the wrath due to a 
contempt of the gofpel. 

And with this ought they to be wx41 acquainted, who 
are called to difpcnfc the gofpel. A foiid conceit hath 
befallen fome, that all denunciations of future wrath, even 
to unbelievers, is legale which therefore it doth not be- 
come the preachers of the gofpel to inliil upon : fo would 
men make themfelves wifer than Jefus Chrift and his 
apoflles ; yea, they would difarm the Lord Chrift, and. 
expofe him to the contempt of his vilell enemies. Suf- 
fice it to add, that thev have been obferved to have had 
the mod efFedual miniilry, both for converfion and edifi- 
cation, who have been made wife and dexterous in ma- 
naging gofpel comminations towards the confciences of 
their hearers. 

§ 12. Obf. 2. AH punilliments annexed to the tranf- 
greffions either of the law or gofpel are the effects of God's 
vindiciive juji'ice^ and confequently juft and equal ; * a 

* meet recompence of rev^^ard.' Foolifh men have always 
had tumultuating thoughts about the judgements of God. 
Hence was the vain imagination of them of old, who 
dreamed that an end fhould be put, after fome while, to 
the punifhment of devils and wicked men : io turning 
hell into a kind of purgatory. Others have prefumptu- 
oufly difputed, that there fhall be no hell at all ; but a 
mere annihilation of ungodly men at the laft day. That 
which they feem principally to have flumbled at, is the 
affignation of a punilhment infinite in duration, as well 
as in its nature extended to the utmou capacity of the 
fubje£l, for a fault finite, temporary, and tranfient. 
Now that we may juftify the proceeding of the fupreme 
Judge herein, and the more clearly difcern that the pu~ 
nifhment finally infii£led on fin, is but ^' a meet recom- 

* pence of reward,' we muft confider that God's juftice 
conftituting, and in the end inrii£ling the reward of fin, 
is effcnUal to liim. ' Is God uinigliteous,' faith the 
apollle, * who takcth vengeance?' [Rom. iii. 5.] The 
true fountain and caufc of the punilhment of fin is the 

1^ 2 jnjiicc 


juftice of God, which is an cflential property of his na- 
ture, and infcparablc from his works. And this, abfo- 
lutclv, is the fame with his liolincfs, or the purity of his 
nature. So that God doth not affign the punilhment of 
iin arbitrarily, that he might do io or otherwife, without 
any impeachment of his glory ; but his juftice and holi- 
ncfs indifpcnfably require that it fhould be punilhed, even 
as it is indifpcnfably nccclTary that God in all things 
fhould be jull and holy. We have no more reafon to 
quarrel with the punilhment of f.n, than we have to re- 
pine that God is holy and juft, that is, that he is God. 

He alone knowcth what is the true demerit of fm ; and 
except from his own declaration, none of his creatures 
l^now any thing of it. And how Ihall we judge of what 
we know nothing of, but what we learn from him, or 
gather from what he doth ? We fee amongft men, that 
the guilt of crimes is aggravated according to the dignity 
of the perfons againil whom they are committed. Now, 
no creature knowing him perfe6lly againft whom all iin 
is committed, none can truly and perfcdiy know what is 
the defert and demerit of lin, but by his revelation who 
is perfectly known to himfclf. And Vv'hat a madncfs is 
it otherwife to judge of what we do not otherwife under- 
fland ? Shall we make ourfelves judges of what fm againft 
God deferves ? Let us firil by fearching find out the Al- 
mighty to pcrfe£lion, and then we may know of ourfelves 
what it is to fin againil him. Bcfidcs, we know not 
what is the oppojttion that is made by fin to the liolincfs, 
the nature, and very being of God. As we cannot know 
him pcrfedlly againft whom we fin, fo we know not pcr- 
fc£lly what we do when wc fin. It is but the Icaft part 
of the malignity and poifon of fin,- that wc are at bcft 
able to difccrn. We fee not the depth of the malicious 
rcfpcct which it hath to God. And arc wc capable to 
judge aright of what is its demerit ? But all thefc things 
are open and naked before that infinite wifdom of God, 
which accompanieth his righteoufncfs in all his works. 
He knows himfclf againft whom fin is committed ; he 
knows the condition of the finncr ; he knows what con- 


trariety and oppofitioii there is in fin to himfelf; he 
knows what it is for the dependent creature to lubdudt 
jtlelf from under the government, and oppofe itfelf to 
the authority and being of ihe holy creator, ruler, and 
governor of all things ; in a word, he abfolutely, per- 
fe£llv, and excluiively kjiows what fin defervcs, and there- 
fore the feveral degrees of punilhment that ought to be, 
and that fliall be inflicted. 

§ 13. In the final punilhment of fin, there Is no rnix^ 

ture of mercy ; nothing to alleviate, or take off from the 

uttermoft of its defcrt. This world is the time and place 

for mercy. While here God caufeth his fun to lliine, and 

his rain to fall on the worft of men, filling their hearts 

with food and gladnefs. Here he endures them with 

much patience and forbearance, doing them good in a 

Avay unfpeakably various, and to many of them making a 

daily tender of mercy, which might make them blefl for 

€ver. But the feafon for thefe things is paft in the 

day of recompence. Sinners fliall then hear nothing but, 

* go ye curfed.* They fliall not have the leafl: effect of 

mercy. ihewed them to all eternity. They fhali then have 

judgement without mercy who fliewed no mercy. Cries 

will do nothing at the lafl day ; not obtain the leafl drop 

of water to cool the tongue in its torment. Some men 

doubtlefs have fecret referves, that things will not proceed 

at the laft day, as they are now urged to believe they will. 

They hope to meet with better quarter than what is talked 

of; that God will not be inexorable, as is pretended. 

Were not thefe their inward thoughts, it were not pofTible 

they fhould fo neglcd the feafon of grace as they do. 

But alas ! how will they be deceived ? God indeed is 

gracious, merciful, and full of compalTion ; but this world 

is the place, and now the time wherein he will eicercifc 

them. They will be for ever fliut up from unbelievers 

at the laft day. This is the acceptable time ; this is the 

day of falvation ; if this be defpifed, if this be neglected, 

expe6l no more to hear of mercy through eternal ages. 

§ 14. Ghf. 3. Every concernment of the law and gof- 
pel, both as to their nature and promulgation, is to be 



weighed and considered by believers, to beget in their 
hearts a right and due valuation of them. To this end 
are they here fo diilindtly propofed ; as of the law, that 
it was * fpoken by angels ;* and of the gofpel, that it is 

* a great falvation,* the word * fpoken by the Lord,' con- 
firmed with ' iigns and miracles ;' all which the apoflle 
would have us to weigh and diftin£lly confider. As God 
doth nothing in vain, fo neither fpcaks he any thing in 
vain ; much lefs would he do fo in the things of his law 
and gofpel, wherein the great concerns of his own glory, 
and the fouls of men, are fo eminently involved. There 
is in all thofe concernments of the law and gofpel, a mix- 
ture of divine wifdom and grace ; and from this foun- 
tain they all proceed, and the living waters of it run 
through them all. There is in them all — a gracious con- 
defcenlion to our weakncfs. God knows that we ftand 
in need of fpecial marks, as it were, to be fet on every 
important truth. Such is our weaknefs and our ilowncfs 
to believe, that we have need the word fliould be to us, 

* line upon line, and precept upon precept ; here a little 

* and there a little.' The momentous truths contained in 
the law and gofpel have their various influences and fuc- 
cefles on the fouls of men. Some have been wrought 
upon by one confideration, fome by another. In fome 
the holinefs of the law, in others the manner of its admi- 
niftration, has been cfFedual. Some have fixed their hearts 
principally on the grace of the gofpel ; and fome on the 
pcrfon of its author. And the fame perfons, at feveral 
times, have had profitable afliilancc from thcfc fcvcral 
confidcrations of the one and the other. Hence it is 
manifeft, that in thefc things God doth nothing in vain ; 
infinite wifdom is in all, and infinite glory will be the 
rcfult of all. 

And how fhould this ftir us up to a diligent fcarching 
of the word, wherein God hath recorded all the weighty 
affairs of his law and gofpel for our ufc and advantage ! 
That is the cabinet wherein all thefe jewels arc laid up 
and difpofcd, according to his wifdom and the profound 
couaftl of his will. A general view of it will but little 



fatisfy, and not at all enrich our fouls. A very little in- 
light into the word is apt to make men think they fee 
enough ; but the reafon of it is, bccaufe they like not 
what they fee, as men will not like to look farther into a 
fhop when they like nothing that is at lirft prefented to 
them. But if indeed we find profit, fwectnefs and life, 
in the dilcoveries that are made to us in the word, efpe- 
cially about the /aw and go/pel, we fhall be continually 
aiming after a farther acquaintance with them. 

§ 15. Ol^f. 4 What means foever God is pleafed to ufc 
in the revelation of his will ; he gives it a certainty, 7?^^- 
fajincfs^ and evidence, which our faith may reft upon, and 
which cannot be negledled without the greatefl fin. — 

* The word fpoken was fledfafl.' If the word be not a 
firm foundation for the faith and obedience of men, they 
cannot be juflly puniflied for the negledt of it ; but there 
is X\\2X Jledfaftnefs in the word itfelf, that evidence of its be- 
ing from God, that it makes it the duty of men to believe 
it with faith divine and fupernatural, and that {lability 
will never deceive them. 

§ 16. Ohf. 5. The gofpel is ' great falvation,' and the 
' negledlers' of it fhall therefore * unavoidably perifh' with- 
out remedy. 

By the * Gofpel' we are to underfland wMth the apoflle 
the * word preached,' or recorded ; and it may be called 

* falvation' upon a double account : 

(i.) Dcclaratively \ in that the falvation of God by 
Chrift is declared, taught, and revealed thereby. And 
therefore under the Old Teflament, the gofpel is c-aWt^ 
a * bringing of glad tidings,' a * publilhing or declaring 
' of peace and f^ilvation,' [Nahum. i. 15. Ifa. lii. 7.] and 
is defcribed as a * proclamation of mercy,' peace, pardon, 
and falvation for finners ; [Ifa. Ixi. 1,2.] And life and 
immortahty are laid to be ' brought to light' thereby, [II, 
Tim. i. 10.] Every word and promife in the whole book 
of God, that intimateth or revealeth any thing belonging 
to this falvation, is itfelf a part of the gofpel. 

(2.) It is falvation efficiently ; in that it is the great 
tnjirument which God is pleafed to ufe, in beftowing fal- 


-nation upon the clc<tl. And therefore Paul commits be- 
lievers to • the word of grace,' as that which is able to 
buikl them up, and give them an inheritance among all 
them that are fanctificd, [A6ts xx. 32.] And James calls 
it ' the ingrafted word/ whicli is able to fnvc our fouls, 
[chap. i. 21.] the mighty pov^'cr of Chrift being put 
forth to accompany'it for that purpofc. 1 his efficiency 
is obfervable in fomc of the principal parts of falvation. 
In the regeneration and fcuicfijication of the elcft, for in- 
llance, the firft external a6t of this falvation is wrought 
by the word, [I. Pet. i. 23.] We are * born again, not 

♦ of corruptible feed, but of incorruptible, by the word 

* of God.' It is true, it doth not this by any power refi- 
dent in iticlf, and always neceffarily accompanying its 
adminiftration ; for then all would be fo regenerated to 
whom it is preached ; and there would be no negleders 
of it. But it is the diftinguilhed injhument of God for 
this end , and in that refpeft is mighty and powerful. 

Again : By the gofpel and its promifcs, as the moil 
exalted inftruments or means, are believers a£lually and 
really made partakers of the Spirit, as to his gifts and 
graces, his indweling prefcncc and abode. Gofpel pro- 
mifes are (zchicula SpiritusJ the chariots that bring his 
holy Spirit to our fouls, [II. Pet. i. 4.] Bcfidcs, the 
gofpel is eminently efficacious in our juJI/ficntlon, which 
hath fo great a fliarc in this * falvation,' that it is often 
called falvation iticlf. 'J'hcy that arc jufilticd, are faid 
to hc^ favcd, [Kphef. ii. 8.] and tliis is by the gofpel, 
becaufc therein is conllituted the true law of julViiicatioii 
for a fmner ; becaufe therein is held forth a linner's righ- 
tcoufncfs ; and hereby docs faith come, by which we be- 
come a£lually intercfted in ChrilV, and in all the fruits 
and benefits of his mediation ; for it cometh by hearing, 
and hearing by the word of God, [Rom. x. 17.] More- 
over, there is in this falvation a growth in ' fpiritual wif- 

• dom, and an acquaintance witli tl»c niyllcry of God, 

* ev'j'i the Father and the Soi\,' whicli is nlfo an cffe(5t of 
the gofpel. Finally, it is the * word of promife,' or the 
gofpel, whereby God gives * fliong confolation,' [Heb. 

2 iv. 


vi. 17, 18.] not only fupport and comfort in bearing 
troubles, but glorious exaltations and ccflacies of joy arc 
oftentimes wrought in the hearts of believers by the gof- 
pel. Now they can endure, now they can fufFer, now 
they can die ; joy is upon their heads and in their hearts, 
and forrow and fighing flee away. Here is rell, here is 
peace, here are refrelhments, here are pleafurcs, here is 
' life to be defned.' The good Lord fweeten and feafon 
all our hearts with all thefe confolations, thefe joys of 
his kingdom, and that by the blefTed word of his grace ! 
And in thefe refpe^ts is the gofpel a * word of falva- 
* tion.* 

§ 17. But it is faid to be * great falvation.' Now we 
have fcen that the gofpel is called falvation metonymi- 
callv, the caufe being called by the name of the eftefV. 
But in this adjunct of grcat^ * fo great,' the efFeft itfelf, 
falvation itfelf, preached and tendered by the gofpel, is 
principally intended. It is ufual in the fcripture, where 
it would fuggefl to our thoughts an inconceiveable great- 
nefs to ufe fome fuch cxprefTions as plainly intimate fome- 
what more than can be exprelTed. * So great ;' that is, 
abfolutely fo, and comparatively fo with refpeft to the 
benefits received by the law; and inexpreflibly, inconcei- 
vably fo. There ought then to be no expectation that we 
Ihould declare the real greatnefs of this falvation, which 
the apoflle intimates to hQ incxprejjtblc ; we fhall only point 
out fome of thofe coniidcrations wherein the greatnefs of 
it doth principally confifl and appear. 

I. It is ' great' in the eternal contrivance of if«, When 
fin had defaced the glory of the firft creation, and the 
honour of God feemed to be at a {land, no way remained 
to carry it on to that tnd to which all things at firfl tended ; 
all creatures were, and for ever would have been, igno- 
rant of a way for recovering things into the former, or a 
better order, or bringing forth a falvation for * that which 
' waslofl;' for befides that there were fuch horrible con- 
fufions, and fuch inextricable entanglements, brought 
upon the creation, and the feveral parts of it, which none 
could difcern how they could be jointed and fet in order 

Yoj^. IL y agaiiH 



again ; there appeared a repugnancy in the very proper- 
ties of the Divii^e nature to any lalvation for finners. 
Let fuineis be faved, and what fliall become of the juf- 
ticc, hohncfs, and wrath of God, all which are <;ngaged 
to fee a * meet recompcncc of reward' rendered to every 
tranfgre;i:on ? And this was enough eternally to filence 
the whole creation, bv reafon of that indifpenfable obli- 
gation which is on them always, and in all things, to 
prefer the honour and glory of their Maker, before the 
being or well-being of any creature whatever. Here 
therefore infinite wifdom, infinite grace, infinite goodnefs, 
and infinite holincfs, difcover themfelves in that contri- 
vance of falvation, which fully fo Ives all •thofe diificulties 
and ieeming contradidions \ keeps entire the ^lory of 
God's attributes, repairs the honour lofi: by fin, and re- 
duccth the whole creation into a iinu c^v/.r and fubfer- 
viency to tlie glory of its Maker. 

2. The falvation preached in the gofpcl is ' great,' on 
account of the ivay and means whereby it was accom- 
}>li[]jed ; or the great effect of the infinite wifdom and 
grace of God in the mediation, incarnation, and fufier- 
jngs of his Son. It mufi: aifuredly be ' great' falvation 
w-hicli he came hhnjclf to work out. And how doth he 
do it ? Is it bv the mighty power of his word, as he made 
all things of old ? No, this work is of another nature, 
and in another manner mull be accomplilhed. For to 
this purpofe he muft be * made fiefh,' [John i. 14.] 
* made of a woman,' [Gal. iv. 4.] Though he was in the 
form of God, and equal to God the Father, yet he was 
to humble and <7/7/>/v hiinfelf, to appear in the form of a 
man, of a fervant, [Phil. ii. 6, 7.] This is that great 
myfl:ry of godlinefs. ' God manifcll: in the ficfh,' that 
angels defirc to look into. I'hat the Son of God fliould 
take the nature of man into fubfillence with himfelf in 
the fame peifon, which was necelT.irv for the efi*e£\ing 
this falvation, is a thing that the whole intelligent crea- 
tion mull eternally admire. In this nature he muft be 
made under the law, fubjetfl to its commands, and bound 
to the obLclicncc which it required. It bccanic him to ful- 


fil all rlghteoufnefs, that he might be our complete Sa- 
viour ; tor though he was a Sori^ yet he was to learn and 
yield obedience, without which our I'alvation could not be 
perfected. And as the Son of God mull obey, that we 
may be accepted and crowned ; fo he mull: dit\ Ihed his 
blood, and make his foul an offering for Ihi. If he will 
be a captain of falvation to bring many fons to glory, he 
niuft himfelf be made perfe<St by fufferings, [Heb. ii. 10.] 
And herein affuredly was the love of God manifcfl, that 

* he laid dovv^i his life for us,' [John iii. 16.] He rofe 
from the dead, and now lives tor ever to make intercef- 
fion for us, and to ' favc to the uttermoil ail them that 

* come to God by him.* By thcfe means was the falva- 
tion preached in the gofpel obtained, which furely mani- 
fcft it to be a ' great falvation.' Would God have fent 
his Son, his only Son, and that in fuch a manner, were 
it not for the accomplifliment of a work, as well great 
and glorious in itfelf as indifpenfably nccelfary with re- 
ference to its end ? Would the Son himfelf have fo emp- 
tied himfelf of his manifeftative glory, condefcended to io 
low a condition, wreilled with fuch difEcultics, and un- 
dergone at length fuch a curfed and fliameful death, had 
not the work been great wherein he was employed ? O 
the blindnefs and Ihipidity of the fons of men ! they 
profefs that they believe thcfe things to be true, at Icaft 
they dare not deny them to be fo ; but for the cffe£l of 
them, for the falvation wrought by them, they value it 
the leafl of all things ! Hear and behold, ye defpifers, 
and wonder and perilh ! Shall the Son of God (for what 
you care) fhed his blood in vain : Shall he obey, and 
fuffer, and bleed, and pray, and die for a thing of nought ? 
Is it nothing unto you that he fliould undergo all thcfe 
things ? Was there want of wifdom in God, or of love 
to his Son, fo to employ him, fo to treat him, in a bu- 
finefs which you efteem of fo very fmnll concernment, as 
that you will fcarce turn afide to inquire after it ? Affure 
yourfelves that thefe things are of greater moment, Iclt 
one day you find it fo to your eternal ruin. 

U 2 3. Thi^ 


3. This falvation will appear to be * great,' if \vc con* 
lidcr what by it we arc delivered from. 

What arc we delivered from by this falvation ? In a 
word, every evil in this world, or that which is to come. 
And all evil maybe referred to two heads: (i.) Ihat 
which corruptcth and depravcth the principles of our na- 
ture in their being and operation. And, (2.) That which 
is dcjlrudive of our nature as to its well-being and hap- 
pinefs. The iirfl of thefc isyT/;, the latter is pumjhment ; 
and both of them take up the whole nature of evil. Now 
from both thefe, with all their efFe£\s and confcquences, 
are believers delivered by this falvation ; namely, from 
fm and death. The Lord Chrift was called * Jefus,' be- 
caufc he faves his people from their Jins^ [Matt. i. 22.] 
And he is alfo the Saviour that delivers them from the 

* "jurath to come :' [I. ThelT. i. 10.] And this is * great 

* falvation.' What is the Ikknefs of the body, to the dif- 
cafe, vea, the death of the foul? What is the imprifon- 
ment of the outward man, under the wrath of poor 
worms like ourlelves, and that for a few days, to the 
chains of everlafling darknefs ? What is a little outward 
tcinporary wan'J, to the want of the favour, love, and 
prcfcnce of God to eternity ? What is death temporal, 
pail in a moment, an end of troubles, an entrance into 
reil, to death eternal, an eternal dying, unclcr the curfe, 
wrath, and righteous vengeance of the Holy God ? Thefe 
things have no proportion one to another. So inexpref- 
iibly * great' is the fiUvation, that there is nothing left 
which is adequate to furnilh an illuftration of it. 

4. This falvation is * great,' on account of the end of 
it, or that which it brings believers to. The excellency 
of the inheritance which we obtain thereby, is fuch as no 
tongue can exprcfs, no heart conceive. It brings us to 
the iavour and love of God, to the adoption of children 
into durable reft and yjcacc ; in a word, the enjoyment 
of God in eicr.ial glory. Oh ! the blelTednefs of thii 
reil, the glory of this inheritance, the excellency of thij^ 
trown, the eternity and unchangeablcnefs of this condi- 
tion, the greatnels of this falvation ! How weak, how 

I low, 


low, how unworthy In every refpedl are our apprehen- 
iions of it ! Yet, furcly, through the blelTed revelation 
of the fpirit of grace by the word of the gofpel, we 
fee, we feel, we experience fo much of it, as is fuffici- 
cnt to keep us up to an holy admiration and longuig 
nfter it all the days of our earthly pilgrimage. 

§ 18. It rcmaincth now, that we declare the una- 
voidablenefs of their dcjiriiflion^ who ' negled' this fo great 
falvation. There are three things that make the punifu- 
ment or dellrudtion of any perfon to be unavoidable : 
I. That it be juil and equal. 2. That there be no relief 
or remedy provided for him. And, 3. That he to whom 
it belongs to inflict punifhment, be able and rcfolved fo 
to do : and they all concur to the height in this cafe. 
For it is juft and equal that fuch perfons fhould be dc- 
flroyed ; whence the fentence concerning them is fo dif- 
cretionary and abfolute, * He that believeth not, (hall be 
* damned,' [Mark xvi. 16.] And the Holy Ghoil fup* 
pofcth this cafe fo clear and undeniable, that he refers the 
proceedings of God therein to the judgement of finners 
themfelves, [Heb. x. 29.] And they who are judged on 
this account at the laft day will be fpeechlefs ; have no- 
thing to reply, nothing to complain of. And the fen- 
tence denounced againfl them will appear to all to be 
righteous, becaufe they defpife an overture of a treaty 
about peace and reconciliation between God and their 
fouls. Now what greater indignity can be offered unto 
him, than to reje£l his tenders, without fo much as an 
inquiry after what his terms are, as the moft do to whom 
the gofpel is preached ? Is not this plainlv to tell him, 
that they defpife his love, fcorn his offers of reconciliation, 
and fear not in the leaft what he can do unto them ? And 
is it not juft that fuch perfons fliould be filled with the 
fruit of their own ways ? Let men deal thus with their 
rulers v/hom tlicy have provoked, that have power over 
them, and fee how they will fare with them. Neither 
will God be mocked, nor fliall his grace always be defpifeJ 
with impunity. When men fliall fee and learn by woful 
experience what pitiful worms they are, and have fome 



beams of the greatncfs, inajelly, and glory of God fhi- 
ning upon them, how will they be filled with fhame, and 
forced to fubfcribe to the righteoufnefs of their own con- 
demnation, for refufing his treaty and terms of peace ! 

Thefe terms contain ' falvation ;* and men in the ne- 
gleiH: of them, ncgledl and refufe ' their ov:n falvation / 
z{\\<\ can any periih more juiliy than they who refufe to 
be faved f If God's terms had been great, hard, and dif- 
iicult, yet, confidcring by whom tlicy were propofed, and 
to whom, there was all the reafon in the world why they 
Ihould be accepted ; and their deftruftion would be juft 
that fliould net endeavour to obfcrve them to the ntmoft. 
Lut now it is life and falvation that he tenders, on the 
neglc£l of which he complains, that men ' will not come 
' to him that they might have life/ Certainly tlicre can 
be no want of righteoufnefs in the ruin of fuch pcrfons : 
but that which the apoftle principally build3 the righteouf- 
nefs and inevitablcnefs of the dcfiru^tion of the gofpel ne- 
glc(^ers upon, is the ' greatnefs' of the falvation tender- 
ed unto them ; * How fliall we efcape if we negleft fo 
* great falvation ?* And if this be defpifed, is it not righte- 
ous that men Ihould pcrifh «• If wc know not, yet God 
knows how to fet a value upon this great effed of his 
love, wifdom, and grace, and how to proportion puniih- 
mcnt to its contempt. The truth is, God alone is able 
fufhciently to revenge the greatnefs of this fin, and there- 
by, the indignity done to him. Is it meet that God 
fliould be mocked, his grace be defpifed, his juilice vie- 
lated, his glory lofl ; and all, that iinners may go un- 
punifhed ? Let them think fo whilil they pleafe, God 
thinketh otherwife, all the angels in heaven think other- 
wife, ail the faints from the beginning of the world to 
tlie Qn(\ of it, think otherwife, and will glorify God to eter- 
nltv for the righteoufnefs of his judgements on them that 
o!)^v not the gofpel. 

§ 19. 2. Suppofe the deftruAion of thefe pcrfons be 
in itfelf righteous, yet may there not be fome remedy ^^^^ 
relief provided for them, that they may not a£tually fall 
under it ' Mav there not yet be fomc wav of cfcapc for 



them, and {o their ruin not be fo unavoidable as is pre- 
tended ? No ; there neither is, nor can be any reHef 
provided for them that lin againil the gofpcL For, from 
what fpring, what fountain fhould it proceed? Mercy 
and grace are principally finned againft, and if the gofpel 
be jicgle£led, their whole defign is defeated ; nay, the ut- 
»z^ of mercy and grace is already finned againll in it, 
and what remaineth now for the relief of a finner ? Is 
there any other property of the Divine nature, the conli- 
-deration of which will adminiller to men any ground of 
hope ? Is there any thing in the mmc of God, in that 
revelation that he hath made of himfclf by his works, or 
in his word, to give them encour?.gcment ? doubtlefs no- 
thing at all. But yet fuppofe that God had not laid out 
all the riches and treafurcs of his wifdom, grace, love, 
and goodnefs in gofpel falvation by Jefus Chrifl, (which 
yet he affirms he hath) fuppofe that in infinite mercy 
there were yet a rcfcrve for pardon ; by what way and 
means fhould it be brought forth and made effedlual? 
We have k^w that God neither would nor could ever 
have exercifed pardoning mercy towards finners, had not 
way been made for it by the blood of his Son : what 
then ? Shall Chrifi: die again that defpifers of the gofpel 
may be faved ? Is the blood of Chrift fuch a * common 
' thing,' as to be fo cafl away upon the lufts of men ? 
Bendes : when fliould he make an end of dying ? They 
who have once neglefted the gofpel may do fo upon a 
fccomi trial, nay undoubtedly would do fo, and thence muft 
Chrifi often die, repeatedly be offered, and all fi:ill in 
vain. Neither hath God any other Son to fend to die 
for finners, he fent his only-begotten Son once for all; 
and he that bcHcvcth not on him niufi: perifli for even 
All the mercy and grace that God hath for his creatures 
(if we believe himfelf) is engaged in gofpel falvation only ; 
and if that be defpifed, in vain fliall men look for any 
other. As for a provifion of mercy for them that defpifc 
ilie gofpel, where is any one word recorded concerning it ? 
Nay, doth not the fcripture in all places fully and plainly 
witnefs againfi: it ? * He that bclievcth not, fhall be 

* damnf d.j 


* damned.' * There remains no more facrificc for fin.' 

* He that bcllcvcth not, the wrath of God abideth on 

* him.' In fhoi;t, they who ncgleft the gofpel muil 
pcrifli, and that eternally, for the mouth of the L,ord hath 
fpoken it. 

§ 20. 3. Then all hopes of cfcaping mull arifc from 
hence, that he whofe right it is, and on whom it is in- 
cumbent thus to take vengeance, will not be able fo to do, 
or at leaf! not to fuch a degree, as to render it fo fearful as 
is pretended. This need not much to be infilled on. It 
is God with whom men ha-ve to do in this matter ; and 
they who allow his Being, cannot deny him to be omni- 
potent and eternal. Now what cannot he do who is fo ? 
Jt will at length be found to be * a fearful thing to fall 
^ into the hands of the living God.' There is to wick' 
ed men the fame everlafling caufe, both of being and of 
punifhmcnt. The fame hand that upholds them, fhall 
intii£t them, and that for ever. What his righteoufnefs 
requires, his power and wrath fliall execute to the utter- 
niofl:, fo that there will be no efcaping. And thefe arc 
the holy foundations on which all the gofpel threatenings 
are built, which will all of them be accompliflied, with 
no lefs certainty than the promifcs. 

§ 21. Now from all that hath been fpoken on this 
propofition we may learn, 

I. To admire the riches of the grace of God, which 
hath provided * fo great falvation' for poor linners. 
Such and fo great as it is, we flood in need of it. Nothing 
could be abated without our eternal ruin. But when 
divine w^ifdom, goodnefs, and mercy Ihali let themfelves at 
work, what will they not accomplifli ? and their aftonilh- 
ing cfTe<^ doth the fcrinture variouHv exprefs : * God fo 

* loved the world ;' * God commendeth his love towards 

* us ;' * greater love bath none than this ;' riches of grace ; 
trcafurcs of wifdom ; exceeding grcatncfs of power; and 
the like. In this will Ctod be glorified and admired to aJ-l 
eternity. Which way foevcr we look, whatever we con- 
fidcr in it, here ir, that which will entertain our fouls with 
g'tlight and fatiifaction. The ;;lcrnal coimfcl of God, tl*c 



perfon of Chrift, his mediation and grace, the promifes of 
the gofpel, the evil and wrath we are freed from, the re- 
demption and glory prepared, the privileges we are ad- 
mitted to, the confolations and joys of the Spirit, the 
communion with God we are called to, how glorious are 
they in the eyes of believers ? or alTuredly ought to be. 
How can we enough bewail that vanity whence it is, that 
the mind fufFereth itfelf to be polTeiTed and filled with 
other things ? Alas, what are they if compared to the ex- 
cellency of this love of God in Chrift Jefus ! Here lies 
our treafurc, here lies our inheritance, why fhould not our 
hearts be here alfo ? Were our minds fixed on thefe thing-? 
as they ought, how would the glory of them caft out our 
cares, fubdue our fears, fweeten our afiii£lions and per- 
fecutions, take ofF our afFe6lions from the fading and pe- 
rifhing things of this world, and make us in every con- 
dition rejoice in hopes of the glory that fliall be revealed ! 
What are thofe things which the better and more refined 
part of mankind fearch into ? Alas ! they are things that 
came out of nothing, and are returning hitherward apace ; 
things which when they are known, do not enrich the 
mind, nor at all better it for its eternal condition. 

On the contrary ; the things of this great falvation arc 
eternal, glorious, myfterlous, that have all the charafters 
of God's excellency enflamped upon them ; whofc know- 
ledge gives the mind its perfedlion, and the foul its blef- 
fednefs. If we are believers, thefe things are ours. The 
rich man is much in the contemplation of his riches, be- 
caufe they are his own ; and the great man of his power, 
becaufe of his property in it. Now all thefe things are 
* ours, if we are Chrift's ;' made over to us in the pro- 
mife of the gofpel, and conferred upon us by the Spirit of 
grace. And are thefe things to be defpifed, are they to 
be caft afide among the things wherein we are leaft con- 
cerned ? What ! all thefe riches ours, all thefe treafures, 
this goodly inheritance, this kingdom, this glory, and yet 
we will not be conftant in thoughts and meditations about 
them ? It is undoubtedly a fign, at leaft, that we queftion 
our title to them, and that the evidences we have of them 

Vol. II. X will 


will not endure the trial. But woe unto us if thatfbould 
be the end of our profefTion ; and ifit be otherwife, why- 
arc not our minds fixed on that which is our own, and 
which no man can take from us ? Oh ! that God would 
give us the fpirit of wifdom and revelation in the know- 
ledge of Chrift, that the eyes of our undcrflanding being 
opened, they may know what is the hope of his calling, 
and what the riches of the glory of his inheritance in the 
faints, and what is the exceeding greatnefs of his power 
to us-ward who believe, [Eph. i. 17 — 19.] Solomon 
tells us how this wifdom is to be obtained, [Prov. ii. 
2 — 5.] ' If thou cryefl after knowledge, and lifteil up 

* thy voice for undcrflanding, if thou feekell for her as 
' for filver, and fearcheft for her as for hid treafures, 
' then fhalt thou underftand the fear of the Lord, jtnd find 

* the knowledge of God.' It is by praying and carneft 
fupplications, with perfevering diligence, that we attain 
this wifdom, and many pcrions, otherwife weak and 
fmiple, have by thefe means grown wife in the myfleries 
of God. And how many others, though wife in this 
world, yet through the negledl of it, walk in darkncfs all 
their days? 

§ 22. 2. This will teach us, what efleem we ought 
to have of the word of the gofpel, by which alone this 
great falvation is revealed and exhibited us ; tlic 
great means which God is pleafed to ufc, to bring us to a 
participation of it. This one confideration is enough to 
inform us what valuation we ought to put upon it, feeing 
we cannot expeft tlie treafure without th.e purchafc of the 
field. Some neglect it, fome defpife it. fomc perfecutc it, 
foine look upon it as foolilhnefs, fome as weaknefs, but 
' to them that believe, it is the power of God and the 

* wifdom of God.* To ncglecl the gofi)cl is to neglc£t 
and defpife the Son of God who was the author of it, and 
confeciuently the love and grace of God in fending him. 
So Chrift tells the preachers of the gofpel, * he that dc- 

* fpifith you, dclpifeth me; and he that defpifctli mc, de- 

* fpifcth him that fcnt me.' Ncglc«ll of the gofpel reilccts 
immediately upon the Lord Chrifl and the Father; and 


therefore our apoftle bids us take heed that we defpife not 
' hh„ who ipaUe f-- '--^^^^S ^^T s word'tas 

-'^Sa ;is.:storhr:.. .. ..,., w^^ 

and miracles which attended the difpenlat.on of :t . nd 
t ou" we faw not thofe miracles, yet we have them left 
on ht I ible record for our ufe, that by them we may be 
V t ft Irrcd up to value and attend to the word m a due 
E^r. Jod hath fo ordered *in,s m h. holy p.v.- 

dence, that no one can negled *V ^^' T' of convic- 
ting his eyes againft fuch light and evdence o cm,v,c 
tion as will leave him abundantly uiexcufable at the 

Verses S — 9. 


,„M OVER THE WORKS OF THY "^^"^ J""" ^^^^ 

4 ,_8. ne v^ords cflaincd, in connexion ^iththe Pfilnt 
from ivbcncc they arc taken. ^9 n- ^ J ^^ ^^^^^ 

A. 2 


1 . Great is the privilege of the gofpd church, §12—17. 

2. Great is the condcfcenfion of God. § i 8 20. 3. God's 

refpefifor man in the perfon of Chrifi calls for eternal ad^ 
miration. § 21. 4. Inconceivable the love and condc- 
fcenfion of Chrifi. § 22. 5. Chrifi' s exaltation a pledge 

of Qttrs. ^ ^ 

§ I. 1 HE firft words of the fifth vcrfe, {Iv yuo) for 
not, declare llmt the apoftle is in purfuit of his former ar- 
g^ument, but the particle * for' dr.di not always intimate 
themtroduaion of a rcafon in confirmation of what is 
pafl; but fometimes a progrcfs to foracwhat z\(t of the 
like kmd. I1ie ' world to come,' is not made, nor is 
any where m fcripture faid to have been made, fubjeft to 
angels; but it was made fubjca to Jefus, and therefore 
he IS exalted above them. This he proves from the tcfli- 
niony of the pfalmill to this purpofe; all things were 
made fubjecl to man, who for a little while was made 
lower than the angels; but this man was Jefus. All 
thmgs m the event agree to him : he was made ' for a 

* little while' lower than the angels ; and then he was 
crowned with glory and dignity, all things being made 
fubject to hnn ; from all which it appears, that it is he, 
and not angels, to whom the world to come is put in fub- 
jeaion. This is the feries of the apoille's difcourfe 

' I he world to come, whereof {XuX^u,,) ,,., treat.' Hic 

* world' here mtended is no other but tlie promifed flate 
of the church under the gofpel, with the worlbip of God 
therein, with a fpecial relation to the MefTiah, the author 
and mediator of it. Concerning which the apoftle * treats' 
with the Hebrews in this epifllc. He * treats' of that 
which was already done in the crowning of Jefus with 
glory and honour, as the words following do manifeft • 
and this crowning of him was upon his afcenfion. The 
apoftle doti, not treat directly any where in this epiflle 
ronccrning heaven, or the bleffedncfs to come ; for this is 
iiot what he oppofeth to the Judaical church-rtatc and 
worflijp, but that of the gofpd. 

§ 2. Con- 


§ 2. Concerning this world, the apoftle declares that 
it is ' not made fubjeft to angels :* it was not put in fub- 
jeftion to angels, in its ereB'ion or inllitution — in the riih 
and difpofal of it — or in the power oi judging and reward- 
ing. Not xh^firji ; for they did not reveal the will of God 
concerning it ; the law, which was the foundation of the 
Judaical church -ftate, was only * given by the difpojttion 
* of angels.' Not the fccond \ their office in this world 
is a miniftry, [chap. ii. 13.] not a rule or dominion; 
yes, they are brought into a co-ordination of fervice with, 
them that have the teilimony of Jefus, [Rev. xix. 10, 
xxii. 9.] being equally with us fubje6t to him, in 
whom they and we are gathered into one head, [Ephef. 
i. 10.] — Not the third; for that is the fole prerogative of 
Jefus Chrlll, as the fcripture every where tellifies. 

§ 3 * But one in a certain place teftiiied :* neither 
place nor perfon is fpecified, but the Hebrews were not 
ignorant whofe words they were, which he made ufe of, 
nor where they were recorded. The * one' here men- 
tioned is David ; and the ' certain place' is the eighth 
pfalm ; which was fufficiently known. ' What is man/ 
&c. Before we enter into a particular explication of 
the words, and of the apoflle's application of them, wc 
may obferve, that all things whatfoever are faid to be put 
in fubje£lion to man ; that is, to human nature in one or 
more perfons, in oppoiition to angels, or the angelical 
nature; and that this privilege was never abfolutely nor 
univerfally made good but with refpe6l to the perfon of 
Jefus Chrift, the Meffiah. ' What is man !' by way of 
admiration, yea, he cries out with a kind of afionilhment, 
David having exercifed his thoughts in the contemplation 
of the greatnefs, power, wifdom, and glory of God ma- 
nifefting themfelves in his mighty works, efpecially the 
beauty, order, majefty, and ufefulnefs of the heavens, and 
thofe glorious celeftial bodies which prefent themfelves to 
all the world ; falls thereon into this admiration, that 
this great and infinitely v^dfe God, who by his word gave 
being and exiflence to all thofe things, and thereby made 
his own excellencies confpicuous to all the world, fhould 



condefccnd to that care and regard of man, feeing he 
might for ever fatisfy himfelf, in thofe other apparently 
more glorious products of his power and godhead, (ii'>:« no) 

* What is poor miferablc mortal man,* obnoxious to grief, 
forrow, anxiety, pain, trouble, and death : (cdi« pi) and 

* tlie fon of man ;' of one made of earth. Now the 
pfalmift ufeth this expreflion to heighten his admiration 
of the grace and condefcenfion of God. And as the per- 
fon of the firfl Adam cannot be here efpecially intended ; 
for although he made himfelf (c/iJ«) * a miferable man,' 
and fubjcCt to death, yet he was not (m« p) * the fon of 

* man ;' [Luke iii. ult.] fo there is nothing in the words 
"but may properly be afcribed to the nature of man in the 
perfon of the MelTiah. For as he was called in an ef- 
pecial manner, ' the fon of man ;* fo was he made * a 

* man fubjed to forrow,' and acquainted above all men 
with grief and trouble, and was born on purpofe to die. 
Hence in the contemplation of his own condition he cries 
out, [Pfal. xxii. 7.] * I am a worm and not (D'rt) a man 
' of any confideration in the world.' — * That thou re- 

* mcmbercfl him,' or * art mindful of him.' To remember 
in fcripture, when afcribed to God, alwavs intends fonic 
a£ls of his mind, and purpofe of his will, and that in 
a fignal manner, either for good or evil. On this account 
God is faid fometimcs * to remember us for good,' and 
fometimes ' to remember our fins no more.' The incli- 
nation of the mind of God towards the nature of man in 
the pcrfon of Jcfus Chrifl:, in reference to all the good 
done in and by it, is intended in this exprelfion ; and 
therein is couched the whole counfel and purpofe of 
God, conceriiing the falvation of mankind, through tlic 
liumiliation, exaltation, and whole mediation of the man 
Chrifl Jefus. * That thou i-ijitejl him.' — The Hebrew 
word ("Tps), though varioully ufcd,- yet coni\antly denotes 
the afting of a fuperior towards an inferior ; and com- 
monly cxprciTcth the a£\ing of God towards his people for 
gooil. And efpecially in the term * viiiting,' ufcd to cx- 
prefs the flupcndous a6l of God in fending Jefus Chrill 
to take our nature upon him, [Luke i. 68.] ' He hath 

a * v'lfited 


* Vifited and redeemed his people,' and [verfe 78.] * The 

* day fpring from on high hath vijited us.^ This was the 
ground of the pfahnifl's admiration, and which will be fo 
in all believers to eternity. 

§ 4. * Thou hail made him a little lower tlian the an- 

* gels ;' or * lower for a little vohile than the angels/ 
Thefe words intend not the exaltation of the nature of mxrt 
man^ as if they fhould intimate, that fuch is his dignity, 
that he is made but a * little lefs than angels ;' which is 
deflruclive of that fenfe the apoflle intends. The word 
(non) ufed by the pfalmift, is rendered by the apoiiie by a 
word {sXcy.TJocjc) which, as the other does, properly figni- 
lies a diminution of Hate and condition, or a dcprejjlon oi 
any one from what be before enjoyed. And this, in the 
firft place, belongs to God's * vifitation ;' and the afting 
of the will of Chrift in this matter, fuitably to the will of 
the Father, is expreiled by words of the fame import, * he 

* emptied himfelf ;' and * he humbled himfelf,' [PhiL 
ii. 7, 8.] * He was made Icfs than the angels.' This 
the Hebrews had feen, and might from his humiliation 
raife an obje£tion againft what the apoftle afferted about 
his preference above them. Wherefore he acknow- 
ledgeth, that he was made ' lefs' than they, fliews that 
this was foretold, and in his following difcourfe afligns the 
reafons. * Than the angels,' (o'n^j^a Tia\> ccyys'Ki<g) » The 
Sept, and all the old Greek tranflations read * angels." 
The Targum hath («iDt^^D) * angels.' And the fcope of 
the place necefTarily requires that fenfe of the word. 
And although from his birth, the angels adored his per- 
fon as their Lord ; yet in the outward condition of his 
human nature, he was made exceedingly beneath their 
ftate of glory and excellency. He made him lou'cr (lora 
(3poixv T/) * for a little while,' or a y?)oyt fcafon. That 
which renders this fenfe unqueflionable, is the apolHe's 
reftraining them prccifcly thereto, [ver. 9] It was but 
for ' a little while,' that the perfon of Chrift in the na- 
ture of man was brought into a condition more indigent 
than that of angels is expofed to : neither was lie for that 
feafon made ' a little/ but ' very much' lower than the 



angels. And Iiad this been the whole of his ftate, it 
could not have been an effcft of that iiiexprefTible love 
and care which the pfalmiit fo admires. But feeing it i* 
but for a little continuance, and that for the blefTed ends 
which the apoftlc declares, nothing can more commend 
them to us. ' He crowned him with glory and honour/ 
(mar) * the crown* is (injigyie regium) the badge and to- 
ken of fupreme and kingly power. To be * crowned/ 
then, is to be invefted with fovercign power, or with the 
right and title thereunto. To be crowned with * glory 

* and honour/ is to have a glorious and honourable 
crown, or rule and fovcreignty, (nn3) * a weight of glory / 
from the Hebrew word (nn::), to be heavy \ (foc/.c^og h^r;c) 

* a weight of glory,' as rhe apoflle fpeaks in allufion to 
the primitive lignificatfon of this word, [II. Cor. iv. 17.] 

* Thou madeft him have dominion over the works of thy 

* hands / (in^»iL»Dn) * madcll: him to rule / {Kccjz^r^Tc^g 
ecvjov STTi) * appointedft him in authority over.' He had 
aftually rule and dominion given him upon his corona- 
tion ; and the extent of this dominion is the works of 
God's hands. And left any from the indefinite exprcf- 
lion Ihould think this rule limited, it is added (Trafjc^ 
V7ri]u'^:) * he hath put all things without exception in 

* fubjedion to him ; and to manifefl his abfolute and un- 

* limited power, with the unconditional fubjeclion of all 

* things unto him,' he adds, they are placed {"jTTcy.ccrcjj 
tcaJ'j tto^cov ocvJa) ' under his very feet / a dominion every 
way unlimited and abfolute. 

§ 5. For the explication of the chjc^'ivc extent of the 
rule and dominion mentioned, he adds, * for in tint he 

* hath made all fubje£\: unto him, he left nothing tliat is 

* not put under him.' For whereas it might be objefted, 
that there is no mention in the pfalm of the ' world ta 

* come' whereof he treats ; he lets them know% that feeing 
the aiTcrtion is univcrfal and unlimited, that all things 
whatfoever arc put under him, there lies no exception : 
they arc all brought into order under this rule. And fo 
by this tellimony thus explained, as necefTity requires it 
Ihould be, he hath fully contirmed, that the * world to 


* come' being one of the efpecial works of God, and 
not put into fubje£lion to angels, is made fubjc£l to man ; 
which was what he undertook to demonftrate. 

To direct this teftimony to its proper ends, and make 
way for its juft appHcation, he declares, negatively, unto 
whom it is not applicable ; * but now we fee not yet all 

* things put under him.' Man it was, concerning whom 
thefe words were fpoken ; * What is man ?' — a long fpace 
of time hath elapfed fince the giving out this teftimony, 
much longer iincc the creation of man, and yet all this 
while we fee that all things are far enough from being 
put under his feet. All mankind in conjunftion are very 
remote from being invefled with the dominion here de- 
fcribed, from having the whole creation of God call in 
fubjedion under their feet, much lefs any individual mere 

Hence wc ourfelves by our own obfervation may eafily 
difcern, that this word refpe£ls not, principally, either 
tlic iirft man or his pofterity; for we fee not as yet after 
this long fpace of time lince the creation, that all things 
are put in fubje(flion under him. 

§ 6. Thefe things being fpoken indefinitely of man by 
the pfalmlfl, the apoflle in the application of them to his 
prefent purpofe, proceeds to ihew, pofitively, who it is 
that was efpecially intended, and in whom the words had 
their full accompUfhment. ' Bat, faith he, we fee Jefus,' 
he, — that is, it is Jefus concerning whom the pfalmift 
fpake, and in whom alone this teftimony is verified. He 
was made lower than the angels ; and he had all things 
put in fubjeflion to him. Thefe things, faid he, we fee ; 
they arc evident, nor can be denied while the gofpel is 
acknowledged. Yet it was not on his own account, but 

* that he might fufper death ;' which is farther explained 
by the addition of the caufe and end of his fuffering, 

* That he by the grace of God might tafte of death for 

* every man.' The words (^loc to %u9y]^cc t« ^ocvaz'^) 

* for the fuffering of death,' intend the final caufc of the 
humiliation of Chrlft ; he *vas made low that he might 
fuffcr dcatli ; not the meritorious caufe of his exaltation : 

Vol. II. Y fot 


for if they exprcfs his mlnoratloii itfelf, then the end of 
it is contained only in the clofe of the verfe, that he 

* might tafle of death for every man.' In which expo- 
fition of the words, the fenfe would be, that he * fuffercd 

* death,' that by the grace of God he might * taftc death,' 
which is no fenfc at alL This therefore is the import and 
natural order of the words ; * but we fee Jefus crowned 
with glory and honour, who was for a little while made 
lower than the angels for the fuffering of death, that he by 
the grace of God might tailc death for every man. 

§ 7. The end then is * the fuffering of death;' he was 
fo humbled that he might fnffer death. This yet more 
difplcafcd the Jews ; the neceflity wherefore, he therefore 
more imniediately proves ; and proceeds to amplify that 
humiliation which he had before intimated ; and tliat in 
four things : 

1. In the impulfivc and efficient caufc of it. * That 
* by the grace of God ;* the gracious, free, fovereign pur- 
pofe of the will of God fuited to and ariiing from his 
natural goodnefs and benignity, mercy and compalfion, 
exerting themfeWes therein. It was not out of any an- 
ger or difplcafure of God againfl: Jefus, in whom his foul 
was always pleafed ; not out of any difrcgard to him, 
whom he dcllgned hereby to be crowned with glorv and 
honour ; but of his love, kindncfs, and goodnefs towards 
others, who could no otherwife be brought to glory. 

2. In the mmmcr of the death ; [oiruoq y^va-fiai Saiuiy) 
' that he fhould talle of death ;' fo die as to experience the 
furrows, bittcrnefs, and penalties of death. To * tafle of 

* death,' implies ren//y to die ; not in appearance (.^r pre- 
tence, in opinion or fhew, as fomc foolilhly of old 
blafphemcd about the death of Chrift, which could have 
liad no other fruit but a J?jadovj of redemption. It is in- 
mated, that there was bitternefs in the death he under- 
went ; himfelf compares it to a * cup.' To *-tafte of 
' death,' is a Hcbraifm ; and it comprifcth alfo, to find 
out and experience what is in death. 80 that Chrill by 

* rafting of death' had experience, knew what was in 
death, as threatened to finncrs. lie found out and wn- 



derflood what bitterncfs was in that cup wherein it was 
given him. When Agag thought he fhould efcape a vio- 
lent death by the fword, he thus exprcfTeth his joy ; 
[I. Sam. XV, 32.] * Surely the bitternefs of death is paft/ 
or taken away. Our Lord's conqiiejl over death may be 
alfo intimated in this expiefTion ; for though the phrafe 
be ufed concerning other perfons alfo, yet as applied to 
him, the event fheweth, that it was only a thorough tafle 
of it that he had, he neither was, nor could be detained 
under the power of it. And thus by the grace of God 
did he talle of death. 

3. The cy^d of this tafling of death ; it was for others 
(uTTcp 'Kcc'jTog,) The conftant ufe of thefc words, * to die 
^ for another.,' imports to die ^ in his room and flcad \ and 
this the Jews underllood in the ufe of their facrifices ; 
where the life of the beaft was accepted inllead of the life 
of the iiniier. Thus Chriil tailed of death ; he was by 
the grace and wifdom of God fubflituted as a mediator 
and furety, [avTL-\vyjjq) in their Jlead, (for whom he died,) 
to undergo the death which they fhould have undergone, 
that they might g^o free. 

4. This dying of Chrifl is faid to be (uTT^p iroi-nog) 
< for all.' The word is either of the mafculine or neuter 
gender ; and is put for the plural, [7:ccvi'jqv) by an enal- 
lage of number, ■ for all m,en,' that is, all thofe many 
Jons, which God by his death intended to bring into 
glory, [ver. 10,] thofe fanftified by him, whom he calls 
his brethren^ [ver. 10, I I.] and children given him, 
[ver. 13.] whom by death he delivers from the fear of 
death, [ver. 15.] even all the feed of Abraham, [ver. 16.] 

§ 8, In reply to any exceptions that might be urged 
againft our interpretation, I grant that the pfalmift's de- 
lign, in general, is the goodnefs, kindnefs, love, and care 
of God towards mankind : but then it is in the fpecial 
inftance of the perfon of the IVIcfliah alone, he undertakes 
to make good his aflertion of mankind's pre-eminence, 
I alfo grant that he hath refpcft to the dignity and honour 
conferred on the firft man at his creation ; not dire6lly 
a\\d ;ntcnti9nally as his chief fcope, but by way of allu- 

Y 2 lion, 


fion, as prc-figuring and obfcurcly rcprcfciiting that great 
glory and Iionour, which manknid was to be advanced 
to ill the pcrfon of the Meffiah, of whom the whole 
pfnlni is prophcticah The general Icopc of the pfalm 
will admit of no other interpretation. Now the phjc6t of 
the pfalmifl's admiration could not be either the llatc of 
man as fallen by fin, which is far enough from a matter 
of exultation and joy; nor yet the flate of Adam in in- 
uocency, in no privilege whereof, without a rcflitution by 
Chrift, have we any ihare or intercft. There are not 
any words in the tellimony that can properly be applied 
to, or verified in any other man. Not in Jdam at his 
lirll creation ; for how was he d'lmhujhcd and made lefs 
than angels, and therein dcprcjjed from another flate and 
condition, when, on the fuppolition, it was the firft ? 
Or how can this be faid of ynankind in general, or of 
believers in an efpecial fenfe ? and how could this be 
fpoken of them for a little while, feeing the nature of 
mail in itfelf confidered, is for ever beneath the angelical ? 
Again ; the world to come was never put in fubje£lioii 
to Adam, nor any other man, the man Chriil Jefus ex- 

§ 9. Ohf. I. This is the great privilege of the gofpel 
church, that it is made fubjeft to, and immediately de- 
pends upon the Lord Jefus Chriil, and not any other, 
angels or men. 

I. The Lord Chrift is our head. The fcveral parts of 
liis church were all fcattered and difordered bv fin, but 
are now all collefted again, and brought into order under 
one head. Him hath he given to be ' head over all things 
* to the church.' 'J'hc whole fovereignty over all the 
creation that is committed to him, is only for this end — 
that he may be the more pcrfe£l head unto the church. 
AVhat greater honour can we have, than to be freemen 
of the corporation whereof lie is the head ? than to be 
lubje<5^s of that kingdom of which he is the fovcrcign ? 
What greater fafety than to be infepnrablv united to him, 
who is invel\ed witli all power and authority over the 



whole creation of God, even every thing that may do us 
good or evil ! 

2. He is our only head. The church is fo put in fubr 
jeftion under him, as not to be fubje<5l to any other. If 
any other were or might be fuch a head, they mufl be an- 
gels or men. As for angels, we have it here plainly tef- 
tified, that the church ' is not made fubjefl' to them. 
And amongfl men, the apofties of all others might feem 
to lay the julteft claim to this privilege and honour ; but 
they openly difclaim any pretence thereunto. So doth 
Paul, [H. Cor. i. 24.] ' We have no dominion,' or head- 
ship, ' over your faith,' or any thing that concerns your 
obedience to God, and yoqr worfhip of him, * but arc 
' helpers of your joy.' And again: ' We preach not our- 
' felves but Chrifl Jefus the L,ord,' the only Lord ' and 

* ourfelves your fervants for Jefus fake,' [H. Cor. iv. 5.] 
And Peter (as if forefeeing, that fome who fhould come 
after would pretend to fuch pre-eminence) warns the el- 
ders that they fhould not think themfelves * lords over 

* God's heritage, [I. Pet. v. 3.] And Chrifl is not only 
thus the only head, in general, to the whole church, but 
alfo to every individual believer. * The head of every 

* man is Chrifl,' [T. Cor. xi. 3.] 

He is the head of infaience and of government. — He is 
the only head of vital hifluence. As from the natural head 
all the influences of life, for fubfiflence, motion, afting, 
guidance, and direction are communicated to the whole 
body, and to every member thereof; fo from the Lord 
Chrifl alone, as he is the fpiritual vital head of the church, 
in whom arc the fprings of life and all quickening grace, 
^re communicated to the whole church, and every be- 
liever, both the firfl quickening principle of fpiritual life 
itfelf, and all fucceeding fupplics and influences. If any 
man think he may have grace from any but Chrifl alone, 
be they angels or men, let him turn himfcif to them ; but 
\yithal let him know afTuredly, that he forfakes the 

* fountain of living waters/ for ' broken ciflerns,' which 
yieW him uo relief. 

^' Hi 


He Is the only head of rule and government. The fcrlpture 
tells us, that he was faithful ia the whole houfe of God, 
as was Mofcs, and that as a Lord over his own houfe, to 
^re£l rule and eflablifh it ; and himfclf when he gives coin- 
miflion to his apoilles, bids them teach men to do and ob- 
ferve all that he had commanded them ; and accordingly 
they tell us, that they delivered unto us what they received 
from the Lord ; and commanded us not to be wife above 
tvhat is written. Therefore to add any thing in thq . 
worfhip of God to the laws of the church, is to exercifc 
authority and dominion over its faith ; and to pretend 
that this ' world to come,' this bleifcj gofpel church-ilatc 
is put in fabje£lion ' unto them,' although it be not fo to 
angels. A vain and proud pretence ! His own authority, 
and that alone, fhould immediately afFe£l the foul and con- 
fcience of every believer. He that fubjefts himfelf aright 
to them, doth it not upon the authority of the church by 
whom they are taught, but upon the authority of Chrill; 
by whom they are enabled. 

3. As he is our only head, fo he is our hnmedlaie head. 
We have our immediate dependence upon him, and our 
accefs to him is alfo immediate. He hath, indeed, ap- 
pointed means for communicating his grace, and for ex- 
crcifing his authority- but this belongs only to the it.'ay. 
of our dependence, and hinders not but that our depen- 
dence is immediately on himfclf, he being the irjitncdiate oh- 
jeil of our faith and love. 

§ 10. This privilege is greatly augmented, in that he 
will affuredly take care of all its concernments, feeing 
xmto him only doth it betake itfelf. The church made 
it of old part of her plea, that flie was as one * fatherlefs,^ 
[Ilof. xiv. 3.] Uiat is, every way helplefs, one that had 
none to fuccour, none to relieve her. And Chrift givcth 
this as a reafon why he llirreth up himfclf to the aflillancc 
of his people, hjecaufe '. ^here was no man that appeared 
* for their help, no interceffor to interpofe for them.' 
[Ifaiah lix. 16. J Now God haying placed the church in 
this condition, lb as to be ofttimes. altogether orphans ia 
this world, to have none to give them the Icull counte- 

4 ^lancQ 

Ves.5-9. epistle to THE HEBREWS; 16^ 

nance or afliilance, and tlie church itfelf chufing this con- 
dition, to renounce all hopes and expe£lations from any 
elfe, betaking itfelf to the power, grace, and faithfulnefs 
of the Lord Chrift alone, he will moft certainly take 
care of it, and provide for it at all times infallibly* They 
are members of his body, and he alone is their head ; they 
are fubjedls of his kingdom, and he alone is their king i 
they are children and fervants in his family, and he alone 
is their father, Lord, and mafler ; and can he forget them, 
can he difregard them ? Had they been committed to the 
care of men, it may be fome of them would have fought 
and contended for them ; though their faithfulnefs is al- 
ways to be fufpe£led, and their ftrength is as a * thing of 
* nought.' Had they been put in fubje£lion to angels^ 
they would have watched for their good, though their 
wifdom and ability be ^greatly limited ; and fhall not the 
Lord Jefus Cbrift, now they are made his fpecial care, 
fvhofe power and faithfulnefs are infinitely above thofe 
of any other mere creatures, excel them alfo in care and 
watchfulnefs for our good ? And this fhould teach us, 

§ II. The equity and neceffity of our univerfal obe- 
dience to God in Chrift* He hath freed us from * fub- 
' jc6lion' to men and angels, that we might ferve him, 
and live unto him. He hath taken us to be his peculiar 
ones, his lot and portion, from whom he experts all his 
revenue of glory out of this world. And he hath left us 
no excufe, no pretence, for the negled of any duties of 
obedience that he requireth of us. We cannot plead that 
we have other work to do, other lords and maflers to 
ferve ; he hath fet us free from them all, that we might 
be his. If a king take a fcrvant into his family, and 
tliereby free and difcharge hiwi from being liable to 
any other duty or fervice, may he not jullly expeft that 
fuch a one will be diligent in obferving all his commands ; 
cfpccially confidering alfo the honour and advantage that 
he hath by being taken near to his royal mafter, and em- 
ployed in his affairs ? And fliall not God much more ex- 
pect the like from us, confidering how exceedingly the 
privilege we have by this relation unto liim furpaflcth all 



ttiat men can obtain by the favour of earthly princes r And 
if we will choofe other lords of our own to fcrvc, if 
we are fo rcgardlcfs of ourfclvcs as that we will fcrve our 
lufls and the world, when God hatli fuch a refpc£l for us, 
as that he would not fuffcr us to be made fubjedl to the 
angels of heaven, how inexcufablc fhall we be in our 
fin and folly ? You fliall be for me, faith God, and not 
for any other whatever. And are we not miferable if wc 
like not this agreement ? 

§ 12. Olf. 2. The confideration of the infinitely glo- 
rious excellencies of the nature of God, manifefling thcm- 
letves in his works, doth greatly fet out his condefcenfiou 
and grace, in his regard and refpe£l to mankind. The 
heavenly bodies which wc behold are indeed in tlierrifelves 
excecdhigly glorious. Their frame, greatnefs, beauty, 
order, courfe, and ufefulnefs, befpeak them admirable 
and glorious : the naked view of them is enough to 
fill the mind of man with admiration and aflonifliment. 
And the more we contemplate them, the more Ikilful we 
arc in the confideration of their nature, order, and ufc, the 
more excellent they appear ; and yet it is but a fmall part 
of their greatnefs and beautiful arrangement that we can 
attain a certain kriowledge of ; fo tliat they flill remain 
more the objefts of our admiration and wonder, than of 
our fcicncc. Hence the wifcfl among the heathens who 
were dcflitute of the teachings of the word and fpirit of 
tlie Lord, worfhippcd them as gods. * 

The more wc confiJcr them, the more will their glory 
and greatnefs appear to us. As the children of Ifrael faid 


* I fence the very name of God in the Greek language (Gio:) is 
taken (according to fomt) from (Si^v) to ru/i, which they derive 
fnnn tlie cunlhmt tt)Ui fe of the heavenly bodies. They faw with 
their eyes how glorious they were ; they found by reafon their 
grcii'iiefbancl dreadful motion ; expeiienee t.uight them their ule, 
us the immediate fountains of light, warmth, atmofphcrical moif- 
ture and rain, and fo confcijuently of life, growth, and all uletul 
things. It may be they had foiiic tradition of that dominion v.hich 
wa. at firft allotted to the hin and moon over day and niLjht. [Cicn. 
i, i(t.] On thclc and l!\c like r.i-counts, \i:\\'nv^ loft the knowledge 


of the fons of Anak, * Wc were before them in our own 
• light as grafshoppers, and fo we were in their fight.* 
May we not much more fay concerning ourfelves, com- 
pared with thcfe glorious works of the Moll High, wc 
arc all but as grafshoppers in comparifon of them ? And 
whence is it, that God fhould fet his heart upon us ? That 
he hath made them fo beautiful, fo glorious, fo excellent, 
and that out of nothing, doth it not declare his infinite 
power, wifdom, and goodnefs ? Do they not lead us to 
the contemplation of his infinite excellencies ? And whence 
is it, that he who made all thefe things of nothing, 
Ihould have fuch regard to the weak frail nature of man? 
§ 13. To illuflrate the divine condefcenfion, behold 
the grcatnefs of God ! * The heaven of heavens,' faith 
Solomon, * cannot contain him,' [I. Kings viii. 18.] 
Our thoughts of greatnefs are apt to confifl in adding 
one thing to another, until the obje£t be extended to the 
ntmofl of our imagination. But this hath no relation to 
the immenfity of God ; which is not his filling of all 
imaginary places or fpace, but an infinite exiftence in an 
infinite being ; fo that as he is prefent with or indiflant 
from the whole creation ; for faith he, * Do not I fill 
heaven and earth ? [Jer. xxiii. 24.] So is he no lefs pre- 
fent, where there is no part of the creation. And if he 
fhould produce thoufands of Vv^orlds, which he can do 
by his power, he would be no lefs prefent in them all. 
And this not by extending his eflence and greatnefs, but 
by the infinitenefs of his being. Neither are there parts 
in this immenfity ; for that which hath parts cannot be 
infinite or immenfe. God is wholly prefent every where. 
And thus far reafon will go ; it will alTent to the truth of 
that which it cannot comprehend, becaufe it is convinced 
that it cannot be otherwife. What remains, it leaves to 

of the true and only God, they knew not fo vrell whither to turn 
thenifelves tor a Deity, as to thoie things which they faw fo full of 
glory, and which they found to be of fo univerfal and communi- 
cative a goodnefs and ufcfulnefs. And in them did all the idolatry 
in the world be^in. 

Vol. n. 2 faitk 


faith and reverential adoration. Who can fufficiently ad- 
mire tliis excellency of the nature of God ? How aflonilli- 
ing tliis greatnefs ! How are all the nations of the world, 
as the drop of a bucket, as the dud of a balance, as va- 
nity, as nothing before him ! What is a little duj] to the 
immcnlity of being? To that whole greatnefs we cannot 
mcafurc, whofe nature wc cannot comprehend, wliofe 
glory w^c can only adore ? What is a poor worm to him 
who is every where, and who is every where filled with 
his own excellencies and blelfcdnefs ! * Who hath mea- 
' furcd the waters in the hollow of his hand, and mea- 

* furcd out the heaven with a fpan, and comprehended the 

* duft of the earth in a mcafurc, and weighed the moun- 

* tains in fcaks, and the hills in a balance ? Behold the 

* nations are as a drop of a bucket, and are counted as the 

* fmall dufl of the balances. Behold he taketh up the 

* illes as a very little thing ; all nations before him are as 

* nothing, and they are counted unto him Ids than no- 

* thing and vanity,* [Ifaiah xl. 12 — 17.] 

§ 14. Behold his infinite fclf-fufficicncy ! Had he net 
been every way felf-fufEcient, before the exiflence of all 
other things, nothing could have been produced. All 
the properties of his nature being infinite, have that which 
fills and fatisfies them. His underllanding is infinite : and 
as nothing could comprehend the infinite nature of God, 
but an infinite underllanding, (for God could not know 
hlmfclf if his underflanding were not infinite,) fo nothing 
could fatisfv an infinite underllanding, but an infinite 
obje^l. y\nd this fuitablenefs of the properties of God 
one to another, as it makes them, becaufc infinite, not 
really to dilMr from one another, or from his nature it- 
fcJf ; fo it gives them all rcfl:, blelTednefs, fatisfa6lion, and 
fch^-fufficiencv. Hence is God all-fufficicnt, and eter- 
nally blclfcd in tlic contemplation and enjoyment of his 
own excellencies. For fcIf-fufFicJency is the fountain of 
Llciredncfs. Now what is man, that this every way r.ll- 
fiiriicicfu God (hould vuml^ regard, and v'ljit him ? Hath 
lie any need of him, or his fervices ? Doth his goodiiels 
extend to him r Qwi\ he profit God as a man profitcth 



his neighbour. If he fin, what doth he do againft him ? 
Or if his tranfgreflions be multiplied what doth he againft 
him ? If he be righteous whatgiveth he unto him ? or what 
rccciveth he at his hand ? [Job xxxv. 6, 7.] Nothing 
but infinite condefceniion and grace is the ancient foun- 
tain of all God's regard to us. 

§ 15. Behold his infinite and eternal power ! If the 
power of God in making this or that creature which we 
behold, be fo admirable declaring his fovereignty and the 
infinite diflance of man from him in his belt condition, 
how glorious is it in the whole univerfe ; and in the 
creation of all things vifible and invifible, and that by 
the fecret emanation of omnipotency in a word of com- 
mand. The art of man will go confiderably far in the 
framing, fafhioning, and ordering of things ; but the 
creating energy that is difplayed in the leaft of God's 
creatures infinitely differs from all limited and finite 
power. There is a peculiar imprefs of omnipotency 
upon all the works of God. And what is man that this 
Almighty Being fhould be mindful of him 1 The fame re- 
flections may be made on his wifdoni and goodnefs, that 
iliine forth in the works of his hands. 

§ 16. On the other hand, ' what is man,' as to his 
extrad ? A little duft, one made of * the duft of the 
' ground ;' that may fay to corruption, < thou art my fa- 

* ther, and to the worm, thou art my mother, and my 
^ filter,' [Job xviii. 14.] His fabrick was not one jot of 
any better materials than theirs. That God put this 
honour upon him, to breathe into the duft whereof h& 
was made, that he fhould become ' a living foul,* is part 
of that goodnefs wherein he is fo much to be admired. 
Otherwife we are what God faid to Adam, * duft thou art;' 
poor creature that wouldft be like to God, thou art but 
duft and no more ! and in a becoming fenfe of this their 
extraction did holy men of old abafe themfelves in the 
the prefence of God, as Abraham, [Gen. xviii. 32.} 

* How fhall I fpeak unto the Lord that am but duft and 
*. afhes ?' Poor proud man ! who fcorncft to touch that o-f 
\Yjfi9h thou art made, and thinkeft thyfelf I know not 

Z ?. what^ 


what, whilft the remainder of thcc lies under the feet of 
all the creatures which thou dcl'pifcrt. What is this 
handful of dull that God Ihould regard it ? But yet thix 
fabrick. being ercfted, perhaps is durable, ftrong, and 
abiding, and fo maybe confiderable on that account. But 
alas ! Lis frailty alfo is inexprellible, [Pfalm xc. 5, 6.] 
' Thou carricft them away as with a flood ; they are as 

* afleep ;''in the morning they are like gr^fs that grow^eth 

* up ; in the morning it lioui ifheth and growcth up , in the 

* evening it is cut down and withercth,' [Job xiv. i. 3.] 
And dofi: thou open thine eyc.> upon fuch a * one,' regard 
fuch a poor frail pcrifhing creature ? From within, from 
without, from himielf, from all other creatures, and 
principally from the rage and cruelty of thofe of the fame 
nature as himfclf, his mifery is great, and his life of 
fliort continuacc. And God abundantly fliews what little 
weight is to be laid on that duration which man has in 
this world, in that he takes many from the very womb, 
who fcarce ever beheld the light, into a participation of 
his own eternal glory. 

^17. But flill more : this earthly frail man hath made 
himfelf yet more unfpeak ably zvV^ by fin, that fets him 
at the moft awful d fiance from the glory of God.- — All 
thefe things being put together, they make the condefccn- 
lion of God in remembering man, and fetting his heart 
"upon him, exceedingly to be admired and adored. And 
this alfo will farther appear, if we might confider what arc 
the bleflld eflcMfis of this mindfulnefs. But here our duty 
lies ii\ fludying what God hath revealed of himfclf; not 
with curious fearchings and Ipeculations, but with holy 
admiration, revc.encc, and fear. When thefe have filled 
us with wonder, when they have proflrated our fpirits bc- 
foic him, anil laid our mouths in the dull, when the 
glory of them Ihincs round about us, and our whole fouls 
are iilLd with an holv allonilhmcnt; then lot us take a 
view of ourfelvcs, our extra«fl, our frailtv, oi^r vilencfs on 
every accour.t. How poor, how undeferving are we ! 
What is there in u<, what is there belonging to us, that 



is not fuitcd to abafc us ? Alive one day and dead another I 
Quiet one moment, troubled another ; fearing, caring, 
rejoicing cauflellly ; always linning, and * in our beft 
' condition altogether vanity !' Would we be wife P We 
are * like the wild afs's colt ;' would we be honourable f 
We are * like the bealls thatperifh.' Would we hcjhong? 
We arc as ' a reed Ihaken with the wind.' In fliort, let 
the refult of thefe thoughts be an holy admiration of 
God's infinite love, care, grace, and condefcenfion in hav- 
ing any regard for us, as the pfalmifl hath given us an ex- 
cellent example. 

§ 1 8. Ohf. 3. The refpe£l:, care, love, and grace of 
God to mankind, expreiTed in the perfon and mediation of 
Jefus Chriil, is a matter of fingular and et rnal admira- 
tion. That is what the admiration of the pfalmifl rc- 
ipe£ts and refls in ; and this way of his grace towards us 
in the perfon of his Son, afluming our nature into union 
with himfelf, is that wherein the exceeding and unfpeakablc 
riches of his glory and w-ifdom are made manifefl, [Ephef. 
1. I 7 — 23.] God hath in other things fet forth his glory; 
but yet in a very partial manner ; one thing hath declared 
his powder, another his goodnefs and wifdom, and that 
in part, with reference to that particular about w^hich they 
have been exercifed. But in this he hath drawn forth and 
difplayed all the riches and treafures of his glory, fo that 
his excellencies feem capable of no great exaltation. Now 
therefore whereunto doth all this tend? Why it is all to 
give a bleffed and eternal inheritance to believers, for the 
hope and expectation of which they are called by the gof- 
pel. And by w^iat way or means is all this brought about } 
Even by the mighty working of God in Jefus Chi ill, in 
his humiliation unto death ; and his after exaltation, 
putting all things under his feet, crowning liim with glory 
and honour. So full of glory, fuch an object of eternal 
admiration, is this work of the love and grace of God \ 
which as Peter tells us, the very angels themfelves defire to 
look into, (I. Pet. i. 12.) 

§ 19. And this further appears, 

I. Be- 


1. Bccaufe all God's regard of man in this way is a 
fruit of mere foijcrcign grace and condcfccnlion. It wa^ 
all of grace, both towards the head and members. The 
human nature of Chrift, neither did, nor could merit the 
livpoflatical union; and this being of inconceivable grace 
and the foundation of all the confcqucnt fruits of God's 
regard to us; ib mull thefc fruits be alfo ; which therefore 
leave place for nothing but eternal admiration and thank- 

2. Had not God been thus mindful of man, and vifltcd 
him in the pcrfon of the Son incarnate ; all partakers of 
that nature mull: have utterly pcrilhed in their loll condi- 
tion. And this alfo renders the grace of it an objcdl of 
admiration. We arc not only to look what God takes us 
to by this vifitation, but to conhdcr alfo what he delhcrs us 
from. Now a great part of that vile and bafe condition 

which the pfalmifl wonders tluit God fhould have a regard 
to, is, that we have * finned and come Ihort of his glorv,' 
and thereby expofed ourfelves to eternal mifcrv. In that 
condition we mufl have periflied for ever, had not God 
freed us by this vifitation. It had been great grace to have 
taken an innocent, a linlcfs man into glory; fingular grace 
to have freed a linner from mifery, though he fhould never 
be brought to the enjoyment of the Icaft pofitive good ; but 
to free a finner from the moft inconceivable mifery in eter- 
nal ruin, and to bring him to the higheft happinefs in eter- 
Xial glory, and all this in a way of mere grace; this is to 
be evcrlaflingly admired ! 

3. It appeareth, that God is more glorified in the hu- 
miliation and exaltation of the Lord Chrift, and the fal- 
vation of mankind thereby, than in any or all of the 
works ot the firfl: creation. None almoll is fo flupid, 
but tliat on the iirfl view of the heavens, the (\.-\n^ moon, 
and ftars, he will confefs, that their fabric, beautv, and 
order is wonderful, and that the glory of their all-wife 
r.nd omnipotent builder is for ever to be admired in them ; 
but all this comes fhort of that glory which arilcth from 
flfis comlcfccnfion and grace. And therefore, it may be, 
ll;e d:;y will come, and tfiat fpecdily, wherein tlic heavens 

I and 


and this whole creation fliall be utterly difTolved and 
brought to nothing. For why fhould they abide as a 
monument of his power for their fakes, who, enjoying 
the blefled vifion of him, fhall fee it and know it far mor« 
eminently in himfelf ? However, they fhall undoubtedly, 
in a fhort time, ceafe as to their prefent ufe ; but the cf- 
fe£ls of this regard of God to man fhall abide to eternity, 
and the glory of God therein ; and this is the foundation 
of heaven as a flate and condition, as it denotes the glo- 
rious prefence of God among his faints. Without this 
there would be no fuch heaven ; all that is there, and all 
the glory of it depends thereon. Take away this founda- 
tion, and all that beauty and glory difappear. Nothing 
indeed would be taken from God, who ever was, and ever 
will be eternally blelTed in his own felf-fufficiency ; but 
the whole tlieatre which he hath ere£led for the manifcfta- 
t'lon of his eternal glory depends on this his holy conde- 
fcenfion and grace, which afTuredly render them meet for 
ever to be admired and adored. 

§ 20. In this then let us cxercife ourfelves. Faltli 
having infinite, eternal, incomprehenfible things pro- 
pofed to it, ads itfelf greatly in this admiration. We are 
every where taught, that we know but imperfedly, * in 
' part,' and that we fee * darkly' as in a glafs. Not that 
the revelation of thefe things in the word is dark and ob- 
fcure, for they are fully and clearly propofed ; but that 
fuch is the nature of the things themfelves, that we arc 
not in this life able to comprehend them ; and therefore, 
faith doth principally excrcife itfelf in an holy admiration 
of them. And indeed no love or grace will fuit our con- 
dition, but that which is incomprehenfible. We find 
©urfelves, by experience, ftanding in need of more grace, 
goodnefs, love, and mercy, than we can fully underftand. 
But when that which is fuitable, infinite, and incompre- 
henfible is propofed, there all fears are overwhelmed, and 
faith finds refl with afTurance. And if our admiration of 
thefe things be an a6t, an effe^i:, a fruit of faith, it will 
be of fingular ufe to endear our hearts to God, and to ex- 
cite them to thankful obedience. For who would not love 



and delight in the eternal foundation of this inconceivable 
grace ? And what fhall we render unto him who hath 
done more for us, than we arc any way able to conceive ? 
^2 1. Ohf. 4. Such was the inconceivable loveof Jefus 
Chrift the Son or God to the fouls of men, that he was 
willing to condefcend to any condition for their good. 
Hence, when the eternal counfel of this whole matter is 
mentioned, it is faid of him as the wifdom of the Fa- 
ther, that he * rejoiced in the habitable parts of the earth, 

* and his delights were with the fons of men,' [Prov. viii. 
13.] He delighted in the counfel of redeeming and faring 
them bv his own humiliation and fuiFering. And fo great 
was this love of his, that he declined nothing that was 
propofed to him. This the apoflle calls his grace, [II. Cor. 
viii. 9.] ' Ye know the grace of our Lord Jefus Chrift, 

* that though he was rich, yet for our fakes he became 

• poor, that ye through his poverty might be rich.' He 
condefcended to a poor and \o\s condition, and to fuffer 
therein, that we might be made partakers of the durable 
riches of the grace of God. Now the Holy Ghoft makes 
an cfpecial application of this truth to us ; [Phil. ii. 5.] 

• Let this mind be in you, which was alfo in Chrift Jefus.' 
If this mind was in Chrift, .fhould not we endeavour after 
ji rcadinefs and willingnefs to fubmit ourlelves to any con- 
dition for his glory ? ' Forafmuch then as Chrift,* faith 
Peter, * hath fuffercd for us in the flclli, arm yourfelves 

* likewife with the fame mind.' [I. Pet. iv. i.] Many 
difliculties will be in our way, many reaibnings will rile 
up againft it, if we coiifult with flefti and blood ; but, 
faith he, * arm yourlelves with the fame mind that was in 

• Chrift ;' get your fouls ftrengthencd and fortiiied by 
grace againft all oppofitions, that you may follow and 
imitate him. Some that profefs his name will fufter no- 
thing for him ; if they may enjoy him or his ways in 
peace and quietnefs, well and good , but if perfecution 
arifc, immediately they fall away. But what if he had been 
iinwilling to be humbled and fuft'cr for us ? If the fame 
mind had been in Chrift, as was in us, what had been 
our ft?.tj and condition to eternity ? In this grace, love, 


Ver. s—9. epistle to THE HEBREWS. 17$ 

and willingnefs of Chrift, lies the foundation for all our 
happinefs, of all our deliverance from mifery and ruin ; 
and ihall we reckon ourfelvcs to have an intereft therein, 
and yet find ourfelves altogether unwilling to be con- 
formed to him ? Befides, the Lord Chriit was really rich 
when he made himfclf poor for our fakes ; he was in the 
form of God, when he took upon him the form of a fer- 
vant, and became for us of no reputation ; nothing of 
this was he obliged to but merely on our account. But 
we are in ourfelvcs reallv poor, and obnoxious to infinite- 
ly more miferics for our own fins, than any thing he calls 
us to endure for his name. Are we unwilling to fuifer a 
little light tranlitory trouble in this world from him, with- 
out whofe fufFerings for us we muft have fuffered endlefs 
mifery, whether we would or no ? And I fpeak not {o 
much about fuffering itfelf, as about the mind and frame 
of fpirit wherewith we undergo it. 

Some fufFcr when they cannot avoid it ; but {o unwil- 
lingly, fo unchcerfully, as makes it evident they a£l froia 
no generous principle ; they relu(^antly fubmit becaufc 
they dare not refift their convi<ftions. But the mind that 
was in Chrifl will lead us to it out of love to him, with 
freedom and enlargednefs of heart, which is juftly re- 
quired of us. 

§ 22. 01? f 5. The blefled ilTue of the abafement of Jefus 
Chrift, in his exaltation to honour and glory, is an af- 
fured pledge of the final glory and blelTednefs of all that 
believe in him, whatever diliiculties and dangers they may 
be cxercifed with in their way. His humiliation, as we. 
have fecn, proceeded out of God's condefcenfion and love 
to mankind ; his eleding love, the eternal gracious pur- 
pofe of his will to recover lofl finners, and to bring them 
to the enjoyment of himfelf, was the ground of this dif- 
penfation , and therefore what he hath done in Chrifl:, is 
a certain pledge what he will do in and for them alfo. 
He is not crowned with glory and honour merely for 
himfelf, but that he may be a * captain of falvation,* and 
bring others to a participation of his glory. BiefTed is 

Vol. II. A a the 


the flatc and condition, great is tlie fplritual and eternal 
fecuritv of the church ; feeing all things are under the 
very feet of its head and faviour. 

Verse 10. 

/or it became him, for whom are all things* 
and by whom are all things, in bringing 
many sons unto glory, to make the captaik 


f I . I'he propriety and force of the conne^f'ion. § 2 — 4. ^he 
principal zuords explained. § 5. The fubjei:! Jtatcd. 

^ 6 — 8. (I.) 'The defign cf God to bring many fons t9 
glory. § 9. (II.) The means of accomplifhing that deep 
defign. § 10. (III.) ChrijY s qualification for this ardu- 
ous work. § II — 13. (IV.) Ihcreafon vjhy Chrifi was 
if) he confe crated hy his fufferings. § 14 — 23. Obfcrva- 
tionsy I . The luhole zi'ork of bringing the fons to glory is com- 
mitted to Chrifl. § 24. 2. Chrifl by fujffering hath confe- 
crated th^, way of fuffcring. § 25. 3. ^uch is the defer t 
of fin ^ that fnners could not be faved without the fufferings of 
the Son of God, 

^ I. A HE apoille in the verfcs foregoing made mention 
of that which, of all other things, the Jews generally 
were moft offended at, but which was of the grcatcil im- 
portance to be believed ; namely, the fufferings of the 
'vIcfTiah : wlicrein a great part of the difcharge of his fa- 
cerdotal office (whereunto he here makes a tranfition) 
confiilcd. This his own difciples were llcw to believe, 
[Matt. xvi. 22. and chnp. xvii. 22, 23. Luke xxiv. 
25, 26.] and at this the Jews generally flumbled. They 
thought it flrangc that the M^fliah, the Son of God, the 


faviour of his people and captain of their falvation, con- 
c-erning whom fo great and glorious things were promifed 
and foretold, Ihould be brought into fo low and defpifed 
a condition, and therein fuffer and die. Hence they cried 
unto him on the crofs, * If thou be the Chrift, come down 
* and fave thyfelf ;* intimating, that by his fufFcrings he 
was a£tual]y proved not to be lb ; for why any one ihould 
fuffer, that could deliver himfelf, they faw no reafon. Be- 
fides, they had inveterate' prejudices about the falvation 
promifed by the Meffiah, and the way whereby it was to 
be wrought, arifing from their love and over-valuation of 
temporal or carnal things, with their contempt of things 
fpiritual and eternal. They expe£led a deliverance out- 
ward, glorious and kingly in this world, and that to be 
introduced with arms, power, and a mighty hand. And 
what fhould they expert from a Meffiah that fuffered and 
died ? Wherefore the apoflle, having afferted the fufferings 
of Chrift, faw it neceffary to proceed to a full confirmation 
of it. 

§ 2. The proper fignification of the words in this verfc 
is much to be heeded, as that which will give us much 
light into the itwiz of the whole. ' It became him.* 
The import of the firft word, fTrpSTrsi, decet^ convenit dig- 
num cjij is, it becomcth, it is meet, convenient, ox juji. That 
which becometh any one in his ffate and condition in a 
moral itnk ', as holinefs becometh the houfe, that is, the 
people of God. The word then fignifies that dccenc^ 
and becomingnefs which juftice, reafon, and equity re* 
quire ; fo that the contrary would be unmeet, bccaufe 
unequal and unjuft. Thus every one's duty, that which 
is morally incumbent on him in his place and flation, ig 
that which becomes him ; and thence in the New Tefta- 
rnent, that which is not (kccIcc to Trpsvroi') thus decent, is 
condemned as evil, [I. Cor. xi. 13, I. Tim. ii. 10,] 
And itfelf is commended as a rule of virtue, [Matt, iii, 
J5. Ephef. V. 3.] ^ 

* i^&r whom,' (oV ov). The particle (hoi), with an ^r^ 
cufativc cafe, conftantly denotes the final caufe. And 
{oiov jcc uTC'i-Pjoi) ^ hy whom arc all things,* The fame 

A a 2, par* 


particle, with a genitive^ denotes the efficient caufe. The 
principal efficiency or fupreme produdion of all things 
by God is intended in this exprciRon. 

§ 3. The term (uyccyc^u) * bringing' is of commoa 
vifc and known fignification, but in this place attended 
with a double diflicuky, from a double enallage of tlie cafe 
and tenfe, in the ufe of it. Firft in the cafe , for where- 
as it feems to relate to (ccvju)) khn, * it became him in 

• bringing,' it (hould then regularly be the dative {ccyuyo'7ii) 
and not the accufative (ccyocyofjoc). Wherefore an enal- 
lage of the cafe is neceffarilv to be allowed, unlcfs we fup- 
pofe a repetition of {s7:pS7rc) * it became,' which frequently 
admits of the accufative cafe ; but the principal author 
however is unquefLionably intended. Again, as to the 
icnfe ; the word (aya-yd^ovjcc) ' bringing' is a particle of 
the fee ond aor'ifi^ which ufually denotes the time pajl \ and 
thence it is tranflated by many (adduxit, adduxerat and 
filiis adduciis) * after he had brought many fons to glory.' 
But neither did this reftraining of the word anfwer the 
apoflle's intention. The fecond aorift (cx,yccyiK!^o"7icc) 
then is put for the prefent {ccyo'7iu) unlefs we Ihall fuppofe 
that the act of God here intended was on purpofe thus ex- 
prelTed to comprehend ' all the fons,' both tliofe that lived 
before, and thofe that lived after the fufferings of Chrift. 
In fhort, it concerns the whole execution of the defign of 
God, for the falvation and glorification of believers, 
(HcXAirg- VLug) ' many fons,' Jews and Gentiles, all that 
were by faith to become his fons, and then led into glory. 

§ 4. {T ov aox^iyov) * the author.' Wherever this word 
is ufcd in the New Teftamcnt, it is applied to Chrift. 
[Ads iii. 5.] he is called (cc^^yjiycg Tr,g {^'>Jf) * the 

♦ Prince of Life.' [And chap, v 31.] God is faid to 
make him (a^yj^yo'^ y^ai (rccnipa,) * a Prince and a Savi- 

* our ;' that is, as here, * the prince of our falvation.' 
[Heb. xii. 13.] the apoftle calls him {rev 7Y,g 7ri(flyj0cg 
w/'/jr/zv Kociiu.ii'JP\y]\) * the author and finilhcr of faith, as 
wc render it ; as here God is faid {TcXsiu:c-ai rcy oc'^yjiyoy) 
f to firtijh, ox perfeil, this author of our falvation.' la 
^his place it is limited by [a- uclrr/iccg) ' falvation' and 



thereby fuggefts the idea of the chief or principal operator^ 
cr worker of that falvation ; with a fpecial reference to 
the kingly or princely power whereunto he was advanced 
after his fufFerings ; as he is alfo ahfolutelysi y^nwct^ a ruler, 
and the author or fpring of the whole race and kind of be- 
lievers, according to the other fenfes of the word. 
§ 5. There is in the words, 

I. A dejign of God intimated as the foundation of the 
difcourfe, which was * to bring many fons unto glory.' 

II. The means he fixed on for the accompiifhment of 
that delign, namely, the appointing for them * a captain 
' of their falvation.' 

III. The e fpecial way of dedicating him to that office, 
he ' made him perfeft through fufFerings.' 

IV. The reafon of this his proceeding and dealing with 
him, * it became him fo to do, him for whom are all 
* things, and by whom are all things.' 

§ 6. (I.) The ^f/%« of God in this whole matter was 
to bring many fons to glory. And herein the apoflle de- 
clares the nature of the falvation which was to be wrought 
by the Meffiah, about which the Jews were {o greatly mif- 
taken, and confequently about the way whereby it was to 
be wrought. " His purpofe was not now to bring his chil- 
dren into a new Canaan, an earthly kingdom, to be cf- 
fefted by might, and power, and arms, but to bring them 
to glory y eternal glory with himfelf in heaven ; and fo it is 
no v/onder if the way whereby this is to be accomplifhcd 
be quite of another nature than that whereby their tempo- 
ral deliverance was wrought ; — by the death and fufFerings 
of the MelFiah himfelf. And here, in reference to this 
defign of God, it is fuppofed, that fome who arc created 
for the glory of God had by fin come fliort of it, fo that 
without a new way of bringing them to it, it was impof- 
fible that they fliould ever be made partakers of it. It is 
alfo here fuppofed by the apoftle, and is the foundation 
of all his doctrine concerning the Meffiah, that the way 
whereby God will at length bring them to their deftined 
glory, is by taking them firfl into a ilate of fonfliip and 
fcconciliation. He dealeth not with the Hebrews in this 



cpifllc profeiTedly about the convcrfion of the clc£l, their 
introduction into a flate of grace and fonlhip, but of the 
government of them being already made fons, and their 
fubfequent guidance into glory ; and therefore the fuffer- 
ings of Chriil, which abfolutely and in themfelves arc the 
caufc of their fonlhip and rcconciHation, are mentioned 
lierc only as t!ie means whereby Chrifl: entered into a con- 
dition of leading them to their glorious inheritance. But 
yet this is not fo precifcly rcfpccled neither, but that the 
spoftle withal intimates the nccelFity of the fufFerings of 
Chrirt, as to the whole cfFeft of it, towards the cle£l. 
Now thefe fons arc faid to be * many ;* not all men ab- 
folutely, not a fr~Vy not the Jew^ only, which they 
Jooked for ; but all the e]e6l of God, who are mcoiy. 
[Rev. vii. 9.] 

§ 7. And this work is here fignally affigned by the 
apoflle to God the Father, whofe wifdom, love, and 
grace, believers are principally to eye in the whole work 
of tlieir falvation wrought out and accompliflied by Jefus 
Chrift. For inftance : The eternal dejlgnat'ion of them to 
that glory is peculiarly alhgned to him ; he predeflinatcs 
them to be conformed to the image of his Son, [Rom. 
viii. 28 — 30.] He wns the fpring and fountain (as in 
all other operations of the Deity) of that covenant that 
was of old between himfclf and his Son, about the falva- 
tion and glory of his elect. He fignally gave out th.c 
firft promifey and afterwards declared, confirmed, and rati- 
fied by his oath, that fame covenant wherein all the means 
of bringing the cle6l to glory are contained. [Gen. iii. 
15.] He gave and fcnt his Son to be a faviour and re- 
deemer ; fo that in his whole work, in all that he did and 
fuffered, lie obeyed the command, and fultilled the will 
of the P'athcr. !Iim did God the Father /Ty?/ and fet forth, 
as the fcripturc every where cxprelilth it. And our Lord 
JcfusChrift every where remits us to the confideration of 
the love, will, and autliority of his Father in all that he 
did, taught, or fuffered, fo * fccking the glory of God 
* that fc!it him.' — Moreover, it is the Father who drazcs the 
clc6V, and enables them to come to hh Son, to believe in 


him, and fo obtain life, falvation, and glory by him. 

* No man,' faith our Saviour, * can come to mcj except 

* the Father, which hath fent me, draw him,' [John vi. 
4.] ' No man,' no not any one of the ele6t, can come 
to Chrifl, unlcfs the Father, in purfuit of that love from 
whence it was that he fent the Son, put forth the efficacy 
of his grace to enable him ; and accordingly he reveals 
him to fome, when he is hidden from others, [Matt. xi. 
25.] For the revelation of Chrift to the foul is the im- 
mediate aft of the Father, [Matt. xvi. 17.) Being re- 
conciled to them by the blood of his Son, he reconciles 
them to himfelf, by giving them pardon and forgivenefs, 
without which they cannot come to glory. He is in 
Chrifl reconciling us to himfelf, by the non-imputation 
or forgivenefs of our fins, * forgiving us all our trefpaffes 
' for Chrifl's fake,' [Ephef. iv. 2.] He quickens them 
and fanftifies them by his Spirit, to make them * meet for 
' the inheritance of the faints in light ;' that is, for the 
enjoyment of glory. He that raifed up Jefus from the 
dead, quickens us by his Spirit, [Rom. viii. 2.] As the 
great Father of the family he adopts them, and makes them 
his fons, heirs and co-heirs with Chrifl, [Rom. viii. 
14 — 17.] fending into their hearts the fpirit of adoption, 
enabling them to cry, jibba Father, [Gal. iv. 6.] As the 
whole right of adopting children is in the Father, fo is 
the authoritative tranflation of them out of the world and 
kingdom of Satan into his own family and houfehold, 
with their invefliture in all the rights and privileges there- 
of. In brief, in bringing the eleft to glory, all the fovc- 
rcign afts of power, wifdom, love, and grace, exerted 
therein, are peculiarly afligned to the Father, as all m'lnlfie- 
r'lal ads are to the Son as mediator. So th:.t there is no 
reafon why he might not be faid, by way of eminencv, to 
be the {dyoyivc) * the leader' or bringer of his fons to 

§ 8. And herein lies a great direftion to believers, and 

a great fupport for their faith. Peter tcl'3 us, that by 

Chrifl we do * believe in God that raifed him from the 

' dead, and gave him glory, that our faith and hope may 

2 ' be 


• be in God,* [I. Pet. i. 21.] Jcfus ChriH: confidercd as 
mediator is the Ktxt, but not the ultimate objc£t of our 
faith and hope. We fo believe ia him, as h him to be- 
lieve in God the Father, whofe love is tlie fupreme foun- 
tain and fpring of our falvation ; which tlie apoillc mani- 
fefts in that double inflancc of his * rrafing up Chriil:,' 
and ' giving of him glory ;* thereby declaring himfclf the 
principal author of the great work of his mediation. This 
he directs us to, fo to believe in Chrift, as that, difcern- 
ing through him the grace, good-vrill, and love of the 
Father himfelf towards us, we may be encouraged to fix 
our faith and hope upon him, feeing he himfelf lovcth us. 
So that Chrift himfelf had no need to pray for the love of 
the Father towards us, but only for the communication 
of the eifefts of it, [John xvi. 26, 27.] And we thus 
place our faith in God the Father, when we conceive of 
him as the fovereign leader of us to glory, by all the in- 
ftances before-mentioned. And then doth faith reft in 
him with delight, complacency, and fatisfaftion. 

§ 9. (II.) There is in thefe words intimated the prin- 
cipal means that God fixed on for the accomplifhment of 
this woi^dcrful delign ; it was by * appointing a captain of 

* their falvation.* The Jews generally granted, that the 
MelTiah was to be the captain of their falvation ; but mif- 
undcrftanding that falvation, they alfo miftook the whole 
nature of his office. The apoftle here evidently compares 
Chrift to Jofhua, the captain and leader of the people into 
Canaan. All the fons of God are put under his conduct 
and guidance, as the people of old were under the rule of 
Jolhua, to bring them into the glory promifedthem in the 
covenant made with Abraham. And he is called their 
(cipX'^yog) prince, ru.'tr, and captain, or the author ot their 
falvation, becaufe of his authority and right to rule over 
them in order to their falvation ; his a^ual cmduiling of 
tlu-m by his example, fpirit, and grace, through all the 
difficulties of their warfare, and as he procured falvation 
for them. So that the cxpreffion denotes both hisacqui- 
fition of falvation itfelfand his conduct in leading the peo- 
ple of God to the ciijoyuKnt of it. And the Holy Ghoft 



hereby alfo intimates, that the way whereby God will 
bring the fons to glory, is full of difficulties, perplexi- 
ties, and oppofitions, (as that of the Ilraelites into Canaan 
alfo was) fo that they have need of fuch a captain and 
guide as Chrift is to infure their fucccfs. They only 
perifh in the wildcrncfs, and die in their iins, who, 
cither out of love to the flefli pots of Egypt, the plea- 
fures of this world, or being terrified with the hardihips 
of the warfare which he calls them to, refufe to go up 
under his vidorious banner and command. 

§ 10. (III.) There is exprelTed in thefe words the 
fpecial way whereby God qualified the Lord Chrift for 
this arduous office. To underftand this aright, we muft 
recolle6l, that the apoftle fpeaks not here of the * re- 

* demption' of the ele(fl abfolutely, but of ' bringing 

* them to glory,' when they are made fons in an efpecial 
manner ; and therefore he treats not abfolutely of the 
defignation and confecration of Chrift for his office of 
mediator in general, but with refpe£t to that one party and 
the execution of it, as Jofhua lead the Ifraelites into Ca- 
naan. This will help to explain what «^? of God to- 
wards the Lord Chrift is intended in this phrafe (ts^sicajo-oh 
u'jjov ^icc 7ra,9/}^.ulocv) * to perfect him through fufferings. 
The word (tiXhm(tcci) in this place fignifies to confecratCy 
to dedicate, to fancfify for an office, or fome fpecial part or 
a£l of an office. This is the proper meaning of the 
word. Hence the ancients called baptifm (T:-\s:^'/jg) con- 
fecration to the facrcd fervice of Chrift. Nor is this word 

ufed in any other fenfe in this whole epiftle, wherein it 
is often ufcd, when applied to Chrift, [fee chap. v. 9. 
chap. vii. 28.] And thus was the ufe of the word 
among the heathen, fignifying the initiation and confecra- 
tion of a man into the myfteries of their religion, to be ^ 
leader unto others. The Lord Chrift muft be confecrra- 
ted by his own fufferings and the lacrifice of himfelf. 

§ I I. (iV.) There remains yet to be confidered, the 
reafon why the captain of our falvation was to be confc- 
crated by his fufferings ; ' It became God fo to deal with 
" him.' Which he amplifies by that dcfcription of him, 

Vol. II. JB b ' Vox 


* For whom are all things, and by whom arc all things.' 
This (to TTpcTTOv) hccdmhigncfs^ whatever it be, arifeth 
hence, that God is he ' for whom arc all things, and by 

* whom arc all things.* It became him a^ he is fo, and 

bccaufe he is lb. 'J'here is no alTignablc reafon for this 

additional confideration of God in this matter, but as it 

expreiies the caufc why it became him to do what is here 

afcribed to him. Now the dclcription of God in thcfc 

words, is plainly of him as the firil caufe and lafl end of 

all things ; the governor, ruler, and judge, with refpeft 

to that order and law of their creation which all things 

were to obfcrve. And this government of all things, 

taking care that as they are of Gcr!^ lb they fliould ht: for 

lum, is what tlie apollle principally refpeds. Therefore 

it became God, as the governor, ruler, and judge of all 

things, to conlecrate Jefus Chriil by his iulferings ; 

whicli mufi: be farther explained. 

§ 12. Man being made an intelligent creature, had a 
rule of moral obedience given him. 'J'his he was to ob~ ^ 
fcrve to the glory of his Creator and Law-giver, as the 
condition of his continued favour. But how man, hav- 
ing broken the law of his creation, and tlierein come 
fhort of the glory of God, might be made again partaker 
of it, is the grand inquiry. God can be no otherwifc 
confidered but as the fupreme governor and judge ; and 
that property of his nature which he exerted principally 
in this Hate of things, was (jufiitla rcghjiuns) ' the righ- 

* teoufnefs of his government.' And this righteoufncfs 
is that on account of which it w^as meet for him, or * it 

* became him' to bring the fons to glory by the fufFerings 
of the captain of their fiilvation ; it was juft, equal, and 
therefore indifpenfably nccelfary that he Ihoi^ld do fo. 
Suppofing that man, created in the image of God, capa- 
b'e of yielding obedience, according to the law concreatcd 
with him, and written in his heart, which obedience was 
his being morally yi?;- (7c//, as he was from h:m\ fuppo- 
fing, moreover ,that he by fin had broken this law, and 
fo was no longer for God, according to the prmiitivc 
order and law of his creation ; fuppohng alfo, notwith- 

I Hand- 


ftanding all this, that God in his infinite grace and love 
intended to bring fome of thefe fallen creatures to the en- 
joyment of himfelf, and by a new appointment to bj for 
Iiim again : luppoiing, 1 fay, thefe things, which are all 
liere fuppofed by our apoille, and were grnntcd by the 
Jews, ' it became the juftke of God,' tliat is, it was fo 
juft, right, and meet, that the Judge of all the world, 
who doth right, could no otherwife do, than caufe him 
him who was to be the means and author of this recovery 
of men to a new condition, to fufFer in their ftead. For 
whereas the vindlSIivc jujiice of God, which is the refpedl 
of the univerfal reftitude of his holy nature to the devia- 
tion of his rational creatures from the law of their Crea- 
tion, requircd^ — that, at any rate, the deviation fhould 
be revenged — and that themfelves be either brought i^nto 
a new way of being for God, or elfe made to glorify him 
by their fufFcrings, when they had refufed to do fo by- 
obedience ; it was ncccjfary, I fay, on that account, that 
if they were to be delivered from that condition, the 
Divine author of their deliverance fliould fuifer for them. 
§ 13. And this excellently fuits the defign of the apof- 
tle, which is to prove the necefTity of the fulferings of the 
Meffiah, which the Jews fo Humbled at. For if the 
jiifticc of God required that it fhould be fo, how could it 
be difpenfed with ? Would they have God unjufl ? Shall 
he forego the glory of his righteoufnefs and holincfs, to 
pleafe them in their prefumption and prejudices ? It is 
true, indeed, if God had intended no falvation for his 
fons but one that was temporal, like that of old under 
Jofliua, there had been no need at all of the fufFcrings of 
the captain of their falvation. But they being fucli, as 
in themfelves had finned, and come fliort of the glory of 
God, and the falvation intended tlicm bc'ng fpiritual, 
confining in a nev/ ordering of them for (jod. and the 
bringing of them to the eternal enjoyment of himfelf in 
glory, there was no way to maintain the honour nnd juf- 
tice of Jehovah but by the Redeemer's meritorious f.iuer- 
ings. And as here lay the great miftake of the Jews, fo 
the denial of this f^/.'^^rn/f)' of God's juflice, as to""thc fuf- 
E b a fcrings. 


fcrings of the McfTiah, is the (tt^^ujIo-j -^ivlcg) * maflcr 
' error' of the Socinians. The apolllc fays not, that it 
became an arbitrary decree of God, but it became him- 
fclf as the fuprcme ruler and judge of all ; and herein wc 
have with our apoftle difcovcred the great indifpenfablc 
Ziwdi fundamental caufc of the fufferings of Chrift. 

§ 14. Ohf. I. That the whole work of faving the fons 
of God from firft to laft, their guidance and conduct to 
glory, is committed to the Lord Jcfus : whence he is con- 
llantly to be eyed by all believers in the concernments of 
their faith, obedience, and confolation. * Behold,' faith 
the Lord, * I have given him for a witnefs to the people, 

* a leader and commander to the people, [Ifa. Iv. 4.] A 
iv'ityiefs, to teftify the truth, in revealing the mind and will 
of God ; a leader, going before them as a prince and cap- 
tain, as the word fignifics, and a commander^ that gives out 
laws and rules for their obedience. God hath fct him as 
a lord over his whole houfe, [chap. iii. 5.] and commit- 
ted all the management of its momentous concerns to him. 
There is no perfon but is under his rule and infpe£\ion ; 
neither is there any circumftance that relates to thefc 

* fons,' in their pafTage towards glory, whereby they may 
be advanced or hindered in their way, but the care thereof 
is committed to Chrift, as the care of the whole army 
lies on the general or prince of the hofl. If This the pro- 
phet fets out in his type, Eliakim, [Ifa. xxii. 20 — 24.] 

* He is fattened as a nail in a furc place ; and all the glory 

* of the houfe, and every veflel of it, from the grcateil 

* unto the leail, is hanged on him,' the weight of all, the 
care of all, is upon him. // When the people came out of 
Egypt with Mofes they were numbered unto him ; and he 
being the adminiftrator of the law, they all died in the wiU 
dernefs ; but they were delivered again by tale and num- 
ber to Jofhua, the type of Chrift ; and not one of them 
failed entering into Canaan. And, 

§ 15. As to the manner in which Chrifl:, as the faitli- 
ful captain of fiilvation, difchargeth this truil, it is with 
care — tendcmcfs — and power. — fHtb care and tx-atchful- 
nrj's. Oh, iiow great an encouragement is this to adhere 



to him, and to follow him in the whole courfe of our 
obedience ! This puts life into foldiers and gives them a 
happy fecurity, when they know their commander is con- 
tinually careful of them. — PFith tenderncfs and love. In- 
deed Sion is ready fometimcs to complain, that fhe is 

* forgotten.* The ' fons,' in the great xdifcrefTcs, affliftionj, 
perfecutions, and temptations, that may befai them in 
their way to glory, are apt to think they are difregardcd, 
that they are left, as it were, to fhift for themfelvcs, and to 
wreftic with their difficulties by their own flrength and 
wifdom, which they know to be a thing of nought. But 
this fear is vain and ungrateful ; for whilfl they arc 
found in the ivay following the captain of their falvation, it 
is utterly impoffible that his watchfulnefs and care, love 
and tcndcrnefs, fhould in any inftance be wanting. IVith 
power, authority y and majcfty. [Mic. v. 4.] * He fhall 

* ftand and rule in the flrength of the Lord, in the ma- 

* jelly of the name of the Lord his God, and they fhall 
*■ abide.' There is nothing fo high, fo great, fo mighty, 
that lies in the way of his dependent followers, but it muft 
Hoop to his authority, and give place to his power The 
whole kingdom of Satan, the flrong-holds of fin, the high 
imaginations of unbelief, the ftrength and malice of the 
world, all fink before him. And thence they are dc- 
fcribcd io glorious and fuccefsful in their way, [Mic. ii. 
13-] * The breaker is come up before them, they have 

* broken up and paiTed through the gate, and arc gone 

* out by it, and their king fhall pafs before them, and the 
' Lord on the head of them.' Many obflacles lie in 
their way, but they fhall break through them all, becaufc 
of their king and lord who goes before them. And 
though their fufferings and difficulties may fomewhat tar- 
niih or retard their outward profeffion, yet they fhall not 
in the leafl hinder them in their real progrefs towards glorv. 
Their captain goes before them with power and authority, 
and breaks up all the obllru6lions that lie in their way, 
and gives them a free and abundant entrance into the 
kingdom of God, even their God and Father. 

§"16. M 


§ 1 6. As the manner, fo the a^ls of this divine aiitc- 
ccflbr niav be confiderccl. He goes before them — guides 
and dircds them — fuppiics them with ftrcngth — fubducs 
their enemies — avenges their fufferings — and provides a 

1. He goes before them. This is principally the dutv 
of a captain or leader, to go before his fold'icrs. Hence 
they that went to war, were faid of old to * go at the feet* 
of their com nanders, [Judg. iv. lO.] * Barak went up 

* and ten thoufand men at his feet,* that is, followed 
him,, going where he went before them. And this alfo 
became the captain of the Lord's hofts, even to go before 
his people in their whole way ; not putting them on any 
^ntcrprize or hardfhip through which himfclf palTed not 
before them. As to obedience ; he himfelf was made under 
the law, and learned obedience, fulfilling all rightcoufnefs. 
Though he was in his own perfon above the law, yet he 
fubmitted himfelf to every law of God, and righteous 
Jaw of men ; that he might afford a complete example to 
thofc who are of nccelfitv fubjed to the law. ' Chrift,* 
faith Peter, ' hath fuffered for us, leaving us an example 

* that we fliould follow his fleps ;' that is, be ready and 
prepared patiently to fufFer when we are called thereunto, 
as he explains himfclf, chap. iv. * Forafmuch as Chrift 

* hath fuifered for us in the liclh, arm vourfelves, thcre- 

* fore, with the fame mind,' that you may follow him in 
the fame wav. And this our apoftle prclTeth much in this 
cpiftle, [chap. xii. 2, 3.] ' Looking unto Jcfus the author 

* and finilhcr of our faith, who for the joy that was fet be- 

* fore him, endured the crofs, defpifing the ihamc;* for 

* confidcr him that endured fuch contradi6^ion of fmners 

* againft himfclf, left ye be wearied and faint in your 

* minds.' The fons of God are fomctimcs ready to think 
it flrange, that thcv Hiould fall into calamity and diftrcfs, 
and are apt to fay with Hezekiah, * Remember, O Lord, 

* wc bcfccch thee, how we have walked before thee in 

* trutli, and with an upright heart, and have done that 

* which is good in thy fight, and weep fore ;' fuppofing 
tliis mi^ht ha\c freed thciu from oppolitions and periecu- 

tions ; 


tioiis ; and, as Gideon, though the angel told him that 

* the Lord was with him,' they exclaim, * Whence is all 

* this evil come upon us ?' For, notwithflanding many- 
favourable tokens, yet if their troubles continue, if they 
are not in their feafon removed, they begin to be * weary 

* and faint in their minds.' But, faith the apoflle, con- 
fider the captain of your falvation, he hath fetyou a dif- 
ferent example ; notwithflanding all his fufferings he 
fainted not. The Jews have a faying, that * the third 
' part of affliclions and troubles that fliall be in the world, 

* belong to the Meffiah.' But our apoftle, who knew 
better than they, makes all the afflictions of the church, 
to be ' the affliftions of Chrift,' [Col. i. 24.] who both 
before underwent them in his own perfon, and led the 
way for all that fliould follow him. And as the obedience 
ot Chriit, which is our pattern, doth incomparably exceed 
whatever we can attain to ; fo the fufferings of Chrifl, 
which are our example, did incomparably exceed all that 
they fhall be called to endure. Our pattern is excellent, 
inimitable in the fubiLance and parts of it ; unattainable 
and inexprcfiible in its degrees ; and he is the befl profi- 
cient who makes the nearefl advances to it. But what is 
the end of all this obedience, and all thefe fufferings ? 
Does not death lie at the door, as the ocean whcreinto all 
thefe flreams run, and feem to fwallow them up, as loft 
for ever? No ; for this captain of our falvation is gone 
before us in paffing through death, and entering into glory. 
He hath fliewed us in his own refurre£lion, that great pledge 
of our immortality, that death is not the end of our 
courfe, but a pajjage to another more abiding condition. 
He promifeth, that whofoever believeth on him, they 
fliall not be lofl:, or pcrilh, or be confumcd by death, 
but that he will raife them up at the lall day, [John vi. 
39, 40,] But how Ihall this l:>e confirmed to them? Death 
looks dreadful and ghafily, as a lion that devoureth all 
tliat comes within his reach : why faith Chrifl, Behold 
me, entering his jaws, paffing through his power, rifing 
from under his dominion ; and, fear not, fo fliall it be 
Vi^ith you alfo. The captain of our falvation, after he 



had fufTcrcd * entered into glory i' and that as our leader^ 
or forerunner, [Heb. vi. 20.] He is gone before us, to 
give us the highcll: evidence v^rhat is the final ifTue of our 
obedience and fufFerings. In all this he is a captain and 
leader to the Tons of God. 

§ 17. 2. He guides and dirc6ls them in their way. 
They know not the way that leads to happincfs and glory ; 
and they want ability to difccrn it aright, when it is Ihcwed 
them ; and in both they are relieved and allifted by their 
glorious leader. In the firfl by his word ; in the latter by 
his Spirit. Had there been any thing belonging to their 
way which he had not revealed to them, he had not been 
their perfect captain of falvation. And men do nothing 
but prefumptuoufly derogate from his glory, who will be 
adding and impofing their prefcriptions about this way. 
He gives them eyes to fee, as well as provides paths for 
them to walk in. It had been to no purpofe to have de- 
clared the way, if he had not alfo given them light to 
fee it. And by this means he is to us, what he was to 
the church in the wildcrnefs, when he went bcfor6 
them in * a pillar of fire,' to guide them in their way, 
and to fliew them v>'hcre they lliould reft. And herein 
lies no fmall part of the difcharge of our Lord's office to- 
wards us, as the captain of our falvation. \\ hatever 
acquaintance we have with the way to glory, we have it 
from him alone ; and whatever ability we have to difcerii 
the way, he is the fountain and author of it. For thefe 
encouraging purpofes, was he defigned and called. And 
tloth not he dcfcrvedly wander, yea defervedly perifh ; 
who in war will negle£l the orders and dire£lions of his 
general, and yet will attend to every idle tale of filly men 
pretending to fliew him a way that they have found out, 
better than that which his captain hath defcribed for 
Jiini ? 

§ 18. 3. He fupplics them with 7?;r;/r//j by his grace, 
that they may be able to pafs on their way. Th«y have 
much work iving before them ; much to do, much to 
fufftr ; and without him they can do nothing, [John 
XV. 5.] \\'hereforc he watchcth over them, * to fuccour 

' thcm^ 


' them that arc arc tempted,' [Heb. il. 18.] and to ad- 
minifter help to them all * in time of need,' [chap. I v. 17.] 
And lience they who have ' no might,* no fufficiency, 
can ' do all things through Chrift t]\2LtJlrengthcmth them,' 
[Phil. iv. 13.] Nothing is too hard for them, nothing 
can prevail againft them, becaufe of the conftant fupplies 
of grace, which the captain of their faivation communi- 
cates unto them. And this makes the ways of the gofpel 
marvellous, both to the world and to believers tliemfelvcs. 
// is marvellous to the world. Their life is ' hid with Chriil 

* in God,' [Col. iii. 3.] And they have * a new name that 

* no man knoweth,' [Rev ii. 17.] The world feeing poor, 
mean, weak, contemptible creatures, willing, ready, and 
able to fuffcr, to endure, and even to die for the name 
of Chrifl, ftand afloniflicd, not knowing where their great 
flrcngth lies; as the Philiftines did at the might of Sam- 
fon, whom they beheld with their eyes, as an other man. 
He gives them the fpirit o( truth, which the world neither 
fees nor knows, [John xiv. 17.] and therefore wonders 
from whence they have their ability and conflancy. They 
cry, What, will nothing turn thefe poor fooliHi creatures 
off their way ? They try them one way, and then an- 
other ; add one weight of afPiiclion and oppreffion unto 
another, and think furely this will effecl: their defign ; but 
they find themfelves deceived, and know not whence it is. 
// is marvellous to believers themfelves. When they confider 
their own frailty and wxaknefs, how ready they are to 
faint, how often they are furprifed, and withal take a prof- 
pc£t of what oppofition lies againft them, from indwel- 
ling fin, Satan, and the w^orld, which they are acquaint- 
ed with, in feveral inftances of their power and preva- 
lency, they neither know how they arc kept lb long in 
their courfe as they have done ; nor how they fhall con^ 
tinue : but they arc relieved when they come to the gof- 
pel. There they fee whence their prefervation proceeds. 
They fee this captain of their faivation in whom is the 
fulnefs of the Spirit, and to whom are committed all the 
flores of grace, fupplying them daily and hourly as the 
pnatter requires. As the captain in an army doth not at 

Vol. 1L C c once 


once give out to his foldiers the whole provifiou that is 
needful for their way and undertaking ; which if he 
Ihould, moll of them would foon imprudently wafte it, 
and fo quickly perilh for want ; but he keeps provilious 
for them all in his ll:ores, and diflributes to them accord- 
ing to their daily nccefTities ; even fo deals this great lea- 
der with the fons of God. He keeps the itores of grace 
and fpiritual flrcngth in his own hand; and from thence 
imparts unto them according as they ftand in need. 

§ 19. 4. Wt fubducs their enemies. Many enemies they 
have, and unlefs they are conquered and fubdued they can 
never enter into glory. Satan, the world, death, and 
fni are the chief, or heads of them, and all thcfe are fub- 
dued by Chrifl: ; and tliat two ways ; in his own perfon 
for them — and by his grace in them. In his own perfon for 
them ; for they all attempted him, and failed in their en- 
terprize, [John xiv. 30.] He * bruifcd the ferpent's head.' 
[Gen. iii. 15.] and ' deflroyed him that had the powder of 

* death, that is, the devil.* Deflroyed his power in a glo- 
rious and triumphant manner. * He fpoiled principalis 

* ties and powers, and made a flicw of them openly, 

* triumphing over them in his crofs.' He alfo overcome 
the worU^ []^^^^^ xvi. 33.] ' Be of good cheer,' faith 
he, * I have overcome the world.' Both itfelf and the 
prince of it were put under his feet. Death alfo w^as fub- 
dued by him ; he fwallowed it up in vidory, [I. Cor. 
XV. 54.] He plucked out the tyrant's fting, broke his 
power, difannullcd his peremptory law, when he fliook 
it off, and rofc from under it. Sin alfo fet upon him in 
his temptations, but was utterly foiled ; as all lin is de- 
•ftroyed in its very being, where it is not obeyed. And 
this was for the advantage of the fons of God. For 
he hath given them encouragement in fhcvving them 
that their enemies are not invincible, their power is not un- 
controlablc, their law not peremptory or eternal, but 
that having been once conquered, they may be the more 
cafjly dealt with. They know alfo, that all thcfe enemies 
fct upon his perfon as the great defender of the faith- 
ful in their quarrel , To that although they were not con- 


quercd by them in their own perfons, yet they were con- 
quered in their caufe ; and they are called in to be fliarers 
in the viftory, although they were not engaged in the 
battle. They moreover know, that he fubdued them by 
God's ordinance and appointment, as their reprejhitatlvef 
declaring in his perfon who is the head, what fhould be 
accomplifhed in every one of his members. And by his 
perfonal conqueft over them, he hath left them weak, 
maimed > difarmed and utterly deprived of that power which 
they had to hurt and dellroy before he engaged with them. 
For he hath thereby deprived them of all their right and 
title to cxercife their enmity againfl, or dominion over the 
fons of God. Before his dealing with them, they had 
a certain right over mankind. Satan to rule, the world 
to vex, lin to enflave, death to deftroy, and give up its 
prey to hell. And all this right was enrolled in the law 
and hand- writing of ordinances which was againfl us. 
This was cancelled by Chrifl, nailed to the crol'^, never 
to be pleaded more, [Col. ii. 14.] And when they have 
loft their right and title to any thing, whatever their 
llrength be, they are greatly weakened. But he hath 
lierein deprived them of their ftrength alfo. He took, 
away the ftrength of fin as a law, and the fting of death 
in fin, the arms of the world in the curfe, and the power 
of Satan in his works and ftrong-holds. 

§ 20. But this is not all; he not only fubducs thcfc 
enemies yi?r thcm^ but alfo by his grace in them, * Thanks 

* be to God,' faith the apoftlc,' who giveth us the vic- 

* tory by Jefus Chrift,* [I. Cor. xv. 57.] He enables us 
ill our own perfons to conquer all thefe enemies. ' Nay/ 
faith he, * in all thefe things we are more than con- 

* querors, [Rom. viii. 37.] becaufe we have more af- 
furancc of fuccefs, more affiftance in the conflict, more 
joy in the trial, than any other conquerors have : or, 
we do not only conquer, but triumph alfo. He tells be- 
lievers, in reference to Saian^ that they have * overcome 

* the wicked one,' [I. John ii. 13, 14.] And fhews how 
it came to pafs that they lliould be able to do fo, [chap. 
iv. 7.] It is becaufe * greater is he that is in them, than 

C c 2 * he 


* he that is m the world/ The good fpirit which he hath 
given tlicm for their help and aillilance, is infinitely 
greater and more powerful than that evil fpirit which 
rules in the cliildrcn of difobedicnce. And by this 
means is Satan bruifed even under their feet. A conliicl 
indeed we mull have with them ; we muft wreftlc v.ith 
principalities and powers in heavenly places, but the fuc- 
ccfs is indubitable through the alhilance we receive from 
this captain of our falvation. The zvor/d is alfo fubducd 
in them and by them, [1. John v. 4.] ' Whofocver is 

* born of God overcometh the world, and this is the vic- 
' tory that overcometh the world, even our faith.' Faith 
will effctftually and infallibly do this work ; it never 
fsiled in it, and never will. He that bclieveth Ihall over- 
come ; the whole flrength of Chrift is engaged for him. 
Sin is the woril and moil obftinate of all their enemies. 
This puts them hard to it in the battle, and makes them 
cry out for aid and help, [Pvom. vii. 24.] But againil this 
alfo they receive llrength, fo as to carry the day. As 
to its reign and dominion it is perfeftiy defeated for the 
prefent, [Rom. vi. 14.] The means of its rule is the 
authority of the law over us ; that being removed, and 
our iouls put under the condutSl of grace, the reign of 
iln comes to ?n end. Nor Ihall it condemn us, [Rom. 
viii. I.] And what caii it then do? Where is the voice 
of this opprellor ? It abides, (O reviving thought!) it 
abides but for a Ihort fcafon, and that to endure and die. 
Death alfo contends againfl us by its own fting, and our 
tear ; but the former^ by the grace of Chrill, is taken 
from it; the latter \\c arc delivered from, and fo have the 
vidory over it. And all tiiis is the work of the ciptain 
oi our falvation for us and /;; us. Again, 

§ 2 1. 5. He not only conquers all their enemies, but 
Iv; avenges tht;}r fuffcr'mgs upon them, and will punilh their 
opprelfors for their ciimity and oppofition. And tliougli 
thefe enemies prevail not abfolutcly nor finally ag.iinil 
the fons of Ciod, yet by tlu^ir temptations, pcrfccutiojis, 
ajid opprcflion<, they put tliem ofttimes to unfpeakablc 
Iwrdlhips, trouble, and lurrow. This the captain of their 



falvation will not take at their hands, but will avenge 
upon them all their ungodly endeavours from the loweft to 
the highefl of them. ScjJie of them he will deal with in 
this world, but he hath appointed a day wherein not one 
of them fliall be able to efcape. [See Rev. xx. 10, 14.] 
Devil, and beaft, and falie prophet, and death, and hell, 
Ihall altogether be banifhed into the lake of fire. 

§ 22. 6. He provides for the Chriftian foldier a reiuard, 
a celeilial crown. He is gone before the adopted and 
highly favoured fons into lieaven, to make ready their 
glorv, to prepare a place for them, and he will come ere 
long to receive them to himfelf, * that where he is, there 
* they may be aifo,' [John xiv. 2, 3.] When he hath given 
them the victory, he will take them to himfelf, even to 
his throne, [Rev. iii. 22.] and as a righteous judge will 
give them ' a crown of righteoufnefs and glory,' [H Tint- 
iv. 8. Thus is the whole work of conducing the fons of 
God to glory, from iiril to laft, committed to this great 
captain of their falvation ; and thus doth he difchargc 
his office and truft therein ; and bleffed arc all they who 
are under his leading and guidance ! 

§ 23. And fhould not all this teach us to betake our- 
felves to him, and to rely upon him in the whole courfc 
of our obedience, and all the paill^ges thereof? What 
lliould hinder us from betaking ourfelves unto him con- 
tinually ? Is our trouble fo fmall, are our duties fo ordi- 
nary, that we can wreftle with them, or perform them in 
our own ftrength ? Alas ! we caii do nothing; not think 
a good thought, nor endure a reproachful word. And 
whatever we do, or endure, of ourfelves, is all loll ; for 
in us dwelleth no good thing. Or are our diftrclTes fo 
great, our temptations fo many, our corruptions fo llrong, 
that we begin to fay, There is no hope ? Is any thing too 
hard for the captain of our falvation? Hath he not already 
conquered all our enemies ? Is he not able to fubdue al! 
things by his power ? Shall we faint whilil Jefus Chrifl 
lives and reigns? But it may be we have looked for help- 
and affiftance, and it hath not anfwcred our expectation, 
fo that wc now begin to faint and dfefpond. Sin is not 


t96 AN EXrOSlTlON OF THE Chap. 11. 

fubducd, the worJd is mil triumphant ; and Satan ragcth 
as xnuch as ever ; his temptations are ready to pafs over 
our louls. But have we fouglu for liis help and afr.ftance 
in a due mamier, with faith and perfcverancc ; for ri-ht 
€>ids, his glory, and the advantage of the gofpel ? Have 
wc taken a right meafurc of what we have received ? Or 
do wc complain without a caufc ? Let us not judge ac- 
cording to outward appearance, but judge righteous judge- 
ment. What IS it to us if the world triumph, if Satan 
rage, if fin tempt and vex ; it is not promifed that it 
Ihould be othcrwife. But are we forfaken ? Arc we not 
kept from being prevailed againll? Moreover, if we alk 
amils, or for improper ends, or know not we receive or 
tlimk becaufe the ilrength of enemies appears to be great 
wc mud fail and be ruined ; let us not complain of our 
captain ; for all thefe things arife from our own un:>elief 
Let our application to him be according to his command 
our expedations from him according to the promife ; our 
experience of what we receive be meafured by the rule of 
the word, and we fhall find, that wc have all grounds of 
affurance that we can defirc. Let us then in every con- 
dition ' look unto Jefus the author and fmilher of our 
' faith,' who hath undertaken the leading of us in the 
whole courfc of our obedience from firft to laft, and we 
lliall not need to faint, norfhali we ever fail. And if wc 
ncglca him, his example, liis direction, his teaching, it 
IS no wonder if wc pine away under our diarefTcs. 

§ 24. O^/ 2. The Lord Clnift, being confecrated 
and perfeacd througli fufleiings, hath confecrated the way 
of lulFering for all that follow him in their march to 
glory. AH complaints of Ibf^crings, all dcfpondencies 
under them, all fears of them in profped, are rendered 
unjuft and unieafonablc bv the lufferings of Chrill. It is 
furely right that thev Ihould be contented w,ih his lot 
here, who dcfire to be received into his glory hereafter. 
To elucidate the above obfcrvation, and to reconcile us to 
our lot of fulTerings in following the captain of our fal- 
vation, wc fhould conlldcr, that thcv arc made neceffarv 
and umrjcuU'U, . The apoillc tolls believers, that thev arc 



< p red efl ilia ted to be conformed to the image of the Soa 
* of God/ [Rom. viii. 29.] And no fmall part of this 
conformity confifts in their affliftions and fuffcrings. The 
head having palTed through them, there is a meafure of 
afflictions belonging to the body, which every member is 
to bear his Ihare of, [Col. ii. 24.] And the Lord Jefus 
himfelf hath given us this law, that every one who will 
be his difciple mufl ' take up his crofs and follow him.' 
Difcipleihip and the crofs arc infeparably connected, by 
the unchangeable law and conflitution of Chrifl himfelf. 
And the gofpel^is full of warnings and inftruftions to 
this purpofe ; that none may complain they are furprifed, 
or that any thing did befall them in the courfe of their 
profeffion, which they looked not for. Men may deceive 
themfclves or others with vain hopes and expeftations, 
but the gofpel deceiveth none ; it tells them plainly before- 
hand, that * through many tribulations they mull enter 

* into the kingdom of God,' and that ' they who w^ill 

* live godly in Chrift Jefus, fliall fuffer perfecutions,' 
But we would be children and not be chaftifed ; we would 
be gold and not be tried ; we would overcome, and not 
be put to fight and contend ; we would be Chriflians, 
and not fuffer ! But all thefe things are contrary to the 
irrevocable law of our profeffion. 

Again : All fufFerings for the gofpel are now made ho- 
nourahle. The fufFerings of Chrift himfelf were indeed 
ignominious, and that not only in the efteem of men, 
but alfo in the nature of them, and by God's conltitu- 
tion. They were part of the curfe, as it is written, 

* Curfed is he that hangeth on a tree.* And as fuch our 
Lord coniidered them, when he wreftled with and con- 
quered the Ihame as well as the fliarpnefs of them. But 
he hath rendered all the fufFerings of his people for his 
fake very honourable in themfelves, whatever they are in 
the reputation of a blind and perifhing world. Hence 
the apoitle rejoiced that they had the honour to * fuffer 
* Jhamc iox his name.' A6ts v. 41. That is, the things 
which the world looked upon as fhameful, but themfelves 
knew to be honourable. When Mofcs came to make a 



right judgement concerning this matter, he * tftccmed 

* the reproach of Chrifl greater riches than all treafures 

* of Egypt,* [Heb. xi. 29.] 

Bcfide, they arc made ufeful 2.nd profitable. The Lord 
Jcfus Chrift, by confecrating our fufferings as our way of 
ibllowing him, hath quite altered their nature and ten- 
dency, he hath made them good, ufeful, and profitable. 
He hath thereby cut them ofF from their old flock of 
wrath and the curfe, and planted them on that of love 
and good-will. He hath taken them off from the cove- 
nant of works, and tranflated them into that of grace. 
He hath turned their courfc from death towards life and 
immortality; mixing his grace, love, and wifdom, with 
thcfe bitter waters, he hath made them fwect and whole- 
Ibme. And if we would benefit by them, we mull: always 
have regard to this confecration of them. 

He hath alfo made them jafc. Never did a believer pe- 
rilli by anliclions or pcrfccutions : never was real gold or 
filver coiifumed or loft in this furnace. Hypocrites, in- 
deed, and falfe profelTors, the fearful and unbelieving, are 
difcovcred by them, and ilripped of their hopes : but they 
that are difciples, indeed, are never fofcr than in this 
way, and that becaufe it is onfccratcd for them. Some- 
times, it may be, through their unbelief, and want of 
heeding the captain of their falvation, they are wounded 
^nd caft down by them for a Icafon, but they are Hill in 
the way. Nay, it is not only abfolutely a fafe way, but 
comparatively more fafe than the way of profpcrity. 

§ 25. 01) f. 3. Such is the dcfert of {in, and fuch is 
the immutability of divine jullice, that there was no way 
pofhblc to bring linners unto glory, but by the death and 
lufferings of the Son of God, who undertook to be the 
captain of their falvation. It would have been * unbc- 

* coming' Ciod, the fupreme governor of all the world, 
tQ have paiTcd by the dcfert of lin without this fatisfaftion. 
That tlic Son of God who * did no iin,' in whom the 
Father was always well pleafed on account of his obedi- 
ence, Ihould fuffer and die, and that under the fentenco 
and curfc of the Jaw, is a great and ailonilhiug myfterv , 



all the faints of God admire it, and the angels defire to 
look into it. What demonftration of the glory of juflice 
can arife from punifhing an innocent perfon, who might 
have been fpared, and yet all the ends of his being fo pu- 
nillied to have been otherwife anfwered ? And to fay that 
one drop of Chrift*s blood was fufficient to redeem the 
world, is derogatory to the goodnefs, wifdom, and righ- 
leoufnefs of Gody in caufing not only the whole to be 
fhed, but alfo his foul to be made an offering for iin, 
which was altogether needlefs, if that were true. The 
truth is, God by a VL\^xtfree aH of his love and grace dc- 
l]gned the Lord Jefus Chrift to be the way and means for 
the faying of Unners ; while he might, without the leaft 
impeachment of the glory of any of his effential properties, 
have fuffered all mankind to have perifhed under that pe- 
nalty they had juflly incurred. But on fuppolition of 
any being redeemed, the juflice of God required, that he 
ihould lay on tlie Redeemer the punifnment due to thofc 
whofe caufe he had efpoufed. It became the nature of 
God, or the effential properties of his nature indifpenfa- 
bly required, that fin fhould be punifhed with death in 
the finner, or in his furety ; and, therefore, if he would 
bring any fons to glory^ the captain of their falvation 
mufl undergo fufferings and death to make fatisfadllon for 
them. God punifheth fin fuitably to the principle of his 
nature, fo that he cannot do otherwife ; yet fo, as that 
tor the manner^ meafure, and feafon, they depend on the 
conflitution of his wifdom and righteoufnefs, affigning a 
' meet recompence of reward' to every tranfgrefiion. God 
cannot at all be to fin and finners as a devouring fire, un- 
lefs it be in the principle of his nature indifpenfably to 
take vengeance on them. In that proclamation of his 
name, wherein he declared many blelfed eternal proper- 
tics of his nature, he adds this among the reft ; that * he 
' will by no means clear the guilty,' [Exod. xxxiv. 7.] 
This his nature, his eternal holinefs, requircth that the 
guilty be by no means cleared. So Jofhua infl:ru6ls the 
people in the nature of this holinefs of God, [chap. xxix. 
19.] ' Ye cannot ferve the Lord, for he is an holy God ; 
Vol. IL D d he 

4©o AN EXPOSlTlOxX OF THE Chap. iT. 

* he is -a jealous God, lie will not torgive your tranfgref- 

* fions, nor your fins.' Tiiat is, it you continue in your 
{\n^, if there be not a way to free you from them, it is in 
\ain fdr you to have any thing to do with this God; for 
he is holy and jealous, and will therefore certainly de- 
ftroy you for your iniquities. Now if fuch be the yiature 
of God, that with refpcft thereunto he cannot but punifh 
fm in whomfocver it be found ; tlien the fufFcring of every 
dinner, in his own perfon, or by his fiirety, doth not de- 
pend on a mere free voluntary conflitution, nor is refolvcd 
merely into tlic veracity of God, in his commination or 
threatening, but is antecedently nccelTary ; unlcfs we 

"would have the nature of God changed, that finners may 
be freed. And thus the necelTity of the fuffering and fa- 
tisfa£lion of Chrift, if fnmers be brought to glory, is re- 
folvcd into the holinefs and nature of God ; he being fuch 
a God as he is, it could not be otherwifc — The fame truth 
is inaniiell: from other confederations. 

§ 26. What God doth bccaufc he is righteous, hneccf- 
Jury to be done. Aiid if it be iuil: with God in refpe£l of 
his elfcntial jufcice to punifli iin, it would be unjuft not to 
do it ; for to condemn the innocent, and acquit the 
guilty, is equally unjull:. Juflice is an eternal and un- 
altcra])Ic rule, and what is done according to it, is necef- 
fary ; it cannot be otherwife, and jullice not be im- 
peached. That which is to be done with refpc£l to juf- 
tice„ mi'.Jl be done ; or he that is to do it is unjufl. Thus 
it is fiid to be * a righteous thing with God to render 

• tribulation to fmncrs,' [II. ThelT. i. 6.] Becauje he is 
righteous; fo that the contrarv would be unjufr, not an- 
fwcring his righteoufnefs. God is fald [Rom. i. 18.] to 
liave * declared hi<? righteoufnefs* by an example in the 
fuiTerings of Chrift ; which indeed was the greateft in- 
ftancc of the fcvcrity and inexorablcnefs of jullice againll 
fin, that God ever gave. And this he did, * that he 

* might be juft^^ as well as gracious and mercrfMl in the 
forgivencfs of iin. Now if the juilice of God did not 
rc(]uire, that Iin Ihould be punilhed in the Mediator, how- 
did God give an inflancc of liis jujlicc in his fullbrLngs ; 

for epistle to the HEBREWS. 201 

for nothing can be declared, but in and by that which it 
requires ;' for to fay, that God fhevved his righteoufnefs 
in doing that, which might have been omitted without 
the kalt impeachment of his righteoufnefs, is in this mat- 
ter bold and dangerous. 

Again : God is the fupreme governor and judge of all. 
To him, as fuch, it belongeth to do right. So faith Abra- 
ham, [_Gcn. xviii. 25.] * Shall not the Judge of all the 

* earth do right ?' Undoubtedly he will do fo, it belongs 
to him fo to do ; for, faith the apollile, ' Is God unrigh- 

* teous who taketh vengeance, God forbid ; for then how 

* fliall God judge the world ?' [Rom. iii. 5, 6.] Right 
judgement in all things belongs to the univcrfal re£titude 
of God, as the fupreme governor and judge of the world. 
Now the froodnefs or the ri2:hteoufnefs of all thin2;s con- 
lifts in obferving that place and order which God in their 
creation allotted to them, whereon he pronounced they 
were ' very good.' And it belongs to the govermnent of 
God to take care that this order be preferved for the good 
of the whole ; or if it be in any thing tranfgreffed, not to 
leave all things in confufion, but to reduce them into 
fome new order and fubje£lion to himfelf That this pri- 
mitive order was broken by fin we all know. What fliall 
now the governor of all the world do ? Shall he leave all 
things in diforder and confufion ? Caft off the work of 
his hands, and fufFer all things to run at random ? Would 
this become the righteous governor of all the world ? What, 
then is to be don^ to prevent this confufion ? Nothing 
remains, but that he who brake the lirft order by ////, 
fhould be fubdued into a new one by pu7iiJJjment. This 
brings him into fubjeftion to God upon a new account. 
And to fay that God might have let his fin go unpunilhed, 
is to fay, that he might not be righteous in his govern- 
ment, nor do that which is neccffary for the good, bcautv, 
and ordc of the whole. — Farther, 

§ 27. There is no common prcfumptlon engrafted in the 
hearts of men, concerning any free a£l of God in this 
matter, and which might have been'othervvife. No frep 
^ccrcc or a<5l of God i1, or can be known to any of the 

Dd 2 Chjl. 


children of men, but by revelation ; much lefs have they 
all ot them univcrfally an inhrcd perfuajion concerning any 
fuch ad or aflings. But of the natural properties of 
God, and of his acting fuitably thereunto, there is a fccret 
light and perfuafion engrafted on the hearts of all men 
by nature. At Icafl thofe things of God, whereof there 
is a natural and indelible character in the hearts of all 
men, arc neceflary and clTential to him. Now that God is 
juft, and that therefore he will punifh our fm, is an inbred 
prefumption of nature, that can never be rooted out of 
the minds of men. All fmners have an inbred apprchen- 
fion that God is difpleafed with fin, and that punifliment 
is due to it. They cannot but know, that * it is the 

* judgement of God that they who commit lin are worthy 

* of death.' And, therefore, though they have not the 
law written to inflrudl them, yet * their thoughts accufe 

* them' upon finning, [Rom. i. 14, 15.] that is, their 
confcicnccs ; for conference is the judgement that a man 
makes of himfelf in reference to the judgement of God. 
And therefore all nations who retained any knowledge of 
a Deity, conftantly invented fome wav and means w'here- 
by they thought they might expiate fin, and appeafe the 
God that they feared. All which manifells that the pu- 
n'ljhment of Jin infcparahly follows the nature of God^ and 
fuch properties thereof, as men have a natural notion and 
prefumption of. For if it depended merely in the will of 
God, and his faithfulnefs in the accomplifliing of that 
threatening and conftitution, whereof they had no know- 
ledge, they could not have had fuch an immoveable and 
unconquerable apprehenfion of it. 

§ 28. And this fully difcovers the vile and horrid na- 
ture of Jin. Fools, as the wife man tells us, make a 
mock of it. Stifling for a while their natural convic- 
tions, they ad as if fin were a thing of nought ; at Icaft 
a thing not fo horrible as fome reprcfcnt it. And few 
thiCre arc who endeavour aright to obtain a true notion 
of it ; contenting themfelves in general, that it is a thing 
that ought not to be. What dired oppofition it flands 
in to the nature, properties, rule, and authority of God, 
2 they 


they confider not. But the laft day will difcovcr the true 
nature of it ; when ail eyes fnall fee what it deferves ia 
the judgement of God, which is according to righteouf- 
nefs and truth. Is it a fmall thing for a creature to break 
that order which God at firft placed him and all things 
in ? To cafl off the rule and autliority of God, to en- 
deavour to dethrone him, fo that he cannot continue to 
be the fupreme moral governor and judge of all the world, 
unlefs he will punifh it ? Is it a fmall thing to fet up that 
which hath an utter inconfiftency with the holinefs and 
righteoufnefs of God, fo that if it go free, God cannot 
be holy and righteous ? If thefe things will not now fmk 
into the minds of men ; if they will not learn the feve- 
rity of God in this matter from the law, on the very- 
threatening and curfe of which he had imprelTed the image 
of his holinefs and juftlce, they will learn it all in hell. 
Why doth God thus threaten iin and iinners ? Why hath 
he prepared an eternity of vengeance and torment for 
them ? Is it becaufe he merely would do fo ? Nay, but 
becaufe it could not be otherwife, God being invariably 
holy and righteous as he is. Men may thank themfelvcs 
for death and hell ; they are no more than fin hath made 
neceffary, unlefs God fhould ceafe to be holy, righteous, 
and the judge of all — or by unmerited and unfathomable 
mercy find out a ranfom. And this appears mofl emi- 
nently in the crofs of Chrifl ; for God gave in him an. 
inftance of his righteoufnefs, and of the defert of fin. 
Sin being imputed to the only Son of God, he could not 
be fpared. If he be made fin, he mufl be made a curfe ; 
if he will take away our iniquities, he mufl make his foul 
an offering for fins, and bear the puniihment due to them. 
Obedience in all duties will not do it ; interccffion and 
prayers will not do, fin required another manner of ex- 
piation. Nothing but undergoing the wrath of God, 
and the curfe of the law, and therein anfwering what the 
eternal juflice of God required, will effe£l that end. How 
can God fpare fin in his enemies, who could not fpare it 
on his only Son ? Had it been pofTible, this cup fhould 
have pafTed from him : but this could not be, and God 



continue righteous. Thefe things, I fay, will give us 
an infight into tlic nature of lin, and th.e horrible pro- 
vocation wherewith it is attended. And this alfo opens 
the myflcry of the wifdom, love, and grace of God in 
the falvation of iinners. This is that vvliich he will for 
ever be admired in ; a way he hath fouiid out to excr- 
cifc grace, and fatisfy juflicc, at the fame time, and by 
the fame perfon ; fni fhall be punifhed, yet grace exer- 
cifed ; finncrs fhall be faved to the uttermofl, yet jufticc 
exalted to the higheft degree in the crofs of Chrifb ! 

Verses i i — i 3. 


^ I. I'be ivords i}itroduccd and the fubjen Jlatcd. § 2. (T.) 
The mutual relation of Chrijl and his people, § 3. (II.) 
IVhere'in conjijls their onenefs. § 4. (III.) In ccnfequence 
of which he is not afhamed of them. § 5 — 7. (IV.) Cor- 
roborating^ fcripture tcjiimonics. § 8. Obfcrvations^ I. All 
the children^ before their union to Chrijl ^ are unholy. § 9. 
2. Chrijl fan^ifies all whom he hrings to glory. § lO. 3. 
// is a marvellous condefcenjion hi Chrijl not to be afhamed 
cf us. §11. /That was principally on the heart of Chrijl 
in his fujfcring^y was to declare the love and grace of God 



to men. § 12. Which is a frame of mind indifpenfahlj 
necejary for minifiers. 

4 I. 1 HE great reafoii or ground of the neceffity of 
ChrilVs fuffcrings hath been declared. It * became' God that 
he fhoiild fufFer. But it doth not yet appear on what 
grounds this fuffering of his could be beneficial to the 
fons to be brought to glory. It was the finner himfelf 
againft whom the law denounced the judgement of death. 
And although the Lord Chrift, undertaking to be a cap- 
tain of falvation to the fons of God, might be willing to 
fufFer for them, yet what reafon is there that the punifh- 
nient of one, fhould be accepted for the fin of another ? 
Let it be granted, that the Lord Chrifl had an ablblutc 
and fovereign power over his own life, and all the con- 
cernments of it, in the nature which he affumed ; as alfo, 
that he was willing to undergo any fufFerings that God 
fhould call him to ; this indeed will acquit the juftice of 
God in giving him up to death. But whence is it that 
finners fhould come to be fo interefled in thefe things, 
as thereon to be acquitted from fin, and brought into 
glory. In thefe verfes the apoftle enters upon a fatis- 
faftory anfvver to thefe important inquiries : the words 

L A farther defcription of the captain of falvation 
and the fons to be brought to glory by him, taken from 
his office and work towards them, and the effed of it ; 

* He that fandlifieth and they that are fan6tified.' 

II. An airertion concerning them ; they arc * all of 

* one.' 

III. A natural confequence of that affertion, v;hich 
includes alfo the dclign and fcope of it, ' he is not a- 

* ihamed to call them brethren.' 

IV. The confirmation thereof by a triple teflimony 
from the Old Teflament, * Saying I will declare,' &c. 

§ 2. (I.) He defcribcs the captain of falvation, and 
the fons to be brought to glory, by their mutual relation 
to one another m fanc^ifiaititn. He is [c uyiuC^v) * he 

* that 

fto6 An exposition of the 

* that fan£lifieth ;' and they arc (c/ c^yix^oix-voi) * they 

* that are fandtificd/ As Chrill fan(ftifics, fo are the 
children fan£lificd. And the a6l of Chrill which is here 
intended, is that which he did for the fons when he fuf- 
fered for them according to divine appointment (as vcrfe 
lO.) Now, as was faid before, to * fanclify,* is cither to 

Jcparate for facred ufc, or morally to purify^ which latter 
itv\{c is here principally intended. 

§ 3. (II.) Having given this defcription of the cap- 
tain of falvation, and of the fons to bt- brought to glory, 
the apoflle here affirms of them that they are (j^' -vog) 

* of one,' which made it meet for him to fuffer, and for 
them to be made of his fulferings. The apoftle 
here treats not of the fpiritual onenefs which is the refult 
of fpiritual life, but of their being fo of one, that he 
might be meet to fuffer for them, which is antecedent to 
their being fanftiiied, as the caufe is to the efFe£t. It is 
then one common fuiture that is here intended ; he and they 
are of the fame nature, of one mafs, of one blood. 
And hereby he became meet to fufFer for them, and they 
capable to enjoy the benefit of his fufFcring^;. The Lord 
Jefus Chriil being taken as the firll fruits of the nature of 
the children, and as fuch offered to God, the whole lump, 
or the whole nature of man in the children, that is, all the 
cle£l, is fcparated to God, and effectually fandlified in 
their feafon. Being thus of one nature with them, he is 
not alhamed to call them brethren ; and yet bemg the 
principle, head, and firft fruits of our nature, and therein 
the author and fmiflicr of our fiilvation, he is a father to 
us, and we are his children. * Behold I and the children 

* which God hath given me.' 

But if any one dcflrc to extend this cnenefs (^^ ^vog) far- 
ther, and to comprifc in it the manifold relation lubtifting 
between Chrifl and his members, I fhall not contend. 
There may be in it — Their being of one Gody dcfigning 
him and them to be one myftical body, one church, he 
the head, they the memberi,. — Thtir being of one covenant^ 
made originr.lly with lnm,and exemplified in them. — 'Dicir 
being «/" ^ne common principle of human nr.ture. — Their 



being of one divine principky or defigned for a manifold 
fpirital union in refped of that new nature which the 
children receive from him, with every other thing that 
concurs to promote that union and relation ; but that 
which we have inliflcd on is principally intended. Hence 

§ 4. (HI.) A natural confequence of the onenefs before 
aflerted, * for which caufe he is not alliamed to call 

* them brethren.* For which caufe ; that is, becaufe they 
are * of one,' partakers of one common nature, he calls 
them brethren. This affords a fufficicnt and proper 
ground for that appellation. Now his calling them 
' brethren,' both declares that they are fo^ and alfo that 
he owns them as fuch. But whereas it may be faid, that 
although they are thus ' of one,' in refpefl of their com- 
mon nature, yet upon fundry other accounts he is fo glo- 
rious, and they are fo vile and miferable, that he may 
juilly difavow the relation, and refpeft them as ilrangers. 
No, faith the apoflle, * he is not afhamed to call them 

* brethren,' what deep condefcenfion and fervent love I 

§ 5. (IV.) What remains of thcfe verfes confifteth in 
the tcJli)7ionics which the apoftlc produceth out of the Old 
Tcftament, [Pfalm xxii. 22.] 'I will declare thy namt 

* unto my brethren, in the midft of the congregation 

* will I fing praife unto thee.' This teflimony was brought 
to confirm what was faid immediately before, that Chrift 
owns them for his brethren. The ' name' of God is va- 
rioufly ufcd : fometimes it denotes the being of God, 
God himfelf ; fometimes his attributes, his excellencies, 
fome one or more of the divine perfe£lions. As it is pro- 
pofcd to finners for the obje£l of their faith, truft, and love, 
as here, it denotes in an efpecial manner his love, grace, 
and goodnefs. And this is the name of God which the 
Lord Jefus manifefted to the men given him out of the 
world, [John xvii. 5.] which is the fame with his decla- 
ring the Father whom no man hath fecn at any time, 
[John i. 18.] Hereof he fays in the Pfalm xxii. 22. 
(msD«) * I will declare it,' recount it in order, number 
tlie particulars that belong to it, and fo diflinctly and 

OL. II. E c evidently 


evidently make it known, ( I\.7:oiyyc7jx) * I will make it 
« known as a mclTcnger* lent from thee. And tliis h« 
doth by his own perlbn and by his Spirit. 

He ' will fmg praifcs to God in the midfl of the con- 

• gregation.' Both expreffions allude to the declaration of 
God's name, and praifing him in the temple. The iing- 
ing of hymns of praifc to God in the great congregation 
was then a principal part of his worfliip. This is only 
explanatory of what went before. He would praife God by 
declaring his name. There is no way by which the praifc 
of God may be celebrated, like that of declaring his grace, 
goodnefs, and love to men, whereby they may be won to 
believe and trull in him ; whence glory redounds to him. 
The Lord Chrill in his own perfon, by his Spirit, in his 
apoftles and his word, by all his faithful melTengers to the 
end of the world, fctting forth the love, grace, and good- 
nefs of God in him the mediator, fets forth the praife of 
God * in the midft of the congregation.' 

§ 6. His next teftimony is taken from Pfalm xviii. 2. 

* I will put my truft in him.' The whole pfalm literally 
refpc^ls David, with his ftraights and deHverances ; not 
abfolutelv, but as he was a type of Chrift. That which 
the apoftle intends to prove by this teftimony, is, that he 
was really and truly of one with the fons to be brought to 
glory. Had he been only God, this could not have been 
fpoken of him. * He put his truft in God ;' which 
cvinceth him to have been truly and really of otie with the 
children, his brethren ; feeing it was his duty no lefa 
than it is theirs, to depend on God in troubles and dif- 

§ 7. The remaining teftimony is, * Behold I and the 
y children which God hath given me,' and is taken from 
Ifaiah viii. i 8. That which the apoftle aims at in the cita- 
tion of this tcftimonv, is farther to coniirm the union in 
nature, and the confccjucnt relation between Chrift and 
Jus redeemed ones. God gives all the fonsr that are to be 
brought to glory to Jefus Chrift ; * Thine they were,* 
iaith he, * and thou gaveft them me,' [John viii. 6.] 
God having feparatcd them as his peculiar portion in the 



eternal couiifel of his will, gives them to the Sou to take 
care of them, that they may be preferved and brought to 
the glory deligned for them. He gives them to him as his 
children to be provided for ; and to have an inheritance pur- 
chafed for them, that they may become heirs of God and 
co-heirs with himfelf. Chrill is fathfied with, and rc- 
joiceth in the portion given him of his Father, as his chil- 
dren, his redeemed ones. Such was his love, fuch was 
his grace ! for we in ourfelves are * a people not to be 
* defired.* Jefus ajfumcs the children given him of his 
Father into the fame condition with himfelf, both as to 
life and eternity. * I and the children ,' as he is, fo are 
they ; his lot is their lot ; his God is their God ; his 
Father is their father ; and his glory fhall be theirs. 

§ 8. Obf. I. That all the children which are to be 
brought to glory, before their relation to Chrift, are 
polluted and defiled, feparate from God. They are all to 
ht fanclifiedhy him, both as to their real purification, and 
their confecration to be God's hallow^ed portion. We 
are naturally very proud, apt to pleafe ourfelves w^ith our 
fancied excellencies, to think of nothing lefs than of being 
polluted or defiled, or at leafi: not fo far but that we can 
walh ourfelves. What a hard thing it is to perfuade the 
great men of the world, in the midll of their ornaments, 
paintings, and perfumes, that they are all over vile, le- 
prous, loathfome, and defiled ! Are they not ready to 
vvafh themfelves in the blood of them who intimate any 
fuch thing to them ? But whether men will hear or for- 
bear, this is their real condition univerfally. 

§ 9. Obf. 2. The captain of our falvation fanflifies 
every fon whom he brings to glory. He will never glo- 
rify an unfan6lified perfon : this is neccfiary on the part 
of God. If then he bring the children to God, he '^^nft 
make them holy, or they can have no admittance into his 
prcfence, no acceptance with him ; for no unclean thing, 
nothing that defileth can enter into the new Jcrufalem, 
the place where his holinefs dwelleth. It is utterly im- 
pofiible that any foul not wafhcd with the blood of Chrift, 
not fiui6i:ificd by his fpirit and grace, fhould ft^n^ in the 


fight of God. The infinitely pure Jehovah will not divcft 
himfclf of his hohncfs, that he may receive, or be en- 
joyed by unholy creatures. This fandification is necef- 
fary alfo on the part of Chr'iji. A living head and dead 
members, a beautitul licad and rotten members, how un- 
comely would it be ! Such a monllrous body Chrift will 
never own. He loved the church, and gave himfelf for 
it, that he might fan£lify it and cleanfe it with the waHi- 
ing of water by the word, and that he might prcfent it to 
himfelf a glorious church, not having a f})Ot or wrinkle, or 
any fuch thing, but that it Ihould be holy without a ble- 
mifh. This it became him to do,, this was the end why 
he did it ; he fandlifieth his church that he may prefent it 
a meet bride or fpoufe unto himfclf. The fame is nccef- 
fary on the children s part ; as without it they arc not meet 
for their duty, fo they are not capable of their reward. 
Yea, heaven itfelf, in the true notion of it, is undefirable 
to an unfan£lified perfon. Such a one, neither can, nor 
■would enjoy God if he might. In a word, there is no 
one thing required of the fons of God, that an Uiifan^ti' 
fled perfon can do, nor one thing promifed them that he 
can enjoy. 

Tliere is furely then a woful miilake in the world. If 
Chrifl fan(Slifies all whom he faves, many will appear to 
have been mifcaken in their expectations another day. Let 
none deceive themfelves, fanOilication is a qualification 
indifpenfably neccfiary to them who will be under the fafc 
conduct of Chrift for falvation, for he leads none to 
heaven but whom he fanCtifies on earth. 

§ 10. Ohf. 3. That notwithftanding the union of na- 
ture which is between the Son of God incarnate, the 
fanftificr, and the children that are to be fanftified, there 
is, in rcfpe£t of their pcrfons, an inconceivable diftancc 
bet\vcen them, fo that it is a marvellous condefcenfion in 
him to call them brethren. He is not ajhamcd to call 
them fo, though conlidcring what himfelf is, and what 
they arc, it fhould feem that he might juftly be fo. Hii 
nature u:ns free from fm. Human nature defiled with fin, 
and the fame nature as pure and ftri£lly holy, arc farther 



rjemoved in real worth and excellency, than the meaneH: 
worm is from the moll glorious angel. Yet they did not 
l^inder him, who was holy, harmlefs, undefiled, feparatc 
from iinners, to own us as * his brethren.' He fays 
i)ot with thofe proud hypocrites in the prophet, ' Hand 
* farther off, I am holier than you;* but he comes to us 
and takes us by the hand in his love, to deliver us from 
this condition. Befldcs, wc were obnoxious to all m'lferks 
here ani hereafter^ We fee how unapt thofe that are rich 
and prolperops in this world arc to take notice of their 
neareft relations in poverty and dlflrefs ; and who among 
them would dp fo, if thereby they muft be reduced to the 
Itate of thofe who are already miferable ? Yet fo it was 
with the Redeemer ; his calling us, and owning us for 
l)is brethren, made him inftantly obnoxious to all the mi- 
|*eries due to ourfelves. And this alfo renders his conde- 
fceniion marvellous. Again, he is inconceivably above us in 
dignity : we are poor objeiJs who have neither bread to eat, 
nor good right to partake of what we may meet with. 
And if Mephibofhcth thought it a great condefcenfion in 
David on his throne to ta|ce notice of him, being poor^ 
ivho yet was the fon of Jonathan, what is it in this Kin^j 
of kings to own us for brethren in our vile and low con- 
xlition ? He is infinitely diflant from us, in his per/on, be- 
ing, in refpeft of his divine nature, God over all, blelTcd 
for ever. He did not fo become man, as to ccafe to be 
God : though he drew a veil over his infinite glory, yet 
he did not part with it. But that he who in himfelf is 
thus over all,^eterna]ly bleffed, holy, and powerful, fhould 
take us, poor worms of the earth, into this relation with 
himfelf, and avow us for * his brethren \ as it is not eafy 
to be believed, fo it is for ever to be admired. And if he 
will do this bh;aufe he is of one with us, becaufc a foun- 
dation of brotherhood is laid in his participation of our 
nature, how much more will he continue the fraternal 
kindnefs, when he hath perfeded this relation by the com- 
munication of his holy Spirit. He is a brother, born for 
9 day of trouble, a redeemer for the friendlefs and father- 
^cfs. Let their miferies be what they will, he will be 



afliamcd of none, but of them who arc afhamcd of him 
and his ways. The world rejects them, it may be their 
own relations dcfpife them, they are perfecutcd, hated, 
reproached ; but the Lord Jefus Chrift is not afliamcd of* 
them : he will naturaKy care for them as their brother. 
Who then would be afhamed of him or his gofpel ? 

§ I I. Obf, 4. That which was principally in the heart 
of Chrift upon his fufFerings, was to declare and manifcft 
the love, grace, and good will of God unto men, that 
they might come to be acquainted with him and accepted 
before him. As he ' lands upon the fliorc' from that 
tempeft wherein he was tolTed in his paffion, he cries out, 

* 1 will declare thy name unto my brethren, in the midil 

* of the congregation will I Ung praife unto thee.' And 
thus we find, that upon his refurrection he did not im- 
xnediately afcend into glory, but firft ' declared the name 
' of God* to his apoftles and difciples ; and then gave 
them orders that it fliould be declared and publifhed to all 
the world. This was upon his compafTionatc heart, and 
he entered not into his glorious reft until he had performed 
it. For lierein confiftcd the manifeftation and exaltation 
of Jehovah's glory ; nor could the fons be brought to 
glory of thcmfclves, nor have known any thing of that 
name of God, which is their life and falvation. Some 
men talk of I know not what declaration of God's nnmc^ 
nature, and glory, by the works of creation and provi- 
dence ; but if the Lord Mcftiah had not * declared,' and 
preached thcfe things, thcfe very difputers themfelves 
would not have been in any other condition than nil 
others of mankind arc, who arc left to the mere infor- 
mation of thofe boafted teachers, which is a condition 
moft dark and mifcrablc. Befidcs, on thi*; * declaration' 
depended his ou.m glory. The gofpel is ne rod of his 
ftrcngth, whereby liis people are made willing in the day 
of his power. In brief, the gathering of his church, 
the fctting up of his kingdom, the eftahlilhment of his 
throne, the fctting of the crown upon his head, depend 
wliolly upon his declaring the name of Crod in a prcacl^- 
€i!L gofpel. Seeing, therefore, that the glory of (rod 

1 NvhicU 


which he ahned at, the falvation of the Tons which htt 
fought for, and the honour of his kingdom which was 
promifed him, all depend upon this work, it is no wonder 
if his heart were full of it, and that he rejoiced to be en- 
gaged it. 

§ 12. And this frame of heart ought to be in them, 
who under him are called to this work. The work itfelf 
we fee is noble and excellent ; foch as the Lord of heaven 
carried in his eye through all his fufferings. And by his 

* rejoicing' to be engaged in it, he hath fet a pattern for 
them whom he calls to the fame employment. Where 
men undertake it for filthy lucre, for felfifh ends, and 
from carnal refpe£ls, this is not to follow the example of 
Chrift, but to ferve their own bellies and hateful lufls. 
Zeal for the glory of God, compaffioa for the fouls of 
men, love to the honour and exaltation of Chrift, ought 
to be the lincere and fteady principles of men in this un- 
dertaking. All praying, all preaching, all adminiflra- 
tion of ordinances, all our faitli, all our obedience, if 
performed in a due and acceptable manner, are nothing 
but giv'mg glory to God for his love and grace in ChriH 
Jefus. And this is what ought to be our defign in all di- 
vine worfhip, efpecially what we perform * in the con- 

* gregation,' to * fet forth his praifc,' to * declare his 

* name,' and thus to give him glory. 

Verses 24, 15. 


§ I . Connexion of the vjcrds and ftatement of the fuhjeft, 
§ 2. (I.) The fiate and condition of the ahildrm. § 3. 

(II.) A 


(II.) A double inference from that fupp oft'ion. § 4 . (III.) 
The means of deliverance. § 5. (IV ) The effeds of 
Chriffs death. § 6. Ohfervalions, 1. All fnners, fub^ 
jeii to death as penal. §7.2. Fear of death in/eparablr 
from pn. § 8. 3. Fear of death fubjeds to bondage. § 9. 
4. Chrifl fubmitted^ to every thing but fn for the children's 
fake. § 10. 5. // ivas only in the efjcnce of tbe human 
mature that Chrifi was like us. §11.6. ChrijVs principal 
end in ajjuming human nature u^as to fuffer and die in it* 
^ 12. 7. The power of Satan founded in fn. § 13. 8» 
The death of Chrifi viilorious* 

§ I. X HE union of Chrifi with the children in their re- 
lation to one common root, and participation of the fame 
nature, being afiertcd, the apoftle proceeds to declare 
the ends and nccelTity of that union, in refpedl of the 
work for which God had dellgncd him, and what he had 
to accompHlh thereby ; namely, the * deflru£lion of the 

* devil,* and thereby the * delivery of them that were in 

* bondage by reafon of death ;' neither of which could 
have been elie^led, but by the death of the captain of 
falvation. We have in the words, 

I. The Hate and condition of the children to be 
brought to glory fuppofed, partakers of flefh and blood 
— obnoxious to death — in great bondage through fear of 
it — in which they continued all their lives. 

II. A double inference with rcfpe£t: to that fuppofitioii 
—Chrifi took part of the fame — and delivered them. 

HI. The means whereby he did this — by his death. 

IV. The immediate cffc£l of his death — the dcflruc- 
tion of the devil. From all which wc fliall, 

V. Draw fomc profitable obfcrvations. 

§ 2. (I.) The apoillc cxprcHcth by way of fuppofition, 
the fate of the children whom God dcflgncd to bring to 
glory. And, They were in common * partakers of flefli 

* and blood :' * flelli and blood* arc by an ufual fyncc- 
dochc put for the whole human nature as fubjc^l to in- 
firmities and death.. But farther; it is implied ih?.ty 


Ver, 14, 15. EPISTLE TO THE HEBREWS. 21^ 

They were, as guilty, chioxhus to death as it was penal^ 
being due to fiii according to the curfe of the law. On 
this fuppofition hes the whole weight of the niediation 
of Chrifl. 

They were in great ' bondage through fear of death.* 
Fear is a perturbation of mind, ariling from the appre- 
henfion of a future imminent evil. And the greater this 
evil is, the greater v/ill be the perturbation of mind ; pro- 
vided the apprehcnfions of it be anfwerable. The * fear 

* of death' then here intended is, that trouble of mind 
men have in the expectation of death to be inflided upon 
them, as 2, puniJJjment due to their fins. And this apprc- 
henfion is common to all men, arifing from a general 
prefumption that death is penal^ and that it is the judge- 
ment of God, that they who commit lin are * worthy of 

* death.' But it is more abundantly cleared and confirmed 
by the law, whofe known fentence it is, * the foul that 
' finneth, it fhall die.' And the troublefome expectation 
of this apprehended event is the fear of death here in- 
tended, being obnoxious to the fentence of death, they 
could not but live in fear of the execution of it. Hence> 
the troublefome expectation of death, as peiial, brings 
them into bondage ; and this, being involuntary, gene- 
rates a ftrong defire of liberty, and puts men on all man- 
ner of attempts to fecure it. It perplexes the mind, and 
forebodes future and greater evils. This is the common 
condition of iinners out of Chrift, whereof there are various 
degrees anfwerable to their cbnviCtions. For the apoftle 
treats not here of men being fervants to fin, which is vo- 
luntary , but of their fenfe of the guilt of fin, which is 
wrought in them even whether they will or no ; and the 
yoke of which thev v/ould by any means caft off, though 
by none are they able to do it ; for. 

They are faid to continue in this ftate ' all their lives.' 
Not that they were always perplexed with a fenfe of this 
bondage, but that they could never be utterly freed from 
it. For the apoflle doth not fay, that they were thus in 
bondage all their days, but that they were obnoxious and 
fnhjen to it. Thev had no way to free or deliver them- 

VoL. II. ' F f felvcs 


fclvcs from it, but that at any time they might righteoullv' 
be brought under its power ; and the more they call ofF 
the thoughts of it, the more they increafcd their danger* 
This was the ftatc of the children, whofc dchvcrancc was 
undertaken by the captain of their lalvation. 

§ 3. (II.) We have a double inference with rcfpef^ to 
that fuppolition, * He alfo himfclflikewife partook of tlic 
* fame' — and ' delivered them.' 1'hc word (TrapccTrX'/ja-iocg) 
I'lkciL'ifcy in like mcunury denotes a ilmilitude that is con- 
liftent with a fpecilical identity- And therefore Chry- 
sosTOM from hence urges the AJarciomtcs and Falcntiniatis^ 
who denied the reality of the human nature of Chrift, 
lecing that he partook of it in like manner with us, that is, 
truly and really. But the word by force of its compo- 
fition doth intimate fome difparity and difference. He 
took part of human nature really as we do, and almojl in 
the like manner with us. I fay almoj}^ for there were two 
differences between his manner of being partaker of human 
nature and curs. Firft, in that wc fubllft f^n^ly in that 
nature ; but he took his portion in this nature into fub- 
fiftancc with himfclf in the perfon of the Son of God. 
Secondly, this nature in us is attended with many infir- 
mities, that follow the individual perfons who arc par- 
takers of it ; in him it was free from them all. And 
this the apoftlc alfo intimates in the word (iLij-a-yj) partook, 
changing his exprcllion from (ii-:Xoivu:vr,y,s) that whereby 
he declared the common intcrej} of the children in the fame 
nature, wliich is every way equal and alike. The whole 
IS, that he took to himfclf his own portion in his own 
manner. — But he not oiily took the children's nature, lie 
alfo * delivered them' from the evils they had incurred. 
[Sec belozv § 5.) And, 

§ 4. (III.) His death was tlic means of delivering them 
from death ; * That throu'::.h death he micrht deliver them.' 
There doth not any thing in the text appear to intimate, 
that the captain of falvatlon by death of one kind ^ fliould 
deliver the children from that of another. Neither will 
the apofilc's difcourfe well bear fuch a fuppofition. lor 
if he ir.i-ht have frctd tlic children by any way and 


Ver. 14, 15. EPISTLE TO THE HEBREWS. 217 

means, but only by undergoing that which was due from 
them for fin, whence could arife that indifpenfable iie^ 
cejjity which he pleads for, by fo many confidcrations, of 
his being * made like unto them?* Seeing he might with- 
out a participation of their nature, which the apoftic 
nrgeth, have done any other thing for their good and be- 
nefit except fuffering what was due to them ? And if it 
be faid, that without this participation of then- nature he 
could not die, which it was necefTary he fliould do ; I 
dcfire to know why it was necefTary ? If the death which 
he was to undergo, was not that death to which they for 
whom he died were obnoxious, how could it be any ways 
more beneficial to them than what he might have done 
for them, although he had not died ? The death of Chrifl 
is here placed in the midfl, as the end of one thing, and 
the means or caufe of another ; the end of his own in-' 
carnation, and the means of the children's deliverance. 

§ 5. (IV.) There yet remains in the vcrfes the efFe£ls 
of the death of Chrifl ; * that he might deflroy him who 
* had the power of death, and deliver,' &c. wherein wc 
mufl briefly confider — who it is that had the power of 
death — wherein that power of his confifled — how he was 
dcflroyed — how by the death of Chrifl — and what was the 
happy deliverance for the children of God. 

1. He that * had the power of death' is (0 ^i(z[3oXog) 
the devil \ the great enemy of our falvation ; the great ca- 
lumniator and falfe accufer ; the firebrand of the creation ; 
the head and captain of all apoflacy from God, and of all 
defertion from his righteous law : the old ferpent, who 
firfl falfely accufed God to man; and continues to accufc 
men falfely to God. 

2. His ' power over death is varioufly apprehended. 
All however confent, that the devil had no abfolute or 
fovereign power over death ; nor any (z^H'Tkz) or authority 
about it, de jure, in his own right, or on grant, fo as to 
aft lawfully about it, according to his own will ; nor any 
judging or determining power, as to the guilt of death, 
which is peculiar to God, the fupreme reftor and judge 
pf all, [Gen. ii. 17. Deut. xxxii. 39. Jlcv. i. 18.] But 

F f 2 wh^rcij^ 


wherein this power of Satan doth pofuively confift, they 
are not ngrccd. Some place it in his temptations to fin, 
^hich bind to death ; fome in the execution of the fcntence 
of death. There cannot well, however, be any doubt, 
but that the whole intereft of Satan, in reference to death, 
is intended in this expreffion. Hewrs the means of bring- 
ing it into the world ; then fin and death being thus en- 
tercd, and all mankind being guilty of the one, and ob- 
noxious to the other, Satan became thereby to be their 
prince^ as being the prince and author of that ftate and 
condition whereunto they are brought ; he is therefore 
called * the prince of this world,' [ John xii. 32.] Now 
God having pafTed the fentence of death againft fin, it was 
in the po-n^ei- of Satan to terrify and affright the confcienccs 
of men with the e^pe£lation and dread of it ; fo bringing 
them into bondage. And many God gives up to him to 
be agitated and terrified, as it were, at his pleafure. And 
to this we may add, that God hath ordained him to be the 
executioner of the fentence of death upon ftubborn finncrs 
to all eternity ; partly for the aggravation of their punifli- 
ment, when they fhall always lee, and without relief be- 
wail their folly in hearkening to his allurements ; and 
partly to punifli himfclf in his woful employment. And 
for thefe fcveral rcafons is Satan faid to have * the power 
•* of death.* Let us next inquire, 

3. How he was drjirovcd. * That by death {KcPiOi'^yy,a-y) 

* he might dejhoy him, 5cc." This word is almofl pccu- 
culiar to Paul ; and what he ufually intends by it, is, to 
make a thing or perfon to ccafc as to its prefcnt conditiotiy or 
to be Tfl/r/as to its former power and efficacy ; but implies 
not to remove, to annihilate, or to dcflroy the ejpftcc or 
being of it. Hence it is not here applied to tlie nature or 
being of the devilj but to his po-ivcr over death ; as it is 
clfcvvhere declared, [John xii. 32.] * Now is the judge- 

* ment of this world, now is the prince of this world cajl 

* cut.^ That which is here called the * deflroying the de- 

* vil,' is there called the * calling out the prince of this 
' world.* It is the cafting him out of hi? power from his 
princedom and rule, [Col. ii. 15.] Having fpoiled prin- 

2 cipalitics 


cipalltics and powers he made an open lliew of them, tri- 
umphing over them inhiscrofs ; as conquerors iifed to do. 
When they ilew not the perfons of their enemies, they de- 
prived them of their rule, and led them captives. In 
Ihort, the de{lru£tion here intended of him that had the 
power of death, is the diiTolution, evacuation, and re- 
moving that power which he had in and over death, with 
all the efFe£ts and confequences of it. 

4. This deilruftion of Satan was efFe£led by the ^leatb 
of Chrifl ; which of all others feemed the moll unlikely 
wa}'-, but, indeed, was not only the bell, but the onlv 
way whereby it could be accomplifhed. The pcwer of 
Satan, before mentioned, was all founded in Jin, or the 
iinner's obligation and obnoxioufnefs to death, was that 
which gave him all his power. The taking away then of 
that obligation mull needs be the diflblution of his 
power. The foundation being removed, all that is built 
upon it mull needs fall to the ground. Now this, in re- 
ference to the children for whom he died, was done in the 
death of the Meffiah ; virtually, in his death itfelf ; a<5lu- 
ally, in its application to them. When the linnerceafeth 
to be obnoxious to death, the power of Satan ceafeth alfo. 
And this is the happy cafe of every one who hath an in- 
terell in the death of Chrill : for * there is no condemna- 
* tion to them that are in Chrill Jefus,' [Rom. viii. i.] 
And this becaufe he died for their fins, and took that death 
upon himfelf which was due to them ; which being there- 
by conquered, and their obligation thereunto cealing, the 
power of Satan is dilTolved with it. 

5. And hence it lallly appears, what was the delivery 
procured for the children by this diiTolution of Satan's 
power. It refpe6ls both what they /cared, and what en- 
fued on their fear ; that is, death and bondage. They were 
obnoxious to death on the guilt of lin as penal, as under 
the curfe, as attended with hell or everlalling mifery. 
This he delivers the children from, by making an atone- 
ment for their fins by his death, virtually lofmg their obli- 
gation to it, and procuring for them eternal redemption. 
Herein alfo they are delivered from the bondage before de- 



fcribcd. The fear of death being taken away, the bon- 
dage that cnfues thereon vanifhed. 

§ 6. Obf. I. All finners arc fubje£l to death as it I? 
pnal. 71ic firfl fentcncc reached them all, [Gen. ii. 17.] 
And thence they arc f;iid to be children of wrath, [Ephef. 
ii, 3.] obnoxious to death, to be inflicted in a way of 
wrath and revenge for fin ; this paflcd upon all, inafniuch 
as all have fmncd, [Rom. v. 12.] This all men fee and 
know ; but ail do not fufficiently confider what is con- 
tained in the fcntence of death, and very few fcrioully in- 
quire how it may be avoided. Moll: men look on death 
as the common lot and condition of mankind, as though 
it belonged to the natural condition of the children, and 
not the m'-jyal \ and were a confequent of their being, and 
not tlic demerit of their lin. They condder not, that al- 
though the principles of our nature are inthemfelves fub- 
je£l to diiTolution, yet if we had kept the law of our crea- 
tion, it had been prevented by the power of God, engaged 
to continue life during our obedience, life and obedience 
arc to be commenfurate, until temporal obedience ended 
in life eternal. Death is penal, and its being common to 
all, hindcis not but that it is the puniflimcnt of every 
one. All mankind is condemned as foon as born ; life 
is a reprieve, a fufpenlion of execution, and if during 
that time a pardon be not effeclually fued out, the fcn- 
tence will be executed according to the fcverity of julVice. 
XJndcr this law men are now born, this voke have they 
pulled on themfclves by their apoftacy from God : neither 
is to any purpofe to repine againil it, or to conflict with 
it ; there is but one way of deliverance. 

§ 7. Ohf. 2. Fear of death, as it is penal, i^^ infcparable 
from iin before the finner be delivered by the death of 
Chrift ; thcv were * in fear of death.' There is a fear 
of death taut is natural, and which is but nature's dillikc 
of its own diirolution ; and this hath various degrees, oc- 
cafioned bv the differences of mens' natural conftitutions, 
and other accidental occafions ; fo tliat fome fecm to fear 
death too much, while others fear it too little. But x\\\% 
difference is from occafions foreign and accidental ; there. 


Ver. 14, 15. EPISTLE TO THE HEBREWS, izi 

is in all naturally the fame horror of it, which is a guilt- 
iefs infirmity like our wearinefs and ficknefs, infeparably 
annexed to the condition of mortality. But finners in 
their natural ftate fear death as a punifhment, an ilTue of 
the curfe, as under the power of Satan, as a dreadful en- 
trance into eternal ruin. There are indeed a thoufand 
ways whereby this fear is for a feafon ftifled in the minds 
of men ; fome live in brutiih ignorance, never receiving 
any full conviction of fin, judgement, or eternity. Some 
put off the thoughts of their future ftate, refolving to 
fhut their eyes and ruih into it, when they can no longer 
avoid it. Fear prefcnts itfelf as the forerunner of death, 
but they avoid the encounter, and leave themfelves to its 
mercilefs power. Some pleafe themfelves with vain hopes 
of deliverance, though they know not how, nor why, 
they fhould be partakers of it. But let men forego thefc 
belplefs fliifts, and fuffer their innate light to be excited 
w^ith means of conviction, and they will quickly find 
what a judgement is formed in their fouls concerning 
death. They will foon conclude, that * it is the judge- 

* ment of God, that they who commit fin are worthy of 

* death ;' [Rom. i. 32.] and then, that their own con- 
fciences accufc and condemn them, [Rom. ii. 14, 15.] 
Whence, unavoidably, fear and dreadful terror will feize 
upon them. 

§ 8. Ohf. 3. Fear of death, as penal, renders the 
minds of men obnoxious to bondage \ which is a ftatc of 
trouble that men diflike and cannot avoid. It is a penal 
difquietudc arifing from a fenfe of future mifery : fain 
w^ould men quit themfelves of it, but are not able ; there 
is * a chain of God' in it not to be broken ; men may 
gall themfelves with it, and if it be taken from them with- 
out a lawful relcafe, it is to their farther mifery. And 
this is in fome meafure or other the portion of every one 
that is convinced of fin, before they are freed by the gof- 
peL Some have difputed what degrees of it are necefTary 
before believing ? In anfwer to which w^e may obferve ; 
that w^iich is necellary for any one to attain to, is his 
duty ; but this bondage can be the duty of no man, be- 



caufe it is involuntary. It will follow conviclion of fin, 
but it is no man's duty ; rather, it is fach an effe£l of the 
law, as every one is to free hinilclf from as foon as poflibic 
in a right manner. 

§ 9. Ol?f. 4. That the Lord Chrifl, out of his inex- 
preflible love, willingly fubmittcd to every condition of 
the children to be faved, and to every thing in every con- 
dition, Irn only excepted. They being of flelli and blood 
which mull be attended with many infirmities, and ex- 
pofed to all forts of temptations and miferics, he himfelf 
would alfo partake of the fame. He rejoiced to do the 
will of God, in taking the body prepared for him, be- 
caufe * the children were partakers of fiefh and blood.* 
Though he was in the form of God, yet that mind, that 
love, that affecStion towards us was in him, that to be like 
us, and thereby to favc us, he emptied himfelf, took on 
him the form of a fervant, our form, and became like 
unto us, [Phil. ii. 5 — 8.] He would be like usy that he 
might make us like himfelf \ he would take our flcfh, that 
he might give us of his fpiric. He would join himfelf to 
us, that we might be joined to him, and become one 
fpirit with him. 

§ 10. Obf 5. It was only in flcfli and blood, the fub- 
fiance and elfence of human nature, and not in our per- 
fonal infirmities that the Lord Chrill was made like unto 
us. He took to himfelf the vaturc of all men, and not 
the/>^r/o« of any man. Wc have not only human nature 
in common, but we have, every one of us, particular in- 
firmities and wcakncllcs, as exilling in our finful perfons. 
Such arc the ficknelfes and pains of our bodies from in- 
ward dillcmpcrs ; and the difordcrs of the palfions of our 
minds. Of thefe the Lord Chrill did not partake ; it 
was not needful, nav, it was not polfihle that he Ihould 
do fo ; not wtiv/////, bccaufe he could provide for their 
cure without them ; not po[fih!cy for they can have no 
place in a nature innocent and holy. And therefore he 
took (jur nature, not bv an immediate 7:eio creation out 
of nothing, or of the duft of the earth like Adam ; for 
if fo, though he might have been like us, yet he would 


Ver. 14, 15. EPISTLE TO THE HEBREWS. 223 

have been no /•/;/ to us, and fo could not have been our 
God to whom the right oF redemption belonged ; nor by 
natural generation^ which would have rendered our nature 
in him obnoxious to the fin and punilhment of Adam, 
but by a miraculous conception of a virgin, whereby he had 
truly our nature, yet not fubjc£l, on its own account, 
to any one of thole evils, whereunto it is liable as pro- 
pagated from Adam \\\ an ordinary courfe. And thus, 
though he was joined to our nature, yet he was holy, 
harmlefs, and undehled, in that nature, and feparate 
from linners, [Heb. vii. 25.] vSo that although our na- 
ture fuffered more in his perfon, than it was capable in 
the perfon of any mere man, yet, not being debafed by 
any Ihiful imperfection, it was always excellent, beautiful, 
and glorious. 

§ II. Ohf. 6. That the firft and principal end of our 
Lord's alluming human nature was not to reign in it, 
but to fulFer and die in it. He was indeed from of old 
defigned for a kingdom, but he was firll to fafTer, and 
fo 'to enter into his glory;' [Luke xxiv. 26.] And he 
fpeaks of his coming into the world, to fu iter, to die, to 
bear witnefs to the truth, as if that had been the only 
woik that he was incarnate for. A kingdom was ta 
follow, but fufferi ng and dying was the principal work 
he came about. He had glory with his Father before the 
world was, [John xvii. 5.] and therein a joint rule with 
him over all the works of his hands. He need not have 
been made partaker of fiefli and blood to have been a king, 
for he was the king immortal, invifible, the King of kings 
and Lord of lords, the only potentate from everlalling. But 
he could not have died if he had not been partaker of our 
nature. And therefore when the people would have taken, 
him by force, and have made him king, he hid himfclffrom 
them, [John vi. 15.] But he hid not himfelf when they 
came to take him by force, and put him to death ; but 
affirmed, that ' for that hour,' or bufinefs, he came into 
the world, [John xviii, 4, 5 — i i.] And this farther lets 
forth his love and condefcenlion ; he faw the work tliat 
'^vas propofed to him ; how he was to be expofed tq 

Vol. 11. G § ^lifcvips, 


mifcrlcs, affli6tions, and pcilccutions, and at length to 
innkc his foul an offering for iin ; yet becaufe it was all 
for the falvation of the children, he was contented with 
it, and even delighted in it. And how tlun ought we to 
be contented with any diificultics, fonows, and affli(Stions 
which for his fake we may be expofed to, when he on 
puipof>; took our n:iturc, that for our frkcs he might be 
fubjeft to incomparably more than j^'c are called to ? 

§ 12. Obf. 7. All th- p v\cr of Satan in the world 
ever any of the fons of men, is founded in fin and the 
guilt of death attending it. Without fin he could 
have no more to do on eartli, than he hath in heaven, and 
according ns fin abounds, or is fubdued, fo his power is 
enlarged or ihaightcncd. And hence all fmncrs out of 
Ciirifl arc under the power of Satan. They belong to 
that kingdom of death whereof he is the prince and ruler. 
The w^hole world lies (iv ro) 'Kovmbd) * in the power of 

* this wicl^nl one.' If the guilt of death be not removed 
from any, the power of the devil extends to them. A 
power indeed rcilrained, both as to times and degrees, 
clfe he Vvould continually devour ; yet it is great and 
anfwerablc to his titles, * the prince, the God of this 

* world.' And however men may flatter themfelves, as the 
Jews did of old, that they zxq frec^ if they are not freed 
by an intcrcfl in the death of Chrift, they are in bondage 
to this hateful tyrant ; and as he works cfFe£f ually in them 
here, he will with malicious rage inflift vengeance on 
them hereafter. 

§ 13. Obf. 8. The death of Chrid, through the wife 
and righteous difpofal of God, is vi£torious, all-con- 
quering, and prevalent. The aim of Satan was fo alfo ; 
who thereby fuppofed he fhould have fecurcd his own king- 
dom. And what could worldly or fatanical wifdom have 
imagined otherwife ? He that is flain is conquered. His 
own followers were ready to think fo ; * we trufled, fay 

• they, that it had been he who fhould have redeemed 

• Ifracl,' [Luke xxiv. 21. j but he is dead; and their 
hopes are with him in the grave. What can be expected 
from him who was taken, flain, and crucified i Can he 


Ver. 14, 15. EPISTLE TO THE HEBREWS. 22^ 

fave others, who, it feems, could not favc himfelf ? Is 
it not a foolifli thing to look for life by the death of ano- 
ther ? This was what the pagans of old reproached the 
Chriflians with, that they believed in one who was cru- 
cified and put to death ; and what could they exped from 
him? And our apoflle tells us, that this death, this crofs, 
was a flumbli ng block unto the Jews, and folly to the 
Greeks, [I. Cor. i. 18. 23.] And fo it would have bcem 
in itfelf, [A£ts ii. 13. chap. iv. 28.] had not the will, 
and wife counfel, and matchlefs grace of God been in it. 
But, through confunimate v/ifdom, he ordered things fo, 
that the death of Chrill iliould pull out that pin, w^hicli 
kept together the whole fabrick of lin and Satan ; that, 
like Sampfon, he fliould in his death, glorious atchieve- 
ment ! pull down the palace of Satan about his ears, and 
that in dying he fliould conquer and fubdue all things to 
himfelf. All the angels of heaven flood looking on, to 
fee what w^ould be the end of this great trial. Men and 
devils w^ere ignorant of the great work that God had in 
his hand ; and whilfl his enemies thought they were de- 
llroying Jefus, God was deflroying them and their 
power. Whilil his heel was bruifed, he brake their head. 
And this fiiould teach us to leave all God's works to him- 
felf. He can bring light out of darknefs, and meat out 
of the eater. He can difappoint his adverfaries of their 
greateft hopes and faireft profpeds, and raife up the hopes 
of his defponding children out of the grave. He can. 
make fufFering to be faving, death victorious, and heal 
us by the ftripes of his Son. And fliould not this flir us 
up to meditate on this myjlermis ivork of his love and 
wifdom ? We can never fearch into it enough whilft our 
inquiry is guided by his word. New myfteries, all foun- 
tains of rcfreflinient and joy, will continually open them- 
felves to the inquiries of faith, until wc come to be fa- 
tisfied with its incxhauflible fulnefs to eternity. 

G g 2 Verse 


Verse i6. 

ror. verily he took not on' iiim the ^:ature 01^ 
angels, but he took. on him the seed of 


^ I. Connccl'ion of the vjords. § 2, 3. T'he principal terms 
explained. § 4. Obfcrvat'ions^ l. "Jhe Redeemer is God 
and man in one perfon. § 5. 2. T'he redemption of man- 
kind, by the ajfumption of our nature, is of mere fovereign 

^ I. XIAVING aflcrtcd the incarnation of our Lord, 
and (hewn its neceliity from the ends which were to be ac- 
complilhcd by it ; and therein given the reafon why he 
was for a feafon made lefs than the angels ; the apoflle 
proceeds in this verfe to confirm what he had taught be- 
fore, and adds an efpccial amphlication of the grace of 
God HI this whole difpenfation, from the confideration 
that the angels were not made partakers of fimilar love 
and nicicy. * For, verily, not any where doth he take 
* angels, but he takes the feed of Abraham.* 

§ 2. ('O'j ycc'a ^r.Trn) * For, verily, not any zvhere ;* 
that is, what he denicth in the following words, is no 
where taught in the fcripturc. And tbu^ alfo the aiTirin?- 
tive claufc of his propoiition, * but he taketh the feed of 
* Abraham,' is to be referred to the fcripturc. There it 
is promifcd, there it is I'poken, and therein is it done by 
him. And our being thus referred to the fcripturc in proof 
of this point, gives full light iiUo the meaning of ths 
words. For how doth Chrift in tl.c fcripturc ' take tliC 

* feed of Abraham,' in fuch a fcnfc as that therein no- 
thii^is fpokcn of him in rcfeicnce to angels ? Eccaufe he 
was of the pol\erity of Al^raham, according to the ilelh ; 
lie w:!.>^ promifcd to Abrnham that he Ihould be * of his 

• feed,' yea, that he Ihould be * his i^Q.^}i," [Gal. lii. 6.] 



and this was the great principle, the great cxpe£latioii of 
the Hebrews, that the Meffiah fliould be * the feed of 

* Abraham ;* which promife accordingly was accom- 
pli fhed. And he is here fa id to ' take the feed of Abra- 

* ham,' becaufe in the fcripturc it is fo plainly, fo often 
affirmed he fliould do fo ; when not one word is any 
where fpoken that he fhould be an angel, or take their 
nature upon him. And this, I fay, gives us the true 
meaning of the words. 

§ 3. (Ov — STTiXcziJLloccyricci) ' He took not on him •/ 
that is, fay fome, by his participation of flefh and blood 
brought help and relief, not to angels, but to men, ' the 

* feed of Abraham.* And they fuppofe, to fupport this 
purpofe, that the word here ufed' {z7riKoi,^(z)Ccv^cci) is put 
for another, {avocKcc^foccv^oci) that fignilies to help^ to 
fuccour^ to relieve, &c. The Socinians endeavour to con- 
firm this expofition, for a manifeft re:ifon ; for if the 
words exprefs that the Lord Chrift afjumcd human nature, 
which neceffarily infers his pre-exiflence in another nature, 
their perfuaiion about the perfon of Chriil is quite over- 
thrown. It is acknowledged that the other word (ava.- 
XocufDOivPjcci) doth frequently fignify, as here alledged, to 
help and aj/iji, as it were, by putting forth the hand. But 
if that were intended by the apoftle in this place, what 
reafon ci\n. be affigned why he fhould wave the ufe of a 
word proper to his purpofe, and frequently fo applied by 
himfelf in other places, and make ufe of another, which 
— fignifying no fuch thing, nor being any where ufed by 
him in that fenfe — muft needs obfcure his meaning, and 
render it unnecefTarily ambiguous ? Whereas, therefore, 
the lafl mentioned word {a,ya,Xa^iJ,(occyfl(y.i) fignifies to he'p 
and relieve^ and is conilantly ufed by our apoille in that 
fenfe ; but employs another ('=77iXuiji(oa.\s]oti) which figni- 
lies no fuch thin^^ nor is ever ufed by him to that purpofe, 
the fenfe contended for, of help and relief, is plainly ex- 
cluded. — Therefore the word in queftion is properlv (af- 

fumo, accipioj to take unto, or to take upon ; and the apoille 
teacheth us by it, that our Lord took unto hiin, or took 
«u him, our nature of the feed of Abraham. 

§ 4. Obf. 


.. Ubjf. I. The Lord Jcfus Clirifl is God and man 
ia one pcxlbn. For there is fuppofcd in tliefe words, (i.) 
His pre-exiitcncc in anotlicr nature, than that which he 
is fa id here to afp.imc. He fubfijlcd before, elfc he could 
not have taken on him what he had not before, [Gal. iv. 4. 
John i. 14. I. Tim. iii. 16. Phil. ii. ^, 9.] That is, 
the Son, the word of God, eternally prc-cxifting, be- 
came incarnate. (2.) He took, to himlllf another nature, 
* of the feed of Abraham,* according to the promife ; fo, 
continuing what he was, he became what he was not ; 
for (3.) He took this to be his ozvn nature; fo took it, as 
to become truly ' the feed of Abraham.' And this could 
no otherwife be done, but (4.) By raking that nature into 
perjonal fubfijlence \s\\\\ himfelf, in the hypoftatis of the 
Son of God ; feeing the nature he allbmed could no 
otherwife become his. For if he had by any ways or 
means taken the per [on of a man in the ilrit^cfl union that 
two pcrfons arc capable of, in that cafe the nature had 
{lill been the nature of that other pcrfon, and not his own. 
But he took it to be his ovjn nature^ which, therefore, 
mull be by a perfonal union caufmg it to fubfiil: in his 
own perfon : and, therefore (5.} He is a true and -perfctl 
man ; for no more is required to make a complete and 
perfe6l man, but \\\^ entire nature of man fubiifting, which 
Chrifl: hath ; the human nature having a fubilftcnce com- 
municated to it by the Son of God. And, therefore, 
(6.) This is done without a multiplication of perfon s in 
him ; for the human nature can have no pcrfonality of its 
own, bccaufc it was taken to he tlic nature of another per- 
fon who was pre-exiftent lo it, and by nlTuming it, pre- 
vented its proper pcrfonalitv. Neither, (7.) Did luncc 
any mixture or confuf on of natures cnfuc, or of the ef- 
fcntlal properties of ihem ; for he took the * feed of 
* Abrnhnm* to be his human iu:ture, which, if mixed with 
the divine, it could not be : and this he hath done, (S.) 
Infcparably and for ever. 

§ 5. (Jbf. 2. The redemption of mankind by the tak- 
ing of our nature was a work of mere lovcrcign grace. 
He took the feed of Abraham, not the nature of angels. 
2 And 

Ver.i6. epistle to the HEBREWS. 229 

And for what caufe or reafon ? Can any be afi^gned but 
the fovereign grace, pleafurc, and love of God? Nor 
doth the fcripture affign any otlier. And this will the 
better appear if wc confidcr, 

That for 7i fuming nature to be favcd, it was indifpenfa- 
bly necelFary that it Ihould be affumed. The nature of an- 
gels being not taken, thofe that linned in that nature niuft 
perifli for ever ; and they that fancy a pollibility of faving 
finners any other way but by fatisfa6lion made in the na- 
ture that had finned, fceni not to have confidered aright 
the nature of fin, and the juilice of God. Had any 
other way been pofiible, why doth the periihing of angels 
fo inevitably follov/ the non-aiTumption of their nature ? 
This way alone then could it be wrought. — Let us agaia 

That we were carrying away all human nature into end- 
lefs dcfiirudion. For fo it is intimated when Chrifl's 
aflumption of it is exprefied by (sTrtXa-iMloa-vSTa^i) his * put- 

* ting forth his hand and taking hold of it,' to flop it in 
its courfe of apoflacy and ruin. Of angels, only fome 
individual perfons fell from God ; but our ivhoje jiature 
communicated from Adam was running headlong to de- 
ftruction. In itfelf there could be no relief, nor any- 
thing to commend it to God. 

Here fovereign grace interpofeth. As to the angels, 
' he fpared them not,' [H. Pet. ii. 4.] and yet for us, * he 

* fpared not his own Son,' [Rom. viii. 32.] And if we 
confider rightly what the fcriptures inform 'us of, the 
number and dignity of the angels that finned, and their 
primitive ability to accomplifh the will of God ; and 
compare therewith our own vilenefs and low condition, 
we may have 'Matter of eternal admiration. And there 
was infinite wifdom as well as fovereign grace in this dif- 
penfation; fundry branches whereof the apofllc after- 
wards exhibits. 



ajo AX EXPOSITION OF THE , Chap. 11. 

Vl.RSES 17, 18. 


§ I. Connccllon and depcndancc of the ivcrds. § 2. The 
apojlle* s infer cncc. § 3 — 8. Explanation of the 
words, § 9 — 1 4. Doclrliialy pra^ical, and cxpcri'm 
mental obfcrvations. 

§ 1. JlX AVING declared the general reafons \vhy the 
M-lfiah was * for a little while,' to be made * lower thai\ 

* the angels,* in his incarnation and fuftcrings, the apolllc 
proceeds to declare other fpecial ends of this divine dif- 
pcnfation, and therein makes way for the inllruflions 
nbout the priefily office of Chrift, which was the prin- 
cipal foundation of the fubfequent part of his infpircd 
reafoning. In thefe two vcrfes, he illuftratcs what he 
had taught before ; and confirms wliat he had aflerted 
concerning the Son's participation of * flefh and blood, 
' in like manner with the children,* from the fpecial end 
of his being an high pricft. Now, they being perfons 
obnoxious to temptations and fuffcrings of all forts, he muft 
in an efpcciul manner be able to ' luccour,* to help, relieve, 
and favc fuch perfons. 

§ 2. ' Wherefore in all things it behoved him to be 

* made like unto his brethren.' * To be made like unto 

* his brethren in all things,* is onlv a recapitulntion of what 
the apofllc had before taught concerning his incarnation 



and fufferings, in which he defigns to fhew the reafon or 
end thereof; namely, that he might be * a merciful high 

* priefl. And thus did Chrysostom underiland the 
connexion of thefe words : * therefore was he made man, 

* that he might be a facrifice able to purge our fins/ — 
' Wherefore he ought.' The neceffity of the matter is ex- 
preiTed in the word (ou^siX-) he ought ; it muft be fo ; it 
could not be otherwife, on fuppofition that he was to be 
an high prkji. God having deligned liim for that office, 
and its work, it was indilpenfably neceflary for him to be 
made like unto his brethren in ail things. 

§ 3. * Like unto his brethren in all things:^ that ex* 
preffion {-ica^cc ttccvJu) * in all things,' is capable of fun- 
dry limitations ; particularly, whereas the brethren are 
finners, he was not made like them in iin. The conform 
mity, therefore, conliils in the following particulars : 

1. He was made like to them in the ejjence of human 
nature, a rational foul, and a mortal body. But that he 
fhould take this nature upon him by natural generation, 
after the manner of the brethren, was not necelfary ; yea, 
fo to have done, would not have furthered the end of his 
prieilhood, but have enervated its efficacy, and have ren- 
dered him incapable of being a perfe£l prieft. Again, 
it was not neceflary that this human nature fhould have 
its individuation from itfelf, and a particular fubfiftence 
in itfelf; for this alfo would have overthrown his prieft- 

2. It was alfo neceflary, that with his human nature 
he fhould take upon him all the properties and affe^ions of 
it, fo that he might be made like unto the brethren. His 
foul was to be freed from the affections which are co-na- 
tural to a human foul, as love, joy, fear, forrow, fliame, 
and the like ; nor was his body to be free from being 
fabjeft to hunger, thirft, cold, pain, and death itfelf. 
But now, whereas thefe things in the brethren are attended 
with irregular perturbations for the moft part, and whereas 
all the individuals of them have their proper infirmities in 
their own perfons, partly by inordinate paffions and in- 
clinations from their tempers and completions, partly in 

Vol. II. H h weakueflTes 

^yi AN EXrOSITION 07 THE Ci:ap.15, 

weakncfTcs and ficknclurs, proceeding from either their ori- 
ginal coiilVitLitions, or other following inordinacies, it \va3 
no way needful, that in any of thefc he fhould be hke to 
the brethren ; yea, a conformity to them therein would 
have abfolutely imp'.ded his undertaken work. 

3. He was like unto us in temptations^ for the reafoii 
given in tlie iall verfe ; but herein alfo fome ditierence 
may be obfervcd between him and us. For raoil of our 
temptations arife from within us, from our own unbelief 
and luHs ; and in thofe from without, there is lomewhat 
in us to lake pari with tliem, which always makes us fail 
in our duty of refiftance, and oftentimes leads us into 
farther mifcarriages ; but from thcfe things he was abfo- 
lutely free. For as he had no inward difpofition or in- 
clination to the leail evil, being perfect in all graces, and 
in all their operations at all times ; fo when the prince of 
this world accolled him, he had no part in him, nothing 
to clofe with his fuggeftions, or to entertain his terrors. 

4. His fufFerings were of the fame kind with thofe of 
the brethren ; yet they had far different effedls upon him, 
from what they would have had on them. P'or whereas 
he was perfedtly innocent and perfectly righteous, he was 
free from all imprefTions of thofe linful confequents which 
attend the utmoft fufferings under the curfe of the law by 
iinners themfelvcs. Now thus to be ' made like unto 
* them' it became him ; it was meet, juft, and neerjfaryy 
that God Ihould make him fo, becaufe of the office af- 
jigncd him. 

§ 4. The general end of his conformltv to the brethren 
is, * that he might be a faithful and merciful high prielL* 
He was made man, that he might be an high priell ; he 
fuffcred being tempted, that he might be merciful and 
faithful. 'J'hcre was no more required than that he might 
be an high pvicil, but that he Ihould partake of our na- 
ture ; but that he might l>c merciful and faithful, with 
that kind of mercy and faithfulnefs which the brethren 
Hood in need of, it wns moreover required that he fhould 
luffcr and be tempted. The qualifications for his office, 


Ver. 17, i8. EPISTLE TO TPIE HEBREWS. 233 

which by fiifFerings and temptations he was fumifhed 
with, are two ; mercifuhicfs — and faithfulnels. 

Merctfulnefs ; he was (iA--,^^a;>) mcrc'ifuU tenderly com- 
palTionate, one that lays all the milcrics of his people to 
heart, fo caring for them as to relieve them. Mercy in 
God is but a limple apprehenfion of mifcry, made ef- 
fedlive by an ad of his holy will to relieve. Mercy in 
Chrifl is a compaifion, a condolency, and hath a moving 
pity of forrow joined with it. And this was in the 
human nature of Chrift a grace of the fpirit in ail per- 
fe£lion. But yet neither is this mercifuhiefs in general 
what the apoftle intends ; but he conliders it, as excited and 
drawn forth by his own temptations and fufterings. He 
lufFered and was tempted, that he might be merciful ; not 
abfolutely, but a ' merciful high prieft.' The relation of 
the fulferings and temptations of Chrift is not to the 
habit of his mercifuhicfs, but to the fpecial exercife of it 
as our high prieft. 

The other qualification mentioned, is, that he fhould 
be {TTL^fl eg) faithful; which confifts in his exa£l, conftant, 
careful, confideration of all the concernments of his 
adopted brethren under their tcrrptations and fuffcrings. 

§ 5. (Ta TTQog Toy 9soy) * In things pertaining to God;' 
that is, either in things that were to be done for God with 
or towards mcn^ as the apoftle fpeaks, ' We are ambalTa- 
' dors for Chrift, as though God did befeech you by us,* 
[II. Cor. V. 20.] or things that were to be done ivith or 
ioivards God for men : for there were thefe two general 
parts of the high prieft's office ; but the latter was the 
principal part, the other being only a confequent of it. 
And this the apoftle manifefts in tlie fpecial limitation 
which he adjoins to this general affcrtion ; he was an 
high prieft in things appertaining to God {-:ig to iXa-rrK-cr- 
9<zi Ty.goiiJ.a.olia,g t8 A<%s) ' to make reconciliation for the 
* ftns of the people.' 

§ 6. The objcd of the prieftly action here aftigned to 

Chrift, is (oXaog) the people ; that is, fay fome, the feed 

of Abraham, whofe intercft in the mediation of Chrift, 

jis their liigh privilege, the apoftle here reminds the He-» 

H h 2 brew^ 


brews of ; not that the ele£l among the Gentiles, fay 
they, arc excluded, but that he cxprellly mentions only 
the firft fruits among the Jews. But the apoftlc's inten- 
tion is only to iliuftrate the efFe£t of the priefthood of 
Chrift from the office of the high priefc under the Old 
Teftament ; for as he had a peculiar people for whom he 
made atonement, fo alfo hath Chrill;, that is, all his 

The a£lion afcribcd to him is, * to make rcconciliatioa 
* for fms.' The Greek word (/A«crxo^«/) is properly and 
ufually in all writers, facred and others, to appeafcy to, 
atone, to pleafe, ^o propitiate^ to reconcile. But how can any 
one be faid to pleafc, or atone, or reconcile lin ? The 
difficulty pretended from the conllrudtion is not of any 
moment. The fenfe and conftant ufc of the word being; 
eftablifhcd, there mull: be an ellipfis fuppofed, and the 
apoftle's phrafc [iKcco-y^Kr^cci rug oi^p^ic'ig) is the fame in 
fenfe with {lXot(rx.-za-9iov tov 9sov TTSpi tcajv uijlcc^Iiujv) * to 

* make reconciliation with God for fins ;' as the fame 
phrafe is in other places explained. 

§ 7. * For in that he himfelf hath fuffcred being 
tempted.' (Ev :vy(zz) * For in that,' that is, whereas, in- 
afmuch, feeing that. Now it is here affirmed of Chrill 
that {7rc7rov9t nrn^ag 9sig) ' he fuffcred being tempted.' It 
is not his fuJ^iT/riqs ahfolutely confidered, nor his being 
tempted, that is peculiarly dciigned, but ' his fuffering in 

♦ his temptation.' To know then what were thofe fuf- 
ferings, we mull inquire, what were his * temptation^,' and 
how he was atfcfted with them. Temptations are things 
in themfclvcs of an indifferent nature, having no moral 
evil in them abfolutcly confidered ; whatever attends them 
of that kind, proceeds cither from the intention of the 
tempter, or the condition of them that are tempted. 
Hence God is faid to * tempt* men, but not to induce 
them to fin ; [Gen. xxii. i. James i. 13.] and there- 
fore whatever evil cnfues, in this cafe, is from the 
tempted themfclvcs. Moreover, though temptation feems 
to be of an a«5tive import, yet in itfcif it is merely, for 
the moft part, neutral. Hence it comprifcth any thing. 


Ver. 17, :8. EPISTLE TO THE HEBREWS. 23- 

llate, or condition, whereby a man may be tried, exer- 
cifed, or tempted : and this will elucidate the various 
temptations under which the Lord Chrill fuiFered. For 
although they were ail external, yet they were not con- 
fined to the alFaults of Satan, which arc principally re- 
garded under that name ; for he was tempted even frorr^ 
his wcvy Jhite and condition in this world : he was poor, de- 
fpifed, perfecuted, reproached, efpecially from the begin- 
ning to the end of his public miniil:ry. Herein lay one 
continued temptation or trial of his obedience, by all 
manner of hardfl:iips. Hence he calls this whole time, 
the time of his temptations ; * You have abode with me 
* i.i my temptations,* or in the work that he carried on, 
in a conftant courfe of temptation, ariling from his out- 
ward ilate and conditions : and thence innumerable par- 
ticular temptations befcl him under all which he fuiFered. 
For inftance, he had temptations from his relations in the 
flefli ; from his followers, his chofen difciples not ex- 
cepted, all of whom left him : one denied him, and ano- 
ther betrayed him ; to which we may add, the anguifh of 
his mother, when a fword pierced through her foul in his 
fufferings. He had temptations from his enemies of all 
forts, from all which his fufferings were inexpreffible : 
in thefe Satan had a principal hand, he fet upon him in 
the entrance of his miniftry immediately in his own per- 
fon, and followed him in the whole courfe of it, by the 
inftrumcnts he fet on v^^ork ; and he had alfo a feafon> 
an hour of darknefs allowed him, when he was to try his 
utmoft flrength and policy againft him ; under which af- 
fault he fuffcrcd, (as was foretold from the foundation of 
the world) the ' bruifing of his heel,' or his temporal and 
corporal ruin. And, to crown all his trials and fufferings, 
the myflerious fa£l of God's dcfcrtion of him was the moll 

§ 8. Hence, * he is able to fuccour them that arc 
* tempted ;' wherein we have the defcription of them for 
whofe fake Chrill underwent this condition — the ability 
that accrued to him thereby for their relief; and — the ad- 
vantage they are thereby made partakers of. They, for 



wliofc fake he underwent this condition, arc thofc whom 
lie reconciled to God by his facrificc as an high prieft ; 
and arc here dcicribcd as thofc who Hand in continual 
need of aid and aflifiance, (ci 7rii^cc(^o^'z';ci) * tempted ones.* 
iS'otwithftanding their rcconcihation to God by the death 
of Chrift, they have a prefcribcd courfc of obedience in 
which they meet with many difficulties, dangers, and for- 
lows. They maintain a continual inward warfare againll 
thofc temptations that fpring from the rcmn'r.Jci- of their 
own corruptions, during the whole cjurfc of their lives. 
Moreover, btfides tliis pcri)Ci;u.;i contiict, tliere are per- 
mitted, in the order of a holy and wife Providence, cer- 
tein feafons wherein temptations grow high, ftrong, im- 
petuous, and arc even ready to ruin them. As Chrift 
liad an * hour of darkncfs' for his encounter, fo have 
they. As Satan, from what he doth, is called ' the 
* tempter ;* fo they, from what they endure, may be 
called * tempted ones.* Their calling is to oppofe temp- 
tations, and their whole lives arc a conf]i£l with them. 
The high priefl having fuffcred the like things with them, 
they have an allured ground of confolation in all their 
temptations and fufFerings, which he confirms by what is 
added of his ability to fuccour them. 

(Avycilai) * He is able.* Now this al?iIJty is fuch as 
arifcth from that peculiar mercifulncfs, to which he is dif- 
pofed from his experience of fuffering under temptation ; 
not a natural, but a moral power ; not a power of the 
liand, but a companion of the heart that moves and ex- 
cites him to their relief and fuccour. 'iliis is the proper 
effect of mercy and compaiTion ; it fcts power on work 
for the relief of them with whofe condition it is aficc^cJ : 
thus Dido, in her pathetic ac'.drcfs to yiixEAs and l:i' 

** Iluud ipia)a tnall mifctis fuccurroe tiifcG,"^ 

*• And toucliM with mifcrics mvfelf have known, 
** I view, with pity, woes fo like my own " 


Ver. 17, 18. EPISTLE TO THE HEBREWS, ^^f 

Lallly, The advantage of the brethren from hence lies 
in the * fucconr* that he is thus able to afford them ; which 
coniifts in a fpeedy coming in with relief, ftrength, con- 
folation, or deliverance ; by his word, promifes, or pro- 
vidence for thcm^ who, being in dilbcfs, call for it. 

§ 9. Obf. I. The affumption of our nature, and his 
conformity to us therein, was principally neceffary for the 
Lord Jefus, on account of his being an high prieft for us. 
It * behoved* him to be made like unto us, ' that he 
* might be an high prieft.' Such, without the afTump- 
tion of our nature, he could not be, becaufe witliout this 
he had nothing to offer ; and of neceffity, faith the apof- 
tle, he mull have fomewhat to offer. A prieft without a 
facrifice is a king without a fubject. Had not God pre- 
pared him a body, he could have had nothing to offer. 
He was to have a felf to offer to God, or his prieflhood 
had been vain. 

§ 10. Ohf. 2. Such was the unfpeakable love ofChrift 
to the brethren, that he would refufe no condition need- 
ful for the difcharge of the work he had undertaken for 
them. He knew what this would coft him, what trou- 
ble, forrow, and fuffering he muff undergo ; what mife- 
ries he muff conflid with all his life ; what a clofe was to 
be put to his pilgrimage on earth ; what woful tempta- 
tions he was to pafs through ; all lay naked and open 
before him. But fuch was his love, fliadowed out by 
that of Jacob to Rachael, that he was content to fubmit 
to any terms, to undergo any condition, fo that he 
might fave and enjoy his beloved church. [See Ephef. v. 
25, 26.] 

§ II. Ohf. 3. The principal work of Chrifl as our 
high prieft, and from which all other a£lings of his in that 
office flow, was to make reconciliation or atonement for 
fin ; which was neceffary on the part of his tlcdl — him- 
ielf— and God. 

It was neceffary on the part of his ekcl, for whom lie 
■undertook that office. They were by nature enemies of 
God, and children of wrath ; unlcfs peace and reconci- 
liation be made for them in the iirfl place, they could 


838 ANf EXPOSITION OF THE Chap. 11. 

neither have encouragement to go to him with their obe- 
dience, nor cxpe£l any mercy from him, or acceptance 
with him. 

It was alfo ncccfliiry on his ^ctv/ part. Had not this 
been firft accompliflied, he could not have undertaken 
any other a6t of his priellJy office for us. All his intcr- 
ceffion for us, his watching for our good, as the merciful 
high prieft over the houfe of God, is grounded upon the 
reconciliation and atonement which he made : his intcr- 
ceffion, indeed, being nothing but the blcircd rcprefcn- 
tation of his atoning blood. Moreover, 

It was equally necelTary on the part of God alfo ; for 
herein principally had he dcfigned tomanifefl his righteouf- 
nefs, grace, love, and wifdom, wherein he will be gloria 
iied [Rom. iii. 25.] ' He fet him forth to be a propitia- 

• tion to declare his rightcoufnefs ;' the rightcoufncfs of 
God was moll: eminently glorified in the reconciliation 
wrought by Chrifl, when he was made a propitiation for 
us, or made atonement for us in his blood. All aftcr- 
aclings of God towards us, indeed, are full of love, but 
they are all llrcams from this fountain, or rivers from 
this ocean. And the apoftle fums up all the grace of the 
gofpel in this, that ' God was in Chrift re-conciling U9 

• to himfelf.* And therefore, 

§ 12. They who weaken, oppofc, or take away this 
teconciliation, are enemies to the falvation of menj the 
honour of Chrift, and glory of God ; from men they 
t:ike their hopes and hnppinefs, from Chrill his office and 
honour, from God his grace aFid glory. To fuch I 
would thus addrcfs mvfclf : * And would you have us 

• give you credit, contrary to the diflatcs of our con- 

• fciences, the tcflimony of the word and the voice of 

• the whole creation, and that in a matter of fuch im- 

• portance and cverlafting concern ? What if all thefc 

• fliouid prove true, and you Hiould prove liars, Ihould 

• we not pcrilh for ever by relying on your tcflimony ? 

• Is it reafona!)lc we fliould attend to you in this matter? 

• (jo with your fophifms to men' who were never bur- 

• dtned with a kni'z of weighty guilt, whofe fpirits never 

2 * took 


' took in a fenfc of God*s difpleafure againft it, who 

* never were brought under bondage by the fentcuce of 

* his law, who never were forced to cry out in the bit- 

* ternefs and anguifli of their fouls, what fliall we do to 

* be faved ? Wherewith fhall we come before the Lord, 

* or appear before the high God ? It may be they will be 

* entangled and feduced by you ; but for thofe who havt 

* thus in any mcafure known the terror of the Lord, they 
' will be fecured from you by his grace.' — Befides, what 
ground do fuch men leave the IntercefTor to fland upon, 
as it were, while appearing for us in heaven ! Do they 
not take that blood out of his hand, which he is carry* 
ing into the holy place ? And how do they delpoil him 
of his honour, in taking off from his work ? A mifera- 
ble employment ! when men fhall ftudy and take pains 
to perfuade themfelvcs and others, that Chrift hath not 
done that for them, which, if he hath not done it, they 
mufl perifh for evermore. From whom can fuch men 
look for their reward ? Are men fo refolvcd as not to be 
beholden to Jefus Chrift, that rather than grant that he 
hath made reconciliation for us by his blood, they will 
deny that there was a?!y need that any fuch reconciliation 
fhould be made. Oh the depths of Satan ! Oh the flupi- 
dity and blindnefs of men that are taken alive by him, 
and led captive at his pleafure ! Let in4uiring and 
troubled fouls know that, if any thing clfe gives them 
cafe, it gives them poifon ; if it gives them peace, it gives 
them ruin. Reconciliation by the blood of Chrift is the 
only relief for their fouls ; and nothing more difcovers tlic 
vanity of any religion, however it may prevail in the 
world, than the regardlclfnefs of its profefTors looking 
after thf§, which is the foundation ftonc of all durable 
building in the things of God. This they will do, and 
ihat they will do ; but how they (liall have an intcreil in 
the * reconciliation made for fin f' they trouble not them- 
felves with it. 

§ I 3. Ohf, 4. The Lord Chrift fuffercd under all his temp- 
tations, but finned in none. He fiiffcrcd being tempted, 
Vox. II. I i ' but 


but did notion being tempted. He had the heart and af'^ 
fcdions of a man, and that in the highell degree of fcnfc 
and tendernefs ; whatever fufFcrings the foul of a man may- 
be brought under by grief, forrow, fliame, fear, pain, 
danger, and lofs ; by any afflictive pafflons within or im- 
prefflons of force from without ; he underwent, he felt 
them aU. All the advantage that he had above us, by 
the excellency of his pcrfon, was only th:it the forrows 
of his heart were enlarged thereby, and he was made ca- 
pable of greater enduring, though without fm. And it 
was to bj tiius with him, bccaufe, although the partici- 
pation of human nature w^as only neccfTarv, that he might 
be ' an high priefb,' yet his fufFerings under temptation 
were fo, that he might be * a merciful high prieft for 
' tempted fufFecers.' Such have need not only to be faved 
by his atonement, but to be relieved, favoured, and com- 
forted by his grace. They did not only want one to un- 
dertake for them, but to undertake for them with carc^ 
pity, and tendernefs. He bears flill in his holy mind 
the fcnfe he had of his forrows wherewith he was prelfcd 
in the time of iiis temptations ; and feeing his brethren 
contlicling with the like difficulties, he is ready to help 
them i and becaufe his power is proportioned to his will, 
it is faid he is ' able.' And whatever may be the real 
efre<5\s on the mind of Chrift from his temptations and 
fufFerings, now he is in heaven ; I am fure they ought to 
be great on our faith and confolation, when wc confidcr 
him undergoing them for this very end and purpofe. 

§ 14. Ol'f. 5. Temptations call fouls into danger ; but 
the great duty of ' the tempted,' is to cry out to the Lord 
Redeemer for help and relief. To fuccour any one, is to 
come to his help upon his cry and call ; and this being 
promifed by Chriil: to thofc that arc tempted, fuppofeth 
their earncll cry unto him. If wc be flothful, if v.e be 
negligent under our temptations, if we look other ways 
for alfidance, if we trull to, or reft in our own endeavours 
for a conqueft over them, no wonder if v.e arc wounded, 
cr fail under them, proilratc and vanquill'.ed. 1 his is 

I the 

Ver. 17, 18. EPISTLE TO THE HEBREWS. 241. 

the great arcanum for the cure of this difeafe, the only- 
means for fupport, dehverance, and conqueft ; namely, 
that we earnelUy and conflantly apply ourfelves to Chrift 
iox fuccour as our ' merciful high prieft,' who has had ex- 
perience of them. Were this more our pra£lice than it is, 
we fliould find more freedom from them, or more fuccefs 
againil: them than ufually we have. Never any foul mif- 
carried under temptation, that cried to the Lord for fuc- 
cour under a real apprehenfion of danger, with faith and 
expectation of relief. O what encouragement is here given 
us, by his matchlefs qualifications ! he is faithful, he is 
merciful, and, as the efFe«^ of both, he is able, he is 
every way fufficient to relieve and fuccour poor tempted 
fouls. He hath a fufficiency of care, of wifdom, and of 
faithfulnefs, to obferve and know the feafons wherein 
fuccour is neceffary. Lo ! here, tempted foul, a fuffici- 
ency of tendernefs, mercy, and compaflion ; a fufficiency 
of effisClual power ; a fufficiency of acceptance at the 
throne, to prevail for fuitable fupplies and fuccours. Yes, 
(let the afflifted church hear it and rejoice !) he is every 
way * able to fuccour them that are tempted ;* to him be 
praife and glory for evermore. 

I i 2 CHAP. 



VlR'ES I, 2. 


^ I. Conned ion of the ivords, § 2—^7. (I.) The frjtral 
parts of them explained. § 8. (11.) Obferi'atlons and 
improvements. 1 . All ^of pel do^rines are to be pra^'ically im^ 
proved. § 9. 2. Go fpe I Afhiijlersfhould ufe holy prudence. 
§ 10. 3. Believers are firlJIly and equally related. §11. 
4. True Chrifiians are fan^ified. § 12. 5. The know- 
ledge of Chrifl comes by an heavenly callhig. § 13. 6. 
Heavenly vocation is a great privilege. § 14. 7. T^he 
mv/i tries of the go fpe I require attentive confederation. § I 5 
— 17. 8. God'' s bufincfs vjith finncrs could not be tranj- 
aBed but by the embafjy of his Son. § 18. 9, Special 
privileges iL'ill not prof t without fpecial grace. § 19 10. 
Chrif is all in all to his church. § 20 — 2 2. I I. >^ di- 
ligent coff deration of Chrift's frees from entanglements and 
error, § 23. Lfes. 

§1. i HE general nature of this epiflle, and the doc- 
trines It contains, arc conftantly improved to enforce prac- 
tical cxiiortations. Wherefore our apoftic, liaviiig in 
the foregoing chapters nianiferted the excellency of Chrift, 
its divine author, both in his pcrfon and work, here ac- 
quaints the Hebrews to what end he infilled on thef« 



things, that by the confidcratlon of them they might be 
conftant and perfevering in the gofpel faith and worlhip. 

Let us improve this verfc, which begins an application 
of the do6lrine before flated, by 

L Explaining the fevcral parts of it. And 

IL Making fome obfervations upon them. 

§ 2. (L) * Wherefore, holy brethren.' The firft word 
(o^3v) wherefore^ refpe£ls that which went before. Where- 
fore, ov feeingy that he of whom I fpeak. is fo excellent, 
and fo highly exalted above all ; and that his being hum- 
bled for a feafon was for the benefit and unfpeakable ad- 
vantage of the church, it cannot but be your duty to 
coti/ider both what he is in himfelf, and what he is to us. 
His grand defign is to prefs upon them his general exhor- 
tation to conftancy and perfeverance in their profeflion of 
the gofpei ; and an intermediate duty fubfervient to this 
defign is — their diligent confideration of Jefus Chrifl. 

This term of relation, (a^-X(^ci) * brethren,' is vari- 
oufly ufed in fcripture ; for, befide the flri£l acceptation, 
it is taken more largely for near kinfmen^ and even for all 
the branches of one common flock, though a whole na- 
tion ; and fometimcs it exprefTeth ^. j obit -prof ejjiofi of the 
fame religion, on which account the Jews called them- 
felves * brethren' all the world over, [A6ls xxviii. 21.] 
as alfo z. fplr it ual relation, having one Father, and being of 
one family, * All ye are brethren, and one is your Father 
* which is in heaven,' [Matt, xxiii. 8, 9.] I am apt to 
think, that in the ufc of this exprefTion to the Jews, the 
apofllc had refpe£t to that brotherhood which they had 
among themfelves in their njicient church-ftate ; but prin» 
cipally their nr,v relation in Chrifl, which farther appears 
from the annexed compellation * Holy.' 

This word {ocyioi) * holy,' is the ufaal epithet wherewith 
our apoftle honours and adorns believers. He accounted 
ihem ' holy,' as pofTelTed of real fanftification, and asr 
being called by an holy calling ; whereby he manifcflcd 
his high regard and tender aflc£tion for them. Belides, 
by this endearing treatment, he gives them the greatefl 
evidence of his fincerity in dealing with them ; for how- 


could they fear that lie would arbitrarily impolc any thii\:^ 
on pcrfons whom he honoured as holy, and loved as 
brethren ? 

§ 3. He next dcfcribcs them from their * calling ,* 

* partakers (KX/jcrjw^ cTracMvia) of the heavenly caliing.^ 
And he calls the vocation * heavenly,* from x\\t founta'm 
and principal caufe of it, even * tlic Father who is in 

* heaven ;' for as our ?le6tion, fo our callirig is in an efpecial 
nianner afcribcd to him ; for no man can come to the 
i^on, iinlcfs the Father draw him. Again, it is fo called 
\n refpe£t of the means whereby this calling is wrought, 
the word and fpirit, which are both * from above ; as alfo 
the end, wliich is to heaven and heavenly things, wherein 
lies the hope of our calling. 

The apoftle, moreover, affigns to thcfe Hebrews a par- 
ticipation ; (ixfjoy^Ci) ' partakers of the heavenly calling.* 
And this he doth, that he might manifell: wherein their 
great privilege confillcd. Thcv were apt to boall of the 
privileges they enjoyed in their Judaifm, which indeed 
were great, but they are all of no efteem in comparifoii 
of what thcv had no'w obtained by the grace of Jefus 
Chiifl. On the other hand, he nifinuates that they were 
not to make an cnclofure of this privilege, like thofe 
wherewith they had been formerly entruOed, the Gentiles 
being nov: fcliow- heirs with them in this heavenly calling. 
Hence he both declares his own communion with them in 
that great privilege, and reminds them of their duty 
thence rcfultiiig. Being partakers of this calling and 
accefs to Chrii\, it muft needs be their duty diligently to 
conjider him. 

§ 4. (Kc/^uvOf](rcyJ:) * Confidcr the apoftlc and high 

* piieil of our profelhon, Chriil Jcfus.' The words may 
be read either, Conlidcr Chriil Jefus, the apoftle and 
Jiigh pricll of our profelfion ; and fo the perfon of Chriil 
is placed as the immediate object, and the other words arc 
added only as a defcrlption of him by his offices : or, 
Conlidcr the apoftle and high pricft of our profeflion, 
Chrift Jefus ; and then the opajlie and high pricj} of our 
profcilion are the proper objects of conlidcralion, and 



tht name ndded doth but notify the individual perfon who 
was inveiled with thofe offices. The original word 
(KcTiiXyO-ou) denotes * a diligent intention of mind,' or, 
' to fet the mind diligently to mark and coniider, fo as to 

* vmderfland the thing conlidered.* Hereby he feems to 
intimate, that they had not lulhciently adverted to the 
nature and quality of the perfon and oiiices of Chriir, and 
tor that reafon were kept in the entanglements of Judaifm; 
therefore he exhorts them to fix their minds for a! diligent, 
rational, fpiritual conlideration of the fublime fubjeft, 

Chrill is here laid to be {roy cc7TO(f]oXcv) * the apojllc of 

* our profellion.' An apoftle is ' one fent;' a legate, am- 
balTador, or public melfenger ; and the Meiilah is one 
fent of God, fent upon his all-important errand to the 
children of men. And becaufe God had promifed from 
the beginning thus to fend him hence, * he whom God 
*■ would fend,' or (0 zpyj)^cVOQ) * he that v/as to come,' 
became a periphrahs or prijicipal notation of him. Two 
things are then included in this exprelfion, or title: firil-, 
the auikor'itv he liad for his work ; he came not of him- 
{t\U but \N^s, fent of God the Father ; and therefore fpake 
in his name. Secondly, his work in itfelf, which was to 
reveal the will of the Father to nien ; to declare the Fa- 
ther himfelf, his name, and the myilery of his grace. It 
is therefore a title of honour as well as of office that is here 
given him. 

Hereunto is added [tov oioy^ic-psa-) 'the high py'icf}.^ Both 
offices meet in one ; as the kingdom and prieflhood are 
alfo promifed, [Zech. vi. 13.] Both the Hebrews and wc 
are now to look for all in him. Thefe offices of old were 
in feveral perfons ; Mofes was the apoftle or ambaffiidor 
of God to declare his will and law to the people, and 
Aaron was the high prieil: to niinifter in the worlhip of 
God. This was the poverty of types, that no one perfon 
could fo much as reprefent the work between God and the 
church. To manifeft, therefore, to the Hebrews how 
Cln-ift hath the pre-eminence in all things, he inO:ru(5ts 
rhcm, that both the offices, that of an apoftle, which of 
old was executed by Mofes, aiul tiiat of the high prieft- 



hood committed unto Aaron, were vcftcd in him alone ; 
intending afterwards to evince how far be excelled them 
both, and how excellent were his offices in comparifon of 
theirs, thoii:;h they bore the fame name. 

The limitation adjoined is (T/jg o^xcKcyiag r,iJ,wj^ * of 

• <Jvr profffJJofi.'* The words may be taken cither objec- 
tively and pallivcly — the apoillc and high pricft whom 
we profefs ; or a£livelv, denoting the author of our pro- 
fcfTion, the apoftle and high pricll who hath revealed and 
declared the faith which v.'c profefs, the religion which 
wc own, and therein excrcifcth in his own perlbn the of- 
fice of the pricfthood. And Chrilc is the apoftle of this 
profefTion, as he brought life and immortality to light by 
the gofpel, teaching and inftru£ling us in the whole will 
of God, as Mofcs did the Jews. He is alfo the high 
prieft of our profciTion, inafmuch as he himfcif offered tlie 
one and the only fiicrificr, which in our religion wc own 
and profefs ; and continues alone to perform the whole 
office of a pricft therein, as Aaron and his fuccefTors did 
in that of the jews. It belonged not to the office of the 
high pricll to inflitutc and appoint any thing in the wor- 
fliip of God, but only to execute his own duty, in offer- 
ing facrlfices, and interceding for the people. So the 
Lord [efus Chrift, who, as the apoftle of our profeffion, 
inftitutcd the whole worfhip of God as our hi^h prnft^ 
only offers the facrilice of the church, and intercedes for 
the people. 

§ 5. * Who was faithful to him that appointed him, as 

• alfo Mofes was faithful in all his houfe.' — The facrcd 
penman entering upon a comparifon between Mofcs and 
Chrifl, as he was the apofllc of God, or cne fcnt by him 
to reveal his will ; he recommends him to the faith of tlic 
Hebrews under the principal qualification of a perfon in 
ihat office: * he was /^///^/w/ ;' and this being a term of 
relation, he farther defcrihes it by its refpeft to that ad 
of God whercunto it anfwered ; * to him that appohited 

• him :* and then in general he exprelfeth the comparifon in- 
tended by naming the pcrfoll with whom he is compared, 

* evcix 

Vbr. I, (i, EPISTLE to THE HEBREWS. 1247 

* even as Mofes ;' and the fubje£l df his employment, the 

* whole houfc of God.* 

§ 6. The chief qualification of an apoftle, or an am- 
balTador, is, that he be ' faithful.' God's apoftle is the 
chief flevvard, or difpenfer of his myfteries : and it is prin- 
cipally required in ftevvards, that a man be found faith- 
ful. Now the fidelity of a legate, ambafTador, or apof- 
tle, conlifls principally in the full declaration of the mind 
and will of him who fent him, as to thofe ends for which 
he is fent. Faithfulnefs refpe£ls truji. Our Lord, there- 
fore, muft have had a truft committed to him wherein he 
was faithful. Accordingly he fought not his own glory, 
but the glory of him that fent him ; declaring, that he 
came not in his own, but in his Father's name, [John v. 
43.] He moreover fealed that truth with his blood, 
which he came into the world to bear witnefs to, [John 
5cviii. 37.] And greater faithfulnefs could not be cx- 

^ To him that appointed him.* This appointment of 
Chrift, or his being made the apoftle of God, coniifts in 
the eternal defignation of him to his work and office ; in 
the folemn promife made from the beginning to fend him 
for this purpofe ; in fending him actually into the world 
to be the light of men, [John i. 4.] and to manifeft that 
eternal life which was with the Father; [L John i. 2.] 
and, by a vifible iign, in the defcent of the Holy Ghoft 
upon him. To thefe a6ls of appointment , God added his 
commandy and publifhed it from heaven to all, that they 
hear and obey him, [Matt. xvii. 5.] 

§ 7. * As alfo Mofes was faithful.* Thefe words ex- 
prcfs the farther fidelity of Chrift in comparifon with 
Mofes. The apoftle feems diredly to exprefs the Words, 
ufed by God himfelf concerning Mofes, [Numb. xii. 7.] 

* He is faithful in all my houfe.* It is true he failed per- 
fonally in his faith, and was charged of God that he be- 
lieved him not, [Numb. xx. 12.] but this was no im- 
peachment of his faithfulnefs in the fpecial office intended. 
As he was to reveal Jehovah's mind, and inftitute his 
^'orfhip, he was univerfally faithful by an infallible tefti- 

VoL, II, K k mony, 


mony, [Exod. xl. 16.] * according to all that God ap- 

* pointed him, fo did he' 

The extent of his faithfulnefs (jy 'iy.M tm oiku:) to * the 

* whole boufe of God ;' that is, faith Chrysostom, 
(iv 'o}.(aj tm T^oioo) * in the whole people ;' his houfcliold, 
his family, his church, by way of appropriation ; his 
lot, his portion, as a man's houfc is to him, [Dcut. 
xxxii. 9.] * The Lord's portion is his people, Jacob is 
' the lot of his inheritance.' He dwells in his church by 
his fpecial and glorious prefcnce, as a man in his own 
houfc, [Rev. xxi. 3.] which denotes care, love, and 
delight. In this houle was Mofcs faithful; he was the 
vifible mediator between Jehovah and the Hebrew tribes 
when their church ftatc was eredcd, and they brought 
into the enjoyment of thofe privileges, whereby they were 
exalted above all the nations of tlic globe. It is worthy 
of notice, that the apoille deals not with them in this 
matter dire£lly, until he had made fuch a declaration of 
the perfon of Chrift, and proved him to be fo incom- 
parably exalted above angels, that they could not be juilly 
prejudiced, if he preferred him bctore Mofcs alfo ; which 
was indifpenfably neceflary to his delign. He produceth 
the highell and moft honourable tcllimony that is given 
Tilofes in the whole Icripturc \ whereby he at once grants 
all that they had to plead concerning him in this matter, 
and removes all fulpicions of his derogating any thing 
from his real excellence. Moreover, he difcovcrs a con- 
fiftency between the true honour of Mofes and the exalta- 
tion of Chrill, wliich ns yet many of them did not under- 
ftand ; but thought, that if Chrift were exalted and the 
gofpel cftablilhcid, Mofcs mui\ be call off and condemned. 
In this comparifon he rennnds them, that the Lord Jefus 
Chriil was the great promifcd prophet of the church, to 
whom they were to attend on pain of being difowned of 

How fuitablc this procedure was to the removal of 
their prejudices, is to inform their minds, and to endear 
their all'ections ; and, Lunlc«[ucntly, what wifdom was 



ufed in it, needs no proof. — We now proceed, as pro- 

§ 8. (II.) To make fome obfervations on the words 
thus explained. 

Ohf. I. All the do£lrincs of the gofpel, cfpecially thofe 
concerning the perlbn and offices of Chrift, are to be 
prafticallv improved, for the important ends of their reve- 
lation — faith and obe-dience. We are fo to know Chrill, 
as to live in the ftrength of his grace, to the praife of his 
glory. * If ye know thefe things,' faith the Redeemer, 
* happy are yc if ye do them.' It is our privilege, our 
great privilege, to knozv them, but it is our bleflednefs to 
do them. When men content themfelves with the notion 
of fpiritual things, without endeavouring to exprefs their 
efficacy, in the pradlical conformity of their minds and 
fouls to them, it proves their ruin. That word which is 
preached to us, ought to divell in us. It is a miferable 
profeffion, when fome preach without application, and 
others hear without practice. To hear and to learn are 
good,, not for their own fake, but for the fake of prac- 
tice. The apoflle tells us of forrie who are always learning, 
(perhaps make it their bufinefs, and fcarce do any thing 
clfe) but are never able to come to the knoivledgc of the 
truth, [II. Tim. iii. 7.] that is, to have an impreffion of 
its power and efficacy on their fouls. Gofpel truths are 
(mcdicina ayiirriie) phyfic for a fin'-lick foul ; now what ufe 
is it to get (lore of medicines and cordials, and never to 
take them ? No more is it to colleft, with whatever dili- 
gence, fermons and do£lrines, if we apply them not. 
Some contraft, as it were, a dropfy in hearing ; th^ more 
they hear the more they defire : but they are only pleafed 
with it at prefent, and fwclled for the future ; are neither 
really rcfrefhed nor flrengthened. But every truth hath, 
as the Hebrews exprefs it, * meat in its mouth,' fome- 
thing for our own nourifhment. We fliould regard fer- 
mons, as Elijah did the ravens, that brought him bread 
and flefh in the morning, and bread and flefh in the even- 
ing ; [I. Kings xvii. 6.] they bring food with them for 
our fouls, that we may feed on it. When the Ifraelites 

K k 2 gathered 


gathered manna to eat, it was bread from heaven, an- 
gels meat, food excellent and precious ; but when they 
]aid it by, it became otfcnfivc and bred worms, [Exod. 
xvi. 20.] When God fcatters truths amongfl; men, if they 
gather them to feed on, they are tlic bread of heaven, an- 
gels food ; but if they only board them up in their books, 
cr notionally in their mind, they will breed the worms of 
pride anu hvpocrily, and make them an offenlivc favour 
imto God. When, therefore, any truth is propofed to you^ 
learn what is your great concern therein, and let it have » 
its proper and pcrfeA work upon your fouls. 

§ 9. Ohf. 2. Difpenfeis of the gofpcl ought to ufe 
holy prudence in dealing with thofe whom tiiey are to 
inflru£V. Next to our Lord himfclf, Paul is the moft ad- 
mirable example of holy wifdom, tendernefs, compafTion, 
and zeal, to all miniflers of the gofpel. This, the in- 
i^rudlions given to his two beloved fons, Timothy and 
Tijtus, fufficiently teflify. His care, pains, travel, and 
watchfulnefs ; his patience, love, compaflion, and zeal, 
who can declare, or worthily admire ! By thefc means he 
removed, or at leaft rendered ineffedual, the great preju- 
dice in favour of Judaifm -, kept up in his hearers a be- 
coming caution againfl tlie inlinuations of ieducers and 
falfe apoftles ; railed their attentions, prepared them every 
way for inflrudions, and won them over to Chrift. 
Bleiled Jefus ! what caufe have we to mourn, when we 
Qonfider the pride, covetoufnefs, ambition, negligence, 
fclf-feeking, and contempt of thy flock, which arc found 
amongil many of them who take upon themfelves to be 
difpenfcrs of thy word, whereby the fouls of men arc 
filed with offences againfl thy holy ways ! 

§ 10. Ohf. 3. Believers are all related to one another 
in the Ari£>tfl bond of an equal relation. They are all 
brethren, holy brethren ; and what the reproaching world 
calls ihcm in fcorn, the Holy Spirit calls them in mercy 
and in truth. They have one Father, one elder brother, 
who is not afliamcd to call x.\\cm hrithrcn \ and one fpirit, 
who being a fpirit of adoption, gives them all an intereft in 
the fame fannly, whereby tlnv become joint-heirs with 



Chrlft. The duties of unity, love, and compaflion, vvhicli 
depend on their relation, are more known than praftifed. 
Of old, indeed, the Pagans fpake proverbially of the 
Cliriflians, * See how they love one another !' by way of 
admiration. The contrary obfervation hath now pre- 
vailed, to the fhamc and foul {lain of the profellion of 
thefc latter days. Through difTentions and divifions 
amongft them who are interefted in the privilege of fon- 
Ihip, and through various vifible defeats in moil that arc 
called Chrifliians, we have loil the thing intended, and 
the fame is become a term of reproach. When iniquity 
abounds, love will wax cold. In the mean time, it were 
yvcU if thofe who are brethren indeed, could live as 
brethren, and love as brethren, and ap-ee as brethren ; 
for the motives to it are great and many. 

§ 1 1. Obf. 4. All true and real profciTors of the gofpel 
are fan£lified by the Holy Ghoil, and made truly and 
really holy. So Paul here terms thofe Hebrews, exercifing 
the judgement of charity; declaring what they ought to 
be, and what they profefTed themfelves to be, what he 
believed them to be, and wdiat if living members of 
Chrifl they really w^ere. 

§ 12. Obf. 5. No man comes to an ufeful faving 
knowledge of Jefus Chrifl in the gofpel, but by virtue of an 
cfFeftual heavenly calling. Thefe Hebrews came to be holy- 
brethren, children of God, -united to Chriil, by their 
participation of this heavenly vocation. We arc called 
out of darknefs into his marvellous light, not only with 
the outward call of the word, which many partake of 
who never attain the faving knowledge of Chrifl, but 
with that effeflual call according to God's purpofe of elec- 
tion, [Rom. viii. 28.] which is accompanied with the 
energetic power of the Holy Ghofl ; [Eph. ii. 5.] giving 
eyes to fee, ears to hear, and hearts to obey the word ac- 
cor(iing to the covenant promife, [ Jer. xxxii. 33, 34.] 

§ 13. Obf, 6. The effeclual heavenly vocation of be- 
lievers is their great privilege, wherein they have caufe to 
rejoice, and which ought always to remind them of their 
jduty to Jiim who liath called them. To this end the 



apoillc reminds the Hebrews of their participation of the 
heavenly calling, that they might confidcr the privilege 
they enjoyed by the gofpel, above whatever they boaftcd 
of under the law ; and that he might ftir them up to the 
performance of their duty in faith and obedience, as tliofe 
who were called to light, life, liberty, and the peace of 
God ; to his kingdom, rightcoufnefs, and eternal glory. 

§ 14. Obf, 7. The fpiritual myilcries of the gofpel, 
cfpecially thole which concern the pcrfon and offices of 
Chrift, require diligent and attentive confidcration. Their 
uatur^y and worthy with our own condition^ call for this 
duty; for — in their nature they are mvjlcrlcs \ that is, 
things deep, hidden, and full of divine wifdom, [I. Cor. 
ii. 7.] The wifdom of God in a myfterv ; luch as the 
Angels defire to bow down (not by way of condefceniion, 
but of endeavours) and look into, [I. Pet. i. 12.] for in 
Chrifl, and through him in the gofpel, are hidden all the 
treafures of wifdom and knowledge, [Col. ii. 3.] and 
hence are we direfted to crv after knowledge, to apply our 
hearts to underftanding, to feek her as iilvcr, to fcarch 
for her as hid treafures, [Prov. ii. 3, 4.] Thefe things 
are not eafily difcovcred by every wanderiiig eye or lazy 
palTcnger ; fuch pcrfons find not mines of filver, or the 
hidden treafures of former generations. Of this dili-. 
gent fcarch the prophets and holy men of old arc propo- 
fed for o\\x example ; [I. Pet. i. 10, i i.] carnal lloth is 
not the way to be acquainted with fpiritual things, or 
facred myilcries. — Again, the ivorth and 'nr.porta}u:e of 
thefe things bcfpcak the fame duty. Things may be dark 
and myftcrious, and yet not weighty and worthy ; fo tiiat 
they will not defray the charge of a diligent fcarch after 
them. Solomon's merchants would not have gone to 
Ophir had there not been o-oA/, as well as apes and pea- 
cocks. There are unfcarchable treafures in tlicfc myflc- 
ries ; no tongue can fully cxprefs, no mind perfciSlly 
conceive them. There is in them an exceedingly va- 
luable pearl, which, though by fome rejc£led, is yet ef- 
trcmc of God, ele£l and precious ; and fo alio by all 
believers, [I. I^ct. ii. 6, 7.] * The merchandize thereof ii 
2 * Uettcif 


* better than, the merchandize of filver and the gain there- 

* of than fine gold ; it is more precious than rubies.' — 
Moreover, our own condition calls for diligence in the 
dil'charge of this duty. We arc ior the moft part Hke 
thefe Hebrews, [chap. v. 11.] flothful, or dull of hear- 
ing : we have a natural backwardncfs to that hearing 
whereby faith cometh, and therefore have the greateih 
need to Itir up our minds to this important duty of con- 
fideration ; while at the fame time we have an ohjci-1 in- 
finitely worthy of it, Jesus Christ, w^ho is the apoflk 
and high prieft of our profeflion. 

§ 15. Ohf. 8. The bufinefs of God with finners could 
not be tranfaded but by the negotiation and embairy of 
his fon. He muft become our apojlle. He did, indeed, 
at fundry times, fend fervants and meiTengers into the 
world about this momentous affair, but there was a 
threefold greatnefs in it, which none was fit to manage 
effe6lually but the Son of God himfelf. And this was, 
(i.) A greatnefs of love, grace, and condefcenfion. That 
the great and holy God fhould fend to treat with fmners 
about peace and reconciliation, is a thing which all the 
rational creation mull eternally admire. He is in him- 
felf holy, good, righteous, and blelTed for evermore ; he 
ftood in no need of finners, of their fervice, of their obe- 
dience, of their being ; but he was juilly provoked by 
their apoflacy and rebellion. His juflice and law required 
their punifhment and deflru£lion, which he could have 
inflifted to his own eternal glory ; nor had they either 
inclination or ability to avert the deferved vengeance. 
Yet God will fend a mefTage to thefe poor perifhing rebels ; 
an embafTy to treat with them about peace and reconci- 
liation. But this is fo great a thing, includes fuch in- 
finite grace, love, -.ind condefcenfion, that linners know 
not hov/ to believe it. And, indeed, who is fit to an- 
nounce the flupendous melTage ? Objc6lions ^.rife againfl 
it that are able to Ihake the credit and reputation of any 
angel from heaven. Wherefore God comifiits this mef- 
fage to his Son, his only Son ; makes him his apoftle ; 
fends him with thefe tidings, that they may be embraced. 
' The Son of God came and %p<SQ us this undcrflanding.' 



It is true tliat God fpake by the mouth of hrs holy prophets 
from rlie beginning of the world ; [Luke i. 70.] but 
yet, as the firll promifc was given out bv the Son of God 
himfclf, fo all the mellligcs of the prophets about this 
matter depended on that confirmation of them, which he 
was aftcrxsrards to give in his own pcrfon. So faith our 
apoftic, [Rom. xv. 8.] * Now I fay, that Jcfus Chrill: 

* was a iifiniflrer of the circumcifion for the truth of God, 

* to conlirm the promifes made unto the Fathers/ 

§ 16. (2.) There is a greatncfs in the woj k itfr(f, 
which required that the Son of God fiiould be engaged 
therein. For, as the amballiidor, he was pcrfecflly to rc- 
prefcnt the pcrfon of the Father. An ambalFador rcpre- 
fents the perfon of him by whom he is fent. Other mcf- 
fcnigers were but (antcambulones) * forerunners,' to give 
notice of the coming of this great apoflle, or chief ambaf- 
fador of God : but the fe were not to reprefeivt his perfon^ 
nor could they, (fee Matt. iii. i.] Who could fully rc- 
prefcnt the pcrfon of the Father to finners, but he who is 
the brightnefs of his glory, and the exprefs image of his 
pcrfon ? Hence he tells his difciples, that he who hath feea 
him hath fecn the Father, [John iv. 9.] and that becaufc 
he is fo in the Father, and the Father in him, that he re- 
prefcnts hiin fully unto men. He is * the image of the 
*invHible God,*" [Col. i. 16.] The Father, who in his 
own perfon dwells in light unapproachable, hath exhibited 
and cxprefled the glorious properties of his nature to us in 
Tlie perfon of his Son, [II. Cor. iv. 4.] None clfe, then, 
was fit to be this great a{)oftle. 

Again ; the greatncfs of the work requires, that he who 
Bndertakcs it be intimately acquainted with all the 
Iccrct counfcis ot God, thiofc counfcls tliat lay hid in his 
infinite wifdom ai\d will from all ctcrnitv. None clfc 
€ould,*undcrrakc fo weighty a charge. But wlierc Ihall we 
find a pcrfon thus' qualiiicd ? It is true, God was plealcd 
tp reveal fundry particulars, the effecfls of his counfcls, to 
his fcrvants the prophets y but yet it is concerning thofe 
that the Holv Ciholl fpeaks, [John i. r8.] * No man 

* hath iixu Goi at anv time ;' Who dien Ihall do it ? 

• The 


* The only begotten Son, vvlio is in the bofom of the Fa- 

* ther.' ht his hojom ; not only a fharer in his fpecial 
love, but alio a partaker of his moll intimate counfels. 
He hath declared him ; made him known, in his nature, his 
name, his will, his grace. He, and he alone, hath ex- 
hibited the eternal Father to our adoring faith. 

Likewife ; it was not enough that originally, as he 
was God, he knew all the deep things of Jchovali, but 
alfo as he was fent ; for the wifdom and knowledge of 
Chrill as mediator, excrcifed in the human nature, was 
dillin6l from his knowledge, as he w^as in himfelf God 
over all blclled for ever. And without this mediatorial 
knowledge, who could have been a meet apollle from 
God to iinners ? For how elfe Ihould he reveal to them 
the will of God, according to all emergencies and occa- 
fions ? But as this was needful, fo it was found in Jefus 
Chriil the Son of God. The Spirit of the Lord rcjled 
upon him, not came upon him at times, but remained on 
him, [John i. 32, 33.] * The fpirit of wifdom and un- 

* derflandi ng, the fpirit of counfel and of might, the fpi- 
' rit of knowledge and of the fear of the Lord \ [Ifa. xi. 
2, 3.] It may be faid, he poiTefled it in fome remark- 
able degrees only above others. Nay, it is exprellly af- 
firmed, ' God gave not the Spirit to him by meafure ; 
[John iii. 34.] Not in fuch way as that he fliould only 
have a greater meafure of the Spirit than others ; but in a 
way vjholly different ; he pofleiled the fame Spirit in ano- 
ther kind : for * it pleafed the Father that in him fhould 

* all fulnefs dwell:* [Col. i. 19.] all fulncfs \ not only 
of rich grace, but alfo of wifdom and connfcl : and, ac- 
cordingly, * in him are hid (laid up fafely) all the trea- 

* fures of wifdom and knowledge,' [Col. ii. 3.] 

Moreover ; the nature of the work required, that the 
ambafTador oi God to fnincrs fhould be able to make his 
mellagc fuccefsful. It is not fufficient to fiiy, that the 
meffagc itfelf is fo great and fo advantageous to finners, 
that there is no doubt but upon the firll: propofal they 
will embrace it ; for we find the contrary by multiplied 
experience : and Jiot only fo, but it is a certain facl that 

Vol. II. L 1 n» 


no fiiiner is able of himfclf to receive it. For faith is not 
of ourklvcs, it is the gift of God. Now if this ambalTa- 
dor hath not power to enable men to receive it, however 
otherwifc excellent and glorious, it niuft needs be fruf- 
tratcd. But who fliah effect this arduous talk? Is it the 
work, of man to quicken the dead, to open the blind eyes, 
to take away the ilony heart, to create fpiritual light in 
the mind, and life in the will ? All this is nccelTary to 
infure faving lucccfs to God's meflage to finncrs, and to 
this the Son of God alone was equal. For ' no man 

* knowcth the Father but the Son, and he to whom the 

* Son will reveal him ;' [Matt. xi. 27.] and this he doth 
by the effcftual working of his holy Spirit, the difpcnla- 
tion whereof is wholly committed to him. Let it be 
farther confidered, that, 

§ 7. (3.) The dcfign of this work was no lefs than to 
proclaim and eftablifli peace between God and man. He 
only who made this peace was meet to make 7^. full dcclara- 
ticn of it : he is our peace, and he came and preached 
peace, [Ephcf. ii. 14 — 17.] on which account he is 
called * the word of God,' he by whom God was de- 
clared ; the angel of God's prefcnce, the ijucrpretcr, the 
great interpreter of Jehovah's mind, tlie counfellor, and 
the melTcnger of the covenant, as well as the apolUc of 
our profcliion. And hence we fee our great obligations 
to hearken to this mefTage ; not only on account of the 
meiiagc itfclf, which is worthy of all acceptation, but alfo 
on account of him that brings it : and everlalling woe 
will be to them bv whom thcfe glad tidings are rcjeftcd. 
He that rcfufcth peace with God fhall have war and his 
eternal wrath, and that mofl defervedly. It may be fomc 
men think in their hearts, that if they had heard Chrift 
hlmjtlf delivering this mefTage, if they had lieard him 
preaching this peace, they would undoubtedly have re- 
.ccived and embraced it. So indeed thought tlic Jews of 
old, that if they had lived in the days of the former pro- 
phets, they would not have dealt with them as their fore- 
fathers did, but would h.ivc believed their words and 
obeyed tlicir commands. So the rich man tliouglit, that 



his bretlireii would repent, if one might rile from the 
dead and preach to them. All have pretences for their 
prefent unbelief ; and fuppofe, that were it not for this 
or the other circumllance, they fliould do otherwife. 
But thcfe pretences are all vain and fooliih in any cafe, 
but there is no pretence of this nature that can take place 
here : for this great apoftle and ambaiTador of God con- 
tinucth vet to fpeak to us, and prefs hi*^ meffage upon us. 
So faith our apoftle, [chap. xii. 25.] * See that ye refufe 

* not him that fpeaketh ; for how fhall we efcape, if we 

* turn away from him that fpeaketh from heaven ?' He 
did not only fpeak of old, but he cotn'mueth to fpeak in 
the word of the gofpel. When we are prefled to believe, 
to accept the appointed terms of peace, and yet refufe 
them ; wc rejed this great, this divine and compailionate 
apoftle. And what will be the end of fuch men ? What 
will be the end of us all, if the guilt hereof fhould be 
found upon us ? 

§ 18. Obf, 9. Special privileges will not profit men 
w^ithout fpecial grace. The Lord Chrift was in an efpe- 
cial manner an apoftle to the Jews ; to them was he i^nt 
immediately ; and to tliem was his miniftry in the fle(h 
confined. Greater privileges could none partake of; and 
what was the iflue? * He came unto his own, and his 

* own received him not,' [John i. i i.] by far the greateft 
part of them reje£ted both him and the tidings of peace he 
brought. This is worthy your coniideration who are fa- 
voured with precious gofpel privileges. They will not 
fave you ; but, on the contrary, they may ruin you. 
Look for grace to make them effedual, left they prove 
the * favour of death unto death' to any of you. Once 

§ 19. Obf. 10. The Lord Jefus Chrift is all in all to 
his church ; the king, pricft, and apoftle (or prophet) of 
it; all in one \ fupplying all wants, anfwering all pri- 
vileges, the fpring of all grace, cfFcfling all mercy ; fo 
that in him alone believers are complete, [Col. ii. 10.] 
*"J'he Old Teftamcnt faints had no one that was king, 
pricft, and prophet to tlie church ; nor could any be after 
L 1 2 ' ;hc 


tlic giving of tlic law ; the kingdom being promircd to 
the tribe of Judah, and the prieilhood confined to the 
tribe of Levi, and the houfc of Aaron. \V ho fees not 
then herein the great privilege of the New Tcllament 
CL'Conomy, feeing we have all thcfe things really, which 
they had onlv in type ; and all things centering in om-j 
which were iniperfcftly dillributcd among fo many? And 
ihall we not feck for all in him, who was reprcfcntcd by 
them all ? Shall we not feck to be perfectly juftiiicd by 
him who is really and fubllantially all in one r Yes, all 
our defects, wcakncllcs, and troubles arife from hence, 
that we make not our applications to him for that allill- 
ance whicli he is able, ready, and willing to atford us. 

§ 20. Ohf. II. A diligent attentive confidcrdtion of the 
pcrfon, ofhces, and works of Jelus Chrill is the moft ef- 
feftual means to free the fouls of men from all entangle- 
ments of error and darkncfs, and to keep them conflaiU 
in the profeiiion of the truth. Thefe Hebrews were as 
yet entangled in their old Judaifm, and ready to decline 
from the truth. To free them from the one, and to pre- 
vent the other, the apodle calls them to the conlideration 
of what he had delivered, and what he was vet to deliver 
concerning the perfon, offices, and works of Chrift. This 
being the principal intention of the place, we Ihall ll:ay a 
little to contirm and apply our obfervation. 

§ 21. * Conjtdcr Chrift.* And here we Ihall take notice 
of both the manner and the ohjcd of this conlideration. 
As to the manner of attending to the means propofed, it is 
our incumbent duty, 

I. To make a diligent fi-urch into the facred -vcordy 
wherein Jefus Chrill is revealed to us, (which is there- 
fore called tlic gofpcl of Chrifl) that we may find out and 
underfland what is revealed concerning him, as he is the 
f nd of the law, and the fulncis of the gofpel ; in whom, 
as in their common center, all the prophecies and pro- 
mifcs meet. Without this aim in our hearing, reading, 
and fearching of the word, we labour in vain, and con- 
tend unc'.itainiy, as men beating the air. Unto him, 
and the knowledge of him, is all our lludy of the fcrip- 



til re to be referred : and the rcafon why Ibme in the pc- 
riii'al of it, have no more light, profit, or advantage, is, 
becaufe they have no more refpeft to Chrift in their in- 
quiry. If he be once out of our eye in fcarching the 
icripture, we know not what we do, nor whither we go, 
no more than doth the mariner at fea without regard to the 
pole liar. Truths to be believed are like believers them- 
ieives ; all their life, power, and order confill in their 
relation to Chrilt ; feparated from him they are dead and 

2. Meditat'iott upon what is difcovered to us concerning 
Chrift, is alfo included in this duty. When a revelation 
was made of Chrift and his work to the blellcd Virgin his 
Mother, it is faid Ihe kept the fayings and * pondered 
*■ them in her heart,' [Luke ii. 17.] as Job advifeth all to 
do ; [chap. xxii. 2,2.] and the apoftle bids us take care 
that ' the word of Chrift dwell in us richly in all wifdom;* 
[Col. iii. 6.] that it may not pafs through our minds with 
ibme tranfient efle(5ls ; as in reading and hearing, if alone, 
it often only calls ibme glances of light upon the under- 
ftanding, or Ibme motions on the alFeclions ; but may 
make its abode with us by conftant meditation. 

3. A fpiritual endeavour in this fearch and meditation 
to bring the foul to a real coyiformUy with that revelation 
which is made of Chrift in the word. And this would 
be the genuine eiTed of them, if duly and properly at- 
tended, [H. Cor. iii. 18.] The glory of Chrift is revealed 
in the gofpel, as a face is reprefcntcd hi a glafs \ this wc 
behold by a fpiritual fearch and meditation. By this in- 
tuition we are ailimilated to the revealed glory of the Lord. 
The Holy Ghoft thereby brings upon our hearts that very 
likencfs and image which we fo contemplate. 

§ 22. The object oi this confideration Is the Redeemer, 
in his perfon, his offices, and his work. ' Confider 

I. The apoftle trcatcth about hisperfon as the principal 
object of bur conlideratlon. It is a lignal promife that 
under the gofpel we Ihall fee the King Meftiah in his 
beauty, [Ifa. xxxiii. 17.] or, by faith fee the ui^creatcd 

I excellent 


excellencies and glories of this King of faints. And in- 
deed the faith of the Old Tcflamcnt faints did princi- 
pally rcfpc£l the glorious pcrfon of the Alclfuih, and his 
comng, leaving his work, and the myftery of redemp- 
tion, ^o his own wifdom and grace. Hence had they fo 
many glorious defcriptions of him to excite their defirc 
and expectation concerning him. And now under the 
New Tcflamcnt it is the grcatelV trial of faith, whether it 
be evangelical, genuine, and thriving, to know what re- 
fpcft it hath to the pcrfon of Chrifl : if that be its im- 
mediate and principal o^/Vc?, if it refpcft other things with 
regard to him, and in fubordination to him, it is alfurcdly 
of an heavenly cxtra£t ; if otherwife, it may juftly be 
fufpcftcd. How glorious this objeft of faith ! he, though 
the lofty one inhabiting eternity, humbled himfclf into 
the form of a man, of a fervant, unto death, the death 
of the crofs. A due mixture of greatncTs and grace, or 
goodnefs, is the mofl: powerful attra<rtive of virtuous and 
gracious affections. Hence God, who is infinitely great 
and infinitely good, is their ultimate objcd. In the 
perfon of Chrifl this is inimitably difplayed, fo that there 
is nothing in the vafl creation adapted to reprefent him 
to us, (fee Rev. i. 5, 6, 11, 13, 16.) He who is Alpha 
and Omega, the firil and the lafl, the prince of the kings 
of the earth, even he hath loved us, and waihed us in his 
own blood ! Hence to a believing foul he becomes white 
and ruddy, the chiefefl of ten thouland, [Cant. v. 2.] 

2. Confidcr him as to his officrs. His authority as a 
king, his mcrcifulnefs as our high pricll, and his faith- 
fulnefs as a prophet, or God's apofllc, arc the important 
particulars that call for our believing and aileClionate con- 

His autbsrlty as King, Lord, and Heir of all. His 
dealing with the Hebrews was principally about the in- 
flitution of new ordinances of worlhip and abolifliing tho 
old. This fovcrcign authority the Lord Mclliah was 
completely furnifhcd with, and a due confidcration hereof, 
uould thoroughly remove all doubts and fcruplcs in this 
liiatlcr i whereas the neglect of it is the caufc of all thai 

mn ' 


confufion and diforder which at this day fill the pro- 
feffing world about the worfliip of God. 

His merc'ifulnefs^ as the high prieil of his church. This 
is of lingular ufe to preferve believers from decays and 
faintings in the profeflion of the truth. Want of a due 
improvement of this encouraging confideration, and the 
affillance that may be obtained thereby, is the occafion of 
all the decays and backflidings that are found anion gpro- 
fefTors. What can thrive in the foul, if the love, care, 
kindnefs, and ability to fave, that are in Chrift, all which 
are included in this merciful nefs, are neglefted ? His 
faithfulnefs ; this relates to his prophetical office ; if he 
be abfolutely faithful in his work, his authority and mercy 
ought furely to be diligently heeded. Men may thence 
learn what they have to do in the church and worfhip of 
God, even to obferve and to do whatever he hath com- 

3. As his perfon and offices, fo his work alfo is pro- 
pofed to our conjideratlon. The particulars of this work 
are too many to be here fo much as recounted ; in gene- 
ral, the love and grace that beam in it, its greatnefs, the 
benefits we receive from it, the glory of the wifdom, good- 
nefs, holinefs, and righteoufnefs that fliine therein with 
fuperior luflre, are the principal immediate obje£ls of our 
faith and coniideration. And although we may not at 
once clearly and fully difcern them, yet we are in the 
proper way to know and poflefs them. There is not the 
leafl line of truth, how far foever it may be extended, and 
how fmall foever it may at length appear, but the fprings 
of it lie in the perfon and work of Chrift ; and then wc 
learn it aright when we learn it in the fpring ^ or * as it 
* is in hini ;' [Eph. iv. 21.] which when we have done, 
we may fafely trace it to its utmoft extent. But he that 
looks on gofpel truths as fcattercd up and down indepen- 
dently one of another, who fees not the root and center 
of them in Jefus Chrift, it is moft probable that when he 
goes about to gather them for his ufc, he will alfo take 
lap things quite of another nature. They fay that all 
moral virtues are knit ia oije. that is, right eaufnefi^ f» 


j6» an exposition OF THE Chaf. III. 

that lie who hath that, liath all the reft, at leait radically 
and virtually. This I know, that all Ipiritual tiutlis arc 
centered in him who is the truth. And they wlio have 
* learned him,' as the apoftlc fpcaks, [Kph. iv. 20. J have 
with him received the feedt: of the trutli, which i>eing 
watered and attended as they ought, will in due time 
flourilh in all tlicir proper branches and tVoits. Thus in 
particular \^ faith increafed. For according as the objc6t 
of it is cleared and manifefted, or truly reprcfentcd as 
Jnitablc and dcfirable to the foul, fo is faith excited and 
ftrengthencd. Now this is no otherwifedone, but whea 
the foul is enabled gracioufly to confider the pcrfon and 
oiHces of Chrifl. Inhere it finds all that is needful to 
make it happy and biefled, to procure pardon and peace, 
righteoufnefs and glory. — Hence, 

^2'^. We may deduce fomc profitable ///tj for infor- 
mation — caution — and dirctltion. 

I, For information', wc niav fee. hence the rcafon why 
fo many turn afide and fall off from the truth and ways 
of the gofpel. Thcv have given over a due coniideration 
of Jefus Chrill, and fo have loil the ineans of their pre- 
fervation. They have been weary of him, not feeing a 
form or lovelinefs in him for which he Ihould be delhed. 
For when men have neglc<SVcd the perfon of Chrill, is it 
any wonder if they dcf})ife his ways and ordinances, as 
is their manner ? Indeed the ordinances of the gofpel, 
its worfliip and inftitutions, have no excellency, no 
l>cauty in them, but what arifeth from their relation to 
the perfoii and offices of Chrifl: ; and if thefe are neg- 
Icfted, thefc muil: needs be burdenfome and grievous. And 
a> it is with gofpel worfliip, fo it is with all the articles of 
faith, or the important truths we arc to believe. The 
center and knot of them all is in the perfon of Chrill, if 
they are once loofed from thence, if their union in him 
be once diirjlvcd, if men no more endeavour to learn the 
truth as it is in fcjuSy or to acquaint thcmfelves with the 
will of God, as he hath gathered all things unto an head in 
him, thcv fcatter, as it were, of tlicir own accord from 
their minds ; fo that it may be thcv rctaii\ no one of 

them ; 


them ; or if they do, yet not in a -right manner, fo as to 
have the experience of the power of them in obedience. 
This is the caufe of the apoflacies amonglt us ; Chrifl: is 
negle£led, not confidered, not improved : if vvc fearch 
into the root of our diflempers, we fliall find that our 
hearts and fpirits have not been exercifed with that con- 
fideration of the perfon and offices of Chriil which our 
duty calls for. We have not been kept in a conftant 
adoration of his majefty, admiration of his excellency, 
delight in his beauty, joy in his undertaking, holy thought- 
fulnefs of his whole mediation : this has betrayed us into 
lukewarmnefs and indifferency, and made as faint and 
weary in his ways. — The next ufe is, 

2. For caution. The w^orld fmiles upon apoflates and 
promifeth a plentiful fupnly of fuch things as corrupt 
nature efleems deiirabie : errors and falfe worlhip fpread 
their wings of glorious pretences over the whole world. 
Trials, troubles, florms, perfecutions attend and threaten 
on every hand ; and he only that endureth unto the end 
Ihall be faved. He that like Jonah is afleep in this tem- 
pell, is at the door of ruin ; he that is fecure in himfelf 
from danger, is in the greateil: danger of falling by fecu- 
rity. What then fhall w^e do, what means fhall v/e ufe 
foj our prefervation ? Take the counfel of our blefled 
apoflle. * Holy brethren, partakers of the heavenly calling, 
* conlider the apoflle and high priefl of our profeiTion.' 
And again, chap. xii. 3. ' Confider him who endured 
' fuch contradlftion of finners againfl himfelf, lefl you be 
' w^eary and faint in your minds.' Be much, therefore, in 
the confideration of the perfon, offices, and work of Chrifl. 
This will conform you unto him, this will derive flrength 
from him, will arm you with the fame mind that was in 
him, increafe all your graces, keep you from being faint, 
and give you affured viftory. He deferves it, you need 
it, let it not be omitted. Another ufe is, 

3. For d'lre^ion. This will give direction to them who 
are called to the work of teaching others. For that which 
is the chief obje£l of the church's faith, ought to be the 
chief fubjed of our preaching. So Paul tells the Gala- 

VoL. n. Mm tians, 


tians, that in his preaching Chrifl: was cvidentlv crucified 
before their eyes, [Gal. iii. i.] He propofcd Chrill crucified 
to their coiifideration, determining, as he ipcaks in ano- 
ther place, to know nothing amongfl them but Jcfus 
Chrift, and him cruciiied. For if the confideration of 
Chrift be fuch an important di;tv in believers, certainly 
the due propofal of him to their confideration is no lcf« 
in preachers ; Chrill: alone is to be preached abfolutely, and 
all other truths, as they begin, end, and center in him. 
To propofe the Lord Chrill amiable, defirable, ufcful, and 
every way worthy of acceptation is the great duty of tlrc 
difpcnfcrs of the gofpel. 

Verse 3. 

for this man was cotjkted worthy of more 
glory than moses, inasmuch as he who hath 
builded the house hath more honour than 
the house. 

§ I. The a-pojllcs rcafonhig Jiated. § 2, 3. (I.) He /up- 
pofeth ATg/cs Ivor thy of glory, § 4, 5. (II.) Chr'ijl vjcrthy 
of more glory ^ with the proof of it. § 6. (III.) Obfer- 
vations, i. Every faithful fcrvant of God is worthy of 
honour. ^ 7. 7 he nt faithful not fo. § 8. 2. Chrifl is 
worthy of. all glory on account of his building the church, 
§ 9 — 10. (l.) Jf^'hat this glory y and its formal rca fen. 
^ 12 — 14. (2.) IVhat the great motive for afcribing is 
him this glory. 

^ I. X HIL apofilc proceeds in this verfe and the three 
following, with his dciign of evidencing the excellency and 
preference of Chrift above Mofcs, as he had done before 
in reference to angels, and all other revealcrs of the will 
of God 10 the churcli. The firft word (yc^j.) * for,' de- 


notes the connexion of the difcoyrfe ; coniider him, faith 
Ke, '-for he is worthy of rnore glory than Mofes.' "Jh^ 
church being called the * Houfe of God,' and that by God" 
liiinfclf ; the apoftle takes advantage of the metaphor to 
cxprefs the dignity of Chrifl. He that buildeth the 
lioufe, hath more honour than the houfe. The affump- 
tion included is this — But Chrill built the houfe, and 
Mofes was onjy ^ fervant of the houfe or a part of it — r 
and therefore he had more glory than Mofes. In cpn- 
firmation of the firft argument the 4th verfc is inferted ; 
' for every houfe is builded by Ibmc, but he that built all 

* things is God.' 

' For this (man) was counted worthy of more glory than. 

* Mofes.' Here lies the proportion wherein two things 
occur : 

I. A fuppofition that Mofes was counted worthy. 

II. An aifertion, that the Lord Jefus Chrifl was much 
more worthy of glory. 

§ 2. (I.) The apoflle grants and fuppofeth that Mofes 
\yas {cc^iu}9-ig ^o^'/ig) ' counted worthy of glory,' or truly 
glorious and honourable. * Glory' is (cxccllentis vlrtutis 
fama cum laiide,) ' the illuftrious fame of an excellency 
' virith praife i' and in this * glory' there are two things 
— an excellency deferving honour — and the reputatio7i of 
that excellency. 

I. The excellency of Mpfes ponfifted principally In his 
ivork — and \\h fidelity. In his work; this was glorious, 
and rendered him fo as being employed in it. So our 
iipoHle declares, II. Cor. iii. 7. * The miniflration of 

* death written and engraven in ftones was glorious, fo that 

* the children of Ifrael could not ftedfaftly behold the face 
\ of A^ofes for the glory of his countenance.' And one 
part of his miniftration is called the ' glory.' [Rom. ;x. 4.] 
The giving of the la\y, the eredion of the vifible church 
ftate in the poftcrity of Abraham, attended with all that 
glorious worlliip which was inftituted therein, was a work 
ot exceeding glory. In this work was Mofes employed in 
lb honourable a manner, as to be the foje mediator therein 
i:ctwcen God ^nd the people, [Gal, iii. 19.] as himfelf 

M m 2 fpeakclh 


ipcakcth, [Deut. v. 5.] * I flood between the Lord and you 
♦ at that time, to fhcw you the word of the Lord.* This 
was his peculiar glory, that Tingled him out from amongft 
all the poflerity of Abraham, to be thus employed. But 
this excellency farther confifted — In his fidelity ; This, 
added to the former, makes his dignity complete. It is no 
glory for a man to be employed in a glorious work and to 
mifcarry therein ; it will rather end in his dillionour and 
reproach. Such may not improperly be compared to 
Pbaetcn the fon of Apollo, in the fable, who, though 
difTuadcd from it, would needs drive the chariot of the 
fun ; but the raih attempt ended in his ruin. Better 
never be employed in the work of God, than deal un- 
faithfully in it. But a glorious trull conne^cd with ikill 
and great faithfulnefs render a condition really excellent. 
So was it with Mofes. However he might failperfonally, 
he failed not miniflcrially, as the i);irrmintius between God 
and his people ; for every perfonal failing in faith doth 
not impeach a man*s faithfuhiefs in his office. In thcfc 
things was he excellent, O what a glorious thing is it to 
be faithful in any office or trufl committed to us by our 
divine mafler ! 

§ 3. (2.) He had the fame and rcputaticn of that ex- 
cellency, by the verdia of God, and the cftccm of the 
church. His reputation was founded on the infallible tejii- 
fnony of Gcd : this God gave him during his life, and fun- 
dry times after liis death : this is the great foundation ot 
all his renown. And what greater honour could be done 
to any creature, than to be adorned with fuch an illufln- 
ous teftimony by God himfelf ? Greater honour had none, 
but he with whom he is compared. And even thus wc 
may fay God * gives grace and glory.' Grace to be faith- 
ful, and a glory upon men's being fo. — BcfidcSj-his repu- 
tation fprung from the cfccm of the church. Until the Son 
himfelf came, the whole church of God was precifcly 
bound to obfcrve the laws and ordinances appointed by 
him, on which all their hnppincfs depended. That was 
the condition of their temporal and eternal welfare ; the 
yieglea hereof expofcd them to all mifcry from God and 


,nan This was the charge that God left them through- 
out all th ir generations , ' Remember the law of Mofe. 
?m;"f:rvantf which I commanded unto h.m.n^ Horeb 
' for all Ifrael, with the ftatutes and judgements LMal. 
;/ It Thi; made his name and remembrance honour- 
able to the church, and the finful abufe of .t turned af- 
er V rds to the fnare and difadvantage of the mcredulous 
W, . according to the prophetical imprecation of the 
£iC SrLir table (or their table fhall) become . 
^fn^re before them, and that which fhould have been for 
. h welfare become a trap,' [Pfalm Ixix. a..] 
our apoftle declares to have befallen them on their rejed- 
Z the iofpcl, through an obftinate adherence to the letter 
Jthefaw'o Mofes! [Rom. ix. i8, tg-] Yet we may 
obf rve that in all the honour which God gave Mofes .i» 
the cTu'rch, he never commanded, he never allowed, that 
Inytould -r>^ him or pray to him Should we add 
hereunto fome other particulars, they will make this glory 
ft more confpicuous. Such, for inftance, was the care 
of God over him in his infancy, his miraculous call to 
hs office, the honour he had in the world, the miracle* 
which he wrought, and the fignal teflimony given hirn 

LmGod in all the conrefts ^.-^^^ '"' -"'^^'ut t^ey 
many things of the like nature might be added But they 
TL things which appertain to his #« and the d./char,. 
of it which are principally intended. 

Th I therefor', the apoftle fully grants, not giving 
the leaft fufpicion to the Hebrews, that he meant to detraft 
?om 1 L praifes and honour of Mo es as he wa. 
commonly traduced. The unbelieving P^" ;'-"!' '^^ 
deed, boafted of Mofes to the contempt of Chrift. [John 
ix 20 ] • We know that God fpake unto Mofes ; as for 
'riris fellow, we know not from whence he is. And they 
generally thought the prevalency of the gofpel was deroga- 
Ly to his honour and law, [Aas xni. 45-SO.]. But 
thefe things did not move him to deal partial y in tl e 
truth He allows Mofes his due honour and glory, and 
yet affcrts the excellency of Chrift above h.m. fhewing 
I dently the confiftency of thefe things, as there neither 


IS nor can be any oppofition or contrariety between any 
ordinances or inflitutions of God. Let us now proceed 
to coniider, 

§ 4. (II.) What is pofitively affirmed in this alTertion, 
with the proof of it— That the Lord Jefus Chrift was 
much more worthy of glory than Mofcs. 

The demonflrative pronoun (^log) * this,' is rendered 
t^jis ; but it refpcfts him not merely as man, but di^ 
rc£ls to hh per/on, God and man. 

MVas counted worthy of more glory than Mofcs,' 
(dot^^g ^Kucvcg-orucc Mccr^Jyj of much more glory than Mofes, 
The cxpicfllon intimates the glory of Chrill to be fo'far 
above that of Alofes, that in comparifon thereof it mi-ht 
even fccm to be no glory, [fee II. Cor. iii. 10.] "^ 

' Accounted wortliy' {r,^[oului) iLas more honoured, had 
more glory from God, was more glorious in the church. 

This glory, though attendant on the per/on of Chrift, 
is that which directly belongs to him in his office, wherein 
alone he is now compared with Mofes. Having made the 
alFcrtion, the apoftle proceeds to the proof of it in the 
next words : 

* He who builds an houfe, is more honourable than 
' the houfe built;' but Chrifl built the houfe, whereas 
Mofcs was only a part of it. 

The intended glory of Chrift, the apoftle fcts forth un- 
der the metaphorical terms of an houfe, its buildmg, and 
us builder. The church of God, with all the ordinances 
ot worfliip in it, are an houfe, as appears in the foregoing 
loftimony ; now this is the condition of an houfe, that he 
wiio builds it is much more honourable than the houfe it- 
fclf. But this houfe of God was hunt by fefus Chrift, 
whereas Mofes was only a part of tiic houfe itfclf, and fo 
no way to be compared with him in honour and glory. 
When one builds an houfe by his own authoritv, for h'is 
own ufe, whereby it becomes his own houfe, and wholly 
^t his own difpofal, there lie is always more honourable 
tlian the houfe itfelf ; and therefore Chrill, who th-.ii 
Vuih his ho'iir, is more honourable than Mofts. 

Ver.3. epistle to THE HEBREWS. ii> 

It is fuppofcd in the aiTumption that Mofcs was not a 
lidlder. But how can that be ? For what was wanting to 
render him a builder ? The reply is eafy : By the houle of 
God in this place the apoflle doth not intend the houfe of 
this or that particular age, under this or that form or ad- 
miniftration of worfhip; but the houle of God in all 
ages and places, from the foundation to tlie end of the 
world — a building erefted with fupreme power, and for 
the builder's own ufe. 

§ 5. On the contrary, Chrift built the church in the 
properefl and higheft fenfe. For tlie building of the 
houfe of God three things are required — the pattern — 
the materials — its appropriation and dedication to God ; 
as in the typical houfes, the tabernacle of Mofes, and the 
temple of Solomon. All thefe particulars were perfed^ly 
effected by Jefus Chrifl the Son of God. * On this rock/ 
faith he, * I will build my church,' [Matt. xvi. 18.] 

1. He was in the eternal counfels of the Father, about 
providing and framing this habitation for himfelf And 
this glorious delineation or pattern he had in his mind in 
all ages, and this he brought with him into the world, 
when he came to put the lafl hand to it. This anfwered 
the (n'jnn) idea reprefented to Mofes on the mount. He, 
under every difpenfation, exprclTed this conception of his 
mind when he gave out laws, orders, ordinances, and in- 
ilitutions of worfhip, the whole pattern of the houfe as it 
were, ia divers manners, and at fundry feafons, to be 

2. The fccond thing required in the building of this 
houfe is the providing of materlah^ and the framing and 
compacting of them into a houfe for God. Now this was 
a great work indeed, confidering the condition of all thofe 
perfons of whom this houfe was to be conftituted ; they 
were dead in trefpaffcs and lins ; but the houfe v;as to be a 
* living houfe,' [I. Peter il. 5.] They v/ere all enemies 
to God, ftrangers from him, and under his cnrfe ; but 
this houfe was to be made up of the friends of God, and 
fuch as he may delight to dwell in. Dead llones muft be 
"made of the children of Abraham. This then was a great 

2 ■ and 

t7o AN EXPOSlTrON OF THE CiiAf. m. 

and glorious work, and which none could perform but he 
that was unfpeakably more honourable than Mofcs, or all 
the fons of men. He doth not gather men by force or 
violence, or drive them together to the profeihon of truth 
with the fword. No ; The living flones, being brought 
together by their own offering themfelves willingly to the 
Lord, ?:re by him, as the tabernacle was of old, fitly 
framed together into an holy habitation for God. In 
Chrirt, the Lord and builder of this houfc, there is rcfi- 
dent a fpirit of life, which by him is communicated to 
every ftune of the houfc, and which gives it life, union 
to hitiifelf, and alfo order and beauty in reference to the 
whole ; that is, being all alike united to Chrilt and ac- 
tuated in their places and order by one fpirit, they become 
one houfc for God. 

3. That tlie houfe fo built and compa£led might be an 
habitation fit for God, it was necclfary that an atonement 
Hiouli be made for it by facrifice, and that it be purified 
and fanftified with the blood thereof. Thus Chriil made 
atonement for it by the facrifice of himfelf, and fprinkled 
it wholly with his own blood, as the fcriptures abundantly 
teilify. The tabernacle, being erefted and fprinkled with 
blood, w^as alfo, with all its utenlils, anointed with the 
holy oil, [Exod. xl. 9 — 11.] This un£lion was a type 
of the Holy Ghoft, who is the oil of gladnefs wherewith 
Chrift himfelf, and all his living members, were to be 
anointed. To the completing of this houfe for a fettled 
habitation to the Lord, the glorious entrance of his pre- 
sence into it was required. And this alfo is accomplilhed 
by him according to his promife, that he will be with us, 
among us, and dwell in us by his Spirit to the end of the 
world. Hence, 

§6. (in.) Obf. I. Every one who is employed in the 
fervice of God's houfe, and is faithful \n the dlfcharge of 
it, is worthy of honour ; fo was Moles. And this be- 
cometh both the grcatncfs and goodnefs of God , and he 
hath eftaMIHicd it by an cvcrlafllrig law, * Th.em that ho- 

• nour mc,' faith he, * I will honour ; and they that de- 

• fpife mc Ihall be lightly eflccmcd, f L Sam. ii. 30.] The 



honouring of God in the fervice of his houfe, fliall be 
honoured, for the mouth of the Lord hath fpoken it. 
They are honourable ; for 

(i.) Their work is f o : reputation, glory, and honour, 
attend honourable works. This work is God's. The 
church is God's hufbandry, God's building, [I. Cor. iii. 
9.] They have a great work in hand, and have a glorious 
alTociate, even God himfelf. God lb works by them, as 
that he alfo works urith them, and they are {<rvvz'^/oi <Sii^) 
* labourers together with God :' they work alfo in the 
name and on the behalf of God, [II. Cor. v. 20.] What- 
ever glory and honour that can pollibly redound to any 
from the nature of the work wherein they are employed, 
it all belongs to them. Hence the apoftle commands that 
we fhould ' efteem fuch very highly for their works' fake,' 
[1. Tlief. v. 13.] Their work makes them worthy of 
eftimation, yea, of ' double honour,' [I. Tim. v. 17. 

(2.) Honour is relieved upon them from their relation 
to Chrifl, who goes before chem in their work. To be 
aflbciated with Chrift in his work, to (hare in office under 
him, will appear at length to have been honourable. The 
queen of Sheba counted them happy and blefled, who were 
fervants to Solomon, and flood before him, [II. Chron. 
ix. 7.] And what are they who fland before him who is 
infinitely wifer and greater than Solomon ! The Lord 
help poor minifters to believe their relation to Chrift, and 
his engagement with them in their work, that they may 
be fupported againft thofe innumerable difcouragements 
they meet with. 

(3 ) The fpecial nature of their work and employment 
is another fpring of honour to them: it lies about things 
holy, fpiritual, myfterions, and more excellent than ail 
the things of this world ; it is their work to difcover, and 
to bring fortii to light unfearchable riches, [Ephef. iii. 
S.] to reveal and to declare the whole counfel of God, 
[Afts XX. 27.] to prepare and make ready the bride for 
the Lamb, to gather in God's revenue of glory. 

(4.) The effe^Js of their work alfo communicate ho- 
nour to them. The miniilry of tlip word is that alone 
VpL. 11. N n whereby 


whereby God will ordinarily treat with men for falvation; 
this he makes ule of for their convidion, converfioii, fanc- 
tillcation, and falvation ; and in thcfc cflccls of the Chrif- 
tian minidry will the glory of God be principally con- 
cerned for ever: in them will his goodncfs, righteouf- 
iicfs, grace, mercy, patience, and all the other excel- 
lencies of his nature Ihine forth in glory. How honou- 
rable then that miiiiftry, the grand defjgn of which is to 
produce thefe evcrlailing effcds ? 

(5.) Their fpecial honour will one day appear in their 

fpecial rd-^wv/. [Dan. xii. i 3.] Inftruftors, teachers, they 

that make men wife, that give them underflanding, 

* fliall fhine as the brightnefs of the firmament ;' and tlic 

juftifiers of many, thofe that make them righteous mi- 

niflerially, by revealing to them the knowledge and 

rightcoufncfs of Chrift, whereby they are juflificd, [Tfa. 

liii. II.] * as the ftars for ever and ever.' If they have 

not more glory than others, vet they lliall have a d'lJuuLi 

glory of their own. For when the prince of Ihephcrds 

fiiall be manifcftcd, he will give thefe his fliepherds an 

unfading * crown of glory ;' [1. Pet. v. 4.] alluding to, 

but infinitely tranfcending, fuch a peculiar crown, as 

great triumphant conquerors were wont to be crowned 


§ 7. Only it mufl be obfervcd, that there is nothing 
of all this fpoken, merely with refpc£t to being employed 
in this houfe of God, but only to fuithfulr.cfs in the em- 
ployment. Some are fo far from being worthy of honour, 
that they deferve nothing but reproach, contempt, and 
Ihamc. For as God faith in this matter, * Him that ho- 

* nourcth mc, 1 will honour ;* fo he adds, ' he that 

* defpifcth mc ihall be lightly cftccmed.' Such pcrfons 
are rrjc(fted of God, as to any acceptance in their ofhcc, 
f flof. vi..4.] and as unfavory fait, are to be caft on tliC 
dunghill, [Matt. v. 13.] Thefe fcrvants, when the Lord 
conus, he will tear in pieces and give them their portion 
with hypocrites, [Matt. xxiv. 50,51.] Pcrfons, there- 
fore, who undertake to be builders in the houfe of God, 
and who have received no ikill or ability from the Mafter- 


Ver.3. epistle to THE HEBREWS. 275 

builder, or are negligent in their work, or corrupt it, or 
dawb with untempcred mortar, or are any way unfaith- 
ful ; whatever double or treble advantage they may obtain 
of men in this world, they Ihall have nothing but fhamc 
and confuiion of fa-ce from God in that which is to come. 
Let thofe then who are indeed faithful in this work, be 
fatisficd with the work itfelf. It will prove in the end 
to have been a good revenue, a blefled inheritance : add 
Ibut that reward which the Lord Chrift brings with him, 
to the reward of honour that is in tht work itfelf, and it 
will be abundantly fatisfactory^ We difhonour our 
Mafter, and raanifcll that we underfland not the nature 
of our work, when we are folicitous about any other re- 
compcnce. And this will ferve to flrengthen fuch per- 
fons in all the oppofitions they meet, and all the difcou- 
ragements they are encompafTed with, in the difcharge of 
their duty. It is enough to give them an holy contempt 
and fcorn of the worll that can befall them. And this 
alfo may teach others their duty towards them, which for 
the moil part they are unwilling to hear, and more un- 
willing to pradife. 

§ 8. Olf. 2. The Lord Chrifl is worthy of all glory 
and honour, on account of his thus building his church, 
the houfe of God. 

(i.) He hath an ellential glory, the fame with that of 
the Father, antecedent to his whole undertaking to build 
the houfe of God. He and his Father m-e one ; [John x. 
30.] before his humiliation he was * in the form of God, 
* and counted it no robbery to be equal with God ;' [Phil, 
ii. 6.] equal in dignity and glory, becaufe of the fame 
nature^ which is the fountain of all divine glory and 
honour. But this is not the glory intended. Had this 
houfe never been built, yet he would have been thus glo- 
rious to eternity. 

(2.) There is in Ciiriil the glory and honour of the 
human nature^ as glorified after its obedience and fuffering. 
This nature was rendered glorious by virtue of its union 
with the Son of God from his incarnation, as cxprefTed 
by the angel, [Luke i. 35.] Neither is this abfolutely 

N n 2 cou- 


confidcrcd, the glory and honour here intended : for the 
glory \vc arc now invcfligating, is not merely that which 
he hath in h'tmfclf^ but that which is due to hiai from, 
and given hini by the church. Therefore, 

(3.) Chrift is honourable and glorioois in his exaltation, 
as the head of the church. Hereby is he the * lirft born 
* of every creature,' or Lord and heir of the whole crea- 
tion. And which retidcrs this exaltation realonablc, is 
taken from the dignity of his perfon abfolutely confidercd, 
and the infinitenefs of his power. Hence the equity, that, 
having fulfilled the work alligned him, Jie Ihould enjoy 
the matchkfs glory here afcribcd to him. — This requires 
further explication, and to this purpolc let us inquire, 

1. What is this glory of Chrill:, with rcfpeft to the 
church built bv him, and the formal rcafon of it ^ 

2. What is the great motive whereby we are engaged 
and obliged to give him this glory. 

§ 9. ( I.) What this glory or honour of Chrill: is with 
refpe£lto the church, or the houfe built by hini; and the 
formal reafon of it ? And this may be confidercd briefly, 
in rcfpcd of the collation of it upon him — its nature — 
and its formal reafon. 

I. This glory of Chrifl as the builder of the church is 
conferred upon him — by the will and aflual donation of the 
Father ; * He railed him from the dead and gave him 
glory,' [I. Pcl. i. 21.] it was his will, that glory and ho- 
nour fliould be afcribed to him ; for fo he fpeaks con- 
cerning the whole intelligent creation. As for angeli ; he 
faith, * Let all the angels of God worfliip him,' [chap. i. 
6.] and for man ; * The Father hath committed all judge- 
' ment unto the Son, that all men fliould honour the Son, 
* even as they honour the Father, [John v. 22, 23.] So 
that this glory is conferred upon Chrill as the builder of 
tiie church by the grant and donation of the Father, and 
according to his will, by angels and men. 

2. As to the nature of this glorv, it confills in this, 
that he is the objc£l of all divine religious worlhip ; and 
the principal author of all the laws thereof; whereby it 
is o jtv.-arJly and folemnly celebrated or performed. Hence 


Ver.3. epistle to THE HEBREWS. 


there is a twofold duty incumbent on the church in refe- 
rence to him who is the builder of it. (i.) That vvc 
ferve him, truft him, believe in him, obey him with all re- 
ligious fubjedion of foul and confcicncc. Hence faith he, 

* Ye believe in God, believe alfo in me ;* [John xxiv. i.] 
Ye believe in God the Father who fent me, believe alfo 
in me who am fent, with the fame divine faith and con- 
fidence. (2.) That we obfcrve all his commands, laws, 
and inflitutions as the great Sovereign Lord over our 
fouls and confciences in all things. For ' to this end 

* Chrift both died and rofe, and lived again, that he might 

* be Lord both of the dead and the living,' [Rom. xiv. 9.] 
Supreme Lord over us whilft alive, requiring obedience to 
all his laws as a fon over his own houfe ; and when 
wc are dead to raife us again and bring us to his judge- 
ment feat. 

§ 10. 3. We come now to inquire concerning this 
glory, what is Xh^ formal rcafon of it ; that which renders 
him a meet object of the church's worfhip, and that wor- 
fnip to be truly divine or religious. The anfwer is fhort 
and plain ; it is no other than the divine nature. The na- 
tural and effential excellencies of the Deity are the formal 
reafon and proper obje£l of all divine worfliip. We 
worfhip the Lord Chvifl who is God and man in one 
perfon, and his -pcrfoyi who is God and man is the objeft 
of that worfliip ; but the formal reafon of it is the divine 
nature in that perfon. Give me leave to fay, God him- 
felf could not command that Chriil be worfliipped with 
divine religious adoration, were he not God by nature^ for 
the thing itfelf implies a contradiction. Religious wor- 
Ihip is nothing but an affignation of that honour which 
is due to divine excellencies ; namely, to trull, fear, obey, 
love, and fubmit to infinite holincfs, goodnefs, righteouf- 
nefs, and power ; in the iirft caufe, lall end and fovereign 
Lord of all. Now to ailign glory proper to divine excel- 
lencies, and which rcceiveth its nature from its objc6V, 
where divine excellencies arc not, is openly contradidlory. 
Belides, God hath faid, ' lam the Lord, that is my name, 

* and my glory wi!! I not give to another,' [Ifa. xiii. 8.] 

1. ' ^ He 


He that hath not the name of God, that is, his naturCy 
Ihall not, nor can liavc this glory which is to he the object 
of the worlhip mentioned. And there are iiot fcarccly 
more grofs idolators in the world, than thofe who profefs 
to worlhip Chrill and to believe in him, in a word, to 
give him all the glory that is due to God, and yet deny 
him to be Tuch. 

§ I I. Now in our a'c/^^//) of Chrifl, which is our af- 
flgnation of glory to liim, he is confidcrcd two ways: 

1. Jbfolutcly, as he is over all, God bltllcd for evcj-, 
[Rom. ix. 5] In that rcfpecl he is the proper and ultimate 
obje(5l of our worfhip. We believe in him, pray to him ; as 
^'tephen, who offered his dying prayer to him in particular. 
I'hey'floned Stephen praying or invocating, in thcfe words, 
* Lord Jefus, receive my fpirit,' [A£ls viii. 9.] So are we 
baptized in his name, and thereby initiated into his fer- 
vice as our Lord and our God. So may we prav to him 
dire<ftly and diflin^lly, making his perfon the ultimate 
obje^l of our faith, trufl and fubjedlion of foul. [Sec 
Ephef. V. 23, 24, 25. II. Cor. V. 15. Tit. ii. 14. Rom. 
xiv. 9 — I 3. J 

2. We confider him as mcdiatcr between the Father and 
ns. So h.e is the immediate, but not the ultimate obje£\ of 
our worlhip. In this fcnfe through him we believe in 
God, who raifcd him from the dead, and gave him glory, 
that our faith and hope may be in God, [I. Pet. i. 21.] 
He is the means of our faith and hope. By him we have 
acccfs by one fpirit unto the Father. [Ephef. ii. 18.] And 
according to his command, we aik of God in his name 
and for his fake, [John xvi. 23 — 25.] and in this fenlc 
in all our worfliip, internal and external, in our faith, 
confidence, obedience, and fupplications, the Father is 
confulercd as the ultimate objed of our worlhip, and the 
Son as he who hath procured acceptance for us, who 
plcids our cavifo, manageth our affairs, and prevails for 
grace and mercy. And this is the moft ordinary and 
Handing way of faith in the worlhip of God. We addrels 
ourfelvcs to the Father bv the Son as mediator, conlider- 
ing him ai veiled with mediatorv clTiccs over the houfc of 



God. This the apoftle excellently exprefTeth, Eph. iii. 14. 
However we may addrefs our petitions dhcilly to Chrift 
as he is God equal with the Father ; and we may addrefs 
the Father by him, as he is our mediator ; which two 
modes of divine worfhip are fcriptural, 

§ 12. (2.) Having confidercd the formal reafon of 
the glory infifled on ; we are next to inquire after the great 
motive to our giving him this glory, which make him 
worthy of It, and obllgeth us in fpecial duty to give it. 
God manlfefted in the tiefh, Chrifl complete, his divine 
and human nature In one perfon, is theobjeft of our reli- 
gious adoration and worflilp ; and it is juil and right 
that we fliould conftantly worfhip him, hecaufe he hath 
built the Iroufe of God ; or becaufe of his work of me- 
diation. As it is in the iirft command, fo it is in this 
matter, ' I am tlie Lord thy God, which brought thee 

* out of the Land oi Egypt, out of the houfc of bon- 

* dage : thou flialt have no other God's before me ;' 
[Exod. XX. 2, 3.] declaring himfelf to be Lord God, he 
propofeth the formal reafon of all religious worfliip, and 
that which makes it indifpenfably necelfary ; but yet, to 
Ulr the people up to the aftual performance of it, he adds 
that great motive, what he had done for them ; he had 
' brought them out of the land of Egypt, and out of 
' the houfe of bondage.* Had he not done fo, all wor- 
fliip and honour divine wTre due to him, but having done 
fo, it is a fcrong obligation to bind them to diligence in 
its obfervance. So I fay in this matter, Chrifl is to be 
worfhipped, becaufe he is God ; but the great motive 
thereunto is what he hath done for us in the work of re- 
demption. And to all we have fald in this matter, xve 
have the joint teflimony of all the faints and angels of 
God, [Rev. i. 8—13.] ' And when he had taken the book, 
the four living creatures and the four and tvventv elders 
fell down before the Lamb, having every one of them 
harps and golden phials full of odours, which are the 
prayers of faints. And they fang a new fong, faying. 
Thou art worthy to take the book and open the feals 
thereof • for thou zvajl Jluhi, and hafl redeemed us to God 



by thy blood out of every kindred and tongue, and 
people and nation, and hafl made us unto our God kings 
and priefts, and we fhall reign on the earth. And I be- 
held and 1 heard the voice of many angels round about the 
throne, and the living creatures and the elders, and the 
number of them was ten thoufand times ten thoufand, and 
thoufand of thoufands, faying with a loud voice, iL-orthy 
js the Lamb that ivas Jlain to receive power, and riches, and 
wifdom, and flrength, and honour, and glory, and blcf- 
iing. And every creature which is in heaven, and on 
the earth, and under the earth, and fuch as arc in the 
fca, and all that arc in them, heard I faying, * Bielling 
' and honour, and glory, and power, be unto him that 

* fittcth on the throne, and unto the Lamb for ever and 

* ever. 

The whole of what we have alTcrted is here confirmed. 
For the lamb here is Jefus Chrift the mediator, ' the 

* Lamb of God that took away the lins of the world.' — 
The worlhip and honour afcribed to him is holy, facrcd, 
and religious, and that from the whole creation. It is 
but one and the fame worlliip that is given to the Lamb, 
and to him that lits upon his throne, even the Father. — 
The great mothc to it, whence it is faid he is worthy of 
it, is, bccaufe of the great things he hath done for us, in 
our redemption and falvation ; that is, his building of 
the houfc of God. To clofc this matter ; here lies a 
great difference between Chrift and Mofes, that whereas 
the work of the latter brought all the honour and glory 
he had to his perfoti, and which yet was but an inferior 
work, the work (;f a fcrvant or miniftcrial builder ; the 
pcrfon of the former brought glory and honour to his work, 
although it was very excellent and glorious ; for he con- 
dcfccnded and humbled himiclf to it. [Phil. ii. 6 — S.] 
But yet the work being done, is a caufc of giving nciv 
honour and glory to his perfon. 

§ 13. It remains only, that I briefly give the rcafons 
why this building of the houfc renders the Redeemer fo 
worthy of glory and honour : it doth fo bccaufe theuo/i' 
itftif was great and glorious. Great works make the 


Ver.3. epistle to THE HEBREWS, 37^ 

authors of them famous and honourable. Hence have 
been the endeavours of men to eternize their names, to 
niake themfelves famous and renowned by their works 
and buildings. This was one end of that flupendous 
enterprifc of the children of men in the building of 
Babel ; they would build a tower to make themfelves 

* a name/ [Gen. xi. 4.] to get them renown and glory; 
and they have been imitated by their pofterity, who in all 
ages have praifjd their faying. So Nebuchadnezzar tef- 
tificth concerning himfelf, [Dan. iv. 30.] ' Is not this, 
faith he, great Babylon that I have built for the houfe of 
the kingdom, by the might of my power and for the 
honour of my Majcfty ?' But alas, what poor periihing 
heaps have been the products of their endeavours ? They 
have all long ago been made the fpoils of time and con- 
fufion. When Solomon went about to build a material 
typical houfe for God, he told Huram the king of Tyre, 
tiiat the houfe which he built was very great; for, faith" 
he, * Great is our God above all gods,' [II. Chron. ii. 
5, 6.] But he adds, moreover, * Who is able to build 

* hhn an houfe, feeing the heaven, and the heaven of 

* heavens cannot contain him r' Who am I then that I 
fhould build him an houfe, fave only to burn facrificc 
before him ? The ufe of this houfe is not for God to 
dwell in, but for us to worfhip him in. Do not con- 
ceive that I am building a temple as the nations build 
tlieirs for their falfe deities, to confine them to place, and 
keep them within walls. The immenfity of the nature 
of our God will admit of no fuch thing. It is only a 
place for his fervice that I intend. But now Chrift hath 
built an houfe for God to dwell in for ever ; and this on 
many accounts was a greater work than that of the 
creation of all things out of nothing. But if from the 
antient work of creation was to arife an immenfe fund of 
glory to God according to the law of nature ; how ex- 
cellent is this honour which arifeth to Jefas Chrift, and 
to God by him, from his nciv creation ; from his forming 
and creating ' new heavens and a new earth, wherein 

* dwelleth righteoufnefs !* 

- yo^i. II. o o § 14. It 


§ 14. It is glorious in all refpe^i. Who can cxprefs 
the glory, the beauty, and the order of this work ? The 
tabernacle with the temple of old, and all their furniture, 
were exceeding glorious ; but they and their vvorfhip had 
no glory, in comparifon of the more excellent glory of 
this fpiritual houfe. [II. Cor. iii. 10.] It is glorious in its 
foundation, which is Chrift himfclf. * Other foundation 

* can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jefus Chrift,' 
[I. Cor. iii. 2.] This is the rock, on which the houfe is 
built. [Matt. xvi. 18.] He * laid in Zion for a foundation, 

* a (lone, a tried {lone, a precious corner Hone, a furc 

* foundation,' [Ifa. xxviii. 16.] So glorious, that when he 
is brought forth, thofc concerned in this building fhout 
with holy triumph, crying, Grace ! grace ! unto it. Zech. 
iv. 7.] — And it is glorious in \\.% fupcrjhu^ure ; it is built 
up of living flones, [I. Pet. ii. 4.] which alfo are pre- 
cious and ele£l ; cemented among themfclves, and wrought 
into beauty and order by the Spirit of God. — It is alfo 
glorious in refpe£l of its end^ as being that on account of 
which God will be for ever glorified in an eminent degree. 
It comes into the place of the whole creation, and doubles 
the revenue of glory unto God. Our duty is to bear 
in mind this honour and glory of Chrift ; as that to 
which he is exalted, and that of which he is every way- 
worthy. In tliis alfo our honour is included ; for if any- 
one member of the myftical body being honoured, all the 
members rejoice with it, [I. Cor. xii. 26. how much 
more iiave all the members caufc to rejoice in this un- 
fpcakablc honour and glory of their head, whence all 
their honour in particular flows. 



Verses 4 — 6. 

ror. every house is builded by some man ; but he 
that built all things is god; and moses 
verily was faithful in all his house as a 
servant, for a testimony of those things 
which were to be spoken after ; but christ 
as a son over his own house ; whose house 
are we, if we hold fast the confidence and 
the rejoicing of the hope firm unto the 


§ I. I'he fubjcc^ Jlated^ and; (I.) The fever al parts of the 
words explained. § 2. I. JVhat intended by — all things., 
§ 3. 2. Who intended by the term — God, § 4. The com- 
parifon between Chrift and Mofes. I. Mofes was a fer^ 
vanty faithful in all the houfe of God, for a teflimony, 
§ 5. 2. Chrifl as a fon over his own houfe, § 6. B^ofe 
houfe are we, § '] , If we hold fajh § 8 — IQ. J de^ 
fcription of thofe who are of the houfe of God, § 1 1 — 18* 
Obfcrvations and improvement, 

§ I . i HE connexion of the words will be made fuf- 
iicicntly plain in the expofition of their feveral parts. Wc 
fliall, therefore, proceed immediately ; iirft, to explain 
the apoflle's meaning in the paflage ; and, fecondly, raife 
fuch obfervations as appear naturally implied, in it. 

(L) ' Every houfe is buiMed by fome one, bu.t he that 
* built all things is Gcd.' In this verfe the apoille con- 
firms and illullrates what he had before alTcrted and proved. 
If that building of the houfe be fuch -as we have dc- 
fcribcd, the building of the church in all ages, who 
could perform it ? To whom muft this work belong ? 
Why, faith he, * he who built all things is God/ Two 
things are here to be inquired into ; full:, what is intended 

O o, i by 


by the all th'mgs here mentioned ; fecondly, who is in- 
tended by God^ who is faid to build them aU. 

§ 2. I. (Toe TTuvjoc) all things, is put tor {tu'Sju Tra'^iu) 
all theft things; all the things treated of; which kind of 
cxprclfion is frequent in the fcripturc. And therefore 
Beza well renders the words (ha-c omnia) * all thefe 

* things.' The whole lioufc and all the perfons that 
belong to it, or the parts of it, in all ages. And thus is 
(ra i:u7\oc) ' all things' conf\antly rcflraincd to the fub- 
je£t matter treated of. Bcfidcs the word {x(y7jo'jry.3v<x'7ug) 

* he who hath /»/////,' here ufed by the apoUle, whereby he 
cxprefled before the building of the houfe, plainly de- 
clares that it is the fame kind of buiidmg he yet treats of, 
and not the abfolute creation of ?ll things, which is no 
vpherc exprefTed by that word. And rhis is fufficient to 
evince what we plead for, viz. it is no where ufed to ex- 
prefs the creation of all thmgs, nor doth it fignify to 
create, but to prep ate ^ and to builds and it is often ufed 
in this bufmefs of pr pariiig the church or the ways of 
divine worfhip, (See Matt. xi. lo. Luke i. 17. chap. vii. 
21. Heb. ix, 2 — 6.) Again, the making of all things, or 
the firft creation, doth not belong to his purpofe , but 
the mention of it would difturb the feries of his difcourfe, 
and render it equivocal. There is neither reafon for it 
in his defign, nor place for it in his difcciirfe, nor any 
thing in it to his purpofe. 

§ 3. 2. Who is here intended by the name * God ?"' 
He that built all things is God. The words may be fo 
•underftood, as to fignify cither that God made or built 
all thefc things, or, that he who made and built all thcfc 
things, is God. The firfl fenfe, making God the fubjc(^-, 
tlic latter, the predicate of the proportion. Rnt as to 
our purpofe they amount to tlie fame thing ; for if he who 
made them is God, his making of them declares him to 
be {n. And that it is the I^ord Chrifl who is intejuied in 
this cxprcfTion will appear immediately ; for, 

(i.) If Ciod abfolutelv, or (lod the Father be iruci.dcd, 
then by the building of all things, the creation of the 
world is dcligned ; fo they all grant who are of thr^.t opi- 
nion , 


nlon ; but that this is not fo we have already demon- 
llrated from the words themfelves. 

(2.) The introduction of God abfolutely and his 
building of all things in this place, is no way fubfervient 
to the apoftle's purpofc ; for what light or evidence doth 
this contribute to his principal affertion ? namely, that 
Ciirill was more honourable than Mofes, and that on ac- 
count of his building the houfe of God, the confirmatioix 
whereof he doth in thefe words expreflly defign ? 

(3.) It is contrary to his purpofe. For he doth not 
prove the Lord Cliritl: to be defervedly preferred before 
Moles, unlefs he manifett that by his oivn power he built 
the houfe of God in fuch a manner, as Mofes was not 
employed in ; whereas, according to this interpretation, 
he a^iigns the principal building of the houfe to another^ 
even the Father, and fo overthrows what he had before 
allerted. This then is that, which by thefe words the 
apoftJe intends to declare ; namely, the ground and reafoii 
whence it is that the houfe was or could be in that glo- , 
rious manner built by Chrift, even hccaufe he is God, and \ 
fo able to efFed it ; and by this efFedl of his power he is . 
manifefled fo to be. 

§ 4. The apoftle, in the remaining part of the words, 
proceedeth to another argument to the fame purpofe with 
the former, coniifling of a comparifon between Chriil: and 
Mofes, in reference to their relation to the houfe of God 
vjht-n built. In the building they were both faithful, Chriil 
as the chief builder, Mofes as a principal part of the houfe, 
minifterially alfo employed in the building of it. The 
houfe being built they are both faithful towards it, in their 
feveral relations to it ; Mofes as a fervant in the houfe of 
God, Chrift as a fon over his own houfe ; his own becaufc 
he built it. 

Let us confider thefe relations refpe£lively. 

I. The relation of Mofes to the houfe of God. 
* Mofes verily was faithful as a fervant in his whole houfe / 
(75p7ra;y) a fervant^ minifler, or officer (in facris) in 
things belonging to religious worihip. This was his 
place, this jiis dignity and honour ; and it was amplified 



by the coiifidcrations — that he was faithful in liis fervicc 
• — that he was a fcrvant in the houfe of God — and parti- 
cularly, that he was not thus employed, and thus faithful 
in this or that part, in this or that fervicc of God's houfc, 
but in his vcholc houfc and all the concernments of it. 
Herein was he different from all others in tlie fame fervicc 
inidcr the Old Tei\amcnt ; one was employed in one part 
of it, another in another, one to inilrudl another to re- 
form it, one to renew a negle£\cd ordinance, another to 
give new inftru6lions ; none but he was ufed in the fer- 
vicc of the ' whole houfe.' And thcfc things greatly fp)cak 
his honour and glory ; altliough as wc fliall fee, they 
leave him incomparably inferior to the Lord McfTiah. 
* For a teilimony of thefe things which Ihould be 

• fpoken after.' The end of the fcivice and minillry of 
Mofcs is expreffcd in thefe words. It was to be (Hq 
fjidflvpiav) * for a tcllimony.' The word and ordinances 
of God arc often called his * tcfiimony ;' that whcrcbv he 
tcftifii'th and witnclfcth his will and pleafure to the fons of 
men. This tcftimony refers to the ivholc fait} f nine fs of 
Mofcs, which was not confined or reftraincd to tlie things 
that were i'pokcn, but extended itfelf to the whole fervicc 
of the houfc wherein he was emploved, as well in the 
building of the tabernacle, and inllitutions of ordinances, 
as revealing the will of God in his owii law. 

(A«?.vj9/;crcjLCrVW>) ' Of things which Ihould be fpoken 

• after,* refpeds things future to what he did in his whole 
miniilrv, as our tranllation rightly obferves, and this as 
well the order of the words, as the proper import requires. 
He gave tcftimony to what ' To ' the things that were 

• afterwards to be fpoken,' in the fulnefs of time by the 
MciTiah ; that is, the things of the gofpel. And this i!i- 
clced was the proper end of all that Mofts did or ordered 
in the houfe of God. Here the apoftle takes his leave 
of Mofcs, and tliercforc gives him as it were, an honoura^ 
b'e hiaiul; and puts this glorious epitaph on his grave — 
Mofcs a faithful ftrvant of the Lord in his icholr hcufc. 

^ 5. 2. ' But Chrill as a fon over his own lioufe.' 
The term * faithful' is here to be repeated ; was faiibful 


Ver.4---^-. epistle to THE HEBREWS. 283- 

as a foil over bis own houfe. Every word almoft proves 
the pre-eminence afferted. He is a Son, Mofes a Tervant ; 
he over the houfe, Mofes in the houfe ; he over his own 
houfe, Mofes in the houfe of another. The argument 
of the apoflle in thefc words is obvious. The Son faith- 
ful over his own houfe, is more glorious and honourable 
than a fervant that is faithful in the houfe of his Lord 
and Mafter. But Chrift was thus a fon over the houfe, 
Mofes only a fervant in it. 

§ 6. * Whofe houfe are we.* Having confirmed his ar- 
gument, the apolllc returns, after his manner, to make 
application of it, and to improve it for the enforcement of 
his exhortation to conftancy and perfeverance. Now be- 
lievers are the houfe of Chrifl upon a treble account. 

1. On account of their perfons, in them he dwells 
really by his Spirit. Hence they are faid to be ' living 
* ftones,* and on him to be built into a * holy temple,' 
[I. Pet. ii. 5.] and as fuch does he dwell in them [Ephef. 
ii. 20 — 22. Cor. iii. 16. chap. vi. 19. John xiv. 17.] 

2. On account of their being compared together In 
church order according to his inflitution ; wdiereby they 
are built up, cemented and become an houfe, like the ta- 
bernacle or temple of old, [Ephef. iv. 16. Col. ii. 19.] 

3. On account of their joint worlhip performed in that 
order, whereby he alfo dwells among them, or is prefent 
with them until the confummation of all things. [Rev. 
xxi. 3. Matt, xxviii. 20.] 

§ 7. * If we hold fail,' {c(x,v ttsd) Thefe words may have 
a double fenfe ; firft to exprefs the condition on which the 
truth of the former aifertion depends ; we are his houfe ; 
but on this condition, that we hold fall, &c. Secondly, 
to exprefs a dcfctiptlon of the perfons who are {o the 
houfe of Chrift, by a limitation and diftin£lion among 
profefTors ; flicwing that in the former alTcrtion he in- 
tends only thofe who hold faft their confidence firm to 
the end. Such conditional exprellions of gofpel com- 
minations — although they have a peculiar ufe and efficacy 
towards believers in the courfe of their obedience, as 
manifcfting God'^ deteftation of fin, and the certain con- 


ne(f\iori there is by God's eternal law between unbelief and 
punilhmcnt ; yet — do not include any alTcrtion that tiic 
pcribn of believers may at any time, all things confidered, 
on the part of God as well as of themfclvcs, a^uallyhW 
under thefe penalties. The words, therefore, are dc- 
fcriptivc of tiic pcrfons who are the houfc of Clnift, from ' 
a certain effe£l or adjun^l of that faith whereby they be- 
come to be fo. They arc fuch, and only i'ach, as hold 
fail their coniidencc and glorying of hope, firm unto the 
end ; whereby they are dillinguifhed from temporary pro- 
fciTors wlio may fall away. 

§ S. ' If we hold fall the confidence and the rejoicing. 
• of tlie hope firm unto the end.' Two things are ob- 
fcrvable in the words, zubat it is that the apoftlc requires in 
tliem that are in the houfe of Chrifl ; namely, confidence 
and glorying in hope — and the manner of our retaining 
them, we muft hold them fa/I and //V/;: unto the end. Let 
us here confidcr, 

1 . / the apoftle requires in thefe fpiritual domeftics 
— the confidence — and the glorifying of hope. The word 
{ri:ccy^)yj-i'x) tranflated confidcncCy although it frequently 
occurs in the New Teftamsnt, yet is never ufed to fignify 
that fiduciary trufl in God which is an effcdl of faith, and 
wherein foine have thought the nature of it to confill, 
For, unlcfs where it is ufed adverbially to fignify openly^ 
plainly, notorioufly, as it doth always in the gofpel of 
of John, [See chap, xviii. 20.] it conflantly denotes 
liberty^ and conftancy of fpirit in fpeaking or doing any 
tiling towards God or man, which is the genuine and 
native iigniiication of the word. 

The confidence here intended refers to our * hope,* no Icfi 
then the {yjocvx^iiLu) rejoicing that followeth. The wordi 
arc not rightly dillinguifhed, when confidence is placed 
diilinclly as one thing by itfclf, and rejoicing is only 
joined with hope. And this is evident from the conll:ruc- 
tion of tlic words. For {lZ:(^ix.ioc';) firm, agrees not im- 
nicdiatcly with [iKivi^og) of hpe^ which is of another 
caf" ; nor with (Kccv^yiwx) rejoicing, which is of another 
gander ; '^'^ 'n"»^ '-.- ' -,.>;■ co'fidcncc it agrees in both, 



and is regulated thereby ; which it could not be, unlefs 
confidence were joined with hope alfo. ' The confidence 
' of hope ;' not our hope itfeJf, but the {Kocv'Xj/iu.a,) giory^ 
ing or rejoicing in it, is intended by the apoflle ; and 
therefore no more is our faith intended in the former 
expreflion. The meaning then is — ' tlie confidence of 

* hope, and the rejoicing of hope.' 

§ 9. Now that hope which v\e have concerning a blef- 
fed immortahty and glory by Jefus Chrift, requires two 
things of us : 

1. A free, bold, and open prof cjjlon of that truth which 
our hope is built upon, and that againfl all dangers and 
oppofitions ; for we know that this hope will never make 
us afhamed. [Rom. v. 5.] This is the * confidence of 

* hope' here mentioned ; and this we are exhorted to elfe- 
where, [I. Pet. iii. 11.] * Be ready always to give aa 
' anfwer to every man that afketh you a reafon of the hope 

* that is in you.' This {-z\OL^oi(na, vrpog cjiroXoyictv) promp- 
titude and alacrity In apologlxlng, avowing, defending, or 
pleading for the grounds of our hope, is the ' confidence,' 
or rather liberty, or boldnefs of profeflion here intended. 

2. An open oppofing of our hope, or that which is hoped 
for, to all difficulties, dangers, and perfecutions, with an 
holy boaftlng^ glorying, or rejoicing in our lot and portion, 
becaufe the foundation of our hope is fure, and the things 
we hope for are precious and excellent in comparifon of 
every thing that rifeth againfl them. 

§ 10. 2. The apoflle next declares the manner how 
thefe things are to be fecurec^ ; if we ' hold fafl our con- 

* fidence firm unto the end.' 

(i.) The duty itfclf relating to the manner of our re- 
taining thefe things is to hold them f aft ; exprelTed by a 
w^ord [yia\u(TyjJOY^zv) which fignifics a careful, powerful 
holding of any thing, againfl oppofition. The Greek 
phrafe {}Lo']iyj:iv to 7rX'/j9og) is ' efFedlually to retain the 

* multitude' in obedience, when in danger of fedition. 
And the following (xaj-yjiv (p^i^paig) implies ' to hold, 
retain, or keep a place with a guard.' Great care, dili- 
gence, and endeavours mufi: be ufed in this matter, or we 

Vol. II. P p Hiall 


tail ill it ; bccauic of the oppofition and violence that will 
he ulccl to wrell them from us. Uiilcfs \vc ' hold them 
' tall,' that is, retain them with care, diligence, and 
watch fulnefs, we Ihall lofc them, or be forcibly deprived 
of them. 

(2.) They arc to be kept in a Jum manner. The 
meaning of this word the apoflle explaineth, chap. x. 23. 
' Let us hold fall the profclhon of our faith vsithout waver- 
' ing ;' that is, without declining from it, or being fliakeu 
in it. It is not enough that we keep and retain, yea, 
* hold fall' our profclfion ; but we mull: keep it up againfl 
that fluctuating uncertainty of mind, which is apt to in- 
vade andpolfcfs unliable perfons in the time of trial. 

(3.) Herein mull we continue to the cnd^ that is, 
whilll we live ; not for the prefent feafon only, but in all 
future occurrences, until we come to the end of our faitli 
— the falvation of our fouls. 

§ II. (II.) Obf. I. The building of the church is fo 
great and glorious a work, as that it could not be effected 
by any but by him who was God. This obfervation may 
be illullrated by confidering the following particulars : 

(l.) The zvljdom of its contr'rjancc. Nothing could 
cffc£t it but infinite wifdom ; yea the manifold wifdom of 
God was in it, [Ephcf. iii. ic] i\\[ the treafures of his 
wifdom and knowledge ; [Col. ii. 3.] In this eternal wif- 
dom of God was the myflerious contrivance of this 
building hid from the foundation of the world ; [Ephel". 
iii. 9.] and its manifeflation in the gofpel was accom- 
panied with fo much glory, that the angels of heaven did 
earneftly defirc to bow down and look into it. We mav 
rather admire it than comprehend its excellencv. But 
when we Ihall come to fee, how the foundation of it wai 
laid, at which all the fons of God ib.outed for jov ; how 
by the firange and wonderful working of the Spirit of 
grace, all the Hones deiigned from eternity for thii 
builJing were made living ones in all ages and gc- 
ncrationx ; and how they are from the foundation of 
the world to the ci;d of it, litlv framed together to be a 
temple to the Lord ; and what is the glory of God's in- 



habitation therein, we fliall be fatisfied that divine wifdom 
was ablblutely requilitc. 

2. The power employed in its crcci'ion. It is the efFe£l 
of divine power, whether we refpcft the oppojhion made to 
it, or the execution of the work itftlf. lliofe angels who 
left their firft habitation, had drawn the whole creation 
into a confpiracy againft the building of this houfe of 
God ; not a perfon was to be ufcd therein, but what was 
engaged in an enmity againft the undertaking. And who 
fliall prevail againft the oppofttion ? Nothing but Divine 
power could fcatter the combination of principalities and 
powers, and defeat the inceflant engagements of the 
world, and the gates of hell, againft the deiign. — Again, 
for the execution of the work itlelf, the fins of men were 
to be expiated, atonement for them was to be made, a 
a price of redemption to be paid, dead finners were to be 
quickened, blind eyes to be opened, perfons of all forts 
to be regenerated, ordinances and inftitutions of wor/hip 
renounced for beauty and glory to be ere£led ; fupplies of 
the fpirit at all times and places for its increafe in grace 
and holinefs were to be "ranted, with other thincrs innume- 
rable, which nothing but Divine power could effecl. Con- 
fider but this one thing ; whereas all the parts of it are 
fubje£l to difiblution, the perfons of whom it confifts all 
die, he that builds this houfe, muft be able to raifc theni 
all from the dead, or elfe his whole work about the houfe 
itillf is all loft. Now who can do this but he that is 
God ? They who think this is the work of mere man, 
know nothing of it ; indeed nothing of God, of them- 
fclves, or any reality of the gofpel as they ought. It is 
but a little dark view I can take of the wifdom and power 
that is laid out in this work, and yet — I am not more 
fatisfied that there is a God in heaven, than I am, that he 
that built this thing is God. And herein alio may wc 
fee, whence it is that this building goes on, notwith- 
ftanding all the oppofitions that are made to it. Take any 
one fingle believer from the foundation of the world, and 
confidcr the oppofition that is made by fin, Satan, and 
tjie world, in temptations and perfccutions, to his in- 

r p 2 tereft 


tcrefl ill the houfe of God , and doth it not appear mar- 
vellous that he is preferved, that he is delivered ? How- 
hath it b^eu in tliis matter with our own fouls, if we be- 
long to this houfe ? That we fhould be called out of dark- 
nels into marvellous light ; that we fiiould be preferved 
hitherto notwithrtanding our weaknefs, faintnefs, mani- 
fold infirmities and fiiis ? Is there not fome facred, hidden 
power, that cffe£lually, in ways unknown to us, puts 
forth itfclf in our behalf? Confider the whole church, 
with all the individual perfons belonging thereunto 
throughout all generations ; and think what it requires 
for its prefcrvation in its inward and outward condition ; 
does not Divine power Ihinc forth in all thefe things 'i 
Not one flone of this building is loft or caft to the ground, 
much lefs fhall ever the ijuhole fabrick be prevailed againft. 
§ 12. Obf. 2. The greatcft and moft honourable of 
the fons of men that are employed in the work of God 
in his houfe are but fervants and parts of the houfe itfelf ; 

* Mofes verily as a fervant.* So did the principal builders 
of the church under the New Teftament declare con- 
cerning tliemfclves. * Servants of Jefus Chrift,' was 
their only title of honour. And they profefTed themfelves 
to be fervants of the churches, as being only * helpers of 

* their joy,' [I. Cor. i. 24.] Not as Lords over God's he- 
ritage, but as * enfamples to the flock,' [I. Pet. v. i.] ail 
according to the charge laid upon them by their Lord and 
Mafter ; [Matt. xx. 25 — 27.] and this appears, 

( I.) Bccaufe no man hath any thing to do in this houfe 
but by virtue of ccmyr.ijjion from him, who is the only Lord 
and ruler of it ; this befpeaks them fervants. They arc 
all taken up in the market place, from amongft the num- 
ber of common men, by the Lord of the vineyard, and 
fcnt into it by him. Neither are they fcnt to reft or fleep 
there, nor to cat the grapes and iill themfclvcs ; much 
lefs to tread down and fpoil tlie vines ; but to work and 
labour until the evening, when they fliall receive their 
wages. All things plainly prove them to be * fervants.' 
[Matt, xwiii. 18 — 20.] 


(2.) It is required of them as fervants to obferve and 
obey the commands of the Lord. It is required of tliein 
that they be ' faithful ;' and their faithfuhiefs confifls ii\ 
their difpenfation of the mylleries of Chrift, [I. Cor. iv. 
1,2.] Mofcs himfelf, who received fuch a teftimony to 
his faithfuhiefs from God, did nothing but according to 
the pattern fhewn him in the mount. This is the duty 
of a faithful fcrvant, and not to pretend his own power 
and authority to ordain things in the houfe for its wor- 
fliip and facred ufe, not appointed by his Lord and 
Mafter. There is a llrange fafcination in this matter, 
or men could not at the fame time profefs themfelves 
fervants, and yet not think that their whole duty confifls 
in doing the will of their Lord, but alfo in giving out 
commands of their own to be obferved. This is the 
work of Lords, and not of fervants ; and if it be not 
forbid them by Chiift, I know not what is. 

(3.) As fervants they are accountable. They muft give 
an account of all they do in the houfe of their Lord. 
This their mailer often warns them of, [See Matt. xxiv. 
45 — 48. Luke xii. 42.] An account he v;ill have of 
their talents, and of the fouls committed to their charge ; 
an account of their labour, diligence, and readinefs to dp 
or fufFer according to his mind and will. [Heb. xiii. 14.] 
It is to be feared that this is not much in fome men's 
thoughts, who yet are greatly concerned in it. They 
count their profits, preferments, and wealth ; but of the 
account they are to make at the laft day, they feem to 
make no great reckoning. But what do fuch men think ? 
Arc they lords or fervants ? Have they a mafler or have 
they not ? Are they to do their own will or the will of 
another? Do they fight uncertainly and beat the air, or 
have they fome ctxt2i.\x\ fcope or aim before them ? If they 
have, what can it be, but how they may give up their ac- 
count with joy ? Joy, if not in the fafety of all their 
flocks, yet in their own faithfuhiefs, and the tefiimony of 
their confcienccs. 

(4.) As fervants they fliall have their reivard, every 
pne his penny, what he hath laboured for. For although 



they arc but fervants, yet they fcrvc a good, jull, great 
and gracious Lord, who will not forget their labour, but 
give them a crown at iw appearance. [I. Pet. v. 4.] 

Sec hence the boldne!: of the man of fni, and his ac- 
complices, whofc defcription we have exactly, [Matt. xxiv. 
48, 49.] ' An evil fcrvant who fays in his heart that his 
' Lord dclayeth his coming, and fo fmites his fellow fer- 

* vants, and eats and drinks with the drunken.' He pre- 
tends, indeed, to be a servant of skrvants, but 
under that fpecious title, and fliew of voluntary humility, 
takes upon him to be an abfolute Lord over t!ie houfe of 
God. — Others alio would do well to ponder the account 
they are to make ; and well is it with thofc, happy is 
their condition, whofc greateil joy in this world is, on 
folid grounds, that they arc accountable fervants. 

§ 13. Ohf, 3. The great end of Mofaical inllitutions 
was to pre-figure and give teftimoiiy to the grace of the 
gofpel by Jefus Chrifl. To this end was Mofcs faithful 
in the houfe of God, and the denionllration of this prin- 
ciple is the main fcope of our epiftle, fo far as it is 
dodrinal ; and the particular conlidcration of it will 
occur to us in a more convenient place. 

§ i^. O/)/. 4. It is an eminent privilege to be a part 
of the houfe of Chrifl:. ' \\ hole houfe arc we.* This 
the apoflle judly fuppofcs, and reminds the Hebrews of, 
that a fenfe of fo great a privilege might prevail with 
them in favour of the duties he had before urged. And 
it is an eminent privilege. 

( I.) Bccaufe this houfe is God's binldln^::;, [I. Cor. iii. g.] 
an houfe thai he built, and that in an admirable manner, 
'i'he tabernacle of old was thus far of God's building, thnt 
it was built by his appointment, and according to the 
pattern he gave of it to Mofcs. But this building is far 
more glorious ; [chap.ix. i i.] * a great and pcrfe£l tabernacle 

* not made with hands, that is to fay, not of this build- 

* inp.' Again, it is of * God's building,' that none is 
emplovcd in a way of authority for the carrying of it on, 
but the Lord Chrifl alone ; the Son and Lord over liis own 
houfe. And he takes it upon himfclf, [Matt. x\i. i8.| 

* ; will 


' I will build my church.* This houfe wliereof we fpeak 
excelleth, on many accounts, the whole fabrick of heaven 
and earth ; for it is a facred temple : ' Ye are built upon 

* the foundation of the apoflles and prophets, Jefus Chrifl 

* himfelf being the chief corner flone ; in whom all the 

* building fitly framed together growing into an holy tem- 

* pie in the Lord,' [Ephef. ii. 20, 2 i.] This is Jehovah's 
manjion ; when ail other things of the world are let out 
to farm to the fons of men, as cottages for flefli and blood 
to dwell in, this is God's place of conflant and fpecial 

(2.) It is D. fpiritual hou^c, [T. Pet. ii. 5.] made up of 
living ftones in a flrange and wonderful manner. A tem- 
ple not fubjed to decay, but fuch as grows continually, 
as to every flone in particular that is laid in it, and in 
tlie daily accumulation of new ones. And although 
fome are continually removed from the lower rooms in 
grace, to the higher apartments in glory, yet not one 
flone of it fhall be lofl. 

(3.) The manner of God's habitation in this houfe Is 
peculiar alfo. He dwelt indeed in the tabernacle and 
temple of old ; but how ? By facrifices, carnal ordinances, 
and fome outward appearances of glory. In this houfe 
he dwells by his Spirit : * Ye are builded together an habi- 

* tation of God through the Spirit,' [Ephef. ii. 22.] And 

* know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that 

* the Spirit of God dwelleth in you?' [I, Cor. iii. 16.] 
Unfpeakable therefore is the privilege, and the confequent 
advantages ! 

§ 15. Obf. 5. The greatnefs of this privilege requires 
an anfwerablenefs of duty. Becaufe we are this houfe of 
God, it becometh us to hold fail our confidence to the 
end. It is incumbent on us to cultivate univerfal holi- 
ncfs, fpecial purity of foul and body, becoming an ha- 
bitation of the holy Spirit. How fliould w^e endeavour ta 
fill up the place w^e occupy, and relation we fuflain in 
this houfe, for the good of the whole. 

§ 16. 01?/. 6. In times of trial and pcrfecutlon, free- 
dom, boldnefs, and conflancy in profcflion, are a good 




evidence to oiirfelves tliat we are living floncs in the houfc 
of God. Hold Faft, faith the apolUc, your liberal pro- 
fclTion of the gofpcl, and your exultation in the hope of 
the great promifes it contains. This duty God hath fet 
a fmgular mark, upon, as what he indifpcnfably requircth, 
and that whereby he is peculiarly glorified. A blelEed in- 
ftance we have hereof in the three companions of Daniel. 
They beheld, on one fide, (vultum injlantis tyrann'i) a 
threatening tyrant, the form of whofe vifage was changed 
with fury ; on the other, a ' flaming fiery furnace,' into 
which they were inflantly to be call, if they let not go 
their profcihon. But behold their [nr 01/^7,0- lav) boldnefs 
and confidence in their profelTion, [Dan. iii. 16 — 18.] 
They anfwered and faid to the king, ' O Nebuchadnezzar, 

* we are not careful to anfwer thee in this matter, if it be 

* ['o, our God whom we ferve is able to deliver us from 

* the burning fiery furnace, and he will deliver us out of 

* thine hand, O king. But if not, be it known unto thee, 

* O king, that we will not ferve thy gods, nor worfliip the 

* golden image which thou haft fct up.' They do not alk 
a moment's fpace to deliberate in this matter ; and a blef- 
fcd end they had of their confidence. So Basil anfwered 
Julian when he would have given him fpace to confult ; 

* Do, fays he, what you intend, for I Ihall be the fame 

* to-morrow as I am to-day.' So it is obferved of Peter 
and John, [A6ls iv. 13.] The Jews were aftonifhcd, ob- 
fcrving their {ttcc^^jW ^ocv) * confidence,' the word in the 
text which we there tranflatc holdnefs, that is, their readi- 
nefs and promptitude of mind and fpeech in their confef- 
fioiiof the name of Chrift, when they were in prifon, 
and under the power of their adverfarles. Hence all they 
that fail in this duty arc termed (hiXoi) fearful ones , and 
arc in the firft rank of them who are excluded out of the 
new Jcrufalcm, [Rev. xxi. S.] 

§ 17. Ohf. 7. Intereft in the gofpcl gives fufficicnt 
caufc of confidence and rejoicing in every condition. 

* Hold fail: the confidence and rejoicing of your hope.' 
The riches of it arc invaluable, eternal, peculiar ; fuch as 
out-bahncc all earthly things, fatisfaaocy to the foul, 

1 and 


and terminating in endlefs glory ; and he that is duly in- 
terefted in them, cannot but have abundant caufe of joy 
unfpeakable at all times. 

§ 18. Obf. 8. So many and great are the inconveni- 
ences, hinderances, and temptations that lie in the way of 
our prcfelTion, fo great is the number of them that decay in 
it, or apoftatize from it, that the principal difcovery of its 
truth and fincerity is to be taken from its permanency. 
Whofe houfe are we, if we hold fail the confidence, the pro- 
fcfllon, and the rejoicing of our hope^ firm unto the end. 

Verses 7 — 11. 


§ I. Introdu^ion. § 2. 2 — li. (I.) "The feveral claufes of 
the zuords explained. § 12 — 2 2. (II.) Obfcrvations, 
§ 23 — 26. Special fcafons of grace and obedience are in an 
tfpecial manner to be obferved atid improved. § 27 — 32. 
Other obfervations. § 33 — 35. There is commonly a 
time when unbelief rifeth to its height of provocation^ 
^36 — 51. Remaining obfervations. 

\ I. JriAVING dcmonftrated the pre-eminence of 

Chrift before Mofes in their refpedlive miniftrics, the 

apoftle, according to his dciign and ufual method, proceeds 

Vol. IL Q^q td 


to the application of tlic trutli he had evinced, in an ex- 
hortation to liability and conuancy in faith and obedience. 
And this he doth in a way that adds double force to his 
exhortation ; in that lie firll prclfeth them with the words^. 
teftimonics, and cxampLs recorded in the Old Teflamcnt, 
to which they profcfTcd a fpecial deference and fubjcdtion ; 
and then the nature of the example whicli he iniifts upon 
is fuch, as fupphcs hiin with a new argument for his 
purpofe. Now this is taken from the dealing of God • 
with them, who were difobedicnt under the miniflry and 
rule of Moles ; which he farther explains, [verfc 15 — 19.] 
For if God dealt in fcverity with them, who were un- 
believing and diibbedient, with rcfpc£t to him who was' 
but Tijcrvant in the houfe ; they might cafily underftand 
what liis difplcafure towards us would be, who fhould bc- 
liave fo with reipe^l to the Son and his work, who is 
Lord over the whole houfe, and whofc houfe we arc. 
Let us, 

I. Attend to the expofition of the words in their feve- 
ral parts, and then, 

II. We fhall deduce fuch obfervations as appear mofl 
profitable and important. 

§ 2. (I.) * Wherefore, as the Holy Ghoft faith. To- 

* day, &c. (A/(j) 14'heycforc^ exprelfeth an inference from 
what was fpokcn before, manifelling the enfuing ex- 
hortation to be deduced from it, which exhortation it- 
felf the apollle dirc6lly enters upon ver. 12. There is, 
therefore, an Hyperbaton, or tranfpofition, in the dif- 
courfe ; the words that agree in feiife being feparated by 
an interpoiing digrcffion (contained in a parenthefis) for 
the better enforcement of tlic exhortation itfelf. — ' As 

* the Holy Ghoft faith,* or, that I may refpeft the words 
of the Holy Ghoft. There is an emphafis in the manner 
of cxprcirion, (79 7r;jL^.a to uyic) * Tliat holy Spirit/ 
fo rr.llcd {Kuf c-i^oxYiv) by way of emincncy ; the third 
perfon in the trinity, who in an cfpecial manner fpakc in 
the penmen of the facrcd fcriptures, (H. Pet. i. 21.] — • 
y^s hf faith ; this may intend either his firft immcciiute 
fpcaking in Iiis infpiration of the pfalmifl, as cxpretfed, 



chap. iv. 7. (Xsycov iv AafS:^) * Saying in David,' where 
thcfe words are again repeated ; or, his continuing ftill to 
fpeak thofc words to us all, in the divine records ; for 
being given out by his infpiration, and his authority 
always accompanying them, he ftill fpcaketh them. The 
words are taken from Pfalm xcv. 7 — ij. He mentions 
not the place, as fpcaking to thofe who either were, or 
were fuppofcd to be exercifed in the word. The leaving 
therefore of an uncertainty, whence particular quotations 
are taken, is ufeful to make us more fedulous in our in- 
quiries. A certain day or fpacc of time is limited or de- 
termined, as the apoftle fpcaks in the next chapter ; limited^ 
becaufe a day ; prefent, became to-day. And this fpacc 
may denote in general the continuance of men's lives in 
this world ; but yet, this depending on the divine plcafure, 
it is Cod's day that is intended, not oii?s^ which we may 
outlive, and lofe the beneiit of, as will afterwards ap- 
pear ; [verfe 13.] ' exhort one another daily, whilft it is 

* called (C3vn a-rijjLSpoy) to-day ;' that is, whilil: the Jea/o^ of 
the duty is continued to you. So was it alfo originally ufed 
by the pfalmift, and applied to the duties of the feaft of 
tabernacles, or fome other feafbn of tlie performance of 
God's folemn worfhip. 

§ 3. * If ye will hear his voice ;' (i(p;vj //*, a mere con-» 
ditional term, as commonly ufed ; {77,g (pujv7,g a^jja 
w/jdrcc^.-) ' Ye will hear his voice ;' the effc£lual doing of 
the thing fpoken of is intended. So Numb. xiv. 22. 

* They have tempted me thefe ten times, and have not 

* heard my voice ;' that is, have not yielded obedience to 
my cominand. It is frequently obfcrved, that * to hear* 
or ' to hearken,' figniiies in fcripture, to * obev,' or to yicl4 
obedience to the things heard ; as, ' to fee,' doth * to un,- 

* derftand,^ or believe ; and to * taftc' denotes * fpiritual 

* experience.' Words o{ fenfe being ufed tQ exprefs the 
fpiritual a Fls of the mind. His voice; the * voice' of the 
i.ord is fomctimcs taken for his * power ;' inafmuch as by 
his -.t'orr/, as an intimation and fignification of the power 
wliich he puts forth therein, he created and difpofcth of 
aJi; thing?;. Sec Pfalm xxix. 3 — -9. where the mighty 

Q^q 2 v^ork^ 


works of God's power and providence arc afllgned to his 
'uoice. See alfo Mic. vi. 9. Sometimes it is ufed for the re- 
velation of his will in his commands and promifes ; hut 
it is withal certain that the Hebrew and Greek, words 
('^ip and (Lucy),) arc ufed principally if not folcly for a fud- 
dcn tranflcnt voice or fpeaking. Wherefore the pfaimiil: in 
thefe words, as to their hiftorical and typical intendment, 
recalls the people to the remembrance T^.nd confideration of 
God's fpeaking to them in the giving of the law at Horeb ; 
and exhorts them to obedience, from the folcmn cir- 
cumflance that the will of God was uttered to them in a 
marvellous manner. And as to X.hc\v prophetical dc{\g\\^ he 
intimates another extraordinary reveUtion of the divine 
will to be made by the MefTiah. 

§ 4. * Harden not your hearts as in the provocation,' 
(M/J crKKvipwcfjc Tag Koc^hccg viJ^Ujy) harelen not your hearts ; 
this expreflion occurs not in other waiters, and therefore 
may be ttxmtA facreei. To * harden the heart' has a pe- 
culiar reference to the obedience which God requires of 
us. The fingle term ((rxA>jpo7/;c) hardnefss is indeed fomc- 
times ufed in heathen writers (or Jinbbornnefs of mind and 
manners ; but the verb {fTnKr/^V'.oc) to harden^ is fcarcely 
ever ufed except in the Septuagint and the New Tcilament, 
[A£ls xix. 9. Rom. ix. 18.] and in each of the IrJtcr 
onlv by Paul. Therefore, to ' harden the heart,* in a 
moral fenfe, is peculiar to holy writ, and, with refpec^ lo 
the New Tcfiament, peculiar to Paul ; and it ever denotes 
a voluntary perverfenefs of mind, in not taking notice of, 
or not applying the foul to the revealed will of God, in 
order to do and obferve it. 

Clg ;V to; TrapccTTixccicriJLU') * As in the provocation.' 
The fimplc term (Trtxcog) from which the compound is 
derived, fip;nifies properly, bittery in oppofition to another, 
(y?^vy,vc) {^gn\(y'n^g fweety plcafant. ?o alfo thefe two verbs 
(ttixlclo and TrtxparAc) fignify tc make bitter to the taftc 
or knfe : but their metaphorical ufe in a moral icnfc is 
fiequcnt for cxaccrbo provcco. The flory which this prin- 
cipally refers to is recorded Exod. xvii. 2 — 7 ; and ano- 
ther flory to the like purpofc wc have, of what befel the 



people ill the wildernefs of /« near forty years afterwards, 
when, in their murmuring fpr water, another rock was 
fmitten to briiig it forth ; on which is added, * This is 

* the water of Merihahy bccauie the children of IfraeJ 
^ Jlrove with the Lord,' [Num. xx. 13,] It is alfo faid ou 
the fame accafioa, that ' the people did chide with'Mofcs/ 
[ver. 2.] 

§ 5. * As in the aay (t« 77:i^a(r^ii) of temptation \n the 

* wildernefs ;' the other name given to the place before 
mentioned in Exodus, from thence it feems the apoftlc 
takes his example, where both the names are mentioned ; 
^nd where the place is faid to be called Mcribn and Ma(Ja^ 
[Exod. xvii. 7.] whereas in that of Numbers, [chap. xx. 
13.] it is only faid, * This is the water of Meviba,* or 

Jirife ; and yet it may not be without refpedl to the latter 
alfo. The firil infiance was at the beginning, the latter 
a< theclofe of their provocation : as they began, fo they 
pndcd. * And Mofes faid unto the people, why do you 

* chide with me \ and why do you tempt the Lord r' This 
fnatter, as a thing exceedingly remarkable, is often called 
over in fcripture, fometimes to reproach the people and 
to b^'rden them witli their (ins, [Deut. ix. 22.] * And at 

* MaJJa ye tempted the Lord to wrath ;' and fometimes to 
warn them of the like mifcarriagcs ; [chap. vi. 16.] 

* You fhall not tempt the Lord your God as you tempted 

* him at AJaJJa.'' So alfo in the xcvth Pfalm, from whence 
the apollle takes thefe words ; ' In the wildernefs,' or 
defert of Midian, whrre into that people entered upon 
^heir coming through the Red Sea. In their way towards 
Horeb, their fourth ftation was at Rephidim, where the 
above things happened, and where they received rcfrcfli- 
ment in a type, the fplritual rock, feme days before the 
giving of the iiery law. 

§ 6. * Where your fathers tempted mc, proved. me, 
* and faw my works.' Your fathers ; the whole congre- 
gation in the wildernefs, whofc poflerity they were, 
{cd^yuiJ.oicrcKy us) proved me ; this word is fcldom ufed in 
an ill fcnfe, as the former (zTru'^uo-cn.',) is almofc conti- 
nually, and Ijgnifies to have experience upon fearch, in- 



vcftigation and trial. In Ffalm cxxxix. 2, 3. the gxpc- 
r'tencc which they had of the power of God is intended ; 
* They proved me,' and found by trial that I was in the 
nnidft of them. — .^nd favj my iL'orks ; The original par- 
ticle (CDJ) ill the IM'alm, fignifies morecver^ fomewhat 
above a mere conjunction ; and fomc fuppol'e it may be 
here taken for (r//7, ctlaynfi^) although. I'hey tempted me, 
proved me, * although' they faw my works. And fo thcfe 
words arc placed as an aggravation of their fin in tempting 
and diftrufling him after fuch experience of his power 
and goodncfs in thofe mighty works tliey faw. For gene- 
rally all the works of God in the wildcrncfs, whetlier of 
mercy or judgement, were confequcnts of the pcoplc'i 
tempting him. 

^ 7. * They faw my w o\-\is forty years. "* The pfalmiil 
placeth thefc words at the beginning of the next vcrfe, 
and makes them to refpedt the feafon of God's indigna- 
tion againft them for their iins ; * forty years was I grieved ,' 
but by the apall'e, the fpace of time mentioned is applied 
to the people's feeing the works of God. But thefe things 
being abfolutely commenfurate in their duration, it is 
altogether indifferent to which of them the limitations of 
time Ipeciiied is formally applied. Every year in the 
whole forty was full of iins, provocation, temptations, 
and unbelief; and every year was alfo filled with tok^;is of 
God's dilpleafurc and indignation ; until the clofe of the 
whole difpenfation came, wherein that generation, which 
came out of Egypt under Mofes, was confumed \ and the 
indignation of God refted in that confumption. And \t 
IS not unljk.cly but that the apoftlc reminds the Hebrews 
<»f this fpacc of time granted to their forefathers in tlio 
wildcrnefs after their coming up out of Egypt, with their 
^buTe of it, bccaufe a like fpace of linxc was now in the 
patitncc of God allotted to the whole Jewifli churcli and 
I'cople, between the preaching of Chriil and that walling 
dtilruvhon that was now approaching : and which ac- 
cordingly took place. For as, after tlieir forefathers, 
wib.o came up umler Mofes out of J'lgvpt, were confumed 
i'.i forty years in. tlic wildcriiels, a new generation untk^ 




the condu£l of Jofliua entered into the refl of God ; 
fo, within forty 5Tars after the preaching of fpiri« 
tual dehvcrance was rejected by them that whole genera- 
tion was cut olf in wrath, and a new church of Jews .and 
Gentiles, under the condud of the true Jofhua, enters 
into the reft of God. 

§ 8. ^ Wherefore I was grieved with that generation 
(oiO 7rr)OG-cjoy^9i<Ta,) Wherefore I was grieved; the apoftl« 
here alters the tenor of the difcourfe in the pfalmift, by 
interpofing a reference to the caufe of God's being grieved 
with the people, in the word (ho) wherefore, that is, be- 
caufe of their manifold temptations and provocations being 
not cured, not healed, although for fo long a feafon they 
beheld his works. The word (7rf.o<rouyJiQ-(z} is generally 
thought to be derived from (oyj'/j or oyjoc) * the bank of 

* a river/ a rifing hill or bank by the water iide. Thence 
is the verb (oyjscu) * to be oiTended,' to bear a thing with 
difficulty, tedioufnefs, and vexation, fo as to rife up with 
indignation againfl it, like the ground that rifeth againft 
the waters. This word {Trpoa-oy^ 1(^00) is the fame with an 
addition of fenfe ; to be greatly grieved.' And as the word 

* grieved' is ambiguous in our language, importing either 
(dolore affic'i) to be affcHed with forrow and grief; or a 
being wearied accompanied with indignation ; as we fay* 
fuch or fuch a thing is * grievous ;' that is, (grave moleftum) 

* troublefome ; fo is the word here ufed, ' grieved,^ that is, 
burdened, offended, provoked. The appointed time of God's 
patience was worn out with their continued provocations, fo 
that he was wearied with them, and weary of them, he could 
bear them no longer, (r^i yivzu Ikhvy/) * with that genera- 

* tion ;' (-in) * a generation,' is the age of man, or rather 
the men of one age, [Eccl. i. 4.) * One generation paffeth 

* away and another generation cometh ;' that is, the men of 
one age. [See Deut. xxxii. i.] The term * generation' here 
denotes no limited feafon, but comprifeth all the perfons 
that came out up of Egypt above twenty years of age, v/ho 
all died w^ithin the fpace of forty years afterwards. 

§ 9. [Kii 77Acx::^-/jui t>j xa^h:^:) * They always err In 

* heart ;' always, on all occafions, in every tria,l ; not in 
•ne condition did they give glory to God : neither in 

th cjr 


their freights nor in their dehvcrances ; neither in their 
wants nor in their fuhicfs ; but continually tempted and 
provoked him with their niurmurings and unbchef. The 
nord then denotes not a fpeculative error of the mind, a 
miftaUe or mifapprchenfion of what was propofed to them, 
in which fenfe the term * error* and * erring* are moll com- 
ruonly ufcd, but a pra^lcal aberration, or wandering by 
chiicc from the way of obedience made known to them, 
and therefore are tliey faid to err * in their heart.' For 
though that be commonly taken in fcripture for the entire 
principle of moral operations, and fo comprifcth the mind 
n.i>d undcrllanding ; yet when an immediate refpe^t is had 
to duties and fms, it hath an cfpecial regard to the aff'e^lons 
and defircs of tlie foul : fo that * to err in heart* is, 
through the fcduftions and impulfes of corrupt affedlions, 
to have the mind and judgement corrupted, and then to de- 
part fiom the ways of obedience. 

§ 10. (Aur:: ^5 Hit ^yvcjoo-a,v Tccg o^isg [jm,} * And they 
• have not k lown my ways.* The apoflie renders the 
Hebrew particle (l) by (S.-) ' And,* as in our tranflation ; 
yet an oppafition may alfo be intimated, but they have not 
known. It is faid before, they faw the works of God, 
which were part of fiis wnys ; and his laws were made 
known to them. Of thefe two parts do his * ways* con- 
lift ; the ways of his providence, and the ways of his 
commands ; or the ways wherein he walketh towards us, 
and tlic ways wherein he would have us walk towards him. 
And yet it is faid of this people, that they knew vat his 
ways. As we faid before concerning their * error,' fo we 
niuft now fay concerning their * ignorance ;' that it is not 
a fimplc ncfc'ience that is intended, but rather an effe^^ual 
SJiike of what tliey faw and knew. They did not fplri- 
tuallv and prafticallv know the mind and intention of 
Gcni which is required in the law, and promifed in the 
covenant. In that light and knowledge which they had 
of the ways of God, they liked them not, they delighted 
not in them. And this is the conflant intention of that 
word * to know/ where the objcft of k is God, bis ways^ 
or his wiJl. 

I ^11. 


§ II. * So I fwear in my wrath if they fhall enter 
• into my reft.' God is faid to * fwear in his wrath^ 
becaufc he declared the purpofe of it under a particular 
provocation. The whole matter is recorded Numb. xiv. 
21 — 23. ver. 25 — 28. Why fhould they now flay 
any longer in that v;ildernefs, which was neither meet to 
entertain them, nor deligned for their habitation ? Where- 
fore, to prepare a way for their entrance into Canaan, 
fpies are fent by God's direftion, with excellent inllruc- 
tions to fearch out the land. [Numb. xiii. 17 — 20.] 
Upon their return, thepeevifh, cowardly, unbelieving 
multitude, terrified with a falfe report they made, fall into 
an outrageous repining againfl God, and fedition againfl 
their ruler. Hereupon the Lord — wearied as it were with 
their continued provocations, and efpecially difpleafed with 
this laft inflance, whereby as far as in them lay, they had 
fruftrated his intentions towards them — threatened to 
confume the people as one man, [ver. 12.] But Mofes, 
fixing on the noblell topic, earneilly pleading the interefl 
of Jehovah's glorious name, prevailed to divert the exe- 
cution of that threatening. And yet fo great was this 
provocation, and fo abfolutely had the people of that ge- 
neration difcovered themfelves every way unfit to follow 
the Lord in that great work ; that to fhew the greatnefs 
of their lin, and the irrevocablenefs of his purpofe, he 
' fware with great indignation' againft their entering into 
his reft. 

(E/ :-icrcK£vo'cv]ai) If they Jhall enter ; the expreffioa 
relates to the oath of God, wherein he fwear by himfelf ; 
as if he had faid, ' Let me not live,' or ' let me not be 
' God,' if ye enter ; which is the greateil and highefl alle- 
veration that they fliould not enter. And the fuppreflion 
of the full fentence is not, as fome fuppofe, from an 
abruptnefs of fpeech, but from reverence ; and the ex- 
prcffion is abfolutely negative. (Elg Try xulci7rocv(rp ^a) 
into mv rcjl ; the pronoun * my' is taken either efficiently 
or fubjeftively. If the former, the reft that God would 
give this people is intended ; they ftiall not enter into the 
land I promifed to give to Abraham and his feed, as a 

Vi)i. II. R C ftatc 


ilatc of reft, after all their peregrinations. Or it mav be 
expounded lubjunc^ively, tor the rcll of God liimfelf, that 
i^, the plac, wherein he would fix his worlliip and there- 
in rell. And tliis iecms to be the proper meaning of the 
word * my rell,' that is, the place where I will reft, by 
cftablifhing my worlhip therein. Hence this was the 
iolemn word of blelfnig at the moving of the ark of God. 

* Arifc, O Lord, into thy reft ;' [fee Pfalm cxxxii. 3. 
11. Chron. vi. 41.] * A place for the Lord, an habitation 

* for the mighty God of Jacob,' [Pfalm cxxxii. 5.] So he 
calls his worihip ' his reft,' and the place of his reft, [Ifa. 
xi. 10. and Ixvi. i.] 

§ 12. (IL) From tlic words thus particularly iniifted 
on, the following obfcrvations mny be made : 

Q/yf. 1. No divine truth when delivered ftiould be palled 
bv without manifefting its ufc, and endeavouring its im- 
provement for promoting holincfs and obedience. So foon 
as the apoftlc had evinced his propofition concerning the 
excellency of Chrift in his prophetical oft'ice, he* turns 
lumfelf to the application of it. Divine knov/ledge is 
like a practical fcicnce, the end of all the principles and 
rheoiems of which is their praiiice ; take that away, and 
it. is of no ufe. It is our wifdom and underftanding to 
know how^ to live to God ; to that purpofe are all the 
principles, truths, and doclrines of religion to be impro- 
ved. If this be not done in the teaching and hearing of 
it, wc iight unccrtainlv, as men beating the air. 

§ 13. Ohf. 2. Ill times of temptations antl trials, ar- 
guments and e'chortations to watchfulnefs againft iin, and 
to conftancy in obedience, aie to be multiplied in number, 
and prelied v. ith wifdom, carneftnefs, and diligence. Such 
was the feafon now with tliefc Hebrews. They were ex- 
pofed to great trials and temptations. Seduction on the oj.e 
hand by falft teacher^, and perfecution on the other hand 
by wrathful advtrfaries, clolcly bekt them. 1"hc apoftlc 
tlicrcfore adds one argunicnt to anutl»or, and purfucs them 
ull with pathetic exhortations. He iindcrftood their 
t.mjnations and faw the ir dangers, and with what wifdom. 



variety of arguments, cxpoflulatlons, exhortations, an.d 
awakening reproofs, doth he deal with them? What care, 
tendernels, compallio^i, and love appear in them all ? In 
nothing did the excellency of Spirit more evidence itfelf 
than in his holy jealoufy, and tender care for perfons in 
fucli a condition. And herein Chrift fet him forth for an 
example to all thofe to whom the difpenfation of the gofpcl 
Ihould afterwards be committed ; in this care and watch- 
fulnefs lies the very life and foul of. their minillry. Where 
this is wanting, whatever elfe be done, there is but the 
carcafe or fhadow of it. This then is of excellent ufe, 

(i.) That the argument be folid ar;d firm, tliat our 
foioidcitlon fail us not in our work. Earncfl: exhortations 
on feeble principles have more of noifc tlian weight- 
When there is an aim of reaching men's affediojis, with- 
out poiTeliing their minds with due reafons of the things 
treated of, it defervedly proves moft cvanid. 

(2.) That the exhortations itfelf be grave and iveightw 
Duty ought to be cloathed with words of wifdom, fuch as 
may not by their weaknefs, unfitnefs, and uncomeiinefs, 
expofc the matter to contempt or fcorn. Hence the 
apollle requires a fingular ability for the duty of admoiii- 
tion, [Rom. xv. 14.] ' Filled with ail knowledge, and able 
' to admoniih one another.' 

(3.) That the love, care, and compaffion of thofe v;ho 
give fuch exhortations and admonitions be made to appear. 
Prejudices are the bane and ruin of mutual warnings ; 
aiiJ thefe nothing can remove but a dcmonlbation of love, 
tendernefs, and compafiion. TvlQrofe, pecvifh, wiathful 
adjnonitions, as they bring guilt upon the admonilhei-, 
fo they fcldom free the admonifhed from anv. 

§ 14. Ohf. 3. Exhortations to dutv ougiit to be re- 
folvcd into an authority which may influence the con- 
fcience. Without this they w^iil be weak and ridicuoufly 
nervelcfs ; efpecially if the duties exhorted to be difficult, 
burdenfome, or any way grievous. Authority is the formal 
reafon of duty ; when God gave out his law of command- 
r.icnts, he prefaced it with a fignifiration of his fovereign 

R r 2 aiuhority 


authority over the people ; * I am the Lord thy God.* 
And it is our duty in giving our exhortations and com- 
mands from him, to manifcft his authority in them. 

* Teach men,* Taith our Saviour, * to do and obfcrve what- 

* foever I have commanded you,* [Matt, xxviii. 20.] His 
commands arc to be propofed, and his authority in them 
to be applied to their fouls and confciences. To exhort 
men in the things of God, and to fay, this or that man 
faith fo, be he the pope or who he will, is of no ufe or 
efficacy. That which we are to attend to, is what the 
Holy Ghoji faith, from whofe authority there is no appeal. 

§ 15. Obf. 4. Whatever was given by infpiration of 
the Holy Ghoft, and is recorded in fcripturc for the ufe 
of the church, he continues therein to fpeak it to us, 
•unto this day. As he lives for ever, fo he continues to 
/peak for ever ; that is, whilfl his voice or word fhall be 
of eftabliflied ufe to the church. ' As the Holy Ghoft 
* faith,' that is, fpeaks now to us ; and %vhcre doth he 
fpeak it ? In the ninety-fifth Pfalm. Many men have in- 
vented feveral ways to leiTen the authority of the fcrip- 
turc ; and few are willing to acknowledge an immediate 
fpeaking of God to them therein. Various pretences are 
"ufed to fubduiSl the confciences of men from a fcnfe of 
his authority in it. But whatever authority, efficacy, or 
power, the word of God was accompanied with, whether 
to evidence itfelf, to be divine, or otherwife to affe£l the 
minds of men to obedience, when it was firfl fpokcn by 
the Holy Ghoft, the fame it retains now it is recorded in 
fcripture, feeing the fame Divine Spirit yet continues to 
fpeak therein. The pfalmift fpeaks to the people, as if 
the voice of God was then founding in their ears. It 
being not only materially his revealed will and command, 
but alfo accompanied with that fpecial imprclhon of his au- 
thority, with which it was at iirft attcftcd. And on this 
ground (the facrednefs of the means by which they arc 
transferred) all the miracles wherewith the word of old 
was confirmed, are of the fame validity and efficacy to- 
wards us, as they were towards thofc who faw them. 

§ 16. 


§ 16. Obf. 5. The formal reafoii of all our obedience 
conlifts in its relation to the voice or authority of God. 
If we do the things that are commanded, but not with 
refpe£t to the authority of God by whom they are com- 
manded, what we fo do is not obedience properly fo called. 
It hath the matter of obedience, but the formal reafon, 
which is the life and foul of obedience, it hath not : what 
is fo done is but (allow the exprellion) the carcafe of duty, 
no way acceptable to God. In all our concerns with him, 
God is to be regarded as our fovereign Lord and only 
lawgiver. By this, therefore, let our fouls be influenced 
to duty in general, and to every fpecial duty in particular. 
Let this be the reafon we render to ourfelves and others, 
of all our obedience. If it be ailced, why we do fuch or 
fuch a thing ? We anfwer, becaufe we mufl obey 
the voice of the Lord our God. And many advantages 
we have by a conftant attendance to this authority, for this 
will keep us to the proper rule and compafs of duty, and 
will not fuffer us to omit any thing that God requires of 
US ; it will flrengthen and fortify the foul againft all 
dangers, difficulties, and temptations that oppofe it in the 
way of obedience ; and it will not be ftcrrlta monfty'is) 
frightened or deterred by any thing that lies in its way, 
it will have a readinefs wherewith to anfwer all obje£lions, 
and oppofe all contradictions. 

§ 17. Obf. 6. Every thing in the commands of God, 
relating to the manner of their promulgation is to be 
retained in our minds, and conlidered as prefent to us. 
The pfalmift * after fo long a feafon/ as the apoftle fpeaks, 
calls the people to hear the voice of God, as it founded 
on mount Sinai at the giving of the law. Not only the 
law itfelf, and the authority of God therein, but the 
manner alfo of its delivery by the great and terrible voice 
of God is to be regarded, as if God did flill continue fo 
to fpeak to us: fo alfo is it in refpeft to the gofpel. In the 
iirft revelation of it, God fpake immediately * in the 
* Son,' and a reverence for that fpeaking we fhould con- 
tinually maintain. He continues yet to fpeak from heaven, 
f Heb. xii. 2 c.] The gofpel is his voice and word no-x\ 



no Icfs than it was when in peifon lie fpcak on earth. 
And God being thus both in his commands and the man- 
ner of their promulgation, rendered prcfcnt to us by 
faith, is a great incitement to obedience. 

§ 1 8. Qbf. 7. Confidcration and choice are a {lablc 
and permanent foundation of obedience. The command 
of God is here propofcd to the people's undcrftanding, 
that they may confider it ; to their will that they may 
chuie and embrace it : 'If you will hear his voice.' Con- 
lider this matter thoroughly, whofe command it is, in 
what manner given, v/hat is the matter of it, and what 
are its ends. Men that are engaged in a courfc of pro- 
fcflion or obedience, as it were by chance or cuftom, w^ill 
leave it by chance, or as the cuilom changes, at any time. 
Thofe who are compelled to it by fomc pungent galling 
convi<£tions, fo that they yield obedience, not becaufc 
they like or chufe it, but becaufc they dare not do other- 
wife, will foon lofe all refpefts to it, as the force of their 
convictions wear off. But a deliberate choice of the wavs 
of God, upon a due confideration of all tlieir concern- 
ments, powerfully fixeth the foul to obedience. And it 
is the moft eminent cfTcCl of the grace of Chriil:, to make 
Jiis people iv'illhig in the day of his power. 

§ 19. Obf. 8. Such is the nature, clhcacy, and power 
of the voice and word of God, that men cannot with- 
Hand it without a fmful hardening of themfelves. It is 
The choice inflrunicnt, which God ufcth to remove our 
linful hardnefs. It is not of itfelf, 1 confcfs, ablblutely 
confidered, without the opercition of the Spirit of grace, 
able to produce this eficdt. But it is able to do it in its 
own kind and })Iacc ; and is thence faid to be * able to favc 

* our fouls,* [Jam. i. 21.] and 'able to build us up, and 

* give us an inheritance amongft them that are faniftified,* 
[A£>s XX. 32.] being alfo that immortal feed whereby wc 
are begotten unto God, [I. Pet. i. 23.] By this means 
doth God take away that natural blindnefs of men ; 
opening their eyes and turning them from darkncfs to 
light, [A<fls xxvi. iS.]] Ihining into their hearts to give 
them the knowledge of his glory in the face of [ci'us Cliriil: \ 

2 ' [11. Cor, 


[II. Cor. iv. 6.] as alfo quickening them who were dead 
in trefpalTes and iins ; and thereby removes that hardnefs 
which is a confequent of thefe things ; and God doth not 
apply a means to any end which is unfuited to it, or in- 
fufficient for it. Every one therefore, to whom the word 
is duly revealed, and who is not converted to God, doth 
voluntarily and obftinatcly oppofe its operation. Here lies 
the great obftru6lion to the progrefs of the w^ord in its 
efficacy upon the fouls of men. If they will add new ob- 
flinacy and hardr.efs to their minds and hearts, if they 
will fortify themfelves againfl the v/ord with prejudices 
and difiike, if they will refill its operation through their 
luds and corrupt alteftions, God mayy?//?/y leave them to 
perilli, and to be filled with the fruit of their own ways. 
And this flate of things is varioufly exprefTed in the fcrip- 
t\xv^. As by God's wiUlngnefs for the falvation of thof« 
to whom he grants his word, as the means of their con- 
verfion ; [Ezek. xviii. 23. chap. xiii. 2. II. Pet. iii. 9. 
I. Tim. ii. 4.] by his expofiulations w^ith them who rejetlt: 
his word, calling all the blameable caufe of their deflru-c- 
tion upon themfelves, [Matt, xxiii. 34.] Now as thefe 
things cannot denote a decretive intention in God for 
their converfion, fo they exprefs more than a mere pro- 
pofal of the outward means which men are not able 
favingly to receive and improve. There rs this alfo in 
them, that God gives fuch an efficacy to thefe means, 
as that their operation doth proceed on the minds and 
fouls of men in their natural condition, until by fome 
new a6l3 of their will, they harden themfelves againfl 
them. And fo tlie gofpel is propofed to the zvUls of men, 
[Ifa. Iv. I. Rev. xxii. 14.] Hence it is, that the mifcar- 
ringe of men under the difpenfation of the word is iWM 
cl>arged upon fome pofit'rje a flings of thslr wills ^ in oppo- 
fition to it, [Ifa. xxx. 15". Matt, xxiii. 21. John iii. 10. 
cliap. V. 40.] They pcrilh not, they defeat not the end 
of the word towards them, by a mere continuance in the 
flate wherein the word finds them, but- by reje^lyig the 
co\infel of God made known to them for their healinj 
and rccoverv. [Luks vii. -50.] 

^ 2-. 


§ 20. Ohf. 9. Many previous fins make way for the 
great fin of finally rejedting the voice of God. The not 
hearing the voice of God which is here reproved, is that 
which is final, and which abfolutely cuta men off from 
entering into the reft of God. Men come not to this 
length without having their hearts hardened by depraved 
lufts and affc£tions ; hardening of the heart goes before 
final impenitcncy and infidelity, as the means and caufe 
of it. Things do not ordinarily come to an imrmc/iate ifCac 
between God and the hearers of his word : 1 fay ordinarily, 
becaufe God may immediately cut off any perfon upon 
the firft refuted tender of the gofpcl, and it may be, he 
deals with fo many, but ordinarily he exercilcth much 
paitience towards men in this condition. He finds them 
in a ftate of nature, that is, of enmity againll: him. In 
tliis ftate he oftcrs them terms of peace, and waits thereon 
during the feafon of his good pleafurc, to fee what the 
event will be. Many in the meantime attend to their 
lufts and temptations, and fo contraft an obdurate fenle- 
lefTnefs upon their hearts and minds, which fortifving thcni 
againft the calls of God, prepares them for final impc- 

§ 21. Ohf. 10. Old Teftamcnt examples are New Tef- 
tament inftru6\ions. Our apoftlc elfevvherc reckoning 
fundry inftances of what fell out among the people of 
old, affirms of them, [Cor. x. 11.] * All thefe things 
• befell them as types.'* 1l\\c Jews have a faying ; *' W'hat- 
cver happencth to the fathers, is a fign or an example to 
the children," with which agrees the Latin adage ; Dif- 
c'tpulus ejl pr'iorii pojierior dies . *' Tlic following day Is to 
Jearn of the former." l^xperience is the greatcft advan- 
tage for wifdom. But there is more in this matter ; the 
will and appointment of Ciod is in it. All the times of 
the Old Tcftament, and v/hat fell out ii^ them, arc in- 
ftrui^ivc of the times and days of the New ; not only 
the words, do<^rines, and prophecies, but the a^lions, do- 
ings, and fulrcrings of the j)e()plc are for the fame purpofe. 
'J'hcy bctcll them, tliut God in them miglit rcprcfcnt to 
•ws, what we arc to cxpc(5\. if we tianfgrefs in like man- 


ner. They and their a£lions were our types. [Tviroq] 
a type, hath many figiiifications ; in this connediou it 
fignifies a rude and imperte£l expreffion of any thing, in 
order to a full, clear, and exa6l declaration of it. 
Now thcfe types and examples were of three forts: 
(i.) Such as were direftly inftituted and appointed for 
this end, That they fhould fignify and reprefent fome^ 
thing in particular in the Lord Jefus Chriil: and his king- 
dom. Their then, prefent ufe did not comprehend their 
principal end. And herein do types ^lIxA facramcnts differ. 
The latter have no ufe but what refpefts their fpiritual 
end and fignilication ; (we do not baptize any to zva/h the 
body, nor give them the facred fupper to notai/Jj it) but 
the former had their ufe in temporal things, as well as 
their iignification of things, fpiritual. Now thefe types, 
which had a folemn, dire£t, flated inflitution, were either 
per f oris or things, 

(2.) Such as had only a providential ordination to that 
purpofe ; things or anions that occafionally fell out, and 
fo were not capable of a folemn inflitution j but were fo 
guided by divine Providence, as that they might prefigure 
fome future event. Some of thefe have received an ex- 
prefs particular application by the Holy Ghofl in the New 
Teflament ; and the infallible application of the one to 
the other is not the leafl part of thofe teaching examples 
which are recorded in the Old Teilament. They are all 
written for our fakes- 

(3.) Such as are meet to illuflrate prefent things, from 
a proportion o'i fnnilitude between them. And thus where 
a place of fcripture treats diredly of one thing, it may in 
the interpretation of it be applied to illuflrate another which 
hath fome likenefs to it. 

§ 22. Now in thefe allegorical expoftlons or applications, 
fundry things are wifely and diligently to be .confidcred. 
Such as, that there be a due proportion between the 
things compared — that there be a dejtgned fignificaticn in 
them — and that the firft original fenfe of the words be 
facredly obferved. I have added thefe things, becaufe I 
iind many very ready to allegorize upon the fcripture with- 

VoL. II. S s out 

312 AX EXPOSITION OF THE Chap. 111. 

out any clue confldcratioii of the analogy of faith, or the 
proportion of the things compared, or of the firfl ge- 
nuine fenfc of the word they make ufe of. This is plainly 
to corrupt the zvord of God \ and however they who make 
life of fuch perverted allufions of things, may pleafe the 
fancies of fome pcrfons, they render both themfelvcs and 
their fervices contemptible to the judicious. But, in general^ 
all things in the Old Tellament, both what was fpoken 
aiid what was done, hath an efpecial reference to the 
Lord Jefus Chrifl and the gofpel ; and therefore in fe- 
veral ways we may receive infiruflion from them. As 
their inflitutions are our initrudlions more than theirs, 
and we fee more of the mind of God in them than thev 
did ; fo their mercies are our encouragement, and their 
punifhments our examples. And this proceedeth from 
the way that God in infinite v/ifdom had allotted to the 
opening and unfolding of the myflery of his love, and 
the difpcnfation of the covenant of grace. The way 
whereby God was plcaftd to manifcil the counfels of his 
will in this matter, was gradual, until the fulnefs of time 
came, and all things were completed in Chrift. More- 
over : This is part of that privilege which God had re- 
ferved for that church wliicli was to be ere6led immedi- 
ately by his Son. God had ' provided fome better thing 
• for us, that they without us fliould not be made perfe6\,' 
[^Heb. xi. 40.] Neither themfelvcs, nor any thing that 
befell them, was perfctl without us. It had not in them 
its full end, nor its full ufe, being ordained in the coun- 
fcl of God for our benefit. This privilege did God re- 
ferve for the New Teflamcnt church, that as it fhould 
enjoy that perfect revelation of his will in Chrift, wliich 
the'Old Teftament church received not : fo what was then 
revealed had not its perftf^ end and ufe, until it was 
brought over to this alfo. See hence what ufe wc are to 
make of the fcriptures of the Old Teftament. They arc 
all ours with all their inftrudtive contents. The fins of 
the people are recorded for our warning ; their obedience 
for our cx.'.mple, and God's denling with them on the 
account of the one and the other, fur our d Predion ?.ni 



encouragement in believing. Confidcr alfo what is ex- 
pe6led from us above thcin who believed under the Old 
Teftamcnt. Where much is given, much is required. 
Now we have not only the fuperadded helps of golpel 
light, but alfo whatever means or advantages they had, 
are made over to us ) a, their very fins and punifliment 
are our inilru£lion As God in his grace and wifdom 
hath granted us more light and advantage than he granted 
them, fo in his righteoufncfs he experts from us more 
fruits of holinefs to his praifc and glory, 

§ 23. Obf. II. Special feafons of grace and obedience 
are in an efpecial manner to be obfervcd and improved. 
For this end are they given and made fpccial, that they 
may be peculiarly improved. God doth nothing in vain ; 
leafl of all in the things of grace, of the gofpel, and of 
the kingdom of his Son. When he gives a fpecial day, 
it is for fpecial work. * To-day if ye will hear his voice,' 
fuch a day or feafon confiib in a concurrence of fundry 
things : 

( \.^) In a peculiar difpenfation of the means of 
'^race : there are fometimes fpecial effcds of providence^ of 
divine wifdom and power, making way for it, bringing 
it in, or preferving it in the world. The * day ' mention- 
ed in the text was that which the people enjoyed in the 
wildernefs, when the worlhip of God was firft revealed 
to them and eilabliflied amongfl them ; this made that 
time their fpecial day and feafon. The like works for 
the like purpofc at any time will conftitute the like feafon. 
When God is pleafed to make his arm bare in behalf of 
the gofpel ; when his power an4 wifdom are made con- 
fpicuous in various inftances far its introduction into any 
place, or the continuance of its preaching againft oppo- 
sitions, then doth he give a * fpecial day,' or feafon to 
them who enjoy it. 

Again: When there are cmineyit communications of the 
gifts of the Holy Ghoft to thofe by whom the myfleries 
of the gofpel are to be difpenfed ; and that either as to the 
ln:reafe of their number, or of their abilities, with rea- 
vJinefs for, and diligence in their work. When God thus 

S. s :• give^. 


gives the word, ' great is the army of them that pvbllfli 

* It :' tor the church in its work and order is (r^^hi 1:3) 

* as bannered ones,' that is, as bannered armies, * armies 
'with banners,' (Cant. vi. 10.; Such was the ' day ' 
that our apoflle calls the Hebrews to confider. It was 
not long after the afcenfion of Chrifl, when the gifts of 
the Spirit were poured out upon the multitudes of all forts, 
as was foretold, (A^s ii. 18.) ' This is that which was 

* fpoken by the prophet : And it fliall come to pais in 

* the lall days (faith God) I will pour out my Spirit upon 
' all ticfh ; and your fons and your daughters Ihall pro- 

* phcfy, and your young men fball fee vifions, and your 

* old men fhall dream dreams : and on my fervants and on 
' my handmaids I will pour out in thofe days of mv Spirit 

* and they fhall prophefy.' The exU^t of \he communi- 
cation of the Spirit at that feafon is emphatically ex- 
prclled in thofe words, ' I will ppur out my Spirit upon 

* all fiefh/ As the aft of pourhig denotes abundance, 
plenty, freedom, largenefs ; fo the ohjr^ ' all flefh' iignifies 
the extent of it to all forts of pcrfons. And when God 
is plcafed to give, or * pour out' of the gifts of his Spirit; 
upon many, for the declaration and preaching of the 
word of truth, then doth he conftitute fuch a fp° cial day 
or feafon. 

(2.) ^Vhcn God is plcafed to give fignal providential 
iL'arnnigs to awaken and ftir up men to confider or attend 
to his word and ordinances, fuch a feafon becomes a 

* fpecial day.' For the end of extraordinary providences 
i^ to prepare men for receiving the word, or to warn them 
of impending judgements for the contempt of it. This 
confpicuous mark did God put upon the feafon refpeded 
by the apoftle in the padhge before cited. For to the 
mention of the pouring of the Spirit, that of y7-;/,r and 
jurlgemcnts is adjoined, [Ads ii. 19,20.] * And I will 

* fhcw wonders in heaven above, and flgns on the cartli 

* beneath, blood, and fire, and vapours of fmoak : the 

* fun fhall be turqed into darkncfs, and the moon into 

* blood, before the great and notable day of the Lord come.' 
"1 he things here fpoken of, were thofe figns, prodigies. 



and judgement which God fhewed the Jews before the 
deftru6lion of Jerufalcm, as foretold by our Lord, [Matt, 
xxiv.] And what was the end of them ? It was evidently- 
to put ^ lignal mark upon the day and feafon of grace 
which was then granted that people. For fo it is added, 
[v. 21]' And it fhall come to pafs that whofoever Ihali 

* call upon the name of the Lord fhall be faved ;' that is, 
whofoever fhall make ufe of thefe warnings by figns and 
wonders, fliall be faved ; when others that are negligent, 
Rebellious, and difobedient, fhall utterly perifh. 

(3.) When it is a feafon of the accompli/Jmient of pro^ 
phccies and promifes for effeding fome great work of God 
in the outward flate of the church as to its worfliip. 
The * day ' whereunto the application of thefe things is 
ynade by the apoflle, was the feafon wherein God would 
make that ^reat alteration in the whole worfliip of the 
church, by the laft revelation of his mind and will * in 

* the Son.' This was a day great and lignal. So alfo 
when the time comes of the fulfilling of any fpecial pro- 
phecy or prediction for the reformation of the church, it 
conflitutes fuch a feafon. Something of this nature fcems 
to be expreiTed, Rev. xiv. 6 — 8. * And I faw another 

* angel fly in the midft of heaven, having the everlafling 

* gofpel to preach unto them that dwelt on the earth, and 

* to every nation and kindred and tongue and people; fay- 

* ing with a loud voice, Fear God, and give glory to him, 

* for the hour of his judgement is come : and there fol- 

* lowed another angel, faying, Babylon is fallen, that 

* great city, bccaufe flie made all nations drink of the 

* wine of the wrath of her fornication.' The time is 
approaching wherein Babylon is to be deflroyed and the 
church to be redeemed from under her tyranny, as alfo to 
be freed from her pollution, and from drinking any more 
of the cup of her fornication, wiiicli is the greatefl change 
or alteration that the outward flate of it is capable of in 
rhc world. The everlafling gofpel is to be preached with 
fuch glory, bcautv, and efhcacy, as if it were delivered 
from the midil of heaven ; and hereby men have an 
ffpecial day of •cpcnrancc given them. And thus it is, 

J ■ '" ■ alfo 


alfo at fundry times, wherein tlic Lord deals with his 
churches in one place or another, by v/ay oi preparation to 
what ihah follow in his appointed time amongll them alL 

§ 24. It is declared in the obler-jatiort^ that Inch a day 
or Icafon is to be diligently mprovcd \ and the reafons 

1. Bccaufe God c.xpc^.i it. He expcds that our ap- 
plications to him in obedience Hiould anfwer his to ui 
in care and tcnderncfs ; that when he is earnell in his 
dealings with us, we fhould be diligent in our obfcrvancc 
of him. Every circumftance he adds to his ordinary dif- 
penfations is weighty : and in fuch a day there arc 
many, fee Ifa. v. 12. * My wcU-bcloved hath a vineyar4 

• (l!:r p Ipn) in an hern cf a Jon of oil \ planted in a fat 

• and fruitful foil,' that is, furnilhed with all polhble 
means to make it fruitful. And * he fenced it \ prote£t- 
cd it by his providence from the incurfion of enemies ; 

• and gathered out the flones thereof;' removed from it 
whatever was hurtful ; it may be, the gods of wood and 
ftone in an cfpccial manner out of the land ; * and 

• planted it wiih the clioicell: vine \ in its order, ordi- 
nances, and inftitutions of worlhip : and * built a tower 

• in the midfl of it;' the flrong city of Jerufalem in the 
midfl of tlie lan.d, which was built as * a city that is com- 

• pa£t together, (all as one great tower) whither the 

• tribes went up, the tribes of the Lord to the teftimony of 

• Ifrael, [Pfal. cxxii. 34.] * and alfo made a wine prefs 

• therein ,' the temple and altar continually running with 
rhe blood of facrifices. * And he looked that it IhoulJ 
'bring forth grapes j* his expectations anfwer his care 
and difpenfations towards his church. Afcribed to him, 
it only fignilics what is jujl and equal, and which in fuch 
cafes ought to be, fuch a vineyard ought to bring forth 
grapes anfwerabic to all the a£ts of God's care and grace 
towards it. 

2. Such a day is the feafon that is allotted us ioi f pedal 
work and duty. So the apollle informs us, [II. Pet. 
iii. 2.] • Seeing then that all thefc things Ihall be dilfolved, 

• what manner of pcrfons ought wc to be in all holy con- 


* verfatioii and godlinefs !' What manner of perfon wc 
ought to ? Judge in youifelves and a.R accordingly. 
Great light, great hohnefs, great reformation in hearts, 
houfes, and churches arc expected in fuch a day. All 
advantages of this feafon are to have their ufe and im- 
provement, or we lofe the end of it. Every thing that 
concurs to conftitute fuch a day, hath advantages in it to 
promote fpecial work in us, and if we anfvver them not, 
our time for it is irrecoverably lofl ; and what bitternefs 
will this be in the end ! 

3. Every fuch day is a day of great trials. The Lord 
Chrifl comes in it with his fan in his hand, to fift and try 
the corn , * his fan is in his hand, and he will thorough- 

* ly purge his floor, and gather in his wheat into his gar- 

* ner, but he will burn up the chaff with unquenchable 

* fire.' The fan of Chrift in his wofd ; and by the 
preaching of it, he feparates the precious from the vile, 
the wheat from the chaff. He comes into his floor, the 
church, where there is a mixture of corn and chaff; he 
fifts and winnows them by his word and fpirit, caflino- off 
light, empty, and fruitlefs profeffors. Such a day is de- 
fcribed by Daniel, [chap. xii. 10.] ' Many fhall be puri- 

* lied, made white and tried, but the wicked fliall do 

* wickedly ; and none of the wicked fliall underlland, 

* but the wife fliall underftand.' Alany, that is, of the 
faints, fhall be purified^ ( mnn^) purged, made clean from 
fuch defilements as in their afeftions orconverfation thev 
had contracted : and made white; fliall be whitened \n their 
profeflion ; fhall be rendered more eminent, confpicuous, 
and glorious; and tried, as in a furnace, that it may appear 
what metal they are made of: but wicked and falfe pro- 
feffors fhall be difcovered and fo far hardened, that they 
fhall go on, and grow higli in their wickednefs to their 
utter deflruftion. And therefore it concerns us heedfuily 
to regard fuch a feafon ; for, 

4. Unto whom fuch a day is loft, they alfo themfehes 
are lofl:. It is God's lafl: deal-ng with them. If this be 
negleCled, if this be dcfpifed, lie hath done with them. 
He faith to them in it, * This is the acceptable time, this 


* is the day of falvation.'' If this day pafs over, night 
will come wherein men cannot work. So fpcaks our Sa- 
viour concerning Jcrufalcm which then enjoyed that day, 
but was on the point of utterly lofing it, [Luke xix. 41, 
42.] ' And when lie was come near he beheld the city, 
' and wept over it, faying, if thou hadft known, even thou, 

* at leall in this thy dav, the things which belong to thy 

* peace ; but now they arc hid from thine eves.* He 
wepty which is but once more recorded of him in the 
gofpcl, [John xi. 35.] and the word here ufcd, (syjMVcrc) 
denotes a weeping with lamentation. A juft confidcration 
of the mournful fuhje£l moved his lioly, tender, merciful 
heart, to the decpell commifcration. He did it alfo for 
our example ; that we may know how deplorable and mife- 
rable a thing it is for a people, a city, a pcrfon to with- 
Hand or lofe their day of grace. * If thou hadfl known, 

* even thou :' the reduplication is very emphatically, 

* thou, even Tiiou ;' thou ancient city, thou city of David, 
thou feat of the temple and worOiip of the great God, 
thou ancient habitation of the church ; * If thou hadfl 

* known ;' or oh ! that thou hadit known ; * at leafl in 

* this thy day.' They had enjoyed mzny fmaller days of 
grace, many melfages or dealings of the prophets^ as our 
Saviour reminds them, [Matt. xxi. 33 — 36.] Thefe they 
defpifed, periecuted, rejc£led, and fo loft the feafon of 
their preaching ; but they were days of lefs moment, and 
not decretory of their Hate and condition. ' Another 

* day' they were to have, which he calls * this their day ;* 
the day fo long foretold and determined by Daniel the pro- 
phet, wherein the Son of God was to come, and was 
now aftualiy come amongll them ; and what did he treat 
with them about? ' The things which belonged to their 

* peace \ of repentance and reconciliation, the things 
which might have given tlicm peace with God, and con- 
tinued their peace in the world ; but they rcfufed tliefc 
things, neglefled their dav, and fufFered it to pafs over 
their heads unimprovctl. What was the ifTue of all this ? 
God v/ould deal 110 more with them i the things of the^r 



peace fhall now be hid from them, and themfelves be 
left to deftrudlion ; for, 

§ 25. When fuch a difpenfation is loft, when the 
evening of fuch a day is come, and the work of it not 

I, It may be God will bring wafting dcftrudliGyi upon 
the perfons, churches, or people that have defpifed it. So 
he dealt with Jerufalem, as it was foretold by our Saviour 
in the place before mentioned, [Luke xix. 43, 44.] The 
things of thy peace are now over and hid from thee. What 
then fliall follow ? Why ' the days fliall come upon thee, 
' that thine enemies fliall caft a trench about thee, and com- 
' pafs thee around, and keep thee in on every fide ; and 
' fhall lay thee even with the ground, and thy children 

* within thee ; and they fhall not leave within thee one 
' flone upon another, becaufe thou knewefl not the time of 
' thy vilitation.' Becaufe thou haft not difcerned thy day, 
nor regarded it, haft not anfwered the mind of God in it, 
all this Ihall fpeedily befall thee. The fame hath been 
the ilTue of many renowned churches ; the very places 
where they were planted are utterly confamed. Tem- 
poral judgements are oft times the liTue of defpifed fpiri- 
tual mercies. 

2.. God may, and fometimcs doth, leave fuch people, 
churches, or perfons, as have withftood his dealings by- 
way of grace, to poirefs their outward Jiatlon in the world, 
and yet hide the things of their p^ace utterly from them^ 
by a removal of the means of grace. He can leave to 
men their kingdoms in this world, and yet take away the 
kingdom of heaven, and give it others. They may 
dwell ftill in their houfes, but yet be in the dark, their 
candleftick and the light of it being eonfumed together. 
This is what God threatcncth, [IL Thef ii. 2 — 12.] 

* Becaufe men would not receive the truth in the 

* love thereof,' or improve the day of their gofpel which 
they enjoyed, ' God fcnt them ftrong delufions that they 

* fliould believe a lie.' And how came it to pafs ? By re- 
moving the found and fincerc preaching of the word, he 
gave advantage to fcducers and falfe teachers to impofe 

Vol. n. T t their 


their fuperilition, idolatry, and herefics upon their cre- 
dulity. So God puniilicd the ncglc£t and difobedicnce of 
the churches of Europe, under the papal apoftacy. And 
let us take heed left this phial of wrath be alfo poured upon 
us ; or, 

3. God may leave to fuch perfons the outward difpen- 
fatlon of the means of graccy and yet withhold that efficacy 
of his Spirit whicli alone can render them ufeful to the 
fouls of men. Hence the word becomes to have a quite 
contrary efFedl to what it hath under the influences of 
fpecial grace. God then fpake to a people thus : [Ifa. vi. 
9, 10.] ' Hear you indeed, but undcriland not, and fee 

* you indeed, but perceive not : make the heart of this 
' people faft, and make their ears heavy, and fliut theif 

* eyes, left they fee with their eyes, and hear with thcit 
' ears, and underftand with their hearts, and convert and 

* be healed.' I have now done with them, faith God ; I 
liave no defign or purpofe any more to deal with them 
about their converfion and healing : and therefore, 
although I will have the preaching of the word as yet 
continued among them, yet it Ihall have no effc£l upon 
them, but through their unbelief ^ to blind them and har- 
den them to their deftrudlion. And for thefc reafons, 
amongft others, ought fuch a day as we have defcribcd 
carefully to be attended to. 

§ 26. This duty being of {o great importance, it may 
be feafonably inquired, how may a man, how may a 
church know, that it is fuch a day, fuch a feafon of the 
gofpcl with them, fo as to be fuitably ftirrcd up to the 
performance of fuch a duty ? 1 anfwer, they may knosT 
it two ways. 

I. From the ov.tzvard Jig7is of it, as the day is known 
by the light and heat of the fun which is the caufe there- 
of. Negleft and ignorance of this was charged by our 
Saviour on the Jews frequently ; [Sec Matt. xvi. 3.] * C) 

* ye hypocrites, ye can difcern the face of the Iky, but yc 

* cannot difcern the face of the times.' As God hath 
planted fuch flgns in natural thinf:^, hath fo ordered them, 
that one fliould be a llgii and difcovcry of another ; \o 



he hath appointed figns of this day of grace, of the 
coming of the Meffiah, whereby it alfo may be known. 
But thefe, faith he, you cannot difcern ; (y ^vytzcr^s) you 
eannot ; but withal he lets them know ivhy they could not ; 
becaufc they were hypocrites ; and either groilly neglected, 
or defpifed the means and advantages they had for that 
purpofe. Herein coniifted the wifdom of the children of 
Iflachar, that * they had underilanding of the times to 
< know what the children of Ifrael ought to do,' [I. Chron. 
xii. 32.] 

2. Such a day or fcafon will manifeft itfelf by its ef- 
ficacy. When God applies fuch a concurrence of means, 
he will make men one way or other fenfible of his defign 
and end. The word in fuch a day will either refine and 
reform men, or provoke and enrage them. Thus wdien 
the witnelTes preach, which is a fignal feafon of light and 
truth, they torment them that dwell on the earth, [Rev. 
xi. 10.] If they are not healed^ they will be tormented. So 
it was at the firll preaching of the gofpel ; fome were con- 
verted, and the reft were hardened ; a fignal work pafled 
on them all, and thofe who difpenfed the word, became 
a good favour in them that were faved, and in them that 
periflied. The confciences of men will difcover their 

§ 27. Ohf. 12. The examples of our forefathers are 
objefts of our deepeft confideration ; God in his dealing 
with thei"n provides inftru£lions for their pofterity. When 
parents do well, when they walk with God, they beat the 
path of obedience plain for their children ; and when they 
rnifcarry, God fets their fins as buoys, or as beacons, to 
warn them who came after of the llielvcs they fplit upon. 

* Be not as your fathers were, a ftiff-necked generation,' 
is a warning he often repeats. And it is in fcripture an 
eminent part of the commendation, or difcommendatioa 
of any, that they walked in the way of their progenitors. 
Where any of the good kings of Judah are fpoken of for 
cheir integrity, this is ftill one part of the teftimonv given 
them, that * they walked in the way of David their fa- 

* ther \ in the paths that he had trod before them. And on 

T t 2 tlue 


the other fide, it is a brand on many of the wicked kings of 
Ifracl, that ' they walked in the ways of Jeroboam the fon 
* of Nebat.' Their examples, therefore, arc of concern to 
us. — Oftentimes the Jame kind of temptations are continued 
to the children that the fathers were excrcifed with. Now 
it is a great zvamhig to men, to confider what fad events 
liave befallen them who went before, by yielding to the 
very temptations which they themfclves are exercifcd with. 
Again, there is a bJt'Jfing or a curfe, that lies hidden in the 
ways of progenitors. There is a revenge for the children 
of the difobcdient, to the third and fourth generation ; 
and a blehing on the pofterity of the obedient for a longer 
continuance. When fathers have made themfelves ob- 
noxious to the difpleafure of God by their fms, let their 
poilcrity know, that there is an addition of puniihment 
coming upon them beyond what, in the ordinarv courfe 
of providence, is due to themfclves, if they continue in 
the fame fms. When one generation after another Ihall 
pcrfifl in the fame provoking lins, the weight of God's 
indignation grows fo heavy, that ordinarily^ in one part or 
otlicr, it begins to fall within the third or fourth genera- 
tion. And doth it not concern men to confider what have 
been the w'avs of their forefathers, left there be a fccret 
confuming curfe againft them in the guilt of their lins ? 
Repentance and furfaking their ways wholly intercepts l?hc 
progrefs of the curfe. Men know not what arrears may 
by this means be chargeable on their inheritances ; and 
there is no avoiding the ' writ for fatisfaction,' that is gone 
out againft them, but by tu-ning out for the way wherein 
they are purfucd. The fame is the cafe with the bleffing 
that is ftorcd for the pofterity of the obedient, who arc 
found in the way of their forefathers. Thefc things ren- 
der them and their ways objc£ls of our confiderations. 
For, moreover, 

§ 2S. Chf. 13. It is a dangerous condition for children 
to ])oaft of the privilege of their fathers, and to Imitate 
their Jins. This was almoft continually the ftate of the 
Jews. ThevVcre ftill boafting of their progenitors, and 
conftantly walking in their fins. I'his they arc every 



where in the fcrlpturc charged with, [SeeNumb.xxxii. 14,] 
This the Baptill receded qii in his firft dealing with them , 

* Bring forth, faith he, fruits rqeet for repentance, and think 
' not to fay within yourfelves, we have Abraham to our 

* father.* [Matt, iii. 8, 9.] On every occafion they flill 
cried out, * we have Abraham to our father ;' he who was 
fo highly favoured of God, and iirft received the promifes, 
for his fake and by his mCfins, it fecms, they expefted tq 
be faved temporally and eternally. Hence they have a 
faying in their Talmud; ' Abraham fits at the gates of 
' hell, and will not permit that any tranfgreifors of Ifrael 

* fhall go in thither.' Exhilarating referve againft all 
tl\€ir fms ! what a pity the pleafing deiulion will deceive 
them, as afluredly it will, when they are paft relief. 
Whilfl they trufled in their privileges, and continued in 
the fins of them who had abufed them, it turned to their 
farther ruin. [See Matt. xxix. 29 — 32.] and let their 
examples deter others from countenancing themfelves iix 
privileges of any kind, whilft they come iliort of per-, 
fonal repentance, and obedient faith. Again, 

§ 29. Obf, 14. A multitude joining in any fin gives 
it thereby a great aggravation. Thofe here that finned 
vv'ere all the perfons of one entire generation. This made 
it a formal open rebellion, a conipiracy againft God, a 
defign as it were to dellroy his kingdom, and to leave him 
no fubje£ts in the world. When many confpire in the 
fame fin, it is a great inducement for others to follow. 
The oppofition to God therein is open and notorious, 
which tends greatly to his diflionour in the world. How- 
God refented the provocation of Ifrael, is fully exprefled 
in Numbers xiv. 20 — 36. In the whole difcourfe, 
(which finners ought to read and tremble at) there is re- 
prefented, as it were, fuch a rifing of divine anger and in- 
dignation, as fcarce appears again in the fcripture. Thus 
it is for a multitude to tranigrefs againft God, as it were 
by a joint confpiracy. Such will be the iflues of all na- 
tional apoftacics and provocations ! 

§ 30. Obf. 1 5. The finful actions of men againft thofe 
who deal with them in the name, and according to the 



will of God, arc principally againfl Gcd himfelf. Tlic 
people cliodc with Alofes\ but when God came to call 
them to an account, he lays, they flrove v/ith him and 
provoked him. So Mofes told the people to take them off 
from their vain pretences, and covcriiigs of their un- 
belief, [Exod.xxix. 2.] * The whole congregation mur- 

* mured agaiiift Moles and Aaron.' But, faith he, [ver. 
4.] * The Lord hcareth your murmurings, which yc 

* murmur againfl him ; and what are we ? Your mur- 

* murings are not againfl us, but againfl the Lord.' As 
if he had faid, miftake not yourfelves, it is God and not 
us, that you have to do with in this matter. What you 
fuppofc you fpeak only againfl us, is indeed direcllv, 
though not immediately, fpoken againfl God. And under 
the New Teflament, our Saviour applies this rule to the 
difpenfcrs of the gofpel, [Luke x. 16.] Saith he, * He 

* tliat heareth you, Ircareth me ,• and he that defpifeth you, 

* defpifeth me ; and he that defpifeth mc, defpifeth him 

* that fent mc' To violate the authority of an ambaffador 
among men is alwavs efleemed as the diflionour of him 
by whom he is employed ; efpecially if it be done to him 
in the difchargc of his ofhce. Nor are kings or flatcs 
ever more highly provoked, than when an injury or an 
affront is done to their ambafTadors. According to the 
light of nature, what is done immediately againfl a re- 
prefentative as fuch, is done dire£lly and intentionally 
<igainfl the perfon reprefcntcd. So it is in this cafe. 
The enmity of men is againfl God himfelf, againfl his 
way, his work, his will, w^hich his ambafTadors do but 
declare. But thefe things in themfelvcs are out of their 
reach, they cannot hurt them, nor will they own direftly 
an oppofition to them. Therefore are pretences invented 
sgainfl thofc who are employed by 'God ; that under their 
covert they may execute their rage ag.iinil God himfelf; 
but \\t fees that they are all but coverts for their lulls and 
obflinacv ; that h'lmldf is intended while his mcflTcngcrs 
are attacked, and he eReems it lb. Let the mclTengers of 
God take heed, that they neither a£l nor fpeak any thing 
but what they have fuflicient warrant from him for. It 



is an impious and a dangerous thifig to affix God's name 
to our own imaginations. God v/iil not put his leal af 
approbation, unlefs we Hand in his counicis, and b« 
found in the ways of his will. There is no obje6l of a 
more fad confideration, than to fee fome men perfccuting 
others for their errors. They that pcrfecute (fuppofc 
them in the right as to the matter in difference between 
them) do certainly a£l againfl God in what they pretend 
to ad for him. For they ufurp his authority over the 
fouls and confciences of men. Whether we arc to do^ 
or to fuffer, any thing for God, it is of great moment 
that we look well to our call or warrant. And then, whea 
men are fecurcd by the w^ord and Spirit of God, but arc 
confcious that their meffage is not tlieir own, but his that 
fent them, that they feek not their own glory but his, 
they may have hence all defirable grounds of encourage- 
ment, fupport, and confolation. They can be no more 
utterly prevailed againfl, that is, their tejilmony cannot, 
than can God himfelf So he fpeaks to Jeremiah ; * I 

* will make thee a fenced brazen wall, they fliall fight 

* againft thee, but they fhall not prevail againft thee, for 

* I am with thee to fave thee, and deliver thee, faith the 

* Lord,' [Jer. xv. 20.] And in what they fuffcr^ God 
is fo far concerned in it, as to account all that is done 
againfl them, to be done againfl himfelf Chrifl is 
hungry with them, and thirfly w^ith them, and in prifoii 
with them. [Matt. xxv. 35 — 37.] Again, 

§ 31. Ohf. 16. Unbelief manifefling itfelf in a time 
of trial, is a mofl provoking fin. Unbelief, I mean, as 
working in a diflruil of God, with refpedl to the difpen- 
fations of his providence. The Ifraelitcs here blamed 
were in the way of God, and no oppofition ought to 
have difcouraged them therein. To have 2, fuflcient "jjar- 
rant of the prefence and proteftion of God, is what 
makes faith and trufl a duty. And this the Ifraelitcs had in 
the promife made to Abraham, and others of their fore- 
fathers. When he hath given us experience of his good- 
ncfs and faithfulnefs, this adds a fpecialty to the general 
warrant for faith in the word of promife. 


3»6 AN EXPOSITION OF THE Ghap. lit; 

Here it may be inquired, wliat it is that makes anr 
time or feafon to be a day of trial ; feeing the mifcarriage 
of men in fuch a feafon is exprelTed as a great aggrava- 
tion of tluir fin \ and they are the things following : 

(i.) That there be a concernment of X.\\cvlory of God 
]\\ the ])erformance of that duty wherein wc are to adt 
faith, or to truft in God. So God tried the faith of 
Abraham, in a duty wherein his glory was greatly con- 
cerned. For by his obedience in faith, it appeared to all 
the w^orld that Abraham refpeded God, and valued a com- 
pliance with his will above all things in the world. So 
God himfelf* expreflcth it, [Gen. xxii. 12] 'Now I 

* know that thou feared God, feeing thou haft not with- 

* held thy fon, thy only Ion from me.' This was tho 
tenth and laft trial that bcfcl Abraham. Nine times had 
he been tried before ^. 

Here, therefore, Abraham in a mod cfpecial manner 
acquits himfelf, whence God gives him that teftimony; 
' Now I know that thou feareft God ;' that is, now thou 
haft made it known beyond all exception : and this puts 
ai blefled clofe to all his fignal trials. 

(2.) Difficulties and oppoiitions lying in the way of 
duty, makes the feafon of it a day of trial. When men 
have wind and tide with them in their failing, neither 
their ftrength nor their fkill is tried at all. But wlien all 
is againft them, then it is known what thev are. \\'hcii 
the fun Ibincs and fair weather continues, the houfcs that 
are built on the fands continue as well as thofe that are 
built on a rock. But when the rain and the floods and 
the winds come, they make the trial. ^\'hilft men have 
outward advantages to encourage them in the ways of God» 
it is not known what principles they a6l fron-^ \ but when 

* 1 . 1p. his departure out of his country. 2. By the famine which 
drove him into I' tjypr. 3. In the taking ol" his wife ihcrc by Pha- 
raoh. 4. In his war with the four kings. 5. In his hopclcflhefs 
of ilfue by Sarah, whence he took Hagar. 6, In the law of cir- 
cun.cillon. 7. His wile taken from him ngain by Ahimelcch. 8. His 
caftitig out of Ha^ar ultci ilic hud conceived. 9. His expullioii 
of Llhnvd*:!. 



tlieir obedience ai;id profelTion is attended with perfecution, 
reproach, jJovcrty, famine, nakednels, death, then it is 
tried what men build upon, and what they trull to ; then 
It is to them a time of trial. 

§32. Farther, to give light to our propofition we may- 
inquire, how, or by what means, men a6l and manifcil 
tiieir unbelief at fuch a ieafon. And this may be done 
leveral ways : 

1. By d'lJfaUsfad'iGn with that condition of difficulty, 
whereunto they are brought by Providence for their trial. 
Herein principally did the Ifraclites offend in the vvilder- 
nefs ; this occaiioned all their murmurings and complaints 
whereby God was provoked. It is true, they were brought 
into many ftreights and difficulties ; but they were brought 
into them for their trial by God himfelf, againfl whom 
they had no reafon to repine or complain. And this is 
no fmall fruit and evidence of unbelief, when we like 
not, for inftance, a flate of providential poverty, want, 
dangers, or pcrfecutions. If we like it not, it is from 
our unbelief, God expedls other things from us : our 
condition is the efFeft of his wifdora, his care and love ; 
and a$ fuch by faith ought it to be acquiefced in. 

2. By the omijjion of any incumbent duty, becaufc of 
■ the difficulties that attend it, and the oppolition made to 

it. To be ' fearful' and ' unbelieving,' go together, [Rev. 
xxi. 9.] Where our fear, or any other affedion, in- 
fluenced or moved by earthly things, prevails with us to 
forego our duty, there unbelief prevails in the time of 
our trials. And this way alfo in particular did the Ifrae- 
lites fail. When they heard of fenced cities and fons of 
Anak, they gave up all endeavours of going into the 
land of Canaan ; and confulted of making a captain to 
lead them back again into Egypt. And no otherwife is it 
with them who forego their profelfion, becaufe of the 
giant-Iikc oppofition which they find againft it. 

3. When men turn afide and feek for unwarrantable af- 
Jjjlances againft their difficulties. So did this people, they 

made a calf to fupply the abfence of Mofes, and w^re 
contriving a return into Kgvpt to deliver them out of 
Vol. 1 1. U u their 


their troubles. ^\ hen men in anything make flefli their 
arm, their hearts depart from the Lord. [Jcr. xvii. 5.] 

4. Wlien men difbclieve plain and direct promifis^ 
merely on account of the difficulties that lie againft their 
accomplilhmcnt ; this rcric6ls unfpcakabic diflionour on 
the veracity and power of God, and was the common 
fin of Ifracl in the wildcrnefs. They limited God, and 
faid, can he do this or that ? Seldom it was they believed 
beyond what they enjoyed. Here lay the main caufc of 
their i]\\ and ruin ; they had a promife of entering into 
the land, but they believed it not ; and, as our apoftlc 
fays, they could not enter in becaufe of unbelief, a time 
of trial is the turn, the hinge of the church's peace or 
ruin. We fee what their unbelief coft a whole genera- 
tion in the wildcrnefs ; and thefe Hebrews, their poftcrity, 
were now upon the like trial. And the apoftlc by this in- 
Ilancc plainly infmuates what would be the iflue if they 
continued therein, which accordingly proved to be their 
utter reje(flion. Many pretend that tlicy believe the pro- 
mifes of the covenant as to life and falvation, firmly and 
immovcably ; God tries them by particular inflances, of 
perfccution, difficulty, freights, public or private. Plere 
they abide not ; but either complain and murmur, or 
defert their duty, or fall to fmful compliances, or arc 
weary of God's difpenfations ; and tliis manifcfls their 

§ 33. Ohf. 17. There is commonly a day, a timfr 
wherein unbelief rifcth to its height in provocation. W'c 
Shewed before that there is a day, a fpccial fealbn of God's 
dealing with the fons of men, by his word, ai\d other 
means of grace. After this, if not clofcd with, if not 
mixed with fiiith and obeyed, they cither infcnlibly de- 
cline, in rcfp^cl of their tender or efficacy, or are utterly 
removed. In like maimer there is a day, a fcafon where- 
in the unbelief of men in its provocation comes to its 
(aKUYi) height, and uttermofl ilTue, beyond which God 
will bear with them no longer, but will break off all gra- 
cious intercourfe between himfclf and fuch provoker^-. 
This \va£ the dirc£l cafe with thcfc Ifrachtcs. They had 



by their unbelief and murmuring, provoked God ten times. 
But the day of their provocation, the feafon when it 
arrived at its height, came not until this trial mentioned 
Numb, xiv. upon the return of the fpies that went to 
fearch the land. Before that time God often reproved 
them, was angry with them, and varioufly punifhed them ; 
but he ftill returned to them in mercy and compafiion ; 
and {lill propofed to them an entrance into his red ac- 
cording to the promife. But when the day once came, 
when the provocation of their '^nbelief was come to its 
height, then he would benr with them no longer, but 

• fwears in his wrath that they fliould not enter into his 

* reft.' And fo it was with their poflerity, as to their 
ccclefiaftical and national ftate. God often fent unto 
them, and dealt varionfly with them by the prophets 
through feveral generations. Some of them they perfe- 
cuted, others they killed, and upon die matter rejected 
them all, as to the main end of their melTage. Btrtyet 
all this while God fpared them, and continued them a 
people and a church. Their provocation was not come 
to its height, its laft day was not come yet. At length, 
according to his promife, he fent his Son to them. Tbis 
gave them their laft trial ; this put them to the fame con- 
dition with their forefathers in the wildernefs ; as our 
apoftie plainly intimates in the ufe of their example. 
Again, they defpifed the piomifes ; as their fathers had 
done in the type and fhadow, fo did they when the fub- 
ftance of all promifes was exhibited to them. This was 
the day of their laft provocation, after which God would 
bear with them no more in fimilar patience , but enduring 
them for the fpace of near forty years, he utterly rejected 
them ; fending forth his fervants, he flew thofc murder- 
ers and burnt their city. This is that which our Saviour 
at large declares in his parable of the houfeholder and hi$ 
hufbandmen, [Matt. xxi. 31 — 41.] 

§ 34. And thus in God's dealing with the anticJ?riJlian 

Jlctte, there is ^feafon wherein the angel ' fwears, that there 

* Iball be time no longer ;' [Rev. x. 6.] that God would 

RQ longer bear with them, or forbear them in their provo- 

U u 2 cations 


cations and idolatries, but would thenceforth give them 
•up to all forts of judgements, fpiritual and temporal, to 
their bitter confufions : yea, * fend them llrong delufions 

* that they fhould believe a lie, that they all might be 

* damned, who believed not the truth, but had pleafure in 

* unrighteoufnefs,' [II. Thef. ii. i i, 12.] This day is 
uncertain, yet irrecoverable. 

I. It is uncertain. Jerufalem knew not, in the en- 
trance of her day, that her fin and unbelief were coming 
to their iffuc, and fo was not awakened to their preven- 
tion ; no more than the men of Sodom knew when the 
fun arofe, that there was a cloud of fire and brimflone 
hanging over their heads. Men in their fins think they 
"will do as at other times, that they fhall ftill have fpacc 
and time for their duty , but ere they are aware they have 
finifhed their courfe, and lilled up the meafure of their 
fins. * As the fiflics that aie taken in an evil net, and 
' as birds that are caught in the fnarc, ^o arc the fons of 

* men fnared in an evil time, when it falleth fudJenly 

* upon them." [Rcclcf. ix. 12.] For the day of the Lord's 
indignation comes as a fnare on them that dwell on 
the face of the earth, [Luke xxi. 35.] And men aie 
often crying peace, peace, when fudJen dcIhu(fIion 
cometh npon them. [I. Thef. v. 3.] When Babylon fliall 
fay, * I fit as a queen, and am no widow,' (her fons being 
again rcflored to her) * and Ihall fee no forrow ^ then fliall 

* her plagues come in one dav, deatli and mourning and 

* famine, and Ihc fliall be utterly burnt with tire,' [Rev. 
xviii. 7, 8.] Hence is Chrift fo often faid to * come as a 

* thief;' to manifefl how men will be furprifcd by hini in 
their fins and impcnitency. — This day is alfo, 

2. 1) recoverable. When the provocations of UJibellcf 
come to their height, tlierc is no room left for repentance 
cither on the part of God or the (inner. iVo/ for thcjhincr ; 
fince men, for the mofl: part after this, have no thought 
of repenting. Either they fee thcmfelves irrecoverable, 
and fo grow dcfperate ; or become ftupidly fenfolefs and 
lie down in fecuritv. So thofe falfe worfliippers in the 
Revelation ; ulicr time was granted them no longer, but the 
J plague: 

Ver. 7— ir. EPISTLE TO THE HEBREWS. 33^ 

plagues of God began to come upon them, it is faid, * they 
' repented not, but gnawed their tongues for pain, and blaf- 

* phemed the God of heaven.' Inllcad of repenting for 
their fins, they rage againfl their punifhment. Rcpcnta7ice 
alfo in this matter is hid from the eyes o( God ; when Saul 
had finiflied his provocation, Samuel, denouncing the 
judgement of God againft him, adds, ' And alfo the 

* flrength of Ifrael will not lie, nor repent,' [I. Sam. xv. 
29.] God confirms his fentcnce, and makes it irrecovera- 
ble, by the engagement of his own immutability. There 
is no alteration, no reprieve, no place for mercy when 
this day is come and gone. [Ezek. xxi. 25.] 

§ 35. Let perfons, let churclies, let nations take heed 
left they fall unawares into this evil day. I fay unawares ; 
becaufe they know not when they may be overtaken by 
it. It is true, all the danger of it arifeth from their own 
negligence, fecurity, and fiubbornnefs. If they will give 
ear to previous warnings, this day will never come upon 
them. It may not, therefore, be unworthy our iiiquiry, 
to fearch what prognoftics men niay have of the ap- 
proach of fuch a day. And, 

I. When perfons, churches, or nations, have already 
contra£led the guilt of various provocations, they may 
jullly fear that their next fliall be their lafi. You have, 
faith God to the Ifraelites, ' provoked me thefe ten times;' 
^hat is, frequently, and now your day is come. Yoa 
might have conndered before, that I would not always thus 
bear with you. Hath God then borne with you in one 
and another provocation, temptation, backfliding ; take 
heed lefi: the great fin lies at the door, and be ready to 
enter upon the next occafion. 7^akc heed, ' Grey hairs 

* are fprinklcd upon you, tliougli you perceive it not.* 
Death is at the door. Beware, left your next provocation 
be your laft. When your tranfgrellions come to three 
and four, tlic punifhment of your iiiiquitics will not be 
turned away. When that is come, (and O that it may 
never coiiic upon you» reader !) God v;ill have no 
more to do v/ith vou, but — in judgement, whether tem- 
po nl or etcrjial. 

2, When 


2. ^VHien repentance^ upon convictions of provocation', 
kffetis or decays, it is a fad fymptom of an approaching 
day, when iniquity will be completed. When the lixcd 
boun<is of this repentance arc arrived at, all fprings of it 
are dried up. When, therefore, pcrfons fall into thr, 
guilt of many provocations, and God gives a manifci'b 
convidion of them bv Ins word or providence, and 
are humbled for them according to their liglit and prin- 
ciples ; but if tlicy ilnd their humiliations, upon their 
lencvvcd ccnvidions, grow weak, and klfcn in their 
effects, and they do not fo rcflc£l upon thcmfelves with 
fclf-difplacency as formerly, nor fo ftir up themfclves to 
amendment, as they have done upon former warnings or 
conviclions, nor have in fuch cafes their accuflomed fenlc 
of the difpleafure and terror of the Lord ; let them be- 
ware, evil is before them, and the fatal feafon is at hand. 

3. When various difpenfations of God towards men 
bave been fruitlefs ; when mercies, judgements, dangers, 
deliverances, fignally flamped with a refpe£l to their ilns, 
but cfpecially the warnings of the word, have been mul- 
tiplied tov.ards any perfons, churches, or nations, and 
have pafled over them without reformation or recovery, no 
doubt judgement is ready to enter, yea, into the houfe of 
Cjod itfelf. Is it thus with any? Is this their cafe and 
condition ? Let them pleafe themfelves while they lift, 
they are like Jonah aficcp in thejliip, v;hilft it is ready ta 
fink, on tiieir account. Sleepy profcffors, awake, and 
tremble ! You know not how foon a great, vigorous* 
prevalent temptation mav hurry you into your laft pro- 
vocation and ruin. 

§ 36. Ohf. I 8. To diftruft God, to dia^elicve his pro- 
niife?, v;hilll a v/ay of duty lies before us, after wc have 
Ijad experience of his goovhicfs, power, and wifdom ii:i his 
dealing witli us, is a tempting of God, and a greatly pro- 
voking fin. And a truth this is that hath ' meat in its 
• mouth,* or inllro^^ion ready for us, wc may know 
Jiow to charge this aggravation of our unbelief upon our 
fouls a!id confcienccs. Diftruft of God is a lin that we 
AVQ apt \y:/.n\ f.r-.urv pcrverfe rcafonings to indulge our- 



felves in, and yet is there nothing with which God is more 
provoked. Now it appears in»thc proportion, that fun- 
dry things are required to render a perfon, a church, or 
a people formally guilty of this fin. As, 

(i.) That they be called to, or engaged in, fome fpe- 
cial way of God. And this is no extraordinary thing; 
all believers who attend to their duty, will find it to be 
their ilate and condition. It is in his ways that we have 
his promifes ; and therefore it is in them, and with refe- 
rence to them, that we are bound to believe and trufl in 
him ; and, on the fame account, in them alone can wc 
tempt God by our unbelief. It is alfo required, 

(2.) That, in this way, they meet with oppofxtions, 
difficuUies, and hardfl"iips, which, whilfl Satan and the 
world continue in power, they fhall be fure to do. Yea God 
himfelf is pleafed oft times to exercife them with fundry 
things of that nature. Thus it befel the people in the 
wildernefs. Sometimes they had no bread, and fome- 
tlmes they had no water ; fometimes enemies afTaulted 
them, and fometimes ferpents bit them. 

(3.) That they have received former experiences of 
the goodncfs, pov/er, and wifdom of God in his dealings 
with them. That any one hath no experience of the fpe- 
cial goodnefs and power of God towards him, hath been 
through his own negligence and want of obfervation, and 
not from any defeat in God's difpenfations. But as the 
mofl in the world take no notice of the effefts of his care 
and goodnefs towards them ; fo many believers are negli- 
gent in treafuring up experiences of his fpecial care and 
love towards them. When he hath revealed his ways to 
us, and made known to us our duty ; when he hath given 
us pledges of his prefcnce, and of his owning us, fo as 
to feal and afcertain his promifes to us ; then, upon the 
oppofition of creatures, or difficulties about outward, tem- 
porary, perifhing things, for us to difbclieve and diflruji 
him, mufl needs be an high provocation of the eves of 
his glory. But alas I how frequently do we contrail the 
guilt of this fm, both in our perfons, families, and more. 



public concerns ? A due confideration of this lays bcforr 
us, without doubt, matter of the deepefl humiliation. 

§ 37. Ohf. 19/ No place, no retirednefs, no folitary 
vvlldernefs will fecurc men from iin or fufFcring, provoca- 
tion or punifhment. Thefe perfons were in a iv'ilder- 
rcfs, where they had many molives and encouragements to 
obedience, and no means of fedudion and temptations 
from others, yet there they iinncd, and there they fuffer- 
ed. They '•finned in the wildernefs,' and * their carcafes 
* fell in the wildernefs.* They filled that defert with fins 
and graves. Men have the principle of their llns in 
themfelves, in their own hearts, which they cannot leave 
behind them, or get rid of by changing their flations. 
And the juftice of God, which is the principal caufe of 
puniniment, is no lefs in the wildernefs than in the mod 
populous cities. The wildernefs is no wildernefs to 
him ; he can find its paths in all its intricacies. In this 
very wilatrnefs, on the top of Sinai, there is at this 
day a monaflry of perfons profefling themfelves to be 
religious^ who live there for cultivating fuperior piety. I 
once, for fome days, converfed with their chief ; they call 
him Archimandrite, here in England. For ought I 
could perceive, he might have learned as much clfewhere. 
I remember old Jerome fomewhere complains, that 
when he was in his horrid cave at Bethlehem, his mind was 
frequently amongft the dclecies of Rome. And this will 
teach us, 

(i.) l\\ every outw^ard condition to look principally to 
our own hearts. We may expe6l great advantages from 
various conditions, but Ihall indeed meet w^lth none of 
them, unlefs we fix and water the root of them in our- 
fclves. Oiie thinks he could ferve God better in prof- 
perity, if fre.d from the perplexities of poverty, fickncfs, 
and pcrfccurion. Others that they ibould ferve him 
better if called to afBidions and trials. Some think it 
would be better with them if retired and folitary ; others 
if they had more fociety and company. But the only 
way to ferve (»od better, is to abide in our Nation and 
condition, and therein ta get /tetter hearts. It is Solomon's 



advice (iQ mD Ssd) Prov. iv. 23. * Jbovc, or before, every 
^ watch, or keeping, keep thy heart.' It is good to keep 
the tongue, and it is good to keep the feet, and it is good 
to keep the way, as he farther declares in that place ; but, 
faith he, above all keepings, keep thy heart ; and he adds 
a great reafon for his caution, for, faith he, ' out of it 

* are the illaes of life.' Life and death, in the means 
and caufes of them, come out of the heart. So our Sa- 
viour inilrufts us, that in our hearts lie our treafure ; 
what they are, that %ue are, and nothing elfe. Thence arc 
all our a£lions drawn forth, which not only ' fmell of the 

* cafk,' but receive thence principally their whole moral 
nature, whether good or bad. 

(2.) Look for all relief, and for help againft fin, merely 
from grace. A wildernefs will not help you ; no, nor a 
paradife. In the one Adam iinned, in the other all Ifrael 
finned. Men may to a good purpofe go into a wildernefs 
to exercife grace and the principles of truth, when the 
a£ling of them is denied elfewhere. But it is to no 
purpofe to go into a wildernefs to feek for thefe things ; 
their dwelling is in the love and favour of God, and no 
where elfe can they be found. Do not expe£l that mer- 
cies of themfelves will do you good, that the city or the 
wildernefs will do you good ; it is grace alone that can do 
that. And if you find inward benefits by outward things, 
it is merely from the grace that God is pleafed to admi- 
iiifter with them. And he can feparate them when he 
pleafeth, he can give mercies that fliall be fo materially, 
but not eventually ; like the quails that fed the bodies of 
the people, whilft leannefs pofieiTcd their fouls. Learn, 
then, in all places, in every flate and condition, to live 
in the freedom, riches, and efficacy of grace. 

(3.) Let us learn, that whitherfoever fin can enter, 
punifhment can follow ; (culpam fequitur poena pede claudo) 
though vengeance feems to have a lame foot, yet it will hunt 
fin until it overtake the finner. [Pfal cxl. 2.] * Evil fhall 

* hunt the violent man to overtake him.' Go where he 
will, the fruits of his own evil and violence, the punifl*- 
ment due co them, fhall hunt him and follow him ; and 

Vol. II. X X though 


though it fliould fomctimcs appear to be out of fight, or 
off from the fcent, yet it will recover its view and chafe, 
until it hath brought him to dellruclion. It will follow 
it into the dark^ the dark corners of their hearts and lives ; 
and overtake them in the light of the world. God hath 
(iV^/xov oiLU-cK,) an eye of revenge that nothing can efcape. 

* Can any hide himfclf in fecrct places that I cannot find 

* him ? faith the Lord, do not I fill heaven on earth? 

* faith the Lord,' [ Jcr. xxiii. 24.] God declares whom 
it is, that none can hide from his prefence, or efcape his 
juftice. It is from his oymiiprcfencc ; he is every where, 
and all places arc alike to him. Adam, when he had 
linned, went behind a tree. And others would go under 
rocks and mountains ; but all is one, vengeance will find 
them out. This is that (S/k->^) 'ucnyeance^ which the bar- 
barians thought would not let a murderer live, however 
he might efcape for a feafon, [Adis xxviii. 4.] 

§ 3S. Obf. 20. Great works of Providence are a great 
means of inflrudlion, and a negleft of them as to their 
in{lru£live end is a great aggravation of fin. * They faw 
' my works/ faith God ; works great and wonderful, and 
yet continued in.their lin and difobedience. This heighten- 
ed their lin, and haftened their punifliment. We fliall 
take an inilance in one of the works here intended, which 
will acquaint us with the defign, end, and ufc of them 
all ; I mean the appearance of the majefty of God on 
mount Sinai at the giving of the law. The works ac- 
companying it, confided much in things miraculous and 
unufual ; as thunder and lightnings, fire and fmoke and 
earthquakes, the found of the trumpet, he. The ufual 
workings of the minds of men towards thefe uncommon 
effeds of divine power is to gaze on them with admi- 
ration and aftonilhment. This God forbids, [Exod. xix. 
21.] * Charge the people left they break through unto 
*■ the Lord to gaze.' This is not the dffign of God in 
thefe works of his power, in thefe appearances and evi- 
dences of his Majeftvv that men Ihould gaze at them to 
fiUisfy their curio fity. ^Vhat then was aimed at in them ? 
It was to inftruft them in Lhc due fear and awful reverence. 


of God, whofe hollnefs and inajefty was reprefented to 
them ; that they mny know him as ' a confuming fire.' 
God doth not often utterly deftroy men with great and 
tremendous dellruftions, before be hath given them pre- 
vious ivarnhigs o'i his indignation. But yet men that arc' 
fecure in fin, will have fo bttlea {^v^'it of thefe warnings, 
that they will be crying, peace and fafety when their final 
deftrudion is feizing upon tiiem, [1. Tlicf. v. 3.] God 
fpeaks out the curfe of the lav/ in his v^^urks of judge- 
ments. For thereby is * the wrath of God revealed from 

* heaven againfl the ungodlinefs of men,' [Rom. i. 18.] 
But yet, even when men hear the voice of the curfe fo 
pronounced, if they are fecure they v/ill blefs them.felves 
and fay, * thev Hi all have peace, though they acd drunken- 

* nefs to thirll:,' [Deut. xxix. 19.] And this for the mofl 
part blinds the eyes of the wife men of this v/orld. They 
neither fee nor underfhand any of tiie works of God, 
though never fo full of dread or terror ; b^caufe being 
fecure in their fin, they know not that tliey have any 
concernment in them. If at any time they attend to 
them, it is as the people did to the voice that came from 
heaven to our Saviour ; ' fome faid it thundered, others 

* that an angel fpeak ;' one f:iys one thing of them, ano- 
ther another thing, but endeavour not to come to any 
certainty about them. This is complained of, Ifa. xxvi. 
II. * Lord, when thy hand is lifted up they will not fee.* 
But they who will wifely confider their own condition, 
how it is between God and them, will difcern the voice of 
God in his great works of providence, [Dan. xii. 10.] 

* Many fliall be- purified and made white and tried, but 

* the wicked fliall do wickedly, and none of the wicked 

* fhall underfland, but the wife ihall undcrfland.' And 
when fliall this be ? When there is a time of great trouble, 
[vcr. I.] When God's judgements are greatly in the 
world, the end of thefe troubles is to -pur'ify them, to 
clcanfe them by the removal of all filth of flelh and fpirit 
that they may have contracted, as drofs is taken away 
from filver in the furnace ; and to make them white, by 
caufing their fincerity, conflancy, and perfeverance in their 

X X 2 holy 


holy profefTion to appear in their trials. But the wicked, 
men iccure in their lins, fhall yet continue in their wick- 
cdnefs ; and thereby fhall be fo blind, that none of them 
fhall underfland the mind of God in his great works and 
tremendous difpenfations. All the works of God, if duly 
confidered, will be found to he as his image and fuper- 
fcription. They have on them marks and tokens of in- 
finite wifdom, power, and goodncfs. Thofe of provi- 
dence, which he intends to be greatly inflru6tive, have a 
peculiar imprcffion of the defign of God upon them ; and 
a wife man may fee the eye of God in them. So he 
fpeaks in the pfalmiil, ' I will guide thee with mine eye,* 
[Pfalm xxxii. 8.] 

§ 39. Obf. 21. The greater evidence God gives of his 
power and goodnefs in any of his works, the louder is 
his voice in them, and the greater is tlie fin of thofe who 
neglefi them ; and if men will fliut their eyes againfl the 
light, they iuflly peridi in their darknefs. God fome- 
times hides his power ; [Hcb. iii. 4.] • there was the hiding 

* of his power.' But fometimes he caufeth it to Jhine forth. 
As in the fame place, ' he had horns coming out of his 

* head.' Horns, or fliining beams, rays of glory, arofc 
from his hand, or his power in its manifeftation by his 
works. He caufed his wifdom and power to fliine forth 
in them, as the fun gives out light in its full ftrength 
and beauty ; then for men not to take notice of them, 
will be a fignal aggravation of their fm, and haflening of 
their punilhmcnt. Now we can never know what appears 
of God in his works, unlefs by a due confidcration of 
them wx endeavour to underftand them, or his mind in 
them. Again, 

§ 40. Obf. 22. The end of all God's works, of his 
mighty works of providence, towards a pcrfon, a church, 
or nation, is to bring them to faith and dependence. 

* Who is wife, and he fliall underhand thofe things ? 

* Prudent and he Ihall know them ? For the ways of the 

< Lord are right, and the juft fliall walk in them ; but 

< the tranfgrelfors fliall fall therein,' [Hof xiv. 9.] There 
is fcarce a leaf in the book of God, or a day in the 

2 courfe 


courfe of his providence, that doth not judge and con- 
demn the folly and ftupidity of their pride, who difregard 
the inil:rudive kffons of Divine Providence. * Becaufe 
' they regard not the works of the Lord, nor confidcr the 

* operations of his hands, he fhail deftroy them and not 
' build them up,* [Pfal. xxv. 5.] 

§ 41. Obf. 23. God is plcafed oftentimes to grant 
great oiitivard 7neans to thofe in whom he will not work 
more effedually by his grace. Who had more of the firfl: 
than the Ifraelites in the wildernefs ? As the works of God 
amongll them were the greateft and moil ftupendous that 
c\ erhe had wroughtfrom the foundation oftheworld ; fothc 
/^w was firft vocally given and promulgated amongfl them; 
and not only fo, they had the go/pel 2i\io preached to them as 
well as we ; not fo clearly but no lefs truly, [Heb. iv. 1,] 
God might well fay of them as he did afterwards of their 
poflerity ; * Vvhat could have been done more to any vine- 

* yard, that I have not done in it?' [Ifa. v. 3.] for fencing, 
and planting, and ftoning, nothing more could have been 
done. He did not, indeed, exert an efFedual power of 
inward grace during their enjoyment of the outward 
means ; and in like manner when our Lord Jefus Chrifl 
preached the gofpel to all; yet it was to fome only it was 
given to know the myileries of the kingdom of God, 
[Matt. xiii. 11 — 16.] I know fome are difpleafed at this; 
but for the moil part they are fuch as will be pleafed with 
nothing that God either faith or doth, or can do or fay, 
unlefs he would give them a law or gofpel to fave them 
in and with their fins. They are ready to difpute that 
God is unjuft, if he gave not grace to every man to ufe 
or abufe at his pleafure, whilft thcmfelves hate grace and 
difpute it, and think it not worth acceptance if laid at 
their doors. But who art thou, O man, that difputcfl: 
againft God ? Nay the rightcoufnefs of God in this mat- 
ter is moft confpicuous : for, 

(l.) God is not obliged to grant any fpccial privilege?, 
even as to the outward means of grace, to any of the fons 
of men. And to fliew his fovcreignty and abfolute free- 
dom herein, he always grawtcd them with great variety 



in a d'lJlingiLiJlnng manner. ?o lie did of old ; < He fhcwed 

* his word unto Jacob, his llatutcs and his judgements 

* unto Ilrael. He hath not done fo to any nation, and as 

* lor his judgements they have not known them,' [Plal. 
clxvii. 19, i'j.'\ Thefe outward means themfelves were 
their peculiar privilege. This was the advantage of the 
Jews, that to them, and to them alone, were committed 
the oracles of God. [Rom. iii. 2.] And as God granted 
thefe outward meaiis of grace to them alone, fo he might 
have juilly denied them t© them alfo \ or elfe he might 
have granted them to all others to their exclufion. For 
he dealt not thus with them, becaufe they were of them- 
felves better tlian thofe who were excluded from their pri- 
vileges i [i)cut. vii. 6 — 3.] And thus God dealeth even to 
this day v»ith the nations of the world. Some he en- 
trudeth with the gofpcl, and fomc have not the found of 
it approaching them. IVIan would not abide in tlie con- 
dition wherein God made him, [Ecclef. vii. 29.] And 
God may juftly leave him in that condition, into which 
by fin he hath call himfelf. That he will afford outward 
means to any, is of mere liberality and bounty ; and ihall 
we fav he is unjuft if he give no more^ when no rule or 
law of juftice obligcth him to what he doth ? 

(2.) Even outward means themfelves, when fingly dif- 
penfed, have many bleflcd cnd<; which Ihall be effcded by 
them ; for tlicy all tend varioufly to the glory of God. That 
the wifdom, holinefs, goodnefs, righteoufnel's, and fcverity 
of God be exalted and glorified, as they are in the difpen- 
fiition of the outward means of grace, though eventually 
not effectual to the falvation of lome, is a matter of great 
rejoicing to all believers, as including important privi- 
leges. So faith our Saviour, [Matt. xi. 23.] * And thou, 

* Capernaum, which art exalted unto heaven, fliall be 

* brought down to hell, for if the mighty works which 

* have been done in tlice, had been done in Sodom, it 

* would have remained until this day.* The exaltation of 
Capernaum confiUcd in its enjoyment of the outward means 
of grace, in the Redeemer's preaching and miracles. And 
although the end of all was that flic was to be brought down 


Ver.7—^1- epistle to THE HEBREV/S. 34, 

to hell for her obflinacy in unbelief; yet whilft flie enjoyed 
thefe things, Ihe had a real privilege, and was much ex^ 
fitted thereby. There are then many mercies in tliis one 
of the outward means of grace, confidcrcd abfolutely and 
in itfelf. Moreover, 

(3.) Where God grants the ufe of the outward means, 
of grace to any, ordinarily, if not always, he hath a dcfio-iv 
to communicate by them fpecial faving grace to fome. 
The gracious means granted to the people \w the wilder- 
nefs, where they feem to have had as fad an event as ever 
any means had in the w^orld, were not loft, notwithftand- 
ing as to their ufe of conveying fpecial grace to fome. 
Some, yea doubtlefs manyy were converted to God by 
them, and made obedient. That they died in the wilder- 
nefs is no argument as to individuals, that they died alL 
penally ; for they were members and parts of that people, 
that provoking generation, which God dealt with accord- 
ing to the demerit of the community. And fo many fall 
and are cutoff penally in national defohitions, as thofe de- 
folations are juft punilhments for the fins of that nation, 
though themfelves were not perfonally guilty of them. 
Now the faving of one foul is worth the preaching of 
the gofpel to a whole nation for many years. And whilil 
God carries on his work vifibly, he will take care fecrctly 
that not one hidden grain of his Ifrael Hiall fall to the 

§ 42. Ohf. 24. No privileges, no outward means of 
grace, no other advantage whatever will fecure men in a 
courfe of (inning from the wrath and juftiee of God. 
Who could be made partakers of more things of that ki p.d 
than were his people at that time? Belides the great pri- 
vilege derived to them from their fathers, in that they were. 
the pofterity of Abraham the friend of God, and had thc; 
token of his covenant in their flefli ; thcv had newly 
ercfted amongft them a glorious church (late, wherein 
they were intruded with all the ordinances of God^s wor- 
fliip. Thefe, privileges the apofile fums up, [Rom. ix. 
4, 5.] * Who are IfraclitL'S ; to whom pertainctli thc 
* adoption, and the glory, and the covenants, and the 

* giving 


* giving of the law, and the fervicc of God ; and the pro- 

• niifes ; whofc arc the fathers.' Doubtlcfs they bare 
themfclves liigh on thcfe things. So when thev contended 
with Mofes and Aaron, their plea was, tliat all the people 
were holy. Some cry they arc the church, and foinc 
boall of other things ; but be men what tlicy will, their 
privileges and advantages what they can delirc ; if they 
are fecure and obftinate finners, the wrath of God at one 
time or other will overtake them. For although the hand 
of churcb-privilcgc lliould join in with the hand oi fccidar 
advantage^ yet the guilty fhall not go unpuniihcd. 

§ 43. Obf. 25. The heart of God is greatly concerned 
in the fins of men ; efpecially of thole who on any ac- 
count are his people, and fo eftecmed. Men live, and 
a(fl, and fpeak, as if they thought God very little con- 
cerned in what they do, efpecially in their lins ; they 
think that God is altogether as themfclves, [Pfalm 1. 21.] 
But it is far otherwife. For God, 

(i.) Is concerned in point of honour in what we do. 
He made us for his glory and honour ; but nothing of 
this can we any way affign to him but by our obedience. 
And whatever is contrary to that tends direfllv to his dif- 
honour. And this God cannot but be deeply fenfible of. 
He cannot deny himfelf. Shall God lofe all his juft re- 
venue without exprcffing an indignation againft the guilt 
of men w-ho deal fo unjurtly and fraudulently with him ^ 
Nay, he is as our fovcrcign Lord, deeply concerned in 
this matter. 

(2.) He is concerned in point of ///•/?.Vr, alfo, as he is 
the fupreme ruler and governor of all the works of his 
own hands. He is God to whom vengeance belongeth ; 
who hath faid, * vengeance is mine, and I will rccom- 
* penfe.* And he needs no other rcafon to induce him to 

punifli tranlgreffion, but his own holincfs and juilice. 

And this he CAprcllcth after the manner of men, afhrming 

that he is grieved, or vexed and provoked to indignation 

with the iins of men. 

§ 44. Obf. 26. In all the fins of men God chiefly re- 

jgards the principle, that is, tiic hcayt, or is in ir. 



They do err, faith he, * in their hearts.' The heart he 
principally requires in our obedience, and this he princi- 
pally regards in men's difobedience. * My fon, faith he, 

* give me thine heart ;' and ' O thy.t there were fuch an 

* heart in them, that they would fear me.' When the 
lieart is upright, as to its general frame, God will bear 
with many failings, many mifcarriages. And when it is 
falfe, thoufands of duties are of no cileem with him. 
If once a man begins juflly to fufpeft that the hearts of them 
with whom he hath to do, are not upright with him, but 
falfe and guileful, let them pretend what they will, and 
aft what they pleafe, all is utterly difregarded and defpifed. 
And if it be thus with men who judge of the heart of 
others only by effedls, how much more muft it be fo with 
God, before whofe eyes all the hearts of men lie open and 
naked ; whofe glory and property it is to be {xcco^ioyvooa^yig) 
the knower^ fearcher and judge of all hearts. Again, 

§ 45. Obf. 27. The error of the heart in preferring 
the ways of fin, before obedience with its promifes and 
rewards, is the root of all great provoking fins and re- 
bellions againll God. Many fins are the effects of men's 
impetuous lulls and corruptions ; many there are hurried 
into by the ^ power and efficacy of temptations ; moll are 
produced by both thefe in conjun£lion : but as for great 
provocations, fuch as carry in them apoflacy or rebellio!! 
againll: God, they proceed from a deceiving and a deceived 
heart. There are many noifome and hurtful errors in 
the world ; but this is the great foul-ruining error, when 
the heart is praflically corrupted to prefer fin and its wa?es 
before obedience and its reward. In brief, when the di- 
redlhe part of the mind is diverted from attending to the 
reafon of the things propofed ; when it is corrupted by 
falfe pretences impofed on it by tlie outrage of corrupt 
liifcs and alfeftions, which have poiTefied the imagination 
with their objefts, and their prefent decciveablenefs. When 
the ?iCQu{\\v.^ jud;ring faculty IS, baffled, flighted, and at bell 
partially filenced, as wearied with doing its work in vain, 
and accuflomed to repulfes : when in its reflexive aflsy 
whereby it fhould receive iuiprefnons from its own fclf- 
VoL. II. Y V accu- 


accufatlons and reproofs, are made obtufc, hard, and 
fenfclcfs, not regarding what is fpokcu in it or to it ; and 
when by thcfe means carnal affetiions bear fway in the foul, 
impctuoufly inclining it to fcek after their fatisfa^ion — 
then is the heart under the power of the error we fpealc 
of, that error which is the principle of ail great provoca- 
tions and ruinous apoftacies from God. 

For, this heart error fets all the luils of the foul at 

liberty to feek after their fatisfadion in fm ; makes it 

flight and contemn all the promifes annexed to obedience, 

and difregard the thrcatenings that lie againft iin ; and fo 

prepares it for the utmoll rebellion. And of all errors 

let us take heed of this pra6tical error of the heart. It 

is not men's being orthodox or found in their opinions 

that will relieve them, if they are under the power of this 

great fundamental error. And it is a matter to be la- 

rnented, to fee how men will contefl for their opinions 

■under the name of truth, and caft all manner of fevcre 

reflc^irjui on thofe that oppofe them, whilft tbemfclves err 

in their hearts and know not the ways of God. And 

this is a frame which of all others God moft abhorreth. 

For when men pretend to be for him, and are really againll 

him, as all fuch are, fhall not the fearcher of hearts find 

it out r Orthodox liars, fvvearers, drunkards, adulterers, 

opprelFors, perfecutors, are an unfp*akable burden to the 

patience of God. Again, 

§ 46. Ohf. 28. A conftant p^r/ifting in the courfe of 
fin, is the utmoll:, highefl, and laft aggravation of fm. 
They err always in every inftance of obedience, and that 
continually. This filled up their mcafure. For herein 
confills that fin'ijhhig of fin which brings foith death, 
[I. Jam. i. 14.] Sin may be conceived and brought forth, 
and yet death not cnfuc. But if it be finiflicd, if men 
err in their hearts * always, ' inevitable defirut'lion will be 
the confequent of it. This, as was faid, is the higheft 
^nd lall aggravation of fin. For, 

(i.) It includes a neglcfl and co)iicn:pt cf all times and 
fcalons of amendnxnt. God gives to men, cfpccially 
^liofc who live under the difpcnfation oi the word, many 



peculiar times or fcafons for their recovery. Tlicy have 
their ' day/ their fpecial day, wherein they ought in ai\ 
efpecial manner to look after the things of their peace. 
It may be this day, is often revived to the perfons fpokeii 
of, and often returned upon them ; but it is as oftea 
defpifed and negle£icd by them. 

(2.) It includes a rejeflmi and difappointmeiit of the 
means of repentance, which God is pieafed gracioufly to 
afford them. Durmg the feafon of his patience towards 
finners, God is pieafed to grant them fundry iliean^ and 
advantages for their amendment, and that in great va- 
riety ; but they are all rejected and rendered fruitlcfs in 
an unchanged courfe of finning. 

(3.) It includes a contempt of the whole work of con* 
fciencc from lirft to laft. Many affillances doth conscience 
receive in its work. Conviftions from the word, ex- 
citations by judgements, mercies^ dangers, deliverances; 
but yet in this condition all its adtings are baffled and 
defpifed. And what can be more done againft God? 
What can add to the guilt of fuch fins and finners ? And 
this may ferve to juftify God in his fc verity againft per- 
fons that ^ always err ' in their hearts, that continue in a 
courfe of finning. In the day when the fecrets of all 
hearts fhall be difclofcd, and all tranfa£lions between 
God and the fouls of men laid open, the Rolinefs, righ- 
teoufnefs, and juft feverity of God againft impenitent 
finners, will, on thefe and other accounts, be glorioufly 

§ 47. Obf. 29. None defpife or defert the ways of God, 
but thofe that know them not. Or, whatever they may^ 
profefs ; profligate finners know neither God nor his ways. 
* They err in their hearts and have not known my ways.* 
Who would feem more fully to have known the ways of 
God than his people ? The ways of his providence 
wherein he walked towards them, and the ways of his 
law wherein they were to walk towards him, were all 
before them. And yet all this while, being unbelieving 
and obdurate, they knew net the ways of God ; nay, 
though they profcjpd that they ki>cw, and that they would 

y y 2 obfervc 


obfcrvc them, yet in truth they knew them not. And 
fuch were ihcir poftcrity and fucceffors in unbelief and 
difobcdience, of whom the apoille fpcaks, [Titus i. i6.] 

* They profcfs that they know God, but in works they 

* deny him, being abominable and difobedicnt, and unto 

* every good work reprobate.' Whatever notions fuch 
perfons have, or may have, of the ways of God, what- 
ever fkill in the outAard letter of his laws and inflitutions, 
yet they know neither their righteoufnefs, nor the holinefs, 
nor the grace, nor the efhcacy, nor the ufefulnefs, nor 
the beauty of any of them. Thefe things are fplrltually 
difccrncd^ and they are fpiritually blind \ thefe are fpirit and 
life, and they are flefh and dead. And all this is evident 
from men's dcfpiftyig the ways of God, or their dcrel'i^lon 
of them. This none can do but thofe that know them 
not. For they that know the name of the Lord, that is, 
any of the ways whereby he reveals himfelf, will put their 
truft in him. [Pfalm ix. lo.] Julian, that infamous 
apoftatc, was wont to boaft concerning the fcriptures, 
that he had read them, known them, and condemned 
them : unto whom it was truly replied, that if he had 
read them, yet he undcrjlood them not, of which there 
needed no other evidence but that he condemned them. 

§ 48. Obf. 30. When God exprcllcth great indigna- 
tion in himfelf againflfm, it is to teach men the greatnef* 
of fm In themfclves. For that end is he faid here, to 

* fwear in his wrath.' There are expreflions in fcripturc 
about God's refpcdl to the fins of men, that arc ftrangely 
cmpliatical As fometimes he is faid to be * prelTcd under 

* them r.s a cart is prclTed when laden with Iheaves ;' fome- 
times, that he is made to ' ferve with fm,' and ' wearied 

* with ini']uity ,' fometimes to be * broken with the who- 

* nlh heart of a people ;' and * grieved at the heart that he 

* had ever made fuch a creature as man ;' fometimes that 
the iins of men are * a funic in his noflrils,' that which, 
iiis foul loatlicth ; and very commonly to be angry^ lexedy 
.and ^rUvedy to be lurathful^ ftirrcd up to furyy and the 
like. Wiiat is it then that God intends by all thefe ex- 
prclHons r it is all to exprcls what indeed y//; dcfcrvcs^ and 

I that 


that a recompeiice of revenge is to be expeded, or that it 
is of fo great a demerit as to excite all the perturbations 
mentioned in the nature of God, were it any way capable 
of them. So doth he make ufe of all ways and means to 
deter us from fin. And there is much love, tendernefs, 
and care in all thcle cxprclfions of anger, wrath, and 
difpleafurc. Again, 

§ 49. Obf. 3 I . God gives the fame firmitude and {labi- 
bility to his thrcatenings as he doth to his promifes. He 
fwears to them alfo. Men are apt fecretly to harbour a 
fuppolition of a difference in this matter. The promifes 
of God they think indeed are firm and flable ; but as for 
his threatemngs, they fuppofe that one way or other they 
may be evaded. It was by this deceit fin come into the 
world ; namely, that the threatcnings of God either 
would not be accompliflied, or that they were to be un- 
derftood after another manner than was apprehended. 

* Hath God faid fo, that you fliall die if you eat ? Mif- 

* take not, this is not the meaning of the threatening ; or, 

* if it be, God doth not intend to execute it ; it will be 

* otherwife, and God knows it will be otherwife.' This 
£ave fin its firft entrance into the world ; and the fame 
deceit ftill prevails in the human mind. Hath God faid 
that finners fhall die, fliall be curfed, fliall be cafl into 
iiell ? Nay, but fure enough it will be otherwife, there 
will be one way or other to efcape. It is good enough to 
affright men with thefe things, but God intends not fo to 
deal with them. Whatever the threatening be, many 
things may intervene to prevent their execution. What 
God promifcth indeed, fliall come to pafs, we may expc£b 
it and look for it. But as for thefe threatenings they depend 
on fo many conditions, and may fo eafily at any time be 
evaded, as that there is no great fear of their execution. 
But what is the ground of this feigned difference between 
the promifes and thrcatenings of God, as to their {lability, 
>certainty, and accomplifliment ? Where is the difFerencp 
between the two claufes in that text^ * he that believeth 

* fhall ht favcdy^ and 'he that believeth not fhall be dam^ 
'* ned P h not the holinefs of God and his/aithfulnefs as 



much concerned in the comminatory as in the promifTory 
part of his word ? Would not a failure in the one be as 
prejudicial to his glory as a failure in the other ? The prin- 
ciples from which his threateiiings proceed, arc no lefs ef- 
fential properties of his nature, than thofe which arc 
fprings of his promifes. And his declaration of them is 
no lefs accompanied with the engagement of his veracity 
and faithfulnefs, than that of the other. And the end 
aimed at in them is no lefs necclfary to the demonflration 
of his glory, than that which he defigneth in his promifes. 
And we fee, in this particular inflance, that they are alfo 
confirmed with the or?//^ of God even as his promifes are. 
And let none think that this was an extraordinary cafe, 
and concerned only the men of that generation ; this oath 
of God is part of his law, it abides for ever ; and all that 
fall into the like lin with them, attended with the like 
circumftances, do fall under the fame oath of God ; he 
fwears concerning them, that they ihall not enter into 
his reft. And we little know how many are even in this 
world in this predicament ; the oath of God lying againft 
them for their eternal punifhment. Let men take heed 
of this great felf-deceiving ; and let them not be mockers 
in this matter left their bonds be made ftrong ; for, 

§ 53. Obf. 32 When men have provoked God by their 
impenitency to decree their irrevocable pnnilhment, tiicy 
will find fcvcrity in the execution. They fhall not enter, 
no not fo much as enter into his reft. Behold, faith onr 
apoftle, the fevcrity of God ; towards them that felt fevc- 
rity [Rom. ii. 22.] Men will find that tliere is fcverity 
in the execution, who defpifed the threatening ; and 
that it is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the 
livi^ig God. When fmncrs fhall fee the whole creation 
on fire about them, hell opening under them, and the 
glorious dreadful judge over them; they will begin to have 
a due apprehenfion of his terror. But then cries, repent- 
ings and w:iilings, will be of no ufe. Th'a is the time 
ind place for foch confiderations, not when the fentencc 
is executed, nor when it is irrevocably confirmed. 

^51. Obf. 3^. It is the prefence of Go^ alone 
renders anv place or condition good or d:hrable. TIkv 

111 all 


fnall not, faith God, enter into ' my reft.* This makes 
heaven to be heaven, and the church to be a dejirahk 
place ; every thing anfv/ers the manner and meafure of 
the prefence of God. And with this Mofes cxprefllly 
preferred the wildernefs before Canaan. * If thy prefence 
• go not with us, lead us not up hence.' 

Verse 12. 

take heed, brethren, lest there be in any of 
you an evil heart of unbelief, in departing 
from the living god. 

§ I, 2. (I.) The wordi explained, § 3. Unbelief is eiiherne^ 
gativc, or privative. § 4. The unbelief intended conjijh in 
either^ I. Refujing to believe^ or, § 5. 2. Rejeding the 
the faith. § 6. Ifloich operates in a diflike of go/pel pu- 
ritjy and § 7 . Of gofpel myfieries. § 8 . The fpecial evil 
is, a departure from the living God, § 9 — 14. (II.) 

§ i.XN the three following verfes there are three things In 
general propofcd : 

Firjly An exhortation to avoid an evil, even that which 
it is the apoftlc*s principal deiign to diiTuade them from, 
ver. 12. 

Secondly, A propofal of one ufeful means whereby they 
may be alTifted in its avoidance, ver. 13. 

thirdly, An enforcement of the exhortation to the ufe 
©f that means, from fundry confiJerations, ver. 14. 

§ 2. (I.) * Take heed left there be in any of you.' 
The original term (^fi/^-TTCv) is property f video J to fee and 



behold, as an aft of fcnfc ; tlicn fca-jeo) to take heed, or 
beware, as an aft of the mind ; and when ufcd as an aft 
of fcnfc, it commonly refers to expeftation ; cither of 
fomc good to be received, or of fomc inconvenience to be 
watched againll. And bccanlc look out, or look about 
them, to beware of dangers, the word is ufed for ' to 

* take liced,' or * beware.' In this Icnfc it is often ufcd 
in the New Teflament, vca, fo far as 1 have cbfci vcd, it 
is fecunur to the facrcd writers ; and efpccially it is fre- 
quently ufed by our apoftle, [as 1. Cor. i. 26. chap. x. 
10. Phil. iii. 2. Eph. v. 18. Col. ii. 8.J and fomctimcs 
it is ufed tranfitively inftead of to conjulcr^ [I. Cor. i. 26.] 

* Conhdcr your calling,' [chap. x. iS.] ' Confidcr Ifracl 
' according to the ficfli.' Sometimes it has a reciprocal pro- 
noun joined with it; (JlKiTVilz ca\j\^c) [II. John viii.] 

* Conlidcr or look well to yourfelves.' Sometimes it is 
■ufed absolutely, as here, and lignifies to hcivare of fome- 
what. Care, heedfulncfs, circumfpcftion with refpcft to 
danger and oppofition, and thofe imminent or near, is 
that which the word imports. ' Lcjl there be in any of 

* you.' The firfh word {^/,7iojs) is fomewhat more empha- 
tical than the ' left,' whereby alone we render it. Some 
tranflations lay f?ic forte J Icjl perchance^ with refpeft to a 
dubious event. Others, (nc quando) Icjl at anv time. Left 

* there be {-v jivi v^Cajv) in any of you ; the apoflle fpeaks to 
tbcm collctfively^ to take care that none be found amongft 
them with fuch an heart as he cautions them againlL 
And this confequentially falls on every individual ; for 
where all are fpoken to, each one is concerned. The 
fame kind of exprellion is ufed to the fame purpofe, chap. 
xii. 15, 6. Watching, overfecing mutuallv with dili- 
gence, leji any among you fail of the grace of God, left any 
root of bitternefs i'pringing up trouble vou, and thereby 
many be defiled ; left there be any fornicator or prophanc 
j^erfon as Elau. 

§ 3. The principle of the evil is *■ an evil heart of un- 

* belief;' {7r,g u7ri(f]iotg) of unbeliefs here denotes th« 
principal ctficicnt caufe, rendering the heart fo evil, as 
that it liiould depart from the living God. There Is 


Ver.12. epistle to the HEBREWS. 351 

fomcthlng peculiar In this exprclTion, * an heart of un- 
* belief; tliis, under the power of it, principled by it in 
its actings. Unbelief is ufualiy diftinguifhed into nega- 
tive and privative. Negative unbelief is where-ever any 
believe not, or have not faith, although they never had 
the means of believing ; and fuch cannot be faid to have 
in them an * evil heart of unbelief.' Privative unbelief 
is where men believe not, although they enjoy the means 
of faith or believing ; and herein conlifts the higheft a6ting 
of the depraved nature of man, being on many accounts 
the greateft provocation of God that a creature can make 
himfclf guilty of. For it is, as might be manifefted, an 
oppofition to God in all the properties of his nature, and 
in the whole revelation of his will. Hence to gofpel, 
which is a declaration of grace, mercy, and pardon, though 
it condemn all iin, yet denounceth ihe final condemnation 
of perfons only againft this fin. ' He that belleveth iLall 
' be faved, and he that belleveth not fhall be damned,' 
[Markxvi. 16.] 

§ 4. Now this privative unbelief (which the apofllc 
intends) is two fold, and confifls, firji, in rcfujing to be- 
lieve when it is required; fecondly, in rf/Vt'Z/V/^ the faith 
after it hath been received. We Ihall confider both : 

I. When the objeft of faith, or that which is to be 
believed, is according to the mind of God, and in the 
ways of his appointment, propofed to men ; when fuf- 
ficlent evidence is given to the truth and goodnefs of what 
is fo propofed, and the authority is made known on which 
faith is required, yet thev refufe to believe. Now as this 
hath its root in the natural darknefs, blindnefs, and de- 
pravednefs of the minds of men, fo it is not educed and 
aclcd Vv'Ithout new finful prejudices, and flubbornnefs of 
the will, refafmg to confider the evidences given to the 
truth propofed, or the goodnefs and excellency of the things 
themfelves ; nor is It afted without fignal effects of hard- 
nefs of hearty love of fm a!id pl-jafure, keeping men ofF 
from the obedience required. The root of this unbelief 
is in the orjginal depravation of oin- natures with that fpi- 
litual impotencv, and enmity to God, wherein it confiilis. 
Vol. n. ' 'Z z B«- 


Bcfides this general caufe of unbelief, when it comes to 
particular inllanccs, and the gofpel is propofcd to this or 
that man for his alfcnt and fubmiliion, there is always 
fomc fpccial corruption of mind, voluntarily a6led, if the 
foul be kept off from believing ; and on that account 
principally, and not merely original impotency and en- 
mity againfl: God, is the guilt of unbelief rctlcfled upon 
iinners. Tlierc is the fame fundamental caufo of unbe- 
lief m all that refufc the gofpel ; but the next immediate 
proper caufe of it is peculiar to every individual. 'Some 
arc kept off from believing the gofpel ; for inllancc, by in- 
veterate prejudices in tlicir minds, which they have taken 
in upon corrupt principles and intercfls ; and this Ihut up 
of old mod of the Jews under their unbelief. Tiiey had 
received many prejudices againfl the per/on and docirim of 
Chrift, which on all accounts they expreffcd, and fo were 
offended at him. And fo it is with many at all times. 
Prejudices againft the preachers of the gofpel on fundry 
accounts, and againll: their doclrine, as eitiicr ufelcfs, or 
falfe, or unintelligible, or fomcwhat thev know not what, 
but which they do not like, keep tliem off from attend- 
ing to the word and believing, ]^{c^ John v. 44.] — To 
fome an efpecial cbftinacy cf will from thofe prejudices 
offereth itfclf in this matter ; fo our Saviour tells the 
Pharifees, [John v. 40.] * Yc will not come to me that 

* yc might have life i' thev put fortli a pojitive atl of their 
wills in refufing and rcje£ling him. And on this account 
the guilt of mens unbelief is abfolutcly refolved into their 
oivn wills. — Love of Jin with fome, (and it is the mofi: com- 
mon path to ruin) is tlie immediate caufe of their aflual 
unbelief; [John iii. 19.] ' This is the condemnation, 

* that light IS come into the world, and men love darkne/s 

* rather than lig'nt bccaufc their deeds are evil.' They like 
iiot the terms of the gofpel hrcaufe of their refolutely 
wilful love of fm, and fo perilh ii\ tiicir inicjuitics. — 
Stupid ignorance, arifing from the polieffion, which other 

•things inconfillent with faith and obedience, h.ave of the 
niin-ls of men, is another caufe. So our apoitlc tells us, 
[II. Cor. iv. 4.] That ♦ the God of this world hath 

* hlindcU 


' blinded the eyes of them that believe not left the light of 
* the glorious gofpel of Chrift, who is the image of God, 
' fliould fhine unto them.* When the minds of men are 
irradiated with the light of the gofpel, it is that they 
may believe; for by that light is faith produced. How is 
this obftrufted r it is by the darhnejs and blindnefs of 
their minds. What darknefs is this ? is it v;hat is com- 
mon to all ? no, but that which is in a peculiar manner 
brought on the minds of fonie men, who, by the crafts 
and deceit of the God of this wor'd, are kept in a flupid 
and brutilh ignorance of fpiritual things. This keeps 
them from believing, and fully clears the holinefs and 
lighteoufnefs of God in his judgements againft final and 
impenitent unbelievers, to wiiom the gofpel is preached : 
For as that impotency which is in them naturally, is cul- 
pable ; and it is no excufe for them for not believing, be- 
caufe of themfelves they could not fo do ; feeing it is by 
their own default that they are brought into that condi- 
tion : fo every one in his own perfon, who believeth not, 
doth by a voluntary a^ rejedt the gofpel, and that on 
fuch corrupt principles as none can deny to be Mx^ Jin. 

§ 5. 2. There is an unbelief that coniifls in a rejeftion 
of the truth after it hath been admitted and profefTed. 
Some after they have been convinced of the truth, and 
made profefTion of it, yet through the temptations of the 
world, the corruption of their own hearts, love of fin, 
or fear of perfecution, fufFer their conviftions to wear 
off, or caft them out, and rcje£l the faith they have 
owned. Ke who hath already w^ithilood the efficacy of 
the only remedy for his diftempers, who hath rejefted 
and defpifed it, what can cure him ? ' It had been better for 

* men not to have known the way of righteoufnefs, than 

* after they have known it, to turn from the holy com- 
' mandments delivered to them,' [II. Pet. ii. 21.J Rene- 
gadoes from the gofpel are the greatcil villains in the 
w^orld ; nor do men voluntarily renounce the light, but 
to give themfelves up to the deeds of darknefs. The cor- 
ruptions of fuch men abfolutelv prevail over their con- 
vidlions, and the power of fin in their wills and affcc- 

Z z 2; tions. 


tions, cafts off all influencing light from their undcr- 
ftanding. And this is the condition of unfpeakable mul- 
titudes in the world. 

Satan will be calling fiery darts at the foul, but when' 
the Hiield of faith is held up cortftantly and flcdfaflly they 
are immediately qucnccd ; [Ephef. vi. i6.] ves, it is the 
work of faith to arm the foul on all hands, that afTaults 
make no imprefTion upon it ; and when it is brought 
but to parley with an objeflion, then unbelief is at work. 
Innumerable arc the oppofite inclinations, objections, and 
temptations that lie in the way of profefling the gofpel, 
cfpccially againfl exemplary iledfaftncfs : and to hearken 
to what Satan fuggefls, to reafon with the world, to con- 
fult with flcfli and blood, contains the firil a£tings of 
unbelief towards corrupting the heart in order to a depar 
ture from God. While our Saviour taught the multitude, 
in general terms, of ' the bread of God that came down 

* from heaven,* they were pleafed with it, and cryed, 
' Lord give us evermore of this bread,* [John vi. 34.] 
but when he began to acquaint them in particular that he 
himjelf w^s that bread, that his flefli was meat, and that his 
blood was drink, that is, that they were the fpiritual nou- 
rilhmcnt of the fouls of men, efpecially as given for 
them in his death ; they began to be offended and to 
murmur, crying, * This is an hard faying, who can 

* bear it ?' [vcrfc 60, 6 i.'J And what was the efTeCt of this 
diflike ? pldin and open apojlacy, \y<iT. 66.] * From 
' that time many of his difciplcs went back and walked no 

* more wMth pain.' And whence did this dillikc and 
murmuring arife ? It was mcrclv the afling of their un- 
belief, as our Lord declared, [vcr. 63, 64.] * My words,' 
which you fo dillikc, * are fpirit and life, but there arc 

* fome of you that believe not.' The young man men- 
tioned. Matt. xix. had a great refpe(fl for the teachings o'i 
Chrifij, for he comes to him to be inllrucfted in the way 
to eternal life ; but when our Lord Jcfus proceeded to 
make a particular trial of him in a i'pccial inllance, bid- 
ding him ' fell what he had, and give to the poor, ^lui 

* follow 


• follow hini ;' this he liked not, but went away forrowfal.* 
[ver. 21, 22.] 

§ 6. Unbelief fometimes operates in a d'tjllhe of the 
purity, limplicity, and fplntuality of go/pel worjhip. 
This was that wherein our apoflle had principally to do 
with the Jews ; who were apt to admire the pompous 
worfhip of the temple, and fo to diflike the naked fim- 
plicity of the gofpel inflitutions. Hence the pagans of old 
objected to the Chriftians, that they had a worfhip with- 
out temples, altars, images, or pompous ceremonies ; 
whence they looked on them as mere atheifts. And this 
diflike of the purity and fimplicity of the gofpel-worfhip 
is that which gave rife and incrcafe to the whole Roman 
apoftacy. — The feverity and univcrfal'ity of obedience which 
it requircth, is another thing that unbelief diilikes ; and 
makes abundant ufe of the flefh to this purpofe. Some- 
thing or other it would be gratified in, within doors or 
without, or at leall be fpared, and not in all things pur- 
fued as the gofpel requires. To be always and in all 
things, private and public, perfonal and relative, mor - 
tified, crucified and denied, and to have no reft given it, 
the llelh likes not; and unbelief makes ufe- of fo unwel- 
come a tafk to bring the whole foul into a diilike of that 
do6lrine whereby it is required. Many profeffors have 
becn-quite wearied out yi\i\\ an obfervance of that holinefs 
which this profeffion rcquireth ; and hence it is that com- 
monly there are moft apoftates from the ftricleft ways of 
profelfion. The more univcrfally liolinefs is preffed, 
the more weary will prevailing unbelief make men of the 
ways of God. 

§ 7. A fecret diflike of the principal myjicries of the 
gofpel is the original caufe of moft of the degeneracies, 
backflidings, and apoftacies that are found amongft pro- 
feffors in thcfe latter days. The teftimonies to them be- 
ing fo many, fo plain, fo uncontrolable, what is it that can 
carry men to contradidl them to their own ruin ? Why, 
unbelief doth not like them, and particularly this myftery 
of * God manifeft in the flefh ;' and this Anti-chriftian 
principle infenfibly alienates the foul from it, however 



plainly aflcrted in fcripturc ; and what men pretend to re- 
ceive by the condu(St of mere rcafon and argument, is 
indeed nothing but prejudices impofcd on their minds by 
the power of unbehef. From the power of this proud 
principle men tliink it a foolilh thing to look for pardon 
and rightcoufnefs folcly from another, and not trufl to 
themfclvcs in any thing : ap.d the reafon why they liavc 
multiplied inftanccs to the fame purpofe is, becaufe they 
can indeed find reft and fatisfa(Slion in none other, and 
do therefore pleafe and deceive their fouls 'with this va- 
riety. And what is it that hath driven a company of 
poor deluded fouls amongfl ourfclves, to trull a faPiCicd 
tight ivlthin them, and a iVigntd fcrfethon in their wr:vs ; 
They cannot, forfooth, think it wife, prudent, or fufe^ 
to trull for their all one who lived and died fo long ago. 
Men make fundry pretences, ufc divers arguments and 
pleas for turning afide to their own crooked paths, and 
endeavour by all means poffible to juflify themfelves ; but 
tlie bottom of all lies here, that this doclrine of the crofs 
is foolilhnefs to them ; and they are under the power of 
their unbelief which dillikes the myfterics of it. That 
the juft Ihonid fufier for the unjult ; the innocent ww- 
dergo the puniihment due to the guilty ; tliat one Ihould 
lin, and another fuffer ; that he whom God loved above 
all, fliould undergo his wrath for them, and deliver them 
whom he had grounds of righteoufnefs to hate and deflroy, 
is a foolilh thing to them. This all the Scclnians in the 
world defpifc ; and it is reje£led by the fakers amongll 
curfelves ; and varioufly corrupted by the Piip'ips, and 
others. And there is none of all thefc, but vf'iW plead 
reafons and arguments for their opinions : but this that 
\\c infill on is the true and real ground of their mifcarriagcs. 
They are under the power of that unbelief, which ?.(fts it- 
felf by a diflike of the myflcrics of the gofpel. 

§ 8. The next thing in the words is X.\\?iX. fpccial evil 
which the apolUe cautions the Hebrews againfl ; as that 
which an lieart made evil by the prevalency of unbelief 
would tend to the ' departing from the living God \ the 
objefl of this dcp?.rture is particularly exprelicd [cctto 0Ja 


^cjoy\oc) * from the living God.' It is plain that apoilacy 
from the profeffion of the gofpel is intended ; and vvc 
muft inquire into tlie reafons why the apoille doth thus 
peculiarly exprefs it by ' a departure from the living God/ 
1 fliall propofe thofe which to me feem moil natural : 

1 . It may be that thefe Hebrews thought little that their 
departure from the profeHion of the gofpel was a depar- 
ture y/(?;?z the living God. Probably they rather pretended 
and pleaded, that they were returning to him. For they 
did not fall off to idols or idolatry, but returned to ob- 
ferve, as they thought, the inftitutions of the living God, 
and for a relinquilhment whereof the blafpheming and 
perfecuting part of them traduced our apoflle himfelf as 
an apoflatc. [Acls xxi. 28.] To obviate thefe apprehen- 
lions, and that they might not thereby countenance them-»f 
fclves in their defection, the apoflle lets them know, that 
after the revelation of Chrift and a profeffion of him, 
there is no departure from him and his inititutions, but 
that men do withal depart from the living of God. So 
John pofitivelv declares, [11. Epift. 9.] * whofoever tranf- 

* greiTeth and abideth not in the dodlrine of Chrifl, hath 

* not God ; but he that abideth in the doflrine of Chrifl, 
' he hath both the Father and the Son.' He then that 
rejefts Chriil in the gofpel, let him pretend what he will 
of adhering to one God, cleaves to an idol of his own 
lieart ; for neither is the Father without the Son, nor is 
he a God to us but in and by him. 

2. It may be he would mind them of the pcrfon and 
riaiuie of him from whom he would prevent their depar- 
ture ; namely, that however in refpe6l of his office, and 
as he was incarnate, he was our mediator, our apoftlc 
and high pricll ; yet in his own divine perfon he was one 
with his Father and the bleffi^d Spirit, ' the living God.* 

3. And as this property oi life, as it is in God eflcntially, 
whence he is called the ' living God,* is exceedingly and 
eminently accommodated to encourage us to faith, truft, 
and affiance in him in all freights and difficulties in the 
wav of duty — as our apoille declares, [I. Tim. iv. 10.] 
** for therefore v/e both labour and fufFcr reproach, bccaufc 

I wc 


we trufl in the living God \ or, tliis Is tliat which encou- 
rngcth us to, and fupportcth us in all our Libourlngs and 
iufllrings, bccauje he in whom we truil, from whom wc 
cxpcft prclcntalhllance and a future reward, is the ' living 
' God i" — {o it is that which defervcdly calls the grcatell 
awe and terror upon the minds of men in their lins and 
rebellion againfl hiai. Thus he frcquentlv prctaccth ex- 
prefTions of his feverity againfl llubborn Tinners with * ai 

* / //ir, laith the Lord ;* as it were bidding them to con- 
fider what they were to expe£t. And this Teems to me 
X\\^ pviKc'ipal reafon why the apoflle thus ftates the fin of 
their apoilacy as ' a departure from the living God.* 

4. He may alio exprefs it, at once to intimate the 
greutucjs and f oily of their lin. They thought, it may be 
that it was but the leaving of thefe or the other obfer- 
■vanccs, but, faith he, it is a departure, a flagitious defec- 
tion and revolt from the living God. And who knows 
not tliat this is the grcateft lin and highcft folly imagi- 
nable, to depart from him who will be fo great a reward 
to them that obey him, and fo fevere a judge of them 
tliat torfake him ; what greater guilt or folly is the na- 
ture of man capable of ? 

§ 9. (II.) From the words thus explained, the fol- 
lowing obfervations offer themfelves : 

Obf. I. There is need of great care, heedfulnefs, 
watchfulnefs, and circumfpedtion, for a due continuance 
in our prcfelfion to the glory of God and advantage of 
our own fouls. A carelefs profeiiion will iilbe in either 
apoflacy, open or fccrct ; or at leaf! great diflrefs ; [Matt, 
xiii. 4. Cant. iii. i — 5.] Our Chriilian profelTion is a 
warfare, and thofe who are not circumfped in war, will 
afluredly be a prey to their enemies ; be their flrength 
never fo great, one time or other they will not avoid n 
fatal furprifal. And there is a neceility of this heedful 
attendance, for tlie manifold duties that arc incumbent 
on us ; our whole life is a life of duty and obedience; if 
we fail in matter or manner, we fpoil the whole ; for 
(bonum oritur ex tntcgrls^ malum ex quoUbet defeiluj 'any 

♦ one d^kd^ is enough to denominate an aflion evil ; bit 

' to 


* to that which is good there miifi: be a concurrence of 
' all nccefTary circumftances.* And who is fufficient for 
thefe things ? God alone by his fpirit and grace can enable 
us ; but he w^orks theie things by us as well as in us ; and, 
where he gives luccefs, gives heedful diligence. 

(i.) In a due confideration of our dangers; he that 
walks in the midd: of fnares and ferpcnts, and goes on 
confidently without confideration of his danger, as if his 
paths were all fmooth and fafe, will one tinic or other be 
entangled or bitten. ' A prudent man forefeeth the evil 
' and hideth himfelf, but the fimple pafs on and are pu- 

* niflied," [Prov. xxii. 3.] It is the highefl: folly not to 
look out after dangers, which ufually end in forrow, 
trouble and punilliment. Men at fea that are in the midft 
of rocks and fhelves, and confider it not, will hardly 
avoid a fhipwreck. Livy tells us, that Philopoemenes, 
that wary Grecian commander, wherever he went, though 
he were alone, was ftill conlidering all the places he paded 
by, how an enemy might poffefs them, and lay ambufhes 
in them to his difadvantage, if he fhould command an 
army in thole places. Plereby he became the mod wary 
and expert captain of his age. So fliould a Chriflian do : 
he fliould always confider where, and by what means, his 
fpiritual advcrfaries may enfnare or engage him, and fo 
eitiier avoid or oppofe them ; and not like the fimple, pafs 
on heedlelfly, and be puniflied. 

(2.) In a due confideration of the fpecial nature of thofc 
fnares and dangers that we are expofed to. But here 
cuflom, fecurity, falfe pleafing confidence of our own 
itrength, negligence and floth, all put in to delude us ; 
and if we are here impofed upon, that we weigh not 
aright the nature and efiicacy of our own peculiar fnares 
and temptations, we fliall alTuredly at one time or other 
fail in the courfe of our obedience. 

(3.) It is fo to heed tliem, as to endeavour to a\jQ'id and 
oppofe them ; and that in all their occafions and advan- 
tages ; in their whole work and efficacy. "We are not 
only to confider them "johcn they aflault us, but to watch 
againfl all ways whereby they may do fo ; in being always 

Vol. TI. A a a rcadv. 


ready, armed, and ftanding on our guard ; in calling in 
help and ailillance ; and in improving the fiipplics granted 
us with taithfiil diligence. The negligence and floth of 
many profelTors can never be enough bewailed; they walk 
at all adventure, as if there were no chz'il to tempt them; 
no %vor!il to llducc, enfnarc, or oppofe tlicm ; no treachery 
in their own hearts to deceive them. And hence it is 
that many are fick, and many are weak, and fome are 
fallen aflecp in fin ; but what our Saviour faid to all of 
old, he fays ftill to us, watci. [Mark xiii. 37.] 

§ 10. OhJ\ 2. Godly jcaloufy concerning, and watch- 
fulncfs over the whole body, that no beginnings of back- 
jliding from Chrill and the gofpel be found amongft them, 
is the duty of all churches of believers. Mutual watch- 
fulnefs over one another, by each pcrfon in any fociety, is 
a prime di6\atc of the law of our creation ; and every neg~ 
le£t of it implies fomethiiig of murder, [I. John iii. i i — 
15.] In a churcJ? relation the obligation is ratified by /;/- 
fl'liiition. Upon the officers of the church it is incum- 
bent by way oi office \ on all believers, as members of the 
church by way oi Ioih\ [Lcvit. xix. 17.] ' Thou flialt 
* not hate thy brother in thine heart; thou Ihalt in any 
' wife rebuke thy neighbour, and not fuffer fm upon 
' him.' He that doth not watch over his brother to pre- 
vent his lin, or recover him from it, as much as lies in. 
him, he hates him, and is fo far ' a murderer.' And as 
for that jealoufy which ought to accompany this watch- 
fulnefs, our aportle gives us a flriking example in himfclf, 
[11. Cor. xi. 2, 3,] * I am jealous over you with a godly 
' iealoufy, for I fear (^i^TT^t^c, as here, yy/iTrfj-} Ujl by ajiy 
* mctins your minds be corrupted from the fimplicity of 
' the gofpel.' But doth an apol\olic, or minifterial con- 
cern excufc other believers, members of churclies, from 
a Iharc and intcreft in this duty? no, doubtlefs, unlefs it 
renders them Cains, that is, tranfgrcllbrs againll: the light 
of nature; and as to the wjiitut'ions of Chrill, they too much 
nianifeft thcmfelves not to be members of the fame myfti- 
cal body with them that re:illv believe. For in the obfer- 
vation of this and tlic like duties of their common intercfl:, 



doth the prefcrvatioii of that body confifl. Chriil Is the 
J lead ' from whom the whole body fitly joined together 
^ and compared, by that which every joint fupplieth, 
* according to the cifcftual working in the meafure of 
' every part, maketh increafe of the body to the edifying 
' of itfelf in love,' [Ephcf. iv. 16.] Every joint, every 
part in this myftical body that receives influence of life 
from Chrift tlie head, and fo holds of him, is to work 
cffcftually, and to give out the fupplies which it receives 
from Chriil to the prefcrvation, increafe, and edification 
of the whole. There is indeed a caufelefs fufpiclon that 
fome are apt to indulge inftead of this v/atchful jealoufy; 
which former is the bane of churches and of love, as the 
latter is the prefcrvation of them both. The apoftle 
piacetlr ' evil furmifcs,' or fufi:!icions, among the works 
of men of corrupt minds, [I. Tim. vi. 4.] and that de- 
fervedly ; but this gcdiy watchful jealoufy he commends 
to otliers in the example of himfeif. And whatever ap- 
pearance they may have one of another, they may be 
eaiily diftinguiihed. Holy jealoufy is a folicitous care 
proceeding from love ; iinful fufpiclon is a vain conjeilur- 
ing, proceeding from curiolity, vanity, or envy. The 
heart of the former is ruled by love towards the perfons 
concerned ; from thence he is afraid left they fnould mif- 
carry, left any evil Ihould befall them ; for love is the 
willing of all good to others, that they may profper uni- 
vcrfally ; but the fufpicious is actuated by curiolity and 
vanity of mind ; whence commonly there is fomewhat of 
envy and fecret felf-pleaiing in the mifcarriages of others 
mixed with it; a fault too often found asnongft profefibrs ! 
And this vice puts forth itfelf in vain babbling, and un- 
heedful defamations; whereas the other works by love, 
tendernefs, prayer, and mutual exhortation. Are we not 
concerned that an eye doth not go out, that :\\\ar}n do not 
wither, that a leg be not broken, yea thr.t a fi.iger be not 
cut ? {Prhic'ipus oh/la.) * Supprcfs the rifmg evil,' is tlie 
great rule in thefe cafes. And the duty we fpeak of is 
one iignal means of preventing this evil. And it is the 
^cfeft which is in this and the like kind of duties, 

A a a 2 which 


which manifcf^s and makes naked that miferablc degene- 
racy which Chriflians in general, in thefe latter evil days, 
pre fallen into. Who alinoH hath any regard to them ^ 
Inilcad of thcfc fruits of fpiritual love, men for the mofb 
part follow divers luRs aiul plcafurcs, living in envy and 
malice, liateful and hatmg one another. The practical 
duties of Chriftianity arc amongll: many derided. To 
v;atch over one another, to warn, to exhort one another, 
are looked on as things, if pofl'ihlc, beneath contempt. 
And it is a fliame to mention the ways and means of 
dealing: about the fins of men, Vvhicli by fomc arc infti- 
tutcd in the room of thofc appointed in tlic gofpcl. 

§ II. 0/)f. 3. I'hc root of all backiiidings, of all 
apoilacy, whether it be notional or practical, gradual or 
total, lies in wih^'l:cf. When, therefore, any heart is faid 
to be {Tkcyjc.) e-'il^ a wicked flagitious frame is intended. 
Our prcfent intiuiry is only how the heart is gradually 
brought under this denomination by the power and efficacy 
of unbelief; and that with fpccial refpe£l to that particu- 
lar lin of departing from God. And this is done fevcral 
ways : 

^i.) Unbelief renders the heart * evil,' as it lets all the 
corrupt hifis and afic^lions of the heart at liberty to aft ac- 
cording to their own pcrvcrfc nature and inclination. The 
heart of man is by nature evil ; * All the thoughts and ima- 

* ginations of it arc only evil continually,* [Gen. vi. 5.] It 
is full of all corrupt affcftion?;. The gofpel cometh in a 
dircft: oppofition to thofc luRs and corrupt affeftions, both 
in the root and fruit of them. For this * grace of God, 

* which bringeth falvation, hath appeared, teaching us 

* that denying ali ungodlinefs and worldly luds, wc fliould 

* live fobcrly, rightcouily and godly in this prcllnt woild,' 
fll. Tit, ii. 13.] It is the work of faitli to purify the 
hearty being the great means or inftrument whereby Ciod 
is pleafed to cfTcft it ; * purifying our hearts by faith,' 
[Afts XV. 9.] For receiving the promifcs, it teacheth, 
perfuadcth, and enablcth us to clcanfc ourfelves from all 
unclcannefils of flefli and fpirit, pcrfcfting holinefs in the 
fear of God. [II. Cor. vii. i.] Now thefe two, faith 



and the gofpel, make up our prcfcfTlon ; and they both 
concur in the dcfign of purifying the heart, * For they 
' that are Chrifi's have crucilicd the riclh with the alTec- 
* tions and lulls,' [Gal. v. 24.] But now wherever un- 
belief beginncth to iniiucnce the heart towards the frame 
defcribed, it fets in the firfl: place thefe corrupt lulls and 
:afre61ions at liberty to a6t themfelves according to their 
own nature. The way and means whereby the gofpel of 
itfelf worketh towards the mortification of the lulls of the 
heart is by the propofal of its promifes and threatenings to 
the mind ; thefe w^ork morally ; for the confideration of 
them induceth men to fet them.felves againfl whatever 
may caufe them to come fhort of the one, or make them 
obnoxious to the other, [II. Cor. vii. i.] Now all 
fuch gracious influence upon the foul is intercepted by un- 
belief ; but efpecially it impedes and hinders faith in the 
work before defcribed, by depriving it of the means and 
inftruments whereby it works, which are care and watch- 
fulnefs in oppofing fin. Where this is attained the whole 
work of faith is defeated, and lull is fet at liberty: this 
renders the heart ' evil,' and depofeth it to an utter depar- 
ture from the living God. 

(2.) It renders the heart ' evil' by debafing it, and 
calling all good, honell, ingenuous, and noble principles 
out of it. The gofpel furnilheth the mind of man with 
tlie befl and higheil principles towards God and man that, 
in this w^orld, it is fufceptible of. Whatever there is of 
faith, love, or fubmiffion ; whatever innocency, righteouf- 
ncfs, truth, patience, or forbearance ; whatever is pure, 
comely, peaceable, or praife-worthy, is all taught and 
exhibited by the gofpel. Now principles of this nature 
ennoble the foul, and render it good and honourable ; 
but the work of unbelief is to call them all out, which 
renders the heart bafc and * evil,' and gives it an utter 
diflike of communion or intercourfe with God. 

(3.) It accumulates upon the heart a dreadful guilt of 
ingratitude againft God, which before profelTion it was 
incapable of. When a perfon hath been brought to the 
knowledge of the gofpel, and thereby emancipated out of 



darkncfs, and delivered from the fenfuality of the world, 
and hath, moreover, it may be, tafled of the good word 
of God, and of the powers of the world to come ; for 
luch a one to draw back, to forfake the Lord and his 
ways, through the power of unbcl'uf^ there is a great ag- 
gravation attending his fin, [II. Pet. ii. 21.] And when 
once the heart is fcduccd by this horrible fin of ingrati- 
tude, it will proftitute itfclf of its own accord to all man- 
ner of abominations. And it is good for us to have this 
fpring ot* all our dar.gers in the couifc of our profefiion 
continually in our eye. Here it lies, the root of it is here 
laid open; and if it be not continually watched againll, 
all other endeavours to preferve ourfelves blamelcfs to the 
end will be in vain. 

§ 12. Obf. 4. The malignity and venom of fm, is apt 
to hide itfelf under many, and even under any pretences. 
The fubtillty and deceit of lufl doth fiill ftrivc to conceal 
the true and proper natmc of fin whcfeunto it cnticcth, or 
is enticed. When Naaman the Syrian would, notwith- 
flanding his condition, abide in his idolatry, bccaufe of 
his fccular advantage, it is but a going with his mailer into 
the houfc of Rimmon, and bowing there; not that he 
intended to have any other God, but the God of Ifrael. 
[II. Kings V. 18.] Hence modern men of honour fay, 
that if any one kill another, not with an intention to kill 
him, but to vindicate his honour, it is no fin, or at leall 
no great fin, or much to be regarded. And what is this 
but direcllv to comply with tlie dcceitfulncfs of lln ? For 
none furclv is fo flagitioufly wicked as to make the formal 
nature of lii\ their objc£l and profefled end ; nor, it may 
be, is human nature capable of fuch exorbitancy ; but iViU 
fome other end is propofed by a corrupt defign and incita- 
tion of the mind, which is blind to its wickcdnefs. 

§ 13. Obf. 5. The beft way to adminiftcr to the foul 
an antidote againfl fm, is to rcprcfcnt it to the mind in its 
true nature and tendency. I'he hiding of thcfc was the 
way whereby fm firll: entered into the world; thereby did 
Satan draw our iiril parents into their tranfgreffion ; hiding 
from them the nature and end of tlicir fin, he cnfnarcd and 
1 fcduccd 

Ver.i2. epistle to the HEBREWS. 36- 

feduccd them. In the fame way and method doth he {lill 
proceed. This caufed our apoille here to rend off the co- 
verings and vain pretences which the Hebrews were ready 
to put upon their fin of relinquifliing the gofpel; he pre- 
fents it here naked to them as a fatal defe£tion and apof- 
tacy from the living God ; and therein gives them alfo to 
underfland its end, which was no other but the calling of 
themfelves into his revenging hand to eternity. If the 
mind keep up itfelf to the true notion of the nature and 
end of fm, through the flrength of grace its temptation 
will probably be evaded and difappointed. So it wjis with 
Jofeph ; various fuggeflions he had made to him, but he 
keeps his mind fixed on that, ' How can I do this great 
' wickednefs and fin againft God ?' which preferved and 
delivered him, [Gen. xxxix. 9.] But if the mind be 
prevailed with to admit of thofe reprcfcntatmis of fin, 
which are made to it in temptations, fin in the perpetra- 
tion of it will enfue ; and this will be our wifdom, that 
we always keep our minds pofiefied with a due fenfe of the 
nature and end of fin. 

§ 14. Obf. 6. Whoever departs from the obfervation 
of the gofpel and the inftitutions thereof, doth in fo do- 
ing depart from the living God ; or, an apoflate from the 
gofpel is an abfolute apofiiate from God. Men think it 
almoft a matter of no account to play wnth gofpel inflitu- 
tlons at their pleafure ; they can obferve or omit them, as 
feems good to themfelves; but (i.) in their fo doing the 
authority of God over their fouls and confciences is utterly 
rejefted, and fo confequently is God himfelf ; for where 
his authority is not owned, his being is defpifed. Now 
there are various ways whereby God puts forth and mani- 
fcfts his authority over men, but all of them are recapitu- 
lated in the gofpel ; the Father judgeth no man, but hath 
committed all judgement to the Son, [John v. 22.] Now 
Chrift exercifeth'his power and authority principally by 
the gofpel, which is the rod of his power; [Pfal. ex. 2.] 
and if this be rcjcftcd, the whole authority of God is ut- 
terly cafl off. This therefore is done by all who reje£l, 
rclinquilh, or defpife the gofpel; they forfake God him- 


felf, tlic Irving God ; for God is not owned where his 
monarchy) is not owned. Let men deal lo with their rulers, 
and try how it will be interpreted ; let thcin pretend tiiey 
acknowledge them, bat rejcdl the only way, all the ways 
thev have for the cxerclfe of their authority, and it will 
tloubtlefs be eileemed a revolt from them. 

(2.) There is no other way or means whereby men may 
yield obedience or '■jjorjh'ip to God, but by the gofpel ; and 
fo no other way whereby men may exprefs their lubjcctioii 
to him, or dependence upon him: and where this is not 
done, he is necelTarily forfaken. Whatever men may 
pretend as to the worlhip of God, if it be not in the 
name of Chrift, if it be not appointed in the gofpcl, it is 
not performed to the living God, but to an idol of their 
own hearts ; for the only true God is the God and Fa- 
ther of our Lord Jefus Chrift. And therefore by what 
aft or ads foever men may defign to give honour to God, 
and to own their dependence on him, if it be not done in 
Chrill according to the gofpcl, it is all an abomination 
to him. 

(3.) There is no other way whereby we may obtain the 
Icaft encouraging intimation of the favour or good will of 
God towards us ; no way wiiereby his grace may be adu- 
red to us but this only. And where there is not a fufficient 
ground of that, no man can abide with God in a due 
manner. If men have not a liable foundation to appre- 
hend God to be good and gracious, and luilung to receive 
them, they will no ot'nerwife refpcft orefLCcm him, but as 
the poor Indians do the devil, whom they worfliip that he 
may do them no harm. 

(4.) There is no other way wherein we may look for 
a reward from God, or hope to come to the enjoyment ot 
him, but only by the gofpel. And tiiis alio is nccclliiry 
that wc may honour him as God, as * the living God.* 
This is the end for winch we were made, and if wc leave 
the purfuit of it, we call off all regard to Ciod. And this 
will ilifcover the great multitude of praclioal atlKifts that 
arc in the world. Many thei-c are who have been edu- 
cated in gofpel principles, and fome who have been brought 


Veii.13. epistle TO THE HEBREWS. 367 

under great convi£lion, who yet, by the power of their 
lufls and temptations, come to renounce and defpife all 
the inflitutions, ordinances, and worfhip of the gofpel ; 
and confequently the author of it himfelf : for it is a vain 
thing to pretend love or honour to Chrift, and not to 
keep his commandments. They would not however be 
reckoned among Athcifls, for they flill acknowledge the 
one God ; but herein they induftriouily deceive their own 
fouls. Then they forfake the living God, when they 
forfake the gofpel of his Son. And let us all know what 
reverence becomes us in the things of the gofpel ; God is 
in them, even the living God ; his name, his authority, 
bis grace, is enftamped on them all. 

Verse 13. 

but exhort one another daily, while it is 
called to-day; lest any of you be har- 
dened through the deceitfulness of sin. 

§ I, 2. (T.) T^he words explained. The duty to exhort. § 3. 
The feafon and mayiner. § 4. The limitation of the fcafon. 
§ 5. The perfons concerned. § 6, 7. (II.) Ohfervation. 
Mutual exhortation^ an eminent jncans to prevent the de* 
hful zvorkings of fn, § 8. Other oh fer vat loyu. 


§ I . Iri ERE lies one means of preventing the evil men- 
tioned in the foregoing verfe ; and we have in it the duty 
itfelf — the manner and feafon of its performance — with 
a limitation of that feafon — and a fpecial enforcement 
from the dangers of its neglcdt, as we fliall fee in our 
opening of the words. We ihall therefore, 

Fhjl., Explain thefe particulars included in the verfe ; 

Vol. IE B b b. Secondl^^ 


Secon^ly^ Raife fomc profitable obfcrvations from them. 

§ 2. (I.) The duty intended is expreffcd in the firfl 
word (7ra^a,KocXc'i]s) ; the firil: and principal fignification 
of which is to exhott^ to cicjhc^ to call in, and fo it is al- 
moft conflantly ufed in CTfcck authors ; and Jccondarily^ 
only ' to comfort.* Bat there is a near affinity between 
thefe things ; for the way of adminiflcring confolation is 
by exhortation, [I. Thef. iv. i8.] ' Comfort you one another 
' with thefc words,' (TrctouKc^Kcilc u}0^:/i7 .ag) that is, ex- 
horting and perfuading one another by thefe words, ad- 
minilkr to each other mutual confolation. And all ex- 
hortation ought to be only by confolatory words and way??, 
to rcnJer it acceptable and fo effe^lual. So it is obferved 
of Barnabas, who was a fon of confolation, that he had 
alfo a great excellency in exhorting. [Ads ii. 2^, 24.] 

* When Barnabas come and had fcen the grace of God, he 
' exhorted them all, that witbpurpofc of heart they would 

* cleave to the Lord ; for he was a good man and full of 
' the Holy Ghoft and of faith.* The word intimates a 
XQVf prevalent v.'ay of exhorting in Barnabas; and that be- 
caufe he was {o'.vYip o^yoc^cg) ' a good man \ not in the or^ 
dinary fenfc, a holy, juft man, but one that was bejiign, 
kind, co'ndefcending ; apt to comfort and refrefli. The 
Greek term, (77o:,'^ocyM.7\{iv) * to exhort,' therefore, is to 
perfuade with good, meek, and comfortable words, upon 
grounds of confolation, and to the end that men may be 
comforted. This i^ incumbent on fome by virtue of 
office, [Rom. viii. 12.] 'he that exhorteth, on cxlior- 

* tation,' as well as on all believers. 

^ 3. The fcafon of the performance of this duty is ad^ 
joined, which includeth alfo the manjicr of it : {yM,^ -yjx,- 
^7fj y^u/zuovj) Dally y fay we, or cz'er\ day. A day is often 
taken for a feafon ; and to do a tiling * daily,' is to do it 
in its feafon ; and moreover to tlo it feduloudy and heed- 
fully. Two things arc plainly intended ; /;>/?, a con- 
flant readinefs of mind, inclining, inducing, and prepa- 
ring any one for the Jifchargc of this duty; Secondly, an 
ai^ual dilchargc of it on all juft occafions, which are to 
be watched foi and willingly embiaced. And this the 



Hebrews now ilood in fpccial need of, becaufe of the 
inanifoM temptations and feduclions wherewith they were 

§ 4. Hereunto is added a limitation of the fcafon of 
this duty as to its continuance, * whihl: it is called to- 
* day;' that is, be fedulous in tlie difcharge of this dutv% 
whilil xX.Q, fcafon of it continues. The apoftle now gives 
the Hebrews to underftand, that the great day, or promifcd 
feafon, iliadowed to their forefathers, was now really and 
actually come upon them. It was juftly called * to-day,* 
with them whilil: they enjoyed the gofpei ; for the apoille 
faw that their feafon was almoll ready to expire ; and, 
indeed, it continued but a few years after the waiting of 
this epiUle. This he fecretly minds them of, and withal 
exhorts them to improve their prefent advantages, efpcci- 
ally in the difcharge of the great duty of mutual exhorta- 
tion, that (o they might prevent the great evil of depart- 
ing from the living God, and, as tending thereunto, the 
hardening of their hearts through the deceitfuinefs of fin. 

§ 5. Wc have next xht pcrfons concerned, (Tig Ip uu^>) 
any of you \ any one that is of your fociety, engaged in 
the fame profeffion, and partaker of the fame privileges. 
Herein, we fee, the apoflle extends his diredion to mutual 
watchfulncfs and exhortation unto ally even the meaneli 
of the church. Again ; the fpnng or caufe of the evil to 
be feared from the intimidated negle£l is fin, (uu^c/Sj lck.) 
a general name for all or any fin ; our apoftle conftantly 
ufcth it to cxprefs original fin, the fin of our nature, the 
root on which all other fins grow, which is here intend- 
ed ; the fin that by nature dwelleth in us, that is, prefent 
with us, when we would do good, to hinder us ; and is 
continually working to put forth \U venomous nature in 
a<Slual tranfgrelTions. This he calls elfewhere, a * root of 
* bitternefs,' that fprings up to defilement, [chap. xii. 
15.] Moreover, the ways and means, whereby this fin 
workcth, is by deceit, (rn c^ttuJ}! Tv^g u^c^pl^iccg.) The 
word {uTToPiYi) here rendered * deceit,' fignifies both the 
faculty of deceiving, the artifice ufed in deceiving, and 
adual deceit, oj: deceiving itfelf. The evil itfelf particu- 

B b b 2 hrly 


larly cantloncd againft is exprcircd in tliat word, (crx?./;- 
pv'A^i) * flioulcl be hardoied \' of the (cnic and import of 
which \vc have fpoken fully on the foregoing verfcs. 

§ 6. (II.) Ohf. I. Sedulous mutual exhortation is an 
fmincnt means to prevent the deceitful workings of iin. 
There are many praiftical duties ntgk£led bccaufe they arc 
not underftood, and they are not undcrflood, becaufc 
they are fuppofcd to have no dilhculty in them. High 
notions, curious fpeculations, with knotty controverfies, 
,arc thought to dci'crvc men's ntmoil: diligence in their 
fearch and examination ; but for thcfc prai/ical duties it 
is generally fuppofcd that they are known fufficiently at a 
word's fpeaking, if they were but pra(5\ifed accordingly. 
Yet it will be found that the great wifdom of faith con- 
lilb in a fpiritual acquaintance with the true nature of 
thefe duties ; which indeed are therefore praftically neg- 
le<^ed, bccaufe they are not do£lrinally underftood. The 
duty of conllant exhortation, that is, of perfuading the 
fouls of men to conflancy and growth in faith and obe- 
dience, to watchfulncfs and diligence againfl the deceit- 
fulnefs of fm, from the word of truth, in the name and 
authority of Chrifl, is the moll important part of the 
minijhiial office. But there is alfo an exhortation, which 
is mutual among believers, founded in their common in- 
tereft, and proceeding from fpecial love wrought in them 
by the fpirit of Chrill, and required in them by the h\T 
of Chrill. 

§ 7. This is the duty immediately intended, and to 
the right performance of it, the following things ap- 
pertain : 

I. Thar they who arc engaged in it, find in thcmfclvcs 
an cfpcclal coyicernmoit in the perfons with whom, and the 
things about which they treat in their exhortations. It 
will not admit of that pragmatical curiofitv which leads 
men to intcrpofc tliemfcl-vcs in matters wherein they arc 
no way concerned. If men find not thcmfclvcs concern- 
ed in the glory of God, and their hearts moved with 
compalTion towards the fouls of men, whether they arc in 
church office or not, it will be their wifdom to abftain 
I fro in 

from tins work, as that which they are no way fitted to 

"^'^t^Tfpecial wan-anty for the particular exercife of this 
duty" is required of us. Now this arifeth from a due co- 
incidence of rule andcircumftances ; add to the nght rule 
a due confideration of circumftances relating to tunes, 
feafons, perfons, and occafions, and it will rat.ty the 
warranty intended. , ,.,. 

o Special wifdom, underftandmg, and abihty are re- 
nuired It is an eafv thing to fpoil the beft duty in the 
lanner of its performance, and efpecially a defea in fp.n- 
tual ikiU • for if men have not a found judgement and 
underftanding of the matter about which this mutual ex- 
hortation is to be exercifed, and of the way whereby it .s 
to be managed, they may do well to leave it to them who 
are better qualified to fpeak a word in feafon I mean as 
to the folema difcharge of it; otherwife occafional mutual 
encouragements to faith and obedience are the common 
and conftant duties of all behevers. 

4 That it be done with words of truth. It is truth 
alone that in things of this nature is attended with autho- 
rity and good effea ; for if there be any failure in this 
foundation, the whole fuperftruaure will fink ot itfelf. 

c That it may be managed, unlcfs peculiar circum- 
ftances require fome variation, with good and comfortabh 
words, words of confolation and encouragement. The 
word here ufed, as hath been fliewcd, fignihes to comjort, 
as well as to exhort. Morofe, feverc expreffions become 
not this duty ; but fuch as wifdom will draw out from 
love, care, tendcrnefs, compaffion, and the like compliant 
affedions. Thefe open and foften the heart and make the 
entrance into it fmooth and cafy. 

6 That it be carefully and diligently accompanied with 
a fultable example in the pradice of the perfons exhorting. 
An obfervation of the contrary will quickly huftratc the 
wei<^htiefl: words that look anotlier way. ChrilUan ex- 
horution is nothing but an encouragement given to others 
to walk with us, or after us, in the ways of God ; 'Be 
• followers of me,' faith our apolUe, ' as 1 am of Chnft 

^ 8. 10 


^ 8. To the aliove more general obfcrvations, wc may 
add the following ones: 

1. Golpel duties have an cfpccial efficacy attending 
them in ihcir fpccial feafons. ' Whilil it is called to-day.* 
Every thing hath its beauty, order, and efficacy from its 
proper feafon. Again, 

2. We have but an tnicertain feafon for the due perfor- 
mance of moft certain duties. How long it will be called 
* to-dav/ we know^ not; the day of our lives is uncer- 
tain; fo is the day of the gofpel, as alfo of our opportu- 
nities ; the prefetit feafon alone is ours ; and for the inoft 
part, we ntcd. no other reafon to prove any time to be a 
feafon for duty, but becaufe it \spycfcnt. 

3. The deceit which is in fin, and "which is infcparablc 
from it, tends continually to harden the heart. This is 
principally taught us in thcfc words, and is a truth of great 

Verse 14. 


^ I — 3. (I.) 7he words explained. § 4. (11.) Ohfirva- 
tions, I . Utncn ivitb Chr'iJ} is the pnridple and meofure of 
all fpirilual enjoyments and expc Nations. § 5- ^^ Stedfaji^ 
ncfs in believing is the great evidence of union with Chn/?. 
§6, 7. Onr yub/iyien'ce in ChriJ? maintained to the endy a 
maiter of great endeavour and diligence, 

§ i.l N thcfe words the apofllc lets us know, that all 
our intcrcft in Chritl, and all the benefits wc cxpea or 
may be made partakers of by him, depend upon our an- 
fwcring his exhortation to conftancy and pcrlcveiancc in 


Ver.14. epistle to THE HEBREWS. 373 

o\ir profefTion. And moreover, that v;-hcreas men are apt 
to wax weary and faint, or to grow flothful in the courfc 
of their profcllion, fometimes fo foou almoft as they 
entered upon it, unlefs they continue the fame diligence 
and earneftnefs of endeavours as at the firft, fo as to abide 
lledfaft to the end, they would have no benefit either by 
Chrill: or the gofpel, but rather fail affurcdly under that 
indignation of God which he had newly warned them of. 

§ 2. (II.) ' We are made partakers of Chrift,' (y^yo- 
ya-u.^y) * Wc haz'e been made ;' a prefent Hate is here 
denoted, that which is already wrought ; and indeed the 
due coniideration of this word doth rightly Hate the rela- 
tion of the feveral parts of the paiTage. * We are made 

* partakers of Chrift, if we hold faft the beginning of our 

* confidence,' that is, thereby are we fo interpretatively 
and declaratively. Our perfeverance is enjoined as an 
fviclcnce of our participation of Chrift ; that whereby it 
may be tried whether it be true and genuine, which if it 
be, it will be producing this efFe6l. As James requires 
that we Ihould try or evidence, and manifeft our faith by 
our works, of what fort it is. We are made (u^fjoyoi 
Xpi(flii) ' partakers of Chrift ' Moft expofitors fuppofe 
the name * Chrift' to be here taken metonymically, for 
the benefits of his mediation, in grace here, and right to 
future bleftednefs ; fome fuppofe it to be only an expref- 
fion of being a difciple of Chrift, and fo really to belong 
to him ; but the true and precife import of the words may 
be learned from the apoftle himfelf, in his ufe of thole of 
a fimilar fignification, with reference to Chrift himfclf. 
[Chap. ii. 14.] ' Bccaufe the children were partakers of 

* flefh and blood ;' he was partaker of us, how ? By tak- 
ing f.efh and blood, that is, entire human nature. How 
then are we partakers of Chrift ? It is by our having an 
intereft in his nature^ by the communication of his Spirit, 
as he had in ours by the alTumption ofourflcfli. He 
and wc are made one ; he the head, wc the body ; co- 
heirs and incorporated with iiim. We are ' one body 

* with him, as he fneaks, of his fleih and bones.' * If 

' we 


* wc hold the beginning of our confidence flcdfaft unto 

* tlie end.' 

§ 3. Some by (Tip «pv'';V 7>jf VTrogarrcC^jg) the phrafc 
here rendered, ' the beginning of our confidence,' under- 
Hand the gofpcl; feme fu'ith^ fome hope^ fome ioufiJcmc, 
fomc Ch:ji hiiufelf , but there feems yet to nie another 
more genuine fcnfe of tl)C words fuitcd to the fcopc of 
the place, and dcfign of the apoille, witiiout wrefting it 
from its native fignification. We have lliewcd, tliat our 
partaking of Chriil is our being united to him, and the 
(vnogoioig) hypoAafis, which on that union we are bound 
to prefcrve and maintain, is our fubfijloice in Chrift, our 
abiding in him, as the branches in the vine ; fo t!ie word 
very properly iignifies, and fo is it here emphatically ufed. 
(T;;"-' ^PX'^/) ' the beginning,' is plainly here an adjunct 
of our fubliflence in Chrill : the beginning of our en- 
g.-'.gemcnts to Chrift is for the moft part accompanied 
with much love, and other choice affections, refolution 
and courage, which, v.ithout great care and watchfulnefs, 
we arc very ready to decay in, and fall from. 

§ 4. (II.) Obf. I. Union with Chrill is the principle 
and meafure of all fpiritual enjoyments and expeClations. 
The apollle fums up all, both what we enjoy bv the gof- 
pcl at prefcnt, and what expectation wc have of future 
blciTedncfs, in this one phrafe, ' \\'e are partakers of 
* Chrift.' The propriety of the obfervatlon will plainly 
appear if we confider, 

(i.) That this union is itfelf the flrjl truly favlng 
mercy, /// the order of nature ; the firft vital grace we arc 
made partakers of. And that which is the iirft of any 
kind, is the meafure and rule of all that enfucs in that 
kind. As is the root, fo are the branches and the fruit ; 
they do not only follow the nature of it, but live upon 
its fupplies. All our grace is but a participation ot the 
root, and therein of tlu fatncfs of the olive tree; and wc 
hear not tlie root, but the root bears us. [Rom. xi. 17, 
iS.] Whatever precedes this, is not true faving grace ; 
iind whaitver follows it proceeds from it : Chrift as fav- 



ingly bellowed, is the fprlng and fountain of all grace 
whatever. Now our union with Chrift, our participa-r 
tuon of him, conlilts in the habitation of the fame fpirit 
in him and us; and ti)e rirft work of tins fpirit bellowed, 
upon us, is to form Chriil in us, whereby our union is 
completed. God doth not firil create a fuul, giving it an 
exillence of its own, without union with the body ; but 
creates it /';/ and by its infufion : fo the fpirit doth not 
firll: come to us, and aftcrivard quicken or fancStify us ; 
but he doth this by his coming to us, and poiTefling our 
hearts with Chriil. This the apoftle calls the * framing 
* of Chrift in us,' [Gal. iv. 19.] He that is in Chrift 
Jefus is a new creature, [U. Cor. v. 17.] and this is 
Chrift in us the hope of glory, [Col, i. 27.] 

(2.) It is the firji in digniiy \ it is the greateft, moft 
honourable, and glorious of all graces we are made par- 
takers of. The greateft humiliation of the Son of God 
confifted in his taking upon him our nature ; and on the 
contrary, our grace of union with Chrift, our participa- 
tion of him and his nature, is our higheft exaltation. 
He became poor for our fakes, by a participation of our 
nature; that we through his poverty may be rich in a 
participation of his nature. Being once made co-heirs 
with Chrift, we are made heirs qf God, and have a right 
to the whole inheritance ; and indeed what greater glory 
or dignity can a poor {inner be exalted to, than to be 
thus intimately and indillolubly united to the Son of 

(3.) It is the firjl and principal grace, in refpe£l of can- 
fality and efficacy. It is the caafe of all other graces that 
we arc made partakers of; they are all communicated to 
us by virtue of our union with Chrift, Hence is our 
adoption, our juftification, our fan£lifIcation, our perfeve- 
ranee, our fruitfulncfs, our refurre£lion, our glory. 

§ 5. Obf. 2. Conftancy and ftcdfaftnefs in believing, 
is the great touchftone and evidence of union with Chrift, 
or 4 participation of him. It is enduring faith that is 
true faith, and which proves us indeed to be partakers of 
(thrift. Here take notice, 

Vol. IL Ccc (i.) Th^f 


(i.) That there are many feeming evidences of union 
with Chrift that may fail. The blade is an appearing 
evidence of wcU-rooted corn, but it often fails, and that 
for want of root, [Matt. xiii. 12.] Things of this na- 
ture may fathfy them in whom they are, that they are 
really united in Chrift ; but this they conclude through 
their own darknefs and millakes. And fometimes there 
are figns, and which yet are but fadhig Jigns^ fuch as 
others may, nay ought to be fatisfied m, as not being able 
to evince them to be otherwife, by any rule of truth. 

(2.) There may be certain and undeceiving rzW^wc^j of 
a prefent participation of Chrifl, or, which is all one, 
men may have a certainty, fufficient at prefent to fupport 
and comfort them in their obedience ; and which in the 
iffue will neither fail them, nor make them alhamcd, 
that they are partakers of Chrift. Now faith is that 
which giwts fub/yhncc to the things believed, in our minds, 
and is fuch an argument of them as will not deceive ; 
and nothing can pofTibly give the mind a more undecei- 
ving affurancc than that which caufeth its obje6l to fubflft 
in it, which unites the mind and the truth believed in 
one fubfiftence. This faith doth. Hence our apoftlc 
afcribes to it, [Ephcf. iii. 12.] a grciindcd bolJnefsy 
with a confident truj}^ which are the higheft exprcflions of 
the mind's aflurance. It is then in the nature of faith it- 
felf, rightly exercifed and improved, to evidence this 
matter to our fouls ; and when the holy Spirit givcth this 
Tiew name of a child of God to any believer, he knows it 
though others underftand it not. [Rev. ii. 17.] Hence 
we are faid to receive the Spirit of God ; that we may 
know the things which are freely given us of God : 
fl. Cor. ii. 12.] Our apoftle declares in the name of all 
believers, [Rom. viii. 38, 39.] * I am perfuadcd, faith he, 
' that nothing fliall fcparate us from the love of God, 

* which is in Chrift Jefus our Lord.* And fo the apoftle 
John tells us, that we both * perceive the love of God 

* towards us,* and that we * know that we arc palled 

* from death to life;* [I. Epift. iii. 14 — 16.] both which 
depend on our unio!i with Chrift, and which by them is 



made evident and fure to us. This is alfo confirmed to us 
from the nature and ufe of the facramcnts\ and if we may 
Jiot, if we oi(ght not to reft aflured of what God teftifies 
and fets his feai to, it cannot but be our duty fometimes, 
(Ihocking fuppolition) to make God a liar ; for fo we do 
when we believe not his teftimony. [I. John v. 10.] 
But to prevent any helitation in this matter, he hath not 
left it under a brre teftimony, but hath alfo confirmed it 
by his oath ; and to this very end, that we might have 
ftrong confolation ; wiiich, without an undeceiving ajjurance^ 
wc cannot obtain, [Heb. vi. 17,18.] 

(3.) No grace, no fign or mark will any longer, or 
any further, be an evidence or teftimony in this matter, 
but only as the foul is effe6tually influenced to perfeverance. 
If any grace whatever once lofe its efficacy upon the foul, 
to all fuch a6^s of obedience as are required for con- 
ftancy, and perfevering fidelity in our profeflion, it lofetli 
all its evidencing power, as to our prefent ftate and con- 
dition: for inftance ; faith, as to the nature of it, and as 
to its main effed, our adherence to Chrift, may abide ia 
■us, when yet by reafon of the power of temptation, or 
prevalency of corruption, it may not a6l effeftually to 
fpiritual experience, for the conftant performance of du- 
ties, and abftinence from all fin ; but when it doth fo fail, 
it can no longer evidence our union with Chrift, and the 
foul, in that cafe, will be left to many difquietments and 

(4.) Our perfeverance is an evidence of union, in that 
it is an effe^ of it, and there is a good demonftration of 
a caufe from its proper and peculiar eifefl. Where an . 
cfFe(fl is produced that cannot be wrought but by fuch a 
caufe, the latter is infallibly manifefted by the former ; 
as the magicians concluded from the miracles of Mofes, 
that the finger of God was in them. Befides, this perfe- 
verance is the due illue and exurgcncy of grace conftantly 
cxercifed and improved ; and all growth in grace, in what 
kind foevcr it be, is at once an emanation from this one 
fountain of our union with Chrift, and its moft corrobo- 
j"Ati ng evidcjicc. 

Coca (5.) This 


(5.) This alfo may be added, whatever proftjjion hath 
been made, whatever yr«//j of it have been brought forth, 
whatever conUnuance in it there hath been, if it fail totally, 
it is a fulficient evidence that thofe who have made it, 
were never ' partakers of Chrift.' So our apoftle, having 
declared, that fome of great name had apoftatized from the 
gofpel, adds, that yet ' the foundation of God flandcth 
' fure,' that God knoweth who are his, [II. Tim. ii. 
1 7 — 19.] manifel\ing,that thofe who fell off, notwithlbmd- 
ing their profeliion and eminence, were never yet owned of 
God as his in Chrift. And another apoftle tells us, that 
thofe who went out from them by a defe£tion from the faith, 
were in truth not of them, or really united to Chrift. [John 
ii. I 9.] And where there Tivepartuii decays in faith and pro- 
fefiion, it gives great gro a:id of fufpicion and jealoufy, 
that the root of bitternefs is yet remaining in the heart, 
and that Chrilt was never formed in it. Let not men, 
therefore, pleafe themfclvcs in their prefent attainments 
and conditions, unlefs they find that they are thriving, 
growing, palling on towards perfcdion, which is the bell 
evidence of their union with Chriil. 

§ 6. Olf. 3. Our fubliftcncc in Chrifl maintained to 
the end, is a matter of great endeavour and diligence to 
all believers. This is plainly included in the apoflle's 
exprcliion. The words denote our utmoi\ endeavours to 
hold it fail:, and to keep it iirm and l^edfaih Shaken it 
will be, oppofed it will be ; hut kept it will not, it cannct 
be, without our utmofi: diligence and ciidcavours. It is 
true, our perlillency in Chriil doth not, as to the event, 
depend abfolutcly on our own diligence ; the unalterable- 
nefs of this privilege, on account of the faTthfulnefs of the 
covenant of ^yace, is that which eventually fecurcs it ; 
but vet our own diligent endeavour is fuch an indifpcn- 
Able means for that end, as that without it, it will not be 
brought about. For it is neccllary, not only (nccejjitaie 
fraceptiy) as which God hath commanded us to make 
life of for thai end, but alfo (neccjjltate mcd'ilj by a neceffity 
$J means, or the order and relation of fpiritual things one 
to another, ordamcd of God to cffc6t it. For the con- 



tinuation of our fubfiftence in Chrifl is the emergency 
and efi'ea of our aning grace to that purpofe. Diligence 
and endeavours in this matter are Uke Paul's mariners, 
when he was ihipwrecked at Melita ; God had beforehand 
given him the lives of all that failed with him in the Ihip; 
[Afts xxvii. 24.] and he believed that it 'fhould be even 
as God toM him, [verfe 25.] fo now the prefcrvation of 
their lives depends ahfolutely on the faithfulnefs and power 
of God ; but yet when the mariners began to fly out of 
the Ihip, Paul tells the centurion and the foldiers, that 
unlefs thofe men ftaid, they could not be faved, [verfe 
31.] But what need he think of fliip-men, when God 
had promifed and taken upon himfelf the prefervation of 
them all ? He knew full well that he would preferve them, 
noX. without, but by the ufe of means. If we are in Chrift, 
God hath given us the lives of our fouls, and hath taken 
upon himfelf in his covenant the prefervation of them ; 
but yet we may fay with reference to the means he hath 
appointed, when fiorms and trials arife, unlcfs w^e ufe our 
own diligent endeavours, we * cannot be faved.' Hence 
are many cautions given us, * Let him that thinketh he 

* flandeth, take heed left he fall ;* and, ' take heed that 
< we lofe not the things which we have wrought,' and 

* hold faft that thou haft, left another take thy crown ;* 
with the like innumerable. 

§ 7. Thefe warnings are not given merely to profefjors 
in general, whofe condition is dubious, to thofe that arc 
only entering on the ways of Chrift, left they fliould recoil 
and defcrt them ; but they are given to all true believers^ 
' thofe of the greateft growth and attainments not excepted, 
[Phil. iii. II — 13.] that they may know how indifpen- 
fably neceHTary, from the appointment of God, and the 
nature of the thing itfelf, our watchful diligence and en- 
deavours are to our abiding in Chrift. And they are thas 

I. On account of the oppojition, power, and craft of 
our fpiritual adverfaries. For this end are the gates of 
hell, that is, the counfcl and ftrength of Satcvi, peculiarly 
engaged. His great defign is to caft them dowi> and pre- 


Tail agalnfl them who arc built upon the rock ; that is, 
who arc united to Chrift. Our Saviour, indeed, hath 
promifcd, * that he fhall not prevail,* [Matt. xvi. 15.] but 
tliathe (hall not prevail, argues a difappointincnt in con- 
teft ; but wc arc to watch and contend that they may not. 
This allb is tlK" principal dcllgn of the ii'orld ■ it fJts all 
its engines on work to fcparatc us from Chriih 

2. It is necLlTaryon account of our peace, confolation, 
and frultfulnefs in tliis world Without the two former, 
we have no fatisfaaion in ourfclves, and without the latter, 
we are of no ufe to the glory of God, or good of others.' 
It is altogether vain to expcd true peace, folid confolation, 
era thriving in fruitfulnefs, in a ilothful profclfion. Aleii 
complain of the fruit, but will not be perfuaded to dig at 
the root ; for all our fpiritual troubles, darknefs, difcon- 
loJations, ftars, doubts, barrcnnefs, proceed from this 
bitter root of negligence, which fprings up and defiles us. 
Si?rs wholj defign is to impair or dcllroy our intercft and 
perfiftcncy in Chrifl, and lb to draw us off from the 
living God. Negkeicd grace will wither, and be ready to 
die, [Rev. iii. 2.] yea, as to fome degrees of it, and as 
to its work in evidencing the love of God to us, or our 
union with Chrift, it will utterly decay. Some of the 
churclies in tlie Revelation had loll their firft love, as well 
as left their fuft works. Hence is that command that wc 
fliould * grow in grace,' and we do fo, when grace grows 
and thrives in us. And is it any wonder if we fee fo 
many either decaying or unthrifty profclfors, and fo many 
that are utterly turned off" from their lirft engagements ? 
I'or confider what it is to abide in Chriil ; what watch- 
fulnefs, what diligence, what endeavours arc required. 
Men would have it to be a plant that needs neither water- 
ing, manuring, nor pruning, but ihat which will thrive 
of itfelf ; but, what then do they think of the oppolltioii 
tliat is continually made to it, the endeavours that arc 
ulbd utterly to root it out ^ Certainly, if thefc be not 
watched againll with our utmoft indullry, decays, if not 
ruin will cnfue. Wc may allb add here, that not only 

• ur 


our profelTion and exiftence in Chrlfl:, but the gracious be- 
ginnings of it alfo, are to be fecured with great fpiritua) 
care and induflry. 

Verses 15 — 19. 

while it is said, to day if ye will hear his 
voice harden not your hearts, as in the pro- 
vocation, for some, when they heard did 
provoke ; how be it not all that came out 
of egypt by moses. but with whom was he 
grieved forty years ? was it not with them 
that had sinned, whose carcases fell in the 
wilderness? and to whom sware he that thet 
should not enter into his rest, but to them 
that believed not. so we see that thex" 
could not enter in because of unbelief. 

% I — 7. (I.) I'he fever al claufes of the pcifjage explained, 
§ 8, 9. (II.) Obfervat'ions^ I. Every clrcumfiance of holy 
fcr'ipture IS inftruBive. § 10. 2. Afany hear the voice of 
God to no profit. § 11, 12. 3. In the moft general ap of -^ 
tac'ies God refervcs a remnant for h'lmfelf. § 13. 4. God 
Is not df plea fed with any thing in his people hut fin. § 1 4» 
15* 5« God fometimes infills on exemplary finncrs^ exem- 
plary pun'ifhments. § 16. 6. Great dcflrutiions by way of 
judgement^ are infi'itnted reprefentations of future venge^ 
ance, § 17. 7 . All unbelief is accompanied with contn- 
macy. § 18. 8 . Unbelief juftifies the feverity of God. 
§ 19 — 21. 9. ^be oath of God is engaged againfl 710 fin 
but unbelief. 

% I. (I.) X HE genuine fenfc and proper contexture of 
the apoflle's difcourfe require their connexion with what 
went before. The introdudtion is, * whilfl it is faid ;* 



the words therefore are to be taken fimply and abfolutcly, 
fo as to indicate a repetition of the former tcflimony, and' 
its improvement to fome farther ends and purpofcs. {Ev 
TO }^'zy:(j-^aL) ' whereas it is faid \ whereas thefe words arc 
ufcd in the pfahnill, and arc recorded for our inibuclion. 
And herein the apollle intends not only the repetition of 
the precijc words^ but by them calls over again the iJuhoU 
Jlory that depends upon them, which is ufual in fuch quo- 
tations. Out of the whole, he intends now to tak- new 
obfervations to his purpofe ; as if he had faid» confidcr 
what hath been fpoken, that the fame befall not you, as 
did them who provoked and pcrifned. 

§ 2. They all came out of Egypt, they all heard the 
voice of God ; howbeit all did not pro:;okc^ but only 
fome. {^ici^larr-CAjg] By Aloft s, that is, either under his 
conduit and guidance, or through the prcvalency of the mi- 
raculous works which God wrought by him. Both theic 
fcnfcs the prophet cxprjffcth, [Ifa. Ixiii. ii, 12. j ' Then 

* he remembered the davs of old, Mofes and his people, 

* faying, Where is he that brought them up out of the fea, 

* with the fliepherd of his flock? Where is he that put 

* his holy Spirit within him ? That led him by the right 

* hand of Mofes with his glorious arm, dividing the water 

* before them, to make himfelf an everlafling name.* This 
alfo is afcrihcd to them, that ' ihiy heard.'' And this may be 
taken either {lri£lly, for the hearing of the voice of God 
at the giving of the law on mount Sinai, when the whole 
congregation heard thofc voices of God in thundering and 
dreadful agitations of the mount wherewith it was accom- 
panied ; or it may be taken more largely for a participa- 
tion in all thofe inftrudions which God granted them in, 
the wildernefs. There fecms, indeed, to be a fpccial rc- 
fpe<fl: to the giving of the law ; not merclv the promul- 
gation of the ten words on Sinai, but the whole fyrtcm of 
attendant precepts and ordinances of worlliip ; for therein 
they were evangelized even as we, [chnp. iv. 2.] Alfo their 

* hearing* is fpoken of as tliat which was paf \ * When 

* they had hcard^^ before their provoking, which yet fig- 
nally happened in the fecond year after their coming cut of 

2 Esyp^«— ^9- EPISTLE TO THE HEBREWS. 383 

Egypt. What they heard then was the voice of God ; 
and their (in was that (TrocosTriKDccyO'y) they provoked; that 
is, God, whoTe voice they heard. [Hof. xii. 13.] ' Eph- 

* raim hath provoked h'lttenicjfefs \ that is, very bitterly. 
Great provocations have a b'ltternefs in them, as the word 
liere denotes, which caufeth God to loath the provokers. 
Ey thefe coniiderations doth the apollle enforce his exhor- 
tations ; fr-", faith lie, when the people of old heard the 
voice of God in that difpenfation of his law and grace, 
which was fuited to their condition, fome of th&m pre- 
"joked God ; and whereas, they may do fo alfo who hear his 
voice in the difpenfation of the gofpel, therefore doth it 
highly concern them to take care ; for, under every dif- 
penfation, dreadful is the event of abufed mercy. 

§ 3. The apoflle adds exprefsly a limitation, with re- 
fpe6l to the perfons who heard and provoked ; * howbe'it 

* not alL* In his preceding difcourfe he had expreffed the 
fin and punifhment of the people indefinitely, fo as at firft 
view to include the whole generation in the wildernefs ; 
here he puts in an exception^ which may refer to three forts 
of perfons: Firjiy thofe who were under twenty years of 
agej not being numbered in the wildernefs of Sinai, in 
the fecond year after their coming out of Egypt, [Num. 
i. I — 3.] For of thofe that were then numbered, there 
was not a man left fave Caleb and Jofhua, when the people 
were apaiu numbered in the plains of Moab by Mofes and 
Eleazcr, [chap. xxvi. 63, 64. but thofe who were num^ 
leredy were they who died, becaufe of their provocation. 
Secondly^ the tribe of Levi ; for, as now obferved, the 
threatening and oath of God was againft all of them 
only that were numbered in the wildernefs of Sinai ; 
[Num. xiv. 29.] And Mofes was exprelTIy commanded in 
the taking of the firft mufter-roll not to take the number of 
the Levites, [chap. i. 47, 48,49.] However, I much fear, 
by the courfe of the ftory, that the generality of this tribe 
fell alfo. Thirdly, Caleb. and Jofhua ; and it is certain 
that thefe are principally intended. The apoftle exprelleth 
the limitation 'of his former general aflertion, tjiat he 
might enforce his exhortation with the example of thenii 

Vol. 11. D d d wha 

^84 AN EXPOSITION OF THE Chap. 111. 

who believed and obeyed the voice of God, and who there- 
on enjoyed the proaiifc, and entered into his rci\ ; as 
well as thole who provoked. So that he takes his argument 
not only from the fevcrity of God, whicli at firft view 
fccms only to be reprefented in this inilance, but alio 
from his \m^Y\c^ faithfulnefi and grace. 

§ 4. The apodle's language, though in form of fpeech 
an interrogation, is in reality a flrong anfwcr. The 
anfwer to this firll inquiry, ' But with whom was he angry 
^ forty vears r' confifts in a double dcfcription of them, 
firfl by X\\civ Jin ; Was it not with them that finned ? 
Secondly, by their puniJJjment \ * Whofc carcafes fell in 
* the wildcrnefs.' And we may conlider, both what is 
Included, and then what is exprefjed, in this anfwer. It is 
plainly included that God was not thus difpleafed with 
them all ; let not any apprehend that God took, a caufe- 
lefs diilafte at that whole generation, and fo cafl them 
off and dcflroyed them promifcuoully. As they were 
feme oyily, and not all, that provoked-, fo it was vi\\\\ fame 
onlyy and not all, that God was difpleafed. With thofc 
\;\\o linncd not, who provoked not, God was not dil- 
pleafcd, but according to his promife they entered into 
his reft ; which promife in a more excellent fenfe ilill re- 
mains for the benefit of the prcf.Mit generation ot them, 
jf they were not difobcdient. — I'hc firft thing exprejjed in 
the words, or the firft part of the defcription of them 
with whom God was difpleafed, is theiry/,'z ; * was it not 
« with them th:it:fnnedP ' The ' lins' here principally in- 
tended, are the general fins of the whole congregation, 
which confiftcd in their frequent murmurings and rebel- 
lions, which came to an bead as it were in that great pro- 
vocation upon the return of the fpies, [Numb, xiv.] when 
they not only provoked God by their own unbelief, but 
encouraged one another to dellroy thcfe two pcrfons, 
Jolhua and Caleb, who would not concur in their dil- 
obediencc ; * All the congregation bade {\onc them with 
* llones,' [vcr. 10.] This diflinflion was obfervcd by the 
daughters of Zelopheliad, in their addrefs for an inhcri- 
lance auion^ their breiluL*n ; * Our father, fay they, died 

* ia 

Ver. 1^—19- EPISTLE TO THE HEBREWS. 38^ 

* in the wildernefs, and he was not in the company of 

* them that gathered themfelves together againft the Lord, 

* in the company of Corah, but died in his own fin.' 
, [Num. xxvii. 3.] They acknowledge him guilty o^ per- 
fond fins, and deny not but that he joined in the general 
provocation of the whole congregation ; but only that he 
had no hand in thofe fpecial provocations, which God 
lixed an eminent mark of his dilpleafure upon, by cutting 
off the provokers with fearful, fudden, and fignal judge- 
ments ; whereas others were gradually confumed by death 
in a natural way. 

§ 5. The apoflle defcribes them next by their piimjh- 
mcnt. * Whofe carcafes fell in the wildernefs.' I fuppofe 
the (cD»iJs) * Carcafes ' of the people may here be called 
their {kooKo^) members, or \kit\x bones, as Suidas renders the 
word, becaufe probably in thofe great plagues and de- 
ilru£lions that befell them, their rebellious carcafes, at 
leaft many of them, were left on the ground in the wilder- 
nefs, where, after the moft perifliable parts were con- 
fumed, their greater bones lay fcattered up and down. So 
the pfalmifl complains, that it befell them at another fea- 
fon, [Pfalm cxli. 7.] ' Our bones are fcattered at the 

* grave's mouth, as when one cutteth and cleaveth wood 

* on the earth.' A fore deftrudlion, or judgement, this is 
accounted amongft men ; and therefore is it made a re- 
prefentation of hell, [Ifa. Ixvi. 24.] ' They Ihall go forth 

* and look upon the carcafes of the men that have tranf- 

* grelfed againft me ; for their worm fhall not die, neither 

* fliall their fire be quenched ; and they fhall be an abhor- 

* ring unto all flefh.' — Their carcafes (c'ttsg-ov) fell, that is, 
pocnally ; which is an aggravation of their deftruftion. 
He doth not fay, they died ; but ' their carcafes/^//,' which 
intimates contempt and indignation. 

§ 6. ' Was it not with them who believed not ?' [joig 
aTTH^Yia-aa-i \) this word, as before flicwn, is varioufly 
rendered ; obeyed not, believed iiot, afjented not, acqiaefced 
not. The original verb [tth^u:) is to pcrfuadc, by words, 
or any other means ; and the word compounded (^vrf/yio;) 
is properly n^t to be perfuaded, or not to do vyhat the per- 
D d d 2 fuafioa 


fuaflon leads to , and if that pcrfuafjon be with authority, 
the difjent \s ciif obedience^ or contumacy ; and thcfe arc varied 
according as the pcrruafion hath been propofcd. The 
Greek noun {cctTcI^-icc) is ufually di [obedience^ jJubbornnefs, or 
rebellion ; but in the New Tellament it is often rendered by 
unbelief, [Rom. xi. 30 — 32. Hcb. iv. 11.] and, indeed, 
the word (77/c*c) faith itfclf, is from (TZinoc) to perfuade. 
And in other authors (TTtgig) faith is nothing but that 
ferfuajion of mind which is begotten by arguments pro- 
poled ; but the promifcuous rendering of that word by 
either difobcdience or unbeliefs feeing thefe formally differ, is 
not fo fafe, and ought to be reduced to fomc certain rule. 
This, for ought I can perceive, interpreters have not doi^e, 
but have indifferently rendered it, by the one word or 
the other. The two words («7ri/^i*« and aTTci^co;) do cer- 
tainly denote a denial of the proper elfecl of the primi- 
tive (7rf;^w) t\\Q effeH of perfunjion is not produced. Now 
this perfualion is not merely and folely an exhortation by 
words ; but whatever hath a moral tendency to prevail 
with the mind of man to do or not to do any thing, hath 
the virtue of a pcrfuafion. Thus in commands, in pro- 
mifes, in tlncatcnings, there is a pcrfuaCion \ and is com- 
mon to them all, that they are fuited to prevail with 
the minds of men, to do or not to do the things which 
they refpe<^. But there is fome peculiar adjunf^ whereby 
they are diflinguifhed as to their perfuafive efhcacy ; as 
authority in commands, faithfuhicfs in promifes, fcverity 
in threatenings, power and holinefs in all. Look then \\\ 
anv place what is the formal rcafon of the pe: fuafion whofc 
difappointmcnt is expretltd by the terms in quclVion, and 
we fhall underftand what it is that primarily and direOly 
is intended bv them. That whereby v»'e anfwer a * com- 
* mand' is obedience^ bccaufe of the authority wherewith it 
is attended, and our not being perfuadcd or prevailed on 
thereby is difobcdicnce ; that whereby we anfwer a * promife' 
is fnith^ trufl, or believing, and our failing herein is w;;- 
helief. Not that thefe things can be fo fcparated, as though 
we could obey and not believe, or believe and not obey ; 
but yet thtry arc thus properly diiVmguilhcd. Wh.ercvcr 



then thefe exprefTjons occur, we mufl confider whether 
they dire6lly exprcfs the ncgle6l of the command of God, 
or of his promife \ if it be of the former, they are duly- 
rendered by difobeying and difobedlence ; if the latter, bj 
•unbelief, increduhty, and the hke. As in this placetheir 
crime {cciTii^cicc) principally rcfpe£led the promife of God 
to give them the land of Canaan, and his pov/er to effc£t 
it ; fo that unbelief is primarily and principally intended ; 
they would not hcllcnie that he would or could bring thcni 
into that land. But yet, becaufe they were alfo under the 
command oi God, to go up and polTefs it; their -unbelief 
was accompanied with difobedlence and rebellion. This 
then is the meaning ; ' To \vhom did he fvvear, that they 

* fliould not enter into his reft ?' It was to them who, not- 
withftanding a promife of it being made to them, and a 
command given that they fliould be ready to go up and 
poflefs it, would not acquiefce in the faithfulnefs and 
power of God, believed not his word, and thereupon 
yielded not obedience to his commands ; and this was fuf- 
ficient both to provoke, and juftify the feverity of God 
againft them, in his oath and the execution of it. 

§ 7. So we fee that they could not enter in becaufe of 

* unbelief;' [yu^i /^A.-tto^cv) and we fee ; that is, it is evi- 
dent from what hath been laid down and proved ; or, 
this we have evinced, and given as it were an ocular de^ 
monftratlon of it. The apoftle doth not only declare the 

fad and event, * they did not enter ; ' but the right 
and equity alfo, in a negation, (^i,i YiSvwi9r,crciy) * they 

* could not enter ;* that is, they loft all right to enter, by 
virtue of any promife of God. Whatever dtfre they 
had fo to do, (as they manifeftcd their defires by their 
murmurings, at the heavy tidings brought them by Mofes 
concerning their exclulion, [Numb. xiv. 39.] Whatever 
g^ttempts they made for that end ; having loft all right to 
ti;ie promife, * They could not enter.' He fware they 
fliould not enter into his reft, and his determination is the 
rule of our right. * Becaufe of unbelief.' In looking 
over the whole ftory of the fins of the people, and of 
God's dealing with them, one would be apt to fix upon 



•tker caiifcs of their cxclufion from the refl of God, as 
the Jews, their poflerity, do to this day. Miglu not 
they fay ; It was bccaiifc of their idolatry in making the 
golden calf, which became a reproach to them in all ages ' 
Hence the Jews have a fiiying, * that no trouble bcfaileth 
^ Ifracl, but there is in it an ounce of the golden calf.* 
Or tlicy might tliink the caufc of it was their abominable 
mixture of all forts of fins, in tlicir conjunction with the 
Midianites and Moabitcs, worlliipping Baal-pcor, eating 
the facrificcs of the dead, and giving thcmfelvcs up to un- 
cleanncfs. Their frequent murmurings alio would occur 
to their minds. But our apoftlc lays it ablblutclv and 
wholly on tlieir v.nbcl':ff^ and evidently proves it to have 
been the fpringand caufe of all. A iin it iii that men arc 
very unapt to charge themfclves with, and vet a fin which 
above all others is charged on them by God. 

^ 8. (11.) Ohf. I. Every circumltance of holy fcrip- 
turc is inilruftive. God hath filled his own word with 
truth ; whence one faid well, [adoro plcn'itudlncm fcnptura^ 
rum) *1 reverence the fulnefs of the fcriptures.* (Pfal. 
cxxxviii. 2.] ' He hath magnified his word above all his 

• name, or made it more inftruftive than anv other wav, 
' or means whcrebv he hath revealed himfclf.* [Pfalm 
cxix. iS.] ' Open thou mine eyes,* faith the pfalmifl, 

• that I may behold wondrous things out of thy law.' 
There arc wonderful things in the word, if God be plcalcd 
to give us light to fee it ; it is like a cabinet of jewels, 
that when you pull out one box or drawer, and fearch into 
it, you find it full ; pull out another, it is full ; and when 
you think you have pulled out all, yet ftill there are fomc 
Iccret receiTcs in the cabinet, that if you fearch farther, 
you will find more. 0':r apoille fecmcd to have drawi\ 
out all the boxes of this cabinet ; but making a fccond 
fearch into the words, he iinds all tliefc things trcafured 
lip, which he had not Ix^forc touched upon. It was faid 
bv fomc of old, that * the fcripture liath fords where a 
' laaib may wade, and dtptb.s where an elephant may 

• fwini.' Let any lamb of Clirift, the weakcrt chriftian, 
come to t]ic facrcd oracits with due reverence, and !ir will 

I fin4 


find no place fo dark or difficult, but will yield him fomc 
benefit ; and let the wifefl, the moft learned and expe- 
rienced perfon, that leems like an elephant in Ipiritual 
fkill and flrength amongft the flock, come to the plaineft 
place to fearch out the mind and will of God in it, if he 
be humble as well as learned, (which if he be not he is not 
wife) he will fcarce boall: that he hath been at the bottom of 
it, and hath pcrfcdly comprehended all that is in it ; fee- 
ing whatever we know, we know but in part. When a 
learned man, and one mighty in the fcriptures, undertakes 
the conlideration of a place of fcripture, and finds, it may 
be, in the ifTue, that with all his fkill and induftry, with 
all his helps and advantages, though attended in the ufe of 
them with fervent prayer and holy meditation, that he is 
not able to fearch it out unto perfcftion ; let him not 
fuppofe that fuch a place will be of no advantage to them 
who are not fharers in his greater advantages ; for thev 
may obtain a profitable portion for themielves, where he 
cannot take down all. If any one look on this river of 
God, like Behemoth on Jordan, trufting that he can draw 
it up into his mouth, or take up tlie whole fenfe of God 
in it, he of all others feems to know nothing of its worth 
and excellency. 

Some think that it belongs to xhzfulnefs of the fcripture, 
that each place in it fliould have various fcnfcs, fome fay 
three, fome four ; but this, in fa£l, is to empty it of all 
fulnefs ; for if it have not every where oie proper dctcrjn'i^ 
nate fenje^ it hath none at all. But the things which the 
words of it are figns of, and expreiTed by, are fo great, 
deep, and myflerious, and have fuch various refpe6ts to 
our light, faith, and obedience, as that it is unfearchably 
inflruflive : the commandment is exccedhig broad, [Pfalni 
exix. 96.] The word ufed to exprefs the vAdcnefs of the 
fea, [Pfalm civ, 25.] the great fea that hath wide and 
large arms, which it flretcheth out to comprehend the 
whole earth. Hence we may obferve, that in the quota- 
tions of teftimonies out of the Old Teflament in the New, 
it is ytvy feldom that the pr'mcipal aim and intendment of 
any place is infilled on, but rather fome peculiar fpecialty 



tliat Is cither tnily irtcludcdm the words, or duly rduced (rom 
them, by juft confcqucncc. 

§ 9. And this may teach men what diligence they ought 
to ulb in Icarching and lludving the Icriptures ; cfpcciallv 
is this incumbent on them, whole duty and office it is to 
declare and expound them to others. And there is amonglt 
many, both of a pubhc and private chara<^er, a great mif- 
carriage in thelc things : ibme men preach with very httlc 
regard to the fcripture, either as to the treafury of the truth 
they difpenfe, or as the rule whereby they fliould proceed ; 
and fomc are ready to co'ni nations in their own minds, or 
to learn them from others, and then attempt to put tlicni 
upon the fcripture. This is the way of men wlio invent 
and propagate falfe opinions and groundlefs curiolities, 
which a previous reverential obfervance of the word might 
have delivered them from. Some again (and thofc,aIas ! too 
many) fupcrficially take up with that fenfe of the words 
which moft obvioufly prefents itfclf to their firft conlide- 
ration, which they improve to their own purpofes as they 
iee caufe ; but fuch perfons as thcfe fee little of the wifdom 
of God in the word ; they enter not into thofe mines of 
gold ; they are but paifcngers ; they do not (land in the 
counfel of God to hear his word, [Jercm. xxiii. 22.] 
But it is humble diligence y joined with prayer and meditation 
in the fludy of the fcriptures, that I would prefs after. 
What I would particularly urge from thcfe coniiderations, 
grounded on the precedent before us, wherein the apoi\le, 
from fuiulrv lateiit circumflancrs of the text, draws out 
jingnlarly ufcful obfervations in reference to faith and obe- 
dience, is, tliat our utmofi diligence^ efpecially in them 
who arc called to inllruft others, is required in this neg- 
lected, vea defpifed work, of fearching the icriptures. Hoxf 
often do fundry teachers dcfign their fuhjci^ts, and projc(5l 
the handlinc: of them, and occajtonally only take in the 
words of Icripture, guided more by the found than the 
fenfe oi x.\\cm \ And, which is word of all, Ibme by their 
vague notions, bold curiofities, and drained allegories, 
rather draw men from the fcripture, than endeavour to 


Ver. i;— ig. E?^STLE TO THE HEBREWS. 391 

lead them to it. The example of our great apoflle will 
guide us to other ways of proceeding in our work. 

§ 10. Obf. 1. Many hear the word or voice of God to 
no advantage, but only to aggravate their fin. Their hear- 
ing renders their lin provol<.ing to God, and dellructiveto 
their own fouls. ' Some wh^n they heard, provoked.' 
Daily experience is a futficient confirmation of this affer- 
tion : the v.'ord of God is preached unto us ; the voice of 
God founds amongil us ; as our apoiHe fueaks, [chap. iv. 
2.] * Uiito us was the gofpel preached as well as unto 

* them ;' and that with many advantages on our part. 
They heard the gofpel, indeed, but obfcurely ; and, fo to 
fpeak, in law language, hard to be underflood ; we have it 
plainly, openly, and without parables, declared to us. 
7'hey heard the voice of him that fpenk on earth ; we hear 
hh who Ipeak from heaven. But what is the iifue of God's 
thus dealing with us ? In plain terms, fome negle£l the 
word, fome corrupt it, fome defpife it, few mix it with 
faith, or yield obedience to it. The difpenfers of it may, 
for the moil part, take up the complaint of the prophet ; 
' Who hath believed our report, and to whom is the arm 

* of the Lord revealed?' [Ifa. liii. i.] And after their 
mofl ferious and fedulous dealings with fome of them in the 
name of God, they may take up againft them the apof- 
tle's alarming clofe with the unbelieving Jews, [A6ls xiii. 
41.] ' Behold, ye defpifcrs, and wonder and perifli.' Aloji 
of them to whom our Saviour preached- — periJJocd ! They 
got nothing by hearing his do6lrine, through their unbe- 
lief, but an aggravation of their lin, and the hailening of 
their ruin. So he told Capernaum, and the rell of the 
towns wherein he had wrought his miracles, and to whom 
he preached the gofpel : his prefence and preaching for a 
while brought them into a condition above that of Jeru- 
falcm, they were lifted up to heaven ; but their unbelief 
brought them into a condition worfe than that of Sodom, 
they were brought down to hell, [Alatt. ii. 21—24.] It 
is, 1 confefs, a great pri\ilcge for men to have the word 
preaclicd to them \\\ its purity and power, [Pfalm xiv. 
29, 20.] but privileges are as men iifc them. Hence the 

VuL. II. E e e gofpel 

3^» AN EXPOSITION OF THE Chap. lit. 

gofpcl becomes to fonic * a favour of death unto death/ 
[II. Cor. ii. i6.] Yea, Chrlft himfelf in his whole mi- 
niflry was — ' a llonc of Humbling, and a rock of offence 
' to both the houfes of Ifrael, a gin and a fnarc to the inha- 

* bitants of Jcrufalem !' [Ifa. viii. 14. Luke ii. 34.] 
The enjoyment of any part of the means of grace is but 
a trials and when any reft therein, they do but boaft in the 
putting on of their harncfs, not knowing what will he the 
end of the battle. Let none, therefore, to whom the 
word of God comes, millakc thcmfelvcs ; they are engaged ! 
and tlicrc is no coming off but as conqurrors, or ruined I 
If they receive it not, it will be the aggravation of their 
fins, the eternal dellruclion of their fouls. 

§ II. Obf. 3. In the mofi: general and vifible apoflacies 
of the church, God l^ill referves a remnant to himfelf, to 
bear witncfs for him by their faith and obedience. ' They 

* provoked ; howbcit, not all \ fomc, though few, inhe- 
rited the promifcs. The profefTing cluirch in the world 
was never nearer ruin than at that time ; had Mofes but 
flood out of the way, had he not with all his might of 
faith and zeal Hood in the breach, God had difinherited 
them all, and utterly dellroyed them, and rcfcrved h:m 
only for a new Hock. How near then was this whole church 
to apoftacy ! How near to dcftruftion ! How many foever 
retained their faith, only Caleb and Jolhua retained their 
pyofi'JJion. When God of old brought a flood upon the 
world for their wickednefs, the profefiing church, that 
had been very great and large in the pofleritv of Seth, was 
reduced to eight pcrfons, and one of them a curfcd hypo- 
crite ; and one Elijah could fee no more in Ifrael but him- 
felf. There were indeed then feven thoufand latent be- 
lievers, but fcarce another vi/iblc pyoffJp)r\ and it is not 
hard to imagine how little true faith, regularly profejpdf 
there was in the world, when Chrifl was in the grave. 
And under the fatal apoftacy foretold in the Revelation, 
thofc that kept the tcftimony of Jcfus arc reduced to {o 
fmall a number, as that thcv are fpoken of under the name 
o( tii'o wit ruffes. But yet in all thefe hazardous trials and 
reductions of the number of profclibrs, God always hath, 

I anJ 

Ver. 15-^19. EPISTLE TO THE HEBREWS. 393 

and ever will rcferve to himfelf a remnant^ true, faithful, 
pure, and undefilcd. 

§ 12. And this he doth for wciglity reafons : i To 
maintain his own kingdom in the world. Should it at any- 
time totally fail, Chrift would be a king without a king- 
dom, an head without a body, or ceafe to be the one or 
the other : wherefore, God will fecurc fomey who neither 
by the abufe of their own liberty, nor by the endeavours 
of tile gates of hell, fliall ever be drawn off from their obe- 
dience. And this God, in his grace, power, and faith- 
fulnefs, will effeft to make good his promifes to Chrill-, 
which he multiplied to that purpofe from the foundation 
of the world. 

2. Should all faith utterly fail in the earth, fhould all 
profelfors provoke God and apoftatize from him, then all 
gracious mtercourfcs between the holy Spirit and mankind in 
this world would be at an end. He hath undertaken a 
work and he will not faint in it, or give it over one m.o- 
ment until it be accomplifhed, and all the ele£l brought to 
God. If therefore the natural children of Abraham fail, 
he will, out of the ftones and rubbifh of the Gentiles, 
raife up to God a living temple, wherein he may dwell. 

3. God will do this on account of the work he hath for 
fomc of his people in all ages and feafons to do in the 
world ; which is great and various : he will have fome al- 
ways to confli6t with his adverfaries and overcome them, 
and therein give teftimony to the power of his grace and 
truth. Could (In and Satan drive all true grace, faith, 
and obedience out of the world, they would complete their 
victory ; but fo long as they have any to conliift with, 
againfc whom they cannot prevail, themfelves are con- 
quered ; the vi«^ory is on the other lide ; and Satan is 
fcnfible that he is under the curfe. Wherever true fahh 
is, there is a viftory, [John v. 4.] by this doth God 
mc^.ke his remnant as a brazen wall, that his enemies (hall 
light againil: in vain, [Jer. xv. 20.] be they, therefore, 
never fo few, they fliall do the work of God, in conquer- 
iug Satan and the world through the blood of the Lamb. 

E c e 2 4. God 


4. God will always have a teJ}'imony given to bis good- 
vcfsy grace, and mercy. As in the ways of his providence 
he never left himfelf ' without witncfs,' {AOs xiv. 17.] 
no more will he ii\ the ways of his grace. Some he will 
have to give teftimony to his goodncfs \w the calling, par- 
doning, and fandifying of fjnners ; hut how can this be 
done if there be none on earth made partakers of that 
grace ? They arc proper witncircs wlio teflify what they 
knc'ju and have experience of. 

5. And laflly, God will always have a revenue of fpc- 
cial glcry out of the world, by his vrorfliip. And this 
alfo mufl nccedarily fail, fliould not God prefcrve to him- 
felf a rcjnnant of them that truly fear him. And it dtr 
ferves to be obferved; that God lays a few, often a very few 
of his fecret Ones, in the balance againft the greatefl mul- 
titude of rebels and tranfgreirors ; a great multitude are but 

§ 13. Ohf. 4. God is not difplcafed with any thing in 
his people but /.";/ ; or, fin is tlie only proper objeft of 
God's difplcalure, and the linner for fm's fake. With 
whom was he difplcalcd, but with them that fhuied P I 
need not fct up my candle in the fun of this truth ; I 
wifh it were as fcriouily conildercd pra(n'ically, as it is con- 
feiicd notionally. Everv revelation of God bv his word, 
and manv of his awful v;orks, bear witnefs to it ; and 
cverv one hath that witnefs in himiclf, as will not admit 
liim to doubt of it. The nature of God, his law, tlie 
light of confcicncc, and the nnivcrfal fenfc of judgement, 
at prefcnt fixed, and certainly future, tellify to it : and, 
doubllcfs, great is the power of iin, and the craft of Satan, 
whicli prevail w\\\\ moil to continue in fm, notwithlland- 
ing this uncontroulable convidion. 'J'o tliis we may 
add, public i'lns, Inis in focict'ies, are a great provocation 
to God. It was not for their private and perfonai fins 
that he was thus provoked with his ancient people, but 
for their confpiracv, as it were, in fin. The reafcns of 
this are manifefl, and therefore I ihall not infill: upon 
them. God helps cities and nations, efpecially fuch as 


Ver. 1^-^19- E?ISTLE TO THE HEBREWS. 39- 

hear the voice of God, well to confidcr it ; and all of ill 
to take heed of national prevailing fins ! 

§ 14. Ohf. 5. God fonietimcs will make men who 
have been exemplary wicked in fm, righteoufly exemplary 
in their punifhment. They finned, faith the apoftle, and 
provoked God, and tlieir carcafes fell in the wildernefs. 
To what end is this reported ? It is that we might take 
heed, ' that we fall not after the fame example of unb:- 

* lief,' [chap. iv. ii,] There is an example in unbelief, 
and there is an example in the fall and punifhment of un- 
believers ; and oftentimes judgements have had in them a 
direft teilimony againil, and difcoverv of the iiainre of the 
iins revenged by thole judgements. Our Saviour, indeed, 
hath taught us, that we are not to fix particuhir demerits 
and iins, by our own farmifes, on perfons that may be 
overtaken with difmal providences in the world, merely 
becaufe they were fo overtaken ; fuch w^as the condition 
ot the Galileans, w^iofe blood Pilate mingled witli their 
facrilices ; and the eighteen upon whom the tower of Si- 
loam fell, and flew them ; of whom he denies, that from 
what befell them, w^e have any ground to judge them to 
have been greater finners than others, [Luke xiii. o^ — ^.] 
In fuch cafes, this only may be concluded ; that fuch per- 
fons were fmners, as all are, and therefore were rightc- 
ouflv obnoxious at any time to any fevcre judgement of 
God ; and the reafon of God's linghng them out in fuch 
a manner, is that mentioned in the fame place by our Sa- 
viour : to declare to others, in the like condition with 
themfelvcs, that * unlefs they repent, they fliall all 

* likewife perifh.* 

§ 15. If we inveftigate thefe reaf jns a little more par- 
ticularly, we Ihail fi'id that God will do thus, to bear wit- 
nefs to his own holi nefs and fcverity. In the ordinarv 
courfe of providence, God gives conflant tcflimony to his 
goodnefs and patience; ' he caufetii his fun to rife on the 
' evil and on the good, and fcndeth rain on the juft and 

* on tlie unjull,' [iMatt. v. 45.] He will fometimes rife 
up to his work, his flrange work ; his aft, his llrange 
aft, [Ifa. xxviii. 21.] that is, to execute great and fear- 


fill prcfciit judgements on fmncrs ; which, though it be a 
' llrange work,' feldom coming to pais, yet it is * his 

* work,' a work that becomes liim, and whereby he will 
manifcil his h.oiincfs and ibvcrity. He reveals his judgc- 
tiients from licaven againil the ungodlincrs of men, [Rom. 
i. I 8.] And this b.c fometimcs doth by exemplary punilh- 
racnts on exemplary linners. 

2. God doth this to check and controul the atheifm 
that is in the liearts of men. Many whilit they fee wicked 
men, efpecially open and profligate finncrs, profpcring in 
a conftant courfe, arc ready to fay in their hearts, * There 
< is no God,' or that he hath forfakcn the earth ; or [Mai. 
ii. 17.] ^ Where is the God of judgement?' And this 
cncnurageth men in their wickednefs, as the wife man ex- 
prcllly tells us, ' Bccaufe fentence againll an evil work is 

* not executed fpeedily, therefore the heart of the fons of 

* men is fully fet in them to do evil,' [Ecclef. viii. 11.] 
The confideration hereof makes them call off all regard of 
God, and to purfue the lufts of their hearts according to 
the power of their hand. To ftay men in this courfe, 
God fometimes hurls a thunder-bolt amongi\ them ; cafts 
out an amazing judgement, in a way of veFigeancc on 
fome notable tranfgrelTors ; and were it not that God did 
fometimcs awe the world with ' his flrarige works' of ven- 
geance, which he executes at his pleafure, fo that great 
iinners can never be fecure one moment from them, it ia 
to be feared that the atheifm that is iii the hearts of men 
would bring tliem evcrv-where to the condition of things 
before tlie riooil, when * the whole earth was filled with 

* violence, and all fiefli had corrupted its way.' 

3. God will do thus for t!ie cfuoiaaFt'ment of them 
wlio bear witntfs to himfcif in the world, againfl the 
wrckcdncfs of men. The principal work of the fervants 
of God in the world is to bear wltncl's to Cjod ; his be- 
m^^y his holincfs, liis righteouhu fs, his goodncfs, his 
hatred of fm : for tliis cauTe are tliev for the moft part 
mocked, defpifed, and persecuted in the uorld. So laith 
our apollle ; * for therefore we both labour, and luller re- 

* preach, bccaulc wc truft in the liviiig God ;' [1. Tim. 

iv. 10.] 


iv. 10.] And fometimcs they are ready to faint in their 
trials. It is to them like a iword in their bones, while 
their enemies fay unto them, ' Where is your God ?* 
fPfal. xlii. 10.] They have indeed a fure word of pro- 
mife to trull to and to reft upon ; and that which is able 
to carry them fafely and quietly through all temptations 
and oppolitions; but yet God is plcafcd fometimcs to re- 
lieve and refrelh their fpirits by confirming their teftimony 
from heaven, bearing witnefs to himfclf and his holinefs, 
by his vifible tremendous judgements, upon openly no- 
torious provokers, and the mouth of iniquity Ihall, at 
leaft for a feafon, be Hopped. The manifeft uic of fucha 
difpenfation is what Hannah propofeth, [I. Sam. ii. 3.] 

* Talk no more fo exceeding proudly ; let no arro- 

* gance come out of your mouth ; for the Lord is 2 God 

* of knowledge ; and by him, adions are weighed.' Let 
men take heed how they arrogantly boaft themfelves in 
their fin and wickednefs, which is too common with pro- 
voking finners ; for God is a God of knowledge and 
judgement. If they regard not the * judgement to come,* 
but put the evil day far from them, yet let them take 
heed left God fingle them out to fome diftinguiihed 
vengeance in this world, to make them examples unto 

§ 16. Obf. 6. Great deftru£lions by way of judgement 
and vengeance are inftituted reprefentations of the judge- 
ment and vengeance to come. I dare not fay with the 
Jews, ' that all this provoking generation periilied etcr- 
' nally, and that none of them fhall have a blefled lot or 

* portion in the world to come.' They might 7-cpcnt of 
their fins and provocations ; the oath of God was to 
their temporal punifhment, not to fpiritual impenitency. 
There is a repentance which may prevail for the removal, 
or at Icaft tlie deferring, of a temporal judgement de- 
nounced, if not confirmed by oath ; which yet is not 
prevalent to free the finner from eternal ruin ; and there 
is a repentance and humiliation that may free the foul 
from eternal ruin, and yet not take off a temporal judge- 
ment threatened againft it: But yet this muft be ack- 


nowlctlged, tliat tlicir puniilimcnt was a great rcprcfcnta- 
Uon oi X\\c future judgciiiciit ; wlicrciii .unbelievers ihall 
be call off for cvci : tor, as they fell viiilily under the 
wrath and dilplcafurc of God, and their carcafcs were 
call out in tlic wildernef.s as a loatiiibnie ahoniination, fo 
their judgeaient overtook thcai under this formal coniidc- 
ration, that they wcic excluded out oi \\\q. reft of Cod. 
And thcfc things together give an evident refemblance of 
the judgement to come ; wlicn finners fhall pcrilh eter- 
nally under tlic wratli of God, and be for ever excluded 
cut of his rcil. 

<^ 17. Ohf. 7. All un!;clief Is accompanied with con- 
tumacy and rebellion. When the obje£l to be believed 
is fufficicntly propofcd and made known to any perfon, 
wliich renders it his duty actually to believe, efpecially 
when it is propofed in the way and manner prefcribcd by 
God in the gofpel^ that is, with the highell reafons, mo- 
tives, and perfuafive inducements conceivable ; if fuch a 
perfon mix not the word fpoken with taith, his unbelief 
is ruinous to his foul ; and that bccaufe it hath contumacy 
2nd rebellion accompanying it. If among the arguments 
ufed to prevail with the mind, tliat of fuprcme authority 
be one, then rebellion is added to difobedience and ftub- 
bornnefs. The gofpcl makes it appear that its commands 
and exhortations to believe are moft reafonablc in them- 
fhes^ and mofl: reafotiably to be accepted by finncrs ; and 
that on all accounts of reafon whatever. As for inllance; 
upon tlic account of divine ri?hteoufnefs, that icquireth 
faith or belief of men ; on account of necejfuy^ on the 
part of them who are required to bcHcve ; on account of 
tiie ^Qod.'jtfsy grace, and condefccnlion, that is, in the 
propofed <?/yW/ of faith, and the ro.'w??;^;/^ of believers ; for 
the things thcmfelves are excellent and precious, and our 
advantages by an intcrefl in them, fo great and unfpcak- 
able, as that tliey arc everywhere in the gofpel manilellcd 
to b-: the cffeds of infjultc grace and love. On account of 
fifeiv: the end pro})ofed is deliverance from iin, death, 
hell, and ven;c:ince everlafling; with the attainmcytt of 
teft, peace, and bklTtJncfs, in the enjoyment of God. 



Now the gofpel propofcth the things which it requires to 
be believed, as the only way and means for the attaining 
of this end ; and that this way is fafe, and fecure, that 
never any one mifcarried in it, or fhall do forever; it 
gives all the alTurance that the word, promifes, covenant, 
and oath of God can afford. On all which accounts it 
follows, that it is a rcafonable thing that we fhould bc^ 
I'lcver — Again ; confider the manner how the gofpel pro- 
pofcth to us the objeft of faith, or the things which it 
requireth us to believe ; for it doth not do this by a mere 
naked declaration of them, attended with a fevere com- 
mand ; it adds entreaties, exhortations, reafonings, en- 
couragements, promifes, threatenings, and every generous 
and moving topic that is calculated to prevail on the 
minds of rational creatures. All the things of our own 
eternal concernment are propofed to us with that gentle- 
nefs, tendcrnefs, and condefcenfion ; that love, that ear- 
neftnefs, that evidence of an high concern for our good, 
^md that compaiTionate afFe£l:ion, as will alTuredly aggra- 
vate the guilt of rejecting the tender it makes. And 
hence it is that the fcripture every where layeth the caufe 
of men's unbelief on their wills^ their love of fin, their 
obftinacy, and hardnefs of heart. 

§ 18. Obf. 8. Unbelief not only juftifies, but alfo 
glorifies^ the greatefl feverities of God, againfl them in 
whom it prevails. The apoftle having declared the feve- 
rity of God towards the people in the wildernefs, adds 
this as the realon of it — ' becaufe of their unbelief/ 
They provoked him by their unbelief, and therefore were 
fo feverely deflroyed, as he had declared. And befides, his 
principal intention is to manifeft, that thofe who follow 
them in the fame fin, now under the gofpel, fliould in like 
manner perilh — eternally perilh — by which God will glo- 
rify himfelf His dcfign in the gofpel, and by the obje£ls 
propofed to our faith, is to glorify himfelf, and all the 
the holy attributes of his nature ; and it is that which 
becomes him, becaufe it is natural and necclTary to him in 
all things to will his own glory. Now unbelief is no- 
thing but the attempt of fin and Satan to frujirate the 

Vql. H, F ff whok 


whole dclign of God, to make him a liar, [I. John v. 
I O.J to keep him from being known and worlhipped, as 
Ciod only wife, infinitely righteous, holy, faithful, gra- 
cious, and bountiful. And where then is the glory of 
God ? Or what is left him for which he fhould be glori- 
fied or worlhipped ? And can atheifljcal rebellious 
attempt be too feverely revenged? Is not God not only 
jujiificd in that decretory fentence, ' He that belleveth not, 

* ihall be damned ?' but doth it not, even in the hearts 
of all the creation, call aloud for the vindication of his 
glory, from this great contempt calt upon it, and horri- 
ble attempt to frurtrate his defign for the advancement of 
it ? As fure as God is God, unbelief Ihall not go unpu- 
nifhed. Yes, from the gracious falvation of believers, 
and righteous condemnation of them who will not be- 
lieve, doth arife that great and triumphant glory, wherein 
God will be admired and adored by the whole rational 
creation to eternity. 

§ 19. Obf. 9. The oath of God is engaged againfl no 
fin but unbelief. As God hath given his oath for the 
confirmation and confolatlon of believers, both as to the 
things themfelves which they are to believe, and as to 
their affured fafety on their believing, and to nothing elfc 
directly in a way of grace ; fo he hath, in a way of juf- 
tlcc, engaged his oath againfl no fin but that of unbelief, 
and for the cxclufion of unbelievers from eternal reft. 

* To whom fwear he that they Ihould not enter into his 
' reft, but to them that believed mtf Other fins there are 
that have great provocations in them ; fo had the mur- 
murings of the people In the wildernefs. But it is their 
relation to unbelief, their growing upon that ftock, that 
gives them fuch an height of provocation, as that God 
at any time enters a caveat againft them by his oath. And 
in this ^zw{<i ir is not faid amifs, that ' unbelief is the only 

* damning fin ,' bccaufe as there is no other fin but may 
be, but ^W/ be remitted to men upon believing; fo the 
formal confidcration, on which other fins, in gofpcl 
hearers, fall under judgement, is unbelief. 

§ 20. 


§ 20. Some doubt whether they fhould believe or no ; 
not notioiially and indefinitely, but pra6lically and in 
particular ; which caufeth them to fiu£tuate all their days. 
But what is it they doubt of in this matter ? Is it whether 
it be their iiuty to believe or no ? It is indifpenfably re- 
quired of them by the command of God ; fo that not to 
do fo, is the grcatcji height of dif obedience that they can 
make themfelves guilty of. Is it whether they may do fo, 
and whether they Ihall find acceptance with God in their 
fo doing ? This calls his righteoufnefs and faithfulnefs in 
tjucilion. Is it becaufe of the many objeftions which they 
find arifing againil themfelves, which leave them no hope 
of a perfonal participation of the good things promifed? 
But v/hat are all their objeftions before thofe evidences 
that are rendered in the gofpel to the contrary ? The 
truth is, if men will not believe, it is out of love to Jin, and 
a diflike of the dcfign of God, to glorify himfelf by Jefus 
Chiift; if then it be a queftion with you, whether you 
Should believe or not, confider if you do not, what will 
be the event. The demerit of your fin is fuch, as that it 
\s\\\ jujlify, yea, and glorify God in his greatefl feverity 
againft you ; and his oath is engaged that you fhall never 
enter his reft. What like this can you fear on the other 
hand ; and why do you doubt what courfe to take ? 

§21. To the foregoing obfervations let the following 
be added : 

1. Whatever we confider in fin, God principally con- 
fiders xht fpring of it in unbelief, as that which maketli 
the moft dire<^ and immediate oppofition to himfelf. 

2. Unbelief is the immediate root and caufe of all pro- 
voking fins. As faith is the fpring of all obedience, fo is 
•unbelief of all fin ; all fins of flefli and fpirit have no 
other root. Did men believe either the promifcs or threat- 
cnings of God, they would not by their fins fo negled him 
as they do. And as this is fo with rcfpc«ft to the total 
prevalency of unbelief; fo it is as to its partial efficacy. 
As our difobedience follows /// proportion to the operation 
of our faith; fo do all our fins and irregularities anfwer 
the working and prevalency of unbefief in us. 

f' f f 2 3. To 


3. To difbelicve God, with rcfpe£l to ?lX\w fpecial defzgn 
of glorifying hinilclf, is the grcatcll and highcll provoca- 
tion. Unbelief deprives men of all intcrell in, or right to 
tiic promifes of God ; for no unbeliever fliall ever enter 
into the rcil of God. 

Chap. IV. Ver. 1,2. 


§ I. IntfoduSf'ion. § 2. (I.) Tlje kind of fear intended. 
§ 3. fVhat meant by the promife being left. § 4. Pphat 
the rejl here meant. § 5. Its nature defcribed. § 6 — 9. 
The remaining claufes explained. § lO — 15. (II.) Ob- 
fervations. § 16 — 18. 7 he great msjlery of profitable 
believing confijls in the proper mixing of truth and faith. 

§ I. X HIS chapter is of the fame nature, and carrieth 
on the fame delign with that foregoing. That contained 
an exhortation to faith, obedience, and pcrfcverancc, en- 
forced by a moft appofite and flriking inftancc in the 
punifhmcnt which befell fonic ancient profeflTors who were 
guilty of fins contrary to thofe duties. And this was done 
by the cxpofition and application of a prophetical tcflimony^ 
fuggclling an example of God's dealing with former un- 
believers. Now whereas ni the words of the pfalmift 
tlicrc is not only a moral example propofcd, but a pro- 
Z phic^ 

Ver.1. epistle to the HEBREWS. 40;^ 

-phecy alfo interwoven concerning the reji of God in 
Chrill by the gofpel, and our duty thereon ; the apoftle 
proceeds to expound, improve, and confirm his exhorta- 
tion from the fcope and words of that prophecy. They 
might be apt to fay, what have we to do with the people 
in the wiidernefs, with the promife of entering into Ca- 
naan; or, with what the pfahiiiil from thence exhorted 
our fathers to ? Nay, thefe things, faith the apoftle, belong 
Xo you in an efpecial manner: for, befides that, you may 
in the example propofed fee evidently what you are to ex- 
pert if you fall into the fame lins ; the things treated of in 
the pfalm are a prophctictil direction dcfigned for your fpc- 
cial ufe in your pre [cut condition. 

§, 2. (I.) {<\>o^YfiMiLiv.^ * Let us fear.' The noun 
(':po(3og,) and the verb ((pofiso^oa,) are ufed in the New 
Teftament to exprefs all forts oi fears ; natural, civil, finful, 
and religious fear. The fear here intended is religious^ 
relating to God, his worfhip, and our obedience ; and 
this is fourfold, (i.) oi terror, (2.) oi diffidence, (3.) of 
reverence, (4.) of care, folicitoufnefs, and watchfulnefs. 
Let us inquire which of them it is that is intended. 

In this example of God's dealing with their progenitors 
in the wiidernefs, he declares alfo that there is included a 
commination of fimilar dealing with all others who Ihall fall 
into the fame fin of unbelief ; none may flatter themfelves 
with vain hopes of any exemption in this matter ; for 
unbelievers fhall never enter into the reft of God, which 
he farther confirms in thefe two verfes, though his pre- 
fent exhortation be an immediate inference from what 
went before ; * Wherefore let us fear.' How muft we 
do this? With what kind of fear? Not with a fear of dif^ 
fidcncc, of doubting, of wavering, of uncertainty as to the 
event of our obedience ; this is enjoined to none, but is 
evidently a fruit of unbelief, and therefore cannot be our 
duty. Neither can it be a dlfmaycdnefs of mind upon a 
profpe6t of difficulties and dangers in the wav; for this is 
the fluggard's fear, who cries, * there is a lion in the 
• ftreets, I fnall be llain.' Nor is it that general fear of 



reverence with which wc ought to be poflerfcd in all our 
concerns with God ; for that is not particularly intiuenccJ 
by thtcatenings and the I'cvcrity of God ; fcuing we arc 
bound always, in that fcnfe, to * fear the Lord and his 

* goodncfs.' It remains, tlvcrcforc, that the fear here 
intended, is compounded of an awful apprehenfion of 
the holinefs and greatncfs of God, with his feverity 
againft fni, balancing the foul againfl temptation, and 
careful diligence, in tlie ufe of means to avoid the threat- 
ened evil. 

§ 3. ' Left a promife being left us,' (u'/jTrfj- xajccXct' 
TTo^-VYig i'/ig cTra^yy^Kiotg.) I'hc intention of thefe words 
is variouily apprehended by interpreters; but the diffe- 
rence comes to tliis, whether by {KuloiKsi7rc'>j.z';v,g) * being 

* left,* the a^ of God in giving the promife, or the negletl 
ef men in rcfufing it, be intended. The verb here ufed, 
(KcTjccXuTrcAj) is of an amb;::aous fignification ; fomctimes 
it is ufed for fJrfsro, nrg/igoj to dcfcit^ firglctJ^ or forfakc 
in a culpr.ble manner. VVequcnt inftanccs of this occur 
in all authors ; and if that fenfe be here admitted, it con- 
fines the meaning of the words to the liUtcr interpretation ; 

* Left the promife being forfaken or negle£lcd.' The 
word may here well denote the ail of God, in leaving or 
propofing the promife to us ; a promife remaining for us to 
mix with faith. Whichever of th.em you embrace, the 
main dclign of the npolllc, in the whole verfe, is kept 
entire, and either wav the rcfult of the whole verfc is the 
fame. According to the fnft, this is the fum: feeing 
therefore that they mifcarried through contumacy and 
unbelief, let us fear left wc fall into the fame Jin 5 by leav- 
ing the promifes, and fo come fhort of entering mto the 
reft now propofed. In the fccond way : take heed left by 
your unbelief, rejeiJing the ^promife gracioufly left us, you 
fall fhort of the reft of God. I fi^.all not abfoiutcly de- 
termine upon cither itn^Q^ but am inclined to embrace the 
former ; becaufc the apoftlc feeins in thefe words to lay 
the fourulntion of all his cnfuing arguments and exhorta- 
tions in chnptcri and tli-'- i^ tiiat ^l promi/eo( enter- 


ing into tlie reft of God is left us now under the gofpel, 
Beiides, the laft claulc of the words, ' Left any of you 
' fiiould feem to come fliort of it,' do primarily and di- 
reftly exprefs xhtfui and not the /)?/;;//^;?zf«f of unbelievers, 
as wc fliall fee afterwards ; the pronujc^ and not the rcjl: of 
God, is therefore the objeft in tliem confidered. More- 
over, the apoftle after fundry arguments gathers up all 
into a concluiion, [ver. 11.] ' there remaincth, therefore^ 
* a reft for the people of God ;' Where the word (a7ro7K:-L^ 
TTsjoci) rendered rcmaineth, of I he fame root with this, is 
ufed in the fenfe of the Jir/i interpretation. 

§ 4. ' Of entering into his reft.' Expofitors gene- 
rally grant, that it is the reft of glory which is here in- 
tended ; but I muft take the liberty to diUent from that 
fuppofition, upon the following reafons : 

1. The reft here propofed is peculiar to the gofpel, and 
contradiftin6l from that propofed to the people under the 
oeconomv of Mofes ; for, whereas it is faid, that the 
people in the wilderne.fs failed, and came fliort of enter- 
ing into the reft promifed them, the apoftle proves from 
the pfalmift, that there is another reft propofed under the 
gofpel ; and this cannot be the eternal reft of glory, be- 
caufe thofe under the Old Teftament had the promife of 
that reft, no lefs than we have under the gofpel. For 
with refpe£l that, our apoftle affirms, that the gofpel was 
preached to them as well as to us ; no lefs truly, though 
lefs clearly. And this reft multitudes of them entered 
into ; for they were both jnftified by faith, [Rom. iv, 
3 — 8.] and had the adoption of his children, [Rom. 
ix. 5.] And when they died, entered into eternal reft with 
God. This, therefore, cannot be that other re/l which 
is provided under the gofpel, in oppofitlon to that propofed 
under the law. 

2. He plainly carrieth on, throughout his difcourfe, an 
antlthcfis Qow^i^^mg of many parts : the principal fubjed of 
it is, the two people ; thofe in the wildemefs, and the 
Hebreivs to whom the gofpel was nozv preached. Now 
that reft whereinto they entered not, was the quiet fettled 
ilate of God's folcmn worlhip in the land of Canaan, or, 



in other words, a peaceable churcli-ftate for tlie worfhip 
of God, in the land and place cliofcn for that purpofc. 
Now it is not the rell of heaven that, in the antithefis 
between the law and gofpel, is oppofcd to that juft men- 
tioned ; but the rcll that believers have in ChriJ}, with 
that church'Jlate and worlliip, which, as the great pro- 
phet of the church, he has cre(^ed ; and into the polfcf- 
lion of which he powerfully leads them, as did Jolliua the 
people of old into the reft of Canaan. 

3. The apoftle plainly affirms tins to be his intention, 
[vcr 3.] ' For we which have believed do enter into reft \ 
it is fuch a reft, it is that very reft, which believers enter 
into in this world \ and this is the reft which we have by 
Chrift in the grace and worftiip of the gofpel. 

4. Chrift and the gofpel were promijcd of old to the 
people, as a means and ftate of reft ; and in anfwer to 
thofe promifcs, they are here a£lually propofcd to their 
enjoyment. This is that which the people of God in all 
ages looked for, and which in the preaching of the gofpel 
was propofcd to them. 

5. The true nature of this reft may be difcovered from 
the pYomije of it ; for a promife is faid to remain of en- 
tering into his reft. Now this promife is no other but 
t!ie gofpel itfelf, as preached lo us, as the apoftle exprelTly 
declares in the next verfe. The want of a due confidera- 
tion of this particular is what, I prefume, hath led ex- 
pofitors into a miftakc in this matter. For they eye only 
the prouiifc of eternal life y given in the gofpel; which is 
but a part of it, and that confcquentialty to fundry other 
promifcs. That promife concerns only them who atlually 
bcheve, hut the apoftle principally intends a promife pro- 
pofcd to men as the prime object of their faith and encr.u- 
ragcmenl to believin^y Chrift himfelf, and the benefits of hi'^ 
mediation ; which we niuft be iirft intereftcd in, before 
wc can lay any claim to the promife of eternal life. 

6. The apoftlc*s delign is — not to prefer heaven^ im- 
rnortality, and glory, above the law^ and that reft in God's 
worlhi]) which the people had in the land of Canaan, for 
who, even of the Hebrews themfelves, ever doubted of this r 



but — to fet out the excellency of the gofpel, its worfhip, 
and the church-Jiate, to which we are called by Jefus Chrilt, 
above all prior privileges ; and if this be not always duly 
confidered, ilo part of the epiflle can be rightly under* 

§ 5. This being the reft here propofed, as promifed in 
"the gofpel ; our next inquiry is into the nature of it, or 
wherein it conlifts. And we fhall find that it conlifts, 

1. In peace with Gcd^ in the free and iuil jujiification of 
the perfons of believers from all their fins by the blood of 
Chrift, [Rom. V. i.] * Being juftified by faith we have 

* peace with God,' [Ephef. i. 4.] * In whom we have re- 

* demption through his blood, the forgivenefs of our fins.* 
This is fully exprefled, [Ads xiii. 32, 33 — 38, 39.] * We 

* declare unto you glad tidings, how that the promife that 

* was made unto the fathers, God hath fulfilled the fame 

* unto us their children, ill that he hath railed up Jefus 
'again. BcU it known unto you therefore, men and bre- 

* thren,that through this man is preached unto you the for- 

* givenefs of fins ; and by him all that believe are juftified 

* from all things, from which ye could not be juftified by 

* the law of Mofes.' Nor is it of force to except, that 
this was enjoyed alfo under the Old Teftament ; for 
although it were fo in the fubftance of it, yet it was not 
fo as a complete rejl. Juftification, and peace with God 
thereon, are properly and dlre^lyaurs ; they were theirs by 
a participation in our privileges ; God having < ordained 

* fome better things for us, that they without us fhould 

* not be made perfect, [Heb. xi. ult.'\ 

2. In our freedom from bondage, a fervile frame of 
fpiritin the worfhip of God. Under the Old Teftament 
they had the fpirits of fcrvants, though they were fons ; 

* For the heir as long as he is [r/\iTiog) an infant^ unable 
' to guide himfelf, differeth nothing from a fervant, but 

* is under tutors and governors, until the time appointed 

* of the Father.* And this kept them from that full and 
complete reft, which now is to be entered into, and 
which cannot be but where there is liberty. 

Vol. II. G g g 3. Evan- 


^. Evangelical reft coiilifts in a delivery from the yoke 
and bondage of Mofaical inllitutions. tor as the people 
of old had a fplrii of bondage, fo they had upon them 
f^yc;) a yoJi:r. And this reft in the confcicnces of men, 
from an obligation to a multitude of anxious fcrupulous 
obfervanccs, under moft fcvere revenging penalties, is no 
fmalip.irt of that reft, which our Saviour propoics as an 
encouragement to finners for coming to him, [xMatt. ii. 


4. Hiis reft confifts in tliat gofpel zL'orJ^jip to which we 
are call-d. This is a bleiled reft on account, for inftance, 
of that liberty of fpirit which believers have in obeying 
it ; of the ajjijlance which the worlhippcrs have for tliJC 
performance of the worlhip in an acceptable manner ; 
and, finally, the wordiip itfelf, and the obedience it re- 
quires, 2i\t not gilt jous \ but eafy, gentle, rational, fuited 
to the principles of the new nature of the worfliippers. 

4. This alfo is God's rejl ; for God reftcth, ultimately 
and abfolutely, as to all the ends of his glory, in Chr'ijU 
as exhibited in the gofpcl ; and through him he rcfts in 
his love towards believers alfo ; and this is that worlhip 
which he ultimately and unchangeably requires in this 
world, nor is it liable to any alteration or change to the 
confummation of all things. This, therefore, is GocV s reft 
and ours. 

§ 6. * Left any of you fhould feem to come fliort of 
* it ;' [iig :-'^ vuujv) any of you, Wc all ought to take care 
of one another, or fear each other's dangers and temp- 
tations, labouring to prevent their efficacy, by mutual 
brotherly care and aliiftancc, {lcx7]) J^ou/d /avfiy refers to 
at any time. The apoftle intends to warn them againft all 
appearance of any fuch failing as that he cautions them 
againft ; deliring them to take heed that none of them do, 
by remitting their former zeal and diligence, give any 
figns of adcclenfion from, or deftrtion of their profcllion ; 
let there be no apparent rejhnhluuce of any fuch thing 
found amongft you. — * To come Ihort,* {vo^iy.:,y-^v(xi) to 
he left behind, that is, ia the work of \n^ receiving the 
promlfc when pvopoied. If men fail in the beginning, 
2 probably 


probably they will quite give over in their progrefs. Ge- 
nerally,' expofitors think here is an allufion to them who 
run in a race, but tlic allulion is taken from the people in 
the wildernefs, and their palling into the land of Canaan. 
Moft of them were heavy through unbelief, lagging in 
their progrefs, and, as it were, left behind in the wilder- 
neis, where they pcrilhcd, and came Ihort of entering 
jnto the promifcd land. 

§ 7. * For unto us was the gofpel preached, as well as 
* unto them,' or, ' For we were evangelized even as they.' 
The word (:-vayysKiQiJ.-y.i) evangelized, though of various 
conftruaion, is here 'u fed pofiiivcly, and the nominative 
cafe (;;a5/c) ar is included in the verb fubilantive (ccr/xfj/) 
1VC are evangdi%cd \ we have the gofpel preached unto us. 
And in what way foever tlie word is u fed, it no where 
denotes the receiving of tlie gofpel in the pvjcr of it, by 
them who are evangelized ; that is, it includes not the 
faith of the hearers, but only exprelTeth the acl of preach- 
ing, and the outward enjoyment of it. The gofpel, and 
therein the promife of entering into the refl of God, is 
preaching to us, (tcc^^^ttjo -noi KSivoi) even as they ; they 
who had, who d'ljhcl'icved, and rejeaed the promife of God, 
and fo came fliort of entering into his reft. The com- 
parifon therefore intended, is merely between the per- 
fons, THEY and we. As they enjoyed the gofpel, fo do 
we; as it was preached to them, fo to us. The promile 
made to Abraham, contained the fubflance of the gofpel, 
and was confirn7ed to his poflerity ; all the typical infli- 
tutions of the law, afterwards introduced, had no other 
end but to inftrud the people in the nature and accom- 
plifnment of the promife, and to this purpofe they all 
ferved until the time of reformation. To the fpiritual 
part of the promife made to Abraham, there was annexed 
a promife of the inheritance of the land of Canaan, that 
it might inftrua: him and his feed in the nature of faith, 
to live in the expeaation of what is not theirs in profef- 
f^on ; that it might be a pledge of the love, power, and 
faithfulncfs of God, in accomplidiing the fpiritual part of 
^Jie promife \ that it might be a place of reft for the 

Q 1% % Pbuiql^i 


church, wherein it might attend fglemnly to the obfcr- 
vance of all thofe inllitutions of worlhip, which were ap- 
pointed to dire6t them to the promifc. Hence the decla- 
ration of the promife of entering into Canaan, and the 
reft of God therein, became, in an cfpecial manner, the 

* preaching of the gofpcl' to them ; the land itfelf and 
their profcfTion of it was facramcntal. It is worthy of 
remark, that the words, * for unto us was the gofpel 

* preached even as unto them,* fcem to import, that we 
are no Icfs concerned in the gofpel declaration, and the 
promife made unto them, than they were ; othcrwife the 
apoflle would have rather faid, the gofpel was preached to 
them even as to us ; feeing of its preaching to the pre- 
fent Hebrews there could be no queftion. Paul reminds 
his brethren, that their progenitors had a promife given 
them of entering into the reft of God, which, becaufe of 
\inbelief, they came fliort of, and periflied under his dif- 
ple<ifure ; now, whereas, they might reply, what is that 
to us, wherein are we concerned in it ; can we rejed a 
promife which doth not belong to us ? The apoftle replies, 
to us, to all the pofterity of Abraham in all generations 
was the gofpel preached, in the promife of entering into the 
reft of God ; and may no lefs be finned againft at any 
time by unbelief, than it was by them to whom it was at 
firft granted ; when it was preached to them, it was alfo 
preached to us, fo that the obligation to faith and obe- 
dience was no lefs on the one than on the other genera- 
tion ; for the prcfent difpenfation of the gofpel was but 
the continuation of the fame gracious promife. 

§ 8. * The word preached did not profit them \ {o Kcycg 
T'/jg uKorig) the word of hearing, which exprclTion, being 
general, is limited by {i7myyi7\icc) the promfe, in the 
verfc foregoing. The word [o Xoyoq) may be [ir.ccyyh'Kicc) 
a promife in itfelf, but if it be not the word of hearing, that 
is, fo man.'!gcd by tlic appointment of God as that we may 
hear it, wc could have no advantage by it. In fliort, the 
phrafc (Q'kQyoq'^y\q ot-iLor^q) imports, ' the promife preached/ 
and us preached. Of this word it is faid, * it profited 
* them not/ they had no advantage by it \ for it was a 



notorious faft, that notwithllandiiig the promife given of 
entering into the reft of God, they entered not in. And 
there Teems to be a meiojts in the words alfo ; it was fo far 
from benefitting them, that it became the innocent occaiioa 
of their ruin. As if he had faid, conlider What befell 
them, how they pcrilhcd in the wildernefs under the in- 
dignation of God, and you will fee how far they were 
from having any advantage by what they heard ; and fuch 
will be the iilue with all that Ihall negledl the word in like 

§ 9. * Not being mixed with faith in them that heard. 
* it.' The word not being mixed (^vi a-vyKcX,pa,jji-vog) taken in 
a natural fenle, denotes to mix or mingle one thing with. 
another, as water and wine ; or to mix compofitions \j\ 
cordials, or in poifons. This mixture which Wd.s properly 
of a cup to drink, was fometimes fo made as to give it 
Jlrength and efficacy to inebriate, or give it any pernicious 
effect ; and hence a cup oi mixture is exprefled as an ag- 
gravation. Sometimes the mixture was made to temperate 
and alleviate, as water mixed with ftrong inebriating wine j 
hence a cup without mixture is an expreffion of great in- 
dignation ; [Rev. xiv. 10.] nothing being added to the 
wine of fury and aflonifliment to take off its fiercenefs. 
This being the import of the word, expofitors illuflratc 
the whole fenfe by various allufions, whence they fuppofe 
the expreffion to arife : fome to the mixture of things to 
be eaten and drank, that they may be made fuitable and 
•qfeful to the nourifhment of the body; fome to the mix- 
ture of the natural ferment of the flomach with meat ancl 
drink, caufing digeltion and nouriffiment ; and this laft 
allufion fcems well to reprefent the nature of faith in thi^ 
matter. The fum is, fpiritual truths, being faviiigly bc,- 
lieved, are miitcd with that faith which receives them ; {<t 
incorporated with it, as that they come to be realized im 
the foul, and to be turned into the principle of that new 
nature whereby we live to God. The fame promife being 
left to us as to them, and they came Jhort of it for want of 
mixing faith with it, we have rcafon to be watchful againft 
the like mifcarriagcs in ourfclves. 

§ 10. 


§ 10. (II.) The fubjcd will be farther cleared by the cii- 
fuing obfcrvations : 

Obf. I. Fear is the proper objeO' of gofpel communi- 
cations, which ought to be anfwerabic to our feveral con- 
ditions, and grounds of obnoxioufnefs to thrcatenings. 
This is that which the apofllc preiTeth us to, on the con- 
fideration of the fcverity of God againft unbelievers, pe- 
remptorily excluding them out of liis rcll, after they had 
reie(fted the promife ; * Let us,' faith he, ' fear therefore.* 
As the fum of all promifes is enwrapped ii* thofe words, 

* He that bclieveth Ihall be faved ; [Mark xvi. i ).] fo 
the fum of all threatenings is in the following : * He that 

* believeth not fhall be damned.* And a liue fummary 
of gofpel promifes and threatenings we have again, [John 
iii. 36.] * He that bclieveth Son the on hath everlaHing 

* life, and he that believeth not the SiO:-\ fhall not fee life ; 

* but the wrath of God abideth on him.' The law (as 
tliflinguifhed from the gofpel) knows no more of gofpel 
threatenings than of gofpel promifes ; for the tlircaten- 
jngs of the law lie againll finners for fins committed ; the 
threatenings of the gofpel are againfl fmners, for refaling 
the remedy provided and tendered to them, l^hey are 

Jupcradded X.O thofe of the law, and in them doth the gofpel 
when rejec^led become * death unto death ;' [II. Cor. ii. 
16.] by the addition of that punifliment contained in its 
threatenings, to that which was contained in the threaten- 
ings of the law. And this duty is always incumbent on 
them to whom the difpenfation of the gofpel is commit- 
ted ; for not onlv mav they jullly fuppoie that fuch there 
arc, and always will be, in all churches, but alfo many 
do continually declare thcmfclvcs to be in no better f\atc ; 
and the difcovcry of it to them by the word is a great 
part of our miniftcrial duty ; for they have a refpe<ft to 
the nature of God, and are declarative of his condemn- 
ing, liating, and forbidding that which the threatening is 
denounced againfl ; thcv have a rcfpc*5> to the avV/of God, 
and declare the connection there is, by God's inflitution, 
between the fin prohibited and the punilhmcnt threatened ; 
as in^t}iat v.ord, ' lie that bclieveth not fhall be dami^.ed,' 




in which God declares the infallible connexion there is, 
by virtue of his conltitution, between infidelity and dam- 
nation. Wherever the one is final, the other Ihall be in- 
evitable : and in this {cn{e they belong undoubtedly and 
properly to believers; that is, they are to be declared and 
preached to them, or preiied upon their confcienccs ; for 
they are annexed to the difpenfation of the covenant of 
grace, as an injlltuted means to render it efFeftual, and to 
accomplifli the ends of it. Noah when he was warned of 
God concerning the deluge, being moved with fear, pre- 
pared an ark, [Hcb. ii. 7.] A due apprehenlion of the ap- 
proaching judgement due to fin, and threatened by the 
Lord againft it, made him wary ; {c\)7\u'^r$iLg) he was 

* moved by this careful fear,* to ufe the appointed means 
for his deliverance and fafety. The nature of this fear, 
as difcovering itfelf in its effects, confifts principally in a 
fedidous watchfulnefs againft all fin, by a diligent ufe of 

inftituted means ; and to promote this is the dired de- 
fign of God in his communications. What is the mind 
and intention of God in any of his communications, 
either as recorded in his word, or as declared and preached 
to us by his appointment ? It is this ; that, confidering 
the terror of the Lord, and the defert of fin, we fhould 
apply ourfelves to that conftancy in obedience, which we 
are guided to, under the condud of his good Spirit, 
whereby we may avoid it. 

And hence followeth, a conftant watchfulnefs againft 
all carnal confidence and fecurity ; * Thou ftandeft by 
' faith,' faith the apoftle, * be not high-minded, but fear,' 
[Rom. ii. 20.] And whence doth he derive the caution? 
From tht feverity o^ God in dealing with other profelTors, 
and the virtual threats contained therein : * For if God 

* fpared not the natural branches, take heed left he fpare 

* not thee.' [ver. 2 i.] This fear is the great preventive of 
carnal fecurity ; it ftands upon its watch to prevent the 
mind from being influenced by the floth, or negligence, or 
any other lufts of the flefh ; or by pride, prcfumption, 
elation of heart, and other lufts of the fpirit. And, 
therefore, this fear is not fuch a dread ai may take a fudden 



tmpreiTJon on believers by a furprifal, or under fome fpc- 
tial guilt contraftcd, but tiiat Which ought to accompany 
VIS \\\ our whole courfe, as the apoftle Peter advifcth us ; 

* Sec,* faith he, * that you pals the tiuie of your fojourning 

* here with fear.* [I. Pet* i. 17.] 

§ I I. O/y! 2. It IS a matter of great and tremendous 
confcquence, to have the promifes left and propofcd to us. 
When Mofcs had of old declared the law to the people, he 
aflarcd them that he had fct life and death before them, 
X)ne whereof would be the unqueftionable confequent of 
that propofaL Much more may this be faid of the pro- 
mifes of the gofpel ; they are ' a favour of life unto life,* 
or * of death unto death,' to all to whom they are re- 
vealed, as containing and exhibiting the whole love, good- 
Ticfs, and grace of God towards mankind ; the infinite 
•wifdom of the counfel of his will about their falvation. 
Now even amongft men, it is a thing of fome hazard and 
confequence, for any to have any offer made them of the 
favour, love, and kindnefs of potentates or princes ; for 
they do not take any thing more unkindly, nor ufually 
revenge more fcverely, than the negleft of their favours ; 
though their favour be of little worth, and not at all to 
be confided in ; [Pfalm cxlvi. 3, 4.] And what (hall we 
think of this amazing tender of all this grace, love, and 
iciadnefs, exhibited in the promifc ! Everlafting blelle'd- 
nefj, or cverlafting woe, will be the inevitable iifue. 

§ 12. Ohf. 3. The failing of men through their un- 
belief doth no way caufe the promife of God to fail or 
ceafe. Thofe, to whom the promife here mentioned was 
iirfl propofcd, came fliort of it, believed it not, and fo had 
tin benefit by it. What then became of the promife itfclf ? 
did that fail alio and become of none eflc«^ ? God forbid ; 
it ftill remained and was left for others. This our apoftle 
more fully declares elfcwherc, [Rom. Ix. 4 — 6.] For 
having Hicwn that the promifes of God were given to the 
poftcrity of Abraham, he forcfaw an ohjc^ion that might 
be taken from the!\ce againft the truth and efficacy of the 
promllls thcmfclves, which he anticipates and anfwcrs ; 
[vcr. 6.] * Not as though the word of God,' that is, the 



word of promifc, ' hath taken none cfFed ;' and fo pro- 
ceedeth to fhew, that vvhofoever, and how many foever, 
rejea the promife, yet they do it only to their own ruin ; 
the promife fhall have its effed in others : ' for what if 

* fome did not believe, fhall their unbelief make the faith 

* of God of none efFeft ? God forbid.' The faith of ^God^ 
that is, * his glory in his veracity,' as the apoftle fhews in 
the next words, * Yea, let God be true and every man a 

* liar,' HE is engaged for the accomplifhment of his pro- 
mifes. Men by their unbelief may difappoint themfelves 
of their expedation, but cannot bereave God of his 
faithfulnefs. And the reafon on the one hand is, that 
God doth not give his promife to all men to have their 
gracious efFed upon them, whether they will or no, 
whether they believe or rejed them : and on the other 
hand, he can and will raife up them, who fhall through 
his grace mix his promife with faith, and enjoy the bene- 
fit of it. If the natural feed of Abraham prove obflinate, 
he can out of ftones raife up children unto him, who 
fhall be his heirs to inherit the promifes. And therefore. 
When the gofpel is preached to any nation, or city, or af- 
feiilbly, the glory and fuccefs of it depend not^ upon the 
wills of them to whom it is preached ; neither Is it fruf- 
trated by their unbelief: for the falvation contained in it, 
fliall be difpofed of to others, but they and their houfe 
Ihall be deftroyed. This our Saviour often threatened 
upon the obftinate Jews, which accordingly came to pafs. 
And God hath blefTed ends in granting the outward dif- 
penfation of the promifes even to them by whom they are 
rejeaed; hence our apoftle tells us, that thofe who preach 
the gofpel are * a fweet favour of Chrift unto God, as 
• well in them that perifh, as in them that are faved,' [11. 
Cor. ii. 15.] Chrift is glorified and God in him, in the 
difpenfation of it, whether men receive or rejed it. 

§ 1 3. Ohf 4. Not only baclifliding through unbehef, 
but all appearances of tergiverfation in profei^ion, and oc- 
cafions of them in times of difficulty and trials, ought to 
be carefully avoided by profeflbrs : ' Left any of you 

Vol II. H h h * ^<?^l<i 


* (hould fcemJ' Not only a profefTion, but alfo the beauty 
and glory of it is required of us. Now there arc two parts 
of our profelTion that we arc to heed, left we fhould fccm 
to fail when times of difficulty attend us: the one is per- 
fonal holinefs, righteoufncfs, and univerfal obedience ; 
the §they is the due obfervance of all the commands, or- 
dinances, and inftitutions ofChiiftin thegofpel. There- 
fore, we fhould have an equal relpcft always to both thefc 
parts of profeffion, left failing in one we be found at 
Ifngth to fail in the whole. For example, left while wc 
arc fedulous about the due and ftridt obfervance of the 
duties of wjlituicd ixjorjhip^ a neglcd or decay fhould 
grow upon us, as to holinefs or moral righteoufnefs. For 
whilft the mind is deeply exercifed about thofe duties, 
cither out of a peculiar bent of fpirit towards them, or 
from the oppofition that is made to them, the whole 
man is oftentimes fo engaged, as that it is regardlefs of 
pcrfonal holinefs and righteoufnefs. Such perfons have 
fccmed like keepers of a vineyard, but their own vine- 
yard they have not kept ; whilft they have been intent on 
one part of the profeffion, others far more important have 
been ncgle£ted. Corrupt nature is apt to compenfatc, 
in the confcience, the negle£l of one duty with diligence 
in another ; and if men engnge in a prefcnt duty, a 
duty as they judge exceeding acceptable with God, and 
attended with difficulty in the world, they are apt enough 
to think that they may give themfclves a d'lfpenfation in 
fome other things ; that they need not attend to univerfal 
liolinefs and obedience, with the ftridtcft circumfpec- 
tion and accuracy, as feems to be required : yea, this 
is tiic ruin of moft hypocrites and falfc profcflors \\\ 
the world. — The other part of our profcffiDn confifts 
in our adherence to a due obfervance of all gofpcl in- 
•ftitutions and commands, according to the charge of 
Chrift ; [Matt, xxviii. 20.] and the ncceftity of this 
part of our profeffion appears from its comparative im- 
fortance^ for the vifiblc kingdcm of Chrift in this world 
depends upon it. 


§ 14. Obf. 5. It is a fignal privilege to be evangelized. 
This the prophet emphatically expreflcth ; [Ifa. ix. i, 2.] 

* Neverthelefs the dimnefs fhall not be fuch as was in her 

* vexation, when at the firft he lightly affli£led the land 

* of Zebulon, and the land of Naphtali, and afterwards 

* did mofl grievouHy afflidl her by the way of the fea bc- 

* yond Jordan, in Galilee of the nations ; the people 

* that walked in darknefs, have feen a great light i they 

* that dwelt in the land of the fhadow of death, upon 

* them hath the light fhined/ Ghrift in the preaching of 
the gofpel is called the * fan of righteoufnefs,' as he who 
brings righteoufnefs, * life and immortality to light by 

* the gofpel.' Now what greater privilege can fuch as 
have been kept all their days in a dungeon of darknefs 
under the fentence of death be made partakers of, than to 
be brought out into the light of the fun, with a tender of 
life, peace, and liberty made them ? And this is in pro- 
portion as fpiritual darknefs, inevitably tending to eternal 
darknefs and death, is more miferable than any temporal 
darknefs ; and in proportion as fpiritual light, the ' light 

* of the knowledge of the glory of God, in the face of 

* Jefus Chrift,' excelleth the outward light which direfts 
the body. Hence Peter expreileth the efFe£l of the gofpel 
by God's caUing us * out of darknefs into his marvellous 
< light,' [I. Pet. ii. 9.] It is the gofpel alone that brings 
the light of God, or life and blelTednefs, to men, who 
without it are ur^der the power of darknefs here, ^nd re- 
fer ved for everlafting darknefs and mifery hereafter. 

§ 15. Obf. 6. I'he gofpel is no new dot^rinc: it 
was preached to the people of old, as well as unto us. 
The great prejudice againft the. gofpel at its firft preach i,ng 
was, that it was generally efteemed {KaAVvi aioccyji) a neixx 
dodrine, [A6ls xvii. 18.] a matter never known before 
in the world. And fo was the preacbjng of Chrift him- 
felf charged to be, [Mark i. 27,] But we may fay of 
the gofpel, what John fays of the commandment of love ; 
it is both a w^if commandment, and it is an a/^one, which 
was from the beginning, [I. John ii. 7, 8.] In the 
preaching pf the gofpel by the Lord Jefus Cbrift tiijnfelf, 
H h U ^ <^^<4 


and his apoftles, it was new in refpeft of the mannsr of its 
adminiftration with fundry circumftanccs of light, evi- 
dence, and power ; and fo it is in all ages, in refpcdl to 
any frejh difcovcrics of truth from the word, formerly 
hidden or eclipfcd: but whatever new declarations have 
been made of it, whatever means have been ufed to in- 
llruft men in it, yet the gofpel itfelf was Hill the famo 
throughout all times and ages. What John the Baptift 
faid of Chrifl and himfclf, may^ be accommodated to the 
law and the gofpel, as preached by Chrift and his apoftles ; 
tliougli it came after the law, yet it was preferred above it, 
becaufe it was before it. It was, in the fubilance and effi- 
cacy of it, revealed and promulgated long before thcgiv- 
irtg of the law, and therefore in all things was to be pre- 
ferred before it. It appears then from iirft to laft, the 
gofpel is, and ever was, the only way of coming to God; 
and to think of any other way for that end is both high- 
ly vain, and exceedingly derogatory to tlic glory of God's 
wifdom, faithfulnefs, and holinefs. 

§ I 6. Ohf. 7. The great myflery of profitable believing 
confifls in the mixing, or incorporating of truth and 
faith in the minds of believers. I'ruth, as truth, is the 
proper obje£l of the underftanding : hence, as it can alTent 
to nothing but under the notion of truth ; fo what is fo 
indeed, being duly propofed, it embraceth and cleaveth 
to ncceffarily and unavoidably. For truth and the under- 
flanding arc as it were of the fame nature, and being 
orderly brought together, do abfolutely incorporate. It 
implants a type and figure of itfelf upon the mind ; and 
knowledge is the relation, or rather the union that is be- 
tween the mind and truth, or the things that the mind 
apprehends as true. And where this is not, when men have 
only fluctuating conceptions about things, their minds are 
filled indeed with opinions, but they have no true knczv* 
led^c of any thing: as the mind a6t.s vuturally by its reafon^ 
to receive truths that arc natural and fuited to its capacity ; 
fo it afls fpirituoth and fupcrnaturally hy faith, to receive 
truths f|)iritu:d and fupcrnatural. Htrcwith arc thefe 
truths to be mixed and incorporated. Believing doth not 

con fill 

Ver.1,2. epistle to the HEBREWS. 419 

confiil ill a mere ojfcnt to the truth of the objc£ls, but in 
fuch a reception of them, as gives them a real fubftjlence 
in the foul; and this in~be'ing of the things believed really 
operating and producing their immediate effed, love, joy, 
and obedience, is their fpiritual mixture and incorpora- 
tion, whereof we fpeak. And here lies the main diffe- 
rence between faving faith, and the temporary perfuaiions 
of convinced perfons ; the latter gives no fubfiflence to 
the things believed in the minds of men, fo as to produce 
their proper effects. It may be faid of them as it is of the 
law in another cafe ; tliey have Xhtjhadow of good things 
to come, but ncx^ the very image of the things. There is 
not a real refleclion of the things they profefs to believe, 
made upon their minds: for inilance; the death of Chrift, 
or Chrifl crucified, is propofed to our faith in the gofpel; 
now the proper cffed of genuine faith in this obje6l, is to 
dcflroy, to crucify, or mortify fin in us ; but where it is 
apprehended by a temporary faith only, this efFed will 
not at all be produced in the foul. Sin will not be mor- 
tified, but rather fecretly encouraged ; for it is natural to 
men of corrupt minds to conclude, that they may ' con- 
* tinue in fin becaufe grace doth abound.' — On the con- 
trary, where faith gives the fubfiftence before mentioned 
to the death of Chrifl in the foul, it will undoubtedly be 
the death of fin. [Rom. vi. 3, 4.] A man may think well 
of that which is tendered him, and yet not receive it; but 
what a man receives duly, and for himfelf, becomes pro- 
perly his own. This work of faith then, in receiving 
the word of promife, with Chrifl and his atonement, con- 
flfls in its giving them a real admittance into the foul, to 
abide there as in their proper place. And how is it to 
be received ? As a word, this is to be (-riMpvjog) ingrafted 
into the mind. Now we all knovv^ that by ingrafting 
there becomes an incorporation, a mixture of the Jiatures 
of the flock and graft into one common principle. As 
the fcion, being inoculated or grafted into the flock, turns 
the natural juice of the flock into another kind of fru6li- 
fying nutriment than it had before ; fo the word being by 
its mixture with faith ingrafted into the foul, changetli 



the natural operation of it, to the pr-duftion of fpiritual 
clTcifis, which before it h'.J no virtue for; and it trans- 
forms alio the whole mind, according to another allufion, 
[chap. vi. ly.] into a new Ihape, as wax is changed by 
the imprefnon of a feal into the likencfs of it. The 
word is faid to be food» ftrong meat, and milk, fuitcd to 
the refpcdtive ages and coi^.ftitutions of believers ; and 
Chrifl, the principal fubjcft of the gofpcl revelation fays 
of himfelf, that he is the bread that came down from 
lieaven, that his flcfli is meat indeed, and his blood drink 
indeed. Now faith is the eating of this provifion ; and 
as in eating the food is received, and by^digeftion turned 
into the very fuhjionce of the body ; fo the word being 
prepared as fpiritiial food for the foul, is received by faith, 
and by a fpiritual eating and digeftion is turned into an 
incrcafe and ilrcngtljening of the vital principles of fpiri- 
tunl obedience ; and then doth the ' word profit* them 
that hear it. Hence is the word of Chrift faid to diveli in 
us, [Col. iii. I 6.] ' Let the word of Chrift dwell richly 
* in you in all wifdom ;' and that inhabitation is from 
this fpiritual incorporation or mixing ivith faith. 

Without this it may indeed have various effc£ls upon 
the mind, afFedions, and conkicnce ; but it comes to no 
abiding habitation. Into the jnlnJs of ibme, for inftancc, 
it cajls its rap for a fcafon, (tar,:-;) but is not rccciz'cd nor 
comprehended, [John i. 5.] and therefore (hk avya^si) 
it doth not enlighten them ; it comts and departs almoft 
like lig^.tning, which rather amazcth than guidcth. On 
the affetiions of fomc it makes a tranfient imprelTion, fa 
that they hear it, and admit of its difpenfation with joy, 
and feme prefent fatisfaclion. [Matt. xv. ao.] Yet it is 
but like the firoke of a fkilful hand upon the ftrings of a 
muilcal infirument, that makes a plcafant found for the 
prcfcn", which infcniibly fmks and dies away. It lays 
hold on the confciences. of fome, and preflcth them to a 
reformation of condu£>, until they do many things gladly ; 
[Mark xvi. 20.] but this is only in virtue of an efficacious 
Jmpre/Tion from without; for tlie word doth not dwell in 
t!»em, except i: Lath :i fidyijUfux in the foul, by its incor- 


Veii.1,2. epistle to the HEBREWS. 43^ 

^oration with faith, in the manner defcribed. And alas • 
\\o\v few thus improve the word ; it is but in one fort of 
ground, where the feed incorporates fo with the earth, as 
to take root and bring forth fruit, wliich fhould give us 
all a godly jealoufy over our hearts in this matter^ that vv« 
be not deceived. 

§ 17. It is therefore worth our inquiry, by what means 
faith is allifled in this work of profitably mixing the word 
with itfelf ? And among thefe we place, 

I. Conftant meditation, wherein faith itfelf is exercifed, 
and its a£ls are multiplied. Conftantly fixing the mind 
by fpiritual meditations on its proper object, is (KocjoTrlpi' 
^zcr^ai) to behold fedfajily the glory of God in Jefus Chrift, 
expreiTcd in the gofpel, asinaglafs, [II. Cor. iii. 18.] For 
the meditation of faith is an intuition into the things be- 
lieved, which operates a change into the fajne image, which 
is but another exprefTion of the incorporation infifted on. 
As when a man hath an adequate idea or model in his 
mind of any thing to be cfFefted, he cafteth the image 
framed in his mind upon his work, that it fhall exa£tly 
anfwcrit; and fo when a man diligently contemplates any 
thing without him, it begets an idea of it in his mind, 
or calls it into the fame image. And this meditation by 
which faith operates, is to be intuitive, conftant, looking 
into the nature of the things believed. The apoftle James, 
by a fimile, not lefs appofite to his purpofe than beautiful 
and elegant, tells us, that he who is a mere hearer of the 
word, is '• like a man conlidering his natural face in a glafs, 

* who goeth away and immediately forgetteth what manner 
*" of man he was/ [chap. i. 24.] What a ftriking pifturc 
of a man that ufes but a flight and pcrfunflory confidera- 
tion of the word ! But, faith he, the perfon (0 TroipoiKv^^oig) 

* who diligently bows down,* and looks into the perfect 
law of liberty, or the word of truth, and continuetii 
therein by meditation and inquiry, is bleffed in all his ways. 
The foul by faith meditating on the word of promife, and 
the fubje^t matter of it, Chrift and his righteoufnefs, 
Chrift is thereby formed in it ; [Gal. iv. 19.] and the word 
itfelf is infcparably ' mixed with faith/ {9 as to fubfift 



tvith it in the foul, and to produce therein its proper 
tfFcds. This is to be * fpiritually minded ; and {<pc/)vsiy rot 
U'yCd) [Col. iii. 2.] 'to mind the things that arc above,' 
as thofc which yield the bell rehlh and lavour to the 

§ iS. 2. Faith ft'ts loye at work upon the objci^s pra- 
pofcd to be believed. There is in the gofpcl and its pru- 
mifes not only the truth to be affented to, but alfo its 
goodncfs^ excellency, and fuitablenefs. Under this con* 
lidcration of them, they are proper objefts for love to ii:i 
on, and faith worketh by hve, not only in aOs and duties 
of mercy, righteoufnefs, and charity towards men, but 
alio in adhering to, and delighting in the tilings of God 
which are revealed as lovely. Faith makes the foul in 
love with fpiritual things , love engages all other affec- 
tions, and fills the mind continually with thoughtfulnefs 
about them and defircs after them ; and this mightily helps 
on the fpiritual * mixture of faith and the word.' It is 
known that love is greatly efFe£lual to work an affimila- 
tion between the mind and its proper object ; it will in- 
troduce its idea unto the mind, which will never depart 
from it. So will carnal love, or the impetuous working 
of men's lufts by that affedtion ; hence Peter tells us, that 
fonie men have * eyes full of adultery ; therefore are tlrey 
conflantly unquiet, and * cannot ceafe from fin.' There 
is fuch a mixture of luft and its object in their minds, 
that they continually commit levvdnefs in themfelves. In 
aiimilar manner fpiritual love, fet on work by faith, will 
bring in an idea of the beloved object into the mind, until 
the eye be full of it, and the foul is contlnuallv convcr- 
fant with it. Our apoille cxpreirth his great love to 
Chrift above himfclf and all tiie world, as a fruit of his 
faith in him ; [ 8, 9.] The fuflcrings, death, and 
rcfurreftion of Chrift, lie knew and bchcvco before ; but 
he aims at more, he would have a farther inward ex- 
perience of tlic power of his rcfurrc£tion , that is, he 
would fo ynix it with faith by love to Chrlfl, as that it 
might produce in him its proper cfTcfts, an increafe of 
fpiritual life, all holinefs and obedience. He would alfo 


Ver.3- epistle to THE HEBREWS. 4*3 

be yet farther acquainted with xS\t fellowjhip oi his fuffer- 
ings ; or obtain communion with him in them ; that the 
fufFerings of Chrift, fuhfijl'mg in the Spirit by faith ^ might 
caufe lin to fufFcr in him, and crucify the world to him, 
and him to the world. By all which he aimed to be made 
completely conformable to Chrift ; that his life, fuffer- 
ings, and death might fo abide in him, that his whole 
fcul might be cafl into his image and likenefs^ 

Verse 3. 

for w^e which have believed do enter into rest, 
as he said, as i have sworn in my wrath, if 
they shall enter into my rest ; although 
the works were finished from the founda* 
tion of the world. 

§ I — 9. (L) "The words explained. § 10 — I 3. (ll.) Oh^ 
fervations. I. The Jlate of believers under the gofpel is 
a Jlate of blcjjed reft ; God's reft and theirs. § 1 4. There 
is a mutual inbeing of the promifes and threatenings of thi 
covenant. § 1 5 — I 7 . Othn cbfervatlcns, 

§ I. (I.)xIaVING declared the danger of unbelief, 
from the fm and punifhment of others, he proceeds from 
the fame words and example to give them encourage- 
ments to faith and obedience. But withal forefeeing that 
an objedion might be raifed againll the very foundation 
of his arguments and exhortation ; he diverts to the re- 
moval pf it, and therein wonderfully ftrengthens and 
confirms his whole dcfign. The foundation of the whole 
cnfuing difcourfe lies in this, that there is a promife left us 
§f ejitering into the reft of God \ [ver. I.] we ought, there- 
fore, to take heed, that we come not fhort of by un- 
belief The Hebrews might objedt, that they were now 
Vol. II. I i i con- 


concerned in the promifc, cfpccially in wliat is fnid of it 
in the Pfalms. He, therefore, manifeOs that tlicre was 
yet another reft remaining for the people of God, and was 
referred to even in the words of the pfahnift, Tifphitual 
reft yet abiding for believers, to which wc arc called, and 
into which we are urged to feck an entrance. 

This rell: then, we fay, primarily and principally, is 
that fpiritual reft of God, which believers obtain bv Jcfus 
Chrift, in the faith and worlliip of the gofpcl ; and is not 
to be rcftrained to their eternal reft in heaven. This, there- 
fore, is the import of the apoftle's alTcrtion. We who have 
believed in Jefus Chrift, have through the gofpei an en- 
trance given us, into that blefted ftate of reft in the vvor- 
fhip of C^od which was of old promifed. [Luke i. 69 — 73.] 
And as for thofe who will not take up their reft herein, 
that accept not of the work he hath wrought, and the 
atonement he hath made by faich, there remains no more 
facrificc for their fin, but perifh they muft for ever. 

§ 2. There only remains, for the full explicr.tion of 
this aiTertion, that wc fliew what it is to enter into this 
reft. And, 

1. It is an cjitrance^ which denotes a riglit executed. 
There was a right propofcd in this promife, but it is not 
executed, or polFcfiion is not given but by believing. It 
h faith v/hich gives us fjus in re J a right in poftclTion, an 
aftual pcrfonal intercfi, both in the promifes and in the 
reft contained in them, with all the privileges wherewitli 
it is attended. 

2. It is 6ut an entrance into reft ; — bccaufc the reft itfclf 
is not abfolutc and complete. Look to what is pajl^ what 
■wc are delivered from, and it is a glorious reji ; but look 
to what \i future y and it is itfclf but a pnjjagc into a more 
glorious reft. — Another rcafon is, bccaufc we meet with 
contcfts and oppofitions in this ftate. As the Ifraelites 
after they had paffed over Jordan, and according to the 
promife were entered into the reft of God, yet had great 
work to do, in fecuring and prcfcrving the polfcHioii 
which they had taken by faith ; fo is our entrance into 
the reft of God in this world : wc have yet fpiritual ad- 



verfaiics to coriflid with, and the utmoft of our fpiritual 
endeavours arc required to fecure our pofTefTion, and to 
carry us on to perfed reft. 

§ 3. As he faid, as I have fworn in my wrath, if they 
* fhall enter into my reil.' How is it proved that we who 
hzWiWQjball enter mio reft? Bccaule God fware concerning 
ctbtrs, that tXityJhould not do fo. The apoftlc's argument 
depends upon a known rule ; that to things immediately 
contrary, contrary attributes may be certainly alcribed ; 
fo that he who afi^rms the one, at the fiime time denies 
the other ; and he that denies the one, affirms the other. 
He that fays it U day, doth as really fay it is not night, as if 
he ufed thofe formal words Now the propoiition laid 
down by the apoftle in proof of his afiertion is this, 
they v*^ho believed not, did not enter into God's reft ; 
for God fware that they fliould not, becaufc they believed 
not. Hence it follows inevitably, in a juft ratiocination, 
that * they who do believe, do enter into that reft ;' for the 
promife being the fame, if unbelief exclude, faith gives 
entrance. And here, by the way, we may take notice of 
the ufe of rcafon, or logical dedudions, in proposing and 
confirming o( fupernatural truths, or articles of faith. For 
the validity of the apoftle's proof in this place, depends oil 
the certainty of the logical maxim before mentioned, the 
confidcration of which removes its whole difficulty. And 
to deny this liberty of deducing confequences according to 
the juft rules of ratiocination, is quite to take away the 
vfe of the fcriptures, and t ♦ banifh reafon from thofe 
things wherein it ought to be principally employed. — Be- 
lides, the covenant of God is adminiftered to us in pro- 
mifes and threatcnings ; they all have the fame ^«^ allotted 
them, and the y2?^^ ^r^r^ to make them effeclual. Hei\ce 
every threatening includes a promife in it, and every pro- 
mife in its propofal hath alfo the nature of a threaten- 
ing. There is a natural inbeing of promifcs aiKi threaten- 
ings, in reference to the ends of th'; covenant; God ex- 
prelfing his mind in various ways, hath ftill the fame end 
in them all. The firft covenant was given out in a mere 
word of threatening ; ' the day thou eateft thou flialt die ;' 

I i i 2 yet 


yet no one doubtcth but that there was a promife of hfc 
\ipon obedience included in threatening, yen and principally 
intended. So there is a threatening in every promife of 
the gofpel. Whereas, therefore, there is a great theatcn- 
ing confirmed with the oath of God in thefc words, that 
thofc who beheved not, flioiild not enter into his refl ; 
there is a promife included in the fame words, no Icfs 
folcmnly confirmed, ' that beHevers JJjould enter Into reJlJ* 

§ 4. * Although the works were finiflicd from the 
* foundation of the world,' — It is evident that the apoftlc 
here undertakes to confirm what he had laid down in the 
foregoing verfcs, viz. that there is yet under the gofpel a 
promife of entering into the reft of God remaining for 
believers, and that they do enter into that reft, by mixing 
the promife of it with faith. This he proves by a tefti- 
mony out of the ninety-fifth P faint. * But that reft, it might 
' be faid, feems to have been long fince pq/l 2nd enjoyed / 
to remove this objection, he proceeds to the expofition 
and vindication of that teftimony, in which he flievfs, 
that no other reft is intended in them, but the reft of God 
and of his people in the gofpel ; and which he proves by 
various arguments, laying fingular weight upon this mat- 
ter. For if there was a w^xf refl promifcd, and they mixed 
not the promife of it with faith, during the continuance 
©f God's patience towards them, they muft perifh eter- 
nally. The general argument he infifts on, confifts in an 
enumeration of the fevcral refls of God, and of his people, 
mentioned in fcripture ; i»T,d from the confideration of 
them ally he proves, that no other refl could bt principally 
intended in the words of David, but of the gofpel into 
which Chriftian believers enter, and of which all others 
were ftriking rcprefentations. In purfuit of his dcligij 
thd apoftlc declares in particular, 

I. That the reft mentioned in the Pfalm, is not that 
■which cnfued immediately on the creation ; becaufc it is 
fpoken of a long tiine after, and to another purpofc, 
[vcrfc 4, 5-] 

9.. That it is not the reft of the land of Canaan, becaufc 
lliat wav not entered into by them to whom it was pro- 
mifcd ; 


miied ; for they came fhort of it by their unbelief, and 
perilhed in the wiidcrncfs ; but now this rcll is oiFered 
afrelh, [ver. 6, 7.] 

3. Whereas it may be obje£led, that * although the 

* wilderncfs-generatioii entered not in, yet their poflaitj 

* did, under the conduct of Jofhua,* [ver. 8.] He anfwcrs, 
that this reft being promifed and propofed by David, fo 
long a time (above 400 years) after the people had quietly 
poflelled the land into which they were conducted by 
Jofhua, it muft needs be, that anotlier reft yet to come was 
intended in thofc words, [ver. 9.] And, 

4. To conclude his arguments, he declareth, that this 
new reft hath a new peculiar foimdatlon ; the author of it 

* ceaftng from his own work,' and * entering into his reft/ 
[ver. 10.] 

§ 5. But we are yet farther to inquire into the nature of 
the feveral refts here referred to, with their mutual re- 
lation ; and fome light into the whole may be given in the 
cnfuing proportions : 

1. The reft of God is the foundation and principal 
caufe of our reft ; * if they fhall enter into my reji' It 
is on fome account or other God' i reft before it is ours. 

2. God's reft is not fpoken of abfolutely with refpeft 
to himfclf only ; but with reference to that which enfued 
thereon for the church. Hence it follows, that the refts 
here mentioned are as it were double ; for inftance, at the 
finifhing of the works of creation, which is iirft pro- 
pofed, God ceafed from his work and reftcd ; this was his 
•wn reft ; * he rcfted on the fevcnth day.' But that was 
not all ; he blefled it for the reft of man^ as an cxpreftivc 
rcprcfcntation, and a means, of our being taken into a 
participation of the reft of God. 

3. The apoftic propoleth to coniideration, the three- 
fold Jiate of the church — that under the law of nature, or 

creation — that under the law of inflitution, or carnal or- 
<linances — and that now introduced under the gofpel. To 
each of thefe he alfigns a diftinft reft of God \ and a reft of 
the church entering into God's reft \ and a day of reft as a 
means and pledge thereof. 


§ 6. I. lit' coiifulcrs tlic cliurcii and the {late of it 
under the luio of naiuvc^ before the entrance of lin. And 
htrciii he lliews, firft, that there was a rcil of God ; * for 

* the uoiks, faith he, were fmillied from the foundation of 

* the world,' and ' God did rell from all his works/ [verfc 
^, 4.] This was God's own reft, and was the foundation 
of the church' s reil. For it was the duty of man hereon, 
to enter into the reft of God, that is, to make God his 
ref:., here in fiiith and obedience, and hereafter in imme- 
diate fruition ; hence a day of reft, the feventh day, was 
blclild and fandlilied for the prcfcnt means of entering 
into the reft oi God, in the performance of his worfhip, 
snd as a pledge of its eternal fuhicfs and continuance, 
[verfc 3, 4.] So til at in this ftate of the church, there 
were three thiiigs coniiderable, — God' s rcjl — Alaii s entci - 
iNg inio that rcji — a day of rejl^ as a remembrance of thx 
one and a pledge of the other ; in all which there was a 
type of our reft under the gofpel, wherein Immanucl 
(God with us) doth ceafe from his zvorky and therein lays 
the foundation of the refts enfuing. Again, 

§ 7. 2. He confide rs the cliurch under the b'-ju of injVi' 
tut'ion ; (and herein he reprefenteth the reft of Canaan \) 
¥;hcrcin alfo the three diftinct refts before mentioned 
occur — there was in it a reft of God ; this gives deno- 
mination to the whole ; for he ftill calls it * my reft \ and 
God wrought, with refpe£t to it, great and mighty works, 
and ceafcd from them when they were finiihed, which 
anfvvcred the work of creation, to which it is compared 
by himfclf, [IGi. li. 15, 16.] * I am the Lord thy God 

* that divided the fea, whofe waves i oared : the Lord of 
« hofts is his name. And I have put my words in thy 
' mouth, and 1 have covered thee in the fliadow of mine 

* hand, that 1 may plant the lieavcns, and lay the foun- 

* dation of the earth, and fay unto Zion, thou art my 

* people.' On the llnilhing of tliis work, he * entered 

* into his reft ;' for after the eredion of his worlhip in 
the land of Canaan, he faid of it, * Ihis is nnrejiy and 

* here will I dwell.' [Pfal. cxxxii. 14.] Hence, God being 
thus watered into hh reft, in like manner as before, two 



things enfued ; — that the people are invited to enter into 
the fame, that is, by faith and obedience to participate of 
his appointed worlhip, wherein he relied ; which though 
fome came fho. t of by unbelief, yet others entered into it 
under the conduct of Jolhua. Hence alfo enfued — a day 
of reft ; that it might be a token and a pledge of his own 
reft in his inftituted worPaip, ai-id be a means in the 
folcmn obfervance of it, to farther their entrance into the 
reft of God ; and this became a peculiar yTj;: that he was 
ihcir God, and that they were his people. It is true, this 
day was the fame, in the order of the days, from the 
foundation of the world ; but yer it was now re-eftablifned 
upon new confiderations. The time of altering the day- 
was not yet come ; for this work was but preparatory for a 
greater ; and whereas, both the refts were dellgned to rcr^ 
prefent the reft of the gofpel, it was meet they Ihould 
agree in the common pledge and token of them. Befides, 
the covenant whereunto the /event/? day was originally an^ 
nexed, was not yet abolifhed ; and therefore, that day- 
was not yet to be changed. Hence the feventh day fell 
under a double confideration ; — As it was a requiflte pro- 
portion of time for the worfliip of God, and appointed 
as a pledge of his reft under the law of creation, wherein 
it had refpetl: to God's reft from the works of creation 
alone ; — And, as it received a new inftitution, with fi;pcr~ 
added ends and figniiications, as a token and pledge of 
God's reft under a law of inftitutions. But materially 
the day was to be the fame, until that work was done, 
and that reft was brought in, which both of them did 
iignify. Thus, in each of thefe ftates of the church there 
Avas — A rcji cf God for their foundation ; — A rejl in ohe^ 
d'lence and worHiip for the people to enter into; — And a 
day of reft, as a pledge and token of both the other. 

§ 8. The apoftlc farther prove-, from the w^ords of the 
pfalmift, tliat yet there v;as to be a third ft ate of the church, 
an efpccial ftate under the Mc(iiah, of which the others 
were only types and fliadows. Now to the conftitutioji 
of this reft, as before, tlirec tilings are required. — That 
there be ioait Ji[^nal ivtrk of God i and this being finifhcd 



- — That there mufc be a fpintual reft arifing thence, for 
believers to enter into ; and — That there be a renevjcd day 
^f ycfty to exprcfs the reft of God to us, and to be a means 
and pledge of our entering into it. And that all thclc 
concur in this new Ibtc of the church, it is the apoftle's 
defign to demonftrate. And to this end lie fhcwcth ; — 
that there is a great in'ork cf God finiflicd, for the founda- 
^on of the whole. As God wrought in the creation of 
all ; fo Chrift, who is God, vj} ought in the fctti ng up of 
this new church ftate ; and, upon his completing it, he 
entered into his rejl\ cealing from his works, as God alfo 
did from his creation-work, [ver. lo.] — That hence fol- 
lows a rcji for the people of God ; and — That there muft 
be a neiv day of reft, fuited to this new church ftate, which 
muftarifc from the reft that Chrift entered into, when he 
had finifhed the work, whereby that new church-ftate was 
founded. This is the fabbath keeping which the apoftlc 
concludes he had evinced from tlic former difcourfcy 
[ver. 9.] 

§ 9. And concerning this day we muft obferve, 

1. That this, in common with the former days, is a 
Jcihbat'ifm^ or one day in feven, for this portion of time to 

be dedicated for the purpofes of reji, having its foundation 
m the law of nature, was equally to pafs through all ftatc^ 
of the church. 

2. That whereas both the former ftatcs of the church 
had one and the fame day, though varied as to fome ends 
in the latter inftitution ; now the day itfelfis, changed, be- 
caufe it refpe«5ls a work quite of a different nature, as it^i 
foundation, than that day did which went before. 

3. That the obfervation of it is fuited to the fpiritual 
fJatc of the church under the gofpel, delivered from the 
flavifh frame of Ipirit wherewith it was obferved under 
the law. Thefe the rcfts the apoftlc here treats of; a 
three- fold reft under a three-fold ftate of the church ; and 
i.^ any of thefe be left out of our confideration, the whole 
flrufturc of the difcourfe is dilfolved. 

§ 10. (II.) Ohf. I. The ftate of believers under the 
gofpel, is a ftate of bleiTcd reft ; it is God's icft and 



theirs. God created man In a flate of prefent reft ; and, 
as a token of it, iniututed the feventh day, that man by 
his example and command might improve it. Now this 
reft conlifted in peace with God, fatisfadion and commu- 
nion ; which were loft by the entrance of ftn, and all 
mankind were brought thereby into an eftate of trouble 
and difquietment. In the reftoration of thefe, in a better 
and more fecure way, doth this gofpel ftate of behevers 

1. Without it our moral ftate, in refpe6l to God, is 
an eftate of enrnity and trouble ; and there is no peace be- 
tween God and Tinners : they exercife enmity againft God 
by fin, [Rom. viii. 7.] and God cxecuteth righteous en- 
mity againft them by the threats and curfes of the law, 
[John iii. 36.] Hence nothing enfues to the guilty but 
trouble, fear, difquietment, and anguifh of mind ; but all 
is removed by the gofpel ; for being juftified by faith wc 
have peace with God, [Rom. v. i.] Jefus Chrift then is 
our peace, who hath reconciled us to God by the crofs, 
having flain the enmity thereby, [Ephef. 11. 14, 15.] 

2. There is in all men before the coming of the gof- 
pel, a luant of acqulefcency and fatisfaftlon in God. This 
is produced by the corrupt principle and power of fin, 
which, having turned off the foul from God, caufeth it 
to wander in endlcfs vanities, and to purfue various lufts 
and pleafurcs, feeking after reft which always flees from 
it. This is the great real a£tlve principle of difquietment 
to the fouls of men, which makes them like a ' troubled 
* fca that cannot reft ,* and is there, can there be any 
peace or happinefs in fuch a condition ? But this alfo is 
removed by the gofpel, for its work is to deftroy and ruin 
that power of fin, which hath thus turned off the foul 
from God, and to renew his image in it, that it may 
irakc him its ultimate and eternal reft. This is the glori- 
ous effeil of the gofpel, to take men off from their prin- 
ciple of alienation from God, to turn their minds and af- 
fedlons to him as their rpft, fatisfaftion, and reward ; 
and other way under heaven for thefe ends there is none. 

Vol. II. K k k 3. To 


3. To peace with God, and acquiefcency in him, a 
way of rcourfc and communion is required to com^Jctc 
a ftatc oFlpiritual reft ; auc'tliis, ai it was ioit by fiii, is 
alfo rellored by tlie gofpel. 

§ 12. It is true v.- are told, Tliat in the world wc fhall 
fiiid trcLh/cy but ir is alfo told us. That in Ciiriil wc 
•fliall have peace, [John xvi. 33.] The rell we treat of^ 
h fp'i ritual ; God's rell:, and our reft in Goa ; and there- 
fore is not inconfiftent with outward irrubiCy [ivoin. viii. 
35 — 39] * Who fhcTJl feparatc us from the love of 

* Chriil V Shall tribulation, ';r dt!lref<?, or pcrfecution, or 

* famine, or nakednefs, or peril, or fword ? Nay, in all 

* thefe things we are more than conquerors through him 
' tliat loved us: for I am pe^fuaded, that neittitr death, 

* nor life, nor a: gels, nor principalities, nor powers, 

* nor things prefcnt, nor things to come, nor height, 

* nor dfpth, nor any other creature, Ihali be able to Ic- 
' parate ns from the love of God which is in Chrift Jefus 
< our Lord.' The fum of all is this, that no outward 
thing, no pofHble oppoiition, fliall prevail to call us out 
of that refl which wc have obtained, or impede our future 
entrance into eternal reft with God. And as cur peace 
with God in Chrift can neither be weakened or impaired 
by outward troubles ; fo it fuppiies us with fuch prefcnt 
joys, a'ld infallible future expectations, as enables us 
both to glory in them, an.d triumph over them, [Rom. v. 
o — 5.] * If ye be reproached for the name of Chrift, 

* happy arc ye ; for the fpirit of glory and of God rcftcth 

* upon vou,* [I. Pet. iv. 14.] \\hatever evil and trouble 
may befal u:^ on account of the gofpel, adds to that blclfcd 
ftatc of reft whcreinto we arc entered ; for therein * the 

* Spirit of glory and of God rcfteth on us ;* the fpccial 
work of the Spirit of God, who works glor'ioujly in them, 
fupporting, comforting, and powerfully enabling them to 
profcrvc their fouls in this ftatc of reft, which cannot be 
impeached with any outward troubles. 

§ 13. But how docs it feem inwardly and fpirituallr 
to anfvvcr the dcfcription now given of it ' For arc thee 


Veii.3. epistle Tn THE HEBRl^WS, 433 

not many true believers wl^n :\\l tl'cu days never corns to 
any abiding knk of peace vvidi God, but are filled with 
trouble, and exerciicd with fearb and perplexities, fo that 
they go mourning and heavily ail tJieir days ? But we 
fliould not forget that it is one thing to be in a fiate of 
reft, and another to hioiv that a man is pofTeffed of it. 
Believers are by faith inuated ia reft, being reconciled to 
God by the blood of the crofs ; but all may not have 
affual reil in all particulars ; nay, a flate of reft in general 
may admit of much a(ftual di'.quietment ; wliereby the 
ftate itfelf is not overthrown, nor the intercfts of any in 
it difannulied. There is a great diiFerence between a ftatc 
itfelf, and ir.en's participations of that ftate. This gofpel 
Hate of itfelf is an cftatc of complete peace and reft ; but 
our participation o^ it is various and gradual. A full reft 
in it is provided and exhibited ; but this vvc receive accord- 
ing to our feveraj meafures and attainments. Let it be 
remembered, that our whole intereft in this reft is called 
^ our entrance ;' we do enter, and we do but enter; we 
are fo polleifed of it, as that v.'e are continually entering 
into it. 

§ 14. 01?/. 2. There is a mutual Inhcing of the pro- 
mifes and threatenings of the, covenant, fo that in our 
faith and confideration of them they ought not utterly to 
be feparated. Wherever there is a promife, there a 
threatening in reference to the fame matter is tacitly un- 
derftood ; and wherever there is a threatening, be it never 
fo fevere, there is a gracious promife included in it. Yea, 
fometimes God gives out an exprefs threatening for no 
other end but that men may lay hold on the promife tacit- 
iy included. The threateTiing that Nineveh Ihould perifh, 
was given out that it might not pe.rijlj \ and John the Bap- 
tift's preaching, that the ' axe was laid to the root of the 
* tree,' was a call to repentance, that }ionc m'lght be cut 
down and caft into the hrc. And the reafoiis hereof are, 
— becaufe both promifes and thre'nteninns ticw from the 
fame fourcc, and are expreftive of the holy gracious nature 
of God, with refpeft to his airings towards men in cove- 
nant with himfelf. — Both of them, as annexed to the cq- 

K k k 2 venan^ 


vcnant, have the y^zw^ end. The ufe of divine threatcn'mp^ 
for inllancc, is no other than to make fuch a rcprefenta- 
tion of God's holincfs and righteoufnefs to men, as that 
being * moved by fear/ they rhay be flirrcd up to faith 
and obedience. So Noah, upon God's warning, tliat is, 
his threatening the world with dcftru(^;on, being ' moved 
' by fear, prepared an ark,' [Hcb. xi. 7.] — Tb- fame grace 
is adminijlered in the covenant to make the one and the 
other efle(SluaL Men are apt to think that the promifes of 
the gofpel are accompanied towards the c\c^^ with a fup- 
ply of effcclual grace to render them iifcful, to enable 
them to believe and obey ; this makes them to hear thcni 
willingly, and attend to them gladly ; they think they can. 
never enough conlider or meditate upon their contents ; 
but as for the thrcatenings of the golpcl, they fuppofe they 
have no other end but to make them afraid. This, how- 
ever, is a great miftake ; threatenings are no lefs fanftitied 
of God, for the ends mentioned, than promifes are ; nor 
arc they, when duly ufed and improved, lefs efTeflual to 
that purpofe : and there can be no reafon why men fhould 
diflike the preaching and confideration of them, but be- 
caufe they too well like the fins and evils againfl which 
they arc levelled. 

§ 15. Ohf. 3. God hath fliewed us in his own exam- 
ple, tiiat work and labour is to precede our reft. This 
he plainly declares in the fourth commandment, where 
the reafon he gives w^hy we ought, in a returning courfe, 
to attend to 11 x days of labour before we fanclify a dav of 
rell, is becaufe he wrought himfelf fix days, and then 
entered into his reft, [Exod. xx. 9 — 11.] But now tlicrc 
is an alteration under the gofpel. The day of reft under 
the law, as a pledge of final reft with God, was the /t- 
veyith dav ; but under tlic gofpel it is x\\z fiyjl day of the 
ii:\Q.\\. Then the week of labour went hcjorc^ now it fol- 
lows after ; and the iciibn hereof feems to be taken from 
the dificrcnt ftate of the church ; for of old, under the 
covenant of works, men were ablblutely to labour, with- 
out any alteration of their condition, hcfcrc they entered 
into reft ; they would have had only a continuance ot therr 



ilate wherein they firft fctout, but no reft until they had 
wrouc^ht for it ; tlie iix days of labour went before, and 
the day of reft followed : but now it is otherwife ; the 
firfl: tiling that belongs to our prefcnt ftatc, is an entering 
into reft initially, for we enter in by faith ; and then our 
working enfues, that is, the obedience of faith. Reft is 
given us to fet us on work ; and our works are fuch, .sbC 
for tne manner of their performance are confiftent with a 
ftate of reft ; hence our day of reft goes bfore our days oF 
labour ; and t'^ofe who contend now for the obfervation of 
the fcvcnth^ do endeavour to bring us again under the 
covenant of works ^ that we fliould do all our works before 
we Ihould enter into any reft at all. 

§ I 6. Ejt it will be obje'^ed, * That this is contrary to 

* our former obfervation, that after the example of God 
*■ we mrft w^ork before we enter into reft.' — To this I an- 
fwer : I'he reft intended in the propofttion is abfolutely 
complete ami perfect ; the reft which is to be enjoyed with 
God for ever. Now, antecedent to the enjoyment of 
that, all our works performed in a ftate of initial reft rauft 
be wrought ; and although we are here in a ftate of reft, 
in comparifon of what went before, yet this alfo is a ftatc 
of w^orking with refpcdl to that fulnefs of everlafting reft 
enfuing. We are not only to do, but alfo to fuffcr ; this 
way is marked out for us ; let us purfue it patiently, that 
we anfwer the example, and be like our heavenly Father. 

§ 17, Obf. 4. All the works of God are perfeft : he 
finifhed them, and faid that they were good ; ' He is the. 

* rock, and his work is perfcft,' [Deut. xxxii. 4.] His 
infinite wifdom and pov*^er require that it ftiould be fo, 
and make it impolftble that it fliould be otherwife. The 
conception of them is perfe£l in the infinite counfel of his 
will ; and the operation of them is perfcft, through his 
infinite power. Nothing can proceed from him, but what 
is fo in its own kind and meafure, and the whole of his 
works is ^o abfolutcly, [fee Ifa. xl. 27, 28.] As when he 
undertook the work of creation, he finifhed it in fuch a 
yiianner, that it w^as in his own eyes exceedingly good ; fo 



the works of grace and provjudiitc-, w}>ich arc yet, as i^ 
were, upon the wheel, fhali ii. 'ikt manner bt accom- 
plifncJ. And this may teach uz ac ail times to trult hiii> 
viith liis own works, and all ov.r concerns in them, whe* 
ther they be the works of his grace in our hearts, or the 
works of his providence in the world. * He wi.l perfcd 

* that which concerneth us, becaul'e his mcrcv endureth 

• for ever, and will not fcrfake the works of his own 
Miaads/ [Ffalm cxxxviii. 8. J 

Ver. 4, 5. 

for he spake in a certain place of the sen 
venth day on this wise, and god did rest 
the seventh day from all his works. and 
in this place again, if they shall enter. 
into my rest. 

f I. (I.) 'The iL'crds explained. The manner and fuhje^ of 
the .^rcfcut tcflimony. § 2. l^hc tejtimony i^jclf. § 3* 
Another corrohoraUn^ te/lhnonv. § 4. (II-) Ohiervations. 
I . Jl hatever the fcripturc Ja'ith, in any place, is a firm 
foundation of faith. § 5. 2. Eucry thuig in the "JL'orJhif 
if Godfhould rej} on divine authority. 

i I- (I.) ' 1 OR he fpakc In a certain place.' (E/('>;J6.-,. 
dixit) fuid \ the nominative cafe is not expreffcd ; cither 
the firipture hatii faid, which is not dead and mute, but 
living and vocal, even the voice of God, to them who 
have cars to hear ; or, it may be (7/f ) a certain man faid ; 
or, he hath faid, that is, God himfelf, the Holy Ghoft : 
or it is taken impcrionally, for fdiciturj it is faidj (7ri<, 
fi/icul'ii in quodam LucoJ fomojuhcrey in a certain place. Tlir 




fum is, that there was a reft of God and his people, and 
aifo a day of reft, from the foundation of the world, v^'hich 
was no! the reft here mentioned by the pfahiiift, as'he al- 
ledgeth not his author exprejlly, neither doth he the parti- 
cular place where the words are recorded, referring the 
Hebrews to the fcripture, which was the common acknow- 
ledged principle of truth between them, which he and they 
would acquiefce in, and wherein they were verfed ; at 
leaft in the books of Mofes, and particularly in the hif- 
tory of the creation* whence thcfe words are taken, 
[Gen. ii. 2.] 

(II;p/ 7T,g 5/(3Sc^/j^, de die fept'ima, or, de fcptlmaj 
of the feventh day. The jevcnth (cjS^o^'/j) may be ufed 
cither naturally and abfolutely for (;^ TfUi^a, vj £J2^oul-/j) the 
feventh day^ that is, from the beginning of the creation, 
wherein the firft complete returning courfe of time was 
liniihed ; after which, a return is made to the firft dav 
again ; or, it may be ufed artificially^ as a notation of a 
certain day peculiarly fo called i or,»as the name of one day, 
as moft nations have given names to the weekly courfe of 
days ; for at that time (-^^ :-l3lo{j.a2ri) the feventh was the 
name whereby the Hellenifts called the fabhath day. So it 
is always termed by Philo, as others have obferved ; 
which (by the way) is no fmall evidence that this epiftlc 
was originally written in the Greek tongue. So in the 
gofpel (ijua. (ra[^&aTCA)v) one^ or, the firft of the zveck, is the 
notation of the Lord's day. We fhould remember that it 
is the fahhath of which the apoftle is fpeaking, and it re- 
fpe(fi:s both the reft of God, and the reft ?.ppornted for us 
thereon. God made way for his creatures to enter into 
his reft, and gave them a day as a pledge thereof. {{O'\j]uoq) 
on thh vj'ife, or, to this purpofc, either as precifely denotinp* 
t\\t ^vordsy or, as rcfpedling they^^'^;2r/r of them. 

§ 2. The teftimony itfelf enfues ; * And God did reft 
• the feventh day from all his works.* The apoftle in- 
tends not only to ufe the mere words he cites, but in them 
he dire£ls us to the whole pafjage whereof they are a part ; 
for it would not anfwer his purpofe to Ihcw merely that 
God reued fiom his works, which thefe words aftirm ; 



his aim is to manifcil, tliat tiK-rcoii tb.,rc was a refl pro- 
vided ior us to enter into, ana a^'' y of reft appointed as 
a pledge thereof; and this is fully expicir*.' i:i the place 
referred to, for God upon his own rtll bklfed the fcvenlli 
Jay and fan£tilied it. ' 

(K«/.-7r^'j(rfv Q:og) ^ Gnd reftcd.' A cclTation from 
work, and not a refreiliment upon wcarincfs, is intended. 
God is not weary, he is no more fo in the work of crea- 
tion, than he is in the work of providence, [Ifa. xl. ?.o.] 

• The creator of the ends of the earth fainteth not, nor is 

• weary :' he laboureth not in working ; and therefore 
nothing is intended but a ccifaticn from exerting his 
creating power to the produdion of more creatures, with 
bis fatisfa£tion in what he had already done. Junius 
renders it, fcum autcm pcrfec'ifjct Deus die fept'imo cpus fuum 
quod fcccraty quicvitj *' When God had perfected his 
'* work, on the feventh day, he refted ;'* thus the feventh 
day is not exprefled as a time wherein any work was done, 
bat as the time immediately prefent after it was finiflicd ; 
and the word here ufed (n^3) doth not properly iignify to 
vjo)k, or efFcdl, but to * complete,* perfect, or accbm- 
plifh ; * wlien he had perfcclcd his work ;* fo that on the 
feventh day there was no more work to do. — This then 
is the fum of what is here laid down ; 7'hat from the be- 
ginning, from the foundation of tlic world, there was a 
work of God, and a reft cnfuing thereon ; and an entrance 
propofed to 7ncn into that rcil, and a day of reft, as a 
pledge thereof; which yet was not the reft intciuled l)y 
the pfalmift, as in the next verfe. 

§ 3. * And in this place again, if they (hall enter into 

• my reft.' (K^^/ .-v t^!.^^,) and in this. The cxprellion is 
elliptical, and the {cnfc is to be fupplicd from the begin- 
ning of the fourth verfc ; * F'or he fj^ake in a certain 

• place ; and again, he fpake in this place.' — ' If they 

• fliall enter into my reft.* — He takes it for granted, 
that an entrance into the reft of God for fome is 
intended in thofe very words, whereby others were ex- 
cluded. This prefent argument is from the ti/nc when, 
and place where thcfe words were fpoken, which include 

2 a r(/f 


« reji of God to be entered Into. Now this was the time of 
Mofes, and in the wiWrnefs, fo that they cannot intend 
the fabbatlcal reft from the foundation of the world ; for 
the works, faith he, were finifhed in fix days, and the 
feventh was blefled and far n:ified for a day of reft, as 
Mofes teftifieth G^w, ii. i — 3. And as this was tendered^ 
and entered into by fome, from the foundation of the 
world ; it muft, therefore, of neceftity be another rejly 
that is fpoken of by the pfalmift, and to which the people 
were afrejh invited. This is therefore his purpofe in the 
repetition of this teftimony, that the reft mentioned there- 
in, was not that which was appointed from the beginning of 
the world ; but another, the propofal of which yet remained. 
So then, upon the whole, there was another reft of God^ 
befides that upon the creation of all, as is evident from this 
place, which he farther coniirms in the next verfe. 

§ 4. (ir.) The obfervations that offer themfelves are 
the following : 

Obf. I. Whatever the fcripture faith in anyplace, being 
rightly underftood and applied, is a firm foundation for 
faith to reft upon : and for arguments or proofs, in mat- 
ters of divine worfliip, to be deduced from. Thus the 
apoftle here confirms his own purpofe and intention. His 
aim is to fettle the judgement of thefe Hebrews in things 
pertaining to the worfliip of God \ and to fupply them 
with a fujficient authority, which their faith might be re- 
folved into. This he doth by referring them to ' a cer- 
' tain place of fcripture,' where the truths he urgeth ar.e 
confirmed ; for he defigned to deal with thefe Hebrews, 
not merely upon his apoftolic authority, and the revela- 
tion he had received from Jefus Chrift, as he ufed 
to deal with the Gentile churches, but on the common 
principles of the Old Teftament fcriptures, which were 
mutually acknowledged by him and them. It is utterly 
impolfible that, in things concerning religion and the 
worftiip of God, we can ever be engaged in a caufe at- 
tended with more difficulties, and liable to more fpecious 
oppohtion, than that which our apoftle was now managing. 
He had the pra^ice of the church, continued from the 

Vol. II. L 1 1 firft 


firft foundation of it, rcfolvcd into the authority of Gocf 
himfclf as to its inllitution, and attended with his accep- 
tance of the worlhippers in all ages, with other feeming 
difadvantages and prejudices innumerable, to contend with ; 
yet this he undertakes on the fole authority of the fcrip- 
tures, and teftimonics to his purpofe deduced thence, and 
glorioufly accompliflieth his defign. Certainly, whilfl wc 
have the fame warranty of the word for what we avow and 
profefs, we need not defpond for thofc mean artifices and 
pretences wherewith we are oppofed, which bear no pro- 
portion to thofe difficulties, which by the fame word of 
truth have been conquered and removed. For inftancc, 
■what force is there in the pretence of the Roman church, in 
their profefTion of things found out, appointed, and com- 
manded by themfelves, in comparifon of that of the 
Hebrews for theirs, begun and continued by the autho- 
rity of God himfelf ? And if this hath been taken away 
by the light and authority of the fcnpturcs, how can Hit 
other, hay and flubble, Hand before it ? 

§ 5- ^'V* ^' I^ ^^ ^^ "o purpofe to prcfs any thing in 
the worfhip of God, without producing the authority of 
God for it in his word. Our apoflle ilil! minds the Hebrews 
what is * fpoken * in this and that place to his purpofe. 
And to what end fervcs any thing elfe in this matter? Is 
there any thing elfe that we can refolve our faith into, or 
that can influence our confcienccs into a reli2;ious obc- 
dience ? And are not thefe things the life and foul of wor- 
Ihip, without which it is but, as it were, a dead carcafc ? 



Verse 6. 

seeing, therefore, it remaineth that some 
must enter therein, and they to whom it 
was first preached, entered not in because 
o^ unbelief. 

§ I . Connexion of the words. § 2 , The argument recapitu-^ 
latcd. § 3. Qhfcrvation, § 4. Farther obfervations and 
rules to elucidate the general obfervation, 1 . Promlfes refer 
either to the grace only, or the outward admlniftration of 
the covenant. § 5. 2. Some may be accompUfhed when few 
know it. § 6. 3. Some confined to a certain time, §7.4. 
Some not limited. § 8. 5. Some for a fime fufpended, 
§ 9. Inferences. 

§ i.jLjlAVING thus removed an objeftion that might 
arlfe agaiiifl the new propofal of a re/? of God, from the 
fabbatical refl which was appointed from the foundation 
of the world ; and manifefted that — although there was 
in the ftate of nature, or under the law of our creation, 
a working and jr/? of God, and a reft for men lo enter into, 
and a day fet apart as a pledge of that reft ; yet — this was 
not the reft which he inquired after ; the apoftle, in this 
and the following verfes, proceeds to improve his tcfti- 
monies already produced to a farther end ; namely, to 
prove, that — although after the original reft was mentioned, 
there was a fccond reft prom i fed and propofed to the peo- 
ple of God ; yet — neither was that it which is propofed 
in this place of the Pfalm ; but a third that yet remain- 
ed for them, and was now propofed, under the fame pro- 
mifes and thrcatenings with the former. The wo^ds con-r 
tain an affertion, and a particular ajjumption fro/n it ; the 
ojjcrtion is, that * fome muft or fhall enter into the reft of 
' God ;' which he concludes as evinced by his former ar- 
gument? and tcftimonies : fo the words prove, tha; there 

L 1 1 i^ k 


is yet a remaimng entrance into a rejl of God. A promifc 
being included in every conditional threatening, the fcnfc 
ot thcfc words then is, that from what hath been fpokea 
it is evident, that fomc mufl yet enter into another rell: of 
God, befidcs that which was in the fabbath appointed 
from the foundation of the world. — His afjumptlon is, that 
thofe to whom that reft was firft preached entered not in^ 
becaufe of their difobcdicncc. It is nianifeft that the 
apoftle intends, in thcfc words, thofe who came out of 
Egvpt under the conduct of Mofes, whofc fin and punilli- 
mcnt he had lb fully cxpreffed in the foregoing chapter. 
Now^ to thrfe was the reft of God firfl declared \ they were 
fiyjl evangelized with it. And hereby the apoftle Ihews, 
which reft it is that he intends ; not abfolidcly the fpirhual 
rcjl of the promife, for this was preached to believers from 
the foundation of tlie w^orld ; but the church rcjl of the 
land of Canaan, that is, the accompUpjment of the promife 
upon their faith and obedience, was firft propofed to them, 
for otherwife the promifc itfef wzs firft given to Abraham, 
but the a£lual accomplilhmcnt of it was never propofed 
to him on any condition. 

§ 2. This, therefore, is the fubftance of this verfe ; 
bcfide the reft of God from the foundation of the world, 
and the inft.itution of the feventh day fabbath, as a pledge 
thereof; there was another reft for men to enter into, the 
reft of God and his worfliip in the land of Canaan. This 
being propofed to the people of old, they entered not 
into it by reafon of unbelief; therefore there nuift be yet 
that otlicr reft remaining, which he provokes the Hebrews 
to ]a!)our for an entrance into. And the ground of hi,^ 
argument lies here ; in that the reft of Canaan, although it 
was a diftin6\ reft of itlllf, was typical of that reft which 
he is inquiring after ; and the good things of this new reft 
were obfcurcly rcprcfented to the people therein ; fo that 
by reie£ling tlie one, they rcjeded the virtue and benciit 
of the otlicr alio. Hence, 

. § -;. O/ff. The fiithfulncfs of God in his promifcs is 
not !o he mcafurcd bv the faiih or obedience of men, at 
any one fcafon, in any one generation, or their fins 

where by 


whereby they come fiiort of tliem, nor by any providen- 
tial dilpenfation towards them. Tlie people in the wil- 
dernefs having a promiic propofed to them of entering 
into the reft ot God, when they all failed and came Ihort 
of it, there was an appearance of tlie faikire of the promife 
itfelf , fo they feem themfelves to have tacitly charged God, 
— when he pronounced the irrevocable fentence airainft 
their entering into the land of promife. For after the 
declaration of it, he adds, * and ye fliall know my breach 
* of promife,' [Num. xiv. 34.] which is a fevere ironi- 
cal reproof of them. They feem to have argued, that if 
they entered not, God/ailed in his promife, and fo refiefled 
on his trutii and veracity. That, faith God, fhall be 
known, when you are utterly deftroyed ; for t ben it was 
that it fliould be accompl'i/hed. You fhall know that it is 
owing to your fin, unbelief, and rebellion, and not any 
failure on my part. 

§ 4. To help us in the difcharge of our duty herein, 
we may take the help of the enfuing obfervations and 
rules : 

I. The promifes of God are either fuch as belong ow/)f 
to the grace of the covenant, or fuch as refpe£l alfo the 
outward adminiftration of it in this world. Thofe of the 
firji fortTiXt^ at all times, actually fulfilled, and made good 
to all believers, by virtue of their union to Chrifl, whether 
themfelves have the {<^\\{z and comfort of that accomplifli^ 
ment in their own fouls at all times or no. But befides 
thefe, there are promifes which refpeft the outvjard admi^ 
tuftration of the covenant, under the providence of God in 
this world ; fuch are all thofe w^hich concern the peace 
and profperity of the church, its deliverance out of trouble, 
the increafe of light and truth in the world, the joy and 
comfort of believers therein, WMth others innumerable of 
the like import ; and it is concerning, ^//y/^ we fpeak. 

§ 5. 2. Some, yea many promifes of God may have a 
full accomplifhment, when very feiu hiow or take notice 
that they are fo ; it may be none at all. For fuch things 
may in the providence of God h\\ out in the accomplifli- 
jnent, as may keep men from diicerniug it. Thus when 



God came to fulfil his promife in the deliverance of this 
people from Egypt, he fuffered at the fame time their 
bondage and mifcry to be fo increafed, that they could n<^ 
believe it. [Exod. v. 21 — 23.] God anfwers the defircs of 
his church ; but how ? * By terrible things in rightcouf- 

* nefs/ [Pfal. Ixv. 5.] It is in >-ightconfntfs' that he anfwers 
them i the righteoufnefs of fidelity and veracity in the ac- 
compHHiment of his promifes. But withal he fees it ne- 
ccilary in his holinefs and wifdom, to mix it with fuch 

* terrible things' in the works of his providence, as make 
dieir hearts to tremble, fo that at the prefent they take 
little notice of the love, grace, and mercy of the promife. 
It, moreover, fo falls out from the prcjudicau opinicjis of 
men concerning the fcnfe and peculiar meaning of the 
promifes, or the nature of the things promifed. They 
apprehend them to be one thing, and in the event they 
prove another, which makes them either utterly reje£t 
them, or not to fee their accomplilhment. So was it, for 
inftance, with rcfpc£l to the coming of Chrifl in the fielh, 
according to the promife. — Again, Unbelief itfelf hides 
the accomplilhment of promifes from the eyes of men. 
So our Lord fpeaking of his coming to avenge his ele£l, 
adds, * nevcrthelefs, when the Son of man cometh, fhall 

* he find faith on the earth,' [Luke xviii 8.] men will not 
apprehend nor underftand his work through unbelief. 

And this one confideration Ihould teach us great mode- 
ration in our judgements concerning the application of pro- 
niifcs and predi(Stions with regard to thcu ffdfnnf. 1 am 
pcrfuaded that many have contended (thereby troubling 
themfclvcs and others) about the feafons and times where- 
in fomc prophecies are to be fulfilled, which have longjmce 
rtcc'ivcd their principal accomplifhment, in fuch a way as 
thofe who now contend about them think not of. — That 
God is faithful in all his promifes and predictions, that 
they (hall every one of them be accomplifhcd in their 
proper feafon, that the tilings contained in them, and in- 
tended by them, are all fruits of his love and care towards 
his church, tliat they all tend to the advancement of that 
glory which he hath for himfclf by Jcfus Clirill, 

— theic 


• — thefe are things that ought to be certain and fixed with 
us ; but beyond thefe hmits we ought to be guarded by 
pecuhar caution, the analogy of faith, modelly, and 
patience ; — prophecies not being the rule of any anions, 

§ 6. 3. Some promifcs of God, as to their full accom- 
plilhment, may be confined lo fomc certain time and feafon, 
although they have their ufe and benefit in all feafons ; 
until this is come there can be no failure charged, though 
they be not fulfilled. Thus was it with the great promife 
of the coming of Chrifl before mentioned, it was given 
out from the foundation of the world, [Gen. iii. 15.] and 
in the counfel of God confined to a certain period of time ; 
determined afterwards in the prophecies of Jacob, Daniel, 
Haggai, <ycc. This all the faints of God were in expec- 
tation of, from the firft giving of the promife itfelf. So 
did God order things, that they fhould depend on his ab- 
folute fovereignty ; and neither make haile nor defpond. 
And yet, doubtlefs, through the delay they apprehended in 
the accomplifhment of the promife, fome of them fell 
into one of thefe extremes,, and fome into the other ; but 
there was no alteration in God or his word all this while. 
~Now what (hall men do in reference to fuch promifcs, 
when they know not by any means the fet time of tlieir 
accomplilhments ? Let them believe and pray ; and then 
take the encouragement given, [Ifa. ix. 22.] 'I the Lord 
* will haften it in his time.' It hath its appointed time, 
which cannot be changed ; but if you confider the oppo- 
fitlons that lie againfl it, the unlikelihood of its accom- 
plifhment, the w^ant of all outward means for it ; upon 
faith and prayer it fliall be haflened. Thus, in the days 
of the gofpel, there are fignal promifcs remaining con- 
cerning the calling of the Jews, the deflrudion of anti- 
chrift, the peace and glory of the churches of Chrifl. Wc 
know how fome have precipitately antedated thefe things, 
whofe difappdintments, and their own unbelief and car- 
nal wifdom, have brought the generality of men to look 
no more after them ; and cither to think that the pro- 
mifes of them have failed, or that indeed fuch promife.s 
were never made ; whcrcia unbelief have found many 
^ learned 


learned advocates. It is certain, however, that there arc 
feriods of time affixed to tlicfe things ; the vilion of them 
as yet is for an appointed time, but at the end it fliall fpeak 
and not lie ; though it tarry, and be delayed beyond the 
computation of fome, and the expediation of ail; yet wait 
for it, becaufe it will furely come ; it will not tarry one 
nioment beyond the time fettled in heaven. 

§ 7. 4. There are many promifes, whofe fignal ac- 
compli fliment God hath not limited to any fpecial feafon ; 
but keeps it in his own fovercign will to aft according to 
tliem, towards his church, as is beft fuited to his wifdom 
and love : only there is no fuch promifc made, but God 
will at one time or other verify his word in it, by acting 
according to it, or fulfilling it. And God hath thus dif- 
pofcd of things, that he may always have in readincfs 
wherewith to manifell: his difplcafure againfi: the fins of 
his own people, — that he may have wherewith to exercife 
their faith, — and to encourage them to prayerful expec- 
tation, and crying to him in their diilreiTes. 

§ 8. 5. Some concerns of Xht ^lory of God m the world 
may fufpend the full and outward accomplilhment of foipc 
promifes for a feafon. Thus there are many promifes made 
to the church of deliverance out of ai?li£tions and per- 
fecutions, and of the deflruftion of its adverfarics. When 
fuch occafions befall the church, it may and ought to 
plead thefe promifes, for they are given for that purpofe : 
but yet it often falls out, that the fulfilling of them is for 
a long time fufpcnded ; God hath otl^er ends to accomplifh 
by their fuffcrings than are yet cffefted ; it is needful, it 
may be, that his grace fhould be glorified in x\\q\x patience^ 
and the truth of the gofpel be confirmed by xhtir fuffcringSj 
and a tcllimony be borne againll the world. It may be 
alfo, that God hath lb ordained things, that the ftraits 
and pci-fccutions of the church Ihall tend more to the 
furtherance of tlic gofpel and the intcrell of Chrill, than 
its peace and tranquillity would do ; and in fuch a feafon 
(lod hath furnifhed his people with other promiles which 
they ought to mix with fiiith ; and which Ihail undoubtedly 
be accompljllicd. 



§ 9. And we may learii hence, 

1. In any condition wherein we judge ourfelves to be 
called to plead any promifes of God, and to have an expec- 
tation of their accomphfhment, not to make hajle. AVe fee 
how many occalions there may be of retarding the actual 
accomplilhment of promifes ; our wifdom and duty there- 
fore is, to leave that to his fovereign pleafure, and to live 
upon his truth, goodnefs, and faithfulnefs in them. 
They fhall all be hailened in their appointed time, 

2. Again ; when the accomplilhmeiit of promifes 
feemeth to be deferred, we are not to faint in our duty. 
The benefit we have by tbe accomplijhmcnt of promifes, is 
not the fole end why they are given us. God intends to 
cxercife all our graces; our faith, patience, ^obedience, 
and fubmillion. Something of this nature befel the ' fa- 

♦ ther of the faithfuF himfelf , he had received the great 
promife that ' in his feed all the nations of the earth fliould 
' be blelFed ;' many years after this he was childlefs, until 
his own body (as well as Sarah's womb) was in a manner 
dead ; his remaining hope was above hope, or all rational 
apparent grounds of it. This once put him fo to it, that 
he cried, * Lord, wdiat wilt thou do for me, feeing I go 

♦ childlefs ?' All this v/hile God was bringing him * to his 

♦ foot,' training him up to obedience, fubmillion, and 
dependence upon himfelf. When therefore we confider 
any promifes of God, and do not find ourfelvos aftually 
poffelTed of the things promifcd ; our duty is to apply our- 
felves to what in our prefent flation is required of us, and 
not to faijit, or charge x\\q Lord as unjufl, all whofc ways 
are mercy and truth, and wliofe promifes are firm and 

Vol. IL M m ni Verss: 


Verse 7. 
again, he limiteth a certain day, saying itt 


§ I, 2. (I.) The words explained. § 3. (11.) Ohfcrva^ 
i'loyis. I . In reading and hearing the fcripture, ive ought 
to confider that God (peaks to us. § 4. 2. Ihc holy fcrip- 
iure is an mexhaujlible repofitory of Jp'iritual truths. § 5. 
3. Many important truths lie deep and Jeer et in the fcripture^ 
and therefore require a very diligent fear ch. § 6. life of 
reproof and dlredion, 

% I. (I.) "Again, he limiteth a certain day." 
yWotJ^Lv) Jgain \ it may denote either the repetition of an 
eld adl, or the introdu6lion of a new tefimony ; but it ra- 
ther exprefies here the repetition of the thing fpoken, and 
is to be joined in conftrudion with * he limiteth,' or ' he 
* limiteth again.' — (O'p0/) * He limiteth ;' that is, abfo- 
lutely, God doth fo, whofe authority alone in thcfe 
things is the rule of our faith and obedience, particularly 
the Holy Ghoft ; this limitation being made in the fcrip- 
turcs which were given by his immediate and peculiar in- 
fpiration, [II. Pet i. 21.] ^ Limiteth \* that is, either 
dcfcribes, or defineth it in a prophetical prediction, or dc- 
termineth and appoints it by an authoritative inflitution. 
He dcfcribes it in itfcJf, and appoints it unto us. The word 
may comprifc both ; and wc have no ground to exclude 

(Tivcc YjjL^^oiv) yf certain das ; tliat is, another drtermi- 
jtatc day, in anfwcr to the days before-mentioned, and 
whofe fcafon was now clapfed. It is certain that the 
apoAlc doih principally intend to evince, the new hcfl of 



God under the gofpel, and to perfuade the Hebrews to fe- 
cure their entrance into it, and poiTeffion of it. Eut he 
here changeth his terms, and calls it not a reji, but pro- 
pofeth it from the pfalmill under the notion of a day, and 
this he doth becaufe he had before proved and illuflrated 
the reji of God, from the day that was fet apart as a pledge 
and means of it, as alfo becaufe he deligns to manifeil 
that there is another day determined, as a pledge and repre- 
fentation of this new reft, or as an efpecial feafon for the 
enjoyment of its privileges. 

§ 2. (ZvjiJLSfiGy) To-day ; the day he intends is that which 
in the pfaimift is called (avn) to-day, the former day he 
called {cP2o^Yiv) the ^ /event h* day, but this new fpiritual 
reft in Chrift by the gofpel, is to have another day to ex- 
prefs it. Thus is * to-day' in the pfaimift left at liberty 
to be any day in the prophecy, but limited to x\\q jirjt by 
the refurredion of Chrift. — ' Speaking in David,' who 
was the perfon by whom this matter was revealed to the 
church, ?n a pfalm that he compofed, by divine infpira- 
tion, for that purpofe : for the fcripture is the voice of 
God, and he always fpeaks to us thereby ; and itfelf is 
faid to fpeak, becaufe of God's fpeaking in it. — ' After fa 
* long a time ;* the date of this time is to be taken either 
from the coming of the Ifraelites out of Egypt, or from 
the fecond year after, when the fpies were fent to fearch 
the land ; a fpace of ?hoyjLt five hundred years ; fo that our 
apoftle might well call it, * after yo lotig a time / or fo great 
a fpace of time. 

§ 3. (H.) The remaining words of this verfe have been 
opened before ; we fliall therefore proceed to fomc impro- 
ving obfervations : 

Olf. I. In reading and hearing the fcripture, we ought 
to conlider that God fpeaks to us in and by it. * He faith \ 
that is, God faith ; or, more efpccially, the Holy Ghoft. 
He both fpake in David, in the infpiration of that pfalm ; 
and by David, or. In the -pfalm, he fpake to us. This 
slone will give us that reverence and fubjedtion of foul and 
confcience to the word of God, which are required of us, 
and which are necelTary, that we may have benefit there- 

M m m 2 bv. 


by. lii that kind of carelcTs deportment, whereby men 
hear the word and immediately lolc it ; this is not tht* 
Icart e\il, that ihey do not fuHlciently confider whofe word 
it is, and who Ipcaks it immediately to them ; and to pre- 
vent this, God doth not only preface wliat he IpcaUs 
with, * I'hus faith the Lord,' but oftentimes adjoins fuch 
of his attributes and excellencies, as arc fuited to beget an 
awe and reverence in our hearts, both of him that fpeak- 
cth, and what is fpoken. 

§ 4. Ohf. 2. The holy fcrlpturc is an inexhauUible rc- 
politory of fpiritual mylleries and facred truths. W'c had 
never known what is in the Old Teftaaient, had it not 
been for the New, [Luke xxiv. 45.] and we fhould never 
know fully w^hat is in the New Tellament, were it not 
for heaven and glorv, where wc Ihall know as we are 
known, [I. Cor. xiii. 12.] It may be, fome will fay, 
they can fee none of thefe llores, can fmd little or no- 
thing of thefe riches. It may be fo ; for this trcafure is: 
fuch, as men can fee little of it if they have nor a guide 
and a light. Let a treafury that is made deep, or clofely 
im.mured, be filled never fo full with gold and precious 
things, yet if you turn a man to it in the dark^ he can (tt 
nothing that is defirable ; but ra":her feel an horror and a 
fear come upon him. It is by the Spirit of Chrift, and 
the light of the gofpel, that this vail of darknefs and blind- 
ncfs is taken away. But what are thefe excellencies and 
riches ? We reply ; here is the myftery of his love, gracr^ 
zi'ifdom, yighieoufnefsy and holirjcfsf m Chrift Jefus. — There 
is in it the whole counfcl of God, concerning his ozvn v,'or- 
fh'ipy and the whole of that obedience which he requires of 
lis, that we may come to be accepted with him here, and 
to tlie eternal enjoyment of him in glory. — There is in it 
a glorious difcovery of the eternal Being, or nature ot God, 
with its glorious eflcntial excellencies, fo far as we are ca* 
pablc of an encouraging contemplation of them in this 
world. — Again, the fouls of believers are carried, by the 
aids of thefe revealed myilcrics, out of this world, and 
\\?iWC future eternal glories prefented to them. Now, how 
large, how extcnfive, and unfcarchable mull that repoli- 



tory of myfterious truths be, wherein all thefe thuigs, with 
all the particulars whcreinto they branch tljemfelves, all 
the whole intercourfe between God and man in all as^cs arc 
flored ! O heavenly ! O blefled dcpofitum oi divine grace 
and goodnefs ! 

§ 5. Ohf. 3. Many important truths lie deep and fecret 
in the fcripture, requiring a verv diligent fcarch in their 
inveftigation, and for their difcovery. And the rcafoa 
Vv4iy in this place I iniift on thefe things, is not fo much 
to explain the fenfc of it, as to vindicate the way of our 
apoflie's arguing, and of citing teftimonies out of fcrip- 
ture, with his expolition and application of them. That 
w^hich we are therefore to inquire into for our own ad- 
vantage, is the ways and means whereby a due fearch may 
be made into the fcriptures, and what is nccelTarily required 
thereto, fo that we may not fail of light and inllrudlion j 
and tliey are, amongft others, thefe that follow : 

(i.) A humble teachable frame of fpirit ; this is the 
great preparation for the foul's admittance into the trea- 
sury of facred truths. Go to the reading, hearing, or 
fludying of the fcripture with hearts fenfible of your own 
unworthinefs to be taught, of your difability to learn, 
ready to receive, embrace, and fubmit to w^hat {hall be 
made known to you ; and this is the way to be taught of 
God : and fuppofe in this way you learn not fo much as 
others, yet that which you do learn fliall be of fo much ufe 
and advantage to you, as tlieirs fliall be who attain to the 
greateft degree of fpiritual light and knowledge. The 
word inquired into will be as manna to them that gather 
it, [Exod. xvi. 18.] 

(2.) Eanieft prayer for the guidance, dire£lion, aflif- 
tance, and illumination of the Holy Gliofl, to enable us 
to find out, difcern, and iinderfland the deep things of 
God. Where this is neglecEled, wiiatcver w^e know we 
know it not as wc ought. That this is the only ivay where- 
by we come to know the things of God, the great and 
wondrous things laid up in the word, our apoflie fliews at 
large, [I. Cor. ii.] * The natural man,' he tell us, that 
is, fuch as hath not the help and afhllance of the Spirit of 


45* AN EXrOSITIOx\ OF THE Chap. IV, 

God, * cannot receive the things which are of God,* 
[vcr. 14.] he can neither ^W thcin out himfclF, nor own 
them when they arc difcovercd by others ; yea, woe be to 
him who leans to his own undtrllanding in this weighty 

('\.) Endeavour, in all your inquiries into the word, to 
mind and aim at the fame ends which God hath in tiie giv- 
ing of it. Then do we comply with the will of God in 
what we do, and m;iy comfortably cxpci^ his gracious 
alii fiance. 

(4.) They that would fcarch the fcripturcs to find out 
tlic facred truths thai lie hid in tliem, ought to take care 
that they entertain no coirnpt iujis in their hearts or minds, 
which will certainly refufe to give admittance to fpiritual 
truth when it is tendered to them. Love of fin will make 
all iludy of the fcriptures to be mere loft labour. Hearts 
pure and undejiicd, minds ferene and heavenly, fo far as by 
the grace of God we can attain them, are required to this 
work ; and it ought to be one great motive to an endeavour 
after them, — that we may be more able to difcern the 
mind of God in his w^ord. 

(5.) Sedulity and conjlancy in this duty are great helps to 
a profitable difcharge of it. \V'hen men read the word 
but feldoin, fo that the things of it arc not familiar to 
them, tlicy will be continually at a lufs what they arc 
about. Bcfidcs, tb.ere is not any thing in our walking 
before God that is more acceptable unto him ; for this cx- 
prclTcth fomewhat of that reverence which we ought to 
liave of the grcatnefs and holincfs of him with whom wc 
have to do. The Jews frontifpicce to their great bible is 
that faying of Jacob upon tlie vifion he had at Bethel, 

* How dreadful is this place ! 1'his is none other but the 

* houfe of God, and this is the gate of he<iven.' So ought 
we to look upon the word with an holy awe and reverence 
of the prcfencc of God in it. 

(6.) In our fcarch after truth our minds are greatly to 
be influenced and guide^l by tlie analogy of faith \ * he that 

* prophefieth,' that is, interpreteth fcripturc, niuft do it, 
{\\.u\u -.Y{j u'jcc7^o-noc-j 1,]; ',Ti.F\^ucc,y) [Rom. xii. 6.] * Ac- 

?. * cording 


* cording (fay we) to the proportion of faith,' or thirig-? to 
be beheved. There is a harmony, an unanfwefablenefs, 
a proportion,, in the whole fyflem of faith : particular 
places are fo to be interpreted, as that they do not break 
and didurb their order ; for all the fcripture is from the 
fame fpring of divine infpiration, and is in all things per- 
fe£lly conliflent with itfelf ; and the things of greatefl 
importance arc delivered in it plainly, clearly, and fre- 
quently. To thefe the fenfe of every particular place is^ 
to be reduced ; none is to be affigned to it, none to be 
pretended from it, that claflies with any of the truths elfe- 
where clearly and fully confirmed. For men to come to a 
place of fcripture, it may be dark and ohfcure in itfelf, and 
through I know not what pretences draw a fenfe from it, 
which is inconliftent with other do6lrines of faith t\(t- 
where plainly revealed, is openly to corrupt tlie word of 
God. Want of a due attention to this rule is that which 
produced the mod peflilent herefies in the church. 

(7.) A due confideration of the nature of the dfcourfe 
wherein any words are ufed, tends much to give light into 
their fenfe and import, whether hiftorical, prophetical, 
&c. Now thefe things are duly to be weighed by them 
who intend to dig deep in this mine of lacred truth ; I'Ut 
particular directions in reference to them are too many 
Jiere to be infifted on. 

(8.) The proper grammatical fenfe of the words them- 
felves is duly to be inquired into ; and this principally re- 
fpe£ls them who are able to purfue this fearch after trXith 
in the original languages. Others alfo may have much 
help by comparing parallel places, even in tranflatlonsy 
whence the proper fenfe or ufual acception of any words 
may be learned. 

§ 6. What hath been now fpoken may ferve, as for the 
reproof oi {o\y\^, fo for the dlred'ion of others. Whence is 
it that fome receive fo little benefit by their fludying the 
fcriptures, at leaft in their pretending fo to do ? Alas 1 
their manifold mifcarriag.s are manifefl to all ; without 
diligence, without humility, without watching unto 



prayer, tlicy go in the confidence of their own ftrcngth 
and abihries to fearch and expound it ; which is to attempt 
tlie opening of brazen doors, without a key. 

Verse 8. 

for if je5us had given them rest, then wotln 
he not afterwards have spoken of another^ 


§ I — 3. (T.) The interpretation of the words. § 4. (II.) 
Objcrvations. I. 'There is no true reft for the fouls of men 
hut only in ftfus Chrift by the go [pel. § 5. Improved^ 
§ 6. 2. The go [pel church ftate is a ftate of fpiritual reft 
in Chrift, § 7. ^. It is a great priz-ile^e tq have a day 
of reft. 

§ I. (lOxN" this vcrfc, the apofllc gives a farther ccn-. 
firmation to his argument, bv a particular appHcation of 
it to the fpecial matter in hand ; and withal preventcth an 
objcf^ion, that might probably be raifcd againil one part 
of hi.^ difcourfe. ' For if Jcfus had given them rcll:, &:c.* 
{koctzT^uvc--',) cau fed them to reft. The apoftle even in this 
chapter ufcth tiiis word both in a neutral and a£live fig- 
nification, [vcr. 4.] God re fed \ here * caufcd them to 

* reft,' or, ' given them relL* The word properly, and 
\ifually in other authors, fignifies (fiucyn :n;po?iere, ceffare 

fjrerej to put an endy or to make to ceafe ; as reft puts an 
end to labour. So the word is ufcd, ver. 10. * Hath 

* ccafcd from his works.' — [\-<JHq) Jefus \ that is, Jofluia ; 
and by fo calling him the apoftlc alfo, declares what was 
the true TJehreiu name of Jefus Chrift ; the Greek names 
being alike, fo were the Hebrew ones. Now as perfons 
on great occafions liad their names, as to their fignifi- 
cations, zvholly changed ; — for inftancc, when in the Old 
Teflanjcnt Jacob was called Ifrael, and Solomoji, Jede- 

diah i 


diah ; and in thfc New Teftament Simon was called Peter, 
and Saul was called Paul ; and as divers had double names 
occafionally givfeh them, as Efther and HadufTa, Daniel 
and Beltefliazzar : — fo God was pleafcd fometimes to 
change one lettir in a name, not without a myftical ligni- 
iication ; as the name of Abram was changed into Abra- 
ham ; and that of Sarai into Sarah, [Gen. xvii. 5 — 15.] 
and here the name of Hofea is changed into Jehofhua, by 
the addition of one of the letters of the name of God in- 
creafing the fignification ; which name was given him as 
he was a type of Chrift, or the typical Saviour of the peo- 
ple. It is plain, that the reafon of the name is taken from 
its fignification of y^/w>7^ ; he Jhall fave, or, be the favi- 
our ; and all the attempts that fome have made to derive it 
from other words, are vain and frivolous ; fo alfo are 
theirs who would deduce the Greek name (I=cr8$-) JefuSy 
from [luM, Io^o-m) to heal ; for (Iso-ag) J'^fus, is of no fig- 
nification at all in the Greek tongue, it being only their 
manner of pronouncing [v^w) Jejhua^ w^hich is a Saviour i 
and which was given to the Lord Chrifl becaufe of the 
work he had to do ; and to this Jefus the fon of Nun, his 
type, for the fame reafon. 

§ 2. * He would not have fpoken concerning another 

* day.' The apoftle having defcribed the reft he fpcaks of 
by the fpecial day of reft that was in the feveral ftates of 
the church peculiarly to be obferved, now (by a fynech- 
doche) he expretleth the ivhole reft itfelf and all the con- 
cernments of it, by the name of a day. — ' He would not 

* have fpoken \ that is, either God abfolutely, or the Holy 
Ghoft, whofe immediate work the infpiration of the pfal- 
mift was, whofe words tliefe are — ' After thefe things ;' 
the things which befel the people in the wildernefs, and 
what they afterwards attained under the condu<^ of Jofhua. 
The objc^lion laid down, by way of antlc'ipat'ion^ is plain 
in the words, * Although the people which came out of 

* Egypt entered not into the promifed reft of God, by 

* reafon of unbelief and difobedience, as you have proved ; 

* yet the next generation, under the conduft of Jofluia, 

* entered and enjoyed it ; therefore, what ground have 

Vol. IL ' N n II * you 


* you to propofe another rcll: to us f' This is the force of 
tlic obje<5\ion ; and the rcalbii of his denial is, that five 
hundred years after, God, by ]3avid, propofcth another 
reft, or, another day of rejl^ and invites the people to an 
entrance, after they were fo long fully poiTefTed of all that 
Jofliua condu(fted them into. And whereas there was no 
new reft for the people to enter into in the days of David, 
and the pfalm, wherein thefe words are recorded, is ac- 
knowledged to be prophetical of the days of the Mcffiah, it 
"unavoidably follows, that there is yet a re/i, and a day of reft 
remaining for the people of God, [as ver. 9.] 

§ 3. This interpretation of the words perfe£\ly fatif- 
■fieth tlie argument m hand ; but yet I judge there is jnore in 
them than a mere anfwer to the ohjcf^tions mentioned, 
though cxpofitors look no farther, viz. That the apoftle 
alfo defigns to teach the Hebrews that all thefe things, 
which were fpoken about the reft of God in the land of 
Canaan and Mofaical inftitutions, had not the reality or fub- 
i\ance of the things themfelves in them, [Heb. x. i.] lb 
that absolutely neither did God reft, nor were the people 
to look for reft in them : they had no other end or ule, 
but to teach them to look out after, and to prepare for 
that reft which was promifed of old ; fo that Joftiua did 
not give them real reft , but only that which was a typical 
iaftru£lion for a feafon. And therefore in David the fame 
matter is ftill carried on, and dire£^ion is ftill given to look