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Princeton, N. J. 












Search the Scriptures. — John v. 39, 



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

And fold alfo by C. Dill Y, Po\iltry; T. Parsons, Faternofler- 
'Row; and T. Mathews, Strand. 


[OEntcteiJ at ^tationcts^Cpall.] 

A N 

E X P O S I T 1 O N, 8c 

Chap. X. V^r. i, 


^ I. A gcnci:al dlftrlbutlon of the chapter, § 2. The fuhjc^ 
fpoken of» § 3, 4. (I.) If hat is granted to the IazL\ § 5—^ 
8. fFhai is denied it, § 9. (II.) C^bfervations^ 

§ I. JL HERE are two. parts of this chapter; the Jirjt 
conceriieth the necejfityi and efficacy of the facrilice of 
Chrlfl ; [ver. I — 20.] the other is an improvement of the 
dofirine for faith, obedience, and perfeverance, [ver, 20 


§ 2. * For the law having a fl:^dow of good things to 

* come.* The fubje£l fpoken of is ('0, voiLoq^ nnin) th& 

law, that is, the facrificcs of the law, efpecially tbofc 

which were offered annually by a perpetual ilatutc, as the 

words Immediately following declare; buf he refers A'hat 

he fpeaks of to the law itfcf as that whereby thcfc fa- 

crifices were inftituted, and upon which depended all tlieir 

virtue and efficacy : and the law here is the covenant 

which God made with the people at Sinai, with all the 

conflitutions of worfhlp belonging to it; the firfl tcfla- 

ment, as it was the fpring of ail their religious privileges-, 

' Vol. IV. B ^ [ch^P^ 


[chap. vii. Ix.] Concerning this law, or covenant, the. 
apoflle declares two things : — Pojitlvely, and by way of 
conceilion, ' it had a iliadow of good things to come : — • 
Negatively, that ' it had not the very image of the things 

* themfelves ;' which v/e mull coniider together, becaufe 
they mutually illuftrate each other. 

§ 3, (I.) * For th^ lav/ having a fnadow,' he. Thefe. 
exprelfions are metaphorical, and have therefore given 
occaiion to various conjectures about the nature of the 
allufions, and their application to the prefent fubje£l. 
Both what is called ' a Jhad^iv,^ and ' the very imaged 
have refpe^l to the ' good things to come \ wherefore 
the true notion of what thefe * good things to come,' 
are, will determine what it is to have *. a fnadow of 

* them,' and ' not the very image of the things them- 

* felves,' The gcod. things intended niuft be Chr'iji himfelf^ 
with all the grace, merry, and privileges y v;hich the church 
receiveth by his actual coming in the tlefh, and the dif- 
charge of his office ; for he himfelf, principally and evi- 
■dently, was the fubje£l of all promifes ; and whatever elfe 
is contained in them is but that whereof, in his perfon, 
oiiice, and grace, he is the author and caufe : hence he^ 
was iignally termed (0 c^yj)\Livoc) he zvho was to come ; 

* art thou he %vho Is -U come?' [I. John iv. 3.] And 
thefe things are called (r^ c^yoi^cc) the good things — becaufe 
they are ahjoluiely fo without any mixture. Nothing is. 
gcod^ either in itfelf, <yx unto us, but what is made fo by 
Chrifl and his grace ; ihey are the means of our delive- 
rance from ail the evil things which we had brought upon 
ourfelves by our from God. 

§ 4. Thefe being evidently the ' good things' in- 
tended, the relation o;i the law to them, that it had the 
Ihadow, but net the very image of them, will alfo be ap- 
parent. H^ declares his intention in another parallel 
place, where, fpeaking of the fame things, and ufing 
fome of the fame wards, their i^n^^ is plain and deter- 
rnined, [Col. ii. 17.] ' They are a ihadow of things to 

* come, but the body is ofChriJh'* For it is the laiv, with 
its ordinances and i^iilitutions of worlhip, concerning. 



which the apoflle there difcourfeth. Now the < fhadow* 
there intended, from whence the allufwn is taken, is the 
fhadow of a body in the light or funfhine, as the antithelis 
requires ; * but the body is of Chriil/ Now fuch Tijhadovj 
is a reprefentation of the body ; which follows it in all its 
variations, and is infeparable from it. It is a jifji rcprc^ 
fcntation of the body (if properly lituated, and without 
any accidental hindrance) as to its proportion and di- 
nieniSons. The fhadow of any body reprefents that 
certain individual body, and nothing elfe. Yet it is but 
an obfcure reprefentation of the body ; for the vigour and 
fpirit (the chief excellencies of a living body) are noi re- 
prefented by it. Thus it is with the lavv^, or the covenant 
of Sinai, and all the ordinances of worfl;iip wherevv'ith it 
was attended, with refped to thefe good things to come. 
The oppofition which the apoflle here makes is not be- 
tween the lavj and the gofpel, but between th^ facrifices of 
the law and tht fa orifice of Chrifl himfelf; want of this 
pbfervation hath given us miflaken interpretations of thcs 
place. The law {c^^C'Ov) having it ; it was inlaid in it ; if; 
was of the fubflance and nature of it ; it contained it 
in all that it prefcribed or. appointed ; fome of it in one 
part, fome in another, the whole in the whole. It had 
the whole, fhadow, and the whole of it was this fliadow; 
and becaufe they are no more now 2i fhadow of Chrifl and 
■^vhat belongs to him as abfent, they are abfolutely dead 
and ufelcfs, 

§ 5. (II.) This being granted to the law, what is 
denied of it is added, in which conlifts the apoflle's ar- 
gument ; it * had not the very image of the things ;' the 
(TTDOiyua^cx) things are the fame with the (tcc ccya-Go^ 
u.-zKovjcc) good things to come before mentioned. The 
negation here is of the fame fubjeft as tlie conceffion was 
before ; the grant being in one fenfe and the denial ia 
another. It had, not (a\j\7^v t'/^v ^ikovcc, ipfjfimam rerum 
imaginem) the very image it [elf \ that is, it had not the 
things themfehes\ for he proves that tlie law, with all its 
facrifices, could not take ^.^^^.j fin, nor pcrfcd the church, 
becaufe it had not this image^ or the things thcmfclvcs ; 


lb the Syriac tranflation (ipfam rem, or ipfam fubjiantiam) 
the fuhjiancc itfclf, in which fenfe the Greek word (siy^oo',) 
is frequently ufed in the New Teftament, [Rom. i. 23.] 
The image of the man is the w^;z hhnfclf. 

This therefore is what the apoftle denies concerning 
the law ; it had not the a6lual accomplifhment of the 
promife oi go^d things ; it had not. Chrift exhibited in the 
llefh ; it had not the true real facriiice of the perfed ex- 
piation. It reprefented thefe things, it was a Ihadow of 
them ; but enjoyed not, exhibited not the things themfches. 
Hence was its imperfcftion and weaknefs, fo that by none 
its ©f facrifices could it make the church perfefl. 

^ 6. ' Can never with thefe facrifices, which they ofFer. 

* year by year continually, make the comers thereunto 

* perfect ;* (5/c to ^r/iVcitsg, in perpetuum) continually, ^^ fiK 
ever, that is, while thofe ordinances of worfhip were ia. 

But neither the proper fignification of the word, nor 
the ufc of it in this epillle, will allow it in this place to 
belong to the fentence going before. It is of the fame 
:fignification with (itg to Trafj'^Xsc, chap. vii. 2^.) for ever, 
to the uttcrmofi, perfcdly. What is affirmed oi Chrift and, 
his facrifice, ver. 12, 14. of this chapter, is here denied oi 
the law ; the words therefore fhould be joined with thofe 
that follow ; ' the law by its facrifices could not perfect 
"^ for ever, or to the utmoft, the comers thereunto.' 

§ 7. The words being thus read, the impotcncy of the 
law is very emphatically exprelTed (bfoSTrojs ^vvocja^i) it can 
never do it, by no means, no way ; k is impofrhle itfJjould; 
which obviates ail thoughts of perfection ' by the law. 
(T^/c uvjuig Qvoiaig, iifdem facrificus ; iis ipjis hojliis, or 
facnficiis) with tlwfe fame facrifices: the fame, o^ the fam? 
kind, for they could not by the law offer a facriiice of 
one kind one year, and a fiicrifice of another the next. 
But the farne facrifices, as to their kind, their matter and 
manner, were annually repeated without alteration. And 
tliis is urged'to fhew, that there was no more in any one 
of them than in another ; and what one could not do^ 
could not, be slone by its repetition, for it was ilill the fame 

Ver.i. epistle to the HEBREWS. 7 

(rial' sviaijlov) yearly, year by year. It is hence manlfcfl, 
that he priiicipally intends the anruvcrfary facrifices of ex- 
piatio?i ; when the high prieft entered into the mrft holy 
place with blood ; [Lev. xvi.] had he mentioned Jacnjices 
in general, it might have been replied, that although inch 
as were dally offered, or thoic on fpecial occafions, might 
not perfect the worihippers, at leall not the whole congre- 
gation ; yet the church might by that great facrifice which 
was offered yearly ; accordmgly the Jews have a faying, 
that on the day of expiation all * Ifrael was made as 

* righteous as in the day wherein man was fiiil created.' 
But the apoille applying his argument to thofe very facri- 
iices leaves no referve ; and befides, to give the greater 
cogency to his argument, he fixeth on thofe facrifices 
which had the leaft imperfection ; for thefe facrifices 
were repeated only once a year ; and if this repetition of 
them once a year proves them weak and imperfect, how 
much more were thofe fo, which were repeated every day '? 

* Which they offer ;' he ftates what was done at the firil 
giving of the law, as if it were now prcfent before their 
eyes. And if it had not the power mentioned at their 
fiji injlitution^ when the law was in all its vigour and 
glory, no acceffion could be made to it by any continuance 
of timcj except in the falfe imagination of the people. It 
could not make the comers thereto perfe^ for ever. 

§ 8. (T cXslcajctcci) to dedicate, corfuynmate^ confecrate, per^ 
fefl, fan^ify \ [fee Expof on chap. vii. ver. ii.] here 
the word is the fame with {TcXstccTai xc^a. (rvvcLbY,(riyy 
chap. ix. 9.] ' perfed as pertaining to the confcience,' 
which is afcribed to the facrifice of Chrift, [ver. 4.] 
Wherefore it here refpe(Ss the expiation of fin, and fo 
the apoHle expounds it in the following verfes ; — {tuq 
'TTpoo-cp'XjOU^yi^g, accedentes) the corners thereunto, fay we ; that 
is, the ivorjhlppers, [fee ver. 2, and chap. ix. 9.] thofe 
who approach to him by facrifices, particularly the annl- 
verfary facrifice which was provided (or all. 

But as the priefts were included in the foregoing 
words, * which they offer ;' fo by thefe comers, the people 
are intended, for whofe benefit the facrifices were offered j 

Vol. IV. C and 


aii^ thefe, if any, might be made perfed by the facrifices 
of the law, but it could not efFed it (iig to ^L-/ivi%cg) ahfo- 
Ititely^ completelyy and for ever ; it made an expiation, but 
it was temporary only, not for ever^ both in refpedV of the 
confciences of the worfhippers, and the outward efFe£ls of 
its facrifices. 

However, if any fliall think meet to retain the ordi* 
nary diftinftion of the words, taking the phrafe (sig to 
^i'/ adverbially, they offered them year by year con- 
tinuallyy then the neceffity of the annual repetition of thofe 
facrifices is intended. This they did, and this they were 
to do always whilfl the tabernacle was {landing, or the 
worfliip of the law continued. 

§ 9. (III.) From the whole verfe fundry things may be 

r. Whatever there may be in any religious inftitutions, 
and the diligent obfervance of them, if they come Ihort of 
exhibiting Chrift himfelf to believers, with the benefits of 
his mediation, they cannot make us perfed, nor give us 
acceptance with God. 

2. Whatever hath the leaft reprefentation of Chrifl, or 
relation to him, whilft in force, hath a glory in it ; the 
law had but a Jhadovj of him and his ofhce ; yet was the 
miniftration of it glorious ; and much more will that of 
the gofpei and its ordinances appear glorious, if we have 
but faith to difcern their relation to him, and his exhibi- 
tion of himfelf and benefits to us by them. 

3. Chrift and his grace were the only good things, that 
were abfolutely fo, from the foundation of the world, or 
tlic giving of the firil promife. Thofe who put fuch a 
valuation on the meaner uncertain enjoyments of other 
tilings, as to judge them their * good things,"* their goods, 
as they are commonly called ; and fee not that all which 
is abfolutely good is to be found in him alone ; (much 
more they who feem to judge almoft all things good be- 
fides, and Chrift with his grace * good for nothing,') will 
be filled with the fruit of their ovYli ways, when it is too 
iatc to change their minds* 

2 4. There 


4. There is a great difTerence between the fliadow of 
good things to come, and the good things aftually ex- 
hibited and granted to the church. This is the fiuida- 
mental difference between the two teftaments, the law 
and the gofpeh He who fees not, who finds not a glory, 
excellency and fatisfadlion, producing peace, reft and joy, 
in the aftual exhibition of thefe good things, as declared 
and tendered in the gofpel, above what might be attained 
from the ancient obfcure reprefentation of them, is a 
firanger to gofpel light and grace. 

5. The principal intereft and defign of them who come 
to God, is to have affured evidence of the perfed expia- 
tion of lin. 

6. What cannot be efFe£led for the expiation of fin at 
cnce^ by any duty or facrifice, cannot be effe£led by its 
reiteration ; thofe who generally feek for atonement and 
acceptance with God, by their own duties, quickly iindt 
that no one of them will effect their delire ; wherefore they 
place all their confidence in the repetition and multiplication 
of them ; what is not done at one time, they hope may be 
done at another-, what one will not do, many fhall ; but 
after all they find themfelves miftaken. For, 

7. The repetition of the fame facrifices doth of itfclf 
demonftrate their infufficiency for that end ; wherefore 
thofe of the Roman Church, who would give countenance 
to the facrifice of the mafs, by affirming that it is not ano- 
ther facrifice, but the very, fame that Chrift himfelf offered, 
efFeaually prove, if the apoftle's argument here infifted 
be good and cogent, an infufficiency in the facrifice of 
Chrift for the expiation pf fin ! 

C 7. 




Verse a. 


§ I. Jhe nature of ike frcfent argument. § 2. Jn ohjeeiloK 

.n7tn, \ 3~^- ^^-^ ^^"^ v^ords farther explained. & 6, 
7. (II.) Obfervations. ^ 

§1.1 HE words contain a confirmation by a new areu- 
inent of what was affirmed in the verfe foregoing take,, 
Jrom the frequent repetitions of thofe facrifices. The 
tnmg to be proved is the ' infufficiency of the law to 

perfea the worft.ppers by its facrifices,' and the prefent 
argument ,s taken fab effcBu, or afgno) from tlie effej, o, 
a demonftrative fgn of the infufficiency which he Lad 
before aiferted There is a variety in the original copies, 
fome having the negative particle («.) others oniitLg 
It ; If tliat negation be allowed, the words are to be read 
by way of interrogation ; ' would tliey not have ceafed to 

be offered? that is, they ^ould; if it be .;./«.^, the 
.ifertion is pofitive ; < they would have then ceafed to be 

ZZoA T'" "''' "° '■"''''°" ^°' *^'^ continuance, nor 
would God have appointed it ; and the notes of the infe 
rence (.=^a«y)> them, are applicable to either reading 

^ 2. In oppofit.on to this argument in general it may 
be laid that tins reiteration was not becaufe they did not 
^-/.<^/j CKpiate the fins of the offerer, but becaufe thofe 
for whom they were offered did again contraft the guilt 
gf^^n, and io flood in need of a rene^^^ed expiation of 

In anfwer to this ohjeaion which may be laid againfl 
he foundation of the apoftle's argument, I fay, thefe are 
j^. thmgs in the expiatipij gf fin. Firft, the efe^s of 


Vek... epistle to the HEBREWS. „ 

the facrifice ..W. G.^i„ making atonement; fecondl.. 

apoltle treats not oi the Utter which may be frequent ! 
repeated ; for of this nature are the ordLnces 'of "£ 
gofpd and our own faith and repentance ; for a ,«W 
paruapauon of the thing fignified is the only ufe o ", f 
trequent repetu.on of the fign. So, renewed ads of faith 
and repentance are contmually neceflkry upon the in- 
curfions of the new ads of fin and defilements ; but by 
none of thefe is there any atonement made for fin; the one 
great lacr.fice of atonement is applied to us, but is not to 
pe repeated by us, 

Suppofing therefore the end of facrifices to be mah.. 
atonement w>th God for fin, and the procuring of all at- 
tendant privileges, (which was the faith of the fews con 
cerning them) and the repetition of them invincibly proves 
-that they could not of themfelves effea that end 

Hence we may fee both the objiinaey and miferable fate 
of the prefent Jews. The law plainly declares, that 
%y.thout atonement by blood there is no remiffion of fins- 
this they expea by the facrifices of the law, and their 
frequent repetition ; but thefe they have been utterly de- 
prived of for many generations, and therefore they muft, 
on their own principles, die in their fins and under the curfe. 
And It IS hence alfo evident, that the fuperftition of 
the church of Rome, in their mafs, fwherein they pretend 
to offer, and every day to repeat, a propitiatory facrifice 
for the fins of the living and the dead) doth evidently de- 
monftrate, that they virtually difbelieve the efficacy of the 
one facrifice of Chrift. as onee offered, for the expiation 
or liii. * 

§ 3- (!•) The ' worjhlppers' (oi Kdjr^-vov^sg) are the 
lame with the comers, {ol 'nrpoa-^f^xof^^'^oi) in the verfe fore- 
going ; and in each place not the priefVs, but the peop/e for 
whom they ofFered, are intended ; and concerning them 
It IS fuppofed, that if the facrifices of the law could make 
themper/e<^, then would they h^ve been purged ; where- 
JorQ th^ latter (KOi9c^pi<^s(r9oii) is the efe^J of the former 


(^7:-X-iuj(ra.i') If the law did not make them -perfect ^ 
then were they not purged. 

This facred {v^(x,^a^jLo'\Lcq) purification takes away the 
condemning power of fm from the confcience, which was 
introduced on account of its guilt. 

§ 4. ' They fhould have had no more confcience of 

* fins ;' rather, they fhould not any farther have any 
confcience of fins. The meaning of the word is fm- 
gularly well exprelTed in the Syriac tranflation : * they 

* fhould have no confcience agitating, (toffing, difquiet- 
' ing, perplexing) for iins ;' no confcience judging and 
condemning their perfons for the guilt of f n, fo depri- 
ving them of folid peace with God ; it is (ouvc/o/^cr/j/ 
auccojioov^ confcience^ with refpeft to the guilt of fins, as it 
binds over the iinner to punifhment in the judgement of 
God ; now this is not to be meafured by the apprehenfion 
of the {inner, but by the true caufes cind groune/s of it — - 
that fm was not pcrfe^ly expiated. 

Tlie way and means of our intereft in the facriiice of 
Chrlft, is hj falih only ; now, even in this flate, it often 
falls out, that true beUevers have a confcience, judging and 
condemning them iox fin, no lefs than they had under the 
law ; but this trouble of confcience doth not arife hence, 
that fin is not perfedly expiated by the facrifice of Chrifl, 
but only from an apprehenfion, that they have not a due 
Intcreft in that facriiice, and its benefits. On the con- 
trary, under the Old Teflanient, they quellioned not their 
due iniereft in their facrifices, which depended on the per* 
formance of the rites belonging to them ; but their con^ 
fciences charged them with the guilt of fm, through an ap- 
prehenfion that their facrifices could not perfe£lly expiate 
it ; and this they found themfelves led to by God's in- 
flituted repetition of them, which had not been done, if 
they could ever make the worfliippers perfect ; but in the 
ufe of them, and by their frequent repetition, they were 
taught to look continually to the great expiatory facrifice, 
whofe virtue was laid up for them in ^he promife^ whereby 
they had peaQe with God, 


§ 5. « But in thofe facrifices there is a remembrance 
« again made of lins every year }' {uKKoc) but, this note 
of introdu£lion fufficiently intimates the nature of the ar- 
gument infilled on : had the worihippers been perfe<f^ed, 
they would have no more confclence for fins ; but, faitli 
he, it was not fo ; for God appoints nothing in vain, and 
he not only appointed the repetition of thefe facrifices, 
but alfo, that, in every repetition of them, there Ihould 
be a remembrance made of lin, as of that which was vet to 
be expiated. {Ej/ avjoic) in them ; * in thefe facrifices,' we 
fupply the defed of the verb fubflantive by, ' there is ;' 
for there is no more in the original than, * but in them a 
* remembrance again of iins/ The facrifices intended 
are principally thofe of the folemn day of expiation ; for he 
fpeaks of them that were repeated yearly, which are pe- 
culiarly fixed on, becaufe of the folemnity of their of- 
fering, and the intereft of the whole people in them at 
once. By thefe, therefore, they looked for the perfect 
expiation of lin. 

* A remembrance again made of fin ;' that is, by vir- 
tue of divine inflitution, whereon depends the force of the 
argument ; for this ' remembrance of iin," by God's own 
inllitution, was fuch as fufficiently evidenced, that the 
offerers had yet a confclence condemning them for iins, 
and hereby the apoflle proves effeftually, that thefe fa- 
crifices did not make the worihippers pcrfctl. "Their 
confeffion of fin was in order to, and preparatory for, a 
ncvj atonement aiid expiation of it ; our remembrance of 
fin, and confefiion of it, refpeds only the application of 
the virtue, and efhcacy of the atonement Once made, 
without the leaft defire, or expedation of a new pro- 
pitiation. Their remembrance of fin refpe£led the curfe 
of the law, which was to be anfwered, and the wrath of 
God, which v/as to be appeafed ; ours refpe£ls only the 
application of the benefits of the facrifice of Chrifl to our 
own confciences, whereby we may have^alTured peace with 

§ 6. (II.) Hence we may infer, 

I, The 


1. The difcharge of confcience from its condemning 
right and power, by virtue of the facrifice of Chrift, is the 
foundation of all other privileges we receive by the gof^ 
pel. "Where this is not, there is no real participation of 
any other. 

2. Ail peace with God is refolved into a purging 
atonement made for fin, ' being once purged/ 

3. It is by a principle of gofpel light alone, that con- 
fcience is diredWd to condemn all lin, and yet to acquit all 
linners that are purged ; its own natural light can give it 
no guidance in this matter. 

§ 7. I. An obligation to fuch ordinances of worfhip 
as could not expiate lin nor teftify that it was perfedlly 
expiated, was part of the bondage of the church under the 
old teflament. 

2. It belongs to the light and wifdom of faith fo to 
remember fin, and make confejfioyi of it, as not thereby 
to feek for a nevj atonement for it, which is made ' once 
for all: 

Confefllon of fin is no lefs neceiTary under the new 
teilament, than it was under the old ; but not for the 
fame end. The caufes and realbns of confefiion now are 
to affedt our own minds and conlciences with a fenfe of 
the guilt of fin in itfelf; fo as to keep us humble, and 
fill us with felf-abafement. He who hath no fenfe of fin 
but what confifls in a dread of future judgement, knows 
little of the myilery of our walk before God, and obedi- 
ence to him ; wherefore we do not (as the manner of 
fome is) make confefiion of fin a part of compenfation for 
the guilt, or a licence for the pradlice of it. 



Verse 4. 

por it is not possible that the blood of bulls 
and goats should take away sins. 

^ I. ^he important ends ofinjlituting the legal facrificesy though 
they could not take away fins. § 2. l^he impojfibility of atone- 
ment being made by them^ in the nature of the thing, § 3. 
'Taking away fin what, § 4. How impoffihle by the blood of 
hulls and goats, § 5. Obfervations, 

§ I. X HERE is no difficulty in the words, and v^ry 
little difference in the tranflations of them ; ' by the 
* blood of bulls and goats,' he intends ail the facrifices of 
the law ; now, if it be impoffible that they fhoald take 
away fin, for what end then were they appointed ? 

The anfwer which the apoftle gives, with refpeft to the 
law, in general, may be applied (with a fmall addition, 
from a refped to their fpecia I nature,) to .the facrifices of 
it, « they were added to the promife, becaufe of tranfgreffions,^ 
For God in and by them continually reprcfented to fin- 
ners the curfe and fentence of the law ; or, that death was 
the wages of fin ; for although there was allowed in them 
a commutation^ that t\\t finner himfelf fhould not die, but 
the beafi that was facrificed in his Head (which belonged 
to their/^^ow^end of leading to Chrill) yet they all tef- 
tified to the facred truth, that it is the judgement of 
God that ' they who commit fin are worthy of death.' 
He let no fin pafs without a reprefentation of his difplca- 
fure agalnfl it, though mixed with mercy directing to re- 
lief againft it, in the blood of the facrifice. Again; they 
were added as the teaching of a fchool-mafier to lead to 
Chrifl. By them was the church taught, and directed to 
look continually after that facrifice, which alone could 
really take away all fin ; and in this confifled, we may 
affirm, the principal exercise of grace under the Old Tef- 
lament osconomyo 


As to \hQ,\v fpec'ial nature^ they were added as the great 
Infiruthon in the way and manner, whereby fin was to be 
taken away ; for although this arofe originally from God's 
ipere grace and iiiercy ; yet, was it not to be accomplifhe^ 
by fovereign grace and power alone. Such a taking away 
of fin would have been inconfiflent with his truth, holinefs, 
and righteous government of m.ankind. 

Theie things evidently exprefs the wifdom of jQbd in 
their inllitution, although of themfehes they /sfould not 
take away fin 5 and thofe by whom thefe ends of them 
are denied, as they are by the Jevjs and Soclnians, can ^ive 
no account of any end of them, which anfwer the wifdom, 
grace, and holinefs of God. 

§ 2. ' For it is not pomble that the blood of bulls an4 
* goats,' If in the nature of the thing itfelf it was im- 
poffible that the facrifices, confifling of the blood of bulls 
and goats, fhould take away fin ; then however, when- 
foever, and by whomfoever they were offered, this eiFeiSt 
could not be produced by them ; wherefore, in thefe 
words, the apofile puts a clofe to his argument, and makes 
ynention of it no more, except for illuflration to fet forth 
the excellency of the facrifice of Chrill: ; (as ver. 1 1, and 
chap. xiii. 10 — 12.) The reafon why the apofile ex- 
prelTeth them by ' bulls and goats,' while yet they were 
calves and kids of the goats, hath been declared on chap, 
ix. ver. 11, 12. 

He makes mention of only the hlood of the facrifices ; 
whereas in many of them, the whole bodies were offered, 
and the fat of them all was burned on the altar, becaufe 
it was the hlood alone whereby atonement was made for iin ; 
and there is a tacit oppofition to the matter of the fa- 
crifice, whereby iin was really to be expiated, which was 
the ^ precious blood ofChrifl,' (as chap. ix. 13, 14.) 

§ 3. "rhat which is denied of thefe facrifices, is 
{oi'pa^iQztv aiLo^fjta-g) the taking away of fms, which is to make 
atonement for it, to expiate it before God by a fatisfac- 
tion given, or price paid, with the procurement of the par- 
ion of it, according to the terms of the new covenant. 
'-'■-■ Hq 

ys.R.4 EPistLE TO THE HEBREWS. 17 

He declares dlreftly and pofitively what he intends by 
this taking away of lln, and the cealing of legal facrifices, 
ver. 17, 18, * Theit fins and their iniquities will I re-* 

* itiertiber no more, now where remiffion of thefe is, there 

* is no more offerings for fin.' The cefiation of offerings 
fbllows dire^lly on the remiffion of lin, which is the effe(5t 
of expiation and atonement ; and not of the turning away 
of men frdm iin for the future. It is, therefore, owt juf* 
iification, and not even fandification, that the apoftle dif- 
courfeth of. It is, moreover, an a^ upon Jin itfclf^ 
and ndt inimediately upon the puier ; nor can it fignify 
any thing, but to take away the guilt of lin, that it fhould 
not bind over the linner to punifhment, whereon con- 
fcience for lin is taken away. 

§ 4. The manner of this negation is, that it was * im^ 
^ poffibW it fhould be otherwife ; and it was io^ not only 
from divine inJI'itution, but alfo from the nature of the things 
themfelves. It had nt> condecency to divine juflice ; in 
fatisfa£lion to juflice, by way of compenfation for injuries, 
there mufl be a proportion between the injury and the re-^ 
paration, that juflice may be as much exalted and glorified 
in the one, as it was deprelTed and debafed in the other ; 
but there could be no fuch thing between the demerit of 
lin, and the affront put on the righteoufnefs of God, on 
*hc one hand, and the reparation by * the blood of bulls 

* and goats/ on the other. 

§ 5. From thefe things we may obferve^ 

1. It is poffible that things may ufefully reprefent, what 
it is impoffible they themfelves fhould effefl. This is the 
fundamental rule of all inftitutions of the Old Tcllament. 

2. There may be great and eminent iifes of divine ordi- 
nances and inftitutions, although it be impoffible that in 
Themfelves, in their moft exad and diligent ufe, they 
fhould work out our acceptance with God ; and it be- 
longs to the wifdom of faith to ufe them to \X\tiv proper end. 

3. It was utterlv impoffible that lin fhould be taken 
ftWay before God, and from the finncr's confciencc, but by 
the blood of Chriii ; other ways, mea are apt to betake 

P 2 themfelves 

j8 an exposition OF THE Chap. X. 

themfelves to for this end, but all in vain. It is the blood 
of Jefus Chriil alone that cleanfeth us from all our fins ; 
for he alone was the propitiation for them. 

4. The declaration of the infufhciency of all other 
ways for the expiation of fin, is an evidence of the ho- 
linefs, righteoufnefs, and feverity of God againil it, with 
the unavoidable ruin of all unbelievers. 

5. Herein alfo confiils the great demonflration of the 
love, grace, and mercy of God, with an encouragement to 
faith ; in that, when the old facriflces could not perfectly 
expiate fin, he would not fuffer the work itfelf to fail, 
but provided a way that Ihould be infallibly efFe£live of it ; 
as in the following verfes : 

Verse 5—10. 

wherefore, vv'hin he cometh into the vv'orld, he 
saith, sacrifice and offering thouwouldest 
not, but a body hast thou prepared me ; in 
burnt offerings and sacrifices for sin thou 
iiast had no pleasure. then, said i, lo, i 


§ I, Introdu^lion and connexion, § 2. (I.) Expqfition of the 

words, § 3. Chr'ifTs coming, § 4. In vjhat fenfe God reje^ s 

■ the legal facr'ific^i and offaingu § 5. If hat k wills in their 


Ver. S-^io. epistle to the HEBREWS. ig 

f^ead^ § 6 — 8. The Pfahn'iJ}, Scptuagint^ mid Jpojllc re- 
conciled, \ 9 — 15. Expojition continued, § 16 — 19 (H.) 

^ I. IriERE we have the provifion God made to 
fupply the defed of legal facfifices, as to the expiation ot 
fin, peiice of confcience, &c. For the words contain 
the bleired undertaking of our Lord Jefus Chrift, to per-- 
form and fufFer all things required by the will, wlfdom, 
holinefs, righteoufnefs, and authority of God, to the 
complete falvation of the chnrch. 

This is a blefTed portion of divine writ fummarily 
reprefenting to us the love, grace, and wifdom of the 
Father ; the love, obedience, and fufFering of the Son ; 
the federal agreement between the Father and the Son, 
about the work of redemption a'^d falvatior., with the 
blelTed harmony between the Old and New feftament, 
in the declaration of thefe things. The divine authority 
and wifdom that here evidence themfelves are ineffable. 

§ 2. (L) (Alo) %vherefore, for which caufe, for which 
end. It doth not intimate why the words fo}iowing were 
fpoken, but why the things themfelves v/ere fo difpofed ;. 
* wherefore,' faith the apoftle, becaufe it was fo with the 
law, things are thus ordered in the wifdom and counfet 
of God ; (A'cyn) he faith ; the words may have a three- 
fold refpeft ; — as they were given out by infpi ration, and 
recorded in fcripture ; — as they were ufed by David the 
penman of the Pfahns, who fpeaks by infpiration, and 
as a type of ChrilL But David did not, would not, 
ought not in his oivn name and perfon reject the wo::.' ip 
of God, and prefent himfelf with his obedience \\\ its 
room, efpecially as to the end of facrifices in the --:pia- 
tion of lin. Wherefore, — the vvords are properly the 
words of our Lord Jefus Chrill ; ' when he cometh into 
« the world, he faith.' The Holy Ghoft ufeth thefe 
words ai his, becaufe they exprellivcly declare liis mir.d 
and refolution in his coming into the world. On con- 
fidering the infufficiency of legal facrinccs (the only ap- 


pearing means) to make re-coiiclliatioii with God, the 
Lord Chrift, that all mankind might not eternally periih 
under the guilt of lin, reprelents his ready willingnefs to 
tjndertake that work. 

§ 2. The fcafon of his fpeaking thefe words was^^ 

* when be cometh into the world,' (>.:/crcp;^o^x:->c^, veniensy 
or ventiirus) when the defign of his future coming into the 
world was declared, [fee Matt. xi. 3.] 

But as the words were not verbally fpoken by him, 
being only a real declaration of his intention ; io this ex- 
preffion of his ' coming into the w^orld/ is not to be 
confined to any one fingle a£i to the exclufion of others, 
but refpeds all the folemn a6ls of the fufception and dif- 
charge of his mediatory office for the falvation of the 
church ; but if any ihould rather judge that in this ex- 
preffion fome iingle feafon and a6l of Chrift is intended, 
it can be no other than his incarnation, by which he came 
into the world ; for this was the foundation of all that 
he did afcerwards, and that whereby he was fitted for his 
whole mediatorial w^ork. 

§ 4. (nnJDi n::v, ^va-toi, kc^a nv^^oa-^lG^oc) facrifice and of-ering ; 
in the next verfe the one of them, (^ucr/^) facrifice is dif- 
tributed into (ni^isn'i n'^ip rendered here oXoKavjojjLo^cc kcci. 
TTzJi oiU.ocDJioC'g) whole burnt offerings and facrifices for fin. 
It is evident that the Holy Ghoft, in this variety of ex- 
preffions, comprifeth all the facrifices of the law that had 
any refpedl to the expiation of iin. 

Of thefe facrifices it is affirmed, that God ' would them 

* not,' [ver. 5.] and that he ' had no pleafure in tliem,' 
ver. 6. (nvDn «*?, ^m s9iXy;(TG^g) thou wouldeft not ; thou 
didfl not defire. The Hebrew word is (van) to will freely 
and with delight. But this f^nfe the apoflle transfers to 
to the other word (n'^^u^) which he renders by (5^>c ch^oKr^trac 
ver. 6.) thou haft had no pleafure ; in the pfalm it is * thou 

* haft, not required^ w^herefore, if we grant that the w^ords 
tiled, by the apofi:le be not exa£t verlions of thofe ufed by. 
the pfalmifV, as they are applied the one to the other, yet 
it is evident that the full and exacl meaning of both is 
declared, which is funkient to his purpofe,- 


Ver. 5;— 10. EPISTLE TO THE HEBREWS. 21 

The mind of the Holy Ghoft is plain enough, both 
in the teflimony itfelf, and in the improvement of it by 
the apoftle ; for the legal facrifices are fpoken of only 
with refped to that end which the Lord Chrill undertook 
to accomplifh bv his mediation ; and this was the pc-fea 
real expiation of iin, with the julVification, fandification, 
and eternal falvation of the church ; wIli that perfecEt 
ilate of fpiritual worHiip which was ordiined for it ia 
this v/orld ; all thefe things were thefe facrifices appointed 
to prefigure ; but the nature and defign of this pretigura- 
tion being dark and obfcure, and the things fignified being 
utterly hidden as to their fpecial nature and the manner of 
their efficacy, many in all ages of the church expe£led 
them from thefe facrifices, and they had fome appearance 
of being ordained to that end. Therefore this is that, 
and that alone, with refpe6t to which they are here 
reje£led ; God never appointed them to this end, he r^ever 
took plea fur e in them in this view, they were infufficient 
in the wifdom, holinefs, and righteoufnefs of God to any 
fuch purpofe ; wherefore the fenfe of God concerning 
them, as to this end, is, that they were not appointed, not 
approved, not accepted. No new revelation, abfolutely, is 
intimated in the words * thou wouldefl not, thou tookeft 
, ' no pleafure,- but a mere exprefs declaration of that will 
and counfel of God, which he had by various ways given 
intimation of before, 

§ 5. The firft part of ver. 5. declares the will of God 
concerning the facrifices of the law ; the latter contains 
the fupply that God in his wifdom and grace provided, 
anfwerable to the mfufficlency of thefe facrifices ; and this 
is not fome^what that fhould help to make them efFeftual, 
but what fhould be introduced in cppojition to them, and 
for their removal ; but a body hall thou prepared me.' 
The adverfative, (h) but, declares that the way defigned of 
God for this end was of another nature than thefe facrifices 
were, and yet muft be fuch, as fhould not render thofe 
facrifices utterly uielefs from the firji injiitution, which 
-would refled on the divine wifdom ; for although the 
T^^al way of expi^iting fiu be \\y itfelf of another nature, 



yet were thofe facrifices meet to prefigure and reprefent it 
to the firiih of the church ; and therefore, faith Chrifr, 
the firfl thing that God did, in preparing this new way, 
was the preparation of a body for me, which was to be 
oitered in facrifice. 

And in the aniithejis intimated in the adverfative con- 
junction, refpeCt is had to the tvill of God ; as facrifices 
were what he ' zvould not' to this end ; fo this prepara- 
tion of the body of Chriil: was what ' he would,'' and was 
■well pleafed with, [ver. 9, lo.] 

§ 6. Wv. n uft, firfl, fpeak to the apoftle's rendering 
thefe words crc of the plaimift ; they are in the original, 
('■^nnD CD*r.4"; my ears haji thou digged^ bored^ prepared. All 
forts of C: it'ical writers and expofitors have fo laboured to 
refolve this difficulty, that there is little to be added to the 
indufrry of fome, and it were endlefs to confute the mif- 
takes of others ; I fnall therefore only fpeak briefly to it, 
fo as to nianifefc \\\q onenefs of the fenfe of both places; 
"and fome things muft be premifed : 

It doth not feem probable to me, tliat the Septuagint did 
ever tranflate thefe words as they are now extant in all the 
copies of that tranflation, [a-ooiLot, Si KtzlcoJKru) ^oi) but a 
body that thou freparedji me ; for it is not a tranflation^ of 
the original words, but an expofition of their meaning, 
which was no part of their defign ; if they made this ex- 
pofition, it was either from a mere conje(fture, or from a 
-Tight underffanding of the myftery contained in them; 
^the former is altogether improbable ; and that they un- 
derftood the mvftery couched In that metaphorical ex- 
prefTion (without which no account can be given of this 
verfion of the words) will not be granted by them who 
know any thing of thofe tranflators or their work; belides, 
there was of old a diff'ercnt reading of that tranflation ; for 
inftead of {(tmum) a body, fome copies have it {ccjicc) the 
ears, which the vulgate Latin follows ; an evidence that a 
change had been made in that tranflation, to comply witir 
the words ufcd by the apoille. 

The words, therefore, in this place were the words 
whereby the apojik eKprelTed the {^\\{t and meaning of the 



Holy Ghoft in thofe ufed in the pfalinift ; he did not take 
them from the Greek tranflation, but ufed them himfelf 
to exprefs the fenfe of the Hebrew text ; in vindication 
of this we farther remark, that fondry pajjagcs have been 
vnqueflionably taken out of the New Teftament, and in- 
ferted into that tranflation ; and I no way doubt hut it 
■hath fo fallen out in this place, fince no other fatisfactory 
account can be given of that tranflation as the words now 

§ 7. This is certain, that the fenfi intended by the 
pfalmiil, and that expreifed by the apoftle, are to the fame 
purpofe, and their agreement is fufficiently plain and 
evident ; that which is fpoken is, an a^ of God the 
Father towards the Son ; the end of it is, that the Son 
might hQ fit and meet to do the will of God in the way of 
obedience, fo in the text ; * mine ears hafl thou bored' or 

* a body hafl thou prepared me ; then faid I, lo, I come 

* to do thy will, O God.' This is the fi)!e end why God 
fo afted towards him. The afcription of ^^r^ to the Lord 
Chrifl by an aft of God, is a preparation of a flate and 
nature, as fliould be meet to yield obedience to him. In 
iiis divine nature sdone it was impoffible that he fhould 
come to do the will of God as our fubflitute, wherefore 
God prepared another nature for him, which is expreffed 

JynecdochicaUy by the ears for the whole body, and that 
lignificantly, becaufe as it is impoflible that any one 
fliould have ears of any ufe but by virtue of his having a 
body ; fo the ears are that part of the body by which 
alone injiruillon to obedience^ the thing aimed at, is received; 
this is that which is direftly expreifed by himfelf; [Ifa. 
lix. 4, 5.] ^ He wakejieth, morning by morning, he 

* wakeneth mine ear to hear as the learned ; the Lord God 

* hath opened mine ear, and I was not rebellious/ or, I was 
vbedient : and fo it is ail one in what iitn^Q you take the 
word ("13) whether in the more common and ufual, to 
dig, or bore, or in that to which ;t is fometimes applied, 
to fit and perfed. I do not judge there is any allulion to 
the law of ' bormg the ear of the fervant' that refufed to 
take liberty at the year of rcleafe ; nor is the word ufed 

Vol. IV. ' £ i'l 


in that cafe, but another (rn Exod. xxi. 6.) but it 
refpe6ls the framing of the organ of hearing which, as it 
were, is bared \ and the internal fenfe, in readinefs for 
obedience, is expreffed by the framing of the outward 
tnftriiment of hearing, that we may by that means learn 
to obey. 

Wherefore this is, and no other can be, the fenfe of 
the words in the pfalmift ; — that God the Father pre- 
pared for Jefus Chrift a nature wherein he might be free, 
and able to yield obedience to the will of God, with an 
intimation of the quality of it, in having ears to hear, 
which belong only to a body ; and this very fenfe the 
apoftle exprelleth in more plain terms, now after the aq- 
complifhment of what before v^^as only declared in prophecy, 
and thereby the veil is taken away. " 

There is therefore nothing remaining but that we give 
an expofition of the apoftle's words, as they contain the 
fenfe of the Holy Ghoft in the pfalm. 

§ 8. ' A body hall thou prepared me ;' a ' body is 
liere a fynecdochical expreflion for the human nature of 
Chrift J fo is ^ the Jle/Jj' taken, where he is faid to be 
* made fleih,' and the ' llefh and blood' whereof he was 
made partaker ; for the general end of his having this 
body was, that he might thereby do the will of God ; and 
the fpecial end of it was, that he might have what to 
offer in facriiice to God ; but neither of thefe can be 
confined to his body alone ; for it is the foul, the other 
effential part of human nature, is the principle of obe- 
dience ; nor was the body of Chrift alone^ offered in facri- 
iice ; ' he made his foul an offering for fin,' [Ifa. liii. 
10.] which was typified by the life that was in the blood 
of the facrifice ; but the apoftle both here and ver. lo. 
mentions only the body ; — to manifeft, that this offering 
of Chrift was to be by deaths which the body alone was 
fubje(fi: to ; and as the covenant was to be confirmed by 
this ofi-ering^ it was to be only by bloody which was con- 
tained in the body alone ^ and the feparation of it from the 
body carries the life along with it. 


Ver.-5— lo EPISTLE To THE HEBREWS. 2^ 

Concerning the body, it is afirmed that God prepared 
it for him ; that is, the Father ; for to him are thofc 
words fpoken ; * I come to do thy will, O God, a body 
* (kccIyiqIktoo ^01) haji thou prepared me \ that which * he 
' would,' was the obedience of the Son to his will ; this 
propofal the Son clofeth with ; * Lo, faith he, I come •,' 
but all things being originally in the hands of the Father, 
the provihon of things neceflary to tlie falHUing of the 
will of God, is left to him ; among thofe the principal 
was, that the Son fhould have a body prepared for him, 
that fo he might have fomewhat of his own to offer ; 
wherefore the preparation of it is in a particular manner 
affigned to the Father ; * a body haft thou prepared me.* 

§ 9. 'In burnt offerings and facrifices for iin thou haft 
' had no pleafure.' Chrift, whofe words in the pfalni 
thefe are, doth not only re-ajjlrt what was before fpoken 
in general, but aifo gives a more particular account of 
what facrifices they were which he intended. 

' Burnt offerings ;' the Hebrew word (nW) though 
lingular, is ufually rendered by the Greek {oKoyjx,\)]M^oc]a) 
plurally ; and the former word refers to the ajcendlng of 
the fmoak of the facrifices in their burning on the altar; 
a pledge of that yu'rf^ ^1;o«r, which fliould arife to God 
above, from the facrilice of Chrift here below ; and fome- 
times they are called (d>!!;«) firings, from the way of their 
confumption on the altar hy fire. 

The other fort is exprelTed by a word (ni^ton) which the 
Greek renders by {irsc^i (Zixa^oTiag) concerning fin ; for («tDn) 
the verb in Kal, iignifieth to fin, and in F'lel, to expiate 
Jin, Where it is taken in the latter fenfe, the Greek 
renders it by (Trspi ccfJMOTic/.g} * a facrilice /or y?>z,' («• a/w- 
cffering, which exprelTion is here retained, and Rom. v. 3. 
This facrifice, therefore, was appointed, both for the fins 
of the whole congregation, [Lev. xvi. 21.] and the fpecial 
lins of particular perfons. The one offering of Chrift 
was really to efie^I what all of them repre/lnted. 

Concerning all thefe facrifices, it is added (i^x, cvhKWccg) 
thou hadjl no pleafiurc. In oppofition to this, God gives 
teftimony from heaTcn concerning the Lord Chnft and 

E 2, iiis 


his undertaking. * This is my beloved Ton, {sk w cVooKYicra) 
inwhom I amivcll pleafed^ [Matt. iii. 17. chap, xvii 5. See 
Ifa. xHi. I. Ephef. i. 6.] This is the great antithefis be- 
tween the law and the gofpel \ * in facrifices and offerings 

* for fin, thou hadll no pleafure.' ' This is my beloved 
Son, in whom I am well pleafed.' 

§ 10. '' Then, faid I, lo, I come (in the volume of the 

* book it is written of me) to do thy will, O God.' ^litov) 
I faid. There is no neceflity, as was before obferved, that 
thefe very w^ords fliouW at any one feafon be fpoken by 
our Lord ; the meaning is : ' This is my refolution, this 
*^ is the frame of my mind and will.' Hence, whatever dif- 
ficulties afterwards arofe, whatever he was to do or fufFer, 
there was nothing in it, but what he had before folemnly 
engaged to God. (To/w-) then, or thereon ; for it may re- 
fpe6l the order of time ; though it is, as I judge, better ex- 
tended to the whole cafe in hand. When things were 
come to this pafs, when all the church of God's eleft were 
under the guilt of fm, and the curfe of the law, v/hen there 
was no hope for themfelves, nor in any divine inilitu- 
tion of worlhip ; when all things were at a lofs, as to our 
recovery and falvation ; then did Jefus Chrift, the fon of 
God, in infinite wifdom, love, and grace, interpofe him- 
felf in our behalf (I^y) behold ! A glorious fpeftacle it 
was to God, to angels and to men : To God, as it was filled 
with the higheft eife£ls of infinite goodnefs, wifdom, and 
grace, which all flione forth in their greatefl elevation 
and luflre. To angels, for in this their confirmation and 
ellablifhment in glory depended, [Ephef. i. 10.] which, 
therefore, they endeavoured (with fear and reverence) to 
look into y [I. Pet. i. 12, 13.] And as /c; men, the church 
of the elc£t, nothing could be fo glorious in cheir fight, 
nothing fo defirable. By this call of Chrift, * behold I 

* come,' the eyes of all creatures in heaven and earth 
ought to be fixed on him, to behold the glorious w^ork he 
had undertaken, and its wonderful accomplifliment. He 
came forth like the riling fun, with healing in his wings, 
or as a giant rejoicing to run his race. 



Th^ faith of the old teftament was, that he was thus 
to come ; and this is the life of the new, that he 2s come. 
They by whom this is denied, overthrow the faith of the 
gofpei, [I. John iii. 1—3.] He that did not exift before 
m the divine nature, could not promife to come in the 
human. God, and he alone, knew what was neceflary 
to the accomplifhment of his will ; and if it micrht have 
been otherwifeeffeaed, he would have fpared his o'nly Son,,- 
and not have given him up to death. 

§ II. The end of this promifing to come, is to do the 
will of God ; ' io, I come to do thy will, O God.' 

The ' will of God' is here taken for his eternal purpofi 
and defign, called the * counfel of his will,' [Ephef. i. 1 1'.] 
yet Chrift came fo to fulfill the will of God's purpofe, as 
that we may be enabled to fulfill the will of his command-, 
yea, and he himfelf\\?iA a command from God to lay down 
his life for the accomplifhment of this work. When the 
fulnefs of time was come, the glorious counfels of God, 
Father, Son, and Spirit, broke forth with light, like the fun 
in his flrength from under the cloud, in the tender the 
Son made of himfelf to the Father, ' io, . I come to da 

* thy will, O God ;' this, this is the way, the only way 
whereby the will of God might be accomplifhcd. Herein 
were all the riches of divine wifdom difplayed, all the 
treafures of grace laid open, all fhades and clouds dif- 
peiled, and the open door of falvation made evident 
to all. 

This will of God, Chrifl came to do, (to Trotyjcrcci) to 
efe^, to eflahUfh and perfc^ly fulfil ; he did it in the 
whole work of his mediation, from the fufception of our 
nature in the womb, to what he doth in his fupremc 
agency in heaven at the right hand of God. 

This fcems to me the firfl k\\{Q of the place ; I (hould 
not however, as I faid before, exclude the fenfc, that he 
fulfilled the will of his purpofe, by obedience to the will 
of his commands ; hence it is added in the pfalm, that 
he ' delighted to do the will of God, and that his law 

* was in the inidil of his bowels.' 

§ 12. 


§ 12. The laft thing is the ground and rule of this un- 
dertaking ; ' in the volume of the book it is written of 
* me.' 

The Socinlan expoiitors have a peculiar notion on this 
place. They fuppofe the apollle ufeth this expreilion, 
(fy K-(pciKi^i) in the volume^ to denote fome fpecial chapter 
or place in the law, and conje6ture it to be that of Deut. 
vxvii. 1 8, 19. David they fay, fpoke thofe words in the 
-pfalniy and it is no where faid that he fliould come to do 
the will of God, but in this place of Deuteronomy, as 
he was to be the king of that people ; but there can be 
nothing more fond than this empty conjefture. For, 

1. He that fpeaks, doth abfolutely prefer his own obe- 
dience^ as to worth and efficacy, before all God's inflitu- 
tions ; he prefents it to God, as that which is more ufeful 
to the church, than all the facrifices which God had 
ordained ; this David could not juilly do. 

2. There is nothing fpoken in Deuteronomy concerning 
the facerdotal office, but only of the regal; and in the 
pfalmijl there is no refpe6l to the kingly office, but only 
to the priefihood \ for the comparifon is made with the 
facrifices of the law, but the offering of thefe facrifices was 

exprellly forbidden to the kings ; as is manifelt in the 
inftance of king Uzziah ; [11. Chron. xxvi. 18 — 20. 
belides, there is in that place of Deuteronomy nothing 
that belongs to David in a peculiar manner. 

3. The words there recorded contain a mere prefcrip* 
tion of duty, no prediction of the event, which for the 
mofl part was contrary to what is required ; but the 
words of the pfalmift are a divine predi6lion which mull 
be aftually accompliffied. Nor doth our Lord Chrifl in 
them declare what yN2.^ prefcrihcd to him, but what he did 
undertake to do, and the record that was made of that 

4. There is not one word in that place of Mofea 
concerning the removal of facrifices and burnt offerings, 
which, as the apoflle declares, is the principal thing in- 
tended by the pfalmiil ; yea, the contrary, as to the in- 
tended feafon, is exprefsly alTerted ; for the king was to 



read in the book of the law continually, tliat lie might 
obferve and do all that is written therein, a part whereof 
confifts in the inftitation nnd obfervation of facrifices, 

5. This interpretation of the words utterly overthrows 
what they difpute for immediately before ; viz. that the 
entrance of Chrift into the world was not indeed his 
coming into this world, but his goh7g out of it and entering 
into heaven ; for it cannot be denied but that the obe^ 
dience of reading the law continually, and doing it, is to 
be attended to in this world, and not in heaven ; and this 
they feem to acknowledge fo as to recall their own expo- 
fition. Other abfurdities, which are very many in this 
place, I fhall not infift upon. 

§ I 3. ' In the volume of the book ;' {sv k^^oX^l) in 
the volume, or roll. But the Hebrew word (i3d) which we 
tranflate a book, doth not lignify a book as written in a roll, 
but only an enuntiation or declaration of any thing ; but 
another word (h'^jd) is properly a roll, and the words 
ufed by the pfalmift iignify, that the declaration of the will 
of God made in this matter was written in a roll. 

As the book itfelf was one roll, fo in the head, or the 
beginning of it, amongft the firft things written in it, is 
this recorded concerning the coming of Chrill: to do the 
will of God. Now this can be no other than thQ firji 
promife recorded Gen. iii. 15. In this promife, and the 
writing of it in the head of the volume, is the pfalmift's 
alTertion verified. However, the following declarations of 
the will of God are not excluded ; for indeed the whole 
volume of the law is nothing but a prediction of the co- 
ming of Chrifl, and a prejignification of what he had to 
do ; even that book which God had given to the church, 
as the only guide of its faith — the Bible — wherein all 
divine precepts and promifes are enrolled or recorded. 

§ 14. * Above when he fays,' he. What he defigned 
to prove was, that by the introduftion and eftablilhment 
of the facrifice of Chrift in the church, there was an end 
put to all legal facrifices ; and now adds, that the ground 
and reafon of this great alteration was the utter infufhci- 
ency of thefe legal facrifices in themfelves for the expia- 


tion of fin and fan£lification of the church. And ver. 9. 
he gives us this as the fum of his defign ; * He takes 

* away the firft, that he may ellablifh the fecond/ But 
the apoflle doth not here dirediy argue from the matter 
of the tellimony itfelf, but from the order of the wordsy 
and the regard they have in their order to one another ; 
for there is in them a two-fold proportion ; one concern- 
ing the rejedion of legal facrifices ; the other, an intro- 
duftion and tender of Chrill and his mediation. And 
he declares, from the order of the words in the pfalmift, 
tliat thefe things are infeparable, viz. the taking away of 
legal facrifices and the eJiabliJJjment of that of Chrift. 
Again, we may remark, he had refpe£l not only to the 
lemoval of the facrifices, but alfo of the law itfelf, whereby 
they were retained. Allowing thefe facrifices and otFe- 
lings all that they could pretend to,— r-that they were efta^ 
hllpjed by the law ; yet, notwi;hll:anding this, God rejects 
them as to the expiation of fin and the falvation of the 

After this was flated and delivered, when the mind of 
God was exprejjly declared, as to his rejedlion of legal fa- 
crifices and offerings, (to7c) then he faid, upon the grounds 
before mentioned, ' facrifice,' he. In the former words 
he declared the mind of God, and in the latter his own 
refolution to comply with his will, in order to another 
way of atonement, * Lo, I come to do thy will, O God.' 
It is evident, that thefe words (^avaia'zL to 7rpo7cv) * iakcth 

* away the ftrfi,^ intend facrifices and offerings, which he 
did not immediately, but declaratively, indicating the 
lime, that is, when the fecond fhould be introduced. 
The end of this removal of tlie firil was the eftablifhment 
of the fecond : this fecond, fay fome, is the v^^ili of God ;* 
but the oppofition made before is not betv^cen the will of 
God and the legal facrifices, but between thofe faofiecs and 
the coming of Chr'ift to do the will of God, Wherefore 

* xhe fecond' is the way of expiating fin, and of the com- 
plete fan£tification of the church by the coming and fa- 
crifice of Chrift, 

§ IS- 


§ 15. * By the which will we are fanaified through 
« the offering of the body of Jcfus Chriit once for all.* 
From the whole context the apoftle makes an inference, 
which comprehends the fubftance of the gofpel. (Hyiua-- 
IJ.SV01 ccr^sy) we arc farU'tificd, relates not only to the thingSy 
but alfo the time of the offering; for although all therein 
intended did not immediately follow on the death of 
Chrifl, yet were they all in it, as the effc£ls in their proper 
caufe, to be produced by virtue of it in their due time. 

This end of God, through offering the body of Chrifl, 
was the fan6tification of the church, * we are fandified.' 
The principal notion o'i fandificatlon, in the New Tefla- 
ment, is the effctling of real internal hol'mcfi in the perfons 
of believers by the change of their hearts and lives : but 
the word is not here fo to be reflrained ; nor is it ufed in 
that fenfe in this epifde, or at leaft very rarely. It is here 
plainly comprehenfive of all that he hath denied to the lavr, 
priefthood, and facrifices of the Old Teflament, with the 
whole church flate of the Hebrews under it^ and the ef- 
fe£ls of their ordinances and fervices ; particularly a com- 
plete dedication to God, in oppofition to the typical one ; 
a complete church ft ate for the celebration of fpiritual wor- 
fhip, by the adminiilration of the Spirit ; peace with God 
Upon a full and perfed expiation of fin, which he denies 
to the facrifices of the law, [ver. i. 4.] real internal puri^ 
jrcaticn^ or the fandtification of our natures and perfons ; 
the privileges of the gofpel, in liberty, boldnefs, and im- 
mediate accefs to God, in oppofition to that fear, bon- 
dage, diflance, and exclufion from the holy place of the 
divine prefence, under which they of old were kept. All 
thefc things are comprifed in this expreffion of the apoflle, 
' we arc fan^ificd.^ 

It was the ' will,' that is, the counfel, the decree of God, 
tliat the church fnould be fandified. Our Lord Chriit 
knew that this was the zvill of the Father, in whofe bolbm 
he was. And God had determined, which alio tlie Son 
knew and declared, the legal facrifices could not make 
effeaual this his will fo as that the church might be fanc- 
tified. Wherefore the ' will of God' here intended is 

Vol. IV. F nothing 


iiotliing but the eternal, gracious, free purpofe of his vvilJ, 
whereby he determiiied, or pnrpofed in himfelf, to re- 
cover a church out of loll mankind, to fanciify them to 
himfelf, and to bring them to the enjoyment of himfelf 
for ever, [fee Ephef. i. 4 — 9.] And this will is not at 
all Gppo fed to tjie legal facrilices, except when obtruded as 
the fufficient means of its accomplifhment. Our fandi- 
' fication is efje£ted by the ' offering of the body of Chiii!: :' 
— in tliat tliercby the expiation of our fins and reconci- 
liarion with God were perfectly wTought ; and thereby 
the whole church of the ele£l was dedicated to God : lie 
redeemed us thereby from the wliole curfe of the law, the 
original law of nature, and the covenant of Sinai ; thereby 
he ratified the new covenant and all its rich promifes ; iil 
Ihort, Chr'ijl cruel ficdis the wifdom of God, and the power 
of God to this end. (J^vra^pa-t) once for all^ once only ; it 
was never before that one time, nor fhall ever be cfter- 
vjards ; there remains no more ouering for iin ; and this 
dcmonllrates both the dignity and efficacy of his facriflce. 
Of fuch ivorth and dignity it was, that God abfolutely 
acquicfccd tlicrcin, and fmelled a favour of eternal rell in 
it ; and of fuch effcacy^ that the fandification of the 
chmxh was pcrfetlcd by it, fo that it needed no repe- 

§ 16. CII.) From thcfe vcrfes and their expofition we 
are furnilhed with feveral ohfcrvations : 

I. V/e have X.\\c folemn zvord of Chruf in the declaration 
he made of liis readinefs and wiilirjgnefs to undertaive the 
work of expiating iin, propofed to our faith, and engaged 
c.% tile fure anchor of our fouls. 

1, The Lord Chrill had an infinite profpe<fi: of all he 
was to do and fnffcr in tlie world, in the difcharge of his 
undertaking ; and an eternal evideiice it is of h'ls love^ .as 
alfo of the divine jvf'ice^ in laying all our fins on hirxi, 
feeing it was done by his own 'voluntary confent. ■ 

3. No facrilices of tlie law, not all of thtin altogether, 
were a means for the expiation of {iw fulted to the glory 
of God o-r nccciiltics ot our ioiils. 

4. God 


4. God may in his wil'dom appoint and accept of ordi- 
nances and duties to oiic end^ which he will rcjctl when 
they are appointed to another \ fo thofe facrlfices are in 
other places, for other ends, moil: {lri6llv enjoined. How 
exprels, how multiplied are his commands for good luorksy 
and our abounding in them ! yet when they are made 
the matter of our righteoufnefs, or regarded as fufficient 
to anfwer the end of our juft'ificatlon at the divine bar, 
they are defervedly rejected. 

§ 17. I. The fuprcme contrivance of the falvation of 
the church is in a peculiar manner afcribed to the peribii 
of tlie Father. 

2. The furniture of the Lord Chrift (though the Son, 
and in his divine perfon the Lord of all,) to the difchargc 
of his work of mediation, was the peculiar a£l of the 
Father ; He prepared him a body, he anointed him with 
the Spirit, it pleafed the Father that all fidnefs fhould 
dwell in him. 

3. Whatever God appoints and calls any to, he will 
provide for them all that is needful for the difcharge of 
fuch duties as come thereby to be incumbent on them ; 
as he prepared a body for Chrifl ; fo he will provide gifts, 
abilities, 2cc. fuitable to our proper work. 

4. Not only the love and grace of God in fending his 
Son, are continually to be admired and glorified ; but 
alfo the a6lings of infinite wifdom, in fitting and pre- 
paring his human nature, as every way meet tor the all 
important w^ork, ought to be the fpecial object ot our 

5. The ineffable, but yet diilinct, operation of the 
Father, Son, and Spirit, with refpeft to the human 
nature affumed by the Son, are not only an uncontroul- 
able evidence of their diftinft fubfiftence in the fame in- 
dividual divine elTence ; but alfo a guidance to faith, as 
to all their diflin£t actings towards us in the application 
of redemption to our fouls. 

§ 18. I. It is the will of God, that the church fliould 

take fpecial notice of this facred truth, that notli^ig can 

take away fin but the blood of Chrifl alone ; hence is 

F 2 ^^''^ 


the vehemency of the reje£lion of all other means in the 
repetition of thefe words. 

2. Whatever may be the ufe or efficacy of any ordi- 
nance of worfhip, yet if they are employed, or trufted 
to for fuch ends as God hath not deiigned, he neither 
accepts of our perfons in them, nor approves of the 
things themfelves. 

3. The foundation of the whole glorious work of falva- 
tion was laid in the fovereign will, pleafure, and grace of 
God, even the Father. Chrifl came only tq do his will. 

4. The coming of Chriji in the flefli was, in the wifdom, 
righteoufnefs, and holinefs of God, neceffary to fulfil his 
will, that we might be faved to his eternal glory. 

5. The fundamental motive to Chrifl's undertaking 
the work of mediation was the will and glory of God ; 
* lo, I come to do thy will.' 

6. God's records in the roll of his book are the 
foundation and warranty of faith, in the head and mem- 

7. The Lord Chriil, in all he did and fuifered, had 
continual refpe£t to what was written of him, [fee Matt, 
xxvi. 24.] 

8. In the record of thefe words, God was glorified in 
his truth ^ndi fatthftdnefs \ Chrifl was fecured in his work 
and undertaking ; a tejtimony was given to his perfon and 
office ; direBion is given to the church in all, wherein they 
have to do with God, namely, ' what is written \ the 
things which concern Chrift the Mediator, are {x,c(pa7us) 
the head of what is contained in the fame records. 

§ 19. I. Whereas the apoftle plainly diflributes all 
facrifices and offerings into thofe which were offered by 
the law, and that one offering of the body of Chrifl ; the 
pretended facrifice of the mafs is utterly rejeded from any 
place in the worfhip of God. 

2. God, as the fovereign law-giver, had always power 
and authority to make what alteration he pleafed in the 
orders and inflitutions of his worfhip. 

3. That fovereign authority alone is what our faith 
and obedience refpe£t in all ordinances of worfliip. 

4. As 


4. 'As all things from the beginning made way for the 
coming of Chrill in the minds of believers, lb every 
thing v/as to be removed out of the way that ihonld hinder 
his coming, and the difcharge of his work; law, temple, 
facrifices, mull ail be removed ; fo it mull be in our 
hearts, all things muft give way to him, or he will not 
come and take his habitation in them.. 

5. Truth is never fo effeftually declared, as when it Is 
confirmed by the experience of its power in them that 
believe it, and make profeilion of it. * We are fanc- 
• tified/ 

6. It is an holy glorying in God, and no unlawful 
boafti ng, for men openly to profefs what they are made 
partakers of by divine grace, 

7. It is the heji Jecurity in differences about religion 
(fuch as thefe wherein the apoftle is engaged, the greateft 
and highefl that ever were) when men have an internal 
experience of the truth which they profefs. 



§ I. Introdu^ion, § 2. (I.) Expofition of the ivords. § 3. 
The legal facrljices (Oiild not take away Jin* \ 4. But Chr'ijVs 


cne facrificc could* § 5, 6. IIo\v affccicd tovjards his cyiC" 
m'lcs, § 7, The perfeclion and effc^ of his Jacr'ijice^ § S 
— 10. (il.) Gbfcrvatlons^ 

§ I. _i_ FIESE words are an entrance into the clofe of 
the apoitle's elaborate bleued dilconrfe, concerning the 
priefthood and facrifice of Chrift, their dignity and ef- 
ficacy, which he finifhed in the following verfes, con- 
firming the v/hole with the teftiniony of the Holy Ghofl 
before produced. 

§ 2. (I.) ' And every pried,' 6cc. (K^/) and^ gives a 
farther reafon of the efficacy of Ch rift's facrifice, by a 
coraparifon o': it with thofe of the priefts, which were 
often repeated. (Jla,g i^psvg^ every prlcft ; that is, fay foine, 
every high p'lcji^ referring the whole to the anniverfary 
facrifice on the day of expiation ; but it cannot be here 
To reflrained, for now he makes application ol: what he 
had ipoken before of all the legal facrifices. 

And the followi n.g expreffion, {;o^'/]ks xoc^'' r,iJ.:Occy 
7\Hli^CjycrJv) Jiood m'lmftering every day, declares the conftant 
dlfcharge of the prieftly office in every daily mhiijlration. 
Therefore ^// the priefts, while it was in force, and their 
ijuhole office, as to all that belonged to the offering of facri- 
fices, are comprifed in the aftertion. 

Stood or Jlandeth ready for, and employed in the work 
of the prieftly office ; (Kzili^pyouy) m'lrnjlering, a genera! 
name of employment about all facred duties, fervices, and 
offices whatever ; (x.^^' -/jLL^poiv} day by day, as occafion 
required according to the appointment of the law ; for, 
befide the daily facrifice morning and evening, any man 
might bring his fin ofiering, and trefpafs offerifig, his 
peace offering, his vow, or free will offering to the prieft 
at any time to be offered on the altar. 

For this caufe they came to be always in readinefs to 
* pand mhifterlng da'ily^^ to which their office was confined. 
There was no end of their work, tliey were never brought 
to that ftate by them as the High Prieft might ceafe from 
the miniftering, and enter into a condition of reft ; they 



ail fell under the fame coufure, that they could not take 
away fin. 

§ 3. They ' conid not' (ttspis^jiv) take them out of the 
way \ that is, abfolutely, perfectly, as the word denotes, 
either from before God the judge, (ver. 4.) or as to the 
fiiiner's confcience, giving him aifured peace ; no, (fe-Wo/f 
^vvc/.vjai) they could not do it : the defeft was in their own 
nature ; therefore they could not do it by any means^ nor at any 
time. [Ifa. i. I i. IMich. vi. 6, 7.] If the apoflle proveth, 
beyond contradi6tion, that none of them can ever take 
away any fin, how much lefs can the Inventions of tnen. 
efFed that great end ? 

§ 4. * After he had offered one facriiice for (ins ;' he 
offered only one facr'ifice^ not many ; and it was but once 
offered ; and that before he fat down on the right hand of 
God, which was the immediate confequence of his oifcring, 
[fee on chap. vii. 3. chap. viii. i.] which here includes 
a double oppofition to, and preference above the flate of 
the legal priefls upon their oblations ; for although the 
high prieft in his anniverfary facrifice entered into the 
holy place, where were the viiible pledges of the divine 
prefence ; yet he fat not, hxitjiood in a poflure of humble 
rniniflration, fuinciently remote from any appearance of 
dignity and honour ; again, his abode in the typical holv 
place was for a fhort feafon only ; but Chrifl fat down at 
the right hand of God (c/^ to oiYivsKig^, in perpctuumj for 
ever, in. an unalterable ftate and condition, never to 
offer facrifice any more. God was abfolutely pleafed, fatif- 
fied, and highly glorified by his offering ; for if it had not 
been fo, the human nature of Chrifl had not been im- 
mediately exalted into the higheft glory of which it was 
capable, [fee Ephef. v. 1,2. Phil. ii. 7 — 9.] 

§ 5. ' From henceforth expefting till his enemies be 
* made his footflool.' I acknowledge my thoughts are 
ir,clined to a peculiar interpretation of this place, though 
I will not oppofe abfolutely what is commonly received ; 
the alTertion is introduced by (to Koiti'ov) henceforth^ fay 
we, as to what remains, that is, of the difpsnfation of the 
peribnal miaillry of Chrift ; He came lo his own, very 



few believed on him ; the generality of the people, the 
rulers, priefls, and guides of the church, engaged againft 
him, perfecuted, falfely accufed, killed, and crucified him. 
Under the veil of their rage and cruelty, he carried on his 
work, taking away fin by the facrifice of himfelf. Having 
fulfilled this work, and thereby wrought out the eternal 
falvation of the church, * he fits down on the right hand 
* of God ;* yet did they triumph, that they had prevailed 
againfl him, and dcftroyed him, as fome of their pof- 
terity do this day. It was the judgement of God, that 
thofe, his obilinate enemies, fhould, by his power, be ut- 
terly deilroyed in this world, as a pledge of the eternal 
dellrudion of thofe, who will not believe the gofpel. 
[Matt. xxii. 7. Luke xix. 27.] 

After our Lord Chrill left this world, there was a 
mighty conteji between the dying apoftate church of the 
Jews, and the rifing gofpel church of believers. The 
Jews boailed on their fucccefs — in that they had defiroyed 
him as a maiefaclor. The apoftles and the church gave 
tcilimony to his re.furre£lion and glory in heaven. Great ex- 
pectation there was, what would be the end of thefe things, 
which way the fcale ihould turn. After a while, a vifible 
and glorious determination was made of this controverfy ; 
God lent forth his armies, and deflroyed thefe murderers, 
burning up their city. Thofe enemies of the King, which 
would not have him to reign over them, were brought 
forth, and fiain before his fr.ce ; and fo were all his ene- 
mies made his footftool. 'Thefe^ I judge, are the enemies 
of Chrift, and this the making of them his faotftool. 

This defcription of his enemies, as hisj peculiarly 
dire£ls to this interpretation ; thefe being peculiarly thcr 
enemies of his perfon^ do^lrliie, and glory ^ with wliom he 
had fo many contells, and whofe blafphemous contradic- 
tions he patiently underwent ; and to this, the word, 
{^y^iyjjiL'zVo^) espcding^ better anfwers, than to the other 
fenfe ; tor the vifible propagation of the gofpel was carried 
..on glorioufly after the deflruftion of Jerufalem, and thefe 
his enemies \ and expetlation may be no iefs diflin£lly af- 




cribed to him, in reference to this event, than if wc ex- 
tend the word to the whole time, to the end of the world. 

The aa of vengeance on thefe his enemies, is not faid 
to be his own, but is peculiarly alligned to God the Father, 
who employed the Romans, by whom thefe rebellious 
foes were, as the footfiool of Chrii\, abfolutely trodden 
under his feet. 

§ 6. I leave this interpretation to the thoughts of the ju- 
dicious, and fhall further confider them according to the 
generally received opinion, (O/ syjpoi) ' his enemies. He 
hath had many enemies fince his exaltation, and fo 
fhall have to the confummation of all things, when they 
fliall all be triumphed over. All the devils are in a com- 
bination, as fworn enemies to the perfon of Chrift and his 
kingdom ; and for men, the whole world of unbelieving 
Jews, Mahometans, and Pagans, pernicious heretics and 
falfe profeffors, are all in different refpeds his enemies ; 
but * they Ihall be made his footftool ;' (f^g- 7s9ootiv) ' «w- 
* til they he put ;' they fhall be placed in this condition, 
whether they will or no, as the word fignifies. (Tttctto^/cv 
tcajv TTohoov cyjjjoov') ' the footjlool of his feet, ^ a dcfpifed con- 
<]uered condition ; a Hate of a mean fubjefted people, de- 
prived of all power and benefit, and brought into abfolute 
fubjc^ion. They fat on thrones, but now are under the 
feat, yea under the feet of him, who is the only potentate. 
They fhall not hurt, or deftroy in the Lord's holy moun- 
tain. Sin, death, the grave, and hell, as to their oppolitioii 
to the church, Ihall be utterly de{lroyed,[ L Cor. xv. 5 5 — 5 7 . ] 
The word (scjcg) until, hath here refpe(5t to both the gradual 
and fnal deftrudion of all the enemies of Chrift. * Hence- 
^ forth expc^ing ;' expectation and waiting are afcribed to 
Chrift, as they are in the fcripture to God himfelf, only 
in the improper fenfe of the terms ; not including hope, or 
uncertainty of the event, or a defire of any thing, other 
wife than as they are foreknown and determined ; but ex^ 
peeiation here is the reft, and complacency of Chrift in the 
/Y?/V-y/J/2>?/} of God's promifes, and his infinite wifdom as 
to the feafon of their accomplifhment ; but, faith the 
apoftle, as to ' what remains' to the Lord Chrift, in the 
Vol. IV, G difchargc 


difcharge of his office, he is henceforth no more to offer ; he 
is for ever in the enjoyment of the glory that was fet before 
him, fatisfied in the promifes, the power, and wifdom of 
God, for the complete effecting of his mediatory office, in 
the eternal falvation of the church, and by the conqneft 
and dellru6lion of all his and their enemies in their proper 
times and feafons. 

§ 7. ' For by one offering he hath perfefted for ever 

* them that are fan^lified.' He did not repeat his offering 
as the legal priefls did theirs ; he is fat down at the right 
hand of God, expecting his enemies to be made his foot- 
llool, (wlierein they had no ffiare after their oblation) be- 

* caufe, by one offering he hath for ever perfected them that 

* are fandtified.' This being done, there is nothing that 
fhould detain the Lord Jefus out of the poffeffion of his 
glory. (M/dPi 7rpocr(po^<?^) hy one offering ; the eminency of 
which the apoille had before declared, and which here he 
refers to. — ' Them that are fanftified ;' thofe who are de- 
dicated to God by virtue of this facrifice, and to whom 
all the other effefts are confined. Firfl, to /2??;/7//)' and then 
to perfed them^ was the deiign of Chrifl in offering himfelf. 
So the church of Ifrael was firfc ' fan£lified,' dedicated to 
God by the facrifices, wherewith the covenant was con- 
firmed, [Exod. xxiv.] and afterwards pcrfe^ed, fo far as 
their church flate and worihip would permit ; but now 
he hath brought them into the mofl perfe6i and confum- 
mate church Jiate^ aiid relation to God, that the church is 
capable of in this world, [ug to Ir/iVcXcg) far ever, fo that 
there fliall never be any alteration made in that flate, nor 
even any addition of privilege. 

& 8. (II.) From this interpretation of thew^ords, we 
may make thefe obfervations : 

1. If all thofe divine inflhutions, in the diligent obfcr- 
vance of them, could not take avjay fn^ how much lefs can 
anv thing, that we can betake ourfelves to, avail to that 

end ? 

2. Faith in Chriff jointly refpefts both his oblation of 
himfelf by death, and the glorious exaltation that enfued. 
He fo offered one facrifice for fin, as that in confequeuce 



of it, be fat down on the right hand of God for ever. 
Neither of xXiciQ feparately is ^full objett for faith to find 
reft in ; but both in conjundion are an immoveable rock 
to build on. And, 

3. Chrift, in this order of things, is the greateft ex- 
ample of the church. Y{q fuffered, and then entered into 
^hry. * If we fuffer with him, we lliali alfo reign with 
• him.' 

4. The horrible deftruflion of the ftubborn enemies of 
Chrift's perfon and office among the Jews, is a ftanding 
fecurity of the endlefs deftrudion of all who remain his 
obftinate adverfaries. 

§ 9. It was the entrance of fm, which raifed up all 
our enemies againft us ; from them came death, the 
grave, and hell. 

2. The Lord Chrift, in his ineffable love and grace, 
put himfelf between us and our enemies ; and took into 
his breaft all their fwords, wherewith they were armed 
againft us. 

3. The Lord Jefus by the offering of himfelf, making 
peace with God, ruined all the church's enemies ; for all 
their power arofe from the juft difpleafure of God, and 
the curfe of his law. 

4. It is the foundation of all confolation to the church, 
that Chrift, even now in heaven, takes all our enemies to 
be his, in whofe deftrudion he is infinitely more con- 
cerned than we are. 

5. Let us never efteem any thing, or any perfon, to 
be our enemy, but only fo far as, and in wliat, they are 
the enemies of Chrift. 

6. It is our duty to conform ourfelves to the Lord 
Chrift, in a quiet expedatlon of the ruin of all our fpiritual 

7. Envy not the condition of the moft proud and 
cruel adverfaries of the church ; for they arc abfolutcly in 
his power, and fhall be caft under his footftool at the ap- 
pointed feafon. 

§ 10. I. There was a glorious efHcacy in the one of- 
fering of Chrift. 

G 2, The 


2. The end of it muft be efFeftually accomplifhed to- 
wards all for whom it was offered ; or elfe it is inferior 
to the legal facrifices, for they attained their proper end. 

3. The fan^lification and perfenlon of the church being 
the defigned end of the death and facrifice of ChriH, all 
things neceliary to that end mufl be included. 

Verses 15 — 18. 


§ I. ne connection and dejign of the words, "^he latter -part 
of them cUipt'icaL § 2. An ohjc^lon Implied and anfjjered ^ 
§ 3. ''The words have been before explained. The apojiles 
argument from them, § 4. The doHrinal part of this 
ep'ifle concluded. Ihe author'' s devout acknowledgement of 
divine ajffance in this laborious work, 

§ I- X HE foundation of the whole preceding difcourfe 
was laid in the defcription of the new covenant, whereof Jefus 
was the mediator, which was confirmed, and ratified by 
his facrifice^ as the old covenant was by the ' blood of bulls 
' and goats,' [chap. viii. 10 — 13.] Having now abun- 
dantly proved what he deligned concerning them both, 
his /)ri£/?^0!?<.'/ and \u'^ facrifice^ he gives us & confirmation of 
the whole, from the tejUrnony of the Holy GhofV, l]tv. 
xxxi.] in the defcription of that covenant w^hich he had 

giveix— i8. EPISTLE TO THE HEBREWS. 43 

given before ; and becaufe the cr'ifis which he had brought 
his argument to was, that the Lord Chriil, by reafon of 
the dignity of his perfon and office, with the everlafting 
efficacy of his facrifice, was to offer himfelf ^^^/^«rf, which 
includes an immediate demonilration of the infufficicncy of 
all thofe facrifices which were often repeated, and confe- 
quently their , removal out of the church ; he returns to that 
paflage of the Holy Ghoft, for the proof of this particular 
aifo, froin the order of the words. 

Wherefore there is an eUlpJls in the words, which mull 
have a fupplement to render the fenfe perfe£l : * after he 
* had faid before, [ver. 11.] he fald ;' that is, after he had 
fpoken of the internal grace of the covenant, he fald this 
alfo, that their fins and iniquities he would remember no 
more ; for from thefe words doth he make his condujive 
hifer£nce,{Ntr. 18.] which is the fum of all that he de- 
iigned to prove. 

§ 2. The Hebrews might objed to him, as they were 
always ready enough to do it, that all things were but his 
ovjn concluiions, which they would not acquiefce in, unlefs 
confirmed by fcripture teflimonies ; therefore he appeals 
to their own acknowledged principleis of the Old Tefl:--- 
ment ; fo manifefling, that there was nothing now pro- 
pofed to them in the gofpel, but what was promifed and 
reprefented in the Old Teftament, and was therefore the 
cbje;^ of the faith of their fore-fathers. 

The author of this tellimony is ' the Holy Ghojl \ not 
only as holy men of old wrote as they Vvere afted by him, 
and fo he was the author of the whole fcripture ; but be- 
caufe, alfo, of his continual prefence and authority in it, 
(lj.oipjvp-i) he bears zultnefs a6i:uaily, and conftantly by his 
authority in the fcriptures ; not to us cjily^ who are apolTlcf, 
and other chriflian teachers, but to all of us ^ Ifraelites, 
who acknowledge the truth of the fcriptures, and own 
them as the rule of our faith and obedience. (Kcxi to 
Trvsvu^oc Tooryiov) even alfo the Holy Spirit hlmfclf. Herein 
we are direfted to his holy divine perfon^ and not an exter- 
nal operation of divine power ; and it is that Holy Spirit 
himfelf, who continueth to fpeak to us in the fcripture. 



§ 3. The words themlelves have been explained at 
large on chap. viii. where they are firft produced. We are 
here only to coniider the apoftle's argumcjit from the lat- 
ter part of them ; which is, that the covenant being con- 
firmed and eflabhlhed, by the one facrifice of Chrift, 
there can be no more ofrering for lin ; for God will never 
appoint wiiat is needlefs in his fervice, leaft of all in things 
of fo great importance as offering for Jin ; yea, the con- 
tinuation of fuch facriiices would overthrow the faith of 
the church, and all the grace of the new covenant ; for, 
faith the apoftle, and the Holy Ghofl teflifieth, that as it 
was confirmed by the one facrifice of Ch rift, perfect pardon 
and forgivenefs of fin is prepared for the whole church, 
and tendered to every believer. To what purpofe then 
Ihould there be any more offerings for fin ? Yea, they 
who look for, and truft to any other, defpife the wifdom 
and grace of God, the blood of Chrift, and the witnefs of 
the Holy Ghofl, for which there is no remiirion, [ver. 
28, 29.] 

§ 4 And here we are come to a full end of what we 
may call the dogmatical part of this epiflle, a portion of 
fcripture filled with heavenly and glorious myfteries, and 
may well be termed, in a {q\\{q^ * the light of the Gentile 
* church, the glory of the people Ifrael,' the foundation, 
and bulwark of evangelical faith. 

I do therefore here, with all humility, with a fenfe of my 
own weaknefs and utter difability for fo great a work, 
thankfully own the guidance and affiftance, which hath 
been given me in the interpretation of it, as a mere effect 
of fovereign and undeferved gr.^ce ; from that alone it is, 
that having, many and many a time, been at an utter lofs 
as to the mind of the Holy Ghofl, and finding no relief 
in the worthy labours of others, he hath gracioufly an- 
fwered my poor weak fupplications in fupplies of the 
lijjcht and evidence of truth. 


Ver. 1.9— 23. EPISTLE TO THE HEBREWS. 4S: 

Verses 19 — 23. 

having therefore, brethren, boldness to en- 
ter into the holiest by the blood of jesus, 
by a new and living way, which he hath 


^i. The apofllcs prof ejpddeftgn. The fuhjca fcaled, §2—6. 
(I.) The ground and rea I on of the exhortation, § 7 — 10. 
(II.) The manner of our if rig this privilege, § 11, 12. (III.) 
The fpecial duty exhorted to. §13—16. (IV.) Obferva- 

§ I. In thefe words the apoflle enters on the la ft part of 
the epiftle, which is ahogether hortatory ; for though there 
be fome occafional intermixtures of dodrines, confonant 
to thofe before infifted on, yet the prcfcjjcd dc/Jgn is to pro- 
pofe to, and prefs on the Hebrews fuch duties as the 
truth he had infilled on direft to, and make necelfary to 
^11 behevers ; and in all his exhortations there is a mixture 
of the ground of thofe duties, their necelTity, and pri- 
vilege. In thefe words there are three things : 

I. The grovrrd and reafon of the duty exhorted to, with 
the foundation of it, as the fpecial privilege of the gofpel, 

[vcr. 19 — 21.] . 

II. The way and manner of our ufing this privilege \o 

that end, [ver, 22.] 


III. The fpecial duty exhorted to, which is, per/ever ance^ 
and conftancy in believing, [ver. 23.] 

§2. (I.) Having therefore, {cJocX^^oi) brethren, he hath 
in this appellation a peculiar refpe£l to thofe among the 
Hebrews, who had received the gofpel mjtncerity ; had he 
called them heretics and fch'ifmatics, and I know not 
what other names of reproach, he had, in all probability, 
' turned that which was lame quite out of the way ;' but 
he had another Spirit, was under another conduit of 
wifdom and grace, than moil men are now acquainted 
with. (Ouy) therefore^ feeing that things are now made 
manifeft to you, feeing it is fo evidently teflified unto in 
holy writ, that the old covenant facrifices and worfliip 
could not make ns perfect, nor give us accefs to God ; 
and feeing all things are accomphfhed by the office and 
facrifice of Chrift ; and feeing privileges are thereon 
granted to believers which they were not before made par- 
takers of; — let us make ufe of them to the glory oi God, 
and our own falvation, in the duties which they necef- 
fariiy require, and which duties are utterly inconliftent 
with Mofaical worihip. We may now freely enter into 
the holiell by the blood of Jefus ; but an entrance, in 
any fenfe, into the moft holy place, is inconiiflent with, 
and deflruftive of all Mofaical inllitutions. — ' Ha.ving 
* therefore boldnefs to enter into th'e holieft ;' the privi- 
lege intended is diredly oppofed to the ilate of things 
"under the law ; they therefore are utterly miflaken who 
fuppofe this entrance to be an entrance into heaven after 
this Ufe for all believers ; for the apoftle doth not here 
oppofe the glorious ftate of heaven to the church of the 
Hebrews, and their legal fervices ; but the privileges of 
the gofpel fate and worihip only ; neither were believers 
then alfo excluded from heaven after death, any more 
than now ; therefore the privilege mentioned coniiils in 
our drawing nigh to God in holy fervices and worfhip 
through Chrift, [ver. 22, 23.] 

{WayjO'/lTia.v) boldnefs. There were two things with 
refpe£l to thofe worfhippers in this matter ; — a legal pro- 
hibition from entering into the holy place ; and — a dread 



and'fear, which deprived them of all boldnefs, or holy- 
confidence, in their approaches to God ; therefore the 
apoflle exprefleth the contrary frame of believers under 
the New Teftanient by a word that fignifieth both liberty^ 
or freedom from any prohibition, and boldnefs with con- 
fidence in the exercife of that liberty ; we have a right 
to it, we have liberty without reftraint, and we have con- 
fidence without dread. 

* To enter into the hoUeft ;' that is, the true fanauaijy 
the holy place not made with hands, [fee chap. ix. 11, 
12.] the immediate gracious prefence of God himfelf in 
Chrift Jefus. Whatever was typically reprefented in the 
mofl holy place of old, we have accefs to, even to God 
- himfelf, in one Spirit by Chrift. 

§ 3. (Ev T(jo ai^a]i IscTii} by the blood of Jefus, the 
procuring caufe of this privilege, and which is the fame 
with his facrifice^ or the once offering of his body. By 
its oblation^ all caufes of diflance between God and be- 
lievers were removed ; it made atonement for them, an- 
fwered the law, removed the curfe, broke down the 
partition wall, or the law of commandments contained 
in ordinances, wherein were all the prohibitions of ap- 
proaching to God with boldnefs. — Again, there are not only 
hinderances on the part of God lying in the way of our 
accefs to him, but alfo the confciences of men, from a 
ienfe of guilt, were filled with fear and dread, and durfl 
not fo much as defire an immediate accefs to God. The 
efficacy of the blood of Chrifl being, through believing. 
Communicated to them, takes away all this difcouraging 
fear, being accompanied with the Holy Spirit as a Spirit 
of liberty. 

§ 4. Having told us that we have, [tv\v sicro^oy) an entrance 
into the holiefl, he now declares by what way we may 
enter; the way into the holiefl under the tabernacle was * a 

* pafTage with blood through the fanfluary, and then a 

* turning aiide of the veil,' as we have declared before ; 
but the whole church was forbidden the ufe of this way, 
and it was appointed for no other end but to fignily, that 

Vol. IV. H ^^ 


in due time there ihould be a way opened to believers to 
the prefence of God, which was not yet prepared. 

The preparation of this way is by (^syy^a.vLo-^og) a de- 
dication ; the word (zyKo^rJi^oo) hath a double fignification, 
one natural, the other facred ; which yet are of no 
affinity to one another. In things natural^ it is to make 
ncju^ fo as to be ready for ufe ; in things facred^ it is to 
dedicate or confecrate any thing, at its firfl eredion or 
making, to facred fervices ; the latter fenfc, as in our 
tranflation, is here to be embraced, yet fo as it includes 
the former alfo ; for it is fpoken in oppolition to the de- 
dication of the tabernacle, and way into the moft holy- 
place, by the blood of facrifices, whereof we have treated 
in the ninth chapter ; fo was this way into the holy place 
dedicated, and fet apart facredly for the ufe of believers, 
fo that there never can be any other way but — by the blood 
of Jefus ; and the way itfelf was moreover new prepared 
and made, not being extant before. — The properties of 
this way are two : 

1. It is {7rQoa-(poc]og) new, becaufe it was but newly 
made and prepared ; belongs to the new covena?it, and ad- 
mits of no decays, but is always new, as to its efficacy 
and ufe, as in the day of its firft preparation ; whereas 
that of the tabernacle waxed old, and fo was prepared for 
a removal ; but this way Ihall never be changed, fhall 
never decay, being always new. 

2. It is (o-O'jcra.v) livings not only in opposition to the 
■way into the holieil in the tabernacle, (which was a fure 
caufe of death to any one that fliould make ufe of it, the 
high prieil only excepted, and he but once a year ;j but 
alfo as to its ejfflcacy ; it is not a dead thing, but hath a 
fpiritual vital efficacy in our accefs to God, and effeftually 
leads to life everlafing. 

This ' new and living way of our approach to God' 
is nothing but the exercife of faith for acceptance with 
God bv the facrifice of Chrift, according to the revelation 
made of it in the gofpel. 

§ 5. ^ Through the veil ;* referring to that between 
tlie fan6luary and the moft holy place, which we have 


Ver. 19— 23- EPISTLE TO THE HEBREWS. 49 

before defcribed, (chap, ix.) What this veil was to the 
high prieft in his entrance into that holy place, that is 
the flejh of Chnft to us in our approach to God. He, 
indeed, entered into it by turning the veil aftde, on whom 
it immediately clofed again ; but there could be no paf- 
fage laid open, no general abiding entrance into that holy 
place, unlefs the veil was rent and torn in pieces, fo that 
it could clofe no more. Hence, on our Lord's death, 
the veil of the temple was ' rent from the top to the 

* bottom ;' iignifying that, by virtue of the facrifice of 
Chrift, whereby his flefli was torn and rent, we have a 

full entrance into the holy place, fuch as would have been 
of old upon the rending of the veil. This, therefore, 
is the genuine interpretation of this place ; ' we enter 

* with boldnefs to the moll holy place through the veil,' 
that is to fay, his flefh, * by virtue of the facrifice of 

* himfelf, wherein his flefli was rent, and all hinderances 
' taken away.' Of all which hinderances the veil was an 
emblem, until it was rent and removed. 

§ 6. ' And having a great high priefl over the houfc 

* of God.' Having is underftood from ver. 19. It may 
be faid, that notwithllanding the proviiion of a nevj zvay 
into the holiefl, and boldnefs to enter, yet in ourfelves 
we know not how to do it, unlefs we are under the con- 
dud of a prieji, as the church of old was in its worfliip. 
The apoftle removes the difcouraging thought; ' we have 

* a great High Prieft,' {0 great, as that he can fave us to 
the uttermoft ; fo glorious, that we ought to apply our- 
felves to him with reverence and godly fear. * Over the 
^ houfe of God ;' intimating what he is and doth after 
his facrifice, now he is exalted in heaven ; for this was 
the fecond part of the high prieft's office. He is over the 
houfc of God to order all things to his glory, and the 
falvation of the church. * The houfe of God,' that is, the 
nvhole houfc, the family of heaven and earth, and parti- 
larly the church here below, to whom this encourage? 
ment is given, that they have a High Prieft as a motive 
of drawing nigh. And it is in the heavenly fan^uary he 
adminiflereth the houfe of God above, into which wc 

H 2 enter 


enter by our prayers and facred worfhip ; — * fo is he for 

* ever over his own houfe.* 

§ 7. (XL) The w3,y and manner of ufing the above? 
privilege. ' Let us draw near (TTpocTcp'/jOiMiSa,) with a true 

* heart;' the word whereby the whole performance of all 
folemn divine vvorihip was conftantly exprefled ; for God 
having fixed the Jigns of his prefence to a certain place, 
the tabernacle ai^d altar, none could worfhip him but by 
an approach to that place ; every thing in their w^orfhip 
was an approximation to God. And feeing their taber- 
nacle, temple, altar, he. were types of Chrill, and the 
gracious prefence of God in him, this * drawing near* 
containeth all the holy vvorfliip of thp church, both pub- 
lic and private, or * all the ways of our accefs to Goc} 
' by Chrift.' 

(M.-T^ ocXrfiiVYig K<x(jSiag) with a true heart, God in aix 
efpecial manner requireth * truth in the inward parts,' ir^ 
all that come to him, [Pfal. li. 6. John iv. 24.] Now 
\ truth'' refpe6ts either th€ mind, and is oppofed to falfe- 
hood, or refpe£ls the heart and affe(5\ions, and is oppo- 
fed to hypocrify. In the firil way all falfc worjhip is re- 
je6led ; but the * truth of the heart"* here intended, is 
xX\t fincerity oi the heart, which is oppofed to all hypo- 

§ 8. (Ey 7rK'/ipo(popnz Tv,g 7ri<;cU}g) in full a(furance of 
faith, ' Without faith it is impoflible to pleafe God ;' 
wherefore faith is required in this accefs on a two-fold 
account — as a qualification of the perfon ; he rnuft be a 
true believer, all others being utterly excluded from it ; — ^ 
as to adual excrcife in every particular duty of accefs. 
There is no duty acceptable to God which is not enli- 
vened hj faith. * A full ajjurance of faith,* The word is 
iifed only in this place, but the verb (TrKTjpo'popsa}, Rom. 
iv. 21. xiv. 5.) Cgnifies a '' full fatisfa^ ion of mind in 

* what we are perfuaded of.* Here two things feem ta 
be included in the word : 

I. What in other places the apoftle expreffeth by 
(7TafjD-/}(rici) holdnefs, which is the word conftantly ufed 
to denote that frame of mind which ought to be in gof- 


pel worfhippers, in oppofition to that of the law ■ nncl 
imphes an .;>.« W of fpiritual glones. which the'y had 
not jo.„ed wuh l.berty and confidence ; liberty of fl ch 
and confidence of being accepted ; tl.e pkroplly offeith 

* ^h^/Tn^''i ''"""'"''''^' /■"/«->« concerning the 
^n.^Wof Chnft, whereby we have this accefs to God 
with the glory and efficacy of it. ' faith without waverl 

ing; for many of the Hebrews who had received itx 
general the of the gofpel. yet ^a.ered .p and down 
III their maids about this office of Chrift, and the do- 
nous th.ngs related of it. fuppofing that there might be 
fome place yet left for the adminiftration of the legal 
|..ghpr.eft Ih,s is the frame which the apoftle con- 
futes, and therefore ' the full affiarance of faith' here re- 
fpeas not the affurance that any have of their oivn falva- 
tton, nor any degree of fuel, an affurance, but intends 
only the full fatisfaaion of our fouls and confciences i,x 
the reahty and efficacy of the priejlhood of Chrift to give 
us acceptance with God, in oppofition to all other ways 
and means. But this perfuafion withal is accompanied 
with an ajfurcd truft of our own acceptance with God 
through Chrift our high prieft, and an acquiefcence of 
pur fouls in the bleffed objeft of our truft. 

§ 9. There is a two-fold preparation prefcribed to us 
for the right difcharge of this duty ;— that our ' hearts be 
' fprinkled from an evil confcience,' and ' that our bodies 
'be wafted with pure water ;' it is plain that thefe expref- 
fions allude to the neceffary preparations of divine fervice 
vnder the Jaw. For whereas there were various ways 
whereby men were legally defiled, fo there were ways ap- 
pointed for their legal purification, [chap. ix.J 

The fubjea fpoken of is alfo two-fold— the heart and 
the bod^, that is, the invjard and outward man. There is no 
doubt but in this place, as in many others, the heart is 
taken for all the faculties of our fouls with our afFedions ; 
for It is that wherein confi:ience is feated, and in which it 
powerfully aas, which it doth efpecially in the praaical 
^jnderftanding, as the rule and guide of the affcaions. 



This confcience, antecedently, is evil. Confcience, merely 
3S fuch, is not to be feparated from the heart, but as it 
is evil it fhould. It may be faid to be ' evil' on two ac- 
counts ; — as it difquieteth, perplexeth, judgeth, and con* 
demneth for {in, and — on account of a vitiated prindph 
in the confcience not performing its duty, but continues 
fecure when filled with all vicious habits : I take it here 
in the latter fenfe, becaufe the way of its removal is by 
fprinkllng, and not by offering, 

{E^ocjOCVtlq-^svol Tocg y^oc^Locg) fprlnkUng our hearts. The 
cxpreliion is taken from the fpruikling of blood upon of- 
fering the facriiices, [Exod. xxix. i6. 21. Lev. iv. 17, 
5civ. 7.] The fpiritual interpretation is given us Ezek. 
xxxvi. 25. And whereas this fprhiklmg and cleanfing from 
lin is in Ezekiel afcribed to pwe water, (for in the type 
the hloed of the facrifice was fprinkled) it gives us the 
fenfe of the whole : for as the blood of the facrifice was 
^ type of the hlood of Chrljl as oiFered to God, fo the 
Holy Spirit, and his efficacious work, is denoted by ' pure 

* v;ater,' as is frequently obfcrved. Wherefore this 

* fprlnklhg of our hearts' is an a£l of xh^ fancllfylng power 
of the Holy Ghoft, by virtue of the blood and facrifice 
pf Chrifl, in making application of them to our fouls. 
And thus ' the blood of Chrifl the Son of God cleanfeth 

* us from all our lins.' 

§ 10. * Our bodies wafhed with pure water.' This at 
iirft view may feem to refer to the outward adminiflra- 
tion of baptlfm ; but the ' body is faid to be wajhed from 
them, becaufe they are outward, in oppofition to thofe 
that are only inherent in the mind. And becaufe the 
lody is the inilrument of the perpetration of them, hence 
are they called the * deeds of the body ;' and the body is 
defiled by fome of them in an efpecial manner, [I. Cor. 
vi.} Therefore, the * pure water' wherewith the body 
lis to be waflicd, and which is divinely promifed, [Ezek. 
xxxvi. 25, 26.] is the aififiance of the fanclifying Spirit, 
by virtue of the facrifice of Chrift. Hereby, all thofe fins 
'^hich cleave to our outward convcrfatlon are removed and 

J waflied 

Ter. 10— 23, EPISTLE TO THE HEBREWS, 53 

wafhed away ; for we arc fanalfied, (called by the gofpel 
to be fo) in our whole /pints, fouls, and bodies. 

§ II. (III.) The fpecial duty exhorted to. ' Let us 

* hold fall the profeflion of our faith without wavering, 

* for he is faithful who hath promifed.' — Some copies 
read (r;jv oiMoKoyiocv T'/jg sKTr&g) ' the profeflion of our 

* hope,'' which virtually conies to the fame with our ver- 
sion ; for on our faith is our hope built, and is an emi- 
nent fruit of it: wherefore, holding faft our bope includes 
in it the holding faft of our faith, as the caufe in the 
eifeft. But I prefer the other reading, as more fuited to 
tlie defign of the apoftle, and his following difcourfe. 

* Faith' is here taken in both the principal acceptations 
of it, namely, that faith whereby we believe, and that 
dodrine which is believed ; of both which we make the 
fame profeflion : of one. as the inward principle, of the 
other as the outward rule. Of the meaning of the word 
itfelf, (^o^oKoyicc) joint profeffion, I have treated largely 
clfewhere. [Chap. iii. i.] 

The continuation of their profeflion firft folemnly made, 
avowing the faith on all juft occafions, attending on all 
duties of worfhip required in the gofpel, profefling their 
faith in the promifes of God by Chrift, and cheerfully 
^indergoing afiiiftions, troubles, and perfecutions on that 
account, is eminently included in this * profeflion of our 

* faith' here exhorted to. 

But what is it to hold faft this profeflion? [fee chap. 
iv. 14.] There is included — a fuppofition of great dlffi^ 
culty with danger, and oppofltion againft this holding , — 
therefore the putting forth of the utmoft of our fl:rengtli 
and endeavours in the defence of it, and a conftant perfc- 
verance in it. 

This is to be done ' without wavering^ that is, the 
profeflion muft be immoveable and conftant. The frame 
of mind which this is oppofed to, is exprefled James i. 6. 
(^LOiY^mou/cVog) one that is always difputing, and tofled up 
and down with various thoughts in his mind, not com- 
ing to a fixed determination : he is like a wave of the fea, 
which one while fubfidcs and is quiet, and another while 



;is tofled this way or that, as it receives imprcffioiis from 
the wind. As men's minds waver in thele things, fo their 
frofcjjion wavers, which the apoflle here oppofeth to that 

full ajjurance of faith required in us. (A;cA/y/?^) without 
wavering ; the word denotes, not to be bent one way or 
other ; iirm, fixed, liable, in oppofition to them ; where- 
fore, it includes — pofitively, aj^rw perfuajtbn of mind as to 
the truth of the faith profeffed ; — a conjiant refoluiion to 
abide therein, and adhere to it againft all oppofition, and 
—— conftancy and diligence in the performance of all the 
duties which are required to the continuation of this 

§ 12. For he is faithful that hath promifed/ In open- 
ing thefe words, let us attend to the nature of jthe en- 
couragement given us in them. 

1. It is God alone who promifeth. He alone is the 
author of all gofpel promifes ; and by him are they given 
to us, [II. Pet. i. 4. Tit. i. i.] Hence, evangelically, 
that is a juft perlphrafts of God, ' he who hath promifed.' 

2. The promifes of God are of that nature in them- 
felves, as are fuited to the encouragement of all believers 
to conftancy, and final perfeverance, in the profelfion of 
their faith ; whether we refped them, as they contain and 
exhibit prefent grace, mercy, and coniblation, or as they 
propofe to us eternal things in the future glorious re- 

The efficacy of the promifes to this end depends upori 
the faithfulnefs of God who gives them ; with him is 
neither variablenefs, nor fliadow of turning. The flrengtli 
of Ifrael will not lie, nor repent. God's faithfulnefs is 
the unchangeablenefs of his purpofe, and the counfels of 
his will, proceeding from the immutability of his nature, 
accompanied with almighty power for their accomplifh- 
ment, as declared in the word. [See chap. vi. 18.] Con- 
fider, faith he, the promifes of the gofpel, their incompa- 
rable greatnefs and glory; in their enjoyment confifls our 
eternal blelTednefs, and they will all be accompliflied to- 
wards thofe who hold fail their profeffion, feeing he who 


Ver. 19— *3. EPISTLE TO THE HEBREWS. 5^ 

hath promifed them, is ahjolutdy faithful and unchange- 

§ 13. (IV.) From the whole obferve, 

1. It is not every miftake, every error, though it be in 
things of great importance, while it overthrows not the 
foundation, that can divefl men of a fraternal intcrcll 
with others in the heavenly calling. 

2. This is the great fundamental principle of the gof- 
pel, that believers, in all their holy worlhip, have liberty, 
boldnefs, and confidence, to enter into this gracious 
prefence of God ; they are not hindered by any prohi- 
bition. There is no fuch order now, that he who dravvS 
nigh ilia] 1 be cut off; but, on the contrary, that he who 
doth not fhall be deftroyed. 

3. Hence there is no room for terror in their con- 
fciences, when they make thofe approaches to God. 
They have not received the fpirit of bondage, but the 
Spirit of the Son, whereby with holy boldnefs they cry, 

* Abba, Father,' for ' where the Spirit of the Lord is, 

* there is liberty.' 

4. The nature of gofpel worfliip confifts in an entrance 
with reverential boldnefs into the prefence of God. 

5. Our approach to God in gofpel worlhip is to him 
^s evidencing himfelf in a v/ay of grace and mercy. Hence, 
it is faid to be an entrance into the holicft^ for in the holy 
place were all the pledges and tokeiis of God's favour. 

6. Nothing but the hlood of Jcfus could have given 
-this boldnefs, nothing that il-ood in its way could other- 
wife have been removed, nctliing elfe could have fet our 
fouls at liberty from that bondage, wliich was come upon 
them by iin. What fhall we render to him .' How un- 
Ipeakable are our obligations ! Hov/ fliould we abound in 
faith and love ! 

7. ConiidencG in accefs to God not built on, nat re- 
folved into the blood of Cknjl, is but a daring prcfumption 
which God abhors. 

§ 14. I. The way of our entrance into the holicft is 
folemnly dedicated and confvcratcd for us, fo that we may 
make ufe of it wftU becoming boldnefs. 

Vol. IV. I 2. All 


2. All the privileges we have by Chriil are great, glo- 
rious, and efficacious, all tending and leading unto life. 

3. The Lord Chrift peculiarly prefides over all the per- 
fons, duties, and worihip of believers in the church of 
God. [See Expofition, chap. iv. 14 — 16. 

4. The heart is that which God principally refpe£ts in 
our accefs to him ; and univerfal internal fincerity of 
heart is required of all thofe, who draw nigh to him in 
his holy worfliip. 

5. The aciual exercife of faith is required in all our ap- 
proaches to God, in every particular duty of his worfhip. 

6. And it is faith in Chnji alone that gives this bold- 
nefs of accefs ; and the perfon and office of Chrift are to 
be refted in with full afjurance in all our accelTes to the 
throne of grace. 

§ 15. I. Although the worfliip whereby we draw nigk 
to God be performed with refpedl to inftitution and rule, 
yet without internal fan£iificatian of heart we are not ac* 
cepted in it. 

2. Due preparations, by a frefli application of our fouls 
to the efficacy of the blood of Chrifl, for the purification 
of our hearts, that we may be meet to draw nigh to Godj 
is at once our incumbent duty and high privilege. 

3. In all wherein we have to do with God, we are 
■principally to regard thofe internal fins we are confcious of 
to ourfelves, but are hidden from all others. 

4. Yet the umverfal fayiflification of our whole perfons, 
and efpecially the mortification of outward fins, arc alio 
required in our drawing nigh to God. Thefe, and not 
the gaiety of outward apparel, are the beft preparatory or- 
naments for our rehgious worfhip, 

5. It is a great mark to. draw nigh to God, fo as to 
worfhip him in fpirit and in truth. 

^ 16. I. There is an internal principle of faving faith 
required to our profitable profeffion of the gofpel dodlrinu, 
witliout which it will not avail. 

2. All that believe ought folemnly to give themfelves 
up to Chriil and his xule, in au exprcfyprofcjfwi of their 

3. Great 


•3. GxQ^t difficulties WxW fometimes arife in oppofitiou to 
a fincere profellionof the faith. 

4. Firmnefs and 6-^w>«0' of mind, with our utmoft di- 
ligent endeavours, are required to an acceptable conti- 
iiuance in our profeffion. 

^ Uncertainty and wavering of mind, as to the trutti 
we profefs, or a negled of the duties wherein it confifls, 
or compliance with errors for fear of perfecutions and fuf- 
ferin-s, overthrow our profeiTion, and render it ufelefs. 

6 '^ As we ought not on any account to dechne our pro- 
feffion, fo to abate of the degrees of fervency of fpmt 
therein, is dangerous to our fouls. ^ 

7 The fakhfulnefs of God in his promifes is our 
great encouragement and fupport againiUll oppofition^. 

Verse 24. 


& I. Love and good-u,orks the evidences of faith § 2. What 
^ implted In prLkins one another to love and go,d mrku § 3- 


& T T^OVE and good works are the fruits and cvl- 
e^^es of^Toicere ^rofeffion of favu| fai.. ^w ere 
fore, a dihent attendance to them is an effeftual mea.u 

coiiftancy in our profeffion. another. 

o .l^.7„,l ' Jet us coniaer one anoinci. 

(J^uawcil'.iv «AAj)A«j) -£-'•' "' /.. denotes 

The word hrth been opened on chap. ni. i. and deno e 

I brief, an heedf.l confederation of -^^^^^^^^ 

.pon a thing, ^^n<^^iZa:::x^^^^- 

thoughts about .t. The objett he e ^^ 

and herein the apoftle f"PP°f^''^-''"' l„ ,i,,i, prefc, 
wrote had a deep concernment n. one another, P ^^ 

T n 


and future ftate, without which, the mere confideration of 
one another would only be a fruitlefs efFedl of curiofity; — » 
that they had alfo communion together about thofe things, 
without which this duty could not be rightly difchargcd ; — 
and, finally, that they judged themfelves obliged to watck 
sver one another as to fledfaflnefs in profefiion, and fruit- 
fulnefs of love and good works. 

On thefe fuppoiitions, this * conjideration refpe^ls the 
gifts •) \\\^ graces^ the temptations^ the dangers^ the feafons and 
opportunities for duty, the manner of walking in church 
fellowfhip, and in the v/orld ; and is, in reality, the 
foundation of all thefe mutual duties. 

§ 2. The branch of duty here fpecified is (sig Trapo- tzyccTTYig kc/a VjaJKoov i^yjd'j) to the provocation of love 
and good vjorks \ that is, as we have rendered the words, 

* to provoke (one another) to love and good works.* Fro- 
vocation^ though commonly ufed in an ill fenfe, is fome- 
times taken, as here, for an eanieft and diligent excita- 
tion of the minds or fpirits of men to that which is good i 
[fee Rom. ix. 14.] as by exhortation, example, or re- 
bukes, until they be as it were warmed for the duty. — • 

* Love and good works ;' ' lovi is the fpring and foun- 
tain of all acceptable good w^orks 5 of mutual love among 
believers, which is that here intended, as to its nature and 
Caufes, and motives to it, I have treated at large chap. 
yi. The * good works' intended are (yMXcc) thofe which 
are moil commcndahU and praife worthy, fuch as are moll 
ufeful to others, and whereby the gofpel is moil exalted ; 
works proceeding from the fliining light of truth, by 
which God is glorified. 

§ 3. Hence obferve, 

1. The mutual watch of C!irii\ians m the particular 
focieties whereof they are members, is a duty neceifary 
for preferving a confiftent profellion of the faith. 

2. A due confideration of the circumilances, abilities, 
temptations, and opportunities for duties, in one another, 
j:5 alfo required for the; fiime end. 

3. Diligent mutual exhortation to gofpel duties, that 
we may, on all grou^ids of leafon and example, be pro- 

»".=,-. ""TIE TO THE HEB,Bv«. » 

to attend. ^^pcciai manner wc ought 

Verse 2q, 


TocErHK.. .s III t?""'"' °'- °^'^'^-" 

§ I- (^■) Expofilon of the iuBrA< R rr, 

M- --• § 4. The cJrary du]y \t "^^ ''' "-"'""■ of 
mouve to It. § 8, 5. („.j O^j; JJr^" ^""'■''^ 

i I- (I-) 1 HE words contain an r^f 

ceding exhortation, in a JZ g"ai S™ is"' ^'^ P^'" 

» .s not the .i>«,vAy?i abfolufe v Zh "f "'°'"^'^' 
of believers, walking togettr ti' H Z'r^"' "^"-"^'^^ 
apoftle intends ; for as Z I, '}'l\^^''' ^^'^'■<^!> the 

^-. of all p.biic ^^^:tiST\ r 

of It are the only wav ^nA rJ r affcmbhej 

performance of it' Thefe 1/7 T"' °'' '"= ^^"^^''''^ ^"'^ 
W, on thefirftdayS rt ;tk Tl"/ ^"° '°"^ ■- 

Pteaching, fi„gi„g, and t" 'adS.^^f ^ ^ 7^-. 
ments, and—the exercife of ^r . ^''^ '^="- 

^hurch over itsmenr °f ^^f^""' °'- t'>e watch of the 
be in all nS f ch a ".' ","' ""'' ""^ «nvcrihtio„ 

voluntary ngfeaj V /f"" ^'" f°''P=' ^ ^'--'-e a 
y neglect, or a»Xv;,;f of thefe affcmblics, if per- 


fifled in, dellroys any church flate. — Thofe aflembtiea 
were inllriimentally the life, the food, the nourifliment of 
their fouls ; without which they could neither attend to 
the difciplinc of Ghrift, nor yield obedience to his com- 
mands, nor make profeffion of his name as they ought, 
nor enjoy the benefit of evangelical inftitutions ; whereas 
in a due obfervance of them conliiled the trial of their 
faith in the light of God and man. 

§ 2. The apoflle's charge concerning fuch afTemblies 
is, * that we fhonld not forfake them ;' there is a two-foid 
foifaking of tliefc aflcmblies ; — that which is total, which 
is the fruit and evidence of abfolute apoftacy ; and — that 
uhich is only partial, through want of diligence and con- 
fclentiou^ care. It is the latter that the apoftle here in- 
tends, as the word in part fignifies, and which is ufually 
done on fome of thefe accounts : 

1. Fe^r of fufferi fig ; this in all ages hath prevailed oa 
many, in times of trial and perfecution, to withdraw 
thcmrdves from thofe alTemblies, and thereby have proved 
themfelves to be the fearful and unbelieving ones, who arc 
in the very £rll: place excluded from the New Jerufaleni, 
[Rev. xxi. 8.] .whatever men pretend they believe, if they 
confcfs him not before men, he will deny them before his 
Father which is in heaven. 

2. Spiritual Jlcth, with tl^e various occafions of this life; 
if men will not flir up themfelves, and Ihake off the 
weight that lies upon them, tliey will fall under a woful 
iicglcft as to this and all other important duties ; fuch 
pcrfons as are influenced by them will make ufe of many 
fpccious pleas which they never fail to plead with men, 
and there is no contending with them ; but let them go to 
Chrift and plead them immediately with him, and then afk 
tlicmfclves, how they fuppofe they are accepted ? This 
deficiency may, indeed, fall out fomctimes where the 
heart is fmccre, but then it will be troubled at it, and 
watch for the future againft the like occafions. 

3. Unbelief working gradually towards the forfaking or 
all profeflion ; this is the lirlt way, for the mofl part, 
whereby an evil heart of unbelief, in departing from the ' 



living God, doth evidence itfelf; [fee chap. iii. 12.] I 
fay, hereby ufually it iirft evidenccth itfelf; for it hath uii- 
(jueftionably put forth its power before inwardly, in a 
negleft of private duties ; and if fuch a courfe from this 
principle be perfifted in, total apoflacy lies at the door. 

§ 3. * As the manner of fome is \ the church of the 
Hebrews, efpecially that at Jerufalem, had been expofed to 
great trials and perfecutions ; [ver. 32, Z3'~] during t\\\% 
Hate fome of their members, even in thofe early days, 
began fo far to decline their profeflion, as not to frequent 
the alTemblies of the church ; they were afraid to be taken 
at a meeting, or that their known perfecuting neighbours 
fhould take notice of them as they frequented the Chriftian 

Again, there were among the Hebrews at that time 
great difputes about the continuaiice of the temple worjhip, 
with which many were entangled, and as that error pre- 
vailed in their minds, fo did they begin gradually to 
negle£t and forfake the gofpel worfliip ; only obferve, 
that it is not an occafional dereli(3:ion of them, but that 
which they accujiomed themfelves to ; it was their [c^oq] 
manner^ an ordinary way of walking which they ac- 
cuftomed themfelves to. 

§ 4. The apoftle, in the next place, illuftrates this 
great evil by the contrary duty, [aXKoi Tra.oa.xa.Ki^'l^sg) hut 
exhorting, ail the duties of thefe allemblies, efpecially thofe 
which are ufeful to preferve from apoflacy, and to prevent 
backfliding, are propofed under this one head of duty. 

The nature of this mutual exhortation among believers 
in Chriftian focieties hath been conlidered before, [fee on 
chap. iii. 13.] and {Tocnfjoo ^ocX?\.Cy) Jo much the more. 
The duties before mentioned are fuch as ought always to 
be attended to, and yet * the approach of the day' is a 
feafon v^herein it is our duty to double our diligence about 
them ; and there are warnings and works of Ciirift, by his 
word and providence, the conlideration of which ought 
to excite us to a peculiar attendance to them ; in proof of 
this we might appeal to his dealings with the fcven 
churches of ARa as types of ail others. 


§ 5. * As ye lee the day approaching ;' (7'/,v y,y.cpciv^ 
ihc day^ an eminent day ; the ruJe whereby we may deter^ 
inine v:hat day is intended is this ; it was fuch a day as 
was a peculiar motive to the Hebrews in their prefent cir- 
cumftances, to attend diligently to the due performance of 
gofpcl duties ; it is not fuch a day, fuch a m.otive, as is 
ahvays common to all, but only to thofe who are in fome 
meafure in the like circumftanccs with them ; wherefore, 
it is neither the day of death perfonally to them, nor the 
day of future judgement abfolutely that is intended ; for 
thofe are common to all equally, and at all times, and are 
a powerful motive in general to the performance of gofpel 
duties ; bat not a peculiar mothe motive at fometimes to 
peculiar diligence ; wherefore, this day was no other but 
that fearful and tremendous day, or iczion, for the dcJlriiLllon 
cf Jerufakm, the temple, city, and nation of the Jews, 
which our Saviour had forewarned his difciples cf, and 
which they had in continual expe£lation. 

§ 6. But it may be faid, how fliould the approach of 
this day, wherein all things were about to be diffolved, 
the church to be fcattered, ihe whole nation to be con- 
famed with fword and fire, be a motive to redoubled diligence 
in attendance to the duties of Chriftian alTemblies : it 
fhould now feem rather to have been a time for every one 
to Ihift for himfelf, and his family, than to leave all to 
ruin, whilft they looked after thefe alTemblies ? We an- 

Whatever defolations and deftruiTiions may be api. 
preaching, our beft and wifeu frame will be to truft to 
God, In the difcharge of our duty ; all other contrivances 
will prove not only vain, and foolifa, but dcflru^live to 
our fouls ; they who will in any degree partake of men*s 
fms, muft in fome degree or other partake of their plagues ; 
— again, It is impolfible that men fliould go through a 
day of public calamity, a dcftru6tive day, comfortably and 
cheerfully, without a dihgent attendance to thofe known 
duties of the gofpcl; for the guilt of this negleft will 
fcize upon them when their trial ihall come, and they 
will wifh, when it is too late, tiiat they had afted a 


Ver.^S' epistle to the HEBREWS. 63 

different part. Let men pretend what they will, their 
decay in thofe duties evidenceth a Jecay in all graces^ 
which they will find weak, and unfit to carry them 
through their trials ; befides, the duties prefcribed, rightly 
difcharged, are the great means for f.rengthening and fup- 
porting our fouls in that part of the trial which we are to 

§ 7. How did this day approach ? It was approaching, 
(In procirMu) gradually coming upon them, w^arnings of 
it, difpofitions towards it, intimations of its coming, were 
given them every day ; and thefe things were fo plain, 
as that the apoftle takes it for granted, that they them- 
felves did fee evidently the approaching day — in the ac- 
complifhment of the figns of its coming, foretold by our 
Saviour, [compare ver. 32 — 34. with Matt. xxiv. 9, &c.] 
and particularly in that things were at a great Hand as to 
the progrefs of the go [pel among the Hebrews. To which 
we may add — that believers faw it approaching in the 
various powerful caufes of it ; and efpecially the body of 
the people having now refufed the gofpel, w^ere given up 
to all wickednefs, and hatred to Chrift — Moreover, the time 
and fsafon, in the analogy of divine difpenfations, mani- 
felted the fame awful truth to them ; as types of his dea- 
ling with the unbelieving Jews, God had warned the old 
world by Noah, and Sodom by Lot, before the one was 
deflroyed by nature, and the other by fire. Now he 
would give them alfo their day, and make them a fuf- 
ficient tender of mercy, which he had now done towards 
forty years. In this fpace, through the miniflry of the 
apoflles, and other faithful difpenfers of the w^ofd, the 
gofpel had been propofed to all the Jews throughout the 
world. [Rom. x. 16 — 20.] This being now accompliihed, 
they might evidently fee that the ' day v/as approaching i* 
befides, at this time all things began to be filled with con- 
fufions, diforders, tumults, feditions, and flaughters in the 
whole nation, as awful prefages and introdudlions of that 
exemplary day which they w^ere given to expedl. 

§ 8. (H.) From thefe words and this account w^e ob- 

Vol. IV. K . j. Great 


1. Great diligence is required of us in a due attendance 
to the afiemblies of the church, as inflituted by Jefus 


2. The nezlc^ of the authority and love of Chrift in 
tlie appointment of the means of our edification, will 
always tend to great and ruinous evils. 

3. No church order, no outward profeffion, can fecure 
men from apojiacy ; perfons were guilty of it in the firll, 
the beft, the purefl churches. 

4. Pertedion, and particular freedom from offence, 
and ruinous evils, is not to be expected in any church in 
tliis world. 

5. Men that begin to decline their duty in church 
relations, ought to be marked, and their ways avoided. 

6. For faking of church affemblies is ufualiy an en- 
trance into apoftacy. 

§ 9. 1. When fpecial warnings do not excite us to 
renewed diligence in known duties, our condition is 
dangerous as to the continuance of the prefence of Chrifl 
amongtl: us. 

2. Approaching judgements ought to influence to fpecial 
dihgence in all evangelical duties. 

3. If men will fhut their eyes againfl evident iigns and 
tokens of approaching judgements, they w^ill never Hir up 
themfelves to the due perfonnance of prefent duties. 

4. In the approach of great and final judgements, 
God by his word and providence giveth fuch intimations 
of their coming, as that wife men may difcern them ; he 
who is wife, will confider thefe things, and lliall under- 
"ftand the living kindnefs of the Lord. The prudent 
forefeeth the evil and hideth himfeif ; how is it that you 
difcern not the figns of the times ? 

5. I'o fee evidently fuch a day approaching, and not 
to be fedulous and diligent in the duties of divine wor- 
fhip, is a token of a backfliding frame tending to final 



Verses 26, 27. 

for if we sin wilfully after that we have 
received the knowledge of the truth, there 
remaineth no more sacrifice for sins. but 
a certain fearful looking for of judge- 
ment, and fiery indignation, which shall 
devour the adversaries. 

§ I. The fcope and general iynport of the ivords, § 2. (I.) 
Afore particular cxpoftion. The aggravation of the fin rncn^ 
tioned is, that it cannot be expiated, § 3. The dread at- 
tending it, § 4, 5. Its punijhment, § 6 — 8. (II.) Ob- 

§ I. XN thefe verfes the apoftlc gives a vehement en- 
forcement of his preceding exhortation, from the dreadful 
confequences of a total negle£l of it. 

Interpreters have greatly perplexed themfelves and 
others in the interpretation and expofition of thefe verfes, 
and thofe that follow. Their conje£lures in great variety 
have proceeded principally from a want of due attention 
to the fcope of the apoftle, the argument he had in hand, 
the circumfiayicos of the people to whom he wrote, and 
the then prefent fiate of God's providence towards them. 
I fhali not trouble the reader with their various con- 
jeftures, but evince the mind of the Holy Ghoft in 
them ; * If we lin wilfully ;* he puts himfef among 
them, as his manner is in comminations, to fliew — that 
there is no refpe£l of perfons in this matter, but that 
thofe who have equally finned fliall be equally punifhed, 
(E^i^cricAjg) wifulfyj fay we ; that is, obftinately, malici- 
oufly ; but the word doth not require, nor will fcarce 
bear, that fenfe ; vuilUngly, of choice, without furprifal, 
compullion, or fear, is all that the word will juflly bear. 
• — * After we have received the knowledge of the truth ;' 

K 2 there 


there is no queftion but that by ' the truth'' the apoflle in- 
tends the dodrine of the gofpel ; and the * receiving^ of it 
is, upon convi£lion of its being truths to take on us the 
outward profeffion of it. 

Hence it is evident what jln is here intended, againft 
which this heavy doom is denounced ; a relinquifliment 
and renunciation of the truth of the gofpei and its 
precious promifes, v/ith all duties thereunto belonging, .. 
after we have been convinced of its truth, and avowed 
its power and excellency ; and this ivlU'ingly ; — not upon 
a fiiddcyi fur pr'i fill and temptation, as Peter denied Chrift — • 
not on thofe co?npuffons and fears which may work, a 
tranfient diffimulation, without an internal reje£lion of 
the gofpel — not through darknefs, ignorance, making an 
imprefiion for a feafon on the minds and reafonings of 
men ; which things, though exceedingly evil and dan- 
gerous, may befal them who yet contract not the guilt of 
this crime ; — but hy choice, of their own accord, from the 
internal pravity of their own minds, and an evil heart of 
unbelief departing from the living God ; and it is farther 
implied — that they do it with the preference of anothei: 
way of religion, and a refting therein, before the gofpel ; 
^whereas there were Hvo things vihich were Xht foundation of 
the profeffion of the gofpel ; — the blood of tlie covenant, 
or the blood of the facrifice of Chrift, with the atonement 
made thereby ; and — the difpenfation of the Spirit of 
grace ; thcfe they openly renounced, and declared that 
there was nothing of God in them, [fee on ver. 29.] 

§ 2. The firft thing which the apoftle chargeth as an 
aggravation of this fin is, that it cannot be expiated ; 

* there remains no more facrifice for fin.' Words not 
unlike thofc of God concerning the houfe of Eli, [I. Sam. 
iii. 14.] ' I have fworn to the houfe of Eli, that the iniquity 
' of Eh's houfe fliall not be purged with facrifice nor 

* offering for ever ;' as according to the law, there were 
certain fins which — (rom xhtw nature, as murder, adultery, 
blafphemy, or from the manner of their commiflion with 
obftinacy and an high hand, that had no facrifice allowed 



for them, biat thofe that were guilty of them were to be 
<;ut off from the people of God, and to ' die without 
* mercy,* [ver. 28.] fo is it with them that thus fm wll- 
linglyy under the gofpel ; there is no relief appointed for 
them, no means for the expiation of their fin ; and thera 
is an efpecial reafon of this feverity under the gofpel, 
which the apoftle hath a principal refpeft to ; vi%. that 
there is now no repetition of facrifices for fin. That of 
Chriil our High Prieil was ojfered once for all, hencefortli 
he dieth no more, he is offered no more, nor can there 
be any other facriiice offered for ever ; (j^x, ^i (ZttoXsittsIoh) 
there remains not, there is not in the counfel, purpofe, or 
inflitution of God any other {9v(n(z) ficrijice, whereby fin 
might be expiated, yet left to be offered in this or any 
other cafe. 

§ 3. ' But a certain fearful looking for of judgement,* 
when a man under the law had contradled the guilt of any 
hn, as was indifpenfably capital in its punifhment, for the 
legal expiation of which no facrifice was appointed or 
allowed ; as murder, adultery, blafphemy, &c. he had 
nothing remaining but a fearful cxpedation of the execu- 
tion of the legal entrance againft him ; and it is evident 
that in this context the apollle argues from the lefs to the 
greater ; if it was io^ that this was the cafe of him who 
fo finned againfl the law of Mofes, how much more 
mufl it be fo with them who fin againft the gofpel ; whofe 
fin is incomparably greater and the punifhment more 
fevere ? 

There are two things in thefe words ; — the punifJjment 
due to the fins of apoftates, * judgement,' fiery indigna-^ 
tion, which devours the adverfary ; and — the certain ap- 
proach of this judgement, ' there remains a fearful ex- 
' pe£lation ;' ((polSspc^ ^i rig sk^ox'/]) a kind of fearful ex- 
pectation ; nor is this fpoken by way of diminution, but 
to intimate fomething that is inexprejjible, fuch as no 
heart can conceive or tongue exprefs, [I. Pet. iv. 17, 
18.] * What fhall be the end of them who obey not the 
' gofpel ? Where fhall the finners and ungodly appear ?* 
(EyiSoyj^) expe^ation, is that frame of mind, with refpeft 



to any thing future, good or bad, wherein we are con- 
cerned ; and is here faid to be ((pcj^spa.) fearful^ tremen- 
dous, that which men can neither conlii£t with, nor avoid; 
it fills the mind v/ith dread and horror, depriving it of ail 
comfort and relief, if they did fet themfelves to conlider 
the event of their apoilacy, nothing elfe could befall their 
minds. I am perfuaded it is probable, that God very 
feldom lets them pafs without tormenting fear, and a 
dread of approaching judgement, in this world, which is 
a broad entrance into hell ; (y^io-ic) judgement, a juft and 
righteous fentence denouncing punilliment proportionate 
to their fins and crimes, and pun'ijhmcnt itf elf 'which enfues 
thereon, as immediately defcribed ; and although refpeft 
be had herein principally to the judgement of the great 
day ; yet it is not exclufive of any judgements that are 
preparatory to it, and pledges of it ; as that which was then 
impending over the apoftate Hebrew church. 

§ 4. The puni/hment and deflrudion of thofe iinners 
is (prvCiOg ^'/jXog) a fiery indignation ; which words do not 
relate to {ly^cyjiri) expe^ation, as {npKng) judgement doth ; 
it is not the cxprliation of fiery indignation^ but they refer 
immediately to (^o'.T:o7\cmi\ai) there remaineih ; as there 
remains an expcdation cf judgement, fo there remains £7_^^rj 
indignation ; and fo afterwards (fJisKKovjog) which fiall, 
refers to ['n'o;iOg) fire, and not to [^Xog) indignation ; this 
indignation, ox fervour of fire, hath refped to three things; 
— The holinefs of God's nature, from whence originally 
this judgement proceeds ; — the righteous aft of the will of 
God ; Ibmetimes called his wrath and anger from the 
effefts of it ; iind— -the dreadful /kYr/'/y of the judgement 
in itfclf, its nature and effeds, as in the next words : I 
doubt not but refpecl is had to the final judgement, and 
the eternal deftruftion of apoilates ; but yet alfo it evi- 
dently includeth that fore and /t^rj' judgement which God 
was bringing upon the obflinate and apoflate Jews, in the 
total deftruftion of them and their church ftate by iire 
and fword ; v;hlch, (as the event proves) might well be 
called 2. fiery indignation, ox fervour of fire \ {{c^ Matt. xxiv. 
o(^ — ?i. II. Pet. iii. ic — -12.] ' fire that I'liall devour, or 

* eat 

Ver.26,-27. epistle to THE HEBREWS. 69 

* eat up the adverfaries ;' the expreiTioii is taken from Ifaiah 
xxvi. I I. for, ' tlic fire of thine enemies,* is that where- 
with they fhall be burned. 

§ 5. {M.'zAXcvlog') * it J/jall ditvoMXy^ it is (In procln^u) 
in readlnejs to come ; though future, it is ready to make its 
entrance, and whatever appearances there are of its turn- 
ing alide, and men's avoiding it, it will come in its proper 
feafon ; [Heb. ii. 3.] Xht foundation of it is the irreverfible 
decree of God, accompanied with righteoufnefs and the 
meafure which infinite wifdom gave to his patience. This 
was the unavoidable feafon that was approaching, when 
tbe adverfaries had filled up the meafure of their iin, 
and God's providence had faved the ele6t. (Tj^^ vttsvocv- 
Ti^g) the adverfaries ; he doth not fay thole that believe not, 
and obey not the gofpel, as elfewhere when he treats ab- 
folutely of the day of judgement ; [II. Thef. i. 8, 9.] 
but intends thofe who, from a contrary principle, fet 
therafelvcs againil the Lord Jefus Chrift and the gofpel ; 
and which is a peculiar defcriptioii of the unbelieving- 
Jews at that time ; they did not only refufe the gofpel 
through unbelief, but were a6led by a principle of oppof- 
tion to it ; not only as to themfelves, but as to others ; [1. 
Thef. ii. 15, 16.] ' who both killed the Lord Jefus and 

* their own prophets, and have perfecuted us, and they 

* pleafe not God, and are contrary unto all men, forbidding 

* us to fpeak to the Gentiles, that they might be favcd, to 

* fill up their fins alway, for the wrath is come upon 

* them to the uttermofl / [fee alfo A£ls xiii. 45. xxii. 
22, 23.] ^ 

What is the effc^ of this fiery indignation againfr thofe 
adverfaries ? It Ihall {s(r9i:-iv} eat them up ; fire eats, and 
as it were, devours, fwallows up all combuftible matter 
to Vv^hich it is applied ; it fhall * devour them as to all 
happinefs, all bleflednefs, all hopes, comforts and reliefs, 
but not their being ; on their being this fire ihall eter- 
nally prey, and fhall never utterly confume it. And if 
we apply it to their temporal deftruftion, the fimilitude 
holds throughout, for it utterly confumed and devoured 



^ 6. (II.) Let us now proceed to obferve, 

1. If a voluntary relinqiiifhment of the profeffion and 
duties of the gofpel be the highell fin, and be attended 
with the height of wrath and punifhment, we ought 
earneftly to watch againft every thing that inclineth or 
difpofcth us thereunto. 

2. Every declcnfion from the profeffion of the gofpel, 
hath a proportion of the guilt of this great fin, according 
to the proportion it bears to the lin itfelf ; of which there 
may be various degrees. 

q. There are fins and feafons wherein God abfolutely 
refufes to hear any more from men in order to their fal- 

4. The lofs of an intereft in the facrifice of Chrift, 
on whatever account it fall out, is abfolutely ruinous to 
the fouls of men. 

§ 7. I. There is an infeparable connexion between 
apoftacy and eternal ruin. 

2. God oftentimes vifits the minds of curfed apoftates 
with dreadful expcfcations of approaching wrath. 

3. When men have hardened themfelves in fin, no 
fear of puniHiment will ftir them up to feek after relief. 

4. A dreadful expectation of future wrath, without 
hope of relief, is an open entrance into hell itfelf. 

5. The expe£lation of future judgement in guilty 
perfons will be at one time or another dreadful and tre- 

§ 8. I. There is a determinate time for the accom- 
plifliment of all divine threatenings, and the inflictions 
of the fevereft judgements, which no man can avoid or 
abide. ' He hath appointed a day wherein he will judge 
* the world.' So at prcfent there is a fort of men, whofe 
damnation fleepeth not, concerning whom he hath fvvorn 
that time fhall be no more, which is the prefent flate of 
the ant'ichriji'ian world. 

2. The certain determination of divine vengeance on 
the enemies of the gofpel is a motive to hoiinefs, a fup- 
port under fufferipgs, in them that believe. Lift up your 
heads, koow your falvation is near at hand ; what 


manner of perfons ought we to be ? [See II. ThelT. i. 7 

^10.] ■ 

3. The higheft aggravation of the greateft fins is, when 
men out of a contrary principle of fuperflition and error, 
fet themfelves malicioully to oppofe the dodlrine and 
truth of the gofpel, with refped to themfelves and 

4. There is a time when God will make demonflra- 
tions of his wrath and difpleafure againft all fuch adv^er- 
faries of the gofpel, as fliall be pledges of his eternal 

5. The dread and terror of God's final judgement 
againfi: the enemies of the gofpel is in itfelf inconceiva- 
ble, and only Jhadowed out by things of the greateft dread 
and terror in the world. 

Verses 28, ag. 


§ I. (I ) Expofit'ion. The defign of the pajjage. § 2. Pu» 
nijhment by the law, § 3. Greater puni/hment of fins 
againft the gofpel^ §4* Being againfi the per f on of Chr'ifi, 
§5. His prieftly office. §6. And hh fp'irit, §7. The 
confequent fever ity of the puntfhmentk § 8, 9. (11.) O^- 

§ I. (I.) JL O convlrtce the Hebrews not only of the 

urtainty and feverity of the judgement declared, but alfo 

Vol, IV. JU of 


of the equity and rightcoufncfs of it, he propofeth unto them 
the confideration of God's conftltution of punifliment 
with refpedt to the law of Mofcs, which they could not 
deny to be juft and equal. * He that defpifed Mofes' law ;' 
that is, by fuch a fin as the law deemed capital, as mur- 
der, adultery, inceft, idolatry, blafphemy, and fome others, 
being committed with an high hand or prefumptuoufiy, 
[Exod. xxi. 14. Numb. xv. 30, 31. Deut. xvii. 12.] 
He who was thus guilty is faid [a^miv) to defpife Mofes' 
law, to abol'ijh it, as the word lignifies. 

§ 2. The puniihment was, * he died without mercy :' 
he died; he w^s put to death, (not always, it may be, de 

facto, but) fuch was the conflitution of the law, that he 
was to be put to death without mercy. There were feve- 
ral ways of infliding capital punilhments appointed by 
the law, as hanging on a tree, burning, and Honing : and 
it is faid, that he died [yj/)^iq otKTip^CAjv) without mercy, 
not only becaufe there was no allowance for any fuch 
mercy as fhould fave and deliver him, but God had ex- 
-^TQ^y forbidden that either mercy or compaffion fhould be 
Ihewed in fuch cafes, [Deut. xiii. 6 — 9. xix. 33.] The 
execution of this judgement was not to be done except (stt/ 
C'ja-rj '■,1 TDKTL ^a^jva-iv) under two or three zvitncjjes of the 
fad and crime ; for the law in that cafe was very exprefs. 
[Deut. xvii. 6. xix. 13. Numb. xxxv. 30.] Although 
God was very fevere in the prefcription of thefe judge- 
ments, yet he would give no advantage thereby to wicked 
and malicious perfons to take away the lives of innocent 
men ; and fuch abhorrency God had ol falfc witnefjes in 

'criminal caufes, as he eltablilhed 2, lex talioms.'m this caufc 
alone, that a falfe witnefs fliould fuffer the utmofl of 
what he thought and contrived to bring on another. The 
equity of which is flill in force, as fuitable to the law of 
nature, and ought to be more obferved than what it is. 
[Deut. xix. 16 — 21.] 

§ 3. On this account of fm and punifhment under the 
l^w, the apoille makes his inference to the certainty and 
ecjuity of the punilhment he had declared v/ith refped to 
fins againft the gofpel, [ver. 29.] * Of how much forer 


« punilhment, &c.' The firfl aggravation of the fin in- 
tended is from the objeft of it, the per/on $f Chr'ifi, the 
Son of God, which contains a divine conflellation of all 
the bielTed effe£ls of infinite wifdom, goodnefs, and grace. 
In them we have the mofl glorious manifellations of thefc, 
perfeftions. But how comes the Son of God to be con- 
cerned in the matter ? What injury is done him by apof- 
tates from the gofpel ? I anfwer, that as the Lord Chrift 
in his own perfon was the fpecial author of the gofpel ; 
as his authority is the fpecial objeft of our faith in it ; as 
his office, with all the fruits of it, is the fubjeft, fum, and 
fubflance of the gofpel — fo there is no reception of it in a 
due manner to falvation, no rejedion of it to final con- 
demnation, but what is all originally, fundamentally, and 
virtually contained in the reception or rejection of the 
ferfon of Chrijl, This is the life, the foul, and founda- 
tion of ail gofpel truth ; without which it is of no power 
or efficacy to the fouls of men. I cannot but obferve, 
that, as whofoever rejefts the gofpel, rcjed^eth and for- 
faketh the perfon of Chriil ; fo, on whatever account men 
take up the profeffion and perform the duties of it, if the 
foundation be not laid in a reception of Chriji himfelf, all 
their profellions will be in vain, 

§ 4. But it may be thought, if the perfon of Chr'ift be 
concerned herein, yet it is mdircilly, or confequentially 
only, and in fom^e ym«// degree ; no, faith the apoflle, but 
he that is guilty of this fin doth {}ioi7U7raT'/io-ag) trample 
§n the Son of God, or tread him under foot, which is the 
higheft expreflion of fcorn, contempt, and malice ; con- 
veying alfo the idea of infulting over, as is plain in the 
metaphor. Chrift propofed in the gofpel, was profeffed 
by thefe perfons for a while to be the Son of God, the tru!^ 
MeJJiah, the Saviour of the world ; him whom God had 
exalted above principalities and powers, and whom there- 
fore we all ought to exalt and adore in our fouls : but 
jiow by this fort of perfons, he was eileemed an evil doer, 
a feducer, one not at all fent of God, but one that juftly 
fufFered for his crimes ; herein they trod underfoot the Son 
of God with all contempt and fcorn. Again ; the pro- 

h % feluoa 



fefllon they made was, to obferve and do all that he ha<3^ 
commanded them, becaufe all power was given him in 
heaven and earth ; this they now utterly rejected and de- 
fpifed, betaking themfelves to other modes of divine fer- 
vice in oppolition to them. 

§ 5. Another aggravation of the fin fpoken of is its 
oppofition to the py'iejlly office and facrifice of Chrill, here 
called (to cclucc jTig ^ici9riK>ig) the blood of the covenant : 
This was not only the great exprcffion of the grace of 
God, and of the love of Chrift, but alfo to finners, the 
cauje of all good, the center of divine wifdom in all the 
mediatory a6lings of Chrift, the life and foul of the gof- 
pel. (Ko/vov) common^ as oppofed to any thing that is 
confecrated to God, and thereby made facred : hence it is 
ufed for profane and unholy, as not belonging to divine 
worfhip. They no longer efteemed it as that blood where- 
with the new covenant was fealed^ confirmed, and ella- 
blifhed, but as the blood of an ordinary mem flied for his 
crimes, which is not facred, but common and unholy , 
nay, in their eftimation, not of fo much ufe to the glory 
of God as the blood of beafts in legal facrifices, which 
is the height of impiety, Thofe by whom the efficacy 
of his blood for the expiation of fin, by making fatisfac- 
tion and atonement, is denied, will never be able to free 
themfelves from making it in fome fenfe a common thmg ; 
yea, the contempt which has been call on the blood of 
Chrifl: by that fort of men, will not be expiated with any 
other facrifice for ever. But as Chr'ifi h precious to them 
who believe, (I. Pet. i. 19.) fo is his Hood alfo, where- 
with they are redeemed. — (Ev w 7^yioi(T9)]) wherewith he 
vjuas fanciified ; it is not real or internal fan£tification that 
is here intended, but a feparaiion and dedication to God, 
in which fcnfe the word is often ufed, and all the dif- 
putes concerning the total and final apoftacy from faith 
and real fatisfaftion, from this place, are altogether vain. 
The chief difficulty of this text is, concerning whom thefe 
words are fpoken? The defign of the apoftle in the con-, 
text leads plainly to Chriji himfelf, who was dedicated to 
God, to be an eternal High Priefl, by the blood of the 



covenant. This thefe daring apoftates efleemed an un- 
holy thing, fuch as would have no efFed to confecrate 
him unto God and his mediatorial office. 

§ 6. A farther aggravation of this fin is taken froni 

its oppofition to the fpirit of Chrift ; (xgci to vrvivixoc tt}^ 

%a^nog svxjfo^LO-ocg] and hath done defpite unto the Spirit of 

grace. There are two parts of this aggravation ; the firft, 

taken from the objed of their fins, the Spirit of grace ^ 

the fecond, taken from the manner of their oppofition to 

him, they do him dcfpife. This divine perfon, the Holy 

Spirit, who is God himfelf, and his communication of 

grace and mercy, was he whom thefe apoftates renoun^ 

ced under this peculiar notion or confideration, that h^ 

was peculiarly fent, given, and bellowed, to bear ivitnefi 

to the perfon, doctrine, death, and facrifice of Chrift, 

with the confequent glory, [John xvi. 4. I. Pet, i. 12.] 

But now being wholly fallen off from Chrift and the gof- 

pel, they openly declared, that there was no teftlmony in 

them to the truth, but that all thefe things were either 

diabolical delufions or fanatical mifapprehenfions. Now 

this proceeding from them who had once themfelves made 

the fame profefiion with others of their truth and reality, 

gave the deepeft wound that could be given to the gofpel ; 

for all the adverfaries of it who had been filenced with 

the public miraculous teftimonies of the Holy Spirit, now 

ftrengthened themfelves by the confefiion of thefe apof- 

tates — that there was nothing in it but pretence ; and 

who fhould better know than thofe who had been of that 

fociety ? Hence are they faid to ' do defpite to the Spirit 

* of grace :' they Injure him as far as they are able. The 

word includes wrong with contempt. And what greater 

defpite could be done to him, than to queftion his truth 

and the veracity of his teftimony ? And if lying to the 

' Holy Ghoft is fo great a fin, what is it to make the 

Holy Ghoft a liar f 

§ 7. * Of how much forer punifhment, fuppofe ye?* 
which includes that fuch a finner fhall be punfhed, that 
this Ihall be ?i fore punifiiment, a far greater punifhment, 
^hat what was inflicted according to the law, fuch as men 


fhall be able neither to abide nor to avoid. * Of hoio 
* much forer V None can declare, none can conceive it, 
[I. Pet. iv. 17, 18.] But whereas that punifnment v^as 
death vjithont mercy, wherein could this exceed it ? I an- 
fwer, becaule that was a temporal death only ; for though 
fuch finners under the law might perilh eternally, yet 
that was not by virtue of the conilitution of the JMofaic 
law, which reached only to temporal punifhments ; but 
this punilhmcnt is eternal. [See II. Thef. i. 6 — 8. Mark 
xvi. 16.] The way v/hercby they are made obnoxious 
to it i.^, that they are {cc^iui^-o-iTOii) counted worthy of it ; 
they fhall receive neither more nor lefs than their due : 
the judge in this cafe is God himfelf, as the apoflle de- 
clares in the next vcrfe ; he alone knows, he alone can 
juftly determine what fuch apoftates are worthy of; but, 
in general, that this fjiall unfpeakably exceed that annexed 
to the tranfgrcllion of the law, is \ch to themfelves to 
judge, * fuppofc ye.* What do you think in your own 
hearts will be the judgement of God concerning thefe 
finncr^i ? This argument the apoflle frequently infifts 
upon, fas chap. ii. 2 — 4. and xii. 25. j and it had a 
peculiar cogency towards the Hebrews, who had lived 
under the terror of thofe legal punifhments ail tiieir days, 
§ 8. (II.) From the whole v/e proceed to obferve, 

1. The contempt of God and his authority in his law, 
is the gall and poifon oi {\\\. 

2. When the God of mercies will have rnen fliew no 
mjrcy, as in temporal punilhments ; he can and will, 
upon repentance, fliew mercy as to eternal punifhment ; 
for we dare not condemn all into hell when the law con-» 
demncd as to temporal punilbment. 

3. Though there may be fometimes an appearance of 
great fevciity in God's judgements againil: fmners, yet 
When the nature of their fins and their aggravation fhall 
be difcovered, they will be manifefl to have been righteous 
and within due meafures. 

4. Let us take heed of every negleft of the perfon of 
Chrifl, and his authority, left we enter into fome degree 
or other of the guilt of this great offence, 

5. The 

Ver. 28,. 29. EPISTLE TO THE HEBREWS. jj 

5. The fins of men can really and aftually reach 
neither the perfon nor authority of Chrifl ; they only do 
that in dejire, which in eifect they cannot accompiifh. 
This doth not extenuate their iin ; the guilt of it is no 
Icfs than if they did adluaily trample upon the Son of 

6. Every thing that takes off from an high and glorious 
«fteem of the blood of Cnrift, as the blood of the cove- 
ifiant, is a dangerous entrance into apoilacy. 

7. There are no fuch curfed pernicious enemies to re- 
iigion as apoflates. 

§ 9. I. The inevitable certainty of the eternal puni{h- 
ment of gofpel defpifers depends on the efiential holinefs 
and righteoufnefs of God, as the ruler and judge of all ; 
it is nothing but what he in his juil judgement, which is 
according to truth, accounteth them worthy of, [Rom. i. 


2. It is a righteous thing with God to deal thus with 
men ; wherefore all hopes of mercy, or the leafl relax- 
ation of punilhraent to all eternity, are vain as to apof* 
tates ; they fhall have judgement without mercy. 

3. God hath allotted different degrees of punifhment 
to the different degrees and aggravations of fin. 

4. The apoflacy from the gofpel here defcribed, being 
the abfolute height of all fin and impiety that the nature 
of man is capable of, renders them eternally obnoxious 
to punifhment, and the greatefl fin moifl have the greatef^ 

5. It is our duty diligently to inquire into the nature 
©f fin, lefl we be overtaken in the great offence. 

6. Sinning againfl the teilimony given by the Holy 
Ghofl to the truth and power of the gofpel, of which 
men have had experience, is the moft dangerous fymptom 
©f a perilhing condition. 

7. Threatenings of future eternal judgements on gofpel 
defpifers belong to the preaching of the gofpel. 

8. The equity and righteoufnefs of the moft feverc 
judgement of God againft gofpel defpifers is fo evident^ 



that it may be referred to the judgement of men them- 
felves if not totally obilinate in their blindnefs. 

9. It is our duty to juilify God and to bear him^ 
witnefs with refpe£l to the righteoufnefs of his judgemeatis 
againfl gofpel defpifers. 

Verses 30^ 31. 


§ I. (I.) Expojition. ^he fevcrlty before mentioned fupported 

hy facrcd tejiimonies. § 2. Vengeance belongs to God. § 3. 

God the fupreme judge. § 4. Hence the awful danger of 

falling under this difpleajure, § 5, 6. (II.) Obfervations, 

§ I. x\S if the apoflle had faid, in the fevere fentence 
we have denounced againll apofiates, we have fpokcn no- 
thing but what is fuitable to the holinefs of God, and 
what indeed in fuch cafes he hath declared he will do^ 
The conjun£lion (yj^p) for, denotes the introdu^ion of a 
teafon of what was fpoken before, but more particularly 
fhe reference he had made to their own judgements of what 
fore punifhment was due to apoftates ; if you would be 
fully convinced of the righteoufnefs and certainty of this 
dreadful de{lru6lion of apoftates, confider, in the firft 
place, the author of it, the only judge in the cafe ; ' we 
♦ know him that hath faid,' what God fpeaks [Deut. xxxii^ 
55, 36.] concerning his memieSf and the enemies of his 
people in covenant with him, is applicable to that peopfe 
ftfelf when they abfolutely break and rejeft the covenant; 
for thefe, upon their apoilacy, come into the place of the 


Ver.30>3i- epistle TO THE HEBREWS. 79 

moll curfed enemies of God and his faithful people ; and 
therefore God will be to theniy what he was to the worfl 
of his adverfaries ; for fliall he not a£l in the like manner 
towards them who murdered the Lord Jefus, and per- 
fecuted all his followers ? 

§ 2. This^^y? tejiimony in the original is (cz:Vti>i C3pj h) 
to me vengeance and recompcnce, which the apoflle renders by 
{zvhy^og jjLio-OaTfo^oa-ici) a juji recompence^ to the fame pur- 
pofe. Recompence is the a£lual exercife of vengeance ; 
(hKYiy SKSiKfjCTis) vengeance, is the a£lual execution of 
judgement on linners, according to their defert, without 
mitigation of mercy ; it is an a£l of judgement, and 
wherever mention is made of it, God is ftill propofed as 
a judge \ it being a J74/i retribution, according to the juft 
demerit of lin. This vengeance God appropriateth to 
himfelf, in a peculiar manner, as that v;hich in its full 
latitude, no creature hath any intereil in ; [fee Pfal. xciv. 
I, 2.] for it refpefts ov\\j Jin in its own formal nature^ as 
an offence againfl God ; although he hath in magiilrates 
allowed the infliftion of punifhments on offenders to an- 
fwer the proper ends of government, and to promote the 
peace of the world ; yet as to vengeance, as it denotes giving 
fatisfa£lion to ourfelves in the punifliment of others, it is 
forbidden to all perfons, both public and private. God 
in executing vengeance gives fatisfadtion to his own infinite 
hoUnefs and righteoufnefs, which makes it holy and jufl ; 
wherefore the formal reafon of the appropriation of all 
vengeance unto God, is, that he alone can judge and 
punifh in his own cafe, and to his own fatisfadion. ' He 

* hath made ail things for himfelf, and the wicked for 

* the day of evil ;' in this appropriation of vengeance unto 
God there is fuppofed and included, that indeed there is 
vengeance with him, which in due time he will execute ; 

* I will repay, faith God ;' He doth oftentimes exercife 
great patience and forbearance, even then when vengeance 
might juftly be expedled ; * how long doll thou not 

* avenge our blood V This commonly adds to the fecurity 
of wicked men, and they learn to defpife the threatenings 
of all the divine judgements which thev have deferved ; 

Vol. IY. M ' . [H. 


[IT. Pet. iii. 3 — 7. Ecclef. viii. 11.] they are ready to 
conclude, that either vengeance doth not belong to God, 
or that It ihall be executed when and where they are not 
concerned ; but a determined time is fixed for the execu- 
tion of deferved vengeance ; hence he calls it ' the year 

* of vengeance, and the day of recompence \ fo hear, 

* I will recompence, faith the Lord.' 

§ 3. The fecond teftlmony, taken from the fame place, 
is of the fame import with this ; ' The Lord fliall judge 

* his people.' Id Deuteronomy [chap, xxxii. 36.] it is 
applied to fuch a judgement of them as tends to their 
deliverance ; but the general truth of the words is, that 
God is the fupreme judge, he is judge himfelf; [Pfal. i. 6.] 
this the apollle makes ufe of, concluding that the righte- 
oufnefs of God, as the fupremc judge of all, obligeth 
him to this fevere deftrudion of apollates ; for * fliall not 
' the judge of all the world do right r' Shall not he who 
is judge, in a peculiar manner, of thofe that profefs 
themfelves to be his people, punifh them for their ini- 
quities, efpecially fuch as break oft all covenant rela- 

^4. * It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of th.e 
^ living God.' Thefc words are both an inference from 
thofe immcdiatelv toregoing and a rtcapitulcition of all he 
had fpoken to \.\n-> purpofe. Let men look to it, let 
tiiem look to themfelves, and confider what they do ; * for 
' it is a fearful thii]g,' he. In what {^n^c God is called 
the * living Cod^'' and with rcfpefl to what ends, hath 
been declared before; [chap. iii. 12. and ix. 14.] In 
brief, this title is afcribcd to God in oppojition to all dead 
and dumb idols, and witli refpe£l to his eternal pozutr^ 
whereby he is able to avenge the fms of pen ; indeed it 
calls to mind all the other ho!y properties of his nature, 
which are fuited to imprefs dread and terror on pre- 
fumptuous finners, whofe punilhment is thence demonr 
llrated to be unavoidable; the event of finning is (-ll- 
TTcCTi/v cig yjiciocg) to fall into his hands", which is a com- 
mon exprelTion with reference to the power of any one 
over his enemies ; none can be faid to * fall into the 

' hands 

Ver. 30, 31- EPISTLE TO THE HEBREWS. 8t 

* hands of God/ as if they were not before in his power ; 
therefore it denotes to be obnoxious to his power and 
judgement, when there \z nothing in God himfelf, no- 
thing in his word, nothing in the law, nothing in the 
gofpel, that can be pleaded for the leafl abatement of 
punilhment. There is no property of God that can be 
implored ; it is the deflru£lion of the finner alone, 
whereby they will all be glorified ; {(^•cS-f.oy) a fearful^ 
dreadful things that which no heart can conceive, nor 
tongue exprefs ; men are apt to put off all thoughts of it, 
or to have flight thoughts about it ; but in itfelf how 
dreadful, terrible, and eternally deflrudive of all their, 
happinefs, and inflidive of all the evil that our nature is 
capable of ! Tliis therefore is a paflage of holy writ much 
to be conlidered, efpecially in thcfc days, wherein men 
grow cold and carelefs in their profefTion. and are fignali- 
zed by awful marks of declenlion. 

§ 5. (II.) We may here pbferve, 

I. There can be no right judgement made of the 
nature and demerit of fin, without a due confideration of 
the nature and holinefs of him againil whom it is com- 
mitted ; nothing, therefore, vrill ilate our thoughts aright 
concerning the guilt and demerit of fin, but a deep con- 
fideration of the infinite greatnefs, holinefs, righteoufnefs, 
and power of God. To which we may add, that God 
a£i:s not as to the cffeils of thefe properties of his nature, 
but on a preceding contempt of his bounty, grace, and 
mercy, as it is impofiible that fin fhould come into the 
world but by the contempt of thefe things ; for, antece- 
dently to all poflibility of finning, God communicates the 
e/fefl-s of his goodnefs and bounty to the creation, and, ia 
the reference to thofe fins which are againft the gofpel, 
the effecl of his grace and mercy ; this is that which will 
give us a due meafure of the guilt and demerit of fin ; look 
•upon it as a contempt of infinite goodnefs, bounty, grace, 
and mercy, and as rifing up againft infinite greatnefs^ 
l^olinefs, righteoufnefs and power, and we fiiall view it as 
it is. 

M 2 2. Under 


2. Under the apprehenfions of the great feverities of 
divine judgements, the confideration of God, the author of 
them, will both relieve our faith and quiet our hearts. We 
fhall need nothing elfe to give the moft full fatisfaftion to 
our fouls, than to confider him who hath faid, ' vengeance 
* is mine, I will repay it.* 

3. A due confideration of the nature of God, and that 
he is judge of all, efpecially of his people, and that en- 
clofure he hath made of vengeance to himfelf, under an ir- 
revocable purpofe for its execution, gives indubitable aiTu- 
rancc of the certain unavoidable deftruflion of all wilful 
apoflates ; all their fecurity, all their prefumptuous hopes 
will vanifh before this confideration, as darknefs before 
the rifing fun. 

4. Although thofe who are the peculiar people of God 
fland in many relations to him that are full of refrefhment 
and comfort, yet let them conftantly remember that he 
is the holy and righteous judge^ even towards his owri 

5. The knowledge of God in fome good meafure, 
both as to what he is in himfelf, and what he hath takea 
on himfelf to do, is necelTary to render either his pro- 
mifes or threatenings efFeftual to the minds of men. 

§ 6. I. There is an apprehenfion of the terror of the 
Lord in the final judgement, which is of great ufe to the 
fouls of men, [II. Cor. v. 11.] at leafl to them who 
are not yet irrevocably engaged in the tremendous efFeft 
of it. 

2. When there is nothing left but the expectation of 
judgement, its fore-apprehenlion will be filled with dread 
and terror. * It is a fearful thing.' 

3. The dread of the final judgement where there fhall 
be no mixture of eafe, is altogether inexpreflible. 

4. That man is lofl for ever who hath nothing In God 
that he can appeal to ; nothing in the law or gofpel which 
he can plead for himfelf ; and this is the flate of all wilful 

5. Thofe properties of God which are the principal 
Might of believers, the chief objed of their faith, hope, 



and truft, are an eternal fpring of dread and terror to all 
impenitent ilnners ; * the living God.' 

6. The glory and honour of the future Hate of blefled- 
nefs and of mifery are inconceivable, either to believers 
or to finners. 

7. The fear and dread of God, in the defcription of 
bis wrath, ought continually to be on the hearts qf ^11 
who profefs the gofpel. 

Verses 32^ — 34. 

5ut call to remembrance the former days ilf 
which, after ye were illuminated, ye en- 
dured a great fight of afflictions ; partly, 
whilst ye were made a g azing-stock, both 
by reproaches and afflictions, and partly, 
whilst ye became companions of them that 
were so used ; for ye had compassion of me 
in my bonds, and took joyfully the spoil- 
ing of your goods ; knowing in yourselves, 
that ye have in heaven a better and an 
enduring substance. 

§ I. (I.) Expojition ; general dejign and import of the words ^ 
§ 2. 'The former days, what. Their being illuminated^ 
what, § 3. Their fight of affli^ions, § 4. Reproaches^ 
§ 5. Made a gazing-Jiock, § 6. Became voluntary com^ 
panions of fufferers. § 7, 8. Their fymphathy with Paul. 
§ 9. Their encouragement for fo doing, § 10, II. (II.) 

§ I. (I.) X HE words in their coherence, intimated in the 
adverfative (^5) but, have refpeft to the exhortation laid 
down, ver. 25. All the verfes interpofed contain dehorta^ 



tron from the evil which they are warned of. {Aya^iM^vw 
x--cr?i) call to mind ; it is not a bare remembrance, but a 
calling to mind, fo as to conjlder what fupport they had 
tinder their fuiferings, what fathfad'ion in them, what 
dcl'rjcrance from them, that they might not defpond upon 
the apprpacTi oT^he like evils ; for if we thus call to mind 
what 'Was the caufe for which we fuiFered, the honour of 
our fufferings out-balancing all the contempt and re- 
proaches of the world ; the prcfencc of God enjoyed in 
them ; and the reward propoled to us ; — our mij:ids will 
be greatly Hrengthened. 

§ 2. (Tciif vrooJsDov '/juiioocg) the former days ; it is un- 
certain what days or feaibns the apoflle peculiarly in- 
tends ; beiides thofe continual hazards they were in from 
their adverfaries, and the occafional fufferings they were ex- 
pofed to, they feem to have had fome fpccial fcafon of- 
pcrfccuilon before the writing of this epiftle ; the firji was 
in the ftoning of Stephen, when great pcrfecution arofe 
againll all the church, and extended itfelf to all the 
churches of Chrid in that nation, wherein our apoille 
liimfelf was highly concerned, [Ads viii. i. ix. i. xxii. 
19. and xxvi. 10, 11.] And there was another on oc- 
cafion of this holy apoflle himfelf ; for upo;! his laft com- 
ing to Jerufalem, after his great fucceifes in preaching 
tlie gofpel among the Gentiles, the whole body of the 
people was filled with rage and madnefs againfl him and 
all the other difciples. (JLv aic (pooii(r9r7j3c) in which ye zvcra 
enlightened, or rather, * ii* which having been enlightened.* 
The mention of this their illumination, being in the time 
pajl, manifefts that their enlightening preceded thofe days 
of their fufferings ; the one following, as it were, imme- 
diately on the other. This enlightening was that work of 
God's grace whereby they were [I. Pet. ii. 9.] * called 

* out of darknefs into his marvellous light ;' the ' light of 

* the knowledge of God fnining into their hearts.' This 
fpiritual change was prefcntly followed with davs of 
afHidion, trouble, and perfccution. In itfelf it is, for the 
rhofl part, accompanied with joy, delight, real and vigorous 
adings of faith and love. y.. Pet. i. 8.] Hence, frequent 



mention is made of the firll love of perfons and churches. 
And it is ufual with God thus to deal with his people in 
all ages ; he no fooner calls them to himielf, but he 
* leads them into the wildernejs ;' he no fooner plants 
them, but he (hakes them with llorms, that they may be 
more firmly rooted. And this he doth — to take off their 
expeftatioyi from this world ; — to try their faith ; — [I. Pet. 
V. 6, 7.] for the glory and propagation of the gofpel ; — for 
tlie cxercifc of all graces ; — to breed us up for the military 
difclpline of Chriil, who is the captain of our falvation. 
They who pals through their firil trials, are Chrifl's ve- 
terans for nt\Y attempts. 

§ 3. 'Ye endured a great fight of afflldions \ we 
render the original word (Troc^yjixc^ooy) affliclions, although, 
by the particulars afterwards mentioned, it appears the 
apoftle intended only perfecutions from men ; but the word 
(7roc9yiiJicc]rx) is properly fufferings ; the fame that the 
apoflle ufeth to exprefs the fufferings of Chrifl, [chap. ii. 
10. and V. 8.] It is a general name for every thing that 
is hard and afflltl'ive to our nature, from whatever caufe 
it arifes ; and therefore all the evils, troubles, hardihips, 
and diilreffes that may befall men on account of their 
profeffion ; this is what we are called to, and of which we 
are not to think ftrange. He calls us indeed to ' his 
* eternal glory ;' but we muft fuff^r with him, if we ex- 
pe£l to rehm with him. Of thefe afflidions and perfecu- 
tions they had {7ro?^K7}v uoXviO'iy) a great fight ; a great 
labour and contention of fpirit. The allufion is taken 
from their wreftling and fighting in the athletic (com- 
monly called \\\^Olympic^ games, who contended publickly 
for viftory, with the glory and honour attending it. Now 
there v/ere no occafions of life wherein men fo voluntarily 
engaged themfelves in difficulties and dangers, as in thofe 
games and drivings for maflery ; in like manner, no man 
is compelled to enter into the gofpel combat, but they muft 
make it an adl of their ozvn choice^ but, in order to obtain 
it, they mull undergo a great ft rife ^ contention and dange- 
rous contii6t. {^X^!T'z^.zLvci\i) ye endured^ and bore patiently, 
fo as not to faint or defpond, or turn away from your pro-. 

feffion ; 


fefTion i ye came off conquerors, having failed in no 
point of your conflid. This the apoftle would have 
tlieni * call to remembrance,' that they might be flrength- 
ened and encouraged for future engagements. 

^ 4. * Partly, whilft ye were made a gazing-ftock, both 
• by reproaches and affliftions f their fufferings coniilled 
of reproaches and afflictions ; and as to the manner of fuf- 
fering, they were made a gazing-Jiock, {Ovsilio-^oig) re- 
f roaches, are a great aggravation of fufferings to ingenuous 
minds. The pfalmift, in the perfon of Chrift himfelf, 
complains, that * reproaches had broken his heart,' [Pfal. 
Ixix. 20.] There are tivo branches of reproaches ; — -falfe 
accufations, or charging men with vile and contemptible 
things, fuch as will expofe them to public fcorn and rage ; 
— and the contempt that is cait upon what is true, good, 
and praife worthy ; they reproach them with their faith 
in Chrifl, their worfliip of him, and their owning his 
authority ; this in itfelf vi2iS their honour and their crown ; 
but as it was managed with hatred and blafphemy, as it 
was confirmed by the common confent of all, as it re- 
ceived flrength and countenance from their fuffering, 
vvhersin they were efteemed punifhed for their fins and 
impieties, it greatly added to their dillrefs. 

§ 5. The manner of their fuffering thefe things was, 
(^-(Zjr>i^oix.svoi) they were made a ga%ing-flock ; they were 
brought, as it were, on the public ftage, or theatre, and 
there cxpofed to all forts of evils ; for when guilty perfons 
were caft to beads to be devoured, it was in the theatre, 
where they were made a fpeaacle, or a gazing-flock to 
the people. But the apoftle limits the fufferings of the 
Hebrews to reproaches and afiiaions ; they had not yet 
* yet refifted unto blood ;' fo at Ephefus they drew Gaius 
and Ariftarchus into the theatre and were there publickly 
expofcd with an intention to deftroy them ; [A£ls xLx. 
29.] fo when men and women were driven or dragged 
out of thdr meetings into the ftreets, or committed to 
prifons, [Ads viii. 3.] then were they loaded with all 
manner of reproaches, ^nd made a gazing-ftock to all 
^about thcmi but their caufe and their divine example 


Ver. 32— 34- EPISTLE TO THE HEBREWS. 87 

were fufficient to fupport them on thefe occafions however 

§ 6. The other part of their fufFerings was, that they 
' became the compamom of them that were fo ufed ;' they 
came into a felloivjhip of fuiFerings with them that 
{'^^oog o(,voc(fl^s(poKLcVCAJv) vjerc fo ufcd, that had their way and 
courfe of converfation in the world, in that manner. 

I am rather inclined to regard a double dillribution of 
things and perfons in the text ; that of things {thJo u.^) 
partly, in a£lual fuffering, and a participation of the fuf- 
fering of others ; that of perfons ,{t8]o ^s) and partly, in 
that only fome of thofe to whom he wrote did ad u ally in 
their own perfons fufFer the things of which he fpcaks, 
and the reft of tliem were only companions with them that 
fuffered ; and fo it generally falls out in the fierceft per- 
fecutions ; all are not called forth to the fame adiual 
fufFerings ; fome in the order of Providence, and through 
the rage of men, are fingled out for trials ; and fome 
efcape, at leaft for a feafon, and it may be are referved 
for the fame trials at another time ; \o it may be faid of 
the whole church, that they endured a great fight of afilic 
tions, while fome of them were a gazing-fiock, &c. and 
others of them were companions of them who were fo 

{Y^oivcjovoi ysy/ficvjcg) fVhilft ye became companions ; by 
their common inter eft in the fame caufe for vvhich they fuf- 
fered, — by their apprehenfion that the fame fufFerings would 
reach to themfelves, feeing there v/as the fame caufe in 
them as in othef« ; — by their forroiv, trouble, and compafjion 
for the fufFering of the members of the fame body and 
exalted head ; — by all duties of love and afflictions which 
they difcharged in owning and vifiting of them \ — by the 
communication of their goods, and outward enjoyments to 
them, who had fuffered theUofs of their own; fo were 
they made their ' companions.' 

§ 7. ' For ye had compaflion of me in my bonds.* 
This he affirms as a proof of what he had fpoken before ; 
[Kai yoip) for even ye had compallion on me. I have 
proved before that the apoflle Paul was the author of this 

Vol. IV. N epiflle, 


epiftle, and this very paflage is a flrong confirmation of 
it ; for who elfe could there be, whofe bonds for the 
gofpel were fo known among the believing Jews, as his 
own? Hence he ililes himl'elf in particular, [Philem. i.] 
the prijomy, the bond-man of Chrift, and he gloried in his 
bonds as his peculiar honour, [Afts xxvi. 29. Ephef. vi, 
20. Phil. i. 7. and 12 — 16. Col. iv. 18. 11. Tim. ii. 
9.] k is unreafonable to fuppofe that any other is in- 
tended. — Note^ of what kind our fufFerings fhall be, is at 
the fovereign difpofal of God ; wherefore let every one of 
us be content and rejoice in what way foever God fhall 
be pJeafed to call us to fufFer for the truth of the gofpel, 
and the glory of his name. 

§ 8. (^'Lvv-7i'ur/](rs^i-^ ye had compajjion ; they fuffered to- 
icthcr with him therein ; they were not unconcerned in 
his fuffcrings, as being fatisfied with their own freedom, 
as is the manner of fome ; no, it is not a heartlefs^ 
fruitlefs, incfefiual pity that the apoflk intends, but fuch 
a frame of mind as hath a real concern in the fufFerings 
of others, and Is operative in fuitablo duties towards their 

He next minds them of their deportrrent under their 
civn fufFerings ; ' and taok ^joyfully the fpoiling of your 
* goods.' (Ttt ap%ov]cA)v) their outward fubjiance, and prefent 
enjoyments ; it is efpecially applied to things of prefent 
ufc, as the goods of a nian*s houfe, his money, corn or 
cattle, which are more fubject to rapine and fpoil, than 
Dthcr real pofTeilions, lands, or inheritances- 

I'lie way whereby they were deprived of their goods 
was by ( ccf^TrocyYjv) rapine and fpoil, to fatisfy their rage 
and malice, in the ruin of the faints of Chrifl 

The frame of mind in the Hebrews, as to this part of 
their fuffering, is, that they took their lofTes and fpoils 
(/^-V^ Z^p^'S") ^'^^^-^ j^O'- Nothing ufually more afrefts 
tlie minds of men than the fudden fpoiling of their 
goods, what they have laboured for, what they have ufe 
tor, what they have provided for tliemfelves and their 
families. But thcfe Hebrews received this rapine, not 


only patiently and cheerfully, but with a certain peculiar 


§ 9. ' Knowing in yourfelves, that ye have in heaven 
* a better and enduring fubftance.' Some Greek copies, 
and ancient tranflatlons, read the words ; {yL)i'jO(Ty.o\/\iq cj 
apccvoig) * knowing that ye have in heaven ;' and not 
(cJ/ socvjoig) in yourfelves, I fhall therefore open the words 
according to both readings. 

1. * Knowing that ye have in yourfelves ;' the things 
which they had loft were their goods, their ' fubflance' as 
they are called. [Luke xv. 13.] To thefe he oppofeth 
the fubftance in themfelves, which none could fpoil them of. 
Such is the peace and joy our Lord Jefus Chrifl gives to 
his church here below, [John xvi. 22. chap. xiv. 27.] 
And if the ^ fuhjlance* here intended be that which was in 
themfelves, in oppoiition to thofe external goods which they 
were deprived of, then it is that experimental fubftjlence m 
the fouls of believers, which faith gives to the grace and 
love of God in Chrift Jefus ; in this fenfe (yivuj(Ty^oPiic) 
knowings expreffeth an afjurance ariiing from experience, 
the powerful experience, which faith gave them of it ; 
[fee Rom. v. i — 5] and this fubllance is (x^psfj ci^a^) better^ 
incomparably more excellent, than the outward goods that 
are fabjed to fpoil ; and it is {u^svuTc/yv) abid'ng, that which 
will not leave them in whom it is, nor can never be 
taken from them ; * my joy fhall no man take from 
' you.' 

2. If we follow the ordinary reading, this fubjlance is 
faid to be in heaven ; there prepared, there laid up, there 
to be enjoyed ; wherefore, it comprifeth the whole of the 
future ftate of bleffednefs ; and it is well called * fub- 
' fiance,' being all riches, an inheritance, a weight of 
glory ; for, in comparifon of it, all temporary things 
have no fubfiance in them. 

Again, they are faid (-'XiTy) to have this fubfiance not 
in prefent pofTcffion, but in right, title, and evidence ; 
they knew in themfelves that they had an undeniable title 
to It — becaufe it is prepared for them In the will, pleafure, 
and grace of God ; * it is your Father's good pleafure to 

N 2 * give 



* give you the kingdom ;' — becaufe it is purchafed for 
them by the blood of Chfift ; — promifed to them in the 
gofpcl ; — fecured for them in the interceffion of Chrift ; 
granted to them in the firft fruits ;— and all this con- 
iirmed to them by the oath of God ; the firfl fruits they 
had in poficffion and ufe, the whole in right and title ; 
arid continual application of it was made to their fouls by 
the hope which will not make afhamed. 

How this fubftance is better than outward enjoyments, 
and abiding, needs not to be explained, they are things 
in themfelves fo plain and evident. 

§ lo. (II.) The following ihort obfervations may be 
here made, 

1. A wife management of former experience is a great 
direction and encouragement to future obedience. 

2. All men by nature are darknefs, and in darknefs. 

3. Saving illumination is the firfl fruit of effedtual 

4. Spiritual light in its firfb communication puts the 
foul on the diligent exercife of all graces. 

5. It is fuited to the wifdom and goodnefs of God ta 
fuffer perfons on their firll converfation to fall into mani- 
fold trials and temptations. 

6. All temporary fufFerings, in all their aggravating 
circum fiances, in their mofl dreadful preparations and 
appearances, are but light things in comparifon of the 
gofpel and its precious promifes. 

7. There is nothing in the whole nature or circura- 
Hances of temporary fufferings, that we can claim an ex- 
emption from, after we have undertaken the profeflion. 
of the gofpel. 

8. It is referved to the fovereign pleafure of God, to 
meafure out to all profefTors of the gofpel their fpecial 
lot and portion of trials and fuiferings fo as that none 
ought to complain, none envy one another. 

§ II. I. Faith giving an experience of the excellency 
of the love of God in Chrifl, and of the grace received 
thereby, with its incomparable preference above, all out- 
ward pcriihing tilings, \<\\\ give joy and fatisfa^lion in 


Ver.35»36- epistle TO THE HEBREWS. 91 

the lofs of them all, on account of an interefl in thefc 
better ^things. 

2. It is the glory of the gofpel that it will, from a 
fenfe of an interelt in it, afford fatisfaftion and joy in 
the worft of fufFering for it. 

3. It is our duty to take care that we be not furprifed 
with outward fufFerings, when we are in the dark as to 
our interefl in thefe things. 

4. Internal evidences of the beginnings of glory, In 
divine grace ; a fenfe of God's love, and affured pledges 
of our adoption, will afford infeparable joy under the 
greatefl outward fufFerings. 

5. It is our prefent and eternal interefl to preferve 
our evidences for heaven clear and unflained, fo that we 
may ' know in ourfelves' our right and title to it. 

6. There is a Jubjlance in fpiritual and eternal things, 
whereto faith gives a fubfiflence in the fouls of believers. 
[See chap. xi. i.] 

7. There is no rule of proportion between eternal and 
temporal things ; hence the enjoyment of the one will 
give joy in the lofs of the other. 

Verse 35, 36. 

cast not away therefore your confidence, 

-which hath great recompence of reward ; 

for ye have need of patience; that after 

ye have done the will of god, ye might 

receive the promise., 

§ I. (I.) Connexion and expojition of the words. Not to cajl 
away confidence^ what. § 2. 'The matter of it, § 3. The 
. fcafon of continuing the duty. § 4. (II.) Obfervations, 

§ I. (I.) JLN tliefe two verfes there is both an inference 
from the former argument, and a confirmation of it ; the 



inference is plain j feeing yo'J have fufFered fo many things 
in your perfons and goods, iec'rg God by the power of 
his grace hath carried you through with fatisfaftion and 
joy, do not now defpond. The confirmation lies in ver. 
a6; — that which he exhorts them to is the prefervation 
and continuance of their (TiOipp'/jo-Kzv) confidence, as to in- 
vincible conftancy of mind, and boldnefs in profelling 
the gofpel, in the face of all difficulties, through a truft 
in God, and a valuation of the eternal reward. 

This confidence which hath been of fuch ufe to them, 
they are exhorted (^^/i c^7roj3aX'/i]c) not to caji away ; he 
doth not fay, leave it not, ferego it not ; but * cafl it not 

* away ;' for where any graces have been ilirred up to 
their due exercife, and have had fuccefs, they will not 
fail, nor be loft, without fome pofitive a^ of the mind in 
reje£ling them. When faith, on any occafion, is im- 
paired and infnared, this confidence will not abide ; and 
io foon as we begin to fail in our confidence, it will 
refiecl weaknefs on faith itfelf ; and hence it appears how 
great is the evil here dehorted from, and what a certain 
cntcrance it will prove into apoflacy itfelf if not feafon- 
ably prevented. 

§ 2. What the apoftle, as to the matter of it, here calk 
a ' recompencc of reward,' he in the next verfe^ from 
the formal caufe of it, calls the promije, that promifc 
Avhich we receive after we have done the will of God ; 
wherefore, what is here intended is the glory of heaven, 
propofed as a reward by way of recompence to them that 
overcome in their fufferings for the gofpel. A free gift 
of God, for the * wages of fin is death, but the gift of 

* God is eternal life through Jefus Chrift our Lord.' 
They are as fure in divine promifes as in our own pro- 
felfion ; and although they are yet future, faith gives them 
a prefent fubfiftence in the foul, as to their power and 
efhcacy, * for ye have need of (viro^ovr^q) patience.^ a bear- 
ing of evils with quietnefs and complacency of mind, 
without raging» fretting, defpondency, or inclination to 
compliance with undue ways of deliverance : ' In pati- 

* ence poffefs your fouls ;* confidence will engage men in 


Ver. 35, 36. EPISTLE TO THE HEBREWS. 9^ 

trouble and difficulties in a way of duty; but if patience 
take not up the work, and carry it on, confidence will 
flag and fail. [See chap. vi. 11, 12.] Patience is the 
perfedling grace of fufFering Chriflians, [Jam. i. 4. 

This, faith the apoflle, ' you have need of.* He 
fpeaks not abfolutely of the grace itfelf, as though they 
had it not, but of its continual exercife in their condi- 
tion ; and the necejjity here intimated is grounded on thefe 
two fuppofitions ; — That thofe who profefs the gof- 
pel in lincerity fhall ordinarily meet with trials on the 
account of that profeflion ; and — that without the con- 
ilant exercife of patience, noae can pafs through them to 
the glory of God, and their own advantage in obtain- 
ing the promife of eternal life. Patience is not a mere 
endurance of trouble, but is, indeed.^ the due exercife of 
all graces under fufFerings ; nor can any grace be a£ted 
in that condition where patience is wanting: it is there- 
fore indifpenfably neceflary for this condition. 

§ 3. * That after ye have done the will of God.*" 
There is no difcharge from this duty until we have done 
the will of God. The will of God is twofold ; — the 
will of his purpofe and good pleafure, the eternal aft of 
his counfel, which is accompanied with infinite wifdom 
concerning all things which fhall come to pafs ; and — the 
will of his command prefenting to us a required duty. 
And both thefe fenfes, I judge, are included in this 

What is meant here by the * promife' is evident from 
the context ; even all the promifes of grace and mercy in 
the covenant which they had already received. God had 
not only given them the pr^m'ifes of thefe things, but he 
had given them the good things themfehes, as to their de- 
grees and the meafures of their enjoyment in this world. 
And as to the promife of eternal life and glory, they had 
received that alfo, and did mix it with faith ; but the 
thing itfelf promifed they had not received. This different 
notion of the promifes, the apoftle declares, chap. xi. 17, 
39. as we {hall fee, God willing. 



^ 4. (II.) From the whole obferve the following 
things : 

1. In times of fufFering, and in the approaches of 
them, it is the duty of believers to look on the glory of 
heaven under the notion of a refrefliing, all-fufficient 

2. He that would abide faithful in difficult feafons, 
muft fortify his foul with an unconquerable patience. 

3. The glory of heaven is an abundant recompence 
for all we undergo in our way towards it. 

4. Believers ought to fuflain themfelves in their fuf- 
ferings with the promife of future glory. 

5. The future blelTednefs is given us by promife, and 
is therefore free and undeferved. 

6. The consideration of eternal life, as the free effeft 
of divine gr?xe, and as propofed in a gracious promife, 
is a thoufand times more full of fpiritual refrefliment to 
a believer, than if he fhould conceive of it as a reward 
propofed to our own doings or merits. 

Verses 37- 



§ I. Introdun'ion. § 2. (I.) Expo_/ition of the words. He 
that "jjas to come., Chr'ift. § 3. The jiiji H'oing by faith 
§ 4. The contrary charaiUr, § 5. The fejitence denounced 



again/} apojlacy. § 6. T^he apojili s charitable conclujion 
concerning the Hebrews. § 7 — lO. (II.) Obfervations, 

§ I. X HE fubftance of the apoJioTical exhortation^ as 
hath been often obferved, is to infpire the Hebrews with 
conflancy in their profeffion againfl perfecutions and 
temptations. To this end he commends to them the 
necelTary ufe of confidence and patience \ and in thefe 
verfes, he makes a tranfiilm to the confideration t^^ faith 
itfelf, whereunto he refolves tlie whole confideration to 

§ 2. (I.) ' For yet a little while, and he that fhall 

* come will come, and will not tarry.' It might arife ia 
the minds of thefe Hebrews, that it was a long time for 
them to be exercifed with thefe troubles, and they might 
begin to fear they fhould be worn out by them. To en** 
courage them againfl the influence of this temptation, 
the apoflle accommodates a teflimony out of the pro- 
phet Habbakuk, which leads him direflly to the con- 
sideration of the power and efficacy oi faith ^ [Heb. ii. 
3, 4.] * For the vifion is yet for an appointed time, but 

* at the end it fhall fpeak, and not lie ; though it tarry, 

* wait for it, becaufe it fhall furely come, it will not 
« tarry. Behold, his foul which is lifted up, is not up- 

* right in him, but the jull fhall live by his faith.' He 
fpeaks of a ' vifion,' that is, a prophetical vifion of good 
things, v/hich God would efFe£l in due time ; and there 
is the fame reafon, in general, of all the promifes of 
God. ' 7'hough It tarry^ faith he, that is, feem to 
you to do fo ; for believers are apt, under their fuffer- 
ings, to regard the feeming delays of the accomplifhment 
of divine promifes, of long continuance; (as wicked 
men and fcoffers, on the contrary, hsrden themfelves 
in their fins and impieties on the fame account of God's 
threatenings, IL Pet. iii. 3, 4-) but, faith he, * It will 

* not tarry^ that is, although it feem to you to do fo, 
and are deje£led about it, yet there is an appointed time 
for it, and in itfelf no long time, beyond which it fhall 

Vol. IY, O not 


not be deferred one moment, [Ifa. Ix, 2 2. II. Pet. iii.] 
'J'bis whole feiife the apoftle coiiiprifeth in this fhort 
verfe, — (Mikpov) a little /pace ; though it feem to tarry^ 
wait for it, it will come after a Jhort /pace of time, as if 
he had faid, *' My brethren faint not, be not weary nor 
difcouragcd, keep up confidence and patience, you 
know what you expeft, which will be an abundant re- 
compence to you for all your fuffcrings; and what- 
ever appearances there may be of its tarrying, what- 
ever it may feem to you, yet if you have but a prof- 
peft into eternity, be it what it will, it is but a very 
little zi'bile.'" — * He that fhall come will come, and will 
* not tarry.' What the prophet fpake of the vijion he 
faw, the apoftle applies to the perfon of Chrift:, 
(o c^y^o^3>oc) he that JJjall come ; for this term is fre- 
<^uently ufed as a pcriphrafis of him. Once it is ufed to 
cxprefs his eternity, [Rev. i. 8.] but generally it hath 
Tcfped to the promife of him; yet, after he was come 
in the fielh, he was to come again on a double account. 

1. In the power of his Spirit, and the exercife of his 
royal authority ; the aiiiftance of his Spirit, with his 
miraculous operations with the minifters of the gofpel, 
was an illuftrious advent of Chrift, not in his own per- 
fon, but in that of his reprefentative, whom he promifed 
to fend in his ftead. 

He was to come in the exercife of his royal authority* 
for the puniflinient and deftru£lion of his ftubborn and 
inveterate adverfaries ; and thus, in refpe£l of his ene- 
mies, Chrift is ftill * he thai is to come,' and as fuch, is 
to be believed in, and his comi/ig prayed for by all the 
faints i for he is to deftroy ' the man of fm,' the head 
ot the apoftacy, by the brightnefs of his coming. 

2. Chnft is {o i^yjlJiC-'^cg) he who is to come; with re- 
fpcft to his comi?ig tiT Judgement at the laft day : this is 
known and confelTcJ, and the bufmefs of his coming 
therein is the prayer of the whole church, [Rev. xxii. 
20.] To every ftate of the church there is a coming of 
Chrijl fuited and accommodated to their condition, 
whereby their faith is kept in continual exercife of de- 




iires after it. This was the life cf faith under the Old 
Teftament, as to his comuig in the flefli, until it was 
accompliilied. This filthy after his refurre£lion, they 
lived by, though but for a fhort feafon, until he came 
in the power of his Spirit, and his miraculous opera- 
tions, to convince the world of fin, righteoufnefs, and 
judgment. Nor do I underftand how the jufl can live 
by faith, without a continual expectation of the coming 
4f Chrifi, in a way fuited to the fiiiferings and delive- 
rance of his church. All the faints have exercifed faitli 
in this word, that it was but a little while, and he that 
Ihall come, will come ; and the cafe is the fame v/ith 
thofe who fufter under the antichriitian spoftacy. They 
live by faith in the expeftation of that coming of Chrift^ 
wherewith the man of fin fhall be confumed; and al- 
though it feem to tarry, they wait for it: this is the 
faith and patience of the faints. 

Wherefore the end for which this coming of Chrifl 
is propofed to the church, being the fupport and en- 
couragement of their fouls to faith and patience, a re- 
fpe£l muft be had to fuch a coming, as is fuited to their 
relief in their prefent ftate and condition ; and this, to 
thefe Hebrews, was then (/// \liv^oov Itov ocrovj yet a little 
while, in a literal fenfe. It is accommodated to all other 
ftates of the church, and the confideration of the com- 
ing of Ghrift, at the laft day, to the final and eternal 
judgement, ought not to be omitted. 

§ 3. ' Now the jult Ihall live by faith ;' the Greek 

particle (Si) which we render * now,'' is taken for (i) 

the Hebrew prefix, which is oftentimes exceptive (invi) 

and in the prophet the exprefFion is plain, becaufe it 

.followeth the defcription of the contrary frame to what is 

here afTerted, ' whofe heart is lifted up.' But the Greek 

particle (h) hath the force of an exceptive only in rc^ 

fpe6: to the difficulty fuppofed in the cafe under con- 

iideration, the fufferings and temptations of profellbrs, 

and the appearance of delay as to their deliverance out of 

■them. * But,' faith the apoflle, notwithftanding thefe 

-things, ' the jufl fliall Hve by faith,' (0 hii.cciog)a juft 

O 2t perfm. 


per/on, a man really made juft, or juftified by faith. 
Yet what is principally here intended, is that qualifica" 
tion of a righteous man, which is oppofed to pride and 
hajtc of fp'irit through unbelief, whereon men draw back 
from God in the profeffion of the gofpel. The jujl man^ 
he who is humble, meek, fmcere, fubdued to the will 
of God, waiting for his pleafure, as all juftified perfons 
are in their feveral degrees — -Jh all live \ for he is free from 
the principle of pride and unbelief, which ruins the fouls 
of men in times of trial. — * Shall live by faith,' (s}t 
7n(fJ3U)c) by faith, may be joined with (o ImccLog) the 
jufi, and fo exprefs the inflrumental caufe whereby a man 
becomes to be jujh Or it may denote the way whereby 
a juft man perfeveres even to Ife, in his profelTion ; and 
this fenfe I embrace, becaufe it is an entrance into the 
demonftration of the mighty things which have been 
done and fuffered through faith by believers. Whatever 
difficulties and oppofitions a juft man meets with in the 
way to life eternal, faith will carry him through them 
with fafety and fuccefs. * He lliall live;' tfe in both 
the principal fenfes of it is here intended: — he fhall not 
die from his profelTion , he fhall not perifh as trees 
plucked up from the roots, twice dead ; he fliali main- 
tain a fpiritual life, the life of God, as the pfalmifl 
fpeaks, * I fhall not die but live, and declare the loving 

* kindnefs of the Lord.' — And, finally, he fhall live, 
attain the promife of eternal life ; or, as in the next 
verfe, ' believe to the faving of the foul.' 

§ 4. In the latter part of the verfe there is a defcrip- 
tion of others, on a fuppofition of the contrary flatc 
and event. In the former the perfon is righteous^ the 
way of his a£li ng is by faith, and the event is life ; * he 

• fhall live.' On the other hand, there is a fuppofi- 
tion made of a perfon not fo qualified, not fo a£ling, not 
fo living, not having the fame fuccefs, but contrary in 
all thefe things. Wherefore, they do greatly deceive 
themfelves and others, who fuppofe it is the fame perfon 
who is thuf fpokcn of, and countenance themfelves by 
the defe£t of tlie pronoun (r/g-) any one, which is natu- 


rally and necelTarily fupplied in our tranflation. Where- 
fore, in the next verfe, the apoftle makes an exprefs 
diflinftion concerning whom he fpeaks in the two ftates ; 
the one, {v7rc(r]oXr,g) of perdition; the other, {7ri(flsujg) of 
faith. Of the latter he had fpoken in the firft words, 
and of the fo^rmer in thefe ; I Ihall therefore retain the 
fupplement, * If any man, or any one^ draw back,' * if 

* there be in any an evil heart of unbelief in departing 

* from the living God.' 

There is an appearance of a great change in the words 
of the prophet. For * his foul^ which in the prophet 
is referred to the perfons offending, is by the apoftle re- 
ferred to God who is offended. But it is enough that the 
apoftle gives us the plain general fenfe ; and indeed he 
feldom keeps to the proper words of the teftimonies he 
quotes, but always gives the mind of the Holy Ghoft iii 
them. {T7rc(f]siX"/i]a.i) draw hack; the word in the pro- 
phet denotes the caufe of the fin intended. The original 
of all defeftion from the gofpel is a ftnful elation of 
heart, not fubmitting to, not acquiefcing in the will of 
God, not fatisfied with the condition of temporal fufFer- 
ings on the account of the eternal reward. When men 
are under the power of this evil frame of heart, they 
will draw back, fubdu£l themfelves out of that ftate and 
condition wherein they are expofed to thefe inconvenien- 
ces; ' If any marC who makes a profeflion of faith in 
Chrift and the gofpel, ' withdraw himfelf from that pro- 
feflion, and communion with them who periift faithful 
in it, ' my heart fhall not/ &c. This is the evil 
which the great defign of the whole epiftle is to obviate 
and prevent. 

§ 5. The fentence denounced againft this fin Is, 
* my foul fhall have no pleafure in him/ The foul of 
God is God himfelf ; but he fo fpeaks of himfelf, to affe6t 
us with a due apprehenfion of his concern in what he fo 
fpeaks, as we are affefled with what our fouls and minds, 
and all our affections, are engaged in. So God promifes 
to the church, that he will rejoice over them with his 
whole heart, and with his whole foul. He hath no de- 


Tight in fucli a perfoii, he is not pkafcd with him, h^ 
fliall not live before him. There is a mclofis \\\ the 
words, he will abhor him, dcfpife him, and in the end 
utterly dcjhoy him. All apollates have feme pretence for 
what they do, wherewith they jullify themfelves, until 
their iniquity be found out to be hateful. Wherefore to 
<}eprive them of this pretence, the apoille declares, ' that 

* the foul of God takes no pleafure in them,' in which 
all pofitive evils are included. For when God doth 
jiot delight in any perfon, the confequence is, that he 
will utterly deflroy them. [See Jerem. xv. i.] 

§ 6. * But we are not of them who draw back unto 

* perdition ; we are not (uttoct] oXvjg sig anruoT^iav) ofwith-^ 
drawing, that is, of them who withdraw or draw back 
unto perdition. No fmall numbers there were who, everi 
then, were falling into apofiacy. This wdiole band of 
rovers, though in profeflion harneiTed like the children of 
Ephraim, turned their backs in the day of battle: th« 
event of this defc£lion was defiruftion. Gradual decays 
and declenhons there may be among true believers, from 
which they may be recovered ; but thofe here intended, 
are fuch as fall into eternal ruin, as appears from the an- 
tithe (is y wherein it is oppofed to the '' Javing of the 


' But of them who believe to the faving of the foul.* 
What is ajjerted of thefe believing Hebrews is, that they 
belonged to another Jiate which had another event. But 
■we are (ttio^ ioog) of faith, of that which is effedual (sig 
^2pi7roiy,crp -^V'Xj'^k) ^o the faving of the faul. Both here, 
and in the former claufe, not only the event but th© 
a^ual influence of apoftacy on the one hand to deftruc^ 
tion, and of faith on the other to the faving of the foul, 
is intended ; as the prepolition (j/c) intimates. 

§ 7. (II.) From the words and expofition let us ob- 
fcrvc : 

I. The delay of the accompliflimcnt of promifes is a 
great exercife of faith and patience ; hence are all the 
exhortations not to faint in ouf minds. 


2. It Is efTentlal to the profitable exerclfe of faith, 
when we look for Chrift's appearance, that it be afted 
on the prom'ife of his coming. 

3. There is a proniife of the coming of Chrlft fuited 
to the flate and condition of the church in all yges. 

4. The appearing delay of the accomplifiiment of an]f 
of thefe promifes requires an exercife of the faith and 
patience of the faints. 

5. Every fuch coming of Chrift hath its appointed, 
feafon, beyond which it fhall not tarry. 

6. This divine difpofal of things renders necelTary the 
continual exercife of faith, prayer, and patience, about tlie 
coming of Chrifl. 

7. Although we may not know the fpedal difpenfatlons 
of time that are palling over us, yet all believers may 
know the ftate, in general, of that church in which thej^ 
are, and what coming of Chr'ijl they are to expe<Sl. 

8. Faith is fatislied with the prom'ife of a good, or a 
deliverance to the church, although a man be perfuaded 
that perfonaily he Ihall not enjoy it ; the faith of this 
kind is for the churchy and not for men's individual per-* 

9. Under defpondencies as to any peculiar appearances; 
' or comings of Chrifl, it is the duty of believers to fix and 

exercife their faith on his iiluflrious appearance at the lafl 

10. Every particular cofhing of Chrifl in a way fuited 
to the prefent deliverance of the church, is an infaUiblc 
pledge of his coming at the lall day to judgement. 

11. Every promifed coming of Chrifl is certain, and 
Jhall not be delayed beyond its appointed feafon, when, 
jio difficulties fhall be able to Hand before it. 

§ 8. I. There are fpecial qualifications of grace re* 
quired to fledfaftnefs in profeffion in times of perfecution 
,and long continued trials. 

2. Many things are required to fecure the fuccefs of 
our profeffion in times of difficulties and trials ; as — that 
our perfons are righteous or juflified by grace i — that wc 



be furyujfjcd with tliofe graces that are appointed to that 
end ; and — that faith be kept to a dihgent exercile. 

3. The continuance of tlie fpiritual hfe, and eternal 
falvation of true believers, are fecured from all oppoii- 
tions whatever. 

§ 9. I. No perfons whatever ought to be on any con- 
iideration fecure againll thofe fins to which prefent cir- 
cumftances give an efficacy. 

2. It is an efFe£l of fpiritual wifdom to difcern what 
is the dangerous and prevailing temptation of any feafon, 
and vigoroufly to fet ourfelves in oppofition to it. 

3. It is much to be feared, that in great trials fome 
will draw back from that profeffion of the gofpel whereia 
they are engaged. 

4. This defection is commonly durable, continued -by 
various pretences ; this is included in the original word 
(v7ro(flciK'/p,cci) gradually and covertly to fubdud himfelf. 

§. 10. I. It is our duty to look diligently that we are 
of that holy frame of mind, that due exercife of faith, 
as the foul of God may take pleafure in us. 

2. Though there appear as yet no outward tokens of 
the anger and difpleafure of God againft our ways ; yet 
if we are in that flate wherein God hath no pleafure in 
■us, we are entering into certain ruin. 

3. Backfliders from the gofpel are in a peculiar manner 
the abhorrency of the foul of God. 

4. When the foul of God is not delighted in any, 
nothing can preferve them from utter dellruftion. 

5. The fcripture every where teflifieth, that in the 
vifible church there is a certain number of falfe hypo- 
crites, whofe end and lot it is to be deftroyed. 

6. It is our mofl urged duty to evidence to our own 
confcicnces, and give evidence to others, that we are not 
of this number. 

7. Nocliing can free apoflates from eternal ruin. 




Verse i, 

how faith is the substance of things hoped 
for, the evidence of things not seen. 

§ I . The apoftles great argument recapitulated^ His prefent 
dejign. § 2. His definition of faith. § 3, 4. (L) The 
fubjiance of things hoped for, § 5. (IL) The evidence 
of things not feen. § 6. (IIL) Obfervations. § 7. Great 
ohje^ions are apt to lie againfi invifible things when cx^ 
lernally revealed. § 8, 9. Remaining obfervations, 

§ I. X HE general nature of this epiflle, as hortatory y 
hath been repeatedly noticed ; and the apollle — having 
evidently declared from the fcripture itfelf that the ftate 
of the gofpel church in its high prieft, facrifice, covenant, 
worfhip, privileges and efficacy, is incomparably to be 
preferred above that of the Old Teftament ; yea, that all the 
excellency and glory of that Hate, and all that belonged to 
it, confifted only in the reprefentation that was made 
thereby of the greater glory of Chrijl and the gofpel, with- 
out which they were of no ufe, and therefore pernicious 
to be perfifled in ; — having fixed their minds in the truth, 
and armed them againft the temptations which they were 
continually expofed to, the oppoftion which befel them, 
and the perfecutions they were like to undergo from the 
obftinate members of the Jewifh church ; — having hinted, 
at the clofe of the la ft chapter, that the only way and 
means on their part, whereby they may be kept conftant 
to their profeffion, notwithftanding all the evils that 
might befall them, is by faith alone ; — being thus deli- 
vered from temptations by the doHrine of truths and from 
the oppofition made to them by faith in exercife ; — the 
apoftle, I fay, proceeds to fhew what this faith is, and, 
Vol. IV. P produces 


produces abundant evidence to prove that it is able to 
efFeft this great work of preferving men in the profellion 
of the truth, under bloody and dellru6live perfecutions. 

This being the delign of the apoflle, the milling of it 
liath caufed fundry contefts about the nature of jujiify'ing 
faith^ which is here not at all fpoken to ; for the apoftle 
treats not oi jujlificatlon^ or oi faith as jujiifying, but of its 
efficacy and operation in thaii who are jiift'ified^ with re- 
fpeft to conllancy and perfeverance in their profellion, 
notwithilanding the difficulties which they have to con- 
flidl with ; as it is treated of Jam. ii. 

And here, before we defcend to a particular difcuflion, 
we may remark, that it is faith aloiie, which, from the 
beginning of the world, under all difpenfations of divine 
grace, and all alterations in the church ftate and worfhip, 
h<ith been in the church the only principle of living unto 
God, of obtaining the promifes, and of inheriting life 

§ 2. * Faith is the (vTrocfjao'ic) fuhjlance of things 
• hoped for;' this word is uied [befides II. Cor. ix. 4. 
xi. 17-;] thrice in this epiille ; in the firft, it is applied to 
cxprcfs a diftinft manner of fuhj'ijicnce in the divine nature,., 
.[chap. i. 3.] In the fecond a firm pevfuajton of the truth, 
iupporting our fouls in the profeliion of it ; [chap. iii. 
14.] In this place, w'e render \x. fubjiarice \ more properly 
it is a \t\\\ fuhjijiencc^ as oppofed to appearing phantafms. 
The fcnfe of the place is wtH exprelled in the Greek 
fcholiait ; *' whereas things that are in hope only, have no 
fubiifiencc of their own as being not prefent ; faith be- 
comes tlie fuhjijkncc of them, making them to be prefent 
after a certain manner;" and the .Svr/W, " a perfuafioii 
of jthc tinngs that arc iwhopc^ as if they were to them in 
fffed ;" whicli goes a great w^ay towards the true expofi- 
«ion of the words. I Ihall, however, retain the word 
\fuhfia)ice^^ as oppoled to what hath no real being or fub- 
iiflence, but only an appearance of things. 

Unto tliis faith two things are afcribed ; — that it is the 
. fubruiice of things hoped for — and,, the evidence of things 



not fcen\ having difciiiTed thefe two things, we fliall fub» 
join fome ohfervatlons. 

§ 3. (I.) Faith is the fubilance [sKtti^o'^svmv) of things 
hoped for \ thefe, in general, are things good, promifed, 
fnture, expected on unfaihng grounds ; all things of pre- 
lent grace and future glory. Hope in God for thefe 
things, to be received in their appointed feafon, is the 
great fupport of believers, under all their trials in the 
whole courfe of their profellion, obedience, temptation and 
fufferings ; things hoped for ^ and things unfecn, are not 
abfolutely the fame ; for there are things uyfeen which are 
the objeds of faith, and yet not hoped fc ; fuch is the 
creation of the world, wherein the apoftL gives an in- 
flance. To the things intended, faith gives prefent fub^ 
fijlence as they are real^ and evidence as they are true ; 
their futurity, and diftance, faith fupplies, and gives them 
a real fubfiilence ; and where do they fublifl as if they 
were actually in effed, whilft they are yet hoped for ? 
' In them,' faith the Syr'iac tranflation ; that is, in them 
that believe. 

§ 4. There are feveral ways whereby faith gives a pre- 
fent fubiiftence to things future and hoped for : 

I. By mixing itfelf with the pronifcs wherein they are 
contained ; divine promifes do not only declare the good 
things promifed, — that there are fuch things which God 
will bellow on believers ; hut they contain them by vir- 
tue of divine inftitution ; hence are they called the 

* breails of confolation,' [Ifa. Ixvi. 11.] as thofe which 
contain the refrelhment they exhibit and convey ; they 
are the treafury in which God hath laid them up ; hence 

* to receive a proraife,' adively, is to receive the things 
promfed which are contained in them, and exhibited by 
them, [II. Pet. i. 4.] now faith m'lxeth and incorpo- 
rateth itfelf with the word of promife, whereby what is 
in the word becomes its own, the things thcmfelves be- 
lieved are enjoyed, and this is \\\t\x fuhfiftence hi us. 

1. By giving the foul a tafie of their goodnefs \ yea, 
making them its food, which they cannot be unlcfs they 
are really prefent to it ; we not only by faith ' tallc that 

P 2 * the 


* the Lord is gracious,* [I. Pet. ii. 3.] that is, have an 
experience of the grace of God in the fweetnefs and good- 
nefs of the things promifed and bellowed, but the zuord 
itfelf is the meat, the food, the milk and ilrong meat of 
believers ; becaufe it really exhibits to their faith the good- 
nefs, fweetnefs, and nourilhing virtue of fpiritual things ; 
they feed on them, and they incorporate with them, which 
is their prefent fubjtjlence. 

3. It gives an experience of their power, as to all the 
ends for which they are promifed. Their ufe and end 
in general is to change and transform the whole foul into 
the image of God, by a conformity to Jefus Chrift the 
firft-born. This we loll by fin, and this the good things 
of the promife reftore us to, [Ephef. iv. 20 — 24.] It 
is not truth, merely as truth, but truth as conveying the 
things contained in it unto the foul, that is powerfully 
operative to this end. This is an eminent way of faith's 
giving a fubfiflence to things hoped for, in the fouls of 
believers. Where this is not, they are to men as clouds 
afar off, which yield them no refrefhing Ihowers. Ex- 
pcflation of * things hoped for,' when they are not in this 
power and efficacy brought by faith into the foul, are 
ruinous fclf-deceivings. For them to have 2i fubfiflence in 
lis is for them fo to abide in us in their powder and efficacy 
as to anfv/er all the ends of our fpiritual life, [lee Ephef. iii. 

4. It really communicates unto us, or we receive by 
it, \kit firft fruits of them all. In believers they are pre- 
fent ; they fubfill, even the greatefl, moft glorious and 
heavenly of them, in t\\Q\x firfl fruits. T\\tit fir Ji fruits 
are the Holy Spirit, as a fpiiit of grace, fan^ification, fup- 
plication, and confolation, [Rom. viii. 23.] For he is the 
feed, the carneft, the pledge of prefent grace and future 

glory; all the good things ' hoped for,' [II. Cor. i. 22.] 
This Spirit we receive hy faith \ the world * cannot re- 

* ceive him,' [John xiv. 17.] The law could not give 
him, fGal. iii. 2.] And wherever he is, there is [vtio- 
(fjcccng) a prefent fubfiflence of all things hoped for, in their 
beginning, benefit, and aflurance. 

5- It 


5. It gives a reprefentatlon of their beauty and glory to 
the minds of behevers, whereby they behold them as if 
they were prefent. So Abraham by faith * faw the day 
* of Chrift,' and rejoiced, and the faints under the Old 
Teflament faw the ' king in his beauty.' 

§ 5. (II.) It is faid in the defcription of the faith, 
tliat it is (^cXzy%og a ^KsTTO^tvcAjv) the evidence of things 
not feen. By ' things not feen the apoflle intends all thofe 
things which ar€ not propofed to our outward fenfes, but 
which ought to influence our conftancy and perfeverance 
in profeffion ; now thefe are God himfelf, the holy pro- 
perties of his nature, the perfon of Chrift, and of the 
Holy Spirit, all fpiritual, heavenly, and eternal things 
that are promifed, and not yet actually enjoyed. 

Again; of thefe invifible lh\ugs faith is faid to be the 
(sKsy'Xj^g) evidence^ that which demonfirates, the revelation. 
Properly, it is fuch a proof or demonftration of any 
thing, as carries with it a confutation of all obje£tions to 
the contrary. Thus faith is a convincing evidence^ plainly 
reproving and refuting all things that make any prelen- 
lions againil the truth fo evidenced. 

§ 6. (III.) From hence obferve, 

1. No faith will carry us through the difficulties of our 
profeffion, from oppolitions within and without, giving 
vs conftancy and perfeverance therein to the end, but that 
which gives the good things hoped for a real fubfiflence in 
our mind ; but when, by mixing itfelf with the promifc, 
which is the foundation of hope, (for to hope for any 
thing but what is promifed, is to deceive ourfelves) it 
gives us a taile of their goodnefs, an experience of their 
power, the inhabitation of their iirft fruits, and a view 
of their glory, it will infalliby efFe«3: the blefled end. 

2. The peculiar fpecific nature of faith, whereby it is 
differenced from all other powers, ads, and graces in the 
mind, lies in this, that it lives on, or makes a life of 
things invifible. It is not only convcrfant about them, 
but mixeth itfelf with them, making them the fpiritual 
nourifliment of the foul. 

3- It 


cj. It is the glory of our religion, that it depends on, 
and is refolved into, mv'ijlble things ; they are far more 
excellent and glorious than any thing fenfe can behold or 
reafon difcovcr, [I. Cor. ii. 9.] 

§ 7. Obj. Great objections are apt to lie againft invi- 
lible things, when externally revealed. Men would fain 
live the life of fenfe, or at lead believe no more than 
what they can have a fcientitic demonilration of. But by 
thefe means we can have no evidence of mvifihlc things ; 
or, at heft, not fiich as may influence properly ourChriftian 
profeflion ; this is done by faith alone. We may have 
cpprehenjions of fome of thefe things by reafon and the 
light of nature, as the apoflle declares, [Rom. i. 19, &c.] 
but we cnnnot have fuch an evidence of them as fhall 
have the properties of the (^^Xiyyjjc) dcmonftration here in- 
tended ; it will not reprove and iilence the objedlions and 
fophifms of unbelief againft them ; it will not influence 
our fouls to a patient continuance in well doing. Now 
faith is not the evidence and dcmonftration of thefe 
tilings to cdU vvhich the fcripture alone is, but only to 
believers. They have this evidence of them in them- 
felves ; for, 

( I.) Faith is that gracious power of the mind, whereby 
it lirmly aflents to divine revelations, upon the fole au-^ 
thority of God the revealer, as the firft eflTential truth, 
and fountain of all truth, 

(2.) It is by fait-li that all ohjefllms againft them, their 
being and reality, are anfweied and refuted ; which is 
required to [zhcyyog) a convincing dcmonjlration. Many 
fuch there are, over all which faith is victorious, [Ephef. 
vi. 16.] All the temptations of Satan, efpecially fuch 
as are called his ''fiery darts,'' conflft in obje£tions againft 
invifiblc things ; either as to their being, or as to our in- 
tn-cft in them. All the aftings of unbelief in -us are to 
the fame pnrpofc ; tQ reprove and filence them is the Vvork 
of failh alone ; and it is fuch a work as without which 
we can maintain our fpirirunl life, neither in its power 
within or its fruitful and conliftcnt profcihon without. 



(3.) Faith brings into the foul an experience of their 
power and efficacy, whereby it is caft into t!ie mould of 
them, or made conformable to them, [Rom. vi. 17. 
Ephef. iv. 21 — 23.] This gives an affluance to the 
mind, though not of the fame nature, yet more excellent 
than that of any fcientific demonllration. 

§ 8. Obf, Faith, in its being thus the * evidence of 
* things not feen,' is the great means of prcferving be- 
lievers in a conflant, patient profeffion of the gofpel 
againil all oppofition, and under the fierceft perfecutions ; 
which is in a peculiar manner what the apoftle aims at to 
demonftrate : for, 

(i.) It plainly dlfcovers that the vjorji of what we can 
undergo in this world for the protellion of the gofpel, 
bears no proportion to the excellency and glory of thofe 
inviiible things, in which, as Chriftians, we are in- 

(2.) It brings in fuch 2l prefent fenfe of their goodnefs, 
power, and efficacy, that not only relieves and refrefhetli 
the foul under all its fufFerings, but mai>.es \t joyful hx 
them and vitlorious over them. 

(3.) It gives an afjnrance hereby of the greatnefs and 
glory of the eternal reward, which is the greatefl encou- 
ragement to conftancy in believing, [I. Pet. iv. 12, 13.] 

§ 9. Ohf, It is faith alone that takes behevers out oi 
this world whilfl they are in it, that exalts them above 
it whilfl they are under its rage ; that enables them to 
live upon things future and invifible, giving fuch a real 
fubfiftence to their power, and vidorious evidence of 
their reality and truth, in themfelves, as fecures them from 
fainting under all oppofitioiis, temptations, and perfecu- 
tions whatever. 



VtRSE 2. 


§ I. Connection of the ivords, § 2. The elders, who. § 3. 
The tcfi'imony given them. § 4. Obtained by faith, § c. 

§ I. X HE efficacy of this faith the apoflle now proceeds 
to prove by the fignal and illullrious effetls it hath had \\\ 
thofe of old who were the fubjeds of it. * For by it the 

* elders,' &c. The coiijundlive particle [yoc^j) for, intro- 
duces a proof, by way of inilance, of what was before 
aflerted ; as if the apollle had faid, * The nature and 
' efficacy of faith is fach as I have defcribed ; for by it the 

* elders,' he. This thev could no way have done, but by 
that faith whereof thefe are the properties. Note, in- 

fiances, or examples, are the mofl powerful confirmations 
of practical truths. 

§ 2. Who thefe ('z^ro-o-Qvl-pot) elders were, is put be- 
yond all difpute by the enfuing difcourfe. AD true be- 
lievers from the foundation of the v/orld, or the giving 
of the tiril promife, to the end of the difpenfation of the 
Old Teffamcnr, are intended ; for in all forts of them he 
givctli particular inftances, from Abel to thofe who fuf- 
fcred tlie lall perfecution that the Jewifli church under- 
went/or religion, [ver. 36 — 38.] What befell them af- 
terwards w^s judgement and punifhment for fm, not per- 
fecution for religion ; all thefe, by one general name, he 
calleth * the elders.' Thus was it conftantly with all be^ 
lievers, from the beginning of the world called the elders^ 
as having lived before us in ancient times. 

§ 3. {KijiCi[lvp->py,o'a',) tejtimony was given to them m the 
fcripture ; to many of them in particular, and to the 
reft in the general rules of it. It is the Holy Spirit in the 
fcripture, who gives them \\\?iX good tefiimony, and to whom 


Ver.4; epistle to the HEBREWS. in 

the apoftle appeals for the proof of his aiTertion. From, 
the vjorld things were othervvife with them, none fo de- 
famed, fo reproached, fo reviled, as they. If they had 
received fuch a good report in the world, their example 
would not have been of ufs to the apoftle's defign ; for he 
applies it to them who were made a ' gazing-ltock, both 
' by reproaches and afflictions,' [chap. x. -^-t,, 34. J as it 
had been with majiy of them who yet obtained this tefli- 
mony. ' They had trials of cruel mockings,' &c. [ver. 
36, 37.] NotCy They who have a good tellimony from 
God, ihall never want reproaches from the world. 

§ 4. What was fo teflified of them by ti;e Holy Ghofl 
is, that t\\ty pleafcd God^ or were accepted with him, and 
conftituted rigliteous, [ver. 4 — 6, &c.] (ivo^J/ji) ^J' ^^ their 
faith\ through t'.eir believing they ' obtained tnis report.' 
Many great and excellent things, fome heroic a6fions, 
fome deep fuiferings, are afcribed to them ; but their 
obtaining this tcitimony is affigned \o faith alone ; for thofe 
yNtr:t fruits of their faith, and their acceptance with God 
depended thereon. 

^ 5. Hence we may obferve, 

1. It is faith aloncy which from the beginning of the 
world, (or from tae giving of the £rll: promife) was 
the means and way of obtaiiiing acceptance with God, 
There hath been great varietv as to the revealed ohje^ls of 
this faith, but the faith itfelf is of the fame nature and 
kind in ail from firft to daft ; and all the promifes of God, 
as branches of the firfl promife, are in general the forinal 
obje£t of it; that is, Chrifl in them, w^ithout faith 111 
whom none have found acceptance with God. 

2. The faith of true believers, from the beginning of 
the-wor-ld, was fixed on things future, hoped for ^ and in- 
i^lfible ; that is, eternal life and glory in an efpecial man- 
ner : that was the faith whereby they * obtained a good 
* report, as the apoftle here teftifies. So vain is the ima- 
gination of them who affirm, that all ihe promifes under 
the Old Teftament refpecled only things temporal ; fo 
making the whole church to have been Sadducees : the 
contrary is here expreflly affirmed. 

Vol. IV. Ci, 3. That 


3. That faith whereby men pleafe God, a£ls itfeif in 
a fixed contemplation of things future and invifible, from 
whence it derives encouragement and flrength to abide lirm 
in their profefTion, and endure to the end, againft all op- 
pofitions. To which we may add, 

4. That however men may be defpifed, vilified, and 
reproached in the world, yet if they are true believers, 
tliey are accepted with God, and he will give them a good 

Verse 3. 

'through faith we understand that the worliu' 
were framed by the w^ord of god, so that 
things which are seen were not made op 
things which do appear. 

§ I. Connexion mid dcfign. §2. Taith^-vjhen fpoken of asr 
the tnjlrumental caufe, includes its ohje^. Is fuperior^ and 
fometimes contrary^ to the boafled principles of reafon ; and 
give a clear undcrjianding of fails in their true caufes. § 3, 
4. ^he making of the worlds y how an ohje£l of faith* \ 5, 

§ I . X H E apoflle now enters on the confirmation and 
exemplification of his propofition by inftances ; firfl, from 
gn efpecial objctl of faith, and then proceeds to the agings 
of it in believers. In this firll inflance of the power and 
efficacy of faith, the apoftle hath refpeft to the fecond 
claufe of his general defcriptlon of it, the evidence of things 
Tiot fccn ; for although this world, and the things con- 
tained in it, are "jifible^ and are here faid to hcfeen^ yet the 
original framing and making of them hath a principal 
place among things not fesn. And to prove that faith 



liath a refpe£l to unfeen things, as unfeen, he gives an in- 
ilaiice in that which was fo long paft as the creation of the 
world ; all his other inftances declare its efficacy in the 
profped of unfeen things that 2S^ future, 

§ 2. * By faith we underfland.' V^\\trt faith is fpokeii 
of as the Inflrumental caufe of any thing, it always includes 
its ohje£l as the principal caufe of the fame things. So 
where it is faid, that we are ' jufliiied hy faith ^ it includes 
Chrift and his righteoufnefs as the principal caufe of our 
juflification ; faith being only the inftrument whereby we 
apprehend it : and here, where it is faid, that ' by faith' 
we underftand that the worlds were framed, it neceflarily 
includes its ohje^y the divine revelation that is made 
thereof in the word of God ; for there is no other way 
for faith to give us an underflanding of it. 

The apoflle here lays a good foundation of all his fol- 
lowing aflertions ; for if by faith we are affbred of the 
creation of the world out of mthhig^ which is contrary 
to the moft received principle of natural reafon, (ex nihilo 
v'lh'il fit) nothing comes of nothing, it will bear us out in the 
belief of other things that feem impoilible to reafon, if fo 
be they are inconteftably revealed. In particular, faith 
well fixed on the original of all things as made out of 
nothing, will bear us out in the belief of the refurreftion 
of our bodies, which the apollle takes notice of with re- 
fpedl to fome of his worthies. 

' By faith we M?iderfiand\ that is, by faith we not only 
affent to the divine revelation of it, but alfo come to have 
a due comprehenfion of it in its caufes, fo as that we may 
be faid to underjland it : wherefore * underflanding' here is 
not oppofed only to an utter ignorance, but alfo to that 
dark and confufed appreheniion of the creation of the 
world, which fome by the light of reafon attained to. 

§ 3. (T^$- ex^iocvug Kcclyiflia-^c^i) that the worlds wer0 
framed. The word always denotes the ordering, difpofing, 
fitting, perfe£ling, or adorning of what is produced ; the 
reducing of all created things into that b.eautifnl order 
whicli we behold ; and the apoule hath an efpecial refpeft 
%Q the things that are feen, as they are orderly, beautiful, 

0,2 au^ 


and glorious, fetting forth the glory of their Maker [Pfal, 
viii. 2, 3. XIX. I, 2. Rom. i. 21.] fo it is faid, that * God 
by his Spirit gar?ii/^ed the heavens,' [Job xxvi. 13.] that 
is, call tuem into that carious, glorious frame vvliich we 
behold ; and the apoille hath ia this word rcfpeft to 
Gen. ii. I. (iVd'i) ' The heavens and the earth, and all the 

• iiofl: of tliem were finljhed^ -perfctledy and completely 

yk'>,iMa'i Q^ii) by the vjord cf God \ the inefrable facility 
of almigiity power ; he ipako the word and it was made ; 
he commanded, and it ftoud fait. And furely it is alike 
eafy unto him to difpofe of all things that are made \ and 
fo faitli, as to the difpofal of all things by divine Pro- 
vidence, in times of gre^it difficulties, and infeparable ob- 
Hacles, is fccured by the con{\dtx?X\o\\ o^ the eafy produ^lion 
of all things out of nothing by the fame power ; how 
eafy is it with God to help, relieve, and deliver them by 
changing, if neceJary, the nature of all thefe things at his 
plcafure, who by his word, through an almighty facility, 
erefted and pcrfeCled the worlds ! And this coniideration 
doth God himfelF frequently propofe for the confirmation 
of the faith of the church, in all her troubles, [Ifa. xL 
28. xhv. 24- xlv. 12. li. 13.] 

4. * So the things which are ^een, were not made of 

* things which do appear; — (T« j3Ks7rGiJ.iva,) things which 
are feen ; wliich are tlie objefts of our fenfes, and our rea- 
fon working by them ; thefe afj^eftable heavens^ with all 
their glorious luminaries; the earthy with all its furniture 
and ornaments ; the fea^ with all its fullnefs ; their great- 
nefs, their glory, their order, and their ufe, with which 
the minds of men ought to be affefted. 

Of thefe things it is affirmed, that they were not made 
(f;c (\j(yAVoiJ.?j(jcv) of things that do appear ; which feems to 
be a negation of any pre-exifting natural caufe ; the word 
((poi,iyoiJi:ycc) imports, things that appear clearly, illufrioufy^ 
in their fhape and order. The underflanding of this we 
have hy faith alone from divine revelation ; for nothing of 
the order of creating can be known or underliood any 
other way ; and this the apoftle intimates in the particles. 


(sig TO, i. e. CAj(f]c) fo that ; by faith alone we underftand 
that the worUs were made, fo as ' that the things which 
* are fecn were not made of things that appear.' 
§ 5. Hence we may obferve, 

1. Thofe who firmly alTent to divine revelation, un- 
derftand the creation of the world as to its truth, feafon, 
caufe, manner and end ; it was never determined among 
the ancient fages of the world, the pretended priefts of 
the myilerics of reafon ; fome faid one thing, and fome 
another ; fome faid it had a beginning, fome faid it had 
none, and fome affigned it fach a beginning, as it had 
better never had any ; nothing but an alfent to divine re- 
velation can give us a clear underjland'ing of it. And, 

2. Then doth faith put forth its power in our minds 
in a due manner, when it gives us clear and diltind ap* 
preheniions of the things believed ; faith that gives not 
-under ft anding is but fancy. 

3. As God's firft work was perfefl, fo all his works 
fhall be ; he undertakes nothing, but what he will finifh 
and complete in beauty and order ; and not only the ori- 
ginal produ6lion of all things out of nothing, but alfo 
t\\Q framing of them into their prefent order, is a demon- 
Uration of this eternal power of God. 

4. The aids of reafon, with the due confideration of 
the nature, ufe, and end of all things, ought to be admitted 
for confirming our minds in the perfuafion of the original 
creation of all things ; yet they are not to be refted in, but 
we mud betake ourfelves to faith fixed on divine revela- 
tion ; for if they are alone^ they will be fhaken with a 
contrary maxim, (ex nihilo nihil fit) of nothing nothing 
comes ; and they can give us no light into the way and 
manner of the creation of all things, which faith alone 



Verse 4. 

by faith abel offered unto god a more ex- 
cellent sacrifice than cain, by which he 
obtained witness that he was righteous, 
cod testifying of his gifts ; and by it he 
being dead yet speaketh. 

^ I. Coymcriion. § 2, 3. (I.) Expojztlon. § 4. AheVs 
facnficc better than Cains, § 5. The teji'imony given it 
§ 6. How he yet fpcakcth, § 7, 8. (II.) Objcvvatimu, 

§ I . Jr^ R O M the nature of faith in general, and its 
efficacy with rcfpcd to things beheved, the apoflle pro- 
ceeds to give inftances of its power and efficacy in far- 
txcular perfons^ whole example in believing he propofeth 
to the Hebrews for their encouragement ; and he begins 
with Abel ; the firft whofe faith is expreflly recorded, and 
the firft that fufFered in the caufe of Chrift, by ihedding 
his blood, which the Hebrews had not yet experienced ; 
wherefore on all accounts this was the meetell inftance 
to begin with. 

§ 2. (I.) * By faith Abel^^ who without example, 
without any outward encouragement, without any witnefs 
of his fufferings to tranfmit them to others, but God 
alone, was the firft in the world that fuffered death in the 
caufe of Chrift and his worfliip, and that even from his 
own brother, who joined with him in the outward a£ls of 
divine worfhip ; which is an example of the two churches, 
the fufferings and the pcrfccuting to the end of the world j 
and this hath made him famous in all generations ; which, 
as ciiRYsosTOM thinks, is intended in the clofe of the 
words, [i\L XcOkil\c/a) he is yet fpokcn efy that is, with fame 
and renown. Note, Every circumftance in fuffering fhal! 
add to the glory of the fufferer ; and thofe who fufFer 
.here for Chrift wthmu witnefs^ as many have done to death 



ill prifons and dungeons, have yet an all-feeing witnefs to 
give them teilimony in due feafon. * The righteous fhail 
* be had in everlafting reraemberance ;' and nothing that 
is done or fufFercd for God fhall be loft for ever. 

§ 3. 'By faith Abel offered unto God.* The original 
account is more particular ; (Gen. iv. 3 — 5. xTi^ia^n ypn) 
after the expiration of fome time, or days ; after he and 
Cain were fettled in their diftin^l callings, (ver. 3.) they 
had been until then under the inftru£lion of their parents ; 
but now being fixed in their own pecuhar flations and 
callings, they made their diftinft folemn profeffion of the 
worfhip of God ; which is the fenfe of the place, thougti 
not obferved by expofitors. The matter of his offering 
was the fo-Ji lings of his flock, and of the fat thereof; it was 
of living creatures, and therefore was made by ma^iation^ 
or the fhedding of blood ; whence the apoflle calls it 
(9va-i(z) a facrifice by ma£lation ; — it was of the beft \ it 
was an hohcauft, wherein after the blood was fhed on the 
altar, and offered unto God, the fat was burned on the 
altar, and the whole body at a diftance from it ; therefore 
it appears, that Abel's was, as to the matter of it, both ia 
itfelf, and in God's efteem, of the moft precious and 
xaluable things in the whole creation, fubjeft to man and 
his ufe ; and even hence it may be called [ivK-iova, 9va-to& 
TTOCpcc Kuiv) a more excellent facrifice than that of Cain^ 
which was only of the fruit of the ground that might be 
gathered (raptimj without choice gf what was moft meet 
to be offered. 

And he offered this facrifice unto God^ (tw 0.-60, nirr^V 
ver. 3,) this was, from the firft inftitution of it, the 
higheft and moft peculiar way of paying homage to the 
Divine Being ; for to whomfoever facrifice is offered, he 
is owned as God ; and therefore when tlie Gentiles faerie 
ficed to the devils, as they did, [I. Cor. x. 20.] they 
owned him thereby as the ♦ God of the world,' [II. Cor. 
iv. 4.] 

He offered it (ttktJ-i) by faith. Now faith herein 
refpe£ls ; — the injlitution of the worftiip ; and — the heart 
ev^iind of the worshippers. He did it by faith, becaufe he 



had rcfpefl in what he did to God's injtitutlon, which coii-» 
lifts of a command and a promife ; had he himl'clf invented 
the fcrvice, he could not have performed it in faith^ 
which in its very nature refpefts a divine coniniand and a 
promife ; again, he did it in faith ^ in that he did it in the 
exercife of faving faith in God ; for he did it not hypo- 
critically, nor in a mere attendance to the outward duty ; - 
but it was kindled in his own heart by the Holy Spirit, 
before it was fired on the altar from heaven. 

§ 4. * A better facrifice than Cain ;' a choicer^ a more 
excellent facrifice {r.cit^a, Y^aiv) than Cain ; we obferved 
before, that as to the matter of it, it was better^ more valu* 
able and precious than that of Cain ; but this is not a 
fufiicient caufe of afcribing fuch an excellency and pre- 
ference to it, as that, on account of it, Abel fhould ob- 
tain fuch acceptance with God, and receive a teftimony 
from him ; beiides, the delign of the apoiile is to declare 
the efficacy and prcvalency oi faith, and not of any fpecial 
kind of facrifices ; wherefore, {Vl rig) for which, or whereby^ 
in the next words, is to be referred to {7n(f]ci) faith, and 
not to (Sva-ia-j) facrifice ; this difference therefore was 
from his faith ; and two things depended thereon ; — that 
his per [on was juftificd in the light of God antecedently to 
bis facrifice ; and, — that on account thereof his facrifice 
was acceptable, as is commonly obferved from the order 
of the words ; * the Lord had refpeft unto Abel and his 
* offering ;' but yet it is not fo evident where the great 
difference lay ; for Cain alfo, no doubt, brought his offer- 
ing in faith ; for he believed the being of God, his om- 
nipotent power in the creation of the world, as alfo his 
government of it with rewards and punifhments ; for all 
this he prof [Jed in the facred offering that he brought unto 
the Lord i wherefore it is certain that the faith of Abel 
and Cain differed — in their objefis, and — in their -fpecial 
nature and ails. 

I. Cain confidered God only as a creator and pre- 
ferver, whereon he offered the fruits of the earth, as an 
acknowledgement that all thcfe things were made, pre- 
ferved, and bellowed on man by him i but he had no re- 

Ver.4. epistle to THE HEBREWS. 119 

gard to fin^ or the way of deliverance from it revealed in 
the firft promife ; but the faith of Abel was fixed on God, 
not only as a creator, but as a redeemer alfo ; as he who, 
in infinite wifdom and grace, had appointed the way of 
redemption by facrifice and atonement intimated in the 
lirfl promife ; wherefore, his faith was accompanied with 
a fenfe of fin and guilt, with his loll condition by the 
fall, and a trufl in the way of redemption and recovery 
which God had provided ; which he teftifled in the kind 
of his facrifice, which was by death and hlood ; in t!ie one^ 
owning the death which he himfelf by reafon of f.n was 
obnoxious to ; and in the other^ the way of atonement, 
which v/as to be hlood — the blood of the promifed feed. 

2. They differed in \\it\v fpeclal nature and a£ls ; for the 
faith of Abel was faving, juilifying, a principle of holy 
obedience, an eifeft of the Holy Spirit in his mind and 
heart ; but that of Cain was a naked barren ajpnt to the 
truths before mentioned, which is ufually defcribed under 
the nam.e of a common and temporary faith ; which is 
evident from the event, in that God never accepted his 
perfon, nor his offering. 

And thefe are the things that flill make the hidden 
difference between the profefTors of the fame faith and 
worfnip in general, whereof God alone is the judge, ap- 
proving fome and rejeding others ; fo from the founda- 
tion of the world the church was fignally warned, that 
the mere performance of the outward duties of divine wor- 
Ihip is not the rule of the acceptance of men's perfons 
with God ; but a diflincfion is made from the inzvard 
principle whence thofe duties proceed ; yet the world wiii 
not receive a warning to this very day. Nothing is an 
higher provocation to carnal minds, than that tliQ fame 
duties fliouid be accepted in fome, and rejected in others, 
only becaufe the per/ens of the one, and not of the other, 
are accepted. Many have no greater quarrel at religion, 
than that God had refpeft to Abel and his offerings, and 
not to Cain and his. 

§ 5. The firfh confequent of this faith in Abel is, that 
(S/ Vjg) hy which \ that is, by which /^///;, {liLc^.'^-oo'/pr^) he 

Vol. IV. R ' ' was 



ivas tcjiififd iinio ; be obtained witnefs ; even from God 
himfcif. And this was fo famous in the church, that he 
feems to be commonly called by that name, ' the righteous 

* Jbal,'' [Mat. xxiii. 35. j — A tcjlimony is virtually con- 
tained ; ' God (faith he) tcftifying of his gifts ;' refer- 
ring to thefj words in Moies, ' The Lord had refpecl 

* unto Abel and his offering :' he tejiified, in the appro- 
bation ot" his offering, that he had refpedl to his perfon ; ^ 
that is, he judged, elieemed and accounted him righteous ;- 
for otherwife God is no refpeder of perfons ; whomfoever 
God accepts, or refpeds, he teftifieth him to be righteous, 
that is, to be juftified and freely accepted with him: this 
Abel was by faith antecedently to his offering ; for he was 
not made righteous, he was not juftified, by hh facrificc \ 
but therein ' fliewed his faith by his works ;' and God by- 
accepting his works of obedience, juflified him (as he did 
Abraham) by works declaratlvely ; he declared him to be 
fo, by giving teftimony to his gifts. 

By what way God gave this teftimony is not expreiTed ; 
moil fuppofe that it was by cauling/";-^ to fall from heaven 
to kindle and confume his facrince on the altar ;' certain 
it is, that it was by fome ofjured token and pledge, whereby 
his own faith was ftrengthened, and Cain provoked ; for 
God did that with refpe£l to him and his offering, which 
he did not tov;ards Cain and his ; whereby both of them 
knew how things ftood between God and them. As 
Efau knew that Jacob had gotten the blefling, which 
made him refolvc to kill him ; fo Cain knew that Abel 
and his offering were accepted with Qod.^ whereon he 
atlualh fiew him. And here we have the prototype of the 
Relieving and perfccuting church in all ages ; of them 
thnt arc bom after the Spirit, and thofe that are born 
after the flelh only. Then that began which the apoftle 
afiirms ftill to continue ; ' He that was born after the 

* flefli perfccuted him that was born after the Spirit'; even 

* fo it is now.' [Gal. Iv. 29.] This was the firft vifible 
a6\ing of the enmity between the feed of the woman, and 
the feed of the fcrpent ; for ' Cain was of the wicked oncy 

* (the feed of the fcrpent) and flew his brother,' [I. John 


Ver.4.- epistle to THE HEBREWS, 121 

iii. 12.] and it was a pledge and a reprefentation cf the 
death of Chrifc h*mfelf from the fame principle. 

§ 6. And {^i cc'S]rig) hy it (faith) he being dead yet 
fpeaketh; the original word (A^AiTri;/./) being of a 
middle form, may be rendered either he fpeaketh^ or he is 
fpoken of; and accordingly is varioufly interpreted ; for 
fome take it fo: the good fame that Abel had in all gene- 
rations ; but it is not according to the mind of the apoftle; 
for it is evident that he afcribes fomething peculiar to 
Abel, wherein others were not to be joined with him, 
but this of a good report is not fo ; but common to him 
with Noah, Abraham, and all the patriarchs ; they were 
fpoken of, and their praife celebrated in the church, no 
lefs than Abel. The apoflle plainly proceeds in repre- 
fenting the fhory concerning him, and what fell oat after 
his death, as expreiTed by God himfelf, [Gen. iv. 10.] 
' The voice of thy brother's blood crieth unto me from 
* the ground;' this is the fpeaking of Abel after his 
death, which is here inter^ied, and this was peculiar to 
him ; it is not affirmed of any one belides in fcripture. 
Belides, the apoftle interprets himfelf, [Heb. xii. 24.] 
where he dire£lly afcribes this [peaking to the ' blood of 
' Abel. And from this hrft inilance, the apoille hath 
mightily confirmed his intention concerning the power 
and efficacy of faith, enabling men, with bleifed fuc- 
cefs, to do and fuffer according to the mind of God ; 
and tliis example was of great force to convince the 
Hebrews, that if, indeed, they were true believers, as 
he fuppofed them to be, [Heb. x. '^<^''\ faith would fafely 
carry them through all the difficulties they had to contlict 
with in their profeffion, to the glory of God, and their 
own eternal falvation. 

§ 7. (II.) Hence we may learn, 

1 . We are to ferve God with the beft we have ; the 
bed in our pov/er; v.'ith the beft of our fpiritual abi- 

2. God approves not our duties, but where the prin- 
ciple of a living faith goes previoufly in their perform- 

R 2 3. Our 


3. Our peffons mull be firft juflified, before our works 
of obedience can be accepted with God jjfor by that ac- 
ceptance he teflifies that we are righteous. 

4. Thofe whom God approves, mull expe£l that the 
world will difapprove of them, and ruin them if it 

|. When there is difference in the hearts of men, on 
account of faith, there will, for the moll part, be un- 
avoidable differences about outward worlhip. 

6. God's approbation is an abundant recompence for 
the lofs of our very lives. 

§ 8. I. There is a voice in all innocent blood flied by 
violence; Ibr there is an appeal in it from the injullice 
and cruelty of men, to God the righteous judge of all; 
and, of all cries, God gives the rnoll open evidence that 
he hears it, and admits of the appeal. Hence moll 
murders committed fccretly are difcovered, and moll of 
thofe that are openly perpetrated, are, fooner or later, 
openly revenged by God himfelf ; for his honour and 
glory are concerned to appear on the appeal made to his 
juHice by innocent blood. Wherefore this voice, this 
/peaking of blood, arifeth from the eternal law which 
God hath given mankind for the prefervation of life 
from violence, the fupreme confervation and guaranty 
of which he hath taken on himfelf, [Gen. ix. 5, 6.] — 
To which we may add, 

2. Whatever troubles j/^i//?? may bring us to, in the 
profejfion of it, with obedience according to the mind of 
God, it will at lafl bring us fafely out of them all, 
(yea though we fnould die in the caufe) to our eternal 
falvation and honour. 

Ver se 

Ver.^. epistle to the HEBREWS. 123 

Verse 5. 

by faith enoch was translated, that he should 
not see death, and was not found, because 
god had translated him ; for before his 
translation, he had this testimony, that 
he pleased god. 

§ I, Introdudlon, § 2. (I.) Expofitlon, Enoch tranjlated 
by faith. § 3. His not feeing death. § 4. His not 
being found. § 5. Becaufe God took him, § 6. IVhy 
afcribed to faith. § 7. Probable conj enures, § 8. How 
witnejfed to before his tranflation. § 9. (II.) Obfer- 

§ I. JrllS fecond inflance is Enoch ; for he is the 
fecond man to whom tefimony is perfonally and peculiarly- 
given that he pleafed God, and was accepted with him. 
This venerable patriarch was not only eminent for faith 
andhoUnefs, [Gen. v. 2 2, 24 ] but alfo for what he pro-- 
phefied, [Judc, ver. 14, 15.] It is probable that all the 
holy fathers before the flood were prophets and preachers, 
[II. Pet. ii. 5.] in whofe miniftry the Spirit of God 
firove with the men, which at the flood he put an end to, 
[Gen. vi. 3.] Yea, Chriil by his Spirit, which was in 
his fervants, [I. Pet. i. 11.] preached repentance to 
them, before they were caft into their eternal prifon, 
[I. Pet. iii. 19.] and thefe feem to have had a different 
miniftry for the declaration of the whole counfel of God. 
Noah was a ' preacher of right eoufnefs' one who emi- 
nently propofed the righteoufnefs of God through the 
promife, to encourage men to faith and repentance ; he 
was, as we may fay, emphatically a gofpel preacher. - And 
Enoch preached the * thrcatenings of the law,' the future 
judgement, with the vengeance that would be taken 
on ungodly linners, efpecially fcofFers and perfecutors, 



wliich Is the lubflance of his prophecy or fermon re- 
corded in the epiille of Jude. 

§ 2. (I.) 'By faith E»och was tranflated,' (^fls]c9'/)) 
iranflatcd out of one Hate and condition into another. 
There are but two ilates of good men, fuch as Enoch 
was, from lirft to lafl: : 

1 . The ftate of faith and obedience in this worlds 
where Enoch hved three hundred years, and walked with 
God. To ' walk with God,' is to lead the hfe of faith 
in covenant obedience to hirn (-j^nnn) and he walked -, 
the fame word whereby God prefcribeth covenant obedi- 
ence to Abraham, (oaV ^'pnn') [Gen. xvii. i.] The word 
in both places, in the fame conjugation Hithpacl, figni- 
lies a continued walk up and down, every way ; and fo to 
walk with God is, in all our ways, aftions, and duties, 
to have a continual regard to God, by faith in his 
word, dcpendance on his grace, and fabmiffion to his will. 

2. The ftate of hlcjjcdncfs in the enjoyment of God. 
"Ko other ftate of good men is once intimated in fcripture,, 
or coniifient witii God's covenant ; wherefore Enoch 
being tranfiatcd from the one, was immediately injlatcd in 
the other, as Elijah crfterwards ; his body was made in a 
moment, in the twinkling of an eye, incorrupt, fpiritual, 
immortal, meet for the bleffed habitation above. If any 
fhould alk why was Enoch not joined with Elijah, 
(who was afterwards in' like manner tranflatedj at 
his appearance with the Lord Chrift, in his trans- 
fig:iration, rather than Mofes who died P [Mat. xvii. 

3.] I would anfwer, it feems agreeable to the mind 
of God, that — the difcourfe which they then had with 
the Lord Jefus Chrift, being about the * accomplilhment 
' of the law in his death' — Mofes, who was the law- 
giver, and Elijah, the moft zealous defender of it, fliould 
be rather employed in that fervice, than Enoch, who 
was !.-.t ''^o concerned. 

§ 3. (To ^x>; ioiLV Ocyy^cTjov) that he Jljould mt fee death ; 
or this was the effefi of it, that he Ihould not die. 
IDeatb being the great objedl ot' fenfible conlideralion, it 
is expreffed by words or fetfe ; feeing it, tnflng it, an4 




the like. And two things are intended : — that this 
trd.n(i^tion W2LS wltboMt death, ^ or not by death : and,— ^ 
he was £reed from death by e??iineni favour. The great 
daw-giver put in an exception to the general fan£tion of 
the law. ' that all iinners fhould die.' Death being in its 
own nature penal, as alfo defiru£live of our prefent con- 
flitution, in the dilTolution of foul and body, an ex^ 
emption from it w^as a fignal inflance of grace and 

And this was a divine teflimony, that the body itfelf 
is alfo capable of eternal life. When all mankind faw 
that their bodies went into dufl and corruption univer- 
fally, it was not eafy for them to believe that they were 
capable of any other condition, but that the grave was 
to be their eternal habitation, according to the divine 
fentence on the entrance of fin ; * dull thou art, and 
* unto dull flialt thou return.' (Gen. iii. 19.) But 
herein God gave us a pledge and allurance, that the body 
itfelf hath a capacity of eternal bleflednefs in heaven. 
But whereas this evidence of a capacity in the body to 
enjoy eternal life and bleffednefs, w^as confined to fuch 
never died, it could not be a convincing pledge of the 
rcfurre^ion of bodies, over which death once had a do- 
minion ; this therefore was referved for the refurred^ion 
of Chriih 

§ 4. (Y^ui i^K sv^io-ySjo) and he zuas not found. In 
the text of Mofes it is only (iJ:'«"i) and he vvas «o/; he 
went away, and was no more among men. Enoch 
was the principal patriarch then in the world, being, be- 
fides, a great preacher and prophet, the eyes of all 
were upon him. How God took him is not declared ; 
whether there was any viiible iign of it, as there was 
in the cafe of Elijah, (II. Kings ii. 11.) is uncertain; 
but, doubtlefs, upon the difappearing of fo great a per- 
fon in the world, there was great inquiry after him. 
[See II. Kings ii. 16, 17.] The apoftle fcems to inti- 
mate this as if he had faid, * they made great fearch af- 
^ ter him, but /;^ was not found.'' 

§ s- 


§ 5. The reafon was Qioji ixfj^^riKSv avjcv Qccg) 
lecaufc God had tranjlated him into another Hate and con- 
dition ; it was an a6t of God hiinfelf, his power and 
grace ; and when;he did not appear, when ("sy^ sv^KTKflo) 
he was not founds this was what fatisfied all the godly ; 
for there was Juch evidence as was fufficient fecurity for 
their faith, relative to the important facl, although we 
know not at prefent what it was in particular ; but the ^ 
apoflle doth not only declare the truth of the thing, but 
alfo that it was a matter known^ and of ufe to the church 
in thofe days. 

^ 6. This the apoflle afcribes to his faith ; * hy faith 
* he ivas tranfated \ that is, inllrumentally, in that 
thereby he was brought into that flate and condition, 
and fo accepted with God, as that he was capable of fo 
great a favour. But his being made an inftance of this 
divine grace, for the edification of the church in all 
ages, was an ad of fovereignty alone. And this is 
peculiar, and not unworthy of remark, refpe£ling thefe 
two firft inflances of the power of faith; that the one 
was expofed by it to a bloody deaths the other was de- 
livered by it that he did not die at all. 

§ 7. In the field of conjcdurcs\x{tdi on this occafion, I 
judge it probable — that his rapture was vifible to many 
that feared God, who were to be witncjjes of it to the 
world, that it might be his ordinance for the convi£lion 
of linners, and the flrengthening of the faith of the 
church, as alfo an expolition of the firfi promife ; — that 
it was by the m'lnijiry of angels, like that of Elijah ; — 
that he vvas carried immediately into heaven itfelf; — 
that he was made partaker of all the glory which was al- 
lotted to the heavenly {late, before the afcenfion of 
Chrifl. I am alfo fully fatisfied, from the prophecy of 
Enoch recorded by the apoflle Jude, that he had a great 
contejl with the world about faith, obedience, and the wor- 
fliip of God, with the certainty of divine vengeance on 
ungodly finners, and the eternal reward of the righteous. 
And, as this contejl for God againil the world is exceed- 
ingly acceptable to him, which he manifeflcd afterwards 



in his taking Elijah to himfelf, who had difcharged his 
commifiion with a fiery (but divinely regulated) zeal; 
fo, in this tranilation of Enoeh upon the like conteft, 
he ' vilibly judged the caufe on his fide/ confirming 
his minillry, to the ftrengthening of believers, and the 
condemnation of the world. Wherefore, although it 
be a dream, that the witiicjjes mentioned, [Rev. xi. 3^ 
5.] are Enoch and Ehas perfonally, yet becaufe their 
niiniilry is to bear teftimony for God and Chriil againft 
the world, thereby plaguing and tormenting the men that 
dwell on the earth, [ver. 10.] as they alfo did, there 
may be an allufion to them and their miniftry. Where- 
fore, there are two ways of confirming a miniftry; — by 
fuffermg, as Abel did, — and by God's vifibly owning 
them, as he did Enoch : and both thefe ways are to be^ 
fall the two witneff'es, firil to be fiain, and then taken up 
into heaven ; firft to fuffer, and then to be exalted. 

§ 8. * For before his tranflation he had this tefli-. 

* mony, that he pleafed God.' Thefe words are an en- 
trance into the proof of the apoflie's aflertion, that it 
was by faith Enoch was tranflated, which he confirms in 
the next verfe ; he was tranflated by faith^ (tt^o ya^ TTjg 
u.^cc9-cO-cCA)g) for before that tranflation he had walked with 
God three hundred years ; but the apofiie doth not fay^ 
that this was teflified of him before his tranfation, as fig- 
nifying the time of giving the teftimony ; for it was not 
given until many generations afterwards ; and yet the 
teftimony when given him concerned the time before his 
tranflation, [Gen. v. 2i, 24.]^ — That of ' walking with 

* God' in Mofes, the apoftle renders by (sv7i^so-j".r^.sya.i 
tca) @cm) pica/ing God ; for this alone is zveli pleafing to 
him ; his pleafiire, his delight is in them that fear him, 
and walk before him ; and thus the apoftle gives us the 
whole fenfe of the divine teftimony. And we may again 
remark, that this alfo is peculiar to thefe two firft inftan- 
ces, that they had an cfpecial teftimony from God, as to 
the acceptance of them and their fervices ; and in them 
we have a reprefcntation in epitome of the ftate of the 
pld world before the flood. There were two forts of 

Vol. IV. S per- 


perfons in it, believers and unbelievers ; among thefc 
there were differences about religion, and the worfliip of 
God ; fome of them were approved of God, and fomc 
were not ; hence arofe pcrfecution ; and the wicked, 
fcoffing, perfecuting world was threatened with predic- 
tions of judgements, and divine vengeance to come. 
God, in the mean time, exercifcd patience and long-fuf- 
fering towards the difobedient, [I. Pet. iii. 20.] yet not 
without fome inftances of his fpecial favour towards ke* 
lievers ; and thus it is at this day. 
^ 9. (II.) From the above obferve, 

1. Whatever be the outward different events of faith 
m believers in this world, they are all alike accepted 
with God, and fliall all equally enjoy the eternal inheri- 

2. God can and doth put a great difference as to 
outward things, between fuch as are equally accepted be- 

- fore him ; Abel fhall die, and Enoch Ihall be taken alive 
into heaven. 

3. There is no fervice fo acceptable to God, fa- 
voured with pledges of his favour fo lignal, as a due 
and zealous oppolition to the world in giving witncfs to 
his ways, his worihip, and his kingdom, or the rule of 
Chrift over all. And, 

4. It is a part of our teftlmony to declare and wit- 
nef^^that vengeance is prepared for ungodly perfecutors, 
and all forts of impenitent iinners, however they may- 
be provoked thereby. 

5. The principal part of this teftimony conlifts in 
our vilible walking with God in holy obedience, accor- 
ding to the tenor of the covenant, [II. Pet. iii. 
1 1 — 14. 

6. As it is ar effect of divine Wifdom to difpofe the 
works of his providence, and the accompiilhment of his 
promifes, to an ordinary eflablifhed rule declared in his 
word, which is the guidance of faith ; fo it is fometimes 
to give extraordinary injlanccsy both in the way of judge- 
ment, and of grace, 

7« Faith 


7. Faith in God, through Chrift, hath an efficacy in 
procuring fuch mercy and favour, in particular, as it hath 
no particular ground to believe. Enoch was tranflated by 
faith ; yet he did not believe he Jhould be tranflated until 
he had a particular revelation of it ; fo there are many 
particular mercies which hath no word of promife to mix 
itfelf with; but yet, keeping itfelf within due bounds 
of truft and reliance on God, and a£ling by patience 
and prayer, it may be inftrumental in procuring them. 

8. They muft walk with God here, who delign to 
live with him hereafter ; or they mufl pleafe God in 
this world, who would be blefled with him in another. 

9. That faith which can tranilate a man out of this 
world, can carry us through the difficulties we may 
meet with in the profeffion of faith and obedience in it. 
Herein lies the apoflle's argument ; and this latter the 
Lord Jefus Chrill hath determined to be the lot and 
portion 6f his difciples, [John xvii. i^.] * I pray not 
*• thou fliouldeft take them out of the world, but that 
* thou fhouldeft keep them from the evil.* 

Verses 6, 

but without faith it is impossible to please 
him ; for he that cometh to god must be- 
lieve that he is, and that he is a rewarder. 
of them that seek him. 

§ I. (L) 'The apoJiW s argument. § 2. All pleafmg of God 
is by faith. § 3. Coming to Gody what. § 4. fVhat 
implied in believing that God is, § 5. ^ rewarder. 
§ 6. (IL) Obfervatlons. 

§ I. (I.) JL HERE being no direft mention made of 
faith in the teftimony given to Enoch^ but only that by 
walking with Godj he pleafed him, the apollle in this 

S 2 verfc 


verfe proves from thence that it was by faith he pleafed 
God, and confequently that thereby he obtained his 
ti^anflation. The ajjertion is, — That Enoch was tranf- 
lated by faith, whicli appears from his having a divine 
teflimony that he pleafed God; which he could not have 
without faith, as is evident from an acknowledged facred 
maxim, — without taith it is impolTible to pleafe God- — 
whence the conclufion follows, that if his tranflation 
was the efFe£l of his pleafng God^ it muil be alfo of his 
faith. ' Without faith it is impoffible to pleafe God ;' 
that is, faith is the only way and means whereby any 
one may pleaje God ; or, all pleafng of God muft be by 
faith, it being impoffible it fhould be otherwife. The 
verb (sv(XP3(fl'/](r(zi) is ufed only in this epiflle, in thefe 
two verfes, and chap. xiii. i6. in the paffive voice, 

* God is well pleafed.' The adjeftlve (svo:oi(r]og) is ufed 
frequently, and is conftantly applied to perlbns or things 
that are accepted with God, [Rom. xii. i, 2.] Three 
things are included in our pleafing God : — that our per- 

fons be accepted, — that our duties pleafe, and — that we 
have a teflimony that we are righteous, or juflified, as 
Abel and Enoch had, and as all true believers have ia 
the fcripture. This is that pleafng of God which is ap-, 
propriated to faith alone ; otherwife there may be many 
a^s and duties, materially, with which God is pleafed, 
and which he will reward in this world, without faith ; 
fo was the deftrudion of the houfe of Ahab hv Jehu. 

§ 2. This pleafing of God is fo * by faith,"* as that 
without faith it cannot be, {oc^vvccjov) it is impoffible. Many, 
in all ages, have attempted to pleafe God without faith. 
Cain began it, for his defign in his offering was to pleafe 
God; but he did it not by faith, and therefore failed in 
his defign. And this is the great difference always in the 
vifible church ; all in their divine worfhip profefs a de- 
fire and hope to pleafe God, elfe to what purpofe do they 
fcrve him? But, as our apoflle fpeaks, many of them 

* feek it not by faith,' but by their own works and du- 
ties, [Rom. ix. 32.] thofe alone attain their end who 
feek it by faith, and therefore God frequently rejeds the 


Ver.6. epistle to the HEBREWS. 131 

greateft multiplication of duties where that Is wanting. 
Wherefore, faith the apoflle, this h ?i fundamental maxim 
of religion, that — * it is impolfible to pleafe God any 
' other way than by faith ;' let men delire, and aim at 
it as long as they pleafe, they fhall never attain to it, 
for it is impojjihle, both from a 'divine confiitution^ and 
from the nature of the thing itfelf, faith being the iirft 
regular motion of the foul towards God. Neverthelefs, 
fo deeply rooted is this prejudice in the minds of men, 
that lome have difputed with God himfelf, as if he dealt 
not equally and juflly with them when he was not pleafed 
with their duties, nor themfelves ; and the apprehenfion 
of this difference keeps up hatred, feuds, and perfecutions 
in the viiible church ; lays the foundation of fuperfliti- 
ous worlhip, and occalions innumerable controverlies. 

Wherefore, unlefs we hold fail this truth, that it is 
faith alone whereby we -pleafe God, and obtain accep- 
tance with him, we condemn the generation of the righ- 
teous from the foundation of the world : and, may we 
not add, take part with Cain againft Abel ? 

§ 3. ' For he that cometh to God mufl believe that 
^ he is ;' (TTPOcn^yjDUzVGv too Q)cOO^ he that cometh to God i 
this ' coming" denotes an accefs of the perfon to the fa- 
vour of God, including the particular addrfjcs to him 
WMth his duties. And that accefs which makes faith fo 
necelTary, implies a previous fenle of zuant in ourfelves, 
by a dijiance from God. No man defigns to come to 
God but for relief, fatisfa£tion, and reft. Now faith 
alone is the gracious power which takes us off from all 
confidence in ourfelves, and diie£ls us to look for all in 
another, in God himfelf; and therefore it muft fee that 
in God which is fuited to give relief in this condition. 

Again, there muft be antecedently fome encouragement 
given to him that will come to God, and that from God 
himfelf; which can be nothing but his free gracious pro- 
mife to receive them who come to him by Chrift, grounded 
on a divine revelation ; which revelation itfelf, in reality, 
hath in it the nature of a promife ; for the reception of 
which, faith is indifpenfably neceflary ; this is what the 



apoflle makes it his defiga to prove in a great part of tlie 

§ 4. It is the duty of thofe who have this delign of 
coming to God,. (7rL(fliV(ra>i) to believe \ for this is the only- 
appointed way of attaining that end ; whence believing 
itfelf is often called ' coming to God/ or ' coming to 

* Chrift,' [Ifa. Iv. i. 3. John vi. 37. 44. vii. 37.] the 
iirll thing to be believed is, (or/ S(f}i) that God is ; the ex- 
prcffion feems to be elliptical, fomething more being in- 
tended than the divine being, abfoluteiy ; even as ' his 

* God,^ The apoille fpeaks not here of any fuch affent to 
Xh^ truth of the being and exiftence of God as may be 
attained by reafon, or the light of nature, but that which 
is the true objedl oi faith \ and it is fuch a believing of 
the being of God, as gives encQuragement ' to come to 

* him/ And that apprehenfion which men may have of 
tlie being of God by the light of nature, and even of his 
being a rewarder, Cain had, as we have lhewn,.and yet he 
had no Ihare in that faith whicli the apoftle here requires ; 
wherefore, it is evident from the context, the circuni- 
Itance of the fubjeft treated of, and the defign of the 
apoille, that the objeft of faith here intended is — ^the 
divine nature with its glorious properties, as engaged, and 
acting themfelves in a way of giving rell, fatisfadtion, ad 
bleflednefs to them who come unto him. 

When we are obhged to believe * that he is^ it is what 
be propofeth wjien he declareth himfelf by the name, I 
AM, [Exod. iii. 14.] whereby he did not only iignify his 
exiftence abfoluteiy, but alio that he Jo ivas, as that he 
would aftually give exiftence and accomplilhment to all 
his promjfes to the church ; fo when he revealed himfelf 
to Abraham by the name of ' Almightv God,* [Gen. 
xvii. I.] he was not obliged to believe merely his * eternal 

* power and godhead,' which may be known by the light 
of nature, [Rom, i. 20.] but ah"o that he would be fo ta 
him, in exerting his Almighty power on his behalf; 
whereon he requires of him that he fliould ^ walk before 

* him and be perfe£l ;' wherefore, the believing that God 
ii, according to the text, is to believe him as our God in 



xovenant^ exercifing the holy properties of his nature, i 
power, wifdom, goodnefs, grace, and the like, in a way \ 
of givHig reft and bleilednefs to our fouls. For to fup- 
pofe that the apoftle intends by that faith whereby wc 
may come to God, and find acceptance with him, no- 
thing but an afient to the^^m^ of God abfo lut e ly con^idtvtd^ 
which is aJ together fruitlefs in the generahty of mankind, 
is a vain notion unfuited to his delign. 

§ 5. * And (ijLia-SecTiro^ojYig yivfjoci) that he is, or will b^ 

* a reward of them that dihgently feck them ;' that is, he 
will a£l in all things towards them fuitably to the propofal 
which he makes of himfelf to faith, when he fays, I AM, 
or I AM GOD ALMIGHTY, or the like. God is a 
rewarder to them that feek him, in that he himfelf is thc't 
reward \ which eternally excludes all thoughts of merit in 
them that are rewarded ; for who can merit God to be 
his reward ? Is not this an ad of infinite grace and 
bounty ? And the propofal of this (O ftupendous reward !) 
is that alone which gives encouragement to come unto him, 
and which the apoftle defigns to declare. 

This farther appears from the limitation : ' them who 

* diligently feek him ; for (cX^yJ]siv) the word here ufed, 
argues a peculiar manner o^ feeking, whence we render it 
diligently feek him. To feek God, implies a rule, guiding 
us as to the way we are to go, and what wc are to expe6t ; 
thofe that fought him without fuch a rule, did but flrivc 
(•^'/l?.cii(p'/ic-SiCiC)/) to feel after him, as men feel after a thing 
in the dark : when they know neither what it is, nor how 
to come at it. 

And what can this rule be, but the rule of God's co- 
venant with us, and the revelation made of himfelf 
therein ? Again, this diligent feeking of God is an accefs 
to him by faith, initial and progreffive, according to the 
tenor of the covenant of grace in Chrlft Jefus, that we 
may find favour and acceptance. 

§ 6, (II.) Hence we may ohferve, 

I. When God hath put an impcffibility upon any thing. 
It is in vain for men to attempt it ; from tlie davs of Cain 
multitudes have been defignlng to pleafe God without 



faith, all in vain ; like them that would have builded a 
tower, whofe top lliould reach to heaven. 

2. It is of the higheft importance to examine well 
into the lincerity of our faith, whether it be of the true 
kind or no ; feeing thereon depends the acceptance of our 
perfons and our duties. None ever thought that God 
was to be pleafed without any faith at all ; for the very 
deiign of pleafing God avows fome kind of faith ; but 
that fpecial kind of faith whereby we may be juftiiied, 
they regard not. 

3. God himfelf in his feif fufficiency, and all fuflici- 
cncy, being thereby meet to aft towards poor finners in a 
way of bounty, is the nrfl motive or encouragement to 

4. Thofe who feek God only according to the light of 
nature^ do but feel after him in the dark, and they fhall 
never find him fuch a rewarder as here defcribed, what« 
ever notions they may have of his juflice, rewards, and 

5. Thofe who feek him according to the law of works ^ 
and by the beft of their obedience to it, lliali never find 
him as a rewarder, nor attain what they feek after ; [fee 
Rom. ix. 31, 32.] 

6. It is the moft proper a£l of fiiith to come and 
cleave to God as a rewarder, by way of grace and bounty^ 
as propoiing h'lmfef for our Redeemer. 

7. That faith is vain, which doth not put men in a- 
diligent inquiry after God. 

8. I'he whole iffue of our finding God when we feek 
him, depends on our wa^ and rule in fo doing. 






§ I. (I.) Introdunlon. Noah, § 2. Warned of God, § 3. 
Obeyed, § 4. Prepared an ark. § 5. To the favlng of 
his houfe. § 6. Condemned the world. § 7. Became of 
the rlghteoufnefs of faith, § 8, 9. (II.) Qbfervatiom. 

§ I. (I.) iN OAH is the third perfon mentioned in th« 
fcripture, to whom tejiimony was given in particular that 
he was righteous ; and therefore the apofile produceth him 
in the third plaae^ as an inftance of the power and efficacy 
of faith, declaring alfo wherein his faith wrought, ancj 
was efFe£lual. — -The application of this example was ex- 
ceedingly proper and feafonable to thefe Hebrews, who 
Hood now on their trial of what they would follow and 
abide by, faith or unbelief ; for here they might fee, as in 
a glafs, what would be the efFeft of the one, and the other. 
Noah being defigned of God for a work uncommonly im- 
portant, to live and a£l at that time wherein God would 
dejlroy the world for fin, he had his name given him by a 
Spirit of prophecy. His Father Lamech called him (n'j) 
Noah, for, faid he (iJDm» m) this fh all comfort us concern- 
ing our work and toil of our hand, becaufe of the ground 
which the Lord hath curfed, [Gen. v. 29.] He forefaw 
that by him, in his days, relief would come from the 
curfe ; which was done — partly, in the juft deftru£lion 
of the wicked world ; wherein the earth for a while had 
reft from its bondage under which it groaned ; [Rom. 
yiii. 22.] — and partly, that in him the promife of the 
Vol. IV. T bleiTed 


blelfcd feed fliould be preferv^ed, whence proceed all refl 
and comfort ; as to his Hate and condition antecedent to 
what is here declared of him ; it is afErmed in his hiftory, 
that he * found grace in the eyes of the Lord/ [Gen. vi. 
8.] and that he was '^w/?, perfect in his generation, and 

* ivalkcd ivith God,'' [ver. 9.] he was accepted with God, 
juiliiied, and walked in acceptable obedience, before he 
was thus divinely warned. 

As to his employment in the world, he was ' a preacher 
' of righteoufnefs,' [II. Pet. ii. 5.] that is, of the righteouf- 
iiefs of God by faith ; and of righteoufnefs by repentance 
and obedience among men. There is no doubt but that 
before, and whilft he was building the ark, he was urgent 
with mankind in calling them to repentance, by declaring 
the promifes and threatenings of God ; And, oh I what a 
bleli'^d {late and employment ! to be a preacher of righte- 
oufnefs to others, and an heir of righteoufnefs himfelf ! 

He is faid to be {oydoog, II. Pet. ii. 5.) the eighth perfon ; 
becaufe he was the head of the eight that were faved, the 
other feven depending on him, and faved by him ; unlefs 
we Ihall fuppofe him to be called the eighth preacher of 
righteoufnefs, that is, from Enofli, when the feparation 
was firft made between the wicked and the godly, and, 
wicked nefs increaling, thofe who feared God began pub- 
lickly to preach repentance. [Gen. iv. 26.] 

§ 2. * Being (xf'7j^txlio-9:-tg} warned of God of thingi 

* not feen as yet.' The word (xpyj j^cy^j i^ou) properly 
denotes, to give an anfvjer with authority, by Kings or 
iVIag ill rates, to ambaifadors or orators ; and paffively is ufed 
in Icripture for called or named ; but its niore frequent 
ufe is for a divine wartmigy [Mat. ii. 12 — 22.] and the 
fubftantive ('■/^oYjiJ.cclio-ixog) is a divine oracle, [Rom. ix. 4.] 
and it is ufed to exprefs any kind of divine revelation, as by 
infpiratlon of the Holy Ghofl, [Luke ii. 26.]. by the 
miftcry of angels, [A6ts x. 22.] by dreams, [Matt. ii. 125 
— -22.J or by an immediate voice of God, [Rom. ix. 4.] 
And this warning of God is no other but that which is 
recorded, Gen. vi. 13, &c. and there were two parts of 
it i the iirfl mmatQry, or a declaration of the purpofe of 



God to deftroy the whole world, [ver. 13-] The fecond 
dircm-y, Ihewing what he required of him m makmg aa 
ark, [ver. 14, &c.] accordingly it had a two-fold eiFcft 
on Noah ; fear from the threatening, and obcdmce in 
building the ark according to direaion. 

Both parts of this warning were of ' thmgs no 
' yet feen ;' wherefore it was a pun aa of faah m Noah 
to believe what he had no evidence for but by divine re- 
velation ; efpecially confidering, that the thing rev a ed 
was in itfelf flrange, direful, and to human reafon in- 

credible. , ^ r tt ^^r-*- rvf 

& ,. In confequence of this war;»«^ the firft part ot 
which was a threatening of total deftruaion, faithfu 
Noah (.vKadn^^,;) w«. moved v.'ith fear ; a ^everentia 
fear of God's threatenings, and not an anxious, fohcitous 
fear of the evil threatened. His believing the word of 
God had this efFea on him ; in the warning gi^en him 
he confidered the greatnefs, holinefs, and power of God 
with the vengeance becoming thofe holy P'""?"''" °' "f^ 
nature which he threatened to bring on the world tl is 
fear, which arofe from faith, was ufed by the fame faith to 
ftirhim up to duty; and therefore this reverenUal fear 
of God is frequently in fcripture ufed for the whole 
worlhip of God, and all the obedience required ot us ; 
becaufc it is a continual motive to it, and a means ot a 

due performance of it. , , > ti,» 

§V (Y.c?,i^y.iVC^'.y-^^'^loy)' he prepared an ark. Tne 

preparing of this velTel, or any thing like it, to fwim on 
the water, was a thing new on the earth, a marvellous 
work, requiring great labour, expence, and time, com- 
monly fuppofed an hundred and twenty years ; and a 
flrange thing, no doubt, it was in the world, to fee a maa 
with fo great an endeavour building ^Jhip where there was 
no water near him. During this preparation he con- 
tinued to preaeh righteoufnefs and repentance to the inha- 
bitants of the world ; and doubtlefs he let them know in 
what way they fliould be deftroyed if they did not repent, 
and which the preparing of an ..^ fo clearly implied : 
but the inhabitants of the old world were dijokdicnt ; they 
T 2 ^^^ 


did not repent, they did not return to God upon his 
preaching, [I. Pet. iii. 19, 20.] for which caufe they 
were not only temporally deftroyed, but fhut up in the 
everlafiing pr'ifon : and all the time of warning they were 
fecurcy not being moved with his threatening to the lall 
hour, [Matt. xxiv. 38,39.] * They knew not until the 

* flood came and took them away.* N^y, on the con- 
trary, they v^Qxt fcoff'ers, [II. Peter iii. 3 — 6.] they fcorned 
and derided Noah both in his preaching and building. 

§ 5. The in^mediate happy efe^ of this faith of Noah, 
and the fruits oi it in fear and obedience, was * the faving 

* {th oiKH avjii) of his houfe^ family, or houfehold ; in- 
cluding hlmfelf, his wife, his three Jons, and their wives -^ 
that is, fuch as, on the forefight of the flood, they had 
efpoufed ; for probably they came not together in conjugal 
duties till after the flood, for they had no child until then, 
[Gen. X. I.] and the perfons faved were eight only. 

This family God in fovercign grace and mercy would 
prcferve, principally to continue the conveyance of the 
promifed feed, which was to be produced from Adam, 
[Luke iii. 38.] and which was not, by virtue of the im- 
mutable counfel of God, liable to an intercellion. And 
in this faving of the family of Noah by the ark, we have 
a figure of God's preferving a remnant in all ages, wheri 
defolating judgements have deftroyed apoftatized churches 
and nations ; fo the apoftle Peter declares with refpe£t to 
the vengeance and overwhelming deftru£lion that was 
coming on the apoftatized church of the Jews, [I. Pet. iii. 
21, 22.] * The ark wherein few, that is> eight fouls, 

* were faved by water ; the like figure whereunto everi 

* baptifm doth now fave us.' I deny not but that there 
is a great analogy in general between falvation by the ark 
and that by baptifm, inafmuch as the one did reprefent 
and the other doth exhibit Chrift himfelf. But the apoftle 
had a particular dcfign in this comparifon ; for judgement 
by an univerfal deftrudion was then coming on the whole 
church and people of the Jews, but God would fave a few 
by baptifm, that is, their initiation into gofpel faith and re- 
pentance, wherein they vitiQ feparated from the perifhing 



Infidels, and were really and a£lually delivered from the 
de{tru£lion that befell them, as Noah and his family were 
in the ark. 

§ 6. (KizJcTip/yc Tov 7CO(TUov) he condemned the world ; not 
as a judge of it, properly and authoritatively, but as an 
advocate and a witnefs, by plea and teftimony. He con- 
demned it by his do£lrine, obedience, example, and faith ; 
he cleared and juftified God in his threatenings and the 
execution of them, and therein * condemned the world* 
as guilty, and jullly deferving the puniihment infli6led on 
them : he * condemned the world' by calling a weighty 
aggravation on its guilt, in that he believed and obeyed 
when they refufed to do fo. It v/as not any thing evil, 
grievous, or impoffible, that was required of them, but 
what he gave them an example of in himfelf, which 
greatly^ aggravated their fin : he * condemned the world* 
by leaving it utterlv without excufe ; he that takes away 
the principal plea that a guilty perfon can make in his 
own defence, may be juftly laid to condemn him ; and 
this Noah did towards the old world : he left them no 
pretence that they had not been warned of their lin and 
approaching ruin ; fo that they had nothing to plead for 
themfelves why the execution of judgements was refpited 
for one moment .'—^finally, he * condemned the world' by 
approving of the vengeance that befell them, though very 
fevere ; fo fhail the faints judge and condemn fallen angels 
at the laft day, [I. Cor. vi. 3.] 

§ 7. The laft thing is, ' that he became heir (t>;^ 

* Kccloc TiKfjiv 6i%ociO(j-vvYig) of the righteoufnefs which is by 

* faith. ^ What is the righteoufnefs here intended is fully 
declared by the apollle in all his other writings ; he calls 
it fometimes the ' righteoufnefs of God* abfolutely ; fome- 
times * the righteoufnefs of God which is by faith ;' fome- 
times * the gift of righteoufnefs which is by Chrift ;' 
fometimes * the righteoufnefs of faith,' or the ' righteouf^ 

* nefs which is by faith,' as here : in all which our free 
gratuitous juilification by the righteoufnefs of Chrift im- 
puted to us through believing is intended. This Noah 
obtained by faith \ for that in tl:iis faith of the patriarchs 



no refpc£l was had to Chrift and his righteoufnefs, is fuch 
a putid tigment, fo deftru£live of the lirit promife and all 
true faith in the church of eld, fo inconfillent with and 
contrary to the defign of the apoille, and utterly deftroy- 
ing the whole force of his argument, that it deferves no 

The way whereby he obtained this righteoufiiefs is, 
that (sycvPiO yJkriOOVOu.og) he vjas made the hc'ir of it. Noah 
was the ' heir of the righteoufncfs which is by faith ;' iii 
that by free adoption through faith he came to have an 
intereil in the righteoufnefs which is tendered in the pro- 
ynifc, whereby it is conveyed to us as an 'inheritance. And 
whereas it is faid that he ' became' fo, if refpeft be had to 
his faith in building the ark, the meaning is, that he was 
theri evidenced and declared to be fo ; as Abraham was faid 
to be jujtified when he offered Ifaac, who w^is perfonally 
juftified long before : io alfo was Noah by the tefti- 
mony of God himfeif, before he was warned to build an 

^ 8. (II.) We may from hence make fome ahjerva- 
iions : 

1. It is an high commendation of faith, to believe 
things on the word of God, though in thcmfelves, and 
as to ail fecond caufes, invifible, and feemingly impof- 
fible, [Rom. iv. 17 — 19.] 

2. No obftacle can Hand in the way of faith when it 
fixeth itfelf on the almighty pov^^-er of God and his in- 
iinite veracity, [Rom. xi. 23. Tit. i, 2.] 

3. It is a great encouragement and ftrengthening to 
faith, when the things believed, as promifed or threatened, 
.are fuitable to the properties of the divine nature \ righte- 
oufnefs, holinefs, goodnefs, and the like ; fuch as it be- 
came God to do, fuch was the dellruction of the worldj 
when it was filled with wickednefs and violence. 

4. We have here a pledge of a certain accomplifhment 
of all divine threatenings againft ungodly iinners and 
enemies of the church, though the time of it may be yet 
faf diftant, aad the means of it inevident, 

5- A 


5. A reverential fear of God, as threatening ven- 
geance on impenitent linners, is a fruit of faviiig faith, 
and acceptable to God, [fee chap. iv. i.] 

6. It is one thing to fear God, as threatening, with an 
holy reverence ; another to be afraid of the evil threatened 
merely as it is penal and de{lru<9:ive \ which the woril of 
men cannot avoid. 

7. Faith produceth various effefls in the minds of be- 
lievers, according to the variety of objedis fixed on ; fome- 
times joy and confidence, fometimes fear and reverence. 

8. Then is fear a fruit of faith, when it engageth us to 
diligence in our duty ; thus Noah, being moved by fear, 
prepared an ark. How commendable his faith ! Nei- 
ther the difficulty nor length of the work itfelf, nor his 
want of fuccefs in preaching, as to the repentance of his 
hearers and their converiion to God, nor the contempt 
and fcorn which were cafl upon him by the whole world, 
difcouraged him from going on with the work and duty to 
which he was divinely called. 

9. When the preaching of righteoufnefs lofeth its ef- 
ficacy in the converiion of linners, it is a token of ap- 
proaching defolations, [Rev. xviii. 7, 8.] 

§ 9. I. The viiible profefling church fhall never fall 
into fueh an apbftacy, nor be fo totally deftroyed, but that 
God will prcfer\ e a remnant for a feed to future genera- 
tions, [Ifa. vi. II — 13. Rom. ix. 27. Rev. xviii. 4.] 

2. Thofe whom God caileth to, fitteth for, and. em- 
ployeth in any work, are therein {G-vv-cryQi 0.-^) rs- 
workers with Gcd^ [I. Cor. iii. 9. II. Cor. vi. i.] So 
as that what God doth himfelf efficiently, is afcribedto 
them inilrumentally, as working with him and for him. 
So the preachers of the word fave men, [I. Tim. iv.. 
16.] and are faid to ccndemn them. 

3. Let thofe who are employed in the declaration of 
God's promifes and threatenings, take heed to tliem- 
felves to anfwer the will of him by whom they are em- 
ployed. It ought to be a motive to exemplary diligence 
and obedience, that therein we bear teilimony for God 



againft the impenitent world, which he will judge and 

5. All right to fpiritual privileges and mercies is by 
gratuitous adoption. 

6. The righteoufnefs of faith is the beft inheritance ;• 
for thereby we become heirs of God, and joint heirs 
with Chrift. 

Verse 8. 


§ I. Introdu^mt and connection, § 2. (L) Abraham, His 
call. § 3. Two parts of it. § 4. If here to. § 5. 
Commendation of his faith, § 6 — 8. (II.} Obfcrva- 


§ I. X HE apoflle hath now paflbd through the firf! pe- 
riod of fcripture records — from the beginning of the 
World to the flood ; and therein hath confidered the 
examples of all concerning whom it is teftified in parti- 
cular, that t\\ty pkafed Gody and were accepted with hira 
in their obedience ; and hath fliewn that they all pleafed 
God, and were righteous by fmLh\ and their faith was 
eff'etlual to fccure them in that ftate of divine favour, by 
enabling them for all duties of obedience, notwithftan- 
ding the difficulties and oppofitions they met witho 
Hereby he makes good his defign with refpe£l to thefe 
Hebrews, viz, to convince them that if they did not 
perfevere in their profeffion, it was becaufe of their un- 
beliefs feting true faith would certainly carry them 
through with conftancy and perfeverance, whatever dif- 
ficulties they ^ould jneet with. Hence he proceeds to 



the next period, (extending from the renovation of the 
worfd in the family of Noah to the giving of the law) 
to manifefl, that in every Itate of the church the way 
of pleafing God was one and the fame ; as, alfo, that 
faith flill retained its efficacy under all economical alte- 

He who, in this period of time, is firfl teflified unto in 
the fcripture is Abraham; on whofe example, by reafon 
of the eminency of his perfon, the relation of the He- 
brews to him, (deriving from him all their privileges, 
temporal and fpiritual) the efficacy of his faith, with the 
various fuccefsful exercifes of it, he declares at large 
from hence to the end of the eighteenth verfe. 

§ 2. (I.) Defigning to give many and illuftrious in- 
flances of the power and efficacy of the faith of Abra- 
ham, the apoftle begins with that which was the begin- 
ning and foundation of them all, vi%. the call of God 
and his compliance. True faith a£ls itfelf in obedience to 
all the commands of God ; this alone is that faith which 
the apoftle celebrates, and to which he afcribes the great 
effe£l of pleaiing God. 

' By faith Abraham, when he was (^Ka.Knusvog) caU 

* led, that is, of God, by an immediate word of com- 
mand from him. He did not leave all his prefent fatis- 
fadions, and put himfelf on innumerable hazards for 
the future, merely of his own accord. Had he not a 
divine call, there had been no fuch work for faith. 
Where there is no eall from God, there can be no truft 
in God. Where the call is general, as in our ordinary 
concerns, fo is our faith in God ; it refigns all circum- 
llances into his difpol^il ; but this fpeciat call of Abra- 
ham required a fpecial faith. It is particularly recorded, 
Gen. xii. i. which took place immeditely after the death 
of Terah. 

§ 3. Of this call of Abraham there were two parts : 
—a command, [Q^w. xii, 2.] * Get thee out of thy coun- 

* try,' &c. and a promife, [ver. 3.] and 1 will make, &c. 
The promife included a temporal blelling in the multi- 
plication of his feqd, [ver. 2.] and a fpiritual bleffing 

Vqj.. IV, U ia 


in confirming the promifed feed to him and his family, 
jn whom all the families of the earth were to be bleffed. 
And it is a thing moil abfurd, and contrary to the whole 
defign of fcripture, and the difpenfation of the cove- 
nant, to confine the faith of Abraham to the land of 
Canaan, and the glory of his poflerity therein. For the 
life of the promife, on his call, whereby his faith was 
animated, was in the * bleffing of all the families of the 

* earth in him/ which was in Chrlfi alone, the prbmifed 
feed, as all but infidels muft confefs. 

The apoftle takes notice only of tht firji part of the 
calls, (>:^Aj^^5vo$- c^riX9.-iv) he was called to go out, fo our 
tranflation ; or, being called (uttcJ^^j^o^^j/ c|'/?A^i/v) he 
obeyed to go out, as they lie in the original ; they are both 
to the fame purpofe. In the latter way, obeyed is imme- 
diately referred to faith ; in the former going &ut is fo ; 
his faith wrought by obedience in his goiiig out, [Gen. 
xii. I.] * Get thee (i? -^ vade tlbl) out of thy country, 

* and from thy kindred, and from thy father's houfe ;' 
leave and forfake all thy pleafant, ufeful, defirable things 
on earth; thefe three things, country, kindred, and fa- 
ihers houfe, comprife them all. Whereas, therefore, 
natural affealon and fenfe of ifcfulnefs are the two cords 
that powerfully bind us to thefe things, the forfaking of 
them muft needs proceed from fome great caufe and effi- 
cacious impulfe. This, therefore, commends the faith 
of Abraham, in the firft place, and evinceth the power- 
ful efficacy of faith in general -, that under its conduct, 
in obedience to the call of God, he could relinquifh all 
thefe things, call their infinuations out of his aiFedions, 
and break the cords of delight and interefl. 

§ 4. Yet he was not called to forfake this place where 
he was, and then left to rove and wander up and down 
-uncertainly ; but was called {nq tov tottov) to a certain place. 
It fo falls out many times, that men — grown weary by 
one means or other, (as convictions or affiiaions) of 
their natural flate, fo as to have a mind to relinquifh it, 
yet having no difcovery of a better ilate, with reft in 
pirift by the gofpel-^rove up and down in their minds; 


and afFeftions for a feafon, and then perifh in their 
wanderings, or return to the place from which they 
come onU This did not the patriarchs. And he is 
faid to receive it ; it was given him by way of a free do-, 
nation ; and fo it is with refpe£t to all good things be- 
twixt God and us ; he is the free donor of them, we 
are but paflive recipients. — (E/$" ySk'/ioovo^Locv^ for an inherit 
tance. To an inheritance there is required right and title^ 
that a man may be a lawful polTeflbr of it. Now this 
country was before polTeffed by others, who enjoyed it 
by a prefcription from its firfl plantation. But God, as 
the great pofieilbr of heaven and earth, as the fovereiga 
Lord of all things, transferred their right and title, and 
vefted it in Abraham. So it is frequently remarked^ 
' God gave them this or that land.' 

§ 5. The laft thing in the words is, the commen- 
dation of Abraham's faith from his unacquaintednefs with 
the place whither he was to go upon the call of God* 
He had only faid to him, that he fhould * go into a 
' land that he would fhew him.' [Gen. xii.] It fhould 
feem, indeed, that God had told him from the begin- 
jfiihg, it was the land of Canaan he deiigned ; for when 
he lirft left Ur of the Chaldees, he direded his courfe 
towards Canaan; [Gen. xi. 31.] but yet it is {2Ad.\iQ knoi/^ 
it not. He did not underftand any thing of the circum^ 
JIances of it, what in that land he was called to, nor 
where it was ; fo that it may be well faid, that * he 
' went whither he knew not.* The fum is, that he 
wholly committed himfelf to the power, faithfulnefs> 
goodnefs, and good condu£l of God, without the leail 
encouragemei^t from a profpedt of the place whither he 
was going. 

All thefe things being put together— what he Was cal- 
led from, what he was called to, his readinefs in obe- 
dience, the ground of his whole undertaking, which was 
tlie call of God, which he received and obeyed by faith 
^-— here is not only an eminent inflance of his faith re- 
corded, but an invincible encouragement given to thofe 
Hebrevi'S, and to us, that faith is able to carry us 

U a through 


through all the difficulties of our profeflion, unto the 
full enjoyment of the promife. This I look upon as a 
fccond injlance of the faith of Abraham, wherein it was 
iignally exemplary : he did not only, on the firft call of 
God, through a view of his greatnefs and fovercign au- 
thority, forego all he had, but engage himfelf to abfolutc 
obedience, without any profpe£l what it might coll him ; 
and is not the fame required of us ? 
§ 6. (II.) Wc may now obferve^ 

1. It becomes the infinite greatnefs and all-fatisfac- 
tory goodnefs of God, at the firft revelation of himfelf 
unto any of his creatures, to require of them a renun- 
ciation of all other things, and, their interefts in them, 
in compliance with his commands. Get thee away from 
country, friends, relations, and enjoyments, is a com- 
mand becoming the greatnefs of God. * I am the Lord 

* thy God,' is the firft word to us ; and the next is, 

* Thou fhalt have no other gods but me ;' with me, be- 
fore me, befides me ; nothing to be in my place, in 
comparifon of me, in competition with me ; forfake all 
and be mine only. Unlefs we have a fenfe of that greats 
nefs of God, making fuch commands to hecome him, wc 
yield no obedience to him in a due manner. 

2. The power of fovereign grace in calling men to 
God, and the power of faith complying with it, is 
mightily efficacious. Whilft Abraham lived with his fa- 
ther on the other fide of the river, * they ferved other 

* gods,' [Jofii. xxiv. 2.] or were engaged in the fuper- 
iHtion and idolatry then prevalent in the world. And 
file minds of men being once thoroughly infefted with 
them, as having received them by tradition from their 
fatliers, are very hardly recovered from their fnares. In 
this ftate he had all worldly accommodations that his own 
country and kindred could afford him ; yet, fuch was the 
powerful efficacy of fovereign grace in his call, that it 
enabled him, by faith, to relinquifh all, and to betake 
himfelf, at once, into a new ftate and condition, as to 
things temporal and eternal. It is well if all of xis, who 


Ver..8, epistle to the HEBREWS. i^ 

make profefTioii or the fame faith, have an experience of 
the fame grace. 

3. It is the call of God alone that makes a diflinc- 
tion am.ongft mankind, as to faith, obedience, and their 
cfFe£ls. Abraham thus believed and obeyed God, be- 
caufe he was called ; and he was called, not becaufe he 
was better or wifer than others, but becaufe it pleafed 
God to call him, and not others, [I. Cor. i. 36—31.] 

4. The church of believers conlifls of thofe that are 
called out of the world. The call of Abraham is a pat- 
tern of the call of the church, [Pfal. xlv. 10. II. Cor. 
vi. 17, 18.] 

5. Self denial, in fa£l, or refolution, is the foun- 
dation of all fincere profefiion : this Abraham began his 
profeffion with, and proceeded to the nob led infcances. 
The inftrudion our Saviour gives herein, [Matt. x. 37, 
38, and xvi. 24, 25.] amounts but to this : if you 
intend to have the faith of Abraham, with the fruits 
and bleffings attending it, you muil lay the foundation 
of it in felf-denial, and the relinquiihment of all things, 
if called to it, as he did. Wherefore, the faith of 
Abraham being every where in fcripture fet up as the- 
meafure and ftandard of the faith of believers in all 
ages, and the apoflle in this place giving us an account 
of the beginning and progrefs for it for our example, 
there is notliing that belongs more diredlly to the expo- 
iition of the place, than a due obfervation of its nature, 
adings, and effefts for our inflru£tion, without which 
the mind of the Holy Ghoil in the context is not under- 
ftood, though expofitors take very little notice of thefe 
things. Now the foundation of it is laid in this, — That 
the firft aft of faving faith conlifts in the difcovery of 
the infinite greatnefs, goodnefs, and other excellencies of 
the divine nature, fo as to judge it our duty, upon his 
call, his command and promife, to deny ourfelves, and 
to rehnquifh all things; and then, as occafion offers, to 
do fo accordingly. 

§ 7. I. There is no claim of right, title, or poffef- 
iion, that can (land agaiull the righteoufnefs of God in 



the difpofal of all inheritances here' below at his plea- 
fure. Whatever fingle perfons, whatever whole nations^ 
may think or boaft of their title and right, as to God 
they are all but tenants at will ; he can dilinherit and 
difleilin them of all, as he feems good : and when h© 
will do fo, (of which he gives inftances in all ages) no 
plea will be admitted againfl his right, or the exercife of 
it. So do kings hold their crowns, nations their foil, 
and private men their pofleffions. 

2. God's grant of things to any is the bell of title?, 
and mod fure againft all pretences and impeachments,, 
[Judges xi. 24.] * We will poffefs what the Lord our 
* God gives us to poflefs.* / 

3. Fojfcjjhn belongs to an inheritance enjoyed. This 
God gave to Abraham in his pofterity, with a mighty 
hand and firetched out arm ; and he divided it unto 
them by lot. 

4. An inheritance is capable cf a limited feafon. So 
was it with this Inkcrhance ; for although it is called an 
everlajiing inheritance^ yet it was fo only becaufe it was 
typical of that heavenly inheritance which is properly 

, eternal ; and becaufe as to right and title it was to be 
continued to the end of that limited perpetuity which God 
granted to the church ftate in that land ; that is, to the 
coming of the promifed feed, in whom all nations 
Ihould be blefled ; which the call and faith of Abraham 
principally regarded. Many incurlions were made upon 
it, but thev v^rho made them were puniflied for their 
tifurpation ; yet when the grant of it to them expired, 
alid thofe wicked tenants of God's vineyard forfeited 
their right to it by their unbelief, and murdering the 
true heir ; God difmherited them, difpofleiled them, and 
left them neither right nor intereft in this inheritance as 
at this day. It is no more the inheritance of Abraham - 
but in Chrlfl he is become heir of the worlds and his 
Spiritual poficrity enjoy all the privileges of it. Nov 
have the prefent Jews any more title to the land of Ca- 
naan, than to any other country in the world. Nor 
fliall their title be renewed upon their converiiou to God.; 



for their right was limited to that time wherein it was 
typical of the heavenly inheritance ; that now ceafing for 
ever, there can be no fpecial title to it revived. 
§ 8. Hence we may infer, 

1. That It \^ faith alone gives the foul the fatisfadion 
in future rewards, in the midll of prefent difficulties and 
diftrelTes. So it did to Abraham, who, in the whole 
courfe of his pilgrimage, attained nothing of this pro- 
mifed inheritance. And, 

2. The ajjurance given us by divine promifes, is fuf- 
ficient to encourage us to the moil difficult cgurfe of 

Verse 9. 

by faith he sojourned in the land of promise 
as in a strange country, ' dwelling in taber- 
nacles, with isaac and jacob, the heirs 
with him of the same promise. 

§ 1—3. ExpofiUon of the words. § 4. The matter cort* 
taincd in them. § 5. (I.) 7 he internal principle of Abra~ 
ham's pilgrimage. § 6. (II.) The external part of it, 
§ 7. (III.) Ohfervations. 

§ I. JtIaVING declared the foundation of Abraham's 
faith, and given the firfl fignal initance of it, he pro- 
ceeds to declare his progrefs in its exercife : 

(^TlGipouTiyjo-sv) he fojourned \ the original word (TTccpct^ 
KSM, commoror) fignifics to abide as a Jlranger. [Luke 
xxiv. 18. Du ^ovov TTccpcniug] * Art thou only a firanger 
* in Jerufalem ?' Kfojoumer therefor a feafon, not an in- 
habitant in the place ? Wherefore he abode as a firanger^ 
not as a free denifon of the place ; not as an inheritor, 
foi: he had i;o inheritance, not a i"got breadth in that place, 



[Afts vii. 5.] Not as a conftant inhabitant or houfe- 
dweller^ but as a llranger that moved up and down as 
he had occafion. ' In the land of promife ;' [iLq tz/v 
yv^ for cny] y\], vii^n) in the land \ [l"ee A(fls vii. 6,] 
' The land [nq yjv v^stg vw xtzjciKSilc) wherein you novj 

* dwelW And from the ufe of the Hebrew particle (3) 
the one Greek prepofition (etc) is freqneiiUy put for the 
other (iv) in the New Teilament, and the reverfe. 
Wherefore not the removal of Abraham ir; that land 
which he had mentioned in the foregoing verfe, but his 
abode as a ftranger^ a foreigner, a pilgrim in it, is in- 
tended ; and this was the land {rriC i'nocyycXL&.q) of pro- 
mife ; that is, which God. had newly promifed to give 
him, and wherein all the other promifes v/ere to be ac- 
compli flied. 

He fojourned in this place {cA)g aXKojoioiv) as m a 
Jirange land. He built no houfe in it, purchafed no in- 
heritance but only a burying place ; he entered, indeed, 
into leagues of peace and amity witii fome, [Gen. xiv. 13.] 
but it was not as one that had any tiling of his own in 
the land. He reckoned tliat land at prefent no more hh 
ozvn than any other land in the world, no more than 
Egypt was the land of his pofterity when they fojourned 
there, which God had faid, was not their s^ [Gen. xv, 

'3-] • 

§ a. The manner of his fojcurning in this land was 

that (c"y crycTiyoiig iiOiioiyiv,crczg) he dvjelt in tabernacles. It 
was no unufual thing in thofe days, and in thofe parts 
of the world, for whole nations to dwell in fuch move- 
able habitations. Why Abraham was fatisfied with this 
kind of life, the apoftle declares in the next verfe ; and 
he is faid to dwell in tabernacles^ or tents, becaufe the 
largenefs of his family required more than one, [Gen. 
xxiv. 67, xxxi. 33.] and with refpe£t to their moveable 
conditions in thefe tents, God in an efpecial manner, 
was faid to be their dwelling place, [Pfal. xc. i.j 

§ 3. ' With Ifaac and Jacob, the heirs with him of the 

* fame promife.' It is evident that Abraham lived until 
Jacob was lixtcen or eighteen years old i and therefore 



may be faid to live with him, as to the time they both 
lived ; but there is no need to confine it to the fame time; 
the lamenefs of condition only feems to be intended ; for 
as Abraham was a fojourner in the land of Canaan with- 
out any inheritance or poffeffion, living in tents ; fo it 
was alfo with Ifaac and Jacob, and with them alone ; 
Jacob was the laft of his pofterity who lived as 3. fojourner 
in Canaan ; all thofe after him lived in Egypt, and came 
not into Canaan until they took poffejjion of it for them- 

And they were (rwy a-vyxXTjpovoiJLCov T/jg cTrayyiKiMg 
7Vig cojj'/ig) heirs with him of the fame promife ; for not 
only did they inherit the promife as made to Abraham, 
but God diflinftly renewed the fame promife to them 
both; [Gen. xxvi. 24. xxviii. 13 — 15.] So Were they 
heirs with him of the very fame promife, [Pfal. cv. 9-— 

§ 4. The fenfe of the words being declared, we may- 
yet farther conlider the matter contained in them. — We 
have here an account of the life of Abraham after his 
call ; — as to the internal principle of it, being a life o£ 
faith ; and- — as to the external manner of it, being % 
pilgrimage. * By faith he fojourned.* 

§ 5. (Lj As to the internal principle, it was a life of 

I. It had refpeft to things fpiritual and eternal; for 
its foundation and ebje^, he had the promife of the blefjed 
feed, and the fpiritual blefling of all nations in him ; which 
was a confirmation of the firfl fundamental promife of the 
church concerning the ' feed of the woman that was to 
' break the ferpent's head.' And God entered cxpreffy 
into covenant with him, confirming it with the feal of 
circumcifion, wherein he obliged himfelf to be his God, 
his God Almighty and all-fufhcient, for his temporal and 
eternal good. To fuppofe that Abraham faw nothing in 
this promife and covenant but things confined to this life. 
— ^^nothing of fpiritual grace, nothing of eternal reward or 
glory — is fo contrary to the analogy of faith, and to ex- 

VoL. IV. X prefs 


prefs teftimony ; fo deflru6live of all the foundations of 
reii'^ion, fo unworthy of the nature and properties of 
God ; rendering Abraham's title * the Father of the faith- 

* ful,' and his example in believing fo ufelefs, that it is a 
wonder men of any tolerable fobriety lliould indulge to 
fuch an imagination. 

1. It was a life of faith with refpe£l to things temporal 
alfo ; for as he was a fojourner in a ftrange land, without 
friends, or relations, not incorporated in any political 
focicty, or dwelling in any city, he was expofed to dan- 
gers, opprelTion, and violence, as is ufual in fuch cafes ; 
beiides, thofe amongfl: whom he fojourned were for the 
nioft part wicked and evil men, fuch as, being fallen into 
idolatry, were apt to be provoked againft him for his pro- 
feflion of faith in the moft High God. Hence, on fome 
t)ccurrences of his life that might give them advantage, it 
is obferved, as a matter of danger, ' the Canaanite and 

* the Perizzite dwelt then in the land ;' [Gen. xiii. 7. and 
xii. 6. chap. xx. 2.] moreover, he had fundry particular 
trials wherein he apprehended that his life was in im- 
minent danger, [Gtn. xii. 11 — 13. xx. 2.] but in all 
fhefe dangers, being helplefs in himfelf, he lived in the 
continual exercife of faith and trufl in God, his power, 
all-fufficiency and faithfulnefs. Hereof his whole hiitory 
is full of inilances, and his faith in them is frequently- 

In things of both forts, fpi ritual and temporal, he lived 
bv faith, in a conjlant refignation of himfelf to the fovereigii 
Tvill and pleafure of God, when he faw no way or means 
for the accomplifhment of the promife ; fo it was with 
Tefpc6: to the long feafon that he lived without a child, 
'Smd under the command he had to offer him for a facri- 
51ce, when he had received him ; on all thefe accounts he 
was the fiUher, the example of behevers in all genera- 

^ 6. (n.) For the external part or manner of his life, 
it was a pilgrimage, a fojourning. Tv/o things conflitutc 
•iuch a ilate of life ; — that a man be in ^.Jlrange country ; 


Ver.9. epistle to THE HEBREWS. 153: 

and — that he have no fixed habitation of his own ; a 
man may want a habitation of his own as his inheritance, 
and yet, being in his own country, not be a pilgrim ; and 
a man may be in a llrange country, and yet having a 
fixed habitation of his own therein, he may not be a 
pilgrim ; but when both thefe concur, there is a Hate of 
pilgrimage. And fo it was with Abraham ; he was in a 
Irrange land, though the land of promife ; for having no 
interell in it, no relation, no poffeffion, no inheritance, 
it was to him 3. Ji range land; wherefore, he had nothing 
to trufb to, but Divine proteftion alone. 
§ 7. (III.) And we m^ij obferve^ 

1. That where faith enables men to live to God, as to 
their eternal concerns, it will enable them to truil him in 
all the difficulties and hazards of this life. To pretend a 
truft in God as to our fouls and invifible things, and not 
reiign our temporal affairs with patience and quietnefs to 
his difpofal, is a vain pretence ; and we may take hence 
an eminent trial of our faith ; too many deceive themfelves 
with a prefumption of faith in the promifes of God, as to 
things future and eternal ; for if they are brought into any 
temporal trial, they feem utter Grangers to the life of faith. 
It was not fo with Abraham, his faith acted itfelf uni- 
formly wnth refpeft to the providences as well as the pro- 
mifes of God. Wherefore, 

2. If we deiign to have an interefl in the bleflings of 
Abraham, we muft walk in the fleps of his faith ; and to 
this end is juftly required — a firm affiance in the promifes 
for grace, mercy, and eternal falvation, trufl in his pro- 
vidence for prefervation and prote£lion in this world,- 
with a cheerful refignation of all our temporal and eternal 
concerns into his difpofal, according to the tenor of the 
covenant. Is not the faith of moil: profeirors lame and 
halt in thefe parts and duties of it ? 

3. Where faith is once duly fixed on the promifes, it 
will wait patiently under trials, afiliflions, and tcmpta-. 
tions, for their full accomplilhment, [fee the Expofitioa 
Qi\ chap. vi. 12. 15.] 

X 2 .4. Faith 


4. Faith difcerning aright the glory of fpiritual pro- 
mifes will make the foul of a believer contented and well 
fatisfie4 with the fmalleft portion of earthly enjoyments. - 

Vjerse 10. 


§1. Introduilion. § 2. (I.) JVhat the city Ahraham looked 
for, ^ o — ^. (XL) What included in the defcriptlon of it. 
§ 6. (III.) Obfcrvations. 

§ I. X HE apoflle abundantly indicates in this difcourfe, 
that Abraham was very well fatisfied with his condition as 
a flranger and pilgrim in the world, and now he proceeds 
to declare the grounds and reafons of that fatisfadion ; he 
knows that his portion did not he in things here below, 
but he looked for things of anothe, nature, which by this 
means were to be obtained ; for it is the end that regulates 
our judgement concerning the means. Let us briefly in- 

T. What the city is, which he looked for ? 

II. What is included in the defcription of it ? 

§ 2. * For he looked for a city ;' {Tr,v ttcKiv) that city^ 
the article prefixed denoting an eminency. Jerufalem, 
faith Grotius, and he fo interprets the words, as if 
Abraham hoped that his poflerity fhould have in the land 
of promife a city that God would prepare for them in a 
fpecial manner. 

1. This is expreflly contrary to the expofition given 
by the apoftle himfelf of this exprelfion, ver. 16. 

2. It is not fuitable to God's dealing with Abraham, 
and to the nature and efie^ls of the holy patriarch's faith, 
that lie fhould have nothing to encourage him \n his pil- 



grimage, but an hope that after many generations his 
poflerity fhould have a city to dwell in, in the land of 
Caanan, wherein the condition of moil of them was not 
better than his in tents ? 

3. The fenfe of that exprefiion, ' whofe builder and 

* maker is God/ is the fame with chap. viii. 'i. ' which 

* the Lord pitched, and not man.' 

4. To fuppofe that this was only an earthly city, not 
to be polTelled by his poilerity until eight hundred years 
afterwards, and that but for a limited time, is utterly to 
overthrow his faith, the nature of the covenant of God 
with him, and his being an example to gofpel believers, 
as he is here propofed to be. 

This city, therefore, which Abraham looked for, is that 
heavenly city, that everlafting maniion which God hath 
provided and prepared for all true believers with him- 
felf after this life, [ver. 16.] it is alfo fometimes called 
a tabernacle, fometimes an houfc, fometimes a manjion, 
[II. Cor. V. I. Luke xvi, 9. John xiv. 2.] it being the 
place of their everlailing abode, reft, and refrefhment ; 
and herein is comprifed the whole reward and glory of 
heaven in the enjoyment of God ; with tlie expectation 
hereof did Abraham and the follov/ing patriarchs fupport, 
refreih, and fatisfy themfelves in the midil of all the toil 
jind labour of their pilgrimage. 

§ 3. (II.) As to the defcriptlon of this city, the firjl 
part is taken from the nature of it, being fuch as (rovg 
Sfsi^tKiag syj^a-a.v) hath foundations. It is generally granted 
that here is an oppolition to tents or tabernacles, (in 
which Abraham fojournied) which had no fowndation, 
being fupported only by flakes aiid cords ; but the /pe- 
dal nature of the foundation of this city is intended, in 
comparifon of which the foundations of other cities laid 
in (lone and mortar are none at all ; for experience mani- 
fefls how temporary and fubjeft to ruin they all are ; but 
thefe foundations are fuch as give perpetuity, yea eternity, 
to the fuperjirucfure, even all that are built upon them ; 
wherefore thefe foundations are the eternal power, the in- 
^nite wlfdom, aq4 in^rViUtab}e counfd of God. On thefe 


is the heavenly city founded and eilabiifhed ; the purpofe 
of God in his wifdoin, and power to make the heavenly- 
Hate of behevers immutable and eternal, fubje£l to no 
change, is the immovable foundation of the city we look, 
for by faith. 

§ 4. The fccond part of the dcfcription -is from the- 
maker and builder of it — ' God' MoH: expolitors judge 
that both the words here ufed are of the fame fignifica- 
tion ; and indeed the difference between them is not 
material, if there be any ; properly the one is [r^yj'ilnc^. 
art'ifcx) he who in building projedteth, and defigneth the 
whole frame and fabric : that regularly difpofeth of it 
according to the rules of art ; and the other is (o/^^/j^pyoc, 
condlior) the builder or maker ; that is, he whofe the 
whole w^ork is, at whofe charge, and for whofe fervice it 
is made. 

Between thefe two, (the archite£l and proprietor) there 
are in other buildings thofe who a£lually labour in the 
woik itfelf, the workmen \ there is nothing faid of them; 
for this building is ereded by a mere word of infinite and 
fovereign power, without labour or toil ; he faid — Let it 
be foj and it ivas fo ; wherefore, God alone is the only^ 
contriver and eredor of the heavenly city, without the leall 
concurrence of other agents, without the lead ufe of any 
inftrument ; — in Ihort, it is the habitation of God himfelf^ 
with all that enjoy his prefence, and the polity which is 
fuitcd to it. Oh, delirable abode I Oh, ineffable effeft of 
jjifinitc wifdom, power, and grace ! 

\^ 5. Of this city it is faid that Abraham by faith 
(c'^-hyfjo) looked for it ; that is, he believed eternal refl 
with God in heaven, wherewith he comfortably and con- 
fcantly fufl:ained the trouble of his pilgrimage ; [II. Cor. 
iv 16, 17.] ' For which caufe we fai:it not; but though 

* our outward man perifh, yet the inward man is renewed 

* day by day ; for our light affli<Slion, which is but for a 
' moment, workcth for' us afar more exceeding and eternal 

* weight of glory ; while we look not at the things which 

* are fecn, but at the things which are not feen, for the 

* things which are fcen arc temporal, but the things whicli^ 

' ar© 

Ver.1i. epistle to the HEBREWS. 157 

* are not feen are eternal.' This is a full defcrlptloii of 
the faith of Abraham, in the operation and effect here 
afcribed to it by the apoflle ; and herein it is exemplary 
and encouraging to all believers under their prefent trials 
and fufferings, which is the apoille's prefent defigti. 
§ 6. (III.) Hence ohferve the enfuing particulars, 

1. A certain expectation of the heavenly reward 
grounded on the promifes and covenant of God, is fuf- 
^cient to fupport and encourage the fouls of believers 
under all their trials in the whole courfe of their obedience. 

2. Heaven is a fettled, quiet habitation. How fuitable 
a dwelling then for them who have a life of trouble, and 
little but trouble in this world ! 

3. All {lability, all perpetuity in every (late here and 
hereafter, arifeth from the purpofe of God. 

4. This is that v/hich recommends to us the city of 
God, the heavenly Hate, that it is as the work of God 
alone, fo the principal efte£l of his wifdom and power. 

5. A conftant expectation of eternal reward argues 
a vigorous exercife of faith, and a fedulous attendance 
■upon all duties ©f obedience ; for without thefe it will 
not be raifed nor preferved, [II. Cor. iv. 16, 17, I. Joha 
iii. 1—3.] 

Verse i i. 

through faith also sarah herself receivep 
strength to conceive seed, and was deli- 
vered of a child when sfie was past age ; 
because she judged him faithful w^ho had 

§ I. "iTranJilion and connexion. § 2. (I.) Expojitlon, Sarah, 
§ 3. Remarks on her faith. § 4. The effe^s, and § 5. 
Foundation of it, § 6. jII.J Ohfervations. 

§ I. ITIERE he proceeds to the instances of his faith 
with refpea to the ^romifi made him, that in his feed all 



the nations of the earth fhould be blefTed. And thefe alfo" 
are two ; — that which concerneth the birth of Ifaac, by 
whom the promife was to have its accomplifhment ; and 

^ what he did by faitli in offering up the fon of the pro- 

niife at the command of God. 

In the firft of tliefe, Abraham w^as not alone, but Sarah 
his wife was both naturally and fpiritually no lefs con- 
cerned than himfelf. "Wherefore the apoftle in the midlt 
of his difconrfe concerning Abraham and his faith, in 
this one inftance introduceth Sarah, with great propriety, 
in cojiiunftion with him. 

§ 2. {Y^ai a-iij'/i '^<y/^pcy.) wiJ^ or alfo, Sarah hcrfelf\ as 
Abraham was Xht father of the faithful, or the church, fa 
ilie was the mother of it, fo as that the diftind mention of 
her faith was neceflary. She was the free woman from 
whence the church fprung, [Gal. iv. 22, 23.] and all 
believing women are her daughters, [I. Pet. iii. 6. fee 
Gen. xvii. 16.] Her working and obedience is propofed 
to the church as an example, and therefore her faith alfo 
i*nay juflly be fo ; [I. Pet. iii. 5, 6.] befides, fhe was 
equally concerned iu the divine revelation with Abraham, 
and was as fenfible of great difficulties in its accomplilh- 
ment as Abraham, if not more; to which we may add^ 
that the bleffing of the promifed feed was confined and 
appropriated to Sarah no lefs than to Abraham, [Gen. 
xvii. 16.] 'I will blefs her, yea I will blefs her, and Ihe 
* fhall be a mother of nations,' Herein her faith was- 
ncceflary, and is here honourably recorded. 

^ 3. Something may be remarked in the very pro- 
pofing of this inftance ; 

I. It is the faith of a woman that is celebrated. Hence 
that f ex may learn, that they alfo may be examples of faith 
to the whole church, as Sarah was ; and it is neceffary 
for their encouragement, bcca-ufe of the fpcciai concernment 
of their lex in the firil entrance of fin ; becaufe of their 
natural weaknefs, fubjcfl in a peculiar manner to various 
temptations, which in this example they are encouraged to 
conlii6t with and overcome by faith. Whence it is that 



they are heirs, together with their beheving hufbands, of 
the grace of Jife, [1. Pet. iii. 7.] 

2. Here is a fingle coinirendaiioii of the faith of Sarah, 
even in that very inftance wherein it was Jhaken ; yea, 
being awakened by reproof, Gen. xviii. 13, 14. and 
receiving a fuller evidence that it was the Lord who fpoke 
to her, fhe recovered herfelf, and refted by faith in his 
power and truth. 

3. The carriage of Sarah is twice repeated by the Holy 
Ghoft, here and I. Pet. iii. 6. and in both places only 
what was good — her faith towards God on her recovery 
after the reproof, and her obfervance of her hufband, 
w^hom, fpeaking to luimfelf, fhe called Lord — is men- 
tioned and propofed without the leail remembrance of her 
failing or mifcarriage ; ^nd fuch will be the judgement of 
Chrifl at the laft day, concerning all thofe whofe faith and 
obedience are Jincere, though accompanied with many 

§ 4» * She received flrength ;' {-Kocf^'z) J^je received it ; 
fhe had it in a way of free gift ; (^dvoc^lv) Jircngth, power 
and ability. I believe tliat this was not a mere miraculous 
generation, but that fhe received a general reftoration of her 
nature for its primitive operations, which was before 
decayed ; as Abraham afterwards, who, after his body 
was in a manner dead, received fbrength to have many 
children by Keturah ; (E/^ KoclaBoX'.ri> o-TTc^^ocjog) to con^ 
ceive feed, a child, in a natural way and manner ; fhe 
conceived and accordingly bore a fon^ [Gen. xxii. 2.] 

That which is eminent herein, manifefling that it was 
a mere effe^ of faith, is, that it was thus with her {ttccdoc, 
Kc^.ipov YiXiKiag) after the feafon of age was paf. So the 
apoltle expounds that palTage in Mofes, * Sarah was old 

* and well ftricken in age, and it ceafed to be with her 

* after the manner of women,' [Gen. xviii. 11, 12.] She 
was ninety years old at that time, (Gen. xvii. 17.] and 
this at firft fhook her faith, for want of a due confidera- 
tion of the omnipotency of God ; * Is any thing too hard 

* for the Lord?' [Gen. xviii. 14.] She confidered not. 

Vol. IV. Y that 


that where divine veracity was engaged by 'promife, infi- 
nite power would be alfo engaged to make it good. 

§ 5. * Becaufe Hie judged him faithful who had pro- 

* mifed ; [sTiSh qumlam) becaufe ; fignifying the reafon of 
what was before ailcrted ; (riy'/j(rcc]o} Jhe judged ; fhe 
reckoned, elleemed, reputed him to be fo. And herein 
the nature of true faith in general doth confift, viz. in 

* the mind's judging and determining upon the evidence 

* propofed ;' when (lie recolIe£led herfelf, and took off 
her mind from the thing promifed to the fpecial obje£l of 
her faith ; (rov STTcy.yysXXo^svov^ the promifer, who was 
God liimfelf, faith prevailed ; fhe then came to this refo- 
lution — whatever difficulties or oppofitions lie in the way 
of accomplifhing the promife, he who made it is able to 
remove them all ; and flie farther concluded, on the 
fureft grounds, that he would make good his word wherein 
he had caufcd her to put her truil ; ' becaufe fhe judged 
' him who had promifed {'7ri<fjoy) fahhfuL^ Is any thing 
too hard for the Lord ? 

§ 6. (I.) From this account of Sarah's faith obferve ; 

1. Faith may be forely fliaken and tofTed with diffi- 
culties, at their appearance, lying in the way of the pro- 
mife, which yet at lail it fhall overcome ; fo metimes the 
weakncfs of faith arifeth to a diftrufl of the event of pro- 
mifes, or their accomplifliment, becaufe of the difficulties 
that lie \\\ the way ; [Luke i. 18 — 20.] So was it with 
Sarah on this occafion, for which (he was reproved ; and 
this at times is found in us all. It is therefore our duty 
to watch that our faith be not farprifed, or fhaken by the 
^ppear^nce of difficulties and oppofition ; and not to 
defpond utterly q\\ account; of any partial failure, for it 
is in its very nature^ by the ufe of means, to recover its 
vigour and efficacy 

2. It is no def<:6l in faith ftot to expeft events and 
bl^lfings abfolately above th« ufe of means,, u.nlefs we have 
a particular warranty for it ; as Sarah had in this cafe. 

3. The duty and ufe of faith about temporal mercies arc 
to be regulated by the general rules of the word where no 
Jpecial proz'Iii^nci m^kQS t^he a.ppUcatioa of apjromife. 

4. The 


4. The mercy here fpoken of concerning a fon to 
Abraham by Sarah his wife was abfolutely decreed, and 
abfolutely promifcd ; yet God indifpenfably requires faith 
in them for the fulfilling of that decree and the accom^ 
plifhment of that promifc. 

5. That the formal ohjed of faith in the divine pro- 
mifes is — not the things promifed in the £rft place, but 
— God himfeJf in his efTential excellencies of truth or 
faithfulnefs and power. To fix our minds on the things 
themfelves promifed, to have an expectation or fuppoii- 
tion of the enjoyment of them, (fuppofe mercy, grace, 
pardon, glory,) without a previous aquiefcency of mind 
in the truth and faithfulnefs of God, or on God himfelf, 
as faithful and able to accompliih them, is but a deceiving 

6. Every promifc of God hath this confideration tacitly 
annexed to it, ' Is any thing too hard for the Lord r' 
There is no divine promife, when it comes to the trial, 
as to our doling with it, but we apprehend as great a 
difficulty and improbability of its accomplifhment to us, 
as Sarah did of this. Poor, humbled, broken fouls, 
burdened with lins, and entangled in their own darknefs, 
find infuperable difficulties, as they apprehend, in the way 
of accomplishing the promifes. But — ' is any thing too 
• hard for the Lord ?' 

7. Although the veracity and faithfulnefs of God be in 
a peculiar manner the immediate objeft of our faith, yet 
it takes in the conlideration of all other divine excellencies 
for its encouragement and corroboration \ and all of them 
together are that name of God, whereon a believing fovil 
flays itfelf in all extremities, [Ifa. i. 20.] And, 

8. This is the righteoufnefs of God revealed from faith 
to faith ; that is, the righteoufnefs of Chrill as tendered 
in the promife, is made known and communicated from 
the faith of God therein to the faith of tl^m by whom it. 
is believed. 

Y 3 Verse 


Verse 12. 

therefore sprang there even of one, and him 
as good as dead, so many as the stars of 
the sky in multitude, and as the sand 
which is ey the sea-shore, innumerable. 

§ 1. Connexion. § 2, 3. (I.) Expofition, 'The fruit of 
jihraioaYns filth. § 4. His numerous pojicrlty, § 5. 
(II.) Obfrvatlons. 


§ I. J-N this verfe we have an illuftration of the fruit 
of faith by an eminent confequent of it, — the innumer- 
able poflerlty of Abraham ; and, indeed, this may be 
callpd the gratuitous remuneration of faith, although it be 
not added particularly, that it was by * faith.' For it 
was exprefsly contained in the promife to Abraham, 
which he ' received by faith.' Wherefore the belief 
thereof belon<Ted to that faith of Abraham for which he 
is commended ; and it had its peculiar difficulties alfo^ 
that rendered it both acceptable and commendable. For 
whereas he himfelf had but one fon by virtue of the 
promife, it was not eafy for him to apprehend how he 
fhould have fuch an Innumerable pofterity. And it may 
be obferved, that the lirft teflimony given to the jufllfi- 
cation of Abraham by faith, was upon his belief of this 
part of the promife, that * his feed fliould be as the 

* flars of heaven, that cannot be numbered;' for it is 
immediately added, that \ he believed in the Lord, and 

* he counted it to him for righteoufncfs,' [Gen. xv. 5, 
6.] For although this promife concerned things tempo- 
ral, yet it belonged to the way of redemption by Chrift, 
the promifcd feed; fo t\\2it jujilfylng faith may a<5l itfelf, 
and be an evidence of our juftification, when we believe 
promifes even about temporal mercies, as they belong to 



the covenant; whereof we have innumerable examples 
under the Old Teftament. 

§ 2. (I.) * Therefore fprang, &c.' The note of in- 
ference (^10) therefore^ refpedts not a confequence in the 
way of reafoning, but the introdudtion of another matter ; 
alfo the particle (y^cci) and, in the original is not conjunc- 
tive, but emphatieal only. — The bleffing here declared as 
;^ fruit of faith is a numerous pofterity ; not only had Abra- 
ham and Sarah one fon upon their believing, but by him 
a numerous, yea an innumerable pofterity. 

But it may be inquired, whence this fhould be fucli 
a blejjing, as to be celebrated amongft the moll eminent 
fruits of faith, and as the fubjeft of a folemn divine 
promife ? I anfwer, becaufe the whole church of God, 
the true worfliippers of him under the Old Teftament, 
was confined to the pofterity of Abraham; therefore was 
their multiplication a lingular bleffing, which all the faith- 
ful prayed for, and rejoiced in. So is it ftated by Mofes, 
[Deut. i. 10, II.] ' The Lord your God hath multi- 
' plied you, and behold you are this day as the ftars of 
' heaven for multitude. The Lord God of your fathers 
^ make you a thoufand times fo many more as ye are, 
' and blefs you as he hath promifed you.* 

§ 3. Therefore fprang there even of one, and him as 
^ good as dead.' The root of this numerous pofterity 
is but one — Abraham, Unto hini alone was the great 
promife of the hkjfing feed now confined, and yet he was 
heir of ail the promifes. — Of him as good as dead, [Rom. 
iv. 19.] {o-oojjic^ rih vsvsx^CAj^ivov) 'his body being now 
' dead,' brought towards death, made impotent by age, 
being about an hundred years old. 

§ 4. 'So many as the ftars of the fky in number ;' 
(t^ occfjspc^ T« aaavid) the ftars of heaven. This expreffioa 
was firft ufed by God himfelf, who commanded Abra- 
ham to go out, or brought him forth abroad, and bad 
him look towards heaven, and tell the ftars, if he were 
able to number them. Now it is evident, that in a na^ 
led view of them, and without the rules of art, (as they 
were fhewn to Abraham) there can be no greater appear- 


ancc of what is abfolutely innumerable, Befides, I judgc^ 
that in this comparifon not only their number, but alfa 
their beauty and order are refpe£ted. 

In the other allufion they are declared to be abfolutely 
innumerable. It is not faid, that they fhall be ^ as mmy 
* as the fand by the fea-fhore,' but as mnumerablc^ To 
which the event wonderfully correfponded. And hence 
proceeded the miraculous multiplication of the poflerity 
of Jacob in Egypt ; for, from feventy-five perfons, fprang, 
in little more than ivjo hundred years y fix hundred thoufand 
me?i, befides women and children. 

§ 5. (II.) Here cbferve^ 

1. When God is pleafed to increafe his church in 
number, it is on various accounts a matter of I'ejoicing 
\6 all believers ; and a fubjecl of their daily prayers, as 
what is frequently promifed in the word of truth. 

2. God oftentimes by nature works things above the 
^wer of nature in its efficacy and operations. By weak 
and dead means he often produceth mighty eiFefts. 

3. Whatever difficulties lie in the way of accomplifh- 
ing the proraifes under the Nev«r Teilament made to Jefus 
Chrift, concerning the increafe and liability of his church 
and kingdom, they fnall have an aCured accompliiK-* 

Verse 15. 

these all dead in faith, not having rf- 
ceived the promises ; but having seen them 
afar off, and were persuaded of them, and 
embraced them, and confessed that they 
were strangers and pilgrims on the earth. 

^ I. Intrcdu^ion. §2. (L) Expofitlon, M die m faith, 
i 3. Not having received the prmifes, § 4. But having 
Jctyi thfm affar cff.- § 5. j^td zvei-e perfuaded ./ them, 

^ 6. 


§ 6. And embraced them, § 7. ^T^O' confe£ed that they 
were Jirangers and plgrlms on the earth. § 8. (II.) 

§ I. JlSeCAUSE there was fomewhat peculiar in thefc 
Inftaiices, compared with thofe before recounted, and 
iJiofe which follow after ; namely, their pilgrim Jiate aftec 
the call of Abraham ; the apoftie diverts to what they 
did, atuined and profefTed in that ftate, 

§ 2. (I.) * All thefe died in faith ;' (a,\)\oi 'Tfo^vlsg) all 
tijefe I that is, all thofe who left their own country on the 
fpecial command of God, living as pilgrims in the land 
of Canaan, and elfewhere, Abraham, Sarah, Ifaac, and 
Jacok This is evident from what follows, (ver. 13 — 
15. oi-Trdccyov Kccjoi, yriijiv) died In faith; there is no doubt 
but that the apoftie commends tlieir faith from its perfe- 
verance unto the end ; but there is alfo intended, that they 
died in tlie cxerclfe of faith, a firm belief of a fuhjlantlal 
exljicnce after this life ; a refignathn and truft of their de- 
parting fouls into the care and power of God ; the be- 
lief of a future ftate of blcjjcdncfs and reft, here called an 
heavenly country, a city prepared for them by God; faith 
of the refurrealon of their bodies after death, that their en- 
tire perfons which had undergone the pilgrimage of this 
life might be ftated in eternal reft. For, on this theis 
dying in faith, God after death ' was not aihamed to be 
* called their God,' [ver, 16.] Whence our Saviour 
proves the refurreftion of the body, [Matt. xxii. 32.] 

§ 3. (JS/lq Xccf^ovlcg nag S7:ccyycKicig) nat having received 
ihe pygmifes. It is granted, that the promifes are here 
taken for the things promlfed; for, as to the promifes 
themfelves, they faw them, they were perfuaded of them, 
they embraced them; wherefore it cannot be faid that 
^hey received them not. And of Abraham it is faid ex- 
prefsly, that he ^/Vr^mV^ the promifes, [ver. 17.] as alfo 
that all other believers under the Old Teftament did ob- 
tain them, [ver. 33.] 

Again, the promifes in the plural number is the fame 
with the prQmJfe in the fingular, [ver. 33.] For the 



promile intended was but one ; but. whereas it \% frequently 
renewed^ it is called the ' promifes ;' as alfo becaufe of 
the manifold occafional additions l\\?ilVi'^tt m2i(\Q to it, and 
declaratory of it. 

This promife is no other but that of the aftual exhi- 
bition of Ch rift in the flefh, with all the privileges of the 
church thereby, which the apoftle had fo fully infifted 
on, [chap, vii — x.] This was that better thi?7g which 
God provided for us under the New Teftament^ that they 
without us Ihould not be made perfe£l, [ver. 40.] 

§ 4. But (7TOjpc<j9sv ocvjag i^ovrsc) having feen them afar 
off\ at a great diftance of time. This farther makes it 
evident, that the things promifcd^ and not the promifes 
themfelves, are intended ; for the promifes were not afar 
o^but prefent with them. — Thty faw them; underftood 
in general the mind of God in the promifes, and had the 
idea of the things promifed in tlicir minds. They faw 
them as a map, wherein w^as drawn the fcheme of divine 
wifdom, goodnefs, and grace, for their deliverance from 
the ftate of lin and mifery ; but 2X fuch a diftance as that 
they could not clearly difcern the things themfelves. And 
this is the firft aft of faith with refpeft to divine pro^ 
mifes ; a dilcerning or underftanding of the goodnefsj 
wifdom, love, and grace of God in them, fuited to our 
deliverance and falvation. And this I take to be intended 
in this expreffion, ' they fauu thern.' 

§ 5. ' And were (Trsio-i'sfjsg) pcrfuaded oi them;' fully 
or certainly perfuaded of them, as the word is frequently 
•ufcd, denoting tht fat isf a ^ory acquiefcence of the mind in 
the truth of God as to their accomplifliment. For when 
we difcern the excellency of the things contained in them, 
the next inquiry is after an af]urance of our participation 
of them. And herein, on the part of God, his truth and 
veracity reprefent themfelves to us, [Tit. i. 2.] Hence 
arifes a firm perfuafon of mind concerning their accom- 
plifliment. And to confirm this perfuafion, God in in- 
finite condefcenfion, confirmed his promife and his truth 
to Abraham with his oath, [chap. vi. 12 — 18.] Hereon 
they were affuredly perfuaded, tliat they were not empty 



fioiiriflies, mere promifes, or fub}e6l to any difappoint- 
ment; but, iiotwithflanding their great dillance, and the 
intervenience of all forts of difficulties, they ilioald cer- 
tainly be acconTplilhed in their appointed time, [Ifa. 
ix. 22.] 

§ 6. On this perfuafion they (^(zrr7:C':(rQi^jLzvci) emhraced 
them. I'he word Signifies to falute, and is applied to 
fuch falutations as are accompanied with delight and ve- 
neration ; and becaufe it is ufuali) exprelfed by flretching 
out the hands to receive and embrace, it is uled alfo for 
to embrace^ which is here the moft proper fenfe of it. 
Wherefore this embracing of the promifes, is tire heart's 
cleaving to them with love, delight, and complacency, 
which, if it be not a proper aft of faith, yet it is an in- 
feparable fruit. This was the faith whereby the elders 
obtained a good report, and not a mere naked, barren 
aflent to divine revelation, which is all that fome will 
allow to it. 

§ 7. ' And confeiTed that they were pilgrims and 
« ftrangers on the earth ;' (oiJ.oXoyy,(Tay'jcg) they confejjcdy 
avowedly profelTed, that their intereit was not in this 
world ; but they had fuch a fatisfa£tory portion in the 
promifes which they embraced, that they openly declared, 
they were {^ivot Kai TrciCjiTVioYiUOi) fir angers and pilgrims. 
on the earth. Refi^ or home, is the perfeftion of our na- 
ture ; and it was originally intruded with powers for the 
attaining of it ; but by lin thefe powers are loftj and the 
end is no more by them attainable ; yet we cannot but 
continue flill to feek after it ; and moft men look for it 
in this world, in this life. This, therefore, is their home, 
their country, their city of habitation. But thefe be- 
lievers profefled that this was not their reft, they did but 
wander about in the world for a feafon. Abraham made 
this profeffion, [Gen. xxiii. 4.] and Jacob, [Gen. xli. 
8, 9,] and David, [I. Chron. xxix. 15. Pfal. xxxix. 
12.] and that all believers are fuch, the apoftle Peter de- 
clares, [I. Epif. ii. I I.] 

If we dillinguifh thefe two forts, (^S'joi) firangcrs aje 
fuch as are alwavs moving; having no abiding place at 

Vol. IV. ' Z all; 


all ; fuch was the ftate of our Lord Jefus Chrift du- 
ring his miaiflry, where he had not to lay his head ; and 
(7r^p:-7r/S>/]u,o/) pilgrims, are fuch as take up an abode for 
a feafon, without an intermixture with the rights, du- 
ties, or privileges of the place where they are. 

This tUcy are faid to be (stti TVig yrig) on the earthy du-- 
ring their whole continuance in this world. And an in- 
timr.tion is given of that other ftate which they looked 
for, and wherein their intereft lay^ which is heaven. 

§ 8. (II.) Hence obferve, 

1. It is the glory of true faith that it will not leave 
them in whom it is, that it will not ceafe its a£^ings for 
their fupport and comfort in their dying moments ; 
when the hope of the hypocrite Ihall perifh. 

2. The life of faith eminently manifefts itfelf in death, 
when all other reliefs and fupports fail. 

3. That is the crowning aft of faith, the great trial of 
its vigour and wifdom,- — what it doth in our dying, 

4. Hence it is, that many of the faints, both of old 
and of late, have evidenced the moft triumphant a(El~ 
ings of faith in the approach of death. 

5. The due underftanding of the whole Old Teftament, 
with the nature of the faith and obedience of all the faints 
under it, depends on this one truth — that they believed 
things that were not yet a£lually exhibited nor enjoyed. 
This is the line of life and truth, that runs through all 
their profelTion and duties. Chrift in the promife, even 
before his Coming, was the life of the church in all 

6. God would have the church from the beginning of 
the world to live on promifes not actually accompHflied. 
For although we do enjoy the accomplilliment of the great 
promife of the incarnation of the Son of God, yet the 
church continues ftill to live on promifes, which in this 
world cannot be pcrfeftly fulfilled. 

7. We may receive the promifes as to the comfort and 
benefit of them, when we dq not actually receive the 
things promifpd. 

8. As 


8. As our privileges in the enjoyment of the promifes 
are above theirs under the Old Tellamenf, fo our faith, 
thankfulnefs, and obedience ought to excel theirs alfo. 

9. No diilance of time or place can weaken faith as 
to the accomplifhment of divine promifes. There arc 
ilill left us upon record, fome promifes that are, it may- 
be, afar off; fuch as thofe which concern the deilrudtioii 
of antichrift, and the glory of the kingdom of Cariic 111 
the latter days. The rule of faith concerning them is 
given us, Heb. ii. 3, 4. 

10. Quiet waiting for the accomplifhment of promifes 
at a great diilance, and which moll: probably will not be 
in our days, is an eminent fruit of faith. He that be- 
lieveth will not make hafte. 

11. This firm perfuafion of the truth of God in the 
accomplifliment of his promifes to us, upon a diicovery 
of their worth and excellency, is the fecond a(5l of faithj 
wherein the life of it doth principally conrf., 

12. This avowed renunciation cf all other things 
befides Chrift in the promife. and the gjod will of God 
in him, as to the repofe of any truft or conndence in 
them for our reft and fatisfaction, is an eminent aft of 
that faith whereby we walk with God; [Jer. iii. 23. 
Hof. xiv. 3, 4.] 

Verse 14. 

ror they that say such things, declare 
plainly that they seek a country. 

§ I . The words an inference from the foregoing account ; their 
expojttion. § 2. Obf. i. 'The proper way of interpret- 
i?jg Scripture is to conftder the words th em f elves ^ with rela- 
tion to the perfons fpeakingy and all their circun fiances. 

Z a §3- 


^ c. 2. Some Scripture proofs are unconirolahly evident 
only from a due regard to peculiar circumjlances. 

^ I X^ ROM the profeffioii of thefe patriarchs, that 
tWey were flrangers and pilgrims on the earth, the apof- 
tie makes an inference from what is contained therein. 

' Foi- they that fay fuch things,' &c. (O/ yc/.^)for they^ 
be they who they will, that [peak fuch things as thcfe lincere- 
ly : or, thefe perfons in their circumflances faying fuch 
things, as recorded in fcripture {-ij^pccvi^i^a-ii') declare 
plainly ; they make it manifeft to all, that they did feek a 
country, or ' a city for themfelves,' as the Syriac expref- 
feth it ; {s7ri^/i]ii(n) they diligently inquired after it, as the 
word fignifies. There is an entrance in thefe words on z 
train of evident confequences. From their profeffioii he 
concludes that they defired a country ; and if they did fo, 
it mufl be either that from whence they came, or fomc 
other : that from \vhence they came it could not be, 
for the reafon he affigns ; and if fome other, it muft 
be a better than either that from whence they came, or 
that where they were ; which could be no other but an 
heavenly country^ that is, heaven itfclf. 

§. 2. Olfi, This is the genuine and proper way of in- 
terpreting fcripture ; when, from the words themfelves, 
oonlidered with relation to the perfous fpeaking them, 
and all their circumftances, we declare what was their de- 
terminate mind and {q.yi{q. And on the due apprehenlion 
of the literal fcnfe of the words themfelves, the fludiou? 
exercife of reafon, in ail proper ways of arguing, is re^ 

§. 3. Ohf. 2. The inference of the apoftle from thefe 
words of the patriarchs is fo evident and uncontrolable, 
that he affirms the^nfelves to declare plainly^ what he declares 
to be their fenfe contained in their words. And indeed, 
take the words precifeiy, without a conflderation of the 
w/W wherewith, the circumftances n\\s\\\ch., and for what 
end tliey were fpoken, they do not exprefs any peculiar 
ad or fruit of faitli. For the very heathen had an ap- 
prehenlion tUat tliis life is but a kind of pilgrimage. But 

uade /' 

Ves.- i$. epistle to the HEBREWS. ijx 

wilder thi'lr clrcumjiances, there muft be another fenfe in 
the words. For they fpeak them not as the conimoa 
condition of mankind, but as their peculiar portion in 
the world, with refped to the promifes of God. Moft 
men meet with, and are feniible of fundry wants ; yet 
they are fuch as may b^ fuppiied in the place where they 
are ; and their great delire with their utmoll endeavour 
is, that they may be here fuppiied. Such perfons, be 
they never fo poor, fo indigent, fo harbourtefs, are not 
pilgrims on the earth ; this is their home, although they 
are but ordinarily provided for. IMuch lefs are they fo 
who have an affluence of all things to their fatisfa£tion, 
though they fometimes meet with a pinch or lofs. They 
cnly are fo, who live always in a fenfe of fuch wants a£ 
this world cannot fupply. 

Verse 15. 


§ I . The words an anfiver to an ohje^lon that might be ra'ifed. 
^ 2. The objeflion fully anfwered. § 3. Obfervations. 

§ I. Whereas thefe patriarchs thus exprefled 
their defire of a country, and diligently fought after it, 
was it not becaufe they had loft their Q%vn countryy their re- 
lations and enjoyments ? Was it not, becaufe of the 
difficulties of a wandering qourfe of life, a d^fire to re* 
turn home again, wlxere they might have quiet habita- 
tions ? No, ^or, 

§ 2. I. They had a country of their own, to which 
they might have gone; Ur of the. Chaldees, [Gen. xi. 32.] 



called alfo Mefopotamia, [A<Els vil. 2. Gen. xxiv. 10.] 
the country on the other fide of the flood, [ Jofli.xxiv. 2.] 

2. They departed from it upon the command of God, 
and not for want, nor to increafe their riches ; nor were 
they driven out by external force or perfecution, but went 
in an obedlental compliance with the call of God ; and 
this fecured them from all delires of a return. 

3. In their profeflion of being ftrangers and pilgrims, 
they had not refpeft to this country ; for (:-i simyi^ovzVov) 
if they had been mindful \ that is, remembered it with a 
mind and defire after it, they might have had an oppor- 
tunity of returning. It is natural for all men to remember 
and defne their own country ; nothing is more celebrated 
among the ancients, nor more illuftrated by examples, 
than the love of men to their own country, and their fer- 
vent defire after it. 

But this love, this deiire after their native country, was 
mortified in thefe holy perfons by faith, afting in obe- 
dience to the call of God ; io that no remembrance of 
their firft enjoyments, no impreffions from their native 
air and foil, no bonds of confanguinity among the peo- 
ple, nor difficulties they met with in their wanderings,, 
could kindle in them any peculiar love and attachment to 
their native place. ' They minded it not.* Befides, 

4. That they had not refpe£l to this emntry^ in the 
profeffion they made, the apollle proves from hence, that 
they might have returned to it, if they had been defirous 
of it. If this were their obje£l, why lliould they thus 
complain, when they might have gone home when they 
would ? 

{^lyj^v ccv Kdipov) they mighe have had an opportunity ; or, 
as fome copies read, only {^Lyjiv) they had, which better 
cxprefTeth the mind of the apoille \ for not only they 
might have had^ but they really had fundry opportunities of 
returning. For from the call of Abraham to the death of 
Jacob there were two hundred years ; fo that they had 
time enough for a return if they had a mind to it.; there 
was no external difficulty in their way by force or oppofi- 
tion ; the way was not fo far, but that Abraham fent 



hisfervant thither out of Canaan ; and Jacob went the 
fame journey with his ftaff. But they gave fundry evi- 
dences alfo that they would not^ on any opportunity, re- 
turn thither, [Gen. xxiv. 5, 6.] and therefore it could not 
be that with refpe£l to which they profefled themfelves to 
ht Jirangers and pilgrims ; that was not the country which, 
they fought and delired, 
§ 3. Hence ohferve : 

1. It is in the true nature of faith to mortify not only- 
corrupt and finful lulls, but our natural affeftions and 
inclinations, though in themfelves innocent, if they arc 
any way uncompliant with duties of obedience to the 
commands of God, Yea, herein lies the principal trial 
of the fincerity and power of faith. Our lives, parents, 
wives, children, houfes, pofleffions, our country, are the 
principal, proper, lawful obje£ls of our natural afFe£tions. 
But when any of them {land in the way of God's com- 
mand, if they are hindrances to the doing or fuffering 
any thing according to his will, faith does not only 
mortify, and take off that love, but gives us a compa- 
rative hatred of them, [Matt. x. 37. Luke xiv. 26. 
John xii. 25.] 

2. When the hearts and minds of believers are fixed 
on things fpiritual and heavenly, it will take them off 
from inordinate cleaving to things otherwife greatly de^ 

Verse 16. 

put now they desrre a better country, that 
is, an heavenly. w^herefore god is not 
ashamed to be called their god ; for hb 
hath prepared for them a city. 

§ I. Connexion and dcjign. T'he fubje^Jiaicd. § 2. Firjiy 
ivhat their faitb was exercifed in. §3,4. Secondly, the 



: confequent of it. § 5. Thirdly, the ground and evidence of 
their privilege. § 6. Obfervations, 

^ I. X HE apoftlehere draws. another inference wherein 
he exprelTeth the real obje£l of their faith and defires, 
■with the great advantage and dignity which they ob- 
tained therein. 

' But now,' &c. Here v/e fee what was the a£ling of 
their faith in that confellion they made, that they were 
Grangers and pilgrims on the earth. For it was not a 
mere complaint of their flate and condition ; nor a defire 
after any other earthly country ; but it muft be a country 
of another fort that tjiey delired and fixed their faith 
upon, * that is, an heavenly.' 

There are three things in the words, 

1. What their faith was cxercifed in, under the pro- 
fcffion which they made ; they * delired a better country, 

* that is, an heavenly.' 

2. What was the confequent thereof; * God is not 

* afhamed to be called their God.' 

3. The g:oii:id and evidence of that profelled relation ; 

* for he liath prepared for them a city.* 

§ 2. Firft, (oDcycfloci} ^ they defire a better \ in the 
midfl of the world, and againft the world, which con- 
temns things future Jfnd inviiible in comparifon of thofc 
which are of prefent enjoyment, they lived in a delire and 
expectation of a future, invifible, heavenly country. And 
in this profeiTion, teflimony is borne to the truth and 
excellency of divine promifes. 

(Ni'v) now^ is here an Illative particle ; and joined with 
(oi) but, iignifies an adverfative inference ; they delired 
jiot a return into tlieir country, but they deiired an hea- 
venly ; they had an earnefl adive delire, which put them 
on all due ways and means to attain it. Slothful unac- 
tive delircs after things fpiptual and heavenly, are of 
little ufc to the fouls of men. And this kind oi carneft 
defire includes Tifoifc of %uant and diifatisfa^lion in things 
ptcfcnt -y jufl apprctcnfm of the v^^orth and excellency of 



the things defired ; a fight of the way and nieans whereby 
it may be attained, without which all defire will quickly 
fade and fail. Such a defire in any is an. evidence of 
faith working in a due manner. 

That which they thus defired was {xp3i]ovog) a better 
country. Was it a country better in degrees, with better 
air, better foil ; more fruitful, more peaceable ? No ; 
but a country of another kind, that is, an heavenly. 

He had before declared, that they looked for ' a city 

* that had foundations, whofe framer and builder is God,' 
[ver. 10.] Here he exprelTeth where and what that city 
is, vi%» heaven itfelf^ or an habitation with God in the 
everlafting enjoyment of him. 

The apoflle here clearly afcribeth to the holy patriarchs 
a faith of immortality and glory after this life, and that in 
heaven above with God himfelf, who prepared it for 
them ; whereas if we believe the papifls, they were 
deceived in their expe6lation, and fell into a limbus they 
know not where. Again, if our infpired author proves 
not that their faith wrought in the defire and expeftatioa 
of heavenly things, he proves nothing at all to his purpofe. 
Or lliall we think, that thofe who were teftified unto, that 
they lived by faith, walked with God, gave themfelves 
continually to prayer and meditation, denied themfelves 
as to all v/orldly accommodations, and whofe faith pro- 
duced inimitable inflances of obedience, rofe no higher 
in their faith, hope, defire, and expectations, than to thofe 
earthly thhigs, wherein their pollerity where to have no 
fhare, comparable to that which many of the worft 
enemies of God pofleffed ; the whole of it being at this 
day one of the mofl contemptible provinces of the Turki/b 
empire ? I no way doubt, but on the promife of the 
blefied feed, they lived in that faith of heaven and glory, 
which fome that oppofe their faith were never acquainted 

§ 3. Secondly, The confequent or effe£l of their faith, 
a£ling itfelf in their earneft defires of an heavenly coun- 
try, is, that ' God is not afhamed of being called their 

* God,'' He doth not fay, that he vjould be their God, 

Vol. IV. A a for 


for that he was abfolutcly in the firfl call of Abraham ; 
but that he would be fo caUcd^ he would take that name 
aad title to himfelf ; fo the word figniiies, {ztvikocT^lt^uIj 
not VQcar'i^ but cognominari.) And the apoille refpedls what is 
recorded Exod. iii. 6 — 15. ' I am the God of Abraham, 
' the God of Ifaac, and the God of Jacob : this is my 
' name for ever, and this is my memorial to all genera- 
* tions.' He afTumes to himfelf this title, whereby he will 
be known and called on as by his cjun name. And this 
was the greatefl honour that they could be made par- 
takers of. He who is the greateft pofleffor of heaven 
and earth, the God of the whole world, of all nations and 
of all creatures, would be known, Jiiled, and called on as 
their God in a peculiar manner, and diftinguifheth him- 
felf thereby from all falfe gods whatever. It is true, he 
hath revealed himfelf to us by a far greater and more 
glorious name ; he hath taken another title to himfelf, 
to the manifeflation of his own glory, and the comfort of 
his church far above it ; namely, * the God and Father of 
' our Lord Jefus Chrifl.' Neverthelefs, by reafon of the 
covenant made with them, he is yet known by this name ; 
and whilfl it Hands upon record, there is yet hope of 
their poilerity being recovered from their prefent forlorn, 
•undone condition. 

§ 4. [Ovr^ STTcaa-yjuvslcci^ he '■juas not ajhamed to be fo 
called ; to take that name upon himfelf. And fundry 
things are intimated in this expreffion ; as, 

1. Infinite condefcevjion. Though it feem to be a 
thing infinitely beneath his glorious majefty, yet he i"s 
not afhamed of it. It is a condefccnfion in God to 
' behold the things that are doiie ih heaven and earth,' 
j[Plalm cxiii. 5, 6.) How much more doth he fo humble 
himfelf in taking this title on him ! 

2. That it would be to him a m.atter oireprjoch. Innu- 
merable gods were fct up in oppofition to him ; all agreed 
to reproach and delpife the God of Abraham, Ifaac, and 
Jacob, three poor pilgrims on the earth. Whilft thof« 
jdals multiplied tothemfelves great fwelling titles of vanity, 
tlicir bell conceptions of him were,, that he was ' the 

Ver..i6. epistle to the HEBREWS. 27; 

* unknown God,'' But notwithftanding all the reproaches 
and contempt of the world, God was not pjhamcd of 
them, nor of the title which he had alfumed to himfelf ; 
nor did he lay it afide till he had familhed all the gods 
of the earth, and vindicated his own glorious being and 
power. But, 

3. It is ufual in fuch negative enunciations to include 
the contrary pofitive. So the apoftle afHrms that he was 
not ajhamed of the gofpel of Chrift, [Rom. i. 16.] that 
is, he gloried in it, or the faith and knowledge of it was 
his honour, as he every where exprelTed himfelf. So 
God took this title to himfelf as his honour and glory. If 
it be afked, how it could be any glory to God } I anfwer ; 
it was in virtue of this title, and to fill it up, he glorified 
his grace, his goodnefs, his truth and power, above all he 
did befides in the world. He wnll be for a ' crown of 
*• glory and a diadem of beauty' to his people, [Ifa. xxviii. 
5.] and his owning of them fhall be their crown and 
diadem, they fhall be a ' crown of glory in the hand 

* of the Lord, and a royal diadem in the hand of their 

* God,* [Ifa. Ixii. 3.] He will, by his Spirit and graces 
in them, make them his crown and diadem, which he will 
hold in his hand to fhew it to all the world. Well there- 
fore it is faid, that, * he is not afhamed to be called their 

* God.' 

§ 5. Thirdly^ The ground and evidence of this pri- 
vilege ; * for he hath prepared for them a city.' The 
words either give a reafon why he was not a'lhamed to be 
called their God, or contain an evidence that he was fo 
called. In the firft way the caufal conjunction (/c^p) 
for^ denotes the reafon or caufe whence it was that God 
was not alhamed to be called their God. It is true, they 
were poor wanderers, pilgrims in the earth, who had 
neither city nor habitation, fo that it might be a fhame to 
own them. But, faith the apoftle, God had not therein 
refpecl to their then prefent Hate and condition, but that 
which he had provided for them. Or, in the fecond way, 
it may he aa evidence that he was not afhamcd to be 

A a :j called 


called their God, in that he did what might become that 

The thing itfelf, which is either the caufe or evidence 
of that title, is, that {'/ijoi^occrsv avjoig) * he hath prepared 
^ for them a city ;' the aliuiion is to colonies, with cities 
and towns ready prepared for their habitation and enter- 
tainment ; and the word here ufed is conflantly applied 
to the preparation of heaven and glory for beHevers, 
[Matt. XX. 23, &c.] and two things are included in it: 

1. The eternal dejilnatlon of glory to all believers, 
[Matt. XXV. 34.] * a kingdom prepared ^ox you from the 
* foundation of the world ;' that is, defigned, deftinated 
for you in the eternal counfel of God. 

2, It denotes \\\q fitting ^nd fi^ltlng of that city to them, 
as the means of their eternal reft and bleiTednefs. So our 
Saviour nfeth the word, [John xiv. 3.] * I go to pre- 
' pare a place for you ;' his entrance into heaven being 
pre-requilite to that glorious ftate whicli is promifed to 
New Teftament believers. 

§ 6. We may hence make fome obfervatlons ; 

1. To avow openly in the world, by our walking and 
living, with a conftant profeffion, that our portion and 
inheritance are not in it, but in things invilible, in hea- 
ven above, is an illuftrious aft and fruit of faith ; but 
then it is incumbent on us, that we do not in any thing 
contradidl this teftimony ; if we love the world like 
others, ufe and abufe it like others, we deftroy our owa 
profeffion, and declare our faith to be vain. 

2. Faith looks on heaven as the country of believers, 
a glorious country, an habitation of eternal reft ; thence 
they derive their original ; they are born from above ; 
there is their portion and inheritance ; and the blefted 
God is the one and the other ; thereunto they have right 
by their adoption ; heaven is prepared for them as a city, 
a houfe full of manlions ; therein they have their con-^ 
verfation, and after it they continually long. 

3. In all the groans of burdened fouls under their 
prefent trials, there is included a fervent defire after hea- 
ven and the enjoyment of God : fo was there in this com- 



plaint of the patriarchs, that they were Grangers and 
pilgrims. Heaven is at the bottom of the lighs and 
groans of all believers, whatever may outwardly give oc- 
calion to them, [Rom. viii. 23.] 

4. This is the greateft honour, advantage, and fecurity 
that any can be made partakers of, that God will bear 
the name and title of * their God ;' and thus it is with all 
believers by virtue of "their relation to Chriil, as he 
declares, John xx. 17. 'I afcend unto my Father, and 
* your Father, unto my God, and your God.' [See II. Cor. 
vi. 1 6 — 18.] The privileges and benefits hereon depen- 
ding cannot be numbered. 

4. God's owning believers as his, and himfelf to be 
their God, is an abundant recompence of all the hardships 
which they undergo in their pilgrimage. 

6. Divine wifdom hath fo ordered the relation between 
God and the church, that what is in itfelf an infinite 
condefcenfion in God, and as it were a reproach to hira 
in the wicked idolatrous world, fliould alfo be his glory 
and honour, wherein he is well pleafed. 

7. Where God, by way of foverelgn grace, fo infi- 
nitely condefcends as to take any into covenant with 
himfelf, fo that he may be juftly ftiled * their God ;' he 
fhall make them fuch as iliall be a glory to himfelf. 

8. We may fee here the woful condition of them who 
are ajliamed to be called his people, and make that name a 
term of reproach to others. 

9. Eternal reft and glory are made fure for all believers 
in the eternal purpofe of the will of God, and his a£lual 
preparation of them by grace ; which, being embraced by 
faithy is a fufficient fupport for them under all the trials, 
troubles, and dangers of this hfe, [Luke xii. 32.] 



Verses 17 — 19. 


I I. Connexion. § 2. (I.) Expojitlon. Ahrahanis trtaL 
§ 3. His offering Ifaac, § 4 — 6. The amplification of 
his obedience. § 7, 8. Expofition continued. § 9 — 14. 
(II.) Obfervations, 

§ I. XXAVING fpoken of the faith of the patriarchs 
in the lafl period of time, in general, with refpeft to their 
peculiar flate as pilgrims in the land of Canaan, he now 
lingles them out in particular, giving fingle inflances of 
their faith, beginning with Abraham. 

§ 2. (I.) * By faith Abraham when he was tried.' 
The inftance is fuch as became him who was to be an 
example in believing to all that fhould fuccecd him ; that 
through which he was renowned, and efleemed blelled, in 
all generations. The trial of Abraham was by a private 
command that he fhould facrifice his fon, which was un- 
lawful for him to do of his own accord ; both as it was a 
facrifice that God had not ordained, and becaufe he had 
no fuch power over the life of an obedient fon ? but in 
this command God, by virtue of his fovereign right and 
authority over all, changed the nature of the a^ and mad# 
it lawful, yea, a duty to Abraham ; Ifaac was his abfo- 
lutely, and by way of fovereignty, before and above any 
intereft of Abraham in him i He is the fupreme Lord of 
life and death, and may appoint what means of them he 


Ver. 17— 19- EPISTLE TO THE HEBREWS. itt 

pleafeth j {o when he commanded the Ifraelltes to borrovr 
jewels of the Egyptians, which they carried away with 
them, he did it by transferring the right and title of them 
from one people to the other ; [Exod. xii. ^S^ 3^-1 
wherefore, it was no part of Abraham's trial, that what 
he was to do had any thing of Jtn in it ; no, for he knew 
full well that God's command had made it not only lawful, 
but his indifpenfable duty ; but his trial arofe from othej: 
confiderations ; and the internal work of God under thi.3 
temptation was the corroboration of the faith of Abraham 
unto a blefled victory, which was in his dcfign from the 
beginning ; and the temptation is faid to be for his trials 
as if God had done it for his own fatisfa£lion refpe^ling 
the faith and love of Abraham ; ' Now I know thac 

* thou fearell God,' [Gen. xxii. 12.] but thefe things are 
fpoken after the manner of men ; God knew his faith and 
the flrength of it, as alfo the fincerity of his love, fot 
they were both from himfelf ; he knew what would b© 
the ifflie of the trial, and what he had himfelf determined 
concerning the life of Ifaac ; and therefore, ' Now I 
' know,' is no more than * now I have made known,' to 
thyfelf and others ; thus therefore he was tried ; God by 
his command, which could not be obeyed bwt by a 
vigorous, victorious faith, fervent love, and a reverential 
fear of God, made it known unto Abraham for his com- 
fort, and to all the church for their example, to his ever- 
lafling honour, what power of grace was in him, and by 
what principles he was entirely actuated in his walking 
before God ; and it is remarkable that the trial mufl have 
been greatly augmented by the calling out of Ifhmael, 
which is reported in the foregoing chapter, fo that he 
being gone from his family, he had no other fon but 
Ifaac, in whom all his expeftations were centered. 

§ 3. The a6l and efFed of his faith, was — -* He offerecf 

* Ifaac ;' the command was to ' offer him for a burnt of- 

* fering,' which was firfl to be flain, and then confumei 
with fire ; accordingly the apoflle affirms that he offerel 
him ; that is, he * fully obeyed the command of God { 
but tliat command did not refped the event ; Abrahan 



was not obliged to believe that he Ihould aSlually be offered 
in facrifice ; but he beheved that it was his duty to obey 
the divine command, which he accordingly did ; refledl, 
therefore, in what fenfe God commanded that Ifaac lliould 
be offered, in the fame did Abraham offer him ; for he 
fulfilled the command of God. 

1. He parted with his own intercjl in him, and gave 
him up wholly to God and his will, which was the prin- 
cipal thing in every offering or facrifice ; this God takes 
notice of in an efpecial manner, as that which anfwered 
his mind ; * Thou hafl not withheld thy fon, thine only 
« fon from me,* [Gen. xxii. 12.] 

2. He complied in the way deligned in the command 
for the giving him up unto God, vi%. as 2i facrifice by blood 
and fire ^ wherein himfelf was to be the offerer ; herein was 
the great convulfion of nature ; but his faith rofe fuperlor 
to it. What ! to have an only beloved fon flain by the effulion 
of his blood, vifibly under his eyes ; yea, to do it with 
his own hand, and to fland by his confumption in the 
£re ! How unparalleled the trial ! We read indeed in 
heathen flories, and in holy writ with reference to Mo- 
loch, that fome in overwhelming diftreffes have facrificed 
fome of their children in a kind of rage and fury, out of 
hopes to be gainers by it ; but this was not the cafe of 
Abraham ; he was at perfect peace with God and man, 
with an affluence of all other things to the utmofl of his 
defires ; on all accounts his fon was dear to him, to as 
great an height as it is poffible perhaps for natural affeftioa 
to arife ; bcfides, the holy patriarch was quite fedate in 
his mind ; had no hope of advantage ; yea, what could be 
rxpeded but the utter ruin of his family and poflerity ? 
Yet he complies with the unequivocal divine mandate to 
offer him, with his own hands, a bloody facrifice unto 

3. He did as much for the trial of his faith, as if his 
Ton had been aflually flain. There could not have been 
\ greater affault upon it in cafe he had been offered ; 
le looked on him as dead under his eye ; and thence, as 
ve fhall fee, is faid to ' receive him in a figure \ he was, 


t^ER- 17— 19- EPISTLE TO THE HEBREWS. 183 

as to his faith, in the fame condition as if he had been 
dead. Wherefore, 

4. In compliance with the command of God, he fhut 
his eyes, as it were, againfl all difficulties and confequences ; 
refolving to venture Ifaac, pofterity, truth of promifes, 
See. upon the authority of God^ wherein he is principally 
propofed as our example. 

§ 4. The next thing to be confidered is the ampUficatioji 
of this obedience of Abraham in the various circumftances 
of it ; and to begin with the per/on of Ifaac ; he was his 

* only begotten,^ that only fan in' whom the promife of the 
feed (hould be accompliflied ; farther to clear the reafou 
of this expreffion, it may be obferved, that the fons of 
Abraham by Keturah were not yet born ; Idimael was, 
by the command of God himfelf, put out of his family, 
as one that fhould not be the heir of his family, by whom 
his feed fhould be reckoned — he w^as his only begotten by 
Ear ah ^ who was concerned in all this affair between God 
and him no lefs than himfelf; and — the Holy Ghofl 
taketh into confideration the whole Jiate of things between 
God and Abraham, in his call, his feparation from the 
world, in the covenant made with him, in the promife 
made him concerning the blelTed feed ; in all which Ifaac 
ahne had any concernment ; therefore as Abraham alone 
was placed in thefe circumftances, he was his ' only 

* begotten fon.' Finally, this expreffion is ufed in fcrip- 
ture fometimes for as much as peculiarly and entirely beloved 
above ail others, [Prov. iv. 2.] to which there is here 
great refpe^V. 

Abraham was very remote from being favage or cruel, 
nor did he defign tliat ftolcal apathy which was fo falfely 
and fooli filly boafled of by forae of old ; nor was he 
((Z(r]opyog) without natural affc^ions, which the apoftlc 
reckons amongil the worfc vices of the heathens ; [Rom. 
i. 31.] yea, he was fuch a tender and affedionate father, 
that the fending of Ifhmael out of his family was more 
than he could well bear, until God comforted him in it, 
[Gen. xxi. 11 — 13.] what now muft the workings of his 
heartn eeds be towards Ifaac, a fon whom hehad fo long 

Vol. IV. E b waited 


waited and prayed for, the only child of his dear wife, 
(who was the companion of all his wandering troubles 
and trials) and who was now grown up (as is raoft pro- 
bable) to the age of iixteen or feventeen years, and had 
engaged his aifedions by ail ways poflible, being the flay 
of his age, the life of his family, his only hope and 
comfort in the world ? And how was he to deal with 
him ? Not to fend him out of his family, with fome 
provifion, and a guide, as he fent Ifhmael ; not to part 
with him for a time into a foreign country ; but to take 
him himfelf, to bind him, flay him with a knife, and 
then burn him to aflies. Who can conceive what con- 
vulfions in nature mull: needs be occaiioned hereby ? The 
advantages alio which Satan might hence take to excite 
unbelief with refpe£t to the command of God, are obvious 
to all : " Can it be thought that he who is infinitely good, 
benign, and gracious, Ihould command one who fears 
and loves him, thus to tear and rend his own bowels, to 
devour his own offspring, his only fon ? Hearken a little 
to the out-cries of love, fear, and foirow, and be not too 
hafty to be the executioner of all thine own joy." Here 
then the divine power of faith manifelled itfelf- ' it is 
* the Lord,'' prevented all murmurings, filenced all reafon- 
ings, and preferved his mind in a frame iit to approach 
God in his holy worfliip. 

§ 5. His obedience farther appears, in that he had 
'* received tlie promifes.' It is twice faid in this chapter, 
that neither he nor any other believers under the Old 
Tellament, r;celved the promlfe \ [verfe 13 — 39.] but 
here it is affirmed, that he did receive the promifes. The 
folution is eafy ; for in thofe two other places, by the 
' promife,' the tl/mg prornifcd is intended. And this fuf- 
ficiently difcovers the vanity of thofe expolitors who 
would have thofe promifes to refpeft principally, yea 
•nlyy the land of Canaan, with the numerous pollerity 
of Abraham therein. For this was fully enjoyed by 
them under the Old Teftament, as much as ever it was to 
be enjo)ed, when the apoftle affirms concerning them 
that they * received not the proniife.* But Abraham is 



faid to receive the promifes formally, inafmuch as God 
made and gave them unto him, and he believed them, or 
received them by faith. The fcripture calleth the fame 
thing indifferently the promt fe or the premifes. [See Expof. 
on chap. vi. 13 — 18.] 

§ 6. * Of whom it was faid, that in Ifaac (liall thy feed 

* be called ;' {ttooq ov) of whom, or concerning whom ; the 
word ^ whoYTi immediately relates to Ifaac. (HA(%A7^9)^) 
It was faid \ that is, it was exprefsly fpoken to him by 
God himfelf, on the occafion of fending Iihmael out of 
his family ; that he might have fall aifurance of the ac- 
complilhment of the promifes in him. And this w^as that 
which gave the greateft exercife to his faith. In Ifaac 
{V'W *]^ i^ip' KKviS/icrfloii (TOi (TTrSQiLcc) Jhall a feed be called 

* unto thee \ that is, the feed promifed from the beginning 
fhall be given iix him ; the traduftion of it into the world 
fhall be through him and no other. The principal fub- 
jed matter of the promife was no other than Chrifh him- 
felf, with the whole work of his mediation for the re- 
demption and falvation of the church. This is fo evi- 
dent, [A6i:s ii. 38, 39. Gal. iii. 16.) that it needs no 
confirmation. Suppofmg therefore what we have fpokea 
before concerning the exercife of faith, occafioned by 
his natural affedions, with reference to his only fon ; and 
who can conceive with what heart Abraham received the 
thunder of this command ? what perplexities he was call 
into, or at leaft would have been {q, had not faith carried 
him through them all ? He feems to be preffed unavoid- 
ably with one or the other of the greateft evils in the 
world ; either he muft difobey the command of God, or 
he muft let ^o his faith in the promife ; either of them 
filled with eternal ruin. 

§ 7. * Accounting that God was able to raife him up 

* even from the dead ; from whence alfo he received him 

* in a figure.' The immediate obje£t of his faith ia 
general was the power of God, that God was able, Abra- 
ham firmly believed, not only the immortality of the foul, 
but alfo the refurre£lion from the dead. Had he not done 
fo, he would not have betaken himfelf into this rehef in 

B b 2 his 


his diilrefs. It is in vain to inquire what fpccial reve- 
lation Abraham had of thele things ; for the refurre^lion. 
from the dead, which includes the other, was an eirential 
part of the firll: promifc, or no relief is tendered therein 
againft the curfe, which was a return into the dull. He 
owned the omnipotency of God, as able to produce in- 
conceiveable effe£ts. He did not limit God as they did 
in the wildernefs, as the pfalmiil at large defcribes their 
unbelief, [Pfalm Ixxviii. 19, 20, 40, 41.] He refted on 
this, that the power of God could extend itfelf to things by 
himincomprehenlible. This was the life and foul, as it were, 
of the faith of Abraham ; he believed that the power of 
God was infinitely fufficient to fecure his truth and vera- 
citv in his promifes, though he could not conceive the 
way whereby it was to be done. And this is the life of 
faith at prefent in all true believers. Abraham flill 
firmly believed the accomplifhment of the great promife, 
although he could not difcern the way whereby it fhould 
•be fuliilled. Had his faith failed herein, his obedienct 
had been ufelefs. This is the lafl anchor of faith ; 16 
cleaves unto, and rcfls upon the truth of God in his pro* 
mifss, againft all objeftions, temptations, and oppositions^ 
'althoush they are fuch as reafon xin its higheft exercifc 
xanuot conquer. God, who cannot lie, hath promifed, 
{Tit. i, 2'] On thefe principles, which were immoveably 
lixed in his mind, be reafoned within h'lmfelf as to the w^ay 
.and manner whereby the power of God would make good 
his truth in the accomplifliment of the promife. Account^ 
\raz. [7\.oyL<TOi!ycycg) computings reafoning in himfclf from the 
principles of faith, that * God would raife him from the 
* dead,' or more emphatically, even from the dead. This 
then is that which he reckoned upon in himfelf ; — that 
God was able to ralfe the dead m general ; — that he could 
fo raife up If(uic after his death : and — that after thi^ 
jefarretlion, if it fliould fo happen, it would be the /aim 
-individual perfon that was offered; whereby the word 
which he ' fpake to his fervants,' (that he and the lacl 
would go and worihip and come again to them, Gen. 
ix.ii. 5.) would be made good. It is cvidcni, therefore, 

Ve».i7— 19- EPISTLE TO THE HEBREWS. 187 

that by faith he devolved the whole event of things on 
the fovereignty, power, and trutli of God ; and in his 
veafomng thereon thought it moji likely that God woul4 
raife him from the dead. 

§ 8. * From whence alfo he received him in a figure.* 
The promife was abfolutely fecured ; Ifaac was preferved 
alive, that in him the feed might be called ; Abraham*s 
obedience was fully accomplifhed i for he had parted fully 
with Ifaac ; he was no more his than if he had been 
actually dead ; wiience it is faid that he received him 
again ; he was made to be God's ov/n, to belong to him 
alone as devoted ; and God gave him again to Abraham ; 
Ifaac was confidered in the ffcate of the dead ; that is, 
under the command of God, and in his father*s determina- 
tion ; fo that the apoflle fays he offered him ; and there- 
fore it is faid that he received him from that Hate ; 

* whence alfo ;' one expoiitor conjectures, that refped is 
had herein to Abraham's firil receiving Ifaac at his nati- 
vity from the womb of Sarah which was as dead ; than 
which nothing can be more remote from the fenfe of the 
place ; but whereas Ifaac did not die, was not actually 
dead, he is faid to receive him from that ftate only (ji» 
^O'poclSoMl) in a figure ; nor have I here any thing to add 
to what was firfl fixed on by the moft judicious Calvin,, 
who hath herein been followed by all fober expofitors ; 

* he received him as from the dead, in a figure or refem- 

* blance of the refurreftion from the dead/ 

§ 9. (II.) Several important obfervaiions here offer; 

1. That God alone knows how to afcribe work and 
duty proportionate to the flrength of grace received ; he 
knew that Abraham's faith would carry him through this 
trial, and thereon he fpared him not. 

2. That oftentimes God referves great trials for a 
well exercifed faith ; fo this trial befell Abraham when 
his faith had been vi£torious in fundry other inftances. 

§ 10. I. Faith mufl be tried-, and of all graces it is 
moil fuited to trial. 

2. God proportipri^ Ul^S, few tliQ idqH part, to the 
ftrength of faith. 

3. Great 


3. Great trials ia believers are an evidence of great 
faith, though not underflood, either by themfeives or 
others, before fuch trials. 

4. Trials are the only touch-Hone of faith, without 
which men muft want the befc evidence of its fincerity 
and efficacy, and the beil way of teflifying it to others. 

5. V/e ought not to be afraid of trials, becaufe of the 
admirable advantages of faith by them, [See Jam. i. 2 — 
4. L Pet. i. 6, 7.] And, 

6. Let them be jealous over themfeives who have had 
no fpecial inflances of the trial of their faith. 

7. True faith being tried will in the iilue be vi(^o- 

§ II. I. Where there is a divine command, evidencing 
itfelf to our confciences to be (o, it is the wifdom and 
duty of faith to clofe its eye againft whatever feems in- 
fuperable in difficulties, or inextricable in confequences, 
[Rom. iv. 18, 19.] 

2. Divine revelations gave fuch an evidence of their 
being immediately from God to thofe who received them, 
that though they contradifted their reafon and intereft, 
yet they received them without any hefitation. If there 
had been the leafl room lefi for a fcruple, whether the 
command given to Abraham were immediately from God 
or no ; whether it was not fucli as, either with refpe£t 
to its original, or the means of communication, might 
be fubje£t to any miftake, he could never with any fa- 
tisfadion have complied with it. Yet blind obedience to 
all the commands of men is blafphemy to require, and 
impiety to give ; it is a v/onder how this is endured 
among mankind, efpecially lince they have had fuch ex- 
perience of its fruits and eiTefts ; yea, though it be that 
which is abfolutely due to the infiPiite fovereignty of the 
Divine Being, yet God — deligning to govern us according 
to the principles, powers, and faculties of our natures, 
which he himfelf hath given us to this end, that we may 
comply with his rule in a way of obedience — requires 
notliing from us but what is our reafonable fervlce, 

3. It 


3. It is a privilege and advantage to have an oifering 
of price to offer to God, if be calls for it, and Vv'hen we 
have hearts to rn?,ke ufe of it ; and fuch are our lives, our 
names, our relations, eilates, liberties, &c. 

4. Obedience begun in faith, without any referves, but 
with a iincere intention to fulfil the whole work of it, is 
accepted with God as if it were abfolutely complete. 
ConfeJJors may be juflly reckoned in the next degree to 

§ 12. Again obferve \ that the power of faith in its 
confequences over natural afFeftions — when their inclina- 
tions are contrary to the will of God, whereby they are 
expofed to receive imprefFions from temptations — is a 
blelTed evidence of its being Iincere, and an eminent part 
of its glory ; fuch is its trial in the lofs of dear relations, 
or their irrecoverable mifery in this world, v/herein na- 
tural aifeftions are apt to indlfpofe the mind, and to 
hinder it from a quiet fubm.iiTion to the will of God - 
whereby David greatly failed in the cafe of Abfalom. 
But another inflance like this of Abraham there never 
was, nor ever fhall be : and all lefs cafes are contained 
in the greater. 

^ 13. Let it be farther chferved, relative to this me- 
morable tranfa£lion, 

1. That in great and inextricable difficulties, it is the 
duty, wifdom, and nature of faith to fix itfelf on the 
immenfe properties of the Divine nature, whereby it can 
€fre(?c things inconceiveable and incomprehenfible, [fee Ifa. 
xl. 28 — 31.] 

2. God may juftly require the aflent and confidence 
of faith to all things which infinite power and wifdom 
can elTcA, though we cannot comprehend the way 
wherebv it may be accomplifhed, [fee Ifa. 1. 10.] 

3. God's dealings with his church fometimes are fuch, 
that unlefs we Ihur our eves, and ftop our ears, againfl: ail 
obje£^ions and temptations, referring his promifes only 
to divine fovereigntv^ wifdom, and veracity, we can never 
abide in a comfortable courfe of obedience, [fee Ezek. 
xxxvii. I, 2. 1 1 — 14.] 

4. This 


4. This is the glory of faith, that it can fpiritually 
tompofe the foul in the midft of all ilorms and tempta- 
tions, under darknefs as to events ; and enable it in a 
due manner to attend to all duties of worfhip and obedi- 
ence ; fo as to fandify the name of God in them, and 
not to provoke him with any irregularities of mind or 

5. In any furprifal with feemingly infuperable diffi^ 
cultics, it is our duty immediately to fet faith at work 
and not to confult with lleiii and blood, or hearken ta 
tarnal reafo)ilngs or contrivances, which will but entangle 
"US, and increafe our diflrefs. 

6. There may fometimes, through God's providential 
difpofal of all things, be an appearance of fuch an op- 
pofition and inconiiitency between his commands and 
promifes, as nothing but faith bowing the foul to divine 
fovereignty can reconcile, [Gen. xxii. 8 — 12.] 

§ 14. Again, ohferve ; 

1. It is good for us to have our faith firmly built on 
the fundamental articles of religion, without which wc 
cannot a£l it on particular occafions, wherein an applica- 
tion is made of fuch fundamental principles to our prefent 

2. Faith obtaining the vi£lory in great trials, and 
carrying us through difficult duties of obedience, war- 
raiiled by divine command, fhall have a reward even in 
this life, in many unfpeakable fpiritual privileges and ad- 

3. If we are the children of Abraham, we have no 
Tcafon to expe£l an exemption from the greatefl: trials that 
the fame faith which was in him is able to conflict with, 

4. We have no reafon to be afraid of the fiercell and 
fevered trials that may befall us, having fo great an in- 
"ftance that faith is able to carry us through them all 

5. Though death fliould fccm to pafs on any of the 
promifes concerning the church, yet nothing need fliake 
our faith, whilft we can believe the refurrcftion of the 
cl( ad ; they will be given vjs ' in ^i figure' of it. 


Ver,2o* epistle to the HEBREWS. ifi 

Verse 20. 

by faith isaac blessed jacob and esau con-^ 
cerning things to come. 

§ I. The faith of If aac. Wherein deficient. ^ 2. Wherein 
it ivas right. ^ 3. The divine purity and ijuifdom in 
ordering and over-ruling the reproveable mifiakcs of men, 
§ 4. Ifaac bleffing his fons, § 5. Concerning things ta 
come, what. 


SA AC was an haly perfon, who, though a pil- 
grim, feems to have fpent mofl of his time in peace, and 
without great perils and dangers ; wherefore, there is lefs 
fpoken of him, and the trials of his faithj than either of 
his father or his fon. Neverthelefs there is no doubt but 
that this fon of the promife led his life in the faith of the 
promife ; and the promife was particularly renewed to 
him; [Gen. xxvi. 4.] The apoftle chufeth to inllance ia 
his faith with refpedl to the blejfuig of his fon s, which was 
in his old age, and was the moll eminent aft of it, becaufe 
of the conveyance of the promife made thereby to his 
feed. Whatever may be fpoken in cxcufe of Ifaac, it 1% 
Certain he failed greatly in his inordinate love to Efau, 
whom he could not but know to be a prophane perfon, 
and that on fo flight an account as eating of his venifon, 
[Gen. XXV. 28.] nor had he fufficiently inquired into the 
mind of God in the oracle that his wife received con- 
cerning their fons ; there is no queflion, on the one 
hand, but that he knew of it ; iior on the other, that 
he did not underfland it ; for if the holy man had known 
that it was the determinate will of God, he would not 
have contradifted it ; but this arofe from want of diligent 
inquiry into the mind of God. 

§ 2. The faith of Ifaac was right in this, that the 
promife was fure to his feed by virtue of the covenant. 

Vol. IV. Cc and 


and that he vvas in dm mentally, by way of external evi- 
dence, to convey it by his folemn benedidion : the firft was 
exprefs in the covenant; for his bleiTing was a proniife 
of things to come, as in the tejct ; but he mifled in the 
application of it to the obje£t of his ov^n intention, 
though in fa6l, by the diTine difpofal of circumftances, 
he was in the right ; this miftake hindered not but that 
he blelTed Jacob in faith ; wherefore, it cannot be denied, 
but that fometimes, when true fa'nh is rightly fixed oil 
divine promifes, that thofe who truly believe iTtay, through 
darknefs, infirmities, and tem'ptations, pvit themfetves on 
irregular ways for their accompliihment ; and as in thefe 
ways may fail and mifcarry, to the fcandal of religion^ 
and a dangerous concullion of their own faith ; fo, if they 
fucceed, their ways are not approved of^ as they wiM 
quickly underftand ; as it is our duty firmly to believe the 
promifes^ fo it is our wifdom not to attempt, upon any 
temptations, provocations^ or advantages, their accomplifh- 
nient in any unwarrantable way. 

§ 3. We may fee herein the infinite purity of the Di- 
vine will, efi'eftually accomplilhing its own purpofes and 
defigns through the failings and mifcarriages of men, with- 
out the leafi: mixture v^ith, or approbation of their ini- 
quities or mifcarriages ; he accepted their perfons, par- 
doned their fins,, and eiFedted the matter aGCordin^ ta their 

§ 4. {^'oXoyY>(7i) He hlejjcd thent\ thefe patriarchal 
blellings were, partly, prayers ; and partly, predMons -^ 
they were authoritative applications of God's promifes ta 
the perfon to whom they belonged for the confirmation of 
-their faith ; ^o far as they confiiled in folemn prayer^ they 
were an effeft of the ordinary parental mln'ifiry, and as fuch 
ought to be ufed by all parents ; not as fome, by the 
trifling cuflom of daily afking and giv^lng blefllng, but by 
folemn reiterated prayer to that purpofe — '{\\i(F\il) by 
faith. But here is a double difficulty ; for the Wefiing of 
facoh was from Immediate infplration^ and not intended by 
ICaac to be applied to Jacob ; and the bleffing of Efau 
©lily related to temporal things, not with rxifpe^ to any 


fpeclal promife ; I anfwer, as to the firft, faith was 
adted by the promife, and was guided as to its obje£t by- 
God's providence ; and jmmediate infpiration doth no 
way hinder the aftings of faith on preceding revelations ; 
he had die warrant of the word of God before revealed 
fqr the ground of his faith, and his immediate infpiration 
guided him to aft according to it ; and, as for the 
blelling of Efau, although it refpecled only temporal 
things., yet ke gave it him in faith alfo, in that it was 
the fruit of liis prayer for him^ and contained predic- 
tions which he bad received by divide revelation^ 

§ 5. Thefubjed matter of both thefe things were (^.-Acv- 
Tujy) thinp to come ; that is^^ thhigs that were not yet, nor 
ye^t to have their prefent accomplifhment ; for that part 
of the bleliing of Jacob, that he fhould be the * Lord 
* of his brethren,' or, as exprcffed In the bleffing of Efau, 
' thou fhalt ferve thy brotlier,' \yas not fulfilled in their 
days, there being a great appearance of the isontrary ; 
wherefore, the things contained in thefe bleffitigs, abfo-^ 
lutely confidered, were yet to come among their pofterity. 
Now the bleffing of Jacob did not contain only a better 
portion in this world than that of Efau, as Grotius 
would have it ; nor had ihere been any need of fo great 
a contefl about the difference between the land of Can aaii 
and that of Edom ; but, as it comprifed the numerous 
poflerity of Jacob, tlieir quiet habitation, power and 
dominion in the land of Canaan ; fo the principal fub- 
je£l of it was the enclofure of the church, the confinement 
of the covenant, the enjoyment of the promife of the 
bleffed feed, to him and his offspring; and it was the 
contempt of this, and not of a double portion of earthly 
tilings, for which Efau is ftigmatized as a profane per-fon. 

C C 2 VERSii 


Verse 21. 

by faith jacob when he was a dying, blesseb 
both the sons of joseph; and worshipped, 
leaning on the top of his staff. 

§ I. Jacob'' s faith ^ In hlejfing the fons of Jofeph, § 2. Why 
this injiance fekcled. § 3. 'This holy reverence and faith. 
§ 4, 5. Obfervations, 

§ I. X3Y faith Jacob when he was a dying ;' (tsiTTO^r/^cr- 
Y.CAJVi morienSy mori turns, cum moreretur,^ when be drew nigh 
to death ; probably a few days before his death ; ' wor- 
* Ihipped leaning on the top of his ftaff;* (?7r/ to o!,kdov 
TT}^ pccl3h oivji^) The Yulg. Lat. (et adoravit fafligium 
virgas ejus,) he adored the top of his rod, leaving out the 
prepofition {sin) on, corrupts the ^tnk ; and hence ^ 
vain and foolifh opinion hath been fancied about adoring 
or worjhipping creatures, as remote from the fenfe of this 
place as from truth. 

§ 2. Eat why does the apoflle choofe to inftance in 
this particular ? for Jacob, as he abounded in trials and 
temptations above all the other patriarchs ; fo he gave 
fundry illuflrious tellimonies of his faith, feemingly of 
greater evidence than this of bleffing the fons of Jofeph. 

This is the only difficulty of the place, which yet by 
expohtors is taken little or no notice of. But if we look 
attentivelv into the thing itfelf, we fliall find that it was 
an effect of lingular divine wifdom in the apoflle, whereby 
he fixed on this inflauce of the faith of Jacob, For in 
his 'bleffing of the fons of Jofeph,' the good man, being 
near to death, makes a recapitulation of all the principal 
concernments of his life, as it was a life of faith ; and we 
fhali therefore confider feme of thofe circumftances, wliich 
manifeft how proper this inflance Vv^as to the purpofe of 

the apoflle. 


Ver.£i. epistle to the HEBREWS. 19 

1. It was the exercife of bis faith in his old age ; his natu- 
decays abated not in the leaft his fpiritual ftrength. 

2. In this blemng of Jcfeph and his fons, he folemnly 
recognized, pleaded, and alTerted the covenant made with 
Abraham ; ' God before whom my fathers Abraham and 

* Ifaac did walk/ [Gen. xlviii. 15.] this is the life of 
faith, — ' to lay hold on the covenant', — and this he did 

3. As he made a folemn acknowledgement of ^W fpi- 
ritual mercies by virtue of the covenant ; fo he ad- 
ded thereunto that of all temporal mercies aifo ; * the 

* God w^hich fed me all my life long unto that day.' It 
was a work of faith to retain a precious thankful re- 
membrance of divine Providence, during the whole courfe 
pf his life. 

4. He reflects on all the hazards, trials, and evils that 
befel him, and the exercife of his faith in them all. * Re* 

* deemed me from all evil/ 

5. In particular, he remembers the a£lings of his faith 
in the matter recorded by Hofea, [chap. xii. 3, 4.] and 
of his faith in the Son of God in an efpecial manner, as 
he was the angel of the covenant. ' The angel, faith 

* he, that redeemed me from all evil, biefs the lads.' By 
this ' angeV the perfon of the Son of God, as he was to 
be the mefTenger of the covenant and the redeemer of the 
church, is undoubtedly intended. 

60 The difference here made between the fons of 
Jofeph, when he was blind, the difpofal of his hands, 
contrary to the defire of their father ; with the prediftioii 
of their condition many ages after, — were all evidences 
of the fpecial prefence of God with him, and confequently 
pf his own faith in God. 

7 He laid the foundation pf his faith in an efpecial 
revelation, [Gen. xlviii. 3.] * And Jacob faid unto Jofeph, 

* God Almighty, (God in covenant with me) appeared 

* unto me at Luz, in the land of Canaan, gnd blefled me/ 
&c. On all thefe conliderations (and feveral others 
that migh; be mentioned) it is evident, that the apoftlc 



£:ied on this inflance of faith in Jacob for weighty rea- 

§ 3. The latter claufc of the words, or the other in- 
Hance of the faith of Jacob, that ' he worfhipped leaning 
' on the top -of the flafF,' hath a peculiar difficulty in it, 
from a difference between the words of the apoftle, and 
thofe of Mofes concernuig the fame thing, [Gen. xlvii.] 
But we fhould not forget that the apoftle doth not tic 
himfelf to the exprefs tvords of the o-riginal text in his alle- 
gations out of the Old Tcftament^ but only gives the certain 
fenfc and meaning of the Holy Ghoft in them. The word 
in the original (hidd) may have a different pronunciation 
by a diffecent fupply of vowels, and fo a different figni- 
fication. If we read it mittah, it iigniiies a bed, as we 
render it in Genefis ; if we read it mitteh, it fignifies a 
jlaff or a rod^ on which a man may kan ; both from the 
fame verb (ntoj) to extend ov to incline. And hence the dif- 
ference arifes. Although I will not contend that the 
words in that piace have a double fignification, of a bed 
and a ftaff, yet this is the true folution of this difficulty ; 
the apoftle did not deiign a precife tranflation of the words 
€^ Mofes, but intended only to exprefs the fame thing ; 
and whereas that was undoubtedly the pofiure of Jacob 
in worfhipping God, the apoftle ufcth his liberty in ex- 
preffing it by his ' leaning on his ftaff;' for that he did 

* bow towards the head of the bed,' and at the fame tim? 

* lean on his ftaff,' we are affured by comparing the divine 
writers together; [fee I. Kings i. 47.] Jacob's leaning on. 
his ftaff ^ added to — his ' bowing himfelf unto the head of 

* the bed,' completes the reprefentation of his reverence and 
faith ; by the one he bowed down, by the other ht fu/lained 

himfelf; as whatever fuftains and fupports, is in fcriptura 
called a faff, 

§ 4. Hence ohfcrve^ 

1. It IS an eminent mercy when faith not only hoida 
out to the end, but waxeth ftrong towards the laft conflift 
with death ; as in the cafe with Jacob. 

2. It is alfo a fignal merqy to be able by faith in the 
clofe of our pilgrimage to recapitulate all the paffagcs of 

3 our 



our lives, in mercies, trials, affli£lrons, {o as to give glory- 
to God v^rith refpeft to them all ; thus did Jacob. 

3. That which enlivens and encourages faith, as to 
other things, is a peculiar refped to the angel, the Re- 
deemer, by w^hom all grace and merey is communicated 
to us. 

4. It is our duty Co to live in a conftant exercife of 
faith, as that we may be ready and flrong in it when ws 

5. Though we fhould * die daily,' yet there is a peculiar 
fiafon, when death is in its near approach, which required 
particular adlings of faith. 

§ 5. I. " In all adts of divine worfhip, whether folem 11 
or occafional, it is our duty to difpofe our bodies to fuch 
a poflure of reverence, as may reprefent the inward 
frame of our minds." So did Jacob ; and it is reckoned 
as an aft of his faith. 

2. There is an allowance for the infirmities of a^e and 
ficknefs, in our outward deportment in divine worfnip, io 
that there be rto indulgence to floth, and that a due re- 
verence of God and holy things be preferved. Thefe 
poftures which are commended in Jacob, would not 
become others in their health and ftrength. So David 
affirms, that he would 'rife at midnight (out of his bed) 
^' to give thanks to God/ [Pfalm cxix. 62.] 


SE 22, 


I I* Two Injlances of the faith of J of c ph. § 2. Firft^ his 
making mention of the departure of the children of Ifracl 
eut of Egypt. 7d whom, when, and the way whereby^ 
% 3. Secondly, his commandment concerning his bones. § 4, 



^he evidence of his faith in this particular. The Fopifh 
argument for relicksy ridiculous, § 5. Obfervations, 

§ I. X WO inilances are here propofed of the faith 
of Jofeph — That he made mention of the departing of 
the children of Ifrael out of Egypt ; and — -that he gave 
commands concerning his bones. The account is giveii 
ill the clofe of the book of Genelis. 

§ 2. The firj} inilance propofed of Jofeph's faith, is 
*' his making mention of the departing of the children of 
' of Ifraer out of Egypt. But, ? 

1. To whom did he fpake thefe words, and gave this 
diarge ? To * his brethren,^ [Gen. i, 24.] Some of bis 
own brethren, ftriftly fo called, were yet alive, as is evident 
concerning Levi. For Jofeph, when he died, was but a 
hundred and ten years old, [verfe 26.] and Levi lived 3 
hundred and thirty-feven years, being not twenty years 
older than Jofeph. Alfo under the name of his * bre- 

* thren* his brother s [on may be intended, as is ufual. 
But as to the command concerning his bones, the exprelTioii 
is changed. For it is faid, that he took an oath of the 
children of Ifrael ; and fo it is again repeated, [Exod. 
xiii. 10.] ' He had fcraitly fworn the children of Ifrael ;' 
that is, he brought the whole people into this engage- 
ment by the heads of their tribes, that they might be 
obliged in after generations ; for he forefaw that it would 
not be the work of them who were then living. — More- 
over wc may notice, 

2. The tinie wl>erein thefe things were done, (tsXsv- 
Tccy) ' when he was dying.' ' And Jofeph faid unto his 

* brethren, / die' This evidence he gave of the Jied-^ 
faftncfs of his faith, that it had accompanied him through 
all his aflildigns and profperity, not forfaking him now 
at his death. He had lived longer in glory, power, and 
wealth ; but through all he preferved his faith in the 
promife of God entire. 

3. In the ivay whereby he exprefled his faith, wc 
may remark the ohje^ of it, or what h« did believe ; and 
— the inanmr of his adling that faish. 


Ver.21» epistle to the HEBREWS. 199 

This * departure of the children of Ifrael' is not in- 
tended as a mere departing thence ; but fuch as whereby 
the prom'ife made to their fathers fhould be accomplifhed ; 
and he feems to have refpedl to the promife made to 
Abraham, [Gen. xv» 13, 14.] wherein the fojourning 
and afflidtion of his feed in a ftrange land v/as determined 
before their admiffion into the land of Canaan. 

As to the manner of a£ling his faith towards this obje<^j 
he ' made mention of it ; he called his brethren to him, 
and fpake of it unto them all, [Gen. i. 24.] both to 
difcharge his own duty, (for with the mouth confeffion is 
made unto falvation} and to ilrengthen their faith ; for 
when they found that he in all his glory and wealth 
embraced the promife^ and died in the faith of it, what a 
great encouragement was it to them, who were in a mean- 
er condition, firmly to cleave to the fame promife ; 
and w-hen any who are great, mighty, and wealthy in the 
World, do in their public profeffion prefer the promifes 
of the gofpel to their prefent enjoyments, it is of great ufe 
in the church. 

He ' made mention of it) or called it to rem.embrance ; 
it was not that which he had by immediate prefent reve- 
lation ; but it was from his reliance on the promifes long 
before given ; the profpe£l of their bondage and helplefs 
condition did not at ail weaken his faith as to the accom- 
plifhment of the promife ; wherefore, when the apoftle 
fays, that he * made mention of the departing of the 
* children of Ifrael,* he had not only refpecl to the thing 
itfeif, but alfo to the manner and circumftances of it ; 
that it fhould be after great oppreffion, and by a work of 
almighty power. 

This wag a proper feafon for Jofeph to make mention 
of the promife and its accomplifhment, and his embracing 
of it fhews the wifdom of his faith ; he was now dying-^ 
and at the folcmn junfture, his brethren, the poflerity of 
Jacob, knew not what would become of them, being 
deprived of him who was their only protector ; at this 
Jcafony to teflify his own faith in the promife, now he had 
no more concernment in this world, and to encourage 

Vol. IV, D d thena 


them to th« like confidence in it, makes mention of his 

§ 3. Secondly, There is a particular inflance of the faith, 
of Jofeph, in that (svflsiXulo) * he gave commandment con- 

* cerning his bones,' which was peculiar to himfelf, 
"What the apoftle expreiTeth by his commanding, or giving 
commandment, was his taking an oath of his brethren 
and their pofterity in them, [Gen. 1. 25.] * He llraitly 

* charged the children of Ifrael with an oath,' [Exod. xiii. 
19.] as it was an a£t of authority in him, (for he had the 
rule over his brethren,) it v*'as a command; the manner of 
the obligation to the performance of it was by an oath, 
IS0 Abraham gave charge and command to Eliezer his 
fervant about taking a wife for Ifaac with an oath, [Gen. 
xxiv. 2, 3, 9.] and this kind of oaths in things lawful, 
for a good end, not arbitrarily impofed, but entered into 
by confent, are good in themfelves, and fometimes nccef- 
fary ; the apoftle faith only, that ' he gave commandment 

* concerning his bones ;' and doth not declare what it was 
that he gave in charge concerning them ; but this is exprcf- 
fed in the florv, viz. * that when God vilited them, and de- 

* livered them out of Egypt, they fhould carry his bones 

* along with them into Canaan,' [Gen. 1. 25.] In order to 
this they embalmed hivci, and put him in a coffin in Egypt^ 
[vcr. 26.] probably the Egyptians left the care of his 
funeral to his brethren, and that his coffin remained in 
the cullody of their pofterity, perhaps his own in par- 
ticular, until the time of their departure ; then Mofes. 
took him into his care, [Exod. xiii. 19,] and the iffue of 
the whole was, that into the land of Canaan they were 
fafely carried, according to the oath of the people, and 
buried in Sichcm, in a parcel of ground whereof Jacob 
had made a purchafe, and left it in legacies to the chil- 
dren of Jofeph, [Jolh. xxiv. 32.] 

§ 4. But there were fome things peculiar to Jofeph, 
which caulcd his faith to a£t in this way about the dif- 
pofal of his bones. For, 

I. He had been of great power, authority, and dignity 
among the Egyptlajis j his facie and reputation for wif- 


Ver.2?. epistle to the HEBREWS. not 

dom, righteoufnefs, and legiflation were great among the 
nations ; he might therefore juilly have feared, that if he 
hzd not thus openly renounced all cognation and alliance 
with them, he might among pofterity be efteemed aa 
Egyptian, which he abhorred ; therefore he eflablifhed 
this lafling monument of his being of the feed and pof- 
terity of Abraham, and not an Egyptian ; yea, it is 
thought by many that in after-ages they worfhipped him 
under the name of Serapis, and the fymbol of an ox ; 
but this (as much as in him was) he prevented by the 
removal of his bones. 

2. He did it plainly to encourage the faith and ex- 
pectation of his brethren and their pofterity, both for the 
certainty of their future deliverance, and alfo to take them 
off from all intention to fix themfelves in Egypt, feeing 
he who had all advantages above them for that end, would 
not have fo much as his bones to abide in the land ; the 
frame of his fpirit, now he was dying, may be fairly con- 
sidered as an indication of what it was in the whole 
courfe of his life ; ho is not folkitous about the difpofal of 
his wealth and revenues, which no doubt were very great; 
but his mind is wholly on the promife, and thereby on, 
the covenant with Abraham ; it is highly probable that 
his wife Afenath, a woman of a princely family, was con- 
verted from idolatry to the knowledge of God and faitli 
in him ; and hereon, probably, flie alfo was contented 
that her children and pofterity fhould fall from their 
parental honour and revenues, to take up their portion 
among the affli<fted people of God. The mighty work^ 
ing of his faith fhines out in all thefe things ; and this 
inftance of the apoftle eminently fuited the argument he 
had in hand. 

The plea of fome of the Roman church from thisf 
place, for the prefervation and veneration oi reliques^ or 
the bones of faints departed — digging men's bones out of 
their graves, enfhrining and placing them on altars, car- 
rying them up and down in proceffion, adorning them 
with all figns of religious veneration, applying them to 
D d 2 niiracuious 


miraculous operations in curing difeafcs, cailing out devils, 
and the like — is ridiculous and contemptible. 
^ 5. Hence we may obferve, 

1. That it is of great ufe to the edification of the 
church, that fuch believers as have been eminent in pro- 
feiTion, Ihould at their dying moments tellify their faith 
in the promifes of God ; fo did Jacob, fo did Jofeph ; 
and blefled be God, fo others have done, to the great ad* 
vantage of the living. 

2. fofeph, after his trial of all that this world could 
afford, and when he was dying, chofe the pojnife for his 
lot and portion. 

3. No interpofition of difficulties ought to weaken 
our faith, as to the accomplifliment of the promifes of 

Verse 23. 

ey faith moses, w^hen he was born, was hid 
three months of his parents, because they 
saw he was a proper child ; and they were, 


^ I. The parents of Mofes, their faith. § 2. 7'he cruelty 
of Pharaoh prevented. § 3. Mofes hid by his parents. 
^ 4. A peculiar motive to It. § 5, 6. Faith the principle, 
ef their acilngs. § 7. Ohfcrvatlons. 

^.i. An fearching the facred records of eminent ex- 
amples of the power and efficacy of faith, the apoftle 
proceeds to Mofes ; and indeed, if w^e confider his perfoii 
and circumftanccs, the work he was called to, the trials, 
difficulties, and temptations he bad to engage with, the 
concernment of the glory of God and of the whole 
church in him, the illullrious reprefentation of the re- 



demption and deliverance of the chnrch by Chriil: in 
what he did, with his luccefs and victory over all oppofi- 
tioii, we mufl acknowledge that there cannot be a more 
excellent exemplification of the power of faith, than that 
was which was given in him ; for this caufe the apoftle 
takes one flep backwards, to declare the faith of his parents 
in preferving him when an infant. 

§ 2. After that Pharaoh failed in his defign ofdeftroy- 
ing the male children of the Hebrews by the midwivcs, 
he gave the execution of it in charge to all the officers 
among them, who no doubt were fufficiently diligent and 
pificious in the work commit::ed to tlicm. About the very- 
entrance of this new efFe£lual way of deftroying the male 
children, when their rage was mofl fierce, no way abated 
by compaffion, not wearied by long continuance, nor 
weakened by want of fuccefs, Mofes, who was deilined 
to be the deliverer of the whole people from their mifery, 
is born and preferved. How blind are poor finful mortals 
in all their contrivances againft the church of God * 
When they think ail is fecure, and that they fliall not fail 
of their end, that their counfels are laid fo deep as not to 
be blown up, their power fo uncontrolable, and the way 
wherein they are engaged fo efFe(ftual, that God himfelf 
can hardly deliver his fervants out of their hands ; he 
that fits on high laughs them to fcorn, and with an 
almighty facility lays in provilion utterly to deflroy them, 
^nd to deliver his church. 

§ 3. * Mofes was hid three months (v%o tcov ttoIsqoo'j 
* ccvja) of his parents.'' The word (7r(zjcQSg) father s, is here 
ufed in the common gender for (yovcig) parents ; in the 
ilory there is mentioned only of his mother^ [Exod, ii. 2.] 
and that was, becaufe the execution of the counfel or 
advice was committed to her ; wherein fhe ufed alio the 
helps of her daughter, [ver. 4.] but it is plain his father 
was no lefs engaged in this work and duty than his 
mother; (:-kgv[2'/i Tpifjivivov) he %vas hid by them three 
months ; herein they exercifed their faith, in that they con- 
cealed, as much as they were able, that a male child was 
born in the family ; they kept him not in the ufual place 



for children, but hid him ia fomc fecret part of the houfe. 
Here he abode * three months ;' about the end of which 
time probably the report began to grow, that there was a 
male child born there, which would have occafioned an 
immediate Urift fearch, from which they could not have 
prefervcd him. No doubt but during this feafon their 
diligence was accompanied with fervent cries to God, and 
the exercife of truft in him. The occafion was great on 
all hands, and they were not wanting to their duty. The 
outward a6l of hiding the child was but an indicatian of 
the internal working of faith. 

^ 4. ' Eecaufe they faw he was a proper child ;' (S/oJO 
lecavfe^ or when, or whereas they faw. It doth not in- 
clude the whole caufc of what they did, as if this were 
the only reafon why they did it, but it refpefts that impref- 
iion on their minds which the fight of the child gave them, 
exciting them to that duty which they had other grounds 
and reafons for. It is granted, the fight of the child greatly 
excited their natural afFeftions, by which thejr minds 
were made the more ready to engage in the hazard which 
faith called them to, for his prefen^ation. They faw that 
he v^ras {ao'iuov to •jtccioiov) a proper child. The Hebrew 
word (n^fD) 'Tob, is applied to every thing that is on any 
account approveable and excellent in its kind. The word 
fignifies comely^ beautiful, goodly, {aycc^og^ y^a-Kog.) Holy 
Stephen exprelfed the force of the Hebrew word by {acfjciog 
TOO (d:Oo) fair to God, or in the fight of God, [A6ls vii. 
20.] which we render exceeding fair. No doubt but fame 
imufual fweetnefs and beautv of countenance is intended. 
And not only fo, but I am perfuaded, from that expref- 
iion of Stephen, that there was {^siov 71) an appearance 
of fomeivhat divine and fupcmaiural, which drew the 
thoughts of the parents to a deep confideration of the 
cliild. They quickly thought it was not for nothing 
that God had given fuch a peculiarly promifing coun- 
tenance to the infant. This not only drew their affec- 
tions, and engaged them, but moved their minds and 
judgements to eiulcavour all lawful ways for his preferva- 



tion. Note ; it is well, when any thing of eminency in 
our children doth fo engage our afFefllons to them, as to 
make them ufeful and fubfervient to diligence in the dif- 
poling of them to the glory of God. Otherwife, a fondnefs 
in parents ariling from the natural endowments of chil- 
dren, is ufually hurtful, and oftentimes ruinous to both. 
§ 5. The principle of their a£lings for his prefervatioii 
in hiding him, as alfo in the means afterwards ufed, was 
tht'w faith, 

1. I take it for granted, that they had no i^tcidX parti- 
tular revelation concerning the life and work of this child. 
No fuch thing is mentioned, nor was it needful for the 
•ailing of faith in this matter ; and the manner of their 
deportment in the whole manifefts that they had no fuch 

2. They had a firm faith concerning the deliverance 
of the people out of bondage in the appointed kd^^ow. 
This they had an exprefs promife for, and were pecu- 
liarly engaged to the belief of it by the divine teftimony 
of Jofeph, and his charge to carry his bones with them ; 
and With refpeft to this deliverance they are faid, * Not 
• to fear the king's command,' which was the efFe£l of 
their faith. 

§ 6. It was (diocjayiJLoi) an ordinance^ a flatute, an 
€di£t which had the force of a {landing law, eftablifhed 
by the kiiig, with the counfel of the kingdom, [Exod. i. 
9 — I I.] and this law lay directly againfl the accomplifli- 
ment of the promife ; for it aimed at the extirpation 
of the whole race. This the parents of Mofesy^^r^^ not ; 
they knew the promife of God for their prefervation, 
multiplication, and deliverance {hould take place, notwith- 
i^anding all the laws of men, and the higheit rage in their 
execution. God having promifed to Abraham, that he 
would multiply his feed, and exprellly to Jacob, that he 
would do it in Egypt, [Gen. xlvi. 3.] it utterly made 
void this law from its firfl enabling. They had alfo a 
perfuaiion that God would provide a perfon who fhould 
be the means of their obedience, and who Ihould condudt 
thqm froOT tliqi.r bqnja^e. Thi§ Aipf^s himfelf appre- 

to& ANEXPOSITION of the Chap.XL 

liendcci when he ilew the Egyptian, and began tb judge 
that he himfelf might be the perfon, [A£ls vii. 24, 25.] 
And although afterwards he faid, * O my Lord, lend I 

• pray thee bV the hand of him whom thou wilt fend,* 
[Exod. iv. 13.] he was lure he would fend one, but 
prayed that be might not be the man. Now the parents 
of Mofes — having this perfuaiion deeply fixed in them, 
and being railed by their diftrel'fes to delires and expec- 
tations of .a deliverer, beholding alio the unufual divine 
beauty of their child — might )\^elt be railed to fome juft 
hopes, that God had deligned him to that great work. 
Though they had no fpecial revelation of it, they had 
fuch an intimation of fome great end God had defigned 
him for, as that they could not but fay, 'Who knows 

• but God may have prepared this child for that end ?' 
and fometimes, as to the event of things, faith rifeth no 
higher, than, to fuch an interrogation, [as Joel ii. 13.] 
* — ' They feared not the king's edidl.' There is no 
mention of any thing in the roval mandate but. that 

• every male child fhould be call into the river,' [Exod. i. 
22.] but it is generally and rationally apprehended, that 
ihey were forbid to hide their children on pain of death. 
This they w^ere not fo afraid of as to negle<fl their duty* 
Neither was their change of method from want of fuith, 
but rather an effe£l and fruit of it. For when one law^- 
ful v/ay of prefervation from perfecution, oppreffion, and 
cruelty will not fecure us anv logger, it is our duty to 
betake ourfelves to fome other winch is more likely to do- 
4b. For faith worketh by trull iu God, whilfl Vvre arei 
in the ufe of lawful means. 

§ 7. Hence obferve, '^ 

I* Where there is in agreement between hufband and 
wife, in faith and in fear of thefLord, it makes way to 
a blelfed fuccefs in all their duties \ when it is otherwife^ 
nothing fucceeds to their coiufort. 

2. When difhcull duties befall perfons in that relation, 
it is tlicii- wijdom to apply themfelves to that part and 
iliare of it, which they are bell fuited for. So was it in 
this caic; Amram> no doubt, was the princip?.! in the 


Ver. 24--a6. EPISTLE TO THE HEBREWS. 207 

advice and contrivance, as his wife was in its adual ex- 

3. This is the height of perfecution, when private 
houfes are fearched by bloody officers to execute tyran- 
nical laws ; when the laft and utmofl retreat of innocency, 
for that protection which is due to it by the law of God 
and nature, with the common rules of human fociety, 
cannot be a fhelter againft wicked rage and fury. 

4. The rage of men and the faith of the church fliall 
work out the accomplifliment of God's counfels and 
promifes, to his glory, from under all perplexities and 
difficulties that may arife in oppolition to it. 

Verses 24 — -26. 
r.y faith moses when he was come to years, re* 


§ I. The fcihh of Mofes. § 2. (I.) When he was come tj 
years, § 3. Rcfufcd the honour of his adoption. § 4. ^_y 
, what means came Afofes to know his adoption P § 5. fVhen 
did he refufe to he called the fon of Pharaoh's daughter. 
§ 6 — -10. The choice and faith of Mofes. § II. Hi$ 
motive. § 12 — 15. (II.) Obfervations, 

§ I. . A HIS example is great and %nal. The *apoflle, 

as we fliewed before, takes his inllances from the three 

ilates of the church under the Old Teilament, The/r/? 

Vol. IV. E e ^as 


was from the giving of \\\t firjl promife continuing to the 
call of Abraham. The fccond had its beginning and 
confirmation in the call of Abraham^ with the covenant 
made with him and the token thereof. The conftitutioii 
and confecration of the third ftate of the church was in 
ghing the laWi and herein an iPiflance is given in. tlie lav/- 
giver himfelf. All to manifcft, that whatever outward 
variations the church paffed under, yet faith and the 
promife s were of the fame efficacy and power under them 

§ 2. (I.) * By faith Mofes when he was come to 
' years.' None in the old world Vv^as more lignalized by' 
Providence in his birth, education, and adlions, than 
Mofes. Hence his renown was both then, and ever after, 
verv great. He was the law-giver ; whence it is mani- 
fell, that the law is not oppofite to faith y feeing the law- 
giver himfelf lived thereby. 

(Mivcic yivousvcg^ cum efjct grandis^ cum grandis fa^u:: 
ejjei,) If hen he became great. Syriac ; * When he was a 
* man.' The word may refpe£l either fate and condition^ 
or time of life and flature. To become great, is in fcrip- 
ture and common fpeech, to become fo in wealth, riches, 
or power, [Gen* xxiv. 35. and xxvi. 13.] and fo Mofes 
was come to wea-lth, povver, and honour in the court of 
Pharaoh ; and hence the greatnefs of his felf-deniai 
here commended.- But although this be true materially, 
and hath an efpecial influence to the commendation of 
the faith of Mofes, yet it is not primarily intended in this- 
cxprefTion ; for, having declared the faith of his parents, 
and the providence of God towards him in his infancy,^ 
in the foregoing verfes, the apoflle here Ihcws what his^ 
own way and acling was, after he grew up to years of 
underhand ing. So the word (ut^yc^c) is ufed for one 
that is gi'own np to be a ?7:a}i, ffui juris) to a£t the' 
duty v/hereunto- he was called, [Exod. ii. 11.) 'And if 
* came to pafs \n thofe days, after Mofes was grown up, 
' that he went cur unto his brethren ;' where the Hebrew 
(ntrDSn:i»T} is by the Septuofnt rennered by (jjisyc^.g 
ycvoij.zvog) the words here ufed. According as he grew 

Ver, 24— -26. EPISTLE TO THE HEBREWS. 209 

up in flature and underftanding, he a£led faith in the 
duties whereunto he was called. 

§ 3. 'He refufed to be called the Ton of Pharaoh's 
^daughter.' It is raanifeft from the flory, [Ex >d. ;j 
upon Pharaoh's daughter £r{l finding him in tLe river, 
and faving his life^ fhe gave orders to his mother who 
appeared for a nurfe, that fhe fhould ' nurfe him for 
* her's,' [vcrfe 9.] When he was weaned, his mother 
carried him to her. And it muil be acknowledged, that 
there was no lefs danger and trial of the faith of his 
parents herein, than when they put him into an ark of 
bu.rufhes iioating on the river^ For to carry a tender 
iiafant, probably about three years of age, to be bred in 
an idolatrous^ psrfecuting court, was no lefs dangerous to 
his foul and eternal coiidition, than the expoling of him 
in the river was- to his natural life. But when Mofes 
was thus brought to court to Pharaoh's daughter, it is 
faid he became her fin. It is probable Ihe had no other 
child ; and that fhe folemnly adopted him to be her fon, 
and confequently the heir of all her honour and riches, 
ivhich enfued on adoption. Hereon fhe gave him his 
name, as w-as ufual in cafes of adoption, taking it from 
the firiL occafion of her owning him. She called his 
name Mofes ; and fhe faid * becaufe' I drew him out of 
* the water.^ And this is what God would have him ufe, 
as a perpetual remembrance of his deliverance, when he 
was in an helplefs condition. Being thus publickly 
adopted and owned, he was by all efleemed, honoured, 
and called ' the fon of Pharaoh's daughter.' 

§ 4. It may bs inquired by what means, (fuppofing 
Mofes to be carried to Pharoah's daughter prefently after 
he was weaned, and thenceforth brouglit up in the court) 
by what means could he come to know his fl:ock, race, 
and kindred, fo as, upon all difadvantages, to cleave to 
diem, to the relinquishment of his new regal relation ? I 

I. He found himfelf circumcifed^ and fo to belong to 
the circumcifed people. Hereon God inflrucled him to 
mquire into the reafon and nature of that dilliaguilliing 

E e 2 cha- 


chara£leF ; and fo he learned that it was the token of 
God's covenant with the people, the pofterity of Abraham, 
of whom he was ; it was a bielTed inlet into the know- 
ledge and fear of the true God. And whatever is pre- 
tended by fome to the contrary, it is a moll eminent 
divine privilege to have the feal of the covenant in bap- 
tifm communicated to the children of believers in their 
infancy ; and a means it hath been to preferve many 
from fatal apoftacies. 

2. His nurfe^ who w^as his mother^ was frequently 
with him, and probably his father, on the fame account. 
M^liether they were ever known to the Egyptians to be 
his parents, I very much queftion. But there is no 
doubt that they, truly fearing God, and folicitous about 
his eternal condition, took care to communicate to him 
the principles of true religion, with a detellation of the 
Egyptian idolatries and fuperilition. 

3. The notoriety of the faft was continually before him. 
It was known to all Egypt that he was of an Hebrew 
extra6lioh, and non-incorporated into the royal family 
of the Egyptians. Hereon he confidered what thefe two 
people were, what was the difference between them ; and 
quickly fouiid which of them was the people of God, and 
Low they came to be fo. By thefe means his mind was 
inlaid with the principles of faith and the true rehgion, 
before he was given up to learn the wifdoni of the Egyp- 
tians, and before the temptation from wealth, power, and 
glory had any powerful influence on his affe6lions. 

§ 5. Our next inquiry is, When did Mofes refufe to 
be called the fon of Pharaoh's daughter ? Whereas it is 
the internal frame and a£l of his mind that is here in- 
tended, it is not to be confined to any particular outward 
aftion, much lefs to that which fell not out until he was 
full forty years old, [Ads viii. 23.] and before which 
it is faid, that he owned the Ifraelites for his brethren ; 

* He went out to his brethren and looked on their bur- 

* dens,' [Exod. ii. 11.] which he could not ^o without 
a refolution to relinquilh his relation to Pharaoh's daugh- 



Wherefore his refufal confined in the fedate rcfolution 
of his mind, not to abide in that ftate, whereinto he was 
bfonght by his adoption, by faith, prayer, and tiull in 
God ; for this refufal was undoubtedly an a£l and fruit 
ef faith, the power of which is here given as an inftance ; 
no doubt, but as he had occalion he converfed with his 
brethren, not only owning himfelf to be of t\\t'n Jiock and 
race, but alfo of their faith and relfgkn, and to belong to 
the fame covenant ; where there was no longer a con- 
fillency between his faith and profeflion to be continued 
with his flation in the court, he openly and fully fell ofF 
from ail refpeft to his adoption, and joined himfelf to the 
other people, as we Ihall fee in the following verfc. 

§ 6. ' Choofing rather to fufier aflii£lioH with the 
^ people of God, than to enjoy the pleafures of {in for a 
* feafon.' There are two things to be confidered in thefc 
words ; fiiji, that there were at this time two things pro- 
pofed to Mofes ; — The people of God in their afflided 
ilate, and^ — the enjoyments of the pleafure of fin for a 
feafon ; fecondly, the determination he made, as to his 
own intereft and concernment. 

' He chofe rather,' &c. (tw Kaoo t8 <dii^) ivlth the 
people of God ; that is, the Hebrews, who were called 
fo in contradillindion to all other people and nations 
whatever, by virtue of that fpecial covenant which God 
made with Abraham and his feed throughout all genera- 
tions ; the token whereof they bare in their flefh. 

This people of God is propofed to Mofes as under 
afflieimiy fo that if he will join himfelf to them, it mull 
be with a participation of the outward ev'ds they were 
fubjeft to ; the word ((TXjyv^ayjU'yjLQ-^ixL) is ufed only in 
this place ; and fignifies to be vexed and preffed lulth things 
evil and grievous. What were the afflictions and fuf- 
ferings of the people of God at that time is well known ; 
but it does not appear that it was required of him to 
work in the kilns and furnaces with his brethren ; only, 
confidering their woful condition, he call his lot among 
them to take that portion vv^hich fell to his fhare, ac- 
cording to the guidance of divine Providence. 

3 § 7- 


§ 7. That which is propofed in oppofltlon hereto was, 

(tt pO(r}toC'ipoy cyj:iv (X,lw^pTia>g ocTToXocvcriy) to enjoy the pleafures of 
Jin for a j'eafon ; to have the temporary {oi7VoXoiV(rLg) fruitkfl 
or enjoyment of fin ; and the word is ui'ually applied to lig- 
pity I'ach a fruition as hath guft and rehih ; this enjoyment 
of iin IS faid to be [iT^jOcry.oir^og) temporary, for a feafon ; fub- 
je^t to a ihouland interruptions in this life, and unavoidably 
ending with it , thus were things truly repirfented to the 
thoughts of Mofes ; he did not hide his eyes from the 
worfl on the one hand ; liCr did he fuifer hinifeii to be 
impofed upon by flattering appearances or* the other ; he 
omitted no circurailances that might iaiiuence a right 
judgement in his choice : he confidered the woiTt or the 
people of God, which is their anlif'tion, and the heft of 
the world, which is but the evanid pleafur? of iin ; an4 
prefers the worfl of the one above the beil of the other. 

§ 8. (MciiAAoy cKojj.svoc) rather \ they v/ere pro- 
pofed to his ele£live faculty ; he could not enjoy the good 
things of them both, but adhering to the one, he mufl 
renounce the other ; if he cleave to the treafurcs of Egypt, 
he mull renounce the people of God, and if he join him- 
ielf to the people of God, he muft renounce all his in- 
terell in Egypt ; this he faw neceffary from that profeffion 
which God required of him, and from the nature of the 
promife which that profeflion rcfpecled. 

§ 9. * Efleeming (tov ovc/S/cr/xcy ry Xp;cr7&;0 the reproach 

* of Chr'ift greater riches than .the treafurcs in Egypt \ this 
mull be the fame with w'i;at he calls * being afRided with 

* the people of God,' in tne verfe foregoing, only with an 
addition of a confideration under which it is peculiarly 

('O jspio^og) Chrif, is never ufed for any type of 
•Chriil. The immediate reafon of the perfecution of the 
Ifrat'lites was, becaufe they would not coalefce into ojie 
people v/ith the Egyptians, but ilill would retain and 
abide by their diflin£l interefl and hopes ; now their per- 
severance herein was grounded on their faith in the pro- 
mife to Abraham concerning Ghrift ; from the firfl pro- 
Diife concerning the exhibition of the Son of God in the 


Ver.24— 26. EPISTLE TO THE HEBREWS, 213 

fieili, Chr'tji was the life and foul cf the church in all 
ages-; for from him all was derived, and in him all 
centered ; Jefus Chriil the fame yeflerday, to-day, and for 
ever ; a lamb fiain from the foundation of the world. 
All the perfecutions of the church arofe from the enmity 
between the two feeds^ which entered upon the firft pro- 
mife of Chrift^ and the adherence of believers to that 
promife is the grand caufe of that feparation from the 
world, which is the immediate caufe of all their perfe- 
verance ; wherefore, the reproach of Chr'iji in the firfi: 
place, ligniiies the reproach which, upon the account of 
Chrift, or their faith in him, they underwent ; for al! 
outward obfervances in the chtirch in all ages are but 
the profeffion of that faith ; Chrift and the church were 
confidered from the beginning as one niyfacal body ; fo that 
what the one underwent, the other is eileenied to undergo 
the fame. Hence it is faid, that in all their afiliftionsy 
lie was ajfflided, [Ifa. Ixiii. 9.] and our apoflle calls his 
own fufferings, that whidi is behind of the affli^tiGns of 
Chrlfl, [Col. i. 2 4. J vi%. v;hat belonged to the full allot- 
ment of fufFerings to that myflical body whereof Chriil 
is the head ; and in this fenfe alfo the afdidions of ti>e 
church are thole of Chrift, [Gal. vi. 17.] All the fuf- 
ferings of the people of God for the fake of Chrift arc 
called his rcpr-oach ; the foundation cf them all is laid in. 
reproach ; the world can neither juilify nor countenance 
itfelf in its perfecutions of the church, unlefs they iirft 
cover it all over \n\.\\ reproaches ; fo they dealt with our 
Lord himfelf. 

§ 10. (Toov cj Aiyvvfjoo ^7i(Ta'JuiA)v) * the trcafures of 
' Egypt ;' trcafures properly are riches in gold, iilver, pre- 
cious ftones, and other valuables that are laid up ; but 
when the trcafures of a nation are mentioned, they in- 
clude all the profits and advantages of it whence thofe 
treafures are gathered ; in both refpeds Eevpt, v;hcn ia 
its flourifhing ftate, was behind no kingdom in the world; 
he confidered what they v^-ere, what they would amount to, 
what might be done vvith them, or attained by them, and 
prefers the * reproach of Chrifl' above them all ; * he 

* elleemed 


* efteemed the reproach of Chrifl to be (^^H^ova ttT^ov) 

* greater riches ;' riches, opulency^ wealth, contain all that 
men have and value in this world ; all that they delire 
and place their happinefs in ; at lead fo far as that they 
judge they cannot be happy without them ; that which 
is the principal means of all the ends of life ; and an 
abundance of it. 

§ II. * For he had refpe£l unto the recompence of 
' reward ;' (c>^7ic!3K-7rs, intuitus ejl) he looked on ; he faw by 
the eyes of faith, as reprefented in the promife ; he took 
into conlideration, (t'//j/ ^Kr^OTiohoo'icy.v) * the recompence of 

* reward \ (pramii retributionem, largitionem, mercedis red^ 
ditionem) the gratuitous reward that God hath annexed to 
faith and obedience, not merited or delired by them, but 
infallibly annexed to them, in a way of fovereign bountyi 
The apoftle gives us here a pregnant inflance of that 
defcription of faith which he gave us in the iirll verfe of 
t!ie chapter ; — that it was the * fubilance of things hoped 
'' for, and the evidence of things not feen,' for both thefe 
were feen confpicuoufly in this faith of Mofes ; it gave 
liim an evidence of the invilible things of the eternal 
reward ; and caufed them fo to fubfiil: i]i their power and 
foretafte in his mind, as that he preferred them above all 
tliings. I'hat this recompence of reward principally re- 
fpeds the eternal reward of pcrfecuted believers in heaven, 
is out of queftion ; but — whereas God in his gracions 
covenant is a prefent reward to them, [Gen. xv. i.] and 
in the prefent keeping of his commandments there is a 
great reward, [Pfal. xix. i i.] as alfo that the fpiritual 
wifdom, grace, mercy, ahd cowfolation behevers receive 
in this world, are riches, treafures^ and durable fubftances 

- — I doubt not that the blclled peace, reft, and fatisfa6lion 
whicli they have in a comfortable perfuafion of their co- 
venant intereft in God, are alfo included^ 

But even thefe alfo have their power and efficacy from: 
tlieir infeparable relation to the eternal reward ; this re^ 
u^ard comprifeth three things , — He believed it upon di- 
vine revelation and promife, — he valued it according Xcf 
its worth ; — he brought it to the account, in the judge- 


Ver. 24-^26. EPISTLE TO THE HEBREWS, si^ 

ment which he was to make concerning the reproach of 
Chrift and the treafures of Egypt ; and this was the vic- 
tory whereby he overcame the world, even his faith. 
§ 12. (II.) Here we obferve the enfuing particulars ; 

1. Whatever be the privileges of any, whatever be 
their work or ofEce, it is by faith alone that they muil 
live to God, and obtain acceptance with him. The law- 
giver Mofes himfelf was juftified by faith. 

2. It is good to fill up every age and feafon with the 
duties which are prope'- to it ; and it is the duty of all 
young perlbns, that, according as they come to the know- 
ledge of what is required of them, they apply themfelves 
vigoroufly and dihgently to the fame. * Mofes, when he 
* w^as come to years,' &c. 

3. It is a blefled thing to have the principles of true 
religion fixed in the minds of children, and their afrec- 
tions engaged to them, before they are expofed to temp- 
tations from learning, wifdom, wealth of preferment ; and 
the negligence of moil parents herein, who have none of 
thofe difiiculties in the difcharge of their duty, which 
the parents of Mofes had, is a treachery which they mufb 
be accountable for. 

4. The token of God's covenant received in infancy 
being duly coniidered, is the mofl effectual means to pre- 
ferve perfons in the profefTion of true religion againft 
apoflacy by outward temptations. 

5. The work of faith in all ages of the church, as to 
its nature, efficacy, and method of afting, is uniformly the 
fame ; the firfl a£l of faith purely evangelical is f elf denial ^ 
[Matt. xvi. 24. Luke ix. 23.] and what greater inflance 
of it, Jefus Chrifl only excepted, can be given fince the 
foundation of the world, than what is here recorded of 
Mofes ? 

§ 13. I. Let no be offended at the low, mean, 
perfecuted condition of the church at any time ; the fo- 
vereign wifdom of God, In difpofing the outward flate 
and condition of his people in this world, is to be fub- 
mitted to. 

Vol. IV. F f 2- The 


2. The church in all its diftrelTes is ten thoufand 
times more honourable than any other fociety of men n 
the world ; they are the people of God. 

3. In a time of great temptations, efpecially from 
furious perfecutors, a fedate coniideration of the true 
nature of the things wherein we are concerned, and their 
circumftances on every hand, is neceflary to enable us for 
a right choice of our lot, and a due performance of our 

4. No profeffion will endure the trial in a time of per- 
fecution, but fuch as proceeds from a determinate 
choice of adhereing to Chrifl and the gofpel, with a rejec- 
tion of whatever Hands in competition with them, on a due 
confiderationof the refpeftive natures and ends of the things 
propofed to us on both hands. Mofes chofe to be affiicted 
with the people of God ; and fo muil every one do, who 
will be of that number to his advantage ; many would 
have him^ but not with his crofs ; and his gofpel, but not 
with its hura'en. And of the fame Samaritan fe6t there 
are multitudes in every age ; but thofe who will not have 
their affliclions, Hiall never have their privileges ; and fo 
k is ail one whether they profefs themfelves to belong to 
them or no. 

§ 14. And we may further chferve, 

1. That reproach hath in all ages from the beginning 
of the world, attended Chrift and all the fincere profefTors 
of faith in him, which in God's eileem is upon his ac- 

2. Let the things of this world be increafed and mul- 
tiplied into the greateil meafure and degree imaginable, it 
alters not their kind ; they are temporary, fadiixg and 
periihing Hill ; fuch as w^ill Hand men in no Head on 
their greateft occalions, 

3. That there is an all-fatisfa6lory fulnefs in fpiritual 
tilings, even when the enjoyment of them is under re- 
proach and perfecution. 

4. Signal exemplifications of the nature and efficacy of 
faith in others, fpeciaily when vidorious againft mighty 


Ver. 24— 26. EPISTLE TO THE HEBREWS. 217 

oppofitions, as in Mofes, are high encouragements to us, 
for the like excrcife of it in the like circumilances. 
§ 15. We may further learn ; 

1. That it is our duty in the whole courfe of our faith 
and obedience, to have refpeft unto the future recom- 
pence of reward ; but efpecially in times of great per- 
fecution wherein we are fliarers. A refpeft — not to what 
we Ihall deferve by what we fuffer, nor to what prin- 
cipally infiuenceth us to obedience or fufFering, nor as 
if there were between the reward and what we do any 
proportion^ like that between work and wages ; but — what 
Divine bounty hath propofed to us for our encouragement, 
which becomes the divine goodnefs and righteoufnefs freely 
to grant to the believing and obedient. 

2. It is faith only that can carry us through the diffi- 
culties, trials, and perfecutions which we may be called 
to for the fake and name of Chrifl ; Mofes himfelf with 
all his wifdom, learning, courage, and refolut'ion,had never 
been able to have gone through with his trials and diffi- 
culties, had not faith had the rule and government of his 

3.^ Faith in cxercife will carry us fafely through all 
trials which we have to undergo for Chrift and the gofpel ; 
conlider all circumftances, and it is almoft impoffible that 
our temptations and trials fhould be greater than thofe of 
Mofes ; y^X faith carried him through them all. 

4. Faith is highly rational in all its adls of obedience 
towards God ; it reckoneth, computeth, judgeth, choofeth 
and determineth in the moil: exalted a£ls of reafon ; all 
thefe things were here afcribed to Mofes in the exercife. 
of his faith ; and if we cannot prove — that the wifdom of 
faith and the reafon wherein it always a£ls, are the mofl 
eminent that our nature is capable of in this world, and 
that whatever is contrary to them, or inconfiftent with 
them, is arrant folly, aiid contrary tO; the prlmogerilal light of 
our natures, and all the principals of reafon truly fo 
called ; we fhall freely give up the caufe of faith to the 
vaineft pretences of reafon that foolifh men can make. 

F f 2 Verse 


Verse 27. 

jy faith he forsook egypt, not fearing the 
wrath of the king ; for he endured as seeing 
him who is invisible. 

§ I. The faith of Mofes in fofah'mg Egypt, His remarkable 
courage. § 2. His confiancy. § 3. The objed of hi 5 
faith and courage. § 4. Obfervations, 

§ I. X HE fa£t which the apoftle here intends was ac« 
companied with, or immediately followed by Mofes keep- 
ing the paiTover, which was forty years and fomewhat 
more after his £rll; flight out of Egypt ; wherefore, although 
the leaving of Egypt may be a general expreffion of his 
whole condu6ling of the people thence into the wilder- 
nefs, yet the apoftle hath a peculiar refped to what is 
recorded, [Exod. x. 28, 29.] ' And Pharaoh faid unto 

* him, get thee from me, take heed to thyfelf, fee my face 

* no more ; for in the day that thou feeft my face, thou 

* Ihalt die ; and Mofes faid, thou haft fpoken well ; I will 

* fee thy face again no more ;' never was there an higher 
expreffion of faith and fpiritual courage ; whence it is laid, 
[Exod. xi. 8.] 'that he threatened Pharaoh, that all his 
^ fervants fhould come and bow down before him ;' and fo 
went out from him in great anger, or the height of in- 
dignation at his obftinate rebellion againll: God ; he had 
before him a bloody tyrant, armed with all the power of 
Egypt, threatening him with prefent death, if he perfifled 
in the work and duty which God had committed to him ; 
but he was fo far from being terrified, or declining his duty 
in the leaft, that he profefleth his refolution to proceed, 
and denounceth deftru6lion to the tyrant hi rafelf. Faith 
will not move without a divine word for its warranty; 
^nd natural courage would not carry him out in his un- 
dertaking I 

Ver.2.7- epistle to the HEBREWS. 219 

<3ertaking ; but now being affured of his call as well as 
of his work, he is bold as a lion through the power of 
faith a6ling regularly on a word of promife and corn- 

§ 2. * He endured as feeing him who is invifible.* 
(Kciflipsc^i forii a?iimo fumt non cedo malls) to endure, is a 
word (ingalarly fuited to exprefs the frame of mind that 
was in Mofes, with refpeft to his work of faith in leaving 
Egypt ; for he met with a long courfe of various diffi- 
culties, and was often threatened by the king ; befides 
~^vhat he had to cope with from the unbelief of the people; 
but he ilrengthened and confirmed his heart with fpiritual 
courage, and refolution to abide in his duty to the end ; 
and as the verb (y.c/.pjspuy) to endure, is ufed fometimes 
with a dative, fometimes an accufative cafe, fometimes 
with prepofitions, (ttcc^, cTT*', sv) and fometimes without; 
fo it is aifo neutrally, without affecting any other perfons 
or things ; wherefore this enduring by faith is not a mere 
bare continuance in duty ; but it is an abiding in it 
with courage and refolution, without fear and defpoii- 

§ 3. That which preferved Mofes in this frame, was, 
that he faw the inviiible God ; (tdv aopajov ocg vooov) as 
feting him who is invijihle ; God is faid to be invijible in 
refpe£l of his eiTence ; [Rom. i. 20. Col. i. 15. I. Tim. 
i. 17.] but there is a peculiar reafon of this defcription of 
him here ; Mofes was in that Hate and condition, and 
had thofe things to diO, wherein he continually Hood iu 
need of divine power and afliftance ; whence this fhould 
proceed he could not difcern by his fenfes ; his. bodily 
eye could behold no prefent afTiftant, for God was in- 
vifible ; and it requires a fpccial aft of the mind in ex- 
pelling help from him who cannot be feen ; wherefore ho 
faw him by faith whom he could not fee with his eyes ; 
• As feeing^ he reprefented him a prefent help, no lefs 
than if he had been {ttn. A double a6l of Mofes finth 
is intended herein ; — a clear, diftinft view and apprehen- 
fion of God in his omniprefence, power, and faithfulnefs ; 
and-^a fixed trufl in him on their account, at all times 



and on all occafions. This he refled on, this he tfufted 
to, that God was every where prefent with him, able to 
protect him, and faithful to his promife ; which is the 
fum of the revelation he made of himfeif to Abraham, 
[Gen. XV. I. and xvii. i.] hereof he had as certain a per- 
fualion, as if he had feen God working with him and 
for him with his bodily eyes. This fight of God he 
continually retreated to, in all his hazards and difficulties, 
and thereon endured courageoufly to the end. 

§ 4. Hence we may ohferve ; 

J. In all duties, efpecially fuch as are attended with 
great difficulties and dangers, it is the wifdom of be- 
lievers to take care not only that the works be good in 
therafelves, but alfo that they have a juft and due call to 
their performance. 

2. Even the wrath of the greatefl kings is to be difre- 
gardedj if it lie againfl: our duty towards God, [Dan. iii, 

3. There is an heroic frame of mind and fpiritual 
fortitude required to the due difcharge of our callings in 
times of danger, and which faith in exercife will produce, 
[I. Cor. xvi. 13.] 

4. There is nothing infuperable to faith, whilll it can 
keep a clear view of the power of God and his faithful- 
nefs in his promifes. And unlefs we are conftant in 
this exercife, we fliall faint and fail in great trials and 
difficult duties. From hence we may fetch revivings and 
renewals of ilrength and comfort on all occafions, as 
the fcripture every where tellifieth, [Pfalm Ixxiii. 25, 26. 
Ifa. xl. 28, 30.] 



Verse 28. 

£y faith he kept the passover, and the sprink- 
ling of blood, lest he that destroyed the 
first born should touch them. 

§ I. Mofis keeps the pajjover hy faith \ and § 2. Thefprink' 
ling of blood, § 3. The end of the infiitution, § 4. Of 
vjhat a fign. \ 5. Obfervations. 

§ I. A HE firll thing afcribed to him as the fruit of 
faith is, that he * kept the paiTover.' The word (TTiTroiriKs) 
is of a large fignification ; he wrought, he performed the 
whole facred duty ; that is, of killing the palTover, and 
fprinkling the blood. * The pajjover.'' The word is of 
an Hebrew original, only ufed by the Greeks after the 
Chaldee dialeft, wherein it is ufual to add ( « ) aleph to 
the end of words. So from the Hebrew (noD) to pafs 
over by a kind of leaping^ came the Chaldee («nDs) ^nd 
the Greek (jTvaa-ya.^ The word was chofen to inti- 
mate the mamier of the di{lin£lion God made by the de- 
ftroying angel between the houfes of the Egyptians and 
the Ifraelites, when he paffcd over the one untouched, and 
entered into another, (it may be fometimes the next to it) 
with death. The apoftle exprefsly calls Chrift, « our paf- 
*■ fover, facrificed for us. [I. Cor. v. 7.] He and his 
facrifice was that really and fubflantially, whereof the paf- 
chal lamb was a typical lign and fhadow. 

§ 2. The fecond thing afcribed to the faith of Mofes, 
is, [tYiV TTpOQ-yjuo-iv) the fprinkling of blood. This, whether 
it were a peculiar temporary ordinance, or an obfervance 
annexed to the firfl celebration of the paflbver, is all to 
the fame purpofe. The blood of the lamb was preferved 
in a bafon, from whence they were to take it by dipping 
a bunch of hylTop into it, [verfe 22.] and {Irike it on 


^2t AN EXPOSITION OF THfi Ckap. X!^ 

the two j^de-poJIs, and the tapper door pofls of their houfcs. 
And this was to be a token unto them that God would 
^ajs over the houfes that ^were fa fprinkled and marked 
with blood, that none fhould be deflroyed in theim, [verfe 
13.] and this in its myflical fignification, was to abide 
for ever. 

§ 3. The end of this inftitution was, * that he who 
* deflroyed the firft born might not touch them.' (OAc- 
^Lcvoovi or cXo9psv]yjg, I. Cor. x. 10.) that is, an angel 
whom God employed in that work, as the executioner of 
his judgements, as he did afterwards in the deitru6tion 
of Sennacherib's army ; and before in that of Sodom. 
There is no work more holy, nor more becoming the 
holy minillering fpirits, than to execute the judgements 
of God on impenitent finners. I grant, that in the in- 
fliction of the plagues of the Egyptians in general, efpe- 
cially in the work of hardening their hearts, and feducing 
them to their deferved deflrud^ion, God made ufe of evil 
angels ; * He fent evil angels among them,' [Pfalm Ixxviii. 
49.] But this work of flaying their iirll born is {o pecu- 
liarly and frequently afcribed to God himfelf, that I 
rather judge he employed a good angel therein. * He 

• deftroyed the Jirji born ;' {tcc TvpcSjojoKC/.) the firji things 
that were born ; in the neuter gender, (i. e. y'i]v'/iUOijo^.) 
For the deftruiTtion was intended to the firft born of beaJIs 
as well as of men, [Exod. xii. 29.] and this was done 
at the fame //?«^ throughout all the land of Egypt, that is, 
about midnight, [Exod. xi. 4. and xii. 29, 30.) 

§ 4. * Left he that deftroyeth the firft born fhould 

* touch them ;' namely, that it might be a iign and token 
to the Ifraelites, that they fhould be prcferved from that 
woeful deftru^lion which they knew would, that night, 
befall the Egyptians, [Exod. xii. 13.] * The blood Ihall 
' be to you for a token upon the lioufes where you are.* 
And what is added, that when he did fee the blood, he 
would pafs over tliem, and the plague fhould not come 
nigh them, was only to oblige them with all diligciice 
and reverence to obfeuve his facred inftitution. For their 



deliverance was fufpended on that condition, and had 
any of them failed herein, they Ilioald have periflied with 
the Egyptians. (M^ Giyii uvjcajv) Jhould not touch them ; 
that is, the Ifraelites or their cattle. Not touch them ; to 
declare the abfolute fecur'ity which they were to enjoy whiifl 
the Egyptians were fmitten. The deftroyer made no 
approach to their houfes, they had no fear of him. So 
' not to touch,' is ufed for doing no harm ; or being re- 
mote from it, [Pfalm cv. 15.] ' Touch not mine anoint- 

* ed, and do my prophets no harm.' [I. John v. 18.] 

* The wicked one toucheth him not.', 

§ 5. Hence ohfcrve : 

1. There is always an cfpecial exercife of faith re- 
quired to the due obfervance of a facramental ordinance. 

2. Whatever is not fprinkled with the blood of Chrifc 
the lamb of God, who was flain and facrificed for us, 
is expofed to dellru6lion from the anger and difpleafure 
of God. 

3. And this alone is that which gives us fecurity fiom 
him that hath the power of death. [See Expof. on chap. 
ii. 14, 15. 

4. God hath always inftruments in readinefs to execute 
the fevereft of his judgements on linners in their greateil 
fecurity. They were all in their midnight fkep in Egypt„ 
when this mefTanger of death came amongft them. 

5. Such is the great power and a£livity of thefe fiery 
miniftering fpirits, as that in the fhortell fpace of time 
imaginable they can execute the judgements of God on 
whole nations, as wxll and as eafily as on private perfons, 
[IT. Kings xix. 35.] 

6. That which God would for ever inftruft the church 
in by this ordinance, is, that unlefs we are fprinkled 
with the blood of Chrift, our pafchal Lamb, no other 
privilege can fecure us from eternal defl:ru£lion. Though 
a man had been really an Ifraelite, and had with others 
made himfelf ready that night for a departure, which was 
an high profeiTiOn of faith, yet if the Untel and pji^ of 
his door had not been fprinkled with bloodj he would 
liave been deflroyed. 

Vgl lY, G^ YeRs.::! 


Verse 29. 

by faith they passed through the red sea, 
as by dry land, which the egyptians essay- 
ing to do were drowned. 

§ I. (I.) 'The 'words explained. The Ifraelites hy faith fa f^ 
fing the Red Sea, § 2. fVhy fo called, § 3. The pajjagc- 
itfelf. § 4. The fate of the Egyptians,. § 5—6. (11.) 

" § I. (I.) (AIEBHSAN) theypajjcd', that is, the whole 
congregation of the Ifraehtes under the conduct of Mofes, 
[Exod. xiv.] and the whole is denominated from the better 
part, for many of them were not behevers to the fanftiiica- 
tion of their perfons. For with many of them, as the apoftle 
f peaks, God was not well pleafed, though they were ' all 
* baptized unto Mofes in the cloud and in the fea,' [I. Cor., 
X. 2 — 5.] But in a profejjlng fociety, God is pleafed to 
afcribe the faith and obedience of fome to the whole ; 
as on the other hand, judgements oftentimes fall on the 
whole for the provocations of fome, as it frequently 
happened to the people in the wildernefs. It is therefore 
the duty of every man in the church to endeavour, on 
the one hand, the good of the whole in his own perfonal 
faith and obedience ; as alfo on the other, to keep thera 
as far as lies in him from fin, that he fall not with them 
under the difpleafure of God. 

§ 2. It was {^r^v cpv9Qocy Qc67wi(r(roiv) the Red Sea they 
pafTed through ; that part of the Ethiopic ocean which 
lieth between Egypt and Arabia. In the Hebrew it ia 
conllantly called {j^o cd') the fa of /edges, reeds or canes» 
from the multitude of them growing on its fhore, as to 
this day. The Greeks call it (^sov^oaiog or spv9Q(z) red -^ 
not from the red colour of the waters, appearing fo from 
the fand or the fun, as fome have fancied ; but from 
Erythrausi that is^ Efau or Edom, who fixed his habi-, 



tation and rule towards this fea. And whereas that 
name (EdomJ fignifies r^d^ they gave him a name of the 
fame fignification in their language. Thence came the 
fea among them to be called the ' Red Sea,"* which the He- 
brews call yam Syph. 

§ 3. It is faid, that they paffed through (ug W ^yipag) 
as on dry land^ [Exod. xiv. 21, 2 2 — 29.] I'he ground 
was made fit for them to travel on, and they paffed the 
Waters without any impediment. The divilion of th& 
waters was very great, leaving a fpace for fo great a mul- 
titude to pafs in an orderly manner between the divided 
parts ; perhaps to the diilance of fome miles* And their 
paffage is judged to have h^.tVi Jix leagues from fhore to 
fhore, and by fome much larger. The Ifraelites had 
light to difcern this miraculous appearance, which, no 
doubt, was very dreadful. The waters mufl of neceffity 
be raifed to a very great height on each fide : and although 
they were, by the powder of God, a w^all to them on the 
right and left ; yet was it an high a£t of faith in them, 
to put themfelves between fuch walls, as were re?dy in 
their own nature to fall on them to their deilruftion 
every moment, abiding only under an almighty reflraint. 
But they had the command and promife of God for their 
warranty and fecurity, which will enable faith to over- 
come all fears and dangers. I doubt not but that Mofes 
himfelf iirft entered at the head of them. Hence it is 
faid, that God led them through the fea * at the right 
* hand of Mofes \ [Ifa. Ixiii. 1 1 — 13.] he entering before 
them into the channel of the deep, to guide and encourage 

§ 4. It remains that we confider the other people, the 
Egyptians ; fo they are called here in general; but in the 
account given us by Mofes, it appears that Pharaoh him- 
felf, the king, was prefent in perfon, with all the nobility 
and power of his kingdom. It was he, in an efpecial 
manner, whom God had undertaken to deal with, [Exod, 
ix. 16. Rom. ix. 17. Exod. xv. 3—9.] This Pharaoh, 
with his Egyptians, that is, his whole armv, hoifis and 
chariots, alfo attempted ; {irsi^ixy KolSovjsg) qff(^ying to do ; 

G g 2 which 


which was the greateil height that ever obdurate infidels 
could arife to in this world. They had feen all the 
mighty works which God had wrought in behalf of his 
people among them ; they and their country were almoft 
confumed with the plagues and judgements that were 
inflided on them on their account. And yet, now be- 
holding this wonderful work of God, in opening the 
fea to receive them from their purfuit, they would make a 
•venture (as the word hgnities) to follow them into it. 
Vain and defperate attempt, and an high evidence of in- 
fatuation ! Here we have one of the moil lignal ex- 
amples of the power of unbelief, confirmed by judiciary 
hardnefs of heart, that is upon record in the whole book 
of God ; nor is there any monument of equal folly and. 
blindnefs among the annals of time. The event was, 
that they (^y^u'izTiooVicrav) were dro'wncd, fwallowed up. 
The account hereof is given us fo glorioufly in the 
triumphant fong of Mofes, [Exod. xv.] that nothing 
needs to be added for its farther illuflratlon. And this 
deftrudion of the Egyptians, with the deliverance of 
Ifrael, was a type and pledge of the vidtory and triumph 
which the church Ihall have over its anti-chriftian ad- 
verfaries, [Rev. xv. 2 — 5.] 
§ 5. (II.) Obfcrve hence, 

1. Where God engagcth his word and promlfe, there 
is nothing fo difficult, nothing fo remote from the rational 
appreheniions of men, but he may righteoufiy require our 
faith and truft in him therein. 

2. Faith will find a way through a fea of diihcultles 
tinder the call of God. 

3. There is no trial, no difiiculty, that the church can 
be called to, but there are examples on record of the 
power of faith in working out its deliverance. There 
can be no greater flrait than tlie Ifraelites were in be- 
tween the hoil of the Egyptians and the Red Sea. 

^6. I. God knows how to fecure impenitent finners 
to their appointed deftru£iion, by giving them up to hard- 
nefs of heart, and an obilinate continuance in their fins 


Ver. «9' EPISTLE TO THE HEl3TlEW§^ Sfef 

againft all warnings and means of repentance, [fee Rom. 
i. 24—32.] 

2. God doth not give up any in a judicial way to fin, 
but it is a punifhment for preceding fins, and as a means 
to bring on them total ruin and dellruftion. 

3. Let us not wonder that we fee men in the world 
obftinate in foolifh counfels and undertakings, tendino^ to 
their own inevitable ruin, feeing probably they are under 
judicial hardnefs from God, [Ifa. vi. 9, 10. and xxix, 

ID. and xix. 13, 14.] 

4. There is no fuch blinding, hardening lufl in the 
minds of men, as hatred of God's people, and delire of 
their ruin. Where this prevails, as it did in thefe per- 
fecuting Egyptians, it deprives men of all wifdom and 
underflanding, that they fliall do things againfl all rules 
of reafon and polity, (which commonly they pretended 
to) ad brutilhly and obftinately, though apparently 
t-ending to their own ruin and defl:ru£lion. Thefe Egyp- 
tians deligned the utter extirpation of the people, that 
they lliould be no more in the world, by their edi6l for 
the deftruftion of all the male children, which in one 
age would have totally exterminated them out of Egypt ; 
yet now they will run themfelves on imminent univerfal 
deflruftion, to bring them back again into Egypt. 

5. When the opprefTors of the church are neareft to 
their ruin, they commonly rage moil, and are moft 
obftinate in their bloody perfecutions. 



Verse 2^, 

by faith the wall of jericho fell down af- 
ter they were encompassed a'^out seven days. 

§ I, The faith of Ifrael at Jericho. § 2. Jfter it was com^ 
pifjcd about fcven days. ^ 2* Hoiv this manijcjicd their 
faitb, § 4. Ohfervations, 

§ I. xN this verfe the apoflle adds another inftance of 
the faith of the whole congregation in the fenfe before 
declared ; for although refped be had, no doubt, to the 
faith of Jofhua in an efpecial manner, yet that of the 
ivhole people is exprelTed. The city itfelf was not great, 
as is evident, becaufe the whole army of the liraelites did 
compafs it feven times in one day ; but mofi: probably it 
was fortified and encompaflcd with walls of great height 
and ilrengtli, with which the fpies fent by Mofes out of 
the wildernefs were terrified, [Numb. xiii. 28.] and it is 
uncertain how long it was belieged by the liraelites, be-^ 
fore God fhewed them the way to demolifh the walls ; 
for the town was beleaguered by Jolhua it may be for 
fome good while before he had the command to compafs 
it, [Jofhua vi. i.] — thefe walls, faith the apoftle, (iTTicrt) 
fell do-wn; or as in Jofhua [ver. 20. Heb.) ' The iv all fell 
' dovon under it.'' It intimates the utter calling it down flat 
on the earth, whereby the people went over it with eafc 
into the city ; yet need not this be fo far extended, as 
that no part of it was left {landing ; for that part of it, 
for inftance, whereon the houfe of Rahab was built, was 
probably left (landing ; but the fall was fuch as took away 
all defence from the inhabitants, and facilitated the en- 
trance of the Ifraelites in various places at once. 

§ 2. This, faith the apoftle, was done after they were 
' compafTed about feven days,' [Jofli. vi. 2, 3.] The 
;firft command of God was to have it ^o\\^ fix times in the 


Ver.30. epistle to THE HEBREWS. ^2^ 

fpace of px days, [ver. 3.] but an efpecial command and 
dire£tioQ was given for that of the feventh day, becaufe it 
was to be done then [even times, [ver. 4.J This feventh 
day probably was the fabbath ; and fome mvftery is, no 
doubt, intimated in the number y^;^'^;z in this place. The 
reader may, if he pleafes, confult our difcourfe of the 
original and inflitution of the fabbath, wherein thef^ 
things are fpoken to. 

§ 3. And fome things there are wherein the Ifraelites 
did manifeft \\\t\x fakh therein. 

1. It was on the command of God, and his promife of 
fuGcefs, that they now entered the land of Canaan, and 
began their work and war with the iiege of this ilrong^ 
town, not having, by any previous fight, weakened the 
inhabitants. Here they made the firit experiment of the 
prefence of God with them in the accomphlhment of the 
promife made to Abraham. 

2. They fliewed their faith in their readinefs to com- 
ply with the way pre fori bed, of compaffing the town fa 
many days with the noife of trumpets, without the lenft 
attempt to poliefs it; for without a refpe£l by faith to the 
command and promife of God, this aft was fo far from 
furthering them in their defign, that it was fuited to ex- 
pofe them to the fcorn and contempt of their adverfaries ; 
this way was prefcribed to them of God to give them a 
diftin£l apprehenfion, that the work of the conquefl of 
Canaan was his, and not theirs. 

3. The fame faith is manifefl in the triumphant Jh out 
they gave, before the walls in the leaft moved ; they ufed^ 
the yzV« of their downfall before the thing fignified was 
accomplifhed ; and triumphed by faith in the ruin of the 
walls, whilft they flood in their full ftrength ; whereford 
the apollle might juftly commend their faith, which was 
afted againft fo many difficulties, in the ufe of unlikely 

§ 4. Hence we may obferve ; 

I. Faith will make ufe of means divinely prefcribed, 
though it be not able to difcern the efTedive influence of 
ther^i to the end aimed at^, [fee 1\, Kings v. 14.] 

S. Faith 


2. Faith will cafl down walls and flrong towers that lie 
in the way of the work of God ; it is true, we have no 
Hone walls to demolifh. nor cities to deftroy ; but th^ 
fame faith in exercife is required of us in all our con-. 
cerns, as was in Jolhua when he entered on the conqueft 
of Canaan, as the apoftle declares chap. xiii. 5. and there 
are ftrong holds of iin in our minds, which nothing 
but faith can cafl to the ground. 

Verse 31. 


^ I . The hijlpry and faith of Rahah^ contained In fcveral 
propqfitions. She was a Gentile, an Amorite, an harlot^ yet 
converted to God. § 2 . Afade an excellent confejjion of her 
faith. § 3. fo'ined God^s people. § 4. Shewed her faith 
by her works. § C. The fruit of her faith, § 6. Oh~ 

§ I. X HE flory concerning this Rahal>, her faith and 
works, is at large recorded in Jofhua, chap. ii. vi. What 
Concerns the expofition of thefe v/ords, and the great 
inftance of the grace of God, and efficacy of faith in 
them, may be comprifed in fome remarks, 

1. Rabab was by nature a Gentile^ an alien from the 
flock and covenant of Abraham ; wherefore, as her con- 
verfion to God was an ii£l of free grace and mercy in a 
peculiar manner, fo it was a type and pledge of calling a 
church from among the Gentiles. 

2. She was not only a Gentile, but an A-morite ; of 
that race which in general was devoted to utter deflruc- 
tion J fhe was therefore an inftance of God's fovercignty m 



dlfpenfing with his pofitive laws, as it feems good unto 
him ; for of his own mere pleafure he exempted her from 
tlie doom denounced againft all thofe of her origin. 

3. She was (-/j Tropyrj) o.n harlot, though it may be not 
one that commonly and promifcuouily expofed himfelf i 
(nJtn nobili fcortum ;) that fhe kept a public houfe of enter^ 
tainmenty is evident from the fpies going thither ; which 
they did as to fuch a houfe ; and herein have we a bleffed 
inftance both of the fovereignty of God's grace, and of its 
power. No perfon, no lin, is to be defpaired of, in 
whofe cure fovereign almighty grace is engaged, [I. Cor. 
vi. 9 — 1 1.] 

4. She was converted to God before the coming of the 
fp'ies to her, by what fhe had heard of him ; his mighty 
works, and his pecuHar owning of the people of Ifrael ; 
for God had ordained and defigned that the report of 
thefe things fhould be an effeftual ordinance, both ta 
terrify obftinate believers, alfo to call others to repen- 
tance, and converfion from their idols ; to which end, 
no doubt, it was effectual on others as well as on Rahab; 
as it was on the Gibeonltes in general. Hence thofe who 
perifhed are faid to be unbelievers ; Ihe perifhed not with 

* them that believed not,* or who were difobedlent ; for 
they had a fufficient revelation of God and his will ne- 
celTary to their faith and obedience ; and their deflru6lioii 
is afcribed to the hardening of their hearts, fo that they 
Ihould not makepeace with Ifrael, [Jofh. xi. 19, 20.] 

§ 2. Rahab upon this iiril opportunity made an ^^-. 
cellent confejjion of her faith, and of the means of her 
converfion to God. This confefiion is recorded at large, 
Jofh. ii. 9 — II. She avows the >Lord Jehovah to be 
the only God in heaven above and in the earth be» 
neath ; wherein flie renounced all the idols which before 
fhe had worfhipped ; [ver. 11.] and fhe avows her faith 
in him as the God of Ifrael, who had taken them to be 
his people by promlfe and covenant, which in this con- 
feffion fhe lays hold on by faith ; * the Lord your God, 

* he is God,' [Rom. x. 10.] 

Vol. IV, H h § 3, 


§ 3. She feparated herfelf from the caiife and inter eft of 
her own people among whom fhe lived, and joined her- 
felf to the caufe and interefl of the people of God ; this 
aUb is a necefTary fruit of faith, and an infeparable con- 
comitant of profellion ; this God called her to, this fhe 
complied with, and this was that which rendered all fhe 
did in receiving, concealing and preferving the fpies, though 
they came to deftroy her country and people, jufl and 

§ 4. She fliewed her faith by her w^orks ; ' She recei- 
• yed the fpies with peace.' In thefe few words the 
apofile comprifes the whole flory of her receiving them ; 
her fludioufly concealing them ; the intelligence fhe gave 
them, the prudence fhe ufed, the pains fhe took, and the 
danger fhe underwent in the fafe conveyance of them to 
their army ; all which are at large recorded, Jofh. ii. (fee 
alfo James ii.) Again, it was a work of great ufe and 
importance to the church and caufe of God ; for had 
thefe fpies been taken and flain, it would have been a 
great difcouragement to the whole people, and made thefo 
queilion whether God would be with them in their un- 
dertaking or no ; and it is evident that the tidings which 
they carried to Jofliua, and the people, from the intel- 
ligence which they had by Rahab, was a mighty eli- 
couragement to them ; for they report their difcovery iii 
her words ; they faid unto Jofhua, * Truly the Lord hath 

* delivered into our hands all the land ; for even all the 

* inhabitants of the country do faint becaufe of us,' [Jofh. 
ii. 24.] and it was a work accompanied with the utmofl 
hazard and danger to herfelf; had the matter been dif- 
covered, doubtlefs flie, and all fhe pofTefTed, had beeri 
utterly deflroyed ; and all thefe things fet a great luftre 
upon this work, whereby fhe evidenced her faith and her 
juflification ; and as this is an inflance exceedingly ap- 
pofite to the purpofe of the apoflle, to arm Jlnd encourage 
believers againfl the difficulties and dangers which they 
TVere to meet with in their proftflion ; fo it is fufficient 
to condemn multitudes among ourfelves, who, after a long 
profeffion of the truth, are readj to tremble at the firft 



approach of danger, and think it their wifdom to keep at 
a diftance from fuch as are expofed to danger and fuf- 

§ 5. The fruit of this faith of Rahab was, that Jhe 
perl/he d not, fhe was not dellroyed, [Jofh. vi. 25.] ' And 

* Jofhua faved Rahab the harlot aUve, and her father's 

* houfehold, and all that fhe had, and fhe dwelt in Ifrael 
' to this day.' Note, it is good, and fometimes ufeful, tD 
be related to them that believe ; but what is added of her 

* dwelling in Ifrael' plainly intimates her folemn con- 
jundtion to the people of God in faith and worfhip ; yea, 
I am perfuaded that from henceforward fhe was as emi- 
nent \n faith and holinefs, as fhe had been before in Jin and 
folly ; for it was not for her wealth that flie was afterwards 

married to Salmon the fon of NaafTon, the prince of the 
tribe of Juda, [Matt. i. 5.] becoming thereby to have the 
honour of a place in the genealogy of our blefled Saviour, 
and of a type of tlie intereft of the Gentiles in his incar- 
nation. The Holy Ghoft alfo taking occalion twice to 
mention her in a way of commendation, and propofing 
her as an example of faith and obedience, gives fuch an 
approbation of her, as teftifies her to have been eminent 
and exemplary in thefe things. 

§ 6. The following obfervatiens ofFer ; 

1. Although unbelief be not the only deftroying fin, 
(for the wages of every fin is death, and many are ac- 
companied with peculiar provocations) yet it is the only 
Hn which makes eternal deilrudtion inevitable and re- 
medilefs. And, 

2. Where there are means granted of the revelation of 
God and his will, unbelief is the greateil and moil pro- 
voking thing, and from whence God is glorified in his 
fevereft judgement. And, 

3. "Where this revelation of the mind and will of God 
is mofl open, full, and evident, and the means of it are 
mofl exprefs, and fuited to the communication df the 
knowledge of it, there is the higheft aggravation of un* 
belief. If the inhabitants of Jericho perifhed in their 
>5nbelief, becaufe they believed not the report that was 

ti h 2 brought 


brought to them of the mighty works of God ; what will 
be the end of them who live and die in their unbelief 
under the daily, conllant preaching of the gofpel, the 
moft glorious revelation of the mind and will of God for 
the falvation of men ! [Heb. ii, 3.] 

4. Every tiling which God deligns as an ordinance to 
bring men to repentance, ought to be diligently attended 
to and complied with, feeing the negle£t of the call of 
God therein Ihall be feverely revenged. Such were his 
mighty works in thofe days ; and fuch are his judgements 
in all ages. 

5. It is in the nature of true, real, faving faith, im- 
mediately, or at its firll opportunity, to declare and pro- 
teil itfelf in confeffion before men i or confeffion is ab- 
folutely infeparable from faith, and the fearful, that is, 
thof« who fly from public profeflion in times of danger 
and perfecution, Ihall be no lefs afluredly excluded from 
the heavenly Jerufalem, than unbelievers themfelves, [Rev, 
xxi. 8.] 

6. A feparation from the carnal caufe and interefl of 
the world is required in all believers, and will accom^ 
pany true faith wherever it is. 

Verse 32. 

und what shall i say more? for the time 
would fail me to tell op gideon, and of ba- 
rack, and of sampson, and of jephth^e, of 


§ I. Connexion and general remarks. § 2. Expojitlon, § 3. 
Hqvj does it appear that it was by faith thefe perfons a^ed ? 

2 §4. 


§ 4. Efpeclally in their heroic a^'ions^ hovj they could be ex* 
amples to us. § 5. Obfervatioiu 

§ I. IN this verfe, and to the end of ver. 38, he funis 
up the remaining teflimonies, which out of many he in- 
fifted on, with intimation that there were yet more of 
the like kind upon record, which he would not fo much 
as name. 

We may here notice two things ; 

1. That in the naming of them, (Gideon, Barak, Samp- 
fon, Jephthse, David, and Samuel,) he doth not obferve 
the order of time wherein they lived ; for Barak was be- 
fore Gideon, and Jephthse before Sampfon, and Samuel 
before David. 

2. He doth not reckon up the things they did in the 
fame order wherein he had named the perfons ; fo as that 
the firft thing mentioned fhould be afcribed to him that 
was firft named, and fo in order ; but he ufeth his liberty 
in fetting down both the names of the perfons and of the 
things afcribed to them ; and the things he mentionetli 
cannot all be abfolutely applied to the perfons named ; 
but fome of them v/ere wrought by others whofe names 
are not exprefled. Having given this account of the fcope 
and argument of the apoftle, I fhall be very brief in the 
expofition of the particulars. 

§ 2. (Y^ui 71 si I Xsyuj ;) Jnd what Jhall I fay more? 
Or, why do I farther fpeak ? He had in readinefs many 
more examples of the fame kind. To muhiply arguments 
and teftimonies beyond what is neceffary, ferves only to 
divert the mind from attending to the truth itfelf to be 
confirmed ; for the time would fail me ; it would be a work 
of that length as would not be contained within the bounds 
which I have affigned to this epiftle, fhould I fo declare 
their faith and the fruits of it in particular, as I have 
done in the foregoing charafters ; yet \\Q fo names them as 
to bring them in witnefs in the caufe. v 

§ 3. How doth it appear that it was hj faith they per^ 

formed the things afcribed to them ? 

s. They 


1. They all, or at leail moft of them, h2.dL fpecial callf 
from God to the works which they wrought. So had 
Gideon by an angel, [Judg. vii.] Barak by the prophecy 
of Deborah, [Judg. iv.] Sampfon by the direction of an 
angel to his parents, [Judg. xiii.] fo was it alfo, it is 
well known, with Samuel and David ; they had their 
calls immediately from God ; and as for Jephtha?, he was 
iirfl chofen by the people to his office and work, [Judg, 
xi. II.] which God approved of in giving him his Spirit 
in an extraordinary manner, [ver. 29.] They werefatisfied 
in their call from God, and fo trulled in him for his aid 
and alTiflance. 

2. The work which they had to do was the iJi/ork of 
Gild I namely, to deliver the church from trouble and 
oppreffion ; and there was a promife annexed to their 
works, when undertaken according to the mind of God ; 
yea, many promifes to this purpofe were left on record 
for their encouragement, [Deut. xxxii. 36, &c.] this pro- 
Kiife they relied on h^ faith in all their undertakings. 

3. Some of them, as Gideon, Barak, and David, had 
particular promifes of fuccefs in what they were called to ; 
and although at fiifl they might be flow in believing 
them, yet in the ifTue their faith was vi£lorious, and they 
•^ obtained the promifes,' as in the next verfe. 

On thefe grounds they wrought all their great works 
of faith, whereby they engaged the divine prefence and 
affiilance, and are therefore a meet example to be pro- 
pofed for our encouragement. 

§ 4. And though thefe examples were chiefly beroie 
aftions, yet confider ; 

1. The faith whereby they wrought tliefe great things 
was of the fim.e nature and kind with that whicii is in 
every true believer ; wherefore, as it was efFedual in them 
for thofe duties whereunto they were called, it will be fo 
in us alfo, as to all we may be called to. 

2. To deflroy the kingdom of Satan in us, to demolifh 
all his ftrong holds, to overcome the world in all its at- 
tempts on our eternal fafety, will appear one day not ta 
be inferior to the conqueft of kingdoms, and overthrow 


Ver. 33— 35- EPISTLE TO THE HEBREWS. 23;, 

of armies. [See Epb. vi. 10 — 12, &c.] And wc may 
learn hence, — That it is not the dignity of the perloii 
that gives efficacy to taith, but faith makes the perfon 
accepted — That neither the guilt of fin, nor the fenfe of 
it, Ihould hinder us from a6ting faith on God in Chrifl, 
when we are called to it — That true faitli will fave great 
finners ; for that they were all faz/ed who are on this cata- 
logue of bflievers, the apoflle exprefly affirms, [verfe 30.] 
§ 5. Olff. There is nothing fo difficult, or 
infuperable, no difcouragement fo great, from a fenfe of 
our own unworthinefs by fin, nor oppofition arifino- 
againft us from both of them in conjundion, that fliould 
hinder us from believing when we are called to it. 

Verse 33—35. 

-who through faith subdued kingdoms, wrought 
righteousness, obtained promises^ stopped 


5 I . From the pcrfons, the apoftle proceeds to the things per- 
formed by faith. § 2. They fubdued kingdoms, What 
kingdoms, and hoiv, by faith. § 3. Wrought rlghteouf- 
nefs, § 4. Obtained particular promlfes. § 5. Stopped 
the mouths of lions. § 6. ^enched the violence of fire. 
§ 7. Efcaped the edge of the fivord. § 8. Some out of 
vjeaknefs zvere made firong. §9. IVa^ed valiant In fight, 
% 10. Routed armies. § ii. Women received their dead. 
§ 12. Obfervatlons, 

%\. V ROM the enumeration of pcrfons that believed, 
th$ apoflle proceeds to declare the things which they 




wrought by faith, all to the fame end, to encourage u 

to make ufe of the fame grace in all our occafions and 
emergencies. — (A/oj Trier] cCAjg) through faith ; the fame with 
(7ri(flEi} byfaith-^ all along in the chapter ; an injhumental 
caufe. The words are of common ufe, and there is no 
difference in the tranilation of them. 

§ 2. The firfl thing afcribed to them is, that they 
^fuhdued kingdoms.' The fimple verb [ayMviQ)^ai) iig- 
niiies to fight ^ to contend, to enter into trial of ftrength and 
courage in the theatre or the field. And thence {Kccjoi" 
'vocvLroucci) the word here ufed is to prevail in battle, to 
conquer, to fubdue. ' Ihey fubdued kingdoms.^ This is 
generally and rightly affigned to Jofnua and David ; Jo- 
fhua fubdued all the kingdoms of Canaa4i ; and David, 
all thofe about it ; as Moab, Ammon, Edom, Syria, and 
the Philiftines. But it may be inquired, how this con- 
quering of kingdoms fhould be a fruit and efFeft oi faith F 
For the mofl of them who have fubdued kingdoms in 
the world, have not only been unbelievers, but for the 
moft part wicked and bloody tyrants, I fay, therefore, 
that the kingdoms fubdued by faith, were of two forts : 

1. Thofe "juithin the land of Canaan, which were dc- 
flroyed by Jofnua ; which had by their wickednefs for- 
feited their land and lives to divine jullice. Wherefore, 
God having given the country to the Ifraelites, they in the 
conqueft of them only executed the judgements of God, 
taking pofiefiion of what was their own. 

2. Such as were about that land which was the inhe- 
ritance and pofleffion of the church, and were enemies 
to the worfhip of the true God ; fuch were thofe con- 
quered by David. Now it was the will of God that they 
Ihould be fo far fubdued, as that the land might be a 
quiet habitation to his people. Wherefore through faith 
they fubdued thefe kingdoms ; in that they did it on 
Cod's command, and in the accomplifliment of his pro- 
mifes. The perfons deftroycd by them being devoted to 
deftruftion for their own fins, they did only execute the 
righteous judgement of God upon them. Again ; it de- 
ferves farther notice, that although it was through faith 


Ver.33— 35- EPISTLE TO THE HEBREWS. 239 

they fubdued kingdoms, yet they made ufe of all heroic 
virtues, fuch a^ courage, valour, military fkill, and the 
like. Never, doubtl(?ls, were there on the earth, morq 
valiant men than Jofhna and David, nor were there any 
who underwent greater hardfliips and dangers in war. 
Thefe things are perfedly confiftent, yea, mutually help- 
ful to one another ; for as faith will excite all graces and 
virtues that are ufeful for any enterprize men are called to, 
fo they, in their turns, are fubfcrvient to faith in what it 
is called to. 

§ 3. The fecond thing afcribed to thefe worthies is, 
that through faith [ci^ya,(r(x,v\o liy^c/AO^rvvviv) * they wrought 

* right coufncfs' There is a three-fold flate of life, and cor- 
refponding thereto, a three-fold righteoufnefs ; namely, 
military, moral, and political. In the firft way, to * work 

* righteoufnefs,' is as much as to execute judgement, the 
judgement of God en the enemies of the church,. [Pfalm 
cxlix. 6 — 9.] — In a moral fenfe it comprifeth a refpeft 
to all tlie duties of the fecond table ; and fo s^ya^^a-^ccL 
^iKOiioo-vniv) to zvork righteoufnefs, is the fame with {ttohiv 
hx.ccic(rvy7iv) to do rlghteotfnefs, [I.John, iii. 7.] — To work 
righteoufnefs in a political fenfe, is to be righteous in 
rule and government, to adminifter juftice and judgement 
to all that are under their rule. Now all the perfons ex- 
prefsly mentioned, being rulers and judges, and this righ- 
teoufnefs being of fuch eminent ufe to the church and to 
the world, it is that, mofl likely, which is here afcribed to 
them. [See Pfalm ci. throughout; and I. Sam., vii. 15 — 

^ 4. It is faid of them that they obtained promlfesJ' Sun- 
dry expofitors have taken pains to reconcile this with 
what is faid, ytr^Q 39. As if * they obtained,' and ' they 

* received not the promife,' were contradiftory. But they 
niake a difficulty themfelves where there is none ; which 
when they have done, they cannot eafily folve. For 
(c7rt]vxoy E7rc^.yy:-Kia)v) they obialned promifes, viz, the things 
peculiarly promifed to them on particular occafions, may 
well conlifl with (i^K sko jjjo-cc'!^ tvjv S7rocyycKioi.v) they re- 
mvcdnot that great pronilfe of the coming of Chrift in the 

Vol. IV. ^ \i idefli, 


flefh, in its adlual accomplifhment ; wherefore the promifcs 
here intended, which by faith they obtained, were fuch as 
were made particularly to themfelves. As to Jofliua, that 
he fliould conquer Cannaan ; to Gideon, that he ihould 
defeat the Midianites ; and to David, that he fhould be 
king over all Ifrael. And they are faid to obtain thefe 
promifes, becaufe of the difficulty there was in their ac- 
complifliraent, yea and fonietimes a feeming impoilibility. 
How often was the faith of Jofliua tried in the conquell 
of Canaan ; yet at length he obtained the promife. Gi- 
deon was put on a great improbability, when he was 
commanded with three hundred mtn to fet upon an innu- 
merable hoft, and yet he obtained the promife of their 
dellru£lion. And it is known how long, and by what 
various ways, the faith of David was tried and exercifed, 
before the promife made to him was fulfilled. 

§ 5. It is afcribed to them, that they '-flopped the mouths 

* of lions ;' which may intend the preventing of them from 
deftroying and devouring by any means whatever. It is 
with their mouths that they devour ; and he that hinders 
them from devouring, may well be faid to Hop their 
mouths. In this fenfe it may be afcribed to Sampfon, 
who, when a young lion roared againft him, approaching 
to devour him, he rent him to pieces, [Judg. xiv. 5, 6. J 
In like manner, David flopped the mouth of a lion, when 
he flew him, [I. Sam. xvii. 34, '^^.'] But if the word be 
taken in its proper fignification, to put a fcop to the mouth 
of a lion, fo that he fp.ali neither hurt nor devour, though 
he be kept alive and at liberty, then it is applied to 
Daniel only ; for fo it is faid of him exprefsly, when caft 
into the dtw of lions, that God had fent his angel, and 

* Ihut the lions mouths,' that they did not hurt him ; 
[Dan. vi. 22.] and Daniel did it by faith \ for although 
the miniftry of angels was ufed therein, yet it was done^ 
becaufe he bctievcdiw his God, [verfe 20. J 

§ 6. {F.o'(3~(roiv ^vvceuv^ TTVpog) * they quenched the violence 

* of fire.' Ke doth not fay, they quenched ^;t, which may 
be done by natural means ; but they took off, abated, rc- 
Itrained ' the violence,' the power of lire, as if the fire it- 



feif had been utterly quenched. This, therefore, belongs 
to the three companions of Daniel, who were cafl into the 
burnnig fiery furnace, [Dan. iii. 23.] The fire conti- 
nued flill, and retained its burning power, for it flew the 
men that cafl them into the furnace. But by faith they 
quenched or reflrained the power and violence ot it to- 
wards themfelves, that not one hair of their head was 
fmged, [verfe 27.] And the /^/^^ of thefe men confifled 
in their committing themfelves to the omnipotence and 
fovereignty of God in the difcharge of their duty. 

§ 7, (k'Poyov (fJoiJ^c^ia, ^a.yj7Aoa.g) ' 'They efcaped the edge 

* of the fvjord\ the mouths of the fword from the Hebrew 
(mn '3) and a * t^jjo edged fujord,' they call a * fword of 

* mouths,* as in the Greek (^.ayjyAoa. hcf]o^ogf chap iv. 
12.) * They efcaped' by flight from the danger. So was it 
frequently with David, when he fled from the fword of 
Saul, which was in a manner at his throat feveral 
times, and he * efcaped by flight,' wherein God was with 
him. So did Elijah, when he was threatened to be 
ilain by Jezebel, [I. Kings xix. 3.] — It may be faid. 
Was not this an efFed oi fear rather than oi faith, with 
sll its good fuccefs ? No ; for it is the wifdom and duty of 
faith, to apply itfelf to all lawful means and ways of de- 
liverance from danger. Not to ufe means when God 
affords them to us, is not to trufl but to tempt him. Fear 
will be in all cafes of danger, and yet faith may have the 
principal condu£l of the foul. And a vidory is fometimes 
obtained by flight. 

§ 8. Some of them, (i>£juyc;//W'^^cr^y o^tto ad^-v-iag) 

* out of weaknefs were made flrong.^ The term {cy.a-UcVcL(yS) 
nvcaknefs, denotes any kind of infirmity, moral or corporeal. 
The words are taken almofl literally out of Il?.iah ; ' The 

* writing of Hezekiah, king of Judah, when he had been 

* fick, and was recovered of his ficknefsf [Ifa. xxxviii. 9.] 
and that this was through faith is evident in the ilory, 
and was in part miraculous. 

§ Q. Some of them through faith ( sy3vvi9'i](ro^v icryjucoL 
sv TToX-uLuo) were made valiant, waxed ilirong in fight or 
battk. As this may be applied to many of them, as 

I i z Jofhua, 


JoHiua, Barak, Gideon, Jephtha, fo David affirms df 
himfelf, tiiat * God taught his hands to war, fo that a 

* bow of fleel was broken by his arras ; and that he 

* girded him with flrength unto battle,' [Pfal. xviiii 
34 — 39.] which anfwers to what is here allirmed. 

§ 10. Of the fame kind is that which followeth^ 
{7roiO:^f3oKo:g ^kXivuv aKXojoiU)','^ ' They tur7ied to flight the 

* annies of the aliens.'* The original word {7ia>cc-u[2oKoii^ _, 
properly denotes the camps, the fortified tejtts of an army ; 
but it is ufed for an army itfelf, [I. Sam. iv. 16.] an 
^:of encamped like that of the Midianites when Gideon 
went down unto it, [Judg. vii. 10.] which overthrow of 
that hofl is here principally intended j for fo it w^as ligni- 
£ed in the dream, that the tents lliould be fmitten and 
overturned, [ver. 13.] But becaufe the apoille ufeth the 
word in the plural number, it comprifeth other enterprifes 
of the like nature, as that of Barak and Jonathan againlt 
the Philiftines, with the vidtories of Afa and Jehofliaphat, 
in all which there was an eminent exercife of faith, as the 
llories of them declare. And thefe * aliens^ were thofe 
whom the fcripture calls {U2'>'\\') fir angers from and enemies 
to the church of God. 

§ II. It is added, * Women received their dead raifed 
* to life again.' Thefe women were, the widow of 
Zarephath^ whofe fon Elijah raifed from death, [I. Kings 
Xvii. 17 — 24.'] ^.nd the Shunamitefs^ whofe fon was raifed 
by Elillia, [11. Kings iv. 33 — 36.] And it is faid of 
them, that they received tht'ix children from the dead ; for 
in both places the prophets having raifed them from the 
dead, gave them into their mothers arms, who received 
them with joy and thankfulnefs. Their faith is not cx- 
preffed ; but refpeft is rather had to the faith of the pro- 
phHs, who obtained this miraculous operation by faith. 
However, at leafl one of them, the Shunamitefs, feems to 
have exercifed much faith in the whole matter. And it 
is faid, they received their dead, (s^ ui/occfjaoscug} out ofy 
or hy a refurredicyi. Thefe ten inftances did the apoftle 
choofe to give, out of the great things that had been done 
through faith, to aifuie the Hebrews, and us with them, 


Ver. 35-^37- EPISTLE TO THE HEBREWS. 143 

that there is nothing too hard or difficult for faith to 
cfFe£l, when it is fet on work and applied according to thp 
jnind of God. 

§ 12. We may now ohferve : 

1. There is nothing that can lie in the way of the 
accomplifhment of any of God's prornifes, but it is con* 
-querable by faith. Or, whatever difficulties any one may- 
have to confIi£l with in the difcharge of his duty, if he 
abide in faith, he Ihall in the end obtain the things pro- 
mi fed. 

2. Faith, that hath thus ' flopped the niouths of lions,* 
can reflrain, difappoint, and ftop the rage of the moil 
lavage oppreffors and perfecutors of the church. 

3. We ought to exercife faith about temporal mercies, 
as they are oftentimes received by it, and given on ac* 
count of it. 

Verses 35—37- 

* — and others were tortured, not accepting 
deliverance, that they might obtain a bet- 
ter resurrection. and others had trial of 
cruel mockings, and scourgings, yea, more- 
over, of bonds and imprisonment. they 
were stoned, they were sawn asunder, were 
tempted, were slain w^ith the sword ; they 
wandered about in sheep-skins and goat- 

^ I . Injiances of another nature. ^he -power of faith binder 
'various fufferlngs, § 2. Some were tortured to deaths 
§ 3. yet accepted not deliverance. § 4. The ground of 
their ficdfajlnefs. § 5. Others had trials of mockings^ 
fcourgingSy bonds, imprfonments. § 6. Stoned. § 7. Some 
were fawn af under, § 8. Tempted. § 9. Slain. § 10. 



Some wandered about, § il. meanly cloathed, § 12. and 
deji'itiite of friends. § 13. Obfervatlons, 

§ I. i~x E proceeds in the next place to inllances quite 
of another nature, and which were more immediately 
fuited to the condition of the Hebrews : for hearing of 
thefe great and glorious things, they might be apt to 
think that they were not fo immediately concerned in 
them. For their condition was poor, pcrfecuted, expofed 
to all evils, and death itfelf, for the profcffion of the 
gofpel. Their interefl therefore was to inquire what help 
from faith they might expeft in that condition ? What 
will faith do where men are to be oppreiTed, perfecuted, 
and flain ? To this he replies, that its power was great in 
preferving the fouls of believers under the greatefl fuffcr^ 
ings. There is as much glory to a fpiritual eye in the 
catalogue of the efFefts of faith which follow, as in that 
which went before. The church is no lefs beautiful and 
glorious when encompaffed and feemingly overwhelmed 
with all the evils and dreadful miferies here recounted, 
than when it is in the greateft peace and profperity. To 
look indeed only on the outfide of them, gives a terrible 
profpeft ; but to fee faith and love to God working effec- 
tually under them all ; to fee comforts retained, yea, con- 
folations abound, holinefs promoted, God glorified, the 
world condemned, the fouls of men profited, and at length 
triumphant over all ; tliis is beautiful and glorious. To 
do the greatefl: things, and to fuffcr the hardefl, is all one 
to faith. It is equally ready for both as God fhall call, 
and equally efFe£lual. Thefe things, as to ihtfc/h, differ 
nearly as heaven and hell, they are both alike to faith 
when duty calls. The apoftle takes mofl of thefe in- 
llances, if not all, from the time of the perfecution of the 
church under Antiochus, the king of Syria, in the days 
of the Maccabees. 

§2. * Others were tortured, not accepting deliverance, 
* that they might obtain a better refurreftion.' {EI'j^ttcc^ 
yiQ-^Yicruy) they were tortured \ critics have remarked, that 

Ver. 35—37- EPISTLE TO THE HEBREWS. 24^ 

(rj/x7r(%yov) tympanum, whence the word is formed, iigni- 
fies either an engine whereon thofe who were tortured were 
llretched out, as a ikln is flretched on the head of a drum; 
or the hijiruments iifed in beating them. So fome render 
the word, fiijilbiis muliati^ contufi, csefi ; but the word is 
frequently ufed to take away the lives of men by any kind 
of torture or tormenting pain, therefore the precife nota- 
tion of it from the original is not here fo much to be re-, 
garded : we have, therefore, rendered it properly, * were 

* tortured \* that is, to death. There is no doubt but the 
apoille hath refped herein to the ftory recorded in the iixtli 
and feventh chapters of the fecond book of Maccabees. 
For the words are a fummary of the things there afcribed 
to Eleazer, who was beaten to death when he had been 
perfuaded and allured to accept deliverance by tranfgref- 
ling the law. And the like refped may be had to the 
mother and her {qv&w fons, whOiC torments are there alfo 
recorded. There never was any greater inftance of the 
degeneracy of human nature to the image and likenefs of 
the devil than this, that fo many men have been found, 
even in high places of power — emperors, kings, judges, 
and priefts — who were not fatisfied to take away the lives 
of the true worfhippers of God by the fword, or fuch other 
ways as they flew the worft of malefactors, but invented 
all kinds of hellifh tortures whereby to deflroy them. But 
this alfo hath God feen good to permit, in that patience 
whereby he endures, v^ith much long-fufFering, the vef- 
fels of wrath that are thus fitted for deilrudion. * They 

* vjcre tortured;' that is, the utmoft that the devil and the 
world can reach unto, all the hell he hath to threaten his 
enemies with. But when he hath done his utmofl, it falls 
only on the body, it cannot reach the foul ; it is but of a 
lliort continuance, and gives afTurance of entering into a 
bleffed eternity. It can fhut out no divine confolatioii 
from the minds of them that fuffer ; a little precious faltli 
will carry believers viftorioufly through the worft of all. 

§ 3. The way whereby thofe who were tortured evi- 
denced their faith, was, that they * accepted not delive- 

* ranee i* that is, freedom from their tortures^ which was 



offered them in cafe they would forego their prcfeffion. 
This is exprelTly affirmed of Eleazer, and the feven bre- 
thren. Yea, they were not only offered to be freed from 
tortures and death, but to have great rewards and promo- 
tions, which they magnanimoufiy refufed. And it was 
not thus with them only, but alfo with all that have been 
tortured for religion. For the principal delign of the devil, 
in bringing them unto tortures, is^«rnot to flay their 
bodies thereby, though that he aims at in the next place, 
in cafe his firft defign fails, but — to deflroy their fouls. 
Unto Eleazer it was offered, that he fhould bring fiefh of 
his own providing to the place where he was to eat, and 
only make an appearance that he had eaten fwines liefh, 
which he refolutely and glorioufly refufed. It may be, this 
would by fome be efleemed a fmall matter, and fuch as, 
for the refufai whereof, wife men ought not to have un- 
dergone martyrdom by tortures. But the things wiiich 
are commanded or forbidden of God, are not to be 
efleemed by the matter of them, or what they are in them- 
felves, but by the authority of him that commands or for- 
bids them. The authority of God may be defpifcd in 
fmall tilings as well as in great ; and therefore God doth 
ordinarily choofe out arbitrary inflitutions for the trial of 
the church's faith. So the martyrs have in England died 
on account of the facrament of the Lord's fupper. And 
if we begin at any time to fuppofe that, to fave our lives, 
we may comply with fome Icffcr things (as it were bowing 
in the houfe of Rimmon) forbidden by Jehovah, both 
faith and profeilion are lofl. We know not what com- 
mand, what ordinance, what inflitution, what prohibi- 
tion, God will fingle out to be the means and fubje£l of 
our trial as to fufferings. If we are not equally ready to 
fuffer for cilery one, we fliail fuffer for none at all, [See 
Jam. ii. ic] 

§ 4. The ground of their fledfaftnefs in their profcllion, 
and under their tortures, was, ' that they might obtain a 
^ better refurrc£lion.' So one of the brethren in Macca- 
bees affirmed expreflly, that he ' endured thofe torments, 
' and death itfelf, in that he believed God would raife 
I * hiiy^ 


* him up at the lall day.' This, as the Syrlac has it, they 
were ' intent upon.' And this the apoflle calls a * better re*' 
*• furre£lion^^ not only in oppofition to the deliverance they 
rcfufed, but becaufe he intends that ' better refurre£lion,' 
which is to life ; for feeing all fliall rife again, only fome 
fliall to life, but fome to everlafting torments. 

§ 5. * Others had trial of cruel mockings and fcourg- 

* ings, yea, moreover of bonds and imprifonments.' It 
is of no ufe to fix the particulars mentioned to certain 
determinate perfons, as Jeremiah, or others : for feeing 
the apoftle hath left that undetermined, fo may we. Cer- 
tain it is, that there were in thofe days belieyers who, 
through faith, patiently and viftorioufly underwent thefe 
things. Of which it is faid, {tt-zI'jocv cXccfooy) they had 
trial ; (cxperti funtj they had experience of them, they 
really underwent them, and confequently their faith was 
tried Vf\t\\ them. (E.^ivay^Cjoy) of cruel mockings \ fuch as 
were caft on our Lord Jefus Chrift himfelf, [fee Matt. 
XX. 19. xxvii. 29.] ludibriuniy a mocking with reproach and 
contumely, or fcorn. Hence we have rendered it ' cruel 

* mockings.' The world is never more witty, nor doth 
more pleafe itfelf, than when it can invent reproachful 
names and pretended crimes to cafl upon fufFering be- 
lievers. Whereas the word is derived from {itcci^caj^ and 
that from ttocic) to play and mock childijhly, it may refpe£t 
the calumnious reproaches that oftentimes in the llreets 
are caft on fufFering profeiTors by the rude foolifh multi- 
tude, like the children that ran after Elifha mocking and 
fcofhng at him. And this is reckoned among * fevere 
^ fuiferings,' there being nothing more harfh to ingenuous 
minds, nor any thing almoft which they had not as wil- 
lingly undergo ; nor is there any thing that their adver- 
faries infii<ft on them with more pleafure and exaltation of 
mind. Afcckinga are perfecutors triumphs ; but thefe alfo 
faith will conquer. To thefe {^oicfjiyoov) fripcs are added, 
a fervile punilhment ufed towards vagabonds and the vilefl 
of men. Of the two laft ways of trial, viz. * bonds and 
' imprifonrnent,'' we have had fo full an expoftion in the 

Vol. IV. K k days 


days wherein we live, that they need no farther explica- 

§ 6. * They wxre floned.* This kind of death was 
peculiar to the Jews ; and, therefore, may not be mifap- 
f)lied to Naboth, [I. Kings xxxi. 13.] and Zechariah, 
[XL Chron. xxiv. 21.] This punifhment was appointed 
by law for blafphemers, idolaters, faife prophets, and the 
like prophaners of true religion only. But when the per- 
fecuting world grew to the height of impiety, it was ap- 
plied to thofe that were the true profeiTors of it. So the 
blood of the firfl Chriftian martyr was Ihed under the pre- 
tence of that litw, [A£ts vii.] and, indeed, the devil is 
♦ never more a devil,' than when he gets a pretence of 
God's weapons into his hands. 

§ 7. ' They were fawn a [under \ fome were fo, al- 
though their names and the particular fa6ts are not re- 
corded. A favage kind of torture, evidencing the malice 
of the devil, with the brutilli rage and madnefs of perfe- 

§ 8. * They were tempted;' the expreffion may denote 
- — either a dijiin^t kind of fufFering, by which we may 
gather how great a trial there is in temptations in a fuf- 
fering feafon, and v/hat vigour of faith is required to con- 
flid with them ; — or, the temptations wherewith they were 
urged by their perfecutors under their fufferings, and the 
threatenings of death to them. It is an efpecial promife 
of our Lord Jefus Chrift, that when perfecution cometh, 
•he will * keep his own from the hour and power of temp- 
* tation, [Rev. iii. 10.] 

§ 9. *They were flain with, the fword,' or died by the 
ilaughter of the fword ; the fword either of injuftice and. 
oppreliion in form of law, or of violence and force, 
[I.Kings xix. 10.] "Many have been beheaded for the 
tellimony of Jefus, [Rev. xx. 4.] 

Thus we fee that all forts of deaths have been confe- 
crated to the glory of God in the fufferings of the church. 
Chrift himfelf, the Amen and faithful witnefTes, was cru 
cified ; John the Baptiil, his forerunner, was beheaded ; 
Stephen, his iiril martyi, was iloned. 

§ 10. 

y£R..3^— 37- EPISTLE TO THE HEBREWS. 5^49 

§ 10. * They wandered about in flieep-flilns and good- 
* llcins.* (HcpisA^ov) they wandered about ; went from place 
to place without any fixed relidence or quiet habitation ; 
they were driven from their own houfes by law or vio- 
lence, fometimes flying from one city to another, fome- 
times forced to forfake them all, and betake themfelves to 
the wildernefs. The befl interpretation of this word and 
place is given us by the apollle in the inftance of himfelf, 
£1. Cor. iv. II. acfjccj^iJ^sv) we wander, we have no abiding 
place, but move up and down, as men altogether uncertain 
where to fix. 

§ 1 1. But it may be faid, that although they did thus 
go up and down, yet they travelled in good equipage \ no, 
they thus wandered * in Jheep-Jkins and goat JkinsJ* Their 
outward condition was poor, mean and contemptible j 
their cloathing was the unwr ought /kins of fheep and goats; 
nothing here is intimated^ of choice, as a tellimony of 
mortification, but necejjity \ they were poor men that 
wandered up and down in poor cloathing. So have the 
faints of God in fundry feafons been reduced to the utmofl 
extremities of poverty and want. And there is a fatisfac- 
tion in faith and obedience, there are fuch internal con- 
folations in that flate, as outbalance all the outward evils 
tliat may be undergone for the profeflion of them ; there 
is a future flate, there are eternal rewards and punifh- 
ments, which will fet all things right, to the glory of 
divine juilice, and the everlafting honour of the fuf- 

§ 12. ' Deilitute, afflifted, tormented.' (Ycr7--pj?pv3/) 
dejiitute ; Syriac and Vulgate, (egentcs, or indigcntes, pauper es) 
poor, needy, wanting. All good Latin interpreters render it 
by (dcjlituti) dejiitute, which word is by ufe mere fignili- 
cant in our language than any to the fame purpofe, for 
which caufe we have borrowed it from the Latin ; what 
I judge is moft particularly intended in this word; is 
* want of friends, and all means of relief from them ;' 
and this, as fome knew, is a fevere ingredient in fuf- 

K k a In 


In this condition they were 0Ki(ic^'-vci) affl'ulcd. The 
former word declares what was abfcnt^ what they had not, 
as to outward fupplies and comforts, this declares what 
was prefent with them, they were flreightened, or afRifted. 
Here the word fcems to have a peculiar refpe£l to the great 
Hreights they were brought into by the dangers that con- 
tinually prefTed on them ; this ftate was very ajflldive ; 
that is, grievous, prefTmg, and troublefome to their minds ; 
for when we are called to fufFer for the gofpel, it is the 
will of God that we fhould be fenfible of, and aiFefted 
with the evils we undergo, that the power of faith may be 
evident in the conqueft of them. 

It is added, that they were {K(ZKi^yj^iJiSvci) tormented \ 
properly (male habiti, or, mate vexati) not well entreated, 
which is the fignification of the word, and not * tor- 
* mented,* as we have rendered it. In this wandering 
condition they met with very ill treatment ; all forts of 
perfons took occalion to vex and prefs them with various 

§ 13. We may from the whole obferve ; 

I. Sufferings will flir us up to the exercife of faith on 
the mofl difficult obje6^s of it, and bring in the com- 
forts of them into our fouls. Faith of the refurreflioii 
hath been always moil eminent in prifons and under 

5>. There may be fufferings fufficient for the trial of 
the faith of the church, when the world is reflrained 
from blood and death. 

3. No inflrument of cruelty, no inventions of the 
devil or the world, no terrible preparations of death ; 
that is, no endeavours of the * gates of hell,' fliall ever 
prevail againfl the faith of God's ele£l. 

4. It is no fmall degree of fuffering, for men by law 
or violence to be driven from thofe places of their own 
habitation, which the providence of God, and all jull 
right among men, have allotted to them. 



Verse 38. 

of whom the world was not worthy ; they 
wandered in deserts, and in mountains, and 
in dens and caves of the earth. 

§ I. Connexion. § 2. The world zva^ mt worthy of them, 
§ 3. "Their ivandcr'ing Jlate of life farther dcfrihed, § 4, 

§ I. IVlEN ill this courfe of life might be looked on as 
the ' off-fcourings of all things,' and unmeet either for 
human converfe, or any of the good things of this world ; 
but rather to be efteemed as the beads of the field j thefe 
thoughts the apoille obviates. 

There are two things in thefe words ; — the chamber 
which the apoille gives to thefe fufferers ; * the world 
' was not worthy of them ;' and — the remainder of their 
faiFerings which he would reprefent ; * They wandered 
* in deferts,' he. 

§ 2. Their character is, that {0 xoa-^og) the world vi2i% 
not worthy of them ; by the * world' is underflood the 
inhabitants of it, in their interefts, defigns, ends, and 
a£lions ; their fuccelTes in them, and advantages by them, 
as they are oppofite to the true intereft of the church and 
people of God. In this fenfe the world in its power, 
pride, pomp, enjoyments, and the like, hath an high 
opinion of itfclf, as poiTeiTed of all that is delirable, def- 
pifing and hating them who are not in conjunction with. 
it in thefe things. 

And yet of this world it is faid, that [uov i^x, '/jv a-^^iog) 
of thefe fufferers it was not worthy. The world thinks them 
not worthy of it ; to live in it, or at leaft to enjoy any 
name or place among the men of it ; but they may efleem 
of it as they pleafe ; we know that this tellimony is true, 



and the world one day fhall confefs it to be fo. The 
delign of the apoflle is to obviate an objeftion, that thefe 
perfons were jujlly cafl out as not worthy of the fociety 
of mankind, which lie doth by a contrary alTertion, that 
the world was not worthy of them \ it was not worthy to 
have convey fe with them ; it is not worthy of thofe mercies 
and bleffings, which accompany this fort of perfons, where 
they have a quitt habitation. 

§ 3. Having given this chara^er of thefe poorfufferers, 
he proceeds to ilTue his account of their fufFerings in a 
farther defcription of that wandering courfe oj life which 
he had before afcribed to them ; (TrKavca^cVoi) they wan- 
dered, with an erratical motion, without any certain aim 
as to any place of reft ; they were before driven from cities, 
boroughs, towns corporate, and villages, partly by law, 
partly by force. What now remains for them but deferts, 
Iblitary, and uninhabited places ? By * de farts and unin- 

* habited mountains,' all know what is intended ; nor is 
there any need of any.exaft diftin£lion between * dens and 

* caves ^^ though poflibly one may lignify greater, the other 
'leffer fubterraneous receptacles ; but the common ufe of 
the firft word feems to denote fuch hollow places under 
ground as wild beafts have fheltered themfelves in from 
the purfuit of men. 

This was the ftate of thefe fervants of the living God, 
when they were driven from all inhabited places, they 
found no reft in deferts and mountains, but wandered up 
and down, taking up dens and caves for their fhelter. 
And inftances of the fame kind have been multiplied in 
the pagan and antichriftian perfecutions of the churches 
of the New Teftament ; but that no colour is hence given 
to an hermetical life by voluntary choice, much lefs to the 
horrible abufe of it under the papacy, is openly evident. 

§ 4. Hence ohferve ; 

I. Let the world think as well, as highly, as proudly 
of itfelf as it pleafeth, it is, when it perfecutes, bafe and 
unworthy of the fociety of true believers, and of the 
mercies wherewith it is accompliflied. 

2 2» God'« 

Ver. 39»40- EPISTLE TO THE HEBREWS, t^^ 

2. God*s elleem of his people is never the lefs for 
their outward fuiFerings and calamities, whatever the world 
judgeth of them. 

3. Oftentimes it is better, and more fafe for the faints 
of God, to be in the wildernefs among the beafls of the 
field, than in a favage world, inflamed by the devil into 
rage and perfecution. 

4. Though the world may prevail to drive the church. 
i[ito the wildernefs, to the ruin of all public profeffion ia 
their own apprehenfion, yet it fhall be there preferved 
to the appointed feafon of its deliverance ; the world Ihali 
never have the victory over it. 

5. It becomes us to be filled with thoughts of and 
afFe£lions to fpiritual things, to labour for an anticipation 
of glory, that we faint not in the confideration of the 
evils that may befall us on account of the gofpel. 

Verses 39, 40. 

and all these having obtained a good report 
through faith, received not the promise ; 
god having provided some better thing for 
us, that they without us should not be 
made perfect. 

§ I. The apojlles concluding remark^ and the fuhjeFt Jlaud, 
§ 2. (I.) Of whom he f peaks. § 3. (II.) What is af- 
firmed of them, § 4. (III.) What is denied concerning 
them, § 5—7. (IV.) The reafon of it. § 8, 9. Obfer^ 


§ I. An this clofe of the apoflle's difcourfe, which is an 
obfervatlon concerning all the inftances of the faith of 
believers under the Old Teftament, and his judgement con- 
cerning tliQir iliite, four tilings are coiiliderabk ; 

I. Who 


I. Who they are of whom he fpeaks ; * All thcfc.'' 
1. What he allows and afcribes to them j * They ob- 

* tallied a good report through faith.' 

3. "vVhat he yet denies to them ; ' They received not 

* the promife/ 

4. The rcafon of it : ^ God having provided,' &c. 

§ 2. (I.) Thofe ofvvhoQi be fpeaks in this ciofe of hls 
difcourfc, that they * obtained a good report through 
■ faith,' are the fame of whom he affirms in the beginning 
of it, [ver. 2.] for, of any di{lin£lion to be made between 
them, as fome would infinuate, there is not the leaft in- 
timation. It is faid expreilly of Abraham, Ifaac, and 
Jacob, that tacy ' received not the promifes,' [ver. 13.] 
as well as of thofe now mentioned. It is one thing to 
obtain (^c7ra,yycKLa.c) promifes, indefinitely, promifes of 
any fort, as fome are faid to do, [ver. 33*] and another 
to receive (r'/^y ciTcy.yyz7ACi,v^ that fignal fromife which was 
made to the fathers. Nothing can be more alien from 
the defign of the apoitle, than to apply the promife in- 
tended to /fw/>(jr«/ deliverance, and freedom from fufFering. 
Wherefore the ' all thefe' intended, are all thofe who 
have been reckoned up from the giving out of the firft 
promife concerning the Saviour and Redeemer of the 
church, with the deflruftion of the works of the devil. 

§ 3. (II.) Of all thefe it is affirmed, that they (^^«p-» 
']vpy}9svl-g oiO' ttio^sccc) obtained a good report through faith ; 
they were well teftified tmto ; they were God's martyrs, 
and he in a fenfe was theirs, giving zultnefs to their faith ; 
(fee the Expofition of ver. 2.) I'hat they were all of them 
fo teitified unto on account of their faith, we need no other 
teftimony but this of the apoftle ; yet is there no doubt 
but that in the feveral ages of the church wherein they 
lived, they were renowned for their faith and the fruits 
of it in what they did or fuffered. 

§ 4. (III.) What he denies concerning them, is, that 
they ' received not the promife ' It is affirmed of Abra- 
ham that he ' eceived the promife,' [ver. 17.] which 
promife is declared by the apofile to be the great funda- 
mental promife of the gofpel, [chap, vi. 13—18.] The 


Ver. 39>4^- EPISTLE TO TH§ HEBREWS. 255 

h.mQ which is the objcd of the faith of the church in all 
ages; wherefore the pro m i fe /or^^//y confidered muft in 
the one place be intended ; and in the other it is con- 
sidered materially as to the thing itfelf promifed. The 
promife, as a faithful engagement of future good, they re- 
ceived ; but the good thing itfelf was not in their days 
exhibited ; befides, whatever this promife be, the apoftle 
is poiitive that they did not receive it, but that the Chrif" 
tians m thofe days had received it. It is therefore not onlv 
untrue, and unfafe, but contrary to the fundamental prin- 
ciples of our religion, the faith of Chriftians in all ages, 
and the defign of the apoftle in this whole epiflle, to 
interpret this promife, as fome do, of any thing but the 
coming of Chrifl in the flefh, of his accomplifhment of 
the work of our redemption, with the unfpeakable privi- 
leges and advantages that the church hath received thereby. 
That this promife was made to the elders from the begin- 
ning of the world ; that it was not aftually accomplifhed 
to them, which was neceflarily confined to one fcafon, 
called ' the fuUnefs of time ; and that herein lies the 
great difference of the two ftates of the church, that under 
the Old TeftamCnt, and that under the New, vrith the 
prerogative of the latter above the former, are fuch Weighty 
iacred truths, that without an acknowledgement of them, 
no important do6lrine either of the Old Teflament or the 
New can be rightly underflood. This then was the flate 
of believers under the Old Tcflament ; they had the pro- 
mife of the exhibition of Chrift the Son of God in the 
flefli for the redemption of the church ; this promife they 
received, faw afar off as to its a£lual accomplifliment, 
VfftiL^ pcrfuaded of the truth of it, and embraced \X., [ver. 13.] 
the adual accomplitliment of it they defired, longed for, 
and looked after ; [Luke x. 24.] inquiring diligently 
into the grace of God contained therein, [I. Pet. i. 1 1 — 
13.] hereby they enjoyed the benefits of it even as wc, 
[Acts XV. II.] yet they received it not as to its actual 
accomplifliment, in the coming of Chrift ; and the reafon 
Jicreof the apoflle gives in the next veife. 

Vol. IV. LI § 5. 


§ 5. (IV.) ' God having provided/ &c. Having de- 
clared the victorious faith of behevers under the Old Tefta- 
ment, v^ith what it enabled them to do and fufFer, and 
given an account of their ftate, as t© the aftual accom- 
pliHiment of that promife which they lived on, and trufted 
to, the apoftle now compares that flate of theirs with that 
of believers under the gofpel, giving the pre-eminence to 
the latter, with the reafon of it. 

In the expoiition of thefe words, Schlictingius pro- 
ceeds on thefe principles ; that the promife intended 
[ver. 39.] is the' promife of eternal life; that under the 
Old Teftament, believers had no fuch promife, whatever 
hopes or conjectures they might have of it ; that both they 
and we at death, ceafe to be in foul and body until the 
refurreftion, none entering before into eternal life. — But, 
if fo, if when any one dies, he is nothing or as nothing ; 
if it is but one moment between death and the refurreClion, 
as he contends, the flate of the one is in nothing better 
than the other, although they fliould die thoufands of 
years one before another. But as all thefe things are open- 
ly falfe, and contrary to the chief principles of the Chriilian 
religion, fo they are utterly remote from the mind of the 
apoille, as we fhall fee in the expoiition of the words. 

Thofe of the church of Rome do hereby fancy a limhus^ ^ 
fubterraneous receptacle of fouls, wherein, they fay, the 
fpirits of believers under the Old Teftament were detained 
until after the refurreClion of Chrift, fo that * they with- 
• out us were not made perfect.' But the apoftle treats 
not here at all about the difference between one fort of 
men and another after death ; but of that which was be- 
tween them who lived under the Old Teftament church 
ilate, whiljl they livedo and thofe that live under and enjoy 
the privileges of the New, as is evident in the very reading 

§ 6. * God having (n ^0(^X1-]^ oi,^u)/>^) provided \ the 
word properly fignifies forefeelng ; but God's prav'ifion is 
his prov'ijion^ as being always accompanied with his pre- 
ordination ; his forelight with his decree. For known 
\intp him aye all his worKs frotn the foundation of the 


Ver. 39,40. EPISTLE TO THE HEBREWS. ^i,^ 

world, [A£ts XV. 1 8.] Now this provifion of God is the 
(oiKcyouoi' Toov KotiQCjoy) difpcnfation of the times, [Ephef. 
i. lO.] the ordering of the ilate, tiaies and feafons of the 
church, and the revelation of himfelf to it. ' Something 
' better \ that is, more excellent, a flatc above theirs, or 
all that is granted them. I fnppofe it ought to be out of 
queflion with all Chriflians, that it is the aBual exhibition 
of the Son of God in the flelh, the coming of the pro- 
niifed feed, with his accomplifhment of the work of re- 
demption, and all the privileges of the church, in light, 
grace, liberty, fpiritual worfhip, with boldnefs of accefs 
to God that enfued thereon, which is intended. For, 
were not thefe the things which they * received not' under 
the Old Teflament ? Were not thefe the things which 
were * promifed' from the beginning ; which were ex- 
pefted, longed for, and delired by all believers of old, who 
yet faw them only afar off, though through faith they 
were faved by virtue of them ? And are not thefe the 
things whereby the church Ilate of the gofpel was per^ 
feflcd\ the things alone wherein our Hate is better than 
theirs ? For, as to outward appearances of things, they 
had more glory, coftly ceremonies and fplendour in their 
worfliip, than is appointed in the Chriflian church ; and 
their worldly profperity was for a long feafon very great, 
much exceeding any thing that the Chriftian church did 
then enjoy. To deny, therefore, thefe to be the better 
things that God provided for us, is to overthrow the faith 
of the Old Teflament and the New. 

§ 7. * That they without us were not made perfeft.' — • 
Without us, is as much as without the things which are ac- 
tually exhibited to us, the things provide^l for us, and our 
participation of them. — They and we, though diftributed 
by divine provifion into diflin£l flates, yet, with refpe£t 
to the firfl promife, and the renovation of it to Abra- 
ham, are but one church, built on the fame foundation, 
and enlivened by the fame fpirit of grace. Wherefore, 
until we came into the church flate, they could not be 
made perfe^, feeing the church flate itfelf was not fo. — 
All the advantages of grace and mercy which they received 

hi 2. and 


and enjoyed, were by virtue of thofe better things, which 
are actually exhibited to iis ; thefe they applied by faith, 
and enjoyed nothing by virtue of any thing committed to 
thcmfelves. Wherefore, 

That which the apoftle affirms, is, that they never at- 
tained that perfed confummate fpiritual Hate which God 
had deligned and prepared for his church in the fuhiefs of 
times, and which they forefaw fliould be granted to others 
and not to tbemfelves, [I. Pet. i. i i — 13. See chap, vii.] 

I cannot but marvel that fo many have Humbled, aS" 
moft have done, in the expolition of thefe words, and in- 
volved themfelves in difficulties of their own devifing ; 
for they are a plain epitome of the whole doftrinal part of 
the epiftle ; fo as that no intelligent judicious perfon can 
avoid the fcnfe which they tender, unlefs they divert theiu 
minds from the whole fcope and defign of the apoftle. 
^ 8. And here we ohfcwc : 

1. It is our duty alfo, not only to believe that we may 
be juftified before God, but fo to evidence our faith by 
the fruits of it, as that we may obtain a good report, op 
be juftified before men. 

2. The difpofal of the ftates and times of the church, 
as to the communication of light, grace, and privileges, 
depends merely on the fovereign pleafure and will of God, 
and not on any merit or preparation in man. The com- 
ing of Chrift was as little deferved by the men of that age, 
as by thofe of any age from the foundation of the world. 

3. Though God gives more light and grace to the 
church in one feafon than another, yet in every feafon h« 
gives wliat is fufficient to guide believers in their faith and 
obedience to eternal life. 

4. It is the duty of believers, in every ftate of the 
church, to improve the fpiritual provifion that God hatU 
made for them ; always remembering, that to whom rnuch 
is given, much is required. 

§ 9. And to dole this chapter we riiay ohfcrve : 
I. God meafures out to all his people their portion iri 
fervtce, fufFcrings, privileges, and rewards, according to 
1ii5 own good pleafure. And therefore the apoftle ihuts 



up this difcourfe of the faith, obedience, fufferings, and 
fuccefles of the faints under the Old Teflament, with a 
declaration tliat God had yet provided more excellent 
things for his church, than any they were made partakers 
of. All he doth in this way, is of mere grace and boun- 
ty, and therefore he may diilribute thefe things as he 

2. It is Chrill alone who was to give, and could give 
perfeftion or confuramation to the church ; he was in all 
things to have the pre-eminence. 

3. All the outward glorious worfliip of the Old Tefta- 
ment had no perfe^flon in it ; and fo no glory compared to 
that which is brought in by the gofpel, [II. Cor. iii, 10. ] 

4. All perfection, all confummation is in Chriil alone; 
for in him dwelleth all the fulnefs of the Godhead bodily ; 
and we are complete in him who is the head of all princi- 
pality and power. 


Verse i. 

.wherefore seeing we also are compassed abo-ut 
with so great a cloud of w^itnesses, let us 
lay aside every weight, and the sin w^iiicil 
doth ^o easily beset us, and let us run with 
patience the race that is set before us. 

§ I . The dcjtgn of the chapter^ ayid the fever al -parts of it, 
§ 2. (I.) 'Their expofition. JVitneJJes, what here intended. 
§ 3. y^ cloud of them, what. § 4. The weight to be laid 
afidey what. § 5. How to be laid afide. § 6 — 8. The 
Jiri that eajilj heft* «j', y*'hat^ § 9. Hovd it may be laid 



afide. § 10. The duty hfelf of runn'mg the Chrijiian race, 
§11. Which IS fet before us, § 12. It requires Jirength 
andfpeed. § 1 3- Patieuce. § 14, 15. (II.) Obfer-. 

^ I. X HIS chapter contains an application of the doc- 
trine declared and coniirmed in the foregoing chapter. 
Dotlrine and ufe was the apoftle's method. There are 
three general parts of the chapter : 

1. A prelfing of the exhortation in hand from new addi- 
tional motives, [ver. i — 11.] 

2. A direction to fpecial duties^ necefTary to a due com- 
pliance with the general exhortation, [ver. 12 — 17.] 

3. A new cogent argument to the fame purpofe, taken 
from a comparifon between the two Hates of the law and 
gofpel to the end of the chapter. 

His whole difcourfe is exceedingly pregnant with argu- 
ments to the purpofe in hand. For it both declares what 
hath been the lot of true believers in all ages from the be- 
ginning, which none ought now to be furprifed with ; 
what was the way of their deportment fo as to pleafe God ; 
and what was the fuccefs or vidory which they obtained 
in the end. 

Concerning the paflage in hand we may obferve, that 
the whole of it \s figurative^ Confifling in fundry metaphors 
drawn from the comparifon of our patient abiding in the 
profeinon of the gofpel, and our contending for a prize. 
The expoiition of the words is not fo much to be taken 
from the precife lignification of them, as from \\iz matter 
plainly intended in them. 

§ 2. (I.) I Ihall open the words in the order wherein 
they lie in the text. The firfl thing is, the motive and 
encouragement given to our diligence in the duty exhorted 
to. * Seeing we alio are compafled about with fo great a 
* cloud of witnelTcs ;' we having lb great a cloud of wit- 
nelTes placed about us ; we, we alfo, or even we. The 
apoftle joins himfelf with thefe Hebrews, not only the 
better to iufiauate the exhortation mto their minds, by. 
> enga- 


engaging bimfelf with them, but alfo to intimate that the 
greatefl and llrongefl believers fland in need of this encou- 
ragement. — WitnelTes are of two forts : 

1. Such as behold the doing of any thing, and give their 
teftimony to it when it is done. For in the llriving and 
contefl in thefe pubHc games which are alluded to, there 
were multitudes, clouds of fpeftators, that ^!?/('^^o;z to en^ 
courage thofe that contended by their applaufes, and to 
teflify of their fuccefs. 

So is it with us in our patient perfeverance ; all the 
faints of the Old Tellament do, as it were, ftand looking 
on us in our ilriving, encouraging us to our duty, and 
ready to teftify to our fuccefs with their applaufes. They 
are all placed about us to this end ; and thus we are encom- 
pajfed with them. And they are fo in xh^ fcripture^ where- 
in they being dead, yet fee, and fpeak, and bear tefli- 
jnony. The fcripture hath encompajfed us with them, fo 
that when we are in our trials, wiiatever way we look ia 
it, we may behold the faces of fome or other of thefe 
worthies looking on, and encouraging us. 

2. But the intention of the apoflle may be better taken 
from his general fcope, which requireth that the witneffes 
be fuch as teftify to ivhat is to be done^ and the grounds of 
truth whereon it ought to be done. For he intends, efpe- 
cially the perfons whom he had before enumerated ; and 
that which they teftify to is this, that faith will carry be^ 
lievers fafely through all that they may be called to do or 
fuffer in the profeftion of the gofpel. They all jointly 
tejiify to thefe things, that it is beft for us to believe and 
obey God, whatever may befall us in our fo doing. 
Faith, w^here it is true and ftncere, will engage thofe in 
whom it is, to venture on the greateft hazards, dangers, 
and miferies in the world, rather than to forego their pron 
feffion, and it will fafely carry us through them all. 
Thofe who teftify thefe things are important witnefles in 
this caufe. Teftifyingto the folly of our fears, the falfe- 
nefs of all the fuggeftions of unbelief, and the fraud of 
Satan's temptations ; as alfo to the excellency of the du- 



ties wliercto we are called, and the certainty of ourfucceft 
in them through believing. 

And in this fenfe do I take the ikitnefjcs here intended, 
both becaufe of the fcope of the place, and that we know 
by experience of what kind of ufe this teftimony is. But 
if any think better of the former fenfe, I fhdl not oppofe 
it. For in the whole verfe the apoille doth, as it were, re- 
prefent believers in their profeflion, 2.?,Jhrjing for vitlory^ as 
upon a theatre. Chrift fits at the head of it, as the great 
j^gonothetcs^ the judge and rewarder of thofe that llrive law- 
fully, and acquit themfelves by perfeverance to the end. 
All the faints departed divinely teilified unto, {land on 
^very lide, looking on, and encouraging us in our courfe ; 
which was wont to be a mighty provocation to men, to 
put forth the utmoft of their flrength in the public con-- 
tells for vidory. Both thefe fenfes are confiiVent. 

§ 3. Of thefe witnefles, there is faid to be z cloudy ^ fo 
• great a cloud.^ A cloud in Hebrew is (nj^) a thick, per- 
plexed, or condenfed thing. God compares the fins of 
liis people to a cloud, and a thick cloud, becaufe of their 
multitude, the vapour of them being condenfed like a 
cloud, (Ifa. xliv. 22,] And in all authors, a thick body 
of men or foldiers compa<^ed together, is ufually called a 
cloud of them. So Homer, Iliad iv. (Aplcc os ir-^^og -iTrfjc^ 
TT^^ouv) with him followed a cloud of footmen* So LriVY, 
(Teditttm equltjimqjie nuhcs ;J a cloud of horfe and foot. 
Wherefore, ' fo great a cloud,' is, fo great a number, or 
multitude at once appearing together to witnefs in this 
caufe. What is done in the fcripture for our ufe, is im- 
mediately done to us ; and what is fpoken in It, is fpokeii 
to us, [fee vtT. 5.] 

§ 4. ' Let us lay alide every weight.' Thofe who 
were to run in a race, freed themfelves from all weight or 
burden ; and fuch things as might ejitangle them, as 
long garments, which, cleaving to them, fhould be their 
continual hindrance. * Laying a/idc,^ or as others render 
the word (cc7roo-^.y;cL) cajling avjay. The word is once 
ufed in the New Tellament with refpeft to a natural 
gftion, [Adls vii. 58.] * Tlic v/itnelFcs {<xT,i5cClo) hid 

2 JoiV^i 


* down — that is, put of and laid down — their cloaths;' 
which gives hght into the 7netaphof\ In all other places 
it is ufed with refped to vicious habits, or caufes of iin, 
which we are to part with, or caft away as hinderanccs, 
[See Ephef. iv. 22 — 25. Col. iii. 8. James i. a I. I. Pet, 
ii. I.] Let no man be confident in himfelf; he hath 
nothing of his own but will ohjiru^ him in the way of 
holy ordinances. Unlefs thefe things are depofed, we 
cannot run the race with fuccefs. 

That which \ve are fitft to lay afide, is (oyKov Truflu) 

* every siveightJ The exprelHon will fcarce allow, that 
this fliould be confined to any one thing, or to things of 
one kind. No more feems to be intended, but that we 
part with every thing, of what kind foever it be, which 
would hinder us in our race. And fo it is of the fame 
import with the great command oi fe If- denial, w^hich our 
Saviour gives in fo ftri£l charge to all who take on them 
the profeflion of the gofpel, as that without which they 
would not perfevere therein, [Matt. xvi. 2>3-> 34-] 

But becaufe there is another great gofpel- rule in the 
fame cafe, which retrains this felf denial to one fort of 
things, which the words feem to point to, and which alfo 
falls in with conftant experience, it may have here an ef- 
pecial regard. And this rule we may learn from the 
words of our Saviour alfo, [Matt. xix. 23, 24.] * Jefus 
*■ faid to his difciples, verily 1 fay unto you^ that a rich man 

* fhall hardly enter into the kingdom of heaven ;' and again, 

* I fay unto you, that it is eafier for a camel to go through 

* the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the 

* kingdom of God.' Nothing but the exceeding greatnefs 
of the pov/er of God, and his grace, can carry a rich 
man fafely, in a time of fuffering, to heaven and glory* 
And it is confirmed by the apoftle, (1. Tim. vi. 9, 10.) 

* They will be rich, fall into temptation and a fnare, and 

* into many foolifli and hurtful lufls, which dcown men 

* in de{lru£tion and perdition,' &c. The riches of this 
world, and the love pf them, are a peculiar obflrudi^n ta 
conflancy in the profeffion of the gofpel, oh ftiany ac- 

Vol. IV, M m counts 


counts. Thefe, therefore, feem to be a burden hindering 
ns in our race in an efpecial manner. 

And thefe things may be called ' a weighty^ not from 
their own nature, for they are as light as vanity ; but from 
the confequence of our fetting our hearts and affe£lions 
upon them. A man may burden himfelf with feathers 
or chait, as well as with things in themfelves more pon- 

§ 5. How is this zL'cight to be laid afide ? Suppofe the 
weight to be the good things of this life, with the engage- 
ment of our affections to them ; then this laying them 
kfide includes, 

1. A wiilingnefs, a readinefs, a refolution, if called 
thereto, to part with them cheerfully for the fake of Chrift 
and the gofpel ; fo was it with them who took joyfully 
the fpoiling of their goods. When this refolution is 
prevalent in the mind, the foul will be much eafed of the 
weight of thofe things, which would hinder it in its race. 
But.whiift our hearts cleave to them with an undue valu- 
:ation, whilil we cannot attain to a cheerful wiilingnefs 
-to have them taken from us, or to be taken ourfelves 
from them., for the fake of the gofpel, they will be an in- 
tolerable burden to us in our courfe. For hence will the 
mind difpute every dangerous duty ; hearken to every 
jfinful .contrivance for fafety ; be furprifed out of its own 
power by every appearing danger ; and to be difcompofcd 
in its frame on all occauons. Such a burden can no man 
carry in a race. 

2. Sedulous and daily mortification of our hearts and 
affeftions witli refpect to all things of this nature, is prin- 
cipally prefcribed to us in this command of * laying them 
' afide as a weight ;' this will take out of them whatever 
js rcallyburdenlbme to us. Mortification is tlie dilTolution 
of the conjun£lion, or league, that is between our affec- 
tions and earthly things, which alone gives them their 
weight and cumbrance. [See Col. iii. i — 5.]. Where 
this grace and duty are in their due exercife, thefe things 
cannot influence the mind into any diforder, nor make 
it unready for its- race, or unwieldy in it. 

3. Con* 


3. Continual obfervatlon of what difficulties and 
hinderances thele things are apt to cafl on our minds, 
either in our general courfe, or with refpeft to particular 
duties : they operate in our minds by love fear, care, 
delight, contrivance?, with a multitude of perplexing 
thoughts about them. Unleis we continually watch 
againft all thefe ways to obviate their infinuations, we 
lliall find them a w^eight and burden in all parts of our 
race. — In fliort ; faith, prayer, mortification, an high va- 
luation of things invifible and eternal ; a continual pre- 
ference of them to all things prefent and {qcu^ are enjoined 
in this expreffion — * laying afide every v/eight.* 

§ 6. The other thing to be laid afide is, (rViV o-uccDJiaA^ 
£V7TSDi(flalovj ' the fm that dothfo eafily hcfct us.* We may 
be fatisfied, that no bare confideration of the word, either 
as fimple, or in its compofition, or its ufe in other authors, 
will of itfelf give us the full and proper fignification of it 
in this place ; which is evident to me from hence, in that 
thofe who have made the moll diligent inquiry into it, 
and traced it through- all forms, are moft remote from 
agreeing what is, or Ihould be the precife fignification 
of it ; but clofe their difquifitions with various and op- 
pofite conjedures. 

I Ihall therefore attend to other fcripture diredions and 
rules in the fame cafe, with the experience of believers, 
who are exercifed in it, and the ufe of thofe other word§ 
with which the doubtful expreffion is joined. 

§ 7. The word (ocTToji^viUi) to lay ajidc^ is never ufed 
in fcripture with refpefl to that which is evil and finful, 
but w^ith regard to the original depravation of nature ; and 
the vicious habits wherein it confifts, with the effedls of 
tliem. And why it fhould have another intention here, 
feeing that it is not only fuited to the analogy of faith, 
but moll agreeable to the defign of the apoftJe, I knov/ 
not. And the truth is, the want of a due confideration 
of this one word, with its ufe, which expofitors have 
lijniverfally overlooked, hath occafioned many fruitlefs 
eonje£lures on the place. 

U Txi z Tilt 


The general nature of the evil to be laid alide, is ex- 
prefied by the article prefixed (T^v(x^.aflia,y) that Jin. Now 
this, if there be • nothing to limit it, is to be taken 
in its largefl, moft ufual, and molt eminent fignification. 
And that this is the original depravation of our natures, 
cannot be denied. So it is in an efpecial manner Hated, 
[Rom. vii.] where it is conilantly called by that name. 
And [verfe 17.] ' the fin that divellcth in me^ is of the 
fame force and figniiication with ' the fin that doth fo 
*■ eajily hefct us \ though all the allufions are various. — 
[See Rom. vii. 20, 23.] 

But I do not judge that qrlglnal fin is here abfolutely 
intended ; but only with refpeft to an efpecial way of ex- 
erting its efhcacy, and to a certain end ; namely, as it 
works by unbelief to obilrud us, and turn ns away from 
the profefTion of the gofpei. And fo the inflru£lion falls 
in with the rule given us in the lame cafe in other 
places of the epiflle, [as chap. iii. 12, ?>cc.] The fin^ 
therefore, intended is in-dwcUin^fin which, with refpedl to 
the profeilion of the gofpei, and permanency therein 
with patience, W'Orketh by mihelief^ whereby it expofeth 
ns to all forts of temptations, gives advantage to all 
weakening, difcouraging eonfiderations, flill aiming to 
make us faint, and at length to depart from the living 

Thefe things being fixed, it is all one whether we in- 
terpret (vjTTcOirP'tXiov) ' that W'hich doth eafily hefct u%^ 
it bt^ing in a readinefs always to do fo ; or, ' that which 
* doth ecfily expofe us to evil ;' which are the two fenfes 
of the word, with any probability, contended for. Both 
come to the fame. 

§ 8. This fjn is that which hath an eafy accefs to our 
minds to hinder us in our race, or doth eafily expofe us to 
danger, by the advantage it hath to thefe ends ; for, it is 
^l-jk>ays frefent with us, and fo is never wanting to any fa- 
vourable occafion. It Hands in need of no help from 
outward advantages to attempt our minds ; dwelling in 
Tis, abiding with us, cleaving to us, it is always ready to 
dogj to hinder and diflurb us. Doth any difficulty or 


Vep.-Tc epistle to the HEBREWS, 267 

danger appear in the way ? it is at hand to cry, * Sparc 

* thyfelf,' working by fear. Is any finful compliance 
propofed to us ? it is ready to argue for its embracement, 
working by carnal wifdom. Doth the wearinels of the 
fiefh decline perfeverance in neceiTary duties ? it wants 
not arguments to promote its inclinations, working by 
the difpofitions of remaining enmity and vanity. Doth 
the whole matter and caufe of our profeffion come into 
queftion, as \\\ a time of fevere perfecution ? it is ready 
to let all its engines on work for our ruin ; fear of dan- 
ger, love of things prefent, hopes of recovery, referves 
for a better feafon, the examples of others efleemed good 
and wife, Ihall all be put into the hands of unbelief, to 
be managed againil faith, patience, conftancy, and perfe- 
verance, and it hath a remaining interell in all the fa- 
culties of our fouls. 

§ 9. The laft inquiry is, how we may lay it afide, or 
put it from us ? One learned man thinks it a fufficient 
reafon to prove, that the hn of nature is not here in- 
tended, becaufe we cannot lay that alide, whilfc we are in 
this life. Eut I have Ihewed that the word {cc7roli9Y}u,i) 
is never ufed when a duty is enjoined by it, but it is with 
refpe£l to thh pn. Wherefore, 

1. We are to lay it afde abfolutely and univcrfally, as to 
dejign and endeavour. We cannot in this life attain to 
perfedVion in holinefs, yet this is what we are to endeavour 
ail the days of our lives, [II. Cor. vii. i.] * Let us 

* cleanfe ourfelves from all filthinefs of flelh and fpirit, 

* perfefting holinefs in the fear of God.' 

2. We ought adually to lay it aiide in fuch a meafure 
and degree, as that it may not be a prevalent hinderance 
to us, in any of the duties of Chriflian obedience ; for it 
may have various degrees of power and efficacy according 
as it is .negle6led or continually mortified ; and it often- 
times takes advantage by a conjunction with outward 
temptations to our unfpeakable prejudice. And if die 
inortiiication of it be negle6^ed in any one branch, or 
any of its exertions, if any one fm be indulged,-^ it will 



ruin all ftrength and refolution for fufFeriiigs on account 
of the gofpel. 

The way whereby it principally manifefts itfelf, is, 
by the clogs and hinderances, which it puts upon us in 
tlie conllant courfe of our obedience. Hence many 
think, that — whereas it is faid '- eafily to befet us' to our 
hinderance — an allufion is taken from a long garment, 
which it a man wear in the running of a race, it will 
hinder and entangle him, and foraetimes call him to the 
ground ; fo that, unlefs he call it away, he can have no 
luccefs in his race. 

§ 10. The laft thing expreiTed, is the duty itfelf di- 
re6ted and exhorted to ; ' Let us run with patience the 
*■ race that is fet before us.' What is the duty in general 
intended hath been fufficiently declared ; but whereas the 
terms wherein it is expreiTed, all but that word ' ivith 

* patience^ are metaphorical, they muft be opened. 

That with refpedl whereto we are exhorted, is (to/ 
ayyjvcc^ certamen) a ftnfe or confii^i. It is ufed for any 
thing, work, or exercife, about which there is a flriving 
and contending to the utmoft of men's abilities. Such as 
were ufed when men contended for mafcery and viftory 
in the Olympic games ; and fo it is applied to all earneil: 
fpiritual endeavours in any kind, [Phil. i. 30. Col. ii. i. 
1. Thef. ii. 2. I.Tim, vi. 12. II. Tim. iv. 7.] Here 
the {<z\\{^ of the word is reftrained to the particular in- 
ilance of a race^ becaufe we are enjoined to run it. But 
it ii; fuch a race as is for a vitJory, for our lives and fouls, 
wherein the utmoft of our ftrength and diligence is to 
be put forth. It is not merely curfus^ but certamen, 

I. It is a matter of great difficulty whereto the utmoft 
fxercife of our fpiritual ftrength is required ; contending 
with all our might muft be- in it ; without which all ex- 
pcclation of fuccefs in a race for maftery is vain and 
toolKh. Hence the apoftle prefcribes, as a means of it, 
that wc be * ftrong in the Lord, and in the power of his 

* might,' [Eph. vi. 10.] giving us his ov/n example in a 
Kioft eminent manner^ [I. Cor. ix. 24 — 27.] 

2. It 


2. It is fuch a race, as wherein there is the judge or 
([3QOii3cv]rig) the rewardey of them who overcome, even 
Chrift himfelf ; and there is the reward propofed, which, 
as the apoftle tells us, is an incorruptible crown of glory, 
and there are encouraging fpe£lators, even all the holy- 
angels above, and the church below. 

It being a race, it is of no advantage for any one to 
begin or make an entrance into it. Every one knows 
that all is loft in a race where a man doth not hold out 
to the end. 

§ II. This race is faid to be * fet before us.' It is 
not what we fall into by chance, it is not of our owa 
choice or proje£l ; and he that fets it before us is Chrift: 
himfelf, who calls us to faith and obedience. He hath 
determined what fhall be the way of obedience, limiting 
the bounds of it, and ordering the whole courfe with all 
the duties belonging to it. It is by him propofed to 
us, it is fet before us in the gofpel ; therein the declares 
its whole nature, and all the circumftances that belong to 
it. He gives us a full profpe£l of all the duties required 
in it, and all the difficulties we fliall meet with. He 
hides nothing from us, efpecially that of bearing the crofs, 
that our own entrance into it may be an acl of our own 
choice and judgement. Whatever, therefore, we meet 
with in it, we have no caufe of tergiverfation or com- 
plaint. This is what believers both reprove and refrejh 
themfelves with, when at any time they fall into tribu- 
lation for the gofpel. Why do I faint? Why do I recoil? 
Hath he deceived me, who calls me to follow him in obe- 
dience ? Did he hide any thing from me ? Did he not 
fet thefe tribulations before me, as part of the race that 
I was to run ? So they argue themfelves into an holy 
acquiefcency in his wifdom and will. Hence the apoftle 
affirms, that he did not fight micertainl)\ as men beating 
the air, becaufe he had an affured path and courfe fet be- 
fore him. *' This is that which Chrift hath appointed for 
me ; this is that which at my iirft call he propofed to 
we^ and fet before me," are foul quieting conliderations. 
2 § 12 


§ 12. Our whole evangelical obedience being com- 
pared to a race^ our performance of it is exprelTed by 
* running^ for which there are two things required — - 
Jtrength zndfpecd. And the things required to our Chrii- 
tian race are — -Jlrength in grace, and diligence with exer* 
cifc. The due performance of gofpel obedfence, efpeci- 
ally in the times of trial and temptation, is not a thing of 
courfe, is not to be attended in an ordinary manner ; 
fpiritual lliength put forth in our utmofl diligence is 

Seeing, therefore, that wc are called to this exercife, 
we Ihould greatly conlider the things which may enable 
us for it, that we may fo run as to obtain. But our 
weaknefs through our want of improveing the principles 
of fpiritual life, and our floth in the exercife of grace, 
for the moil part, cannot be fufficiently bewailed ; and I 
am fure they are inconliilent with tiiis apofboiic exhor- 

§ 13. * With patience.' Patience is either a quiet 
fubmifiive fuffering of evil things, or a quiet waiting for 
good things future with perfeverance and continuance, to 
the conqueft of tiie one, or the enjoyment of the other. 
He who fufFereth quietly, fubmilTively, with content and 
fatisfaftion, what he is called to fufFer for the pro- 
feffion of the gofpel, doth alfo quietly wait for the ac- 
complifhment of the promifes made to them who (o fuf- 
fer, which are great and many. The race is long, and 
of more than ordinary continuance. We fliali be fure 
to meet with difficulties, oppolitions, and temptations in 
this race ; thefe things will fohcit us to defift, and give 
over our race. With refpeft to them, all patience is pre- 
fcribed to us ; which when it hath its perfect work, will 
fecure us in them all. [See on chap, vi. 12 — 15.3 

^14. And as to our own inllrudion we we may hence 

I. We ave diligently to conlider our own concern- 
ment in all fcripture examples, and what we arc inl\ru£^ed 
by them. This inference the apoflle makes rrom the 
colle^lion he had before made to them. * Even v.-^e alfo." 

2, God 


2. God hatli not only niade provilion, but a plentiful 
prvvifion in the fcripture for the flrengthening of our faith, 
and our encouragement to duty. ' A cloud of witneffes.' 

3. It is an honour that God puts on his faints de- 
parted, efpecially fuch as fufFered and died for the truth, 
that even after their death they fhall be witnefTes to faith 
and obedience in all generations. They llili continue, 
in a fenfe, to be martyrs, bearing a noble tejliniony. 

4. To faint in our profeffion, whilfl we are encom- 
paffed with fuch a cloud of witnelTec, is a great aggrava- 
tion of our fin. 

§ 15. And we may ohferve i?ixi\\^x ; 

1. That the univerfal mortification of fin is the befl 
preparative, prefervative, and fecurity, for a fleady profef- 
fion in a time of trial. Whatever may be our purpofes, 
refolutions, and contrivances, if unmortiiied fin in any pre- 
valent degree, (as love of the world, fear of men, fenfual 
inclinations to make provilion for the flefh) abide in uf, 
we fhall never be able to hold out in our race to the end. 

2. Whereas the nature of this fin at fuch feafons is to 
work by unbelief towards a departure frorA the living 
God, or the relinquifhment of the gofpel, we ought to be 
continually on our watch againfl it ; and no fmall part 
of our fpiritual wifdom confifls in the difcovery of its 
deceitful working, which the apoflle gives us fevere cau- 
tions about, [chap, iii.] 

3. The reward propofed to be obtained at the end of 
this race, is every way worthy of all our pains, diligence, 
and patience. 

Vol. IV. N n Verse 





§ I. The dejtgn and connexion, § 2. Looking to 'J ejus ^ 
luhat, § 3. The author and finijher of faith, § 4. 
The joy^ what ; and how fet before him, § 5. His en^ 
during the crofs and defpijing the Jhame, § 6. The con-- 
fequent thereof § 7. Obfervations. 

§ I. A HE apDflle here rifeth to the highefl: encourage- 
ment, with refpeft to the fame duty, whereof we are 
capable. Hitherto he hath propofed to us their exam-» 
pie who had profeiTed the fame faith with ourfelves ;■ 
now, he propofeth him who is the * author and finifher' 
of that faith in us all. His perfon is propofed to us as 
a ground of hope and expe£lation ; whilft he is at the 
fame time an univerfal example of faith and obedience iii 
every kind. 

§ 2. The peculiar prefcribed manner of our refpe£l 
to him, is * L&oking to him ;' and being put in the prefent 
tenfe, a continual ad is intended. In all that we do in 
bur profeflion and obedience, we are conflantly to be look- 
ing to Chrift. ' Looking,^ in the fcripture, when it re- 
fpe6ts God or Chrift, denotes an a£l of fiith or trufi^ 
with hope and expectation. It is not a mere a£l of the 
imderftanding, in confideration of what we look on ; but 
it is an a6l of the whole foul in faith and trufl. [See Pfal. 
xxxiv. 4 — 6. Ifa. xlv. 22.) — Wherefore, the Lord Jefus 
is not propofed to us as a mere example to be coniidered, 
but as him alfo in whom we place our faith, trufV, and 
confidence, with all our expedation of fuccefs in our 

5 Clxriflia-n 


Chriftian courfe ; without this we fhall have no benefit 
by his example. And the word here ufed (^u'poooo'^sg) fo 
exprclTeth a looking to hirriy as to include a looking off from, 
all other things which might be difcouragements to us. 
Such are the oppofitions, perfecutions, mockings, evil ex- 
amples of apoflates, &c. Nothing will divert our minds 
from difcouraging views of thefe things, but faith and 
truft in Chrifl. Look not to thefe things in times of fuf- 
fering, but look to Chr'ijl, 

The name ' Jcfus' minds us of him as a Saviour and a 
fufFerer, the former by the fignification of it, [Matt. i» 
21.] the latter^ in that it was that name alone whereby he 
was known and called in all his fufferings. Look to hina 
as he was Jefus^ that is, both the only Saviour and the 
greateft fufferer, 

§ 3. ' The author and finifher of our faith.' He by 
his death and obedience procured this grace for us. It is 
given to us on his account, [Phil. i. 29.] And he -prayg 
that we may receive it, [John xvii. ig, 20.] and he works 
it in us, or bellows it on us by his Spirit, in the beginning 
and all the increafes of it, from iirft to laft. Hence his 
difciples prayed to him, * Lord mcreafe our faith,' [Luke 
xvii. 5.] 5o he is the authar or beginner of our faith, in 
the efficacious working of it in our hearts by bis Spirit ; and 
the finijher of it in all its effeils^ in liberty, peace, and 
joy i and all the fruits of it in obedience \ for * without 
* him we can do nothing.' Nor is it faith objeHlvely that 
the apoflle treats of, the faith that is revealed, but that 
which is in the hearts of believers. And he is faid to be 
the author and finifher oi the faith treated of in the fore- 
going chapter j in them that believed under the Old Tef- 
tament as well as in themfelves. 

§ 4. The next thing in the words is, the ground and 
reafon whereon Jefus did and fufFered the things, wherein 
he is propofed as our example for our encouragement ; and 
this was * for the joy that was fet before him.' 

The ambiguous fignification of the prepofition {avji) 
before, hath given occafion to a peculiar interpretation of 
the words. For mofl commonly it fignifies, in the flead 

N n a ^i 


of\ one thing for another. It denotes here \\\q final mov- 
ing caitfe in the mind of Jefus Chrifl, for the doing what 
he did. He did it on account of the joy that was fet be- 
fore him. 

Joy^ is taken for the things in which he rejoiced, and 
on the account of which he endured the crofs and defpifed 
the fhame, viz. the glory of God in the aceomphfhment 
of all the councils of divine wifdom and grace, and the 
falvation of all the eleft. Thefe were the two things that 
the mind of Chrifl valued above life, honour, reputation, 
and all that was dear to him. 

Hov/ was this joy fct before him ? By God the Father, 
th^ fovereign Lord of this whole affair. And refpeft may 
be had to the eternal conjlltutlon of God, the covenant of 
ledemption, between the Father and the Son ; all the 
promifes, prophecies, and predictions that were given out 
by divine revelation from the beginning of the world. 
•And his faith of its accomplifhment againfl oppofitions, 
and under all his fufFerings, is illuftrioufly exprefled, Ifa. 
1. 6—9. 

§ 5. 'He endured the crofs and defpifed the lliame.* 
Tain 2indijhame are the two conflituent parts of all outward 
fufferlngs ; and they were both eminent in the death of 
the crofs. No death more lingering, painful, and cruel ; 
Jione fo Ihameful, wherein he that fufFered was in his dy- 
ing hours expofed publicly to the fcorn, contempt, and in- 
fults of the worfl of men. * He endured it ; he patiently 
endured it, as the word fignifies. The invincible patience 
of our Lord Jefus Chrifl enduring the crofs, was mani- 
fcfled not only in the holy compofure of his foul in all 
his fufFerings to the lafl breath, expreffed by the prophet, 
[Ifa. liii. 7.] but in this alfo, that during his torments, 
being fo unjuflly, fo ungratefully, fo villainoufly dealt 
with by the Jews ; he neither reviled, reproached, nor 
threatened them with that vengeance and deflru^ion which 
it was in his power to bring upon them every moment ; 
but he pitied them, and prayed for them to the lafl, that 
if it were poffible their fin might be forgiven, [Luke xxiii. 
34. I. Pet. ii. 21 — 23.] Never was any fach example 


of patient enduring given in the world, before nor fince ; 
nor can any equal to it be given in human nature. To 
invincible patience he added heroic magnanimity ; {oiio-yjj^ 
v'/ig]cc1p^or/}a-ccg) * dcfplfing the Jhame^ ignominy, con- 
tempt ; it denotes fhame from reproach andfcorn, fuch as 
the Lord Jefus in his death was expofed to ; an ignQmin)r 
that the world, both Jews and Gentiles, long made ufe of 
to countenance themfelves in their unbelief. This he 
defpifed, that is, he did not faint becaufe of it ; he valued 
it not, in com.parifon of the blefTed and glorious eiFe£t of 
his fufFerings, which was always in hLs eye. 

The hie (fed frame of mind in our Lord Jefus in all his 
fufferings is that which the apoflle propofeth for our en- 
couragement^ and to our imitation. And it is that which 
contains the exercife of all grace, faith, love, fubmiilion 
to the will of God, zeal for his glory, and compaiTioii 
for the fouls of men in their highefl degree. 

§ 6. ' And is fet down at the right hand of the throne 
* of God ;' in equal authority, glory, and power with God, 
in the rule and government of all. For the meaning of 
the words, fee the Expofition on chap. i. 3. chap. viii. i. 

On the whole, we have an exa6l delineation of our 
Chriftian courfe in a time of perfecution ;— in the blef- 
fed example of it, the fufferings of Chrift ; — the alfured 
confcquent of it, eternal glory ; — in a direction for the 
right difcharge of our duty ; which is the exercife of 
faith on Chrift himfelf for alTiftance, as a fufferer and a 
Saviour. And how great is our encouragement from the joy 
and glory that are fet before us as the ilTue of ail I 

§ 7. Hence ohferve : 

1. The foundation of our ftability in faith and gofpel 
profeflion, in times of trial and fuffering, is a conftant 
looking to Chrift, with expeftation of aid and affiftance ; 
having encouraged us to our duty by his example. Nor 
Ihall we endure any longer than whilft the eye of our faith 
is fixed on him. From him alone do we derive our re- 
frefliments in all our trials. 

2. It is a mighty encouragement to conftancy and per- 
feverance in believing, that he in whom we believe is the 



aiUiior and finifher of our faith. He both begins it in us, 
and carries it on to perfection. 

3. The exercife of faith on Chrift, to enable us to' 
perfevere under difnculties and perfecutions, refpe£ls him 
as a SaiJiour and a fiffcrer, as the author and fini/Jjer of 
faith itfelf. 

4. Herein is the Lord Chrift our great example^ in that 
he was influenced in all he did and fuftered by a continual 
refpeft to the glory of God, and the falvation of the 
church. And, 

5. If we duly propofe thefe things to ourfelves in 
all our fufFerings, as they are fet before us in the fcripture, 
we fhall not faint under them, nor be weary of them. 

6. This manner of Chrifl's enduring the crofs ought 
to be continually before us, that we may glorify God in 
conformity thereto, according to the meafure of our at^ 
tainments, when we are called to fufFerings. If we can 
fee the beauty and glory of it, wc are fafe. 

7. li he went viflorioufiy through his fufFcring, we 
alfo may be vi£lorious through his aid, who is the author 
and finilher of our faith. And, 

8. We have the higheft inftance, that faith can con- 
quer both fear and fliame. Wherefore, 

9. We fnould neither think flrange of them, nor fear 
them on account of our profefiion of the gofpel, feeing 
the Lord Jcfus hath gone before in his conflidwith then'^ 
and conquell over them. 

Verse 3. 


% \. Toe fame argument continued, with a fpeclal improvement 
nf It, ^ 2. What we are cautioned about i agalrjji beipg 


Ver.> epistle to the HEBREWS. 277 

weary or faint, § 3, 4. T'he fufferln^ example of Chrifi. 
p-opofcd. § 5, 6. Obfervatmis» 

§ I. 1 HE apoflle carries on the fame argument, with 
refpe£t to an efpecial improvement of it in this verfe. 
(r^e) for, renders not a reafon af what was Ipoken be- 
fore, but denotes a progrefs to an efpecial motii^ to the 
duty exhorted to. Some copies read {hv) therefore, in a 
progrefUve exhortation. 

The pecuHar manner of the refpeft of faith to Chrif]b 
is exprelTed by {(zvccKoyKTUT^s) conftder, compare things by 
their due proportion one to another. Whereas mention 
is made of hhn who endured, and of what he endured, wc 
muft inquire where the emphafis h'es. If he fufFered, if 
he endured fuch things, why fhould not we do fo alfo ? 
For he was the Son of God, the author and finifher of our 
faith. Compute thus with yourfelves, that if he, though 
being fo great, fo excellent, fo infinitely exalted above us, 
yet endured fuch contradiction of linners, ought we not 
to do fo if called to it ? — Or elfe he calls us to the coniide- 
ration of what he fufFered in particular, as to the contra- 
diftion of finners ; fuch,yo great contradi£lion, by com- 
paring our own with them. And this fenfe the fallowing 
words incline to ; * for you have not yet refifled unto 

* blood,' as he did. 

But although thefe things are thus diftinguifhed, yet 
are they not to be divided, Both the pcrjon of Chrift, and 
what hefuffered, are propofed to our diJigent conlideration, 
and our impartial eflimate of them, with refped to our- 
ielves and our fufFe rings. 

§ 2. * Left ye be wearied ;' the wor4 [%miLV'^) %ni-^ 
£es to labour, fo as to bring on wearhiefs ; and to be fick^ 
which alfo is accompanied with wearinefs. The apoltle 
treating before of a race, he may eaiily be fuppofed to 
have refped to fuch as fainted therein through wearinefs. 
But the fenfe of the words is fully explained in Rev. ii. 3. 

* Thou haft borne, and haft patience, and for my nam.e's 

* fake ha'ft laboured, and haft not fainted.' To abide and 



perfevere in fufferlng and labour for the name of Chrift, 
is, ' not to faint,' or be wearied ; wherefore to be wea- 
ried in this cafe, is to be fo preffed and dlfcouraged with the 
greatnefs or length of difficulties and trials, as to draw- 
back, partially or totally, from the profeffion of the gof« 
pel. This I judge to be the frame of mind here caution- 
ed againll, viz. the want of life, vigour, and cheerfulnefs 
in profeffion, tending to a relinquilhment of it ; (tyj 'J^u- 
'X.VY} SKKvco-9aii animo defic'i et concidere) to have the flrength 
and vigour of the mind dilTolved, fo as to faint and fall ; 
and it confifls principally in a remiffion of the due adling 
of faith by all graces, and in all duties. It \% faith that 
ilirs up and engageth fpiritual courage, refolution, pati- 
ence, perfeverance, prayer, and all preferving graces and 
duties ; and on this failing our fpiritual llrength is dif- 
folved, and we wax weary. 

§ 3. And as to \\\s fufferings, he propofeth the confide- 
ration of them in one fpecial inilance, and therein every 
word is emphatical ; — It was emtradi£lion he underwent ; 
-—and it \^2iS fuch, or fo great, that it is not eafy to be 
apprehended ;— ^it was the contradiction of fnners ; — and 
it >vas againft himfef immediately. 

1. He endured contradic'Y ion. The word is u fed for any- 
kind of oppoiition in things as well as words, and fo may 
include the whole fuiferings of Chrift from men ; but no 
doubt the apoftle hath a peculiar refpedl to the revilings 
and reproaches which he underwent ; fuch as, * Let the 

* the king of Ifrael come down from the crofs, and wc 

* will believe ; he faved others, himfelf he cannot fave/ 

2. The apoftle intimates the fcverity and cruelty of 
thefe contradidions ; and herein he refers us to the whole 
flory of what was pail at his death. Such contradi£lion» 
fo bitter, fo fevere, fo cruel ; whatever the malicious wits 
of men, or fuggeflions of Satan, could invent or broach ; 
whatever was venemous and evil, was call upon him. 

3. It was the contradiftion o{ fnners ; that is, fuch as 
gave no bounds to their wrath and malice. But withal 
the apoflle feems to reflet on tkeni, as to \}si€\x fate and 

T^ con- 


condition : for it was the priefts, the fcribes and pharifees, 
who from firll to hll managed this contradiftion ; and 
thefe all boafled themfelves to be jull and righteous : but 
they deceived themfelves ; they wcvcjimiersy the worft of 

4. It was contradiftion againft himfclf immediately, 
and, as it were, to his face. There is an emphaJJs in that 
expreffion (cig sa^vrov) agalnjl himfelf in perfon ; fo they 
told him openly to his face, that he had a devil, that he 
was a feducer, &c. All this he patiently endured. 

§ 4. The confideration of the Lord Chrift's patient 
enduring thefe contradi(flions againfl himfelf, is propofed" 
as the means to prefcrve us from being ' weary and faint-^ 
* ing in our minds :' — by way of motive ;'for if he v/ho ia 
his own perfon was infinitely above all oppoiition of fin^ 
ners, as the apoftle flates the cafe, Phil. ii. 5 — 8. yet for 
our fakes would undergo all ; there is all the reafon ia 
the world why for his fake we fhould fubmit to our portion. 
in them. — By way o^ precedent and example ; as it is urged 
by Peter, I. Epift. ii. 21, 22. — By way oi deriving power 
from him ; for the due confideration of him herein will 
work a conformity in our minds and fouls to him in his 
fufFerings, which will afluredly preferve us from fainting. 

§ 5. Ohfcrve hence : 

1. Such tlimgs may befall us in the way of our pro- 
feflion, as are in themfelves apt to weary and burden us, 
fo as to folicit our minds to a relinquilhment of tliem. 

2. When we begin to be heartlefs, defponding, and 
weary of our fulTerings, it is a dangerous difpofition of 
mind, leaning towards a defe6lion from the gofpel. And 

3. We ought to watch againfl nothing more diligently, 
than the infenfible, gradual prevailing of fuch a frame, if 
we mean to be faithful to the end. 

4. If wc defign perfeverance in a time of trouble and 
perfecution, it is both our wifdom and our duty to keep 
up faith to a vigorous exercife ; the wain of this befpeaks 
a fainting in our minds. This is like the hands of Mofes 
in the battle againfl Amalek. 

§ 6. And we may farther ohfervc ; 
Vql. IV. O o I. That 


1. That the malicious contradi£lion of wicked priefts, 
fcribes, and pharifees, againfl the truth, and its profefTors, 
is peculiarly fuited to make them faint, if not oppofed by 
vigorous a<ftings of faith on Chrift, and a due confidera^ 
tion of his fuiferings in the fame kind. 

2. Whoever they are, that, by their contradiftions to 
the truth, and them that profefs it, ilir up perfecution, let 
them pretend what they will of righteoufnefs, they arc 
Jtnners^ and that to a very dangerous degree. 

3. If our minds grow weak, through a remifHon of the 
vigorous aftings of faith, in a time of great contradi£tioa 
to our profeffion, they will quickly grow weary y fo as to 
give over, if not timely recovered. 

4. The conilant conlideration oi Chr'ijl in his fufferings 
is the bed means to keep up faith to its due exercife in 2^ 
times of trial. 

Verse 4, 

ye have is'ot yet resisted unto bload strivinq 
against sin. 

§ I. Connexion of the words. § 2. The party to he oppofedy 
Jin. § '^.^ The way by refijllng and Jlriving, § 4, 5, 

% I. XXAVING propofed the great example of Jefus 
Chrili, and given dire£lions to the improvement of it, 
the apoflle proceeds to more general arguments for the 
confirmation of his exhortation to patience and perfeve- 
xance in times of fufFering. * You have not yet refilled 
* unto blood.* H. grants that they had met with many 
fufferings already ; but they had been fo rellrained, as 
not to proceed to life and blood. And he hath refpeft 
to what he had affirmed of their paft and prefent fuf- 

Ver.4. epistle to the HEBREWS. a8f 

ferings, chap. x. 32—34. (See the Expolitlon of the 

He intimates that they might yet expe£l * hlood.^ Two 
things are included ; firji, that thofe who are engaged in 
the profeffion of the gofpel, have no fecurity, but that 
they may be called to the utmoft and laft fufferings by 
blood on the account of it ; and, fecondly^ that whatever 
befalls us on this iide, blood is to be looked on as a fruit 
of divine tendernefs and mercy, 

§ 2. The party with whom their conteft was in what 
they fuitered, was — 'Jin' The apoftle Hill abides in his 
allujion to ftrife for vidory in public games ; therein every 
one had an adverfary whom he was to contend with ; fo 
have believers ; and it was not their perfecutors diredtly^ 
but Jin in them, that the apoille alludes to. But whereas 
fin is but an accident or quality, it cannot aft itfelf, but 
only in the Juhjefls wherein it is. When men perfecute 
the church, it is fm adling itfelf in malice, hatred of the 
truth, blind zeal, envy, and bloody cruelty, that enga- 
geth and ruleth them in all they do. With all thefe effe^i 
and fruits of fin in them believers contend. 

Again, they have a contefl with fin in themjelves. 

So the apoille Peter tells us, that flefhly lufts war againft 
the foul, [I. Epift. ii. 11.] They violently endeavour the; 
overthrow of our faith and obedience. 

§ 3. The way or manner of the oppofition to be made 
to fin, is by rejijting a.ndjirhhig. They are both military 
terms, expreffing fortitude of mind in refolving and exe- 
cuting. There is included a fuppofition of a vigorous 
and violent aflault, fuch as enemies make in battle. It is 
not a ludicrous contefl that we are called to, but it is for 
our lives a.ndJouis ; and our adverfary will fpare neither 
pains nor hazard to win them. Hence we are to crrm our- 
jelves^ to take to ourfeives the whole armour of God, to 
watchj to be flrong, to quit ourfeives like men. They 
are all included in the fenfe of thefe two words. 

§4. Andwemav objerve^ 
, I. That the proportioning of the degrees of fufferings, 
'and th^ difpofal of them as to times and feafons, is in the 

O o 2 hand 


hand of God. Some fhall fuffer in their goods and liber- 
ies, Ibme in their lives, fome at one tirne, fome at ano- 
ther, as it feems good to him. Let us therefore every one 
be contented with our prefent lot and portion in thefe 

2. It is highly dlfhono arable to faint in the caufe of 
Chrifl and the gofpel, under lefTer fuiferings, when we 
know there are greater to be undergone by ourfelves and 
others on the fame account. 

3. That Fignal diligence and watchfulnefs is required 
to our profeliion of the gofpel, confidering what enemy 
we have to conflict with. This is 7?;r in all the ways 
where :>y it a6ts its power and fubtilty, which are un- 

4. It is an honourable warfare to be engaged againfl 
fuch an enemy as iin is. This being the only contrariety 
that is to the nature and will of God himfeif, it is highly 
honourable to be engaged againfl it. 

5. Though tlie world cannot, or will not, yet Chrif- 
tians can diftinguifh betv/ecn relifling the authority of men, 
and the rciiilance o£ fii lurking under the cloak of that 

^5. I. There is no room for negligence or floth in 
this confii^l. 

2. They do but deceive themfelves, w^ho hope to pre- 
ferve their faith in times of trial, wnthout tlie utmofh 
watchful diligence againft the aiTaults and impreliions of 
Iin. Yea, 

3. The vigour of our minds in the conflant exercife of 
fpiritual ftrength is to this end required. 

4. Without this we fliall be furprifed, wounded, and 
at lafl deftroyed by our enemy. 

5. They that would abide faithful in their profeffion iti 
times of trial, ought conilantly to bear in mind, and be 
armed'^gtiinft the worft of evils. This will preferve them 
from being fhaken or furprifed wath thofe lefler evils 
w^hich may befall them, when things come not to an ex- 


Verse 5". 

and ye have forgotten the exhortation which 
speaketh unto you as unto children, my son, 
despise not thou the chastening of the 
lord, nor faint when thou art rebuked of him, 

§ I . 'The apoftle proceeds to a new argument^ that the affll^lons 
of the faithful are ch a fife merits. § 2. (I.) Explanation 
of the words. Te have forgotten the exhortation. § 2. 
Which fpeaketh as to children. § 4, 5. The exhortation 
'^if^lf' § ^> 7- (5I-) Obfervations, ' 

§ I. X HE apoftle in thefe words proceeds to a new* 
argument, whereby to prefs his exhortation to patience 
and perfeverance under fufferings^ from the nature and 
end, on the part of God, of all thofe fufferings ; for 
they are not only neceflary as tefiimonies to the truth, but 
they are chaftifcments wherein God hath a blefTed defign 
towards us. And this argument he enforceth with fundry 
conliderations, to the end of ver. 13. 

This multitudes have found by experience, that their 
outward preffing fufterings from the world have been puri- 
fying chaftifements from God to their fouls ; by them 
have they been awakened, revived, mortified to the world, 
and, as the apoftle exprefteth it, made partakers of the 
hohnefs of God, to their inexpreflible advantage and con* 
folation. And, 

Thereby doth God defeat the counfels and expeftations 
of the world, having a defign to accomplifh by their agency 
which they know nothing of; for thofe very reproaches, 
imprifonments, and ftripes, with the lofs of goods, and 
danger of their lives, which the world applies to their 
ruin, God at the fame time makes ufe of for their re- 
fining, confolation, and joy. In all thefe things is the 
tiivine wifdom and gQodnefs for ever to be admired. 



§ 2. (T.) ' And ye have forgotten the exhortation/ 
There is in the foregoing w^ords a tacit rebuke, that they 
were ready to faint under their lelTer trials ; the reafon, 
faith he, why you are fo ready to faint, is, becaufe you 
have not attended to the direction and encouragement 
provided for you. This indeed is the rife of all our mii- 
carriages, and it is the height of pride and ingratitude not 
to comply with God s entreaties. 

* You have forgotten ;' a thing we mind not when we 
ought, and as we ought, we may be juilly faid to have 
forgotten it ; whether by the exhortation we underftand 
the divine words themfelves, as recorded in fcripture, or 
the things exhorted to. — Note^ The want of a diligent 
coniideration of the provifion God hath made in fcripture 
for our encouragement to duty, and comfort under dif- 
ficulties, is a linful forgetfulnefs, and of dangerous con- 
fequence to our fouls. 

For ' whatfoever things were written aforetime, were 

* written for our learning, that we through patience and 

* comfort of the fcriptures might have hope,' [Rom. xv.4.] 

§ 3. ' Which fpeaketh unto you, as unto children.' 
The fcripture is not a dumb and filent letter ; it hath a 
voice in it, the voice of God himfelf ; and /peaking is 
frequently afcribed to it, [John vii. 42, &c.] And if we 
hear not the voice of God in it continually, it is becaufe 
of our unbeHef, [Heb. iii. 7 — 15.] The word which was 
fpoken fo long before by Solomon to the church in that 
generation, is faid to be fpoken to thefe Hebrews ; for 
the Holy Gholl is always prefent in the word, and fpeaks 
in it equally and alike to the church in all ages. He fpeaks 
as immediately to us as if we were the firft and only per- 
fons to whom he fpake. It argues, it pleads, it maintains 
a holy conference with us ; it prelTeth the mind and will 
of God upon us ; and we fhall find the force of its ar- 
guing if we keep it not off by our unbelief. 

What ijifinite condefcenfion is it in God, that he 
fpeaks unto us as unto, fons ! for whereas thefe words 
have refped to a time of trouble and chaflifement, it is of 
unfpeakabie concernment to us, to confider God under 



the relation of a Father, and that in them he fpeaks to us 
as unto fons. .The words originally fpoken by Solomon 
were fpoken by God himfelf \ * He fpeaks unto us as unto 
^ fons^ becaufe our gratuitous adoption is the foundation 
of God's gracious dealings with us ; and this, if any 
thing, is calculated to bind our minds, in the iirmefl 
manner, to a diligent compliance with this divine exhor- 
tation. Note ; Ufually, 

God gives the moil evident pledges of their adoption to 
believers, when in their fufferings, and under their afflic- 
tions ; then do they moft Hand in need of them, then do 
they mofl fet off the love and care of God towards us. 

* My fon,' is an application that a wife and tender 
father makes ufe of to reduce his child to confideration 
and compofure of mind, when he fees him nigh to dcf- 
pondency, under pain, licknefs, trouble, or the like ; ' My 

* fon, let it not be thus with thee.' God fees us under 
our afflictions and fufferings, ready to fall into difcompo- 
fures, with excefles of one kind or another ; and thereon 
applies himfelf to us, with this endearing expreffion, 

§ 4. * Defpife not thou the chafiening of the Lord.' 

* Defpife not thou^ that every individual perfon may con- 
ceive himfelf fpoken to in particular, and hear God 
fpeaking thefe words to him ; What is this chajlemng of 
the Lord ? The word [iraioiioi) is varioufly rendered ; 
dodr'ine, injiitution, corre^ilon^ chajiifcment, difcipUne ; and it 
is fuch corredlion as is ufed in the liberal, ingenuous 
education of children by their parents, [Ephef. vi. 4. J 
They are indeed God's chaflifcments of us, for our educa- 
tion and inllruftion in his family ; and if we duly con- 
fider them as fuch, applying ourfelves to learn what we 
are taught, we fhall pafs through them more to our ad- 
vantage than "ufually we do. 

That which we are cautioned againft, with refpeft to 
the Lord's chaftening, is (^^ri oXiycAj^si) that we defpife It 
7iot. The word is no where ufed in the fcripture but in 
this place ; it fignifies to fet lightly by, not to value any 
thing according to its worth and ufe ; and not to efteem 
them as we ought, not to improve them to their proper 
Z end ; 


end ; not to comply with the will of God in them, is, in^ 
Icrpretatively to defp'ife them ; wherefore, the evil cautioned 
jigainil, is, want of a due regard to divine admonitions 
and inilru£tions in our troubles, either through inad- 
vertency, or flout heartednefs. Note, It is a tender cafe 
to be under troubles and afflictions, which requires our 
iitmofl dihgence, w^atchfulnefs, and care about it ; God is 
in it, adling as a father and a teacher, if he be not duly- 
attended to, our lofs by them will be inexpreilible. 

§ 5. The next caution is, that we ' faint not when 
* we are {sX£y%ou.-voi) reproved \ for this is the next evil 
we are liable to under troubles and afPiidlions. — The 
word fignifies a reproof by rational conviulion \ the fame 
thing materially with chajiifement is intended ; but under 
this formal confideration, that there is in that challifement 
a convincing reproof, God, by difcovering to ourfelves our 
hearts and ways, it may be in things which we before took 
110 notice of, convinceth us of the necelTity of our trouble? 
and afflictions. He makes undcrftand, wherefore it is 
that he is difpleafed with us ; and what is our duty hereon 
is declared, Habak. ii. i — 4. Namely, to accept of his 
rcproof, to humble ourfeives before him, and to betake 
oiirrdvcs to the rlghteoufnefs of faith for relief. 

§ 6. We now ohferve ; 

1. It isf a bleifed efFeCl of divine wifdom that the fuf- 
fcrings we undergo from meji, for the profeiiion of the 
gofpel, Ihall be au'b chafrifemcnts of divine love for our 
fpiritual advantnge. 

2. The gofpel never requires our fuffering, but when, 
'^s wc fhall find if we examine ourfelves, we Hand in need 
of the divine chaftifemcnt. 

3. When by the wifdom of God we can difcern that 
what we fuftcr is, on the one hand, foi the glory of God 
and the gofpel ; and is, on the other, neceifary, , for our 
ov/n fanCtnicatioh, we Ihall be patient and perfevering. 

4. Where there is lincerity \\\ faith and obedience, let 
not men defpond when called to fuffer for the gofpel, 
feeing it is the deiign of God by thofe fufferings to purify 
and cleanfe them from their prefcrit evil frames. 


Ver.6. epistle to the HEBREWS. ©87 

§ 7. I. When God's chafiifements in our troubles and 
afili£lions are reproofs alfo j when he gives us a fenfe in 
them of his difpleafure againft our fins, and we are re- 
proved by him • yet even then he requires of us, that we 
Should not faint nor defpond, but cheerfully apply our- 
felves to his mind and calls. This is the hardeft cafe a 
believer can be exercifed with, when his troubles and 
afHidions are alfo in his own confcience reproofs for fin. 

2. A fenfe of God's difpleafure againft our fins, and 
of his reproving us for them, is confijicnt with an evidence 
of our adoption ; yea, may be itfelf an evidence of it, as 
the apoftle proves in the next verfes. 

3. The fum of inflruftion in this verfe is, that a due 
conlideration of this facred truth — that all our troubles, 
perfeciitions, and affiiflions are divine chafiifements and 
reproofs, whereby God evidenceth to us our adoption, 
and his i?iftrutling of us for our advantage — is an effectual 
means to preferve us in patience and pcrfeverance to the 
cud of our trials. 

Verse 6. 

fop. whom the lord loveth he chasteneth, 
and scourgeth every son whoxm pie receiveth^ 

§ I. The fame divine tejiimony continued. § 2. The firft part 
of the tejiimony explained by feveral inftru^ive particular s» 
§ 3. The fecond branch explained* §4. Obfervation, 

§ I. X HE apoflle proceeding with the divine teflimony, 
retaining the fenfe of the whole exactly, changeth the 
wfsrds in the latter claufe ; for inftead of, * and as a father 

* the fon in whom he delighteth,* with whom he is 
pleafed, he fupplies ' and fcourgeth every fon whom he 

* receiveth.' In the FrQverbs the words are exegeiical of 

Vol. IV. P p thofb 


thofe foregoing, by an allufioii to an earthly parent ; * For 

* whom txiQ Lord loveth he corredeth, even as a father 

* the fon in whom he delighteth.* In this text they are 
farther explanatory of what was before affirmed \ but the 
fenfe in both places is abfolutely the fame. 

This, faith he, is the way of God ; thus \t feems good to 
him to deal with his children ; thus he may do, becaufe 
of his fovereign dominion over all ; may not he do what 
he will with his own ? This he doth in infinite imfdomy 
for their good and advantage ; as alfo to evidence his love 
to them, and care of them. 

§ 2. In the iirfl part of the teftimony given to the 
fovereignty and wifdom of God, in the ways and me- 
thods of his dealings with his children, we are in- 

1. That love is antecedent to chaftening ; he challens 
whom he loves. The love, therefore, here intended, is 
the love of adoption ; that is, the love oi benevolence^ where- 
by he makes men his children, and his love of compla^ 
cence in them when they are lO. 

2. ChajTifing is an cffe^ of his love. It is not only 
confequential to, but fprings from it : wherefore, there 
is nothing properly penal in the chaflifements of believers. 
Funi/hment proceeds from love to juftice^ not from love- 
to the pcrfon puniflied ; but chaftifement is from love to 
the perfon chaftifed^ though mixed with difpleafure againil 

3. It is required in chaftifement, that the perfon be in a 
Hate wherein there is lin, or that he be a finner \ fo that 
lin fliould have an immediate influence to the chafiifementy 
as the meritorious caufe of it : for the end of it is, * to 

* take away fin,' to fubdue it, to mortify it^ to increafe 
holinefs. There is no chaftifement in heaven or in hell. 
Not in heaven, becaufe there is no fin ; not in hell, be- 
caufe there is no amendment. Chaftifement, therefore, 
is a companion of them that are ' in the way,' and of 
them on'y. 

4. Divine love and chaftening in this life are iyfepara^ 
Ik, * Whom he loveth \ that is, whomfoeve^ he loveth, 



* he chafleneth ;' none goes free. It is true, there are diffe- 
rent degrees and meafures of chaftifements, which compa- 
ratively makes fome feem to have none^ and fome to have 
nothing elfe. But abfoluteiy the divine {jtoci^zloc) injiru^ive 
chajiifement^ is extended to all the family of God, as we 
Ihall fee. 

5. Where chaftifement evidenceth itfelf not to be penal — 
as it doth many ways, with refpe£l to God the author of 
it, and thofe who are chaftifed — it is a broad feal fet to 
the patent of our adoption, which the apoftle proves in 
the following verfes. 

6. This being the way and manner of God's dealing 
with his children, there is all the reafon in the world why 
we fhould acquiefce in his fovereign wifdom therein, and 
not faint under his chaftifement. 

7. No particular perfon hath any reafon to complain 
of his portion in chaftifement, feeing this is the way of 
God's dealing with all hh children. [I. Pet. iv. 12. v. 9.] 

§ 3. The latter claufe of this divine teftimony, as ex- 
^refted by the apoftle — * and fcourgeth every fon whom 
< he receiveth' — being, as it is generally underftood, the 
fame with the former aflertion, expreffing fomewhat more 
earneftnefs, may feem to need no farther expolition, the 
fame truth being contained in the one and the other. But, 
I confefs, that in my judgement there is fomething pe^ 
cul'iar in it, which I fhall prqpofe, and leave to the 

The particle (Sc) and^ may rather be, etlam^ even, or 
alfo^ moreover, — The verb * fcourgeth,* argues at leaft a 
peculiar degree or meafure in chaftifement, above what is 
ordinary ; and it is never ufcd but to exprefs a high de- 
gree, of fufFering. A fcourging is the utmoji which is 
ufed in (tt^/^s/^) corretlive injlruflmu Wherefore the 
Utmoft that God in|ii£ls on any in this world is in- 
cluded in the expreffion. — (YlocQochyjloa) receiveth, accept- 
eth, owncth, avoweth ; the word whereby God declares his 
reft and acquiefcence in Chrift himfelf, [Efai. xlii. i.] fo 
that it includes an efpecial approbation. — (Yiccvjoc viov) every 
fon, is not to be taken univerfally, but is reftrained to 

P p 2 fuch 


fuch only as God doth Jo accept. I am, therefore, in- 
duced to judge this to be the meaning of the words, v'l'z, 

* yea, alfo, he feverely chajiifeth above the ordinary mea- 

* fure thofe fons whom he accepts, and peculiarly delights 

* in.* This gives a di{lin£l fenfe, and doth not make it a 
mere repetition ; and the truth contained herein is high- 
ly necelTary to the fupport and confolation of many of 
God's children. For when they are JtgnalizeJ by afflic- 
tion ; when all muft take notice that they are fcourgcd 
m a peculiar manner, and fuffer beyond the ordinary 
meafure of children, they are ready to defpond (as Job, 
and David, and Heman) and be utterly difcouraged. But 
a due apprehenfion of its being tlye way of God to give 
the fevereil: trials, exercifes, and fcourges to them whom 
he loves and peculiarly delights in, will make them lift up 
their heads and rejoice in all their tribulations. 

§ 4. Oaf. That in all our aiBidions, the reiignation oi 
ourfelves to the fovereign pleafure, infinite wifdom, and 
goodnefs of God, is the only means of preferving us from 
fainting, wearinefs, or negled of duty. After all our ar-=. 
guings, defires and pleas, this is what we mufl come to* 
[See Job xxxiii. 12, 13. xxxiv. 18, 19,23,31, 33. xlii, 

Verse 7. 


§ 1 . 7'o endure chajlcmng, what. § 2 . God*s cmdu^ towards 
his children fo enduring. § 3.. l^he propriety of chaftife^ 
mcnt from his paternal relation to them. § 4. Obferva-^ 

§ I, *XF (uTTij/y-ry-Ti) ye f;7^«r^ chailening ;* there is m 
the word a fuppofition, ' If you do comply with the ex- 
* hortation.' A mere Offering of things calamitous, which 

I is 


is common to mankind, is no evidence of a gracious re- 
ception with God. ' If you endure \ that is, with faith, 
fubmiirion, patience, and perfeverance, fo as not to faint* 

If, faith he, affliflions, trials, and troubles befaU you^ 
fuch as God fends for the chaftifement of his children, and 
you undergo them with patience and perfeverance ; if you 
faint not under them, nor defert your duty, then 

§ 2. * God {7rp<j(r(pc^zraL) dealeth w/V^ jow, as with fons ;* 
he offcreth himfelf unto you — not as an enemy, not as a 
judge, not as towards flrangers, but— as a father towards 
children. I think, that the rendering, he ' deakth with 
*• you^^ doth fcarce reach the import of the word. Now 
the meaning is not, that on their performance of this duty- 
God would a6l towards them * as fons,' for this he did 
in all their chaftifements themfelves, as the apoftle proves ; 
but rather hereby, * it will evidently a-ppear ^ even to your- 

* felves, that fo God deals with you, you fhall be able ia 

* all of them to fee the difcipline and adings of a father 

* towards his fons'. As fuch he will prefent himfcf to you. 

§ 3. ' For what fon is he whom the father chafleneth 

* not?' Think it not flrange, it is what neceffarily fol- 
lows the relation ; ' foi* what fon ?' The apoftle doth not 
take the allufion from matter of fac^, but of right and 
and duty ; for there are many, too many, fons that are 
never chaftifed of their fathers, which commonly ends in 
their ruin. But he fuppofeth two things : — That every 
fon will more or lefs ftand in need of chaftifement, and 
that every wiff , careful father will, in fuch cafes, chaften. 
his fon. Wherefore it is evident, that G(5d's chaften- 
ing of believers is his * dealing with them as fons.' 

§ 4. Hence obferve^ 

1, Affliftions or chaftifements are no pledges of our 
adoption, but when they are endured with patience. If 
it be otherwife with us, they are nothing but the tokens 
of anger and difpleafure; fo that, 

2. It is the internal frame of the heart and mind under 
chaftifements, that lets in a fenfe of God's gracious defign 
towards us in them. Otherwife, * no man knoweth love 
^ or hatred by alj that is before him \ no conclulion can 



be made one way or other, from our being affli£led. If 
our hearts tumultuate, repine, faint, and grow weary, no 
fenfe of paternal love can enter into them, until they are 
rebuked, and brought into compofure. 

3. This way of dealing becomes the relation between 
God and believers, as father and children, vi%» that he 
fliould challife, and they fhould bear it patiently. This 
males it evident, that there is fuch a relation between 

Verse 8. 

but if ye be without chastisement, whereof 
all are partakers, then are ye bastards, 
and not sons. 

§ I. The certainty of the rule. ^ 2. What implied In chaftlfe^ 
ment. § 3. ISio true fon exempted from it. § 4. 'Ihofs 
^'bo are not chajllfcd are hajlards, and not Jons, § ^. 
Jience the reafonahknefs of our not f aiming under them, 
§ 6. Ohfcrvations, 

^ I. X HE rule which the apollle hath laid down 
concerning chaftifements, as a neceflary infeparable ad- 
junct of that relation between father and fons, is fo cer- 
tain in nature and grace, that (as he now proceeds to 
diew) thofe who have no chaftifements are wo fons., no legi- 
timate children. 

§ 2. There is in the words a fuppofition of a * ilate 

* without challifement.' Take * chaftifemcnt' materially for 
«Yery thing that is grievous or affli£live, and no man is 
ahfolutcly without it. But comparatively.^ feme even in this 
fenfc are freed from chailifement. Such the pfalmift fpeaks 
of, ' There are no bands in their death, but their {Irengt.h. 

* is £?m i they are not in trouble as other men, neither 

* are 



* are they plagued like other men,' [Pfal. Ixxiii. 4, 5.] 
which he gives as a charadler of the vjorjl fort of men in 
the wcrld. 

But this is not the chajllfement here intended. We have 
{hewed -before, that it is an inJirutTiye corretJion ; and the 
defign of the place requires that fignification ; and this 
foine profeflbrs may be without. Whatever trouble they 
may meet with, yet they are not under divine chajllfements 
for their good. Yet the apoftle's deiign may reach far- 
ther, namely, to awaken them who were under troubles, 
but were not fenlible of their being divine chaftlfements \ 
and fo lofl all the benefit of them., fince without that they 
could have no evidence of their fcnjhlps. 

§ 3. To confirm his inference, the apoflle adds the 
fubftance of his rule, * whereof all are partakers.' The 
Syriac reads it : * Wherewith every man is chailifed ;' but 
it mufl be reflrained to fons. This therefore the apoflle 
is pofitive in, that it is altogether vain to look for fpiri- 
tual fonfhip without chaflifement. They who are fons 
are partakers of it, every one his own fhare. There is a 
general meafure of afflidions afTigned to the church, head 
and members, whereof every one is to receive his part, 
[Col. i. 84.] 

§ 4. The inference on this fuppofition is, that fucli 
perfons are * baflards, and not fons'. Their flate is ex- 
prelTed both pofitively and negatively, to give the greater 
tmphafis to the afTertion. Befides, if he had only faid, * ye 

* are baflards,' it would not have been fo evident that they 
were not fons, for baflards are fons alfo. But now he 
clearly fhews they are not fuch as have a right to the pa- 
ternal inheritance. Gifts they may have, and riches, be- 
llowed on them ; but they have no right of inheritance by 
virtue of their fonfhip, if without chaflifement. 

§ 5. Hence the great force and propriety of what is 
added, viz. th-aXv^tf/jould not faint under our trials and af- 
ili£lions. For if they are all fuch divine chaflifements, 
as without which we can have no evidence of our relation 
to God as a father ; yea, without a real participation of 
them, we can have no right to the eternal inheritance ■ it 




is at once unwife and wicked to be weary of them, or to 
faint under them. 

^ 6. And we may ohjerve hence : ; 

1. There are no fons of God, no real partakers of 
adoption, that are without feme croffes and chailifements 
in this world. They deceive themfelves who expe£t to 
live in God's family, and not to be under his chaftening 
difcipline. And this Ihould make every one of us very 
contented with our own lot and portion, whatever it be. 

2. It is an aft of fpiritual wifdom in all our troubles, 
to difcern divine paternal chaflifements, without which we 
Ihall never behave ourfelves well under them, nor obtain 
any advantage by them. 

3. There are in the viflble church, or among profef- 
fors, fame that have no right to the heavenly inheritance. 
They are hajlards ; fons that may have gifts and outward 
enjoyments, but they are not heirs. And this is a great 
evidence of it in any ; — that they are not chafiifed. They 
may be in trouble like other men, (for man is born to 
trouble as the fparks fly upward) but they are not fenfible 
of divine chaflifement in them ; they do not receive them, 
bear them, nor improve them as fuch. 

4. The joyous (late oi freedom from afflMon is fuch as 
we ought always to vjatch over with great diligence, left 
it fnould be a leaving us out of the family of God. I 
do not fay, on the other hand, that we may defire afflic- 
tions, bat we may pray, that we may not want any 
pledge of our adoption, leaving the ordering and difpo- 
ling of all things to the fovereign will and.pieafure of 



Verses 9, 10. 

moreover, we have had fathers of our fi^esh, 
who chastened os, and we gave them reve- 
rence ; shall we not much rather be in sub- 
jection to the father of spirits, and live? 
for they verily for a few days chastened 
us, after their own pleasure , but he for 
our profit, that we might be partakers of 
his holiness. 

§ I. The deft gn and nature of the argument. § 3, 4. (I.) 
Expofition. The fpedal end of divine chaftening, § 5. 
What God [requires of us under them ; fubjeaion. § 6. 
The confequent of this fuhjetlion. § 7. (II.) Obfervations, 

§ I. 1 HE defign of thefe words is, farther to evince 
the equity of the patient enduring divine chaflifement : 
which is done on fuch cogent principles of conviftion as 
cannot be avoided, and which are of two forts : — The 
firft is from the light of nature ; that children ought to 
obey their parents, and fubmit to them in all things :— 
The other is from the light of grace ; that there is an ayt- 
fiverable relation between God and believers, as is between 
natural parents and their children, though it be not of 
the fame nature. The whole ftrength of the argument 
depends on thefe undoubted principles. 

§ 2. (I.) ' We have h2iA fathers of our flejh: That 
learned man did but indulge his unbridled fancy, who 
would have thefe ' fathers' to be the teachers of the Jewijh 
churchy which, how they iliould come to be oppofed to 
the Father of fpirits, he (as might be expected) could not 
imagine. Thofc from whom we derive our flelh ' chajien- 
* ed us \ they had a right to do fo, and they did it * as 
^ feemed good to them,' It is not faid, they did it for their 
mere pleafure v>-ithcut refpeft to rule or equity, for it is 

Vol. IV. C2^q the 


the example of good parents that is intended. But thev 
did it according to xX\q.\y beji difcrction ; wherein they might 
fail, both as to the caufes and the meafure of chailife- 
ment. The exercife of this right is '■for a few days ;' ei- 
ther a few of our own days ; or it may refped the advantage 
which is to be obtained by fuch chaflifements, which is 
only the regulation of our affections for a little feafon, — 
And {•vflps7rous9cc) we gave them reverence ; an ingenuous, 
modeft fubmiffion, as oppofite to ftabbornnefs and fro- 
wardnefs. We w^ere kept in a proper dutiful temper of 
mind ; -we did not defert the family of our parents, nor 
g*ow weary of their difcipline, fo as to be difcouraged 
from our duty. 

§ 3. * Shall we not much rather be in fubje£lion to 
the Father of jYirits^^ of our fpirits ? So the oppofition re- 
quires ; the fathers of our flefb, and the father of ourjpl- 
rits ; the rational foul, which is immediately created and 
infufed, having no other father but God himfelf. [See 
Numb. xvi. 22. Zech. xii. i. Jer. xxxviii. 16.] I will 
not deny, but that the lignification of the word here may 
1)6 farther extended, fo as to comprife alfo the Hate and 
frame of our fpirits in their reftoration and rule, wherein 
alfo they are fubjc£l to God alone : but his being the 
immediate creator of them is primarily regarded. 

And this is the fundamental reafon of our patient fub« 
milTion to God in all cur afBiflions, that our very fouls 
are his, thp immediate produft of his divine power, and 
under his rule alone. May he not do what he will with 
his own ? Shall the potlberd contend with its maker ? 

His general end and deiign therein is our profit or ad- 
vantage. TJiis being once well £xed, takes off all dif- 
putes in this cale. Men in their chaflifements do at beft 
but conjecture at the event, and are no way able to effeft 
it. But what God defigns fhall infallibly come to pafs ; 
for he himfelf will accomplifh, and make the means of it 
certainly effeclual. 

§ 4. ' That we might be partakers of his holinefs.' 
I'he holhicfs of God is either that which he hath in him- 
felf, or that which he approves of, and req^uires in us. 



The firftis the infinite purity of the divine nature, which 
is abfolutely incommunicable ; neverthelefs, we may be 
faid to be partakers of it in a peculiar manner, by virtue 
of our interell in God, as God ; as alfo by the effefls of 
it in us, [Ephef. iv. 24.] as we are faid to be made * par- 

* takers of xX\^drjhu nature ^^ [11. Pet. i. 4.] which alfo is 
the holinefs of God in the latter fenfe, or that which he 
requires of us, and approves ia us. 

Whereas therefore holinefs confifts in the mortification 
of our lufts and afFedions, in the gradual renovation of 
our natures, and the fan£lification of our fouls ; th^ car- 
rying on and increafe of thefe things in us is what God 
defigns in all his chaflifements. And whereas next to 
our participation of Chrill, by the imputation of his 
righteoufnefs to us, this is the greateft privilege, glory, 
honour, and benefit, that in this world we can be made 
partakers of; we have no rcafon to be weary of God's 
chaflifements, which are defigned for fo valuable an ^wA, 

§ 5. That which is required of us as children is, that 
we ' be in fuhjedion to him, as unto the Father of fpirits^ 
This anfwers to the having our earthly parents in reve- 
rence before mentioned. The fame which the apoftlc 
Peter calls, ' humbling ourfelvcs under the mighty hand 

* of God,' [I. Pet. V. 6.] and there may be refpe£t to the 
difobedient fon under the law, who refufed to fubjeft 
himfeif to his parents, or to reform upon their correc- 
tion, [Deut. xxi. 18.] which I rather think, becaufe of 
the confequent affigned to it — * and live ;' whereas the 
refraftory fon was to be ftoned to death. And this fub- 
je^tion to God confifts in an acquiefcency in his right and 
fovereignty, to do what he will with his own ; an ac- 
knowledgement of his righteoufnefs and wifdom in all his 
dealings with us ; a fenfe of his care and love, with a due 
apprehenfion of the end of his chaflifements ; a diligent 
application of ourfelves to his mind and will, as to what 
he calls us to, in an efpecial manner at that feafon ; in 
keeping our fouls by faith and patience from wearinefs 
and defpondency ; and finally, in a full refignation of our- 
selves to his will, as to the matter, manner, times, and 

Q^<J 2 con^ 


continuance of our affii(^ion. And where thefe things 
are not in fome degree, we caft off the yoke of God, and 
are not in due fubje£lion to him ; which is the lands inha- 
bited by the fons of Behal. 

§ 6. Once more ; the confequent of this fubje£lion to 
God in our challifements is, that * we Ihall live ;' and fo 
we /hall live. Though in their own nature they feem to 
tend to death, or the deftru£lion of the fielh, yet it is for 
life they are deiigned ; which is the encouraging confe- 
quent, which y^«// be the infallible effeft of them ; [11. 
Cor. iv. 16 — 18.] the increafe of fpiritual life in this 
world, and eternal life in the world to come. The rebel- 
lious fon who would not fubmit himfelfto corre£tion was 
to die without mercy; but they who are in fubjeftion to 
God in his challifements, y??.?////^;^ here and hereafter. 

§ 7, (II.) And we may now obfcrve : 

1. As it is the duty of parents to challife their children, 
if need be, and of children to fubmit thereto ; fo it is 
good for us to have had the experience of a reverential 
fubmillion to paternal chaflifements, as from whence we 
may be convinced of the equity and necellity of fubmif- 
iion to God in all our afflictions. 

2. No man can undcritand the benefit of divine chaf- 
tifements, who underflands not the excellency of a par- 
ticipation of God's holinefs. No man can find any 
good in a bitter, potion, who underllands not the be- 
nefit of health. If we have not a due valuation of this 
blefied privilege, it is impoffible we fliould ever make a 
Tight judgement concerning our afflictions. 

3. If under chaftifements we find not an increafe of 
holinefs, in fome fpecial inftances or degrees, they are 
xitterly loft, we have nothing but the trouble and forrovv 
of them. 

4. There can be no greater pledge nor evidence of 
divine love in affliction, than this, that God defigns by 
them to make us partakers of his holinefs, to make us 
more like him. 



Verse ii. 

kow no chastening for the present seemeth 
to be joyous, but grievous ; nevertheless, 
afterward it yieldeth the peaceable fruit 
of righteousness unto them which are ex- 
ercised thereby. 

§ I. Connexion and defign . § 2. (I.) Expojttton. Affile- 
tion, not joyous but grievous. § 3. Chaftifement beneficial. 
Ityieldeththefruitofrighteouftiefs, § ^. Which is peace- 
able, § 5. 'iThe feafon of yielding fruit. §6. To whom » 
§ 7. (II.) Ohfervations. God's chaftifements will bs 
matter of for row to us. §8,9. Other obfervatlons. 

§ I. X HIS is the clofe of the apoflle's arguing about 
fufFerings and aftlidions, their ufe, and our duty in bear- 
ing them with patience. The fame argument he infilled 
upon, II. Cor. iv. 17. ' For our light affliftion, which 
is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding 
and eternal weight of glory. — The trouble and forrow 
wherewith chaftifement is accompanied he takes for 
granted, he will not contend about it ; but he takes off all 
its weight, by oppoiing to it the fuperlor benefit. 

§ 2. ' Now no chaftening, &c.' Hterally, ' but every 
* chaftifement at prefent feems not to be of joy ;' that is, 
none doth feem to be fo. Now ; not as an adverb of 
time, but as a note of attention. Every chafifement^ not 
any accepted ; For what is affirmed is of the very nature 
of chaftifements. If any thing evil befall a man, and it. 
be no ways dolorous to him, it may be a judgement, but 
it is not a chaftifement to him. For the prefent ; that is, 
whilft it is aftually on us, whilft we fufter under it, ef- 
pecially in its firft ingrefs and alTault ; whilft the wound 
they give to the fpirit is frefli, before it be moUified by 
faith and fubi?iilTion to God. 

2 It 


It feemeth fiot to be joyous, but grievous ; that is, what- 
ever be Ipoken of the good of challifement, it reprefents it- 
felf otherwife to us ; it appears with another face to us, 
and we cannot but make another judgement of it. The 
original IS, * it is not of joy, but of for row. ^ The apoftle 
fpeaks not of it here, as to its effc^s, but as to its na- 
ture ; and fo it belongs not to things joyous and pleafa.nt. 
It is not a fvveet concoction, but a bitter potion. It is in 
the nature of every chaftifement, to be a matter of for- 
low and grief at prefent to the chaflifed. 

§ 3. In the balance againft this matter of forrow in 
divine chaftifements, the apoflle lays down the advantage 
and benefit of it. * It yieldeth the peaceable fruit of righ- 

* teoufnefs.* It yieldeth fruit ; not it will do fo, but it doth 
fo. It is not a dead ufelefs thing. When God purgeth 
his vine, it is that it may * bear more fruit,' [John xv. 2.] 
Where he drefleth the ground, it fhall * bring forth herbs 

* meet for himfelf,' [Heb. vi. 8.] By this, therefore, 
Ihall the iniquity of Jacob be purged, and this is all the 
fruit, * to take away his fn,^ [Ifa. xxvii. 9.] 

This fruit is ' the fruit of right eoufnefs ;' that which righ- 
teoufnefs bears, or brings forth. Neither our doing nor 
our fufFering is the caife of our righteoufnefs, but they 
promote it in us, and increafe its fruit. Wherefore, by 

* righteoufnefs'' in this place, our fancliiication, or the inter ^ 
7ial principle of holinefs or obedience is intended ; and 
the fruits hereof are its increafe in the more vigorous 
^(Stings of all graces, and their eifeCls in all duties ; efpe- 
cially patience, fubmiflion to the will of God, weancdnefs 
from the world, mortification of fin, heavenly mindednefs, 
purity of heart, readinefs for the crofs, and the like, [Rom. 
V. 3 — 5. John XV. 2 — 4.] 

§ 4. This fruit of righteoufnefs whicli chaftifement 
yieldeth is alfo peaceable. * I'he work of righteoufnefs 

* (hall be peace;' [Ifa. xxxii. 17.] W'hen we are chaf- 
tened, and when thefe fruits are brought forth in us, they 
are a high evidence that God is at peace with us, and 
that he defigns our eternal good, [Rom. v. 3 — 5.] They 
bring in peace to our minds. Aifiictions arc apt to put 



39 f 

our minds into diforder ; our afFe£lions will tumultuate, 
and raife great contefts in our fouls ; but by thefe fruits 
of righteoufnefs our hearts are quieted, our minds com- 
pofed, all tumults allayed, and we are enabled to poiTefs 
our own fouls in patience. 

§ 5. liht feafon wherein they yield this fruit, is * after- 

* wards ;' that is, after we have been a little exercifed with 
them. This efFeft, it may be, doth not appear at firft ; 
w^e have their furprifal, as Job had, to conflidt with, which 
fufpends for a while the produftion of thefe fruits. They 
firft tend to fubdue the flefh, to root up weeds, thorns, 
and briars, to break up the ftubborn fallow-ground, and 
then to cherifh the feeds of righteoufnefs. 

§ 6. So it is added, * unto them which are exercifed 

* thereby.' The word here ufed fignifies an exercife with 
diligence and vehemence, there being an allufion in it ta 
thofe who ftripped themfelves naked, and fo put out all 
their ftrength in their public games, or conteft for maf- 
tery. Wherefore to be exercifed by chaftifement, is to 
have all our fpiritual ftrength, all our faith and patience, 
tried to the utmoft, and afted in all things fuitably to the 
mind and will of God. 

§ 7. Obf. (II.) When God defigneth any thing as a 
Ghaftifement, it is in vain to endeavour to keep off a fenfe 
of it ; it fhall be a matter of forrow to us. Men are apt 
in their trials to think it a point of courage and refolu- 
tion to keep off a fenfe of them, fo as not to be affeded 
■with grief about them. It is efteemed by fome a piece 
of pulillanimity to mourn, or to be affefted with forrow 
about them. It is true, indeed, fo far as they are from 
men, and fufferings for the gofpel, there is an heroic 
frame of fpirit required for undergoing them, fo that it 
may appear we are in nothing terrified by our adverfaries ^ 
but there can be no pufillanimity in us towards God. 
It is our duty to take in a deep fenfe of his rebukes ; and 
if he defigns any thing befalling us as a chajifement, it is 
in vain for us to contend, that it may not be a matter of 
forrow to us. For if it yet be not fo, it is but an en- 
trance into bis more feyere dealing wilh us. He will 



not ceafe till be hath broken the fiercenefs and tamed 
the pride of our fpirits, and have brought us, hke obe= 
dient children, to fubmit ourfelves under his mighty- 

§ 8. Obfcrve farther ; 

1. Not to take in a fenfe of forrow In affiiflion, 
through ftoutheartednefs, is to dcfpife the chaftening of 
the Lord, [ver. 5.] — The forrow intended which ac- 
companies challifcment, is that which the apoftle terms 
(KvTry] ys^Acc 0Js^, II. Cor. vii. 9.) ' Sorrow according 
* to God,' or after a godly fort ; it is not a wailing of 
the fiefh upon a fenfe of pain ; it is not the diforder of 
our affections upon their encounter with things grievous 
in their prefent fiiate of eafe ; it is not a heartlefs de- 
fpondency under our preiTures, enfeebling us for our duties \ 
but a filial fenfe of God's difpleafure, accom.panied with 
nature's averfation from things evil and grievous to it. 

2. The nature and end of afflldlions are not to be 
meafured by our prefent fenfe of them ; at prefent they 
are dolorous, but the great relief under what is grievous 
at prefcKt is, the due confederation of their end and ten- 
dency, as appointed of God. And, 

3. All the trouble of afHiiflions is butyir the prefent % 
at molt but for the little w^iile we are to continue in this 
world ; wnthin a very Ihort time we fhall leave them be- 
hind us for evermore. 

§ 9. I. Thofe w^ho cannot fee an excellency in the •. 
abounding of the fruits of righteoufnefs before defcribed, 
can never apprehend that there is either good or benefit 
in chafiiifements ; for this alone is that which the apoHle 
propofeth to anfwer all that is grievous or evil in them ; 
but thefe things believers value above life itfelf, and can 
eftcem well of every thing, be it never fo fharp to the 
fielh, that doth promote thefe fruits in our fouls. 

2. We can never ^Vid^ any benefit in chaftifements "un- 
lefs we are cxcrclfed by them ; that is, that all our graces 
are ftirred up by them to an holy, conftant exercife ; for 
hereby alone do they yield the peaceable fruit of righteouf^ 

3- It 


3. It is the fruit of righteoufnefs alone, that will bring 
119 peace ; give us a fenfe of peace with God, peace in 
ourfelves, and, as far as poillble, peace w^ith all others. 

4. Grace in afflidions will at length quietly conmpofe 
the mind under the florm raifed by them, and give it a 
peaceful reft. 

5. Herein lies the wifdom of faith in this matter^ not 
to pafs a judgement on chaftifement from the prefent 
fenfe we have of what is evil and dolorous in them, but 
from their end and ufe, which are bleiTed and glorious. 

Verses 12, i^, 


§ I. Introduction, § 2j 3. (I.) 'The feveral parts of the 
words explained. § 4 — 6. Making Jlraight paths for our 
feet, what. § 7. The enforcement of the duty. § 8, 9. 
(II.) Obfervations* 

^ I . In thefe verfes an entrance is made to the fecond 
part of the chapter, which is defigned for the application 
of the dodlrine concerning fufFerings, affliflions and chaf- 
tifements, before infifted on ; for the right underftanding 
of the mind of the Holy Ghoft in the words, we muft 
take notice, that there is a fuppojiiion included of fome 
failure in the Hebrews as to their courage and conftancy 
in fuffering ; at leaft that they were in great danger of it, 
and that it began to afFe£l the minds of many ; and 
perhaps greatly to prevail in fome among them ; this he 
.Vol. IV, R r had 


had iiifinuated before in the entrance of his difcourfe on 
this fubjeft, [ver. 3 — 5.] and now refumes it as the 
ground of his addrefs. 

That part of the exhortation which is contained in 
ver. 12. is taken from Ifaiah xxxv. 3. and the way of 
its propofal is in continued metaphors^ in anfwer to the 
firft prefcription of duty which ^vas to run a race, or drive 
for a vidlory, [ver. i.] Wherefore, the exhortation is ap- 
plied to thofe parts of the body which are of principal 
ufe in the gymnaflic exercifes, vi%. the hands, the knees, 
and thtfeet, whereby the body putteth forth all its ilrength, 
to obtain the prize ; the hands and knees being the prin- 
cipal feat of ilrength and activity. 

§ 2. (I.) * Lift up the hands that hang down ;' 
(iraoHiL-vag) weakened and dijjohed in their Ilrength, whence 
of courfe they hang down ; which is an evidence of 
being %veary, faint, unready, and on the point of giving 
over. — •* And they^^Z'/V knees \ {TTOcQocT^sXv^svoi, foluta, d'lf- 
foluta, labantlaj debilitated, weak, whofe nervous vigour 
is diffolved ; fo in great weaknefs, fear and defpondency, 
the knees are faid to fmite together, [Nahuin ii. 10. Dan. 
V. 6.] 

In both expreilions we have a defcription of a man 
heartlcfs, or Jlothful, or fo faint in running a race, as to 
be ready to cail off all hopes of fuccefs, and to give over. 

§ 3. It is the fame kind of diflemper which affedls 
thefe feveral parts ; and- therefore the apoille prefcribes 
the fame remedy to both ; {ocvo'o^ooQ-aii, furripite, erigite) 
ra'ife them up to a due llate and poilure ; fet them right 
?gain ; apply them to their duty ; fo in the cure of the 
woman who had the infirmity, wherewith flie was bowed 
down, we render the f.rr.e word ' made firaight^ [Luke 
xiii. 13.] or ?//)r/o-/^/ again. 

Wherefore the fpiritual {zw{^ of the words, or mean- 
ing of the fimilltudcs, is plain, and there is no necefiity 
to make a diflribution of parts, as to what is particularly 
and feparately intended by the hands and knees ; for by the 
fame kind of defedl in both, the fault of the whole is de- 
fcribed ; which is fuch a decay in Chriftian courage and 


Ver. 1-2, 13. EPISTLE TO THE HEBREWS. 305 

refolotlon, as brings along with it a great weaknefs and 
unreadinefs for duty ; proceeding from a defpondency ss 
to fuccefs, and wearinefs of duty ; in them do our hand^ 
hang down, and our knees grow feeble. 

§ 4. * And make llraight paths for your feet.' — The 
firfl part of the exhortation concerned the inivard frame of 
eur minds ; that which now follows looks to our ways^ 
walking, and converfation with refpef5l to others ; accord- 
ing as our path is, right and ftraight, or crooked and 
"uneven, fo will our courfe be. It is therefore highly- 
incumbent on us to look well to the paths wherein we 
are going. 

The diredion feems to be taken from Prov. iv. 26. 

* Ponder the path of thy feet, and let all thy ways be 

* eftabliflied ;' or rather, ' all thy ways (hall be ordered 

* aright ;' which is the fenfe of this place. 

In order to difcover the duty here prefcribed, we muft 
conlider ; — What are the paths of our feet ; and — How 
we are to make them ftraight. 

§ 5. (TDOxia,g) Our paths ; the original word fignifies 
{tmv TiJoyjjQV K(Xpcy.^ig) the mark made by wheels ; fo though 
it be taken for (femltaj a path, yet it is (orh'ita) fuch a 
path as is marked out for others, that leaves a track that 
may be followed. 

Our obedience to God is called our walking before him, 
[Gen. xvii. i.] The firfl divine teflimony given to any 
man was with refpe£l to his faith in facrifice, [Gen. iv. 
4.] expreiling the atonement to be made by Chrifl ; and 
the fecond was to obedience under the name of walking 
with God; ' Enoch walked with God,' [Gtn^ v. 24.] 
in thefe two, thus exemplified from the beginning, faith 
and obedience, doth the life of God in the church confifl ; 
and every one's courfe of aflions, with refpe£l to God 
and his will, are his paths. 

The path of our obedience may be confidered, either 
objedively, denoting the will of God revealed to us ; the 
canon or rule which we are to walk by ; in which fenfe 
the path of all men is one and^the fame ; abfolutely and 
perfectly ftraight in itfeif ; or, it may be confidered fub- 

R r 2 jcfiivelyy 


je^ively, with refpeft to them that walk in it ; and fo 
there are degrees of ilraightnefs ; men may cojttinue in. 
it, yet fall varioufly as to its univerfal reftitude. So 
Peter and others with him did not (op^07ro^.-/y, Gal. ii. 
14.] walk with a right foot ; they continued in the path ot 
gofpel truth, but they fiumbled in it, they warped in one 
inftance from it. 

§ 6. And hereby we may underfland what is here en- 
joined by way of duty, vl%. to make thefe paths llraight. 
For there are two things herein ; 

1. That we walk uprightly in the paths of obedience; 
then are our paths fralght when we walk uprightly in the 
paths of God. And as this refpefts our univerfal obedi- 
ence ; fo, I doubt not, but regard is bad to halting, or 
taking fome crooked Heps in profeffion during trial ; de- 
ferting of church aflemblies, forbearing of fundry neceflary 
duties, irregular compliance with the Jews in their wor- 
Ihip ; though they utterly forfook not the path of the 
gofpel, yet they walked not in it with a right foot ; they 
failed in the way, though they fell not from it ; thefe 
things the apoftle would have re^^ified. 

2. That we walk vlfihly in thefe paths ; this is in- 
cluded both in the fignification of the original word 
(imyjcci) paths, and in the precept, to make our paths 
pralght. And this is neceflary to the end of preferving 
others from being turned out of the way, or their reco- 
very from their w^andering. 

Therefore, the duties efpecially intended in this precept, 
are courage, refokition, conf!:ancy in profeflion, with a 
diligent watch againft all crooked compliances, or fearful 
relinquifliment of duties. 

§ 7. The enforcement of the duty required, is, ' lefl 

* that which is lame be turned out of the way ; but let it 

* rather be healed/ — He that is lame can make but flow 
progrefs, and is often ready by his halting to ftumble out 
of the way. Lamenefs^ therefore, is fome defedt that is 
diftinguillud from external hinderances, and from mere 
faintir.g or wearinefs, (whereof the apoille had fpoken 
before, and which may befall them that are not lame) 


Ver. 12, 13. EPISTLE TO THE HEBREWS. 307 

which obftru^s men in their progrefs, and makes them 
be eafily turned out of the way ; befides, it indndcs an 
imvard difeafe in particular, whence the apollle fays, it is 
to be healed. 

§ 8. Hence ohferve ; 

I. Defpondency and wearinefs are the great evils which, 
in all our fufFerings and affiiftions, we are with all at- 
tention of mind to watch againft ; this is the way whereby 
multitudes have entered into fcandalous backflidings, and 
many into curfed apoftacies. — We do well to pity others 
who are weary and fainting in their courage, and under 
their burdens, for they have fpent all their Arength, and 
have no way of fupply -, but we are to be no way gentle 
towards ourfelves in our fpiritual wearinefs and decays, 
becaufe we have continual fupplics of lirength ready for 
us, if we ufe them in a due manner. [See Ifa. xl. 28 — 


2. We ought to confirm our minds againft all dif- 
couragements and defpondencies, by the confideration of 
God's defign in all our fufFerings and afflidions, and the 
blelTed fuccefs with which he will crown them. 

3. The recovery of this frame, or the reftoration of 
our fpiritual ' hands and knees' to their former vigour, 
is by ftirring up all grace to its due exercife, which is 
torpid and defponding under this flothful frame. 

4. It is our duty not only to be found in the ways of 
God in general, but to take care that we walk carefully, 
circumfpeftly, uprightly, and diligently in them. It is a 
fad thing when fome men's walk in the ways of God 
Ihall deter others from them, or turn them out. 

5. To make halts or baulks in our way of profeffion ; 
or our paths being crooked in the negleft of duty ; or 
daftardly compliances with the world in time of trials 
and perfecution, is an evidence of an evil frame of heart, 
and of a dangerous ftate and condition. 

6. Sundry difeafes, weakneiTes, and lameneflfes are apt 
to befall the flock of God. Thefc he promifeth himfelf 
to be tender towards, and to heal, as he feverally threatens 



thofe fliepherds by whom they are negle£led ; [Ezek. 
xxxiv. 4, Stc] 

§ 9. And the feiife of the words may be included in 
the enluing obfervations : 

1. An hefitation or doubtfuhiefs about important doc- 
trines of truth will make men lame and weak in their 
profeilion. And 

2. Thofe who are fo, are difpofed to a total defe£tioi\ 
from the truth, and are ready on all occalions to go out 
of the way. Alfo in general, 

3. Every vicious habit of mind, every defe£l in light 
or negled of duty, every want of llirring up grace to ex- 
crcife, will make men lame and halt in their profeffion, 
and eafy to be turned aiide by difficuhies and oppolitions. 

4. When we fee perfons in fuch a {late, it is our duty 
to be very careful fo to behave ourfelves, as not to give 
any occalion to their farther mifcarriages, but rather en- 
deavour their healing. 

5. The beft way whereby this may be done, is by ma- 
king vifible and plain to them our own faith, refolution, 
courage, and conftancy, in a way of obedience becoming 
the gofpel. Hereby we lliall both excite them to, and 
direft them in their duty. For, 

6. The negligent walking of thofe profefTors, who arc 
found in the faith, their weaknefs a.nd pulillanimity in 
times of trial, their want of making ftraight paths to 
their feet in vifible holinefs, is a great means of turning 
afide thofe that are lame, v/eak, and halting. 

7. It is good to deal with, and endeavour the healing 
of fuch halters, * whilfl they are yet in the way ;' for 
when they are quite turned out, their recovery will be 
difficult, if not impolTible. 



Verse 14. 

follow peace with all men, and holiness, v/ith- 
out which no man shall see the lord. 

§ I . T'ranfition to a new fubJeJi. Prefcrlptlon of pra^lical 
duties. § 2. Expojition. Our duty towards men, To 
follow peace with them, § 3. The manner of dolno- it. 
§ 4. Our duty towards God, To follow hollnefs, § 5. 

§ I. Jt^ ROM his exhortation to patient perfeverance in 
the profeffion of the go fpel under /z/^mV/^j and affli(rtions, 
the apoille proceeds to a prefcription of practical duties ; 
and although they are fuch as are abfolutely neceflary in 
themfelves at all times, yet they are here peculiarly en- 
joined, with refpefl to our conflancy in piofeffing the 
gofpel ; for no light, no knowledge of the truth, no 
refolution or courage will preferve any man in his pro- 
feilion, efpecially in times of trial, without a diligent at- 
tendance to the duties of holinefs and gofpel obedience. 

§ 2. ' Follow peace with all men.' The fubflance of 
our duty towards all men, as men^ in all circumftances and 
relations, is to ' feek peace with them.' And that we 
may do our duty to attain it, three things are required ;— 
Righteoufnefs ; * The fruit of righteoufncfs is peace ;' to 
wrong no man, to give to every one his due, or to do to 
all men as we would have tliem do to us : — Ufefuhiefs ; 
That we be ufeful to all men, in all duties of piety, cha- 
rity, and beneficence, [Gal. vi. 10.] « As we have op- 

* portunity let us do good,' be ufefid, profitable, benefi- 
cial, working that which is good towards all men ; avoid- 
^^^S °f J^ifi offence \ ' Give none offence, neither to the 

* Jews, nor to the Gentiles,' [I. Cor. x. 32,] — But, be it 
remarked, we muit eternally bid defiance to that peace 
with men, which is inconfillent with the peace of God. 



The divine mandate runs, — * If it be poflible as much as 

* lieth ill you, live peaceably with all men,' [Rom. xii* 

§ 3. From thefe difficulties arifetli the injun£lion of 
the fpecial way and manner of feeking it (^lUDcfls) earnejily 
follow. It is that which will lly from us, and which we 
mull with all earneftnefs purfue, or we ihall not overtake 
it ; and it is fo exprelied, becaufe of the many pretences 
which moft men ufe to avoid peace with thofe who pro- 
fefs the gofpel. All thefe, ' as much as in us lieth,' we 
we are to overcome in puifuit of peace, never giving it 
over whilft we are in this world. 

* With all men ;' that is, all forts of men, according 
as we ftand related to them, or have occafion of conver- 
fing with them. The worjl of men are not excepted out 
of this rule ; not our enemies ; not our perfecutors ; we 
are flill, by all the ways mentioned, to * follow peace* 
with them all. Let this alone be fixed, that we are not 
obliged to any thing that is inconliftent with holinefs, 
contrary to the word of God, adverfe to the principles 
and light of our minds and confciences, for the obtaining 
of peace with any, or all the men in the worlds which 
rule is abfolute and univerfal. Wherefore, 

§ 4. The other thing enjoined refpe£ls our duty to- 
wards God. ' And holinefs.' — It refers to t\\Q fame way 
of feeking it ; to follow it earneflly, to purfue it by all 
appointed ways and means ; and what is licre prefcribed, 
is univerfal holinefs^ * without which no man fhall fee the 

* Lord.' It is all one whether we underftand God abfo- 
lutely, or the Lord Chrift in an efpecial manner, by the 
name * Lord ;' for we fliall never fee one without the 
other. Chriil prays for us, that we may be where he is, 
to behold his glory; [John xvii. 24.] but this we can- 
not do without feeing God alfo, or the eternal glory of 
God in him. This fight of God and Chrift, which is 
intellc^ual, not corporeal ; finite, not abfolutely comprc- 
henfive of the divine elTence ; is the fum of our future 
blelTednefs. And the neceffity of it depends both on an 
eternal, unchangeable, divine confthiition — God having 

^ enacted 


enafted it, as an eternal law, that hoUnefs fhall be the way 
of attaining and coming to bleflednefs — and on its being 
a due preparation for it ; the foul being by holinefs made 
meet and fit to come to the fight of the Lord, [Col. i. 1 2, 
13.] And therefore (j^ %c^f^igt q^a defiltutus) without which \ 
of which whoever is deftitute, in Vvhom this holinefs is 
not, he fhall never fee the Lord. 
§ 5. Whence ohjcrve : 

1. A frame and difpofition of feeking peace with all 
men, by the means before laid down, is eminently fuited 
to the doftrine and grace of the gofpel. It is a great or- 
nament to our profeflion, and a great comfort and fupport 
to ourfelves in our fufferings. For when we have the tef- 
timony of our confciences, that we have fincerely fought 
peace with all men, it will not, only make us refl fatistied 
in what they unjuflly do to us ; but give us a triumph 
over them in our minds, in that we have complied witU 
tlie will of God therein. 

2. They are much miflaken who hope to fee Chrifl 
hereafter in glory, and live and die here in an unholy 
flate. No privilege, no gift, no church office or power, 
will give admillion to this flate. 

3. If this do£lrine be true, that ' without holinefs no 

* man ,^all fee the Lord,' the cafe will be hard at lafV, 
and the difappointment dreadful, with a multitude of 
profelTors, efpecially thofe popes, cardinals, and prelates, 
who pretend that they have the opening of the door into 
his prefence committed to them. 

4. We may {oWo'n peace with men, and not attain it; 
but if we follow holinefi^ we fhall aiTuredly fee the Lord. 

5. Tlie fame means are to be ufed for fecuring our 
prefent perfeverance, and our future blelTedncfs,^ — * holi» 

♦ nefs.' 

Vol. IV. SI Verss 


Verse 15. 

j.ooking diligently lest any man fail of the 
grace of god, lest any root of bitterness 
springing up trouble you, and thereby many 
be defiled, 

§ I . Connexion. § 1 . Explanation of the caution and warn- 
ing, § 3. 'Taken from Mofes, ^ 4. The dangerous con- 
fequence of negle£ilng the caution. § 5, 6, Obfervations, 

§ I. r ROM a prefcrlption of neceffary duties^ the apof- 
tle proceedeth to give caution and warning againft fundry 
fins and evils that are contrary to them, and fuch as, if ad- 
mitted, would prove ruinous to their profeflion, particu- 
larly in reference to our work and duty towards others. 
And the apoftle would have us (obfiare princtpiis) to hin- 
der the entrance of this evil, and fo eftedualty to prevent 
its progrefs. 

§ 2. * Looking diligently,' refpe£ls both the common 
charitative duty of all believers, as they are called to it 
by occalions and circumflances, as alfo an efpecial infli- 
tution of Chrift, to be obferved in his church. The 
Lord Chrifl hath ordained, that the members of the fame 
church and fociety Ihould mutually watch over one ano- 
ther, and the whole body over all the members to their 
mutual edification. And that the prad\ice of it is now 
fo much lofl, is the fhame'and almofl the ruin of Chrif- 

The firft evil to be obviated by this church infpe£lior^ 
is, ' failing of the grace of God ;' God*s favour and ac- 
ceptance in Chrift, as propofed and declared by the gofpel ; 
all fpiritual mercies and privileges in adoption, juflifica- 
tion, fanclification, and (jonfolation. This grace, men, un- 
der all their profelTion of the gofpel, mayy^i/of. The word 
(v(fiSp:co) to fail^ fignifies foiijetimes to want or be def-^ 



dent in any Icind, [Matt. xix. 20,] fometimes to come be* 
hindy [I. Cor. i. 7.] fometimes to be dejiltute^ [Heb. xi. 
37.] fometimes to come JJjort of, [as Rom. iii. 23. Heb. 
iv. I.] but no where fignifies to fall from : fo that the in- 
quiries of men about falling from grace, as to thefe words, 
are impertinent. Wherefore, to ' fail of grace,' is to 
come fhort of it, not to obtain it, though we feem to be 
in the way thereto. So alfo to * fall from grace,' [Gal. 
V. 4.] is, not to obtain j unification by the faith of 

§ 3. * Left any root of bitternefs fpringing up trouble 
' you.' All agree that the apoftle hath refpe£l to the 
words of Mofes, [Deut. xxix. 18.] ' Left there fhould be 

* among you a root that beareth gall and wormwood.* 
Gall was a poifonous weed in the eaftern countries, and 
the name is often applied to poifonous and deftrudive 
fins, [Amos vi. 12. Deut. xxxii. 32.] 

Now it is evident that in the words of Mofes, perfons 
inclining to apojiacy and departure from God are intended. 
So the foregoing words make it manifeft ; ' Left there 

* fhould be among you a man or woman, or family, or 

* tribe, whefe heart turneth away from the Lord our God, 

* to go and ferve the gods of thefe nations ;' that is, left 
tliere fhould be among you a root that beareth gall or 
wormwood ; be it one or more, man or woman, family, 
or tribe, that is thus afFefted, it is a root of bitternefs 
among you. Hence it is evident the apoftle intendeth 
not any evil in the abftraft, any herefy or fin ; hut perfons 
guilty of this evil, whofe hearts are inclined to apoftacy 
from the gofpeJ, either into Judaifm, or fenfuality of 

It may be called a * root,^ becaufe the beginning of it 
is hidden in the hearts of men, where it cannot be difco- 
vered ; and becaufe from this evil heart of unbelief, the 
whole evil of apoftacy proceeds, as fruit upon its proper 
root. And it is called a * root of bitternefs,^ becaufe of 
its poifonous qualities. Generally when men's hearts are 
inclined to apoftacy, they conceal it for a feafon like a 
root in the eaith j but as they have opportunity they 

§ f :? begin 


begin to dlfcover what is within ; commonly by the neg- 
k(^ of church affemblies and duties, [chap. x. 24, 25.] 
Thence they proceed to perverfe difputings, and conten- 
tion againfl the truth, [I. Tim. vi. 5.] and fo go on to 
manifeft themfelves in pra^ices, as occafions are admi- 
niftercd. This ' root* will not always lie covered, this 
evil heart will manifeft itfelf ; which is the ^ fpringing up* 
here intended. 

(EvcxA/^) * trouble you^ by bringing things into difor- 
der, tumult, and confulion. A trouble of forroiu and 
grief for the fin and eternal ruin of thofe who have been 
united with them in the fame gofpel fociety. When thofe 
in whom this root iS; are either confident or numerous, they 
\^ill trouble the church, diforder it, and call things into 
confufion, by wrangling difputes, fpeaking perverfe things, 
endeavouring to draw difciples to corrupt and deceive, as 
is the manner of all apoftates. They 2.\{o ^ trouble^ the 
church by bringing an evil report upon it, for divifions, 
contentions, and inllability. 

§ 4. * And thereby many be defiled ;' thereby^ by this 
root fo fpringing up and bearing this fruit of trouble. A 
dangerous thing it is to have fuch things fall out in 
churches, that there be amongfl them a man or woman, 
few or more, that on any pretences incline to a departure 
from the truth of the gofpel. It feldoni IVops with the^P;^ 
felvcs. Through ignorance, negligence, darknefs, but 
efpecially the want of experiencing the power of gofpel 
truth, profeflbrs are eafily impofed on by them, and therc- 
■ by many 2Xt defiled, 

Tliere is no impropriety in faying they are defiled by a 
' root fpringing up ;' for the apoflle doth not fpeak of the 
manner of its operation, but of the efiec^ it produceth ; 
and thi<; is, that men who have been cleanfed by bap- 
tifm, and the profefTion of the truth, Ihould be again 
contaminated with abominable errors, or ijlthy lufts, [II. 
Pet. ii. 18 — 22.] 

§ 5. ObferveliCiice, 

i^ The grace, love, and good will of God, in the a- 

(rfoption, juilifiCiition, fan^ification^ and glorification of 

2 believers, 

Ver.i^ epistle to the HEBREWS. 315 

believers, is propofed to all in the gofpel, as what may- 
be infallibly attained in the due ufe of appointed means 

fincere faith in Chrift Jefus. 

2. The outward profeffion of the gofpel, and the en- 
joyment of its privileges, will not of themfclves inftate- 
any man in the grace of God, or an affured interef . 

3. There is no man, who, under the profeffion of 
the gofpel, comes fhiort of obtaining the grace and fa^ 
vour of God, but it is by reafon of his own fin. The 
propofal of it, on the terms expreffedan the gofpel, is 
Jure, and none fhall ever fail of it, who er..brace it on 

thefe terms. This is included in the word which hath a 
charge on it, of a finful deliciency in feeking after this 

4. Negligence and floth, miffing of opportunities, and 
love of fin, all proceeding from unbehef, are the onlv 
caufes why men under profeffion of the gofpel, do fail of. 
the grace of God. 

§ 6. Farther obferve, • 

1. That the root of apoflacy from God and the pro- 
'feffion of the gofpel, may abide invifibly in profeffing 

2. Spiritual evils in churches are progreffive. From 
fmall and imperceptable beginnings, they will grow and 
increafeto the woril of evils, [II. Tim. ii. 16, 17.] 

3. It is the duty of churches, what in them lies, to 
prevent their own trouble, as well as the ruin of others. 

4. There is a latent difpofition in negligent profeffiors 
to receive infedion by fpiritual defilements, if they arc 
not watched againfl:. * Many w\\l be defiled.' 

5. That church infpedion is a biefTed ordinance and 
duty, which is defigned by Chrift himfelf, as a means td 
prevent thefe contagious evils in churches, 



Verses i6, 17, 

lest there be any fornicator or profane per- 
son, as esau, who for one morsel of meat 
sold his birthright ; for ye knew that af- 
terwards, when he would have inherited 
the blessing, he was rejected. for he 
fodnd no place of repentance, though he 
sought it carefully with tears. 

§ I. Introdu^ion, § 2. (I.) TVords explained. Fom'iea' 
tlcn, § 3. Profanenefsy Efau, § 4. His birthright. 
§ 5. Hozv he fold it, § 6. Found no place for repen- 
lance, § 7. But %uas reje^cd. Why? § 8, 9. (II. 

§ I. JL HE apoftle proceeds to give other inftances of 
evils, whereby Chriftian focieties would be corrupted, and 
way made for total apoilacy, which were to be diligently 
heeded, and carefully watched againft. 

He puts together fornication and profanenejs ; becaufe 
they "ufuaily go together. Fornicators, that is, thofe 
wIjo are habitually io^ always grow profane ; and pro- 
fane perfons, of all others, are apt to fet light by for- 
nication. Thefe things are written with the beams of 
the fun, in the days wherein we live. Few fornicators 
or profane perfons do ever come to repentance. 

§ 2. (I.) ' That there be no fornicator;* reference is 
had to the former charge ; ' look you to it diligently,' 
that there be no fornicator in your fociety. Take care 
that no perfons fall into that fin ; or if they do, let them 
be removed from among you. The fin is evil to them^ 
but Xh^ communion IS, evil to you. This fin is moll diredlly 
and particularly oppohte to that holinefs, which he is ex- 
liorting them to, as that without which they fhall not fee 
the Ljpid. 

^ Under . 

Veii. i6, i;. epistle TO THE HEBREWS. 317 

Under this name of fornicator, all fins of the fame 
kind are intended. For the fcripture calls all conjunction 
with women not in lawful marriage by the name of * for- 
< nication,' [L Cor, v. 8 — 10.] It is therefore general, 
as to all who are fo guilty of uncleannefs, as to come 
under this denomination, without any fuppofed reflriftion 
to the Gentiles. 

There is no fort of finners that would be fo fcandakus 
to churches, fhould they be tolerated in them, 2,% forni- 
cators. And therefore the Pagans endeavoured with their 
utmoft malice and falfe accufations, to fallen the charge 
of adulteries, incefts, promifcuous lulls, and uncleannefs, 
on Chrillians in their alTemblies. For they knew full 
well, tllat let them pretend what elfe they pleafed, if they 
could fix this llain upon them, they would be the com- 
mon hatred and fcorn of mankind. For the higher 
men's pretences are to God and religion, if they fhould 
ilTue in fuch vile lulls, they are the more contemptible, 
and the more to be abhorred. 

§ 3. The fecond evil to be watched againll is profane^ 
nefs ; or that there be no * profane perfon^ among them. 
For it is perfons that are flriclly intended, as is evident in 
the inllance of Efau. To be profane, may be taken 
G\tX\QX pajjively or a^ively : — In xht firji fenfe, it is a per- 
fon or place feparated and call out from the fociety of 
things facred. So holy things are faid to be profaned, 
when men take off the veneration that is due to them, 
and expofe them to common ufe or contempt. A pro- 
fane perfon, a^ively, is one that defpifetli, fets light by, 
or contemneth facred things. Such as mock at religion, 
or who lightly regard its promifes or threatenings ; who 
defpife or negle£l God's worfhip, who fpeak irreverently 
of its concerns, we defervedly call profane perfons, and 
fuch the world is filled with at this day. 

This profanenefs is the laft Hep of entrance into final 
apollacy. When men from profeflbrs of religion become 
defpifers of, and fcoffers at it, their Hate is dangerous, if 
not irrecoverable. 



* As Efau.* There are very few in fcripture, concern- 
ing whom more evidences are given of their being repro- 
bates. And this fhould warn all men not to truft to the 
outward privileges of the church. He was the iirft-bora 
of Ifaac, circumcifed according to the law of that ordi- 
nance, and partaker in all the worfhip of God in that 
holy family ; yet an outcaft from the covenant. 

§ 4. ' Who for one morfel of meat fold his birthright.' 
Many expolitors, in the confideration of the lin of Efau, 
[Gen. XXV. 30 — 34.] relie£l on many crimes in him, ef- 
pecially intemperance and gluttony ; but, as far as I can fee, 
witliout caufe. This delire of food from his own brother, 
when he was hungry and faint, jnight be harmlefs ; but 
his ' profanenejs' a£led itfeif in a readinefs to part with his 
birthright^ with whatfoever was contained in it, and an- 
nexed to it. And whereas, as we fhall fee, this had 
fomething in it that was facred, the undervaluing of it was 
an high inllance of profanenefs. He fold (toc Trooolojoyuoi 
c-ivjh', fiiumjus primogeniti : Bez.) his right of the Jirjl-born ; 
(jus primogeniture fu^ej the right of his own primogeniture ; 
the things belonging to him as the firft-born. I Ihall not 
with fome admit tht priejihood among the privileges of the 
birthright, and can give arguments fufficicnt to difprovc 
it ; but this is not a place to infill on thefe things. A 
double portion of the paternal inheritance appertained to the 
iirft-born by the law, [Deut. xxi. 17.] 

There was alfo in it a right of rule and government over 
the refl of the children of the family, which was trans* 
ferred to Judah on the forfeiture made by Reuben, 
[I. Chron. v. 2.] And, therefore,, when Ifaac had 
transferred the birthnglit and bleiTing to Jacob, he tells 
Efau, ' I have made him thy lord, and all his brethrea, 
* have I given unto him for fervants,* [Gen. xxvii. 37.} 
- — But, moreover, there was a bUjjing that from Abraham 
ran in the patriarchal line, which was communicated 
from father to fon, containing an inclofure of all church 
privileges, and the prefervation of the promifed feed. 
This, Iconfefs, was diflin£l from the birthright, [Gen. 
xxvii. 36.] But although it were noi^^aniiexed i«/^/>ar^/?/y 

Ver. i6, 17. EPISTLE TO THE HEBREWS, ^t§ 

to the birthright, yet there was a jufl expectation that it 
ihould be conveyed according to the primogeniture. 
Hence, not only Efau calls it his blejfing, * he hath taken 

* aw^y my bleffing,* [ver. 36.] but Ifaac calls it fo too ; 
*^ he hath taken away thy hkjfing^ [ver. 35.] It was not 
his by divine deflination, as appeared in the ifllie ; nor 
had he made it his by obtaining a fpecial intereft in the 
J)romife by faith ; for he had it not. But in the ordina- 
ry courfe it Was to be his, and fo in his own expectation ; 
but God. cut off the line of fucceflion herein, and gave it 
to Jacob. Now as Jacob in his whole defign aimed not 
at riches and power, wherein he was contented to fee his 
brother far exceed him ; but at an inheritance of the pa^ 
iriarchal blejjing, wherein the promifed feed and the church, 
flate were contained, whereinto the birthright was an 
toutward entrance, a iigw and a pledge of it ; fo Efau, by 
felling his birthright, did virtually renounce his right to 
the bleffing, which he thought to be annexed thereto. 

§ 3. But it may be inquired how ht fold his birthright, 
or how he could fell what was not in his own power I 
Tiie word is (octts^^o) he gave away, or he gave up. But 
whereas he did it for what he efleemed a valuable con- 
iideration, and made an exprefs bargain, the fenfe in- 
tended in the word is, that he fold it, [Gen. xxv. 33.] 
And although he never fought the recovery of the birth- 
right, tlie renunciation of which he had confirmed by 
an oath, yet he hoped he might retain the blej/ing HWL 

It is evident how in all his aCtions he carried it pro- 
fanely ; for he difcovered a great readinefs to part with 
his birthright, and all that was annexed to it by divine 
inflitution. Being a man wholly given to his pleafures, 
and the love of prefent things, he feems fcarce ever to 
have entertained ferious thoughts, about what it was figni- 
iicant of, in things fpiritual and heavenly. He^'did it on 
fo flight an occalion, and valued it at fo fmall a rate, as. 

* one mefs of pottage,^ or * one rftorfel of meat,* that is, 
what was to be eaten. Regardlefs of what he had done, 
after the power of his prf fent temptation was over, it is 
faid, ' he did eat and drink, and rofe up and went his 

Vol. IV. T t ' way,' 


* way,' as a man utterly unconcerned in what he had 
done ; whereon the Holy Ghoft adds that cenfure. — 
< Thus Efau defpifed his birthright; he did not only fell 

* it, but defpifed it,' [Gen* xxv. 31—34. This was the 

* profanenefs' of Efau. 

§ 6. ' For ye know how that afterwards, when he 

* would have inherited the bleffing.' There is a peculiar 
force of perfuaiion and eonviftion, when we argue from 
men's own knowledge and concellions. Ton knoiv this 
yourfelves ; you know it full well from the fcriptuie, and 
therefore let it be of great weight and conlideration with 
you, Efau is reprefented as a man under great amaze- 
ment, as if he had little thought to fall into fuch a con- 
dition. And thus at one time or other it will fall out 
with all profane perfonSj who have refufed the mercy and 
privileges of the gofpel ; they fhall at one time or other 
fall under dreadful furprifals. Then fhall they fee the 
horror of thofe crimes, which before they made nothing 
of, — ' How that afterzvards.'' This afterwards was not 
lefs, perhaps, than forty or fifty years ; for he fold his 
birthright when he was young : now when he deligned 
the recovery of the bleffing, Ifaac was about an hundred 
and forty years ; fo long did he live in his fin, without 
any fenfe of it or repentance for it. Things went prof- 
feroufly with him in the world, and he had no regard in 
the leail of what he had done, nor of what would be the 
end of it. But falling now into a new diftfefs, it iills him 
U'ith perplexity ; and fo it is with all fecure linners > 
whilft things go profperoufly with them, they can conti- 
nue without remarfe ; but at one time or other their ini- 
quity will find them out* 

{QicXoov yJ'.Vi^c^'/ia-cci TyjV cvXoyio^v) he would have inherited 
the bleffing. He efleemed hirhfelf the prefumptive heir of 
the patriarchal bleffing, and knew not that he had virtu- 
ally renounced it, and meritorioufly loft it, by felling his 
birthriglit. So the apoftle here diflinguiflieth between 
the birthright and the bleffing. He fold his birthright^ 
but would have inherited the bleffing : and herein he was 
<j type of the unbelieving Jews at that time ^ for they ad^ 


Ver. i6, 17. EPISTLE TO THE HEBREWS. 3^5 

liered to the outward things of the bleffing, the carcafe of 
of it, to the rejedion of him who was the whole life, 
foul, and power of it. Note ; It is not unufual, that men. 
Ihould earneflly delire the outward privileges of the 
church, who value not the inw^ard grace and power of 
them ; but they are profane perfons." 

§ 7. Tlie event of this attempt was, that he was re- 
jefled. Not that his eternal refrobatkn is hereby intended, 
but this open, foleran rejedion of him from the cove- 
nant of God, and the bleffings thereof, was an evidence 
of his being reprobated ; whence he is confidered as the 
type of reprobates, [Rom. ix. 1 1, 12.] The refuf a I o£ 
his father to' give him the patriarchal bleffing is here in^ 
tended. It is all one whether we refer l^ccv]yjv) it, in thp 
clofe of the verfe, to the remote antecedent the blejfm^y or 
to the next, which is re^^entance. For that which he fought^ 
even in repentance, (namely, the repentance of his father, 
or the change of his mind) was the hlejfmg alfo. For it 
as now generally agreed by all, that there is nothing \w 
the words which Ihould in the leaft intimate, that he" 
fought of God the grace of repentance ; nor is there any 
thing in the record that looks that way. And I fhail ra- 
ther interpret this word with Beza of the hlejfmg, than of 
the repentance even of Ifaac ; becaufe his cry was imme- 
diately and diredly for the former. The manner how hq 
fought the bleffing, is, that he did it dUlgsntly with tears^^ 
So the apoflle exprelTeth the record, [Gen. xxvii. 38.] 

1. He did it when it was too late; for he had not only 
forfeited his right to it long before, and lived in impeni- 
tency under that forfeiture, but the facred invefliture of 
another in that bleiling was folemnly pail, whigh coul4 
not be recalled. 

2. He fought not at all in a due manner. Outward ve<=> 
hemency in expreilions and tears may be influenced by 
fuch coniiderations as are not an evidence of inward finr 
cerity. He fought it not of God, but only of him who 
was]the miniHer of it. There are no bounds put to the in- 
finite treafures of divine goodnefs, if application be made 
'\a 5 due manner. But he fought the end without the 

T t 2 sieans ; 


means ; he would have the bleffing, but ufed not the 
means for attaining it, — -faith and repentance. For, not- 
withflanding all his forrow and trouble, upon his difap- 
pointment he immediately refolved, as Cain in the like 
cafe, to kill his brother. 

§ 8. From the premifes obferve the enfuing particu- 
lars : 

1. That church which tolerates in its communion m^n. 
living in fuch grofs ^iw^, as fornication, &c. is utterly- 
departed from the rule of the gofpel. And it is alfo 
hence evident, 

2. That apoflatizing profeflbrs are prone to fins of un- 
cleannefs ; for being overcome of the fiefh, and brought 
into bondage, [as II. Pet. ii. 19.] they are flaves an(} 
debtors to it, to ferve it in the lulls of uncleannefs. 

3. Evil examples propofed in fcripture light, laid oper% 
in their roots and courfes, are efficacious warnings to be- 
lievers to abflain from all occalions leading to the like 
evils. Take warning from Efau. 

4. When there is in any a latent predominant princi- 
ple of profanenefs, a fudden temptation or trial will let it 
out to the greateft evils. Thus it was with Efau ; and 
we fee it daily verified to amazement. 

5. This principle of profanenefs, in preferring the 
morfels of the world before the birthright privileges of the 
church, is what at this day threatens the prefent ruin of 

Let men pretend what they pleafe, it is from a fpir^t 
of profanenejs that they forfake the privileges and afiem- 
blics of the church for any outward advantages ; and 
what will be their fuccefs, we fliall fee in the next verfe, 

§ 9. Again oh ferve ; 

1 . This example of Efau cuts off all hopes by out- 
ward privileges, when there is an inward profanenfs of 
heart. Ke had as much to plead for the blefhng, and as 
fair a probability for attaining it, as ever any profane hy- 
pocrite can have in this world. And 

2. Profane apoflates have a limited ieafon only, where- 
in the recovery of the blefling is poflible. For although 


Ver. i6, 17. EPISTLE TO THE HEBREWS. 32^ 

here be no intimation of a man feeking repentance from 
God in a due manner and being rejeded, which is con« 
trary to the revealed nature of God, who is a rewarder of 
all who diligently feek him ; yet here is an indication of 
feverity, in leaving men, guilty of fuch provocations, in 
an irrecoverable condition, even in this life. 

3. The feverity of God in dealing with apoflates is a 
bleifed ordinance for the prefervation of beHevers, and the 
edification of the whole church, [Rom. xi. 22.] 

4. Sin may be the occafion of great forrow, where there 
is no forrow /or fin ; as with Efau. Men may rue that in 
its confequences which yet they like well enough in its 

5. No man knows to what event a deliberate fin may- 
lead him. Efau little thought, when he fold his birth- 
right, that he had utterly forfeited the eternal blefiing, 

:, '6. Profanenefs, the defpifing of fpiritual privileges, is 
a fin that God will, at one time or other, teftify his feve- 
rity againft ; yea this, on many accounts, is the proper 
object of God's feverity. It fhall not be fpared in the 
eldeft fon, and mofl dearly beloved of an Ifaac. 

7. Stedfaftnefs in faith, with fubmiffion to the will of 
God, will eftablifh the foul in thofe duties which are mofl 
irkfome to fiefh and blood. Nothing could prevail with 
Jfaac to change his mind, when he knew what was the 
\vill of God, 



Verses i8, 19. 

ror ye are not come unto the mount that 
might be touched, and that burned with 
fire, nqr unto blackness and darkness and 
tempest, and the sound of a trumpet, and 
the voice of words ; which voice they that 
heard entreated that the wqi^j^ 5i^qux«d no:i^ 
3e spoken to them any mob,e, 

^ I. Some general conjtdnations ■premifed, § 2, 3. (I.) Ex'% 
pofition. Not come to the mount thai might he touched^ 
§ 4. 'The fire that turned, § 5. Blacknefs» § ^^Dark-^ 
vefs and tcmpcji, § 7, The found of a trumpet. § 8. Thf 
%-^cice of words, § 9. The r^^«^^ of the hearers^ § .10^ 
J I. (II.) Ohfrvations. 

§ I. X HIS difcourfc, from hence to the end of th^, 
chapter, is of great weight, and accompanied with fundry 
difficulties ; which expofitors do fcarcely fo much as no- 
tice. I ihail, therefore, premife thofe general conf derations: 
which Vv'ill direft us in its expofition, taken from thei 
fcope of the words, and nature of the argument in hand-*. 

I . The whole epiftle, as we have often obferved, is a% 
to the kind of writing, -parenetic ; intended as a perfua-^ 
iive to confiancy and perfeverance in the profeliion of the 

2,. The main argument which he iniiils on in general 
to this end, and wherein the d'ldadical part of the epiftle 
doth coniifl, is, the excellency, glory, and advantage of 
thatgofpel ftate to which they were called. 

3. Having infilled particularly and diflin£lly on thefc 
things, and brought his argument from them to an ifliie, 
he makes, in the difcourfe before us, a recapitulation of 
the whole ; for he makes a brief fchcmi of the two flates.. 


of the law and gofpel which he had compared, balancing 
the one againil the other, and thereby dcmonllrates the 
force of his argument and exhortation. 

4. It mull be obferved, that ihc great horiour ^nd privi- 
lege of the Judaical church ftate, and whereon all parti- 
cular advantages depended, was their coming to mount 
Sinai at the giving of the law. 7here were they taken 
into covenant with God, to be his peculiar people above 
all the world ; there were they formed into a national 
fhurch ; and there had they all the privileges of divine 
worfhip committed to them» 

5. Wherefore the apoftle, allowing all this, obferves, 
that it was done in fuch a way of dread and terror, as 
that there was no evidence in all that was done of God's 
being reconciled to them by thofe things. The whole re- 
prefentation of him was as an ahfolute foverelgn, and a 

fevere judge. Thunders, voices, earthquakes, and iire, 
give no fignification of grace and mercy \ but rather be- 
fpeak a * glorious miniftration of death,* [II. Cor. iii. 7.] 
whence the confciences of linners were forced to fubfcribe 
to their own condemnation as juft and equal. God was 
here reprefented in all outward demonftrations of infi- 
nite holinefs, juflice, feverity, and terrible majefty, on 
the one hand ; and, on the other, men in their lowei^ 
condition of lin, mifery, guilt, and death. If there be 
not therefore fomething elfe to interpofe between God 
and men, fomewhat to fill -up the fpace between infinite 
feverity and inexpreflible guilt ; all this glorious prepa- 
ration was but a theatre fet up for pronouncing judgement^ 
and the fentence of eternal condemnation againfl finners. 
On this confideration depends the force of the apoflle's ar-* 
gument, and the due apprehenfion and confideration of it 
is a better expofition of verfes 18 — 21, than the mere 
opening of the particular expreflions will amount lo \ yet 
they alfo mull be explained. 

§ 2. (I.) ' For ye are not come unto the mount that 
* might be touched.* Ye are not come ; two things are in- 
cluded in this negative expreflion : — What their fathers 
iid, the^ carm to the things here mentioned ; and — What 
I thej 


iheywtre delivered from, by their call to the gofpel. They 
were no more concerned in all that dread and terror. 

The apoftle in this co^nparlfon between their ^ coming^ of 
old into the legal church ilate, and our admijfion into the 
gofpel {late, includes a fuppofition of the way and mariner 
wliereby they approached to God in the giving of the law, 
vi%, by the fandtification of themfelves, the wafhing of" 
their cloaths, as an outward fign thereof, with other re- 
verential preparations, [Exod. xix. 10, II.] Whence it 
will follow, that, the gofpel church ftate being fo much 
more excellent than that of old, God himfelf being in it 
in a more glorious and excellent manner ; we fought to 
endeavour a more eminent fanftification and preparation, 
in all our approaches to God therein, [ver. 28.] Wc 
may alfo obferve fome things in general concerning the 
appearance of the divine Alajejiy, which intimates the glory 
and terror of it. As 

1. It was on the top of an high mountain j not on a 
plain. As this had a great appearance of the throne of 
majeflyj fo, it being above the people, as it were over 
them, it was meet to fill them with dread and fear ; they 
looked up and faw the mountain above them full of fire 
and fmoke ; the whole mount quaking greatly, thunders 
and terrible voices being heard in the air, [Exod. xix. iS. 
and XX. 18. Deut. iv. 11.] they could have no other 
thoughts hereon, but that it was z fearful thing to come to 
judgement before the holy Lord God. And one view of 
that terror of the Lord's holinefs and feverity here repre- 
fented, is enough to make the llouteft finner quake and 

2. To increafe the reverence due to this appearance, 
the people were commanded to keep their dillance, and 
were flraightly forbidden an approach beyond the bounds 
fixed and prefcribed to them. 

§ 3. They came ('^YiX(x>(poou.svu) opu) * unto the mount 
* that might be touched \^ mount Sinai in Arabia, [Gal. iv, 
25.] He makes this obfervation to manifefl how Inferior 
the giving of the law was, in comparifon of the promul- 
gation of the gofpel, wliich was from heaven j and to in- 

Ver.i8, 19. EPISTLE TO THE HEBREWS. 32- 

tlmate the fear and bondage the people were then in, who 
might not fo much as touch the mountain, on which were 
the figns of God's prefence, though it was in itfelf a 
thing expofed to the fenfe of all creatures. — And there is 
much of divine wifdom obferveable in the choice of this 
place for the giving of the law. For, 

1. It was a place of abfolute folitude \ here the people 
could neither fee nor hear any thing, a<; it were, but God 
and themfelves : there was no appearance of any relief, no 
place of retreat ; but there they muH abide the will of 
God. — And this teacheth us, that when God deals with 
men by the law, he will let them fee nothing but hlmfelf, 
and their own confciences. He takes them out of their 
wonted reliefs, and prevents all referves and retreats. For 
the mofl part, when the law is preached to finners, they 
have innumerable diverfions and reliefs at hand to fhield 
themfelves from its terror and efficacy. They betake 
themfelves to the promifes of fin itfelf, or the purpofes 
of future amendment ; or elfc the various occupations of 
life ; they have other things to do than to attend to fo 
unwelcome a voice, at leaft it is woX. yet necelTary. But 
when God will bring them to the mount, all thefe pre- 
tences will vanifh and difappear ; not one of them fhall 
be able to fuggell the leail relief to a poor guilty finncr ; 
his confcience fliall be kept to that which he can neither 
abide nor avoid. Unlefs he can make the great plea of 
an intereft in the blood of Chrifl, he is gone for ever.-^ 
To this we may add, that God gave herein a type and re- 
prefentation of the great judgement at the lafl day : the 
terror of it confifts much in this, that iinners fhall be able 
to fee nothing but God and the tokens of his wrath. 

2. It was a barren zvid fruit lefs defcrt, where there was 
neither water nor food ; and anfwerable thereto the law, 
in a ftate of fin, would bring forth no fruit, nothing ac- 
ceptable to God, nor ufeful to men ; for there was no- 
thing on Sinai but bufhes and brambles ; whence it had 
its name. Thefe made an appearance at a diftance of 
fome fruitfulnefs, but when it came to be tried, there was 
nothing but what was iit for the fire. And fo it is with 

Vol. IV. U u aU 


all under the law, they may feem to perform many duties 
of obedience ; yea, fuch as they truft to, and make their 
boaft of. But when they are brought to the trial, they arc 
no other but fuch as God fpeaks of, [Ifa. xxvii. 4.] 

* Who would fet the briars and thorns againft me in bat- 

* tie ? I would go through them, I would burn them to- 

* gether.' Other fruit the law will not bring forth. 
Nor was there any water in the defert of Horeb to make 
it fruitful ; that which the people lived on was brought 
out of the rock ; and * that rock was Chrift.' 

§ 4. * The fire that burned ;' for fo I rather read the 
words, than the mount which * burned with fire.' For 
the fire of itfelf was a token of God's prcfence, and a 
diftin5i means of filling the people with dread, [Exod. 
xix. i8.j * The Lord defcended on the mount in fire;' 
and Deut. iv. 12. * God fpake out of the midil of the 

* fire.' And this fire prefented both — the defcent of God 
on the mount ; * The Lord came down in fire ;' the peo- 
ple thus feeing the token of God's prefence ; and — the 
continuance of his prefence there, for it continued burning 
all the time God fpoke ; * he fpake out of the fire.* And 
it was a flaming fire, which raifed a fmoke, * like the 

* fmoke of a furnace,' [Exod. xix. 18.] which our apof- 
tie feems to exprefs by * blacknefs,' in the next word. 
Yea, this fire flamed and burned up, as it were, ' to the 

* midfl of heaven,' [Deut. iv. 11.] It fignifies \{\% jea- 
loiify ; for fo Moles expounded it, [Deut. iv. 24.] * For 

* the Lord your God is a confuming fire, even zjea/ous 
« God.' 

This is the firfl: thing the people beheld when they 
came to the mount. And when men under the law have 
to deal with God, their firft apprehenfion of him is his 
holinefs and feverity againft finners, with his anger and 
difpleafure againft fin. There the law leaves them, and 
thence they muft be confumed, without relief by Jefus 
Chrift. Until the law comes, they are alive, that is, at 
peace, and in fecurity, well fatisfied with their condition. 
They fee not, they think not of the fire that is ready to 
confume them j yea, for the moft part, they have quite 



other notions of God, [Pfal. I. 21.] But when the law 
hath by its convictions brought the {inner to a fenle of 
guilt which he cannot avoid, it reprefents to him the holi- 
nefs and feverity of God, with his indignation and wrath 
againft iin, which have a refemblance of a confum'mg fire. 
This fills his heart with dread and terror, and makes him 
fee and bewail his miferable undone condition, in the pre- 
fence of infinite holinefs, inexorable juflice, and fiery in- 
dignation. Hence the cry of thofe who find not the way 
of relief will be one day, ' Who among us fhall dwell 

* with devouring fire ? Who Ihall inhabit everlafling 

* burning ?' 

§ 5. To * fire* the apoflle adds ' blacknefs,^ as we ren- 
der the word, attended with * darknefs and tempefl,* 
[Deut. V. 22 — 24.] 'God fpake to you out of the midft 

* of the fire, and the cloud and the thick darknefs,' [ver» 
22.] So that it is evident there was a mixture of them 
altogether, [Pfal. xviii. 8 — 13.] And nothing can be con- 
ceived of greater dread and terror, than fuch a mixture 
of fire, and darknefs, and tempefl, which left nothing o£ 
light to the fire but its dread and terror.* 

(Tvo(pog) blacknefs, faith Eustathius, is from {vi(pog 
JEol. ]/o(pog) a cloud, in the ^olic dialed. Wherefore 
the apoflle in this word might have refped to that * black- 
' nefs,' which was caufed by the thick cloud wherein God 
defcended, [Exod. xix. 9.] 'I will come to thee in a 

* thick cloud \ which abode upon the mount, [ver. 16.] 
the blacknefs of it not being taken away by the fire that was 
in it, every part of the appearance referving its own ter- 
ror. But the Syriac and Jrabic, with other tranflations^ 
put the words in con{lru£lion, and render them, the blacks 

* Thus Milton could conceive of nothing more dreadful, when 
defcribing the ' place eternal juftice had prepared* for the rebel- 
lious, than the following : 

• _ Yet froi^n thofe flames 

No light, but rather darknefs vilible 
Served only to difcover lights of woe, 
Regions of forrovv, doleful fhades, where peace 

And reft can never dwell. 

Parad, Loft. Book I. line 63. 


nefs or obfcurity of the cloiid \ which probably is intended 
in this word and the following. 

And this is the third thing in the progrefs of the work 
of the law on the confciences of iinners ; when they are 
Ihut np under guilt, and begin to be terrified with the 
reprefentation of God*s feverity againll fin, they cannot 
but look to fee if there be any thing in the manifeftation 
of God and his will by the law that will yield them 
relief ; but here they find all things covered with hlack- 
nefs and obfcurity ; the glory of God, and his defign of 
bringing them to the law, or the law to them, is covered 
under the veil of this darknefs which increafeth their 

§ 6. To this blacknefs the apoflle adds * darknefs and 
* tempeft ;' blacknefs is a property of a thing in itfelf ; 
darknefs is its elfeft towards others ; what this darknefs 
was we cannot well comprehend ; but this it teaches us, 
that notwithftanding the revelation God made of himfelf 
in this difpenfation of the law, he was, as to his glorious 
pUTpofes of grace and mercy, in thick darknefs to the 

* Jnd tempeft ;* in this word he comprifeth the thun- 
dering, lightning and earthquake; [Exod. xix. 1 6. xx. 
18.] thefe increafed the terror of the darknefs, and mad» 
it (hirw) a thick darknefs^ as it Is in Mofes. 

As it was without in the giving of the law, fo it is 
Vfithin m the work of the law ; it fills the mind of men 
with a florm, accompanied with darknefs and perplexKy. 
Firft, its work in the minds and confciences of finners 
ends in darknefs and tempeft ; it brings the foul to dark^ 
nefs, that it knows not what to do, nor how to take one 
ftep towards its own relief ; it can fee no light, either for 
its direttlon, or confolation ; and herein it dither tires 
itfelf with vain endeavours for relief, by its own works 
^nd duties ; or elfe finks into heartlefs cfefpondencies and 
complaints. And, fecondly, it raifeth a tempefi of dif- 
quieting and perplexing thoughts ; oftentimes accom- 
panied with dread and terror. In this ftate the law leaves 
poor fiaiiers, it will not accompany them one ftep towards 
Z deU- 

Veil, i?, 19. EPISTLE TO THE HEBREWS. 331 

deliverance ; it will neither reveal, nor encourage theoi 
to look after any relief; yea it declares that here the 
linner muft die and perifh, for any thing the law can do. 
This therefore is the place and feafon wherein Chrill 
interpofeth, and cries to flnners, ' Behold me, behold 



§ 7. They came to * the found of a trumpet.' This 
is called (131^ b)p) the voice of the trumpet, [Exod. xix. 16 
— 19.] and was of diflinguifhed ufe in that folemnity ; it 
is well rendered by the apoflle, * the found of a trumpet;* 
for it was not a real trumpet, but formed in the air by 
the miniftry of angels, to a degree of terror ; fo it ' waxed 
* louder and louder,' to fignify the nearer approach of 

As to its typical -figniiication — it was a pledge of the 
future judgement, when all flefh Ihall be fummoned before 
the judgement feat of Chrift, to anfwer the terms of the 
law ; and — as it was changed in the following inflitution 
of the feafl of expiation ; and in the year of jubilee — 
it was a type of the promulgation of the vofpel in the 
miniftry of Chrift himfelf ; and thus are things ftated ia 
the confciences of finners, with refpeft to the different 
founds of the trumpet ; the fummons of the law fills them 
with dread and terror ; appear they muft before God, 
there is no avoidance ; but ftand before him they can- 
not ; they are like Adam, when he could no longer hide 
himfelf, but muft appear and anfwer for his tranfgreflion ; 
they have no refuge to betake themfelves to ; the law con- 
demns them, they condemn themfelves ; and God is 
reprefented as a judge full of feverity ; under this dreadful 
fummons of the law, the gofpel finds us ; which exceed- 
inglv exalts the glory of fovercign grace, and of the blood 
of Chrift in the confciences of believers, [Rom. iii. 19 

§ 8. Hereunto is added * the voice of words.' It iS 
faid that God fpake by a * voice,' [Exod. xix. 19.] that 
is, an articulate voice, in the language of the people, that 
it might be underftood by all ; and hence he is faid to 
fpeak with the people, [chap. xx. 19.] ' The Lord fpake 



to them out of the midft of the fire, and they heard his 

* voice/ [Deut. iv. 12. v. 23.] Now the words that 
were -uttered with a voice, were the ten wordsy or ten 
commandments, written afterwards in two tables of flonc, 
but no more, which all the people heard, [Deut^ v. 22.] 

Wherefore from the midft of the dreadful appearance 
of fire, clouds, and darknefs (all other noifes of thunder 
and the trumpet cealing) God caufed a voice, fpeaking the 
words of the ten commandments articulately in their own 
language, to be heard by the whole congregation, men, 
women and children, in the ftation wherein they were 
placed at the foot of the mount ; and this voice was fo 
great and terrible, as that the people were not able to 
bear it ; for although it is evident, that they were ter- 
rified with the dreadful appearances on the mount ; yet 
was it this /peaking of God himfelf that utterly over- 
whelmed them. 

§ 9. ' Which voice they that heard entreated that the 

* word fhould not be fpoken to them any more.* They 
that heard -y that is, the whole alTembly or congregation ; 
of all which, thofe that were above th,e age of twenty 
years, aiii fo able to underftand the matter and perfonally 
engage \n tlie covenant, except two pferfons, died in the 
wildernefs under the difpleafure of God ; *' Entreated that 
the word fhould not be fpoken to ikem any more ; or, that 
the fpeecb rf Gody fhould not be continued to them iw- 
medlatelyy The word {Tra^cjynwocvio)- here rendered ' en- 

* treated,'' we expre fs by rcfujlngy ver. 25. they deprecated 
the hearing of the word in that manner any more ; 
which they did no doubt by their officers and elders ; for 
both themfelves being terrified, and obferving the dread 
of the whole congregation, they made requeft for them- 
felves and the reft to Mofes ; and becaufe they did it with 
a good intention, out of reverence for the majefty of 
God, without any defign of declining obedience, it was 
accepted,. [Deut. v. 28, 29.] 

^ 10. (II.) Hence we may ohferve \ 
I. A view of God as a judge, reprefented in fire and 
blacknefs, will fill the fouls of convinced finners with 


Ver»i8, 19. EPISTLE TO THE HEBREWS. 333 

dread and terror ; how fecure foever they may be at 
prefent, when God calls them forth to the mount their 
hearts cannot endure, nor can their hands be flrong. 

2. When God calls finncrs to anfwer the law, there is 
110 avoiding of an appearance ; the terrible fummons and 
citation will draw them out, whether they will or no. 

3. It is a blelled change to be removed from the fum- 
mons of the law, to the invitation of the gofpel ; and 
from the guilt of Hn to mercy and pardon ; he that fhall 
compare the terrible citation of finners before the throne 
of God, to receive and anfwer the law, with thofe fweet, 
gracious, heavenly invitations, with proclamations of grace 
and mercy, given by Chrift in the gofpel, [Matt. xi. 27, 
28.] may apprehend the difference of the two Hates here 
infilled on. 

4. Let no man ever hope to appear before God with 
confidence or peace, unlefs he can have an anfwer in 
readinefs for all the words of this law ; and they who 
fuppofe they have any other anfwer, but the fubflitution 
of the furety of the covenant in our flead, with an in- 
terefl by faith in his mediation, blood, and facrifice, will 
be eternally deceived. 

§ II. O^^ri;^ moreover ; 

1. No outward privilege, fuch as this was, to hear the 
voice of God, is fufficient of itfelf to preferve men from 
fuch rebellion and finful provocati©n as Ihall render thera 
obnoxious to divine difpleafure. 

2. Then is the finner utterly overwhelmed, when he 
hath a fenfe of the voice of God himfelf in the law ; when 
he finds God himfelf fpeaking to his confcience, he can. 
no longer bear it. 

3. That the fpeaking of the law immediately difcovers 
the invincible neceffity of a mediator between God and 
iinners. The people quickly found that there was no 
dealing with God in their own perfons, and therefore 
defired that there might be one to mediate between God 
and them. And, 

4. If the giving of the law was fo full of terrors, that 
the people could not bear it, but apprehended they mufb 



die if God continued to fpeak it to them ; what will be 
the execution of its curfe in a way of vengeance at the laft 
day ! 

Verse 20, 21. 

ror they could not endure titat which was' 
commanded ; and if so much as a beast 
touch the mountain, it shall be stoned, 
or thrust through with a dart ; and so 
terrible was the sight, that moses said, 
i exceedingly fear and quake. 

§ I. Introdu^ion. § 2. T^he terror of the law illujirated 
from the inter d'lil about touching the mountain. § 3. Far^ 
thcr illujirated from i^ conflernation of Mofes, § 4. 0^-* 

§ 1 . 1/ OR they could not endure that which was com* 
* mended,' that is, the law itfelf ; they could not endure it; 
they could not bear it, or Jland under it ; there was ad- 
miniftered with it a fpirit of bondage to fear, [Rom. viii. 
15.] which aggravated the terror of it in their con- 

Thefe are the effeds which a due apprehenfion of 
the nature, end» and ufe of the law, with the feverity of 
God therein, will produce in the minds and confciences 
of finners. Thus far the law will bring us ; and here it 
leaves us ; here are we Ihut up ; there is no avoiding of 
its power, fentence, and fanflion ; it is given by God 
himfelf ; the {inner could wirti that he might never hear 
more of it; what is paft againil this law, cannot be 
anfvvered for ; what is to come cannot be complied with ; 
hereon they find themfelves utterly loll, and fo have no 
expedation but of fiery indignation to confume them ; and 


Ver.20, 21. EPISTLE TO JKE HEBREWS, 335 

accordingly they raufl eternally perifli, if they betal^e not 
themlelves to the only relief, Chrift the Saviour. 

§ 2. Of this terror from the giving of the law, and 
the caufes of it, the apollle gives a double illuflration ; 
the firfl whereof is the tnterdl^ given againfl touching the 
mount ; which extended to the very beafts ; * And if io 
* much as a beaft touch the mountain ;' fo was the divine 
conftitution ; * whether it be bead or man, it fliall not 
^ live ;' [Exod. xix. 13.] I doubt not but that Divine 
Providence removed from it fuch brute creatures as were 
not under the power of men, fuch as might be wild about 
thofe mountainous deferts, or elfe the fire confumed them 
to the leaft creeping thing ; but the prohibition refpe£ls the 
cattle of the -people^ which were under their power, and at 
their difpofal ; and this (befides being an illuftratioa of 
the abfolute inacceffiblenefs of God by the law) feems to 
intimate the uncleannefs of all things v/hich finners poflefs, 
by their relation to them. To the impure all things are 
impure and defiled ; therefore doth the prohibition extend 
itfelf to the beafts alfo. 

The punifhment of a beaft touching the mount, was, 
that it fhould die ; and it is exprefied in the prohibition, 
that no hand fhould touch that which had oiiended ; it was 
to be flain at a diflance with ilones or darts ; no hand was 
ever more to touch it \ either, to relieve it, which may be 
the fenfe of the word ; or to Jlay it^ left it were defiled 
thereby ; and this alfo fheweth, at what a diftance we 
ought to keep ourfelves from every thing that falls under 
the curfe of the hiw. 

§ 3. The fecond evidence which he gives of the 
dreadful promubzation of the law, and coi^fequently of 
the miferable ft ate of them that are under its power, is 
on what befell P'vlofrs on this occafion ; the eflecl of this 
terror extendeth irfelf to the meaneft of beafts, and to the 
beft of men ; Mofes was a peri-on holy, and abounding ia 
grace above all others of his time ; the meekeft man on 
the earth ; he was accirftomcd to divine revelations, and 
had once before beheld a reprefentation of the Divine 
prefence [Exod. iii.] he was the internuntius, the media- 
, Vol. IV. X x tory 


tory mefTenger, between God and the people at that time ; 
yet would none of thefe privileges exempt him from an 
amazing fenfe of the terror of the Lord in giving the law ; 
and if on all thefe advantages he could not bear it, much 
lefs can any other man do fo ; the Mediator himfelf of 
the old covenant was not able to fuftain the dread and 
terror of the law ; how defperate then are their hopes who 
would yet be faved by Moles ! 

This exprefhon was, * I exceedingly fear and quake,' 
or tremble ; that he faid fo, we are affured by the Holy 
Ghofl in this place ; they were undoubtedly fpoken then 
and there (though not recorded in the facred ftory,) 
hence it is faid, that he /pake, but not one word is added 
of what he did fpeak, [Exod. xix. 19.] ' And when the 

* voice of the trumpet founded long, and waxed louder 
"* and louder, Mofes fpake and God anfwered him by a 

* voice ;' then no doubt he fpoke thefe words ; for it was 
immediately upon his light of the dreadful appearance, 
to which feafon the apollle affigns them. 

It is faid, moreover, that God anfwered him v/ith a 
voice ; but what he faid to him is not recorded. Doubt- 
lefs, God fpoke what gave him relief, which deUvered 
him out of his diftrefs, and reduced him to a frame of 
mind meet for the miniflration committed to him, which 
in his furprifal and confternation he was not ; and there- 
fore immediately afterwards, v/hen the people fell into 
their great horror and diftrefs, he was able to relieve and 
comfort them, no doubt, with that kind of relief which 
he himfelf had received from God, [Exod. xx. 20.]— ^ 
It appears then that, 

§ 4. Obf. All perfons concerned were brought to an 

utter diflrefs by the renovation and giving of the law, 

from whence no relief is to be obtained but by him alone 

who is the end of the law for righteoufnefs to all ths,t 

■ believe* 


ysR. 22— 24. EPISTLE TO THE HEBREWS, 337 

Verses 22 — 24. 


§ I. The Ji ate of the church under the go [pel, A rule of in- 
terpretation. § 2. (I.) Believers are come to mount SI on, 
§ 3, 4. '2 he city of the living God. ^ 5. 7 he company 
of angels, § 6. Inferences. § 7. The general ajfembly^ 
and churchy § 8. Of the firflborn^ written in heaven, 
§ 9. 7(? God the judge of all, § to. To the fpirits of 
juft men made perfccf. § li. To Jefus the Mediator of 
the neu> covenant. § 12. The blood of fprinkling. § 13. 
T'hat fpeaketh better things than AbeVs. § 14- How wtf 
come to theje things. § 15 — 17. (II.) Obfervations, 

§ I. X HIS is the fecond part of the comparifon. In 
X\iQ former he gave an account of the ilate of the people 
and the church under the law, from the giving of it, and 
the nature of its commands. In this he fo declares the 
ilate to which they were called by the gofpel, as to ma- 
nifeft it to be incomparably more excellent in itfelf, and 
beneficial to them. 

We have here a bleffed, a glorious defcription of the 
Catholic church, as the nature and communion of it is re- 
vealed under the gofpel ; whiclr is diftributed into two 
parts — militant and triumphant. There is in the religion 

X X 2 of 


of the papills another part of the church, neither in earth 
nor in heaven, but mtder the earth, as they fay, in pur-> 
gatory. But with thisf they who come to Chrifl by the 
gofpel have nothing to do. They come indeed to the 

• fpirits of juft men made perfeft :' but fo are none of 
thofe, by their own confeffion, who are in purgatory. 
Wherefore believers have nothing to do with them. 

That which we mufl refpedl as our rule in the expofi- 
tion of the whole is, that the apoflle intends a defcrip- 
tion of that Hate whereunto believers are called by the 
gofpel. For it is that alone which he oppofeth to the 
itate of the church under the Old Teflament. And to 
fuppofe that it is the heaverdy future ft ate which he intends, 
is utterly to deftroy the force of his argument and exhor- 
tation. For they are built folely on the pre-eminence of 
the gofpel flate, above that under the law, and not of hea- 
ven itfelf, which none could queflion. 

§ 2. (I.) And firfl we are faid to * come to mount 

* S>ionJ The fum of the whole is, that by the gofpel we 
are called to a participation of all the glory which was 
afcribed orpromifed to the church under thofe names, in 
opposition to what the people received by the law at mount 



Sion was a mount in Jerufalem, which had two heads, 
one whereof was called Moriah, whereon the temple was 
built, whereby it became the feat of all the folemn wor- 
.fhip of God ; and on the other was the place and habi- 
tation of the kings of the houfe of David ; both of them 
typical of Chrift, the one in his prieftly,- the other in his 
kingly office. 

And the opposition between tlkfe two mountains was 
eminent. For God came down for a feafen only on 
mount Sinai ; but in Sion he is faid to dwell^ and to make 
It his habitation for ever. He appeared in terror on mount 
Sinai, as we have (een ; but Sion was in Jerufalem^ 
which is a ' vifion of peace.' He gave the law on mount 
Sinai; the gofpel went forth from Sion, [Ifa. ii. 2, 3.] 
He utterly forfook Sinai, and left it under hondagt ; but 
Sion hfree forever, [GaL iv.] The people were, burthen- 



ed with the law at mount Sinai, with which burden they 
were led to Sion, where they waited for dehverance from 
it, in the obfervations of tJiofe inflitutions of divine wor- • 
fhip which were typical and fignificant thereof. 

Sion therefore is the place of God's fpecial gracious re- 
lidence, the throne of Chrift in liis reign, the fubjeft of 
all graces, the objed of all promifes, as the fcripture 
abundantly teilifies. This is the firfl privilege of be- 
lievers under the gofpel. They come to mount Sion ; that 
is, they are interefted in all the p-omlfes of God made to 
Sion, recorded in the fcripture ; in all the love and care of 
God exprelTed towards it ; in all the Jpiritual glories af- 
•figned to it. The things fpoken of it were never ac- 
complifhed in the earthly Sion ; but typically, fpiritually, 
and in their reality they belong to believers under the 
New Teftament. All the promifes, therefore, which were 
made of old to Sion, do belong to the prefent church of 
believers. Thefe in every condition they may plead with 
God ; they have the grace, and fhall have the comfort 
contained in them. There is the fecurity and alTurance 
of their fafetv, prefervation, and eternal falvation. 
Hereon depends their final deliverance from all their op- 

Be their outward condition never fo mean and deflitute ; 
be they affli£led, perfecuted, and defpifed, yet all the 
glorious things that are fpoken of Sion are theirs, and aC' 
complilhed in them in the fight of God, however excel- 
lent and innumerable. 

Let this be compared with the people's coming to 
mount Sinai, as before declared, and the glory of it wiil 
be confpicuous. And believers are to be admonifhed, to 
walk worthy of the privilege ; [Pfal. xv,] to be thankful 
for it; to rejoice in it ; and to make it an efFedual motive 
to obedience and perfeverancc. 

§ 3. They are faid to come ' unto the city of the living 
* God, the heavenly Jerufalem.' Both thefe are the fame. 
So Jerufalem is calkd the city of God ; [Pfal. xlvi. 4. 
xlviii. I, 8. Ixxxvii. 3.] But in every place with refpe£t 
to Sion. 

I. Thev 

340 AN EXr^OSltlON OF THE Chap. XII. 

1. They came to a city. They received the law in a 
ivUdernefsy where they had neither reft nor refuge. But in 
a city there is order, defence, and fafety j it is the name 
of a quiet habitation. 

2. This was the city ef God. The flate of the church 
under the New Teflament hath the fafety, and beautiful 
order of a city, the city of God ; the only city which he 
takes peculiarly to be his own in this world. — It is his on 
account of propriety ; he framed it, he built it, it is his 
own ; no creature can lay claim to it, or any part of it. 
And thofe who ufurp a dominion over it, fhall anfwer to 
him for their ufurpation. — It is his on account of inhabit 
tation ; for he dwelleth in it, and in it alone, by his gra- 
cious prefence. — It is under God's rule^ as its only fove- 
reign. Therein he difpofeth all his children to a fpiritual 
fociety. So Paul tells the Ephefians, that by gr^ce they 
were delivered from being flrangers and foreigners, and 
made fellow citizens with the faints, and the houfehold of 
God, [Ephef. ii. 19.] 

3. The apoftle adds a property of God of great confi- 
deration in this matter. It is * the city of the livitig 
* God •/ that is, of the true and only God. Of him who 
is omnipotent, able to keep and preferve his own city, as 
having all life, and confequently all power in himfelf. 
Of him who Jives, eternally, and with whom we Ihall 
live, when we fliall be no more here. 

4. This city of the living God, is the heavenly Jerufa^ 
Urn, And the apoftle herein prefers the privileges of the 
gofpel, not only above what the people were made parta- 
kers of at Sinai in the wildernefs \ but alfo above all that 
afterwards they enjoyed in Jeri-tfalem in the land of Ca- 
naan. For in the glory and privileges of that city the 
Hebrews greatly boafted. But the apoflle cafts that city, 
in the {late wherein it then was, into the fame condition 
with mount Sinai in Arabia, that is, under bondage ; 
[Gal. iv. 25.] and he oppofeth thereto that Jerufalem 
which is above, that is, this heavenly jerufalem. And it is 
called heavenly ; becaufe, as a city, it is not of this world ; 
becaufc no fmall part of its inhabitants are already actu- 


ally inflated in heaven ; becaufe as to its flate on ear^h, it 
comes down from heaven ; [Rev. xxi. 2, 3.] that is, hath 
its original from divine authority and inflitution ; becaufe 
the portion and inheritance of all its inhabitants lie in 
heaven : becaufe the fpiritual life and graces of all that be- 
long to it are heavenly ; and, finally, becaufe their [710X1- 
'^svuoc) city converfatioriy is in heaven. 

§ 4. And we may yet a little farther reprefent the glory 
of this privilege, in the enfuing remarks : 

1. A city is the only place of r£/?, peace, fafety, and 
honour, among men in this w^orld. To all thefe, in the 
fpiritual fenfe, we are brought by the gofpel. Whilft 
men are under the law, they are at Sinai, in a wildernefs 
where there are none of thefe things. The fouls of fin- 
ners can find no place of reft or fafety under the law. 
But we have all thefe things by the gofpel. Reft in Chrift, 
peace with God, order in the communion of faith, fafety 
in divine protection, and honour in our relation to God 
in Chrift. 

2. The greateft and moft glorious city which is, or 
ever was in the worlds is the city of this or that man who 
hath power or dominion in it. The gofpel church is the 
city of the living God \ and it is ten thoufand times more 
glorious to be a citizen thereof than of the greateft city in 
the world. To be a citizen of the city of God, is to 
be free, to be honourable, to be fafe, to have a certain 
habitation, and a blefted inheritance. 

3. God dwells in the church of believers. The great 
king inhabits his own city. Herein is the fpecial reii- 
dence of his glory and majefty. He built it, framed it 
for himfelf, and fays concerning it, * There will I dwell, 
* and this fhall be my habitation for ever.' And it is no 
fmall privilege to dwell v^Mth God in his own city. The 
name of this city is * Jehovah Shammah,' the Lord Is there. 
[Ezek. xlviii. o,^.'] 

4. The privileges of this city of God are heavenly, it 
is the * heavenly Jerufalem.' Thence it is that the world 
knows tliem not, values them not, 

§ S- In 


§ 5. Ill the next place the apoftle affirms, that believers 
are come to * an innumerable company of angels ;' (uv- 
cicc<ri ayy'cKoov) to myriads of angels. A myriad iz ten thou- 
Jand, and when it is ufed in the plural number, it figni- 
iies an innumerable company, as we here render it. Pof- 
fibly he hath refpecl to the angels that attended the pre- 
fence of God in the giving of the law, whereof the 
Pfalmiil fays ; * The chariots of God are twenty thou- 

* fand, even thoufands of angels ; the Lord is among 

* them as in Sinai in the holy place ;' [Pfal. Ixviii. 17.] 
or the account of them given by Daniel ; * Thoufand 

* thoufands miniflcred unto him, and ten thoufand times 

* ten thoufand flood before him ;' [chap. vii. 10.] that is, 
an innumerable company. 

This accefs to angels is fpiritual. The accefs of the 
people to their miniftry in Sinai was corporeal only ; nor 
had they any communion with them thereby ; but ours 
1^ fpiritual, in virtue of t\\t recapitulation of them and us 
in Chrifl: ; [Ephef. i. 10.] they and v/e are brought into 
one myflical body, whereof Chrifl is the head ; one fami- 
ly which is in heaven and earth, called after hia name, 
[Ephef iii. 14, 15.] we are brought together into one 
fociety ; they and we are conflantly engaged in the fame 
worfhip of Jefus Chrifl. Hence they call themfelves our 
fellow f^rvants. This God hath given in command to 
them as well as to us. For he faith, * Let all the angels 
' of God worfliip him,' [chap, i, 6.] which they accord- 
ingly do. [Rev. V. II, 12.] 

Befides \ there is a minijlry committed to them for the 
fervice of the church, [chap. i. 14.] and the fear and 
drc'ctd of their miniflrv is now taken from us, which was 
fo great under the Old Teflament, that thofe to whom 
they appeared thought they mufl die immediately. There 
is therefore a perfect reconciliation between the church on 
earth and the angels above ; the diflance and enmity oc- 
caiioned by fin is taken away, [Col. i. 20.] There is a 
onencfs in d&^^gn, and a communion in fervice between 
tiiem and us ; as v/e rejoice in their happinefs and glory, 
fo they feek ours continually ; their afcription of praii fc 

I and 

Ver. !?2-.24. EPISTLE TO THE HEBREWS. 345 

and glory to God, is mingled with the praifes of the 
church, fo as to compole an intire worfliip. [Rev. v. 9 


Wherefore by Jftfus Chrifl we have a blelTed accefs to 
this innumerable company of angels. Thofe who, by 
reafon of our fall from God, and the firft entrance of 
4in, had no regard to us, but to execute the vengeance of 
God again ft us, reprefented by the cherubims with the 
Jiatning /word (for he maketh his angels fpirits, and his 
minifters a flame of fire) to keep man, when he had 
finned, out of Eden, and from the tree of life ; [Gen. iii. 
24.] thofe, whofe miniftry God made ufe of in giving 
the law, to fill the people with dread and terror ; — thofe, 
I fay, are now in Chrift become one myftical body with 
the church, and our afTociates in deiign and fervice. 
And this may well be efteemed an eminent privilege which 
we receive by the gofpel. 

§ 6. And if this be fo, then we may infer, 

1. The church is tht fafeft fociety in the world. A 
kingdom it is, a city, a family, an houfe, which the 
power of hell and the world can never prevail againfl. 
Nor are thefe boajllng words^ (whatever diflrefled condi- 
tion it may be in, in this world) but the faithful fayings 
of God. Let us not fear the ruin of the church, whilll: 
there is an innumerable company of angels belonging to 

2. It is the mofl honourable fociety in the world ; for all 
the angels of heaven belong to it. This poor, defpicable, 
perfecuted church, confifting for the moft part of as fuch as 
are contemned in the world, is admitted to the fociety of 
all the holy angels in heaven, in the worlhip and fervice 
of Chrifl. 

3. And we may fee hence the folly of that voluntary 
humility in the worflnp-ping of angels, which the apoftle 
condemns, and which is openly pra£lifed in the church of 
Rome. They worfliip thofe who are only the fellow 
fervants of true believers. 

4. It is the higheft madnefs for any one to pretend him- 
felf'to be the head of the church, as the Pope doth, un- 

VoL. IV. Y y lefs 


Icfs he allume alfo to himklf to be the head of all the an^ 
gels in heaven, for they all belong to the fame church with 
the faints here below. And therefore when mention is 
made of the headfliip of Chriil, they are cxprelily placed 
hi the fame fubje£lion to him. [Ephef. i. 20 — 23.] 

§ 7. Another inilance of the glory of this llate is, that 
therein believers come to the ' general ajjcmbly, and church 
' of the iiril-born.' 

1. Perhaps the word here ufed, (TvocvYiyvcjig and skkK'/j^ 
cic^) are borrowed from the cuftoms of thofe cities, whofe 
government was democratical ; efpecially that of Athens, 
whofe fpeech was the rule of the Greek language. The 

fonner word was ufed for the Jolemn ajjembly of all perfons 
belonging to the city, where they were entertained with 
fpe6lacles, facriflces, feilival folemnities, and laudatory 
orations ; hence {Xoyog 7rccvvr/vpi?tog) a commendatory oration. 
And therefore the word is ufed for any great affembly, as 
we here tranflate it, with refpefl to praife and joy. In 
thefe aifemblies no bulincfs of the flate was tranfa£led. 
But the latter {sKr.X'/i(rio:,) was a meeting of citizens to de- 
termine affairs which had a previous deliberation in the 
Tenate. Hence it is applied to lignify that which we call 
the church ; or (Vrrp) the congregation ; which is an affem- 
bly for all the fpiritual ends of the fociety. But, 

2. I rather think the apoille hath refpedl to the great 
GJJemhly of all the males of the church of the Old Tefta- 
ment. This was a divine inftitution to be obferved three 
times a year, at the folemn feafts of the church, [Exod. 
xxxiv. 23. Deut. ^vi. 16.] and the afTembly of them was 
called the ^rf^^ congregation^ [Pfal. xxii. 25. xxxv. 18.] 
being the greateft folemnities, and the moft glorious in 
the whole church ; a matter of triumph to them all. 

3. It may be, regard is had to the general afjcmhly of 
the whole people at Sinai, in the receiving of the law.— 
But there is a great di£-erence between thofe aifemblies 
and this. For to thofe civil and political aiiemblies^ 
as alfo that of the church, it was neceffary, that there 
lliouid be a Ucal meeting of all belonging to themi 


Ver. 22—24. EPISTLE TO THE HEBREWS. 345 

bat the aiTembly and church here intended, 2.rQ fpirhual, 
and fo is their meeting or convention. There never 
was, nor ever ihall be, a local meeting of them all, until 
the laft day. At prefent, fuch as is the nature of their 
fociety, fuch is their convention ; that is fpiritual. But yet 
all that belong to the general alTembly intended, v^rhich is 
the feat of praife and joy, are obliged by virtue of fpecial 
inftitution, whilfl in this world, to alTemble in particular 

§ 8. * Of the firft-horn which are vjritten in heaven? 
There is no reafon to confine this expreffion (as fome 
expolitors do) to the apoflles ; efpeciaily fince moft of 
them at that time v^ere among the Ipirits of juft men made 
perfe£l ; wherefore, in my judgement, the whole church 
of ele£l believers^ confifting of Jews and Gentiles, as one 
general aflembly, is intended, and which he celebrates 
elfewhere as one of the greateft myfleries of divine wif- 
dom, which was hid in God from the beginning of the 
world, and not till then revealed. [See Ephef. iii. 5 — 10.] 
This alTembly is defcribed, Rev. v. 9, 10. * Thou haft 
' redeemed us to God by thy blood, out of every kindred, 

* and tongue, and people, and nation, and haft made us to 

* our God kings and priefts ;* that is, one general affembly 
and church of the firft-born. 

And their coming to this aiTembly is oppofed to their 
coming to mount Sinai ; for therein was both (nTccwiyu'^Lq) 
a general affembly ; and (sr^r^K'^o-Kz) a church. It was a 
general afjemhly^ as coniifting of all that people, men, 
women, and children; and it was a churchy [A£lsvii. 
38.] on account of the order which was in it in the 
ftation of the elders, priefts, &c. This, therefore, is the 
general aflembly of the firft-born, written or enrolled in 
heaven ; vi%. the ele£l of God called, and by gratuitous 
adoption interefted in all the privileges of the firft born ; 
that is, made co-heirs with Chrift, and heirs of God, or 
of the whole heavenly inheritance. But although this is 
. comprehenlive of them all in all generations, ytt believers 
come in a peculiar manner to them of whom the church of 
God doth conlift, in the days of their profefTion. 

Y y 2 § 9. The 


§ 9. The apoflle proceeds, in the next place, to mind 
us of the fupreme head of his holy fociety ; * And to 
* God the judge of all.' — It is not improbable but that in 
the enumeration of thefe glorious privileges, the apoflle 
makes mention of the relation of" God to this fociety and 
communion, to beget in believers a due reverence of what 
they are called to therein ; and fo he fhuts up his im- 
provement of this whole difcourfe. 

There is no accefs to God but by Jefus Chrift, fignified 
by the fevere interdiB againll the touching the mount, or 
taking one ftep over its bounds to gaze, when the tokens 
of his prefence were upon it, in the legiflation ; but alfo 
believers have accefs by Chrift, — * T^o the judge of all,'* 
This may not feem a privilege^ for it is the lot of all men 
to appear before his judgement feat : but it is one thing 
to be brought before a judge to be tried, and fentenced as 
criminals ; another to have a favourable accefs to him, as 
our neceffities require ; and fuch is the accefs here in- 

But to this accefs there are previoufly required, the 
pardon of our fins, the juftification of our perlons, and 
the fanftification of our natures, without which no man 
can behold God as a judge, but to his confufion ; behold, 
then, how great is the privilege of that flate, which we 
are called to by the gofpel ; which gives us fuch a fenfe 
and affiirance of our pardon, adoption, juftification, and 
fanftification, as that we may with boldnefs come to 
the judge of all on his throne ! 

§ 10. It followeth in the next place, that we arc 
* come to the fpirits of juft men made perfect.' — -The 
juft men intended, were all thofe whofe faith he had 
declared, [chap, xi.] with all others of the fame fort, 
from tlie foundation of the world ; and in following their 
example, vv^hilil they were on the earth, we are admitted 
to communion with them, now they are in heaven. 

The fpirits of juft men are faid to be made perfe^, 
to be confummated ; and herein three things are in- 
cluded ; — The end of the race wherein they had been 
engaged ; the race of faith and obedience with all tlie 
2 diffi-^ 

Ver. 22.— 24. EPISTLE TO THE HEBREWS. 347 

difficulties, duties and temptations belonging thereto ; — 
Kpcrfed deliverance from all lin, forrow, trouble, labour, 
and temptation, which in this life they were expofed to ; 
and— the enjoyment of the reward; for it is not conliftent 
with the righteoufnefs of God, to defer it after the whole 
courfe of their obedience is accomplifned. This con- 
fummation they have in the prefence of God, according to 
their capacity, before the refurre£t:ion, there being nothing 
wanting to them but the reception of their bodies in a 
flate of glory. Though they are made perfccl^ yet they 
are hVitfplrits. 

And here we have a clear profped into this part of the 
invifible world ; the flate of the fouls of juft men de- 
parted. For it is declared, — that thtj fuhJi/i, afting their 
intelledual powers and faculties. For how could we come 
to tJnm that are not, or are without the exercife of their 
effential powers and faculties ? They are in the prefence 
of God. For in our accefs to God * the judge of all,' 
we come to the fpirits of juft men made perfect, who 
niufl be in his prefence ; fo in his prefence, as to be in 
conjun£iion with the holy angels in the temple v/orfliip 
of heaven. They live in the fame love of God which 
animates the whole catholic church below ; they join 
with it in the afcriptions of the fame praifes of God and 
the Lamb, and have a concernment in the church mili- 
tant, as belonging to that myftical body of Chrift, wherein 
themfelves are fharers. Again ; they are confummatedy 
or made perfect, freed from all fins, fears, dangers, temp- 
tations, clogs of the flefh, and obnoxioufnefs to death. 
Their faith is heightened into vifion, and all their graces 
elevated into glory. 

§ II. The apoftle proceeds to the immediate fpring 
and center of all this catholic communion ; ' Jefus, the 
* mediator of the new covenant.' He calls him here by 
the name of * Jcfus^ which is fignificant of his faving 
the church; which he doth as mediator of the new cove- 
nant, [chap. ix. 15 — 17, &c.] 

He is here mentioned in oppofition to Mofcs, who, as 
to the general nature and notion of the word, was a medi> 



ator, or middle agent^ between God and the people. But 
as to the fpecial nature of the mediation of Jefus l>e had 
no intereit in it. He was not th^ furety of the covenant 
to God on the people's part. He did not confirm the 
covenant by his own death. He did not offer himfelf 
in facrince to God, as Jefus did ; but as an internuntius^ 
to declare the mind of God to the people, he was a me- 
diator appointed by God, and chofen by the people them- 
felves, [Exod. xx.] To him as fuch the people came. 
They were all * baptized into Mofes, in the cloud and 
' in the fea,' [I. Cor. x. 2.] In oppoution hereto, be- 
lievers come to * Jefus, the mediator of the new cove- 
* nant ; which includes an intereil in that new covenant, 
and all the benefits of it. Whatever, therefore, is of 
mercy, grace, or glory, prepared in the new covenant, 
and its promifes, we are made partakers of it all, by our 
accefs to Chrifl, the mediator of it. And whereas before 
he had evidenced from the fcripture how much more excel- 
lent this covenant is, than that made with tlie people at 
Sinai ; there is a peculiar force in it to perfuade them to 
fledfailnefs in the profefiion of the gofpcl, which is 
aimed at in all thefe divine reafonings. 

§ 12, Again; the mofl fignal inftance wherein the 
Lord Jefus exercifed and executed his office of mediation 
on earth, v/as \!i\t foedding of his hlood iox the confirmation 
of the covenant, whereof he was the mediator ; hence it 
is added, * And to the blood of fprinlzUng \ fo called, no 
doubt, in allufion to all the various typical fpriiikiings of 
blood by divine inftitution under the Old Tcftament. 
But whereas it is immediately annexed to the mention of 
him, as ' mediator of the w^^^ covenant,' it efpccially re- 
fpeds the fprinkhng of the blood wherewith the covenant 
at mount Horeb was cojifirmed. As that old covenant 
was ratified and confirmed by the mediator of it, with th-e 
fprinkling of the blood of facrifieed oxen ; fo the new 
covenant was confirmed by the blood of the mediator 
himfelf of the new covenant offered in facrifice to God. 

Wherefore the blood of Chrift is called, ' the blood of 
' fprinklingy with refpe6l to the application of it to believers, 




as to all the ends and effects for which it was offered in 
facrifice to God ; and to be fprlnklcd with the blood of it, 
is to have the expiating and cleaning efficacy of it ap- 
plied to us. [See chap. i. 3. ix. 14. with the Expofition.] 
§ 13. ' That fpeaketh better things than that of Abel.' 
It [peaks ; it hath a voice ; it pleads ; and this mull: be 
either with God or man. But whereas it is the blood 
of a facrifice, whofe objed was God, to him it fpeaks. 

1. It fpeaks good //^i«^j abfolutely. To ' fpeak' here 
is to call for, cry for, plead for ; it fpeaks to God by- 
virtue of the everlafting compaft between the Father and 
the Son, in his undertaking the work of mediation ; it 
fpeaks for the communication of all the good things of 
the covenant in mercy, grace, and glory, to the church. 
It did fo when it was fned, and it continues to do fo in 
his interceifory prefentation of it in heaven. 

2. It fpeaks good things comparatively ; * better things 
' than that of Abel.' It is expreflly recorded, that Abel's 
own blood, .after it was fhed, did fpeak, cry, and plead for 
vengeance, or the puniHiment of the murderer. So fpeaks 
God himfelf : ' The voice of thy brother's blood crieth 
• unto me from the ground,' \^Gtn. iv. 10.] The ground 
of the comparifon ufed by the apoille is plainly this ; 
that whereas the blood of ChriH was fhed by their wicked 
hands, even as Abel was by the hands of Cain, the con- 
fideration of that might call many of the Jews who were 
confenting thereto into Cain's defperation ; he feafonr 
ably fhews, that the blood of Chrift (as the blood of the 
covenant) never cried as Abel's did, for vengeance on 
them by whom it was flied, but pleaded their pardon ; 
fo fpeaking things quite of another nature than did that 
of Abel. This, therefore, is the plain, obvious, and only 
true fenfe of the place. 

§ 14. Our laft inquiry on thefe words is; How we 
come to all thefe things P I anfwer, 

I. The original of this communion, the framer of this 
fociety, is God himfelf, even the Father, in a peculiar 
raanner. Therefore doth our admiffion into it arife from,. 



and depend upon that peculiar a£l of his, * eknlon^ 
[Ephef. i. 3, 4.] 

2. The only means of an a6lual admiffion into this 
fociety is> Jefus Chrifl, in his perfon and mediation. For 
ahhough the ele£l angels be not redeemed and jufcified 
by him, as we are, yet \\\t\x Jiatlon in this fociety is from 
him, [Ephef. i. 10.] Wherefore, 

3. The means on our part^ whereby we come to this 
ftate and fociety, is, faith in Chiifi. Hereby w^e come 
to him ; and coming to him he makes us free citizens 
of the heavenly ferufalem. 

If this only true notion of the catholic church were 
received as it ought to be, it would cafl contempt on all 
thofe contefts about the church, which at this day fo 
perplex the world. He who is firft enftated by faith on 
the perfon and mediation of the Lord Jefus Chrill in 
this heavenly fociety, will be guided by the light and 
privileges of it into fuch ways of divine worfliip in 
churches here below, as fhall caufe him to improve and 
grow in his intereft in that above. And he who is not 
admitted into this fociety, let him be in the bofom, or at 
at the head of all the churches in the world, it will be 
of no advantage to him. 

§ 15. (II.) From the above reprefentation of things 
dhferve : 

1. All pleas about church order, power, rights, and 
privileges, are ufelefs, where men are not interefted in the 
Sion ft ate. 

2. It is our duty well to confider what fort of perfons 
they ought to be, who are meet to be denizens of this 
city of God. 

3. The revelation of the glorious myftery of this ge- 
neral affembly is one of the moft excellent pre-eminences 
of the gofpel above the law. A myftery it was of divine 
wifdom hid in God from the beginning ; but now ftiining 
out in its beauty and glory. An intereft, therefore, herein 
is well propofed by the apoftle as one eminent privilege 
of believers. 

4. All 

'Ver,23— 24. EPISTLE TO THE HEBREWS. 351: 

4. All the right and title of believers, under the Old 
Teflament to Sonfhip, or the right of the firft-born, arofe 
merely, from their interefl in him, and participation o£ 
him, who is abfolutely fo. All things are theirs, becaufe 
they are Chrift's, [I. Cor. iii. 22, 23.] Without this, 
whatever are our outward enjoyments and privileges, 
whatever place of dignity we may hold in the vifible pro- 
fefling church ; we have neither lot nor portion in things 
fpiritual and eternal. 

5. It is a glorious privilege to be brought to this blef- 
fed fociety, this general alTembly of the iiril-born ; and 
as fuch it is here propofed. And we fhall find it fo, if 
we confider what company, fociety, and alFembly, we 
belong to without it ; for this is no other than that of de- 
vils and the wicked feed of the ferpent. 

6. If we are come to this alTembly, it is our duty care- 
fully to behave ourfelves as becometh the members of this 

7. All contefts about church order, flate, interefl:, 
power, with whom the church is, &c. are all vain, empty 
and unprofitable, among thofe who cannot evidence that 
they belong to this general afTembly. 

8. Eternal election is the rule of the difpenfation of 
effedual grace, to call and colled an alTembly of the firfl- 
born to God. 

§ 16. We may hrthcr obferve : 

1. In Jefus Chrifl believers are delivered from all dif- 
couraging dread and terror, in the confideration of God 
as a judge j fuch I mean as befell the people at Sinai in 

''the giving of the law. They now behold all his glory in 
the face of Jefus Chrill, which makes it amiable and de- 
fireable to them. 

2. Such is the pre-eminence of the gofpel flate above 
tiiat of the law, that whereas they of old were feverely 
forbid to make ^ny approach to the outward figns of the 
prefence of God, we now have an acccfs with holdnefs to 
his throne. 

3. As the greatefl m'lfery of unbelievers is to be brought 
to the prefence of this eternal Judge, fo it is one of the 

Vol. IV. Z z greateji 


^■eateft privileges of believers that they may come to him. 
Hence is that cry of hypocritical fmncrs, [Ifa. xxxiii. 14,] 
* Who among us,' &c. 

4. Believers have an accefs to God, as the judge of all, 
with all their caufes and complaints. As fuch he will 
hear them, plead their caufe, and judge for them. How- 
ever they may be here opprelTed, in or out of the courts 
of men, the Judge of all will at all times receive their ap- 
peals, and do them right. This liberty no man can de- 
prive them of; it is purchafed for them by Chrift ; and 
make their oppreffions unfafe to the greatell of the fons of 
men. Wherefore, 

5. However dangerous and dreadful the outward ilate 
of the church may be at any time in the world, it may 
fecure itfelf of final fuccefs ; becaufe therein God is judge 
alone, to whom they have free accefs. 

6. The profpe6l of an eternal reward from God, as 
the righteous judge, is the greateft fupport of faith in all 
prefent diftreffes. 

7. A profped by faith into the flate of the departed 
fouls of believers, is both a comfort againfl: the fears of 
death, and a fupport under all troubles and diflrelTes of 
this prefent life. 

§ 17. I. This is the bleffednefs and fafety of the ca- 
tholic church, that it is taken into fuch a covenant, and 
hath an intereft in fuch a mediator of it, as are able to 
fave it to the utmoft. 

2. The true notion of faith for life and falvation is a 
coming unto Jefus as the mediator of the New Teila- 
ment ; for thereby we have an egrefs and deliverance 
from the covenant of works, and the curfe wherewith it 
is accompanied. 

3. It is the wifdom of faith to make ufe of that medi- 
:itor continually, in all wherein we have to do with God. 
To be negligent herein, is to refleft on the wifdom and 
grace of God, in appointing him to be the mediator of 
the covenant, and on his love and power to difcharge 
that ofHce. 

4, The 


4. The gloiy, the fafety, the pre-eminence of the ftate 
of beh'evers under the gofpel coniifts in this, — That they 
come therein to Jefus the mediator of the new covenant. 
This is the center of all fpiritual privileges, the rife of all 
fpiritual joys, and the full fatisfadion of the fouls of ^U 
that believe. 

Verses 25. 

see that ye refuse not him that speaketh, for 
if they escaped not who refused him that 
spake on earth, much more shall not we 
escape if we turn away from him that speak'* 
eth from heaven. 

§ I. IntroduSfion. § 2. (I.) Expofitlon, Him that fpeak-» 
eth, § 3. He thai [pake on earthy who. § 4. How the 
people refufed him that then f poke ^ and did not ef cape. § 5, 
Him that fpeaketh from heaven. § 6. To turn away from 
hlm^ what^ § y. (II.) Obfervatioms 

§ I. Jrl AVING given a fummary account of the two 
Hates of the law and gofpel, with the incomparable excel- 
lence of the latter above the former, the apoftle draws 
from hence a charge and exhortation addrefled both to 
them who had adually profeffed the gofpel, and them to 
whom it had been preached, but who had not received and 
profeffed it. In brief, he intended all forts in their fe- 
veral flates and capacities, to whom the gofpel had been 

§ 2. (I.) * See that ye refufe not,' (rov "KGtXHvla) him 
thai fpeaketh. There is a general rule in the words, that 
"we are diligently to attend to, and not to refufe, any that 
fpeak to us in the name and authority of Chrift j but 
yet the perjon of Chrift hlmfelf is immediately intended. 
Z a ^ And 


And this command hath refpe£l to the double fokmn charge 
given of God to the church ; the firft on the clofing of 
the law, the other as the beginning and foundation of the 
gofpel. The firfl charge was given to prepare the church 
for their duty in its proper feafon, [Deut. xviii. i8, 19.] 
The other charge was given immediately from heaven, as 
the foundation of the gofpel, [Matt. xvii. 5.] This is the 
foundation of all gofpel faith and obedience, and the for- 
mal reafon of the condemnation of all unbelievers. God 
hath given command to all men to hear, that is, believe 
and obey his Son Jef^s Chrift.. By virtue thereof he hath 
given command to others, to preach the gofpel to all in- 
dividuals. They who believe them, believe in Chrill ; 
and they who believe in Chrill through him, believe in 
God, [I. Pet. i. 21.] fo that their faith is ultimately re- 
folved into the authority of God himfelf And fo they 
who rcfiife them, who hear not them, do thereby refufe 
Chrift himfelf; and by fo doing reje£l the authority of 
God, who bath given this command to hear him, and 
hath taken on himfelf to require it when it is negleded ; 
which is the condemnation of all unbelievers. 

Again ; the apoflle gives an enforcement of this duty- 
taken from the conlideration of tlie perfon with whom 
they had to do, and a comparifon between the event of the 
ncgled of this duty in them, and a negled of the fame 
kind of duty in thofe to whom the law was given. But^ 

§ 3. Who is (rvig stti T'/jg yvjg y^pvi^.c^JL^ovjoc) he that 
fpake on earth P The word {y^priUc^LQiv) in fcripture is ap- 
plied to God alone, and he who Jpake on the earth, his voice 
thcnJJjook the earth ; which was not the voice of Mofes. 
Some therefore fay, that an angel is intended, who deli- 
vered all thofe oracles on mount Sinai in the name of God. 
But it deferves notice, that in giving the law he lays the 
whole weight of its authority on the perfon of the fpeaker, 
faying, * I am the Lord thy God.' If all this may be 
afcribcd to an angel, then there is one who is an angel by 
cfficc, and God by nature ; or v/e are bound to take a created 
angel to be our God. Wherefore, he that then fpoke 
on earth, who gave thefe divine oracles, was none other 
I ' but 

Ver.2^, epistle to the HEBREWS. 35^ 

but the Son of Godhmfelf \ or the divine nature afting itfelf 
in a pecuhar manner in the perfon of the Son ; and to 
him all things agree. What is purely divine was proper 
to his perfon, and what was of condefcenfion belonged to 
him in a way of office^ as he was the angel of the cove- 
nant, in whom was the name of God. It again deferves 
notice, that the oppofitlon exprefled is not between the per^ 
fons fpeaking, but between earth and heaven, as the next 
verfe fufficiently fliews. And that verfe declares pofitively, 
that it was one and t\it fame perfon y whofe voice then fhook 
the earth, and who under the gofpel Ihaketh the heaven 
alfo. — But let us inquire, 

§ 4. How the people {TrocpoiPscroiixsvoi) refufed hira, 
who fpake on earth ? The word here ufed is the fame with 
that which ver. 19. we render by entreated to hear m 
more, that is, deprecated the hearing of the voice of God^ 
It difcovered the want of that faith and filial boldnefs, 
which were necefiary to enable them to abide with God. 
With refped hereto the apoftle might juftly date their de- 
parture from God, and refufal of obedience, which imme- 
diately enfued on this difcovery, fo that they liked not the 
prefence and voice of God. But the people's a^ual refufai 
of obedience began in their making the golden calf, 
while Mo fes v/as in the mount, [Exod. xxxii.] from which 
tiiey did not efcape ; for, befides that three thoufand of 
them on that occafion ^tx^ fain by the fword — and God 
made it a record concerning that fin ; ' In the day where- 
' in I will vifit, I will vifit their fin upon them ; and the 

* Lord plagued the people,' [Exod. xxxii. 34, 35.] — af- 
ter this enfued fundry other rebellions of the people, in all 
which they refufed him who fpake on earth. 

§ 5. * Much more fhall not we efcape if we turn away 

* from (roy (xjtt ^mvuo'j) him that is, or fpcaketh,yroAW hea- 
< ven.^ This is fuily declared by himfelf, [John iii." 12, 
13.] * If I have told you earthly things, and ye believe 
« not, how fhall ye believe if I tell you of heavenly things.' 

* And no man hath afcended up to heaven, but he that 

* came down/ro;?2 heaven, even the Son of man who is in 
^.heaven.' Add hereto, [ver. 31.] ' Ho that cometh from 

* hea- 


* heaven is above all ; he that is of the earth is earthy, 

* and fpeaketh of the earth : he that cometh from heaven is 
^ above all.' [See John vi. 33 — 38.] .Thele places treat 
of the fame matter as that intended in the text : namelv, 
the revelation of heavenly things, or the myileries of the 
will of God by Jefus Chrift, In each place it is affirmed, 
that to make this revelation he came from heaven \ fo that 
emphatically ' he was from heaven \ but withal, whilfl he 
did fo, he was Hill in heaven, * the Son of Man who is 

* in heaven.' He was {o fom heaven io his defcent to de- 
clare the will of God, as that he was in his d'lvme perfon 
ilill in heaven. Wherefore he is from heaven as for other 
reafons fo eminently on account of his opening heaven^ and 
all the treafares of it, bringing life and immortality to 
light by the gofpel, in comparifon whereof the things of 
the law are called earthly things. 

§ 6. We muit next inquire, what it is to turn away 
from him who thus fpeaketh from heaven ? And fundry 
things are included in this expreffion : 

1. That in the declaration of the gofpel by Jefus 
^ Chrift from heaven, there is a call^ an invitation of fin- 

ners to come to him, to be made partakers of the good 
things contained therein. And herein it differeth fuffi- 
ciently from the law in the giving of it. For that was 
fo far from being propofed with an encouraging invita- 
tion to come to God thereby, as that it was only a terribk 
denunciation of duties and penalties, which they that heard 
coidd not endure, and rem.oved as far as they could froni 

2. There is in this turning away a dljllke of the terms of 
the gofpel propofed to them. And therein they defpife 
the wifdom, grace, and faithfulnefs of God to the utmoft. 
This is emphatically unbelief 

3. There is in this turning away, a rejedion cf the 
authority of Chrift ; for befides tlic matter which he de- 
clared and preached, his perfonal authority had its peculiar 
power and efficacy to require obedience this the apollle 
here had an efpccial refpeft to. It was he who was 
' fiom heaven/ and who fpak« iu the name of liim that 

Ver.!j^\ epistle to the Hebrews. 3^7 

feiit him, even in the flrength of the Lord, in the majefty 
of the name of Lord his God ; fo that all authority in 
heaven and earth was in him, and prefent with him. It 
is evident on thefe confide rations, that human nature 
cannot more highly defpife and provoke God, than by 
this fin of unbelief. But, 

4. An obftinancy in the refufal of him is alfo included 
herein ; it is a turning away that is final and incurable. 

§ 7. (IL) From what has been faid cbjerve \ 

1. Unbelief under the preaching of the gofpel is the 
great, and, in fome refpe6l, the only damning fin, as being 
accompanied with, yea greatly confifling in, the laft and 
utmoll contempt of the authority of God. 

2. There is in all fin and difobedlence a ycje£liGn of 
the authority of God, in the giving of the law. 

3. No finner can efcape divine vengeance, if he be 
tried and judged according to the law, [fee Pfal. cxxx. 

4. It is the duty of gofpel miniflers diligently and 
eiTeclually to declare the nature of unbelief, with the 
heinoufnefs of its guilt, above all other fins whatever ; 
fins againft the light of nature, or exprefs commands of 
the law, mofl men are fenfible of; but as to unbelief, 
and all the confequents of it, they regard it not ; but 
it is not more their duty to declare the nature of faith, and 
to invite men to Chrift in the gofpel, than it is to make 
known the nature of unbelief, and to evidence the woful 
aggravations of it, [Mark xvi. i6.] 

5. This is the iffue whereinto things are brought be- 
tween God and finners wherever the gofpel is preached ; 
namely, whether they will hear the Lord Chrift, or turn 
away from him. On this one point alone depends their 
eternal fafety or mifery ; if they hear him, God puts an 
end to the whole claim of the law againft them on the ac- 
count of all other fins ; if they refufe him, they are left 
under the guilt of all their fins againft the law, with the 
tmfpeakable aggravation of the contempt of Chrift fpeak- 
ing to them from heaven for their relief. 

6. The 


6. The grace, goodnefs, and mercy of God will not 
be more iliullrious and glorious to all eternity, in the 
iaivation of believers by Jefus Chrift, than his jufliccj 
JUolinefs, and feverity in the condemnation of unbelievers* 

Verses 26, 27. 

whose vofce then- shook the earth, but now 
me hath promised, saying, yet once more 
1 shake not the earth only, but also heaven ; 
and this, yet once more, signifieth the 
removing of the things that are shaken, 
as of things that are made, that those 
things that cannot be shaken may remain. 

§ I . Explanation of the words, 'The voice of Chrift Jhook 
the earth, § 2. Atid the heavens alfo, ^ 3. The apoftW s 
Inferences, The removal of the things that are fhaken, 
§ 4. And the eflabUJIjment of the gofpel kingdom, § 5., 

§ I. X HESE verfes contain an illuflratlon of the ex-« 
hortation in the foregoing verfe. 

[Ov 71 (poov}]) ivhofe voice ; that is, the voice of him 
who is from heaven ; Jefus Chrift the Son of God, the 
author of the gofpel, who is laft fpoken of; nor is there 
any other in the context to whom the relative [h) ivhofe 
lliould refer. The voice of Chrift abfolntely is his great 
power in exercife ; fo all the mighty efFe£ls of Providence 
are afcribed to the ' voice' of God, [Pfal. xxix. 3—9.] 
In particular, the declaration and exerting of his power 
in the giving of the law is here intended ; {tots) then; at 
the time when the law was given, as oppofed to what he 
would do now. (Y.(roiKsvG-c T»jy ytp) fhook the earth ; refer- 
ring to the great commotiou that was at mount Sinai 


VfiR.2-6, 27- EPISTLE TO THE HEBREWS. 359 

before defcribed, ver. 18 — 21. and \}a^ Jhaking is faid 
to be of the earthy becaufe it was all on the earthy and this 
is put for a part of the earth by a fynecdoche ; and we 
have here an illuftrious evidence given to the divine nature 
of Chrill ; for it is unavoidable, that he whofc voice 
this was, is no other but he that fpake from heaven in 
the promulgation of the gofpel ; which to deny, is not 
only far from truth, but all pretence of modeily. It is 
evidently one and the fame perfon, who both fpake from 
heaven in the promulgation of the gofpel, and whofe 
voice Jhook the earth in the giving of the law, and who 
promifed in the prophet to Jhake heaven alfo ; unlefs this 
be granted there is no fenfe, no co-herence in the apoftle's 

§ 2. The apoille adds another demonflration of the 
great power of Chrift, in what he hath promifed to do ; 

* But now he hath promifed, faying, yet once more I 

* fhake not the earth only, but alfo heaven.' The words 
are taken from Hag. ii. 6, 7. a part only of which text 
is quoted ; the prophet affirming that he would lliake 

* the heaven and the earth \ the apoftle in an accommodation 
to his prefent purpofe exprefleth it, * not only the earth,' as 
of old, ' but the heaven alfo ; wherefore in this new fpak^ 
in?, a Ihaking of the earth alfo is comprifed. 

The principal inquiry is, what is the fhaking of the 
heavens and earth intended, and at what feafon it was to 
be done ? and for the clearing hereof we mufl obferve, 
that the fame thing and time is intended by the prophet 
and the apoftle ; for unlefs this be granted, there can be 
no force in this teftimony to his purpofe ; and indeed 
thefe things are fpoken by the prophet evidently and ex- 
pre Illy with refpe6l to the firjl coming of Chrift, and the 
promulgation of the gofpel thereupon. — Again, there is 
no reafon why we lliould take this Jhaking ' not only of 
' the earth, but of heaven,' or as the prophet exprelTes it, 
of * the heavens, and the earth, and the fca, and the 

* dry land,' in ^literal or natural fenfe \ the prophet ^y^^ounds 
it all in the next words, « And I will fhake all nations \ 
and moreover they are fpiritual things whereof the apofh 

Vol. IV. A a a dif- 


difcourfeth, fuch as end in that iinfhakened kingdom 
which behevers receive in this world ; whereas therefore 
it is evident, that the apoflle treats about the deaUng of 
Chrifl with his church, both in the giving of the law, 
and the promulgation of the gofpel 5 the lignification of 
thefe expreffions mull be the great alteration he would 
make in the church Hate, with the mighty works and 
commotions with which it was to be accompanied ; belides, 
it is felf-evident that the dealing. of God with the church, 
and the alterations which he would make in the ftate 
thereof, is that concerning which the apoflle treats ; there- 
fore it is the * heavens' of Mofaical worjh'ip, and the 
Judaical church ftate ; with the * earth' of their political 
Jlate belonging thereunto, that are intended ; this was 
far more great and glorious than the fhaking of the earth 
at the giving of the law. 

§ 3. * And this word, yet once more, fignifieth the 

* removing of thofe things which are fhaken, as of things 

* which are made.* This is the conclufion of the whole 
argumentative part of this epiflle, that which was aimed 
at from the beginning ; for, having fully proved the ex- 
cellency of the gofpel flate above that under the law, and 
confirmed it by an examination of all the concernments 
of the one and the other, as we have feen ; he now de- 
clares from the fcripture, according to his ufual mode of 
dealing with thofe Hebrews, that all the ancient inftitutions 
of worlhip, and the whole church Jiate of the old cove- 
nant, was now-' to h^ removed, and taken away, to make 
way for that better flate, a flate more glorious, that fhould 
never be obnoxious to change or alteration. 

This expreffion, ' yet once more^ plainly intimates — 
that there had been 2i fimilar work wrought before ; which, 
as to the general nature of it, was the ereftion of 
a neiu ecclejlajlical Jiate, which God then wrought, and 
the like he would now do again ; and therefore — it fignifies 
the removal of that which - was before ; the things in- 
tended vitxt Jhaken, even by God himfelf ; and the things 
that were to be efFefted by this new work were to be in- 
troduced into their place \ and therefore of neceffity they 
2 were 

Ver. 26,27- EPISTLE TO THE HEBREWS. 361 

were to be removed ; fo the apoftle deduces the fole necef- 
lity of their removal from the eJiaUi/hment of * the things 
' that cannot be Ihaken ;' which therefore muft be of the 
fame general nature and ufe with them ; namely, a nevj 
church ft ate ^ 2indi new divine worjhlp ; in fhort, the gospei; 


The apoftle alfo intimates the original ground and 
eq^ulty of the removal of the one, and the introduction of 
the other ; (^oog ttsttoi'/iuj-voov) as of things that uxere made ; 
fo made, as that they were made only for 2i feafon, until 
the time of reformation, [chap. ix. 10.] 

§ 4. In the room of thefe things removed, things that 
cannot be fhaken are to be eftablilhed ; thefe things in the 
next verfe he calls a kingdom that cannot be moved, 
which believers receive ; that is, the things of the fpiritual 
kingdom of Jefus Chrifl ; the gofpel with all its privileges, 
worfhip, and excellency, in relation to Chrifl, his perfon, 
office, and grace ; the things that cannot be moved are to 
remain and be eflabliflied againft all oppoiition whatever. 
Wherefore, as the heavens and the earth of the idolatrous^ 
world were of old fhaken and removed ; fo fhall thofe 
alfo of the antichrifiian world, which at prefent in many 
places feem to prevail ; for if God made way for his 
glory by the removal of his own inllitations, appointed 
for a feafon, what elfe fhall hinder its eilablifliment and 
progrefs to the end ? 

§ 5. And we may hence ohferve ; 

1. The fovereign authority and mighty power of 
Chrifl are glorioufly manifeiled in that iignal change 
and alteration which he made in the ftate and worfliip of 
the church by the promulgation of the gofpel. 

2. God was pleafed to give teflimony to the greatnefs 
and glory of this work, by the greatefl commotions ia 
heaven and earth wherewith it was accompanied. 

3. It was a mighty work to introduce the gofpel 
among the nations of the earth, feeing their gods and 
heavens were to be f?)aken and removed. 

A a a 2 Verses 


Verses 28, 29. 

wherefore \ve receiving a kingdom which can- 
not be moved, let us have grace, whereby 
we may serve god acceptably with reve- 
rence and godly fear ; for our god is a 

consuming fire. 

§ I. I'he docfrlnal and hortatory parts of the epijlh here 
concluded. § 2. The Jiate of the gofpel is a kingdom that 
cannot be moved. ^ 3. Which believers receive. § 4. 
The duty exhorted to^ the ferving of God acceptably. § 5. 
jind to have grace. § 6. The manner of performing the 
duty, with reverence and godly fear. § 7. The reafon 
€7 forcing the duty. § 8, 9. Obfervations. 

§ I. X HE apoflle in thefe verfes fums up both the 
dodrinal and hortatory parts of the epiftle ; and from 
hence to the clofe of it brancheth his general exhortation 
into a prefcription of particular duties of the moft im- 
portance to his general end ; the note of inference (S/o) 
wherefore, may refpecl either the whole difcourfe which 
he hath now pafTed through, or that immediately preced- 
ing, concerning the fhaking and removal of the Judaical 
church flate, with the introduction and eilablifliment of 
the things of the kingdom of Chrift ; the force of the 
exhortation arifeth equally from either of them. Note^ 
Such is the nature and the ufe of all divine truths, that ' 
the teaching of them ought conflantly to be applied and 
improved to pra<n:ice ; for faith and obedience is the end of 
their revelation. 

§ 2. {^ao-O^iLotv) a kingdom ; an heavenlv fplritual 
ftate under the rule of Jefus Chrift, whom God hath 
anointed and fet upon his holy hill of Sion, [Pfal. ii. 6, 
7.] The ftate of the gofpel, and the rule of Chrift there- 
in, was rep re fen ted and promifed from the beginning 


Ver.-28,29. epistle TO THE HEBREWS. 363 

\inder the name and notion of a kingdom. And it is nfual- 
Iv, but improperly, diftributcd into the kingdom of grace^ 
and the kingdom o^ glory \ for, according to that diftribu- 
tion, the former part of it would be rcmo'jed. Where- 
fore, * the kingdom of heaven,' fo often mentioned iii 
the fcripture, is that only which we call the kingdom of Cod, 
And, at prefent, thofe in heaven, and thofe on earth, 
conllitute but one kingdom, though they are in various con- 
ditions. Chrift is the king ; the gofpel is the law ; all be- 
lie versar'e his fuhjedis \ the Holy Spirit is its adminifirator ; 
and all the divine treafures ©f grace and mercy are its 

The efpecial property of this kingdom is, that 
(^cc(TaXi\?\cg) it cannot be moved, or fliaken , and to fpeak. 
of the iinfhaken, immoveable kingdom, is all one as if ex- 
prcfUy mentioned the kingdom of Chrfi ; feeing that only 
is fo. But that which is here peculiarly intended is, that 
it is not obnoxious to fuch a il:iaking or removal, as the 
church ftate was under the Old Teftament ; that is, God 
himfelf would never make any alteration in it, nor ever 
introduce another church ftate, or worfhip ; but hath, 
by his eternal Son, put the lafl hand to it. 

§ 3. Believers receive this kingdom. They have it by- 
grant or donation from God their father ; [Luke xii. 32.] 
' Fear net little flock, faith Chrifl, it is your Father's 

* good pleafure to give you the kingdom ;' freely to grant 
you an interell in his heavenly kingdom. They receive 
it in its do£lrine, rule, and law ; owning its truth, and 
fubmitting to its authority. And though, with refpe<5l 
to Chriil, and his rule, we are abiolutelv fiibjetls ; yet, 
with refpe£l to others, v^e are abfolutely free ; ' Ye are 

* bought with a price, be not ye fervants of men,' [L Cor. 
vii. 23.] They receive it by an initiation into the facred 
myfteries of it, the glory of its fpiritual worfhip, and 
their accefs to God thereby. And in all thefe things, 
they receive it as a pledge of a future reign in glory. 

§ 4. The duty exhorted to, on the confideration of 
this bleiTed flate and privilege is, that we * fcrve God ac- 

* ceptably.* I judge, that hers is a peculiar refpcd to 



the worfliip of God, according to the go/pel, which was 
brought ill upon the removal of all thole inilitutions of 
worfhip, which were appointed under the Old Teftament. 
(E^VD^o'zgocg) acceptably ; fo that we may be accepted^ or 
find acceptance with him. There is an intimation, that 
there may be a performance of the duties of divine worfliip, 
when yet neither the perfons that perform them, nor the 
duties themfelves, are accepted of God. The principal 
things required are — That the perfons of the worfhippers 
be accepted in the Beloved ; that the worfliip itfelf, in all 
the duties of it, and the whole manner of its performance, 
be of God's own appo'mtment and approbation ; that the 
graces of faith and love, fear, reverence, and delight, be 
in adual exercife. 

§ 5. In order to this ferving of God, it is- required of 
us, in a v/ay of duty, that we have grace. It is not a 
privilege aiTerted, but a duty prefcribed. — * Grace' here is 
to be, therefore, taken for the internal fpiritual aids of 
grace, as neceffary to enable us for the duty of ferving 
God acceptably. This is the proper fenfe of the place. 
*' You that have received grace (eflentially confidered) for 
your fan£tiiication, endeavour much after an hicreafe of 
it, in its degrees and meafurcs ; that by its being in 
continual exercife, you may be enabled to ferve God ac^ 
cepiahly,'' And, indeed, v/ithout this grace, we cannot 
ferve God at all. He accounts not that^ as his worfliip or 
fervice, which is performed by gracelefs perfons. This 
is the great apoilolic canon, for the due performance of 
divine worfliip. * Let us have grace to do it;* all other 
canons are needlefs and fuperfiuous. 

§ 6. The manner of performing the duty is, ' with 
< reverence and godly fear.' The fenfe of the words in 
this place may be learned befl from what they are op- 
pofed to ; for they are prefcribed againft fuch defers and 
faults in divine worfliip, as, from v/hich we ought to be 
deterred, by the conflderation of the holinefs and feverity 
of God, as is manifefl: from the next words : * For our 
* God is a confuming fire.' r^ow thefe faults are — Want 
of a due fenfe of the majefiy and glory of God ^ witli whom 


Ver. 28,29- EPISTLE TO THE HEBREWS. 365 

we have to do ; want of a due jfenfe of our own inknefs, 
and our infinite diflance from him in nature and condition ; 
carnal bhldncfs in a cuftomary performance of a facred duty^ 
under a neglect of endeavouring to exercife all grace in 
them, which God abhors. Wherefore, (^/Jo.-, pudor 
fpiritualisj what we render reverence, is an ' holy abafe- 

* ment of foul in divine worfhip, in a fenfe of the ma- 

* jelly of God, and our own vilenefs, with our infinite 

* diftance from him.' [Ezra ix. 6. Dan. ix. 7.] And 
(^svKa(osi(z) that which we render godly fear is, ' a reli- 
' gious awe on the foul in holy duties, from a confidera- 

* tion of the great danger there is of finful mifcarriages in 

* the worfhip of God, and of his feverity againfi: fuch fins 

* and offences.' Hereby the foul is moved, and excited 
to fpiritual care and diligence, not to provoke fo great, fo 
holy and jealous a God, by a negleft of that exercife of 
grace he requires in his fervice, which is due to him on 
account of his glorious excellencies. 

§ 7. * For our God is a confuming fire.' The words 
are taken from Deut. iv, 24. where they are ufed by 
Mofes, to deter the people from idols or graven images 
in the worfliip of God ; for this is a fin that God will by 
no means bear with. And the fame defcription of his di- 
vine Majefty is applied here by the apoftle, to the want of 
grace, reverence, and fear, in that worjliip which he hath 
appointed ; for if we are gracelefs in our perfons; devoid 
of reverence by godly fear in our duties, God will deal 
with us even as with them who worfliip him after their 
own idolatrous devifings. 

There is a metaphor in the exprefiion ; for as vehement 
fire will confume and devour whatever combuftible matter is 
thrown into it ; fo will God, with a fiery terror, con- 
fume and deflroy fuch as are guilty of the fin here prohi- 
bited. And he is called herein onr God; as in Mofes to 
the people, the Lord thy God. All covenant relation to 
him is in both places intimated. Wherefore, although 
we have a firm perfuafion that he is our God in covenant ; 
yet it is his will, that we fliould have holy apprehcnfions of 



his greatnefs and terrors towards linners. [See II Cor. v. 

lO, II.] 

Two things are reprefented in this expreffion — * a cor- 

* fuming fire.' 

1. The ho Unefs and purity of God's nature,- with his fe- 
verity and vindldlve jujl'ice. From them it is, that he will 
confume impenitent linners, fuch as have no intereft in 
the atonement, even as fire confumes that which is cafl 
into it. 

2. His jealoujy, with reference to his worfhip, as de- 
clared in the fecond commandment. So it is added, in 
that place of Mofes, ' The Lord thy God is a confuming 

* fire, even 2l jealous God."* This title God firfi: gave him- 
felf, with refpecl to his inftituted worfhip. [Exod. xx. 5.] 
i\nd this alreftion or property of jcaloufy is figuratively 
afcribed to God by an anthropofathy. In men^ it is a 
vehement afFetlion and inclination, rifing from an appre- 
henfion, that any other fhould have an interefi: in, or 
poffefs that which they judge ought to ht peculiar to them- 
felves ; and it hath place principally in the ftate of mar- 
riage, or that which is in order thereto. It is, therefore, 
fuppofed, that the covenant between God and the church 
hath the nature of a marriage covenant^ wherein he calleth 
himfelf the hufband thereof; and faith, that he is mar- 
ried to it. [Ifa. liv. 5. Jer. iii. 14.] In this ftate it is re- 
ligious worfnip, both as to the outward form m divine 
inftitution, and its inward form oi h\x\\ and grace, which 
God requires, as wholly his own. With reference, there- 
fore, to defefts and mifcarriages therein, he alTumeth 
that affedtion, and calleth himfelf a 'jealous God.' And 
becaufe tliis is a vehement burning aiTedion, God is faid, 
on the account of it, to be a ' confuming fire.' 

§ 8. And we may ohferve ; 

1. That the privileges which believers receive by the 
gofpel, are inconceivable. They are a kingdom, the 
kingdom of God, or of Chriil: ; a fpiritual heavenly king- 
dom, replenifhed with inexhauflible trcafures of fpiritual 
bleffings and advantages. . 

2. Be. 

Ver. £8, 29- EPISTLE TO THE HEBREWS. 36;^ 

2. Believers are not to be meafured by their outward 
flate and appearance of things in the world ; but by the 
intereft they have in that kingdom, which it is their Fa- 
ther's pleafure to give them. 

3. It is afluredly their duty in all things to behave 
themfelves as becomes thofe who receive fuch privileges 
and dignity from God himfelf. 

4. The obligation from hence to the duty of ftrving 
God, as here defcribed, is evident and unavoidable. Thofe 
on whom it hath not an efficacy, have no real intereft in 
this privilege, whatever they may pretend. 

5. Spiritual things and mercies do conflitute the mod 
glorious kingdom in the world, even the kingdom of 

6. This is the only kingdom that can never be moved* 
and it never fhall be, however hell and the world rage 
againft it. 

§ 9. I'. While God takes us near to himfelf in cove- 
nant, whereby he is our God, he requires, that we always 
tetain due apprehenfions of the holinefs of his nature, the 
feverity of his jujiice againft finners, and his ardent jealoufy 
concerning his worfhip. 

2. The confxderation of thefe things, and the dread of 
being, by guilt, obnoxious to their terrible confuming 
cfFed^s, ought to influence our minds to due reverence 
and godly fear in all afts of divine worfhip. 

3. We may learn, how great our care and diligence 
about ferving God ought to be, which are prelTed on us by 
the Holy Ghoft, from the confideration of the greatnefs of 
the privilege, on the one hand, our receiving the king- 
dom ; v/ith the dreadful deftruftion from God, on the 
other, in cafe of our negleft. 

4. The holinefs and jealoufy of God, which are a 
caufe of infupportable terror to convinced finners, have 
towards believers only a gracious influence to promote 
fear and reverence, caufing them to cleave to him marc 

V^L. IV. Bbb CHA?, 

^65 AN EXPOSITION OF THS Ghap. ^flffc 


Verse i. 
let bp.otherly love continue. 

§ r. ^he apoJIle*s heavenly wifdom and fk'ilL § 2. ^he 
chapter analized. § 3. Brotherly love enjoined, § 4. 7(? 
be continued, § 5. y/ peculiar rcafon for urging it upon 
the Hebrezvs, § 6. Obfervations* 

§ I. T 

-IN this concluding chapter, the apoflle gives \x% 
new inftances of that divine wifdom, wherewith he was 
acted in writing the whole ; which the apoflle Peter refers 
to, [II. Pet. iii. 1 5.] And it will communicate an inexpref- 
iible fenfe of itfelf to every intelligent reader, who meditates 
upon it with that faith and reverence which is required 
in the perufal of thefe holy writings. He prefcribes by his 
own example, as he alfo doth in moft of his other epif- 
tlcs, the true order and method of preaching the gofpel ; 
that is, firll to declare the gracious myjierics of it, and 
then to improve it to pradlical duties of obedience. And 
they will be millaken who propofe to themfelves any other 
method, and thofe, moll of all, who think one part of it 
enough without the other. He manifeils in this method 
of his procedure, that it is to no purpofe to deal with men 
about duties of obedience, before they are well iixed ia 
the fundamental principles of faith. 

§ 2. Foi* the parts of the chapter, (the whole being 
hortatory) they are thefe : — An injunilion of feveral duties, 
and of feme with fpecial enforcement, [ver, i — 6.] — Aa 
exhortation Xo faith 2,ndi Jl ability^ with a warning to avoid 
whatever is contrary thereto, [ver. 7 — 12.] — The duties 
ol felf-deniaL and patient bearing of the crofs enforced, 
[ver. 13, 14.] — A rensvjed charge oi fundry duties, with 
I refpcd 

Ver.i, epistle to the HEBREWS. 369 

refpe^l to God, their church relation, one another, and 
himfelf, [ver. 15 — 19.] — A Jolemn prayer for the ac- 
compiifhment of the bleffed work of divine grace in Chrift 
towards them all, [ver. 20, 21.J — And finally, the ct^w- 
dvjioyi of the whole in fundry particulars. 

In the firft part, the duties exhorted unto are : — Bro- 
therly love, [ver. I.] Hofpitality, [ver. 2.] Compafjlon to- 
wards thofe that fuffer for the gofpel, [ver. 3.] Chaftlty^ 
with the nature and due ufe of marriage ; and Content^ 
tnent, with the grounds and reafons of it, [ver. 5, 6.] 

§ 3. ' Let brotherly love continue,' or abide con- 
Hant. Love is the fountain and foundation of all mutual 
duties, moral and eccleJiajTical ; wherefore it is here placed 
at the heads of both. All love is founded in relation, 
Wher€ there is relation there ought to be love ; and 
where therS is no relation, there can be no love properly 
fo called. Every one, bv the law of nature, is every 
one's neighbour ; and every one's brother, his keeper and 
helper. Wherefore all flrife, envy, hatred, wrong, op- 
prefiion, and bloodlhed among mankind, is of the evil 
one, [I. John ill. 12.] There is love, therefore, due to 
all mankind, to be exercifed as opportunity and circum- 
ftances require. We are to do good to all men, [I. Thef. 
V. 15.] and where this /o-l-^ is wanting in any, (and, alas! 
is it not wanting in mod r) there dwells no real virtue in 
that mind. But this brotherhood is religious. All believers 
have one Father ; one elder Brother, who is not alhamed 
to call them brethren ; they have one fpirit, and are called 
in one hope of their calling ; which, being a fpirit of 
adoption, interefteth them all in the fame family, w^iere- 
by they become joint heirs with Chriil:. [See Expof. on 
chap. iii. ver. i.] This is the ' brotherhood' principally 
intended in the dutv of love here prefcribed. For althoug'h 
there was a natural relation alio among thefe Hebrew^s, yet 
it was originally from their coaiefcency into one facred focictv^ 
bv virtue of their covenant with God, that they became bre- 
thren of one family, dillinft from all others in the world. 
And this relation was not diffolved, but farther confirmed 
by their interell in the gofpel ; whence they became * holy^ 
B b b 2 ' ♦ brethre?:'. 


* brethren, partakers of the heavenly calling,* [chap. iii. 
I.] Next to faith in Jefus Chrift, and the profeffion. 
thereof, the life and beauty of Chriftian religion coniifls 
in the mutual love of them, who are partakers of the fame 
heavenly calling. And in vain fhall men wrangle and 
contend about their differences in opinions, faith, and wor- 
Ihip, pretending to defign the advancement of religion, by 
an impolition of their perfuafion on others, without at- 
tempting to introduce again this holy love among all thofc 
who profefs the name of Chrifl. 

§ 4. The manner of the prefcription of this duty is, 
that it fhould ' continue^ or abide conjlant ; for he fuppofes^ 
it was already in them, and exercifed by them. He feems, 
to intimate the difficulty there is in the prefervation of^ 
this grace, and the performance of this duty. It is not 
merely, * let it continue,' but take care that it be pre^ 
ferved', for many occaiions will be apt to weaken and 
impair it ; fuch as differences in opinion and practice 
about things in religion ; .unfuitablenefs of natural tem- 
pers and inclinations ; readinefs to receive a fenfe of ap- 
pearing provocations ; different, and fometimes incon- 
liflent, fecular interefls ; an abufe of fpiritual gifts, by 
pride on the one hand, or envy on the other ; or attempts 
for domination inconfiftent in a fraternity; which are 
all to be affiduoufly watched againft. 

§ 5. It is not improbable, but that the apoflle might, 
alfo have a refpe£t to the efpecial condition of thofe He- 
brews. They had all rational foundations of mutual \q\-q 
among them from the beginning, in that they were 
all of one common natural flock ; and all united in the 
fame facred covenant. Hereon they had many divine 
commands for mutual love, and the exercife of all its ef- 
fpds, as became a natural and rehgious fraternity. Ac- 
cordingly they had an intenfe love towards all thofe, who, 
on thefe accounts, were their brethren. But in procefs 
of time they corrupted this, as all other divine inflitu- 
tions. For their teachers inftrufled them, that the mean^ 
ing of the command for mutual love, included a permif- 
fion, if not a command, to hate all others. So they in- 



ierpreied the law of love, [Lev. xix. 18.] * Thou fhalt 
♦ love thy neighbour, and hate thine enemy,* [Mat. v. 43.] 
And the people pradtifed accordingly, not thinking them« 
felves obliged to fliew the lead kindnefs to any but their 
own countrymen. Hereon they grew infamous in the 
world. But whereas, by the gofpel, their original bro- 
therhood was as it were diflblved ; the Gentiles being 
taken into the fame facred communion with them, fomc 
pf them might fuppofe, that the obligation to mutual love, 
which they were before under, v/as now alfo ceafed. This 
the apoflle warns them againft, giving in charge, that 
the fame love fhould ftill continue in all its exercife ; but 
yet with refped to that neiv fraternity, which was conili- 
tuted by the gofpel. 
§ 6. Hence obferve ; 

1 . We are efpecially to watch for the prefervation of 
thofe graces, and the performance of thofe duties, which 
in our circumflances are tnoil expofed to oppolltion. In 

2. Brotherly love is very apt to be impaired, and decav, 
if we endeavour not continually its prefervation and re- 
\'ival. And, 

3. It is a part of the wifdom of faith, to consider aright, 
the v^ays and occafions of the decay of mutual love, with 
the means of its prefervation : without this we cannot 
cornply with the caution and injundlion in a due maii- 




§ I. HojYitaUty urged. § 2. A peculiar reaf on for it. § 3, 
'The manner of prefer ib'mg it. § 4, 5. The advantage 
fame have found by it. § 6. Ohfervations, 

^ I. X HE duty prefcribed is * the entertaining of 

• Grangers.' The original word ((pi?^.e^s]/ioi) hath relpedt 
not fo much to the exerclfe of the duty itfelf, as to the 
difpofition^ readinefs, and frame of mind, which it requires. 
Hence the Syriac properly renders it ; ' Ihe love of 

* fir anger sC but it is fuch a love as is efFe6lual, and whofe 
proper exerclfe conliileth in tlieir entertainment ; which 
comprifeth the help and relief, which Grangers ftand in 
need of, and which is the proper effei^ of love toward? 
them. Hence we render it * to entertain Jlrangers ;' that 
is, the receiving of them into our houfes, with all necef- 
fary accommodations, as their occaiions require. It is 
granted, that prudence and care is to be ufed, that we be 
not impofed on by fuch as are unworthy of any entertarin- 
ment. But it doth not follow, that therefore we fliould 
refufe all who are ftrangers indeed ; that is, whofe cir- 
cumflances we know not, but from themfelves. It mufc 
alfo be acknowledged, that whereas provilion is now 
made in all civilized nations, for the entertainment of 
ftrangers, though at their own coft, things are fomewhat 
altered from what they were in the younger days of the 

§ 2. But there was a peculiar reafon for preicribing 
this duty, taken from the then prefent circumftances of 
the church, efpecially of the Hebrews in their difperfions \ 
fpr the church was then under great perfecutlon in fundry 



places, whereby believers were fcattered from their own 
habitations and countries, [Aftsviii. i.] and hereon, fol- 
lowing the dire£tion of onr blefled Saviour, when they 
were perfecuted in one city, they fled to another j to other 
parts and places wherein they were ftrangers. Again ; at 
that time there were fandry perfons, efpecially of the con- 
verted Hebrews, who went up and down from one city, 
yea, one nation unto another, on their own coil and 
charges, to preach the gofpel ; * They v^^ent forth for the 

* fake of Chrift, (to preach the gofpel) taking nothing of 

* the Gentiles,' to whom they preached, [III. John 7.] 
and thefe were only brethren^ and not officers of any 
church, [ver. 5.] Such as thefe the apoftle recommends 
to their love and charity in a peculiar manner. And he 
who is not ready to receive and entertain fuch perfons, 
will manifefl how little concernment he hath in the gofpel, 
or the glory of Chrift himfelf. 

§ 3. The manner of the prefcription of this duty is 
exprelfed in that word f^/j sttlXccv^ocvcq-^s) he not forgetful y 
be not unmindful of it. There is no doubt but that a 
■pijfitive command is included in the prohibition, ' Forget 

* not ;' that is, remember. This intimates that it is one 
of thofe duties to v/hich our minds ou2;ht alwavs to be 
engaged by an efpecial remembrance, and againll which 
many pretences are apt to be ufed, for a countenance of 
tlieir omiffion. Unlefs the mind be preferved in a con- 
flant difpolition to the duty, we Ihall fail affuredly in par- 
ticular cafes. ' The liberal dcufeth liberal thmgs.' [Ifa. 
xxxii. 8.] The mind is to be difpofed and inclined habi- 
tually to prudent liberality, or it will not embrace occa- 
lions of doing liberal things. 

§ 4. The next thing in the words is, the advantage 
that fome formerly had received by a diligent obfervance 
of this duty : ' for thereby fome have entertained angels 

* unawares \ Q^m T(z\)T»]^ ya^) for there ';y ; by this virtue 
inclining the mind to the entertainmeirc of Grangers, fome 
had their privilege of receiving angels under the appearance 
o^Jirangers. Had they not been fo difpofed, they had neg- 
lected the opportunity of fo great a favour. So the mind, 



inlaid with virtue and grace, is equally prepared to -per- 
form duties and to receive privileges. (Tivsg) fome \ as 
Abraham and Lot, [Gen. xviii. i, 2, &c. and Gen. xixc 
12.1 who, no doubt, are referred to in a fpecial manner. 
Yet I dare not afcribe it to them alone, exclufive of all 
others ; for I queflion not but that, \\\ thofe ancient times, 
wherein God fo much ufed the miniftry of angels about 
the church, fundry other believers were vilited by them 
* unawares' in like manner, as being difpofed to receive 
this privilege by their readinefs on all occafions to enter- 
tain flrangers. But the inftances left on facred record are 
fufficient to the apoille's purpofe. Now this reception of 
angels was a great honour to them that receive them, and 
fo intended of God ; wherein lies the force of the reafon 
for diligence in this duty. How could they have any 
greater honour, than for glorious angels to abide and con- 
verfe with them ? But the ynotive here ufed does not con- 
liil in this, that we alfo in the difcharge of this duty may 
receive angels as they did, nor are we hereby encouraged to 
exped any fuch thing : but he ihews hereby how accept-^ 
able to God this diUy is, and how highly it is honoured \ 
whereon we may in the difcharge of the fame duty hope 
for Divine approbation, in whatever way it feems good to 
our divine Sovereign. 

§ 5. This they did [iKoifyo'j) unawares. It is obferved, 
that on the appearance of thefe angels to Abraham in the 
heat of the day, he fat in the door of his tent, [Gen, 
xviii. I.] aitd at their appearance to Lot in the evening, 
he fat in the gate of Sodom, v.rhere llrangers were to 
enter, [Gen. xix. i.] probably both of them at thofe fea- 
fons had fo difpofed themfelves on purpofe, that if they 
faw any Grangers, they might invite and receive them. — - 
Unawares ; not knowing them at firjl to be angels, though 
afterwards they knew ; and this may be laid in the ba- 
lance againfl all thofe fears and fcruples which are apt to" 
arife in our minds about the entertainment of Grangers, 
that they are not fo good as they appear or pretend to be ; 
feeing fome were fo much better and more honourable than 
what at firft they feemed to be. 

% 6. Oh^ 


§ 6. Ohferve hence, 

1. Our hearts are not to be trufted to in occafional 
duties, if not preferved in a continual difpofition towards 
them ; if that be loft, no argument will be prevalent to 
engage them to prefent occafions. 

2. The mind ought continually to be upon its watch, 
and in a gracious difpofition towards fuch duties as are 
attended with difficuhies and charge. 

3. Examples of privileges annexed to duties, (whereof 
the fcripture is full) are great motives and incentives to 
the like duties. 

4. Faith will make ufe of the higheft privileges that 
ever were enjoyed in the performance of duties to encou- 
rage to obedience, though it expedls not any thing of the 

fame kind, or the performance of the fame duties. 

5. When men, deligning that which is good, do more 
good than they intended, they fhall reap more benefit there- 
by than they expeded. 

Verse 3. 

remember them that are in bonds as bound 
with them ; and them which suffer adver- 
sity, as being yourselves also in the body. 

§ I. Of brotherly love towards fuffcrers. § 2. Particularly 
-pr if oners. § 3. T4^hat implied in remembering them, § 4. 
udnd them who fuffer adverfity. § 5. A motive to it fub^ 
joined. § 6, 7. Obfervations. 

§ I . X H E firft branch of the exercife of brotherly love 
enjoined was towards flrangers ; the next is towards fuf- 
ferers ; that is, who fufFered for the gofpel. Thefe were 
in a two-fold outward condition ; fome in prifons or 
bonds, and fome varioufly troubled in their names, repu- 
VoL. IV. C c c tation, 


tatlon, goods, and enjoyments; fome deprived of all, and 
all of fome of thefe things. 

§ 2. (Tojj/ ^scr^ioov) of thofe that are bound \ any that 
are in prifon, whether aftually bound with chains or no, 
becaufe all prifoners were ufually fo bound, [A£ls xvi. 26.] 
this was efleemed a thing Ihameful as well as penal ; for 
it was the ftate of evil-doers. But the ' w^ord of God,' 
as the apoftle fpeaks, ' is not bound,' [II. Tim. ii. 9.] 
the devil was never able, by this means, to obfcurc the 
light, or Itop the progrefs of the gofpel ; he and his 
agents do but labour in vain. Men may, but the word 
of God cannot be bound. 

§ 3, The duty enjoined with refpeft to thofc that are 
bound is, that we (^i^vYia-y^so-^c) rsmember them, or be 
mindful of them. It feems thofe that are at liberty, are 
apt to forget Chrifl's prifoners ; and we are delired fo to 
remember or think of them, as to relieve them according 
to our abihty. It implies — a care about their perfons 
and concernments, as oppofed to that regard leiTnefs which 
is apt to poiTcfs the minds of thofe that are at eafe, and, 
as they fuppofe, free from danger ; — compajjton towards 
them, as if bound with them : the want of it is exprefTed 
as a great aggravation of the fufferings of our Saviour 
himfelf, [Pfalm Ixix. 20.] 'I looked for fome to take 

* pity, and there was none; and for comforters, but I 

* found none.' — Prayer^ as in the cafe of Peter when he 
was in bonds ; [A6ls xii. 5.] — AJfifting them as to what 
may be wanting to their relief. — To fupply their wants ac- 
cording to our ability. — Vifiting them, which the Lord 
Jefus Chrill calls the vifiting of himfelf in perfon, [Mat. 
XXV. 36 — 43-] Where this attention to fuffering faints is 
not, it argues a great decay in the power of religion ; 
and there are none more feverely refledled on, than thofe 
who are at eafe while the church is in afflidlion, [Pfalm 
cxxiii. 4. Zech. i. 15.] 

§ 4. But that we may not fuppofe our love and duty 
to be confined to thefe alone, he adds all that undergo 
trouble of any fort for the profeffion of the gofpel ; * and 

* them which fuffer adverfity :' all that is adverfe or grie- 



vous to US, as fickneis, pain, lofTes, want, and poverty^ 
reproaches, contempt, fcorn, turning out of fecular em- 
ployments, fpoiling of goods, ftigmatizing, taking away 
of children, banifhmcnt, every thing which we may un- 
dergo in and for our profeilion. 

§ 5. The motive added to the diligent difcharge of 
the duty enjoined, is. That ' we ourfelves are alfo in the 
* body.* Were you indeed, as if the apoftle had faid, 
once freed from the body, none of thefe things could reach 
you ; but whereas you are in the fame ftate of natural 
life with them, equally expofed to all the fufterings which 
they undergo, be they of what kind they will, and have 
no afTurance that you fhall always be exempted from them, 
this ought to be a motive to you to be mindful of them 
in their prefent fuiFerings. This, I perceive, is the fenfa 
of the place. 

§ 6. And we may obferve from hence ; 

1. Bonds and imprifonment for the truth were confe- 
Crated to God, and made honourable, by the bonds and 
imprifonment of Chrift himfelf ; and commended to the 
church in all ages by thofe of the apoflle and primitive 
witneiTes of the truth. 

2. It is better, more fafe and honourable, to be in 
bonds for Chrift than to be at liberty with a brutifh, ra- 
ging, perfecuting world. 

3. Whilft God is pleafed to give grace and courage to 
fome to fuffer for the gofpel unto bonds, and to others to 
perform the duty here recommended towards them, the 
church will be no lofer by fulFering. 

4. When fome are tried as to their conftancy in bonds, 
others are tried as to their fincerity in the difcharge of 
the duties required of them on fuch occafions. And, 

5. Ufually more fail in the negleft of their duty to- 
wards fufFerers, and fo fall from their profeflion, than do 
fo fail under their fufl'erings, 

§ 7. 1. Although there are peculiar duties required of 
"US towards thofe who fuffer for the gofpel in bonds, yet 
we are not hereon difcharged from the fame kind of du- 
ties towards thofe who fufFer in lefier degrees. And, 

C c c 2 2, Not 


2. Not only thofe who are in bonds for the gofpel, or 
fufFer in an high degree in their perfons, are under the 
fpecial care of Chrift, but thofe alfo who fufFer on the 
fame account in any other kind whatever, though the 
world may take httle notice of them ; and therefore they 
are all commended to our fpecial remembrance. 

3. ProfefTors of the gofpel are exempted from no forts 
of adverfity, from nothing that is evil and grievous to 
the outward man in this world ; and therefore we ought 
not to think itftrange when we fall into them. 

4. That we have no fecurity of freedom from any fort 
of fuffering for the gofpel whilft we are in the body, or 
during the continuance of our natural lives. Heaven is 
the only ftate of everlafting reft. Whilft we have our 
bodily eyes, all tears will not be wiped from them. 

5. We are not only expofed to afflidions during this 
life, but we ought to live in the continual expedlation of 
them, fo long as there are any in the world who actually 
fuifer for the gofpel. Not to expe£l our Jh are in trouble 
aiid perfecution, is a iinfal fecurity proceeding from very- 
corrupt principles of mind. 

6. A fenfe of our being continually obnoxious to fuf- 
ie lings, no lefs than thofe who a£tually fufFer, ought to 
incline our minds to a diligent conlideration of them in 
their fufFerings, fo as to difcharge all duties of love and 
helpfulnefs towards them. 

7. Unlefs we do fo, we can have no evidence of our 
prefent intereft in the fame myftical body with them, nor 
juft expe£lation of any compaffion or relief from others, 
when we ourfelves are called to fufFerings. What a fe- 
vere felf- reflection muft we charge ourfelves with for 
want of due compaffion for thofe who were in that con- 
dition before us I 



Verse 4. 

marriage is honourable in all, and the bed 
undefiled ; but whoremongers and adulte- 
rers god will judge. 

§ I. Gccajion and dejign of the words, § 2. Expofitlon, 
Aiarriage is honourable in all. § 3. And the bed unde- 
filed. ^ 4. The dreadful doom df whoremongers and adul- 
terers, § 5? 6. Ohjervatlons, 

§ I. X HIS decI?Tatlon refers, undoubtedly, to fomc 
principles and praflices that were then cnrrent in the 
world. And thefe were, that marriage was at leaft bur- 
thenfome, and a kind of bondage to fome men, efpeci- 
aliy an hindrance to them that were contemplative ; and 
-lh2i\. fornication was at lead a thing indifferent, which men 
might allow themfelves in, though adultery were to be con- 
demned. In oppofitionto thefe curfed principles and prac- 
tices, the apoftle, defigning to commend and enjoin chaf- 
tity to all profefTors of the gofpei, declares, en the one 
llde, the honourable llate of matrimony from divine in- 
flitution ; and on the other, the wickednefs of that laf- 
civioufnefs wherein they allowed themfelves, with the cer- 
tainty of divine vengeance which would befall them who 
continued in it. There was juil reafon, therefore, why 
the apoftle fliould iniinuate the prefcription of the duty 
intended, by a declaration of the honour of that ilate 
which God had appointed for the prefervation of chaftity. 
[See I. Tim. iv. 3.] 

§ 2. The prepofition (i>) when applied to perfons, is 
conflantly ufed in the New Teflament for Qntcr) among ; 
Beza, [inter quofvis) among all ^ that is, all forts of perfons. 
The apoftle doth not aftert that marriage was a thing in 
good reputation among all men, Jews and Gentiles, but that 
it is honourable in all forts of perfons, who eater into it 

a • accord- 


according to the law of God and righteous laws among 
men. For by a defe£l herein it may be rendered highly 

Again ; it mud be a marriage pf two individual per- 
fons, and no more, according to the law of creation and 
divine inflitution, (for polygamy was never honourable ;) 
it muft not be of perfons within the degrees of confan- 
guinity laid under divine prohibition, [Incejl being no lefs 
difhonourable than adultery ;) there muft alfo be a con- 
currence of all neceffary circumftances both of mind and 
body in the married ; fuch are power over their own per- 
fons, freedom in choice or confent, perfonal mutual vow 
or contraft, natural meetnefs for the duties of marriage, 
and the like. Wherefore that marriage is honourable^ 
which, on the ground and Warranty of divine inftitution, is 
" a lawful conjunction of one man and one woman by 
their juft and full confent, into an indifToluble union, 
(whereby they become one flefh) for the procuration of 
children, and mutual aiTiflance in all things divine and 
human." I fhall only add, that as the legitimate and 
orderly continuation of the human race depends hereon, 
fo whatever is of virtue, honour, comelinefs, or order 
amongfi men ; whatever is praifeworthy and ufeful in all 
focieties oeconomical, eccleiiaftical or political, proceeds 
from the principle here alTerted, Ail to whom children 
are dear, relations ufeful, inheritances valuable, and God's 
approbation is preferred to fordid uncleannefs and eternal 
ruin, ought to account this ftate honourable. 
j*i Nor is there any fort, order, or degree of men, by rea« 
fon of any calling, work, or employment, but that mar- 
riage is an honourable ftate to them. This is the plain 
{txiit of the words. However, if the phrafe [iv nTocdi) 
Ihould be rendered * in all things y or every manner of 
way, the popijh notion of celibacy can never efcape the 
force of this divine teftimony againft it. For, is it law- 
ful for them to efteem and call that io vile, as to be un- 
meet for fome order or fort of men among them., which 
God hath declared to be honourable * in all things ' or evoy 
* manner of way ?' I Ihall only fay, that their impiety in 
, impa" 


impoiing the neceffity of fingle life on all their ecclejiajiicsy 
wherein they have ufurped divine authority over the con* 
iciences of men, hath been openly purfued by divine ven- 
geance, in giving it up to be an occaiion of multiplying 
fuch horrid uncieannefles as have been fcandaious to the 
Chriuian religion, and ruinous to the fouls of millions. 

§ 3. To the flate of marriage, the apoftle adds the 
confideration of the duties of it in that exprefiion, [v^oi\'/i 
cy.jM/yy^oc) the hcd iinde filed. And two things are here in- 
tended : — The honourable Hate of marriage as oppofed 
to the^defiled bed of whoremongers and adulterers ; and— 
the prefervation of marriage duties within their due 
bounds; [I. Thef. iv. 3 — 5. I. Cor. vii. 2 — 5.] for, in 
that refpe£l, there may be many pollutions even of the 
marriage bed. 

From this fl:ate and ufe of marriage — the means ap- 
pointed of God for the prefervation of the purity and 
challity of our perfons — the aggravation of the contrary 
fin is enormous. Who can exprefs the deteftable wick- 
ednefs of forfaking thofe divine appointments, in con- 
tempt of the authority and wifdom of God, by any feek- 
ing the fatisfa6lion of their lulls in ways injurious to 
others, debaiing and defiling to themfelves ? Yes, they 
difturb the whole order of nature, and drown themfelves 
in everlafting perdition. 

§ 4. ' But whoremongers and adulterers God will 
* judge.' The diilin'Ition between {Tfopyi^g and i^or/j^c) 
whoremongers and adulterers, is allowed by all to be this ; that 
the former are fingle perfons ; and the latter are thofe who 
are both, or elfe one of them, in a married ftate. The 
fin of the firft is fornication, of the other, adultery ; al- 
though the v/ords {no'jvrjoo and ttoov-io,) may fometimes 
be ufed to denote any uncleannefs in general, and fo to 
comprife adultery alfo. Some have fallen into that degree 
of impudence in our days, as to countenance themfelvejj 
with the opinion and practices of fome of the heathen, 
who thought that fornication was no fm, or a matter not 
much to be regarded, But Ihall we fuppofe that our holy, 



religion, which condemneth o\xx inward lujllng of the heart 
after a woman without any outward act as a fin worthy 
of judgement, gives countenance to, or rather doth not 
moil: feverely condemn a6lual fornication ? It is to be fear- 
ed that if magiftrates and thofe who are public minifters in 
the nation, do not take more care than hitherto hath been 
ufed, for the reftraint of this raging abomination, divine 
judgements on the whole nation, on its account, will 
fpeedily fatisfy men's fcruples, w^iether it beay?7/ or no. 

For adulterers^ who are mentioned in the next place, 
there is no queflion amongft any about the heinoufnefs of 
their fin ; and the common intereft of mankind keeps up 
a deteflation of it. But it is here, together with fornica- 
tion, referved in a peculiar manner to divine vengeance, 
becaufe for the mofl part it is kept fecret, and fo free from 
human cognizance , and becaufe — although the divine law 
made it punifhable by death, yet — for the moil part it 
ever paiTes in the world under a lefs fevere punifhment. 

But whatever fuch perfons think of themfelves, or 
others think of them, * God (jco/vj/) will judge* and con- 
demn them, at the final judgement of the great day ; 
they fliall not be acquitted, but (having periifted in their 
detefcable practice) they fhall be eternally damned. And 
there is an cmphafis in the expreflion, ' God will judge ;' 
wherein we may fee, that the fpeclal aggravations of thefe 
fins expofe men to a fore condemnation in a peculiar 
manner, [I. Cor. ill. 17. vi. 16 — 19.] Although the 
ilate of men may be changed, and divine wrath due to 
thofe fins be finally efcaped by repentance ; yet it may be 
obferved, that thofe who are habitually given up to thefe 
luils of the flelh are of all others the moft rarely brought 
to effecSlual repentance. 

^ 5. And we may obferve, 

1. Divine inilitutlon Is fufhcient to render any flate or 
condition of life honourable. 

2. The more ufeful any itate of life is, the more ho- 
nourable it is ; the honour of marriage arlfes much from 
its ufefulnefs. 

3. That 


3. That which is honourable by divine inftitution, and 
"ufeful in its own nature, may be abufed and rendered vile 
by the mifcarriages of men. 

4. It is a bold ufurpation of authority over the con-^ 
fciences of men, and a contempt of the authority of 
God, to forbid that ftate to any which God hath declared 
honourable to all. 

5. Means for chaflity and purity not ordained, nor 
fandlified to that end, will prove fartherances of impurity 
and uncleannefs, or worfe evils. 

6. The {late of marriage being honourable in the fight 
of God himfelf, it is the duty of them that enter there- 
into duly to confider how they may approve their confci- 
ences to God in what they do. 

§ 6. I. Conjugal duties regulated by the bounds af- 
ligned them by natural light, v/ith the general rules of 
fcripture, and fubfervient to the due ends of marriage, are 
honourable, giving no caufe of pollution or fhame. 

2. Whatever flight thoughts men may have of fin, 
any Jin, the judgement of God, which is accordmg to 
truth, muft fland for ever. To have flight thoughts of 
fin, will prove no relief to finners. 

3. Fornication and adultery are deferving of eternal 
damnation. If the due wages of all Jin be death, much 
more of fo great abominations. 

4. Men living and dying impenitently in thefe fins, 
Ihall eternally perifh ; or an habitual courfe in them is 
•utterly inconfiflent with any fpark of faving grace. [See 
Ephef. V. 5. I. Tim. i. 10. Rev. xxi. 8, xxii. 15.] 

Vol. IV. D a d V£Rse 


Verses 5, 6. 

let your conversation be without covetou&- 
ness, and be content with such things as 
ye have, for he hath said, i will never 
leave thee nor forsake thee ; so that we 
may boldly say, the lord is my helper, 
and i will not fear what man shall do 


§ I. 'Tranfit'ion from particular duties to what is more general. 
The Chriji'ian s iimvcrfal walk before God ; which Jhould 
be without covetoufnejs. § 2. JFith contentment. ^ 3,- 
4. Enforced by a divine promifc, § 5. The apoflle^s in- 
ference. § 6, 7. Obfervations. 

§1.1^ ROM particular duties the apoftle proceeds to 
that which is more general, which relates to our whole 
courfe of walking with God. — Our ' converfation here 
includes both the frame of our minds, and the moral 
manner of our a£ling, in all that we do about the things 
pertaining to this life ; and becaufe of this rellridlon of 
it to our a£tings about the things of this life, the apoftle 
ufeth the word (TpoTTC^-, mos, or mores) cujlonty and not the 
other word {&'A>ccgcjo(P'/i) which exprelleth our univcrfal 
ivalk with God, in all holy obedience, [Phil. i. 27, iii. 
20. Jam. iii. 13. I. Pet. i. 15. XL Pet. iii. 11.] the 
ordering of our converfation aright in this matter is of 
great importance in our Chriilian profeffion ; and for the 
dire6lion of it the apoftle gives this rule, that it be 
(u(piXaoyvP^oc.) without covetoifnefs. Covetoufnefs ((piKcco- 
yvpioc) is an inordinate delire and endeavour after the 
enjoyment of more riches than we have, or that God is 
pleafed to give us, proceeding from an undue valuation 
of them or love to them; [I. Tim. vi. 6 — 10.] a vice 
this, which, by its effects, manifefts itfelf always to be 


Veii.5,'6. epistle to THE HEBREWS. 3B5 

contrary to the light of nature, as debafing the muids of 
men, making them ufelefs, and expofing them to all man- 
ner of vile praftices ; hence it was always fligmatized by 
fober heathens, as one of the vilefl afFeftions of the human 
mind; and there is nothing which the fcripture more 
feverely condemns, or upon which it denounces more 
inevitable punifhment. Covetoufnefs is idolatry, [Col. 
iii. 5.] but hereof there are many degrees ; where it is pre- 
dominant, the fcripture abfolutely excludes thofe in 
whom it is from life and falvation, amongft the moft 
profligate linners ; but there may be fmaller degrees of 
inordinate defires after earthly things, in believers, which 
are a fubjeft of mortification all their days : when men 
are fpoiled of their goods, and in danger of loling all, it 
is apt to flir up in them earneft and inordinate defires 
after fomewhat more than they have, and not to be con- 
tent with what is prefent, which the apoitle declares to 
be covetoufnefs ; this he would have us to be free from 
at all times, efpecially in times of perfecution ; to which 
he plainly had refpe6l. 

§ 2. In oppolition hereunto we are enjoined to be 

* content with fuch things as we have ;' without complain- 
ing or repining at God's providential difpofals of our 
outward concerns ; without envy at the more profperous 
condition of others ; without fears and anxious cares 
about future fupplies ; and without defires and defigns of 
thofe things which a more plentiful condition than what we 
are in would fupply us with ; this contentment is with re- 
fpe£l to [^OLq 7rotCj>io'Lv) ''fuch things as arc pre f cut ;' as oppofed 
to things which are not prefent with us in our prefent con- 
dition, and therefore denote * fuch things as we have ;' yet 
are not things only intended, but in general the fate and 
condition wherein we are, as of poverty, or afflictions, or 
perfecutions, or of more enlargement in earthly things ; 
[fee P]]ii. i. 11.] and the meafure of them, in ordinary 
cafes, \% food and raiment, as the rule is given us, [I. Tim. 
vi. 8.] ' having food and raiment, let us be therewith 

* content ;* not that we are allowed to be di (contented if 
we i<jant them ; but that thefe are fuch a fulliciency as 

D d d 2 may 


may be deemed a rational obligation to contentment ; but 
among other evils that we may undergo for the gofpel, 
we may be called to endure hunger and nakednefs, [Rom. 
'^^^^- 35*] ^^^ w^ ^^^ obliged to be therewith content:, for 
contentment in things prefent doth not arife from any 
meafure, great or fmall, of the things themfelves which we 
enjoy, but depends on the prefence of God with us, and 
the annexed reward, as follows : 

§ 3. * For he hath faid ;* he v/ho alone hath all being 
and exiflence in himfelf ; he who is all and in all ; he who 
is over all, the fupreme difpofer of all things in heaven 
and earth, in whofe hand and power are all the concerns 
of men, who can do whatever he pleafeth \ ' he hath 
'/aid it: 

* I will never leave thee nor forfake thee.' It is ob- 
ferved by all, that there is a vehement negation in the latter 
claufe, by a multiplication of the negative particles (yS', j?, 
^Ti^) feeing two of them are ufed in tXiQ former claufe ; the 
defign of it is, to obviate all objeftions which fear and 
unbelief may raife againil the aiTurance given, under a 
pretence of fome peculiarity of circumftances ; be they 
what they will, faith God, * I will not at any time^ on 

* any occaiion, for any caufe, leave thee or forfake thee.' 

In the negative expreffions, pcjitive blejpngs are con- 
tained, and thofe diftinft alfo as the expreffions are ; by 
the one, the continuance of God*s prefence is intended ; by 
the other, the continuance of his help ; I will not leave thee ; 
or withdraw my prefence from thee ; I will ut\tx forfake 
thee ; or fufFer thee to be helplefs in any trouble. 

Wherefore the vehemency of the expreffion, by the 
multiplication of the negative particles, is an effect of 
divine condefcenfon, to give the utmoft fecurity to the faith 
of believers in all their trials. 

§ 4. There is a promife to this purpofe given to 
Solomon by David, in the name of God ;' * the Lord 

* God, even my God, he will be with thee, he will not fail 
' thce^ nor forfake thee : [I. Chron. xxviii. 20.] and it is 
frequently repeated to the church, as to the fubftance of 
it, [fee Ifa. xli. ic — 13.] but it is generally granted, 



that this promife is that which God made to Jofhua, when 
he gave him in charge the great work of deftroying the 
enemies of the church in the land of Caiiaan ; [ Jolh. i. 
5.] ' I will not fail thee, nov forfake thee ;' now though 
this promife was pe7'fo)ial, and given to Jolhua on account 
of that great and difficult undertaking ; yet — feeing the 
dangers and difficulties which every believer :• to un- 
dergo in the fpiritual warfare, efpccialiy in times of per- 
fecution and extraordinary trials, are no lefs than thofe 
that Jofhua underwent in his wars ; and feeing they 
ftand in no lefs need of the fpecial prefence and affiftance 
of God to overcome them, than he did — God thereby 
exprefily declared how he will deal with all believers in 
every llate and condition that he calls them, to ; their 
faith {lands in need of the fame fupport, the fame en- 
couragement with that of Jofhua, and it is refolved into 
the fame principles — the prefence and affifiance of God ; 
wherefore, all the promifes made to the church, and every 
particular member of it for the ufe of the church, are 
made equally to the whole church, and every member of it, 
in every age, according as the grace and mercy of it are 
fuited to their flate and condition ; herein then lieth the 
force of the apoflle's argument ; that if God hath faid 
unto every one of us, what he faid to Jofhua, — that he will 
never leave us as to his prefence, nor forfdke us as to his 

* ajffance' — we have' fufficient ground to call away all 
inordinate defires of earthly things, all fears of want and 
other prefTures, and to refl quiet and contented with his 
undertaking for us. 

§ 5. 'So that we may boldly fay, the Lord is my 

* helper, and I will not fear what man fhall do unto me;* 
we may every one of us fay, as David did in the like 
cafe, and in his confidence of the fame promife of the 
divine prefence and afiflancc that is given alfo to us ; [Pfal. 
cxviii. 6.] * The Lord is on my fide,' (^for mc, my 
helper) I w^ill not fear ; what can man do unto me ? 
To the fame purpofe the Pfalmift fpeaks, PfaL Ivi. 3, 4. 


• So 


* So that we may boldly fay ;' by what is faid to us we 
are enabled and jufliiied thus to lay ourfelves ; l^oldy, 
(^vupcjsyjo'.g '/^[^ccg) we beirg bold, ufing confidence ; to inti- 
mate our duty on this occafion, which is to caft out ail 
fears, every thing that might Intimidate our fpirits, or dif- 
quiet our minds, or hinder us from making our cheerful 
profeffion of our confidence in God ; for we are [Xiyiu) 
to fay what we believe, yea, to glory and make ourboafl 
in God againfl all oppofition. 

In the application of this teflimony, [Pfal. Ivi. 4.] the 
apoftle fuppofeth that David fpoke thefe words in the 
perfon of the whole churchy or on the general right of all 
true believers ; for having the fame grounds of it that he 
had, they may ufe the fame confidence that he did, 
though their outward circumflances be fpecifically dif- 
ferent ; in whatever befalls us we may boldly fay — ' we 
* will not fear ;' for, if God be for us, who fliall be 
againfl us ? 

This help of God, which believers are afTured of in 
their trials, is t'llhtx internal, by fupplies of grace, fpiritual 
firength and confolation, enabling them with a vi<3:orious 
frame of mind to go through all the difficulties and 
dangers of their conflift with certain fuccefs ; or etenialy 
in a£tual deliverance by the deftru^lion of their adver- 
farics ; both which are frequently exemplified in the fcrip- 
ture, and by more recent experience. 

§ 6. And that which we are taught from hence, is ; 

1. All covctoufnefs is inconfiflent with a Chriftian con- 
verfation ; nor is there any thing at this day, that doth 
more {lain the glory of our Chriflian profeffion. 

2. Covctoufnefs, in any degree, is highly dangerous in a 
time of fufFering for the gofpel ; for there is no fin that 
fo intimidates the fpirits and weakens all refolution, at 
fuch a time, as this doth ; it is always accompanied with 
dlftruft of Crod, an over valuation of earthly things, anxiety 
and difquictude of mind, irregular contrivances for fupply, 
and referves of truft in what men have, with other evils 

3. Ths 


3. The divine prefence, and divine ajjijiance, which are 
infeparable, are the fpring of fuitable and fufiicient relief 
to believers in every condition. 

4. Efpecially the due confideration of them is abun- 
dantly fufiicient to rebuke all covetous incUnatio'is and 
delires, which, without it will, be prevalent in a time of 
lira its. 

5. The cheerful prof^ffion of confidence in God a- 
gainfl all oppoiition, and in the midfl of diftreffes, is 
what believers have a warrant for in the promifes. 

6. As the ufe of this confidence is our incumbent 
duty, fo it is a duty highly honourable to the profeflion 
of the gofpel. 

§ 7. I. All believers have, in their fufFerings, a re- 
frefliing, fupporting intereft in divine aid, the promifes 
being made to them all equally in their fufFering flate, 
even as they were to the prophets and apoflles of old. 

2. It is their duty to exprefs with conhdence and 
boldaefs, at all times, their ailurance of th€ divine af- 
iiflance declared in the promifes to their own encourage- 
ment, the edification of the church, and the terror of 
their adverfaries. [Phil. i. 28.] 

3. Faith duly fixed on the power of God, as engaged 
for the afiiftance of behevers in their fufFerings, will give 
them a contempt of all that men can do unto them. 

4. The mofl effe£lual means to encourage our fouls 
in all our fufFerings, is to compare tlie power of God, 
who will affifl: us, and that of man oppreiiing us. [Matt. 
X. 28.] 

5. That which in our fufFerings delivereth us from 
the fear of men, takes out all that is evil iu them, aqd 
fecures our fuccefs. 



Verse 7. 

remember them which have the rule over yod, 
who have spoken unto you the word of god ; 
ivhose faith follow, considering the end of 
their conversation. 

§ I. Introdu£llon and defign. § 2, 3. Of remember Ing our 
teachers. § 4. Imitating their faith. § 5. Regarding 
the end cf their convcrfation, § 6. Obfervatlon, 

§1.1/ ROM a prefcrlption of the foregoing duties of 
morality, the apoille proceeds to thofe which concern y^?//^ 
and worjhip, laying the foundation of them in that refpeft, 
which is due to thofe who declare to us the words of truth 
for their work's fake, and on account of the example 
which they give us. 

That which the apoftle delTgns in the following dlf- 
courfe is, perfeverance in the faith, and profefiion of the 
truth, in oppolitlon to an inclination to ' various and 
' ftrange doftrines/ [ver. 8.] 

§ 2. * Them which have the rule over you ;' io 
Erasmus, (eorum qui vobls prcefunt) of them who prefide 
over you ; but it is an evident miflake. What feems to 
have led into it is, that the word (-/jy^jji^^vcg) is a participle 
of the prefent tenfe ; but it is moil frequently ufed as a 
noun, and fo it is here. It is ufed repeatedly in this chap- 
ter, [ver. 7, 17, 24.] for an officer or officers in the 
church ; that is, fuch as go before and dire£l it, which is 
the nature of their office ; bilhops, paftors, elders, who 
prefide in the church to guide it ; for they have fuch a rule 
as confifts principally in fplrltual guidance. 

And, by the defcription following, it is evident, that 
the apoftle intends all who had preached the word of God 
to them, whether apoftles, evangelifts as pailors, who had 
now finifhed their courfe. 

2 {yhrr 

Ver.7. epistle to the HEBREWS. 59, 

■{Mvyjiiovsvfli) remember them ;. be mindful of them, fo as 
to * efteem them Vety highly in love for their works fake ;' 
[I. Thef. V. 13.] and the famt refpe^l we are to have for 
them when they have fimjhed their wcrk. Suddenly to 
forget them, is an evidence, that we have not profited 
much by their labours. We ought, therefore, afFec- 
Itionately to remember them in what they did and taught, 
fo as to folbiv them in their faith and converfation. Alas ! 
how many have we had, and how many have we now, 
who have left, or are likely to leave, nothing to be re- 
membered, but what it is the duty of the church to ab- 
hor 1 How many whofe ufelelTnefs leads them into ever- 
lafting oblivion ! 

§ 3. * Who have fpoken unto you the word of God* 
This is the chara£lerijlic note of church guideis. Thofe 
who do not labour to the edification of the church, let 
them pretend what tliey will> are not elleemed by Chrifl, 
as acceptable gilides or rulers ; nor is the honourable re- 
membrance of them any duty. — -' T^he word of God \^ the 
written word ; including the vocal fpeaking of perfons di- 
vinely infpired by virtue of new revelations. And whereas 
the word of the gofpel is principally intended, this 
fpeaking may comprife the apoftolkal writing alfo. 

This * word of God' is the fole obje£l of the church's 
Faith ; and the only outward means of communicating to 
it the mind arid grace of God, wherefore upon it the 
being, life, and bleflednefs of the church depend. 

§ 4. * PFIjofe faith follow \ fo mind them and their 
work in jpreaching the word of God, as to follow, 
(^i^i^LHQ'^Ui) io imitate them ; to copy their example in a 
lively, exprefiive manner, and particularly their faith ; the 
grace of faith, whereby they believed the truth, and its 
exerctfe in all they did and fuiTered. Their faith was that 
which purified their hearts, and made them fruitful in 
their lives. 

§ 5. * Confidering the end of their [a,v(X(;^o^'/\) con* 
* verfation ;' the way or courfe of their walking and con- 
verfe in the world, with refpe£l to moral duties, and the 
whole of their obedience. This converfation of theirs 

Vol. LV, Eee had 


had now received its {iii(ia,(T ig) end \ the word fignifies 
an end accompanied with a deliverance from, and fo a 
conqueft over, fuch difficulties and dangers as they were 
before expofed to. Thefe perfons, in the whole courfe 
of their converfation were exercifed with difficulties, dan- 
gers, and fufferings, ail attempting to ilop them in their 
way, or to turn them out of it. But what did it all 
amount to ? what was the iffue of their conflid ? It was 
a bleffied deliverance from all troubles, and a complete 
conqueji over them. Their faith failed not, their hope 
did not perifli, they were not difappointed ; but had a 
blelTed end of their v;alk and courfe. 

This they were advifed to conjider^ (^^cocj^vjsg) not 
with a flight traniient thought, with which we ufually 
pafs over fuch things, but a reiterated contemplation of 
the matter, with its caufes and circumftances. 

§ 6. A due conlideration of the faith of thofe who 
have been before us, efpecially of fuch who were conilant 
in fufferings ; and above all, thofe who were fo unto 
death, as the holy martyrs in former and latter ages, is an 
efFeftual means to ftir us up to the fame exercife of faith, 
when we are called to it. And happy had it been, if 
men's Imliat'iGn of former ages had kept itfelf within thefe 

Verse 8. 
jesus christ .t«e same yesterday, to day, ane» 


^ I. The occafion of the words, § 2. The Soc'miaH glofs re^ 
futed. Expofitory remarks. § 3. Concerning the coK" 
nenlcn and nfc of the words, § 4. Obfervations. 

s; I- X WO things are to be confidered in thefe words? 
firil tli^ occafion of them ; and tlien their fe^fe and raean- 


iiig. And as to the occaiion of their ufe in this place, to 
liie they appear as a glorious light, which the apoftle fets 
•up to guide our minds in the coniideration of his whole 
difcourfe, that we may fee whence it all proceeds, and 
whereunto it tends. He is the alpha and omega, the 
£rfl and the lafl: ; the beginner and the finilher of our 

§ 2. There are va -cvis interpretations of the words 
QyJ^cg Kcci (ry-JiJispov) yejierday and to day \ Eniedinus fays, 
that by ' yeficrdaf (yj^g) a ^ fliort time before' is in- 
tended ; that which was of late, vl%. fince the birth of 
Chrifl at moft, which was not long before. He is fol- 
lowed by ScHLicTiNGius, and all the Socinians. But 
there cannot be given a more abfurd interpretation ; for 
when we fay of any one, that he is of yejierday, (x9sg ncct 
TTpo'/iy) it is fpoken of him in contempt ; ' w^e are of yef^ 
ierday, and know nothing,' [Job viii. 9.] But the dej7gn 
of the apoftle (which is our clue) is to utter that w^hich 
tends to the honour of Chrift, and not to his diminution. 
And the fcripture expreflions of him to this purpofe are — 
* He was in the beginning ; he was with God \ he was 
' God,' he. 

But clearly to comprehend the mind of the Holy 
Ghoft, herein fundry things are to be obferved. As, 

1. That it is the per/on of Chrifl that is fpoken of; 
nor is this whole name {lYicn^g l^oigog) Jefus Chrifl, ever 
tifed for any other purpofe. It is falfe, therefore, that 
it is here taken metonymically for his doftrine, or for the 
gofpel ; nor, indeed, would fuch a fenfe be any way to. 
the apoflle's purpofe. Yet, 

2. He fpeaks not of his perfon abfolutely, but with re- 
fpe£l to his office, and his difcharge of it, or he declares 
who and what he was therein. 

3. It is from his divine Perfon, that, in the difcharge 
of his office, he was (^avjog) the fame. So it is faid of 
him, [chap. i. 12, (tv I'- aiPjog cl) * But thou art the 
fame ;'- that is, eternal, immutable, indeiicient. Where-, 

E e Q :i 4, TherQ 


4. There is no need to fix a determinate, difiinft fenfc 
as to the notation of time to each word, * yefterday, to, 
* day, and for ever,' the apoftie defigning, by a kind of pro- 
verbial fpeech, wherein refpe6l is had to all feafons, to de- 
note the eternity and immutability of Chriil in them all. To 
the fame purpofe he is faid to b,e (0 <wi/, K(x,i q yjv, kcci 0, 
sp'/jO^JiSvogy Rev. i. 4.) ' He who is, who was , and 
^ Vf ho is to come.* 

This then is the ufe of thefe wprds : " Jefus Chriil, in 
every condition of believers, is the fame to them ; being 
always the fame in his divine Perfon, to the confumma- 
tion of all things. He is ; he ever was, all and in all unto, 
thq church ; the author, obje£l, and fin ifher of faith ; the 
preferver and rewarder of them that believe in all gene- 

§ 3. Our lafl inquiry is concerning the connexion and 
ufe of thefe words, with reference to the other parts of 
the difcourfe. In the preceding verfe (for we have no 
reafon to look higher in this feries of duties independent 
one on the other) the Hebrews are enjoined to perfevere 
in imitating the faith of their firil apoftolical teachers. 
Now whereas they had by their faith a vitiorious end of 
their whole converfation, they might confider, that Jefus 
Chriil, who is always the fame in himfelf, would like- 
wife be the fame to them, to give them the like blelTed 
end of their faith and obedience. As he was when theyr 
believed in him, fo he is now. And here a rule is fixed 
for the trial of doftrines, vi-z, the acknowledgement of 
Chriil in his perfon and office ; which in the like cafe is 
given us by the apoille John, [I. Epill. iv. 2, 3.] Let 
this foundation be laid ; whatever agrees with it is true 
and genuine, what doth not agree with it is various and 
ftrangs doctrine. And as to the other part of the exhor- 
tation ; to V. hat end, faith the apoille, fhould men trou- 
ble themfelvcs with the diilinftion of meats^ and the like 
Mofaical obfervances ; whereas in the time they were en- 
joined, they were in thcmfelves of no advantage ; for it. 
was Chriil alone, that even then was all to tlie church, 



as to its acceptance with God. And fo I hope we have 
reflpred thefe words to their genuine fenfe and ufe. 
§ 4. Hence obferve ; 

1. The due confideration of Jefus Chrill, efpeclally ia 
his eternity, immutabihty, and indeiiciency, or as he is 
always the fame^ is the great encouragement of behevers in 
their whole profeffion, and all difHcuMies. 

2. As no changes formerly made in the inftitutions of 
^ivine worfhip, altered any thing in the faith of the church, 
with refpeft to Chrifl ; for he was, and is flill the fame; 
fo no viciffitudes we may meet with in cur profeffion, by 
oppreffion or perfecution, ought in the leaft to (hake 
vs ; for Chrifl is flill the fame to prote£l, relieve, and 
deliver us. 

3. He that can in the way of his duty, on all occa- 
lions, retreat to Jefus Chrifl, and the due confideratioa 
of his perfon in the difcharge of his office, will not fail 
of relief, fupport, and confclation. 

4. A fledfafl cleaving to the truth, concerning the 
ferfon and office of Chrifl, will preferve us from hear- 
kening to various and ftran^e do£lrines perverting our 

5. Jefus Chrifl, from the beginning of the world, was 
the obje£l of the church's faith. And, 

6. It is the immutability and eternity of Jefus Chrifl in 
^is divine perfon, that render him a meet object of faith 
to the church, in tlie difcharge of his office. 



Verse 9. 

be not carried about with diver? and strange 
doctrines ; for it is a good thing that the 
heart be established with grace, not with 


^ I. ^cc ape/lie's dc^Rgn explained In fever al extofliory re^ 
marks, which contain an analyjts of his difcoiirfe, § 2. 
Expoftion. Various and firange do^rines, ivhat, § 3. 
^he exhcrtation not to he carried about with them, § 4. 
72v end to he aimed at in profeffing religion is, to be 
he eflahlifhed. ^. Ifljich is riot to be done by the Jewifh. 
altar and ceremonies, hut by grace. § 6 . The iinprofita" 
ilenefs of the former. \ 7 . Ohfervations, 

§ I. X HE enfurng context from hence to the 17th 
verfe fcems ahjirufe, and the reafoning not eafy to be ap- 
prehended ; but expolitors generally overlook it, and 
attend only to the expoiition of the parts. To find out the 
mhid of the Holy Ghofh in the whole, we muft confider 
the defign of the apoftle in it, and how he deduces one 
thing from another. 

1. There was at this time not only an obflin ate adhe* 
rence to Mofaical ceremonies amongft many of Hie Jews, 
who yet profelTed the golpel ; but alfo an endeavour to 
reinforce their ncceffity, and to impole their obiervance 
■upon others. 

2. He adds a reafn of this dehortation and warning, 
by pointing out the inconfiflency of thefe Mofaic ceremo- 
nies with the gofpel, with the very nature of the Chrifliaa 
religion, and that great principle of it, that ' Jefus. 
* Chiift is the fame yefterday, to day, and for ever.' Ta 
this end he fuppofeth, 

I (I.) That 

Ver. 9' £PlstLE TO THE HEBREWS. 39/ 

(i.) That the fpring of all their obfervances about 
weatsy eating or not eating, and confequently of the other 
rites of the fame nature, was from the altar ; for with rc- 
fped to this was the determination of things clean and un- 
clean ; what might be offered on the altar was ckafiy and 
what might not^ was unclean. 

(2.) That the foundation of religion lies in an altar; 
but that ours is not of fuch a nature as that from thence 
any dillindion of meats fliould enfue. 

(3.) That whatever be the benefus ,oi our altar, the 
way of their participation is not the adminiftration of the 
old tabernacle fervices ; nor could they who adminiilered 
therein,, claim a right to them by any divine inllitution. 
Nay, if they rejied in t?jat adminijlrationy they w^ere ex- 
cluded from them, 

(3.) He adds the reafon of this excluding maxim taken 
from the nature of our altar and facrifice ; for it is a facrifice 
oi expiation to fandify the people by blood ; and even in the 
very type of it ; the blood of the viftims being carried intcJ 
the holy place, their bodies were burned entirely without 
the camp ; fo that the priefls themfelvcs had no right to 
eat any thing of them. 

4. In anfvver thereto the Lord Jefus Chrill:, who is 
himfelf both our nliar^ facrifice y and priefy carried his 
own blood, in its atoning efficacy, into the holy place of 
heaven, having fufFered in his body without the gate, 
where the facrifices were burned. So that there is no 
place now left for eating, or di{lin£tion of meats. Yea, 

5. Hereby a new fate of religion y anfwerable to the na- 
ture of the altar and facrifice, is introduced ; w^ith which 
the tabernacle obfervances, which depended on the nature 
and the ufe of the altar, were utterly Inconffent. Where- 
fore, whoever adhered to theniy did thereby renounce this 
altar of ours, and confequently the religion founded thereon ; 
for none can have an interefl in t^vo altars, at the fame 
time, of fuch different natures, and which draw after 
them fuch different religious obfervances. 

6. He adds, in the laft place, what we are to learn 
from the nature and ufe of our altar and facrifice, in op- 


S98 AN EXl^OSlflON OF THE Chap. XIH* 

pofition to the meats which belonged to the old typical 
altar; and herein he inflanceth in patient bearing of the 
crofs, or fuffering for Ch rift, [ver. 13.] Self-denial^ as 
to temporal enjoyments, [Ver. 14.] continual ^iz/:W wor* 
Jh'ip^ which is a fpiritual facrifice nlade acceptable in 
Chrift, our altar, priefl, and facrifice, [ver. 15.] and &11 
good works of piety and charity towards men. Thefe are 
the only facrifices we are now called to offer. I hope we 
have not miffed the apollle s defign and reafdhing in this 
analyfis of his difcourfe, which makes his fublime way of 
arguing this great myftery plain and evident ; and gives 
us a fafe rule for the interpretation of every particular 
part of it. 

§ 2. * Be not carried away with divers and ilrange 

* do£trines.' 

It is evident that the do£lrines intended were fuch as 
did then infefl the churches, the Hebrew churches ; which 
is manifeil in the fpecial inftance given about meats. And 
they are called * various} becaufe they were not reduci-. 
ble to that one faith ^ which Was once delivered to the faints, 
and which was quite of another kind ; becaiife they had 
tio confillency or agreement among themfelves ; and ef- 
pecially they were vnrious from their obje£i^ feeing they 
Were about various things. Or he calh them * various,' 
becaufe they took the mind from its proper ftabilily, tof- 
Ung it up and down at all uncertainties. When once 
men begin to give ear to fuch doftrines, they lofe all the 
reft and compofure of their mindsj as we fee by daily ex- 

And they are * Jlrange} as being concerning things y^*- 
reign to the gofpel, uncompliant with the nature and ge- 
nius of it Such are all do£lrines about religious cerenio- 
tiies, and the over fcrupulous obfervance of them ; for 
the kingdom of God is not ' rneat and drink,' but 
righteoufn efs, and peace, and joy, in the Holy Ghoil^ 
[Rom. xiv. 17.] 

§ 3. With refpe£l to thofe do£VHnes the charges arc^ 

* Be not carried about* with them, [fee Ephef. iv. 14.] 
There is an allufion to flups, and the imprelTion of the 



mind upon them, In themfelves they are light, and arei. 
caiily carried about of winds ; and the falfe doctrines 
may be compared to winds^ becaufe thofe who woul4 
impofe them on others, commonly do it with a great 
and vehement blujlerhig. You muft be circumcifed, 
or you cannot be faved, [as A£ls xv. i,] unlefs you be- 
lieve and pra^life thefe things, you are heretics and fch'if- 
tnaticsy &c, and the effects of them on the minds of fome 
are thofe of contrary winds at fea ; they tofs them up and 
down ; they run them out of their courfe ; and threaten 
their deflruflion. Firft, they fill the minds of men 
with uncertainties^ as to what they have believed ; and then 
for the mofl part they alter the whole courfe of their pro- 
felTion ; and laftly, they bring them to be in danger of 
eternal ruin. In proof of thefe things, witnefs th^ Gala* 
tian churches, 

§ 4. The end to be aimed at, in the profeffion of reli^ 
gion is, * that the heart be {j3sf^a.ti^cr9(Xi) ejiablijhed\ fo, 
confirmed in faith, as to have a fixed pcrfnafion of the 
truth ; or a juft firm fettlemsnt of mind in the affurance 
of it, as oppofed to a being tofjed to and fro ; that through 
the truth, the heart enjoy peace with God, which alone 
will eflablifh it ; giving it firmitude and refl in every conn 
dition, being flayed on God. 

§ 5. (X(%p/7/) hy grace. * Grace^ here is to be takers, 
comprehenfively, for the good will and love of God to- 
wards men, by Jefus Chrill, as revealed in the gofpel. 
This is that alone which doth, which, can eflablifli the 
heart of a firmer in peace with a holy and jijft God, 
[Rom. V, I.] 

* Not with meats.'- Not that the heart may be efla^ 
bliflied by meats alfc^ but that grace is the only way 
thereof, though fome foolifhly pretended, that it might be 
done by eating., or by ahjlinence from eating, of meats, by- 
virtue of divine prohibition, * touch not, tafle not, han- 
* die not,' [Col. ii. 21.] which diftinftion of meats arofe, 
from the altar ; for the beafl that might be offered at the 
altar in facrifke being clean, and the firlt fruits being thus. 
' Vol, IV,' Y ii dedi,» 


dedicated unto God, the whole of the kind became clean 
to the people ; and what had not the privilege of the altar, 
was prohibited. 

And hence we may fee the reafon why the Jews laid ^o 
great a flrefs on thefe mcats^ viz, becaufe the taking of 
them away declared, that their ctltar^ which was the life 
and centre of their religion, was of no mare ufe. And 
hence we may alfo fee the reafon of the apoftle's different 
treating with them in this matter ; for, fpeaking of meats 
in their ozvn nature, he declares, that the ufe of them is a 
thing indifferent, wherein every one is to be left to his own 
liberty, to be regulated only by the circumftance of giving 
offence or fcandal, [fee Rom. xiv.] but when he treats of 
them as a pretended necefTary obfervance, as connefted 
with the altar, he utterly condemns them, [GaL iv. Col. 
ii. I 6 — -23.] 

* For it is {Kccy^ov) a good thing ;' it is excellent, ap- 
proved of God, and our incumbent duty to labour after. 
And in this pojitive comparative is included, it is good and 
excellent to fuch a degree, as to be far better than what 
they pretended. 

§ 6. ' Which have not profited them that have been 

* occupied therein,* {cvotg Tf^piTic^vjcro^vjcg^ them who have 
•Lvalked in them. To walk in meats, is to obferve the doc- 
trines concerning them ; ' touch not, tafle not, handle 

* not.' And he fpeaketh of the time paj}, as well as of 
the time then prefent ; {ox of themfelvcs they never profited 
thofe that obferved them. They were a part of the yoke 
that was impofeo on them, until the time of reformation, 
[chap. iv. 10.] and fo far as any trufted to them, as a 
means of acceptance with God, they were pernicious to 
them ; which the apoftle intimates by a common figure, 
when he fays, that they ' did not profit' them ; that is, 
they tended, to their hurt ; and much more fo after theia; 
obligation ccafed,^ 

§ 7. And there are many weighty directions intimated 
and included in thefe words, for the ufe of the church iii 
all feafons ; as, 

I. That 


1. That there is a revelation of truth given to the 
church in the word of God, which is the only dodlrinal 
foundation and rule of faith. 

2. I'hat this doftrine is every way fuited to promote 
divine grace in believers, aiid the attainment of their own. 

3. That do£lrInes iinfuited to this iirft revelation by 
Chrifl and his apoflles foon fprung up to the trouble of 
the church, and they have continued to do fo in all 
enfuing ages. 

4. Where fuch do£lrines are entertained they make 
hien double minded, unliable, turning them from the truth, 
and drawing them at length into perdition. 

5. The ruiil of the church in after ages arofe from 
the negle£l of this apoftolical caution, in giving way to 
various ^nd Jirange doctrines. 

6. Herein lies the fafety of all believers and all churches ; 
namely, to keep themfelves precifely to the firft complete 
revelation of divine truth in the word of God, let men 
pretend what they will, and blufter while they pleafe ; 
in an adherence to this principle we are fafe ; and if we 
depart from it, we fhall be hurried and carried about 
through innumerable Uncertainties into ruin. 

7. And we fee, that thofe who confider any thing but 
grace, as the only means to eflablifh their hearts in peace 
with God, fhall in vain exercife themfelves in other 
things and ways to that end. 

Verse 10. 

we have an altar, whereof they have is^o 
right to eat which serve the tabernacle. 

§ I. "The dlreB dejign of the words, § 2. Our altar, what, 

§ 3. On ivhat ground f and in what ref^e^l^ they whoferve 

F f f 2 ihs 


the tabernacle have no right to partake of our altar, § 4» 

5 I. X HE delign of the context^ and coherence of 
the words, have in general been fpoken to before ; having 
alTerted the only way of the eftablifhment of the heart 
in peace with God, and the ufelefTnefs of all diftindion of 
meats to that purpofe, he here declareth the foundation 
of the truth ; for whereas the fole ground of all diftinc- 
tion of meats, and other ceremonies among the Jews, 
was the altar in the tabernacle, with its nature, ufe, and 
fervices, he lets them know that ' we have an altar* and 
fervices quite of another kind than thofe which arofe 
from the altar of old, fuch as he defcribes, ver. 13 — 15 ; 
this is the dire£i delign of the apoitle in this place, and 
the proper analyfis of his words. 

§ 2. The altar which we now have, is Chrijl alone ^ for 
he was both priefl, altar, and faeriiice to the church, as 
to ail the ufe and efficacy of them, which is evident in 
the context ; for this altar is, in its nature, ufe and ef- 
ficacy, oppofcd to the altar in the tabernacle ; and indeed 
the apollle exprefily declares that Jefus fandlified the 
people with his own blood, which was to be done at or 
on the altar ; and * by him,' as our altar^ we are to offer 
our facrifices unto God, [ver. 15.] ' the fruit of our 

* lips, confeffing unto his name ;' which leads us ot? 
from all thoughts of any material altar. Estius, one of 
the fobereft expofitors of the Roman church, concludes, 
that it is Chrift, and his facrifiee alone, is intended in 
this place. 

§ 3. * Whereof they have no right to eat {ii 7.«- 

* Tp?uoj/T£c) vjho fervc the tabernacle ;* he fpeaks in the 
frefent tenfe, thofe who do ferve^ or who are ferz-'mg at the 
tabernacle ; for he hath refped to the original inftitution 
of divine worfhip, which was in the tabernacle ; and he 
takes no notice of the things that enfued on the erection 
of the temple, bccaufe it made no alterations in the 
WQrJJ^ip itfclf, and he fuppofeth them to be in the ftate 


Ver. to. EPISTLE to tHE HEBREWS. 40J 

wherein they were appointed ; * whs fcrve \ namely, th« 
priefls and Levitcs in their feveral orders and degrees* 
who had a right to eat of the altar, or the things that 
were confecrated thereby, and a part of which was offered 
thereon. * They who wait at the altar, are partakers 
* with the altar;' [I. Cor. ix. 13. x. 18.] nor was it 
lawful for any ethers to eat any thing from the altar* 
iinlefs in the cafe of the thank-offering by fpecial in- 
dulgence, or in extreme neceility. 

* Whereof they have no right to eat ;' (c> s:?, i. e, 
^\)(nci>gmi'd) of which altar, and all the things which arc 
fanftificd thereby ; Tq eat ; what was every one's portion 
was to be eaten ^ hence the apoflle ufeth the word {(pcKyni/) 
to eat here for any kind of participation ; they have m 
(c^'dG-iOiv) right or title, by virtue of any divine inftitu^ 
tion ; he doth not abfolutely exclude fuch perfons front 
ever attaining an intereft in our altar ; no, far from it ; 
but he doth it in two refpefts ; — they had no fuch right 
by virtue of their office and relation to the tabernacle ; 
and — whilfl they adhered to the ufe of their own taber- 
nacle, altar, 8cc. for the eflablifliment of their hearts with. 
God, they would have no intereft in this altar of ours. 

§ 4. From hence we may /ear?i ; 

1. That the Lord Chrifl, in the one facrifice of him- 
felf, is the altar of the new teflament church. 

2. That this altar is every way fufiicient of itfelf for 
the grand end of an altar in general j namely, the fanc^ 
tification of the people, [ver. 12.] 

3. The eredion of any other altar in the church, or 
the introduction of any other facrifice requiring a mate- 
rial altar, is derogatory to the facrifice of Chrifl, and 
excludes him from being our altar. 

4. Whereas the defign of the apoflle in the whole of 
this difcourfe, is, to declare the glory of the gofpel, and 
its worfhip, above that of the law ; of our prieil and 
filtar above theirs, it is fond to think, that by ' our altar* 
he intends fuch a materia! fabric as is every way inferior 
to that of old. 

5. Wliea 


5. When God appointed a material altar for his 
fervicc, he himfelf enjoined the making of it, prefcribed 
its form and ufe, with all its utenlils, fervices and cere^ 
monies, allowing of nothing relating to it but what was by 
himfelf appointed ; it is not therefore probable, that, under 
the New Teftament, there fliould be a material altar of 
equal neceffity, without a divine appointment But, 

6. Sinners, under a fenfe of guilt, have in the gofpel 
an altar of atonement to which they may have continual 
accefs for the expiation of their lins i ' he is the pro- 
*- pitiation.' 

7. That all privileges, of whatever nature, without a 
participation of Chrift, as the altar and facrifice of the 
church, are of no advantage to their pofTeflbrs* 

Verses i i, 12. 

for the bodies of those beasts whose bloobi 
is brought into the sanctuary by the high 
priest for sin, are burned without the 
camp; wherefore jesus also, that he might 
sanctify the people with his own blood, 
suffered without the gate. 

§ I. l:'he apojile's thrce-foJd dcjign. § 2. Expofitlon. The 
typical Jin o^ering. § 3. ^he burning of the bodies with^ 
out the camp, § 4. Ihe inference, wherefore Jefus. § 5. 
ILxpofitory remarks* § 6. IVithoKt the gate, what implUd 
in it. § 7. Obfervations* 

§ 1. X HE apoflle in thefe words proceeds to the con- 
firmation of his whole prefent delign in all the parts of 
it, which are three ; 

I. To declare of what nature our altar and facrifice are^ 


Ver. 11,12. EPISTLE TO THE HEBREWS. 4.05 

and thereon of what nature and kind the duties of religiaii 
are which depend upon them. 

2. To teftify that the removal of all dijvinfiion of meats^ 
by virtue of this aitar, was fignified in the old inflitutions 
which had their accomplifnment in this altar and fa- 

3. To fhew the necelfity of tht fuff'ering of Chrijl with- 
out the gate of the city, from the typical reprefentation of 
it ; and fo to make way for treating of the ufe we are to 
make of it. 

§ 2. * For the bodies of thofe beafls,' &c. {Jlioi ccuixp^ 
^Lug) for fn ; referring to the fn offering on the great 
day of atonement; (fee on chap. x. 6.) the blood of that 
facrifice alone was carried into the mofl holy place by the 
High Priell ; and there was an efpccial inftitution for 
burning the bodies of the bealls whofe blood was then 
offered without the camp. [Lev. xvi. 27.] 

§ 3. The burning of the bodies was ordered to be without 
the camp ; namely, whiift the Ifraelites were in the wilder^ 
nefs, encamped round about the tabernacle. To this camp 
the city of Jerufalem afterwards anfwered ; wherefore, 
when this facrifice was obferved in the temple, the * bodies 
* of the beails' were carried out of the city to be burned ; 
hence the apoftle makes the fuffering of Chrilt without th^ 
gate^ to anfwer the burning of thofe bodies without the 
camp ; the city and the camp being in inflitution the 
fame thing. In this facrifice there was no eating ; all was 
confumed ; hence the apoftle proves that meats did never 
contribute any thing towards the eftablifliment of the 
heart before God, for there was no ufe of tliem in the 
facrifice whereby atonement for fin was made ; whereon the 
eflablilbment of the heart dependcth ; yea, there w^as a 
clear prefiguration, that when the great atonement was 
made, there fliould be no ufe of the dijlintiion of meats lefl^ 
in the church. 

§ 4. ' Wherefore Jefus aljo ;* being to fulfil all righteouf- 

nefs, and the whole law, what he did was regulated by 

the predieiions of fcripture, and the typical reprefentations 

of what wa3 to be done ; th^ cxprefTion intmiates diJimHi^ 

I •:tude, 


iude, fuch as is between the type and the thing typified j 
as was that facrifice, or fin offering, under the hvfyfo was 
tiiis of Chrift— ' Wherefore Jefus alfo: 

§ 5. There are fundry truths of great importance in 
thefe words, the confideration whereof will give us the juft 
expolition of them. 

1. That Jefus in his fufFerings offered himfelf to God ; 
tliis is plain in the words ; ' that he might fandify tlic 
"^ people with his blood (cTtcc^s) he fuffered ;* for in that 

fuffcr'mgy his blood was Hied whereby the people were 
fanftified ; which utterly overthrows the SOCINIAM 
^gment of his eblation in heaven. 

2. That in his fufferings he offered himfelf a ^f;? ^^''- 
hig ; in anfwer to thofe legal facrifices, whofe blood was 
carried into the holy place, and whofe bodies were 
burned without the camp; and this belonged to Jtn-^ 
tffirings only, 

3. The end of this offering was, that he m\ght fanfiify 
the peofie\ this was {finis opcris & operant is J the end of 
'ivhat was donCy arid of him who did it ; (ivoc) that, hath 
lefpefl to the final caufe ; and the obje^ of tlie work, 
"Wrought is the people ; that is, all the ele£t people of God^ 
"both Jews and Gentiles. [I. John ii. 2.] 

4. That which he defigned and accomplifhed for this 
people, was their fanflification ; and it is here manifefl, by^ 
the refpe£t his blood had to the great facrifice of ex-^ 
piation, that it fignifies to have atonement mad^, 

5. This is what the Lord Jefus Chrift defigned for 
his church, and he did it by his own blood; [A£ls xx. 28, 
Rev. i. 5.] an evidence of the unfpeakable worth and 
value of this offering, and whereon all its efficacy doth 
depend. What a tefiimony is here of what it cofl the 
Lord Jefus to fan£lify the people ; even with his owi* 
blood ! 

§ 6. ' Saifered without the gate ;' intimating that he 
ift the city and church Jiate of the Jews, put an end to all. 
acceptable facrificing in the city and temple ; that his. 
facrifice and its benefits were not included in the church of 
the Jews, but were finally extended to the whole world ; 

Ver« ir, t2. EPISTLE TO tHE tlESREWS. ^0% 

f I. John ii. 2.] that his death and fufFering were not only 
zfacrifice, but a pun'ijhment for fin, the iins of the people 
that were to be fantilfied by his blood ; for he went out 
of the city as a malefaftor, and died the death which by 
divine inftitution was a iign of the curfe^ [Gal. iii. 13.] 

By all thefe things it appears, how different our altar 
eind facrifice are from theirs under the law ; and how 
iieceffary it is from thence that we fhould have a worjhip 
of another nature than what they had, wherein particu- 
larly the dljilndion of meats fhould be of no ufe. 

§ 7. And we may hence obferve ; 

1. The complete anfwering and fulfilling of all types 
\vi the perfon and ofhce of Chrifl, tefcifieth the famenefs 
and immutability of the counfel of God in the whole 
work of redemption, notwithftanding all the outward 
changes that have been in the inflitutions of divine 
worfliip i from hence it it manifeft, that, in the whole, 
Jefus Chrifl is * the fame yeflerday, to day, and for ever.* 

2. The church could no otherwife be fan£tified, but by 
the blood of Jefus, the Son of God. [See on chap. x. 4 


3. The Lord Jefus out of his incomprehenfible love 
to his people, would fpare nothing that was needful for 
their fandlification, their reconciliation, and dedication, 
tinto God ; for he did it with his own blood, 

4. Th-e whole church is perfeflly fan^ified by the 
offering of the blood of Chrifl as to impetrat'ion ; and it 
filial! be fo a£luaiiy by the virtue of the fame blood in its 

5. When the Lord Jefus Chrifl carried all the fins of 
his own people in his body on the tree, he left the city 
ias a type of all unbelievers under the wrath and curfe of 

6. Going out of the city as a malefa£lor, he bore all 
the reproaches that were due to the fins of the xhurcji, 
which was a part of the curfe. 

Vol. IV. <^ gZ 


Verses 13, 14. 

let us go forth therefore unto him, with- 
out the camp, bearing his reproach ; for 
hep.e have we no continuing city, but we 
seek one to come. 

^ 1. ^n exhortation to go forth luithout the camp. § 2 . Tf 
Chrij}^ to hear his reproach. §3.4. ^he reafons to enforce 
it. § 5, 6. Obfervations, 

§ I . i/ ROM the account given of our altar in the fuf- 
fering and offering of Chrifl:, the apoflle draws an cx^ 
hortation to a general duty. 

* Let us go forth therefore unto him (c^w t>?^ ttocosu.-' 
f2'0?Krjg) zuithout the camp.^ He refers, as before hinted, 
to the original inflitution in the wildernefs ; therefore he 
confirms his difcourfe to the tabernacle, without any 
mention of the temple, or the city wherein it was built, 
though all that he fpeaks be equally applicable to them. 
Now the camp in the wildernefs was that fpace of ground 
which was taken up by the tents, as they were regularly 
pitched about the tabernacle ; out of this camp the bodies 
of the bealls for the fin offerings were carried and burned; 
and to this afterwards anfwered the city of Jerufalem ; 
now the camp and city were the feat of all the political 
and religious converfe of the yewijh church ; and to be 
in the cvmp, is to have a right to all the privileges and 
advantages of all the commonwealth of Ifrael, and the 
whole fervice of the tabernacle ; but here it may be alked, 
how were the Hebrews on account of this facrifice of 
Chrifl-, and the fanftification of the people by his own 
blood, to go out of this camp P It is not a /(j<:^/ departure 
out of the city that is primarily intended, though I am 
apt to think, from the next verfe, that the apoflle had 


Ver. i3,r4' EPISTLE TO THE HEBREWS. 409 

fome refpecl alfo thereunto; but what is principally in- 
tended, is a moral and religious going forth ; there was 
nothing that thefe Hebrews more valued, and more 
tenacioufly adhered to, than their political and religious in- 
tereft in the commonwealth of Ifrael ; they could not under- 
Hand upon what principle they mufh forfake all the 
glorious privileges granted of old to that church and 
people ; this therefore the apoftle clearly lliews them by 
the fufFering of Chrifl without the camp. 

§ 2. They were thus to ' go forth unto him ;' he went 
forth at the gate, and fuffered ; and we mud go forth 
after him. And it denotes, 

1. A relinquifhment of all the privileges of the camp 
and city for his fake ; leave them^ and go to him, 

2. A doling by faith with his facrifice and fanftifica- 
tion thereby, in oppofitioii to all the facrifices of the 

3. The owning of him under all that reproach and con- 
tempt which was caft upon him in his fufFering without 
the gate ; or a not being afhamed of the crofs. 

4. The betaking ourf elves to him in his office, as the 
king, prieft, and prophet of the church, for our accep- 
tance with God, and in his worfhip, [ver. 15.] 

* Bearing his reproach ;' either the reproach that was 
caft on his perfon, or the reproach that Is cafi: on oio's for 
his fake, [fee on chap. x. 33.] this we bear when we pa- 
tiently undergo it, and are not fhaken in our minds, in. 
what we fufFer by it. The fum of all is, that we muft 
leave all to go forth to a crucified Chrift. An enforce- 
ment of this exhortation, or an encouragement to this 
duty, the apoftle adds in the next words. 

§ 3. ' For here have we no continuing city, but wc 
< feek one to come,' [fee on chap. xi. 10 — 16.] 

Their Intereft in the city of Jerufalem was gone, after 
the Lord Jcfus went without the gate to fuffer. Now it is 
not fald of believers abfolutely, that they belonged to no 
city, but that they have no continuing city. But it is fpokea 
Oil other accoiints. 

Ggg2i I. They 


1. They had no cityxh^t was the feat of divine worfhip, 
and to v/hich it was confined, as it was before with refpe£t 
to Jerufalem. 

2. They had no city wherein they did reft, or which 
was the feat of their (^7roK'i\sv^a,) converfation^ [Phil, 
iii. 20.] Not fuch a city as contained their lot and por- 

3. They had not in this world an abiding city. What- 
ever conveniences they might have for a feafon, yet they 
had no city that was to abide for ever, nor which they 
could for ever abide in. 

And probably herein the apoftle fliews the diiFerence 
and oppofition between the flate of the Chriftian church, 
and that under the Old Teflament ; for, after they had 
wandered in the wildernefs and elfewhere, for fome ages, 
they were brought to rejl in Jerufalem ; but, faith he, 
with "US it is not fo ; * but we feek one that is to come.' 
[See the defcription of the Hate of pilgrimage here in- 
tended, in the Expofition on chap. xi. 9 — 16. 

§ 4. ' But (sTT/^/J^/xiy) we feek one to come,' with 
defire and diligence ; not as a thing unknown, but (ryjv 
usXcfcrcicv) that city ; not one indefinitely, but thai which 
was to be their eternal habitation ; to come ; not merely 
becaufe it was future as to their {late and intereft in it, 
but with refpeft to their being certain of enjoying it ; fox* 
it was propared for them, and prlmlfed to them. 

§ 5. And we are herein taught, 

1. That all privileges and advantages whatever are to 
be renounced, which are inconfiftent wath an intereft in 
Chrift, and a participation of him, [Phil, iii, 4 — 10.] 

2. If it was the duty of the Hebrews to forfake thofe 
ways of worihip, which were originally of divine inftitu- 
tion, that they might wiiolly give up themfelves to Chrift, 
in all things pertaining to God ; much more is it ours to 
forego all fuch pretences to religious worfhip^ as are of 
human invention. And, 

3. Whereas the eamp contained not only ecclejiajikal^ 
but alfo political privileges, we fhould be ready to forego 
^11 civil accommodations alfo^ as houfes, lands, poflef- 


Ver. 13,14. EPPSTLE TO THE HEBREWS, ^it 

lions, &:c. when called to give them up on the account 
of Chrifl and the gofpel. 

4. If we will go forth to Chrift, as without the camp^ 
or feparated from the finful concerns pf this world, we 
fhall afluredly meet with reproaches. 

§ 6. I. Believers are not like to meet with any fuch 
encouraging entertainment in this world, as to make them 
unready or unwilling to defert it, and go forth after 
Chrifl, bearing his reproach ; for ' we have here no con- 
* tinuing city.' 

2. This world never did, and never will, give a flate 
of reft and fatisfa£lion to believers. It will not afford 
them a city ; it is Jerufalem above that is the vijion of peace, 
Arife and depart, this is not your refl. 

3. Though deftitute of a prefent fatisfa£lory reft, God 
hath not left believers without a profpedt of what fhall be 
fo to eternity. We have not, but we feck, 

4. As God hath, in his unparalleled love and care, pre- 
pared a city of reft for us, it is our great duty conti- 
nually to endeavour the attainment of it in the ways of 
his appointment. 

5. The main bufinefs of believers in this world is, di- 
ligently to feek after the city of God, or the attainment of 
eternal reft with him. This is the character v/hereby they 
IBay be known. 



Verses 15 — ly. 


§ I . "Tranjztion ' to Chrijlian duties,, as connected with the 
Chriftian altar. § 2. Our facrifices to he offered by 
Chrift, § 3. Giving thanks. ^ 4. Other facrifices ; to 
do goody and to communicate. ^ 5. Which are pleafmg t(x 
God, § 6. Other duties, § 7. Obedience to our guides y 
^8. Who watch for our fouls ^ § 9. And are^accounta-^ 
^ hie, § io« A motive of obedience to them, § I I — 13» 

I. H 

AVING dsclaredof what nature our altar Is, and 
the fundamental points of our religion thence ariling ; our 
faith in Chrift Jefus, and the profeffion thereof in a readi- 
nefs for the crofs, and conformity to him thereby ; the 
apoflle proceeds to declare the nature of our altar and facri- 
fice^ in oppofition to thofe dodrines and ohfervanccs about 
meats., and other things of a iimilar nature, which de- 
pended on the altar, with its infcitutions. Having an 
altar^ we muft have facrifices to offer ; without which the 
former is of no ufe. 

§ 2. ' By him (liaiPrd) therefore let vis offer.' AH the 
faciifices of the people under the law were offered by the 
priejis ; wherefore rcfpe£l is here had to Chrifl in the dif~ 


Ver. 15—17. EPISTLE TO THE^ HEBREWS. 413 

charge of his pricjily office. He fanftifies and ded'ico.tcs our 
perlons unto God, that we may be mete to offer facrifices 
to him ; he hath prepared a way for our accefs with boid- 
nefs into the ho]y place, where we may offer thefe facri- 
fices ; he hears the iniquity of our holy things, and make* 
our off*erings acceptable through his merits and interccffion ; 
he continues in the tabernacle of his own human nature, 
to offer up to God all the duties and fervices of the 

And ' ky him*, is the fame with by him alone. There 
is a profane opinion and pra6lice in the Papal church, 
about offering our facrifices of prayer and praife to God 
hy others \ as by faints and angels, efpecially by the blejjcd 
Virgin, But are they our altar f" Did they fanHify us by 
their blood ? Are they the high priefts of our church? Have 
they made us priefls unto God ? or prepared a new and a 
living way for our accefs to the throne of grace ? It is 
on account of thefc things, that we are faid to offer our fa- 
crifice by ChriJ}, and it is the higheil: blafphemy to ailigii 
them to any other. 

' Let us offer, ^ the fpecial nature of it is an offering, a 
facrifice of praife \ praife is the matter Q)i\ht facrifice. By 
the law no blood could be offered on the altar, unlefs the 
beafl were immediately fain at the altar in order thereto ; 
and there anfwerably is a two-fold fpiritual facrifice, where- 
in our Chriflian profeflion eminently confifls. The firfl 
is that of a broken fpirit, [Pfal. li. 17.] repentance, in 
mortification and crucifying of the flefli, anfwers the mac- 
tation, or killing of the beaft.for facrifice, v/hich was the 
death and deflru£lion of the flefh. The other is the facri- 
fee of praife, which anfwers the offering of the blood 011 
the altar, with the fire and incenfe, which yieldeth a 
fweet favour unto God. 

This we are enjoined to offer {^la, ^a?\0Q) continually ; 
without beJiig confined to appointed times and places, 
[Luke xviii. i. I. Thef. v. i 7. J for it may comprife places 
as well as times, [1. Cor. i. 2.] and alfo including dili- 
gence and perfcvcrance \ with a conftant readinefs of mmd, 


414 AN EXP(iSlTION OF THE Chap. Xllf. 

an holy difpofitioii and inclination of heart to it, a£led in 
all proper feafons and opportunities. 

§ 3. (T^T.-cr/ y^oc^TTov yjiKsoov) that is, the fruit of our 
lips -y it is generally granted that this expreffion is taken 
from Hof. xiv. 2. where the fame duty is called {x=2nB 
tlJ»nst:>j the calves of our lips ; for the fenfe is the fame, and 
fraife to God is intended in both places. But the defign 
of the apodle in alledging this place is peculiar ; for the 
prophet is praying in the name of the church for mercy, 
grace, and deliverance ; and thereon he declareth what 
is the duty of it upon an anfwer to their prayers. Now 
whereas this, according to the inftitutions of the law, was 
to have been in vows and thank, offerings of calves and 
other beafls, he declares that, inftead of them all, vocal 
thank fulnefs in celebrating the praife of God, fhould fuc- 
ceed. This he calls, ' the calves of our lips,' becaufe that 
the ufe of our lips in praife was to come into the room of 
all thanks offerings by calves. The pfalmifl fpeaks to the 
fame purpofe, Pf. li. 16, 17. 

But moreover, the mercy, grace, and deliverance, which 
the prophet treats about, were thofe that were to come by 
the redemption which is in Jefus Chrift. After that there 
was to be no moro facrifce of calves, but fpiritual facrifices 
of praife only, winch he therefore calls the * calves of our 

* lips.' The apoflle therefore doth not only cite his wordsy 
but refpe(fts the dcfpi of the Holy Ghoft in them, which 
was — to declare the ctjjation of all carnal facrifices, upon 
the deliverance of the church by the facrifice of Chrifl. 
And he changeth the words from * calves' to ' fruit,' to 
declare the fenfe of the metaphor in the prophet. And be- 
caufe there may be fome ambiguity in that expreflion, 

* the fruit of our Hps,' which in general is the produ£l and 
effc<5t of them, he adds a declaration of its nature — giving 
thanks, or confcffing, * to his name;' to profefs and ac- 
Jcnowlcdge his glorious excellenck-s and works. 

§ 4. Bt caufe he perfifteth in his defign of declaring the 
pature of gofpel worlhip and obedience, in oppofition to 
the inftitutions of the law j he calls thefe duties alfo^/^rr/- 

fices^— 17- EPISTLE TO THE HEBREWS. 415 

ficesy upon the account of their being accepted with God, 
as the facrifices of old were. 

* But to do good,' &c. (Sc) hut^ is only continuative, 
and may be rendered moreover ; to the former duties add 
this alfo. Havmg prefcribed the great duty of divine worjhip^ 
fome may think that this is the vjhole required of them ; 
but, to obviate that dangerous evil, forget not this impor- 
tant addition. There may be a Meiofis in the expreffion, 
* to do good forget not;'' that is, diligently attend to thofe 
things ; which includeth, 

1. A gracious propenfty and readinefs of mind to do 
good to all. ' The liberal devifeth liberal things,' [Ifa. 
xxxii. 8.] 

2. The afiing of this inclination in all ways fpiritual 
and temporal, whereby we may be ufeful and helpful to 

3. The embracing of all occaftom and opportunities for 
the exercife of pity, companion, and loving-kindnefs on 
the earth. It is required, that the defign of our lives, 
according to our abilities, be to do good to others ; which is 
comprehenfive of all the duties of the fecond table. 

This [zViToiioc) beneficence is the life, fait, and as it were, 
the ligament of human fociety ; it is the glory of religion^ 
rendering it divinely honourable ; is a great evidence ot 
the renovation of our natures into the Hkenefs and image 
of God, and a convincing demonflration of our having 
altered our center, end, and intereft, from felf to God. 

A particular inflance of this beneficence is [■holvjovlo'S) 
communication^ the aftual exercife of that charity towards 
the poor, which is required of us according to our ability. 
To be negligent herein, is to defpife the wifdom of God, 
in the difpofal of the lots and conditions of his own chil- 
dren in the world, in fo great variety, for the exercife of 
our graces ; fuch as patience, fubmifTion, and truft, in 
the poor ; thankfulnefs, bounty, and charity, in the 
rich. Where thcfe graces are mutually exercifed, there 
is beauty, order, and harmony, in this effed of Divine 
wifc'om, with a revenue of glory and.praife to himfelf. 
He that gives aright finds the power of divine grace in his 

VolIV. Hhh heart 5 


heart ; and he that receives aright, is fenfible of divine care 
and love in feafonahlc fupphes. God is nigh to both. 
No man is rich or poor merely for himfelf ; but to fill 
up that public order of things, which God hath defigned 
to his own glory. 

^ 5. The obfervance of thefe duties the apoftle preiTeth 
on them, becaufe ' with fuch facrifices God is well pleafed.' 
He ftiil calls our Chriftian duties by the name o{ facrifices^ 
feeing they have the general nature of facrifices, as to cojl 
and parting with what is ours. And, indeed, all things 
done for God, to his glory, and wiiich is accepted with 
him, may be fo called. The force of the motive conlifts 
in this, that ' with thefe facrifices (^svapsgci]cci c ©eoc) 
* God is well pleafed ;' there is a clear intimation of ih^ f pe- 
dal pleafure of God in thefe things ; he is well pleafed with 
it in an efpecial manner. 

§ 6. ' Obey them that have the rule over you.' This 
is the third inflance of duties required in our Chriflian 
profefHon, on the account of the facrifice of Chrift, and our 
fanftification by his blood. — Let us go forth — let us fa^ 
crifice, and — let us ol^ey, 

A few things may be here premifed :• 

1. There is a fuppofition of a fettled church fiate among 
them to whom the apoftle wrote, [fee chap, x. 24, 25.] 
for there were among them rulers and the ruled. 

2. The epiflle was written immediately to the commw 
'ti'ity of the faithful, or body of the fraternity in the church, 
as diilinguifhed from their rulers and guides, [ver. 24.] 

3. The fpecial duty here prefcribed extends to all that 
concerns church rule and order ; for all fprings from the 
* due obedience of the church to its rulers,' and their due 
difcharge of their ofiice. 

§ 7. ' Them that have the rule over you,' {roig Viyh^^.ivoig 
vii:.ov) your guides or leaders ; who rule, not with magilie- 
rial powder or rigid authority ; but with fpiritual care and 
benignity, which were then of two forts, [I. Tim. v. 17.] 
iuch as, together with rule, laboured alfo in the word and 
dodrine, and fuch as attended to rule only. Thofe here 


Ye:i. 15.— 17' EPISTLE TO THE HEBREWS. 417 

intended were the ordinary elders, or officers of the church, 
which were then fettled among them. 

It is with refpedl to their teachings or paftoral feeding, 
that they are commanded to obey them ; for the word 
{TT-i^o^cii) fignifies obedience on a perfuafion ; fuch as 
dodlrine, inftruflion, or teaching, produceth. And the 
fiihmijjion required (vTrcmf]:-} fubmlt your/elves, refpe£ls 
their rule ; obey their do£trine, and fubmit to their rule. 
Some things mud be remarked to clear the apofde's in- 

1. It is not a blind Implicit obedience and fubje^ion, that 
is here prefcribed ; for there is nothing more contrary to 
the whole nature of gofpel obedience, which is our reafona^ 
hie fervice. 

2. It refpe£ls them in their office only. If thofe who 
fuppofe themfelves in office, teach and enjoin things that 
belong not to their office, there is no obedience due to 
them by virtue of this command. 

3. It is their duty fo to obey^ whilfl they * teach the 

* things which the Lord Jefus Chrifl hath appointed them 

* to teach,' (Matt, xxviii. 20.] and to fubmit to their 
rule^ whilfl it is exercifsd in the name of Chrifl accord- 
ing to the word, and not otherwife. When they depart 
from thefe^ there is neither obedience, nor fubmiffion, 
due to them. Wherefore, 

4. In the performance of thefe duties, there Is fup- 
pofed a judgement to be made of what is enjoined or 
taught by the word of God ; and our obedience to them 
mufl be obedience to God. 

5. On this fuppofition, their vjord is to be obeyed, and 
their rule fubmittcd to ; not only becaufe they are true and 
right materially ; but alfo becaufe they are theirs, and con- 
veyed from them by divine inflitution. A regard is to be 
had to their authority and office poiuer, in what they teach 
and do. 

§ 8. * For they watch for your fouls, as they that mufl 

< give account.' Obey them, for they watch ; make this 

confideration a motive to your duty (c^y^vTi'^acri) they watch 

with the greatefl care and diligence., not without trouble 

H h h 2 and 


and danger; as Jacob kept and watched the flock of La« 
ban in the night (vtteo tcjcv '^uxocv vijlmv) for your fouls i 
for their good, denoting the final caufe ; that your fouls 
may be guided, kept, and dire£led to their prefe^it duty, 
and future reward. As if it were faid, The important 
work of thefe rulers is only to take care of your fouls ; 
to preferve them from evil, fm, and backfliding ; to in- 
Urudt and feed them ; to promote your faith and obe- 
dience, that they may lead you fafely to eternal refl ; for 
this is their office appointed, and herein do they labour 

Where there is not the defign of church rulers, where it 
is not their work and employment, where they do not evi- 
dence it to be fo, they can claim no obedience from the 
church by virtue of this rule ; becaufe this watching be- 
longs elTentially to the exercife of the office, without which 
it is but an empty name. On the other fide, that all the 
members of the church may be kept in due obedience to 
their guides, it is necelTary, that they always *' confider 
the nature of this office, and their difchaVge of it." Wheii 
they find that the office itfelf is a divine -inllitution for 
the good of their fouls, and that it is difcharged by their 
guides, with labour, care, and diligence, they will be dif- 
pofed to obedience and fubmiffion. And herein confifls 
the beauty and ufefulnefs of church order ; when the guides 
make it evident, that their whole defign is laborioufly and 
diligently to promote the eternal welfare of the fouls com- 
mitted to their care ; and when the people, on the other 
hand, obey them in their dodrine, and fubmit to them in 
their rule. 

§ 9. 'As they that mull give account ;' that is, of 
their offi.ce, and the difcharge of it. They are not ow- 
ners, but flewards ; they are not fovereigns, but fervants. 
There is a great f})epherd to whom they muft give an ac- 
count of tlieir office, of their work, and of the flock com- 
mitted to their charge. Although the laft great account^ 
which all church guides muft give of their ftewardlhips, 
maybe intended, yet the prefent account which they 
give every day to Jefus Chrift, of the work committed Xo 

them J 

Ver. iil'-r-i;- EPISTLE TO THE HEBREWS. 41^ 

them, is alfo included. There are no confcientious church 
guides, but do continually reprefent to the Lord Chrifl 
the flate of their flock, and what is the fuccefs of their 
miniilry among them. If they thrive, if they flourifli, if 
they go on to perfeftion, this they give him an account of; 
bluffing him for the work of his fpirit and grace among 
them. If they are unthrifty, fallen under decays, &;c, 
therein alfo they give an account to Jefus Chrift ; they 
fpread it before him, mourning v/ith grief and forrow. 
The fuppofition of an account given with forroiji\ can re- 
fer to no other account, but that which is prefcnt, with 
refpe£l to the fuccefs of the miniilry. And, indeed, much 
of the life of the miniflry, and benefit of the church, de- 
pends on the continual * giving an account' to Chrift, bv 
prayer and thankfgiving, of the flate of the church, and 
fuccefs of the word therein. 

Thofe guides who efleem themfelves obliged theretc^, 
^wd. who live in the praHice of it, will find their minds 
engaged thereby, to conflant diligence, and earnefl la- 
bouring in the difcharge of their duty. 

§ 10. ' For that is unprofitable for you.' Now this 
joy or forrciv, wherewith they are afFeded in giving their 
accounts, doth not here immediately refpeft themfelves, or 
their own miniftry, (for they are ' a fweet favour unto 

* God, both in them that are laved, and in them that pe- 

* rifh ;') but the church committed to their guidance. 

I. The duty is urged, that they may give their account 
(^^cc yjoc^ccc) with joy. What matter of Xht great eft joy is 
it to faithful paftcrs, when they find the fouls of their 
charge thriving under their miniilry ! Thus one of the 
apoftles themfelves : * I have no greater joy, than to hear 
' that my children walk in the truth,' [III. John, vcr. 4.I 
And thus another : ' What is our hope, or joy, or crozu?i 

* of rejoicing P are ye not in the prefence of our Lord Jefus 
' Chrift at his coming r for ye are our glory and jov,* 
[I. Thef. ii. 19, 20.] And when they give this account 

"with glory and praife, it fills their hearts with joy in a 
particular manner. And this, on many accounts, is 

* proftabli for the church itfelf ; they will quickly find 



the effects of the Joy of their guides, in their account, by 
the cheerful difcharge of their miniftry^ and in token of 
Chrift being well pleafed with them. 

2. The duty is prefled for the avoidance of the contrary 
frame, (^yj gcva^oyicg) not with grief; not grieving or 
mourning. The fadnefs of the hearts of gofpel minifters 
upon the unprofitablenefs of the people, or their fhame- 
ful mifcarriages, is not eafy to be expreffed. With what 
lighing, what greaning^ (as the word fignifies) their ac- 
counts to Chrill are accompanied, he alone knows, and 
the laft day will manifeft. When it is thus, although 
they have the prefent burden and trouble of it, yet it is un- 
frofitahle for the people, both here and hereafter ; unpro- 
iitable in the difcouragement of their guides, in the dif- 
pleafure of Chrill, and in all the alarming confequences 
which will enfue. 

§ II. From the whole palTage thus explained, ohferve : 

1. Thankfulnefs is the peculiar animating principle of 
all gofpel obedience. And, 

2. Every a6l of grace in God, or love in Chrift, to- 
wards us, is in its own nature obligatory to thankful obe- 

3. The religious worfliip of any creatures, under what- 
ever pretence, hath no place in our Chrillian profeffion. 

4. Every aft and duty of faith hath in it the na- 
ture of a faciifice to God, wherewith he is well 

c. The great, yea the only encouragement which we 
have to bring our facrifice to God, with expedtation of 
acceptance, lieth herein ; that we are to offer them by him, 
who can and will make them acceptable in his light. 

6. Whatever we tender to God, and not hy Chrijl, hath 
no other acceptance with him than the facrifice of Cain. 

7. To ab;dc and abound in Iblcmn praife to God, for 
Jefus Chrill:, his mediation and facriiice, is the conflant 
duty of the church, and tlie bell charadler of fincere be- 

8. A 

Ver. 15—17. EPISTLE TO THE HEBREWS. 42? 

8. A conllant folemn acknowledgement of the glory of 
God, and of the holy excellencies of his nature (here cal- 
led his name) in the work of redemption, by the fufFering 
and offering of Chrift, is our principal duty, and the ani- 
mating foul and principle of all other duties. 

This is the great facriiice of the church, the principal 
end of all its ordinances of worfhip, the means of ex- 
prefling our faith and truft in the mediation of Chrift, and 
of giving up the revenue of glory to God, which, in this 
world, we are entrufted with. 

§ 12. I. It is dangerous to the fouls of men, when an 
attendance to one duty is abufed to countenance the neg- 
le£l of another. So may the duties of the firft table be 
abufed, to the negle6l of thofe of the other, and the con-^ 
trary. There is an harmony in obedience, and a failure ia 
any one part diflurbs the whole. 

2. The unbelieving world itfelf receives great advan- 
tage by the gracs adminiftered from the death of Chrift, and 
Its fruits, whereof the apoftle treats ; for there is an incli- 
nation wrought in them who are fan(flified by his blood, t9 
ao good to all men, as they are able. And did all thofe, 
who at this day profefs the name of Chrift, fliew forth the 
virtue of his mediation in thefe duties, both the profeffioii 
of religion would be glorious, and the benefit which the 
world would receive thereby, would be unfpeakable. 

3. That religion which doth not difpofe men to be- 
nignity, and the exercife of loving-kindnefs towards all, 
hath no relation to the crofs of Chrift. 

4. Much lefs hath that, which difpofeth its profeflbrs 
to rage, cruelty, and oppreffion of others. 

5. We ought always to admire the glory of Divine wlf- 
dom, which hath fo difpofed the ftate of the church in 
this world, that there fhould be a continual occafion for 
the exercife of everv grace mutually amongft ourfelves. 

6. Beneficence and communication are the only out- 
zL-ard evidences and demonftrations of the renovation of 
God's image in us. 

7. God hath laid up provifion for the poor, in \\\c grace 
and duty of the rich \ not in their coffers, and their barns, 



wherein they have no intereft. And in that grace lies the 
right of the poor to be fapphed. 

o. That the will of God revealed concerning his ac- 
ceptance of any duties, is the mofl effectual motive to 
our diligence in them. Promife of acceptance gives life 
to obedience. 

9. The works and duties, which are peculiarly ufeful to 
men, are peculiarly acceptable to God. 

§ 13. I. The due obedience of the church, in all its 
members, to the rulers of it, in the difcharge of their 
duty, is both the belt means of its edification, and the 
chief caufe of order and peace in the whole body. 

2. An affumption of right and power by any, to rule 
over the church, without evidencing their defign and 
work to be a watching for the good of their fouls, is 
pernicious to themfelves, and ruinous to the church. 

3. Thofe who attend confcientioufly and diligently to 
tlie difcharge of their minifterial work, towards their flocks, 
have no greater joy, or forrow in this world, than what 
accompanies the daily account which they give to^Chrift, 
of the difcharge of their duty among them, according ta 
the fuccefs they meet with. 

Verses 18, 19. 

?ray for us ; for we trust we have a good con- 
science, in all things willing to live ho- 
nestly, but i beseech you the rather to do 
this, that i may be restored to you the 


§ I. Contents of the clofe of the ep'iftle. § 2. 'The true rea^ 
fon of.PauVs concealing his name. § 3. Expofition. His 
requeft of their prayers.. ^ 4. The ground of his confidence » 
§ 5. His farther cQrnefincfs. § 6, Ohjervation* 

§ I. vyF the clofe of the cpiflle, which only how re- 
mains, there are three parts, (i.) The apoftle's ?t^2^£/? 


Ver. 18, 19. EPISTLE TO THE HEBREWS. 423 

of their prayers for himfelf, [ver. 18, 19.] (2.) His fo- 
lemn bemdl^ive prayer for them, [ver. 20, 21.] (3.) An 
account of the Hate of Timothy, with the ufual falutation, 
[ver. 22 — 25.] 

§ 2. From this concluding part of the epiflle it is evi- 
dent, that the author did not conceal himfelf from the He- 
brews, neither was that the reafon why his name was not 
prefixed to it, as to all his other epiflles. For he plainly 
declares himfelf, in all his circumftances, as one who was 
very well known to them. But the true and only reafon 
of that omiffion was, becaufe he dealt not with thefe 
Jewifh converts merely by virtue of his apoftoUcal authority^ 
and the revelation of the gofpel, which he had received 
from Jefus Chrift, on which ground he dealt with the 
Gentile churches ; but lays his foundation in the authority 
of the Old Teftament fcriptures, which they acknow- 
ledged, and refolves all his arguments and exhortations 
thereto. Hence he gave no title to the epiftle ; but im- 
mediately laid down the principle and authority on which 
he v/ould proceed, z^i%. the Divine revelation of the Old 

§ 3. There are in the words > — A requeji made, * Pray 

* for us.' — The ground which gave him confidence therein ; 
' for w^e truft,' &c. — A prefling the fame requeft, with re- 
fpe£t to his prefent fiate and defign, [ver. 19.] * But I 

* befeech you,' &c. It was their duty always to pray for 
him ; but to mind them of that duty, and to manifefl 
what efleem he had of it, he makes it a point of requeft ; 
as we ought mutually to do among ourfelves. And this 
argues a confidence in their faith and mutual love, without 
which he would not have required their prayer for him. 
And he grants that the prayers of the meaneji faints may 
be ufeful to the greateft apoftles, both with refpefl to their 
perfons, and the difcharge of their office. Hence it was 
■ufual with Paul, to defire the prayers of the churches to 
whom he wrote, [II. Cor. i. 1 1. Ephef. vi. 19, Sec] For 
in mutual prayer for each other confifts one principal 
part of the communion of faints, wherein they are help- 
ful to one another at all times, and in all conditions. 

Vol. IV. J i i An4 


And herein he alfo manlfells what efteem he had of them, 
whofe prayers he thought would find acceptance with 
God on his behalf. 

§ 4. As a ground of his confidence in this requeft, he 
adds : ' for we truft we have a good confcience.' As 
Jincerity in the teftimony of a good confcience gives us a 
confidence before God, in our own prayers, notwithiland- 
ing our many faiHngs and infirmities ; fo, it is requifitc 
jn our requefts for the prayers of others. For it is the 
height of hypocrify to defire others to pray for our deii^ 
verance from that which we 'willingly indulge ourfelvcs 
in ; or for fuch mercies as we cannot receive without 
foregoing what we will not forfake.— This, therefore, the 
^poftle here teilifies concerning himfelf, in oppofition to 
^11 reproaches and falfe reports, which they had heard con-' 
cerning him. 

The teftimony of his * having a good confcience,' con- 
iifts in this, that he ' was willing, in all things, to live 
* honeftly.' A will, refolution, and fuitable endeavours 
to live honejlly in all things, is a fruit and evidence of a 
good confcience. Being * willing^ denotes readinefs, re- 
solution, and endeavour, extending to all things^ wherein 
confcience is concerned, or our whole duty towards God 
and men. The exprefiion of * living homfdy^ as it is 
commonly ufed, doth not reach the emphafis of the ori- 
ginal. A beauty in converfathn, or exa£l eminency therein, 
is intended. This was the apoftle's defign in all things, 
and ought to be that of all the minifters of the gofpel, 
both for their own fakes, as It is what in an efpecial man- 
ner is required of them, and alfo that they may be con- 
vincing examples to the people. 

§ 5. ' But I befeech you the rather,* &c. He is fur- 
ther earneft in his requeft, with refpeft to his defign of 
coming in perfon unto them. Here it is implied, that he had 
been with them formerly— that he dcjires to he rejiored to 
them ; that is, to come to them again, that they might 
have the benefit of^ his miniftry, and he the comfort of 
their faith and obedielK:.e ; — that the Lord Chrift did dif- 
fpofe of the aiFairs of hi§ cliurch much according to their 


Ver.20, 21. EPISTLE TO THE HEBREWS. 42^ 

prayers, to his own glory, and their great confolation. 
Yet if is uncertain whether ever this delire of his was accom- 
phflied or no ; for the epiflle was written after the clofe of 
the apoftoHcal hiftory in the Book of the Ads^ and from 
thence forward we have httle certainty in matter of 

§ 6. Ohfervation. According to our prefent apprehen" 
.Jions of duty, we may lawfully have earneft delires after, 
and may pray for fuch things, as fliall not in fa£l come 
to pafs. The facred purpofes of God are not the rules 
of our prayers. 

Verses 20, 21. 


§ I. T'he Gpofiles prayer for them. % 2. ^e title given to 
Gcd \ the God of peace, § 3. The work afcribed to him^ 
as the God of peace. § 4. Through the blood of the ever^ 
laji'ing covenant, § 5. The way whereby we may be ena- 
bled effe dually to d'o the will of God. ^ 6. Jn afcription 
of glory to Chriji. ^ J . Obfervations. §8. The author's 
devout thanks and pra'ife to Chrifiy fot his gracious help. 

§ I. JLXAVING defired their prayer for him, he adds his 

prayer for them, and therewith gives a folemn clofe to 

the whole epillle. A glorious prayer it is, enclofing the 

li i 2 whole 


whole myftery of Divine grace, both in its original,- and 
the way of its communication. He prays for the fruit end 
benefit of all he had before injlrutlcd them in^ to be applied 
to them ; for the fubflance of the whole doftrinal part of 
the epiftle is included in his comprehenfive prayer. 

There are fome things to be confidered in this prayer, 
for the expofition of the words. (i.) The title affigned 
to God J fuited to the requeft made. (2.) The work af- 
cribed to him fuitable to that title. (3.) The things 
■prayed for ^ &c. (4.) A doxology, with a folemn clofe cf 
the whole. 

§ 2. Hie title affigned to God, or the name by which 
he calls upon him is, * the God of peace.' All things 
being brought by fin into a flate oi dif order ^ confuf.on^ and 
enmity^ there was no fpr'ing of peace left ; no caufe of it, 
but in the nature and will of God, which eminently jullii- 
fies this title. He alone is the author of all peace, both 
in the preparation and the communication of it by Jelus 
Chrill. All peace is from him ; that w^hich we have 
with himfelf, in our own fouls, between angels and men, 
between Jews and Gentiles. The Hebrews had been tof- 
fed, perplexed, and difquieted, with various dodrines and 
pleas about the law, and the obfervance of its inllitu- 
tions. Wherefore, having performed his part in com- 
municating the truth to them, he now, as a fuitable clofe 
of the whole, applies himfelf, by prayer, to the God of 
peace ; that he, who alone is the author of it ; who ' creates' 
it where he pleafeth, would, through his inflruftion, give 
refi and peace to their minds. 

Note. If this be the title of God ; if this be his glory, 
that he is * the God of peace,' how excellent and glorious 
is that peace, from whence he is fo denominated, and 
w^hich we have with himfelf, by Jefus Chrift. 

§ 3. ' Tliat brought again from the dead our Lord Je~ 
* fus.' AH the work of God towards Jefus Chrift, 
refpefted him as the head of the church, as our Lord and 
Saviour ; and thence alone have we an intereft in all the 
grace of it. Again, he is defcribed by his office, under 
which confideration he WaS the obje^ of the work men- 
tioned > 

Ver. 20, 2i. EPISTLE TO THE HEBREWS. 427 

tioned ; * that great Shepherd of the flieep ;* he who was 
promifed to the church, and the objed of its faith and 
hope, from the beginning ; he who was looked for, 
prayed for, and who was now actually come as the Sa- 
viour of his flock. He is faid to be great on many ac- 
counts ; in his perfon, in his poiver to preferve and fave 
his flock ; in his undertaking, and the efFedual accom- 
phfhment of it ; and his glorious exakation. He is 
every way incomparably great and glorious. 

Note. The fafety, fecurity, and confolation of the 
church much depend on this greatncfs of our Shepherd. 

He is * the Shepherd of the fheep ;' they are his own. 
He was promifed and prophefied of, under the name of a 
Shepherd, [Ifa. xl. i i. Ezek. xxxiv. 23. chap, xxxvii. 
24.] and that which is fignified hereby, is comprehen- 
iive of the whole office of Chrift, as king, prieft, and pro- 
phet of the church. For as a Shepherd, he feeds ; that 
is, rules and inftru^s it ; and being * that Shepherd who 
' was to lay doivn his life for the fheep, "* [John x. 1 1.] he 
executes towards them his priefly office alfo. All the ele6t 
are committed to him of God, 2.% fheep to a fhepherd, to 
be redeemed and preferved, by virtue of his office. 
That which we are here principally taught is, that he 

* died in the difcharge of his office,' as the ' great Shep- 

* herd of the fheep ;' which exprefieth both the excellency 
of his love, and the certainty of the falvation of the 

The God of peace * brought him again from the dead.* 
Herein confifteth his great adling towards the church, 
as the God of peace, and herein he laid the foundation for 
communicating unto us grace and peace. God, even the 
Father, is frequently faid to * ralfe Chrill from the dead,* 
bccaufe of his fovereign authority in the difpofal of the 
whole work of redemption ; and Chriil is faid to raife 
hirnfelf, or ' to take his life again,' when he was dead ; 
becaufe of the immediate efficacy of his Divine perfon 
therein, [John x. 18.] 

But fomewhat more is intended, than that mere a£l of 
Divine power, whereby the human nature oi Chrift was 



quickened by a re-union of foul and body ; a moral a£l of 
authority is alfo intended. The law being fulfilled and 
anfwered ; the flieep being redeemed by the death of the 
Shepherd, the God of peace, to evidence that peace was 
now perfectly made, by an a£l of fovereign authority, 
brings him again into a Hate of life, completely delivered 
from the charge of the law. [See ]Pfal. xvi. lo, 1 1.] 

§ 4. ' Through the blood of the everlaftlng covenant ;' 
the covenant of grace, which is a tranfcript and effect of 
the covenant of redemption, called ' everlajllng^ both in 
oppoiition to the covenant made at Sinai, which was but 
for a time, and accordingly was now removed ; and be- 
caufe the effefts of it are not temporary benefits, but 
everlafling mercies, grace, and glory. The blood of this co- 
venant is the blood of Chrili himfelf ; which, as a faaifice 
to God, confirmed the covenant ; and which, as it was 
fpr'mkled, procured and communicates all the grace and 
mercy of the covenant to them, who are taken into the 
bond of it. 

But how is God faid to bring Chriil from the deadj 

* through the blood of the covenant r' In reply, we re- 
mark, that the death of Chrifl, if he had not rifen, would 
haye not completed our redemption ; we fhouldhave been 
yet in our fins. For then evidence would be given, that 
atonement was not made. The bare refiivredlion of 
Chrift would not have faved us ; for fo any other man 
may be railed by the power of God. But the * bringing 

* again Chriil from the dead, through the blood of the ever- 
' lafiing covenant^'' gives alTurance of the complete redemp- 
tion and falvation of the church. Many expofitors have 
iilled this place with conjectures to no purpofe, without fo 
much as looking towards the mind of the Holy Ghofl in 
the words. 

§ 5. * Make you perfeft,' or rather, (KcnTCi^ricroii v^ag) 
make you mcct^ fit and able. This is what in yourfelves 
you are no way lit and prepared for, whatever light, power, 
or liberty, you may be fuppofed to have ; it is not abfolute 
perfe^ion, but a bringing of the mental faculties into due 
order, to difpofe, prepare, and enable them, that they may 
work accordingly, — * In every good work / for every duty 
2 of 

Ver. zo, 21. EPISTLE TO THE HEBREWS. 429 

of obedience. In general, he defigns the application of 
divine grace, through the mediation of Chrift, for our 
fan£lification, and the daily incrcafcs of it. 

{Iloiocv cv VjMy) * working in you that which is well plea- 

* Ung in his light through Jefus Chrift.' This is the way 
— the only way — whereby we may be enabled efFedlually to 
do the will of God. The efficiency of a6lual grace for 
every acceptable act of obedience cannot be more directly 
expreffed. — Through Jefus Chriji ; which may be referred 
either to working or to acceptance. If to the latter, <hc 
meaning is, that the befl of our duties are not accepted but 
upon the account of the merit and mediation of Chrift, 
which is mofl true ; but it is rather to be referred to the 

former, fhewing that there is no communication of grace 
to us, from the peace of God, but by Jefus Chrift, and 
by virtue of his mediation. 

§ 6. ' To whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen.' 
The like afcription of glory, in the fame kind of expref- 
lion, is made to God, even the Father, [Phil. iv. 20.] 

* Now unto God and our Father be glory for ever and 
^ ever, amen.* [So I. Tim. i. 17. II. Tim. iv. t8.] So 
it is jointly to the Father and the Son as mediator, [Rev. 
V. 13. See Gal. i. 5. J And whereas this ailignation of 
glory to Chrift contains divine adoration and worfhip, 
with the afcription of glorious divine properties to him, 
the object of it is his divine perfon ; and the motive unto 
it, the work of mediation. All grace is from him, and 
therefore all glory is to be afcribed to him, without inter- 
miffion and without end. Hereunto is added the ufual 
folemn note of aflent and atteftation, * Amen \ fo it 75, 
fo let it be, fo it ought to be \ it is true, it is right and 
meet that fo it fhould be. 

Thus fhall the-whole dlfpenfation of grace iftue in the 
eternal glory of Chrift. This the Father defigned ; this 
is the blellednefs of the church to give him : and let every 
one who fays not * ^imen to it, fee that he be not * anathe^ 
^ ma maranathaJ* 

§ 7. That which we learn from hence is, 

I. That 


1. That the bringing back of our Lord Jefus Chrift, 
as the Shepherd of the Iheep, from the ftate of the dead, 
tlirough the blood of the covenant, is the great pledge of 
affurance of peace with God, or the effecting of that peace, 
which * the God of peace' hath defigned for the church. 

2. The reduction of Chrifl from the dead by ' the God 
* of peace,' is the fpring and foundation of all difpenfa- 
tions and communications of grace to the church ; of all 
the effe£ls of the atonement and purchafe made by his 
blood ; for he was brought again, as the Shepherd of the 
iheep, to the exercife of his entire office towards the 

5. All legal facrifices ifTued in blood and death ,- but 
there was no recovery of any of them from that llate, no 
folemn pledge of their fuccefs. The only fupply of their 
weaknefs was their frequent repetition. 

4. There is then a blefled foundation laid for the com- 
inimication of grace and mercy to the church, to the eter- 
nal glory of God. 

§ 8. And to Him doth the poor, unworthy author of this 
expojition defire in all humility to afcribe eternal praife and 
glory for all the mercy, grace, guidance, and alliflance, 
which he hath received from him in his endeavours there- 
in. And if any thing, word, or expreffion, through weak- 
nefs, ignorance, and darknefs, which he yet lahaiircth luider^ 
have pafTed from him, that do not tend to his glory, he 
doth here utterly condemn it. And he humbly prays, that 
if through his affiftance, and the guidance of his Holy 
Spirit of light and truth, any thmg hath been fpoken 
cright concerning him — his office, facrifice, grace, and his 
whole mediation — any light or diredion communicated 
towards underflanding the mind of the Holy Ghofi: in 
this glorious fcripture — that he would make it abundantly 
ifcful and acceptable to his churcli. 

And he doth alfo humbly achiovulcdge his power, good- 
nefs, and patience, in that, beyond all his expectations, he 
hath continued his life, under many weaknelTes, tempta- 
tions, forrows, and tribulations, to bring this work to its 
^nd, * To Him be glory for ever and ever^ An:ien.' 


Ver. 22—25. EPISTLE TO THE HEBREWS. 431 

What follows are certain additional poftfcripts, which 
were ufual with our apoftle in his other epiftles, of which 
we fhall briefly give an account. 

Verses ^2 — 25. 


^ I. Thi word cf exhortatloru ivhat. § 2. To fuffer it^ 
what, § 3. In what fenfe a few words, § 4. 'Timo- 
thy s imprifonment, and liberty, § 5. Paid charges tht 
brethren to fahde the elders and faints in his name, § 6, 
The faluiation of the faints in Italy ^ to the Hebrews. § 7. 
The general fokmn clofe. §8. Ihc fuhfcription, 

§ I. x\nD I befeech you, brethren, fuffer the word 
* of exhortation.* He fubjoins this tender addrefs, to 
caution them againfl lofing the benefit of it, through neg- 
ligence or prejudice. (fVov Xoyov T/\q Trocpa-KXvia-i^ujg) the 
word of exhortation, or of conflation; for it is ufed to fig- 
nify both. Wherefore the phrafe denotes, the truth and 
doclrine of the gofpel applied to the edification of believers, 
whether by way of exhortation or conflation \ the one con* 
Hantly including the other. 

Moft think, that the apofile intends peculiarly, the 
hortatory part of the epidle, in chap. vi. 10, I2, 13. But 

Vol. IV. Kkk I fee 


I fee no juft reafon, why the whole epiftle may not be in^ 
tended ; for the nature of it in general is parosnetical ; that 
js, ' a word of exhortation,' as hath been often obferved. 
The whole epiftle is intended in the next words : * for I 

* have written a letter unto you in a few words ;' and there 
is in the do^rinal part of it, that which was as hard to be 
borne by the Hebrews, as any thing in thofe which are 
preceptive or hortatory. And I would not exclude the no- 
tion of confolation ; becaufe that is the proper effedt of the 
doftrine of the gofpel. 

Note. When minifters take care, that the word which 
they deliver is a word tending to the edification and con- 
folation of the church, they may, with confidence, prefs 
the entertainment of it by the people ; though it fhould 
contain things, which, by reafon of their weaknefs or 
prejudices, may be fome way grievous to them. 

§ 2. {Kv'z%i(T^i) fuffer^ or bear this word ; that is, in 
the firll place, he cautions them to take heed that no pre- 
judices, or inveterate opinions ; no apprehenfions of fe- 
verltv in its admonitions and threatenings, Ihould provoke 
them againil it, render them impatient under it, and fo 
car.fe them to lofe the benefit of it. But there is more 
intended, namely, that they Ihould * bear and receive it, 

* as a word of exhortation \ {q as to improve it to their 
edification. K neceflary caution ; for neither Satan, nor 
the corruption of men's own hearts, will be wanting, to 
fuggeft to them fuch exceptions and prejudices againil it, 
as may render it ufelefs. 

§ 3. ' For I have written a letter unto you in feiv 

* vjords \ for, confidering the importance of the caufe 
wherein he was engaged ; the necellity there was to unfold 
tlie whole defign and myilery of the covenant, and infti- 
tutions oF the law, with the office of Chrifl ; confidering 
the great contefts that were amongft the Hebrews, about 
thefe things ; and the danger either of their eternal ruin, 
through a mifnpprehenfion of them, — all that he. hath 
written may well be eileemed but a ' few words ;' and 
of which none could have been fpared. He hath, in this 



inatter fent them (hc^ (^^oiyjciov) a brief cotripe^idium of the 
doftrine of the law and the gofpel. 

§ 4. * Know ye, that our brother Timothy is fet at 
« liberty, with whom, if he come fhortly, I will fee you.' 
Timothy was his perpetual companion in all his travels, 
labours, and fufFerings ; ferving him as a fon his father, 
tmlefs when he fent him to any fpecial work for the church: 
and being with him in Jiidea, he was well known there ; 
as alfo his worth and ufefuhiefs. He feems not to have 
gone to Rome with Paul, when the latter was fent thither 
a prifoner, but probably followed him not long after ; 
and there, as is moft likely, being taken notice of, either 
as an aflbciate of the apoftle's, or for preaching the gofpel, 
he was cafl into prifon. Of this the Hebrews had heard, 
and were, no doubt, afFe£led with it ; therefore, the apof- 
tle gives them notice of his being dijmijjcd out of prifon, as 
a matter wherem he knew they w^ould rejoice. The re- 
leafe of Timothy would be good neivs to them. He doth 
not feem to have been prefent with the apoille, at the 
difpatch of this epillle ; for he knew not his mind dire£lly, 
about his going into Judea ; only he apprehended that he 
had a refolution fo to do. And herein he acquaints them 
with his own refolution, to give them a viiit ; w^iich, that 
he might do, he had before defired their prayers for him. 
However, he feems to intimate, that if Timothy, wiiofe 
company he defired in his travels, could uot come fpee- 
dily, he knew not whether his w^ork would permit him to 
do fo. What vv^as the event of this refolution God only 

§ 5. ' Salute all them, that have the rule over you, 
* and all the faints.' This is given in charge to them to 
ijuhom the epiftle was fent. For though it was written ybr 
the ufe of the "jcholc church, yet the meflengers, by whom 
it was carried, delivered and committed it, according to 
the apoftle's direction, to fome of the brethren ; by whom 
it was to be prefented and communicated to the church. 
To thefe brethren he peculiarly gives in charge to falute 
both their ciders^ and all the reft of the faints^ or 
members of the church in his name. To * fa- 

2 * lute 

434 AN EXPOSITION, &c. . Chap. XIII. 

* lute* in the name of another is, to reprefent his kindnefs 
and afFe-dlion ; which the apoflle defires, for the preferva- 
tion and continuation of entire love between them. Who 
thefe rulers were, whom they enjoined to falute, hath beeft 
fully declared, ver. 17. and to call the members 01 t\\t 
church ' faints,' was ufual with our apoflle. 

§ 6. ' They of Italy falute you.' Thofe that were with 
him in Italy ; for there were then many Chriftians, both 
of Jews and Gentiles. Some of thofe, no doubt, were* 
continually with the apofde ; who, knowing his defign of 
fending a letter to the Hebrews, defired to be remembered 
to them, it being probable, that many of them were their 
countrymen, and well known to them. 

§ 7. * Grace be with you all. Amen.* This was the 
conflant clofe of all his epiflles. This he wrote with his 
own hand^ and would have it efleemed an affured token, 
V hereby an epiflle might be known to be his, [II. Thef. 
iii. 17, 18.] He varietli fometimes in his expreffions 5 
but this is the fubflance of all his fubfcriptions : ' Grace 
* be with you all.' By * grace' he intends the whole good 
will of God by Jefus Chrift, and all the bleffed effeas of 
it J and which he prays maybe communicated to them. 

§ 8. Tht fubfcription in our books is * written to the 
' * Hebrews, from Italy, by Timothy.' This is partly un- 
true ; as that it was fent by Tim'othy ; being expreflly con- 
trary to what the apollle fpeaks concerning him imme- 
" diately before. But thefe fubfcriptions have been fuffi- 
ciently proved, by many, to he fpurious ; being the addi- 
tions of fome unfkilful tranfcribers in after ages. 

Tw Q-M ^o^U4 



X HE nature of an expofifory work precludes the neceffity of 
referring in an Index to many things that otherwife would deferve 
a place. The Text itfelf will often be the eafiefl: reference ; and 
the Editor prefumes, that the method he has adopted in fumming 
"Up the contents of each verfe or paragraph expounded, will fave 
the inquilitive Reader much time and trouble. 

iV. B, The firft number refers to the Volume — the fecond to 
the Fage* 

Abarhifid^ oppofition of, to the fufFerings 
of the Mefliah, i. 109. His opinion 
of the .mointed being cut off, 200. 

. His confeffion concerning the 53d of 
Ifaiah, 241. 

^bil, how the facl-ifice and faith of, 
differed from Cain's, ivJ n8. 

Ability, natural and moral, iii. 8. 

^ibraham, feparation of, for a double end, 
i. 87. The church confined to his 
perfon and pofterity, ib. The father 
of the faithful, and heir of the world, 

— ■ ... the ten trials of, ii. 326. 

— — receiving the blefTing, obferva- 

tions on, iii. 262. 

M.I — the call of, containing two parts, 
iv. 143. His faith commended, 145. 
In what fenle his life a life of faith, 
151. The city he locked for> what, 
154. His feed, how as the ftars in- 
niimerable, 163. How he fulfilled 
God's command in offering Ifaac, 182. 
His obedience amplified, 183. The 
fvipport of his faith in that trial, 185. 

J^bridgements, advantage of good, i. 2. 
Difficulty of making good ones, 3. 

^bridger, the duty of a faithful one, i. 
5. Of this workj his principal en- 
deavour, what, 6. 

• Vol. IY. 

^dam, the fin of, its effects, i. 107, 

Adulterers J their doom, iv. 382. 

Affe&ions, natural, how mortified by- 
faith, iv. 173. When overpowered, 
by faith, an evidence of fincerity, 

AysveaXoyijIof, its import, iii. 255. 

Agony, of Chriff, explained, iii. 36. 

Agrtppa, not the anointed cut off, i. 

Albinus, the ftate of the church about 
the beginning of his government, i. 

79- . 
Allegorical expofitions, ii. 311. 
Altar, the Chrillian, what, iv. 403. 
Ambrofe, a remark of, i. 271. 
Analogy, of faith, its ufe in interpreting 

fcripture, ii. 452. 
Anaiiy.s, his cruelty to St. James, i. 80. 
Angelical motions, how diftinguifhed 

from the motions of the Holy Gholt, 

ii. 112. 
Angels, theaggravation of their apoftacy, 

our conceptions of, muft be regu- 
lated by fcripture, ii. 76. Their 
chief glory, wherein it confifts, 106. 
The particular, ends of their miniftry, 

L 1 1 AntU 


■flnu-chr'iftiin ftate, the feafon of its con- 
tinuance, ii. 329. 

yintiochusj Eplphanes, what called by 
the Jews, i. 93. 

A<nravyae-fA!ti remarks on, ii. 35. 

AieoXyvlat, remarks on, ii. gi. 

^poftacy, the fpecial evil of, ii. 356.— 
From the gofpel, is a departure from 
the living God, 365. In the greatcft, 
God has fome faithful ones, 392. 

Afipcaranccy of Chrift, iii, 580. To 
whom, and for what end, 581. 

•vi^i'tnaiy Thomas, his reafon why the 
fcripture is called canonical, i. 44. 

Arthimandtite., who, ii. 334. 

A>'ifiotky his definition of law, i. 44. 

AnnilluSy fome accovmt of, i. 158, i6r. 

Arminianifm, oppofed by Dr. Owen, i. 16. 

Artaxcrxes, Longimanus, the decree of, 
referred ta by Daniel's prophecy, i. 

Afcy Rabbi, compiler of the Babylonifh 
Talmud, i. 97. 

t^Jfemblies, why fo much forfaken, iv. 60. 

^/^<2«cf,fpecialfeafonsrequiring, ii. 509. 

AJfurunce, to retain, the utmoft dili- 
gence neceffaiy, iii. 183. 

Attendance, on the word, necelTary ta 
perfeverance, ii. 120. 

Atonement, the doftrine of, the life and 
fpirit of religion, iii. 49. 

Aujiin, St. his remark on the facred wri- 
ters, i. i;4. 

Authority of God, the groimd of faith, 
ii. 70. The formal reafon of our 
obedience, 307. 


BackflidingSf the very appearance of, to 
be ihunned, ii. 415. Their begin- 
nings hardly difcoverable, 486. A 
prefervative againft, 487. 

JJaf)tiJ»!, not regeneration, iii. 401. 
Abufes of, iL 

, • how reprefented by Noah's ark, 
iv. 138. 

Saptilm, doctrine of, what, iii. 108. 

BaT.liT fxo!;i the meaning of, iii. 503. 

Barchochebu, a falfe MelTiah, i. 155. 

Bcirloiv, Bilhop, his fricndlhip to Dr. 
Owen, i. 32. and laft conference with 
him, ib.'fSf under the gofpel, its danger 
iH. 158. 

BaftI, St. an excellent faying of, ii. 41. 
Another, 294. 

Bates, Dr. his charader in brief by Mr. 
Hervey, i. 31. Note. 

Beckai, Rabbi, his diftributioiv of the 
law, i. 91. 

Believers, the duty of, to rejoice in thp 
glory of Jefus Chrift, ii. 83. HoW 
related to one another, 250. Oi» 
Avhat account the houfe of God, 2.85. 
What required of them, as being in 
the houfe, 286. Their happy ftate 
under the gofpel, 430. Their privi- 
leges not leffened by the gofpel, 466. 
Believing, whether, the duty of linncrs, 
ii. 401. Themyfteryof, confifts in 
mixing the truth and faith in the 
mind, 418. 
Bembus, Fctrus, cenfurcd, i. 53. 
Ben-U%%iel, his glofs on Jacob's prophe- 
cy, i. 177. 
Beritb, conftantly rendered by Jtaflijxu, i. 

85. Varioufly ufed, 285. 
— — remarks on, iii. 441, 531, 541. 
Bernard^ St. a laying of, about underj 

ftanding St. Paul's writings, i. 75. 
Bibli/lsy who fo called, i. 103. 
Biddie, John, two Socinian catechifms 

publilhed by, i. 23. 
Pleffings, facerdotal, how authoritative, 
iii. 248. The adtsof fuperiors, 277. 
The kinds of, 278. 

patriarchal, what, iv. 192.—^ 
Grotius's miftake concerning them, 
193, Of parents, 282. Of minif- 
ters, 283. 
Blood of Chrift, all of it neceftary, iii. 
64. Its purifying efficacy, 525. A 
ground of triumph to faith, 529. 
•—— Ihed, all innocent, has a voice, iv^ 
122. Of Chrift, the only fecurity 
from dcftruftion, 223. 
Brtnius, betrayed the doftrines of Chrif- 

tianity, i. 122. Note. 
Brentiui, a remark of, concerning the 

fori pt\ ires, i. 49. 
Buchngham, the Duke of, i. 27. 
Buxto'f, his treatife on the Maflbretic 
diftinitions, i. 94. 

Cajctan, fcruples of, as to the epiftle t* 

the Hebrews, i. 48. 
C^tll, an ordinary, to the miniftry, 

wherein it eonfifts, iii. 22. 
Canonical y whence the term derived, i. 44. 

Marks to diftingviiih whacbooksare, ib. 
Camera, refuted by Spanhcmius, i. 63. 
Catalogue, a complete, of Dr. Oweu's 

works, i. 40. 
Cerinthus, gave occafion to the writing of 

St. John's gofpel, i. 58.. 
Chaiuh, Rabbi, author of the Tafiphot, 

i. 97. 
Chaiim, Rabbi Jacob, collc(fted the o>-- 

fervation* yfthe Maftbrices, i. 94. 

I Qharlt^ 



Chunks II. \iii civility to Dr. Owen, i. 32. 

Charnock, his character in brief by Mr. 
Hcrvey, i. 31. Note. 

Chajlijement , obfervations on, iv. 286. 

Children, the minds of, well-principled, 
a bleiTed thing, iv. 215. 

Christ, the prielthood of, i. 258. the 
kingdom or lordftiip of, 3 10. 

— — fuperior to Mofes, ii. 9. The on- 
ly vevealer of the Father's w !1, 27. 
The Father perpetually pre.\nr win, 
63. His regalia, 80. His enemies, 
98. The head of his people, 162. 
His inconceivable love, 174. His ex- 
altation, a pledge of final glory to be- 
lievers, 175. How he leads his church 
to glory, 186. His judging omni- 
fciency, 189, 4S4. The frame of his 
heart after his fufferings, 212. God 
find man in one perfon, 228. His 
atonement for fm neceflary for recon- 
ciliation, 237. Confideration of, the 
moft effedlual means to free men fromi 
error, 258. Worthy of all glory, 
273. To be divinely worlhipped, 

— — a priefl, and not of the tribe of 
Levi, how, iii. 24. A difcovery of, 
to convinced finners, 233. No Sa- 
viour without an oblation, 391. A 
"Mediator of a better covenant, 407. 

Chri/lianSy warned to leave Jerufalem, i. 
81. Why unwilling to leave it, 82. 

X/>ireXoy*a, Dr. Owen's, its chara£lcr, i. 

Chryjojlom, St. a lule of, ii. 34. Say- 
iugsof, 37,41. 

r- an obfervation of, iii. 8. A 

pertinent remark, of, 150. 

Chtcrch, the fame in fubitance in every 
age, i. 90. 

- its immediate dependence on Chrift, 
ii. 162. 

its building, a great and glorious 

work., iii. 288. Never loles any 
privilege once granted, 493. 

more honourable in all its troubles 

than any other fociety, iv. 216. 

Churches, 'the fchools of Chrift, iii. 84. 

CV/y of JeruMem, not fought by Abra- 
ham," iv. 154. Of God, its glorious 
privileges, 341. Believers have noi^e 
on earsh, in what fen fe, 410. 

Clarkfott, his funeral fermon for Dr. 
Owen, i. 37.. 

Clemens, Romanus, not the author of the 
Epiftle to the Hebrews, i. 62. nor 
tranflator, 84. 

Alexandrinus, a nx^ftakc of, i. (}2, 

Command of God, either vocal or inter- 
pretative, ii. 72. 

Communion ivith God, Dr. Owen's publi- 
cation called, i. 23. 

Compq/Jion, of Chrift, iii. 8. Obferva- 
tions on, 14. 

Computation, of Daniel's weeks, i. 20 r. 

Conant Dr. fucceeds Dr. Owen as Vice- 
Chancellor, i. 23. 

Concupijcence, evil, what called by the 
Jews, i. 109. Good, what, accord- 
ing to the Jews, iii. 

Condejcenjion, the great, of God, illuf- 
trated, ii. 166. 

CmfeJJion of fin, the caufes and end of 
evangelical, iv. 14. Infeparable from 
faith, 234. 

Conjidfnce of hope, wherein confift^s, ii. 

Congregational plan of difcipline, pre- 
ferred by Dr. Owen, i. 17. 

Ccnfecratcd things, the ufe of, how 
ceafed, iii. 270. 

Confeqttences, deducible from fcripture af- 
fertions, ii. 63. 

Conjolation of believers, how provided fur, 
iii. 228. 

Convi^ion of fin, the great furprifal of, 
iii. 232. 

Covenant tranfaftions, between Father 
and Son, i. 284. 

—■ the mutual in-being of its pro- 

mifes and threatenings, ii. 433. 

the new, its ftability depends on 

the furetifhip of Chrift, iii. 341. Be- 
tween God and man, eftablifhcd on 
promifes, 409. Nature of the Mo- 
faic, and now diftingxiilhed from all 
others, 411. None efteftual, but 
what is confirmed in Chril^, 439. Qf 
grace, its nature and properties, 441. 
The foundatioai of a church ftatf, 


token of the, received in in•^ 

fancy, its advantage, iv. 215. 

Covetoujnefs, the evil of, iv. 388. 

Comifels, the divine, their nature, i. 268. 

Creation, the firft, fubfervient to th& 
glory of Chrift, ii. 27. Its dependence 
on Chrift, 45. The ftage of his, 
grace, 46. Deeply concerned in Chrift's 
incarnation, 71. Its perHhing ftatc, 
how to be improved, 93. 

Creatures, how ufed to the glory of God, 
ii. 30. 

C\rJll, his excellent obfervations, iik 

Cyrus, hia dcxrcc n.oi intended, by l^niei,. 
i. 209, 


D..^ i?i^^^ 

N D 


D'iK'.el, his prophecy explained and vin- 
dicated, i. 189. 

Darius, three of that name, i. 210. 

JData in theology, what, i. 343. 

Death, allowed by the Jews to be penal, 
i. 108. 

- ■ the fear of, infeparable from fin, 
ii. 2ZO. Of Chrilt, how victorious, 

224- ... ^ 

i • in what refpeft penal, iii. 582. 

»— a peculiar feafon, wlieu it is near, 
iv. 197. 

Decalogue, fubftance of the, iii. 484. 

Decrees of God, the moft reafonable way 
of confidering them, ii. 31. 

De/herer, two things ncceflary to quali- 
fy him, i. 122. 

Dejire of all nations, a name of the Mef- 
fiah, i. 184. 

what kind of, fhould pofTefs minif- 

ters, iii. 182. Whence it proceeds, 2^. 

Defpondency, how to be avoided, iv. 307. 

DeJlruBion of gofpel contemners, una- 
voidable, ii. 147. 

e of barren profeffors, ordinarily 

by degrees, iii. 163. 

Li%, governing nn accufative, and a ge- 
nitive, ii. 177, 178. 

Dil'i^encey the great importance of, .ii. 

n in duty, expreflly required from 

profeffors, iii. 183, 185. Remarks 

on, 198. 
Dtflruft of God, a provoking fin, ii. 332. 
DoBrines, all Ihould be praftically im- 
proved, ii. 249. 
» Ihould be feafonably adminiftered, 

iii. 112. Some may be omitted for a 

feafon, 113. 

• ftrange obfervations on, iv. 401. 

Dags, two brazen ones made by the wife 

men, i. 244. Note. 
Dominion of Chriji, extends to all perfons, 

and all things, i. 310. 
believer's duty to rejoice in 

the, ii. 83. 
Duties, the fruit of faith and obedience, 

acceptable to God, iii. 156. 
Duty, an heroic fpirit neceffary to carry 

VIS through it, iv. 220. Defeit in it 

•will make men lame in their profef- 

lion, 308. 

F.hionitcs, their treatment of St. Paul and 

his writings, i. 46. 
Egyptian accouat of the empire, 
i. 205. 

Elias, Rabbi, a tradition of his about 

the age of the world, i. 219. 
Elohim, remarks on, ii. 68. 
Eloquenccy facred, wherein it confifts, i. 

Encouragement, o\\rntcd of, iii, 331. 
End of God in the work of Providence, 


Enemies of Chrift, their end, ii. T02. 

— — of the church, remarks on^ iv. 4T. 
Apoftates the worft of, 77. 

Eniedinus fcrupled the authority of the, 
Epiftle to the Hebrews, i. 48. His 
fophii^ical cavil, 272. His exceptions 
agaiiift a plurality of perfons in the Di- 
vine nature, refuted, 277. His con- 
fidence reproved, 283. 
■ ■ an error of, iv. 393. 

Enoch, why not joined with Elias at 
Chrift's transfiguration, iv. 124. 

EnrtXa/wfiaveloj, its falfe interpretation, 
confuted, ii. 227. 

Epifle to the Hebrews, its authority by 
whom, and why fcrupled, i. 48. — • 
Suppofed by fome to be written in He- 
brew, difproved, 66, 83. What effeft 
it had on the profeffing Hebrews, 83. 
— Not tranflated by Clemens, 84. — 
Abounds with Greek elegancies, ib. 
Is freer from hebraifms than could be 
expefled in a tranflation, ib. 

Erajmus fcrupled the authority of the 
Epiftle to the Hebrews, i. 48. Af- 
cribes it to Clemens Romanus, refu- 
ted, 65. ' 

■ — a miftake of, iv. 390. 

Error in heart, what meant by it, ii. 301. 
The root of all provoking fins, 343. 

EJau, his birth-right what, iv. 318. — 
How fold, 319. He was rejedled, 321. 
Found no place of repentance, ib. 

Eternity, men under their trial for, iii. 

E^nxa, its meaning in reference to Chrift, 

ii. 16. 
ETu/w,7raM<r?-»)TflV, its meaning, iv. 244. 
E"jangelized, to be, a fignal privilege, ii. 

ii-yiT/zb^i of the Jews anfwered, i. 214. 
Evidences of a real union with Chrift, ii. 

■ of a thriving fpiritual ftate, iii, 

92. • 
Exaltation, the glory of Chrift's prieftly 

office depends on it, iii. 381. Chrift's 

Divine nature incapable of it, ib. 
Examination, our duty after hearing the 

word, iii, 76, 




^xampks of our forefathers to be duly 
confidered, ii. 321. 

JExhortatlons, to be multiplied in times 
of temptation, ii. 304. How to be 
managed, 305. To be influenced by- 
Divine authority, ib. Mutual, how 
to be performed, 370. 

J£,xperiencey bow learnt by obedience, iii. 
58. Of Divine truth, what, 89. 

^xpojttiony Dr. Owen's, of the Epillle to 
the Hebrews, its chara<£ter from me- 
moirs of his life, i. 28. 

Taithy how m|xed with tryth, ii. 419. 
How affifted in mixing the word, 421. 
Puts love on work, 422. 

=- towards God> what, iii. 99. The 

importance of it, 120. Its formal ob- 
je(fl, 431. The ground of its tri- 
umph, 529. 

f — ~ gives a prefent fubfiftence to things 
future, how, iv. 105. What fort of, 

, will carry us through difficulties, 107. 
A definition of, 108. By it objeilions 
againft invifible things are refuted, ib. 
Brings into the foul an experience of 
their power, 109. A means of pre- 
ferving believers in the profefTion of the 
gofpei, ib. As an inftrument, includes 
its objedl, 113. Of Abel and Cain, 
wherein it differed, 118. May be 
fhaken, but not overcome, 160. Its 
duty about temporal mercies, ib. Its 
formal objedl in the promifes, what, 
i6i. Looks on heaven, 178. In all 
ages the fame, 215. Highly rational 
in all its obedience, 217. Nothing 
infupcrable to, when rightly engaged, 

Father, God the, with refpeft to the or- 
der of fubfiftcnce, ii. 43. 

Fear of God, the feveral forts of, ii. 403. 
The proper objedt of gcfpel commina- 
tions, 412. 

Federal tianfa&ions between the Father 
and the Son, i. 284. 

Fi^t lux, fome account of, i . 24. 

Jip^ment of the heart, moral corruption fo 
called, i. no. 

F'tr(i-born, whv is Chrift fo called, ii. 

Ftavel, his charafter in brief by Mr. 
Hervey, i. 31. Note. 

Fleet-MooJ, Charles, Dr. Owen's letter to, 

Flepy applied to Chrift, fignifies what, 

iii. 32. 
formcation, a caveat againft, iv. 316. 


Gulgaly what, i. 161. 

Gemaray compiled by Rabbi Afe, i. 97. 

Gemarijis, fome of ihem hold the perfcc-. 
tionof the written law, i. 100. 

riy=uKayovy.tM>^i its meaning cleared, iii. 
255, 276. 

Genealogy of Chrift vindicated, i. 226. 

Gibbons, Dr. his vei-fion of the Latin epi- 
taph, for Dr. Owen, i. 38. 

Gifti, their order and fubferviency, i. 

Gilbert, Mr. the author of the Latin epi- 
taph for Dr. Owen, i. 1 1 . 

Glojy of Chrijl, meditations on the, ils 
character, i. 31. 

God, in what fenfc the God of Chrift, ii. 
81. His greatnefs illuftrated by the 
vifible creation, 167. His love and 
grace in the perfon of Chrift, a matter 
of eternal admiration, 171. His pre- 

fcnce alone the rule of defire, 348 

His voice heard by many to no pro- 
fit, 391. Why he preferves a rem- 
nant for himfelf, 393. Difplcafed 
with nothing in this world but (in, 

— what implied in hisbelng fuch to anyv 
iii. 451. 

— what implied in believing that he is, 
iv. 132. 

Godfrey, Sir Edmund, i. 33. 

Goud-uiin, Mr. John, his redemption re- 
deemed, i. 22. Dr. his character ia 
brief by Mr. Hervey, 31. Note. 

Gofpei, its dofbines to be improved for 
faith and obedience, ii. 249. Its mvf- 
teries require diligent confideration, 
252. No newdoftrinc, 417. 

-' the word of righteouftiefs, in what 
fenfe, iii. 87. The word of the, is 
fpiritnal food, 91. Time, a feufon 
of trial for eternity, 157. Barren- 
ncfs under the, attended with an in- 
creafe of fm, 158. 

Go'V^^, Mr. Thomas, his book on chv 
rity, iii. 179. 

Grace, feafon thereof to be improved, ii. 

its efficacy in calling men, iv. 146. 

G/7^<A, Mr.John, his atteftation, i. 26. 
Grotius fuppofes Luke to be the author of 

the Lpiftle to the Hebrews, refuted, i. 

62. His miflake, 270. 


Haggai, his prophecy concerning the 

glory of the fccond houfe, i. 178. 
HanOf Rabbi, an expreiUon of his, i. 243. 





ihrtop, Sir John, a letter to, i. 37. 

JIaJmfieans, the time of their rule, i. 

Scaring tbs Word^ the duty of Chrif- 
tians, iii. 73. 

ficartj its error, what, ii. 34z. 

Heavensy what the fhaking of them in- 
tends, iv. 359. 

JJebrewSy Epiftie to the, ftriftly canoni- 
cal, i. 45. By whom oppofed, 46. 
The judgment of the Latin church, 
concerning it, ih. Ohjeftions againll 
it anfwered, 48. The canonical au- 
thority of it demonftrated, 50. Know- 
ledge of the penman not necefiary, 61. 
St. Paul was the author of it, 62. 
Why it is unfubfcribed, 69. The 
time it was written, 79. The occa- 
Jion and fuccefs of it, 82. The lan- 
guage it was originally written in, 83. 
^ot tran dated from the Hebrew by 
Clemens, 84. 

JJcin/ius, his fcvcre cenfurc on thofe who 
find fault with any thing in fcripture, 

: i. 53. 

J^emdf the whole revenue of, fcarce fuf- 
ficient to fupply Solomon's workmen 
with bread, i. 1S2. 

JJsrvey, liis character of the puritan di- 
vines, i. 31. Notff. 

JloJy Spirit, difcourfe on the, by Dr. 
Owen, i. 29. 

»— ^ continues to /peak to us in 

fcripture, ii. 306. 

Uopej degrees in, iii. 184. TheChrif- 
tian's anchor, 233, 234. 

JIof-/l\, Dr. l>ri<£tures on, i. 339. 

Hofpitalityj a Chril^ian dtity recommend- 
ed, iv. 372. A peculiar reafon for 
it, ib. 

JlrA'-y tl^c glory of the latter, what, i. 
179, 183. 

Ho-uiey his chara<5ler in brief by Mr. Her- 
vey^ i- 31. jVo/t. 

jFA-fi'", Lord Chancellor, his opinion of 
Dr. Owen, i. 24. 


^arob, his prophecy refpe^ling the time 
f>f the Mclhah's coming, i. 170. 

— — his faith in bleffing the fons of Jo- 
feph, iv. 194. Why this particular; 
of his faith fcleded, ib. 

y.irchiy Rabhi Solomon, his word'; plain 
and remarkable, i. 283. J^ote. 

Jdolatyy of the Jews, under the firlt tem- 
ple,^ i. 215. 

yfatoujyy Godly, liow a duty, ii. 360. 
Huiy, what, 361. 

yehawihy the name how called by the ca- 
balirts, i. 244. 

Jerome, St. a remark of his concerning 
Marcion and others, i. 48. His opi- 
nion of the wifdom of Solomon, 59. 

— ■ - the rtate of his mind when a her- 
mit, ii. 334. 

Jerujalem, heavenly, believers come t« 
it, iv. 339. The privileges of it, 

yefus of Naz-areth, the true Mefliah, i. 
224. The charafterilVic notes con- 
cerning the Meffiah agrej all in him, 
226. The Jews' pretence concerning 
his miracles monftrous, 244. Note. 

- remarks on the name, ii. 454. 
the Mediator of the new covenant, 

iv. 347. The altar of the church, 

Jewiy their miftake about the promife 
and coyenajat, i. 88. Their ptefent 
notion of the written word, and oval 
tradition, 91. The means whereby 
they expedt to be faved, 122. Their 
expeAations at the birth of Chrift, 
1:^3. The faith of their forefathers 
lort among them, ib. Why the Mef- 
fiah was rejeAcd by them, i ^4. Two 
Mcfiiahs inexpe6tation by them, 157. 
The caufes of their unbelief, 163. — 
Their confeffion concerning the glory 
they faw at Rome, 168. Modern, 
their evafions anfwered, 214. 

remarkable fayings of theirs, ii. 

28, 189, 310, 388. 

— ■ an aggravation of their prefent rai- 
feiy, iii. 362. 

IgnorarAre, our calamity and fin, iii. 16. 

Illumir.ationy fpiritual, iii. 492. 

Imitation of good men, iii. 203. 

Impojition of hands, iii. 109. 

Li/iitutions of the goCpel, their impor- 
tance, ii. 365. 

obfervations on Divine, iii. 306- 

Arbitrary obfervations on, 468. Of 
Divine worfhip, to be inquired into 
with diligence, 496. 

InterceJ/ion of Chrift, iii. 352. Three 
ways typified under the Old Tcfta- 
ment, 353. The ground of confola- 
lation, 358. 

Jobannany Rabbi, conipiler of the Jeru- 
falem Talmud, i. 97. 

yojeph, inllances of his faith, iv. 19"^. 

Joy, in v.hat fenfe fet before Jefus, iv. 

Jfaac, the futh of, iv, 191. Wherein 

deficient, wherein right, ib. 
Judahy Rabbi, author of the Miftip;':^ 

J. 96. 


E X, 

^ttJgment^ the laft, Tts nature and evi- 
dence, iii. 103. 
Juliariy his notion of the fcriptuies, ii. 

'Jujlicc, of God, required the punilh- 

ment of fin, i. 297. Not contrary to 

mercy, 302. 
—— fatisfa>iiion demanded by, ii. 183, 


Karcct, hold that the law is perfeft, i. 

100. Reproved for it by their Jewilh 

brethren, 103. 
KaTacr;H^a;jU£v, the import of, ii. 287. 
ViaiTiyi^y tu irXuS-oj, the meaning of, ii. 

. — O^at/patf, thefignifica- 

tion of, lb. 
Kingdom of Chrift, its laws righteous 

and holy, ii. 84. 
KAnjovo/t-to; its true meaning in regard to 

Chrilt, ii. 14. 
Knoiu ledge of God, obfervations on, iii. 

Kpauy* ^^"XJ^^tt the meaning of, ex- 
plained, iii. 35. 

AttXEtVaj, the fignification of, when ap- 
plied to Abel. iv. 121. 
Lane^ John Vincent, author of Fiat lux, 

i. 24. 
L^Jl days, their true import, ii. 3. 
Laud, Archbilhop, his impofition of fu- 

perlHtious rites on the univerfity of 

Oxford, i. 13. 
La'cv, the different parts of it, i. 124. — 

Moral, cannot juftify us, 124. Of 

facrificcs, cannot, 125, 126. 
»■ ■ wherein it agrees with, and differs 

from the gofpel, ii. 2. 

< how abrogated, iii. 319. 

— — terror attending the promulgation 

of the, iv. 325. 
Letter, a peace-making one, i. 36. To 

Sir John Hartop, 37. 
Levi, Mr. David, a letter to him, i. 354. 
Life of Chriit in heaven threefold, iii, 

Llndanus, an obfervation of his on the 

authority of the fcripturcs, i, 45. 
L''p'na)i, his thought of Adam's fin, i. 

Aoyoq rov <5eyj, remarks on, ii. 474. 
Love of Chrill, in delivering us from fm, 

ii. 49. Of God, how admirable, 171. 

Of Chrift, how great, 174. 
of Chiift, contemplation of the, 

iii. 57. Its excellence, 170, 191.— 

Among believers, a fruit of the fplrk 
of holincTs, 171. Cautions againll 
the hindrances of it, 176. The molt 
powerful oppofitions to it, 178. Its 
great trial, 197. 

1 brotherly, recommended and en- 
joined, iv. 369. 

Love/acej Lord, Dr. Owen his chaplain, 
i. 14. 

Luke, St. fuppofed by fome, to be the au- 
thor of the Epillle to the Hebrews, i- 


Macbir, K^hhi, a faying of, i. 243. 

Maivtonides, his notion of tltt MefTiaK 
and his kingdom, i. 162. 

a faying of, ii. 13. 

Man, made for eternitv, ii. 93. 

iV/«>;^|//J Ben Ifrael, Rabbi, his account 
of original fin, i. iii. His opinioii 
of the anointed cut off, 200. The 
opinion of, about the MefTiah's reign, 

MftvSava), the import of, iii. 54. 

Marriage, what, honourable, iv. 380. 

MaJJora, what, i. 93. 

Means, are fometimcs given without ef- 
feftual grace, ii. 339. 

Mediator, the difference between fucK 
and a furety, iii. 333. His office, 
40?. A definition ot the term, ib, 

Melchijedec, was the firft prieft, i. 261. 
Was a facriiiccr, 262. 

— — and his prieflhood, iii. 237. 

Whether a mere man, 238. His dc- 
fcent not recorded, why, 255. Where- 
in typical of Chrifi, 257. 

Menahem, Rabbi, a remarkable faying 
of, concerning the fm of Adam, i. 

Merchants, Solomon's, ii. 252, 

Mercy, that it hinders the exercife of 
juftice, confuted, i. 299. And juf- 
tice, properties of the Divine nature, 

Mcjfiab, the firfl promife of the, i. 1 2 7. 
But a few times denotes the promifcd 
feed in the Old Teftament, 134. Fre- 
quently occurs in the Targums, ib. — 
Why called an angel, 152. Truths 
fpokcn of him myflcrious, yet recon- 
ciled, 155. Ben Jofcph, or Ephraim, 
his ftory a talmudical romance, 158. 
Ben David, ib. A Jewilh tradition 
about his fuffering, 159, 243. One 
expe(5led as a deliverer by the Jews, 
160. Maimonides's notion of the-, 
and of his kingdom, 162. A fum of 
the Jewilb creed concerning hin), 163, 



l68. His coming determined by the 
prophecy of Jacob, 1 70 ; of Haggai, 
178; of Malachi, 188; of Daniel, 
189. The Jews' tradition about the 
time of his birth, 218. That he 
came within the limited time, 225. 
That no other during that feafon 
came, ib. 

Method, its advantage, i. 5. 

l/UrfioTfaBstY} the lignification of, iii. 8. 

Michael, Mr. Dr. Owen's father-in-law, 

*• 35- . 
Milton, his aelcription of hell, iv. 329. 
Minivers, of the Word, to guard againft 

negligence, ii. 24. Their honour, 

whence, 270. IJnfaithful, worthy 

of contempt, 272. Thegreateft but 

fervants, 290. 
. — their defire to profit their people, 

iu. i8z. Their duty, 190. Their 

maintenance, 270. 
Mirandus, Pious, his obfervation on the 

excellency of the fcriptures, i. 56. 
Mlfhna, what, i. 96. 
Mom'ca, St.Auftin's mother, how fhe dif- 

cerned Divine revelation, i. 73. 
f.Joioyv.ijii its import, ii. 66. 
Maralhy, not enough for a Chriftian, iii. 

Mojes, the prophet, his privileges above 
other prophets, ii. 9. The glory of, 
wherein it confifted, 105. 

— — the body of, what fignified thereby, 
iii. 401. 

^ ■ ■ ■ his parents* faith, iv. 205. The 
means of his attaining the knowledge 
of his defcent, 209. The faith and 
choice of, 211. His faith in for faking 
Egypt, 218. 

Myjlerifi, require an attentive confidera- 
don, it. 252. The fcripture an in- 
exhaiiftible repofitory of, 450. Means 
for underftanding them, 451. 

» - '. in fcripture, require our diligence, 
iii. 70. Should be infifted on by mi- 
niftcrs, 71, 124. An appetite for 
them, 92. 

Kaihman, Rabbi Mofes Bar, his Expo- 

(ition, i. 150. His apprehenfion of 

the McfTrah, 151. 
fla^atenei and Ebionites, ftriftures on 

the, i. 347. 
Noah, how h«? condemned the world, iv. 

139. Hov,' he became an heir of righ- 

tcoufnefs, ib. 


Oath of God, engaged againft unbelief, ii. 

Oa/^, folemn, lawful, iii. aij. 
Obedience, formal reafon of, ii. 307. Sb* 

ble and permanent foundation thereofj 

of Chrift, what, iii. 53. When 

acceptable, 58. A pracStical experience 

of, ib. 

blind, iv. 188. 

Oecumenius, his reafon for fuppofing that - 

Paul was not the author of the Epiftle 

to the Hebrews, confuted, i. 66. 
Off ering oi Chx'i^ in fepar able from hisfuf- 

fering, iii. 571. 
Offices of Chrift, their efficacy depend on 

his dignity, iii. 528. 
Old Tejiament examples, their ufe, ii. 

Onkelos, his explication of Jacob's pro* 

phecy, i. 177. 
Only'bevotten, its genuine import in re- 
ference to Chrift, ii. s8- 
Ofiniom, human, infufficient guides, i. 

336. Diverfity of, 344. How to 

avoid erroneous ones, 345. 
Origen fuppofed Luke to be the author of 

the Epiftle to the Hebrews, i. 62. An 

obfervation of his concerning the ne- 

ceftity of the incarnation of the Son of 

God, 267. 
Oiven, Lewis, Dr. Owen's anceftor, fomc 

account of him, i. 10. Note. Henry, 

Dr. Owen's father, his charafter, 1 1. 

Note. Dr. his character in brief by 

Mr. Hervey, 31. Ntte, 

ITaXaj, its meaning afcertalned, ii. 3. 

Tla^riyu^i^ remarks on, iv. 334. 

Pafifis, their agreement with the Jews 
about tradition, i, loi. 

nafaxaXeiTE, its import, ii. 368. 

nagap|»t/a),a;y, the fignification of, exami- 
ned, ii. 119. 

Parents, how may they blefs their chil- 
dren, iii. 282. 

Paul, St. an admirable example to the dif- 
penfers of the gofpel, ii. 250. 

Payne, Mr. his converfation with Dr. 
Owen, i. 34. 

Penalties annexed to the gofpel, a mo- 
tive to value it. ii. 133. 

People of God, remarks on the phrafe, ii.^ 

Perfe^ion of church -ftate and worlhip, 
wherein it conlifts, iii. 289. 

Pafcciions of the Deit)', all belong to 
the perfon of Chrift, ii. 42. 

Perfcvcrance of the faints, charafter of 
Dr. Owen's book fo called, i. 22. 

PerfiaH empire, continuanceof it, i. 207. 


Per/on (f Chnjl, the glory of it, ii. 42. 
As incarnate, 44. 

■ importance of faith in the, 

iii. 340. 

Terjonal tranfaftions in the Holy Trini- 
ty, i. 269. Diftinaions in God, 

Fetavius, his computation of Daniel's 
weeks, i. 206. 

I*etery the apoftle, his tcftimony for the 
Epiftle to the Hebrews being written 
by St. Paul, i. 71. 

Pbaeion, who compared to, ii. 266. 

Fhilo, the fuppofed author of the Wifdom 
of Solomon, i. 59. His perplexity in 
accounting for God fpeaking of him- 
felf in the plural number, 271. 

Pilgrimage, what conftitutes it, iv. 152. 

ITo^vfAS^oofy its import confidered, ii. 5. 

Poverty, remarks on, iii. 197. 

Prayer, ajewi/hone, i. 21;. 

Preaching, ought to be feafonable, iii. 
112. And diligently attended to. 

Prejudices of the Jews obviated by St. 

Paul, ii. 8. 
•*Tg£?r£t, its import as applied to God, ii. 

Prteji, the fignifi cation of the term, i. 

261. Every proper, is ordained to 

ad; for other men, 265. 
Priejthood, the importance of it, i. 260. 

Andfacrifice, indilTolubly related, 264. 

Of Chrift, the neceflity of it, 293. 
■■■' of Chrift, a great encouragement 

to believers, ii. 500. 
■ ■ change of the, iii, 302. Of 

Chrift, its perpetuity, how important, 

Vncjiley, Dr. a letter to, i. 334. What 

he thinks a good guide for difcoveiing 

the true fenfe of fcripture, 336. His 

method Ihewn to be fallacious, ib. 

A fingular declaration of his, 345. — 

Animadverted on, 346. His charge 

againft St. Paul anfwered, 347. 
Priejily office, its glory depended on the 
, exaltation of Chrift, iii. 381. 
Priejis, high, their number under the law 

iii. 343. Remaiks on thofe under 

the law and gofpel, 377. 
Principles, hrft, what, iii. 85. 
Privileges, the difpofal of, entirely with 

God, iii. 438. 
Profamnejs, obferv.ations on, iv. 322. 
Profejfors, barren, righteous in God to 

deliver them up, iii. 160. 
Prcgrefs in knowledge, why neceftary, 

iii. II 3* 

V«i,. IV. 

Promi/e of the Mefliah, under the notlo« 
of a covenant, i. 86. 

how a general and eternal rule, iii. 


Promijes, the miftake of the Jews in rc» 
gard to them, i. 86. How to be in- 
terpreted, 246. All of them confil- 
tent with the Chriftian religion, 250. 

it is of great confequence to have 

them left us, ii. 4r4. The failure of 

<pnen doth not make them to ceafe, ib. 
The faithfulnefs of God in them not 
to be mealured by tlie faith or obe- 
dience of men, 442. Obfervationson 
the, 443. 

delayed, a great exercife to faith, 

iv. ICO. 

Properties of God in Chrift, a matter of 

confolation to believers, ii. 92. 
Prophet, the Meftiah promifed to be one, 

i. 236. The charafter belongs to Te- 

fus, 338. ^ 
• Chrift a greater than Mofes, ii. 

Prophets, how proved to be fuch, i. 62. 
Ufca-B-xii-, its meaning, ii, 121. 
nfoa-Kwih, its acceptations, ii. 65. 
Providence, the works of, inftrudive, ii. 

336 ; their end, 338. 
Prudence, to be ufed by the difpenfers of 

the gofpel, 
Puvipymenti, the effeas of vindiaive juf- 

tice, ii. 137. No place will fecure 

us againft, 334. 
Purgatory, an invention of Satan, iii. 

Purification, how applied to heavenly 

things, iii. 562. 
Puritans, the principal writers of the, 

briefly charaaerized by Mr. Hervcy, 

i. 31. Note. 
Purpofe of God in falvation, its wifdom, 

iii. 227. Confiftent with general of- 
fers, 230. 

^(intihat:, his remarks on profopopeias, 
i. 278. 


Rabbinsy a faying concerning their au- 

thori::y, i. i^g. 
Rainbovj, Bifhop, againft the conventiclfi 

bill, i. 29. 
Rational divines, Dr. Owen's remark 

on fome being io called, i. 29, 
Reafon, its ufe in the articles of faith, ii. 


Reconciliation, how neceffary, ii. 237. 
Redemption, the fovereignty of, 228. 
Mm m Redtyt/* 



Reilemptiof!, v.lial included therein, iii. 


Repentance, its riafjie, iii. qS. Its ne- 
certity, 11(7. 

Ri.Jt fif God, what, ii. 405. Wherein 
it confilb, 407. Entering into, wl^at, 
4-4* How it both precedes and fol- 
lows work, 434. Tl>e d;»y frf, alter- 
ed under the gol'iiel,, 469. All true, 
only in Gbirt, 456J 

A'.'/j, the nature of fcvcral cxplairred, ii. 

•Kejunccliofi, how a fundamental princi- 
ple, iii. 100, I z 2. 

Kivelation, is eminently from the Father, 
ii. 21. Gradual, a fruit of Divine 
wifdom, 25. Of the gofpcl, its per- 
fection, 26. What a powerful mo'- 
tive to attend to it, 1 2 5. 

K^ynoLis, Biihop, luccceds Dr. Owen in 

. his deanery, i. 23. 

Rl:hteo:(fr.<fi of God, what, i. 294. — 
Re-juircs rhc punilhracnt of fin, 297. ciiureh, not the propofer of ctino- 
nical authority, i. 47. 

if.</<^/;,. church obedience to, enjoined, 
iv. 416. 

S^bh.ithy doctrine of the, difcuflcd, ii. 

460. Evangelical, tirll day oi the 

week, 461. 
Sitcramenti, their ufc, iii. 401. 
Siunpas, their nature and end, i. 266. 
SiihaJian^ impolFible but by the fclf-fa- 

crihccofChrift, ii. 47.' The gofpel, 

how agreatoiJe^ 145. 
Splits flaioruniy its charic^cr, i. 18. 
— ■ — — • in what fenfe is Chrift the au- 
thor of, iii. 6i. in what fcnfc eict - 

nal, 6 ^. 
SjVh'litiiaUor,^ its neccllity, |i. 209. 
Huia'/f the curie after ih> fail refpeclo 

hifn principally, i. 131. 
— ■ — his power over death, what,- and 

wherein it confirteth, ii. 217- 
Sa-.i.''.:'/; his account of Daniel' 

.^■'t iiii actvuiit ui i-/aiii(.i i week?, 

i. III. 

S-ehl'u'iingiui, a glofs of, refuted, iv, 256, 

a^urnuiKy Annn Maria, Dr. Owen's cor- 
refpondcnce with her, i. 3 ■^. 

Scnptursy cvcty thing in it infttu£tivo, ii. 
73, ?SS. Compared with itlelf, H^. 
A firm f;round (,'f faith and Divine 
v.orihip, 439. Drre£>ior.s to fenrch 
i: for our advantage, 4^1. 

the proper way rji interpreting^ 

jv. ?7o. 

Si:f'^ir;J:s, \\-fio^ i. loj. 

Seafons, fpecial^ how to be obfervcd ani 
improved, ii, 31^^ 

SelcuciiUe, the time of their reign in Sy- 
ria, i. 204. 

Self-denial, the foundation of fmcere 
profefTion, iv. 147. 

SflJ-exaniin.itloriy the duty of all profef- 
fors, iii. 195. 

Sephcr Ikkaihn, rcmtirkable words in, i. 

Shihy the term explained, i. 173. Pro- 
ved to he the Meffiah, 176. 

Simeon, the fon Of Hiliel, why the latter 
Jews exclude him from their roll, v. 

Sin and punifhmen* entering the world, i. 

106. The immediate etFcfts of it, 

107. The imputation of it held bjr 
fonie of the Jews, 109. Original, va-^ 
rioufly called by the Jews, no. How 
long it corrtinues, \lz. Could not 
be pardoned witltout fatisfaction, 300. 

— its real demerit, ii. 138. Its horrid 
nature, 202. Its aggravation from 
the multitude joining, 323. Nu 
place can ward off, 334. Perfilkd in, 
its aggravation, 344. How to admi« 
nifter an antidote againft, 364, 

— degrees of, iii. 15. 

— its gali and poifon, what, iv. 76. How 
to form a right judgmsecit of its deme- 
rit, 81. The mortitication of, the 
bell preparation for trials, 271. 

Si.-iaiy why chofcn for the promulgation 
of the law, iv. 327. 

Simmers, fubje*fl to death as it is penal, ii- 
220. Exemplary, made exemplary ia 
puniihment, 395. 

Sion, believers come to, iv. 338. 

Skilfulntfs in the word of righteoufncfs, 
what, iii. 88. 

SlotbfuJnefs, in hearing the word, iii. 73, 
i8i;. Its ruinous tendency^ 200. 

Smalcius Valcntinus, i. 23. 

Sociniiin notion of Chritl being taken t« 
heaven, ii. 10. 

— notion- of ChrilVs oblation, re- 
futed, iii. 5X0. Of his recfemption, 

i — - conie<?ture, refuted, iv. 28. 

SociniunSy their cxpofition of Chrilt ma- 
king the worlds, ii. 18. Their ca- 
vils againft the glory of Chrift, refutc\l, 
87. A falfc glofs of theirs refuted, 

■— — — deny an expiatory facriftce, rri . 
49. Their notion of Cbrrd's intcr- 
ct:inon, difproved, 5;; 3. Offer vi<9- 
lencc to common fsnfe, ;; 1 3. 

Soc^r.ui, his doAtinc relative t« juftice 

J N : 

and mercy, refLited, i. 302. Againft 
Chrill undergoing the penalty due to 
us, refuted, 304. 
Sacinus, lus impious aflcrtion, that Chrill 
was ottered for himfclf, difprovcd, iii. 
2 7" ; chat there was no promifc of life 
under &Jie Old Tcftament, difproved, 

SolijidianSy who, iii, 19 -. 
Ho;} of God, often appeared to the Patri- 
archs, i. 149. 
.— '^f God, his excellency and glory, ii. 
14. His eternal ^generation, 43. A 
lignal namq appropriated to Chrift, 
57- Only begotten, 66. Of' God, 
what is undcrftood thereby, 504. 
Song, one ufed by the Jews on the even- 
ing of the fabbath, i. 139. 
Soveteig,ity oi God. in making difference 

among believers, iii. 372. 
Spanhemius, his .conf^jtation of Camero, 

i. 64. 
sprinkling, a Divinely^inllituted fign of 
covenant benefits communicated, iii. 

blood of, why fo called, iv. 348. 

bufferings of Chrii>, hpw neceffary, ii. 
183. For the gofj^>el, how honoura- 
ble, 197 ; profitable and fafe, 198. 
- ■ • ■ ■- of Chrill, the general caufes of 
them, iii. 3S. Their effeas, 39.— 
Inftrudive, when according to God's 
will, 59. God's love prevents not his 
people to undergo them, 60. 
Sureti/hip of Chrill, the fecurity of the 

new covenant, iii, 341. 
;S'w;-/v differs from a Mediator, iii, 3:53. 
What, 336. Chrift the, of the new 
covenant, how, 337. 
Syrian account of the Grecian empire, i. 

Xabernnck, Chrift the true, iii. 386 
Structure and furniture of the, ex- 
plained, 469. 

Tacitus, his teftimony about the time of 
Chrift's death, i. 225. 

Talmud, Jerufalem, compiled by Rabbi 
Johannan, i.97. Babylonian, by Rabbi 
Afe, ib. Contents of the, ib. 

Targumsy the import of the phrafc " the 
Word of God," in the, i. 142. 

Teaching, what fort of, under the Old 
Te-ftament, iii. 452. Obfcrvations 
on, 458. 

TiMi'^m, its fignification explained, ii. 

T»Xsf«e-if, its import, iii. a 89. 

5 E X. 

TfmpU, the glorv of the fccond, wh.-;r, i, 
1S3. _ 

Tanptatwns, their danger and relief, ii. 

Tejtamcnt, how diftinguilhcd from a co- 
venant, iii. 541. jM'cw, wherein like 
thofe ol men, 543. Wherein unlike, 

Theodoret, his ren)ark concerning moi 
lygh, i. 271. 

^BoXoyoufx-zva, Dr. Owen's book fo cal- 
led, i. 23. 

©Jof, remarks on, ii. 166. 

Thieatcmngs, evangelical, ii. 133. Of 
God, their ftability, 147. 

Tithes, whether neccllary by the light of 
nature, iii. z^u. 

T/u-u/Vof the Redeemer's foul, (>hferva- 
tions on, iii. 4?. 

Tiiiiity, perfonal tranfadtions concernin/ 
man in the, i, 269. 

T'ypes, remarks on the, ii. 60, 310. 

_ U 
Vindui^c evangclic^e, its characler, i. 22. 
Virgin, the term vindicated againft the 

exceptions of the Jevvs, i, 234. 
Unbelief, in a time of trial a provoking 
fin, ii. 325, When ir rifeth to its 
height, 32S. A tempting of God, 
when, 332, Negative and privative, 
351. How it operates, 335. The 
root of backllidings, 362. All, ac- 
companied v.ith rebellion, 398, Q\o- 
rihes the greatclUVserities of God, 399. 
The oath of God engaged againft it, 
400. Obfcrvations on, 401,^ 

■ — ■ the great danger of, iv. 233. — 

The duty of minillers to declare ir, 
Union with Chrift, the principal of fplri- 
tual enjoyments, ii. 374, The great 
evidence thereof, what, 375. Of our 
nature, to the pcrfun of Chrift as high 
pricft, a Handing perpetual advttnt.igc to 
the church, ^06. 
Unk'er/e, momentarily fupportcd by 

Chrift, ii. 45. 
7'Q/Vf of God irrefillible without ftnal har- 
dening, ii. 308. 
Uten/iis of the moft hfdy place, iii. 43 S. 


J^^atchfulnefs, the duty <jf, ii. 3^8. 

jfhoremongers, and adulterers, their 
doom, iv. 381. 

i^'ife, Dr. Owen's firft, her cham<5lcp, 
i. 17. Note. His fccond, her charac- 
ter, 35. Note. 





iVtldeynefsy no fecurity againft fin or pu- 

nilhment, \u 334. 
IVilkinSy Bilhop, againft the conventicle 

bill, i. 29. His frjendihip to Dr. 

Owen, 32. 
Will of the Father and Son, how concur 

in making the covenant, i. 289. 
Wifdom of Solomon, St. Jerome's opinion 

of the, i. 59. Ufed for an intelligent 

perfon, 276. 
Wood, Anthony, his chara(£ler of Dr. 

Owen, i. 36. 
Word o{ God, what it imports, i. 142. 

The notions of the philofophers and 

Mahometans about it, 143. 
•. the danger of lofing it, ii. 123. — 

Its ftedfaftnefs, 141. Its efficacy, 3c3. 

^Viof righteoufnefs, God requires thst 
Chriftians fhould be fkilful in the, iii^ 
S8. Of the gofpel, is food provided 
for men's fouls, 91. What neceffary 
to make jt profitable, 191. 

WorJInp, on whaf founded, ii. 7z. 

-evangelical, its glory, iii. 300, 

How God is glorified by it, 402. 

York, Duke of, his difcourfes with Dr. 
Owen, i. 32. 

Z*;y, remarks on, ii. 476c 

A TA- 








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24 ii 99 


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Chap. Ver. 

Vol. Page. 

iii 10 

ii io8 

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iv 2 

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V 11 

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ii 502 

11 17 

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i 3 

iii 169 

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iii .10 

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ii S> 6 »» 33-3—40^ 

iij 16 i 155 

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7 ii 249^ 


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18 iii 180 

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J U D E. 



























9, 13 























Vol. I. 




It may probably occur, that the laft claufe of chap. vi. 6, is 
not infilled upon in the Expofition ; but the reafon is, that no- 
thing is faid on it in the original, and (if the omiffion was out of 
d eiign) it is prefumed, that the Do6tor thought that the claufe was 
already fufficiently explained in the words — ** Fall a^way^'*^ — and 
that — ** Seeing tkty aucify io the mf elves the Son of God afrejh^ and 
^ut hJm to an open Jhame^''^ — is only exegetical of the former ; for 
what is it to fall away from Chriftianity ? It is, in effecfl, to juf- 
tify the barbarous condud of the Redeemer's crucifiers ; and by- 
evident implication to repeat the fame thing ; and the confidera- 
tion v/ould be flill more ftriking to thofe who were any way con- 
cerned in his adual fufferings. There is no medium in this cafe, 
between owning Chrift as a Saviour, and regarding him as worthy 
of crucifixion. .And the impoffibility of reclaiming fuch total apof- 
tates, appears, when we confider who it is from whom they fall 
away, <viz. the g'.orious Son of God, and only Saviour of 

The Editor is forry to find himfelf under the neceffity of apo- 
logizing for the length of the Table of Erratas ; but hopes the can- 
did will be difpofed to afcribe it, not to his inattention, but prin- 
cipally, at leaiT:, to his great di fiance from the prefs ; whereby 
he was debarred from the privilege of correcting any of the 
proofs. A few lefs important miilakes in punduation, &c. are 
ftot here noticed. 


Vol. I. 










he furvived. 
























i. 17. 





who raifed 




















and the 










Note nJ3 




— »tt^3i 



















his coming. 



I bo 


leaving them, 








































7^<?/'f. Jurtus, 














//f/^ in 




















&C. fHD 





but fo foon 





no man 





the dufts 





but may 























the teftimonies 





admit it 



Vol. 11. 










Note, admirable 



N n n2 

Note, may be 
CDbv and cd^dVp 
this glofs. 
perfedion ? 

The Tun 
not allowable, 
mount Sinai, 
is intended, 
caufality ; 
if It 

exemplarily : 
Is it not 


is intimated, 

ocyxyov j« 

xii. 2. 
r/ele him 
engaged in 

iii. 16 
V. 8—13 
golden vialg 

ccy.oviTri 1 f 



V. I, 2 


and earth * 



Page Line 





354 6 

quenched ; 




395 4 





401 37 

our obedience 




412 3 





— 15 

on the Son 




423 30 

fliort of it 



nii^j;i m^ii 

438 31 

IV TOvlfy 






Vol. hi. 




9 16 





39 16 





22 20 




how came 

33 14 





33 19 




j^ct^wj au1ci)i> 

35 32 





54 27 

to the fm iters 



iw oix.a> 

71 38 

to make it 




^^^ 33 

Ttok-nao^Dt ' 




128 a^ 




new covenant 

134 39 

belong to the 




137 3^ 




holy place. 

156 9 

means of others 



Jcle Lev. xvi. 

^75 27 





186 25 





187 19 




once for all. 

388 4 




but now he 

208 17 


a66 2 


Vol. IV. 

27^ 34 

he will be 



of its facrifices 

279 3 




infert ver. 3. 

^83 33 

minillerial ads 



for then 

291 9 





291 14 




Rom. viii. 3, 

330 37 

Rom. yii. 




364 15 





306 21 




loving kindnefs 

370 33 

This he did once. 



Hab. ii. 

when he ofiered hirnfelf ; for 




himfelf he did not offer. — 



which faith hath 

Contrary, therefore, to the 



Became heir of 

fenfe of the whole church of 



miniflry of 

God, contrary to the analogy 




of faitf 

I, and with no fmall 



progrefs of it 


in the expreifion, So- 



in heaven 


firft, &c. 



his natural 

371 18 

could do 




372 26 




laiT)b flain 

373 a 

facrifices repeated 

















he declares 


T»? -^^vx^ 







add [ver. 21.] 







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Date Due 


— I'r^ 




••p— J' 



An exposition of the Epistle to the 


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; J^-. 

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